|SIYE Time:15:44 on 21st January 2018|
Witch Weekly: Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Cure the Common Cold
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Category: Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB
Genres: Comedy, Fluff, General, Humor
Warnings: Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Summary: Ginny reads an article and finds the perfect solution for curing Harry's cold. PURE FLUFF!
Hitcount: Story Total: 12903
Awards: View Trophy Room
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
I'd like to extend my many thanks to cwarbeck: fabulous beta and supporter-extraordinaire.
The inspiration for this one-shot came entirely from real-life experiences with my own black-haired, green-eyed husband. He may not be Harry, but he's damn close. *grins*
And finally, for those of you wondering about Continuum, I just had to take a break with some fluff. Now that I've written this out of my system I hope to be back on track for Chapter Nine.
As always, I look forward to your comments...please read and review!
Witch Weekly: Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Cure the Common Cold
Ginny Potter padded into the kitchen with bare feet, poured herself an aromatic cup of the world’s best coffee and sat in the morning sun at her kitchen table. Dressed in a cotton tank and comfortable denim shorts, she basked in the light morning breeze fluttering through the open window. She sneered at the pile of post accumulated in the centre of the table and decided she’d rather have a look at the Witch Weekly poking out from the bottom of the stack. She took another sip of her coffee and flipped open the cover of the magazine, ready to enjoy some fluff on her morning off from practice.
Ginny’s position as Chaser of the Holyhead Harpies, Britain’s only all-female Quidditch team, often denied her the luxury of lingering in the kitchen over coffee and a good read. She rarely, if ever, had the house to herself. Since marrying Harry the previous summer, their lives had been a whirlwind of jobs and social functions and family and marriage and sex – she giggled at the last thought – which had left her little time alone.
She had to admit, she had no clue how her mother handled a husband and seven children…the husband was enough of a child himself…
Who knew that marriage to the Boy-Who-Lived, Chosen One, or as she liked to call him, The Boy Wonder, could be so damn nutters? She mentally reminded herself to send her mum an owl and ask her why she hadn’t been pulled aside and told all the ‘secret’ things she should’ve expected once she’d taken vows. Really though, her mum might have mentioned the possibility Harry would walk out of the loo one day, starkers and still dripping from his shower, to ask her to inspect that with a completely straight face…he had simply walked up asked her opinion of a blemish on his backside. Was it a spot or had he not healed himself properly from a Stinging Hex wielded during an Auror bust?
Ginny had been left gaping and open-mouthed, attracting flies. Harry had simply shuffled back to the loo to resume his morning toilette once he had his answer.
‘So that’s what we’ve become…’ she had chuckled to herself. She’d married a mirror. As if she didn’t have a wand for those things.
She flipped another page and took another glorious sip of coffee. Looking over this week’s Witches’ Woes, she noticed yet another batch of pathetic letters asking for romantic and household advice. What charm worked best for pressing shirts? Were Aries and Scorpios suitable matches? Ginny laughed at that one…two fire signs. No! She answered in her head. Fire and fire make more fire…move on! But then again, if she’d listened to Professor Trelawney’s advice about her compatibility with Harry… Ginny considered sending a letter to the editor suggesting they ditch the weekly horoscope – that stuff was as ridiculous as Centaur rambling.
She mused again about the quirks of marriage and laughed out loud, catching the attention of their new kitten, Sparks, who had been a gift from Harry for their first anniversary. The black cat twitched her ears at Ginny with a look of impatience as she pulled herself onto her feet and into an arching stretch from the ray of sunshine lining the planks of the kitchen floor. Mewing in discontent, the cat swished her tail at her mistress and sashayed out of the room to find a more comfortable spot. Ginny pursed her lips at the spoiled feline and sat idly with her chin in her hand oblivious to the magazine.
She remembered their first anniversary vividly: Harry had acted mental all morning like he had no idea what day it was, and then quickly abandoned the act when Ginny’s displeasure with his charade threatened her last nerve. In the end they’d enjoyed a wonderful dinner in Muggle London and strolled along Diagon Alley near closing time, hoping the foot-traffic in the street would allow them some privacy. Their ploy worked: they had come home tipsy from the moonlight and excellent wine with lopsided grins and a new kitten from the Magical Menagerie – Ginny had fallen in love with the little black fur-ball with the watery green eyes nestled in the shop window, naming her Sparks almost immediately.
