"You deserved more," he answered simply. Really, that was the heart of the whole matter, the beginning and end of most of his memories with Penny, even the best ones. As good as he could give her, and as good as he could be for her...she deserved more. He would always be Poncey Percy, the perpetual prefect. Penny...
She had been like him in school - more like him than most other children. But she was also...like them. She didn't need to be the center of attention, but she could handle it, and could flourish from it.
She deserved everything, and Percy could only ever give her...
"I brought a bit of something," he said suddenly, letting his thought steer him towards happier things. He reached into his robe and tugged out the small present, holding it out to her.
She wouldn't have to guess hard - it was obviously a book. But she enjoyed books, and this was a bit of a rare find in a Muggle bookshop in London. A Muggle cookbook - she enjoyed cooking, and he had benefited from that many a time - antique and frail, more than 200 years old if the date inscribed in the front was right.
It seemed like fate, finding it just a short month before her birthday. If she still enjoyed the sort of things she had, anyway.