by the_pirate_girl
Rating: PG
Fandom: Harry Potter

"Mmmmm...Morning, 'Mione.." Ron mumbled sleepily, rolling over and reaching out to put his arm around Hermione. His eyes opened abruptly, however, when his touch was met with cold sheets instead of a pleasantly warm body. He turned his head quickly, looking around for his wife, and became immediately aware of the aching pressure behind his eyes. Relaxing back into the pillows, Ron massaged his temples with his fingertips-

"HESHessssch! HACHechESSSH!" He sneezed suddenly, without even time to raise a hand to shield his nose and mouth. "Ughhh," he groaned, wiping his nose. "I think I'b getting sick."

Ron rolled out of bed, wrapping a blanket around himself, as it was quite chilly in their flat. He shivered as his bare feet padded across the wooden floor, wishing he could remember what he had done with his slippers.

"Hermione?" he called at the door to the living room. The clock by the door read eight am, a bit early for Hermione to be up on a Saturday. "Hermione?" he called again, a bit louder, as he neared the kitchen. The flat was empty, cold winter sunlight slanting through the blinds to make stripes on the white counter in the kitchen.

"Hashhheshh!" he sneezed again, sitting down heavily at the kitchen table as a sudden wave of dizziness overtook him. Looking up, he spotted a piece of parchment on the table. He pulled it towards him and read:

Gone to spend the day shopping with my mum. I may be home this evening, or I may go over to help Ginny with wedding plans, in which case I won't be home until late. Why don't you go see Harry and catch a quidditch match or something? I hope you have a good day!
Love you,

Great, he thought. Now I'm stuck here alone and sick all day. Oh well, I suppose I'll just go back to bed and sleep it off, I'm sure it's only a bit of a head cold.

Ron stood up slowly and shuffled back to the bedroom, falling at once into the now cold bed. He closed his eyes, shivering.

"HESSHechh! HESHOOO!" He realized, with great regret, that he should have gotten a box of tissues while he was up because he was now loathe to get up and lose the little warmth the sheets had gained since he slid between them. He laid there miserably for an hour or so, sneezing and sniffling, before he finally felt his eyelids growing heavy with sleep and surrendered to blissful unconsciousness.

Ron's dreams were foggy and surreal. He was back at Hogwarts, running through hallways, up stairs, through dungeons. Sometimes Snape was chasing him, then there was a basilisk around the corner, Harry was running alongside him and then he disappeared, he had to catch Scabbers, he had to find Hermione, Hermione...Ron woke with a start, sitting up in bed. "Hermione?" Remembering that she wasn't home, Ron let himself fall back on the pillows with a thud. He rolled over to inspect his alarm clock. The glaring red numbers told him it was three in the afternoon.

I suppose I should get up and do something useful, he thought. He sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. I immediately regret this decision, he thought, as his head began throbbing again. He got up and was making his way towards the bathroom when, "HECHOOOO! HESHeshhh!" he was halted in his tracks as two powerful sneezes ripped through him, one right after the other. "Brilliant..." he muttered, wiping his nose on the hem of his white t-shirt. He opened the medicine cabinet in the bathroom to find only an extra tube of toothpaste and a completely empty bottle of pepper-up potion. "Bollocks," he said aloud. Of course we're out of pepper-up potion, just my rotten luck, he thought.

He opened the kitchen cupboard with a bit more success, finding a can of chicken soup. He emptied the can into a pot on the stove and sat down at the table to wait for it to finish cooking. He hoped that Hermione decided not to go to Ginny and Harry's and decided to come home instead. His soup boiled and he poured it into a bowl, only to find that he wasn't the least bit hungry and the smell of the soup made him feel so ill that he wished canned soup had never been invented. Shivering uncontrollably, he decided that perhaps it was time to go back to bed. He made it as far as the living room before he grew so dizzy that the couch seemed suddenly like a much better place to rest than in bed. Curled up on the couch, he pointed his wand at the fireplace. "Incendio," he said, and instantly the room grew warmer as a fire blazed on the hearth. He was just drifting off to sleep when he heard a familiar voice.

"Hello?" it was Ginny, her head in the fireplace.

"Heddo," Ron said thickly.

"Hey Ron, is Hermione there?"

"Do, I haben't seed her all day."

"Oh. Are you okay? You sound sick."

"I'b fide, id's jusd a cold."

"Okay, well, If you see Hermione tell her I'm ready to go dress shopping whenever she gets here. I hope you feel better."

"Danks." Ginny's face disappeared from the fire, which was beginning to make Ron uncomfortably warm.

"Eh....Ehhh....ESSSSHHHHHHeshhh! essshhh...CHOOOO!" he sneezed wetly into his shoulder, realizing he had forgotten the tissues again. He got the tissues from the bathroom and collapsed back into bed, shivering violently. He sniffed and curled up as tightly as he could, trying to get warm. His face seemed impossibly hot against his ice cold hands, yet it didn't seem to warm them. The bed seemed so cold without Hermione in it. He lay there for a long time, trying to will her to get home, and finally he fell asleep again, still shivering.

In his dream he was in the Department of Mysteries with it's mist and twinkling lights, calling Hermione's name, he had to find her, but every time he opened a door he just found another new door, and she wasn't behind any of them. He was almost out of time. He began running, faster and faster, but all he found were more and more doors.

He woke again, his throat burning and mouth dry. He was soaked with sweat, but when he threw the blankets back it was suddenly freezing, so he drew them back up. He could see the sun setting outside the bedroom window. He rolled over, the sudden movement rewarding him with a wave of dizziness, and shut his eyes again.

Voldemort had Hermione, he was going to kill her. Ron had to do something, but his legs wouldn't move to run. His wand felt like a ton of bricks in his hand and he couldn't even open his mouth to scream. Voldemort was taking her away. He had to get to Hermione, the flames were everywhere, they were burning him, but it didn't matter, he had to find Hermione, had to save her. Suddenly the flames grew cool around his face; he opened his mouth, "Hermione!" he called, "Hermione!"

"Shh, it's alright, I'm here."

Ron opened his eyes to find himself looking into Hermione's face. Her cool hand was on his forehead and she gently pushed the sweaty strands of ginger hair out of his eyes.

" 'Mione," he whispered, "You're here, you're alright." He reached up and grasped her hand.

"Of course I'm alright, silly, I was just shopping with my mum. When I got to Ginny and Harry's, Ginny told me you were sick and I came straight home. You could have called me at my mum's and told me, you know," she said.

"I don't dike do use de felly-done," he said blearily. "I'b glad you're hobe, I don'd feel so goo-EchHESHHhhsssh...sniff, so good."

"I know darling, I know," she kissed his forehead softly. "I'm here now and I'm not going anywhere until you're all better," she said, sliding the thermometer under his tongue. "You just close your eyes and rest now."

"Dank you, 'Mione," he murmured as his eyelids grew heavy and he fell into a dreamless sleep.

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