Percy Weasley Man of Ministry
Percy Weasley lay
sleeping on his desk at the Ministry of Magic, exhausted from working all day,
everyday, and well into the night, for two months straight. He slept mouth
opened, dripping drool onto the parchment under his cheek. A mortally sharp
Quill point protruded beneath his head, dangerously close to piercing his ear
lobe. His wore his glasses skewed across his forehead as though he were a
Cyclops needing the lens for viewing with his third eye.
Having just been
made Junior Assistant to the Minister of Magic, Percy was putting in twelve to
sixteen hours a day, everyday. He was spending every minute of that time
dealing with crisis, last minute meetings, cryptic messages and other sorts of
potentially disruptive activity. Important people depended on Percy to report
the facts without unnecessarily disturbing the Minister of Magic with any of
this job very seriously. So much rode on his ability to do it well. Still, it
was wreaking havoc on his personal life. He hadn’t eaten a meal that didn’t
come straight out of the wand in weeks. He missed cooking for his live-in
girlfriend, Penelope Clearwater. And, far more than that, he missed Penelope
herself. Percy couldn’t remember when he had last made love to her.
To judge by his
irritability index he’d surpassed his all time adult celibacy record high of
three days, twelve hours, sixteen minutes and forty-two seconds a long time
ago. Who knew what his new celibacy record might end up being? He didn’t have
time to keep track of it anymore. What was certain is that he never got home
from the Ministry with enough spare time to kiss Penny goodbye, anymore, much
less coax her into coming to bed with him, before she left their flat for her
shift as a Healer in Training at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and
Injuries. Most recently, she’d informed Percy that he was fortunate to be
getting a peck on the forehead before huffing out the door on her way to work.
Dreams came easily
to this young man of Ministry. But Percy wasn’t dreaming, he was living a
nightmare. He was fleeing down an alleyway behind his twin brothers Fred and
George who were being chased by Dementors. He was trying to rescue them from
the monsters wearing hooded black cloaks, blowing in a winter gale, but the
Dementors flowed rapidly and Percy felt the ice of them passing through his
soul. It weakened him, but he couldn’t stop running. Screaming at his brother,
who was giving up the struggle, he shouted “Run, George, keep running!”.
George, already on the ground, back crawled away from the soul-sucker. Fred’s
wand flashed red sparks in the wind, attempting a Patronus to fend the thing
off their brother. “Hang on, Fred! I’m coming!” Percy yelled struggling to get
to them in time, but the Dementor clutching the sleeve of his robe, immobilized
him. Crying out to it he flailed at its cold scabby hand, moaning, “Let me
go. Let me go. I have to help them.”
“I would like you
to help me, Mr. Weasley,” croaked a horrible voice.
Jumping to his
feet, sleepy but alert, Percy saw that his Dementor was actually Madame
Umbridge clutching at his sleeves. Running a shaking hand through tousled fire
red hair he felt the quill indentation on his face and imagined his left eyeball
looked as though it might take flight at any minute.
gasped Percy. “I am so sorry. Please forgive my nodding off. What may I be
allowed to do for you this evening?” What insidious ambition has seeped into
your swamp water brain now, you miserable excuse for a grasping amphibian? She
had the unpleasantly self-satisfied look of a capacious toad bloated on flies.
“I need to see the
Minister, Weasley!” Umbridge told him urgently. “I have some wonder…er…very
important news to bring him.”
certainly,” said Percy, already making his way to the Minister’s office, where
he knocked on the door.
“What do you
want?” demanded the voice from inside.
“It’s me, your
Minister-ship, Weasley.” Percy said, hoping this miserable excuse for a
Minister would soon get another job. “I have Madame Umbridge out here in the
outer office. She says she must speak with you right away.”
“Send her in!”
roared Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic.
Cornelius Fudge, an
easily affronted, incapable man, wore very bright colors. Partial to the
obvious, Fudge disregarded the notion that truth finding required talent. His
inability to read between the lines of life, or to complete a picture with his
imagination, troubled Fudge not a whit,
mostly because he
was unaware these skills even existed. Percy loathed his lack of insight, and
a few other things about him as well.
Minister’s office after Madame Umbridge, Percy noticed that Fudge had been
amusing himself again. He was tossing magical fire darts with his wand at the
board behind his desk. An eight by ten glossy of Albus Dumbledore, Percy’s old
headmaster, covered the board entirely.
cried Fudge, made gleeful by a particularly accurate shot that struck
Dumbledore between the eyeballs. Percy fore bore rolling his own eyes at the
absurd notion that Fudge’s restrictions for the uses of underage magic didn’t
actually apply to his own behavior.
