Day 10

Title: Day 10
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG
Pairing: Blaise Zabini/Daphne Greengrass implied
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my 'verse. I don't get paid a cent to play. Please don't sue and make things worse.
Summary: Blaise catches a cold and isn't so thrilled about it.
Note: Part of the 12 Ficlets in 12 Days project 2009-2010. Requested by dorothya


Stupid Hogwarts. Stupid castle. Stupid classes. Stupid cold dungeon. Stupid green Slytherin Common Room fires that were there only for show and didn't put out any heat at all.

Even though Blaise knew this perfectly well, he still threw himself into one of the armchairs by the fireplace. It didn't give off enough light on its own for him to read or do homework. And it certainly didn't warm him. But it was a place to sit and maybe sleep a little, out of earshot of his dormmates. He pulled a green handkerchief out and massaged his nose through the folds. Then, with a huge, deep breath, he bobbed forward. “het-Chh!” It was half-stifled, as they had all been lately. He was simply too tired to hold them back completely any more.

Stupid snotty first year students with their stupid runny noses and hands that touched everything. Stupid cold and flu season. Stupid, rotten cold in his nose.

It was no secret that Blaise was tough to please. This didn't just apply to his love life, either. But, really, he thought it wasn't too much to ask that the young students carry tissue boxes or handkerchiefs with them when they fell ill, instead of just sneezing and coughing on everything and wiping their noses on their hands. It was disgusting and, evidentially, completely to blame for his recent turn in health. He didn't blame the late hours he had been pulling studying or meeting secretly with Daphne. He didn't blame the fact that he had been eating more of the unhealthy holiday food offerings of late. It was a whole lot easier to blame anyone but himself.

Stupid runny nose. Stupid sniffles. Stupid scratchy throat. Stupid chills. Stupid frequent sneezes that wouldn't leave him alone no matter what he did about them.

heh… heh-TCh!” Blaise quietly blew his nose into his handkerchief. There was no one up at this late of an hour to hear, but that didn't mean he wanted to listen to the sound either. Thank goodness he had thought to charm his handkerchiefs at the beginning of this whole, messy illness, otherwise he would have a lot more to be miserable about.

Stupid cold. Stupid shortage of Pepper-up Potion. Stupid Pepper-up Potion in general, actually.

One of his mother's husbands had been addicted to Pepper-up, and Blaise remembered all too well that overbright but faraway look in the man's eyes. Soon he hadn't wanted to do anything but sit in the drawing room with a gobletful. And Blaise learned quickly not to cross him or come between him and his potion. If Blaise hadn't treated it with magic, he would still sport the scar on his hand that the man had given him. Luckily, that husband hadn't been one of the ones who lasted a long time. But after that, Blaise was careful about how much of the potion he took, and he only liked to ask for it when things got really bad. Problem was, this time when he had been by, Madam Pomfrey had told him she was out and needed to brew more.


“I'm sorry Mister Zabini, but there's nothing I can give you for another two days. The new batch of potion requires at least that long to mature to full potency.

“But it's just a little cold. Surely just a little bit of potion would do the trick?”

Madam Pomfrey narrowed her eyes at him. “Surely you're good enough in potions to understand what it 'I need time to brew it' means?”

Blaise sighed, highly frustrated. “All right. I'll stop by in a few days if this hasn't passed by then.” In a few days, who knew where he would be? He might be perfectly fine on his own. Or he might be dead. Grumbling, he headed to his first class, wishing he hadn't skipped breakfast to go to the Hospital Wing at all.

History of Magic was so dull and boring Blaise suspected he might die of boredom before illness got to him. Blaise knew from experience that nothing would keep Professor Binns from recounting his lessons, including the attention of his audience. He also knew practically anything Binns had to say could be found in a textbook. So he took the risk of missing out on any ghostly insights and decided to spend the class sleeping. He needed the rest and, frankly, he wouldn't cough or sneeze while he was asleep. So he put his bag on the desk, folded his arms upon it, and rested his head upon them. Within minutes, he had fallen asleep.

“Blaise?” He heard his name, and then a giggle, though both sounded far away. Then his name was closer, louder, more immediate. “Blaise, come on. Wake up. Class is over.”

He lifted his head, blinking. Students were, in fact, filing out of the classroom. He was one of the few who remained, as was Daphne, who had been trying to rouse him. He cleared his throat and grabbed his stuff in a swift movement. “Thanks,” he croaked, and cleared his throat again. As he headed out of the classroom, he felt her hand on his shoulder.

“I didn't know you snored.”

Alarmed, he turned his head and looked at her. “I, ah, I do not snore.”

“Hmm?” She looked confused. “I just heard you. They were light snores, but they were definitely snores.”

“I do not snore,” he repeated, though it was futile. The look he gave her, with cold, dark eyes, told her to drop the subject without delay. Being who she was, she did not argue with that.

Unfortunately, his classes went badly from there on out. He had an attack of sneezes in Herbology. But, luckily, he passed it off as an allergy to the Puffle Puds they were studying in Greenhouse six. In transfiguration, he mispronounced something thanks to a stuffy nose and turned the chair he was supposed to transfigure into a pillow into a man-eating tiger instead. But, luckily, Professor McGonagall intervened before it could bite off Goyle's foot. And in potions with the Gryffindors, he couldn't stop sniffling to save his life. But, luckily, the potions they were working on fizzed so loudly that his sniffles were not well heard.

He had barely touched his food at lunch, too busy holding back his sneezes. And, to be honest, he didn't have much of an appetite. So he skived off dinner entirely and managed a bit of a nap alone in the dormitory room. But when Draco and the rest came up, he made up some excuse to leave and tried to hide amidst the corridors in the castle for as long as possible. But the constant Auror patrols made that difficult to do without him looking suspicious.

When he returned, he found the common room empty, which was a great relief.


ihh-Chh! Ihh-Chhhh!” They were getting harder and harder to hold back now. He ended up just holding the handkerchief to his nose in preparation of the next, just knowing it would strike soon.

ihhh…” With another sneeze on the way, he didn't hear the footsteps or the door opening. “ih-Ksh!

“Bless you.”

Blaise looked up to see Daphne. She was wearing an emerald green, sleek, satin nightgown. On a good night seeing her like that, with her curves all in the right places in all the right amounts, it would have driven him crazy to say the least. But tonight, he didn't even have the energy to get it up, it seemed. “Hey, Daph,” he said. And before he could tell her off, she sat down on the arm of the chair beside him.

“I've figured you out,” she said.

He raised his eyebrows. Sarcastically, “Oh, have you now?”

“Absolutely. You, my dear Blaise, have a cold.”

His nose was running so he sniffled into his handkerchief. That seemed to tickle his nose. “ih-KTchh!

“Don't try to deny it. You're ill.”

“Oh well done, you,” he said, sniffling. And then sniffling some more. “Now if you'll excuse me for just a moment, I need to send an owl to the chocolate frog company. They'll have to put you on a card for that stroke of brilliance.”

She exhaled in frustration. “You don't have to be all pissy just because your nose is leaking a little.”

“And you don't have to be all self-righteous just because yours isn't.”

His hand tightened around his handkerchief in anger. But when she slid sideways, into his lap, and threw her arms around him, he felt himself relaxing into her warmth. She snuggled close, letting him put a strong arm around her. They sat there in a silent embrace, and it didn't feel remotely stupid at all.