"A joke." Percy's steps faltered. He slowed and then stopped in the middle of the path, looking at Fred. "A joke? Yes, Fred, that must be it. It must be that I lost my family and walked away from my entire bloody childhood because I'm just that unable to handle a little bit of fun. Is that it? Is that really what you think?"
It wasn't the first time Percy had been struck nearly stupid by the utter blindness of his own family. The first time had been the argument with his dad that had set the spark burning in the first place. That sent Percy to a small solitary flat that to this day only one other person had ever entered besides him.
It was almost funny, the things that intelligent people could make themselves believe to explain away an unpleasant fact. And Fred was intelligent. Percy had always known that.