What follows is a listing of Percy’s words, references and related scenes
in Books 1-5. Page numbers are from American editions.
Harry swung round. The speaker was a plump woman who was talking to four boys,
all with flaming red hair. Each of them was pushing a trunk like Harry’s in
front of him - and they had an owl… “All right, Percy, you go first.”
The oldest boy marched toward platforms nine and ten. Harry watched careful
not to blink in case he missed it but just as the boy reached the dividing barrier
between the two platforms, a large crowd…
“Where’s Percy?” said their mother. “He’s coming now.” The oldest boy came striding
into sight. He had already changed into his billowing black Hogwarts robes,
and Harry noticed a shiny silver badge on his chest with the letter P on it.
“Can’t stay long, Mother,” he said. “I’m up front, the prefects have got two
compartments to themselves-" “Oh, are you a prefect, Percy?” said one of the
twins, with an air of great surprise. “You should have said something, we had
no idea.” “Hang on, I think I remember him saying something about it,” said
the other twin. “Once - “ “Or twice -” “A minute -” “All summer -” “Oh, shut
up,” said Percy the Prefect. “How come Percy gets new robes, anyway?” said one
of the twins. “Because he’s a prefect,” said their mother fondly. “All right,
dear, well, have a good term - send me an owl when you get there.”
She kissed Percy on the cheek and he left…
Bill was Head Boy and Charlie was captain of Quidditch. Now Percy’s a prefect.
Fred and George mess around a lot but…
I’ve got Bill’s old robes, Charlie’s old wand, and Percy’s old rat.”…
“His name’s Scabbers and he’s useless, he hardly ever wakes up. Percy
got an owl from my dad for being made a prefect, but they couldn’t aff - I
mean, I got Scabbers instead.
He was so relieved to have been chosen and not put in Slytherin, he hardly
noticed that he was getting the loudest cheer yet. Percy the Prefect got up
and shook his hand vigorously, while the Weasley twins yelled, “We got Potter!
We got Potter!”
Harry clapped loudly with the rest as Ron collapsed into the chair next to him.
“Well done, Ron, excellent,” said Percy Weasley pompously across Harry…
“Is he - a bit mad?” he asked Percy uncertainly. “Mad?” said Percy airily. “He’s
a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes. Potatoes, Harry?”
On Harry’s other side, Percy Weasley and Hermione were talking about lessons
(“I do hope they start right away, there’s so much to learn, I’m particularly
interested in Transfiguration…” "You’ll be starting small, just matches into
needles and that sort of thing -”)
“Ouch!” Harry clapped a hand to his head. “What is it?” asked Percy. “N-nothing.”…
“Who’s that teacher talking to Professor Quirrell?” he asked Percy. “Oh, you
know Quirrell already, do you? No wonder he’s looking so nervous, that’s Professor
Snape. He teaches Potions, but he doesn’t want to - everyone knows he’s after
Quirrell’s job. Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape.”
"He’s not serious?" He muttered to Percy. "Must be,” said Percy, frowning at
Dumbledore. “It’s odd, because he usually gives us a reason why we’re not allowed
to go somewhere - the forest’s full of dangerous beasts, everyone knows that.
I do think he might have told us prefects, at least.”
The Gryffindor first years followed Percy through the chattering crowds,
out of the Great Hall…
or that twice Percy led them through doorways hidden behind sliding panels
and hanging tapestries.
..A bundle of walking sticks was floating in midair ahead of them and as Percy
took a step toward them they started throwing themselves at him. “Peeves,” Percy
whispered to the first years. “A poltergeist. He raised his voice, “Peeves -
show yourself.” A loud, rude sound, like the air being let out of a balloon,
answered. “Do you want me to go to the Bloody Baron?” There was a pop, and a
little man… …He swooped suddenly at them. They all ducked. “Go away, Peeves,
or the Baron’ll hear about this, I mean it!” barked Percy. Peeves stuck out
his tongue and vanished, dropping the walking sticks on Neville’s head… “You
want to watch out for Peeves,” said Percy, as they set off again. “The Bloody
Baron’s the only one who can control him, he won’t even listen to us prefects.
Here we are.”…” "Caput Draconis,” said Percy… Percy directed the girls through
one door to their dormitory and the boys through another…
A lamp flickered on. It was Hermione Granger, wearing a pink bathrobe and a
frown. “You!” said Ron furiously. “Go back to bed!” “I almost told your brother,”
Hermione snapped. “Percy - he’s a prefect, he’d put a stop to this.”
There was an uproar. It took several purple firecrackers exploding from the
end of Professor Dumbledore’s wand to bring silence. “Prefects,” he rumbled,
“lead your Houses back to the dormitories immediately!” Percy was in his element.
“Follow me! Stick together, first years! No need to fear the troll if you follow
my orders! Stay close behind me, now. Make way, first years coming through!
Excuse me, I’m a prefect!”… “…Hermione…she doesn’t know about the troll.” Ron
bit his lip.> “Oh, all right,” he snapped. “But Percy’d better not see us.”…
…They had just turned the corner when they heard quick footsteps behind them.
“Percy!” hissed Ron, pulling Harry behind a large stone griffin. Peering around
it, however, they saw not Percy but Snape…
“What’s all this noise?” Percy Weasley stuck his head through the door, looking
disapproving. He had clearly gotten halfway through unwrapping his presents
as he, too, carried a lumpy sweater over his arm, which Fred seized. “P for
prefect! Get it on, Percy, come on, we’re all wearing ours, even Harry got one.”
“I - don’t - want - “ said Percy thickly, as the twins forced the sweater over
his head, knocking his glasses askew. “And you’re not sitting with the prefects
today, either,” said George. “Christmas is a time for family.” They frog-marched
Percy from the room, his arms pinned to his side by his sweater.
Flaming Christmas puddings followed the turkey. Percy nearly broke his
teeth on a silver sickle embedded in his slice.
Harry and the Weasleys spent a happy afternoon having a furious snowball
fight on the grounds. Then, cold, wet, and gasping for breath, they returned
to the fire in the Gryffindor common room, where Harry broke in his new chess
set by losing spectacularly to Ron. He suspected he wouldn’t have lost so
badly if Percy hadn’t tried to help him so much.
After a meal of turkey sandwiches, crumpets, trifle, and Christmas cake,
everyone felt too full and sleepy to do much before bed except sit and watch
Percy chase Fred and George all over Gryffindor tower because they’d stolen
his prefect badge.
Gryffindor cheers nearly raised the bewitched ceiling; the stars overhead
seemed to quiver. Percy could be heard telling the other prefects, “My brother,
you know! My youngest brother! Got past McGonagall’s giant chess set!”
Chamber of Secrets
“Beds empty! No note! Car gone - could have crashed - out of my mind with worry
- did you care? - never, as long as I’ve lived - you wait until your father
gets home, we never had trouble like this from Bill or Charlie or Percy - “
“Perfect Percy,” muttered Fred. “YOU COULD DO WITH TAKING A LEAF OUT OF PERCY’S
BOOK!” yelled Mrs. Weasley, prodding a finger in Fred’s chest. “You could have
died, you could have been seen, you could have lost your father his job -”
…just then Ron’s elder brother Percy walked in. He was already dressed, his
Hogwarts prefect badge pinned to his sweater vest. “Morning , all,” said Percy
briskly. “Lovely day.” He sat down in the only remaining chair but leapt up
again almost immediately, pulling from underneath him a moulting, gray feather
duster - at least, that was what Harry thought it was, until he saw that it
Five minutes later they were marching up the hill, broomsticks over their shoulders.
They had asked Percy if he wanted to join them, but he had said he was busy.
Harry had only seen Percy at mealtimes so far; he stayed shut in his room the
rest of the time. “Wish I knew what he was up to,” said Fred frowning. “He’s
not himself. His exam results came the day before you did; twelve O.W.L.s and
he hardly gloated at all.” “Ordinary Wizarding Levels,” George explained, seeing
Harry’s puzzled look. “Bill got twelve, too. If we’re not careful, we’ll have
another Head Boy in the family. I don’t think I could stand the shame.”
“As soon as I’ve found the Weasleys,” said Harry. “Yeh won’t have long ter wait,”
Hagrid said with a grin. Harry and Hermione looked around. Sprinting up the
crowded street were Ron, Fred, George, Percy, and Mr. Weasley.
Back outside on the marble steps, they all separated. Percy muttered vaguely
about needing a new quill.
…and in a tiny junk shop full of broken wands, lopsided brass scales, and old
cloaks covered in potion stains they found Percy, deeply immersed in a small
and deeply boring book called Prefects Who Gained Power.
of Hogwarts prefects and their later careers,” Ron read aloud off the back cover.
