Everything belongs to JK Rowling...including the wonderful mysterious Percy.
Molly Weasley gripped the banister tightly as she followed Arthur and Sirius up the curving staircase of 12 Grimmauld Place.
- uh - taking the portraits down," Sirius said. He had propped them all
along the walls and they hissed at her, obviously enraged to be
displaced. "There are bedrooms on both sides of this hall, and more up
the next flight. You can choose any you like for your family. My room's
up at the very top."
He looked awkward and stuffed his hands
in his pockets. "Well, I'll leave you to it then, but don't be long.
People are arriving."
Molly paced down the hall and shook
her head. "Arthur, this place is infested with Dark Magic. You can't
expect me to bring the children here. No one could sleep at night."
"Well now, I know it needs a bit of attention, dear, but…" Arthur
opened a door, only to shut it quickly as a burst of winter wind struck
him in the face, "But really, it's nothing a little elbow grease won't
solve and it will keep the children busy to help you. If anyone can get
this place in ship shape, you know it's you."
narrowed dangerously at her husband's flattery and his smile faded. "I
know it's bad, Molly. But it's safe. The safest place outside of
She sighed and peeked inside the next room. It
was dusty and filled with cobwebs. A snoozing portrait hung over the
bed and in the corner sat a lovely antique desk. "Well, perhaps I shall
let them all pick their own rooms tomorrow. They will have to tackle
whatever pests they find. That should keep them out of trouble for
about a half hour." She sucked the dust from the desk with her wand
then pulled out a handkerchief to polish the wood. "I'll clean this
one, though. This one should work for Percy."
something we need to talk about," Arthur began. But before he could
finish, Bill's voice drifted in from down the hall.
Dad, where are you?" He appeared breathless in the doorway. "What are
you two doing in here? Dumbledore's arrived and everyone's waiting on
"Oh my goodness!" Molly bustled from the room and they
hurried down the stairs. At the bottom of the steps, a bright red head
and a sunburned face greeted her. "Charlie!"
"Hi Mum," Charlie grinned as she gave him a large hug and a quick peck on the cheek.
"What are you doing here? Are you staying? Can you come home tonight?"
"No Mum. I'm only here for tonight's meeting. I've got to Apparate
straight back, but," he paused, "I wouldn't want to miss this."
Charlie ushered her into what had once been the Black's formal dining
hall. Standing around an ornately carved table, the members of the
Order of the Phoenix were already deep in conversation. At the head of
the table stood Albus Dumbledore. He nodded as the Weasleys took their
seats and Professor McGonagall tapped her water glass with her wand
causing a brilliant bell sound to echo through the room. "Let's all
take our seats please, there's still much to accomplish this evening."
The group sat quickly and everyone turned to Dumbledore, who sealed all
doors but one before he spoke. "This evening's meeting was called to
vote on the induction of a new member of the Order and to discuss his
role within our midst. I will dispense with lengthy and formal
introductions because I think you all know him. Arthur if you'll bring
him in, please."
Arthur rose and went to the one unsealed
door at the back of the hall. In a matter of seconds, he reappeared
with the new inductee.
"What, in Merlin's name, is Percy doing here?" Molly gasped as the door sealed behind them.
Percy paced the worn carpet of the small sitting room and went over his
strategy for the hundredth time. Project confidence. Stand tall, it
makes you look older. Look people in the eye. He ran his hand through
his curly red hair and took a deep breath thinking of whom it was he
would have to look in the eye. Bill and Charlie would be there. He
didn't know if that thought made him feel better or worse. Professor
Lupin, Professor McGonagall, Professor Dumbledore.
stomach did a flip. They would all know. Know what he did, or more
precisely what he didn't do. Know how foolish he had been. What had
Penelope told him? Learn from your mistakes and move on.
thought of her made his pulse slow. She said she loved him. She said he
could make mistakes if she could too. She said she was proud of the
person he was, not the job he had. He would do this for her. He would
do this for Mr. Crouch. He would do this for the people he had let
Suddenly his father stood in the door. "It's time, son."
Percy took a deep breath and pulled himself straight to his full height. It was time to be a man.
