Down the Rabbit-Hole
Harry was beginning to get very tired of sitting on the wooden stool beside Professor Snape with nothing to do. Occasionally, he would whistle a little ditty to himself or peer into the murky contents of the potion, but it was no good since he did not know what the man was making.
As he was musing to himself (which wasn't easy as the fumes from the potion were making him a bit dizzy) whether or not it would be worth the punishment to ask to be excused, Dennis Creevey suddenly ran past Snape’s office door. This in and of itself was not a very peculiar matter, students were always trying to avoid being seen by Professor Snape, and neither did Harry think much of it when the small boy cried to himself, “Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! I shall be too late!”
When he got around to thinking about this, Harry realized that he should have been a bit more concerned about the occurrence, seeing as it was the weekend, but at the time, it had seemed quite a normal thing. That was, until Harry realized the boy had been dressed like a rabbit, right down to the furry tail; as a matter of fact, the boy had been a rabbit and not a little boy at all!
Harry started to his feet, for Dennis being a rather tall rabbit seemed a very odd occurence and in need of a more thorough investigation. He raced out of Professor Snape’s office just in time to see Dennis disappear down a large hole in the floor. This was very strange indeed. Harry edged near the hole with great care, so that he did not fall into it, but for all his caution, a strange wind gusted down the corridor and in instant he had toppled into the hole as well.
He realized at once that falling down this hole was nothing like the first time he had disappeared down at hole in the bathroom at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Chamber of Secrets was a windy affair with its sides covered in sludge and mold, and nothing like this hole. That one had been like a slide, this one was carrying him straight down, yet oddly enough, he felt no fear. Perhaps this could be explained by the fact that he felt like he was falling very slowly, or that the hole itself went on for a very long time.
He didn't dare look down though, for he was certain that he would not see the bottom and be rather ill. There were, luckily, plenty of nice things to look at along the sides of the hole. They were lined with cupboards, shelves, and bookcases. It reminded him a lot of Professor Snape's office, except, instead of odd-looking sludge in jars, these shelves were full of nice things. He made to grab a jar of strawberry jam but did not manage to get it. Saddened, he folded his arms across his chest and sniffed.
"I wonder if I shall fall straight through the Earth and come out the other side," he thought aloud, for he had plenty of time to do so, and there was no one around to mock him for doing such a thing. "This hole must be miles deep."
A gust of wind caught at the hem of his blue dress, blowing the garment into his face. He smoothed it down with great care, paying extra attention to straightening his pinafore as well. His white stockings itched his legs something fierce, and his dark hair was falling into his face, blocking his sight. It was all very distressing to him. He looked about him and spotted a lovely yellow ribbon sitting on one of the shelves as he fell and he grabbed it as he passed by. Harry took the ribbon in one hand and his flowing hair in the other and tied the ribbon about his head in a bow. As he passed a mirror, he took the opportunity to admire his appearance. He did look altogether very lovely with his long hair pulled back off his face and his dress all nice and smooth. Even his shoes (which were black and nicely shined) were buckled, much to his delight, for he did not fancy doing somersaults midair in order to secure them.
"Oh dear, I do seem to have lost my glasses," he fretted, cocking his head to the side in a displeased fashion. His vision, however, was not impaired in any way and he could still see about him clearly. A map of the Earth passed him by, and something seemed odd about it. Before he could figure it out, however, that dratted wind came back, furling the map, and blocking it from his view.
Down and down he fell, past all the interesting brick-a-brack, until all around him was darkness. Now, if you had been like Harry, stuck falling down a dark hole with no one else about and nothing to do but wait for the bottom to arrive, you would more likely than not begin to speak to yourself about trivial things. Harry Potter did just that. As he fell, he began to discuss his homework quietly to himself, musing over whether he would receive a detention or not for failing to hand in his last Potions assignment. If he did, he would need to have Hermione take Hedwig, his owl, her daily treat and oh my! Harry covered his mouth with his hand.
