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The Psychology of Gobstones by UnluckyStar57
Chapter 3 : A Little Psychology Goes a Long Way
 
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Author’s Note: Well, here it is! The last chapter of my little foray into the world of Hogwarts psychology! I hope that you’ve found it just as crazy as I have. :)

A few acknowledgements are due: First, I am not J.K. Rowling, so I don’t own anything except for my own strange ideas. Second, the song “Some Enchanted Evening” is from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Third, I didn’t make up the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Fourth (and last), Freud gets all the credit for the things he said and the therapy he invented.

Thanks for reading! Please leave a review if you feel so inclined. :)





“I still don’t see why I have to dress up for this,” Lorcan groaned, loosening his tie as Lysander pulled him down the hall. “It’s like I’m dressed for my own funeral!”

“Oh, nonsense, Lorc. You look great. You’re going to sweep Cassiopeia off her feet!” Lysander giggled as he steered his brother straight for the dungeon stairs.

Lorcan swiped at his forehead with his free hand. Lysander had insisted that large quantities of hair gel were necessary for Lorcan’s success, but thus far, its only purpose had been to ooze down his face and gum up around his eyes. “Do we really have to walk so fast?” he complained.

“Of course, dear brother. With every step, we are coming closer to the fulfillment of all of your wildest dreams! You will sweep into the room and your eyes will meet hers immediately. And then, you’ll know...” Seeming to forget his previous haste, Lysander stopped in the middle of the dungeon corridor, twirling around and humming a dreamy little tune to himself.

Lorcan gaped at his brother in astonishment. Had he been dragged so far just to watch a Hufflepuff act the fool? “What are you doing?!”

“Some enchanted evening,” the crazy psychoanalyst bawled. “You may see a stranger--”

“Maybe they should call him a Huffle-poof rather than a Huffle-puff,” a familiarly creepy voice remarked. Lorcan spun around to face the source of the voice, and immediately wished that he hadn’t done so. First of all, he experienced a crippling wave of nausea, a direct result of his sudden about-face. Second, he once again found himself nose-to-nose with his greatest fear, which caused a completely different sort of nausea, though its effects were no less crippling that those of the first variety.

As he nearly swallowed his tongue in fright, he could feel the cool hair gel running down his neck in rivulets of cold sweat. “Hello, Cassiopeia,” he managed to squeak. “So nice to see you again.”

Her large, assymetrical face leered close to his, so close that he could see her yellowed teeth. “Hello, Scamander. Are you prepared to die?” With every word that came out of her mouth, Lorcan was assaulted by a wave of hot, fetid air. Someone needed to get the girl a toothbrush and some extra-strength toothpaste, but he found that, after the initial shock of encountering her loathsome presence, he did not feel intimidated so much as disgusted.

Thinking back not-so-fondly to Lucy Weasley and her ferocious Darlenes, he could feel his fear dissipating. Was Cassiopeia Prestwich really as formidable as those evil, buxom creatures had been? No. Cassiopeia, no matter how large she was or how bad she smelled, was, after all, only a girl. There was nothing for him to be afraid of.

Except for death by halitosis, which was a perfectly rational fear, and one that was threatening his life at the moment. Casually backing away so that he wouldn’t die a tragic death, he looked his former nightmare directly in the eyes. “Why, Cassiopeia,” he smirked, mustering up as much courage as he possessed. “What bad breath you have!”

In the interval between Lysander’s musical moment and Cassiopeia’s appearance, the little scene had drawn a crowd. Previously conversing and taking bets in hushed tones, they had now fallen silent at Lorcan’s foolhardy words. Even Lysander, who had continued to hum and twirl in a state of enraptured bliss, could now only freeze and stare. For a brief moment, no one breathed, no one moved. The world, it seemed, was ending, for Little Red Riding Hood had challenged the Big Bad Wolf.

Cassiopeia cracked her large knuckles and advanced towards the smirking Lorcan. “What did you say to me?” she asked, her voice dangerously feather-light. Lorcan’s smirk wilted as he stepped back, running into Lysander.

“Show her who’s boss,” the psychoanalyst hissed. “She never had any power over you except that which you allowed her to have.”

The words, so wise for such a silly Hufflepuff, gave Lorcan strength. He stood up straighter as Cassiopeia closed in on him. Her eyes were ablaze with the fires of a raging inferno, but he now knew exactly how to snuff them out. Smirking once more, he gazed into her eyes... and winked. The crowd, still in shock, gasped in fear of the outcome, but Lorcan paid them no mind. As he prepared to execute his last move, the final blow to Cassiopeia’s formidable countenance, he reminded himself that it was no different than a well-played match of Gobstones: She was only a pawn in the game, and he had the power to manipulate her.

Her massive, meaty hands were creeping upwards in slow motion, making their way towards his scrawny neck. He noted, with some macabre amusement, that she could probably strangle him with only one of them, no effort required. Then, just before her hands made contact with his skin, he made his move.

