A little Cough part 1

A little cough.

That's how it started. Something that was hindersome at first but not something to worry too much about. And although Cedric felt a little sore and exhausted when he woke up that morning, he decided to get up and push through it. Being a royal sorcerer didn't exactly mean he got a lot of vacation days. Besides it was probably just a little cold.

What more could he do except down a potion and push through the day?

At first, with only a slight sore throat and an even more slightly wet cough that just wouldn't leave him alone, Cedric muscled his way through the first few hours of the day. The potion he kept for such situations seemed to help him keep the coughs down to a minimum, so he went about his day without much thought of how he felt. He was a working machine, so by the time the clock announced the time at midday, he had gotten a lot done.

Unfortunately, it soon became clear that the potion was wearing off. His symptoms quickly returned with a vengeance, crashing down on him like a tidal wave. He had been in the middle of scribbling some notes in the margin of a spell book on a page about alchemy when his head exploded in pain. The suddenness in which it had happened had Cedric gasping in shock, dropping his quill as he struggled to keep himself steady on the stool. He clutched the sides of his desk when the world seemed to tilt dangerously to the right, making it all he could do to keep from falling over. When the room straightened, Cedric released his death grip on the wood and cradled his head, his vision blurring. It was then that his stomach decided to rage against him, forcing him to contend with clenching his teeth to keep form spewing his breakfast all over his work station and not pass out.

Everything spiraled even further downhill from there.

His nose became stuffed and no amount of incense or oil could unclog it, while his eyes started to water and burn. He started to feel sweaty, and yet, he shivered violently. His focus dwindled with each passing second.

Seeing how he wouldn't make much more progress feeling like a Pegasus had trampled him several times, Cedric was forced to a stopping point and lay down in his bed for the rest of the afternoon. He tried to shut his eyes for a nap, but sleep eluded him, just out of his reach. The pounding in his head was far too loud and painful, he couldn't breathe except through his mouth and every bone felt as though he had been rundown by a crazy Pegasus. The most he got was barely a light doze when someone purely evil started to bang on the door sometime around the late afternoon.

"Ugh…." He groaned. While the 'nap' had helped, Cedric still felt like he was dying. Not even bothering to sit up, he called, "Who is it?"

He felt as though someone had taken a cheese grater to his throat it hurt so bad. Every swallow seemed to send fire burning through his esophagus. And gods above he sounded pathetic. Cedric was worried that whoever was at the door didn't hear him.

But they did.

"Cedric?" Oh gods, it's Baileywick. "Cedric! King Roland requests your presence in the dining hall."

"Whaaaaaaat for?" Cedric knew he sounded like a petulant child, and very rude (not that was never an issue with him before) but he didn't care. He felt far too awful to even pretend to be civil.

"He wants you to perform for the guests!" The steward paused, before he assumed that Cedric hadn't moved an inch. Cedric winced as the steward pounded on the door before he added, "Don't be too long."

Cedric had half a mind to ignore the 'request' as he couldn't possibly do any party tricks with how badly he felt and how he could barely focus. But he knew the King would get angry, and as stated before, he was far from the mood to deal with that situation. Besides, on the brighter side of things, the quicker he got this over, the quicker he could sleep off whatever he contracted off.

With great difficulty, the sorcerer managed to drag himself out of the bed, down another potion (which he knew would be futile) and make his way towards the dining hall.

It took him far longer to get to the dining room than he anticipated. His body was sore and stiff, and it took far more effort to shuffle his feet across the floor. By the time he arrived he could feel the anger rolling off the King of Enchantia. But thank the Lord for his apprentice. The young princess Sofia had gone ahead and set up a space for him to do his spells.

Although, the thought of actually doing the spells without collapsing in the ground and dying never crossed his mind until he spotted the young girl.

Cedric, as he entered the dining hall, made a show of strutting across the floor. When he disappeared behind the curtain that separated him from the guests, he leaned heavily on the structure for support, his heart pounding heavily as his body started to dangerously heat up. He missed Sofia's worried look because the bright light of the chandelier wasn't helping the headache that was pounding at his cranium.

"Mr. Cedric? Are you alright?"

"Fine." He cleared his throat, feeling a little embarrassed at how weak he sounded. He repeated himself in a more firm and confident voice, "Fine. What exactly does your father wish for me to do?"

Please don't be hard spells, please don't be hard spells, he repeated in over and over in his mind.

He relaxed a little bit when Sofia listed off the relatively easy set of spells that wouldn't put him in the castle's infirmary. Most of them were minor party tricks, transformation of simple items, illusions and at the end (of course) indoor fireworks.

Cedric put on his best face when he was called and began his performance.

It was the slowest performance he had ever done. Each spell seemed to drain what little energy he had left. At one point, the room titled a bit and Cedric panicked for a second that he would completely pass out. To the sorcerer, it felt like an eternity.

But really, it was all over and done with within thirty minutes.

His arms felt like lead, his head swam and his vision blurred. His stomach tightened nauseatingly and his legs…..they felt like they were about to give out. He quickly retreated back behind the curtain as the royal family and the guests applauded. Cedric felt even worse than before, if that was even possible.

It hurt his chest to inhale, and his head pounded like it was being used as a percussion instrument by an overly enthusiastic toddler.

Oh, it was a mistake to get out of bed, Cedric thought ruefully. He didn't have the energy to be shocked at the fact that he would have to climb to get to his tower. He groaned as his stomach made known its displeasure.

Cedric felt like, for lack of a better word, complete and utter shit.

"Mr. Cedric?"

Crap, He thought. He tried to push himself from the table, to stand straight and reassure his apprentice that he was alright, but when he did so, the room wobbled dangerously. He forced his watery vision down to meet the worried blue eyes of the young princess.

"Are you alright?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." Cedric winced at his slurred voice. Since when did his tongue get replaced with a ball of cotton? "Why'd you ask?"

"Well, you look really grey and-" the princess gasped, "Mr. Cedric!"

Somehow the room tilted just enough that Cedric lost his balance and fell. He stared up at the ceiling in confusion.

When did that happen?

A small, freezing cold hand was placed against his forehead but before he could enjoy the coolness that offset the heat that radiated off his body, it was yanked away. Someone was talking, reassuring him of something, calling for someone, but he couldn't hear. Everything sounded watery and distorted. His eyelids felt so heavy and he could sleep right there on the floor.

His vision was darkening anyway.

Cedric didn't have the energy to fight the exhaustion anymore and just sank into the darkness.