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11/20/2020 03:19 PM 

I'd prefer you go [starfire]

1 August, 1997

The tip of the quill scratched over the parchment, a calming noise to a frazzled mind, unease pitted deep in Percy’s stomach. In silent precision, he copied the document word for word. His last meeting with Remus warped his mind, pulled and tugged guilt and shame into place, worked him into a frenzy to what he was doing. His love for the Ministry felt tainted, the dutiful respect turned admiration for their Minister tarnished by his many levels of treachery. Again, he felt like a pawn in everyone else's game, emotions twisted until Percy felt nothing. He wanted to help the order, protect his family, but it was a deep betrayal to Scrim, who entrusted Percy enough to keep him on.

With a flourish of his quill, Percy signed off the document before he ran one last check for dark magic and rose to his feet, the weight of his own letter of resignation heavy on his chest. He was tired of the lies and games everyone used him for. Life was passing him by, a life he could have if he left everything behind. The Ministry was destroying him, a haunted mind with a body that showed it. His own family wanted nothing to do with him, no care or concern that he too was in danger. He could leave it all behind, England and all. Go to a place where no one knew his name, where he wasn’t viewed as a traitor and despised by everyone who came into contact with him. A new beginning to a life that felt as if it were coming to its end. Felix had given him a way out, a chance to escape and live.

Percy’s gaze hovered just over the rims of his glasses to the office directly across from his, the door still wide open but the room was vacant. Scrim had been out the majority of the day, fire messages popping up every so often on Percy’s desk with minor and tedious jobs to handle while he dealt with other things. His own suspicion malted into a fear that he had been found out and that Scrim was just collecting enough evidence to what Percy had been doing to throw him in Azkaban. With a heavy sigh, Percy’s muscles tensed as he stood from the chair he had been confined to for most of the morning. With Scrim gone, he set to his next set of business, the thing that hurt worse than walking away from the place he loved.

In minutes he was on the third level, papers tucked neatly under his arm. The halls were packed, a loud chatter set against the migraine that was pulsing through his skull, everyone’s words blended together into one massive static noise. It wasn’t normally this busy in the early afternoon, even when lunch came he rarely experienced the rush he was fighting his way through. Messy red hair poked out from behind one of the cubical’s, Zoshia’s face beaming as she spotted him. Nothing needed to be said, the chipped blue mug offered out to him once he was close. 

“Thanks?” Percy muttered, his nose wrinkled slightly at the light brown liquid but it was still coffee in some form. He choked it back, face pulled in a tight grimace as he fought the shudder. 

“It’s that kind of day, is it?” Zoshia asked with a slight snicker.

He didn’t return her smile. A sudden swell of distress in his chest caught Percy off guard, a squeeze over his heart as he looked down at her. Everything fell into place as she stared up at him, Percy suddenly aware that the things he thought he wanted were pointless without her there alongside him. “I umh . . . what are you doing for lunch, I need to speak with you about something.”

“I’m free now.”

Percy stammered over his words, face flushed to the pressure he was now under. It was supposed to be easy, a quick goodbye to who he considered to be a close friend, a best friend. It hurt when he arrived to work, knowing it had to be done, but now it was devastating. He couldn’t imagine not seeing Zoshia every day, didn’t want to.

Zoshia didn’t look up from her papers, but she sat idle for a moment before speaking. “You’re leaving with Felix,” she stated knowingly, the smile on her face wavering slightly.

Blotchy red patches covered his complexion, and quickly he looked away. “I know it’s cowardly and pathetic.” His voice was low. Every cruel name his family had given him over the years resurfaced as Percy found some truth behind them. 

“It’s neither of those. You don’t want to be tortured, and honestly, who could blame you?” Zoshia sighed as Percy grimaced, his head tilting from side to side as he collected a list of those who would do more than just blame him. “Look, you’re not a martyr. Any sane person in your shoes would be weighing their options. Think of all the information you hold, all the destruction they would do if they pulled it from you? You’d be stupid to stay.”

The words, while they made sense, did little to ease the tides of shame and guilt that were lapping through his mind. He was running away, abandoning everything and everyone he loved just so he could live. A selfish, cowardly prat. Those would be the exact words his siblings would use for him, and Percy couldn’t blame them. They were all fighting in their own ways, taking a stand against the rise of evil. But they all had support, a network of people around them that would help them, even protect them if they needed it. Percy had nothing. He was on his own, backed into a corner, and facing was imminent death; nothing quick or simple of that he was certain. They had no concept of the danger he was in. Every bit of information he held from his time as Junior Assistant, and that was just scratching the surface. He gathered his own information, key things to give to Lupin, every last shred of information that would be the undoing of the Order once they knew how to lure Lupin out by using Percy as bait.

Zoshia seemed to sense his inner turmoil and paused in her packing. “If it’s any consolation, I’d prefer you to go. Mainly to keep Felix in check, but you’ve rather grown on me and I’d much prefer you stay alive.”

A different heat spread over his chest and up his neck, a small grin curving against his will as his heart spiraled. “You’ve got a soft spot for me?” It was meant as a tease, a joke to stop the stupid feeling he couldn’t place because he knew her words meant nothing more than not wanting to face another death. But he wanted it to be true, wanted to know that at least one person would miss him.

“Shut up.” The response was instant, a large cheeky smile plastered over her face.

Nerves fluttered in his stomach, a quickening beat of his heart that was in sync with the tip of the shoe he tapped against the floor. He couldn’t stabilize his thoughts, was unable to form sentences, and verbalize anything coherent as he turned the cup in his hands. Three quickdraws of air, Percy forced his mind to slow before he tried to speak again. “You - would you like to come with me?” 

He didn’t understand the flurry of nerves, the off hitches in his voice as he asked a basic question that had no hidden meaning. It was just as dangerous for her to stay as it was for him. It wasn’t strange to offer her a chance to come; to want her to come with him. With him and Felix, Percy reminded himself almost bitterly. The panic was instant, a long stream of silent curses to how stupid he must have sounded to her. Of course, she wouldn’t want to go with him, no one really enjoyed being around him. He was an annoyance. A pest.

“With me and Felix,” he corrected as quickly as he could, careful to keep his face down, afraid she could see the sinking of his own heart and the hurt that shouldn’t have been there. Felix was more of a friend to her than he was, he was her best friend while Percy was just tolerated. “You should come with us, I know Felix would be excited not to be stuck with me.”

Bag slung over her shoulder, Percy waited in bated breath as she fixed the messy ponytail. “I can’t leave my dad here, I’m all he has left.”

“Right, of course.” Percy swallowed the sudden hurt that rose in his throat, pushed it all out from his mind. The emotions were strange, left him in a perplexed state to everything he had been ignoring the past few months when it came to Zoshia. “If things get bad . . .” He began, unsure of what else to say to her. He didn’t want to imagine worse than what was already happening. It meant full war, that Scrim was gone, and if he fell Percy would be to blame, no matter how or when it would happen. He abandoned his Minister of Magic when it could have made a difference if he remained where he belonged, where he fought so hard to get to. The possibilities grew heavy, made his letter of resignation heavier in the inner pocket of his jacket. 

“I’ll find you if they do,” Zoshia said with a smile that didn’t reach her eyes, a shared sentiment to what it meant if things got worse. 

“Where are you headed, anyway? It’s not even lunch.” Percy quick to change the subject as they left the office together. 

“Head of Department told us to head home.” Her brows knitted a little, a playful nudge against Percy’s shoulder. “I thought that was why you came to see me. Scrim’s been sending people home all morning.”

“No.” His voice gave away the betrayal he felt, that Scrim left him in the dark to something so peculiar. Maybe he knew what Percy was planning to do, he was always two steps ahead, it felt. Or possibly he didn’t want to broach the subject of Bill’s wedding that was due to take place later in the afternoon, and in some strange act of kindness loaded Percy with busy work to keep his mind off it. Annoyance to the situation simmered under Percy’s smile as they stopped outside the floo network. dwindling lines as people made their way out from the Ministry with the same suspicions that Percy felt.

“Look,” Zoshia said quickly. “I’m rubbish with saying goodbyes so . . .” 

Her face closed in on him, Percy’s own reaction delayed as he strained to hear any rumors of what was happening. By the time he noticed his personal space was consumed by the scent of lilacs, it was too late. He froze as soft lips pressed against the side of his face, Percy’s ears the last thing on his face to go the trademark Weasley red shade. He didn’t know how to respond, mind pulling at straws to what he wanted and what her kissing his cheek meant. Was it just friendly? A goodbye because she believed she would never see him again? Percy stood flushed, eyes wide with alarm the more his mind raced.

“Just be careful, please.” It was the last thing she said, Zoshia giving a small wave as she backed up into the network and vanished suddenly.