He grabbed her right hand, entwining their fingers and squeezing it with all of his might. Her palm was moist and his hand was practically lost within it, but the sudden gesture caused her to freeze in shock. Their peers were aghast at such a breach of protocol.

His words came next, like salt on a particularly large and slimy slug. Stroking the back of her right hand with his free hand, he crooned, “Oh, Cassiopeia, dear Cassiopeia, why don’t we save our battles for the Gobstones board?” With that whispered challenge, he stood on the tips of his toes, leaned in, and planted a kiss on her thick lips. She tasted of rotting meat and old sweat, but it was over in the blink of an eye, causing no fireworks or butterflies. It was a kiss of warning, not a kiss of affection.

Regardless of its unromantic motive, this sudden display of rash behavior made every jaw drop in disbelief, but behind Lorcan, Lysander clapped and resumed his joyful song.

Backing away from his adversary once more, Lorcan wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, reminding himself to gargle mouthwash after the match. It was a small price to pay for such a fantastic victory. He turned to the crowd in triumph. “I don’t know about all of you,” he addressed them jovially. “But I’m ready to win another match!”

Forgetting the awful moment when his lips met hers in loveless manipulation, everyone cheered and followed the two grinning Scamanders into the empty classroom, leaving a shell-shocked Gryffindor alone in the corridor.

                                                        ~*~*~

After such a fear-inspiring showdown, winning a simple game of Gobstones would surely be like eating a piece of victory-flavored cake. Cassiopeia stormed into the room a full five minutes after everyone else, blowing smoke out of her ears and snarling at Lorcan, who had already set up the Gobstones board.

“You’re going to pay for this, Scamander,” she growled, but to him, her voice sounded like the purr of a kitten. He smirked like the canary who ate the cat.

“In what method of currency, dear Cassie?”

She did not blush at the mention of the horrid pet name, instead, she purpled. The spectators were all abuzz with gossip and speculation; it had been decades since such blatant overtures of love had been seen at Hogwarts, and they were scandalized. Of course, they were very unaware of the powers of psychology on the human mind, and they saw only what they wanted to see: that Lorcan Scamander had finally gone insane, and that, surely, he was about to die.

Cassiopeia stormed over to the table in the middle of the room and shoved the Gobstones board aside, pieces scattering in every direction. Grabbing Lorcan by the collar, she sneered. “I think I’d like to be paid,” her voice trailed off menacingly. “In your blood.”

To everyone’s utmost surprise, Lorcan yawned. “You know, Cassie,” he drawled. “If you want to get up close and personal with someone, you should probably ask their permission first.”

At his words, Cassiopeia let go of his shirt and he dropped back down into his seat. “Are you saying that you think I’m hitting on you?!”

“Maybe.” A dramatic gasp rose from the audience in perfect unison. “Or maybe not. Wingardium leviosa!” Lorcan flicked his wand at the Gobstones board, setting it right. “Now, how about we talk less and play a little game?”

The awestruck look on her face was priceless. Dumbly, she fell into her seat, slouching and looking like only a shell of her former evil self.  Lysander, the acting referee, could hardly contain his enthusiasm. “Let the match,” he said, waggling his eyebrows at his brother. “BEGIN!”

                                                          ~*~*~

The match was over in less than thirty minutes. As the crowd watched, Lorcan’s Gobstones swept the board, squirting an irate but helpless Cassiopeia square in the face every time. She was so incapacitated by Lorcan’s innuendos that she could barely command her pieces in a rational fashion. Finally, though, it was the end.

“Hmm, let’s see,” Lorcan grinned. “It would seem that we are back where all of this trouble began, aren’t we, Cassie? Now, since you have one piece, and I have almost an entire arsenal, I think that it would be fair to say that I’m going to beat you. Don’t you think so?”

Cassiopeia moaned, wiping her ink-covered face with her hand. “What do you want from me, Scamander? Haven’t you taken enough away already?”

He chuckled, highly pleased with his newfound power over her. “Oh, Cassie, you naive little thing. You’ve taken so much from me that I should hardly think it fair if I let you get away with just a simple loss. No, I demand something from you, something... Valuable.

All teenagers have sexual minds, regardless of whether they choose to acknowledge it or not. At Lorcan’s words, the whole room broke out into titters as Cassiopeia blushed redder than a tomato. Lorcan laughed with his supporters.

“You dirty girl!” he jeered. “Why would I want... that from the likes of you?! The very thought is laughable! No, Cassie, my intentions are these: I will be the President of the Gobstones Club, and you will not be a member any longer. Is that clear?”

She could only nod, but that was enough for the victorious Ravenclaw. “Oh, but wait a moment,” he gasped in mock surprise. “There’s just one thing more that will make this victory even sweeter. Cassiopeia Prestwich, once I have taken your last pawn, I demand that you spend the rest of your time at Hogwarts doing...” As his voice trailed off, the crowd leaned forward in anticipation. He smirked diabolically as he winked at his brother. “Psychoanalytic therapy with my brother, Lysander.” He reached out and patted her cheek in a manner that was more aggressive than affectionate. Then, claiming her last pawn with one of his own, he stared deep into her dull eyes and grinned. “I do believe that I have just trounced you once again.”

