Astonishings

By myStiCaLYia

A/N: First one-shot since I deleted all my stories. I'm sorry that I had to do it, but I really have no choice…I no longer have the time to update and finish them. I'm really, really sorry! Enjoy this…

*

This was Ron's first cold in a year. He supposed that not having a cold all year round meant that when he was blessed with one it was going to be a very serious one. And it was.

His throat hurt, his joints ached whenever he tried to move, his face felt as though it were on fire, and his nose just wouldn't clear up long enough for him to breath in air.

Needless to say, most of the morning was spent cursing and clawing at his nose.

Harry had taken one look at him that morning and had run straight to Madam Pomfrey. Sometimes, it was good to have a worrywart as a best friend.

Madam Pomfrey had sent up some Pepper Up Potion with Harry. Ron had taken it unwillingly, and had ceased to cough and groan with pain.

For two minutes.

The Potion had no effect whatsoever.

The only thing it did was leave a very disgruntled, very angry, and very cussy Ron in bed, his flaming red hair matching his flaming red skin.

Harry had not known what to do. All the other boys in his dorm, four seventeen-year-olds, crowded around his bed, murmuring amongst themselves, hissing suggestions that Ron didn't particularly like to listen to.

"We should get McGonagall."

"How will that solve anything? She's just going to get Pomfrey. We know Pepper Up Potion doesn't work."

"Nick some soup from the kitchens?"

"Have you forgotten Filch in the hallways? Wouldn't work."

"Why don't we just go get Pomfrey and ask her to make him something else?"

"He looks bad."

"No shit, Neville."

"Damn good thing it's Monday, eh, Ron? No classes today."

"Shut up." Ron's voice was scratchy and hoarse. It hurt to talk.

"I still say we get Pomfrey."

"I don't. She'll just bring up dozens more horrible potions."

"Potions that'll help him, you know."

"No, they won't. The Pepper Up didn't work, did it?"

"Should we get Dumbledore?"

"Ron ain't dying, why get him?"

"Well, you wouldn't get anybody else."

"Pomfrey?"

"Already been ruled out, Dean, keep up."

"Flitwick?"

"He teaches Charms, for crying out loud!"

"Snape?"

"Snape?!"

A shrug. "Worth a try."

Ron laughed hollowly. "He'd sooner see me packed off in a coffin than give me a potion to heal my cold."

"Ron, mate, I don't think that's a cold."

"Well, whatever it is, Snape'd rather see me die of it than give me a cure."

"Guys, should we get Hermione?"

A tentative silence.

"Good idea." Seamus nodded, thoughtful. "She'd know what to do."

Ron nearly choked on his saliva. "Um…I don't think so…"

"Why not?" Harry asked curiously. "She practically memorized that medical book she took out. She'd be able to help."

"No."

"Ron…"

"NO."

"Why?!"

"I'm sick!"

"So? Doesn't mean she's not going to help you. She's your best friend."

"I…don't want to get her sick."

"Nice excuse, Ron."

"Shut it, Thomas."

"I'm going to get Hermione." Harry announced. He stood up, grabbed his cloak, and left the room briskly.

"Great. You'll be okay, mate, I'm gonna get meself some breakfast. I'll bring you up something later too, if you want." Seamus patted Ron's shoulder, handed him a handkerchief as Ron sneezed loudly and painfully.

"That sneeze didn't sound too good, Ron." Hermione's bossy voice filled the room. Ron was instantly glad that Harry had fetched her.

"Well, um, since Hermione's here, I think I'll go get some food too." Neville edged to the door, "I have to finish my Potions essay." He scampered out.

Hermione sat down on Ron's bed, much closer than he would've liked. "I'm fine, Hermione, quit worrying."

"You're burning up." She said. She had Harry bring her a small basin of cool water, and she put a cold damp cloth on Ron's forehead.

"You can go down to breakfast, Harry. Ron's fine. I can cool down this fever in a minute."

Harry nodded. "All right. See you soon, Ron. I'll bring you something back up."

"How is it that Madame Pomfrey couldn't give me something?"

"Because Madam Pomfrey has never seen a Muggle disease like this before."

"You mean this is Muggle?"

"It's pneumonia."

"What's that?"

"A Muggle disease. I had it before."

"Does it make you feel bad?"

"Do you feel good?"

"No."

"Then stop asking stupid questions." Hermione rolled up her sleeves and pulled out something from her dressing gown. "Here, take this along with this water."

Ron drew back. "What is it?"

"It's a Tylenol."

"What's a Tayloneel?"

"A Tylenol, Ron. It's medicine for curing pneumonia. I brought it with me just in case we ever get sick."

"Does it taste bad?"

"It's got no taste."

"What's the point of me eating it then?"

"To make you feel better, Ron." Hermione gave him a look that said, You're an idiot.

