A/N: All related characters are the property of J.K. Rowling. This is an outtake from my fic Family Matters, and probably won't make any sense if you're not familiar with the storyline. Basically Snape, Sinistra, and Harry have to spend the summer together. Chaos ensues.

Written for She's A Star, because she loves Snape/Sinistra so, and she's sick besides. :D Here's to Nita!

The Consequences of Muggle Medicine
by drama-princess

One one thousand. . . Amalthea Sinistra muttered to herself, clutching the box of tissues in her hands as her knuckles went white. Two one thousand. . . three one thousand. . .

Ah. Right on schedule. That would be her husband for the summer, one Severus Snape-- would had somehow managed to catch a cold in the middle of July. When he couldn't brew a Pepper Up Potion because of Albus' insane restrictions. And when Harry Potter was living in the room next door.

Life was just really unfair at times.

she called wearily, trotting over the couch where Severus had installed himself. She finally tired of hearing Severus bait Harry and had sent her over to his friend's house for the day, which, while cutting down on the number of snide comments heard, left all of Severus' mood fall on her. Sighing, she came up to the lump of blankets and tapped his shoulder. One black eye glared at her in return and she pulled the flannel blanket back to reveal Severus' head. Fever or not, he couldn't possibly be that cold.

He shuddered, and pulled the blanket back over his hair. Do you intend to kill me, Amalthea? For God's sake, turn the bloody heat up!

Amalthea glanced down at her seersucker top and shorts and sighed again. Why, why, why did this happen to her? She'd put the entire contents of vault at Gringott's that if she was ill, Severus would be outside sitting in the paddling pool, sipping a nice fizzy lemonade, not sweating over a pot of chicken soup. He'd probably even wear that blasted Speedo Harry had purchased, just to traumatize her permanently. Damn her philanthropical tendencies.

Do you have any idea how hot it is outside? she asked patiently, wiping her brow clear of perspiration. (The strangest things stayed with you from your childhood. She had a thoroughly bizarre memory of Minerva telling her that ladies perspired).

Severus spat, his hand making a brief appearance to snatch the box she held. Goodness, but his sneezes were violent. Could the man do nothing in moderation?

Take some Muggle medicine, she coaxed him, sinking down onto the arm of the couch. It'll make you feel much better.

Severus, I don't care what you say, your liver will not disintegrate the first time you take some ibuprofen.

And where did you learn this, Sinistra? In between the Seven Sisters and Orion's belt?

She sighed and rubbed her forehead. You're slipping, Severus. You've used that standard insult twice today.

Oh. My apologies. Now go away and leave me the hell alone!

All right, dear, she agreed placidly, standing up. Do you want another glass of water?

Of course I want a glass of water! he snapped. And don't call me dear, for God's sake!

Sorry, honey.

Don't call me that, either! Are you deaf?

No, just too generous.

. . . what's that supposed to mean?

Nothing, nothing. I'll just get you that water, then.

If you'd take a bit longer, I might be dead, and then you wouldn't have to concern yourself with me!

If only, Amalthea muttered as she satisfied herself with banging the glass down on the table. At the rate, she was going to drag Harry over from the Day's and make him take care of Severus, fear of infection be damned. She sighed again and took a rag and bowl of cold water. Taking care of Severus Snape was most definitely not included in this job description.

I could have been an Auror, she groused under her breath. I had the grades. I mean, the whole fear of death and destruction thing aside. . . I wouldn't have had to deal with his sniffles then. I could have . . . I could have done something besides-- I mean, I could have shaved my head and worked at Gringotts. I'm not that much taller than the Goblins. And I'll bet anything they don't have to--

Amalthea! What the hell is wrong with this tellervissie thing?

Did you hit the green button? she called back, surreptitiously tucking a couple of pills in her pockets. At this point, she didn't care if his head exploded because of the Muggle medicine. Anything that would calm him down enough to let her--

Fire two warning shots. . .into his head!

Take his fever down, of course. Perhaps it had been an awful idea to borrow Marie's collection of theatre soundtracks. It was giving her too many ideas.

Of course I did! I'm not colour-blind, although with your medical experience, you might think I am!

she said dryly, marching into the room equipped with the water and pills. Now lie back, please, and show your lovely face to the world. Your fever needs to break, and this is the best way to do it.

The only thing that needs to break--mmph! As he complained, she'd very neatly pulled the blankets off of him, pushed him down with her arm, and poured the water and pills down his throat.

she said sternly, shifting her hand to his mouth. Swallow, now. You won't die, and this will make you feel much better.

Severus glared up at her for a few moments, then swallowed. Nodding slightly, she wrung out the rag with her other hand, albeit a bit awkwardly, and slapped it down on his forehead.

Mmmff mff mffff fffmmm!

Oh, be quiet, Severus. It's not hurting you.

she said grumpily, and shifted her hand on the rag. Now. I'm going to hold you here for a few more moments, and you have to promise me that you will not immediately run to the toilet and induce vomiting, all right?