"Hedwig will miss me something dreadful tonight. I do so hope she isn't lonely. No, that's silly, she has other owls to keep her company. I just hope someone remembers to give her her daily treat. I don't fancy going back to visit her if she is going to be intent on nibbling my fingers in retaliation. Not that I ever truly intended to fall down this hole, and it is an awfully nice hole, but Hedwig won't understand that and I may very well have the tip of my finger taken off." He folded his arms across his chest and pouted in a sulk. This was terribly unfair. Everyone would be worried about him and he had no way of reassuring them that he was safe. Well, as safe as one could be when falling through the Earth at an alarmingly slow pace.
“And it is an odd thing, isn’t it? To be falling straight down so slowly?” Harry wondered, looking down and seeing nothing. “If Hedwig were here, I could have asked her to fly to the bottom and call out to me so that I would have some idea of how much further I have to go.”
It was about then that Harry began to get drowsy. There really wasn't anything else to talk about; one could only talk about Quidditch, classes, friends and family for so long without finding yourself asking all sorts of rhetorical questions that you could not answer. His eyes drooped shut and his breathing began to even out. Really, if he was just going to continue to fall forever, a small nap wouldn't hurt him; as a matter of fact it would quite possibly make the time move faster and perhaps, when he awoke, he would be at the bottom.
But, just as he had begun to drift off, he gasped. The pace at which he had been falling increased. He could not help but look down, and he was not sure that was a good thing because the ground was coming upon him frightfully fast.
With a soft thump and grunt, down he fell upon a bed of sticks and leaves. He scrambled to his feet, quickly smoothing down his dress as he looked towards the top of the hole. He could see naught but a pinprick of light. Shaken and distressed, he looked for Dennis and saw him not more than a few paces ahead. Surely that had to be a jest, he thought, but harried off after the rabbit without thought.
He had just about caught up to Dennis when he vanished. Harry entered a hall with great nervousness. There were many doors along all the sides and he swore for a moment that they started to move, change positions, and rearrange themselves. But that was silly, the doors weren't moving, nor would they ever do so. Shivering in fear, but determined nevertheless, he moved to the first door and tried to open it, but it was locked. He did this again all through the long hall, going from door to door, jiggling the handles. The low hanging lamps nearly clonked his head as he was went along, but he could not give up. The hall itself spanned forever, or so it seemed, and soon, all the doors had been tried. He walked, defeat hanging around him, down the middle of the hall, wondering how he would ever be able to leave again without his wand.
Suddenly, he came upon a glass table and nothing was on it but a single gold key. Harry's first thought was that it obviously must go to one of the doors, but sadly he was mistaken. The key was either too small or too big, too fat, or too slender to fit any of the keyholes of the doors. Refusing to give up--for if he did, he surely would never get out--he went and tried all the doors a second, a third, and even a forth time before he happened upon a red velvet curtain set low on a far wall that was hiding a small door. He was certain he would have noticed something this out of place before, but it didn't matter at any rate, because, to his great delight, the tiny key fit the lock!
Harry opened the door and got down onto his hands and knees to see in it. There, just inside the door, was a beautiful meadow and what looked like a Quidditch pitch. How odd, he thought, standing once more. That was clearly the only way out of here, for he could not go back up the hole which he had initially fallen through, and all the other normal-sized doors were locked tight.
How he wished he could shrink in size to get through that tiny door. Then, perhaps, he could find Dennis, or another way out of this place. His initial concerns while falling had returned and he was finding himself quite distraught. People would be worried and searching for him, he was certain. At the very least, Snape would be wondering what on Earth he was doing for such an extended period of time, he had left in such a hurry. Perhaps he was worried, now that would be a sight. Professor Snape, worried about him? It was laughable, but he could at least count on the older man to be very angry with him for disappearing like he did. And anger was such a driving force that Snape would have no choice but to go and search for him, maybe even abandoning his potion.
Harry refused to dwell on why that idea delighted him. He needed a way to fit through that door. Not even his head would fit through, and if it did, the rest of him would never make it through as well. Stomping his foot in a fit of temper, he marched back to the table and to his shock saw a tiny bottle upon it.