Prompt for  𝔖𝔱𝔞𝔯𝔣𝔦𝔯𝔢 I'd prefer you go'

11/20/2020 03:09 PM 

The Coup

                1 August, 1997

Breaths came in short and sharp gasps, heart racing against the speed in which he took down the flights of stairs to level six. Every instinct was to get to the apparition testing room, follow Scrim’s orders and get out, but his mind faltered between what was logical and what was right. The room came into focus, just within Percy’s grasp as he slowed to a stop. He could hear the shouts echo up through the corridors, some higher than others, while a cackling laughter sent the hair’s on his neck on edge. 

C O W A R D

The word hissed through his mind, a merciless taunt as he stalled at the only means of escape he had. Scrim knew, had some idea that death eater would be coming and got out as many people as he could. Tried to get him out. Scrim walked out from his office into the oncoming attack, his head high knowing that he wasn’t going to make it out alive. He didn’t run and hide, didn’t cower like a recreant. He acted like the auror he had been trained to be, nothing short of a true Minister of Magic. It explained everything, the odd conversation about how Percy would be needed later on, that this wasn’t his fight; but it was. The Ministry was his home. 

The decision was fluid, a swift turn that had Percy stalking away from his second chance, a new life and directly into the threat. If the death eaters wanted him dead, they would find him no matter where he hid. And if he was going to die, Percy wasn’t planning to go out quietly. He would die protecting the one place that always felt like home to him, that always accepted him for who he was. 

The scene at the mouth of the atrium was brutal, death eaters flooding in from the floo network as the aurors who remained tried to push them back in. Flashes of color streaked the air, curses thrown in every direction. While the aurors aimed to injure and disarm the death eaters came with only one intention. Kill as many as they could. Bodies sprawled out over the ground, lifeless faces of people Percy hardly knew seared into his mind, a stark reminder to the reality of what they were facing. Through the chaos Percy spotted Scrim, his face twisted in a snarl as he threw everything into his own curses against the death eaters that were circling him like a pack of vultures; each ready to be the one to take the first bite. The Ministry was greatly outmatched, so many staff members missing that could have aided and drove out the death eaters, but the deaths would have been greater as well. Their numbers dropped drastically as more fell to the killing curse.

“Expulso!” Percy’s teeth barred as he waved his was furiously. There was a jet of blue that hit home in death eaters chest, bone crunching against the wall as they slumped down unconscious. He barely caught the look of a gratitude from Scrim, a fury building as everything Percy had been holding in erupted. 

He should have been at Bill’s wedding, should have been watching his eldest brother get married but instead he was alone in the battle. His family didn’t want him there, they never truly wanted him even when things were good between them and it shattered him inside and out. Everything he had done, all the bullsh*t he put up with in having to raise not just his siblings at Hogwarts but Harry as well, forgotten. All of his family had made mistakes along the way, went against their parents about their futures, but only he was singled out for his. Always perfect, never able to misbehave or act like a blundering teenage like his brothers had. He had to live up to the idea of Perfect Percy until he made one mistake, a single momentary lapse of judgement from a broken heart, and he was quickly severed from the family, hoops of fire set for him to jump through if he wanted back in. 

Percy snarled, his own magic turning lethal as he fought to get to Scrim’s side, pain pouring into every slash of his wand. His father knew, knew of the dangers Percy was in. He saw the same numbers, the same empty chairs of higher up officials rise that Percy did and still he did nothing. There was no attempt by Arthur to fix things, to even see if Percy was alright or safe. He went about his days, oblivious to the terror that his son lived in, a constant paranoia of when he would be next. The possibility of Percy’s death made no difference to the Weasley’s, what would the difference be in he died now? Would they see him as brave and valiant, or would he still a traitorous prat?

A streak of green cleared his peripheral vision, Percy’s own attack ceased as he staggered forward. There was a brief swell of panic as he turned in time to deflect the curse only to be hit with another that sent him to the ground. Backed into a corner, Percy’s eyes never left Scrim as they hauled him away into the lift, the Minister’s head high and still defiant. Percy knew it deep in his gut this was the end, was certain that he wouldn’t make it beyond the point. Briefly his mind flickered to his family and then to Zoshia, panic melding into bile in his stomach that slowly inched its way up his throat. Percy’s wand quivered as he kept deflecting, no chance to go on an attack of his own. He shook not in fear of death, a part of him almost welcoming it. No, he shook in the veracity of his loneliness; that he was dying alone and not a soul in his family would care.

A sudden rush of pain jolted throughout Percy’s body, five death eaters descending like vultures. It was all in vain, every defensive spell used to block the hexes and curses. There was nowhere for him to go. Percy saw no way out from what was happening. His mouth was soaked in the taste of his own blood, Percy’s teeth clenched into his tongue as the curse hit him from the side before he could block it. Bruised and winded, Percy lunged for the nearest death eater, head pounding as he did what all of his siblings would have in a time like this. Knuckles cracked over the mask, one astounding hit that left him vulnerable as he scrambled past, lanky limbs tumbling over the body as Percy made a run. There was no logic behind it, no thought or consideration for himself as he tried to get to the lift. It was a one in a million chance he would cause enough of a distraction that Scrim would be able to break the Anti-Disapparition Jinx long enough to apparate out.

Air knocked from his lungs, Percy hit the floor before he even took three steps. The death eater advanced, the horror like mask inching closer, light reflecting against it that gave it a cheshire grin like expression. Arms ached as Percy pulled himself back, a blind search for his wand, vision blurred under the cracked glasses.

“Cruico.”

The pain wasn’t sharp like a needle or a knife, nothing at all like how it was described it the books. It started at his very core, a burn that scorched his insides in pulsating waves that grew with strength. Percy’s mind hollowed as the pain drove through his back, limbs twisted unnaturally as his body convulsed on the ground. There was a gurgle in Percy’s attempt to breathe or to scream, anything that would allow a passage of oxygen to his lungs but the more he tried the more contorted his body arched. A moment of piece allowed him to reclaim a fragment of his mind, muscles tense against the twitch that held control over him. All at once it tore through him as he was hit again with the Cruciatus curse, fresh trauma to his body that had him longing for death. 

Percy laid on the ground, pale face closed in a grimace, a blinding pain seared across his mind, muted his desire to scream through agony. He tried to hold it back, to keep it lodged in the back of his throat, but it tore through him as the curse strengthened. It held a raw quality to it, kept his mind latched to the reality that the noise coming from him was real, that he was being consumed by pain that held no limit until his body gave in. The scream shredded his throat, Percy’s eyes wide as he stared unseeing. 

“Avada -” 

“Don’t kill him.”

The killing curse would have been a mercy. Pain cascaded down his body, the curse leaving him, but the effects lingered. Percy’s scream fell into silence, mouth rigid and open as his eyes remained wide with horror. Chalky face gaunt and twisted, his hands shook as they clenched in fists, nails digging into the palm of his hand until red leaked from the grooves, jolts of the curse coursing through him. 

He didn’t need to look over to know the voice, Percy’s eyes closed tightly to the ghost that advanced on him. He was dead; he had to be dead. Percy witnessed his trial, saw them haul him away to Azkaban; the only thing Fudge ever did that Percy fully agreed with. The breath was hot, stunk of cigarettes that had him wanting to crawl away, Percy’s own limbs refusing to move, screamed out in protest as pain electrified through him. A small pathetic noise escaped him as Percy curled in on himself, the only protection he now had.

“The Dark Lord wants little Weatherby alive.” Even through the agony and cracked glasses, Percy saw the unmasked face of Barty Crouch Jr. clearly as he leered down at him. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun while he deals with ol' Scrimgeour.”

It was the last thing Percy saw, the end of Barty’s wand pointed directly at him with a perfectly devilish smile before his world went black.

Ministry Falls Series; Part 2
Featuring war мιnιѕтer. and pain and blood.
You can read part 1 -> Before the fall
Part 2 ->  Leading up to the Coup
Massive shoutout to war мιnιѕтer. and ❝Megalomaniac; for letting me pester them about how and why Percy survived the coup, when in reality he should have been killed during it.

11/19/2020 02:07 PM 

The Coup

1 August, 1997

The tip of the quill scratched over the parchment, a calming noise to a frazzled mind, unease pitted deep in Percy’s stomach. In silent precision, he copied the document word for word. His last meeting with Remus warped his mind, pulled and tugged guilt and shame into place, worked him into a frenzy to what he was doing. His love for the Ministry felt tainted, the dutiful respect turned admiration for their Minister tarnished by his many levels of treachery. Again, he felt like a pawn in everyone else's game, emotions twisted until Percy felt nothing. He wanted to help the order, protect his family, but it was a deep betrayal to Scrim, who entrusted Percy enough to keep him on.

