A/N: Thanks to Jonelle for serving as my beta on this one. This is a two-shot. Thanks for reading. ~J
Finding My Place
It was during one of those marvellous sunlit days that Harry first experienced the type of care given to family while one was sick.
A sudden storm poured rain down over the Quidditch team as they were playing a pick up game one Friday after classes. Since Harry was Captain, he felt it necessary to send everyone back into the castle while he gathered up all the equipment. Ginny had balked at first about going in with everyone else, but as she despised being wet, she quickly gave in.
Harry trudged up the stairs, leading to the castle doors. Everything about him screamed cold and wet. His clothes were plastered to his frame. His hair dripped water down onto his glasses, making it so he could barely see. Luckily, Ginny was waiting at the entrance and could open the door for him.
"Harry Potter! You're going to get a cold, I know it!" Ginny railed at him while conjuring up a towel to try and dry him off.
"Gin, I don't get sick. I'll be fine," Harry reassured her, recalling all the times he had been sick before Hogwarts. His aunt had never cared for him. For instance, when everyone got chicken pox in his year 3 class, Harry was forced to spend the entire time he had it in his cupboard. There was no baking soda baths or loving hands rubbing calamine lotion on him for his itching. No, Harry didn't get sick anymore or at least, he never showed it as, in his mind, it would accomplish nothing.
Thus, it was a shock to him when he awoke the next morning to a raging fever. After grabbing his glasses off the bedside table, he saw that no one else was in the dorm room, causing Harry to believe that it was breakfast time or later. Harry went to stand up so he could relieve an urgent need, but promptly managed to fall flat on his face. He didn't even have the energy to roll over. The door opened and a face surrounded by long red hair peeped around it.
"Harry! What are you doing on the floor? Aren't you coming to breakfast?" Ginny asked. Getting no response, she scurried across to Harry's side. Reaching down with one hand, she attempted to roll him over, but he was no lightweight. Feeling the heat radiating from his body, she felt of his forehead best she could with him lying on it.
"Harry, you're roasting," she said before pulling out her wand and levitating him up onto his bed.
Feeling himself floating, Harry roused enough to notice it was his girlfriend. "Ginny!" Harry exclaimed as he scrambled to pull his covers up and over him, considering that he was only clad in boxers.
"Potter, really, I have six older brothers. Do you think I don't know what equipment you come with?" Ginny said very matter-of-factly as she conjured up a bowl of water with a cloth. Dipping the cloth, she sat on the side of his bed and then wiped his face, starting with his forehead.
"Ah, that feels good. How did you know how to conjure a bowl of water?" Harry asked.
"Watching Mum, of course. She always did this whenever any one of us kids were sick with a fever," Ginny responded, turning and dipping the cloth that had heated up from contact with Harry's skin back into the lukewarm water. She continued her ministrations with the cloth by heading down his neck and across his chest. The cloth never went below Harry's sheet, which was tucked under his arms about midway up his chest. Harry merely watched Ginny rub the cloth very slowly up and down his arms before starting to repeat the process.
"You know you don't have to do this, right?" Harry queried, even while hoping beyond hope that she would never stop. His skin felt as if it was on fire. Yet, his modesty required him to keep at least the sheet over himself, even though he desperately wanted to kick it off.
"Of course, I have to do this, Harry. It's in the girlfriend handbook under the 'taking care of your man' section. What else am I supposed to do, just leave you? I don't think so. Now, when Ron comes back, I'll ask him to go to the kitchens and get you some soup. Is there anything else you need?" Ginny replied.
"No, I don't think so," Harry answered as his body reminded that he did have one very urgent need. But how did one explain that to their girlfriend of only a few days? Blushing as brightly as a Weasley, Harry muttered, "Gin, there is something." He shifted uncomfortably on the bed.
"Harry, you need to use the loo, don't you?" Ginny guessed. When Harry slowly nodded, she grabbed his sheet and yanked it to the side. Bending down, she slung one of his arms over her shoulder. "Well, come on."
Harry's blush grew even darker as he very slowly ambled towards the bathroom, leaning heavily on his girlfriend. Ginny stopped at the doorway. "This is my stop. Can you make it in by yourself or should I go get Ron?"
"I think I can get it." Harry moved into the room, holding onto the wall. After relieving himself, he leaned heavily against the sink, looking at himself in the mirror. His hair was plastered to his forehead, which at least covered his scar. His skin, which had been turning a light tan from his time out on the Quidditch pitch, was now a pasty white and he wondered how Ginny could even stand to look at him with his puffy eyes and runny nose.
Keeping one hand on the wall and slowly moving back toward the other room, he was surprised to see Ginny waiting for him on the other side of the door.
"Gin, you didn't have to wait for me," Harry stated, running his free hand through his hair, getting his fingers caught in the tangles. "Ow!"
Ginny gently tugged on Harry's hand until his fingers slipped out of their confinement. Wrapping his arm around her shoulder, she helped him manoeuvre back to his bed. Once he was lying down again, he unconsciously lifted her hand to his cheek before dropping a small kiss on her palm and releasing her hand. Rolling over onto his side, he drew his knees up and drifted off to sleep.
Tenderly, Ginny lifted his glasses off his face before folding them and placing them in their customary spot on the table. Drawing the sheet up over him, she tucked it around his still overheated body. The next few minutes were spent fussing over him. She replaced the water in the bowl with fresh and lightly wiped his face and arms, hoping it would draw the fever out of his body.
Laying her hand against his cheek, she murmured, "Oh, Harry, what am I going to do with you? I told you you were going to get sick. Now look at you. My poor boyfriend."
After a few minutes of simply watching him sleep, Ginny decided to slip over to her dorm room to retrieve her History of Magic textbook. The O.W.L. for that class, she knew, would be murder since it was so hard for her to stay awake. She had discovered the best way for her to learn was to simply watch and listen, but Professor Binns made it extremely difficult.
While climbing the stairs back to Harry's room, she was astonished to realize that Hermione had not tried to find her yet that day. Normally, Hermione was after her to 'stick to the schedule' and Ginny knew that spending the day taking care of her sick boyfriend was not on the schedule. Maybe Hermione thought she was already in the library. Well, one could only hope, Ginny thought.
At first, she was puzzled over where she should sit. There were no chairs in the dorm rooms. In the end, she decided to sit on the bed. Harry was facing away from her so hopefully he wouldn't serve as a distraction. She opened her book to start.
After about three-quarters of an hour, her eyelids began to droop. Reading about the Goblin rebellions were just not that conducive to staying awake. Dropping her textbook over the edge of the bed, she slid down to where her body was completely horizontal before allowing her body the rest it craved.
Ron Weasley opened the door to his dorm room to find his sister asleep on his best mate's bed. He did a double take when he realized that his best mate was in the bed too, but at least he was under the sheet whereas Ginny was on top. Why would Ginny be in here sleeping?, Ron wondered. His question was answered when he spotted the History of Magic textbook lying on its side just below Ginny's fingertips. He had to muffle a chuckle. He looked over at Harry in an effort to determine what was up with his best mate.
Hearing Harry's laboured breathing, Ron thought that Harry must have a cold. Confused, Ron stopped to think if Harry had ever had a cold since they had been at Hogwarts. He didn't remember his friend ever being sick. Injured, yes, but sick, no. Nodding to himself, Ron knew that Ginny would take good care of Harry. He was off to the Hospital Wing to get Harry some Pepper-Up Potion.