"Curious," he murmured, picking up the glass bottle and swirling its purple contents. He should have been more alarmed by the arrival of this obvious potion, but he was not. There, tied around the lip of it, was a paper label with the words "Drink Me". Now Harry, haven taken seven years of Potions, knew that drinking things without knowing what they were could lead to immediate death, or a near fatal catastrophe. But who would want to poison him here? Surely not Dennis, that was just absurd, but then, the very notion that this purple potion had arrived just when he had needed it was absurd. Snape would be castigating him quite severely if he saw him here with the bottle in hand, contemplating drinking it without proper deduction as to its contents. He would likely lose points for stupidity among other things, such as a lack of foresight. But, and this was a very large but, for, you see, Harry really did not want to be on Snape's bad side, but what if he was supposed to drink this? What if it were some sort of test that he was supposed to pass? Perhaps Hogwarts was still influencing events beneath the ground. It was far-fetched at best, but that was all that he could figure, and maybe the potion would, in fact, shrink him down like he wished it would.
However, there was nothing entirely suspicious about this potion, beyond its sudden appearance, and since it didn't look like any poison he had ever heard about--and really, who was ever going to find him anyway?--he drank it down in a single swallow. No potion he had ever tasted before had been pleasant. So, you could imagine his shock when he tasted blueberries.
"Very curious," he said, and it was too. Harry stared down at his hands as they began to shrink before his very eyes. Thoughts of Thumbelina and her fairy prince flashed through his mind as he was suddenly zipping down past the table towards the floor. It was rather disorienting, going from big to small this quickly, and he imagined that someone unused to bizarre and strange events all the time would find this completely horrifying. To him, it was no different than taking a nose dive on his broomstick, as exhilarating and freeing as it was dangerous and reckless.
It was a curious feeling though, being ten inches tall, and Harry was not too sure that he liked it very much at all. It was far too dangerous and you were liable to be stepped on before someone even noticed your presence. Now he was determined to enter that meadow and get to that Quidditch pitch, but alas! The door had blown shut and was once more locked and he had left the key high above on the table.
Tears pricked at the corner of his eyes and he brushed them aside. "Silly of me to start crying now," he chided. "I imagine Hermione would be very unhappy with me if she saw me acting like such a girl. I have not even tried to climb the table yet." And he set about to do just that, but that is the problem with glass. By nature, it is a very slippery substance and not easy to grip at all. Harry found this very frustrating indeed as his dress flew up, revealing his white lace panties, and he slid back down the table leg to the floor. He sat back on his hands, staring petulantly up at the tabletop where the key was resting, mocking him and his inabilities.
It was then that he noticed a small box around the other side of the table on the floor. Now, Harry knew that his own instincts were not all that well, and he often chastised himself severely for his own idiotic shortcomings, but even he knew that if the potion made him smaller, then this box that had just appeared would either bring him back to his former height, or it would make him even tinier until he was no bigger than a needle, and then he could just slip under the door and be on his way. He scurried around the table and heaved at the closed lid until it opened, revealing a cake with the words "Eat Me". Typical, he thought, almost bored with this ordeal, which was odd, because it was an entirely new one for him. He dipped his finger into the icing and then popped it into his mouth, reveling in the vanilla flavoring. It was much better than the blueberry potion from earlier. When nothing happened, he realized that he would need to eat a larger portion and very quickly went about shoveling the delicate food into his mouth.
“Oh, chocolate!” he cried in delight, for he had entirely expected it to be vanilla all the way through. “Ron will be jealous that he is getting none of this. He will just have to suffer without it.”
In a very short amount of time, Harry finished off the cake and wiped his face on the corner of his white pinafore, before realizing that he had a handkerchief in his pocket. However, the damage was already done and now all he had to do was wait to see which way he would grow.
Based on the http://community.livejournal.com/snarry_slash/148569.html HP/Alice's Adventures in Wonderland fanart by bloopfish. Beta'd by windout and topazmusings. Chapter titles stolen shamelessly from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.