Note: Summary of "Innocence Lost and Found" at the end of this chapter
if you'd rather not read it but want the background for this story.
of Revision: Revised in October 2001. I didn't do much other than
correct a typo that was bothering me, but I did notice that my main
character (who wasn't supposed to be my main character) is fairly OUT
of character. However, I decided that I don't care. So, enjoy
"Wonder if Percy knows all that stuff about Crouch?" Ron said
as they walked up the drive to the castle. "But maybe he doesn't care .
. . it'd probably make him admire Crouch even more. Yeah, Percy loves
rules. He'd just say Crouch was refusing to break them for his own son."
"Percy would never throw any of his family to the dementors," said Hermione severely.
don't know," said Ron. "If he thought we were standing in the way of
his career . . . Percy's really ambitious, you know . . ."
--- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, chapter twenty-seven
Weasley would never have admitted it to anyone, least of all himself,
but his office in the Ministry of Magic was really a rather boring
place. At least, it was boring in the sense that it saw very little
action; while he did believe that the work he did was important, he
knew that it would never show up in the pages of the Daily Prophet. For
example, people expected their cauldrons to be safe and of high
quality, and gave little thought to the fact that someone had to
maintain the regulations that kept them that way. No one was likely to
contact him to commend him or even to complain to him.
he had not expected his fire to spring to life to reveal the face of
Albus Dumbledore, the aged Hogwarts Headmaster. Dumbledore had actually
spent the past several weeks working in many of the same Ministry
buildings that Percy himself haunted, but Percy had seen very little of
the man. Dumbledore had stuck close to Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of
Magic, and had watched his every move. Now that things had settled down
after a period of intense, frightening Dark activity, Dumbledore had
returned to his beloved school.
Almost as soon as he had left
the Ministry, though, he had contacted Percy and expressed the desire
to see him personally. Percy, having little to do and a stock of
vacation time, had Apparated to Hogsmeade and was now walking along the
well-trod path to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
path, as simple a thing as it was, awoke an odd array of emotions in
Percy. Foremost in his mind was a sense of deja vu. He had walked on
this path twice a day on every Hogsmeade Saturday that the school had
held between his third and seventh years. At first, he, like all the
students, had been eager to explore the fascinating village. In later
years, he had gone because as a prefect he had had a duty to be
available to the younger students who might get into unpleasant
situations and require his help.
But as familiar as he was
with this path, and as much as he belonged on it, he also did not
belong on it. He was no longer a Hogwarts student, and had not been
such for well over a year. In many ways, he had thrived at the school,
and he had certainly adored it, but now it was a place only for younger
brothers and sister. He had done his time.
When he had first
graduated, his feelings had been positive but surreal. Yes, he had been
Head Boy, and yes, he had been at the top of his class, and yes, he had
scored near-perfect marks on the NEWTs, and yes, he had gotten a job
with the Ministry, as he had long wanted. Still, though, he had caught
himself thinking more than once When I get back to Hogwarts, I will
. . . . Before remembering that he would never go back. Then he had
begun to think of the things he hadn't done while he was there, most
notably the social opportunities he had lost because he had been busy
cultivating his air of perfection and auditioning for the role of
prefect and later Head Boy. He had dated, certainly, and had been
accepted as a part of the prefects' exclusive social circle, but he had
forged no lasting, loyalty-oath-inspiring relationships like that which
existed between his brother Ron and his friends Harry and Hermione, or
even like that which existed between the twins and their friend Lee--
not that the twins had ever exactly needed anyone but each other.
that he was on the subject of Hogwarts friendships, Percy tried to
recall the social situations of his elder brothers, Bill and Charlie.