“That sounds fascinating…” “Go away,” Percy snapped. “’Course, he’s very ambitious,
Percy, he’s got it all planned out…He wants to be Minister of Magic…” Ron told
Harry and Hermione in an undertone as they left Percy to it.
When at last they were all in the car, Mrs. Weasley glanced into the back
seat, where Harry, Ron, Fred, George, and Percy were all sitting comfortably
side by side, and said, “Muggles do know more than we give them credit for…”
“Percy first,” said Mrs. Weasley, looking nervously at the clock overhead, which
showed they had only five minutes to disappear casually through the barrier.
Percy strode briskly forward and vanished…
…but Harry could see one person who didn’t look happy at all. Percy was visible
over the heads of some excited first years, and he seemed to be trying to get
near enough to start telling them off. Harry nudged Ron in the ribs and nodded
in Percy’s direction. Ron got the point at once. “Got to get upstairs - bit
“Night," Harry called back to Hermione, who was wearing a scowl just like
…Pepperup potion worked instantly…
Ginny Weasley, who had been looking pale, was bullied into taking some
…Fred and George, trying to find out what would happen if you fed a Filibuster
firework to a salamander. Fred had “rescued“ the brilliant orange, fire-dwelling
lizard from a Care of Magical Creatures class…
when the salamander suddenly whizzed into the air, emitting loud sparks
and bangs as it whirled wildly around the room. The sight of Percy bellowing
himself hoarse at Fred and George, the spectacular display of tangerine stars
showering from the salamander’s mouth and its escape into the fire with accompanying
…a loud voice made all three of them jump. “RON!” Percy Weasley had stopped
dead at the head of the stairs, prefect badge agleam, an expression of complete
shock on his face. "That’s a girls'
bathroom! He gasped. “What
-?” “Just having a look around,” Ron shrugged. “Clues,
you know - “ Percy swelled in a manner that reminded Harry forcefully of Mrs.
Weasley. "Get - away - from - there -” Percy said, striding toward them and
starting to bustle them along, flapping his arms. “Don’t you care what this
looks like? Coming back here while everyone’s at dinner - “ "Why shouldn’t we
be here?” said Ron hotly, stopping short and glaring at Percy. “Listen, we never
laid a finger on that cat!” “That’s what I told Ginny,” said Percy fiercely,
“but she still seems to think you’re going to be expelled, I’ve never seen her
so upset, crying her eyes out, you might think of her
, all the
first years are thoroughly overexcited by this business - “ “You
don’t care about Ginny,” said Ron, whose ears were now reddening. “You’re
just worried I’m going to mess up your chances of being Head Boy - “ “Five points
from Gryffindor!” Percy said tersely, fingering his prefect badge. “And I hope
it teaches you a lesson! No more detective work
, or I’ll write
to Mum!” And he strode off, the back of his neck as red as Ron’s ears….
Harry, Ron, and Hermione chose seats as far as possible from Percy in
the common room that night. Ron was still in a very bad temper and kept blotting
his Charms homework. When he reached absently for his wand to remove the smudges,
it ignited the parchment.
As Harry passed the library, Percy Weasley strolled out of it, looking in far
better spirits than last time they’d met. “Oh, hello, Harry,” he said. “Excellent
flying yesterday, really excellent. Gryffindor has just taken the lead for the
House Cup - you earned fifty points!” "You haven’t seen Ron or Hermione, have
you?" said Harry. “No, I haven’t,” said Percy, his smile fading “I hope Ron’s
not in another girls’ toilet
…” Harry forced a laugh, watched Percy
walk out of sight, and then headed straight for Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom…
Ginny Weasley, who sat next to Colin Creevy in Charms, was distraught,
but Harry felt that Fred and George were going the wrong way about cheering
her up. They were taking turns covering themselves with fur or boils and jumping
out at her from behind statues. They only stopped when Percy, apoplectic with
rage, told them he was going to write to Mrs. Weasley and tell her Ginny was
Fred and George, however, found all this very funny…”Make way for the Heir of
Slytherin, seriously evil wizard coming through…” Percy was deeply disapproving
of this behavior. “It is not a laughing matter,” he said coldly. “Oh, get out
of the way, Percy,” said Fred. “Harry’s in a hurry.”
Percy, who disapproved of what he termed their childish behavior, didn’t
spend much time in the Gryffindor common room. He had already told them pompously
that he was only staying over Christmas because it was his duty as a prefect
to support the teachers during this troubled time.
Percy, who hadn’t noticed that Fred had bewitched his prefect badge so
that it now read “Pinhead,” kept asking them all what they were sniggering
“The Slytherins always come up to breakfast from over there,” said Ron, nodding
at the entrance to the dungeons. The words had barely left his mouth when a
girl with long, curly hair emerged from the entrance. “Excuse me,” said Ron,
hurrying up to her. “We’ve forgotten the way to our common room.” “I beg your
pardon?" said the girl stiffly. “Our
common room? I’m
a Ravenclaw.” She walked away, looking suspiciously back at them…. …After a
quarter of an hour, just when they where getting desperate, they heard a sudden
movement ahead. “Ha!” said Ron excitedly. “There’s one of them now!” The figure
was emerging from a side room. As they hurried nearer, however, their hearts
sank. It wasn’t a Slytherin, it was Percy. “What’re you doing down here?” said
Ron in surprise. Percy looked affronted. “That,” he said stiffly, “is none of
your business. It’s Crabbe, isn’t it?” “Wh - oh, yeah,” said Ron. “Well, get
off to your dormitories,” said Percy sternly. “It’s not safe to go wandering
around dark corridors these days.” “You are,” Ron pointed out. “I,” said Percy,
drawing himself up, “am a prefect. Nothing’s about to attack me.”… Draco Malfoy
was strolling toward them…Malfoy glanced witherly at Percy. “And what’re you
doing down here, Weasley?” he sneered. Percy looked outraged. “You want to show
a bit more respect to a school prefect!” he said. “I don’t like your attitude!”
Malfoy sneered and motioned for Harry and Ron to follow him. Harry almost said
something apologetic to Percy but caught himself just in time. He and Ron hurried
after Malfoy, who said as they turned into the next passage, “That Peter Weasley
- “ “Percy,” Ron corrected him automatically. “Whatever,” said Malfoy. “I’ve
noticed him sneaking around a lot lately. And I bet I know what he’s up to.
He thinks he’s going to catch Slytherin’s heir single-handed.
However, they did find Riddle’s name on an old Medal for Magical Merit, and
on a list of old Head Boys. “He sounds like Percy,” said Ron, wrinkling his
nose in disgust. “prefect, Head Boy…probably top of every class -” “You say
that like it’s a bad thing,” said Hermione in a slightly hurt voice.
Harry started stuffing everything feverishly into his ripped bag desperate to
get away before Malfoy could hear his musical valentine. “What’s all this commotion?”
said another familiar voice as Percy Weasley arrived. Losing his head, Harry
tried to make a run for it, but the dwarf seized him… …Trying valiantly to laugh
along with everyone else, he got up, his feet numb from the weight of the dwarf,
as Percy Weasley did his best to disperse the crowd, some of whom were crying
with mirth. “Off you go, off you go, the bell rang five minutes ago, off to
class, now,” he said, shooing some of the younger students away. “And
you, Malfoy -” Harry, glancing over saw Malfoy stoop and snatch up something.
Leering, he showed it to Crabbe and Goyle, and Harry realized that he’d got
Riddle’s diary… …”Hand it over, Malfoy,” said Percy sternly. “When I’ve had
a look,” said Malfoy waving the diary tauntingly at Harry. Percy said, “As a
school prefect-” but Harry had lost his temper. He pulled out his wand and shouted,
“Harry!” said Percy loudly. “No magic in the corridors. I’ll have to report
this, you know!”
Harry smiled grimly to himself at the thought of what UncleVernon and Aunt Petunia
would say if he tried to discuss his career in wizardry with them. Not that
he didn’t get any guidance: Percy Weasley was eager to share his experience.
“Depends where you want to go, Harry,” he said. “It’s never too early to think
about the future, so I’d recommend Divination. People say Muggle Studies is
a soft option, but I personally think wizards should have a thorough understanding
of the non-magical community, particularly if they’re thinking of working in
close contact with them - look at my father, he has to deal with Muggle business
all the time. My brother Charlie was always more of an outdoor type, so he went
for Care of Magical Creatures. Play to your strengths, Harry.”
