In Sickness and in Health
Sunday, October 8, 2006 - evening
Percy felt his muscles tremble as he walked from the bathroom to the couch. He had a fever, the thermometer told him so. Sometimes he felt himself burning up and he'd throw off the blanket around his legs. Then an hour later he'd feel chilled to the bone and would wrap the blanket around his body. He had been laid up at home all weekend and unless a miracle happened, he didn't think he would make it to work on Monday.
It felt like it was the flu. He was sneezing a bit, a little bit of nausea, raspy cough and a raging fever. Nothing that some over the counter fever-reducer and cold medicine couldn't handle well enough to let him feel mostly human.
He had taken something for his fever an hour ago and was still waiting for it to kick in. He collapsed into the couch and took his temperature again. He looked at the results and blinked in shock. Not only was it not going down, it was increasing to rather dangerous levels. He closed his eyes against a wave of nausea and the pounding headache that had developed today.
He lay back to try and sleep. He had barely slept last night, maybe it was just an affect of being so tired. He was about to actually drift to sleep when a coughing fit hit him. It felt like something was in his throat was trying to be coughed up. Grabbing a tissue he placed it over he mouth and spit it out. When he pulled back he blinked as he saw it was mint green with rust colored streaks.
Even Percy knew what that rust was. He pulled on his housecoat, put his identification in his pocket and wrote a note to the Deputy headmistress telling her he needed to see a medical professional for his illness and if she could cover his classes tomorrow. He paused for a moment as he looked at his owl and the paper before him, feeling torn. He knew he had to go to St Mungos. At the very least he'll be there for a few hours while the Doctors diagnose and prepare his treatment. He needed someone in London to give him a bit of a hand once out. No one in his family was anywhere near London right now. No sense in upsetting them over a simple trip. He'll tell them afterward. After a moment's hesitation he penned his note to Cedric.
I've a higher then usual fever and some symptoms that makes me think this is a bit more serious then a cold. I'm going to St. Mungos. Would you meet me there to help me get home?
With that Percy sent the bird on his way and Percy set his floo to go to St. Mungos.
Cedric was going over the notes for a new client when the owl found him. He smiled when he saw it was a Hogwarts owl and gave the bird it's treat before he unrolled the parchment, barely noticing when the bird flew off. The smile fell from his face as he read the note and he immediately closed the file when he was done reading.
Opening his door, he motioned for Elise to come inside. Once she'd entered his office, he closed the door and turned to her. "Percy's ill. Ill enough he's off to St. Mungos. Can you cancel the my appointments for the rest of the day? reschedule them or give them to Hamilton if they can't change times."
Elise shook her head as she looked at her superior. "Why are you still here? Go!"
Cedric gave her a small smile, grabbed his cloak and headed for the Floo. "Let Hamilton know I'll be gone for the rest of the day? I'll let you know if anything changes," he said as he tossed powder into the fireplace and stepped in.
As Cedric disappeared in a puff of green smoke, Elise shook her head. "Men. Knowing the silly creatures, chances are Percy will be there for a while." She opened the door and went in search of Hamilton to let him know of Cedric's plans before she set about re-scheduling Cedric's appointments.
Percy had finished giving his name to the nurse and was in his seat with all the others in the room waiting for a doctor to see them. He pulled the mask over his nose and mouth as the attending nurse had asked all those who had an infectious cough. He was feeling hot all over and his head was pounding but he knew better then to take off his housecoat. Mildly too warm was far better then those chilling shakes. He leaned his head back against the wall and was trying to will his discomfort away.
Looking up he saw a new arrival was heading towards him. He didn't need to see the person's face, he recognised that walk and build anywhere.
He smiled behind the mask, "Hi. That was fast."
Cedric smiled softly when he saw Percy, although he was immediately worried by the fact his lover was wearing a paper mask. "Hi," he replied softly. "I came as soon as I got the owl. I hate sitting in the doctor's office so i thought I'd come keep you company as hospital had to be worse."