I'll sit on you and make you take it again if you do that.

Mm, mmm mm.

she said, and sank back down to her heels, pulling her hands off of his skin. Goodness, but your skin is clammy. Severus glared at her, his lip curling in utter disgust. She mentally rolled her eyes. Here went everything.

Thank you, Amalthea. . . he paused for a moment, and she hoped that he might not explode after all. For attempting to murder me with that damnable Muggle excuse for medicine! Do you have any idea what that will do my liver? It'll rot in hell! Do you--

There's no need for obscenity, she said, dignified. Now. This is how you turn on the television. She scooted up on the couch next to him. And I'm not sitting on the floor, no matter how much you glare at me. Next.

Find a decent film, at least, Severus folded his arms and dropped a few of his blankets too the floor.

Keep the cloth on your forehead, Amalthea said absently as she flipped through the channels. I'm not turning the heat on. It's the middle of July.

I'm not watching some Muggle romance, Amalthea, he warned her, settling back to lie against a pile of cushions. If I wanted that, I'd go speak with that poetic cow across the street.

Yes, then it would be interactive, she murmured, clearly not paying too much attention to what he said. Ooh, look, Sense and Sensibility.

What did I say about Muggle romances? Snape cast a deliberate look at the screen, which currently showed a young lady in Regency dress playing the piano forte and singing. This doesn't appear to be anything but.

Oh, come off of it, Severus, it's a classic novel.

Classic, my foot.

No, your foot smells a bit funny. Put your slippers on, please.

. . . shut up.

What a reply, Severus. What a reply. She examined her nails carefully.

You know I hate it when you do that.

And I hate it when you're an utter git, which means that I'm constantly irritated. Who has the worse end?

. . . why is he staring at her?

I don't know. He looks like you, she added innocently, leaning back into a cushion.

The actor! The one playing Colonel Brandon!

Oh, please. Severus sounded utterly disgusted. I have better things to do than prey on teenage girls. He sneezed. She handed him a tissue.

He's not preying on her! He's just. . . staring longingly at her. She sighed a little, playing with a tissue. Not that you would know anything about that.

Severus said disdainfully, taking another sip of water. She frowned and felt his forehead.

Give me that cloth. She dipped it back in the cold water. We need to get your fever down. Don't look at me like that. And for heaven's sake, he's a wonderful man!

Blasted Muggle fantasies, he said snidely as she slapped the cloth back onto his head. Ow! Would it be so difficult to be a little more gentle! I suppose the world ought to thank you for not entering the medical field!

You are so impossible! she snapped back. How on earth do you reconcile poisoning your students if you can't take a bit of pain?

I'm building their characters, he said icily, taking the rag off to examine it.

Since yours is apparently so immune to pain. She tugged the blankets off his shoulders. Good grief, you're soaked in sweat. Why couldn't you have taken the medicine earlier?

I told you-- she was now yanking his shirt up. he ventured nervously.

Do you mind me asking what the hell you are doing?

Trying to seduce you, obviously. She pulled it over his head and rolled her eyes. Getting you clean, you dungeon-dwelling, hygienically ignorant moron.

I am not hygienically ignorant, you starry-eyed twit, he said sulkily. Give me back my shirt.

She snatched the wet rag away from him and wiped off his back Stop acting like a five year old. There. That's all I was going to do. Now stay here, I'm getting you a new shirt.

Yes, Mother, he said sarcastically.

Oh, please, I get enough of that out of Harry. She rummaged in the laundry basket. Here. Come on, arms up.

I can dress myself, you know.

I seriously have doubts at this moment, Severus. She smoothed the collar into place. Now lie back, and if you really hate this film, I'll change it for you. All right?

It's fine, he said, a little uncomfortably as she moved to stand. Why was he suddenly so concerned with needing human contact? And Amalthea, of all people. Next thing he knew, he'd be chatting idly with Potter. I promise not make too many snide remarks.

she said, settling back on the couch, much to his puzzled relief. You need to go to sleep, though. You'll feel better when you wake up.

Yes, yes, he said impatiently. They watched the film together for a few minutes before he spoke again. You know, I think the curly-haired heroine looks like you.

Yes. The vacant expression gave it away.


. . . go to sleep, Severus. She squeezed his shoulder lightly. Maybe you'll have some better insults when you do wake up.

He did, and was quite certain that the blasted Muggle medicine affected his mind, because he could have sworn that his head dropped onto Amalthea's shoulder while he slept, and that she briefly pressed her cheek against his hair before gently pushing him off of her.

Bloody medicine.

And, of course, Amalthea was sneezing her way around the kitchen. Perhaps he'd have to opportunity to jam some down her throat.

. . . not that, of course, he intended to play caretaker for his

At all.

Well. . . .

Perhaps just this once.