Percy Weasley was sitting in a chair behind Lee, but for once he didn’t seem
keen to make his views heard. He was looking pale and stunned. “Percy’s in shock,”
George told Harry quietly. “That Ravenclaw girl - Penelope Clearwater - she’s
a prefect. I don’t think he thought the monster would dare attack a prefect
“Is it something about the Chamber of Secrets? Have you seen something? Someone
acting oddly?” Ginny drew a deep breath and, at that precise moment, Percy Weasley
appeared, looking tired and wan. “If you’ve finished eating, I’ll take that
seat, Ginny. I’m starving, I’ve only just come off patrol duty.” Ginny jumped
up as though her chair had just been electrified, gave Percy a fleeting, frightened
look, and scampered away. Percy sat down and grabbed a mug from the center of
the table. “Percy!” said Ron angrily. “She was just about to tell us something
important!” Halfway through a gulp of tea, Percy choked. “What sort of thing?”
he said, coughing. “I just asked her if she’d seen anything odd, and she started
to say -” “Oh - that - that’s nothing to do with the Chamber of Secrets,” said
Percy at once. “How do you know?” said Ron, his eyebrows raised. “Well, er,
if you must know, Ginny, er, walked in on me the other day when I was - well,
never mind - the point is she spotted me doing something and I, um, I asked
her not to mention it to anybody. I must say, I did think she’d keep her word.
It’s nothing, really, I’d just rather -” Harry had never seen Percy look so
uncomfortable. “What were you doing, Percy?” said Ron, grinning. “Go on, tell
us, we won’t laugh.” Percy didn’t smile back. “Pass me those rolls, Harry, I’m
It was probably the worst day of Harry’s entire life. He, Ron, Fred and
George sat together in a corner of the Gryffindor common room, unable to say
anything to each other. Percy wasn’t there. He had gone to send an owl to
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, then shut himself up in his dormitory.
Dear Tom, Percy keeps telling me I’m pale and I’m not myself. I think
he suspects me…
“Ginny - what did you see Percy doing, that he didn’t want you to tell anyone?”
“Oh, that,” said Ginny, giggling. “Well - Percy’s got a girlfriend
Fred dropped a stack of books on George’s head. “What?”
“It’s that Ravenclaw
prefect, Penelope Clearwater,” said Ginny. “That’s who he was writing to all
last summer. He’s been meeting her all over the school in secret. I walked in
on them kissing in an empty classroom one day. He was so upset when she was
- you know - attacked. You won’t tease him, will you?” she added anxiously.
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” said Fred, who was looking like his birthday had come
early. “Definitely not,” said George, sniggering.
Prisoner of Azkaban
P.S. Percy’s Head Boy. He got the letter last week.
Harry glanced back at the photograph. Percy, who was in his seventh and
final year at Hogwarts, was looking particularly smug. He had pinned his Head
Boy badge to the fez perched jauntily on top of his neat hair, his horn-rimmed
glasses flashing in the Egyptian sun.
P.S. Ron says Percy’s Head Boy. I’ll bet Percy’s really pleased. Ron
doesn’t seem to happy about it.
Percy, however, held out his hand solemnly as though he and Harry had never
met and said, “Harry. How nice to see you.” “Hello, Percy,” said Harry, trying
not to laugh. “I hope you’re well?” said Percy pompously, shaking hands. It
was rather like being introduced to the mayor. “Very well, thanks -” “Harry!”
said Fred, elbowing Percy out of the way and bowing deeply. “Simply splendid
to see you, old boy -” “Marvelous,” said George, pushing Fred aside
and seizing Harry’s hand in turn. “Absolutely spiffing.” Percy scowled. “That’s
enough, now,” said Mrs. Weasley. “Mum!” said Fred as though he’d only just spotted
her and seizing her hand too. “How really corking to see you -” “I said, that’s
enough,” said Mrs. Weasley depositing her shopping in an empty chair. “Hello,
Harry, dear. I suppose you’ve heard our exciting news?” She pointed to the brand-new
silver badge on Percy’s chest. “Second Head Boy in the family!” she said, swelling
with pride. “And last,” Fred muttered under his breath. “I don’t doubt that,”
said Mrs. Weasley, frowning suddenly. “I notice they haven’t made you two prefects.”
“What do we want to be prefects for?” said George, looking revolted at the very
idea. “It’d take all the fun out of life.” Ginny giggled. “You want to set a
better example for your sister!” snapped Mrs. Weasley. “Ginny’s got other brothers
to set her an example, Mother,” said Percy loftily. “I’m going up to change
for dinner…” He disappeared and George heaved a sigh. “We tried to shut him
in a pyramid,” he told Harry. “But Mum spotted us.”
“The Ministry’s providing us a couple of cars,” said Mr. Weasley. Everyone looked
up at him. “Why?” said Percy curiously. “It’s because of you, Perce,” said George
seriously. “And there’ll be little flags on the hoods, with HB on them -” “
- for Humongous Bighead,” said Fred. Everyone except Percy and Mrs. Weasley
snorted into their pudding. “Why are the Ministry providing cars, Father?” Percy
asked again, in a dignified voice.
“Ron hasn’t put all his new things in his trunk yet,” said Percy, in a long-suffering
voice. “He’s dumped them on my bed.” “You’d better go and pack properly, Ron,
because we won’t have much time in the morning,” Mrs. Weasley called down the
table. Ron scowled at Percy.
Ron and Percy were next door to Harry. He had just closed and locked his own
trunk when he heard angry voices through the wall, and went to see what was
going on. The door of number twelve was ajar and Percy was shouting. “It was
here, on the bedside table, I took it off for polishing -” “I haven’t touched
it, all right?” Ron roared back. “What’s up?” said Harry. “My Head Boy badge
is gone,” said Percy, rounding on Harry. “So’s Scabbers’s rat tonic,” said Ron,
throwing things out of his trunk to look. “I think I might’ve left it in the
bar -” “You’re not going anywhere till you’ve found my badge!” yelled Percy.
“We’ve got it,” Fred whispered to Harry. “We’ve been improving it.” The badge
now read Bighead Boy
“The sooner we get on the train, the better,” he said. “At least I can get away
from Percy at Hogwarts. Now he’s accusing me of dripping tea on his photo of
Penelope Clearwater. You know,” Ron grimaced, “his girlfriend
She’s hidden her face under the frame because her nose has gone all blotchy.
“I’ve got something to tell you,” Harry began, but they were interrupted by
Fred and George, who had looked in to congratulate Ron on infuriating Percy
“Later,” Harry muttered as Percy stormed in.
…with Hedwig and Hermes, Percy’s screech owl, perched on top in their
Harry got into the back of the car and was shortly joined by Hermione,
Ron, and, to Ron’s disgust, Percy.
Percy and Ginny suddenly appeared behind Harry. They were panting and had apparently
taken the barrier at a run. “Ah, there’s Penelope!” said Percy, smoothing his
hair and going pink again. Ginny caught Harry’s eye, and they both turned away
to hide their laughter as Percy strode over to a girl with long, curly hair,
walking with his chest thrown out so that she couldn’t miss his shiny badge.
“…I look to the prefects, and our new Head Boy and Girl, to make sure that no
student runs afoul of the dementors,” he said. Percy, who was sitting a few
seats down from Harry, puffed out his chest again and stared around impressively.
“Coming through, coming through!” Percy called from behind the crowd.
“The new password’s ‘Fortuna Major’!”
Percy had what were possibly the least helpful words of comfort. “They make
a fuss about Hogsmeade, but I assure you, Harry, it’s not all it’s cracked up
to be,” he said seriously. “All right, the sweetshop’s rather good, and Zonko’s
Joke Shop’s frankly dangerous, and yes, the Shrieking Shack’s always worth a
visit, but really, Harry, apart from that, you’re not missing anything.”
“Let me through, please,” came Percy’s voice, and he came bustling importantly
through the crowd. “What’s the holdup here? You can’t all have forgotten the
password - excuse me, I’m Head Boy -” And then a silence fell over the crowd,
from the front first, so that a chill seemed to spread down the corridor. They
heard Percy say, in a suddenly sharp voice, “Somebody get Professor Dumbledore.
“…I am leaving the Head Boy and Girl in charge. Any disturbance should
be reported to me immediately,” he added to Percy, who was looking immensely
proud and important.
“Everyone into their sleeping bags!” shouted Percy. “Come on, now, no
more talking! Lights out in ten minutes!”
“The lights are going out now!” Percy shouted. “I want everyone in their
sleeping bags and no more talking!”
…Professor Dumbledore came in. Harry watched him looking around for Percy, who
had been prowling between the sleeping bags, telling people off for talking.
Percy was only a short way away from Harry, Ron, and Hermione, who quickly pretended
to be asleep as Dumbledore’s footsteps drew nearer. “Any sign of him, Professor?”
asked Percy in a whisper. “No. All well here?” “Everything under control, sir.”
