Summary: Harry, being both incredibly stubborn and slightly ill, is kindly offered a cup of the Weasley's secret remedy tea. He contemplates whether or not to accept it, knowing all too well of the possible consequences of taking something with the Weasley name attached to it. Is there really a reason for his paranoia or is it just a cup of tea?

Disclaimer: None of it belongs to me! This was a fic written for a challenge from Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor LJ community! The characters belong to JKR! I wouldn't dare claim that they were mine. No way!

AN: For those of you who are waiting for an update of Playing the Part and haven't read my live journal for that story (it's at my "homepage" on my personal profile page), I'm really sorry you haven't had one. I know I said I would, but I am delayed by the evil writer's block disease. I swear I'll get it out as soon as possible. I feel absolutely terrible for making you wait, especially when I promised it would be updated by now. SORRY!

ANYWAY, I wrote this short fic shortly before going to Chicago. It was for a challenge that I honestly wasn't sure I was going to participate in. I wasn't sure if I could manage to write something on demand, but this one was pretty fun to write. I'm not sure how it turned out. I don't think it's that great. ::shrug:: It's very, very, very faint Harry/Ginny. BARELY. I've never written anything with recent characters before, so it's definitely something new to me. Hope you like it!

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Just a Cup of Tea

By: Shrk-bait

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A peaceful aura surrounded the nearly abandoned Gryffindor Common room. Rays of faint sunlight shone through the windows, casting the shadow of a young girl across the room.

She paused, tilting her head slightly and allowing the warmth of the sun to stroke her freckled skin. She caught herself wondering why she continued to remain indoors when all the somewhat sane people were enjoying the perfection of the day.

"Ginny! What are you doing here?" a stifled voice coughed out, immediately sending her head spinning back to reality.

Turning around, she noticed the pale wizard sitting languidly upon a plush armchair clutching a snug woolen blanket around his body. Her lips parted into a sympathetic smile.

"Hey Harry! Ron and Hermione said you had a sore throat and didn't feel like going to the Hospital Wing. I didn't really have anything to do, so I figured I would see how you were doing. And bring you a cup of tea." She stammered nervously, holding out a small porcelain mug.

"You didn't have to," He croaked, straightening up and pushing his glasses further up the bridge of his nose. "But thanks."

"No problem! It was nothing." She grinned, carefully handing him the cup so the steaming liquid wouldn't spill. "Oh, by the way, Fred and George hope you get well too."

Harry froze, the rim nearly touching his lips.

"Fred and George Weasley? When did this happen?" he inquired urgently, cautiously moving it further away from his mouth.

"Huh? Just after they gave me the recipe." she explained innocently, completely oblivious to the spark of fear flashing in Harry's deep emerald orbs. "It's a secret Weasley remedy, you know."

"Erm . . . Ginny? Not to be rude, but do you know who your brothers are?"

"Yes, of course I know who they are. I live with them, for goodness sake." She snapped irritably, seeing as how Harry had quickly placed her tea upon the table next to him.

"And do you know that they have a tendency to add certain bothersome ingredients to edibles. Certain bothersome ingredients that tend to have incredibly bothersome side effects?" he stressed, struggling to maintain a sense of politeness as well as push the tea as far away as possible.

"You're beginning to sound like Percy. Aren't you willing to take some risks?"

"With those two? I'll pass. I saw first-hand what happens when someone eats anything from the pockets of those two. You recall the whole Ton-tongue taffy incident with the Dursleys, don't you?" he pointed out, occasionally glancing over at the cup, as if it was highly likely that something would rise from the steam and attack him.

"I'm not completely daft, Harry. That's why I tried it before I even thought to offer it to you!" she insisted, hands rested defiantly on her hips.

Her eyes glinted with annoyance.

Does he honestly think I'm going to let Fred and George poison him? Geesh, she thought to herself. He really is dense.

"Oh." Harry grinned sheepishly, feeling amazingly embarrassed for being so wary of a simple cup of tea. "In that case, I apologize."

"I accept your apology." She nodded, but not before pausing for a moment to think about it.