With a flourish of his quill, Percy signed off the document before he ran one last check for dark magic and rose to his feet, the weight of his own letter of resignation heavy on his chest. He was tired of the lies and games everyone used him for. Life was passing him by, a life he could have if he left everything behind. The Ministry was destroying him, a haunted mind with a body that showed it. His own family wanted nothing to do with him, no care or concern that he too was in danger. He could leave it all behind, England and all. Go to a place where no one knew his name, where he wasn’t viewed as a traitor and despised by everyone who came into contact with him. A new beginning to a life that felt as if it were coming to its end. Felix had given him a way out, a chance to escape and live.

Percy’s gaze hovered just over the rims of his glasses to the office directly across from his, the door still wide open but the room was vacant. Scrim had been out the majority of the day, fire messages popping up every so often on Percy’s desk with minor and tedious jobs to handle while he dealt with other things. His own suspicion malted into a fear that he had been found out and that Scrim was just collecting enough evidence to what Percy had been doing to throw him in Azkaban. With a heavy sigh, Percy’s muscles tensed as he stood from the chair he had been confined to for most of the morning. With Scrim gone, he set to his next set of business, the thing that hurt worse than walking away from the place he loved.

In minutes he was on the third level, papers tucked neatly under his arm. The halls were packed, a loud chatter set against the migraine that was pulsing through his skull, everyone’s words blended together into one massive static noise. It wasn’t normally this busy in the early afternoon, even when lunch came he rarely experienced the rush he was fighting his way through. Messy red hair poked out from behind one of the cubical’s, Zoshia’s face beaming as she spotted him. Nothing needed to be said, the chipped blue mug offered out to him once he was close. 

“Thanks?” Percy muttered, his nose wrinkled slightly at the light brown liquid but it was still coffee in some form. He choked it back, face pulled in a tight grimace as he fought the shudder. 

“It’s that kind of day, is it?” Zoshia asked with a slight snicker.

He didn’t return her smile. A sudden swell of distress in his chest caught Percy off guard, a squeeze over his heart as he looked down at her. Everything fell into place as she stared up at him, Percy suddenly aware that the things he thought he wanted were pointless without her there alongside him. “I umh . . . what are you doing for lunch, I need to speak with you about something.”

“I’m free now.”

Percy stammered over his words, face flushed to the pressure he was now under. It was supposed to be easy, a quick goodbye to who he considered to be a close friend, a best friend. It hurt when he arrived to work, knowing it had to be done, but now it was devastating. He couldn’t imagine not seeing Zoshia every day, didn’t want to.

Zoshia didn’t look up from her papers, but she sat idle for a moment before speaking. “You’re leaving with Felix,” she stated knowingly, the smile on her face wavering slightly.

Blotchy red patches covered his complexion, and quickly he looked away. “I know it’s cowardly and pathetic.” His voice was low. Every cruel name his family had given him over the years resurfaced as Percy found some truth behind them. 

“It’s neither of those. You don’t want to be tortured, and honestly, who could blame you?” Zoshia sighed as Percy grimaced, his head tilting from side to side as he collected a list of those who would do more than just blame him. “Look, you’re not a martyr. Any sane person in your shoes would be weighing their options. Think of all the information you hold, all the destruction they would do if they pulled it from you? You’d be stupid to stay.”

The words, while they made sense, did little to ease the tides of shame and guilt that were lapping through his mind. He was running away, abandoning everything and everyone he loved just so he could live. A selfish, cowardly prat. Those would be the exact words his siblings would use for him, and Percy couldn’t blame them. They were all fighting in their own ways, taking a stand against the rise of evil. But they all had support, a network of people around them that would help them, even protect them if they needed it. Percy had nothing. He was on his own, backed into a corner, and facing was imminent death; nothing quick or simple of that he was certain. They had no concept of the danger he was in. Every bit of information he held from his time as Junior Assistant, and that was just scratching the surface. He gathered his own information, key things to give to Lupin, every last shred of information that would be the undoing of the Order once they knew how to lure Lupin out by using Percy as bait.

Zoshia seemed to sense his inner turmoil and paused in her packing. “If it’s any consolation, I’d prefer you to go. Mainly to keep Felix in check, but you’ve rather grown on me and I’d much prefer you stay alive.”

A different heat spread over his chest and up his neck, a small grin curving against his will as his heart spiraled. “You’ve got a soft spot for me?” It was meant as a tease, a joke to stop the stupid feeling he couldn’t place because he knew her words meant nothing more than not wanting to face another death. But he wanted it to be true, wanted to know that at least one person would miss him.

“Shut up.” The response was instant, a large cheeky smile plastered over her face.

Nerves fluttered in his stomach, a quickening beat of his heart that was in sync with the tip of the shoe he tapped against the floor. He couldn’t stabilize his thoughts, was unable to form sentences, and verbalize anything coherent as he turned the cup in his hands. Three quickdraws of air, Percy forced his mind to slow before he tried to speak again. “You - would you like to come with me?” 

He didn’t understand the flurry of nerves, the off hitches in his voice as he asked a basic question that had no hidden meaning. It was just as dangerous for her to stay as it was for him. It wasn’t strange to offer her a chance to come; to want her to come with him. With him and Felix, Percy reminded himself almost bitterly. The panic was instant, a long stream of silent curses to how stupid he must have sounded to her. Of course, she wouldn’t want to go with him, no one really enjoyed being around him. He was an annoyance. A pest.

“With me and Felix,” he corrected as quickly as he could, careful to keep his face down, afraid she could see the sinking of his own heart and the hurt that shouldn’t have been there. Felix was more of a friend to her than he was, he was her best friend while Percy was just tolerated. “You should come with us, I know Felix would be excited not to be stuck with me.”

Bag slung over her shoulder, Percy waited in bated breath as she fixed the messy ponytail. “I can’t leave my dad here, I’m all he has left.”

“Right, of course.” Percy swallowed the sudden hurt that rose in his throat, pushed it all out from his mind. The emotions were strange, left him in a perplexed state to everything he had been ignoring the past few months when it came to Zoshia. “If things get bad . . .” He began, unsure of what else to say to her. He didn’t want to imagine worse than what was already happening. It meant full war, that Scrim was gone, and if he fell Percy would be to blame, no matter how or when it would happen. He abandoned his Minister of Magic when it could have made a difference if he remained where he belonged, where he fought so hard to get to. The possibilities grew heavy, made his letter of resignation heavier in the inner pocket of his jacket. 

“I’ll find you if they do,” Zoshia said with a smile that didn’t reach her eyes, a shared sentiment to what it meant if things got worse. 

“Where are you headed, anyway? It’s not even lunch.” Percy quick to change the subject as they left the office together. 

“Head of Department told us to head home.” Her brows knitted a little, a playful nudge against Percy’s shoulder. “I thought that was why you came to see me. Scrim’s been sending people home all morning.”

“No.” His voice gave away the betrayal he felt, that Scrim left him in the dark to something so peculiar. Maybe he knew what Percy was planning to do, he was always two steps ahead, it felt. Or possibly he didn’t want to broach the subject of Bill’s wedding that was due to take place later in the afternoon, and in some strange act of kindness loaded Percy with busy work to keep his mind off it. Annoyance to the situation simmered under Percy’s smile as they stopped outside the floo network. dwindling lines as people made their way out from the Ministry with the same suspicions that Percy felt.

“Look,” Zoshia said quickly. “I’m rubbish with saying goodbyes so . . .” 

Her face closed in on him, Percy’s own reaction delayed as he strained to hear any rumors of what was happening. By the time he noticed his personal space was consumed by the scent of lilacs, it was too late. He froze as soft lips pressed against the side of his face, Percy’s ears the last thing on his face to go the trademark Weasley red shade. He didn’t know how to respond, mind pulling at straws to what he wanted and what her kissing his cheek meant. Was it just friendly? A goodbye because she believed she would never see him again? Percy stood flushed, eyes wide with alarm the more his mind raced.

“Just be careful, please.” It was the last thing she said, Zoshia giving a small wave as she backed up into the network and vanished suddenly.

 

It took him a moment to come back to his senses, the tasks at hand nearly forgotten in the immense confusion that poured through him, an additional need to find out why everyone was being sent home early. He wasn’t usually left out of the loop, cut off from anything that happened in the Ministry but now, watching the last few stragglers vanish into the network, Percy second-guessed the trust Scrim had in him; a bitter irony not lost on him as he made for the Minister of Magic’s office, chest slightly puffed up as he barged in without knocking.

The office was immaculate, a sight that took Percy back in surprise, more than actually finding the Ministry behind the desk. As of late, it had been a place of chaos, signs of growing war, and the amount of turmoil in the world around them. Shreds of parchment that had been pinned to the wall were gone, files that once laid open and ready for a moment's notice missing from the desk. The last time Percy had seen the office this clean was a few months after Scrim had taken office. 

“I have the last few sign-offs for you before lunch,” he said, hand stretched over the width of his glasses to push them back up his nose. Scrim, who usually gave him some annoyed noise of acknowledgment, sat behind the enormous desk in crisp silence. “I don’t mean to pry, but are you alright?”