“Here you are,
Weasley,” Said Fudge, handing Percy an enormous stack of letters, “These are
the letters from my constituents today. All of them concerned that
You-Know-Who is back in operation.”
sir,” Said Percy with a servile smile. Voldemort is back and I hope he kills
“That’s what I
always say, Weasley,” Fudge agreed, pompously. “Please send the standard
‘You Know Who is
No Threat To You’ missives to each of these good folk who took time out of
their busy lives to express their concerns about public safety to me.”
“Yes, sir, I will,
sir.” Taking the letters and backing out of the doorway, Percy intentionally
tripped over the jamb, sending the letters flying. Fudges’ hate mail landed all
over both the inner and outer offices. Enthusiastically apologizing for the
error, he took his time in gathering them back up again.
“I tell you, Fudge,”
Percy heard Umbridge speak, “it’s providence. You’ve been looking for a good
way to discredit the boy and now you have one. He was caught this evening
casting a defensive curse in the direction of a poor helpless Muggle right in
the middle of the street.”
That’s our Harry,
all right. He’s never met a Muggle he wouldn’t curse. Percy acerbated, eyeing
Fudge and Umbridge with covert dislike and knowing very well the boy they
referred to. Fudge and Umbridge were a matched set of idiots, stupid enough to
give Fred and George a run for their money.
“He was?” Fudge
asked greedily, as though handed a box of squeaking sugar mice from a fan and
not about to share. “Well, well, well. I think we can get him expelled for that,
don’t you Madame Umbridge?”
“I do indeed,”
Umbridge agreed, grinning evilly.
letters with sudden velocity, Percy rushed to his desk. Dropping them onto its
surface, he felt a sudden urge to use the lavatory. Shooting out the outer office
door into the Ministry itself, he thought quickly “I mustn’t avail myself of
the same one every time.” Dashing down the hall, and three flights of stairs,
he dodged into the dungeon’s men’s room. Scouring the lavatory for possible
observers, Percy pulled from his pocket a small mirror no bigger than half his
large palm. He held it up to his mouth and whispered urgently,
Dumbledore, you must come right away. Harry’s in big trouble.”
As it turned out,
Dumbledore did come right away and saved Harry’s neck just in time. Percy was
relieved and decided he deserved to go home. While leaving the office he
noticed a parchment still stained with drool lying on top of his desk.
“That was supposed
to be an owl to Penny telling her I was going to be late tonight,” groaned,
Percy apparating home, “She is just going to murder me.”
surprising to Percy was the knowledge that Penny didn’t want to kill him. She
had been missing him enough that she wanted to do something else with him,
instead. And when they were through, she rolled over and said, “Percy, this
has to stop.”
asked, grinning at her and leaning onto his elbow, “I thought we were just
She whacked him on
the shoulder and he winced, then she said, “Don’t be obtuse. You’re beginning
to actually look ill. Do you know it? I’ve had to take your robes in twice
since your job started. You’ve begun to resemble a scarecrow. When will this
nonsense at the Ministry settle down enough for you to stop acting like a crazy
person and start living your life again?”
“I don’t know,”
Percy answered her truthfully, flinging himself down on the pillow. “But
believe when I say that no one will be any happier than me when it does.”
“Do you really
think so?” Penny sat up suddenly, giving him a glare. “I hardly ever see you
anymore, Percy. Most of my new friends at work don’t believe you actually
exist. Every time there’s a gathering or a party, I always have to tell them
that you’re working late. What about my happiness?”
Not having a
satisfactory response that he could give to her, Percy said nothing. The
silence in their bedroom grew heavy and settled down to stay for a while.
Finally Percy pulled her back down onto the bed with incendiary intent. And
Penny never told him “No”. Because of all the reasons she loved him, the very
first was that he had the ability to set her on fire without scorching the
apparently spent his summer casting inexplicable defense spells in the Muggle
world, was now suspended from school pending a disciplinary hearing. This did
not give Percy any hope the Ministry was going to settle down soon. There was
no point in reassuring Penny everything would go back to normal anytime in the
near future when perhaps it would not ever get normal. He thought it better to
say as little as possible to her. He didn’t want her to be hurt, or to be
suspicious of him, and he especially did not want to blow his own cover.
