The Education of Percy Weasley
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns the wonderful world of
Harry Potter. I am not J.K.
Rowling. Percy and Arthur’s row is
based on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix pp. 70-73, U.S.
like to say thank you to my beta-reader, NightZephyr, for her time and help. Also, thank you to my awesome friend Lisa,
the first person to read this story, for her support and encouragement.
Weasley opened his eyes and squinted at the Sunday sunshine pouring through his
window. He instinctively took his
horn-rimmed glasses off the bedside table and his blurry bedroom came into
focus. He threw back the blanket and
swung his long legs over the side of the bed.
A wooden desk with several drawers stood across from the bed. Its top was covered in spare rolls of
parchment, boxes of fresh quills, and bottles of ink. The desk chair held Percy’s neatly folded work robes. His shoes, freshly polished, sat on the
floor beneath the chair.
cage was on the floor beside the desk.
The screech owl was asleep with his head under his wing. As Percy looked at Hermes, he wondered what
Ron had received from their parents for making prefect. With Ron’s new responsibilities, I’m
certain he asked for something practical, he thought. Percy’s Hogwarts trunk, which was placed at
the foot of his bed, was the only other piece of furniture in the room. It contained his school robes, his best
jumpers, shirts, and trousers, and a small tin that held his gleaming prefect
and Head Boy badges.
the room, Percy admitted to himself that it was a bit sparse. It was not as comfortable as his room at the
Burrow, nor was it even as large.
However, it was affordable, and there were many wizards and witches in
the area. The London flat suited his
needs, though it was not what he had imagined for the beginning of his
professional life. But it’s mine. Besides, I might find something
better soon. The Minister did say that
I was becoming indispensable, he thought with a satisfied smile.
rest of Percy’s belongings remained at the Burrow. He thought of retrieving them, but quickly dismissed the
notion. He stood and crossed the room
to get dressed. I’ll collect the
remainder of my belongings once my parents come to their senses and cut all
ties with Dumbledore and his “crowd.”
And to think Mother tried to persuade me to return to them… Percy paused. Not for the first time, he remembered the night his mother
visited his flat.
sat at his kitchen table, putting the finishing touches on a report. He looked up from his work when he heard a
soft knock at the front door. He
frowned slightly, surprised at having a visitor. When he opened the door, he saw his mother standing on the front
dear,” said Molly Weasley, with a sad smile.
Percy exhaled deeply.
held up her hands. “Please, Percy. Please listen, I just want-”
sorry, Mother. I’ve made myself very
clear. Nothing has changed. Goodbye.”
with that, Percy shut the door. He knew
his mother was still standing on the other side. He pressed his hand against the closed door for a moment, and
then returned to the table. They
left me with little choice, he thought.
Percy sat at the table for a long time afterward. However, the reports remained unfinished
blinked several times and cleared his throat.
He knew he had hurt his mother that day. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. But this is my only choice if they continue
to follow Dumbledore instead of the Ministry. Though Percy had respected Dumbledore as a student at Hogwarts,
he was certain that the old man had lost his way. The Minister of Magic declared Harry Potter’s story of
You-Know-Who’s return to be the delusion of a troubled young man. I am astounded that anyone could disagree. He shook his head in disbelief.
neatly combed his hair, and glanced longingly at his work robes. He had received an owl Friday morning instructing
him to take a long weekend because the Minister had personal business. He had remained in his flat since returning
from work on Friday, and spent his time on reports for the Minister. However, Percy had found it difficult to
concentrate due to all the commotion on Saturday, the source of which did not
interest Percy nearly as much as completing his work early. The reports the Minister wanted are
ready. Perhaps I’ll go into the office
after breakfast, just to hand them in.
changed into his work robes, took his wand off the bedside table, and walked
briskly down the narrow corridor into the kitchen. He pointed his wand at the kettle, and steam issued forth from
the nozzle. He took a mug from the
cabinet and prepared his morning coffee. When he looked out of the window, he spotted a familiar barn owl
in the sky. He opened the window for
the owl to swoop in, and stood back as it landed on the table. It dropped his copy of the Sunday Prophet
and ruffled its feathers expectantly.
Percy took a Knut from a tin on the counter, dropped it in the owl’s
pouch, and shut the window after it had soared out for its next delivery.
sat down at the table and unrolled the Sunday Prophet, the
steaming mug of coffee in his other hand.