Alarm prickled at his voice. Had he missed something? Was he so caught up in trying to find his own way out that he overlooked something and now it was surfacing? Sweat perspired over his temples, the weight of a stone over his chest. 

Scrim’s face pulled away from what barely held his focus, the man they once called The Lion, now tired and withered looked. “All is fine, Weasley.” He reached for the bundle of papers, beckoned for them a second time as Percy held them close to his chest, his letter of resignation on top.

He couldn’t do it, not now when he was clearly still needed. All the want and desire to begin anew, escape the hell death eaters brought to their world wasn’t enough to allow him to abandon everything he cherished. Percy Weasley was many things, but a coward wasn’t one. The fumble was awkward, Percy’s grip tights on his letter of resignation that warranted a suspicious glare. “Letter from a friend.”

The older wizard nodded, not truly seeming to care as he skimmed the files. “Really?” The response was dull and Percy expected the same uninterested eyes to fall on him as Scrim looked up, but there was a fire that had him shrinking in on himself. “You sure it isn’t copies of these?”

Percy’s face blanched. He had no control over his reaction, eyes wide and his mouth sat agap in shock. There wasn’t any way that he could have known. He had been cautious, overly cautious with time meticulously spent making sure he left no traces to what he was doing for the order. “S-Sorry?”

“Sit.” It wasn’t an option, Scrim’s head jerked in the chair directly across from the desk. 

Panic rose like bile up his throat, a sickly burn that Percy forced himself to swallow back. Excuses riddled his mind, blatant lies to cover his own tracks. It was pointless. Everyone always made up their minds about him and his motivations before he got to defend himself, formed their hatred around half-truths and Percy only hoped that Scrim didn’t believe he committed treason by giving information to the death eaters. “I - I can explain.”

There was subtle enjoyment in Scrim’s face at watching Percy squirm, the deep-set frown lifting a fraction. “Don’t. I just want you to sit and listen. I understand that in being my junior assistant you may have thought you had leverage others don’t, but any fire messages sent out from the Ministry are intercepted, and have been since Fudge.” The smirk grew in size as Percy’s horror set in, something he thought was clever, actually the worst thing he could have done. “You need to think outside your realm of simple. Transfigurations, which you were rather gifted at. Memory growth charms and potions, broaden your options, and be careful not to repeat them.”

Percy’s mind stuttered, tried to keep up with what he heard and what Percy was deciphering from them. He wasn’t in trouble, if anything it seemed like advice being given, ways to trick the system. Brows furrowed, he edged closer to the desk until he was perched awkwardly on the end of the chair. The comment was so out of character, so far from the person, Percy thought he knew, that he watched Scrim carefully; searching for a fault or something that would show it wasn’t in fact the Minister of Magic. But there was nothing to argue against the man before him and suspicion slipped under Percy’s skin.

“Sir?”

A tired half-grin rose at the corners of his lips as Scrim’s arms rested over the desk. “The Ministry will need people like you, Percy. People who believe there is still good to be found here, justice.”

The laugh was ladened with unease. Even if the comment gave him some sense of worth, Percy could sense the wrongness in the air. “Thank you, Sir. But you’ll be here when that time comes.”

The look was incredulous, a questioning stare shot in Percy’s direction. He wasted no time moving on to the next matter. “I don’t accept your resignation, either.” Knowing lingered behind the words, and Percy’s gaze dropped from Scrim’s instantly. He was always two steps ahead, knew things before Percy even discovered them himself. “I do, however, feel that you should take the rest of the day off. You’ve been through enough and the next part isn’t your fight. It’s your brother’s wedding, you should go.”

Percy looked up sheepishly, the gentle nudge everyone had been given him the past few days splintered. He was tired of explaining, living his life in a loop. “Right,” he mumbled, and Percy quietly got to his feet. He held no intentions of going to the wedding, had done well throughout the day to keep it out of his mind only to have it shoved into his face. Mixed regret consumed him as Percy walked out from the office, unsure of where to go now that he had been sent home for the day. He could leave with Felix, the option there before him whether Scrim accepted his resignation or not. He was lost, half of himself missing in the debate of what he needed to do; what was best for him. 

The next part isn’t your fight.

The words niggled at a mind that was overworked and exhausted. He knew Scrim was acting off, should have seen past the strange compliments given to him for what it was. Tactics. Even the reminder of Bill’s wedding was nothing more than a chess piece being pushed into play and panic spread through his chest, Percy’s lanky frame stumbling back for the office in a mad rush as he pieced it together, wand in hand. It wouldn’t have been the first time death eaters utilized the polyjuice potion. 

“Why are you still here?” 

There was a growing agitation, Scrim’s long desire to yell for him to f*** off clear on his face, and Percy faltered in momentary confusion. What if he was wrong? What if it really was just Scrim before him and not a clever ploy? If it was a death eater, they could have just killed him instead of trying to get him out from the Ministry. Percy’s head throbbed as he tried to piece together the puzzle, a grip in his lungs growing stronger with each question that sparked another set. All he knew, all Percy could sense was something was wrong. 

He never was able to voice the stream of thoughts, voice any concern as footsteps thundered through the halls. Percy saw it first. The look on Scrim’s face subtly changed from annoyance to his presence to immediate concern and his heart quickened. Then he heard it. The surrounding air had become quiet, like icy drips onto frozen skin. Even with most of the staff gone, the Ministry was never this silent, the hair on Percy’s arm standing on end.

 “Get to the apparition test center, you can get out from there.” 

Wand clutched, Scrim rose dutifully from behind his desk, that knowing look once again on his face, shoulders back and chin high as he left a stunned Percy behind. 

Ministry Falls Series; Part 2
Featuring 𝔖𝔱𝔞𝔯𝔣𝔦𝔯𝔢 (prompt 'I'd prefer you go') & war мιnιѕтer.
You can read part 1 >- Before the fall
Massive shoutout to Scrim for letting me pester him and use part of his own HC for Scrim during this time. 

11/09/2020 07:31 PM 

Muse Q&A

From behind the keyboard
Muse Q&A

1) What makes you most emotional about your muse?

The dynamic between Percy and Arthur. All Percy ever wanted was to not just make Arthur proud of him but to be seen for who he was and when Arthur finally saw him, it wasn’t in pride or happiness but as disreputable. And while they did put their differences aside later on, I do not believe that father/son relationship between them was fully mended. 

2) What made you decide to write this muse?

Relistening to the books. Now older and wiser, I related and understood Percy’s actions so much more. Reading the books as a kid, of course I sided with the Weasley’s, but in new and older eyes I saw how horrible his own family treated him. That and the fact there wasn’t a single Percy and I have an affinity for taking unloved/despised characters and changing the narrative. 

3) If you could change one event in your muses life, what would it be?

I wouldn’t. I stand by the fact that everything that happened to him, even the worst of it, helped to shape him and he learned from it. To remove or alter an event would have a butterfly effect on his entire future. 

4) If you could tell your muse one thing, what would you tell them?

That it is absolutely okay to be different from your family and that sometimes being different is what makes them see another viewpoint. Also, it okay to cut toxic people from your life, even if they are family. 

5) If you could give your muse one gift, what would you give them?

I could be really generic here and say a rare book or quill but I would get him a barn owlet. It is his favorite owl, the kind he wanted as a kid but got Scabbers instead. 

6) If you could take one positive thing away from your muse, what would it be?

His undying loyalty. As much as people want to peg him as a traitor, Percy was doing what he believed was good for his family (even in the books). He was extremely loyal to the Ministry of Magic, even after he had to face Fudge’s resignation and the shame that came with that. I wouldn’t take this from him as much as I would tone it down. His loyalty got him nowhere but on a train to pain and heartbreak and still, he remained true to those he was loyal too.

7) If you could ‘borrow’ one aspect of your muse and apply it to yourself or your own life, what would you borrow?

Definitely his precision and lack of procrastination. He gets his sh*t done and doesn’t like panic-induced deadlines. He’s always ahead of the game and I could really use that with literally everything.

8) Do you genuinely want your muse to be happy? 

Yes. He had such a hard way in life that Percy deserves happiness. 

8A) What do you think would make them most happy in life?

Being accepted for who he is. It’s always been something that he was made fun of for and he finally finds that acceptance in the form of Zoshia which is when his life starts to get better.

9) Do you enjoy putting your muse through angst? 

*laughs in evil* WHAT! Me? Never! *laughs and laughs in evil*

I may take some sick enjoyment out of it every now and again.

9A) What do you think would break their heart the most?

Generically speaking, not being forgiven by his family but they have hurt him so much I don’t think it would have the same impact it would have had when he was younger. The only thing that would truly break his heart and devastate him after the dust settled would be losing Zoshia. She is his rock and his best friend, the one person he isn’t ashamed to be himself around. She becomes his entire world and without her, he would be lost.