They had been a Head Boy and a Quidditch captain, and as such had been
popular, but were they still friends with the people they had met at
school? He did not really think so, but Bill and Charlie were nine and
seven years Percy's seniors and he had never been old enough to be
entirely up-to-date on their lives. Even now, when he had completed his
education and so had they, they were off having exotic adventures in
Egypt and Romania and he had returned to the Burrow and gone to work
with their father. As much as his younger siblings had liked to call
him "Percy, the Perfect Prefect," he could not quite claim that he was
as successful as Charlie or Bill. He was nearly twenty years old, but
he had not exactly taken over the world. Instead, he had strained to be
accepted by the older members of the Ministry, but had remained an
unimportant fish in the most important pond of all.
spent some time at Hogwarts the previous year, his first after
graduation, because of a disastrous event known as the Triwizard
Tournament. At the time, he had thought it a fantastic idea and had
even regretted that he was no longer enrolled at Hogwarts and eligible
to be a champion. It had been practically required (socially if not
officially), from what he had gathered, for the students who were old
enough to place their names in the Goblet of Fire and attempt to
compete. Every prefect, he was sure, who was of age would have
attempted to represent Hogwarts.
Instead, though, he had
attended some events as a Ministry representative. The worst had been a
task that had involved Ron being held as bait beneath the danger-filled
lake so that his friend Harry could rescue him. Dumbledore would never
have let Ron drown, and Harry was nothing if not determined, but,
really, Harry had been too young to be taking part in the Tournament
and he didn't even know how to swim properly! It wasn't his
fault, of course, that no one had ever taught him, but Percy's worry
for Ron had increased to the point that when the friends finally did
surface, with another "hostage" in tow, he had run out into the lake to
see for himself that Ron had survived the ordeal. Ron had been mortally
embarrassed, naturally, but Ron was often mortally embarrassed by Percy
and Percy had grown used to it.
In retrospect, perhaps he had
made himself look a bit childish and immature by dashing out after Ron
when there were safety precautions all around. The twins and Ginny,
their younger sister, had been present as well and none of them had
made public displays of themselves.
He quickened his pace along the road. That won't be Hogwarts' last image of me for long!
He had a reputation and he was bound and determined to protect it. He
had taken great steps toward that goal a month earlier, when Death
Eaters had lured almost half the student body of Hogwarts into danger
in the village that housed the Ministry offices and little more. Percy
had been able to come to the aid of his brother's class and he had
peeked at the report of the incident. It claimed that he had been calm,
cool, collected, and of considerable help.
The road became a
path and then a drive. He had no trouble entering the castle, and he
turned promptly toward the staircase that led to Dumbledore's office.
He had no desire to wander about and find someone else to talk with;
no, he wanted to see no one but the man he had come to see. His
single-mindedness sprang from a variety of reasons, not least of wish
was the fact that he had absolutely no idea why Dumbledore wanted to talk to him in person, and here.
a second, and no more, he put his head down, and when he glanced up
Dumbledore was standing at the foot of the stairs. As anyone who had
ever read Hogwarts, A History, knew, one could not Apparate or
Disapparate within the castle, so Percy had no idea how Dumbledore had
managed to appear. He had long ago learned, though, that there was no
point to inquiring about such things. Dumbledore was a genius, and one
of the most powerful wizards in history. Certainly, he was a
hero-figure in Percy's life; but he was also a bit mad, and Percy knew
it. A question about his sudden appearance would be answered with an
entirely unconnected and most likely inconsequential bit of information.
"Percy! Thank you for coming so promptly. Did you know that the Muggles in London are having a festival of some sort this week?"
Sir," answered Percy, sensing that even without asking questions he was
going to be treated to a display of the Headmaster's quirks. Entering
the office, he sat in a chair and listened half-heartedly, although
with the appearance of politeness. Ordinarily, his politeness would not
be feigned, but his former school was for some reason making him
nervous and he was growing more curious by the moment to learn the
reason for his visit.
" . . . .Interesting, the Muggles,"
Dumbledore finally completed, and Percy brought himself to full
attention. "But we have more serious matters to discuss. I would like
to commend you once more on your behavior during our recent field trip
crisis." Dumbledore looked truly disgusted. From what Percy understood,
Dumbledore had attempted to stop that crisis before it had started, but
Ministry regulations had prevented him from reaching his goal.
"You must have been frightened knowing that Ron was likely to be right next to the primary target."
"Ron always seems to be in the middle of things. But he handled himself as well as anyone could have hoped."
was truly heroic behavior. That seems to run in his family." Percy
nodded at the compliment. "It was a major blow to the cause of light
magic, though, that such a thing could happen at all. The Death Eaters
have become quite confident. I shudder to think how many people they
may have in the Ministry."