When they arrived home that night, Harry questioned her almost straight away about the name Sparks; the daft boy had no clue why she’d chosen it. He was curious why she’d want to name a cat after wand emissions. Ginny had just impatiently rolled her eyes and pulled her husband into their bedroom to show him a few sparks of her own. Afterwards, Harry had laughed into the sheets about the name and how confused he was when she first mentioned it. Ginny remembered smacking his perfect bum for being so silly and how she had disciplined him again in a most appropriate manner. Harry, thoroughly delighted with his abuse, had accepted it eagerly.
The poor kitten, however, had been left mewing in the kitchen. Ginny wasn’t sure Sparks would ever forgive her for the lonely night she’d spent in her carrier on the kitchen floor. The next morning, as she and Harry had mumbled their way out of bed and donned their dressing gowns to rouse a cup of tea, they’d stumbled over all the parcels they’d abandoned the night before, including the one very miffed kitten. Sparks had easily forgiven Harry, had even perched herself in his lap later that same afternoon with a contented purr, but she was still punishing Ginny up to now – something Harry found quite entertaining.
The anniversary was almost six weeks ago, and yet Sparks still sniffed when Ginny entered the room as if her personal space had been invaded. Ginny grabbed a self-inking quill and a stray piece of parchment from the pile of junk on the table and started a shopping list, noting the first two items as catnip and liver treats. Ginny wasn’t about to let the kitten get the better of her, especially considering she did have other responsibilities on that memorable evening. Once she’d made her list, Ginny flipped back to Witch Weekly and sighed, not sure if she wanted to read the article on ‘Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Cure the Common Cold’ or the naughty article toward the back entitled ‘Keep the Cauldron Burning HOT, HOT, HOT!’ Even though she was grown, Ginny still felt like a tart when she turned to the scandalous articles toward the back, but she was curious just what kind of ‘HOT!’ the author had in mind.
Deciding not to press her luck with the cauldron article, considering her husband was away at work, Ginny turned to the health section of the magazine and started to flip through the pages. She laughed out loud when she saw the article — it listed the obvious homeopathic remedies, vitamins, foods and aromatherapies but tucked right into #10 was a cure she’d never seen before: sex. Good Merlin, she thought to herself, why would anyone want to shag when she’s laid up with a cold? The Witch Weekly had completely outdone itself this time…
Giving the magazine up as a bad business, Ginny rinsed out her coffee mug and decided she should surprise Hermione – it had been weeks since they’d had a chance to have a proper conversation. Grabbing some powder from the pot next to the fireplace, Ginny knelt on the rug and threw the powder into the Floo. She called out Ron and Hermione’s exchange and plunged her face into the fire. When she didn’t see anyone in the Weasley kitchen, she called out, “Toodles…anyone? Hermione are you here?”
Hearing Ginny’s voice from the parlour, Hermione rushed into the kitchen looking somewhat dishevelled and carrying a large book. She had a self-inking quill tucked behind her ear and several ink stains on her blouse. “Oh good,” she gushed in relief, “it’s just you! I must look a fright!”
Ginny chuckled at her friend. Hermione was currently taking advanced courses in Magical Law to compliment her already bursting knowledge of current Ministry policies. Ginny wasn’t sure the girl would ever stop studying. “Read much lately, ‘mione?” she grinned.
Hermione glanced at the massive volume in her hand and dismissed it with a wave. “Oh, this? This is nothing. I’m just making some notes for topics I need to pursue later. Why don’t you roll on through and I’ll brew us a pot of tea?” she offered as she crossed her kitchen to the stove and began filling the kettle. “Ron owled earlier and said he may be home early… something about horrendous attendance in the department. Maybe you’ll catch each other.”
Pleased with Hermione’s invitation, Ginny rolled through expertly and popped up in the kitchen leaving only the slightest indication she’d just tumbled through a fireplace. “I hope I’m not interrupting you. I had the day off from practice and the house just seemed so quiet,” explained Ginny with a warm smile. “I decided to bother you instead.”
“Lonely, you say?” Hermione said with a cheeky grin. She motioned Ginny to the table where she took a seat for herself and then sat and contemplated Ginny’s loneliness with a tap of her forefinger to her chin. “Do I need to have a chat with Harry about the proper treatment for wives?”
Ginny laughed with obvious glee. “Of course not, Hermione. I wasn’t lonely this morning when Harry left for the Ministry,” she said, wagging her eyebrows with a mischievous grin. “I’m just not used to the quiet in the house.” Ginny took a good look at her friend and noted how well-rested Hermione appeared. “It seems something is going right here in the Weasley household — you look well,” she complimented.
Hermione waved her off with a grin as she got up to pull the steaming kettle from the stove. She looked back to Ginny. “Y’know, somehow the tea always tastes better when I pour the water myself.” She shrugged as she levitated two cups, milk and sugar over to her kitchen table.