10) What do you love about your muse?

Everything! Can I say everything? Percy is such a complex character that it’s impossible NOT to love everything about him. Though, if I have to pick just one thing, it is his ability to keep going even when everything is falling apart around him and pretend it isn’t. Basically, if he was real and dealing with 2020 he’d be that annoying person who acted completely unphased by it all and kept on working with a smile on his face. “Oh, the world is burning to the ground around us? Cool, I have these papers you asked for and next weeks projections.”

11) What do you hate about your muse?

Nothing specific about Percy, but more so his situations. The whole concept that his entire family just cut him out for choosing to work at the Ministry and not putting blind faith in Harry or Dumbledore really digs under my skin. Yes, Percy left on his own, but he was 19! And apart from the one instance where Molly went to see Percy, his parents did NOTHING to rectify that situation and allowed Percy to be bullied out from the Burrow the one time he showed up. And then, as things were becoming more dangerous and it was clear the death eaters were trying to take over the Ministry, Arthur should have swallowed his f***ing pride and made amends with his son, who was the Minister’s right hand and a prime target. The fact is, Percy being murdered by death eaters wasn’t enough to spur Arthur into forgiving him or apologizing himself in order to bring Percy back home where it was safer. He was pushed out of their minds and forgotten during the height of the f***ing war and that is just so utterly heartbreaking to me. And there are multiple instances that show this and this is book canon, not even what I have added in. Percy had one momentary lapse of judgment and they were done with him. Arthur and Molly (though more Arthur) held a 19 year old to higher standards than they held themselves too. *ends rant before it turns into a novel*

12) What about your muse amuses you?

Sarcasm! It was pointed out to me that Percy has two forms of sarcasm and I will never get over it. So massive shout out to Dragon Seeker for this one. Basically, Percy doesn’t have a knack for sarcasm. He tries and it just never sticks. But when he is genuinely angry and isn’t trying to be sarcastic, it is heavy and on par with the rest of his siblings. I love this because it wasn’t intended on my part but it falls in line with the book version of him that when he’s trying to be funny, it’s awkward but when it isn’t intended he is actually really funny. 

13) What about your muse makes you sad?

How badly he just wants to fit in with his family and knows he doesn’t and will never be good enough. It’s just in the fact that he knows that makes it sad. He doesn’t have a friend in his own family, no one he can turn too in hard times even before his estrangement, and that is heartbreaking to me. 

14) How would you describe your muse to someone who was just about to meet them?

“Okay, so . . . he’s going to come across as a pompous ass little sh*thead at first, I mean his name is Percy, which I know, the name just makes him sound like a prick. But I swear he’s cool! Once as he gets comfortable, he’s fine, funny even. Here’s a list of topics NOT to talk to him about because he won’t shut up for hours . . . you know what. Just ask him about owls, the dude loves owls”

15) Would you like your muse as a person if you met them in real life?

YES! I would be that weird person who would be best buds with Percy. 

16) In what ways are you better than your muse?

When I’m wrong I can admit it and apologize. My pride doesn’t get in my way when I’ve been proven wrong. 

16A) In what ways are they better than you? 

Percy is very much a go-getter. He wants something; he sets his mind to it and gets it. I want something, I will buckle down at first and then get distracted. 

17) Why do you think you connect to your muse?

I know what it is like to be cut off from family. Not in the same way that Percy was, I moved out of the country and still talked to my family. But I went through a lot of massive life-changing moments, had to deal with loss and hardships on my own without the support of my family. I understand the loneliness, though mine was by choice and not from being pushed out. 

18) What aspects of your muses personality are most important to you?

Percy’s depression. What he went through in the books is very overlooked by JKR and fans, and to speculate that he faced depression at some point in his life wouldn’t be off the mark. Growing up he was picked on and bullied by his siblings. His dreams were torn down before he even left Hogwarts by being made fun of. Then he gets to the Ministry and he is manipulated so massively and his family (particularly Arthur who was at the Ministry with him) did nothing to protect him. Instead, his own family beat him down for his mistakes until he left the Burrow. He faced estrangement, Fudge’s fall, Scrims murder and the fall of the Ministry on his own all between the ages of 19-21. 

18A) Which aspects are most important to them?

Ambition is most important to Percy. It was the one trait he was never ashamed of having because it got him places. He fought and put in all the work to get up in the Ministry and didn’t let hiccups like his trial after Crouch’s death or Fudge’s fall ruffle his feathers. He persisted and kept going for what he wanted. 

19) If you had to judge your muse to a fair fate, what would your judgement be? 

Percy isn’t a bad person and while he made mistakes, he did learn from them. I wouldn’t damn him to some miserable fate like to be reborn as a bug or something. His fate would just be to rest a weary mind. 

20) BONUS!

Starfire

Are there any ways you and your muse are the same?

Probably more than I am willing to admit. When I first created Percy, the key trait I gave him was his lack of affection and inability to be cute or flirty. I personally need my space, I don’t like having someone clinging to me and needing constant affection. I loath hugs as much as Percy does. I’m not a romantic person, and it translates into my writing as well. Also his coffee addiction. 

Are there any events that happened to your muse that you took inspiration from your own life?

Yes, but not to the extent that I’ve put into Percy’s storyline. 

 

Pain and Blood

If you had the chance to put yourself in your muse’s shoes life for two days, would you accept the challenge? if yes, what would you do?

I would without a question, provided I got to pick the time in which I filled his shoes. Filling Percy’s shoes while he was at Hogwarts would have been so much fun. I would have read all the books he had like a dork. And I would have broken up with Penelope for him, with some choice words so she wouldn’t weasel her way back in.

 

Dragon Seeker

Bouncing off Zosh here, are there any traits you gave your muse that are nothing like you?

Book canon, his arrogance. Traits I personally gave him, drinking. I don’t drink and never really have. 

Do you ever see your muse going to the dark side?

I want to say no, but under the right conditions, yes. It is fair to say that during some of his lower moments, with the right person whispering into his ear, giving him a sense of belonging when he felt so lonely, Percy would have slowly been drawn in.

Is there anything you’ve already have set for your muse that you wish you could change? If so, what and why?

If I had been asked this a few months ago, I would have said no, but as things are ever-changing, there is one thing. Putting Percy back into the Ministry after he was fired for drinking. Just from doing some of my newer pieces and the trauma he experienced within the Ministry during the height of the war, a lot of which drives the drinking, putting him back into that setting almost feels like I’m setting him back up for failure. Honestly, and I think the idea sparked from the Q&A I did, I do wish I had made him the transfiguration professor at Hogwarts once as he got his life back under control. 

Is there a certain song that gets you in the mindset of your muse? Or is there a certain song/lyric that applies to your muse?

To get into the harder, more emotional drabbles I put on the Broadchurch soundtrack.

A song that applies to Percy right now: No way out by The Word Alive: The entire song is Percy. It's basically his entire life in song form. Specific lyrics "Tell my family I love them, I'm sorry. Tell my friends it's okay if they hate me. Tried so hard, came up empty. Forgive and forget isn't like me. I never learned how I need to let go. It's all too much so swallowed the pain away. I couldn't stay.'

King by SAINT PHNX. Lyrics that apply: “I don’t want to lose my head. I don’t want to sell my soul. I feel it taking over, Feel the pressure building. I don’t want to waste my time. I don’t want to lose control.” “I just want to scream. That nothing’s what it seems.” “Never been a perfect time. Never in my state of mind. Waiting for the moment, keep the fire burning. I don’t want to lose my way. Took me so long to find” and “I control my destiny. I’m not the man I used to be

 

 

 

11/07/2020 10:43 PM 

The Mirror of Erised

The Mirror of Erised; December 1991
[Prompt by ❝Megalomaniac;]

Percy’s eyes danced over the gleaming beauty before him, a grand old thing that sparked his love for vintage magic. He had read about the mirror, even did a paper on the charms that enchanted it, but never in all his days did he ever think he would come across it, especially not while out looking for Ron in the middle of the night. He knew better than to keep advancing on the mirror. Every piece of text he read about it, the way it trapped people as they sat watching their fantasy before them until their deaths came back to Percy. But curiosity was a dangerous thing, and Percy already knew what he desired.

He could see it all in his mind. A perfectly clear image of himself in a finely tailored suit, no more hand-me-downs, no more wearing baggy things that never fit him properly. Only the finest of cloaks and quills that money could buy, money he would never be short of. His office would be the size of the Burrow, with an enormous mahogany desk and walls lined with shelves stacked high of endless books. People would pass and greet him; there would be respect, recognition. Percy would be someone - no, not just someone. He’d be the youngest Minister of Magic on record. Percy had thought about it before, dreamed of it as much as he wished and worked for it. But in those same moments, his siblings teased him relentlessly for one day wanting to be better, thinking he could be someone.