Percy paled slightly beneath his
freckles. He knew that he was not being accused personally-- Dumbledore
knew him too well for that-- but he still felt that he should defend
the Ministry. "Sir, we did attempt--"
Dumbledore waved him off. "Yes, yes, I know what happened. I spent weeks there as a result, as you'll recall."
situation is not as grim as it may sound, and it is certainly not
unexpected. In any conflict, there will be spies. There are even spies
in operation during the Inter-House Quidditch Championship. I believe
your brothers Fred and George have been known to dabble in that
pursuit. And the Ministry, and I, have always had spies within the
Death Eaters' circle."
"Yes, I remember Father discussing the
spies after the first fall of You-Know-Who, when the Ministry was just
sorting through who was acting of their own free will and who had done
"You would have been a very young child at the time."
was five, almost six, when the war ended. I had gotten into the habit
of paying attention to every conversation I heard about Death Eaters,
and You-Know-Who, and attacks, because I liked to know before my
parents told me if I was going to be sent to a safe house or a hideout."
are difficult for children." Dumbledore sighed, and Percy was tempted
to explain that, really, it hadn't been so bad growing up in
semi-hiding, and that his memories of suddenly being allowed to play in
the sun whenever he liked and living constantly in one place that was
his family's own far outshone the memories of attic rooms and lectures
that ended with be quiet, or else the Death Eaters will come for you and your brothers! He
did not resent that he had lived the life of a Ministry Brat during the
war. It had been a necessity, and he knew well that his situation could
have been much, much worse.
Many children of his age and
younger had been murdered because they had not been directly threatened
or carefully protected, as Ministry Brats were. He had not always been
in hiding, or hunted down especially, because his father had not been a
top-ranking Ministry official.
But he did not need to speak,
because Dumbledore was forging ahead. "As I was saying, we have a
number of useful spies. Our most useful of all, though, we fear is
suspected. That makes the others all the more vital. Once a spy passes
a certain quantity of information, he simply admits that he is a spy,
and needs our protection. He is no longer useful. In some cases, it is
most useful if a spy announces publicly that he is a spy, so that the population at large can trust in the facts they have been given."
makes sense," Percy replied, but he did not think that it made sense at
all. It did not make sense for Dumbledore to be speaking to him this
way, and about this subject. Dumbledore had made his needs obvious, but
surely, Percy could not fulfill them. He came from a family
that worked incessantly against the Dark Lord. Lucius Malfoy had a
personal, long-term vendetta against Father.
"Well, then. Would you be willing to help?"
"I'll do anything you ask me to do," he answered sincerely. "Tell me what."
"I would think that it would be obvious by now. I would like you to become a Death Eater."
began to clang in Percy's head. He had known for what the Headmaster
was asking, but it sounded different now that the request had been
voiced aloud. A Death Eater? A spy? Espionage was the absolute
last choice of Percy's list of potential careers. He would sooner work
with Fred and George in their joke shop, which was looking like a
reality now that the twins had come into a large amount of gold by
means that Percy could only hope were legal.
In addition to
helping him develop a lifelong fear of breaking rules except in the
most dire of circumstances, Percy's time spent tucked away from
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his comrades had convinced him that he
wanted to be a part of the Ministry. He wanted to be one of those
smart, protective people who kept the Dark Lord away. He wanted to make
sure everyone was safe. He wanted to be like his father. As he grew, he
had learned that accomplishing these goals meant being good, the best.
He had, then, consciously set himself to being good, the best, at a
frighteningly young age. When he had seen Mother's reactions to his
high marks and impeccable behavior, he had pushed himself even harder.
Being good became not just a means to a goal but an end in itself.
disliked the power-hungry House of Slytherin as much as the next
Gryffindor did, but he was ambitious. He enjoyed being good. He enjoyed
being publicly acknowledged as good. He had never denied that.
No spy had ever
been made Minister of Magic. Never. He would be forfeiting the dream
that had carried him through most of his life if he answered Professor
Dumbledore in the affirmative.