“Good. There’s no point moving them all now. I’ve found a temporary guardian
for the Gryffindor portrait hole. You’ll be able to move them back in tomorrow.”
“And the Fat lady, sir?” “Hiding…. …Dumbledore’s back was to him, but he could
see Percy’s face, rapt with attention, and Snape’s profile, which looked angry.
“You remember the conversation we had, Headmaster, just before - ah - the start
of term” said Snape, who was barely opening his lips, as though trying to block
Percy out of the conversation.
“I must go down to the dementors,” said Dumbledore. “I said I would inform them
when our search was complete.” "Didn’t they want to help, sir?” said Percy.
“Oh yes,” said Dumbldore coldly. “But I’m afraid no dementor will cross the
threshold of this castle while I am headmaster.” Percy looked slightly abashed.
Dumbledore left the hall, walking quickly and quietly.
Teachers found excuses to walk along corridors with him, and Percy Weasley
(acting, Harry suspected, on his mother’s orders) was tailing him everywhere
like an extremely pompous guard dog.
Ron and Hermione had decided to remain at Hogwarts, and though Ron said
it was because he couldn’t stand two weeks with Percy, and Hermione insisted
she needed to use the library, Harry wasn’t fooled;
Ron and Hermione watched Harry nervously all through dinner, not daring
to talk about what they’d overheard, because Percy was sitting close by them.
“Or we could have a game of chess,” he said hastily, “or Gobstones. Percy
left a set -”
…and Percy’s Ravenclaw girlfriend, Penelope Clearwater, asked if she could actually
hold the Firebolt. “Now, now, Penny, no sabotage!” said Percy heartily as she
examined the Firebolt closely. “Penelope and I have got a bet on,” he told the
team. “Ten Galleons on the outcome of the match!” Penelope put the Firebolt
down again, thanked Harry, and went back to her table. “Harry - make sure you
win,” said Percy, in an urgent whisper. “I haven’t got ten Galleons
Yes, I’m coming Penny!” And he bustled off to join her in a piece of toast.
“Well done, Harry!” said Percy, looking delighted. “Ten Galleons to me!
Must find Penelope, excuse me-”
“Everyone back upstairs!” said Percy, hurrying into the common room and pinning
his Head boy badge to his pajamas as he spoke. “Perce - Sirius Black!” said
Ron faintly. In our dormitory! With a knife! Woke me up!” The common room went
very still. “Nonsense!” said Percy, looking startled. “You had too much to eat,
Ron - had a nightmare -” “I’m telling you -” “Now, really, enough’s enough!”
Professor MacGonagall was back. She slammed the portrait behind her as she entered
the common room and stared furiously around. “I am delighted that Gryffindor
won the match, but this is getting ridiculous! Percy, I expected better of you!”
“I certainly didn’t authorize this, Professor!” said Percy, puffing himself
up indignantly. “I was just telling them all to get back to bed! My brother
Ron here had a nightmare -”
There was Percy, jumping up and down like a maniac, all dignity forgotten.
Percy was getting ready to take his N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding
Tests), the highest qualification Hogwarts offered. As Percy hoped to enter
the Ministry of Magic, he needed top grades. He was becoming increasingly
edgy, and gave very severe punishments to anybody who disturbed the quiet
of the common room in the evenings. In fact, the only person who seemed more
anxious than Percy was Hermione.
Percy Weasley, meanwhile, had much to say on the subject of Sirius’ escape.
“If I manage to get into the Ministry, I’ll have a lot of proposals to make
about Magical Law Enforcement!” he told the only person who would listen - his
Percy had got his top-grade N.E.W.T.s…
Goblet of Fire
Percy’s started work - the Department of International Magical Cooperation.
Don’t mention anything about Abroad while you’re here unless you want the
pants bored off you…
Harry had always imagined Bill to be an older version of Percy: fussy
about rule-breaking and fond of bossing everyone around.
Just then a door on the second landing opened, and a face poked out wearing
horn-rimmed glasses and a very annoyed expression. “Hi, Percy,” said Harry.
“Oh hello, Harry,” said Percy. “I was wondering who was making all the noise.
I’m trying to work in here, you know - I’ve got a report to finish for the office
- and it’s rather difficult to concentrate when people keep thundering up and
down the stairs.” “We’re not thundering
,” said Ron irritably.
“We’re walking. Sorry if we’ve disturbed the top-secret workings of the Ministry
of Magic.” “What are you working on?” said Harry. “A report for the Department
of International Magical Cooperation,” said Percy smugly. “We’re trying to standardize
cauldron thickness. Some of these foreign imports are just a shade too thin
- leakages have been increasing at a rate of almost three percent a year -”
“That’ll change the world, that report will,” said Ron. “”Front page of the
I expect, cauldron leaks.” Percy went slightly pink.
“You might sneer, Ron,” he said heatedly, “but unless some sort of international
law is imposed we might well find the market flooded with flimsy, shallow-bottomed
products that seriously endanger -” “Yeah, yeah, all right,” said Ron, and he
started off upstairs again. Percy slammed his bedroom door shut.
“Percy gets to keep his room all to himself because he’s got to work.”
“Percy’s enjoying work, then?” said Harry, sitting down on one of the beds and
watching the Chudley Cannons zooming in and out of the posters on the ceiling.
“Enjoying it?” said Ron darkly. “I don’t reckon he’d come home if Dad didn’t
make him. He’s obsessed. Just don't get him onto the subject of his boss. According
to Mr. Crouch…as I was saying to Mr. Crouch…Mr. Crouch is of the opinion…Mr.
Crouch was telling me
…They’ll be announcing their engagement any day
Bill’s table caught Charlie’s with a huge bang and knocked one of its legs off.
There was a clatter from overhead, and they all looked up to see Percy’s head
poking out of a window on the second floor. “Will you keep it down?!” he bellowed.
“Sorry, Perce,” said Bill, grinning. “How’re the cauldron bottoms coming on?”
“Very badly,” said Percy peevishly, and he slammed the window shut. Chuckling,
Bill and Charlie directed the tables safely onto the grass, end to end, and
then with a flick of his wand, Bill reattached the table leg and conjured tablecloths
At the far end of the table, Percy was telling his father all about his report
on cauldron bottoms. “I’ve told Mr. Crouch that I’ll have it ready by Tuesday,”
Percy was saying pompously. “That’s a bit sooner than he expected it, but I
like to keep on top of things. I think he’ll be grateful I’ve done it in good
time, I mean, it’s extremely busy in our department just now, what with all
the arrangements for the World Cup. We’re just not getting the support we need
from the Department of Magical Games and Sports. Ludo Bagman -” “I like Ludo,”
said Mr. Weasley mildly, “He was the one who got us such good tickets for the
Cup. I did him a bit of a favor: His brother, Otto, got into a spot of trouble
- a lawnmower with unnatural powers - I smoothed the whole thing over.” “Oh
enough, of course,” said Percy dismissively,
“but how he ever got to be Head of Department…when I compare him to Mr. Crouch!
I can’t see Mr. Crouch losing a member of our department and not trying to find
out what’s happened to them. You realize Bertha Jorkins has been missing for
over a month now? Went on holiday to Albania and never came back?” “Yes, I was
asking Ludo about that,” said Mr. Weasley, frowning. “He says Bertha’s gotten
lost plenty of times before now - though I must say, if it was someone in my
department, I’d be worried…” “Oh Bertha’s hopeless
, all right,”
said Percy. “I hear she’s been shunted from department to department for years,
much more trouble than she’s worth…but all the same, Bagman ought to be trying
to find her. Mr. Crouch has been taking a personal interest, she worked in our
department at one time, you know, and I think Mr. Crouch was quite fond of her
- but Bagman just keeps laughing and saying she probably misread the map and
ended up in Australia instead of Albania. However” - Percy heaved an impressive
sigh and took a deep swig of elderflower wine - “We’ve got quite enough on our
plates at the Department of International Magical Cooperation without trying
to find members of other departments too. As you know, we’ve got another big
event to organize right after the World Cup.” Percy cleared his throat significantly
and looked down toward the end of the table where Harry, Ron, and Hermione were
sitting. “You know the one I’m talking about, Father.” He raised his voice slightly.
“The top-secret one.” Ron rolled his eyes and muttered to Harry and Hermione,
“He’s been trying to get us to ask what that event is ever since he started
work. Probably an exhibition of thick-bottomed cauldrons.”
…the match went on for five days last time.” “Wow - hope it does this time!”
said Harry enthusiastically. “Well, I certainly don’t,” said Percy sanctimoniously.
