It was a lovely, May morning at Hogwarts, school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was a lovely, May ray of sun which entered the Deputy Headmistress's room and awoke her.
But it were not lovely, May thoughts which made her get up and run.
Because on that particular, May morning, Minerva McGonagall reached the toilet in time.
Unlike the morning before- and before- and before. She'd thrown up all over the carpet earlier- and though one swish of her wand sufficed to clean it up, it did not at all help her stomach problems. In fact, they only got worse, Minerva realized, as a feeling of sudden nausea made her fall down on her chair and close her eyes. It had now been a week- more than a week… and she still did not feel any better.
Well, that was not exactly true- over the day, the sickness usually got better, but then, as she woke up, she knew she had to run again.
And Albus's departure had not really made it any better.
She still sighed as she remembered that day- that horrible, terrible day- when Dolores Umbridge- that... that toad of a woman- had forced her beloved husband and admired employer to leave Hogwarts… and her… behind.
As she felt a new wave of sickness made her run over to the bathroom again. No- it had certainly not gotten better…
And she did not understand. She truly didn't. She had faced decades on this world- she had seen people die in her Auror days- she had lived through various major flu epidemics without being ill one single time, and now, she suddenly could not help it… It just had to be the flu.
As she got to her feet and, despite the terrible dizziness that was the ever inevitable result of her nausea, started undoing her long, cotton nightdress and buttoning her daily, emerald robes, she sighed. If there ever had been an unsuitable moment to catch a flu…
For god's sake, she could not get ill! Not now- not while Dolores Umbridge terrorized her beloved Hogwarts, not while her students and the Order of the Phoenix needed her more than ever! With a faint, determined nod of her head, she stepped into her practical pumps.
As long as she did not catch a fever- which, so her cool forehead proved, she had not yet done- she would not bend! Not that she would, by the way, if she did catch a fever.
There. Having put on her pumps and pulled together her long hair in a braid, she sat down in her favourite chair with a sigh.
Poppy mustn't find out, she sternly told herself. Because if Poppy found out…
She found her next thoughts buried in a muffled yawn. Strange. She had never needed much sleep…
But a feeling of drowsiness overtook her, and her eyelids fell…