Chapter 1 : Did you Order a Phoenix?
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Disclaimer: The only thing I own here is Dr Fergus Bludger, all else belongs to JK Rowling.
It was a cold morning at Hogwarts, quite literally. Not only was the outside temperature several hundred degrees below zero (A certain Ronald Weasley Esq. had been given the task by Albus Dumbledore of "turning up the heating") but the castle itself, convinced that no one paid it enough attention, had intentionally caught a flu virus about a week previously. Because of this, it had now inundated all of its corridors with huge, pink and magical hot water bottles, which belched copious amounts of bubbles when touched. There were long, snake like reams of slimy toilet paper littering every room, and every single tap inside the building was running, (Hogwarts didn't have a nose, so water features were the next best thing). The mystical ceiling of the Great Hall had turned a dismal grey, punctuated only by pale patches, and what Madam Pomfrey had concluded as being " a slight rash". Hogwarts was very happy with itself, it thought it was doing a very good job of being ill.
"What the bloody hell is that?" enquired Ron, walking towards the Gryffindor common room, Harry and Hermione at his side.
"What??" said the others, simultaneously.
"That noise! It sounds like wheezing or something" They all looked about, slowing their pace.
"It could be Voldemort!" shouted Harry nervously, turning pale and clutching at his scar. Hermione stopped walking and raised her arm, indicating that the others should do also. Everything fell silent, and Harry raised his eyebrows at Ron as Hermione put on her "I'm-going-to-find-out-exactly-what's-wrong-here-and-look-really-clever" face. Ron returned the gesture. "Here we go a-bloody-gain" he said under his breath.
"Shut up Ron, can't you see I'm thinking?" said Hermione, scathingly, briefly using her "I'll-hex-your-underwear-if-you're-not-careful" look. "There is something queer afoot." Meanwhile the strange noise was continuing to haunt the corridors of Hogwarts. It was a miserable sound, an irregular pattern of eerily short and stifled….were they scrapes? For some reason the sound was familiar to Hermione. Where had she heard a sound like this before? It was there, somewhere in the back of her mind, and on the tip of her tongue at the same time. She looked at Ron. He stared back at her, blankly.
"Hermione!! What are looking at me like that for? I've got something in my teeth haven't I? What is it? Not spinach from lunch yesterday? I had cornflakes for breakfast! And full fat milk! Crap! Not only do I have something in my teeth, I'm also putting on weight! Just look at this!" Ron hiked up his sweater revealing a slightly bulbous belly.
"Ron, stop being such an insecure git" interrupted Harry sharply, "And put that away" he said, indicating towards Ron's mid-section. "There's nothing in your teeth, alright?" Ron rolled down his sweater, and nervously moved his fingers up towards his teeth.
"Really?" he mumbled.
"No Ron, you've got a great big Mandrake stuck in between your right incisor and first molar" replied Harry, sarcastically.
"WHAT? A mandrake! But their screams can kill a man! What if I close my mouth and it doesn't like and it screams and we all die and go to Hell and it'll be all my fault and everyone will hate me, but I won't know because I will be dead and….." Ron placed his hands by his ears and passed out. His body slumped onto the ground, next to a huge, magical aspirin.
"Honestly," sighed Harry "he can be a right tit sometimes. He whinges so much! He's worse than flaming Moaning Myrtle!"
"OF COURSE!!!!!!" exclaimed Hermione, snapping out of her thought induced trance, and making Harry jump out of his skin. "Moaning Myrtle! That's where I've heard the sound before! It's sniffing. Harry! Hogwarts isn't sniffling because it's crying though; it's sniffing because it's got a cold! I suppose we need to figure out away of "blowing Hogwarts' nose" otherwise it might snee……." Hermione was cut short as Hogwarts let off an almighty sneeze. The huge, growling noise began in the Great Hall, and got louder and louder, reverberating off every wall, building and building until unbearably loud; "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!".
When Harry awoke his scar was hurting. Not because Voldemort was near, but because the slowly waking Hermione's elbow was jarring into his head. Everything in the corridor was covered in slime and snot, even Hermione and the still unconscious Ron. It was truly disgusting. Harry sat up and looked at Hermione. "Are you ok?" he asked, trying to look brave and dashing in such a foul situation.
"I think so" replied Hermione, the corners of her lips curling into a slight smile. "That was some sneeze!" She started to laugh. So did Harry, and soon they were both in rapturous peals of laughter, due to the ridiculous nature of the circumstances they found themselves in. Suddenly Hermione sniffed. The laughter stopped.