“I shudder to think what the state of my in-tray would be if I was away from
work for five days.” “Yeah, someone might slip dragon dung in it again, eh,
Percy?” said Fred. “That was a sample of fertilizer from Norway!” said Percy,
going very red in the face. “It was nothing personal
!” “It was,”
Fred whispered to Harry as they got up from the table. “We sent it.”
“Where’re Bill and Charlie and Per-Per-Percy?" said George, failing to stifle
a huge yawn. “Well, they’re Apparating, aren’t they?” said Mrs. Weasley…
“But Bill and Charlie and Percy can all do it?” “Charlie had to take the test
…“Percy only passed two weeks ago,” said George. “He’s been Apparating
downstairs every morning since, just to prove he can.”
“I’ll send Bill, Charlie and Percy along around midday,” Mrs. Weasley
said to Mr. Weasley…
…but the trouble was that once Bill, Charlie and Percy arrived, they would
be a party of ten.
At last, the fire was ready, and they had just started cooking eggs and sausages
when Bill, Charlie, and Percy came strolling out of the woods toward them. “Just
Apparated, Dad,” said Percy loudly, “Ah, excellent, lunch!”
Percy hurried forward with his hand outstretched. Apparently his disapproval
of the way Ludo Bagman ran his department did not prevent him from wanting to
make a good impression. “Ah - yes,” said Mr. Weasley, grinning, “this is my
son Percy. He’s just started at the Ministry - and this is Fred - no, George,
sorry - that’s
“You don’t want to go showing Mr. Bagman rubbish like that - “ Percy hissed,
but Bagman didn’t seem to think the wand was rubbish…”I’d pay five Galleons
for that!” Percy froze in an attitude of stunned disapproval
“Mr. Crouch?” said Percy, suddenly abandoning his look of poker-stiff disapproval
and positively writhing with excitement. “He speaks over two hundred! Mermish
and Gobbledegook and Troll…” “Anyone can speak Troll,” said Fred dismissively,.
“All you have to do is point and grunt.” Percy threw Fred an extremely nasty
look and stoked the fire vigorously to bring the kettle back to the boil. “Any
news of Bertha… …You don’t think it might be time to send someone to look for
her?” Mr. Weasley suggested tentatively as Percy handed Bagman his tea.
Harry could see at once why Percy idolized him. Percy was a great believer
in rigidly following rules, and Mr. Crouch had complied with the rule about
“Mr. Crouch!” said Percy breathlessly, sunk into a kind of half bow that made
him look like a hunchback. “Would you like a cup of tea?” “Oh," said Mr. Crouch,
looking over at Percy in mild surprise. “Yes - thank you, Weatherby.” Fred and
George choked into their own cups. Percy, very pink around the ears, busied
himself with the kettle…”
"It’s classified information, until such time as the Ministry decides to release
it,” said Percy stiffly. “Mr. Crouch was quite right not to disclose it.” “Oh
shut up, Weatherby,” said Fred.
Percy jumped to his feet so often that he looked as though he were trying
to sit on a hedgehog. When Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic himself,
arrived, Percy bowed so low that his glasses fell off and shattered. Highly
embarrassed, he repaired them with his wand and thereafter remained in his
seat throwing jealous looks at Harry, whom Cornelius Fudge had greeted like
an old friend.
At the same moment, Bill, Charlie, and Percy emerged from the boys’ tent,
fully dressed, with their sleeves rolled up and their wands out…Bill, Charlie,
and Percy were already sprinting away toward the oncoming marchers; Mr. Weasley
tore after them.
Bill was sitting at the small kitchen table, holding a bed sheet to his
arm, which was bleeding profusely. Charlie had a large rip in his shirt, and
Percy was sporting a bloody nose.
“What?” said Bill, Charlie, and Percy together. “Harry’s wand?” said Fred. “Mr.
?" said Percy, sounding thunderstruck. …When they had finished
their story, Percy swelled indignantly. “Well, Mr. Crouch is quite right to
get rid of an elf like that!” he said. “Running away when he’d expressly told
her not to…embarrassing him in front of the whole Ministry…how would that have
looked, if she’d been brought up in front of the Department for the Regulation
and Control -” “She didn’t do anything - she was just in the wrong place at
the wrong time!” Hermione snapped at Percy, who looked very taken aback. Hermione
had always got on fairly well with Percy - better, indeed, than any of the others.
“Hermione, a wizard in Mr. Crouch’s position can’t afford a house-elf who’s
going to run amok with a wand!” said Percy pompously, recovering himself. “She
didn’t run amok!” shouted Hermione. “She just picked it up off the ground!”
Bill handed his father the newspaper. Mr. Weasley scanned the front page while
Percy looked over his shoulder. “I knew it,” said Mr. Weasley heavily. “Ministry
blunders…culprits not apprehended…lax security…Dark wizards running unchecked…national
disgrace…Who wrote this? Ah…of course…Rita Skeeter.” “That woman’s got it in
for the Ministry of Magic!” said Percy furiously. “Last week she was saying
we’re wasting our time quibbling about cauldron thickness, when we should be
stamping out vampires! As if it wasn’t specifically
paragraph twelve of the Guidelines for the Treatment of Non-Wizard Part-Humans
-” “Do us a favor, Perce,” said Bill, yawning, “and shut up.”
“Oh really,” said Mr. Weasley in exasperation, handing the paper to Percy.
“Nobody was hurt. What was I supposed to say?”
“I’ll come with you, Father,” said Percy importantly. “Mr. Crouch will need
all hands on deck. And I can give him my cauldron report in person.” He bustled
out of the kitchen.
Neither Mr. Weasley nor Percy was at home much over the following week. Both
left the house each morning before the rest of the family got up, and returned
well after dinner every night. “It’s been an absolute uproar,” Percy told them
importantly the Sunday evening before they were due to return to Hogwarts. “I’ve
been putting out fires all week. People keep sending Howlers, and of course,
if you don’t open a Howler straight away, it explodes. Scorch marks all over
my desk and my best quill reduced to cinders.” “Why are they all sending Howlers?”
asked Ginny, who was mending her copy of One Thousand Magical Herbs and
with Spellotape on the rug in front of the living room fire. “Complaining
about security at the World Cup,” said Percy. “They want compensation for their
ruined property. Mundungus Fletcher’s put in a claim for a twelve-bedroomed
tent with ensuite Jacuzzi, but I’ve got his number. I know for a fact he was
sleeping under a cloak propped on sticks.”
“Well, Father feels he’s got to make up for his mistake at the match, doesn’t
he?” said Percy. “If truth be told, he was a tad unwise to make a public statement
without clearing it with his Head of Department first -” “Don’t you dare blame
your father for what that wretched Skeeter woman wrote!” said Mrs. Weasley,
flaring up at once. “If Dad hadn’t said anything, old Rita would just have said
it was disgraceful that nobody from the Ministry commented,” said Bill…
Everyone laughed, even Mrs. Weasley.
“Mr. Crouch has been saying it for weeks and weeks,” said Percy swiftly. “Crouch
is very lucky Rita hasn’t found out about Winky,” said Mr. Weasley irritably.
“There’d be a week’s worth of headlines in his house-elf being caught holding
the wand that conjured the Dark Mark.” I thought we were all agreed that that
elf, while irresponsible did not
conjure the Mark?” said Percy
hotly. “If you ask me, Mr. Crouch is very lucky no one at the Daily Prophet
knows how mean he is to elves!” said Hermione angrily. “Now look here,
Hermione!” said Percy. “A high-ranking Ministry official like Mr. Crouch deserves
unswerving obedience from his servants -” “His slave
, you mean!”
Harry could hear Mr. Weasley calling hurried good-byes to Bill, Charlie,
Percy and the girls.
Bill and Charlie decided to come and see everyone off at King’s Cross station,
but Percy, apologizing most profusely, said that he really needed to get to
work “I just can’t justify taking more time off at the moment,” he told them.
“Mr. Crouch is really starting to rely on me.” “Yeah, you know what, Percy?”
said George seriously. “I reckon he’ll know your name soon.”
“You’ll see,” said Charlie. “Just don’t tell Percy I mentioned it…it’s
‘classified information, until such time as the Ministry sees fit to release
it,’ after all.”
“I’d still rather work for him than old Crouch,” said Ron . “At least Bagman’s
got a sense of humor.” “Don’t let Percy hear you saying that,” Hermione said,
smiling slightly. “Yeah, well, Percy wouldn’t want to work for anyone with a
sense of humor, would he?” said Ron, now starting on a chocolate éclair.
“Percy wouldn’t recognize a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing
Dobby’s tea cozy.”
