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Nargel Hunting in Maine

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Luna Lovegood was a curious person by nature, one of the reasons she was put into Ravenclaw house was her curiosity and love of riddles and games. For that reason she was in America; she had noticed the overabundance of Nargels in Maine and had to have her curiosity sated in why they were all in one town called Story Brooke. She had down some research and found that the town had been unchanging for the past 28 years. No children had been born, no deaths had occurred, no change of age or development of the town and it was off the map before than like it hadn’t even existed; it was simply frozen and Luna wanted to know why. She smiled at the old wooden sign as she passed it in her old little blue Fiat 500, it was quite serene looking out in the middle of a forested area next to the ocean; hopefully the town mimicked the feeling since it would make her stay here more pleasant.

It was getting darker as she pulled into the gas station to fill up and she floated into the station to buy a few sour punch straws and cokes, she had a great fondness for the muggle sweets and drinks. She practically danced back to the register as a straw hung from her mouth, smiling at the flavor of sour apple and the expression on the cashier’s face. “Excuse me,” she said as she handed him her items to scan, “but is there any place in town I could stay the night? I don’t like to drive in the dark.”

The cashier pointed her in the direction of a diner called Granny’s claiming it had the best food around and that Granny was in charge of the local inn. Luna thanked the man and drove two streets down and parked across the road from Granny’s, got out of her car and skipped right into another body. She and the man she had ran into toppled over onto the pavement, scraping her palms against the ground to prevent herself from falling totally on top of him-and fell on top of him anyway. She was going to move off of him when he suddenly his hands reached out and wrapped around her shoulders, “Alice?”

She glanced up at the shocked grey eyes with caterpillar eyebrows inching the way up to his rather bouncy hair, “I’m sorry, I’m not Alice, my name’s Luna.”

“Curious.” He stated, unmoving, “You do not remember, of course that shouldn’t shock me. The fact you’re here shocks me. That witch wouldn’t leave you with any memories like she did me, oh no, she’d want me to suffer the way I already suffer because of Grace. She would torment me this way.”

“Curiouser and curiouser.” Luna said looking into his eyes, noticing that madness was seeping into the icy blue pools, “I am sorry to disappoint you but if I was cursed I would hope I would know- I do have a medallion that protects me from them that my father gave me.”

“No, no, you simply don’t remember Alice dear, magic doesn’t work in this realm other than Regina’s curse, you need to remember; you need to be reminded. Come with me, please, to remember me and remember our gift of Grace.” He pulled Luna up and pulled her to him, “Please darling, remember for me.”

“I’m sorry,” Luna said getting distracted by the swarm of Nargels around him, flying in and out of his ears, “but I’m rather hungry and heard about a nice little diner called Granny’s. How about we go there and while I eat you can explain what I apparently can’t remember and I inspect the Nargels around your head? Does that sound agreeable?”

The man nodded, eyeing her strangely at the mention of Nargels. “I’m Jefferson, since you can’t remember me.”

“Since I’ve never been here before can you lead the way?”

“Of course,” he bowed with grandeur and offered his arm.

“I hope they have pudding.” She said as she stared skipping again, her pace matching up with his due to their height differences.

Luna and the stranger- no, not stranger- Jefferson, sat in a little booth in the homey diner where Luna ordered the chicken salad sandwich with crisps and excitedly ordered her first sweet iced tea. She hoped the waitress would get her order right with the swarm of Nargels around her, they were around everyone really. Also, she vaguely wondered what type of reaction she would have to it since she always liked a steaming cup of Earl Grey or orange spice. Plus she had heard of variations of English people's reactions to ice tea from loving it and finding it charming to not being able to stand it. Jefferson ordered a house salad and water while plucking
nervously at his Ascot.

"Now what was it that you have to tell me so urgently?" Luna asked as she directed her attention to Jefferson.

"You'll think that I'm mad when I tell you, it seems impossible." He muttered, tapping his fingers on the tabletop.

"But most think I'm quite mad because I see things others don't; like the Nargles around everyone's head in this town. Plus every morning as good practice I like to think of six impossible things before breakfast. So you can't be that mad."

Jefferson smiled a little nervous smile that Luna found endearing before launching into his story; and what a story it was.

Chapter Text

“So, the mayor is the evil queen from Snow White, the residential surgeon is Victor Frankenstein, your daughter’s teacher is Snow White, her daughter is the savior, and you are the Hatter from Alice and Wonderland?” Luna asked as she shipped her sixth iced tea.

“I know, it seems insane,” Jefferson said glumly as he swirled his lemon into his water, staring dejectedly down at the grainy surface of the table.

