A gift for settiai!
Author: ??? Giftee: settiai Title: Being Percy Pairing/Characters: Mostly genfic, with hints of Percy/Oliver and Percy/Neville Rating: PG Word Count: ~2000 Warnings: Beware the genfic demon! Disclaimer: So not mine. So no money being made from this. Summary: Percy has his own point of view of everything that has happened in his life. It's never easy being the odd one out in your own family. Notes: Many thanks to LJ's asphodeline for her usual fantastic beta job. I hope settiai meant that s/he wouldn't mind genfic...
All Percy had ever wanted was to be normal, to fit in. Sometimes it felt like life conspired to make it as difficult as possible. At a time when most wizarding families had two, or sometimes only one, child, Percy was third in a family of seven children. To make matters worse, not only his parents but he and every single one of his brothers and sister, had flaming red hair. As if that weren’t enough, he often felt like the odd one out even in his own family. Bill and Charlie, with only a small gap of years between them, had always been great friends, leaving little room for their younger brother. Below him in the family came Fred and George – twins, therefore each other’s preferred playmate and confidante at all times. Even if Ron hadn’t been so much younger than him, there was only a year between his youngest brother and Ginny, his only sister, and they turned to each other instinctively. He felt out of place in his home.
He had thought (hoped) it would be better when he got to Hogwarts. Bill and Charlie were there, but there would be a chance to make new friends. When the sorting hat offered him a choice of Ravenclaw or Gryffindor, there was no choice to be made. Weasleys were always in Gryffindor, and Percy Weasley wasn’t going to be different. He had a horror of being different.
The shock came when he realised that he wasn’t the same as the others, even now. The other Weasleys were outgoing, one and all. They liked to have a laugh, to live in a great mass of other people. And it seemed as if most of the rest of his Housemates felt the same way. Rules were there to be broken at will; people had to put up with being teased. Academic success, to the other pupils, was not as important as having a good time. School, in fact, was just a bigger version of home. And Percy still didn’t fit in.
Oh, the teachers liked him. He was diligent, hard-working and intelligent. He listened to what was said to him and took note, whether it was in class or out of it. He was obedient, sensible in a crisis, and never took rash risks. He was appointed a prefect because everyone, pupils and teachers alike, knew that he would be strictly fair.
Sometimes Percy didn’t want to be fair. Sometimes he just wanted to have friends.
He was in the sixth year when, once more, his abnormality was brought home to him, albeit this time from a different direction. Shocked and horrified by his feelings, he started dating Penelope Clearwater, a curly haired Ravenclaw girl who had a tendency to take life almost as seriously as he did. She was quiet, and thoughtful, and he liked her very much. But he didn’t fancy her.
It would have been all right to be asexual. Again, probably, his classmates would have thought him weird, but they’d just have thought that it was typical Percy: so stuffed shirt that he was disgusted by the whole idea of sex. He wasn’t like that, was he? They all thought it. Probably so many people couldn’t be wrong. But Percy wasn’t asexual. He was homosexual.
He was not only gay, but he found himself daydreaming about all sorts of outrageous sex acts. Oliver Wood, the muscular captain of the Quidditch team, was a constant obsession. Percy – a good flyer, much to his classmates’ surprise – was at one point offered a place on the Gryffindor team. He refused, citing pressure of work.
“I must get good grades, Oliver. I want to join the Ministry, you know.”
“What is schoolwork compared to Quidditch?” Oliver demanded in bewilderment, before shrugging, putting it down to one of Percy’s many curious traits. “Well, your loss,” he’d said, walking away.
Percy’s eyes rested on Oliver’s arse as he strode down the corridor. It was indeed his loss: ever since he had arrived at Hogwarts, he had had a secret desire to prove himself to his House as the star of the Quidditch team. One of his favourite dreams as he tried to sleep in the crowded dormitory was of a crowd of awed Gryffindors chanting his name, whispering “Wow, Percy! That was brilliant!” But he couldn’t trust himself near Oliver, not in the intimate space which was the Quidditch changing rooms, the shared showers. Not when he felt himself sporting an erection every time he so much as saw Oliver in the distance. Especially not now, when his most common dream had Oliver tying his hands together with his own school tie before fucking him brainless.
It didn’t help when he heard his twin brothers talking with Oliver in the common room later.
“Told you so,” Fred was saying. “P-P-Percy would never do anything so demeaning as play Quidditch.”
“He’s quite a good flyer,” Oliver protested.
“Yeah, but he wears his pants too tight to be a player,” George had replied. “It might count as having fun.”
“And Percy couldn’t have that,” Fred finished.
Percy had pushed his horn-rimmed glasses further onto his nose and hunched over his arithmancy homework, pretending he hadn’t heard, and hurt that his brothers could say such things about him. Just because he didn’t like funny smells and loud noises and practical jokes, did that mean he had no sense of humour at all? Too shy to protest, too embarrassed to explain his reasoning, he buried himself deeper into his work and acted like he didn’t care. For a sensitive boy, it was his only escape.