A roar rose up from the crowd as Lorcan stood and raised his hands in triumph. Giggling insanely about Lorcan’s subtle innuendos, Lysander whipped out a cigar in a fit of Freudian bliss. “I’ll see you on the therapist’s couch every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at five o’clock, Cassiopeia! We’ve got a lot of work to do on your shattered psyche!”

Of course, Lorcan noticed, Lysander would probably have to send an owl to his newest patient with that information, for she did not hear him. Cassiopeia Prestwich, after sustaining the blast of Lorcan’s vengeful Gobstones pawn, had fainted in a puddle of ink.

                                                        ~*~*~

“Hmmm, I see. Yes, I see,” Lysander mused, taking notes on a roll of parchment. He removed the tortoiseshell glasses from their precarious place atop his nose and stared owlishly at the back of his shiny new therapist’s couch. “And how did that make you feel?”

“How do you think it made me feel, you idiot?!” growled his patient. “I am the best Gobstones player at this school, and your shrimp of a brother cheated! I never would have agreed to this if he hadn’t shocked me--”

“What’s going on here?” a new voice asked. Cassiopeia tumbled off of the couch, in a frenzy. It was the voice she had come to fear, the voice that gave her nightmares that she would never tell anyone. It was the voice of--

“Why, Lorcan!” said Lysander pleasantly. “How nice to see you today!” He whipped his glasses back onto his face. “Cassiopeia and I were just finishing up our first session.”

As Lorcan turned to look at the large girl cowering behind the couch, she whimpered. “Oh, hello, Cassie. It’s good to see you again,” he chuckled to himself as she crouched lower, the couch doing nothing to hide her Brobdingnagian frame.

Lysander rose from his stately desk chair, a favorite of his because of its spinning capabilities. “You can go now, Cassiopeia. Thank you for such a lovely hour of delving into your unconscious desires!” Not wanting to miss her opportunity, the cowardly Gryffindor darted quickly out of the room. “I’ll see you on Wednesday, same time, same place!” Lysander called after her. Turning to Lorcan, he removed his glasses again and smiled. “Hello, my conquering brother. How may I help you today?”

Sitting down on the couch that his old adversary had recently vacated, Lorcan grinned. “I just wanted to see how you liked your new office.”

“Oh, it’s great!” exclaimed Lysander, plopping into his desk chair and spinning around. “I’m so glad that Filch let me clean out this broom closet to use for an office! I’ve already got some new patients, and it’s all thanks to you!”

Lorcan shook his head at his brother’s antics. “What do you mean? All I did was win a Gobstones match!”

The spinning stopped. Lysander considered Lorcan with what he believed to be a scholarly gaze, leaning his chin on his hand and chewing on the arm of his glasses in a thoughtful manner. “My dear brother,” he finally said. “You did not just win a Gobstones match. You saved the school from a vengeful monster with the most amazing display of backwards psychology that has ever been seen! Everyone who showed up at the match was just waiting for your death, but instead you romanced Cassiopeia Prestwich with a fervor that is unrivaled by even the greatest of lovers! How did you do it?”

Lorcan grinned. “Well, as much as I hated it, I think that Lucy’s flooding therapy helped. But not as much as your psychoanalysis, of course!” he added hastily, as Lysander rammed his glasses back up onto his nose.

“Yes, I will admit that Lucy is a force to be reckoned with in the world of psychology,” he said, scribbling on another roll of parchment. “But I’m sure that neither of us helped you become such a... a Romeo within a week! What prompted you to hold her hand, to give her a kiss? What is lurking beneath the surface of your seemingly untroubled mind? What--”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Lorcan interrupted. “I didn’t come here to get psychoanalyzed! And,” he paused, squinting at Lysander. “Since when do you wear glasses?”

“Oh, these old things?” Lysander giggled. “They help me channel the Freudian spirit!”

Lorcan scoffed at such a strange answer. “You look like a dolt. But really, Lys, please stop trying to set me up with Cassiopeia. For the dozenth time, I’m not interested.”

“That’s what everyone says,” Lysander sighed. “Everyone at this school is so against the idea of love, but really, the signs are everywhere. Hogwarts is due for a Love Revolution!”

“Oh, I wouldn’t try that if I were you,” Lorcan said in mock seriousness. “You have to consider the fact that the things you’re seeing might not mean anything at all.”

Lysander looked at his brother bemusedly. “Why would I ever do that? Everything means something!

“Not necessarily,” Lorcan admonished him. “After all, as Freud once said, 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.'”

Seeing reason at last, Lysander nodded and raised his own cigar. “I guess I’ll smoke to that!” he grinned.

“Lys, you don’t smoke.”

“Oh yeah...”

Fin


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