“No, not at all, the story explains the Nargels sounding everyone even though the spell has been broken and the town is active again after twenty years… Can I tell you a secret since you told me one?” Luna asked after she and Jefferson ordered a slice of chocolate French silk pie and chocolate pudding.

“Of course!” Jefferson leaned in excitedly.

“I am not Alice, and I am sorry about that. However, I am a born witch with inherited magic. The queen lied to you, there is magic in this world, just very well hidden.”

Jefferson raised an eyebrow, “Then how come I wasn’t able to get my hat to work?”

“Like I said, my magic is inherited, you did not inherit a hat and the hat obviously did not inherit its magic.” Luna explained as she finished her tea right when the pie was placed before them by a friendly wolf. “Thank you! And may I have more sweet iced tea? It’s wonderful!” She said beaming up at the humored girl with candy apple lips.

“One sweet tea coming up!” she said as she cleared away Luna’s and Jefferson’s glasses

Jefferson leaned into Luna, “By the way, Granny is calling Emma because the last time there were outsiders they kidnapped Emma and Regina’s son Henry. He’s a special kid.”

“It’s okay,” Luna said brightly “the last time I was a stranger I was kidnapped and tortured in a windowless cell; according to what you told me neither Regina or Emma would be that cruel, even if Regina was still evil without trying for Henry.”

“Well, well Hatter, have you been talking?” A brunette woman with a stare the same ferocity as Professor Snape’s approached the table with a blonde who had a worried look on her face.

Luna smiled at the lack of Nargels around Regina the queen and the princess Emma’s head. “Hello your majesties.”

That made Regina and Emma’s steps falter as everyone in the diner turned to stare at the dreamy eyed blonde occupying a booth with Hatter giving them a little wave as she stared directly next to their heads with eyes so intense there was no way she was blind, maybe just a bit soft in the head.

“Don’t be afraid, I cannot tell anyone of your world except for those in my own world and we would both be prosecuted as we are both magical to the normal ones on this earth.” Luna said as she returned to her pie and smiled happily at Jefferson with a newly acquired whipped crème mustache.

Regina looked at her suspiciously, “And what world would you be from?”

“Why this one right here, which soil we are on.”

“That is a lie,” Regina sneered, “there is no magic in this world besides the magic Rumplestiltskin brought into this world to our town only.”

Luna gazed at her, “You asked for a world without magic, not a world who’s people are without magic, there are hundreds of wizarding communities hidden all over the world, some plants, creatures, and people have magic, but in this world there is no such thing as magic in the actual soil or water here; since the soil and water is the world it explains itself.”

“So you are from a wizarding community?” Emma asked staring at Luna as she shoved Jefferson into the corner and sat down across from her, staring intently.

“Yes.” Luna said holding Emma’s gaze, waiting for judgment.

“She’s telling the truth.” Emma finally said; leaning back to get comfortable as whispers broke out amongst the diner.

“So can they send us back? Can we go home but maybe come back here? Travel between worlds?” Neil asked as he thought of all the good places of his childhood, both in the Enchanted Forest, London, and America.

Luna shrugged, “Maybe but the ministry will not deal with you without a price; they are still very corrupt even after the cleansing of war, greedy and unwilling to help.”

“All magic comes with a price.” an older man, supported by a cane and a lovely auburn haired young woman, stated his opinion.

“That is true for your general magic but not true for ours. We do have consequences only by ignored or changed fate and prophecy.”

“Well what price would they want?” A scruffy man asked, placing his hand on Emma’s shoulder.

“One too large to give; however I may have friends outside of the ministry that can help but you must be patient; it will take time and you mustn’t allow your hope to rise too high, there are always limits to magic.” Luna warned, not wanting to give false hope.

Regina cut in, “Well stay in town, there’s no need for you to run.”

Luna smiled with a faraway gaze, “Oh yes, there might be- knowing you’re past- but I doubt it. I’m already spending the night with Jefferson and Grace after we go and pick her up from Hansel and Gretel’s home.”

With that said, Luna stood and waited patiently for Emma to let Jefferson out of the booth. Emma stood and closed the distance between her and Luna, “You do know he is mad, correct? I mean he’s threatened to kill my mother before so I could make a stupid hat work.”

Luna turned her unblinking, and more than a little unnerving stare on Emma, “Don’t worry; he’s just as sane as I am. As for the threat, he wouldn’t have killed; he would’ve let her go, if you had been more compliant…if you had only believed.”

With that, Luna turned on her heel, took Jefferson’s hand and pulled him from the dinner while singing under her breath, “Euphoria has a price today, If you meet somebody nice, that's good for you...Euphoria has a price always, But for now you can smile, somebody paid for you, Let's not buy it all...it may not work.”