He quickly reached for the cup and placed it to his lips, tipping it back slightly and letting the burning liquid touch the tip of his tongue.

Harry's glasses fogged up from the steam rising out of the cup. With a bit of reluctance, he tilted it his head up a little and let the tea slide down his throat.

Ginny surveyed him expectantly, anxiously awaiting his reaction to her draft.

It was soothing. Ginny had flavored it with a hint of lemon and honey – just how he liked it. The fluid washed over him, clearing his head and coating his throat with sweetness. Feeling no abnormal changes in anatomy, he exhaled deeply. What a relief.

"Wow. That's really good, Ginny." He announced, taking yet another sip.

"See? I told you so."

"You're right. I should've never doubted you."

They chuckled, enjoying the comfort of the cozy room and the faint aroma of Ginny's freshly brewed concoction.

"GINNY! Justin got pulled in the lake! It's hilarious. Get down here!" a distant voice cried from the window.

Ginny curiously ambled over to the window and saw her friends waving at her from the edge of the water. She giggled, noticing a dripping wet boy sitting upon a rock and wringing out his soaked socks grumpily.

"Go ahead, Ginny." Harry motioned for her to leave. "You've done more than enough by keeping me company and making me a great cup of tea."

"Okay! Thanks Harry! Hope you feel better!" she waved, disappearing through the portrait hole.

Once again, Harry was enveloped in a tranquil silence. He flipped through his weathered Quidditch through the Ages book and occasionally took a swallow of the warm liquid.

"How's it going, Harry? Still feeling horrid?" Fred asked, suddenly appearing through the portrait hole.

"Yeah, Harry. How's that tea?" George questioned, following his brother through the doorway.

"It's great! You Weasleys sure know how to brew a decent cup of tea." Harry responded, smiling gratefully.

Fred and George inconspicuously shot each other mischievous glances and chortled. Harry joined in despite the fact that he was clearly unaware of the twins' source of amusement.

"You know what? When I heard that Ginny got the recipe from you two, I actually thought you might've been trying to trick me!" he guffawed, his comment only causing more hearty laughter from the Weasley boys.

"That's preposterous!" Fred declared in between chuckles. "We would never do something like that!"

"You really need to learn to trust people, Harry." George suggested, straining to maintain solemnity.

"After all, it's just a cup of tea." They explained simultaneously, identical Cheshire cat grins painted on their faces.

With that, the boys bid farewell to Harry and scampered up the winding staircase to the boys dormitories. Once they had confirmed that the door was firmly shut, they burst out into peals of hysterical hyena-like laughter.

"How d'you think he'll react when he sees his reflection in the mirror?" George asked, gasping for breath and banging the mattress of his bed excitedly.

"I don't know. D'you think we should've mentioned to Ginny that that tea was for Weasleys only?" Fred shook with hilarity. "That Mum gives it to Dad when he's beginning to show a bit too much gray hair than she fancies?"

There was a brief moment of silence when contemplation crossed the faces of the two troublemakers. It disappeared in an instant.

"Naw!" They chorused boisterously, resuming their carefree snickering and giving each other congratulatory slaps on the back.

Back in the common room, Harry glanced at the ceiling, hearing the faded sound of amusement from the dormitory. He shrugged it off, reasoning that Fred and George were just being their normal, unpredictable selves and had found some form of entertainment to occupy themselves. After all, they always did.

Completely unbeknownst to the Weasley's joke, he continued to leaf through the pages of his book and take tiny sips of tea – his hair bright red.

In the pit of his stomach, Harry could almost swear that he felt just a bit different. He couldn't quite place his finger on it. He snuck a glimpse at his hands and body. Noting nothing out of the ordinary, he pushed his thoughts to the back corner of his mind, thinking of just how silly he was for being so paranoid.

I must be imagining things, he mulled. After all, it was just a cup of tea.

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THE END

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AN: So there it is! It's my first one-shot, so technically it's my first completed fic. WOOHOO! Anyway, let me know what you thought of it. I really appreciate any comments you might have to offer me. Please REVIEW!