Author's Note: This story was conjured up before reading Order of the Phoenix.
"What was McGonagall thinking?" groaned Neville Longbottom. He and his fellow classmates - Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter - sat around a large, oak table in the library, a vast array of Charms books, parchment, and quills spread out before them.
"She was thinking that if fifth year students from Gryffindor House want to pass their O.W.L.s this year, a little revision is in order," replied Hermione. "I think this study hall idea is brilliant, by the way." She flipped open her Charms text and grabbed a quill.
"Hermione, you think anything involving a textbook is brilliant," muttered Ron. "Doesn't McGonagall realize there's a Quidditch match against Slytherin in two days? Harry and I should be practicing ..."
"Ron, there are more important things in life than Quidditch," said Hermione, not looking up from her Charms notes.
Ron's jaw dropped. He tried to utter a retort, but he had evidently been left speechless by Hermione's blasphemous statement regarding Quidditch.
Harry picked up Ron's slack. "I dunno, Hermione," he began. "It may be worth losing an O.W.L. in Charms if we beat Slytherin ... if we lose the match, they'll be in first place."
"I'm pretending not to hear this," said Hermione as she rolled her eyes. She tapped her quill on the table and looked at the clock above Madam Pince's desk. "Where is everyone? They should have been here fifteen minutes ago."
As if in answer to Hermione's question, the doors to the library opened. In walked Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas, followed by Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown. Not a single one of them looked very enthusiastic about being there as they slung their bags onto the oak table and took seats near their classmates.
"You're late," said Ron. He gestured over to Hermione, who was looking so severe that it appeared as if Professor McGonagall had temporarily possessed her.
Before Hermione could respond to Ron, however, Madam Pince shuffled over to them and spoke in a stern voice. "The library is closing in five minutes - I realize you lot have permission from your head of house to stay on for study hall. Understand that I will just be in my office. Any damage to library property will result in dire consequences." She walked haughtily back to her desk and eyed them all like a bird of prey as she stamped due dates into the books of a very frightened-looking Hufflepuff first year. In a matter of minutes, she had the doors to the library locked and was moving towards her office.
"I like to avoid checking books out, meself," said Seamus as he observed Madam Pince's office door close. "It's not worth getting the bogies knocked out of you by the likes of her."
"Yeah, mate," agreed Dean, laughing.
Parvati and Lavender looked mournfully over their Charms notes.
"Hermione, you've got higher marks than any of us in Flitwick's class for the past five years running," said Parvati, her eyes looking bleary already. "I'd have thought you'd be made exempt from study hall."
"Hermione's here to keep us in line," commented Harry with a smile. "But come to think," Harry added, "I reckon Hermione's gotten higher marks than anyone in our entire year in Charms class for the past five years running."
"Only Charms?" said Ron, smirking.
"Stop it," said Hermione as her cheeks reddened. "I'm here to revise like everyone else. I wouldn't get high marks if I didn't apply myself."
"I apply myself," moaned Neville. "I just never seem to remember how things are supposed to go ... my incantations always get muddled."
"With a little practice, you'll get it, Neville," said Hermione encouragingly. "Chose a spell to run through ... go on ... I'll help if you need it."
Neville flipped open the textbook and made a choice. He bit his bottom lip nervously and held his wand in his shaking hand.
"Have you got the incantation in your mind?" asked Hermione.
"Repeat it to yourself a couple of times," Hermione said.
Neville looked down at the book again and muttered something under his breath a couple times.
"Okay," said Hermione, flipping Neville's book closed. "Give it a go!"
Neville clamped his eyes shut and opened his mouth to speak, "Transgredi ... Toxicus ... Septem!" He swished his wand and a glowing white light appeared.
Hermione's eyes widened, and she opened her mouth as if to tell Neville he had done something wrong, but she never got the chance. The white light swirled and hovered above the oak table for a moment, then separated into seven pearlescent balls that shimmered as they floated - slowly at first, then very fast.
Each ball of light quickly revolved around the table once, then - like a tiny heat-seeking missile - found a person to linger in front of. Everyone sat mesmerized by his or her own personal shimmery orb - everyone except Neville, that is, who still held his wand out nervously as he watched the result of his charm.
The orbs flitted around only briefly. The next moment, they began to fly towards their newfound owners and - much to Neville's dismay - into their newfound owners. The little balls of light had sunk deep into the chests of the bewildered Gryffindors.
The seven stunned students gasped. For an instant, their bodies glowed with a pearly aura, and in another instant, all seemed normal again.
"What ... just ... happened?" asked Neville breathlessly.
"I dunno," said Ron, yawning. He slumped over the table and rested his head on his Charms book.
"I'm sure something went wrong," said Hermione. "I'm just not sure what." She looked as though she was trying to puzzle the situation out in her head only she looked extremely distracted. "Is it warm in here to anyone else? It feels warm to me." She unclasped her robes a bit.
"Hermione," said Harry in an undertone. "What are you doing?"
"I'm positively sizzling, Harry," said Hermione, opening the top of her robes a bit more.
Neville clamped his hands over his eyes. "Oh, Merlin! What did I do?"
"Not sure," replied Harry, who was holding a piece of parchment in front of him so as not to see any more of Hermione than he already had.