Dumbledore pointed his wand between Charlie and Bill and the table
expanded to include space for the extra chair that dropped magically
from the ceiling. "Please join us, Percy."
Bill and Charlie
gave their brother encouraging nods, as did Professor McGonagall.
Professor Snape eyed Percy with a curled lip as all eyes turned toward
the Weasley family.
"Why didn't anyone tell me about this?"
Molly asked around the table and several eyes lowered to study their
hands. "Arthur, what is going on?"
"Molly, dear, Percy has volunteered for the Order, but his mission is unique and we can only discuss it in a closed meeting."
"What do you mean his 'mission'?" Her voice was beginning to rise.
"What mission? Aren't four Weasleys in the Order enough? Percy, I
demand to know what is this ridiculous talk about a 'mission.'" Molly
had turned on her son and was now slowly rising from her chair. Bill
pulled her back down and offered a reassuring pat.
you are, of course, right." Dumbledore said gently. "You deserve a full
explanation. Percy, please tell us the circumstances that bring you
Percy cleared his throat and held his head up
even though red splotches were cropping across his cheeks. "Everyone
here knows the mistake I made last year, not questioning Mr. Crouch's
absence. My naiveté lead to Mr. Crouch's death at the hands
of his own son."
"What happened was not your fault," Molly said sharply. Percy cut his eyes toward his mother but continued quickly.
"Despite my misjudgment, I have recently been offered a position as a
junior assistant to the Minister of Magic. A promotion for which I am
sure Fudge has ulterior motives."
"To spy on us," Moody growled from across the table. "He is a slimy mole rat."
"Yes, well," Percy continued stiffly, "as Fudge has instructed all open
supporters of Dumbledore to leave the Ministry and as it is a position
that would allow close access to the Minister and his dealings…"
"Oh no, no, no, no…" Molly interrupted. "I can see where this is going.
What were you all thinking? This will never work. First, take away the
fact that Percy is only nineteen and this is a position for an
"Mother, please," Percy whispered.
"Well it is," Molly said sternly. "We all know Fudge is surrounding
himself with known Death Eaters. If a slight slip came along that Percy
was leaking to us, well, I don't want to think about it. Secondly, why
in the world would the Minister trust a Weasley? It's laughable really!
If Fudge suspects Arthur, why would he trust Arthur's son? I can't
believe you haven't thought this all through!"
expectantly around the room and stillness fell over the entire table.
From the far end Minerva McGonagall let out a small sniff as everyone
slowly looked away from Molly. Even Snape seemed very interested in a
portrait on the opposite wall.
"What? Why are you all acting so strange? Arthur? Percy? Bill?" Molly turned to each in turn.
"Mother," Percy said quietly, "we have thought it through; there is a way for it to work."
"It would take some acting, Molly, on all our parts." Arthur added
gently. "We'd have to pretend, we'd have to make them believe."
"Believe what!" Molly almost shouted as she looked desperately around the room.
"Mum," Bill continued, "In order for this to work Percy will have to
completely cut ties with our family. Everyone who is not a member of
the Order must believe that he has sided against us and with Fudge."
"And that means everyone, Mum," Charlie added, "including the rest of the family. Especially the rest of the family."
"It shouldn't be too hard." Percy muttered.
"No, no…" Molly shook her head as tears welled up in her eyes. "Please Percy. Arthur this is too dangerous."
"Mum, don't you know the danger I was in all last year?" Percy's voice
raised with the same passion as his mother. "Two people died because I
didn't do anything. Now is my chance to make a difference. I'll be
smarter this time."
"I'm afraid I must agree with the boy's
mother," Professor Snape spoke from the far end of the room. "The boy
has proved easily manipulated. How do we know he won't be influenced by
the authority that will surround him?"
"A fair question," Dumbledore replied. He turned steady blue eyes back to Percy. "Percy, can you answer Professor Snape?"
Percy lowered his eyes for only a moment. "I have learned that I must
answer first, not to any other man but to my own conscience. Those of
you around this table have helped to shape my conscience, my mother,
father, brothers and teachers. But in the end I answer to myself and I
bear the responsibility for my choices. This is my choice and I'll face
the consequences - whatever they are."
