Percy hated crowds. He truly, truly disliked crowds. A lot. Worse when they were made up of people who knew him from school. Worse yet when there was alcohol and close quarters involved.
But he promised himself he wouldn't miss this day. Penelope was a friend. Probably the best friend he had ever had, in that she had tolerated him for years and even now seemed to like him regardless.
He hadn't seen her in far too long, and words over magical journals simply weren't good enough. So despite his hatred of drunken crowds of old schoolmates, he braved the door to the Leaky Cauldron and stepped inside before he could talk himself out of it.
The small wrapped parcel he brought for Penny was safely tucked in the large inner pocket of his robe, but that left him awkwardly empty-handed as he stood inside the doorway and looked around. Hopefully he would spot her fast, exchange a few pleasantries and give her her gift before someone whisked her off to more interesting company.