Potter was awoken by the rather unpleasant sound of someone being sick. After only a few seconds, he wished it would
stop so he could get some more hard-earned sleep. He put his pillow over his head, squeezed his
eyes tightly shut, and attempted to drift off once more.
sighed. One problem with staying at The Burrow with his wife’s family was that
there was only one bathroom, despite the number of inhabitants. Another was that said bathroom was inconveniently
situated through the wall from the bedroom Harry and Ginny shared whenever they
continued to come through the wall and Harry wondered how long this would go on. Surely whoever it was should have finished
emptying their stomach by now? And, it
suddenly occurred to him, who was being sick anyway? No-one had imbibed enough
the night before to justify a hangover.
the sound of a slight moan, and he became worried. Perhaps whoever it was in there was very ill? Grabbing his glasses, he leapt from the bed,
vaguely wondering where Ginny was and hoping it wasn’t her being sick, and went
to stand by the bathroom door. Knocking,
he softly called, “Are you all right?”
Harry said in shock. “What’s the
“I can hear
that.” He paused. “Can I come in?”
answer was the sound of more retching, so he took that as a ‘yes’, and opened
knelt before the toilet, her face ashen, and her hair in a stringy tangle. Picking up a face-cloth, Harry wet it, and
wiped her forehead, pulling her hair out of the way. He looked around and spied a hair-tie, so
pulled her hair into a rough pony tail.
The fact that Hermione was letting him do this without argument was
Harry,” Hermione smiled wanly.
Ron? Does he know you’re sick? Can I get you anything? A glass of water? Do you need a medi-witch?” The words tumbled out almost on top of each
other. Hermione looked terrible, and
Harry was feeling anxious about her.
“A glass of
water would be marvellous.” Hermione
said, taking the face cloth and wiping her face and the back of her neck. “Ron and everyone else left early to go and
buy plants for Molly’s garden. Molly
asked us to spell the dinner to start at four this afternoon – she’s put
everything in the Aga ready – and Ginny said to tell
you not to forget or you’ll be single-handedly de-gnoming
the garden before they start planting tomorrow.”
grinned and handed Hermione the glass of water.
“Why didn’t they wake us to go with them?”
– and I quote – ‘Harry’s been working too hard, the poor dear. We better let him get his rest.’ Bill wasn’t too happy that he didn’t get the
same consideration; he’s still suffering from Apparating
across two different time-zones.”
“How about you?”
looked askance at Harry, then suddenly faced the toilet once more and began to
retch. Harry put his arm around her and
softly rubbed her back as she began to cry and gag alternately.
believe Ron left you when you’re so sick,” he muttered, pulling her into a
hug. She cried her misery into his
t-shirt. “I think I need to call the medi-witch.”
shook her head still snuggled into his front.
“I’m all right.”
“It’s fine, Harry. I
saw the medi-witch and she says this is normal.”
“Normal?!” he exclaimed.
“What’s normal about vomiting so much?”
normal with Egyptian flu, Harry.”
frowned. He’d not heard of Egyptian flu
before, but then he’d not lived all his life in the wizarding
world, and sometimes there were major gaps in his cultural knowledge.
you catch that off, Hermione?”
looked up at him as if he’d lost half his brain cells. “Who do you think?”
settling Hermione in bed with a glass of ginger beer and a plate of grated
apple, both of which Hermione said would help settle her stomach, Harry went
downstairs to do some research. Pulling
Mrs Weasley’s copy of ‘Witches Home Guide to Magical
Maladies’ off the shelf, he sat down to find all he could about Egyptian
flu. A little while later he slammed the
book closed in disgust. Nothing. Not a
sentence anywhere to tell him what was wrong with his best friend.
and pacing about the sitting room and kitchen, he pondered the problem. Obviously it was an uncommon illness as it
was not mentioned in the book. Just as
obvious, Hermione must have caught it from Bill, who was visiting from Egypt.
passed the fireplace, he had a thought.
Hermione had said he couldn’t call a medi-witch
to come and see her, but he could ask
one about her symptoms. Throwing a
handful of Floo powder into the fire, he called, “St Mungo’s!”
two minutes later he was feeling suitably chastised as he discovered that
medical matters were confidential, best friend or no.
thought came to him, and he tossed a second handful of Floo
powder. “Hospital Wing, Hogwarts!”
dear, how are you?” Madam Pomfrey looked slightly frazzled, and Harry could hear lots
of bellowing in the background.