However, the coffee remained at arm’s length. Percy stared in disbelief at the headline of the paper: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
Returns. He blinked and read
the headline several times before it sunk in.
He continued reading, his mouth agape.
This is absurd! How can the Prophet
claim to have these direct quotes from the Minister? He just assured them Wednesday that all is well! Percy felt an odd tingling sensation
spread throughout his body. Though as
quickly as it had come, it was gone. He
gave a nervous laugh. Honestly! They expect us to believe that You-Know-Who
is back, that the Dementors have revolted, and that there were Death Eaters in
the Ministry of Magic!
hastily tossed the paper aside and folded his arms across his chest. Well, this must be someone’s idea
of a joke. I thought the Prophet
was a respectable publication. The
Minister will not be pleased at all.
Some people are bound to be gullible enough to believe this
rubbish. The Minister will have to work
even harder to proclaim the truth. Yes,
it’s best that I go into the office.
Perhaps I might be of some assistance. And I can hand in those reports a day early. He stood suddenly, snatched up his wand, and
strode towards his bedroom. The coffee
remained untouched on the table.
put the reports, several rolls of parchment, a few quills, and two bottles of
ink into his bag. He quickly slung the
bag over his shoulders, breathing heavily.
Regaining his composure, he took his wand in his hand and, with a soft pop,
Apparated to the Ministry of Magic.
immediately noticed the buzz of many voices in the Atrium. He noted how unusual it was to see so many
people at the Ministry on a Sunday.
Witches and wizards were clustered in small groups, whispering
incessantly to each other. None of them
seemed to be in a hurry to go anywhere.
A small group of wizards were clustered around the Fountain of Magical
Brethren. Peering between them, Percy
noticed that they seemed to be doing repairs.
Percy walked past a pair of witches, he tried to make out their hushed
never thought I’d see the day-”
his curiosity was piqued, and the odd tingling sensation had returned, Percy
waited for one of the lifts. With the
exception of several violet memos, he rode alone to the Minister’s office. He frowned, feeling unsettled.
the lift doors opened, Percy cleared his throat and straightened his
shoulders. When he walked into the
office, he saw Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, rifling through papers
on a desk.
morning, sir,” said Percy readily.
glanced up, looking surprised. Percy
noted that Fudge looked as though he had been awake all night.
thought I told you to take a long weekend, Weasley,” said Fudge, in an annoyed
hesitated, puzzled by Fudge’s irritated reaction. “Yes, sir. Yes, you
did. It’s just that I have those
reports you wanted,” said Percy eagerly, searching through his bag. “They’re a day early, but I like to stay a
step ahead,” he said, with a quick laugh.
gave Percy a blank look before returning to the paperwork.
paused, steeling himself, then said, “I saw that article in the-“
haven’t got time to chat now, Weasley,” said Fudge, waving his hand
impatiently. “I suppose it’s good that
you’re here. There’s much to do. We need to get those defense guides out as soon
as possible. I’m meeting with several
of the Aurors to get their suggestions, and I’ll need you to take good notes.”
as though all the air had left his lungs.
He opened his mouth to reply, but no sound came out. He pushed his glasses up his nose and
cleared his throat. “Yes, sir,” he
croaked. Percy stared at Fudge with
unfocused eyes. That article was
true. He was brought back to reality by
Fudge’s aggravated voice.
“Weasley! Weasley, are you listening? We must be going!” exclaimed Fudge.
said Percy in a barely audible voice.
Percy set his bag on the floor and took out several rolls of parchment, a
quill, and some ink. He followed Fudge
out of the office, hurrying to keep pace.
The rolls of parchment slipped around in his arms. Fudge jabbed at the lift button and swept
the ride, Percy glanced at Fudge out of the corner of his eye. He waited, certain that Fudge would speak to
him at any moment about the unbelievable news.
However, Fudge was silent. He
merely stared straight ahead. Percy
felt a rush of resentment towards Fudge.
With all I’ve done, you didn’t have the decency to tell me yourself? But as soon as it had come, it was
Two, Department of Magical Law Enforcement, including the Improper Use of Magic
Office, Auror Headquarters, and Wizengamot Administration Services,” said the
burst out of the lift, then stopped dead in his tracks and gave a great
sigh. Turning back to Percy, he said,
“I’ve forgotten, I need to speak with Madam Bones. I believe I saw her in the Atrium earlier. I’ll be a few minutes. Wait here, will you Weasley?” But before Percy could reply, Fudge had
already walked back into the lift and ridden away.
the exception of Percy, the normally bustling corridor was empty. Everyone must be meeting in the Atrium. Apparently, I’m the last to know, he
thought with a sad smile. Glad to be
alone, Percy leaned heavily against the wall.
