A/N: Bet you all thought I'd dropped out of the HP fandom, huh? Well...I dropped out of ALL writing for a while, but I'm back. I expect to have a Minerva fic in the works before too long, for those of you who have come to expect that from me. Anyway, this is a sequel to Watching Through Windows and Happily Ever After, though it was written to be able to stand alone. Enjoy!


Grimmauld Place was eerily quiet when Percy slipped into the front hall, which didn't provide a great deal of respite from the darkness outside the doors. His mother had given him the address when he had asked for it; she was unafraid of the reprimand she might receive for doing so if anyone found out. She trusted her son, now, whether anyone else did or not. Besides, there weren't many wizards willing to tangle against Molly Weasley's stubborn temper. Percy had taken his mother's advice and waited until after supper was over to come and make his apologies; things would be awkward enough when he was alone with his father, let alone if he just waltzed into the dining room with everyone gawking. And, as far as he knew, his brothers (and possibly even Ginny) probably wouldn't be quite as quick to accept him as their mother had been.

He was just peering at a heavily curtained picture frame on the wall when Molly appeared from what he guessed must have been the kitchen doorway, making a soft shushing noise and gesturing towards the picture. "Don't wake her," she whispered in a barely audible tone, and then motioned for him to follow her up the stairs. He obeyed silently, nearly bumping into her when she stopped short in front of a door halfway down the hall.

"Sorry, dear," she apologized quietly. "Still not really used to this place. Your father's inside," she added, nodding her head towards the door. Percy frowned a little.

"Does he know I'm here?" he whispered, a little concerned, and she nodded before hugging him tightly. Molly's hugs tended to be slightly bone- crushing, but he didn't complain; sacrificing a few seconds of oxygen was more than worth having her embrace again.

"He...he wants to talk to you. Alone," she replied as she pulled away, choking up a little bit. Percy leaned down to kiss her cheek.

"Don't cry, Mum," he pleaded, and she gave him a watery smile in return before ushering him inside. She paused for a moment once he was inside, watching, then retreated back into the hallway. The door shut behind her with a soft click.

Percy stood in what he guessed must be his parents' bedroom at Headquarters; he could see that one of Molly's lovingly crafted but threadbare quilts covered the bed. Arthur sat in a chair beside the crackling fire, his back to the door. He turned momentarily when Percy entered, then turned away again. Wordlessly, Percy stepped forward, stopping just beside the other chair opposite his father, unsure of what to do.

"Sit down, Percy," Arthur said quietly, his eyes focused on the fire instead of his son. Percy obeyed, quietly beginning to tap his fingers against the arm of the chair in an attempt to help calm his nerves. A long silence passed between the two of them before Arthur spoke again, his voice serious. "You know everything that's happened, I take it?"

Percy blinked; he was expecting either some sort of repriman, or a hand extended in forgiveness, not business talk. "Yes, sir," he replied formally, wondering what on Earth his father was getting at.

"You know it's just the beginning," Arthur continued, still looking in the direction of the fireplace. "Things have been relatively quiet for the past couple of weeks, but You-Know-Who is just winding up for another attack."

"Yes, sir," Percy said again, shifting a little uncomfortably in his seat.

"You know we're going to need all the help we can get. The Death Eaters are strong, and they have a larger network of support than we have at the moment. We're still growing in numbers, but with all this mess at the Ministry," Here, Percy's cheeks and ears turned slightly pink with embarrassment, "there are still wizards and witches who are unsure about who to trust. At a time when the Ministry most needed to be united, it was divided."

Percy kept his eyes on the floor, now, staring at the worn boards. "Yes, sir. I know," he said quietly, secretly wishing his father would stop lecturing him about this. He had already spent enough time beating himself up over his own stupidity.

"Now, Percy," Arthur continued, in a brisk tone that caused the younger man to lift his gaze. The balding redhead had turned his attention from the fireplace to his son, wearing a very solemn expression. "I want to know if you're ready to join us. I've already talked with the other members of the Order; they understand that you were merely...misguided, and, if you're willing, they want to have you as part of our ranks." Arthur rose to his feet. "Will you accept?"

Shocked at this sudden invitation, Percy just stared at his father for a moment before getting out of the chair in a hurry, uttering a stammered, "Y- yes, sir!" Arthur gazed at him for a moment in silence, and, for the first time, Percy realized that his father's blue eyes were bright with tears.

"Percy," Arthur said, his voice gentler as he clapped a hand on his son's shoulder. "I know you're a grown man, now, but...just once, would you mind dropping the 'sir' and just calling me 'dad'?"

As much as he tried to fight it, Percy could feel his lower lip trembling, and his own eyes began to tear up. Unable to keep from uttering a short sob, he flung his arms around his father, clinging to him like the little boy that he had never allowed himself to be. Father and son wept together over the pain they had known and the time they had lost. But, most of all, they wept for joy...because, although they were standing in the drab, grey upstairs bedroom of Grimmauld Place that would never be cheerful in spite of all Molly's homey touches, Percy was finally home.