Author's Note: I'm really sorry I didn't get this up sooner! My muse took an early Christmas vacation that lasted way longer than it was supposed to. Anyway, here it is! The second chapter of Purple! :D I hope you enjoy it! I had fun writing it! I don't own Harry Potter because I didn't think of it first. :( Please review! :)
"Hermione, what are you doing?" Ginny hissed.
"Quiet, Ginny," Hermione said silkily, tucking a few flyaway strands of hair behind her ear.
"That git needs to get what he deserves," Ginny snarled.
Hermione tossed her head, annoyance clearly visible on her lovely face. "Why can't you just leave him alone? Why are you so mean to him?"
Ginny's jaw dropped. She looked like she was struggling between betrayal and fury.
"Come with me, Percy," Hermione ordered sweetly. She got up from the table and looked towards me, extending her hand in my direction.
I stumbled after her, wanting only to feel those soft fingers entwined with my own. I followed her out of the room, tripping over my own feet. I wanted to feel the contrast between her lovely skin and that rough sweater.
Hermione stopped suddenly on the stairs and turned to face me. "I want someone to be nice to you, for once. They don't understand you, Percy, but I do," she said warmly. "I know what you want from me, Percy."
"You do?" I stammered.
Hermione descended a step. "Oh yes, Percy. I do."
I took a deep breath, but it did nothing to calm my nerves. I could smell her; I could nearly taste her. "Hermione, I-" I breathed.
Hermione shushed me and put a finger against her lips. "I know," she whispered and fell into my arms.
A loud alarm sounded, waking me instantly. I opened my eyes blearily as I felt for my wand on my bedside table. I grasped the thin handle and murmured "Silencio," at my alarm clock. Slowly, I sat up and stretched. The lumpy sweater now felt constricting and overly warm. I pulled it off hurriedly, rubbing my arms to try to get rid of an unpleasant tingling sensation.
Suddenly, I was doubled over, clutching at my stomach. I bit my lip, fighting the urge to vomit. I breathed deeply, but gagged. I crawled out of bed, desperately hoping this would pass or I would make it to the toilet basin. My stomach lurched once again as I passed the threshold of the bathroom. "Please no, please no, please no," I groaned, clenching my fists. I could feel my nails cutting into my palms. I focused on the pain and tried to block out the nausea. "This is not the time to be ill," I told myself sternly. My body defied me and I kneeled over the toilet basin and vomited. I hadn't eaten much yesterday, so I gagged and heaved rather than spilling the contents of my stomach.
Shivering, I wrapped my arms around myself, still doubled over. Most of the nausea had passed, but now I was freezing. Carefully, I stood and stumbled back into my bedroom. I changed as quickly as I could and pulled my warmest jumper on over my clothes. I was still shaking with cold, so I retrieved a muggle jacket from the back of my wardrobe and put it on. I bundled myself up in a thick cloak and struggled to pull gloves over my shaking fingers. I wrapped a scarf around my neck and tucked my nose under the protective warmth.
I blinked slowly. I was exhausted. I shook my head, trying to clear it. Did I have any Pepper Up potion left? I tried to remember, but I was too tired to think. I put my hand on my forehead and rubbed gently. My skin was heated, too hot. I had a fever. "Bloody hell," I swore angrily. Why did I have to get sick today? Apparently my stomach tried to answer me and I gagged. "Merlin, not again," I moaned and ran to the bathroom on shaking legs. I knelt over the basin once again.
Once I had wrapped myself in so many layers of warm clothing that I lost count, tried to force down a piece of toast and lost it almost immediately, and checked my cupboards for Pepper Up potion, I staggered to the door, gripping anything that could help me stay upright. I had to go to work. I had blown off working through the night. This is my punishment, I suppose,I thought briefly. My head pounded, but there was nothing I could do about that right now. I was too weak to brew a potion and the smell would probably make me vomit again. I shuddered.
I was in the process of opening my front door when I recalled the stack of forms that needed to be filled out and letters that needed to be answered that still lay on the floor where I had left them last night. I groaned. I dug my wand out of the many layers of clothing I wore. Feebly, I waved my wand and murmured "Wingardium leviosa," at the jumbled mess. The parchments rose from the floor. I stepped over, holding onto the small table by the door for support. I picked out forms first, then letters from other Ministries, and finally letters I needed to give to Scrimgeour. My head ached, but I had to go into work today. I had to. I never took days off. Besides, someone was sure to have some Pepper UP potion.
I scooped up the large stack and exited my flat. The cold wind smacked me in the face and sent papers flying everywhere. I would have screamed if it would have done any good. "Accio parchments!" I snapped. The neat, orderly stack I had been carrying was now a jumbled mess once again, but at least I had all of the papers back. I decided I would invest in a briefcase as soon as I felt better. I turned to apparate, but when I opened my eyes, I still stood on the doorstep of my flat. "Damn it!" I cried. I stormed back inside, reminding myself to lock the door. I lit a fire and basked in its warmth for a few seconds before scooping up a handful of Floo powder and tossing it into the flames. I hoped my fireplace still had access to the Ministry. "Ministry of Magic," I informed the green fire briskly and stepped inside. Thank Merlin,I thought as my living room disappeared.
I closed my eyes and tried to quell the nausea that appeared just as my living room vanished. It would not do to vomit in the Floo network. I vaguely remembered reading somewhere that anything let go of in the network would fly out of whatever fireplace was closest. I almost chuckled. I had no idea where I was at that moment, but the thought of some poor soul finding my vomit on their hearth was a horrible thought. I really must be sick to find that funny,I thought.
