Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 16 of 48

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Alice stuck by Mirana all day. After listening to the Mayor of Snud's worries about the jam trade with Queast, they moved onto hearing a few letters from the Queen's petitioners within the White City. They ranged from thanking her Majesty for supplies in the local shops to requests for her blessing upon children.

Alice smiled as the day wore on. It seemed that Mirana's duties weren't that different from the duties Victoria performed for England.

Finally it was time for lunch. They were joined by a few of Mirana's favorites in the White Court plus Bayard and his family. Alice couldn't help but be grateful for the absences of a few faces. After her disappearing act yesterday, she wasn't sure she was ready to endure Mally's scolding or the Tweedles' questions. Not to mention she didn't have to face … them … yet.

The meal was a quiet affair and Alice was eager to see what the rest of the day brought. They retreated to the gardens. It seemed that Mirana tried to get an hour of exercise once a day. Alice thought this was an excellent practice and decided that she would join her from now on. She was supposed to be protecting her Majesty at all times after all, so she might as well reap some benefit from it! Other than the friendship of the Queen of course.

They ended the day in Mirana's study. The White Queen read and answered letters while Alice read through the first volume of The History of Underland. Finally, as the sun began to set, Mirana threw down her pen and sat back in her chair with a sigh. After rubbing her temples briefly she cast a weary smile at Alice.

"So my Champion, what were your thoughts on Mayor Snidely's concerns?" Alice closed her book and pursed her lips. Mirana watched her carefully. Clearly Alice was taking this seriously and that pleased the White Queen to no end.

"I agree that they have a right to be concerned about the cold winter affecting the framble berry crop, but after seeing what happened this year, I think they need to start implementing a backup crop for when this happens again. Does your Majesty happen to know what they might plant? I haven't reached the chapter on agriculture in this quite yet." Alice held up the book with a slight grin for emphasis.

Mirana laughed softly and returned Alice's grin.

"As a matter of fact I do. I was thinking along the same lines, so I made a list of those crops I think will help both Snud and Queast. I'll send it off to the Mayor in the morning. Hopefully that will calm his fears for the present time." Mirana waved the piece of paper in question nonchalantly. Alice nodded.

"So what's on tomorrow's agenda my lady?" Alice finally broke the comfortable silence they had fallen into.

"I think tomorrow you and the White Guard can begin a routine. They been a bit listless lately, though I'm sure with a bit of direction on your part, they'll be back to tip top shape." Mirana commented lightly.

"They better or –"

"Hold yourself love. You can't actually issue those threats yet." Chess's voice was there before his body was. A minute later he materialized on Mirana's desk.

"What do you mean Chess?" Alice got to the question before Mirana did. Her voice was very strained and Mirana felt that stress seep into her own bones.

"Calm yourselves. It's a formality. If your Majesty would be so kind as to flip to page fifty-four of The Rites and Rituals of Underlings."

Mirana did as he asked and pulled down a heavy blue book from a nearby shelf. Alice was reminded of the etiquette books Margaret had brought home from finishing school a few years previous. The thought caused a soft pang of pain in the area around her heart. She pushed it aside to dwell on later.

"Oh fwitter thap!" Mirana's unusual curse caused Alice to giggle, but she quickly stopped at the look of annoyance on Mirana's face. Mirana's eyes were focused on Chessur at the moment.

"We never do things simply do we?" Her voice was quite put out.

"Certainly not! Shall I set things in motion then?" Chess grinned widely. Mirana nodded and waved him away.

"Majesty?" Alice's voice was hesitant. Mirana collapsed back in her chair and rang the silver bell sitting on the desk. Finally she looked to Alice.

"I'm afraid I over looked some steps in your work as a champion dear. You have to take the vows to be my Champion." Mirana rubbed her face wearily.

"Shall I kneel then? We can take care of this fairly quickly I'm certain."

Mirana shook her head.

"I'm sorry but no, these little details matter. To be a Champion of Underland and of the White Queen, one must be a citizen of Underland. And for you to be that, we must follow the Ritual of Citizenship." Mirana nodded to the still open book.

Alice let out a huff. Protocol seemed to follow her everywhere, first England, now here!

"What must we do?" Alice asked with a sigh. Mirana's face became mask like and Alice could feel unease enter her body.

"We must meet with our resident haberdasher and seamstress. Don't give me that look! Their skills are necessary and they'll be here in less than a minute so act natural!" Mirana's voice was tight. Alice's eyes narrowed but she moved to arrange herself properly behind the Queen. She knew what this meeting would take, so she made herself casual by leaning against the wall behind Mirana's chair but crossed her arms. Mirana noticed and nodded at the look of cool confidence and intimidation on the young woman's face.

Although it pained her to have to put Tarrant and Alice into this situation, there was nothing else she could do as the door opened a moment later.

Celeste and Tarrant entered side by side. After bowing and curtseying, they stood like soldiers at attention. Mirana tried to smile pleasantly at them but it came out as a grimace.

"You both have new work that must be attended to immediately. In three days' time, we will have a Ritual of Citizenship ceremony for Alice. A week after that, Alice will take her vows as my Champion. You both know what needs done. You will both work with exclusively with her when she is not attending me. Am I understood?" Mirana's voice left no room for argument. With murmured agreements to work diligently, they all became quiet.

Mirana took the opportunity to observe.

Celeste seemed to be swallowing back whatever arguments she wanted to voice and her eyes revealed she was already plotting. Mirana made a note to see that none of her antics would come to fruition. Tarrant on the other hand was exuding sadness. Mirana knew it was because of the cold aura Alice was giving off, but yet again, there was nothing she could.

Or was there?

Her father, although not typically a violent man, had always used the expression to kill two birds with one stone. Seeing as no killing would take place and her vows would not be broken, Mirana set her own quickly forming plan into motion.

"Tarrant." Mirana caught the Hatter's attention.

"Majesty?" He sounded extremely nervous.

"Take Alice back to your workshop and begin your work. Explain what you can to her." Mirana felt Alice push off the wall in irritation but was grateful when she moved to follow her orders and stalked out of the room. Tarrant, looking a little startled, was close on her tail.

That left Mirana and Celeste alone.

They stared at each other for a long time. Celeste seemed to be reeling in her emotions but not quickly enough.

"No games Celeste." Mirana said quietly. Celeste shifted her weight and glanced away. Mirana was having none of it.

"I mean it Celeste. Should you try to sabotage Alice in any way, I will not be lenient in my punishment. If you want Tarrant's heart so badly, you play fair, just as Alice will. And believe me when I say, she will be playing. Alice has not and never will, back down from what she wants."

Celeste's face was pale but her eyes were sparkling with a light that Mirana was afraid to name.

"Yes your Majesty." Was all the seamstress said before turning to leave the room. Before she could exit, the White Queen stopped her.

"And Celeste, I won't be the only one watching. Take care not to forget that."

The woman nodded stiffly and left the room. As soon as the door closed behind her, Mirana leaned back in her chair and rubber her temples again.

It was going to be a long ten days …

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 16 of 48

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