In Sickness and In Health
By Elizabeth Bathory
DISCLAIMER: The characters from Harry Potter belong to J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury Publishing, Scholastic Inc., Warner Bros., etc... By no way is this work being used for profit.
One frigid and cloudy February morning, Lily Potter found it impossible to sleep. She tossed and turned but still found it impossible to fall back to sleep. One reason for the restlessness was that she was now four months pregnant with hers and James' first child and it was starting to show and the baby liked to get up early. The other reason was lying next to her. Her dear husband, James, could be the sweetest man in the world at times but this morning, he was snoring like he had swallowed a lion and no amount of nudging could shut him up.
Lily slowly got out of bed and readjusted the blanket over James as she headed into the bathroom to take a shower and dress. She took a long, relaxing shower and let the scents of lavender and chamomile put her at peace after the bad night. When she had finished and was getting dressed, Lily swore she heard some pretty harsh coughs coming from the bedroom. She brushed it off at first and attributed it to James clearing his throat.
But when the coughing came again, with a distinct congested sound, Lily became more concerned and went into the bathroom to check on James. She quietly crept back into the bedroom, just in case James had fallen back to sleep. When Lily saw him, she grew even more worried as she moved to her husband's side.
James was lying on his side with the blankets pulled up to his ears, and despite being in the cocoon, he was shivering. His cheeks were flushed with a fever but his skin was clammy with sweat and his nose was tinged with pink.
Lily knelt down by his head and pushed his bangs off of his forehead with a gentle hand as she checked his temperature. When he felt her hand on his face, James forced himself to open his bleary eyes.
"I don't feel so hot…" he whispered in a scratchy voice, wincing from a sore throat as he spoke.
Lily kissed James' cheek tenderly as she tucked the blankets around him. "I'll tell Remus to let work know you won't be in today," she told him quietly. "Go back to sleep for now. I'll take care of you."
James had closed his eyes even before Lily had finished speaking and was soon snoring again as Lily headed downstairs to the fireplace to call Remus, the more responsible of the Marauders. If she had called Sirius, not only would the message never reach James' boss, but she would need a translator for early morning Padfoot speech.
"Remus, I need to talk to you for a minute," Lily called into the flames.
As she waited for Remus' head to pop up in the flames, she could have sworn she heard him curse loudly and trip over a few things as he made his way to the fireplace.
"What do you need, Lily?" Remus asked politely when his head finally popped into the fireplace, wiping off the shaving cream with a towel.
Lily tried hard not to laugh at the embarrassment on Remus' face. "James is ill…just a cold…but he's not coming to work today. Could you please tell them for him?"
"Sure, not a problem. I'll tell Sirius too. He'll probably want to see how Prongs is doing later."
"Thank you Remus. I'll let you finish now," Lily stated through a few giggles as Remus vanished. Then she had another order of business which she did not inform James of…calling a doctor. James hated doctors with a passion and would have thrown a fit if he knew Lily had called one in advance.
When the doctor arrived a few hours later, James was still sound asleep and Lily hated to wake him, however necessary it was. The exam was quick because James was only half-awake so he didn't protest.
"Well, Mrs. Potter, your husband has nothing more than a severe cold. Just keep him in bed, have him drink plenty of fluids and he should be up and around in a few days."
Lily thanked him and paid the doctor as she showed him out. After the doctor had left, she went back upstairs with a glass of orange juice and a box of tissues. When she walked into the bedroom she could tell James was awake even though his eyes were shut.
"You know I don' like dossers," James stated, his words slurred from his stuffed nose.
"I was worried about you because I love you," Lily replied, defending her actions. "Now, here are your tissues and your juice. If you need anything, just call me, sweetie," she told him as she gently kissed James' cheek and left him to rest.
Now when Lily said 'call me for anything,' she had not realized the implications of those words when it dealt with a sick man. Around lunchtime…it all began.
Lily had just settled on the couch with one of her baby books when James called from the bedroom.
"Lily, can I have sub more juice?"
"I'll be right there, James."
She got up off the couch and ran upstairs with another full glass of juice for him. James seemed to look so grateful for it when she set the glass on the nightstand.
"Are you hungry, sweetie?" she asked as she set the glass down and emptied the waste basket of the used tissues with her wand.
"A li'l bit."
"How about some chicken soup?" Lily asked, seeing that it sparked James' interest. She went back down stairs and whipped up two bowls of soup with her wand, one for her and one for James and then took James' back upstairs for him.
After lunch, Lily tried to go back to her book when James called again.
"Lily, I deed more tissues."
Lily called back saying she would be right up in a few moments. She went upstairs again and gave him a new box of tissues and emptied the trash can next to his bed again.
The hours went by and James' calls were getting more and more frequent.
can I have sub tea?"
"Lily, I deed more cough drops."
"Lily, the tissues are overflowing."
"Lily, I'm cold. Can I have anofer blanket?"
Each time, Lily had run up the stairs with what James needed and then she had come back down. She had barely a chance to sit down before he called again. After the fiftieth time that James had called within two hours, Lily had gotten completely fed up. She grabbed his wand and made the trek up the stairs once more.
Despite how pathetic James looked in bed, Lily was going to let him have it.
"James, enough!" she said sternly as she tossed his wand at him. "There's your wand. The next time you need something, charm it up or transfigure it yourself."
James flinched at the clearly angry tone in his wife's voice.
"For now, go to sleep. You need rest and you have been up all day," Lily continued as she let her tone soften a bit. "Now, if you need something that you can't get with your wand…call me." And with that, Lily left the room.
As the hours went by, Lily had gotten a lot done around the house without James calling her every five minutes but deep down she felt terrible for yelling at him when he was sick. She promised herself that she would make it up to him later. Now that everything was quiet and boredom was setting in, Lily was being lulled to sleep by the silence.
All this time, James had been laying upstairs feeling terrible. He hadn't meant to upset Lily but he had only called her up so much so he could see her. Now, he was tired and could not sleep because he was so lonely. He decided to take a chance on one thing.
"Lily, could you come up here please?" he called out.
Lily was roused from her light sleep by James' voice. It startled her slightly since she had not heard it in a few hours.
"What do you need, James?" she called back so she could bring it with her to avoid several trips.
That one word broke Lily's heart and she felt even worse than before. She quickly ran up the stairs and into their bedroom where she promptly hugged her husband tightly.
"I am so sorry, sweetie. I didn't mean to be so harsh before," Lily cried out in desperation.
James simply nudged her cheek with his nose to get her to lift her face. Once her beautiful eyes were joined with his in a loving gaze, he kissed her cheek softly and motioned for her to lie next to him in the bed.
Lily smiled and laid down next to James and held him as he finally fell asleep and they both recovered.