Disclaimer: Nothing! I own nothing!

Well, this is my first fic, hope you all like it. It's inspired by Usher's song Burn. Hermione is slightly (okay, very) out of character and has been dating Percy for the last two years. Ron and Lavender are together, as are Harry and Ginny, although this isn't said explicitly in the story. Oliver does come into play and, in my pretend story land, Hermione has had a falling out with him in the past about something or other. Okay, I think that's all. On with the show! Enjoy...

Burn

Hermione glanced at the clock in the living room of the Burrow. Percy's hand was still pointed at 'Work'. Rolling her eyes in annoyance she turned back to the chessboard, where Ron's king was preparing to decapitate Harry's queen.

'Ron,' Lavender said witheringly. 'Can't you let someone else win for a change?'

'No, I happen to like winning, thank you very much,' Ron replied, smiling in satisfaction at Harry's misfortune.

Ginny caught Hermione' eye as Ron and Lavender kept bickering and crossed her eyes, causing Hermione to nearly spray butterbeer all over the chessboard and the broken remnants of sacrificed pieces. She chanced yet another glance at the clock and saw Percy's hand move to 'Traveling.'

'Finally,' she muttered and stood up. She and Percy needed to talk about his recent over-infatuation with work and she wanted some privacy.

She heard a crack from the direction of the kitchen as she was on her way upstairs to Percy's room. Good, he would be there soon.

But after a few minutes he wasn't there and Hermione started to feel very irritated. On her way downstairs, however, she heard a loud, angry voice that sounded distinctly like Percy's.

'I don't understand what your problem is!' he was yelling. 'I thought you'd be HAPPY that I was promoted!'

'Ordinarily, we would be, but Fudge is a close-minded crackpot fool and I don't want you working anywhere near him! We need you in the Order!' Mr Weasley sounded extremely agitated.

'I don't want to join the Order!' Percy thundered. 'And if you'd been reading the Daily Prophet you'd find that Dumbledore is the crackpot old fool!'

'The Daily Prophet is only good for lining the bottom of Errol's cage and you know it, Percival! And don't you DARE insult Albus Dumbledore under this roof!!' Mr Weasley bellowed.

Hermione could see Ginny, Harry, Ron and Lavender peering around the corner, listening intently.

'Fine! I'LL LEAVE!!' The kitchen door slammed open and an extremely angry and red-looking Percy stormed up the stairs. Everyone scattered, obviously scared of bearing the brunt of his anger. Hermione quickly retreated to his bedroom.

Percy's face softened slightly when he saw her waiting for him, looking concerned.

'You'd think they'd be happy for me,' he muttered angrily, charming his old school trunk down from the top of his wardrobe.

'What are you doing?' Hermione asked, confused.

'What does it look like I'm doing? I'm leaving this God-forsaken place,' he replied sharply, randomly stuffing clothes and books into the trunk. Hermione stared at him, shocked. She didn't think he'd really do it.

'It's about time I moved out anyway,' he continued, ignoring her look of shock. 'If Mum and Dad won't let me do what I want and try to push me to do the things they want, I don't want to live under the same roof as them.'

'Oh, come on, Perce, be reasonable.' Hermione said, rising slowly. 'At least try to talk to them rationally; let them see it from your perspective. You can work things out.'

'It's no use, Hermione. They're not like me; this whole family's not like me. I don't belong here.' He looked sad for a moment, but then his face hardened in anger again. 'Nope, I'm going,' he said firmly, snapping the lid of his trunk shut. 'Are you coming?'

'Of course I am,' Hermione said. 'But just so you know, I think this is ridiculous and you'll be back here in less than a week.'

'I wouldn't bet on it,' Percy said darkly, levitating his trunk beside him. 'We'll get your stuff and go.'

So they had left. Mr Weasley was nowhere to be found and Mrs Weasley, it sounded, was in the kitchen, sobbing loudly. Hermione gave Ginny a quick hug goodbye and assured them all that she'd have things sorted out soon. They still looked worried however as, hand in hand, Hermione Apparated with Percy to a little flat in London.

'What in Merlin's name is going on?' Hermione forced Percy to sit down next to her on an overstuffed and worn-looking sofa.

'Well, I got promoted to Junior Assistant to the Minister today. That's why I've been working so late recently. But Mum and Dad don't want me working so close to Fudge. They've been brainwashed by Dumbledore. That man's losing his marbles ... You-Know-Who being back ... ha!'

Hermione frowned at him. 'Don't bring Dumbledore into this,' she said evenly. 'You know I have a lot of respect for him and so do all my friends, especially Harry.'

'Harry ... ha! He's Dumbledore's equally insane sidekick,' Percy replied, chuckling slightly, making him appear slightly manic.

'That's it,' Hermione said resolutely, standing quickly and turning to face Percy. 'First you insult Dumbledore and now Harry – this has to stop – you have to stop. Can't you see what the Ministry's doing to you?'

Percy looked at her closely. 'You're just like them aren't you? Just like my mother and father.'

'NO! I'm not! I don't care if you take this job or not, I just don't want it to affect your judgment, that's all.'

'My judgment is just fine, thanks,' Percy replied scathingly, staring straight at her, anger darkening his usually light blue eyes.

'Fine, if that's the way you feel, I don't think I want to spend any more time with you.' She picked up her trunk and moved to the door.

'What?!' Percy cried in confusion, coming to a little. 'Why? Where are you going?!'

'Away from you. I don't want to see you until you're acting like a normal human being again. Goodbye.' She pulled open the door and slammed it behind her, leaving a slightly shocked but still defiant Percy behind her.

It was only when Hermione got back to the safety and comfort of the Burrow that she let herself cry.

*

Well, that was my first chapter. Let me know what you think!