Working a tough gig
was starting to show on him, though. He knew that. Being separated from his
family was one thing, forcing that separation himself, and telling his family
he liked it that way, was a whole different thing altogether. Putting his
relationship with Penny on the line topped it all off. The package deal made
Percy look like a gambling man.
He was gambling
everything that meant anything to him in order to help Dumbledore deal with
Voldemort’s return. Not wanting to ever see his own family slaughtered in the
streets by death eaters, or Penny, and maybe even their children someday,
living in fear, Percy was acting as Dumbledore’s spy in the Ministry. Fighting
an evil like Voldemort, with any hope of success, required real sacrifice.
Percy felt much like the sacrificial lamb. His immediate prospects for the
future were filled with long working days, sleepless nights, and not nearly
Rising at dawn, a
few weeks after the crisis with Harry, Percy was making breakfast for her.
Brooding about his day ahead, he flipped pancakes, piling them with mounds of
Penny’s favorite spicy cinnamon apples. He dreaded going into work that day
only to snub yet another person he cared deeply about.
with curly dark hair, brilliant blue eyes and rosy cheeks that boasted a
healthy appetite, bounced into the kitchen. Loving Percy required having a lot
of energy, as evidenced by her grimacing and wincing at him when she sat down.
Percy winked at her in return. He set a plate of pancakes in front of her,
saying, “I don’t want you to wear that shirt out, Penny.”
Forking piles of
apples into her mouth, Penny glanced down to the scoop necked t-shirt he was
staring at. “You bought this shirt for me. What’s wrong with it?”
meaningfully in the direction of her décolletage, Percy announced, “There’s
nothing wrong with it. I think your nipples look fabulous under there. I just
don’t want everyone else who sees you today thinking the same.”
“Oh, give over,
Perce. I’ll be wearing robes all day. The only clean shirt of mine in the
wardrobe was this one,” Penny placated him.
“Get your clothes
together,” he offered, “I’ll Apparate to the laundry before I go into work
today. And go find another shirt to wear or I’ll take your pancakes away.”
Under penalty of
doing her own laundry, as well as being denied pancakes, Penny wisely chose not
to flout him. She went into the bedroom and changed. She debated returning to
the kitchen wearing the black lingerie he’d given her as a birthday gift.
Teasing him in that way might have made him laugh. At least she was sure it
would have before he started working this miserable new job. Now she wasn’t
sure he’d recognize the joke when he saw it.
Penny displayed the
fact that she’d found one of Percy’s shirts to wear on returning to the
kitchen. It hung almost to her knees, but as she had already pointed out to
him, no one was going to notice much under robes. He let her eat breakfast.
“You’re such a
crank, lately,” she accused, digging into her plate of pancakes again.
Percy, scouring the
griddle and the breakfast dishes with his wand in the sink, admitted,
“I’m not in a good
mood today, it’s true. Recording every word of a disciplinary hearing that
incriminates a friend isn’t exactly one of my top ten favorite things to do.”
“I already know
what the first nine are, what’s number ten?” Penny teased. An engaging and
infectious grin lit up his whole face and it occurred to her that he didn’t
smile much anymore. It didn’t last long either, so she said, “Don’t go in,
today. You’ve been running yourself ragged for two months straight as it is.
And I know you don’t want to be in that hearing for Harry. Owl the minister
and tell him you’re not feeling well.”
“I can’t,” Percy
answered her, wishing that he could.
He looked over at
the window to see a Ministry Owl tapping at it with its beak. Going to the
window, and lifting the sash, he took the letter addressed:
Mr. Percy Weasley
Junior Assistant to the Minister of Magic
Flat # 12
Diagon Alley, London
And sat down to
read “IMPORTANT NOTICE: The time and venue has been changed for the Illegal Use
of Underage Magic trial of Harry J. Potter taking place this day, August 12.
The time has moved up from 9:00 o’ clock a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
The venue is changed from the office of Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of
Magical Law Enforcement, to the Wizengamot Courtroom. Please be advised of
this and report at the new location and time.”
They’re going to
try Harry in the dungeons, Percy understood as a nauseous feeling came over
him. In front of the whole Wizengamot
Court, minus Professor
Dumbledore. He was going to be sick. Pushing past Penny to get into the
lavatory, Percy closed the door firmly and pulled out his magic mirror to say,
“Professor Dumbledore, sir. I’ve just gotten notice that the time and location
of Harry’s hearing has changed. You must get there soon, or Harry’s going to
be in big trouble.”
arrive in time that day, saving Harry in the nick of it. Percy slept easy for
a few nights knowing that Harry was safe. Looking out for Harry was only a
portion of his problems these days, though, and his relief didn’t last long.
