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Percy missed his family.
It was very difficult for him to ignore his father whenever they happened to
pass each other in the hall at work. Daily, Percy wanted to find an excuse to
talk to him and ask after his brothers and sister and mother. They probably all
hated him by now, with good reason as he made sure to act like a complete prat
whenever he chanced to encounter them. Still, he worried over them, daily
resisting the temptation to do something as silly as cornering his father in the
lavatory to find out the news of the family.
If observed, such an action would hardly lend itself to maintaining the
carefully crafted appearance of loyalty to all things Ministry that Percy had
been striving to create since his hiring. And one never knew when one was being
observed. It had taken great effort for Percy to create his image and all that
effort had worked. In spite of what had happened the previous year in that
debacle with Mr. Crouch, Minister Fudge had promoted Percy to working directly
with him. It was an incredible opportunity for him, the kind of opportunity he
had been hoping for since he had graduated from Hogwarts. He just hoped that the
results would be worth it.
Worth his mother's tears. Worth further estrangement from his siblings. Worth
spending Christmas alone in his functional and empty apartment leaving only in
the middle of the night, and then disguised, to sneak into St. Mungo's just to
peek inside his father's room see for himself that he was all right. He had not
dared to go when anyone might recognize him. That sort of action would have
seemed too sympathetic for the image he had made.
The only communication that he had initiated with anyone in his family had been
an unanswered letter to Ron. Not that Percy had expected an answer. Ron had most
likely been furious when he read it. Percy had filled it with all sorts of
pompous and arrogant comments and advice, all of which he knew Ron would ignore,
in case it had been intercepted. The only important thing the letter contained
(other than a few vague warning hints as to what the Ministry was planning for
the school) was the fact that Percy was proud of him for his accomplishment. It
was a very difficult balance that he had to achieve.
That balance had to be maintained every day as he kept up the appearance of
being a good little worker bee, of approving and applauding the actions and
opinions of Minister Fudge, of seeming properly subservient and respectful when
the likes of Lucius Malfoy came around. It had to be maintained so that he could
keep his position. He had to keep his position so that he would be there to take
note of the dates, times, names, plans, and any other useful seeming information
that could be passed on through many checkpoints and loyal carriers until it
eventually reached the hands of Albus Dumbledore. If anyone around him suspected
where his true loyalties lie, Percy would lose his position and Professor
Dumbledore would be left without an informant so close to the center of the
Ministry. So, he continued to bear witness to the actions of those around him so
that the things they hid and covered up could eventually be found again.
It was hard and it hurt. Everyday, he wanted to return home and beg forgiveness
of his parents and explain to them what he had been doing. He wanted them to
understand that he never meant the harsh words and the cold shoulder he had
shown them. But Percy knew that doing that was not possible. Yet…
Percy hoped that with the public declaration of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's
return his position of informer would become obsolete. However, as of yet, that
had not happened. There still was a great lack of trust on the part of the
leadership of the Ministry. Until the two forces opposing the Dark could be
joined, Percy had a job to do.
And so, Percy missed his family.
Author's notes: (Written on May 23, 2003.) I haven't written any stories for
almost ten months so why did I write this now? Well, when I read Order of the
Phoenix, I couldn't stand the way Percy was acting. It didn't fit with the Percy
in my head. I needed a reason that he would act like that. So, this is my choice
of an explanation. I will most likely be proven completely wrong in the next
book or two but until then, this is what I think is going on. The title,
‘Sabishii’, is a Japanese word that means ‘lonely’ but also has the connotation
of ‘sad’ which I felt reflected Percy’s feelings in the story.
I’d like to thank Seldes Katne for kindly beta-reading this story for posting on
the Sugar Quill.