How could this have happened?
He felt overwhelmed, unable to process the torrent of thoughts. He looked up at the magical windows that
lined the corridor. Though the sun was
shining outside, thick drops of rain pelted the windows.
heard the heavy oak doors that lead to the Auror Headquarters open, and then
close. “So Ron and Ginny are all right
then, Arthur?” said a voice softly.
snapped to attention at the mention of their names. Ron and Ginny? What’s
happened? Why didn’t anyone tell
me? Before he could restrain
himself, he peered around the corner.
He noticed one of the Aurors, Nymphadora Tonks, standing outside the
doors. Arthur Weasley stood across from
her. Percy noted that he looked tired
and slightly disheveled. He looks
quite healthy, though.
hastily leaned back against the wall, out of sight. He held the rolls of parchment so tightly that they crushed
against his chest.
Ginny’s fine,” said Arthur. “Ron’s
still in the hospital wing, but he should be released soon.”
released the breath he had been holding and slumped against the wall. He shook his head reproachfully. I’m certain this has something to do with
Harry Potter. Ron never
responded to my warning about him. I’d
hoped it was only because he was busy with schoolwork and prefect duties. But I suspected he would be unwilling to
break his ties to Harry. Now
they’ve dragged Ginny into their mess.
peered around the corner once again. In
the past few months, Percy had scarcely seen his father. When he had seen him, it had been at a
distance. Now that they were in such
close proximity, Percy was flooded with memories of his father’s accident.
sat at his kitchen table, stunned. His
heart pounding, he read aloud in a shaky voice the note that was clenched in
his hand. “Percy, Dad has had a very
serious accident. He has been taken to
St. Mungo’s. I am on my way there. Mum.”
stood up to Apparate to the hospital.
Suddenly, he felt full of doubt.
What if I’m not welcome there?
Well, that’s ridiculous. Mum
wouldn’t have contacted me if they didn’t want me there. What if Dad gets upset when he sees
me? I could make him worse. Will he notice if I’m not there?
remained in his flat for several hours.
He paced the floor, torn over what to do. Though he felt ill at the thought of what could be happening to
his father, his stubbornness fought for control. If I go, they’ll think I’ve changed my mind. But if I don’t go, and something happens… Before he could change his mind again, he
Apparated to St. Mungo’s.
Percy arrived, the reception area was almost empty. “I’m looking for Arthur Weasley,” he said in a muted voice.
blond witch behind the counter looked him up and down. “Another one?” she asked. “First floor, second door on the right, Dai
Llewellyn ward” she added in a bored voice.
Percy walked away, he felt a rush of anger rise in his chest. You wouldn’t have gotten injured if you
weren’t involved with Dumbledore.
Will it be worth it if one, or both, of you die? Don’t you realize you could leave Ron and
Ginny alone? I can’t believe you’re
taking this irresponsible risk over one of Harry Potter’s stories. We would have been better off if we had
never met him.
arrived at the “Creature-Induced Injuries” corridor. When he reached the second door on the right, he looked through
the small window in the door. He
immediately spotted his father’s vivid red hair. All of Percy’s anger at his parents was suddenly replaced with
concern. His father was lying in bed,
propped up by a couple of pillows. His
mother sat on the side of the bed, looking pale and exhausted. She held one of his hands in her own, her
again, Percy fought a battle within himself.
He felt as though he would either burst through the door or run
away. Torn, he remained outside the
room. He rested his hot forehead
against the cool window, his hand on the doorknob. When he saw his mother get up off the bed, he walked briskly down
the empty corridor and left the hospital.
When he returned to his flat, he sat heavily at the kitchen table with his
head in his hands.
shook his head, breaking his reverie.
He silently chided himself for dwelling on the past. He looked around the corner once more.
glad to hear Ron and Ginny are doing well,” said Tonks. “And from what I’ve seen,” she added with a
grin, “Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes is doing a booming business.”
those two are quite enterprising,” said Arthur, with a laugh.
sneered disdainfully. He was not at all
surprised that Fred and George had opened a joke shop, only that there people
willing to spend Galleons on their brand of rubbish.
was very disappointed that they left school to start it, though,” said Arthur
with a slight grimace.
frowned. It won’t be the last time
they disappoint her, either. Percy
felt a stab of guilt as he remembered returning his Weasley jumper at
placed his notes on the desk in his bedroom.
