The Untitled Thing (Heh)
by Sirina Black

It was the night before Christmas, and all was well at Hogwarts. Everyone was asleep, except Peeves, who was bouncing up and down the second-floor staircase, and Gilderoy Lockhart, who was dancing with a broom. (Well, you wanted to know.)

"My darling broom, I love you madly!" he exclaimed, twirling around and smiling at the broom. "I don't know why Dumbledore canceled the Yule Ball this year."

A sudden knock at the door caused him to drop the broom. "Come in!"

It was Hermione Granger wearing a long nightgown and a dressing gown that clashed violently with her bushy brown hair. "Professor Lockhart?"

"Ah, Hermione! Have you come to have a chat about last week's pop quiz? Sit down. I just made some bunt cake, would you like some?"

"No thank you, Professor. Um, Neville was trying to sneak down to the common room and find out what his presents were, but he fell down the stairs and I think he hurt his leg."

"Where is he?"

"Out in the hall with Harry and Ron. We tried to wake up Professor McGonagall, but she was fast asleep. So was Madam Pomfrey."

"Harry, Ron, come in!"

Harry and Ron staggered in wearing pajamas and carrying Neville. Their faces clearly showed that they didn't think this was a good idea as they set him on the floor.

Lockhart bent over Neville and prodded his leg. "Er, yes. I know just the spell," he said. "Gobbledy-jabberus!" he announced, waving his wand.

Neville sat up abruptly. "Ani rotzah ha'oznayim shelo!" he exclaimed, pointing at Ron, who took a step backward and tripped over the broom, which was still on the floor.

"Oops, must have accidentally used the Gibberish Charm," Lockhart said, chuckling nervously. "Finite Incantatem!"

"Actually, that was Hebrew," Hermione said timidly. Lockhart ignored her. "We'll have to bandage Neville's leg. Does anyone have any plaster of Paris?" Everyone shook their heads. "Ace bandages? Masking tape?"

"This is your room, Professor," Ron snorted.

"Yes, you're right. Well..." Lockhart snatched a roll of Saran wrap and began to wrap it around Neville's leg. Neville mumbled something and rolled over.

"What's that for?" Harry asked, trying unsuccessfully to hide the sarcasm in his voice.

"Saran Wrap, Harry! Marvelous stuff, this. Why, when I was capturing the Wagga Wagga Werewolf..."

Lockhart launched into a long story about Saran Wrap that was strangely remeniscent of an Armenian folktale. As he did so, he continued to wrap Neville's leg in Saran Wrap. Harry, Ron and Hermione held a whispered conversation.

"He's gone batty," Ron said. "He's finally cracked. This is too much for him."

"Told you we should have gone to Dumbledore," Harry said to no one in particular.

"Oh, shut up, you two!" Hermione snapped. "He's a professor, he knows what he's doing!"

"Then what's all that blather about the Wagga Wagga Werewolf?" Harry asked her. Hermione's face went scarlet, and she didn't answer.

"I'm leaving. I'm sick of this," Ron announced. He picked up Neville and dragged him toward the door. Professor Lockhart didn't notice. "Are you with me?" Ron hissed at Harry and Hermione. They glanced at Lockhart and shrugged before following Ron out the door. Lockhart didn't look up.

As they were dragging him down the hall to the infirmary, Neville suddenly sat up. "Hey! Put me down!" he shouted, thrashing in Ron's arms. Ron dropped him. Neville began to unwind the Saran Wrap from his leg.

"Don't do that!" Hermione exclaimed, utterly mortified. "Your's broken!"

"My leg is just fine," Neville said, pulling off the last of the Saran Wrap.

"But...look at the way it's twisted!"

"So? Fred and George put a Rubber Legs Curse on me this evening. I was trying to find you to sort it out, but I fell in the common room and hit my head."

"Finite Incantatem," Hermione said, and Neville's leg straightened. "I'm sorry! I found you in the common room. McGonagall and Pomfrey were asleep, so we took you to Professor Lockhart."

"Great," Neville sighed. "I'm going back to Gryffindor. What's the password?"

"Seven Sisters," Harry said, and Neville walked off. After Hermione had pocketed her wand, the three of them headed back to the common room.

On their way back, they saw Malfoy limping down the hall. "Where do you think you're going?" he snarled.

"You're not supposed to be out of bed, you know," Harry said coolly.

"I hurt my leg. Snape and Pomfrey are asleep, so I'm going to see Lockhart for help. What's that for?" he asked, nodding at the Saran Wrap balled up in Hermione's hand. She had picked it up for Neville.

"Oh, nothing," Hermione said, but there was a little mischevous grin on her face as she followed Ron and Harry back to the common room.

E-mail the Author