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“Jefferson, Grace, your house is so… beautiful!” Luna said gliding around the living room, straining a smile that appeared to be more of a grimace at the lack of personalization of their supposed home.

“That’s not what you were going to say.” Grace said, staring up at Luna with wide, doe-like eyes. Grace had taken an instant liking to Luna and the smile she put on her papa’s face, plus her explanations of creatures such as Nargels, Dabberblimps, Blibbering Humdingers, and Crumple-Horned Snortlacks that reminded Grace of the Enchanted Forest and her father’s reluctant explanation of Wonderland after the curse had broken. Plus she loved Luna’s dreamy voice that could sooth anyone, even the ever grumpy...well, Grumpy.

Luna smiled a seemingly dazed, sad smile, “It just doesn’t seem to be like how I would imagine your home would be.” She exclaimed as she wandered around the living room, observing pictures of Grace that Jefferson surely took before the curse had broken due to the blurry edges and the obvious distance Jefferson was in accordance to his Grace, “I thought it would be someplace with obvious messes and memories but it seems to rather be a house to sometimes stay in and random belongings.” She said gazing wistfully at the photographs of an unsuspecting Grace around the room with clear longing in her eyes, “The Nargels are swarming here, thriving on the discord and discontent.”

“It is rather barren,” Jefferson said, looking around he could not help but compare the mansion now to the cottage Grace and he had shared before his mistake. Even with the pictures of Grace surrounding the room it only showed his miserable excuse of a cursed life before Grace’s memories were restored, “we haven’t had the chance to make many memories here yet; too much happening all at once, timelines being broken and crossed and sewn together in a jigsaw puzzle.” He remarked with a frown, thinking of this world’s beings that crossed over in Wonderland from the days of old and how now he was in the second Alice, the blonde Alice, the little girl Alice’s world but at a different day and age. She would be long dead in this world but possibly still alive in Wonderland with her Cyrus. Now there’s a strange thought; dead in your own land, alive in another’s.

“Well, you both just have to make new memories here in case you are not able to make it back to the Enchanted Forest.” Luna said dazedly, noting to herself she would have to floo Harry about it soon, “Plus real fun in a dour time seems to banish Nargels quicker than anything else.” She said before smiling mischievously as she danced between the furniture and back to Jefferson and Grace, staring wide-eyed at them before bursting into joyous laughter. Jefferson and Grace exchanged confused looks and those confused looks quickly turned to looks of realization as they found Luna’s magic had covered the two of them in bright flowers.

“You look simply dashing Jefferson; have you done something new with your azaleas lately?” Luna asked over Grace’s mirthful peals of laughter as she held in her own. Her blue eyes sparkling and cheeks red with excitement as she took a Polaroid camera out of her seemingly bottomless bag that Jefferson had earlier witnessed an umbrella appear out of it and snapped a picture of the father daughter human floral arrangements.

Jefferson laughed maniacally as he laughed with the two girls, quick to plot his revenge for being forced to look like one of the flower ladies of Wonderland. As Luna got a picture of Grace dancing and twirling with sunflowers and sunflower petals creating a whirlwind around her, scattering through the living room Jefferson crept stealthily behind Luna and tackled her for control of the camera. Grace, after hearing their laughter leapt into the battle wholeheartedly, trying to wrestle for control of the camera and, after realizing she really had no strength, began to tickle the both of them into submission.

Luna was still laughing and trying to gain control of her breathing as she laid on her back, legs tangled with Jefferson’s, torsos side by side as she heard the click of the camera come from the direction of a giddy Grace standing at their heads and smiled so large she nearly split her face in to when she realized she could no longer see or feel any Nargels presence in the house.

Chapter Text

Luna was dancing the next morning in the kitchen making banana and peanut butter waffles for breakfast while Grace was getting the milk and tea as Jefferson shuffled into the kitchen tiredly; he had been working on his hat again while Luna and Grace fell asleep while playing with Grace’s dolls while they traded stories of their mothers. Apparently Luna’s mother was an inventor and had died in front of Luna while she was younger in a horrific accident involving the invention of a spell.

She had obviously glossed over the gory details for Grace’s sake but she had a look in her eyes. A different sort of dazed than usual had been what told Jefferson that it was more horrifying than anything else she had experienced, but he knew the only reason she had brought it up was to comfort Grace in a way Jefferson never could due to his involvement in his wife, Alice’s, death.

