AN: This is a silly little one-shot that I wrote when I was bored and decided writing was more fun then homework. I hope you enjoy it. And of course, JK Rowling owns Harry Potter, not me.
When Minerva awoke, there was sunlight streaming in from the large windows in her bedroom. Her personal house elf, Hera, was standing beside her bed.
"Lady McGonagall, it is time for you to get up, it is almost noon," the elf said respectfully.
"Thank you, Hera. Is everything packed?" she questioned as she stood up and stretched.
"Yes, Lady. Everything is ready for when you leave this evening. Bless you," the little elf answered as Minerva sneezed twice. Should I have breakfast waiting for you downstairs?"
"No, I am not hungry. Dismissed," Minerva told her, distractedly.
'I wonder why my head is pounding and I can't stop sneezing! The only thing I have energy for today is reading,' the Deputy Headmistress thought to herself as she changed into casual everyday robes.
'It can not possibly be morning," Severus thought to himself as his wand vibrated violently from where it sat on his work bench. He had stayed up the previous night brewing and had completely lost track of time.
'Its not supposed to be cold in the summer," he growled to the air as he walked through his quarters to freshen up.
"Master, what would you like for breakfast?" his personal elf, Hamlet, asked him as he sat down at his desk to begin paperwork for the upcoming school year.
"Nothing," Severus answered without ever looking up from his paperwork. The elf did not immediately leave and just about it the time he was about to pop away, Severus requested, "But a cup of tea would be delightful."
"Certainly, Master," the strangely dressed elf bowed and popped away.
When his tea arrived, Severus drank it greedily to in a vain attempt to warm himself. When this tactic failed, he summoned himself a Pepper-Up from his personal medicine cabinet.
He swore to himself as steam poured out of his ears but was satisfied when he felt a tad bit warmer.
Eventually he gave up on his paperwork and curled up in his favorite arm chair by a roaring fire – despite the fact that it was the middle of August. He sneezed a couple of times before reading.
"Master, what will you be having for lunch?" Hamlet startled him from the Potions Journal he had engrossed himself in.
"Nothing, thank you," Severus answered as he turned a page.
"Master, it is not healthy to be missing meals like this," Hamlet gave him the usual lecture but as usual, Severus ignored it.
"Dismissed, Hamlet," he growled. The little elf scowled at him before popping away.
In addition to being chilly, Severus' head was aching and he knew he was probably becoming sick. But there as no need for any one else to know that.
Minerva did not move from her chair all day but still she felt steadily worse. Hera, every diligent in her duties, kept her constantly supplied with tissues but also kept giving her Mistress worried glances.
"Thank you, Hera," came a mumbled reply to the fifth tissue Hera had given her in the past ten minutes.
"Lady, if I might make a suggestion?"
"Go ahead," Minerva looked up curiously from her book.
"You should take a Pepper-Up potion, Lady. It might help you stop sneezing," the elf motherly suggested.
"Good idea," the Transfiguration teacher answered and a few seconds later steam was pouring out of her ears. A minute later, she was breathing a bit easier and the sneezing fit had stopped – for now.
"It is already 6 in the evening, Lady. Would you like me to prepare a quick dinner before you return to Hogwarts?"
"Chicken broth would be fine," Minerva smiled at the little elf before standing. Quickly, she grabbed the back of her arm chair to steady herself, since she got dizzy from standing up too quickly. She magically changed her casual robes into her standard teaching robes and hope that none of her colleagues would notice that she was slightly under the weather.
Once her small meal was finished, Minerva looked around her ancestral home sadly. She loved spending her precious time off here in the beautiful hills of Scotland.
Minerva called the head elf of the Manor one last time before Apparating to the gates and beginning the long walk up to the castle. There was a Heads of House meeting at 7:30 which she had to get to.
"Master, it is time for your Heads of House meeting," Hamlet appeared once more at 7:15.
"I thought I told you to leave me alone," he scowled from over his journal.
"You did, Master. However, you also told me to remind you of the meeting," the elf was very accustomed to his Master's moods.
"Very well. Thank you," Severus answered grudgingly. After a couple of wet sneezes, he got up from his chair and began the walk up to the Headmaster's office.
"Evening, Severus," Minerva greeted him cordially before sneezing a couple of times into a tartan hankerchief.
"Evening, Minerva. And bless," he answered. She was just walking in through the entrance doors as he emerged from the dungeons, "Did you enjoy your time at your family's home?"
"Thank you and yes it was wonderful. What did you do with your month off?"
"I mostly worked on research for some new potions," he explained before sneezing himself.
"Bless. Do you think Albus will keep us a long time tonight?"
"It depends how many plans he has to explain," Severus grumbled slightly as he held the door open for her. Sitting inside the room were the Headmaster, Filius, Pomona and Poppy.
"Ah, Minerva and Severus! We were just getting worried," the Headmaster greeted with a twinkle in his eye. He conjured them both cups of tea and the meeting got underway.