His own goals, though, were not
his primary reason for hating the very concept of this assignment. He
had watched for years as Mother worried over Charlie, off fighting
dragons, and Bill, breaking curses and dealing with goblins. Percy had
taken great pride in his role as the son Mother never had to worry
about. Aside from loving his mother and wanting to spare her trouble,
Percy felt that this was something that made him stand out in a family
of exceptional Quidditich players, students, and generally well-known
well-liked figures. Mother would certainly worry, though, if he
suddenly began to hide his whereabouts, or if he was caught and killed
by one side or the other.
Mother was special to him. When
Bill and Charlie had already been off at Hogwarts and the twins and Ron
had been mere babies, when the first war against
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had severely limited the options for the
amusement of a young child, Mother had always given him as much time as
he needed. She had taught him to read at a very young age and had
procured children's books for him. She had taught him games, too, chess
and gobstones (without the liquid-- squealing upon getting a wet face
when one was in hiding was taboo), and had told him stories and sung
him songs. She had been the center of his first years, and he would
never forget that. Of course, should this mission have the worst
possible outcome, Father and his siblings would be upset as well, and
the younger ones might become targets for harassment at school. Percy
knew very well that teasing could make time at Hogwarts pass unbearably
Of course, the people who had teased him had been his aforementioned younger siblings.
that he loved with all his heart. In his earliest memories, the
memories of the hidden rooms and cottages, the constant hisses of "be
quiet!" had affected him most not when he was threatened but when Fred
and George, and later Ron, had been threatened. He had tried to protect
them even then.
He had a responsibility to look out for them
now; and what better way to do so them than to fight the force of evil
that might before long shove them into a safe room-- or a grave?
of his siblings, from Bill, who was already running who-knew-what
errands for Dumbledore, to Ginny, who had actually been born just after
the first fall of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and was not yet halfway
through her education, was willing to fight to the death for the cause
of light magic. It was Mother's cause, and Father's, and Bill's and
Charlie's and Fred's and George's and Ron's and Ginny's. And his.
He knew that he could not refuse Dumbledore's offer no matter how much he might wish he could.
all due respect, Sir," Percy said courteously, speaking aloud to avoid
the masses of thoughts that were swimming through his brain, "I don't
know how to become a Death Eater."
Dumbledore laughed, far too
merrily for someone who had just sentenced his companion to a probable
physical death and a certain career death.
"When you were a
student here, you knew what went on, did you not? The answer, if you'd
like a hint, is 'yes.' You did. Everyone does. You knew who was
practicing dark magic in his dorm room and whose father was a Death
Eater. I refuse to believe that you cannot find someone to approach."
Percy thought, quickly. "I can."
do. I would give you a name, but I'd rather you did this on your own.
You must live this role, Percy. You need to convince yourself that you
want to become a Death Eater. This is what you want from your life."
"I want to be a Death Eater."
"Then, you're in the wrong place. We try rather hard to keep your kind out of here."
Percy rose. "I'll be in touch."
"Do. I imagine you'll want to come see Gryffindor's first Quidditch match, now that you have a third brother on the team."
"Yes. I have to see him try out his new broom."
"I suppose I'll see you then."
dismissed, Percy left the room, the castle, the Hogwarts Grounds. He
Apparated back to his office as soon as he could. He suspected that he
would miss its regularity and paperwork very, very soon.
Note: This story is, technically, a sequel to "Innocence Lost
and Found." If you flatly refuse to read a novel-length
Remus-Sirius-Harry-centric story, far be it for me to suggest that you
do. Instead, behold my Relevant Plot Points:
Sirius is officially free and has custody of Harry.
Eaters managed to lure most of the Hogwarts student body out of the
castle under the guise of a "field trip." Percy was warned (by Sirius)
just before the trouble began and helped control the situation.
the above-mentioned Death Eater attack, Dumbledore temporarily gave
control of Hogwarts to Professor McGonagall and spent time in the
Ministry keeping an eye on Cornelius Fudge.
above-mentioned Death Eater attack, Padma Patil was put under the
Imperius Curse. No one is sure how much damage she did without knowing
what she was doing.
If a character in this story happens to
say that such-and-such happened last summer or during the first few
weeks of school, such-and-such is probably described in greater detail
in "Innocence Lost and Found."