Ask Dr. Eldritch

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Don't fall victim to vampires! Don't get slashed by a psycho! Don't get stuck, ASK DR. ELDRITCH!

By interesting coincidence, I received these letters a few days apart:

Dear Dr. Eldritch,
Ask Dr. Eldritch WizardSchool     Everyone says my destiny is to be the focal point of a great magical struggle, but I don't wish to do it any more! Ever since I was eleven years of age (when I first learned that I was accepted to boarding school to study the magical arts) my life has been a constant battle against those who would harm me and my friends. Some are intent on murder, others are merely beastly to us when no professors are watching. If these people didn't initiate their attacks on me, I'd happily let them alone!

What's worst is the constant media attention I've received. The newspapers report my every move, and complete strangers know all the details of my life. This international fixation has even prompted scores of people to write stories about me, and some have me doing terribly naughty things! With other schoolboys! I blush to even think of it, and please don't believe everything you read about me on the Internet.

I see no end to this maelstrom of conflict and celebrity obsession in sight. Is there any way I can have a simple, ordinary life, like a normal person? I'd love to be able to have fish and chips in a pub without a crowd of fans watching my every bite.

-- You Can Probably Guess Who This Is

    When I received this, I was prepared to chuck it into the Basket Of No Return, thinking it was one of the many prank letters I receive from bored University students. I mean, it all seems unlikely, doesn't it? Classrooms of children being taught spells? I'd think such a school would go through a ream of form letters that start like this:

Dear Parent,
We regret to inform you that your child was (check all that apply):
_ Eaten by a troll/gibbering demon/grue/other: ____________________
_ Sucked into an energy vortex/temporal dislocation/cult
_ Driven mad when attempting to learn Potion Control/Hieroscopy/Things Humans Should Not Know
_ Turned into a frog/aardvark/pudding by a careless classmate.

I mean, really. Children learning magic? Still, there are highly improbably things operating quite cheerfully in alternate universes and parallel dimensions, so I'm willing to go with this.

I'm sure this all seems horrid at the moment, but it won't go on forever. Many people discover they are destined for mythic quests, like finding golden sheepskins, saving kingdoms with swords of power or vanquishing evil bent on global destruction. Most of them quickly sink into obscurity after they accomplish their goal. For example, do you remember the Goobi Brothers? Probably not. They were destined by ancient prophecy to find the Bejeweled Codpiece of the Ancient Mysterians and use it to rescue the twin princesses from Conn the Pitiless. You don't remember them because after they defeated Conn and married the princesses, the public promptly lost interest (aside from some brief attention when they had to face the wrath of the son of Conn). My point is, they suffered from overexposure at the time, but it didn't last. The same will be said of you.

Good luck, and let me know how it comes out!

-Dr. Eldritch

Dear Dr. Eldritch,
    I am really not a bad person. Sure, I've been trying to seize control of the magical segment of the world so I may rule that domain unopposed. And I admit that often my tactics are unsavory, perhaps some might say "Evil," but that's merely because I am passionate about results. I know what I want, and in order to get my way, I'll be... pushy.

My singular obstacle is this one boy. I've attempted a number of times to eliminate him, but he always manages to escape my most elaborate traps, neutralize my diabolical schemes and force me back to Square One. Needless to say, this is destroying my street cred with the other powerful warlocks. I mean, how humiliating is it to be thwarted by CHILDREN!?!?

Can you give me some tips on how to stop him? (I don't HAVE to kill him, but it would certainly be gratifying at this point.) Oh, and any ideas on how to take over the magical realm would help, too.

Please don't print my name, it would be SO uncool if people knew that I was asking for advice.

-- He Who Shall Remain Nameless

    A lot of people find satisfaction in a nice hobby, like carving whimsical figures from potatoes. Perhaps you'd do better choosing a diversion like that to enjoy, rather than pursuing conquest. The lifespan of über-ambitious wizards tends to be notoriously short.

As for doing in your nemesis, I'm afraid you're on your own there. I think you should all learn to get along. You don't have to gather for mah-jhongg and barbecues, but if you keep fighting, it's not going to end well. Trust me on this.

Good luck, and let me know how it comes out!

-Dr. Eldritch

This has nothing to do with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Prison, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Very, Very Naughty Nurses, Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and Leopard-Walk-Up-to-Dragon, Harry Potter and the Golden Turtle, Harry Potter and the Crystal Vase, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe, Head Wizard Albus Dumbledore, Professor Minerva McGonagall, Professor Severus Snape, Professor Quirrell, Professor Lupin, Professor Sybil Trelawney, Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, Professor Sprout, Peter Pettigrew, Argus Filch, Nearly Headless Nick, Sirius Black, Cornelius Fudge, The Ministry of Magic, the Sorting Hat, Uncle Vernon Dursley, Aunt Petunia Dursley, Dudley Dursley, Dursleys in general, The evil lord Voldemort, Tom Riddle, Basilisks, Hagrid, Buckbeak, Scabbers, Dobby the House Elf, Hogwarts School of Wizardry, Hogwarts Express, George Weasley, Fred Weasley, Percy Weasley, Mrs. Molly Weasley, slashy schoolboy hot sex, Ginny Weasley, Mr. Arthur Weasley, or J. K. Rowling at all.

Or even Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Parody (aka Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody), Barry Trotter and the Unnecessary Sequel, or Barry Trotter and the Dead Horse for that matter.

(DISCLAIMER: Anyone intelligent enough to be reading this should understand 1) Satire, and 2) That following the advice given may result in physical, mental, or spiritual harm to beings living, dead, or undead. The author does not suggest that anyone other that the originator of any given letter follow his advice, and cannot be held liable if anyone else does.
If you need more, read this Advanced Disclaimer!) All content © 2011 Evan Nichols