Nervously, he stepped in front of the mirror; the determination faltering as he stared at himself for a long moment, fixing his prefect badge. It happened slowly, a subtle change that took Percy a moment to notice. Red streaked his hair, the flaming color he once had as a child that faded over the years unlike his siblings returned. There were little brown spots flecked over his face, his slightly crooked nose straighter, and no glasses in sight. His family formed around him and Percy blended right in. He was the spitting image of a Weasley, no faults or quirks about him and they stood together as a family. He wasn’t pushed aside, his face wasn’t buried in one of the twin's pits. There were no eye rolls in his direction or even leers. There were arms draped over his shoulders, pulling him in in a massive family hug. They all looked happy to see him, even his father looked at him with pride.

Percy’s mouth went dry as he backed away slightly. He wanted to tear his gaze from the reflection that grinned back at him, a true smile with no lingering sadness behind it but he couldn’t. This wasn’t the desire he imagined. The mirror was a trick, as great and wonderful as it was, it was also a thing of evil. It showed the deepest desires that were unobtainable, which was why people wasted away before it. Seeing himself as Minister of Magic would only drive Percy to achieve it. He wouldn’t dare waste away watching a dream when he could have the real thing. Being a part of his family though, feeling loved and wanted in a place he was always the odd one out in? Not being called a prat or other names by his brothers, to finally be seen by his father? That he could lose himself to and with every bit of mental strength, Percy forced himself out from the room. 

10/30/2020 10:15 PM 

You’ve hurt me enough

October 30, 1994

Percy looked down at his watch for the seventh time in the span of five minutes, apprehension settling in the pit of his stomach. They agreed upon six, or at least Percy believed they had. It wasn’t like him to misread set dates or times, but it wasn’t like Penelope to be late either. Then again, it had been so long since he had seen her. He knew she didn’t want him to go, fought him for days on the matter and when he left she refused to see him off.

It had been Bill’s brilliant idea to send lovey morning owls, the sickening sweet words that Percy copied down from the list his brother gave him making his skin crawl. He felt beyond foolish, could imagine Penelope laughing and showing it off at work, proving that Percy was a prudish and inept fool. He couldn’t believe it when she owled back, the letter that made him grin as much as it made him blush throughout his first hellish day as Crouch’s assistant. It only lasted a few weeks, Bill’s list of greetings used up and Percy didn’t dare try and repeat one. He tried his own hand at it, horror seeping in through the quill that splattered ink over the parchment, every word scratched out in embarrassment. Still, he tried and quickly Penelope’s replies became shorter and curter until finally, she stopped responding to his morning owl. He wasn’t sure when he had given up on the advice. Tired of feeling like a gormless twit, Percy allowed work to take over as the letters between the pair became more and more scarce to nonexistent.

She’s probably just busy, Runcorn is incredibly demanding.

It was always the same reasoning, anything from her lack of replies to his owls to now; leaving him standing out in the freezing cold, time crunching down on their dinner reservations. It wasn’t much, but it was best he could offer at the moment with the little money he had left. Reservations at a relatively fancy restaurant followed by a walk around London, not the best way to spend their three year anniversary but not the worst either. Not once she found out what he really had planned.

He scanned the crowd of faces as they made their out from the floo network and on their way home, eager to begin their weekends. Anxiously, Percy checked his watch again. It was nearly six twenty-five, the impending reservations of six-thirty looming over him like a cloud.

Why would she want to go after months of silence? No doubt something said in those letters she didn’t like. Stupid idea, of course she hated it.

He still felt it, the unnatural anxiety that consumed him as he wrote letter after letter to her, burning the ones he felt were too idiotic or plain. He wasn’t good with these kinds of things, that much he knew. Three years in and he shouldn’t have still been feeling like a terrified schoolboy asking her what time worked best for dinner, letting her know that he would be in town just for her, but he did. He’d never tell her how hard he had to fight Crouch, that he had to double down on his workload, took on an overhaul of tasks just to get a few short hours off. None of it came with added funds, no increase in pay that he desperately could have used as he scraped and saved every galleon for her.

Numbed fingers folded around the small, silken box in his pocket, Percy’s heart quickening in response. It was the next logical step. Like dinner, the ring wasn’t much. It was more expensive than he could afford, months of forgoing anything for himself just so he could get her something shamefully mediocre. To Percy, it was still lovely, he didn’t need something flashy and expensive to prove he loved her. But he knew Penelope well enough to know that she would hate it, everything from the size to the cheap look about it. He had the speech planned out in his mind, about how it wouldn’t be forever, a few years until he achieved a better position and was able to give her better.

Joy. It was an emotion Percy knew he should have felt, the idea of pinning parts of his life into place, settling down with someone his parents didn’t just like but adored made it more than ideal. Joy, however, was nowhere to be found; Percy’s stomach twisted with dread that made him want to be ill until the box was released from his grip. It was just nerves, nothing more than a bundle of frazzled nerves to taking the next step in life.

It’s not a mistake. This is what you want, she’s what you need. I’d be nothing without her. Who would ever want me?

Once more he checked his watch, aggravation peeking to a new level as the hand ticked past their allotted time. He didn’t like being late, the thought of it alone sent a flare of hives up his arms, an unbearable itch soon to follow. A soft hum of curses muttered under his breath, Percy slipped his way through the crowds and into the entrance of the floo network, face pulled tight in annoyance as he appeared in the deserted hall of the Ministry. Annoyance morphed into anger, everything he had planned falling apart, slipping through his fingers without a chance to control it or put it back in its place.

Knuckles rapped on Runcorn’s office door, and Percy took a step back with the words on the tip of his tongue. It wasn’t right that Runcron kept Penelope working so late, she was his assistant, not a lackey; though Percy wasn’t one to talk with the way Crouch treated him. The scuffled response inside wasn’t subtle, a flirtatious laugh that made Percy’s cheeks rise in color, his heart quicken as it plummeted. Hands buried deep in his pockets, Percy’s fingers drummed against the small box as he fought to keep himself from opening the door. She wouldn’t. Not on their anniversary. Not when she knew he was coming. Not when she said she loved him. Not when she knew how much he loved her.

She doesn’t love you, who could? A workaholic with nothing to show, not even able to buy a decent -

“Percy?” Penelope’s head poked out from the door, the smile on her face falling. “What are you doing here?”

He blanked for a moment. “Our date?”

“That’s not today.”

It was the way she said it, the matter-of-fact tone in her voice as she peered at him like he were an imbecile. Maybe she was right, maybe he had gotten the days mixed up.

No. His mind strained for a moment, collected bit and pieces of information from the past few days, and quickly complied them together. He knew what day it was, he was right. “No, today is October thirtieth, it’s our anniv-”

“I’m just surprised you even remembered.”

Penelope’s snap put Percy’s into sudden silence, cold eyes locked on him. It took him a moment to rebuild some courage, his heart stuttering with his words. “We have reservations we’re now late for.”

She stepped fully out from the office, head tilted to the side as she fluffed her hair up a little. Percy caught it just as her hair settled, the bruise against pale skin just at the curve of her neck and his head dipped low in response. He didn’t want to believe it, refused too.

You’re imagining things like you always do when upset. Bringing it up would only spoil things.

“So this is my fault because you lack the ability to convey a simple message about times, let alone what we are doing?”

The snicker from within the office sent a flare of embarrassment up Percy’s face, the hue outdoing the fading redness of his hair. “Can we please talk out here, alone?”

She stalled for a moment, arms crossed in an act of defiance, before finally she looked back quickly into the office. There was a flash of a smile as Runcorn stepped, not a single glance was thrown in Percy’s direction as his fingers brazenly skimmed over Penelope’s lower back, a playful light tap under her chin as they said their goodbyes.

Percy stood stunned, his thoughts feathered out as nothing returned to him. It couldn’t be denied, the inappropriateness of Runcorn actions and Penelopes . . . Percy did a double-take, saw the bashful smile clearly on her face as her gaze followed her boss. He didn’t want to react, mentally talked himself down while simultaneously worked himself back up in the same process.

“The hell was that?” Anger radiated from him, uncontrollable and unfiltered as it played over in Percy’s mind. He touched her. The image of Runcorn’s fingers running over his Penelope played on repeat in his mind.

“What was what?”

“That!” Percy roared.

Piercing blue eyes narrowed on him before the rolled in annoyance that was unmatched to Percy’s anger. “Calm down, that was noth-”

“Don’t tell me to calm down.” The snarl came before he could correct it, Percy’s heated steps forward making her retreat slightly from him in alarm. He felt insane, questioned everything until he felt his own thoughts give up on him. “It’s our anniversary! I did as you asked and am making more of an effort, I set all of this up and you’re…you’re…”

“I’m what,” Penelope challenged, her voice clipped and dangerous. “I’ve been working my arse off and for what, so you can accuse me of that? Really charming, Perce. I’d ask the same of you, but that’d be a joke because who in their right mind would ever want something as cold and dead as you? You’re not even attractive. I mean, have you seen your nose? You don’t even look like your family, at least your brothers are attractive even if they are stupid.”

