It was interesting: the more heated Fred got, the calmer Percy felt. As Fred went on about their mum he felt something inside of him go cool and stiff, like he was freezing up to make up for the heat Fred was generating.
Yes, sometimes their mum had told the twins to be more like Percy. More quiet, more studious. More devoted to studies. That was true, and Percy didn't deny it. But in the end, his mum chose to push Percy away beside her husband, and actions, she had always taught them, meant more than words.
Percy felt himself smile, small and cool. Fred would assume he was truly amused, maybe. Fred would keep on hating him. And that's how it should be, right? Percy could never be happy with a family that hated him, and they could never be happy with him.
"You thought my human side would peek out? No, Fred. You thought I would change. You thought you'd bully me enough that I'd get tired of it and turn myself into someone new to please you so you'd leave me alone. Pretty it up with words like 'joking' and 'human', but that's what it was. You want me to be someone I'm not. You don't understand the person I am. I showed you a hundred times a day how much I cared for you, but you don't acknowledge it because you don't like the way I did it. This is my human side, Fred, but it doesn't look like yours so it will never be good enough for you."
He drew in a breath, carefully making his expression as neutral as he could. "That's why I never worried too much about mum, you know. And why I won't worry about George, or Bill. Because you've got family, all of you. You've got people who love you and will take care of you. Mum cries because one of her children left? She has six more to comfort her. She'll be fine."
And if not? Well, maybe she should have shed some of those tears in front of Percy. Maybe she should have told him how worried and sick she felt. Because it would have made the biggest bloody difference in the world, if only she had said it to him.
He smiled, frail but cool. "I won't worry about George, then. And you won't worry about me. After all, if there's nothing human in me than there's nothing worth missing."