Ron let out a snore. He had fallen fast asleep.
"You picked an awful time to fall asleep," chortled Harry, nudging Ron's shoulder. "Say ... does anyone have a Pumpkin Pasty or a Cauldron Cake on them? I'm famished all of a sudden."
"How can you think of food at a time like this?" shouted Seamus abruptly. "How bloody thick can you get?"
"Really ... there's no need to get angry," said Hermione, walking over to where Seamus sat. She began massaging his shoulders. "Does this help to calm you down?" She began to blow into Seamus' ear.
Seamus' face began to turn purple. "GET OFF ME!" he howled.
"I wish someone would massage my shoulders," sighed Dean.
"That can be arranged," said Hermione with a wink.
"Oh, lord," said Harry, who watched as Hermione laid her hands on Dean's shoulders and began rubbing them with an avid look in her eyes. He shook his head, then held a hand over his stomach. "Really ... one of you must have something to eat ... I'll even take a Peppermint Humbug if that's all there is."
Lavender shifted uncomfortably in her seat and pulled her bag towards her.
"You have something in there, don't you!" cried Harry, eyeing Lavender's bag keenly.
"So what if I do?" squealed Lavender, pulling the bag onto her lap and hugging it tightly. "I'm not sharing!"
"Can't you all see what's going on?" said Parvati in a self-righteous sort of voice. "Isn't this clear to all of you?" She stood up and eyed Ron sleeping on the table. "You've all been affected by Neville's defective charm. Neville was spared because he cast the spell. I suppose I was spared because ... well, because it's me. I'm sure the charm wouldn't have dared affect me!"
Neville eyed Parvati suspiciously. "Are you sure you were spared? I mean, I saw an orb get sucked into you, too, Parvati ..."
"Neville," said Parvati pompously. "Do you mean to say I should trust the judgment of the blundering fool who cast the charm in the first place? Really, Neville." She laughed.
Neville looked at the lot of them and sighed. Harry was struggling with Lavender for her bag - a barrage of Chocolate Frogs and Fizzing Whizbees spilled to the floor and they both battled each other to pick up as many as they possibly could. Harry was yelling, "If I don't have a frog, I'll die!" while Lavender shouted, "The only way you'll be getting one of my frogs isover my dead body!" Seamus was growling that there were going to seven dead bodies when he got through with all of them. Hermione had moved on to Ron - she had propped him back up and was sitting on his lap as he snoozed away. Dean muttered spitefully, "No one ever wants to sit on my lap."
What would Hermione do? thought Neville as he watched her nibbling at the unconscious Ron's throat.
"What in the world is going on out there?" called Madam Pince from her office.
"Nothing!" squeaked Neville, holding his wand up high. "Finite Incantatem!" he shouted, flicking his wand towards his classmates.
Ron's eyes opened. Hermione flew from his lap and hastily clasped her robes back where they should have been. Both of their faces had turned ruby red.
Lavender released the chokehold she had put Harry in and timidly said, "If you're really that hungry, you can have a Chocolate Frog."
Harry rubbed his throat gingerly and gave her a feeble smile, "Thanks, Lavender ... but I think I lost my appetite."
Dean, Seamus and Parvati looked at each other, then at the rest of their classmates - all three of them looked thoroughly confused.
"What just happened?" asked Dean.
Hermione shuffled in her seat uneasily. "I think Neville meant to do quite a different charm ... but what he ended up doing was the Curse of the Deadly Sins."
"Way to go, Longbottom," said Ron, whose face was still tinted red. He looked at Hermione and rubbed the spot on his neck where she had been nibbling. His mouth was curling up in a smile.
"I think it's safe to say that we've all had enough Charms for one evening, hmm?" said Hermione, who was quickly packing her books away.
"I dunno," said Ron. "I don't think I'd mind a bit more practice ... I think I missed some of what you were trying to show me before."
Hermione's face was crimson. She hurriedly moved to the door, with Ron in pursuit.
"Think that'll be on the test?" said Lavender, giggling. Parvati joined in and the boys howled, save Neville, who was looking slightly ashen.
Parvati and Lavender grabbed their things, as did Dean and Seamus. They proceeded to the library doors and left Harry and Neville as they gathered the last of their school supplies.
"Don't worry, Neville," Harry told him as they left the library and made their way back to Gryffindor Tower. "There's no lasting harm done - in fact, I think you may have done some good."
"What do you mean?" asked Neville, looking perplexed.
"I'll tell you later," whispered Harry as they walked briskly past a tall suit of armor on the fifth floor corridor.
Neville hadn't noticed, but behind the rusty knight were Ron and Hermione, looking as though they were finishing up what had begun before the spell had been broken.
Author's Note: The idea for this story was inspired by an episode of Charmed titled Sin Francisco. In case you haven't already figured it out, the stars of this story were Neville Longbottom as the Blundering Spell-Caster, Harry Potter as Gluttony, Ron Weasley as Sloth, Hermione Granger as Lust, Seamus Finnigan as Anger, Dean Thomas as Envy, Parvati Patil as Pride and Lavender Brown as Greed. Special thanks to my good friend Tamara for suggesting I cast Hermione in the role of Lust. The story really fell into place after her hint! ;-)