Title: Illusions
Rating: PG
Summary: Percy dreams, but don't tell. Dreams are dangerous things when they hope for this. Slashy thoughts.
A/N: I have no beta, so this all just raw me. Please take the time to review and be honest in them. This may or may not be the first part of a longer story. I came up with a challenge a while ago and finally decided to take it myself. I know it may seem that I am making too much out of the beliefs of the Wizarding World but I was trying to show how ideas so deeply ingrained into a culture could cause such a dramatic difference in how a person lives.

~*~

Percy Weasley had long since learned not to hope for anything in life. For nothing that he had hoped for had ever come to him. Being named Prefect was something he had known was coming. He knew that his family and Hogwarts in general thought that it was something he had dreamed of but that was hardly the case. In truth he had almost dreaded it, because it would mean that the life that he had imagined himself to lead would be beginning. Percy was a practical person, and so unlike most of his peers he did not think about the future with excitement and awe, but rather with a sense of duty and the feeling of being condemned. He did not bother to dream of a life that he would never have the courage to grasp, but rather the one that he knew he would end up having.

Percy Weasley did not want to allow himself to dream, for a childhood spent in the darkness of war did not set down rich soil for such an attitude to grow in. Percy knew that he would be a Prefect, just like he knew that he would receive top marks in both the OWLS and then the NEWTS. He knew that he would be Head Boy, and that he would enter the Ministry after graduating Hogwarts. It wasn't arrogance, and he didn't have the Sight, just a practicality that was more mature than most.

However, for all that he scoffed at dreams, Percy did have secret longings in the hidden depths of his heart. The human soul cannot be caged or limited, and though Percy would have everyone believe that he was rigid and conceited, he was as human as the next. He also happened to carry a secret that he was afraid to admit to himself, much less anyone else, down with his dreams.

~*~

"Hey Perce," Oliver grinned charmingly as he fell back onto his plush crimson bed. His robes were a mess, caked in mud, grass and who knew what else, his hair windblown and his cheeks red, and utterly beautiful to the redhead he was addressing.

"Hello Oliver, I assume practice went well?" Percy raised his eyes from the book in front of him for only a moment as he spoke before dropping them to the text once more.

"I think we might do it this year." Oliver sighed longingly. "The girls are only getting better, and they're giving Fred and George some pent up frustrations to work out on the field I wager." He grinned lopsidedly at his roommate with that comment. Percy ignored him. "Potter's amazing, as long as nothing hideously evil tries to attack him this year," a frown accompanied that as Oliver wished for a moment that he could have found such a talented Seeker who didn't seem to have a bounty on his head. "We have to win."

"And you." Percy said after drawn out sigh from Oliver had dissipated.

"Hm?" Oliver asked, drawn from his dreams of Quidditch Cup glory, looking puzzled.

"They have you as well." Percy explained before going back to his reading. He missed Oliver's cheeks reddening slightly as he tried to think of something to say.

"Well...aye...I suppose so." He replied, scratching at his temple. He squinted one eye at his quiet roommate and sat up against the post of his bed. "You study too much, Percy." Oliver stated, it was an old argument.

"Not this again." Percy groaned, closing his book and falling back onto his pillow. As regular as the moon, every few weeks Oliver would suddenly declare that Percy spent too much time immersed in his studies and try to get the other boy to participate in activities that Oliver thought were a much better use of time.

"What do you mean not again?" The brunette looked slightly affronted. "This discussion never ended, it's merely a continuation of an old conversation." He jumped up from the bed and slipped out of his practice robe. Percy pretended not to watch.

"It most certainly is not. You have been trying to drag me into your activities for seven years and every single time I've held strong. Therefore, I've won." Percy argued, adjusting his glasses. He would never admit to the other boy that it wasn't that he didn't want to tag along with Oliver and the rest of his classmates, in fact it was one of those secret dreams of his, rather he was afraid that if he did Oliver would find out that he was completely and utterly boring. It was much better to decline and keep up the illusion that he might be fun, than to go along and confirm that he was as entertaining as a dishrag.

"Well this time, I'm going to win." Oliver declared, pulling off his Quidditch pads.

"This time? I thought you said this was all the same fight." Percy said, propping himself up and raising an eyebrow. Oliver opened his mouth to deny it, then closed it abruptly realizing that as usual, his friend was right. "You know what I mean." He scowled.

Percy shrugged. "Well, we'll see." He said, picking up his book again. Oliver sighed and turned around, pulling his sweater over his head. Percy's mouth dried instantly as the sight of Oliver's back came into view. It was greatly underestimated, the beauty of a back, he thought suddenly, his eyes drifting over the smooth curves and lines of his roommate's shoulders. He looked down quickly as Oliver turned and reached into his armoire, pulling out a clean towel. He dropped his pants, which was precisely the moment that Percy buried his nose deeply into his book, he wasn't a complete masochist after all.

"I'll have you yet, Percy Weasley." Oliver declared, his was shaking a finger at Percy when the Head Boy looked up. Percy raised an eyebrow at that, and at the sight of the other boy in only a small white towel. It was a familiar sight and one that was dangerously pleasing. "You just wait, you'll have some fun if I have to drag you out of this castle and make you." With that he entered the showers and left Percy to his thoughts. The redhead smiled sadly and looked at the empty doorway.

"You'll forget about as soon as someone mentions the word quaffle." Percy predicted with a whisper. He then bit his lip firmly and went back to his reading. For perhaps the most secret of all in his heart was his love for his blunt, quidditch crazy roommate.

He felt the familiar tingle of fear in the pit of his stomach as he silently admitted it to himself and looked around the room as if someone was there reading his thoughts. The wizarding world did not take kindly to these types of thoughts. He looked away from his book up to the doorway for a second before prying his eyes away. He remembered hearing about a co-worker of his father's whose homosexuality had been discovered. He was immediately fired and ostracized by his former peers. Percy could still hear the disgust in his father's voice when he had mentioned it to Percy's mother. No, for all the wonderful things the magical world possessed they were still partially immersed in the strict social beliefs of the old muggle world.

It wasn't that Percy could not see a rational side to his world's feelings. After all, barring the extremely strange situation in his family, most wizarding families did not have more than one child. They produced far more slowly than Muggles and so Percy could see in a practical way that this homophobia was a product of keeping their population up. Yet, as he grew older and grew to accept himself, he grew to realize that love was not practical, and shouldn't be. Love should be wild and passionate, and peaceful and calming, and completely up to fate no matter what the gender. Wizards had grown out of racial stereotypes long ago, and yet this homophobia persisted. This though was a dangerous thought in Percy's world so he filed it deep away.

Be practical, perfect and follow the rules, Percy. That's the safest route. They'll never love you if they know. He lived for illusions and longed for dreams. But Percy was practical, whether it was his nature or something he imposed upon himself. Illusions were safe, if they were broken more could be built up. Reality was different, no one could patch him up were he to shatter.

Perfect Percy lived for the rules, all he wanted to do was to work in the Ministry like his father and lead a respectable life.

Real Percy slipped off of the bed and walked gently to his roommates discarded clothing, picking them up lovingly and breathing in his scent before depositing them into the hamper.