"Tha *cough* thanks." He didn't have the energy to be able to say too much more then that. He had seen the worried look that Cedric had and how the eyes focused on his mask. "Sorry I'm not..*cough* the best company right now. The nurses want us to wear this so others don't get sick. Otherwise I'd take it off." In truth it was stifling behind it and he could feel his breathing get more and more labored, like he was breathing inside a paper bag.
Cedric took a deep breath and schooled his face before he sat. "Have they seen you yet?" he asked, wondering if Percy knew what was wrong.
Percy fidgeted with his mask to try and get a bit of fresh air in there. "No. They said it shouldn't be long though. I was only here for a few minutes before you arrived."
"How long have you been ill?" Cedric asked next, wondering how long it had taken Percy to get to the hospital.
"Two days." Percy replied. "The first day it just felt like a normal first day of a *cough* bad cold. Fever, nausea,*cough* nose a little runny, slight cough. Today it just ga-*cough* got worse. The normal p-*cough* potions aren't helping. I'm hoping the doctor will be able *cough* to prescribe something stronger."
Cedric didn't like the way that sounded at all. His sister had gotten a lung infection once, and thinking it was a cold it had taken her almost four days before she went to see their physician. "Do you have a personal physician?" he asked, deciding immediately if Percy didn't, he would introduce him to Cedric's doctor.
Percy shook his head. He found that made him a bit dizzy so he closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the wall. There was really noreason for one. He had access to the school nurse if he needed it. He was saved the trouble of having to give a verbal answer when he heard a woman's voice say, "Percival Weasley?"
Percy stood up and opened his eyes. "Right this way." The woman said. She sounded just a little too falsely cheerful. He moved to follow her, rather slowly. His joints felt oddly arthritic.
He looked back for a moment to Cedric, "Don't worry. I'm sure they'll have me cured in no time."
Cedric wasn't so sure about that, but he nodded anyway. As soon as Percy was out of sight, Cedric headed for the nearest public floo and called Dr. Whittinton. He was pricey, but he was damn good at what he did. He asked him if he would be willing to take Percy on, and told him to just bill Cedric. He didn't stop to think about the consequences of that, or what his doctor would think, he only knew he had to make sure Percy got the best care he could. He closed his eyes and sighed in relief when his doctor agreed to treat Percy, and missed the indulgent and knowing smile on his doctor's face as he moved out the way to let the man step through.
Percy repeated his name, address, occupation and birthday for the Nurse as she sat him down on the bed. It was rather hard and uncomfortable but Percy was just grateful not to be moving anymore. The nurse left him saying the Doctor should be in shortly. He lay back and closed his eyes, trying to bring himself back together. He found his mind just was drifting off and couldn't focus. He supposed that was the result of the little bastard in his head operating the jackhammer.
He heard someone talking to him. He understood each word as it was said but found it hard to piece them into one sentence. He opened his eyes and saw a doctor standing over him, already casting spells examining him. "Pardon? Could you repeat that?"
Whittinton frowned as he checked the results of his scans. He'd explained to the nurse and the hospital physician that he was the family doctor - which was true, as he'd been tending to the Warrington's since the birth of their first child - and had been granted access to Percy immediately. "I asked if you knew whether or not your were prone to infection," he repeated himself, watching the man on the bed carefully.
Percy frowned as he thought about it carefully. "I remember getting an ear infection when I was ten? Eleven? Somewhere around there. Why?"
Whittinton frowned. "You are rather young for your first case of Pneumonia. I need to track for the cause. How long were you sick? Can you tell me what happened?Everything you remember if you please."
Percy swallowed, "Two days. It started yesterday. I had a fever, runny nose, felt a bit nauseaous. So I took some Tyler's headache potion and fever reducer. Since the idea of food wasn't appealing I drank some watered down juice. I didn't sleep much that night. The next morning I didn't feel much better so I just kept doing what I did. Then I felt myself getting chills. I was exhausted walking across the room. Then about an hour and a half ago I took some more of the fever reducing potion, waited an hour and discovered that it wasn't working anymore. In fact, it got worse. Then I noticed I was coughing because I was coughing up something. It was leaf green and had rust flecks."
