Ten-year-old Eliza Caulfield Cruz awoke at Atkins Insane Asylum Sunday morning, to a shrill scream. She couldn't help wincing, as she propped herself up on her elbows.
"Wrong room!" she heard someone say.
She could hear footsteps coming in her direction now. Caulfield laid back down on the matress, and slowed her breath. She heard the door creak open. "She's asleep, so I guess I won't be needing this," a man's rough voice said. Caulfield heard the distinct noise of a whip thrashing in the air. More footsteps her way. Caulfield closed her eyes. "Don't get too close, sir!"
"Eliza..." the second voice said. One of the men nudged her arm. Caulfield jerked away, alarmed.
The man who kneeled at her bed was middle-aged. He had jet-black hair and emerald green eyes. Caulfield wouldn't meet his eyes. He wasn't wearing a white coat, so he wasn't a doctor ... he was a visitor. Her guest turned to the security guard.
"D'you mind if I have a word with Eliza?" The security guard grunted. "Privately."
"I've got to accompany you -- police rules," the guard grumbled. The visitor drew an odd wooden stick from his pocket. The guard chuckled. The stick pointed at the guard, the visitor mumbled something under his breath. With that, the guard made for the door.
Once the door was firmly shut, the guest began to speak.
"I'm guessing you haven't a clue who I am." Caulfield shook her head, backing against the headboard. "I'm not going to hurt you, Eliza..." he extended his hand for her to shake. Caulfield didn't respond. "Do you know why I'm here?" Caulfield shook her head again.
"I'm Harry Potter, an Auror for the Ministry of Magic. I'm a wizard. I'm here to take you to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
"Here," Harry said, handing Caulfield an envelope. "I have your acceptance letter to Hogwarts." Caulfield examined the envelope. It was adressed to her in green ink, Harry followed Caulfield's eyes, as she read through the letter a few times. "You're not in this asylum because you have a mental illness. You're here because you're a witch, and the Muggles're scared of your random magic, they don't understand and they don't know what to do with you..." Harry hesitated. "Don't be shy. Go on and ask whatever you want."
"Am I in trouble for doing magic?"
"No, not now. But you will be if you do any more. What have you done?"
"I've... I taken the whips out of guards' hands without touching the whips ... When I got angry I -- accidentily ..."
It needn't matter that Caulfield was reluctant to continue, for the next instant, they heard voices nearing.
"Grab my hand," Harry said suddenly. When Caulfield didn't obey, Harry took hold of her wrist. Caulfield's vision blackened, as she felt herself being pulled this way and that, her throat tightened, and it seemed as if some body parts were coming in and out of their sockets.
And, quite suddenly, Caulfield was lying flat on the floor. A wooden floor, to be exact. She turned over quickly, vomit emitting from her mouth. A red-haired woman hurried her side, supporting her from collapsing again. "Albus, watch over her for a few minutes," The red-haired woman instructed. Albus crouched at Eliza's side.