Ron took the little oval thing in his hand and popped it in his mouth.

He chewed.

He sputtered.

He spat the godforsaken thing back out and it landed in a little clumpy mess on Hermione's lap.

She screeched. "Roon! That was supposed to help you!" She pointed her wand it and the mess vanished. "I'm going to give you another one, this time, don't chew. Swallow it with water."

"Swallow it?"

"Yes."

Ron sighed, took another tiny capsule, placed it in his mouth, and took a big gulp of the water Hermione offered him.

He swallowed and nearly choked to death swallowing it down.

"There now. That wasn't so bad." She stood up, brushed herself off as if she'd been sitting in dirt, and gathered up the things. "Okay, I'll leave you to rest. You probably won't be able to go to classes today. I'll get your assignments and notes to you. Harry's got tons of papers to write, so I don't think you should bug him." That last sentence was unnecessary. Ron knew how hard Harry was taking the idea of NEWT's in June.

Hermione flashed him a bright smile before leaving. "Rest good Ron, I'll get some food sent up to you."

Ron nodded and his stomach churned a bit at the smile she gave him. "Thank you for the Tayloneel, Hermione. I feel okay now."

"Tylenol, Ron."

"Whatever." He felt his eyes start to droop. Maybe that Tayloneel is supposed to make him sleepy, and then cure him of whatever he had during his sleep. Hermione sure seemed confident that he wouldn't die.

He heard the door close and knew that Hermione had left. Sighing, he flipped over to his side and fell asleep in mintues.

*

Somebody was shaking him rather rudely. "Mr. Wheezy, Mr. Wheezy, sir!"

"What's a Wheezy?" he muttered groggily.

"Mr. Wheezy, sir, Dobby has your meal!"

"What the hell do you want?"'

"Miss Hermy said to bring you your meal, Mr. Wheezy, sir!"

"What time is it?"

"Half past noon, sir!"

Ron sat up sleepily. What was in that Tayloneel?

"Thanks, err… Dobby." It took him a moment to recognize Dobby. It's been two years since he last saw the elf.

"You're very welcome, Mr. Wheezy!" Dobby grinned from ear to ear. "The miss said to make sure you eat ever last bit, sir!"

"Right. Okay. You may tell her that I appreciate her bossiness."

In truth, Ron really did. He was really grateful that Hermione was his friend and was helping him when he was sick.

He glanced down at what Hermione had told Dobby to prepare. Warm porridge, bread, a few slices of white cheese, and a glass of apple juice. Wasn't that bad a meal. It made him wish he could be down in the Great Hall eating a more delicious lunch, though. He ate ever last bite, just like Hermione had wanted, and felt the hotness of the porridge warming him up, the bread and cheese waking him, and the apple juice was quenching his thirst. He wiped his mouth on his napkin, and smiled at Dobby. "Thanks for bringing it here, Dobby. Anything else?"

"No sir! The miss said for you to go to sleep after you're done."

"All right. Tell her I'm grateful."

"Dobby will, sir!" The elf took the tray with the dirty dishes, bowed low, and left the room, humming to himself.

*

Ron slept until about three in the afternoon. He woke up to hear Hermione entering his room with Harry in tow.

"Hey, Ron. How're you feeling?"

"My throat still hurts." He mumbled.

"Well, yeah, you've got pneumonia." Harry patted Ron's shoulder. "You'll be out of it for a few days, at least. When I got pneumonia, I stayed home for a week."

"A week?!" If Ron missed that much school, Professor McGonagall was going to have a hairy hissy fit when he got back and confessed that he knew none of the spells that had been taught in his absence.

Hermione was pulling a thick stack of paper out of her bookbag. She dropped them on Ron's lap. "Here. I took your notes for you as well."

"I helped." Harry added.

"I have to go tutor now. Harry will be in the common room. If you need anything, let him know. I'll leave another Tylenol here by your bed and a glass of water. You should take it around four." Hermione told him, fishing a small pill out of her pocket and putting it on his bedside table.

"Okay. Thank you, Hermione." Ron settled back into his pillows. Harry grinned at him, picked up his books, and left the room, leaving him with Hermione.

She was frowning at him.

"What?" He asked.

"You should really get started on learning those spells. You won't be sick forever, Ron, and the things we learned were kind of hard."

He sighed. "Fine, all right. Seeing as you won't leave me alone any other way, I'll study. Happy now?"

Hermione snorted. She hoisted her bag over her shoulder, gave him a not-so-merry wave, and left, closing his door behind her.

Ron sighed again and glanced down at the notes in his hand.

It was Transfiguration. Hermione's small, neat handwriting stared up at him. He read the first line: Horned toads' location: South Africa; diet: small animals residing in nearby ponds, such as fish, squirrels, birds, etc.