The fifth seat at the table was occupied by Percy Weasley. When the champions
and their partners reached the table, Percy drew out the empty chair beside
him, staring pointedly at Harry. Harry took the hint and sat down next to Percy,
who was wearing brand-new, navy-blue dress robes and an expression of such smugness
that Harry thought it ought to be fined. “I’ve been promoted,” Percy said before
Harry could even ask, and from his tone, he might have been announcing his election
as supreme ruler of the universe. “I’m now Mr. Crouch’s personal assistant,
and I’m here representing him.” “Why didn’t he come?” Harry asked. He wasn’t
looking forward to being lectured on cauldron bottoms all through dinner. “I’m
afraid to say Mr. Crouch isn’t well, not well at all. Hasn’t been right since
the World Cup. Hardly surprising - over work. He’s not as young as he was -
though still quite brilliant, of course, the mind remains as great as it ever
was. But the World Cup was a fiasco for the whole Ministry, and then, Mr. Crouch
suffered a huge personal shock with the misbehavior of that house-elf of his,
Blinky, or whatever she was called. Naturally, he dismissed her immediately
afterward, but - well, as I say, he’s getting on, he needs looking after, and
I think he’s found a definite drop in his home comforts since she left. And
then we had the tournament to arrange, and the aftermath of the Cup to deal
with - that revolting Skeeter woman buzzing around - no, poor man, he’s having
a well earned, quiet Christmas. I’m just glad he knew he had someone he could
rely upon to take his place.” Harry wanted very much to ask whether Mr. Crouch
had stopped calling Percy “Weatherby” yet, but resisted the temptation.
…“- or when the seeker has an exceptionally full bladder.” Harry snorted into
his plate of goulash. Percy frowned, but Harry could have sworn Dumbledore had
given him a very small wink.
“Made friends with Victor Krum, have you, Ron?“ Percy had bustled over, rubbing
his hands together and looking extremely pompous. “Excellent! That’s the whole
point, you know - international magical cooperation!” To Harry’s displeasure,
Percy now took Padma’s vacated seat…
“What do they think they’re doing, annoying senior Ministry members?” Percy
hissed, watching Fred and George suspiciously. “No
Bagman shook of Fred and George fairly quickly, however, and spotting Harry,
waved and came over to their table. “I hope my brothers weren’t bothering you,
Mr. Bagman?” said Percy at once. “What? Oh not at all, not at all!” said Bagman.
“No they were just telling me a bit more about … Percy didn’t look happy about
this at all, and Harry was prepared to bet he would be rushing to tell Mrs.
Weasley about this the moment he got home. Apparently Fred and George’s plans
had grown even more ambitious lately, it they were hoping to sell to the public.
Bagman opened his mouth to ask Harry something but Percy diverted him. “How
do you feel the tournament’s going, Mr. Bagman? Our department’s quite satisfied
- the hitch with the Goblet of Fire” - he glanced at Harry - “was a little unfortunate,
of course, but it seems to have gone very smoothly since, don’t you think?”
“Oh yes,” Bagman said cheerfully, “it’s all been enormous fun. How’s old Barty
doing? Shame he couldn’t come.” “Oh I’m sure Mr. Crouch will be up and about
in no time,” said Percy importantly, “but in the meantime, I’m more than willing
to take up the slack. Of course, it’s not all attending balls” - he laughed
airily - “oh no, I’ve had to deal with all sorts of things that have cropped
up in his absence - you heard Ali Bashir was caught smuggling a consignment
of flying carpets into the country? And then we’ve been trying to persuade the
Transylvanians to sign the International Ban on Dueling. I’ve got a meeting
with their Head of Magical Cooperation in the new year -” “Let’s go for a walk,”
Ron muttered to Harry, “get away from Percy…”
“er…as a matter of fact, I’ve no idea where he is,” said Bagman. “He’s
sort of…stopped coming to work. Been absent for a couple of weeks now. Young
Percy, his assistant, says he’s ill. Apparently he’s just been sending instructions
in by owl. But would you mind not mentioning that to anyone, Harry? Because
Rita Skeeter’s still poking around everywhere she can, and I’m willing to
bet she’d work up Barty’s illness into something sinister.
“Where have you been?” said a bossy, disapproving voice. “The task’s about to
start!” Harry looked around. Percy Weasley was sitting at the judges table -
Mr. Crouch had failed to turn up again. “Now, now, Percy!” said Ludo Bagman,
who was looking intensely relieved to see Harry. “Let him catch his breath!”
Dumbledore and Ludo Bagman stood beaming at Harry and Ron from the bank
as they swam nearer, but Percy, who looked very white and somehow much younger
than usual, came splashing out to meet them.
Percy seized Ron and was dragging him back to the bank (“Gerroff, Percy,
I’m all right!”)
The judges went into a huddle. Madam Pomfrey had gone to rescue Ron from
“Most of the judges,” and here, Bagman gave Karkaroff a very nasty look,
“feel that this shows moral fiber and merits full marks.
“My brother’s Crouch’s personal assistant,” Ron informed Sirius. “He says
Crouch is suffering from overwork.”
“You say your brother’s Crouch’s personal assistant? Any chance you could ask
him if he’s seen Crouch lately?” “I can try,” said Ron doubtfully. “Better not
make it sound like I reckon Crouch is up to anything dodgy, though. Percy loves
“Wonder if Percy knows all that stuff about Crouch?” Ron said as they walked
up the drive to the castle. “But maybe he doesn’t care…it’d probably just make
him admire Crouch even more. Yeah, Percy loves rules. He’d just say Crouch was
refusing to break them for his own son.” "Percy would never throw any of his
family to the dementors,” said Hermione severely. “I don’t know,” said Ron.
“If he thought we were standing in the way of his career…Percy’s really ambitious,
you know…” They walked up the stone steps into the entrance hall, where the
delicious smells of dinner wafted toward them from the Great Hall. “Poor old
Snuffles,” said Ron, breathing deeply. “He must really like you, Harry…Imagine
having to live off rats.”
“Don’t you want to see what Percy’s written?” Harry asked her hastily. Percy’s
letter was short and irritated. As I am constantly telling the
Prophet, Mr. Crouch is taking a well-deserved break. He is sending in
regular owls with instructions. No, I haven’t actually seen him, but I think
I can be trusted to know my own superior’s handwriting. I have quite enough
to do at the moment without trying to quash these ridiculous rumors. Please
don’t bother me again unless it’s something important. Happy Easter.
How’s Percy?” Harry asked as they walked around the greenhouses. “Not good,”
said Bill. “He’s very upset,” said Mrs. Weasley, lowering her voice and glancing
around. “The Ministry wants to keep Mr. Crouch’s disappearance quiet, but Percy’s
been hauled in for questioning about the instructions Mr. Crouch has been sending
in. They seem to think there’s a chance they weren’t genuinely written by him.
Percy’s been under a lot of strain. They’re not letting him fill in for Mr.
Crouch as the fifth judge tonight. Cornelius Fudge is going to be doing it.”
“Then I need to send a message to Arthur,” said Dumbledore. “All those that
we can persuade of the truth must be notified immediately, and he is well placed
to contact those at the Ministry who are not as shortsighted as Cornelius.”
“I’ll go to Dad,” said Bill, standing up. “I’ll go now.” “Excellent,” said Dumbledore.
“Tell him what has happened. Tell him I will be in direct contact with him shortly.
He will need to be discreet, however. If Fudge thinks I am interfering at the
Ministry -” Leave it to me,” said Bill He clapped a hand on Harry’s shoulder,
kissed his mother on the cheek, pulled on his cloak, and strode quickly from
The Order of the Phoenix
…“Charlie’s trying to make contacts on his days off.” “Couldn’t Percy do that?”
Harry asked. The last he had heard the third Weasley brother was working in
the Department of International Magical Cooperation at the Ministry of Magic.
At these words all the Weasleys and Hermione exchanged darkly significant looks.
“Whatever you do, don’t mention Percy in front of Mum and Dad,” Ron told Harry
in a tense voice. “Why not?” “Because every time Percy’s name’s mentioned, Dad
breaks whatever he’s holding and Mum starts crying.” Fred said. “It’s been awful,”
said Ginny sadly. “I think we’re well shut of him,” said George with an uncharacteristically
ugly look on his face. “What’s happened?” Harry said. “Percy and Dad had a row,”
said Fred. “I’ve never seen Dad row with anyone like that. It’s normally Mum
who shouts…” “It was the first week back after term ended,” said Ron. “We were
about to come and join the Order. Percy came home and told us he’d been promoted.”
“Your’e kidding?” said Harry. Though he knew perfectly well that Percy was highly
ambitious Harry’s impression was that Percy had not made a great success of
his first job at the Ministry of Magic. Percy had committed the fairly large
oversight of failing to notice that his boss was being controlled by Lord Voldemort
(not that the Ministry had believed that - they all thought that Mr. Crouch
had gone mad). “Yeah, we were all surprised,” said George, “because Percy got
into a load of trouble about Crouch, there was an inquiry and everything. They
said Percy ought to have realized Crouch was off his rocker and informed a superior.