He spread them out across the surface and unscrewed a bottle of
ink. He pulled the chair in close, his
back rigid. Just as he dipped the quill
in the ink, he heard a dull thud. He
turned in his chair, startled. He
opened the window and saw Errol, the Weasley family owl, hooting quietly on the
ground under the window. Percy felt his
stomach plummet. It’s Dad. I’ve missed my chance. It’s too late. He clenched the windowsill, trying to catch his breath. When he opened his eyes, he noticed that
there was no note attached to Errol’s leg.
Somewhat relieved, he leaned out of the window and scooped Errol
noticed a familiar, lumpy package underneath Errol. He untied the package from Errol’s leg and settled him in Hermes’
cage. As Percy carried the bundle to
his bed, he felt an odd mixture of relief and annoyance. He knew immediately that it was his Weasley
jumper. As Christmas drew closer, Percy
had wondered if the traditional gift would arrive. Mother shouldn’t have bothered, he thought as he touched
the string on the package. I’m much
too old for such things. In his
haste to leave the Burrow, he had left his jumper from the previous Christmas
behind. Each time he opened his
Hogwarts trunk, he noticed its absence.
I suppose I could keep it, he thought, tugging on the
he said, his voice loud in the quiet flat.
“I can’t keep this, they’ll think I’ve changed my mind. But I haven’t, I don’t want to go home.”
very happy,” he said, much more quietly.
“I have an excellent job, and this flat suits me nicely. Besides, I simply don’t belong there. I certainly don’t miss Fred and George’s
constant remarks.” I could have
taught Ron the ins and outs of the prefect trade, he thought, with a small
smile. Ginny will be taking her
O.W.L.’s next year. I could have helped
I can’t,” he said stubbornly. “I’ll
simply write to Mother and explain it to her.”
left the package on his bed and returned to his desk. He sat for close to an hour, but had nothing to show for it
except a few blotches of ink on the page.
He crumpled the parchment in frustration and threw it on the floor. He looked at the package until he could no
longer stand the sight of it. He turned
to rouse Errol, but one look at the exhausted owl changed his mind.
spent a restless night in his bed. He
dreamed of Quidditch, mince pies, and plugs.
In the morning, he woke Errol and lifted him out of Hermes’ cage.
I need you to take this back,” he said, reattaching the package to Errol’s
leg. The owl blinked slowly, as if
waiting for something. “No, there’s
nothing else,” said Percy, turning away to open the window. He watched Errol fly away slowly. Percy looked on the floor at the crumpled
parchment, and sat heavily at his desk.
At least I’ll get an early start on those notes. Through the ceiling, he heard his neighbors
calling “Happy Christmas” to each other and singing carols. He glared up at them.
you realize that some people have work to do?”
Percy said sternly.
was startled by the sound of the doors to Auror Headquarters opening and
closing. For a moment, his mind was
blank. Suddenly, he turned and walked
towards the lift, his heart racing. He
resisted the urge to look over his shoulder for his father as he punched at the
lift button. Just as the lift doors
opened and Percy was about to step inside, he heard his father call to him.
Percy,” said Arthur.
turned, and for the first time in months, he was face to face with his
father. He felt his entire body become
rigid, and he heard the rolls of parchment crunch as he clenched them. Percy saw his tension reflected in his
father’s face. He recognized the anger
in his father’s eyes, and it forcibly reminded him of the row they had had the
night he left the Burrow.
could barely contain his excitement. Junior
Assistant to the Minister! I was
so afraid that inquiry would botch my chances for promotion. An honest mistake, really. How was I to notice anything unusual with
Mr. Crouch? I was simply doing my
job. Well, the Ministry certainly
recognizes talent when they see it!
Percy took a deep breath to calm himself before Apparating home. With a soft pop, he appeared in the
kitchen of the Burrow. Fred, George,
Ron, and Ginny were scattered around, collecting various items to pack for the
Order’s Headquarters. Arthur sat
quietly at the table.
looked up, startled. “Percy? What is it?”
I’ve been promoted! I’m the new Junior
Assistant to the Minister!” Percy
exclaimed, his chest thrown out haughtily.