Penny entered the flat a few weeks later to see him cooking her dinner and
elatedly squealed, “Percy! What are you doing here?” She tossed her groceries
onto the table, came up behind him and hugged his back as hard as she could.
One advantage, at
least for now, of seeing her so rarely was the welcome he got when he did.
“I live here,
sweetie,” he replied wearing a grin between his ears.
“You do not. You
live in Cornelius Fudge’s office,” she said airily, but the grip around his
midriff told him it bothered her quite a lot. Reaching up on tiptoe she placed
a kiss on his neck. “But I’m glad you came home to visit me.” Percy lost his
grin. There was a familiar clenching in his gut he liked to call guilt. His
new constant companion gave up on getting through to him with just the
occasional visit and moved in for good.
“I’ve just met with
your mum down in the Alley,” Penny said while putting away some groceries in
“You have?” Percy
asked, not surprised. Circumventing confrontation, by lying low, he had
intentionally been avoiding Diagon Alley like the plague, expecting his family
to show up there any day now.
“Yes, she was all alone,
and absolutely loaded down with packages. Very expensive sending all of your
siblings to school, isn’t it?”
Percy, then asking, “what did you say to her?”
“Well, she asked
after you, of course,” Penny responded watching his reaction with a certain
expression in her eye that Percy had come to know very well. He gazed at the
floor to avoid looking at her when he muttered, “Yes I’d imagined she would
Penny, laying a
hand on his chest, turned him away from the stove and forced him to look at
“I told her that
you’re all right, Percy. But she seemed to be very sad even though I said
so.” Penny didn’t understand what was going on his mind, but she felt sorrow
beating in the heart beneath her hand.
“What did she tell
you?” asked Percy. “Anything about my brothers and sister? Anything at all?”
“She told me your
brother Ron has been made Gryffindor Prefect this year. And she’d just bought
him a new broom because of it,.” Penny informed him. “Didn’t you tell me you
knew he’d made prefect though?”
“I was rather
hoping to hear it from the horse’s mouth,” He said, “Now I’m beginning to think
that’s not ever going to happen.”
‘She’s very proud
of Ron, your mum is,” Penny said, heading into the bedroom to change her
clothes and calling over her shoulder at him. “She told me she thinks he’s
going to follow in your foot steps.”
“I’m very proud of
him, too,” Percy answered clearly. Believing, I don’t think he’ll be able to
follow the trail of my footsteps and find me.
began haunting Percy before the new term at Hogwarts started. Cornelius Fudge
had appointed Madame Umbridge as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor that
year at the school for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Percy was furious. He called
an emergency meeting with Dumbledore, railing until he was hoarse, “You cannot
let that lethal old hag get anywhere near to my brothers and my sister!”
Shouting heatedly he implored, “And what about Harry? She’s out to get him,
sir! Can you imagine what she’ll do to him the very first time he mouths off
to her in class? Haven’t I made you aware of that much? What am I doing all
of this for if we can’t even ward off a disaster before it strikes?”
Well used to hot
headed young men, even if he himself had not been one for a very long time,
Dumbledore listened patiently to Percy’s concerns.
“I give you my word
of honor, Percy,” Dumbledore promised, “that no student will be permanently
harmed by Madame Umbridge while she is at Hogwarts. You must try not to worry
so much about your family and friends. It will make it that much more
difficult for you to concentrate on our task. And we have greater trouble at
hand than Dolores Umbridge can deal us.”
Percy returned to the Ministry to seethe in silence. But Fudge aggravated
Percy’s concerns yet again that evening, waylaying him in his office to say,
“Weasley, I’ve only just been told that you’re youngest brother has been made
prefect by Dumbledore. Tell me then, is it true what I’ve heard? That Harry
Potter is a particular friend of his?”
gritting his teeth Percy responded, “Yes, sir, that’s so.” Glancing around the
room as if to be sure he had the Minister’s confidentiality, he added quietly,
“I don’t like to discuss it in polite company, sir. Potter is nothing but a
troublemaker. I assure you that I’ve tried to dissuade my brother Ron from
associating with him.”
Percy noted that
Cornelius Fudge probably didn’t have a single person in the whole wide world he
could truly call a friend, and felt not the least bit of sympathy for him,
thinking that Ron’s loyalty to Harry was one thing Fudge wouldn’t be able to
ruin for him this year.