Percy remained unnaturally still as he waited for the needed oxygen to hit him, a small fire in his chest igniting in place of the anger that was instantly snuffed out. Glasses removed, Percy bought himself time as he wiped the lenses on the end of his tie, his thoughts disjointed and lost in a creeping depression. “You know what, forget it.”

“It’s our anniversary and you are ruining it!” Percy half waited for Penelope to stomp her foot down in a tantrum, waited for the fatal huff before she stalked away like she had done so many times before to him. Mortified, Percy watched as her eyes watered, a pout forming on her full lips. “You do this every time. First, you stopped owling, then you get mad at me for working and now you're accusing me of cheating on you!”

“You stopped owling me!”

You’ve hurt me enough already! You know bloody well you’re wrong and to make yourself feel better your lying and accusing.”

Percy faltered, his mind lost between thoughts of what he knew and what he was forcing himself to believe. Had he gotten so caught up at work that he missed her owls? Was his own guilt manifesting into putting blame on her so it would lessen what he was feeling? It felt wrong, all of it but the more Penelope spoke the less inclined he was to trust his own mind, his own reality. “No, no that’s not -”

Penelope’s head tilted, brows lifted as she silently questioned him. “Yes, Percy. And then you come here, on your high horse accusing me of cheating? You have no right to be angry at anything other than yourself.”

“I’m sorry,” he muttered miserably. “Do - do you want to go to dinner with me?” There was a shyness in his voice, a defeat he wasn’t used to as he kept his eyes on the ground. “We probably lost our reservations, but I can try to get us in or we could go somewhere else. I could-I could cook for you.”

Penelope snorted loudly, a distinct look of disgust that beat Percy further into the ground. “Why? So we sit there and stare at each other as you prattle on about how much better you are than me?”

“Please stop, I’m trying.”

“You’re what?”

The tone she took made him slink back, Percy’s body turned slightly away from Penelope. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go, but then again nothing with Penelope ever went according to plan. “You said you wanted me to take an initiative, to put more effort into us. I’m trying.”

“If this is you trying, I’d hate to see what the other option is?”

He should have been used to it, it was all apart of her game, the constant berating that Percy never did enough in their relationship, never initiated and left all the work on her to keep their relationship alive while simultaneously condemning any attempts he made. But it still cut at him, severed any confidence he had in himself or who he was.

She’s right. You’re cold. Unlovable. Detestable. You’re not worth fighting for, she deserves so much better than you.

“Well let's go, but don’t say I do nothing for you.”

Percy remained where he stood, his jaw locked as he turned the box over in his hand from the depth of his coat. He didn’t want to go, exhaustion melting in with the trickle of darkness that left him with nothing but a void. He didn’t want to ask, not when his own reality was being questioned.

There was a shift in the air, a fresh look on Penelope’s face as she saw the win and took it. She beat him, broke him, and it elated her. “Perce-bear I love you. I just wish you loved me. I mean, this is our anniversary, and look at you, you couldn’t be bothered with anything other than some cheap dinner. I bet you didn’t even notice I’m wearing the earrings you got me last year.” She showed them off quickly, a satisfied smile on her face before she walked off, leaving Percy to trail behind her.

Prompt for POISON. "you've hurt me enough"

[ This blog post is private ]

10/25/2020 10:45 PM 

Before the fall

July 31, 1997

He knew the moment the door to his flat creaked open, ease behind the mundane task that he wouldn’t have before thought twice about, now weighed down on his chest; suffocating him in polluting fear that rose in thick pillars of smog. Limply his keys fell to his side, Percy’s body frozen at the entrance to the place he lived in for the past two years, a place that never felt like home but did the job. The hair on his arms stood on end, the weight of the air layered over him as he scanned the wards he had put in place. Everything was in order, protection spells still intact and not tampered with, but the heaviness in the air gave him pause, the pure wrongness, a feeling that the space had been tainted.

Wand clutched as if it were a lifeline, Percy took the first daring step forward. The primal instinct to run reverberated in his skull, a scream so loud it sent his senses into overdrive. It was the silence that unnerved him, not just the lack of screeching cars on the muggle streets of London but the flat itself. Anything from shrieking blame to wails of despair, the boggart Percy had trapped in his tiny bedroom became a companion in a life so lonely. There was nothing to greet him as he walked deeper into his flat, heart drumming faster alongside every step. His mother’s voice was gone, no weeping about her husband, the children she loved so dearly that Percy had failed, that he was to blame for their fall; their deaths. He was met with nothing but unnatural silence.

Run

The voice was harsh in the back of his mind, a demand that was unmet. Running would only spare him a few hours at best, probably not even that if they were inside his flat; he’d be lucky if he even made it to the street before they took him out. Darkness enveloped him, shadows dancing in the beams of lights from the silent cars below. All tricks of the mind, a mind that had been propelled into paranoia as the daily count of his colleagues went missing haunted him, names engraved in his subconscious as he transferred them down onto paper. Nothing jumped from the shadows, no overpowering forms that crept and lurked in the corners making themselves known. It was all in his mind, too much time spent away.

He was fine. He was safe.

Percy had hoped a weekend away would do him some good, give him a chance to breathe, and switch off from work. He surrounded himself with friendly faces, those that didn’t press or pry him for information about the war, no hyped talk of Bill’s upcoming wedding. The pair instead gave him a reason to laugh and feel normal. A weekend turned into a week-long stay at Felix’s, no desire to return to a place as cold and unloved as he felt; a reminder of how trapped he was. Percy knew it was Zoshia’s own fears manifesting as she pushed for him to remain with Felix, as higher-ups in the Ministry went missing it was only a matter of time before they came for him.

Looking around his flat, the sigh of relief lodged painfully between his chest and throat. The black mass sat on his table, unrecognizable at the distance that made Percy draw in closer, steps hesitant as he wand remained drawn and ready. Thick black leather sat open on his table, the spine of the book turned away, hidden from the quick glance that would have given it away. Unease boiled under a fire of terror in the pit of his stomach, steps still inching forward. He didn’t leave a book out, Percy never left a mess if it could be helped. Everything had a place, a spot where they belonged. Fingers trembled as they slide under the weight of the bound pages as his mind raced. A book was a peculiar thing to leave out, especially when they left no other traces of being in his flat, if there was anyone inside. He tried to reason with himself, convince himself that he left it out by accident, that he must have been planning to give it to Zoshia or Felix and forgot. Lights flashed through his window, enough light given to see the cover.

The book hit the table in a thud that helped to silence the muffled scream of Percy’s as he backtracked from the table, hands clamped over his mouth as if it was enough to keep the fear in place. Grisly white eyes lingered on him from the cover, the skeletal face of the Inferius twisted up and screaming, the same image that sent shivers down Percy’s spine when he stole it from Runcorn’s office. The Nightshade Guide to Necromancy, a book Percy kept safely hidden away in the very top shelf of his bookcase, out of sight and mind after he stupidly took it after he caught Penelope and Runcorn having an affair. It shouldn’t have been out, any doubts that no one had been in his flat dashed. 

Moments ticked by, Percy slowly talking himself up to go and retrieve the book, half expecting for it to signal the death eaters and swarms of black to descend on him. The fear locked him in with his demons, trapped him in his own mind as the claws grew longer, scratched at the surface of his very being. It was only a matter of time before they finally settled their sights on him. Percy was surprised he had lasted this long to begin with, a Weasley and the Junior Assistant to Scrim, the person who was doing everything in his power to stop the assassination attempts. He didn’t want to die. Not here, not like this. Not so bloody alone and hated by his family. He couldn’t die as a failure to so many people he loved. Book tucked under his arm, paper slid over the table as Percy worked to calm himself back down, a short-lived attempt as his heart stopped for a beat to the sight of Bill’s wedding invitation, the horror slowly sinking down on him, drove him to finally turn and run.

The crack was instant the moment Percy reached the alley around the side of his flat, his mind lost in an unending panic to what was happening, the destruction he possibly caused. He should have binned the invitation the moment he received it, but foolishly he hoped things would be different by now. That the war would have been halted before it began, that the Weasley’s became one again after mends were made. Fists hit the door to the small house before the crack of his appearance faded into the night, Percy’s eyes wild. 

The wand was the first thing to greet him, Remus Lupin on the other end with a severe expression. “Percy?” His voice was soft, almost concerned but the wand never lowered. In the times Percy had been meeting with Remus, slipping the older wizard information that Fudge had been keeping from the wizarding community to anything he believed the Order needed to know about current happenings, they had a system in place to avoid others catching on. Percy knew showing up out of the blue was a cause of alarm, rose suspicion to if he was in control of himself, but he didn’t care. He didn’t know where else to go, what else to do.