Beside himself with guilt, he had never fully understood how to comfort Grace when Alice was killed, couldn’t understand how to tell his child why mummy had died…so he avoided it and Grace, bless her, understood that her dad couldn’t talk about it without being in pain so she just stopped one day. Luna though, had such an unusual outlook on life and its merits that it was easy for her to speak of, even with being haunted by her memories of it. Luna, with all of her madness, was much more sane and strong than Jefferson could ever hope to be.

“Do I have to go to school today?” Grace asked, letting a rare moment of petulance escape her usually calm and mature, though childlike, demeanor.

“Education is something that can never be stolen from you…unless you go in accordance to one muggle movie with something about a birds nest and clocks.” Luna said, her eyes focusing before becoming dazed again, “Plus one learns how to deal with Nargels at school.”

Jefferson looked at Grace, “Luna and I will pick you up after your lessons, I promise.”

Grace sighed as she finished her last few bites and Luna stood to take her plate, “Now go brush your teeth, don’t want Mupplegumps attracted to them,” she lectured, wagging her finger in a way that reminded her of the den of lions’ mother.

“All right,” Grace ran off upstairs as Luna started to wash the dishes by hand.

“We do have a dishwasher, one of the conveniences in this world.” Jefferson said, coming up behind her as he finished the last of his tea.

“Idle hands wander,” Luna said, remembering the old adage, “Plus I also have my magic but sometimes it is better to do things by hand rather than growing soft.” She smiled, remembering all the magic wizards had made most pureblooded families lazy and slow while her father, with all of his wealth, had insisted on a simple life for them filled with hard work to keep the mind and body active.

Luna quirked a brow when Jefferson picked up a towel and started to dry the dishes but said nothing and they were finishing up as Grace came running down the stairs, backpack on, and smiled to Luna, showing off her pearly whites as Luna smiled softly to her while Jefferson grabbed the car keys and they drove to school, with Luna asking Grace about everything she was learning and anything she had learned, finding joys in the previously unknown, muggle schooling subjects.

They waved goodbye to Grace as she ran to meet the mayor’s and savior’s son, Henry and headed to Granny’s for breakfast before Luna would make the call to her friends across the pond.

They headed into the dinner and were greeted with an agitated Ruby and Granny fighting once more about the clothes Ruby wore to work while everyone else just watched, amused at the everyday occurrence and Jefferson led Luna to the nearest open booth as Ruby came over, “What do you want honey? Nutjob?”

Luna smiled dreamily, “Some more of your heavenly sweet tea and a fruit salad please.”

“Orange juice and the bacon and egg sandwich, please.”

“The vegan peace with a sweet and a farm-attack on Texas toast with a dash of vitamin C!” Ruby called to her Granny before turning back to Luna and Jefferson, “How are you honey?”

“Wonderful! There aren’t any more Nargels in Hatter’s house!” Luna said smiling at him.

“We just stopped off for a bite to eat before Luna contacts her friends for help on our issue.” Jefferson said, “Then I’m showing her around town.”

“If I didn’t know you I’d call you a sly fox.” Ruby remarked drily as she handed them their utensils and left to go take Victor Frankenstein’s order.
Luna, obviously either had heard and ignored the comment, not heard, or the meaning did not register with her as she pulled Jefferson into a conversation about his world and all the others the hat had offered. Before long, their meals were gone.

“Ah, the outsider,” Regina said as she entered the dinner with Henry, Emma, Rumple, and Belle, “have you contacted your friends?” She asked as they sat at a pair of adjoining tables, near the couple’s booth.

“No your majesties, mage, my lady-I was about to do so but you have to be present. The book-keeper will need all the information possible about what magic is like in your world and what the physical part of the curse was exactly.”

She pulled out a simple mirror with a bronze frame, making those who knew what Regina’s mirror had been pull back in horror-including Regina, and spoke very clearly, “Hermione Granger.” After a few moments and a very amused giggle from Luna a voice came through the mirror, shocking the dinner’s occupants. Everyone knew about the witch and that she had different magic but it was too similar to the genie’s mirror.

“Luna! It’s wonderful to see you again! How is America? Have you found any of the Blithering-Humperdingles or whatever it was they were called?”

“Not exactly, I got sidetracked by a town coming out of a sort of…limbo due to a dark curse.”

“Curse? I haven’t heard of a curse that can do that… maybe a potion or spell of some sorts.”

“Well they have different magic from us…they are from a different world…one that muggle fairytales are based off of.”

“…You’re kidding.”

Luna tilted her head to the side, “Why would I do that?”

The dinner heard a sigh, “Of course you’re not. Do you have access to an open floo so I may come through and meet these fairy tales?”

