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Chicken Soup

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Chapter 1: -

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Disclaimer: The characters in this story in no way, shape, or form belong to me. They and the Harry Potter Universe are all property of the talented JK Rowling. Seriously, if Harry Potter belonged to me, do you think I'd be sitting in front of a computer right now?



Harry is sick.

He has survived Voldemort's attack as a baby, seven years of attempts on his life while at Hogwarts, the final battle with Voldemort and his Death Eaters, and six years as an Auror, only to be taken down by a nasty bout of the flu.

Hermione and Ron are at a loss. There are spells to cure their lover of horrible boils, missing bones, petrifaction, and even an extra head, but all that is available for the flu is Pepperup Potion and a bowl of chicken soup.

At this moment, that is exactly what Harry is eating. Steam still pours out of his ears from his last dose of Pepperup, and Hermione is spooning warm broth into his mouth. Ron sits on Harry's other side and wipes his fevered brow with a damp, cool cloth. The only sound in the room is the spoon clicking against the white china bowl and Harry's laboured breathing as he struggles to remain seated upright.

Ron takes pity on Harry's weakness and moves around behind him. After settling himself against the backboard of the queen-sized bed, he pulls Harry back against his chest and holds him up in a seated position. Harry murmurs slightly at this and picks at the red-and-yellow flowered Afghan (lovingly crocheted for them by Mrs. Weasley), but he hasn't the energy to do anything more strenuous. Ron pulls the blanket up over Harry's shoulders, then continues dabbing at his forehead.

The soup finished, Hermione carries the bowl downstairs to their kitchen, casts a cleaning charm on the dishes in the sink, and returns to the bedroom with a book of children's stories. She sits down on the tapestry wing-chair and begins searching for a story to read.

Harry groans slightly as Ron moves out from behind him and lays him gently on the pillows. Ron plants a soft, fluttering kiss on his brow, then moves across the room to dim the lights before lowering himself onto the hardwood floor and leaning back against Hermione's legs.

Hermione reads softly - loud enough for her invalid love to hear but quietly enough not to keep him awake. She reads The Ugly Duckling, The Philosopher's Stone, and What the Moon Saw. As she reads, she runs her hands through Ron's hair. He hums slightly as she runs her fingers along the sensitive ridge behind his ear.

Half-way through reading The Brave Tin Soldier, Hermione looks up. Harry is asleep. Silently, carefully, she and Ron get up from the armchair. They climb into bed on either side of Harry, taking care not to jostle the bed, and curl around him.

Soon, the only sound in the room is their rhythmic breathing.

*****

Ron and Hermione are sick.

They have survived prejudice against their backgrounds, seven years of attempts on their lives while at Hogwarts, the final battle with Voldemort and his Death Eaters, and six years in the Ministry, only to be taken down by a nasty bout of the flu.

Harry at a loss. There are spells to cure his lovers of bad teeth, blistering burns, bad dreams, and even being turned into a cat through potions mishaps, but all that is available for the flu is Pepperup Potion and a bowl of chicken soup.


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