Three hours later, Minerva yawned before bidding the Headmaster a good night and leaving the office. Severus followed a few seconds later.
"That was a long meeting," the lioness scowled at her clock, before stowing it in her robes.
"That it was," Severus came up behind her but his normally silky baritone was slightly hoarse.
"You sound a bit under the weather, Severus. Been taking care of yourself lately?" Minerva half teased and half seriously asked.
"I am not the one who sneezed thirty six times during the meeting," he retorted.
"No, you only sneezed twenty times," she shot back.
Severus was about to give a witty comeback but ended up in a coughing fit instead.
"Are you sure you are alright?" Minerva asked in a concerned voice. However, she began a sneezing fit a few seconds later. Poppy was rounding the corner then and found both of them.
The Healer raised her eyebrow at the two of them and then stood, hands on her hips, until both had regained control.
"Explanations? Do hope you enjoyed your summers."
"Well, Poppy, there was some dust that we came across and it tickled my sinuses. It must have affected Severus as well," Minerva answered, while Severus merely scowled.
"Huh. I didn't see any dust in the Headmaster's office and you sneezed repeatedly in there," Poppy was very suspicious of this story.
"Well, regardless if Minerva is hiding a cold or is allergic to the hallway, she should be getting back to her quarters. As should I, so excuse us," Severus tried his own attempt to weasel them out of it.
"Not so fast. You are both overdue for the yearly staff check up and I see no reason not to get it over with right now. It will only take but a minute," Poppy stood her position as she led both of them to the Hospital Wing.
"Sit!" she ordered as she pointed to two adjacent beds.
"Poppy, do we really have to do this now? Its almost eleven at night!" Minerva protested, she just really wanted to sleep. Her argument did not go well with Poppy, however, as she sneezed violently.
"You wouldn't want to deprive the professors of this school a good night's rest," Severus added.
"So sleep here, I don't care," Poppy retorted as she summoned their charts, "Besides, the scan with only take a few minutes."
Minerva looked crossly at her good friend but decided to keep her mouth shut. When it appeared that Poppy wanted to scan Severus first, Minerva decided that it wouldn't hurt to rest her aching head on the pillow for a few minutes.
"Minerva?" Poppy's voice gently floated over to her.
"Should I scan you first since you are apparently so tired you can't even resist lying down?"
"Whatever," Minerva mumbled tiredly and rubbed her forehead slightly.
The Healer glanced over at Severus whom was extremely pale and looking like he also wanted to lie down but his dignity prevented it.
"I am going to scan Severus first, rest for a few minutes," the Healer whispered to the Transfiguration professor.
"Severus?" Poppy questioned when she got over to his bed. His eyes were closed and he was swaying ever so slightly.
"Yes, Poppy?" his eyes fluttered open.
"I am going to run your scan now," Poppy explained as she picked up his wrist to take his pulse. He merely nodded. Next, she magically cast a diagnostic charm.
"I would like you to spend the night here, please," the Healer told him, after she had read the results of the charm.
"For what reason?" he sneered at the mere suggestion.
"You have a bad cold and sleep deprived. If you don't take care yourself now, it could easily develop into something much more serious so you will be staying here tonight," she finished in a stern voice as she thrust pjamas at him.
He scowled at her but was too tired to protest further – a testament to how ill he must have felt. She pulled the curtain around him before going back to Minerva.
"Are you awake, Minnie?" the Healer whispered.
"Minnie, sit up for a moment, please," Poppy told her barely awake friend as she offered her hand to pull the other witch up.
"Why?" Minerva accepted the hand and pulled herself into a sitting position.
"Are you dizzy?" Poppy questioned as she took her pulse.
"Yes, quite a bit actually. But how did you know that?"
"Its my job to know that. You can lie down again."
"Why did I have to sit up? You could have taken my pulse lying down," Minerva complained as she felt the magic of the diagnostic charm sweep through her.
"I needed to know if you were dizzy or not when you sat up. How long have you been dizzy?"
"The first time was this evening," the Transfiguration professor whispered, not wanting Severus to overhear.
"I'm afraid you have developed a sinus infection. You are going to be staying here for at least tonight," Poppy sighed and transfigured her friend's robes into pjamas. Then, she helped the other witch crawl under the covers before summoning a couple of different potions.
"Is Severus sick too?" Minerva glared at the potions but drank them nevertheless.
"Yes, he is. So never fear, you will have someone to debate Quidditch with tomorrow. Sleep well." Poppy gently said as her friend drifted off to sleep.
"Severus?" the Healer called when she reached the curtains surrounding his bed.
"Did you already try taking Pepper-Up?"
"Yes, but it was early this morning," he told her. She appeared thoughtful for a couple of moments.
"Well, I don't have much for a cold besides a Pepper-Up. I guess you will just have to use the tried and true sleep and fluids method," she explained, "But never fear, Minerva will be keeping you company tonight."
He appeared surprised for a moment before retorting, "So you will have someone else to fuss over, which means that I will have half of the usual annoyance. Good Night, Poppy."
AN: Thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think!