Ron and Ginny froze. They turned
their surprised faces towards Percy.
Fred and George looked up for a moment, exchanged an incredulous look,
and continued to rummage around the kitchen.
Arthur merely sighed. “I thought this
might happen,” he said, adjusting his glasses.
yes, of course,” Percy continued, irritated at his father’s lack of
reaction. “I’ve worked very hard at the
Ministry. It was only a matter of time
before they took notice. I thought
you’d be pleased,” said Percy in a hurt voice.
said Arthur sadly, “I’m sorry, but I think Fudge has other reasons for
do you mean?” said Percy. He could feel
his ears growing hot.
stood up to face him, and took a steadying breath. “Fudge has been trying to keep tabs on everyone at the
Ministry. He wants to make sure no one
is in contact with Dumbledore. And he’s
made it clear that anyone who is can clear out their desks. Fudge thinks that Dumbledore is trying to
make trouble for the Ministry.”
just what does that have to do with my promotion?” said Percy, clenching his
doesn’t need an assistant, Percy. He
needs a spy, and you fit the bill perfectly,” said Arthur. “Fudge suspects I’m in contact with
Dumbledore, and he’s never seen eye to eye with me about Muggles. If you’re his assistant, he can keep tabs on
our family and Dumbledore.”
said nothing. He glared at the table,
his hands gripped on the back of one of the chairs.
lying!” Percy yelled suddenly. “You’re lying to me because you can’t stand
to see me getting ahead of you! I’ve
finally established myself at the Ministry and you hate it! Well, you won’t be holding me back any
you back?” Arthur sputtered.
“Yes! If you haven’t noticed, Father, you have a
lousy reputation at the Ministry.
People think you’re a Muggle-loving fool!” Percy snarled.
was stunned, which pleased Percy. Fred
and George stared at Percy, astounded.
Percy continued with renewed vigor.
you’re interested in is tinkering with Muggle rubbish in the shed! If you had any ambition at all, this family
wouldn’t be so poor! Everywhere I go in
the Ministry, I have to combat your reputation! Well, no more! You’re an
idiot to follow Dumbledore! He may have
been a great wizard once, but he’s headed for big trouble and you’ll go down
with him. My loyalty is to the
Ministry. They recognize their faithful
employees. That’s the only
reason I was promoted!” Percy roared,
pounding his fist on the table.
reveled in his father’s shocked expression.
He quickly changed course.
“Haven’t you been reading the Daily Prophet, Father?” He asked with a skeptical laugh. “Harry Potter is a joke! You’re willing to turn against the Ministry
over one of his mad stories?”
see here Percy!” Arthur shouted
furiously. “It isn’t a story! As much as a I wish it weren’t, it’s true!”
continued as if his father hadn’t replied.
“Well, if you and Mother insist on being traitors, then you’ve left me
with little choice. I’ll make sure
everyone knows that I don’t belong to this family anymore!”
gasped for breath, his entire body felt as if it were on fire. He ignored their shocked faces and stormed
up the stairs. He burst through his
bedroom door, and threw his belongings into his Hogwarts trunk. He could hear his father pounding up the
stairs after him.
being ridiculous, Percy!” shouted Arthur, his chest heaving as he came into the
leaving,” said Percy, much more calmly than he felt. “I don’t belong in this family, I never have.”
stared at Percy, bewildered. “Of course
you belong in this family!” said Arthur, in an exasperated tone.
I don’t,” said Percy simply.
“Obviously, we have different priorities.”
aback by the vivid memory, Percy stared at Arthur. Judging by the look on his father’s face, Percy knew they had
just relived the same confrontation.
looked away. I was wrong. Percy felt as though a pair of heavy hands were
griping his shoulders.
Percy and Arthur jumped slightly at the sound of the lift’s arrival. They turned to look at Fudge, who bristled
at the sight of Arthur. Fudge swept past
them and stopped near the doors to Auror Headquarters.
Weasley! What is the matter with you
today?” Fudge said in an irritated
is fine, sir,” Percy replied in a forced voice.
glared at the pair of them, tapping his foot expectantly.
stood in the middle between Fudge and his father. He felt the weight of his father’s gaze, but could not meet his
eyes. For a fleeting instant, Percy
thought of remaining with him. But
before he could take a step forward, his pride held him back. I can’t.
I just can’t. Mechanically,
Percy adjusted the items in his arms.
He straightened his shoulders and walked after Fudge, alone.