"Oh no, you've got it too Hermio…" Harry sniffed, "…and me too!" Harry sniffed some more. With dreaded looks upon their faces, the two stood up, drenched in phlegm sniffing and sneezing together.
"By dose had sdtardted runnig" blurted Hermione
"Bine doo" said Harry. "I fink dat we have caugd Hogwawt's cold" Suddenly Ron awoke and sat up straight. He looked around in fright.
"Oh Bloody Hell!" He snivelled before passing out again, his head making a small knocking sound on the floor. Harry looked at Hermione, and as if it were passed between the two by a psychic link, they each grabbed Ron's ankles and dragged him off with them to the Hospital Wing.
When they got to Madam Pomfrey's room, it looked like a war zone. Every bed was full, people were lying on the floor, and the sound of sniffing, sneezing and mucus explosions was deafening. Neville Longbottom was in the process of hurling into a bucket. Draco Malfoy was standing there laughing at Neville, before seconds later he too produced his own technicolour yawn into the bucket. Everyone was sick, even the teachers were crowded in. Dumbledore's usually white beard had turned a sickly shade of green and Madam Pomfrey herself had a nose that ran like the Thames. Harry and Hermione sat Ron up against a wall and squatted down beside him. Hermione charmed her own and Harry's mouth, thus enabling them to speak normally. It took all her effort. "I'm not sure how long this will last, the flu is really effecting my magic." Harry sniffed in reply.
"What are we going to do?" he asked, wiping his nose on his sleeve.
"Well," said Hermione, putting on her "I-may-be-ill-but-I-can-still-be-right-face", "my Mum and Dad always tell me to wrap up warm when I am ill, and they give me aspirins. But I think that Hogwarts has already tried drugs, remember that pill on the floor on the way to the common room?
"Ok, so what do you suggest we do, wrap Hogwarts up with a big blanket?"
"Don't be stupid Harry, that's impossible, even with magic. We just need something to help us all breath better.
"What about oxygen masks!" shouted Ron excitedly, having awoken from his frightened unconsciousness. He smiled, causing a big glob of bogey to run down his chin.
"Shut up Ron" said Hermione, and banged Ron's head violently against the wall. Ron slowly slid back into the land of dreams, sniffing as he did so. Hermione continued to speak, "anyway, I mean something to help us breathe more clearly, to unblock our noses. Let's go to the library.
"Alright" said Harry, "but this better be worth it, I don't like going in there at the best of times." They both stood up and left. A few seconds later they returned, having realised that the sleeping Ron would be useful for experiments if there were worries about the safety of any potion they were to concoct. They dragged him by his ankles over the cold, cobbled floor.
When they reached the library, they plonked Ron on a bench and both went off to the "Magical Medicine" section. Five minutes later, Harry and Hermione sat crouched over a copy of "Dr. Fergus Bludger's Magical Illness Compendium", Ron snoring quite vilely in the background. Hermione flicked frantically through the book. "Dragon mumps? No. Muggle Measles? No. Bovine Spongeform Encephalitis? Definitely not. Oh! This is useless Harry!Harry?" Whilst Hermione was cursing, Harry had slipped away back to the bookshelves and found a book of his own.
"Hermione, it says here in "Muggle Diseases and their Cures" that the best way of easing breathing is to place a small amount of menthol oil in boiling hot water, and then inhale the steam". Now we could do everyone individually, but that would take ages, so why don't we just brew up some menthol, and mix it into the moat around Hogwarts, that way, anyone who breathes the air inside will be cured!"
"That's a great idea Harry, but there's only one problem: as our magical ability has been diminished, how on earth are we going to boil the moat? Even all three of us together couldn't heat it enough."
"It's certainly a tough task." Said Harry, exhaling with a whistle. Far off in the distance, he heard a squawking. "Did you hear that?"
"It's just Hogwarts sniffing again, Harry".
"No, when I whistled. It sounded like a bird crying out." Harry whistled again, and once more there was a squawking, whatever it was was getting closer. Harry put his fingers in his mouth and beamed out a loud wolf-whistle. There was no squawk this time, only silence, and a small amount of sniffing. "Oh well" said Harry, and sighed. Back to the moat problem. How can we heat it up, and quickly too? Come on, Hermione, think."
They both turned towards the doorway of library, in shock and in fluttered Fawkes, Professor Dumbledore's phoenix, flying happily over to Harry and settled on his shoulder. He radiated a warm feeling against Harry's cheek. Harry and Hermione looked at each other, and then at Fawkes, and then at each other again. They both smiled.
"Of Course!" they cried.