There was silence
around the table. "Are you sure, Percy?" Professor Lupin said gently.
"You are young and you have much to live for. Do you really understand
what might be asked of you?"
Percy looked at his mother as
tears streamed down her cheeks. He thought of Ron and Ginny and the
dangers they had faced. And he thought of Penelope. Penelope cold and
hard, her soft curls turned to stone.
"I understand, professor, and yes, I'm sure."
Dumbledore broke the silence. "In order to proceed with a strategy of
this nature it will require a unanimous vote and I think the time has
come for a call. All those in favor of accepting Percy Ignatius Weasley
into the Order of the Phoenix, please raise your wand. You must know
that with your vote you swear to keep the nature of his work a secret
as it protects not only his life but the mission of our Order."
Bill and Charlie rose to their feet with Dumbledore and shot beams of
light toward the center of the ceiling where they joined at a point.
Arthur stood and lifted his wand as did Remus and Sirius. Soon beams of
light were joining from all around the room. With a long cold stare,
Percy took a deep breath and turned to look at
his mother who watched him through red and puffy eyes. She offered him
the smallest of smiles as she too rose from her chair, her wand
bursting with fiery red sparks.
"Well, Mr. Weasley, I think that should do it," Dumbledore said. "Please stand and join the Order of the Phoenix."
Percy stood and sent a golden beam of light toward the vortex and when
it connected, a glimmering Phoenix burst from the multiple unions. It
soared three times around the room before it disappeared into the
"Now," said Dumbledore, "if everyone would retire to another room, we will leave the Weasleys to their good-byes."
One by one the members came forward to shake Percy's hand and then they
disappeared behind doors into the Black mansion. When they had all
left, Dumbledore turned. "Molly, I am sorry for what you must do
"No," said Molly with a look of resolution. "We
will do what is necessary to protect all our children. We know there is
information they are not ready to handle."
sadly, but then turned to Percy with a hint of a smile. "I will go, but
first Percy, I believe there is one other person who will not easily
believe your position on the Ministry and who might be severely hurt by
Bill and Charlie exchanged grins. But Percy turned white instead of red. "Yes sir, there is."
"I will give you this bit of advice," the older wizard said with a
raised eyebrow. "While you may not divulge information, I cannot
control what a smart Ravenclaw deduces for herself. If you should need
help, let me know."
"Yes sir, I can handle it."
"I bet you can," Charlie snickered under his breath.
"Good luck Percy. You'll hear from us soon." Dumbledore turned and was gone.
Bill and Charlie smiled and embraced Percy, in turn. "We're proud of you little brother," Charlie said.
"The only one who can pull this off," Bill grinned. "You always were a little sneak."
"I'm glad I don't have to witness it tonight," Charlie said, his face falling.
Molly's lip trembled as she smoothed imaginary wrinkles from Percy's
robe. "What are you going to do Percy? Where will you live? How will
you cook? Who'll wash your clothes?"
Percy looked seriously
down at his mother and kissed her forehead. "I have a flat already
arranged for tonight in London. And I think I'll learn to manage those
Molly threw her arms around his waist. "You are so stubborn and hard headed. Just like, just like…"
"Just like you Molly," Arthur finished. "Good luck son. I'm proud of
you." Arthur shook his son's hand before pulling him into an embrace.
"Father, for the things I'm about to say tonight, I am truly sorry." Percy said.
"Well, we shall put on a good show of it," Arthur sighed. They all looked at each other in silence for a long minute.
"Well," Percy said at last. "So we begin."
He turned his back to leave and continued walking, even as his mother's sobs echoed in the room behind him.
A/N: I am so happy
to have my little story here at Phoenix Song. Thank you to Aggiebell,
who is such a kind and communicative beta; to Zsenya, my beta at Sugar
Quill, who has helped in countless ways; to Andy33 who has helped me
through a few Brit-picking rough spots; to Shoulders Free, my
incredible writing group, who keep me motivated; and most importantly
to St. Margarets who has been my supportive writing buddy and a great
friend. This story is for those who love Percy. I love them.