But you know Percy, Crouch left him in charge, he wasn’t going to complain…”
“So how come they promoted him?” “That’s exactly what we wondered,” said Ron,
who seemed very keen to keep normal conversation going now that Harry had stopped
yelling. “He came home really pleased with himself - even more pleased than
usual if you can imagine that - and told Dad he’d been offered a position in
Fudge’s own office. A really good one for someone only a year out of Hogwarts
- Junior Assistant to the Minister. He expected Dad to be all impressed, I think.”
“Only Dad wasn’t,” said Fred grimly. “Why not?” said Harry. “Well, apparently
Fudge has been storming around the Ministry checking that nobody’s having any
contact with Dumbledore,” said George. “Dumbledore’s name’s mud with the Ministry
these days, see,” said Fred. “They all think he’s just making trouble saying
You-Know-Who’s back.” “Dad says Fudge has made it clear that anyone who’s in
league with Dumbledore can clear out their desks,” said George. “Trouble is,
Fudge suspects Dad, he knows he’s friendly with Dumbledore, and he’s always
thought Dad’s a bit of a weirdo because of his Muggle obsession - “ “But what’s
this got to do with Percy?” asked Harry, confused. “I’m coming to that. Dad
reckons Fudge only wants Percy in his office because he wants to used him to
spy on the family - and Dumbledore.” Harry let out a low whistle. “Bet Percy
loved that.” Ron laughed in a hollow sort of way. “He went completely berzerk.
He said - well, he said loads of terrible stuff. He said he’s been having to
struggle against Dad’s lousy reputation ever since he joined the Ministry and
that Dad’s got no ambition and that’s why we’ve always been - you know - not
had a lot of money, I mean -” “What
?” said Harry in disbelief,
as Ginny made a noise like an angry cat. “I know,” said Ron in a low voice “And
it got worse. He said Dad was an idiot to run around with Dumbledore, that Dumbledore
was heading for big trouble and Dad was going to go down with him, and that
he - Percy - knew where his loyalty lay and it was with the Ministry. And if
Mum and Dad were going to become traitors to the Ministry he was going to make
sure everyone knew he didn’t belong to our family anymore. And he packed his
bags the same night and left. He’s living here in London now.” Harry swore under
his breath. He had always like Percy least of Ron’s brothers, but he had never
imagined he would say such things to Mr. Weasley. “Mum’s been in a right state,”
said Ron dully. “You know - crying and stuff. She came up to London to try and
talk to Percy but he slammed the door in her face. I dunno what he does if he
meets Dad at work - ignores him, I s’pose.” “But Percy must know Voldemort’s
back,” said Harry slowly. “He’s not stupid, he must know your mum and dad wouldn’t
risk everything without proof -” “Yeah, well, your name got dragged into the
row,” said Ron, shooting Harry a furtive look. “Percy said the only evidence
was your word and…I dunno…he didn’t think it was good enough.” Percy takes the
seriously,” said Hermione tartly, and the others
all nodded. “What are you talking about? Harry asked.
“ - none of your brothers caused this sort of trouble! Mrs. Weasley raged at
the twins, slamming a fresh flagon of butterbeer onto the table and spilling
almost as much again. “Bill didn’t feel the need to Apparate every few feet!
Charlie didn’t Charm everything he met! Percy -” She stopped dead, catching
her breath with a frightened look at her husband, whose expression was suddenly
wooden. “Let’s eat,” said Bill quickly. “It looks wonderful, Molly,” said Lupin,
ladling stew onto a plate for her and handing it across the table.
…“Are you ready?” he called down the row. “Yes, sir,” said an eager voice Harry
knew. Ron’s brother Percy was sitting at the very end of the front bench. Harry
looked at Percy, expecting some sign of recognition from him, but none came.
Percy’s eyes, behind his horn-rimmed glasses, were fixed on his parchment, a
quill poised in his hand. “Disciplinary hearing of the twelfth of August,” said
Fudge in a ringing voice, and Percy began taking notes at once…”
Court Scribe, Percy Ignatius Weasley -”
Those who had been frowning now murmured in agreement, but it was the sight
of Percy’s sanctimonious little nod that goaded Harry into speech. “I did it
because of the dementors!” he said loudly, before anyone could interrupt him
“She’s just outside the door. Should I-?” “No - Weasley, you go,” Fudge barked
at Percy, who got up at once, hurried down the stone steps from the judge’s
balcony, and hastened past Dumbledore and Harry without glancing at them. A
moment later, Percy returned, followed by Mrs. Figg.
Last of all to pass was Percy. Like Fudge, he completely ignored his father
and Harry; he marched past clutching a large roll of parchment and a handful
of spare quills, his back rigid and his nose in the air. The lines around Mr.
Weasley’s mouth tightened slightly but other than this he gave no sign that
he had noticed his third son. “I’m going to take you straight back so you can
tell the others the good news,” he said, beckoning Harry forward as Percy’s
heels disappeared up the stairs to the ninth level.
“Wait until your father hears! Ron, I’m so proud of you, what wonderful
news, you could end up Head Boy just like Bill and Percy, it’s the first step!”
She let go of him and said breathlessly, “Well what will it be? We gave
Percy an owl, but you’ve already got one, of course.”
“No!” Mrs. Weasley moaned. “No…ridikulus! Riddikulus! RIDDIKULUS!” Crack.
Dead twins. Crack.
Dead Percy. Crack.
“I’m just s-s-so worried,” she said, tears spilling out of her eyes again.
“Half the f-f-family’s in the Order, it’ll b-b-be a miracle if we all come
through this…and P-P-Percy’s not talking to us…What if something d-d-dreadful
happens and we had never m-m-made up?
“Don’t worry about Percy, said Sirius abruptly. “He’ll come round. It’s
a matter of time before Voldemort moves into the open; once he does, the whole
Ministry’s going to be begging us to forgive them. And I’m not sure I’ll be
accepting their apology,” he added bitterly.
“It’s a pain having to go down there, I’d rather - but we have to - I
mean, I’m not enjoying it, I’m not Percy,” he finished defiantly.
A handsome screech owl was standing on the windowsill, gazing into the room
at Ron. “Isn’t that Hermes?” said Hermione, sounding amazed. “Blimey, it is!”
said Ron quietly, throwing down his quill and getting to his feet. “What’s Percy
writing to me for?" He crossed to the window and opened it; Hermes flew inside,
landed upon Ron’s essay, and held out a leg to which a letter was attached.
Ron took it off and the owl departed at once, leaving inky footprints across
Ron’s drawing of the moon Io. “That’s definitely Percy’s handwriting,” said
Ron, sinking back into his chair and staring at the words on the outside of
the scroll: To Ronald Weasley, Gryffindor House, Hogwarts. He looked up at the
other two. “What d’you reckon?” “Open it!” said Hermione eagerly. Harry nodded.
Ron unrolled the scroll and began to read. The farther down the parchment his
eyes traveled, the more pronounced became his scowl. When he had finished reading,
he looked disgusted. He thrust the letter at Harry and Hermione, who leaned
toward each other to read it together: Dear Ron, I have only just heard (from
no less a person than the Minister of Magic himself, who has it from your new
teacher, Professor Umbridge) that you have become a Hogwarts prefect. I was
most pleasantly surprised when I heard this news and must firstly offer my congratulations.