I stumbled out of one of the fireplaces that lined the Ministry's atrium. Nobody greeted me, but then again, not many people were there. Normally, I step out of the grate gracefully, but today I nearly fell over. Perhaps I almost fell because of the large stack of parchment I carried, but the more likely cause was the pounding in my head. I looked around frantically for something to hold onto to keep me standing but there was nothing. All I could do was hope for the best and try to will my legs to stop shaking. Slowly, I made my way over to the lifts. I leaned on the wall to steady myself as I waited for the lift to arrive. Today was going to be more of a living hell than yesterday.
"Here you are, Minister," I announced weakly, gripping the frame of his door with my free hand.
"Thank you, Weasley," the Minister said, barely glancing up from his desk.
I stood on trembling legs, hoping he would look up and take the letters from me soon.
"Are you sick, Weasley?" the Minister asked when he finally looked up.
"Just a minor bug, sir. I'll be all right," I replied. I wished he would just leave it at that.
"You don't look well."
I knew I didn't look well. I couldn't think of anything to say.
"Go home, Weasley."
I was taken aback. "Pardon?"
"I said, go home. I don't want you getting any worse. Go to St. Mungo's if you have to. Otherwise, go home and sleep. Send me an owl tomorrow if you're not feeling any better."
"Oh no, Minister, I couldn't. I have so much work to do," I stammered.
"You're overworked," the Minister said simply. "I think that might be the cause. Now go home, Weasley, that's an order."
I blushed. "I... All right, sir. Thank you."
The Minister nodded and returned to his work. The conversation had ended.
I stopped by my office on my way out. For once, the height of the stack of parchment on my desk had not changed when I left the room. Perhaps the Minister had told the other employees to do their own bloody work for a change. I considered taking my workload home, but my stomach lurched in protest. I decided it would be best to leave it here and get to it when I got back. I scribbled a quick note on a scrap piece of parchment (reminding myself to purchase a briefcase), closed the door behind me, locked it, and walked away. The sensation was both exhilarating and frightening. I was leaving the office in the middle of the day. I was leaving the office in the middle of the day. What was I supposed to do when I got home? I couldn't just sleep until tomorrow! I wrestled with the idea of just staying here, but the Minister would almost certainly find out. Perhaps I could just sleep until tomorrow. At the moment, that sounded pretty tempting.
When I reached the atrium, it was deserted. I was glad nobody would see me leave. I was almost ashamed of myself. I couldn't manage to stay at work for two hours. I sighed. This was the worst Christmas followed by the worst Boxing Day I had ever had. To top it all off, I couldn't even eat without vomiting. Actually, I thought, that might be a good thing.I hadn't gone shopping in several days and I wasn't sure what food I had left, nor what state it was in. These thoughts flitted through my now-pounding head as I stepped into the closest grate and announced my address. I shut my eyes tightly, trying to ignore the nausea that flooded through me as I started to spin through the Floo network.
I stumbled out of my grate and hit my head on my mantel. I swore weakly as I rubbed the top of my head. It throbbed dully. I decided to ignore the slight pain because it was just another thing I had to worry about. The pain wasn't severe enough to bother me that much.
I ambled over to Hermes on his perch. "Hi, Hermes. Did you bring me anything?"
Hermes hooted softly and clicked his beak. I smiled, stroked his feathers, and picked up the mail from the floor under his perch. There was an advertisement from some shop that I had no interest in, another letter from Mother, and - What was that? A letter from...Hermione? The room swam before my eyes. I nearly tripped over my feet as I made my way slowly to my armchair. Hermione...
My hands were shaking as I slit open the envelope. I had to blink several times to clear my vision. I held up the trembling letter.
I want to apologize for what happened yesterday. I was not involved in the food throwing, but I feel partially responsible. I wish your family had been civil to you. I'm sure it took a lot of courage to visit. No one believes that you were just "in the neighborhood," but it still must have been difficult for you to bring the Minister to the Burrow. I sincerely apologize for Ginny's behavior. I hope you can find it in your heart to come back some time. Your mother was very happy to see you, Percy. She wants you to come back.
I blinked again, this time trying to stop tears from falling. I was touched. Hermione cared enough to apologize for something she hadn't even done. If only the rest of my family could learn something from her. I dug my wand out and summoned a piece of parchment, quill, and ink. My hands were still shaking slightly as I scratched out a reply.
Thank you for being the only civil person at dinner
I paused. No, that wouldn't do. I started over.
Merry Christmas! I would love to come back, but my family doesn't want
I crumpled up the parchment and summoned another. This was going to be difficult.
I want to thank you for being polite. If only my family could be as civil as you are. Merry Christmas to you!
I looked that over. It was short, but it was polite. If she sent me another letter, perhaps I could tell her about my wish to come back. I chuckled sadly. If she sent me another letter? I felt like a lovesick teenager, waiting impatiently for a note from my crush. I buried my head in my hands. Hermes flew over and nipped my ear. "What am I doing to myself, Hermes?" I murmured. "What am I getting myself into?"
Author's Note: I hope you liked it! :) There will be at least one more chapter! Hopefully I shall update soon... I won't promise anything, though. You guys know what happened last time I said that... Please review! I want to know your thoughts! :)