E (ebailey140) wrote,

HP fic: Black Alchemy: The Queen's Riddle, Chapter 4: The Road of Trials

Title: Black Alchemy: The Queen's Riddle
Author: Perceval
Rating: PG
Summary: Tom embraces the spirit of Wonderland, and comes to some decisions on how to live his life. He THINKS he has it all figured out...
Notes: Ever put Rowling and Carroll names and terms through livejournal's spellcheck?

Tom loved stories of heroic quests, finding the boon, winning the fair maiden. And now, he was off on one, himself.

He would face the dangers and general annoyances of Wonderland. Be it jabberwock, bandersnatch, twins fighting over a rattle, he would face it. Nothing would come between him and his beloved Queen Alice. He would find the tea, and do what no visitor had done before. He would successfully drink a cup. Then, he would be worthy of his Queen.

He paused. This place was really getting to him, he realized.

No matter. He decided, right there and then, that when he chose a course of action, he would see it through to the very end. Now, to find the damn tea...

Wait, he needed a plan. One didn't simply go stomping around and expect to get anything done. No, he needed to work out exactly how he was going to accomplish the tasks he'd set for himself.

Though he'd never been here, directly, at any rate, he knew this land. This was how he'd avoided the Red Queen and her chess game. The Tea Party wouldn't be with the Cards, so, if he was careful, his head would be in no danger of rolling. If he played his cards right...

This place really was getting to him.

Everything was puns. Wordplay and numbers. Words and numbers had power, here. The way the number forty-two recurred in this place... Perhaps the greatest knowledge lay in that number's mystery...

For all it's seeming nonsense, there was much to learn in Wonderland. For example, the tale of the Walrus and the Carpenter. Tom thought that tale told a terrible truth, the gullible get gulped.

Now, how to find the tea party... Where was that damn Cat when you needed him? Oh well, there would be signs. There were always signs.

There was a potential problem, he realized. The Mad Hatter had been imprisoned for a time by the White Queen. He was free now, Tom remembered. But, it was no longer perpetually six-o-clock for him, no longer always tea time. Yet, the Hatter was still drinking his tea, so if Tom could find him, tea would be had.

Was Hatta still in the White Queen's service? Alice had disrupted everything on her ascension to the throne, so perhaps not. So, the Hatter could be in his home, he could be with the White Queen, or... He could be anywhere.

Tom suddenly realized he had no real clue what to do.

He was frightened, for a moment, but just a moment.

Alice was never frightened, and she didn't have his knowledge of this place when she first came here. So, he wouldn't be, either. There was a way. There was always a way. He'd just have to think of what it was, but he was always a clever boy. He knew he could. He knew he would. He would make things happen.

He saw something in the distance. Serendipity. Mushrooms.

And, with mushrooms, he was certain, would be a caterpillar. And with a caterpillar would come advice that would aid him in his quest. This was how these things were done.

Yes, he would find the proper road, find the Mad Hatter, and then find the elixir, the tea, and drink of it. Then, he would find his Queen. Everything in it's proper order.

"Hello," a girl's pretty voice pulled him from his musings. He looked up.

Sitting on the mushroom as a throne... wasn't a caterpillar.

Tom had forgotten things are often backwards in Wonderland.

His Queen had found him, and he'd hadn't even found the tea, yet.
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