Summary: It's Tom Riddle's seventh birthday, and he wants to do something special. A trip to an Otherworld wasn't quite what he had in mind.
Notes: Part of the Black Alchemy series,though this doesn't directly involve a Black, though it is a family one of them married into. A special thanks to BellonaBlack, Pipenerd, and, as always, Sorg for their ideas and suggestions.
Disclaimers: The usual, don't own any of them, as nice as it would be.
December 31, 1933
She was, in essence, divided.
A part of her, she knew, was still in the mortal world, living her mortal life, the part of her that still believed this place but a dream. The mortal part of herself knew, deep down, that a part of her was here, and always would be, forever Queen Alice of Wonderland.
Life, what is it but a dream? That had been the last part of the incantation that had made her immortal, an Otherworld Queen, and it's Goddess. She understood why, despite Wonderland's chaotic nature, with all it's monsters and other unpleasant things, she was never truly in any danger, here. Everything she needed would just appear, when she needed it. But then, this particular Otherworld was her creation, her dream.
Or, was it HIS dream? She'd wondered that after she became Queen. That was a riddle she'd never found the answer to. But then, this place was full of riddles.
Speaking of which...
The Cheshire Cat had come, bearing news. They had a visitor. Wonderland had had many visitors, of course, ever since HE had taken their once private little special place and opened it to the world. So many found their way here, usually in dreams, sometimes not. Or, at least they usually considered their trips to Wonderland dreams, afterward. So had she.
Oftentimes, the visitors would be children, though all one really needed was a sense of wonder. Some had said her world was an inappropriate place for children to visit, declaring it the stuff of nightmares. Nonsense, Queen Alice thought.
Sometimes, she would take an audience with her visitors. The Cheshire Cat was insistent she take this one.
"Oh, you'll like him," he told her.
"You've introduced yourself, I expect?"
"Oh, but it would have been so rude not to."
"Good," she replied, amused. "So, why do you insist I take a personal interest in this one?"
"Oh, but you MUST. It's his seventh birthday."
"Is it?" Well, that was certainly... something. It was on her seventh birthday that she made her first journey to Wonderland. Or, was it that was when Wonderland came into being? No matter... Obviously, her story had made quite the impression on the boy.
"So," she asked, "what can I expect?"
"He reminds me a lot of you, when we met. He has your curiosity, and I think he's even less patient than you were."
"Well, my dear, you have an uncanny knack for trying one's patience. You would have infuriated Job, I think."
Not that she could hold it against him. After all, he was just what she had made him... or what HE had made him... Or THEY, the ones who set everything in motion, with their magic, the ones who had made her their own...
One interesting thing about being a Goddess was her form was however her mortal visitors perceived her. She looked at her hair, blonde and scraggly, her dress... Mr. Tenniel's drawings, of course. She didn't need a mirror to know her eyes were especially large. She felt the familiar crown on her head, and the large scepter appeared in her hand. She sat on her mushroom throne, awaiting her audience.
Then, with perfect timing, she saw him approach.
He was a pretty boy, she noted. And, a bit tentative. There was an internal conflict, she observed, as, since becoming Queen and Goddess, she could always read her visitors. It was only fair, really, since most who came here had read her. He was so preoccupied with his surroundings, he'd hadn't seen her, yet.
"Hello," she greeted, smiling.
The boy jumped, startled. His expression was priceless, Queen Alice thought.