Ginny laughed. Hermione would always be a Muggle at heart, no matter how many spells she’d learned. They poured tea and sat stirring the hot liquid as it steamed, waiting for it to cool a bit before taking a sip. As they waited in companionable silence, Ginny heard the door of Ron and Hermione’s flat open and close. What she heard next made her blush fiercely and wish desperately she was still kneeling on the floor of her own kitchen.
Ron lumbered through the living room, calling, “I’m home early – I sincerely hope wherever you are, you’re starkers and waiting!”
Hermione covered her face with her hands, groaned in embarrassment and stifled a nervous laugh. She looked at Ginny apologetically and shrugged her shoulders. “It’s not like we’ve been married all that much longer than the two of you, y’know,” she admitted with a wry grin.
Ron strode through the kitchen door and skidded to an abrupt halt at the sight of his sister, his anticipatory grin sliding from his lips and turning into a scowl. His face turned an eggplant hue and his ears burned bright red. “Er, imagine finding you here, Ginny,” he stammered in mortification.
“I just rolled through a few minutes ago,” Ginny apologized. “If I had known I was going to create such a dent in your plans I would’ve owled first,” she snickered evilly.
Ron settled into a chair at the table in resignation and summoned a platter of biscuits from the counter. Hermione brought him a cup for tea and he proceeded to stuff his mouth with sweets. As he munched he looked at Ginny, “Y’know,” crunch, crunch, crunch “I wouldn’t be here if not for your husband, anyway,” he said brushing crumbs from his hands.
“Harry?” Ginny questioned. “What’s this got to do with Harry?”
“Well, apparently you’ve exhausted the poor bloke into a viral stupor,” teased Ron. “Kingsley sent him to St. Mungo’s earlier with the orders to go home afterward and get some rest,” he said tongue-in-cheek.
“What’s wrong with Harry?” Ginny asked indignantly. “I’ve never seen Harry sick – practically dead a few times, but never sick.”
“Oh he’s sick all right,” countered Ron. “The bloke coughed and sneezed all over our office swearing to Merlin he was fine. Then he sat at his desk looking pathetic with his head in his hand, honking that nose of his into his handkerchief until his glasses steamed. He would have got ‘way with it, too – blowing germs all over us like a ruddy foghorn – until he wasn’t paying attention and accidentally sneezed a bogey right onto Shacklebolt himself.”
“Oh no!” Ginny gaped in horror. “Is that when Kingsley sent him to St. Mungo’s?”
“Yep,” Ron confirmed. “He told him if he had the bollocks to blow snot on the Minister he oughtta have the bollocks to get himself checked out. Then he Scourgified the bogeys from his robes. The whole thing was gross.”
Hermione looked at Ron with an irritated expression. “So why are you home? You’re his partner, shouldn’t you have gone to see the Healers with him?”
Ron’s face fell as he considered Hermione’s comment. “Well, y’know, the bloke did blow away Voldemort. I just figured he could handle himself and I could…”
Hermione stood up from the table and glared at her husband. “Figured you could catch a bit of spare time at home, did you?” she said as she crossed her arms and tapped her foot. “Ronald Weasley, you call yourself a friend?”
Ron had the good grace to look uncomfortable with his behaviour. “Well, now that you say it that way…”
Ginny glanced at the two arguing back and forth and cursed herself for sitting so long to watch the show. “Umm, guys? I’m gonna go back and see if Harry’s made it home.” She stood up from the table and cleared her tea things away to the sink. “Thank you for the tea and the wonderful conversation, you two,” Ginny offered. She gave them both a wave noting Hermione’s dismissive wink and twirled back through the fireplace and into her own kitchen.
Harry was sitting with his cheek pressed against the kitchen table, arms hanging down at his sides, looking miserable. He hadn’t bothered to take off his glasses so the frames were bent at an odd angle about his face from being pushed against the wood. His eyes were closed and he didn’t appear to care much that his head was lying in the middle of two weeks worth of owl post.
“Harry!” Ginny called when she saw her husband languishing over the table. “Love, what did the Healers say? I was just with Hermione when Ron barged in saying something about you and St. Mungo’s,” she rambled as she rushed to Harry and began to fuss over him, feeling his forehead and removing his glasses.
“I’m fine, Gin,” Harry argued, “it’s just a cold.”
“A cold?” Ginny asked incredulously. “Are you telling me you were sent home because you have a cold?”
Harry popped up from the table with bleary eyes and a vacant expression. “Well it’s a ruddy bad one!”
