The Sugar Quill
Author: LauraEvans  Story: A Road to Home  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A ray of sun made its way through the trees, forming a pattern of light and shadows on the forest ground

Disclaimer: Harry Potter world belongs to JKR, I’m just playing here.

 

A/N: My beta is the best. Without her, you wouldn’t like this story half as much as you (hopefully) do now.

 

A Road to Home,

 

by LauraEvans

 

A ray of sun made its way through the trees, forming a mesmerising pattern of light and shadows on the forest ground. Fascinated, Percy tilted his head and watched the little blotches and stripes change their places and shapes, looking rather like dancers in a ballroom. All of a sudden, a rabbit hopped on it, disturbing the pattern. It looked around for a fraction of second and then, as suddenly as it had appeared, it was gone.

 

Percy looked up from the ground and sighed. Everything was so familiar, so comfortable – yet he felt like a stranger. He had spent his whole childhood playing in these forests, playing hide-and-seek with the others and climbing trees and looking for useful plants their mother had asked them to collect. He knew every tree, every turn of path, every rock. And still he felt as if he was in the wrong place. Sighing again, he started walking, his feet subconsciously taking him to old places, filled with bittersweet memories.

 

Here was the rock Fred had once accidentally transfigured into a cauldron with Bill’s new wand right before Bill’s first year at Hogwarts. Mum nearly had a heart attack when she found out – what if something had happened? What if someone had got hurt? What if…? Arthur had simply laughed it off, telling Molly not to worry about it – this happened to most young wizards and witches. Instead, he had said, she should be proud of their son, managing a transfiguration as complicated as that at such an early age. And so Mum had laughed too and patted Fred on his head and they didn’t get punished at all.

 

And here was the crooked tree Ron had fallen from at seven and bruised his knee. Charlie had carried him home and Mum had yelled at them for letting him climb so high up. He remembered tears in Ron’s eyes and Mum’s red cheeks and Charlie’s hunched shoulders. He remembered everything as vividly as if it had happened only yesterday.

 

And here…Percy raised his eyes to look up at the enormous tree in front of him. It was an old oak, gnarled and knobbly but still there. He remembered Dad saying that the tree was over three hundred years old. It was amazing that the ancient tree was still standing after all this time, after all the hundreds of thunder storms it had survived – and, especially, after several generations of Weasley children who had used it as their home in the forest, climbing up and down, swinging on its branches and everything else only a child could dream of.

 

He remembered everything so clearly it hurt almost physically. He looked the tree up and down. In a whirl of thoughts, he had gathered his robes with one hand and taken hold of one of the lower branches with the other. It took him some time – more than it had used to take – to get up, but after a few minutes of struggling he was gingerly perched on a particularly wide and strong branch that had a special curve in it as if it was designed for sitting and swinging your legs.

 

Percy closed his eyes and let the sun caress his face and the soft wind play with his red hair. Why had he come here? He had been in his London flat, doing his Ministry job – well, at least he was supposed to be doing it. Instead, he had been sitting at his desk, his paperwork before him, head in his hands.

 

Everything had become so difficult. It had seemed so simple, even trivial. He knew what he could achieve and knew what to do for it. He hadn’t hesitated to argue about it with Dad – but it had grown out of his hands and somehow he had found himself alone in London with all of his belongings in a suitcase. Completely alone. He had stayed with one of his old schoolmates and, after a while, rented a flat in Muggle London. He had moved in and tried to make it into a home but he had failed miserably. It wasn’t even close to a home; it was simply a place where he slept. And so he had thrown himself into his work at the Ministry, trying desperately to avoid Dad because every time he saw him, it felt like a Cruciatus curse to the heart.

 

But it had done no good – and now everything had got out of hand. The Ministry had officially announced that You-Know-Who was back and now he had no idea what to do with his life.

 

So today he had been sitting and thinking about everything, when suddenly his mind had been flooded with thoughts about The Burrow and his childhood and…his family. He had felt a sudden urge to come here. And so he had taken his wand out and Apparated to the forest.

 

Percy opened his eyes. He had been so lost in his thoughts that he had almost fallen asleep. He sighed, rubbing his temples. Why did everything have to be so difficult? Oh, to be a child again, without any troubles, happy and carefree! Suddenly his eyes widened as he remembered – it’s surely not – it can’t still be there – can it?

 

He heaved himself up, balanced on the branch and walked, step by step, to the trunk of the oak. He stuck his hand into a hole in the trunk, only an inch wider than his fist. Carefully, his fingers searched around until he got hold of something soft, something like cloth. He curled his fingers around it and pulled his hand back, revealing a small, dirty doll.

 

This was Ginny’s old doll, Melanie. Bill had given it to her on her fifth birthday; he had made it himself. The little doll had been Ginny’s most precious thing; she had carried it with her everywhere. And then, on her eleventh birthday, they had decided to bury it here, in their favourite playing spot, as a goodbye to her childhood. He had almost forgotten it but now, standing there, the doll in his hand, he remembered everything so clearly: Ginny’s held-back tears, Ron’s hand on her shoulder, Fred’s and George’s solemn faces, his own strange sadness. It had been a goodbye to their childhoods as well.

