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Down With The Sickness

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“Are you sure he’s gonna be okay? I swear that kid is in here more often than the staff!” Nurse May bit her bottom lip, eye’s flicking over to room 236, where their current youngest patient was currently staying. Petunia Dursley pursed her lips and turned her icy stare to the doctor in charge of her nephew.

Doctor Green just raised his eyebrow, and turned to the nurse, eyes softening. “I’m sure he will be- it’s one of the oddest things I’ve seen honestly. Despite his constant fever, cough and sneeze- Harry is as healthy as a boy his age shall be.” He turned to Petunia, and frowned at her. “Of course, his development will be odd- no strenuous activities of any kind, unless you want him to get worse. Three square, warm meals a day- and he should be fine, if a bit weaker and smaller than other children.”

Petunia’s eyes narrowed in barely veiled anger, and her arms crossed. “Fine, whatever. Can I collect the boy and leave now?” Doctor Green’s eyes narrowed as well and he scowled, brows furrowing.

“Sure, but one other thing, Mrs. Dursley- we require monthly check ups- failure to carry through with this will result in me alerting the authorities. In addition, if we find so much as a scratch out of place on his body, I'll have you reported and under investigation for child abuse faster than you can think of an excuse.”

Petunia clenched her fists “Excuse me, but are you actually threatening me right now?”

“No, Mrs. Dursley, I’m warning you.” Petunia stared at the doctor, face tight with anger before she snapped. “Fine, may I bring my Nephew home now?” Doctor Green smiled, pleased, and crossed his arms. “By all means, ma’am. Y’all have a safe trip home.”

Petunia didn’t bother responding, instead pushing past Nurse May, who let out of cry of indignation when she did. Doctor Green shook his head, and steadied the younger woman with a sigh. Inside the room, Harry Potter layed, breathing shallow and skin a sickly pale with a tinge of green. His raven black hair clung to his sweaty forehead, and Petunia allowed some of her anger to melt away as she sat on the edge of her nephews bed. She reached out, and moved his hair from outside of his eyes- wincing at the pale blue veins she could see on his eyelids.

Her anger fully left, replaced instead with a rare form of concern she had only when Vernon weren’t around to see it. Harry had always been sick- even as a baby when she first found him on her doorstep. As he grew older, he never got any better or worse, and eventually Vernon had taken to locking Harry in the spare bedroom when he wasn’t doing chores to eliminate the possibility of him getting them sick. It was fine for all of seven years, until yesterday, when Harry fainted while cleaning out the gutter and almost broke his neck falling, had one of the neighbors not been there to save him. It was hard coming up for a reason as for why Harry was up there, and he didn’t seem to buy Vernon’s excuse of ‘boys just being boys.’

Apparently, neither did Doctor Green, judging by the thinly veiled warning he had just given her. Her features pulled down into a scowl once more and she stood, easily scooping Harry into her arms- he barely weighed anything, and she barely held in a wince. She hated the way she allowed Vernon to treat Harry, but she also hated anything that threatened the life she had worked hard to build for herself after her sister had stolen all their parents affection.

Adjusting Harry in her arms so that his legs were wrapped around her waist, she hastily denied any and all offers for help, and carried Harry out of the ER and into the car. Their neighbor, a man who was new to the area, climbed out of the front seat and helped her strap Harry into the backseat car seat. Once Harry was settled in, and she finished buckling her own seatbelt, she turned to the man and offered him what she hoped was a comforting smile.

“Thank you for the ride- Vernon had to leave early for work, of course.” The man smiled back, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “Of course, Mrs. Dursley.” Petunia's lips quirked before she frowned and furrowed her brows. “I don’t remember giving you my name?”

The man outrighted laughed and pulled out of the parking lot. “The neighbors talk- I’ve heard your name plenty of times.” He glanced at Petunia out the corner of his eyes, and grinned at her paranoid expression. “My name is Wesley Spikes, by the way. It’s very nice to meet you, ma’am.” Petunia returned the pleasantries, then spent the rest of the ride in silence- either worrying about Vernon’s reaction when she got home, or what the neighbors had to say about her.

Once they pulled into Privet Drive, Petunia was quick to gather Harry and drop him off in his room before Vernon could return home. “And remember, if you ever need help or a ride, I’m just a little ways down the block, in number 12.” With that and a friendly wave, Wesley pulled off, and Petunia went inside and prepared to tell Vernon the news.

Harry Potter rolled over onto his side and coughed into his fist, then frowned weakly at the blood that dotted his pale skin. ‘This is new’ he thought tiredly, and sat up in his bed with a jaw cracking yawn. He looked around, and allowed a small frown to cross his features as he realized he was back in his bedroom at the Dursleys. After he had fallen off the roof, he honestly expected to be dead, and to say he was disappointed that he wasn’t was a massive understatement. His eyes widened when they fell on his alarm clock- it was already seven thirty, and by then he wouldn’t have enough time to get started on the Dursleys breakfast.

He threw his blanket off and made to climb out of bed, but before he could, Petunia was walking in with a plate of something steaming and her lips pursed in displeasure, which was honestly pretty typical for her. What was unusual was the bowl of what he identified to be a soup of some kind- beef, probably. He frowned, wondering if this was another trick like the one Dudley tried a few weeks ago. He had been trapped in his room without food for even daring to believe that Dudley would honestly offer him anything but a fist to the face.

Petunia stopped in front of him, and with a surprisingly gentle touch, pushed Harry back into bed and set the soup on the dresser beside him. His mouth dropped open in shock, and Petunia’s eyes softened as she cleared her throat and stepped back.

“You no longer have to worry about the chores, B- Harry. You’re very very sick, and neither Vernon nor I wish to have to take you to the ER more than necessary. You are not to do anything too active- just rest and hopefully this illness will fade with time. You will be taking up monthly check ups every month, and later this week, the new couple, Wesley and Kerry, will be taking you shopping for new clothes, and whatnot.”

With that, Petunia swept from the room and shut the door behind her, not bothering to stay for any questions Harry might have had, or even to tell him to shut his mouth, which was wide open with shock at that point. After a minute or two of staring blankly at the door, his stomach rumbling and the delicious smell of the soup had him finally picking up the bowl and eating with a pleased smile on his face.

‘Maybe I did die, and now I’m in heaven’ he thought to himself, and grinned. The future was looking up, and he was looking forward to meeting the new neighbors. Anyone that got the Dursleys to feed him and let him get things of his own was A-okay in his book.