Becoming Head Boy, if he was honest, didn’t help either. It set him even more at a distance from the other students. Less than a teacher, but by definition not “one of the lads,” Percy sought to do his duty honourably. With his determination stronger than ever to succeed in his NEWTs, he shut himself away from all the camaraderie of Hogwarts, telling himself that he’d never really been a part of it anyway, and what you’d never had you couldn’t miss. He knew he was lying, but it was a comforting lie.
Immediately he joined the Ministry, things were different. Everyone took things more seriously there… well, nearly everyone. Ludo Bagman was a regrettable exception, but for once it was Ludo who was the exception, not Percy. Percy could imagine Ludo at school: one of the popular, loved boys. Probably Quidditch Captain and Percy, at this thought, tried once more to forget Oliver Wood. It was a fantasy he should have grown out of years ago but here, now, at the Ministry, Ludo looked out of place whereas more than anywhere else Percy felt completely at home.
There were rules. There were regulations. People respected them. Keeping the law was not something to be laughed at, something that “only tight-arsed people like Percy” did, but something that was expected. Everyone did what they ought to. Percy looked at his boss, Mr Crouch, and felt an over-whelming sense of relief. He wasn’t the only one. There were other people like him, and they worked here. He had found his niche.
He found his niche, and his family tried to destroy it, just as they’d destroyed everything of Percy’s over the years. From Bill and Charlie deciding that he was too old for soft toys (one week after Charlie himself had reached that great age) and setting fire to Barney, Percy’s beloved stuffed crocodile, through the twins changing his precious Head Boy badge (particularly precious because if the students weren’t going to like him, at least the badge showed that the staff did) to Big-head Boy, to Ron making fun of his cauldron-bottom legislation, his family had sabotaged everything that Percy held dear.
At first he couldn’t believe that the others really believed what they were saying, that they would take the word of a teenager over the statements made by the Ministry of Magic itself. (Especially… especially when they’d never taken his word seriously when he’d been younger. And Harry wasn’t even a Weasley.) He thought that maybe it was just a practical joke being played on him by the whole family, that if he sat down and asked for details, they’d all laugh and say “Oh, Percy, you didn’t really believe us, did you? You’re so gullible.”
Then, when he found out they really thought it, he was hurt. He came home with the sworn words of officials and his family didn’t believe him. One thing Percy had never been was a liar. He had never told a deliberate untruth in his life (unless dating Penelope Clearwater when he knew he was gay counted). How could his family – his mother, even, who had at least always shown she loved him – discount everything he said? The more they demonstrated their disbelief, the more he turned to the Ministry, the only place where people were friendly towards him. It got to the point where he felt he could do nothing but move out of The Burrow. If his own family didn’t trust him…
Without them, he was lonely. It was a shock. He’d always thought that he would relish having his own space, not to be falling over other people every three seconds, not to have his work interrupted by silly arguments or someone falling against his door. But it was too quiet. It felt dead; he felt half-dead. The silence deafened him. When he received the jumper from his mother for Christmas, he found himself crying over it. Then, his lips pressed tightly together, he sent it back. If there was no trust, there was nothing. It was the worst Christmas he’d ever had (and there had been some pretty awful ones, too).
Strangely, it was a relief when he found out he’d been wrong. When he realised that his family hadn’t been mistrusting him, just trusting Harry. Oh God, how grateful he was to be wrong. His family would never have forgiven him (certainly Ron and the twins wouldn’t, and Ginny generally went where they led) for being right. Being wrong, being gloriously, totally wrong… he could have his family back. His family, whom he thought he hadn’t wanted until he’d lost them.
When he found his brothers and sister in the Room of Requirement, it wasn’t an apology so much as a yell of delight. “I was a fool! I was an idiot, I was a pompous prat, I was a – a…” When Fred finished the sentence for him, he nearly kissed him. Because from Fred, it was a sign of affection, a sign of acceptance, a sign of all those things he’d wanted from his family forever and never realised he’d always had until he’d lost it. He might, perhaps, have cried when Fred said “Well, you can’t say fairer than that” except this wasn’t the time, the place - and Percy was always cool in a crisis.
He never did get to tell Oliver how he felt. Fred died that night, so he never got the chance to tell him how much his words had meant to him. He did come out to his family, and discovered with a shock that he was not alone: Charlie had been living with another man for several years in Romania; Ron was shacked up in some strange foursome with Hermione, Harry and Ginny (though he was assured that no incest was involved). By the time he became Deputy Minister of Magic, the fact he was homosexual didn’t even rate a mention, though his connection to Harry Potter was dragged up time and time again. Percy, living in sexual ecstasy with Neville Longbottom, and persuading him to Sunday lunch with his family every week, could hardly care less.