 

“Percy!”

 

He almost fell. It took him nearly a minute to regain his balance before he looked down, his whole body shivering and his heart thumping. It was Ginny, red hair in two braids, brown eyes round with surprise, looking up at him.

 

“Gin,” he whispered.

 

“What are you doing here?” she asked, craning her neck to look at him.

 

“I’m…I’m not sure, actually,” he answered, his voice quivering.

 

“Stay there. I’m coming up.”

 

She disappeared from view but after a few seconds he saw her head rising from the branches. In a matter of moments she was standing beside him, looking at him, squinting in the sunlight.

 

“We need to talk,” she said after a minute of silence.

 

Percy sighed. He moved to the crook and sat down, Ginny followed and seated herself next to him.

 

“So. Why are you here? You yell at Dad, you offend Mum, you run away, you break their hearts. You don’t even look Dad in the eye at the work, you send back your jumper. You don’t visit Dad at the hospital, you don’t write, you act like you don’t know us at all. You lie about Harry, you hurt everyone who has ever known you. And now you’re here. Why?”

 

He rubbed his temples again. Everything Ginny said was true and he knew it. But it didn’t make it any easier.

 

“I know, Gin. I’ve been a prat and I know that, too. And I completely understand if you don’t want to talk to me – to see me – again.”

 

“Why are you here?” she asked, looking into his eyes, her gaze not wavering for a moment.

 

“I really don’t know,” he said with a heavy sigh. “I was at my flat, doing my work and then suddenly I felt that I had to come here. And so I did. My feet simply took me here, to this tree. All these memories…Do you know what I found, Gin?” He extended his hand. “This.”

 

Ginny grabbed her doll from his palm. She stared at it for a moment and asked, not looking at him “It was still here? After all this time?”

 

He nodded. Something glinted on Ginny’s cheek and he was taken aback when he realised it was a tear – and it was not the only one.

 

“Oh, Gin. Don’t cry, darling, please don’t cry,” he whispered, feeling a tightness in his throat. He tentatively put his had over her shoulders and suddenly he found Ginny pressing against him, sobbing.

 

“Shh, it’s okay,” he whispered, putting his other hand around her and hugging her. She continued sobbing but it slowly subsided until they were simply sitting quietly, clinging to each other.

 

“You know,” Ginny murmured, “I still think you’re a prat. I’m just willing to forgive you. Because I see how Mum and Dad are suffering. And -” she turned her face towards him and smiled sadly “- I’ve missed you, too.”

 

Percy smiled back. “It’s nice of you. Thanks.”

 

They sat for a long time until Ginny stretched herself and turned to him.

 

“Come on, Perce. Let’s go home.”

 

“No. I’m not coming,” he said, turning away from his sister.

 

“What? Are you mad? Of course you’re coming,” she said, yanking his sleeve.

 

He turned his head and looked into her eyes. “Can’t you see it, Gin? It’s over. I’m not one of us…one of you anymore. I chose to leave and it’s not as easy as simply deciding that I want to come back now. Things have changed.”

 

“Stop being a martyr! You chose to leave, you can choose to come back, too.”

 

“You stop being so childish.”

 

“Well, if you want to trade insults, I think you are a coward. But that doesn’t change the fact that none of us has been the same since you left. Don’t do this to us, Perce. Don’t do this to yourself. Please.”

 

Percy looked at her face, her brown eyes looking pleadingly into his.

 

“Please,” she whispered, clinging to his sleeve.

 

He bit his lip. Then… “Okay. I’m coming with you. But don’t be too disappointed if they throw me out, okay?”

 

She smiled. “Silly.”

 

Standing up, she extended a hand to him. He smiled and took it, heaving himself up. They climbed down and turned towards The Burrow. After a few minutes of walking, Ginny put her hand into his and looked up at him.

 

“I’m so glad you’re home, Perce,” she said.

 

He smiled back but remained silent – The Burrow had come into sight through the trees. And there was somebody in the garden, crouching beside the vegetable patch.

 

“Mum, look!” Ginny yelled, waving towards the figure. Molly raised her head and looked in their direction.

 

“Percy!”

//
Write a review! PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of reviewing a story or piece of art at the Sugar Quill is to provide comments that will be useful to the author/artist. We encourage you to put a bit of thought into your review before posting. Please be thoughtful and considerate, even if you have legitimate criticism of a story or artwork. (You may click here to read other reviews of this work).
* = Required fields
*Sugar Quill Forums username:
*Sugar Quill Forums password:
If you do not have a Sugar Quill Forums username, please register. Bear in mind that it may take up to 72 hours for your account to be approved. Thank you for your patience!
*Comment:
The Sugar Quill was created by Zsenya and Arabella. For questions, please send us an Owl!

-- Powered by SQ3 : Coded by David : Design by James --