I could not stay at work any longer. It started this morning as a tickle in the back of my throat when I woke up. Once I got to the Ministry I knew I was coming down with something, probably a cold or the flu. By lunch time I knew I had to go home. I told Campbell Bullfinch and Parker Chestnut, the two gentlemen with whom I work in the Portkey Authority’s Field Agent Section, I was feeling under the weather and they insisted I go home and rest. Campbell told me if I needed an extra day to mend not to hesitate to stay home tomorrow or Wednesday if I felt bad enough.
The bell on the door of the shop jingles happily although I feel anything but happy and cheerful. Verity, who has returned to Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes at Diagon Alley, smiles and welcomes me, thinking I am a lunch time customer before I greet her and George number two.
“Where is George?” I ask. “I thought he was supposed to work down here today.”
“Yeah,” George II groans. “He said he was starting to come down with something so he went upstairs to get some sleep.” George and I did not talk much this morning before I left for work. I had no idea he was sick too. I nod to Verity and George II before I try to clear the scratchiness from my throat and go upstairs.
I push the door to our upstairs flat open with a creak and call out, “George, I am home.” I am answered with silence. I wait a few seconds. Then George groans from the sofa.
“Over here, luv,” he croaks, his voice raspy and gruff. “I’m sick. Started this morning when you left.”
I walk over to the sofa and peer over the edge. “Me too, honey,” I smile down at him. He has been sleeping. “Did I wake you?” I ask and George shakes his head. “Yes I did, sleepy head. What do you think you have?”
“Just a cold,” he clears his throat. “It’s not anything life-threatening, just makes me feel like shite.” He rubs his eyes and looks up at me. “You too, huh?” he sounds like a frog. I nod and lay my head on the back of the sofa. “Come around here and join me for a nap,” he beckons me and I walk around the arm of the couch and kick my shoes off before I crawl next to him.
“You sure you would not prefer the bed?” I ask as I snug down next to him.
“No,” his voice breaks. “It’ll be just as cozy here.”
“We will sleep the afternoon away and then we will make some chicken soup for supper,” I reply. “Or better yet, we can get the Leaky to deliver some soup and bread so we will not have to work.”
“And then we’ll get naked and crawl into bed,” he hums against my neck. I reach up and grab a blanket draped across the back of the sofa, then spread it over us. We settle in and become still. I listen to George’s breathing level but I notice he is a little congested.
“You feel warm,” I say as he presses his cheek to my forehead.
“You do too,” he replies and laughs softly. “Merlin, aren’t we pitiful?” His question makes me laugh but the laughing causes me to start coughing.
Once the coughing fit stops I just lie there in his arms, pathetic. With a deep breath I sigh, “I feel so rotten, miserable.” George hugs me to him.
“We’ll be absolutely miserable together then,” he chuckles softly and clears his throat again.
“Just like an old married couple,” I reply and George exhales another quiet laugh.