Luna turned to Regina, “Is there an open fireplace near here?”

“Yes, my office in City Hall.”

Luna smiled at the mirror, “One moment Hermione.”

She then turned to Regina, eyes widening and a non-emotional look came upon her face as she stared into Regina’s eyes, who wore the matching expression. “Hermione, I will have to open it myself. Are you sure you’re up for crossing the pond by floo?”

“Yes, Ron has been driving me up the wall! Did you know that Lavender works in his department as a secretary now?” The woman’s voice shrieked in anger and disbelief, “He didn’t even tell me! He said that there was a new girl, but imagine my surprise when I walked into the Ministry and saw that little harlot sitting on his desk, reading out agendas! Why I was so-”

“Goodbye Hermione, I will have the floo open in 30 minutes under the name of “Story Brooke Hall.” Luna said airily before stashing the mirror away before looking at the group in the diner, “The lion has turned cowardly again,” she sighed, standing. “Now, where is your office?”

Regina came out of her shock at the question, “Follow me. Henry, darling, get your other grandparents please and meet us at my office.”

Henry nodded and ran off as Regina and Emma led the company to her office, “Now, do whatever it is you must do but nothing we cannot see.”

Luna, had she been anyone else, would have rolled her eyes but instead smiled as took her wand out of her bun and aimed it at the fireplace, saying a slightly repetitive, almost chant in Latin and after many minutes, the arrival of Snow and Charming, as well as furrowed brows and yawns from herself, she smiled and finished with “Story Brooke Hall!” Making emerald green flames burst from an empty space and dance before their eyes. The company was shocked, and then more so when a young woman with wildly curly hair stepped out of the mouth of the fireplace and dusted herself off and uttered a simple “Hello.”

Chapter Text

“Hello Hermione. Welcome to Story Brooke.” Luna said dreamily as she circled around her friend to grab her truck with seven locks. “How did the lion take the news that you were taking a sabbatical?”

“He was with the little pompous painted whore so I just left a note that we were over and I was visiting you and not to look for me least I hex his balls off.” The woman growled before turning to the others. “I’m Hermione Granger, and you are?”

“Regina Mills, the town’s mayor.”

“Emma Swan, sheriff.”

“Mr. Gold-owner of the town.”

“Jefferson, the tailor.”

“The wicked-or not so wicked-Queen in Snow White, Snow’s daughter, and Rumplestiltskin.” Luna said dancing around them before ending at Jefferson, “And this is Hatter.”

Hermione raised an eyebrow in a very Snape-like way, “Hatter as in the Mad Hatter?”

“Yep.”

Hermione stared for a minute, “Well, Disney was way off base.”

“So, who can tell me about this curse that you all were under, or still are under?”
Regina and Rumple exchanged looks, “Well you see dearie, the curse was a way for us to get what we wanted…what was lost, what we deserved, and simply…more.” Gold said, pacing the room.

“The curse itself is one of the darkest curses known to those who practice magic…not due to the outcome but what it entails,” Regina spoke up, eyes telling all present she was deep in the past, at the moment that she realized what the final ingredient needed to be.

“Well, if it’s that bad just write down the ingredients used for me to review and I may be able to come up with a spell to figure out how the magic was removed from the majority of the people here while leaving you with it.”

“It’s going to take a long time.” Emma warned Hermione, who was already switching into research mode.

“Miss Swan, let me make something clear. Late last night I went to my, now ex, boyfriend’s office. When I arrived, his ex-girlfriend was sitting on his desk in a ridiculously short skirt, a low cut blouse, leaning over while he stared down her top and had his hand on her thigh. If I return back to England by the end of this month it will be all too soon and I will hex his bollocks off while making sure LAV-LAV,” she spat, “is covered in sores and her hair falls out. I am a woman scorned right now and in order to stay a somewhat law-abiding citizen I can’t go back.”

Emma raised a brow, “Somewhat law-abiding? I’m the sheriff of this town, do I need to be worried?”

“Oh, she just stole the soul of the Snake when he tried on the crown.” Luna explained, rolling her eyes, “It wasn’t her fault that he made what he did legal and what she did ill. All very simple really, course we shouldn’t say anymore without Harry for the whole is his nightmare and a mere fracture of ours to share.”
Hermione rolled her eyes and smiled affectionately, “Yes, what Looney said.”

Snow’s expression turned into one of surprise, “Looney?”

Hermione nodded, “At first it was just what everyone in the school called her…now only a select few may.”

“Mad and Looney,” Rumple smirked, “Quite the terms of endearment.”

Regina rolled her eyes, “Why does that not surprise me?”