Dumbledore sat at his desk staring at a letter. A Hogwarts acceptance letter, to be exact. Thirteen years ago, the wizarding world lost a member when a fire hit a muggle house and burnt it to the ground. The only survivor, a young witch named Alice, was sent to Rutledge Asylum for ten years. She missed her chance at attending Hogwarts, but when he heard Alice was out and doing well, he wanted her to get the education she should have gotten a long time ago. He was now writing a new letter. Hopefully, Alice would come home where she belonged.
"Fire! I'm in Hell!"
"Forget it! Abandon that memory. It's unproductive. Go to Wonderland."
"I can't. I'm trapped... in my past." Alice Liddell sat on the couch in Dr. Bumby's office.
"No, Alice! Discard that delusion. Forget it. Go to Wonderland." Dr. Bumby said.
"I'd rather not, Doctor. My Wonderland's shattered. It's dead to me." she said.
"Your preference doesn't signify, girl. Now, Alice, where are you?"
"I'm sailing. With a friend. Hmmm. It's different somehow. Things have changed." Alice said with hope in her voice.
"Change is good. It's the first link in the chain of forgetting."
"What's happening? Are you mad?" Alice's friend started twitching.
"I'm not mad." Dr. Bumby said with confusion.
"Rabbit?" Alice was concerned for her friend.
"That's not right. What's he doing here?"
"Is something wrong?" Alice asked her friend.
"Something wrong? Raaaaatherr..." Rabbit's eye popped out and started spewing blood. His head then flew off, drenching Alice in blood.
"Oh, no! Not that!" Alice tried to keep the blood off her, but it just went everywhere.
"Don't struggle, Alice. Let the new Wonderland emerge."
"Pollution! Corruption! It's killing me!" Hands reached out of the newly blackened water around her. They scratched at her, trying to pull her under. "Wonderland is destroyed! My mind is in ruins!"
"Forget it, Alice. Block that dream! Wake at the sound." Alice screamed. After a failed attempt at getting Alice to forget her past, he pulled Alice out of her hypnosis.
"There, Alice. Better now, aren't we?" Dr. Bumby asked.
"My head's exploded and there's a steam hammer in my chest." Alice replied.
"Yes, well, the cost of forgetting is high." the doctor said.
"My memories make me vomit. " Alice said. "What can I..."
"Remember other things. "
"I want to forget! Who would choose to be alone, imprisoned by their broken memories?" asked Alice.
"I'll set you free, Alice. Memory is a curse more often than a blessing."
"So you've said." Alice interrupted, "Many times. And..."
"And I will say it again." Dr. Bumby went on. "The past must be paid for. Now, before our next session, collect those pills from our High Street chemist."
"Very well, doctor." Alice said. She got up and left, allowing the next patient to start his session. As Alice headed for the door, she couldn't help but think. I know he's trying to help, but forgetting is so hard! To forget means remembering what to forget and my memories make me sick! A flicker of fire sent her out of her thoughts. She turned to see that it was only a lamp. She took a deep breath and headed out the door.
Alice walked the streets of London. She suddenly realized the street she usually took to the chemist was closed. Guess I have to go around. she thought. She went around through alleyways and side streets when she spotted a white cat.
"Hello, puss. Puss, puss, puss, puss! Don't be afraid." She took a step closer and the cat darted into a side street. Alice followed it. Almost losing it deep in an alley, Alice thought. "Seems following furry creatures into dark holes has become a habit. I hope it's not a vice..." Alice soon lost sight of the cat and was in an empty street. An unnatural fog enveloped her and made it harder to see. Suddenly, she was surrounded. Men with Jabberwock heads closed in on her. Before they could do any harm, Alice felt a hand on her shoulder. Spinning around, she saw the Jabberwocks were gone, replaced by an old man with several feet of long silver hair and beard, half-moon spectacles, and an extremely crooked nose. He was wearing long, light blue robes and had a smile that could made a mad dog act like a puppy.
"Hello, Alice." he said.
"How do you know my name?" she asked.