I must admit that I have always been afraid that you would take what we might
call the “Fred and George” route, rather than following in my footsteps, so
you can imagine my feelings on hearing you have stopped flouting authority and
have decided to shoulder some real responsibility. But I want to give you more
than congratulations, Ron, I want to give you some advice, which is why I am
sending this at night rather than by the usual morning post. Hopefully you will
be able to read this away from prying eyes and avoid awkward questions. From
something the Minister let slip when telling me you are now a prefect, I gather
that you are still seeing a lot of Harry Potter. I must tell you, Ron, that
nothing could put you in danger of losing your badge more than continued fraternization
with that boy. Yes, I am sure you are surprised to hear this - no doubt you
will say that Potter has always been Dumbledore’s favorite - but I feel bound
to tell you that Dumbledore may not be in charge at Hogwarts much longer and
the people who count have a very different - and probably more accurate - view
of Potter’s behavior. I shall say no more here, but if you look at the Daily
Prophet tomorrow you will get a good idea of the way the wind is blowing - and
see if you can spot yours truly! Seriously, Ron, you do not want to be tarred
with the same brush as Potter it could be very damaging to your future prospects,
and I am talking here about life after school too. As you must be aware, given
that our father escorted him to court, Potter had a disciplinary hearing this
summer in front of the whole Wizengamot and he did not come out of it looking
to good. He got off on a mere technicality if you ask me and many of the people
I’ve spoken to remain convinced of his guilt. It may be that you are afraid
to sever ties with Potter - I know that he can be unbalanced and, for all I
know, violent - but if you have any worries about this, or have spotted anything
else in Potter’s behavior that is troubling you, I urge you to speak to Dolores
Umbridge, a really delightful woman, who I know will be only too happy to advise
you. This leads me to my other bit of advice. As I have hinted above. Dumbledore’s
regime at Hogwarts may soon be over. Your loyalty, Ron, should be not to him,
but to the school and the Ministry. I am very sorry to hear that so far Professor
Umbridge is encountering very little cooperation from staff as she strives to
make those necessary changes within Hogwarts that the Ministry so ardently desires
(although she should find this easier from next week - again, see the Prophet
tomorrow!) I shall say only this - a student who shows himself willing to help
Professor Umbridge now may be very well placed for Head Boyship in a couple
of years! I am very sorry that I was unable to see more of you over the summer.
It pains me to criticize our parents, but I am afraid I can no longer live under
their roof while they remain mixed up with the dangerous crowd around Dumbledore
(if you are writing to Mother at any point, you might tell her that a certain
Sturgis Podmore, who is a great friend of Dumbledore’s, has recently been sent
to Azkaban for trespass at the Ministry. Perhaps that will open their eyes to
the kind of petty criminals with whom they are currently rubbing shoulders.
I count myself very lucky to have escaped the stigma of association with such
people - the Minister really could not be more gracious to me - and I do hope,
Ron, that you will not allow family ties to blind you to the misguided nature
of our parents’ beliefs and actions either. I sincerely hope that, in time,
they will realize how mistaken they were and I shall, of course, be ready to
accept a full apology when that day comes. Please think over what I have said
most carefully, particularly the bit about Harry Potter, and congratulations
again on becoming prefect. Your brother, Percy
Harry looked up at Ron. “Well,” he said, trying to sound as though he found
the whole thing a joke, “if you want to - er - what is it?” (He checked Percy’s
letter.) “Oh yeah - “sever ties” with me, I swear I won't get violent.” “Give
it back,” said Ron, holding out his hand. “He is -” Ron said jerkily, tearing
Percy’s letter in half, “the world’s” - he tore it into quarters - “biggest”
he tore it into eighths - “git.” He threw the pieces into the fire.
Harry was exhausted. He also felt an odd, sick, empty feeling in his stomach
that had nothing to do with tiredness and everything to do with the letter now
curling blackly in the heart of the fire. He knew that half the people inside
Hogwarts thought him strange, even mad; he knew that the Daily Prophet
had been making snide allusions to him for months, but there was something about
seeing it written down like that in Percy’s writing, about knowing that Percy
was advising Ron to drop him and even to tell tales on him to Umbridge that
made his situation real to him as nothing else had. He had known Percy for four
years, had stayed in his house during the summers, shared a tent with him during
the Quidditch World Cup, had even been awarded full marks by him in the second
task of the Triwizard Tournament last year, yet now, Percy thought him unbalanced
and possibly violent. And with a surge of sympathy for his godfather, Harry
thought that Sirius was probably the only person he knew who could really understand
how he felt at the moment, because Sirius was in the same situation; nearly
everyone in the Wizarding world thought Sirius a dangerous murderer and a great
Voldemort supporter and he had had to live with that knowledge for fourteen
“Yep,” said Sirius. “Fudge thinks Dumbledore will stop at nothing to seize power.
He’s getting more paranoid about Dumbledore by the day. It’s a matter of time
before he has Dumbledore arrested on some trumped-up charge.” This reminded
Harry of Percy’s letter. "D’you know if there’s going to be anything about Dumbledore
in the Daily Prophet tomorrow? Only Ron’s brother Percy reckons there well be
-” "I don’t know,” said Sirius, “I haven’t seen anyone from the Order all weekend,
they’re all busy. It’s just been Kreacher and me here….”
They had expected to have to comb Hermione’s Daily Prophet carefully
next morning to find the article Percy had mentioned in his letter.
“’The Minister has been growing uneasy about goings-on at Hogwarts for
some time,' said Junior Assistant to the Minister, Percy Weasley. ‘He is now
responding to concerns voice by anxious parents, who feel the school may be
moving in a direction they do not approve.’ “’This is not the first time in
recent weeks Fudge has used new laws to effect improvements at the Wizarding
school. As recently as August 30th Educational Decree Twenty-two
was passed, to ensure that, in the event of the current headmaster being unable
to provide a candidate for a teaching post, the Ministry should select an appropriate
person. “’That’s how Dolores Umbridge came to be appointed to the teaching staff
at Hogwarts,’ said Weasley last night. ‘Dumbledore couldn’t find anyone, so
the Minister put in Umbridge and of course, she’s been an immediate success
“She’s been a WHAT?” said Harry loudly. “Wait, there’s more,” siad
Hermione grimly. “’-an immediate success, totally revolutionizing the
teaching of Defense Against the Dark Arts and providing the Minister with on-the-ground
feedback about what’s really happening at Hogwarts." “It is this last function
that the Ministry has now formalized with the passing of Educational Decree
Twenty-three, which creates the new position of ‘Hogwarts High Inquisitor.’"
“’This is an exciting new phase in the Minister’s plan to get to grips with
what some are calling the “falling standards” at Hogwarts,’ said Weasley. ‘The
Inquisitor will have powers to inspect her fellow educators and make sure that
they are coming up to scratch. Professor Umbridge has been offered this position
in addition to her own teaching post, and we are delighted to say that she has
“Merry Christmas,” said George. “Don’t go downstairs for a bit.” “Why not?”
said Ron. “Mum’s crying again,” said Fred heavily. “Percy sent back his Christmas
jumper.” “Without a note,” added George. “Hasn’t asked how Dad is or visited
him or anything….” “We tried to comfort her,” said Fred, moving around the bed
to look at Harry’s portrait. “Told her Percy’s nothing more than a humongous
pile of rat droppings -” “ - didn’t work,” said George, helping himself to a
Chocolate Frog. “So Lupin took over. Best let him cheer her up before we go
down for breakfast, I reckon.”
Mrs. Weasley was the only person in the basement when they arrived there.
She was standing at the stove and sounded as though she had a bad head cold
when she wished them Merry Christmas, and they all averted their eyes.
And the freckled, bespectacled form of Percy Weasley hovered excitedly
beside the wall, a quill and a heavy scroll of parchment in his hands, apparently
poised to take notes.
“Oho!” said Fudge, bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet again. “Yes,
do let’s hear the latest cock-and-bull story designed to pull Potter out of
trouble! Go on, then, Dumbledore, go on - Willy Widdershins was lying, was he?
Or was it Potter’s identical twin in the Hog’s Head that day? Or is there the
usual simple explanation involving a reversal of time, a dead man coming back
to life, and a couple of invisible dementors?” Percy Weasley let out a hearty
laugh. “Oh, very good, Minister, very good!” Harry could have kicked him, Then
he saw, to his astonishment, that Dumbledore was smiling gently too. “Cornelius,
I do not deny - and nor, I am sure, does Harry - that he was in the Hog’s Head
that day, nor that he was trying to recruit students to a Defense Against the
Dark Arts group I am merely pointing out that Dolores is quite wrong to suggest
that such a group was, at that time, illegal. If you remember, the Ministry
decree banning all student societies was not put into effect until two days
after Harry’s Hogsmeade meeting, so he was not breaking any rules in the Hog’s
Head at all.” Percy looked as though he had been struck in the face by something
very heavy. Fudge remained motionless in mid-bounce, his mouth hanging open.
Umbridge recovered first.
“Instead you get to arrest me,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “It’s like losing
a Knut and finding a Galleon, isn’t it?” “Weasley!” cried Fudge, now positively
quivering with delight, “Weasley, have you written it all down, everything he’s
said, his confession, have you got it?” “Yes, sir, I think so, sir!” said Percy
eagerly, whose nose was splattered with ink from the speed of his note-taking.
“The bit about how he’s been trying to build up an army against the Ministry,
how he’s been working to destabilize me?” “Yes, sir, I’ve got it, yes!” said
Percy, scanning his notes joyfully. “Very well, then,” said Fudge, now radiant
with glee. “Duplicate your notes, Weasley, and send a copy to the Daily Prophet
at once. If we send a fast owl we should make the morning edition!” Percy dashed
from the room, slamming the door behind him…