“They were in my flat.”

Remus’ head cocked to the side, the terror laced words lingering in the air between them. Quietly he stepped outside, the door closed behind him before he jutted his head to the side of the house. “Who? Percy, you live in with muggles, it could have been a simple break-in.”

Percy’s head shook violently. “Nothing was taken or even out of place. The protective wards are still up.”

Confusion flickered across Remus’ face, his eyes narrowed as he took in the information that didn’t make sense. Even as he said it out loud, Percy knew it sounded like a thing of fantasy, his paranoia feeding into a delusion. “If your wards are still up -”

“I don’t know how, but they were there.” He felt crazy. Percy pulled roughly at the roots of his hair, inefficacious inhales that did nothing to calm him. “I just know, please you have to believe me. The boggart is gone, they-they left a book out.”

Remus let out a noise, the confusion growing as he tried to keep up with Percy’s manic thoughts. “A book? That’s not really proof, is it?”

“I’m not one to overreact, they were there! They were in my flat!”

New heights of hysteria rose within, closed over his throat until he no longer felt like he could breathe. In an infinitesimal moment, he second-guessed himself, that maybe he took the book out, that with how close it was to the wedding he brought the invitation out as well. A pitiful way to reminisce about the past and everything he was missing. Moments in time he would never get back, would forever be held against him.

“Have you been getting enough sleep?” Remus asked gently. 

“Don’t patronize as if I were a scared child.” Percy snapped. His body rocked forward and back, weight put on one foot before he leaned back enough to give himself the sway, a means to calm a hectic mind. “It’s not just the book, they found Bill’s wedding invitation, it was out with the book.”

Remus’s face turned up to the black sky, the lingering summer's heat and damp air sticking to the skin. Crickets chirped against the silence, Percy waiting for Remus to say something to him, offer some guidance or advice on what he should do. “What makes this book important?”

Percy stalled for a brief second, some of the terror consumed by shame as he was forced to address what he had done. “It’s a book about necromancy.” Percy couldn’t meet Remus’ intense glare, the sudden demand as to why he had the book to begin with. “It’s Runcorn’s book and we all know he’s one of them. I stole it after I caught him and Penelope together.” 

“That makes more sense now. I’m assuming you weren’t in your flat as they originally planned and left it out as a taunt.” His face turned back down to Percy, thoughtful but with some concern. “I don’t believe they were there to kill you. What would you do, as a death eater if you weren’t there to kill the Minister’s junior assistant?”

Face pulled back, Percy faltered at the question. Small draws of air stuck in his chest, gave little expansion as his mind worked over the question handed to him. He could see what Remus was doing, a simple tactic to calm him down enough to speak and think rationally. A problem presented gave him a chance to remove himself from his own terror. The answer came faster than Percy wanted, replaced the old terror with a new set, a fresh wave. “You think they were going to put me under the Imperius Curse?”

“Who better to kill the Minister of Magic than possibly the last person he trusts?”

Percy’s face drained of color in the simple way Remus had said it. A pawn, always a pawn in someone else's game, that was all he ever was. Percy breathed deeply, tried to find the comfort in three breaths but it eluded him, sent him spiraling further into a state of panic. He had grown to admire Scrim, as someone to strive to be like. He wouldn’t be the one who ended his life, who killed all hope in the wizarding world. “I don’t want this. I want out, I can’t do this.”

Remus was on him in an instant, fingers ground into his boney shoulders, a rough shake that sent Percy’s glasses slipping down his nose. “Think Percy, think about what you’re saying. I gave you a way out when Scrim first took office, you chose to stay. What did you say?”

“That was different. I was facing being fired, not torture or killing Scrim!”

“You knew the dangers.” Remus was too close to comfort, his face inches from Percy’s that made the younger wizard freeze and tense in response, slowly begin to shut down. “I know you’re scared, we all are. Don’t quit at the first sign of danger because you - you have been vital in all of this. All the information you’ve given us, think of how many people you’ve helped us save from death eaters, imagine how many more if you find the courage.”

Percy wanted to believe Remus, desperately wanted to latch to the idea that he was somehow important to the Order instead of just an expandable source. “Because of me, I put everyone at the wedding at risk. They know where to go-”

“They’ve always known. There are wards up in place.”

“They never had a date or time? How many people are going to be at that wedding that death eaters would love to kill? And it’s my fault. If anything happens to them . . .” He couldn’t bare it, the endless stream of dark thoughts sinking their claws into him, dragging Percy deeper into their recesses; a futile fight to keep himself afloat as they overpowered him, pushed his head under as they drowned him. 

Remus didn’t argue with him, his face back up to the blackened sky as he mauled over options. “Why don’t you come to the wedding?”

He wanted too, would have given anything to attend and support his eldest brother, but even the resistance in Remus’ voice proved that it wasn’t possible. “I’m not really wanted and I don’t want to be chased out again by them. I don’t think - there’s only so many hits I can take. And once they find out that I’m the reason…oh god.” It would add fuel to their hate, give more reason to why he wasn’t like them, that he was nothing but a traitor.

“You did nothing wrong.”

“You know damn well they won’t view it that way,” Percy replied, his words choked on emotion. “I can’t go, but you’ll be there. You can warn them, make sure they are safe.”

Remus nodded in simple understanding. “I’ll make sure there are extra wards in place, that we are more vigilant. I won’t tell them it was from your invitation they got the information but Percy, I need you to remain where you are.”

Eyes closed softly, Percy felt the last tug against his mind, the wash of depression that overflowed every inch within him. A simple tool to keep him in order, the carrot of his family dangled above his head. “Of course, fire message me if you need me. I’m not staying at my flat, I won’t become more of a puppet than all of you have already made me.”

Percy vanished before Remus could get another word in, the numbness seeping in through his bones. His stomach churned the moment his feet touched the ground, Percy’s eyes dulled as once again he found himself knocking on a door for help. 

“Weasley, I would say this was a lovely surprise, but I’d be lying a little.” Felix’s energetic voice filled the empty streets, a wide loonish smile about him. It was a poor attempt at a joke, a way to poke fun at their past that Percy usually forced a grin or laugh for, but there he had nothing left. “Everything okay?”

“Can I stay here again?” He hated asking for help, that he had no one else to turn to, that his options were so limited that he ended up with someone he knew truly didn’t like him and only tolerated him. “Don’t tell Zosh, death eaters were in my flat.”

Nothing else was said, the door pushed wide open as Percy was quickly ushered inside, the door closing behind him and any feelings he had left. 

Ministry Falls Series; Part 1
HC: A few months after Percy left the Burrow he crossed paths with Remus Lupin who gave him a listening ear and actually took the time to listen to Percy's side and understand where he was coming from. They would meet once or twice a month, just to see how the other was doing and for Percy to know how his family was. It was Percy's idea to begin giving Remus information Fudge was keeping out of the public's eyes to feed back to the Order. When the Battle of Hogwarts hit, it was Remus who alerted Percy and told him where to be if he wanted to fight, giving Percy the option knowing how much he had already been through. JKR initially had Aberforth be the one who alerted Percy but it is far too random since the two never would have crossed paths.   
** A massive shoutout to --FIRECRACKER for coming up with the idea of Percy finding some form of family and friendship with Remus Lupin after his estrangement from his family and allowing me to run with it.

10/21/2020 04:43 PM 

Percy HC's

1993: In Percy's final year, between the escape of Sirius Black and the attack of Dementors on the Quidditch Pitch, Percy and the Head Girl were trained to know how to fight off dementors in the same manner Harry was being taught by Remus Lupin. While Percy could create an incorporeal Patronus, he couldn't defeat the boggart used to train on because it altered forms and into his worst fear every time.



 

10/20/2020 01:52 PM 

Timeline


August 1984: Ministry of Magic 
July 1987: Scabbers
September 1, 1987: Sorting Ceremony
May 29, 1993: Message in blood
Late 1993: Manipulation
August 25, 1994: Dark Mark 
October 30, 1994 You've hurt me enough
May 25 / May 27, 1995: Death of Crouch Sn
June 1995: Trial and End
August 20, 1995: Fudge's Offer
August 20, 1995: Leaving the Burrow
August 21, 1995: Lost
August 21, 1995: Friendly Advice
August 22, 1995: 19th Birthday
December 1995: The Greater Good
December 25, 1996 Collateral damage
July 31, 1997, 1996 Before the fall
May 2, 1998: Battle of Hogwarts [pt 1]
May 2, 1998: Battle of Hogwarts [pt 2:]
May 23, 1999: Slipping
May 23, 1999: Boggart
May 23, 1999: Shell Cottage
May 24, 1999: The Daily Prophet
October 1999: Rock bottom
February 07 2006: Molly Weasley II

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