“Why didn’t you say anything to me, dearest?” Ginny asked tenderly. “I could have made you a Pepper-Up Potion or something.”
Harry waved her off. “I thought I’d be okay. I was fine until I exploded all over Kingsley. What a mess,” he said with irritation. “Shacklebolt sent me to the Healers and told me not to show up in my office until I had a clean bill of health. I can’t just walk away from the Auror Department because I have a bloody stuffy nose!”
Ginny tried to hide her smile. Harry was being serious, but he was also laying the melodrama on pretty thick. Ginny couldn’t ever remember a time when having a cold was such a big deal. In fact, she had never tried to beg out of a practice because of a cold – Gwenog would chew her up and spit her out like bad meat. Gwenog felt there were only two reasons to miss practice or a match: childbirth or death, providing it was your own. Anything else was unacceptable. And here lay Harry at the kitchen table, sent home like a sick schoolboy by the Minister for Magic himself. Ginny couldn’t help but shake her head at the irony of the situation.
Accepting her role as caring wife, Ginny pulled Harry away from the table and toward their bedroom. “You’re not going to get any rest snoring on the table,” she fussed as she pushed him through the doorway of the master suite.
“It’s not that big a deal,” Harry grumbled.
Ginny raised her eyebrows at him. She couldn’t remember a time when Harry had ever skived off sick, yet she did feel a bit sorry for the mess standing in front of her. With an impish grin, she remembered the article she’d read in Witch Weekly. “Why don’t you change out of your robes and into something more comfortable? I’m going to pop over to Diagon Alley to pick up a few things from the Apothecary. I’ll have you up and going in no time at all!” Ginny said cheerfully.
“Well, I suppose,” agreed Harry reluctantly. “I could use a potion or two…”
“I’ll be back in a tic,” Ginny assured him. “You won’t even know I was gone. Now have a kip and I’ll come back and make you some of Mum’s famous chicken soup.”
Harry nodded blandly and sulked over to the wardrobe to change his clothes, coughing as he walked. Ginny grinned and rushed back into the kitchen, grabbing her cloak, wand and satchel. She took a quick glance at her pocket money to be sure she had enough without making a trip to Gringotts necessary and then Flooed to the Apothecary. She picked up replenishments for their potion supplies as well as a small aromatherapy kit and thanked the shopkeeper with a wave.
She strolled down to the Magical Menagerie, where she picked up the catnip and treats for Sparks as well as several tantalizing toys and a brilliant scratching post. What she was really after, though, was in a new shop a few doors down from 93 Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. The shop had opened several months prior and had been the topic of several tittering conversations amongst the girls in the locker room. Kama Moksha looked tasteful and perfectly normal from the outside, but from what Ginny had heard, the inside was nothing she’d ever imagined. Indian women dressed in beautiful saris were supposed to grace the shop, leading witches (and a stray wizard or two, Ginny supposed) on a tour through aisles of lingerie, accessories and potions.
Merlin help her if her Mum ever found her in a shop like this…
But the curious temptation was too much for Ginny; she’d overheard a conversation about a beautiful silk negligee the team’s Seeker had found there that she had used to drive her husband wild with…well, Ginny had conveniently closed her ears when the story progressed past the point of propriety, even for a locker room. Convinced she could find just what she needed to help cure Harry’s horrible cold, she walked confidently into the shop praying she could keep a straight face long enough to find what she wanted.
Ginny closed the shop door behind her and turned around only to find herself stunned into an open-mouthed stupor; this was no ordinary lingerie shop!
She found herself choking on her tongue as she thought of the haughty witches over at Twilfit & Tattings — the old bags who minded their knickers and gowns would probably keel over in cardiac arrest at the sight of this… wonderland.
Composing herself, Ginny smiled as a beautiful Indian woman dressed in a brilliant blue sari made her way over and graciously introduced herself as Ankha, saying she would gladly escort Ginny through the shop to help explain their unique line of relationship-enhancement products. Ginny nodded her thanks to the woman, still too shocked to make intelligent conversation. Ankha smiled like she’d seen Ginny’s expression a thousand times and gracefully plied Ginny with questions about her visit and what she hoped to find there.
Ginny mentioned the silk gown and dumbly added that Harry was home with a cold. Ankha nodded in acknowledgement and led Ginny to a section of the store where many jars, bottles, phials and flasks of all shapes and sizes adorned the wall. Ankha took a small phial from the shelf and held it up for Ginny to examine. “This,” she stated easily, “when dusted on your husband’s pulse points, will make him burn. Hot blood is very good for a cold.” She smiled as she handed the bottle to Ginny. She directed Ginny to use a feather to lightly dust the gold powder in several areas she was aware of, and many she didn’t know existed.