"Do you smoke? Participate in any risky behavior? Drugs, unprotected sex, that sort of thing?"
Percy shook his head, "No to all of those. Well, the last I've danced about it but I trust my partner and I've never strayed."
"Please understand, I'll be running the tests anyway. You've got pneumonia in your lower left lung. That means your blood isn't getting enough oxygen from the air to sustain you so I'll be putting a oxygen mask charm on you. Your fever is still very high and you are dehydrated. I'll be reccomending you be admitted until your lungs can get enough oxygen and your fever is gone," he said.
Percy was too tired to react with too much more than, "How long?"
"Could be overnight, could be a few days. It depends on how long it takes to clear up. My best guess would be two days at least. Here, let me cast that oxygen charm now."
Percy felt his mask lift slightly off his face and in the space it felt like he was breathing in a cool spring breeze. He took in several large breaths and felt his rate of breathing slow to something more normal. "Could..." Percy began, "Could you tell all this to a man outside waiting for me? His name is Cedric Warrington. Could you also ask him to inform my family?"
"Of course," Whittinton replied, smothering a smirk. If Cedric hadn't told this man he would be treated by Cedric's family doctor, he wasn't about to enlighten him. "Get some rest," he advised, then left the little room to speak with the charge nurse. That done, he headed for the waiting room and told Cedric the same thing he'd told Percy, along with letting him know he'd be by to check on Percy over the next day or so.
He had been moved from the emergency room to a hospital room. Percy lay back in the significantly more comfortable bed and sighed. The nurses had given him a hydrating potion, a fever potion far more powerful then normal, a potion for pain and finally a potion to help fight the lung infection. This was the first time in two days he felt relaxed enough and well enough to sleep.
Percy lay back in his bed, just dozing.
Cedric slipped silently into the room, standing by the door and just watching Percy. Pneumonia. It didn't sound so horrid, and for most Muggles it was bad, but not unbearably so. But maladies like this one tended to affect wizards badly, and all Cedric could think was how lucky they had been to catch it in time. he didn't want to think about what might have happened if Percy had waited to go to St. Mungos.
Percy turned his head, sensing someone was nearby. He opened his eyes and saw that Cedric was standing there watching him. He managed a smile for the other man. "I guess I was wrong."
"I'd have to agree," Cedric said softly, walking over to the bed and gently brushing Percy's bangs off his forehead.
Percy gave a contented sigh at the touch and could feel himself leaning into it. "What time is it?"
"Late. Get some rest. Dr. Whittinton will be back in the morning and your family will be here soon," he said, sitting down in the chair next to the bed.
Nodding his understanding, Percy closed his eyes for a moment before opening them again. "Thank you. I..." Percy found himself about to tell Cedric once again that he loved him but he stopped himself and closed his mouth. Part of him felt very sad that he couldn't say the words, but he didn't want to bludgeon the man with it. He wanted Cedric free to make his own choice. "I think you have done splendidly."
One brow rose at that and Cedric said wryly, "I didn't do anything." Besides call my doctor.
"You were here." Percy smiled sleepily up at Cedric, "That is enough. Would I be foolish if I asked you to be certain to get some rest as well?"
Cedric smirked. "I don't know about foolish, but maybe overly optimistic."
Percy reached up and traced the center line of Cedric's face from his hairline, down his brow, over his nose and lips to the chin. "I'd ask for a kiss but I don't want you getting what I have."
Bending his head, Cedric lightly brushed his lips across Percy's forehead. "Sleep."
Giving a contented sigh, Percy reached out for Cedric's hand and curled his fingers around it. He then let his lids drift closed and nodded off to a restful sleep.
Cedric sat with him for a while, slightly overwhelmed by all the emotion rolling around in his chest. He gently disentangled their hands and headed for the floo. He did need rest, would likely need to get a lot of it ifPercy stayed in hospital and he had some owls to write. By the time he got back, he figured Percy's family would be there, and he'd have to wait to see Percy. Somehow, the thought didn't bother him much, especially because he fully planned to have Percy recover at home with him.