"When your family perished, excuse me for saying, but we lost a member of the wizarding world. You might have been famous if it weren't for another tragedy that happened less than a month earlier." he said.
"Excuse me?" she said. Wizards?
"Alice, could you ever do something extraordinary? If you were scared or excited?" he asked. Alice couldn't think of anything at the moment. "You're a witch, Alice."
"What?" Alice asked, offended.
"I'm not insulting you. You are a witch. Muggle born, but magic no less." he said. He pulled a letter out of his pocket and handed it to her. "This should explain things better. " Alice saw her name on the front of the envelope.
"Wait... what-" Alice looked up but the old man was gone. Finding her way back to Dr. Bumby's, she hid the letter in her apron and walked into the door.
"Did you get the pills?" the doctor asked her. Alice completely forgot about them.
"Oh... well, the chemist was closed. I guess I'll try tomorrow." she lied. Bumby analyzed her, but left her alone. Going up to her room, she closed the door and opened her letter. At first, it was hard to focus, since she didn't like reading much, but it had vital information. She actually read it twice before putting it away. As she lay on her bed, staring up at the ceiling, she thought about the letter. She was a witch! She could do magic! Was this another hallucination? She hoped not. Would magic help her forget her past? She was soon snapped out of her thoughts as Bumby called her down to help with the chores.
That night, Alice sat by her window staring up at the moon. The glowing crescent reminded her of an old friend. Looking down at the street below, she saw a skinny gray cat pacing the ground below her window. Dr. Bumby hated the old tom cat, for it had scratched him on more than one occasion. Going to bed, Alice drifted off to sleep. Able to see the crescent moon from her spot on the bed, she noticed that two stars turned the moon into a smiling face. The cracks in the floorboards began to glow and soon gave out, sending Alice down, down, down, past cards and other playthings, black gooey substances with doll faces... Taking control of her fall, she began to slow down, her nightdress turning into a familiar blue dress. She slowed to a float as she landed in a somewhat familiar place. Across a shimmering river, appeared her old friend.
"About time, Alice." he said.
"Blasted cat! Don't try to bully me! I'm very much on edge!" Alice said, still thinking about that letter.
"Purrrrrrfect. When you're not on edge, you're taking up too much space." he replied.
"You're no help at all." Alice said, annoyed.
"But you know I can be." he remarked. It was true, but his "help" made Alice think too much, even if the answers were completely obvious.
"I'll frighten myself, when necessary thanks very much. I was hoping to escape from all that." Alice said.
"Abandon that hope, Alice." the cat said. "A new law reigns in this Wonderland. It's very rough justice all around. We're at risk here. You be on your guard." With that, he vanished. So much like him; as soon as he says something actually helpful, he's gone. Wandering further into Wonderland, Alice came upon a silvery mist. Once she touched it, she heard her sister's voice.
"You're part frog, Alice, I swear. You jump so well." Alice immediately thought back to when she met the old man. "Alice, could you ever do something extraordinary? If you were scared or excited?" She did. She would jump off anything back home... Pulling herself out of the memory, she wandered further on. Another silvery mist confirmed her thoughts: "If you leap from that table again, Alice, I'll expire. You're two times too reckless, my girl." The voice was her mother's that time. Moving on, she came across a large bottle pouring out a purple liquid. A label hanging from the bottle read DRINK ME. As she got closer, the cat reappeared.
"I've been down this road before. Good things in small packages?" she said to herself.
"Though lacking a bathing costume, a plunge in that pool is in order." the cat said. Cupping her hands to feel the liquid, Alice immediately began to shrink.
"My God! I'm shrinking in this potion! Shall I disappear?" Alice asked.
"Almost. But the upside is that while smaller you can see things that are nearly invisible to your bigger self." the cat explained. Once the liquid was up to her knees, she began to grow again, back to her normal height.
"Ah, I get it. Quite! 'Forests for the trees' - just the other way 'round. Short-sighted is more than a matter of perspective." Spotting a keyhole and another silver mist, she set off to explore more of her Wonderland.