Wow. He actually understood that. He'd never be able to understand it if he'd been the one to take notes. The neat handwriting was not at all rushed. It was even, organized, and it told the reader immediately what he desired to know.

Suddenly, Ron felt a great wave of gratitude for Hermione. How long had she taken to take all these notes? He glanced down at the stack of papers. Most of them were written in her writing, never once rushed or messy. Notes from Herbology, Potions, Charms, even Divination. So that meant Hermione had actually visited Trelawny and Firenze and asked for assignments and notes for Ron. He knew sure as hell that if he'd asked other girls like Parvati Patil to do the same for him, to go around the school getting assignments for him while he was in bed sick was going to be like trying to persuade a whale to walk on land.

Hermione was different.

Ron felt the surge of gratitude again. She'd gone to the teachers. Asked them for his assignments. Sat down and took his notes for him. Taken care of him.

Hermione…

His mind was at a loss. Why had Hermione done this? They were friends, yes, and this was obviously what friends would do for each other, and he would very willingly do the same for her had she been the one sick in bed. But…

He was friends with Parvati too. Parvati would not do something like that for him. She would probably get the assignments for him, but she would not have taken notes for him as well. She would probably have just given him the homework and then told him to find somebody else to copy the notes off of.

"Girls are so weird to figure out." He said aloud.

"Tell me about it." His mirror in the corner drawled. "You will not believe how many times I've heard that, darling. Don't worry, I've seen the likes of this one. She's nice."

"Nobody asked you." Ron grunted, sinking deeper into his pillows

"That's what they said to me too, all the time. But believe me, I was the one all of them came to for help with the girls. So can I help you?"

"You're a big gossip."

"Sorry about that."

"Nah, it's all right." Ron sighed. "I'm so in debt to her, you know?" He waved the stack of notes and assignments at him."

"She took care of you. You look great. Better than this morning anyway. If you don't mind me saying so, but you looked pretty much like crap this morning." The mirror chuckled, and it swayed back and forth on its hinges. "So, yes, I'd say you are."

"She's the best."

"Wouldn't hurt letting her know that fact once in a while, you know."

"How?"

"'You're the best' sounds good." The mirror prodded.

"Right. I'll let you know when she laughs her teeth out." Ron gave a scowl. He picked up the little Tayloneel and plunked it in his mouth. Taking a long drink, he swallowed with difficulty and gulped it down.

"She won't laugh. Better get started on that homework. She's finished tutoring in fifteen minutes. I'll give my right leg to bet that she'll come up here and ask you how you're doing."

"I don't want to bet that."

"You know you'll lose, right? Okay, I won't push. Get on with those notes."

Ron looked down at the notes, pushing himself up to a more comfortable sitting position, and flipped over one of the sides of the notes. They made it all seem so easy. Maybe that was why she always did well. Her notes were so organized; it would make it hard for a retard to fail.

Fifteen minutes later, when Ron had finished his Potions homework and was starting on the Charms notes, Hermione opened the door and came in.

"Ron! Good, you're working. I brought you some cookies." She handed him a small basket. "Those're from Flitwick. He heard you were sick. I forgot to give them to you before, sorry."

"It's okay." Ron took the basket, lifted the cloth covering it, and out wafted the smell of freshly baked mice cakes. He took one, and offered another one to Hermione. She shook her head.

"I'm not big on eating magical snacks." She reminded him, and Ron remembered. Hermione barely ate any magical sweets besides Chocolate Frogs, and even eating one for her was a rare.

"Oh, sorry, that's right." He apologized. Hermione smiled. "Are you feeling better now?"

"Loads better." He nodded. "Thanks for taking care of me, Hermione. Where's Harry?"

"Still down in the common room, working on his Potions essay. He refused help." She looked proud at this, and Ron chuckled inside. After letting them copy for six years, he knew she thought it was high time they did their work by themselves.

"You sure you don't want one?" he offered her another one as he finished his first. She shook her head, her brown curls bouncing. "Very sure, but thanks. I don't like magical sweets."

He chewed thoughtfully, every once in a while staring at Hermione, who was checking Ron's answers to make sure they were right. The mirror's words rang in his head. Wouldn't hurt letting her know that fact once in a while, you know.

Okay.

"Hermione."

"Hmm?" She looked up from his paper. "Yeah? Do you need something?"

"No…"

"What, then?"

"Hermione, you're the best."

Her eyes widened. Then she grinned happily. The mirror chortled, and Ron felt cured already.

END

A/N: Did you like it? It was one of my rare one-shots. I suck at one-shots, so…*shrugs* I suck at chapter stories more, LOL. Okay, anyway, REVIEW!! FEEDBACK!!! I really want to know if I should keep going with more one-shots! *curtsies a thank you*