Ginny wondered if Padma and Parvati Patil knew this stuff, and if they did, why they didn’t dish up the goods while they were still at Hogwarts. Then she remembered the Yule Ball during her third year when Harry had competed in the Tri-Wizard Tournament and changed her mind. She was glad the Patil twins had kept their secrets.
Ankha crossed the shop and began pulling fresh herbs and roots from small baskets along a side counter. She bustled along the baskets, choosing carefully among them as she added small quantities to a paper bag. When she finished, she directed Ginny to steep the contents into a tea. “Once brewed, this tea will last several days. Administer it as necessary to heighten awareness and sensation,” directed Ankha.
They finished their tour by stopping in a dizzying array of the most gorgeous, sumptuous intimates Ginny had ever laid her eyes on. Beautiful, vivid colours in silks and satins swam before her; she was amazed by the quantity and selection of saris, gowns and bras, garters and knickers.
Ankha smiled. “I think a witch of your fiery beauty would prefer the jewel tones, yes?” she said as she held up an emerald green silk chemise and dressing gown. Ginny noticed the set also included a matching thong. Nodding her head at the perfect colour – a dead match for Harry’s eyes – she added the set to her accumulation.
“This set magically alters itself to your measurements. This is an excellent choice, Mrs. Potter,” affirmed the saleswoman.
“But…” Ginny stammered.
“How did I know your name?” Ankha smiled again. “One does not miss the beauty of a couple such as the two of you. You’re both quite stunning together. He’s very handsome.”
Ginny blushed. “Well, I guess we are both pretty recognizable. I forget that sometimes. Just don’t tell my mum I was here, eh?” she joked.
“Of course,” Ankha promised. “We, the staff of Kama Moksha, pride ourselves on discretion. However, I must tell you I’ve sold several interesting dusting powders to another red-haired witch,” she mused. “You may be surprised at the scope of our clientele, Mrs. Potter.”
Ginny gaped at the woman in astonishment. She wasn’t even going to go there.
She glanced at the items in her hands and realized the cost of her choices was far less than she expected. Ankha bundled her purchases and handed them, wishing her good luck with Harry’s cold. Ginny smiled and waved, promising herself she’d be back to check out the rest of the store later.
Satisfied with her shopping, Ginny Flooed home and set her parcels aside. She called for Sparks, setting out several treats and a small silver ball she filled with fresh catnip. The cat sashayed into the kitchen and sniffed unceremoniously at Ginny, who grinned and set the little catnip ball in front of the kitten. Mesmerized by the aroma of the herb, Sparks began mewing in earnest and promptly careened over in kitten-delirium once she had the ball between her paws. Ginny smacked her hands in delight: the cat was finally hers again!
Ginny went to work in the kitchen, using her wand to charm utensils to peel and chop vegetables while she set a chicken on to boil. She added herbs and spices and vegetables in with the chicken and left the pot to simmer while she steeped the tea Ankha had given her. When she finished brewing the beverage, she peeled several fresh oranges and set them on a tray. Returning her attention to her parcels, Ginny opened the aromatherapy kit she’d purchased at the Apothecary and pulled out essence of peppermint: a scent for invigoration.
Ginny returned to the soup, ladled out a large bowl and set it on the tray with the fresh citrus and a glass of the freshly-brewed tea. She gathered the tray and walked to her room to find Harry sprawled upon their pillows, snoring lightly. He was wearing an old Hogwarts Quidditch t-shirt and a pair of boxers, which Ginny noted gaily, was gaping in just the right spot. She carried the tray to the bed and set it on the side table, then stooped to kiss Harry on the forehead. He was burning with fever.
Harry rolled his eyes open and noticed his wife as well as the tantalizing smells of the food she’d carried into their room. He smiled gratefully, thanking her for all her work. Ginny uncorked the peppermint essence, letting an odour of fresh mint waft through the room. Harry glanced at her quizzically, but continued to eat his soup, commenting on the unique flavour of the tea.
Ginny smiled. She had covered items one through nine on the Witch Weekly list of sure-fire ways to cure the common cold. Leaving Harry with his tray she returned to the kitchen to prepare number ten.
* * *
“Say, Harry,” Ron sniffed petulantly, “what did Ginny get at the Apothecary to bust that cold so quickly?”
Ron had been snuffling around the office for the past two days since Harry returned back to work miraculously healed the morning after his debacle with the Minister.
Harry chuckled. “Just tell ‘mione to give you Number Ten. One through nine won’t be necessary.”
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