“Thank you, thank you. Is everybody having a good time tonight?” The whole of the dance seemed to erupt in raucous applause, acknowledging that they were indeed already having a good time. Evan beamed. “Excellent! Our next song is an original by our lead guitarist David Sullivan. It’s called,” Evan stopped for a second and pinched his nose. Shaking off the tickle he continued, “Sorry about that. Okay, it’s called,” but Evan stopped again, and this time he sneezed.
Out of his nose flew a translucent green bat flapping madly. Evan stared at it as it hovered in front of him, his face a mix of shock and confusion and wonder. Before he could react properly he went into a quick sneezing fit. Four more large and drippy bogey colored bats flew out of his nose. Without a moments hesitation the small swarm attacked him, biting him about the head and shoulders. Evan stumbled back, holding up his hands to protect himself.
Having recovered somewhat from their own shock, each of the other Hufflepunks pulled off their instruments and went to help Evan. As they raced toward him, each one was beset with a fit of their own sneezes, all with similar results. The whole band had battalion of bat bogeys swarming around their heads, diving and biting at whomever was nearest.
As the swarm on the stage grew some of the crowd screamed. A panic seemed to wave through the audience working its way from the lip of the stage back through the dancers to the wallflowers in the back as they all seemed to realize what was going on. In the edges of confusion Dan and Foozle caught each other’s eye with a faintly concerned look.
“Sully!” Aeryn screamed. The Gryffindor started to run for the stage, but a hand held her back.
“Stand back, Miss Wolfstead,” Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall charged the stairs toward the downed band as Professors Flitwick and Sprout flanked from the otherside. With a wave of their wands the bats dissipated. The professors checked on the band as they lay on the stage. The bats were gone, but all of the boys were covered in red bite marks. “Minerva, Pamona,” Dumbledore said in a calm but quiet voice, “I believe it would be best if these boys were sent to the hospital wing for observation.”
“Of course, Albus,” she waived her wand in the air and four stretchers appeared and lifted the Hufflepunks into the air.
By now Aeryn had reached the stairs. “Professor let me help you,” Aeryn pleaded as Professor McGonagall walked off the stage in front of her.
“I don’t know if that is appropriate.”
“Please, Professor,” she pleaded, wringing the edge of Sully’s stretcher.
With a sigh Professor McGonagall relented, “Very well child, come with me.”
A room full of stunned eyes followed the stretchers out of the room. The silence was finally broken by Dumbledore’s voice, “Come now, come now I do not think that Mister Whitaker and his friends would want the festivities to stop on the count of them,” He pointed his wand at the Hufflepunks instruments, which then took on a life of their own, “Let the party continue. The band was far from the only entertainment planned for this evening.”