“I just had
a question about an unusual illness. Or maybe a curse.
It’s Egyptian! And Hermione-”
Hermione would definitely be the best person to ask about such things. My how that girl can research! If that’s all, I really need to dash – there
was a little…incident…in the hallway involving three Slytherins,
two Gryffindors, Professor Snape,
and an accidental ingestion of Weasley’s Gender
gulped; he’d partaken of those sweets a month or so previously, and ended up
being ‘Harriet’ for three hours. More
shouting was audible through the fireplace, and Harry identified some of Snape’s sarcastic catchphrases in the background, but
uttered in a feminine tone. He hated to
think what Snape might be like as a woman: perpetual
PMT came to mind, and Harry wished for an immediate Obliviate. Not to mention that crossed another potential
source of information off the list. Not
that he’d seriously considered asking Professor Snape
for help, but still… at least he’d have been a last resort.
farewells, Harry pulled his head out of the Floo, and
frowned. He heard running up above, the
bathroom door slam, and the sounds of more retching. Poor Hermione was at it again.
over to the kitchen sink, he poured Hermione another glass of ginger beer. Hopefully when Ron came home he’d be able to
convince his wife of the necessity of seeing a medi-witch.
series of pops erupted around him, as
the Weasley’s Apparated
into the kitchen, Ron elbowing Harry in the stomach as he arrived almost on top
of him. Gasping, Harry saw red – being
knocked breathless was the last straw, particularly when the blow came from his
best friend who should have stayed at home looking after his other best friend.
you leave her!” he bellowed in outrage, not caring that Ron now had ginger beer
splashed down his front. “She’s been
throwing up all over the place, and refuses to let me call a Healer or medi-witch!”
Ron took a
step back in surprise at getting yelled at so unexpectedly.
you!” Harry turned to Bill, whose
eyebrows rose in surprise at also being singled out for the wrath of
Harry. “You carried some strange illness
with you, or triggered some curse, and I can’t find out anything about it!”
Harry’s arm. “What’s wrong, mate?”
“As if you
didn’t know – Hermione’s puking her guts out every other minute, and she says
this about a curse?” asked Bill. “I
don’t think I did anyth-”
you must have,” interrupted Harry.
“Hermione said it was you, and you’re the only one who could have
carried Egyptian flu here.”
flu?” gasped Ron, spinning around and heading for the stairs. “That can’t be good for her in her
Mrs Weasley, who had been lurking in the background,
both started to giggle.
around and looked at them in shock.
“What’s so funny? Hermione could
into another round of giggling, and Harry glared at her insensitivity. But Mrs Weasley
patted her youngest son on the shoulder.
“Ron, dear, Egyptian flu is quite normal – nausea and vomiting are the
symptoms, and they should be gone in a few weeks.”
“A few weeks!” chorused the male faction. Perhaps with a bit of training, they could
become a choir. Even Fred and George,
who had been grinning to themselves at the scene unfolding before them, were
with it six times,” Mrs Weasley reminisced. “The only thing that helped was ginger beer. Your father got very good at making it – I’ll
have to ask him to make a batch; that bought stuff is nothing on homemade.”
“Mrs Weasley,” Harry said through gritted teeth, reverting to a
more formal mode of address from years past, “would you please let us know what
is wrong with Hermione?”
pregnant, dear. Didn’t Ron say? I thought he was going to tell you this
morning. I only guessed because she
looked so much like me when I was first carrying.” Mrs Weasley
frowned. “Oh, that’s right,
you were asleep when we left.”
a startled glance at Ron. “Congratulations, mate!”
Ron’s face was a study of befuddlement, “what’s that got
to do with Egyptian flu?”
flu, dear, lasts nine months,” Mrs Weasley explained,
and Harry, Ron and the other Weasley males all
blanched, whilst Ginny continued her uncontrolled giggling, “and
at the end of it you’re a Mummy!”
males all felt their jaws drop open, before laughing uproariously.
said Bill, “I think that lets me off the hook for being at fault!”
Thanks so much to Katieay, RG and Felina Black for betaing. Also, to the late-night crowd in the PhoenixSong chatbox - this one is
Note: In case you were wondering, an ‘Aga’ is a classic British cooker/stove/oven. I’ve had Mrs Weasley
being able to spell her food into not starting to cook until they want it to,
but in reality, the cooker is always on.
Great to sit in front of on cold mornings or evenings! http://www.aga-rayburn.co.uk/14.htm