Disclaimer: I'm sure that we all know that JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter. She owns him and created his entire universe. I am not JK Rowling, so anything you recognize belongs to her.
A/N: Be warned, this fic is not rated for children due to torture, death, and general angst. I would put the rating at around a PG-13 to be on the safe side.
The sky above London was a dark and stormy grey, but that didn't stop the sun. It still valiantly shone at every break through the clouds. Trying to brighten up the dreary looking city below whose residents were just beginning to awaken.
His day had begun like any other. The first thing he heard was the sound of cathedral bells, a simple charm set to go off at a certain hour, but he was awake long before that. He always woke up before the alarm, his mind racing with the tasks that he was supposed to accomplish during work that day. Sleepily he crawled out of bed and winced as his feet touched the cold floor.
Still going over his agenda, he quickly washed and dressed in one of his two sets of good robes. The rest were all tattered hand-me-downs left over from the days he still lived at home, the only problem with being Junior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic was that it didn't pay very well. However the chance to make good connections and earn respect within the Ministry of Magic more than made up for any shortage of pay.
As Percy left his bedroom he began to remember the strange dream he had the night before. He couldn't really remember any of it, just a lot of screaming and flashes of bright light. He shook off the residual creepy feeling and set to work making his breakfast.
An owl hooted behind him, turning around there were two large owls waiting impatiently outside his window. Frowning a little he let them in, one flew in and dropped the newspaper The Daily Prophet, neatly on his table. It collected it's pay then flew off.
The second one, however, buzzed around the room for a few minutes before dropping a large red envelope at Percy's feet.
He jumped back, startled, as the envelope tore open and a booming voice screamed "READ THE PAPER, YOU GIT!"
Percy stared at the Howler, now sitting innocently on the floor. Read the paper? He thought he recognized his twin brothers' voices, but he didn't get the joke.
Still confused, he grabbed a glass of orange juice and sat down with the newspaper the same way that he had every morning since he was old enough to read. His eyes grew wider and wider as he skimmed over the front page, until finally he threw it down and apparated out of his flat.
The newspaper fluttered to the floor it's headline screaming "The Dark Lord is Back: What the Ministry has been Keeping from Us all Along"
Percy apparated into the Ministry of Magic's apparating zone and nearly flew down the hall towards his office. He couldn't believe that the Daily Prophet was printing that rubbish. Hadn't the Ministry told them over and over again that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named hadn't returned? Why were they printing these lies now?
Whatever the reason, Percy knew that his entire agenda had just been changed. There would be hundreds of owls, and probably Howlers, from the wizards and witches who were dense enough to believe the article. Quickening his speed, Percy raced down the hallway, barely looking where he was going until he crashed into someone with a loud thud and a cascade of papers.
He let out a little cry as he landed hard on his rear. "Sorry 'bout that," he muttered to the man lying on the ground as he quickly stood up. Rapidly looking around the hallway he noticed several people looking at him. Already beginning to feel his face turn a bright shade of red he offered his hand to the man that he had knocked down….
…and pulled it away with a gasp as Arthur Weasley looked up at him.
Percy could only stare dumbfounded as his father grimaced and got to his feet. Awkwardly father and son stared at each other for a long minute. Percy's face hardened as his father looked at him expectantly.
"Percy…" his father started, then flushed at looked at his feet. "I… just wanted to let you know that your mother and I are ready to put this bad business behind us. I just don't want you to be too embarrassed…." His voice trailed off as Percy gave an incredulous snort.
"Just because that fool Dumbledore got the Daily Prophet to print his trash is no reason to think that I'm going to come running home to you and mum," Percy said coolly, "But don't worry, as soon as you are ready to admit you're wrong, I will be more than happy to forgive you." Without another word Percy swept passed his father and walked, much more slowly, down the hallway.
As he walked Percy shoved thoughts of his father out of his mind. He rounded the corner near the Minster of Magic's office and stopped at the sight that met his eyes.
Cornelias Fudge, Minister of Magic was being cornered outside his office by no less than a dozen reporters, all shouting at him and holding their quills ready. A small group of ministry employees had formed around the area; Percy skidded to a stop and calmly joined them.
"…no, no, no, that's not at all what I said," Fudge was saying, looking rather hassled.
"Minister Fudge," a young reporter piped up near the front, "can you tell us how the Ministry let this happen? How could've You-Know-Who been back all this time without the Ministry's knowledge."
"Ah… as for that," Fudge wiped his brow, "That was unfortunate and is under investigation. I, of course, did everything within my power to try to discover if there were any truth to the claims, however it appears that it was a massive failure in several branches of the Ministry of Magic including, I'm sorry to say, within my own office as well. Rest assured that those responsible will be held…eh… responsible." He finished lamely.
"Can you give us any names?" a blond witch near the back spoke up, looking particularly pleased with herself, Percy dimly recognized her as Rita Skeeter.
Fudge began to look more nervous; he shifted his eyes around past the reporters and towards the small crowd of ministry employees. His beady eyes looked at Percy for a minute before he responded, "I'm afraid the only name I can give you now is Percy Weasley."
There was flurry of activity as the reporters shifted their focus, and their cameras, over to Percy, "Yes," Fudge continued gaining confidence, "A rather unfortunate addition to my staff, you might remember him from that scandalous Crouch affair a year ago. I took in the young man as a sort of charity… to give him another chance, however he has proven completely incompetent and is to blame for most of the breakdown in Ministry communications over the past year."
Percy stood, shocked as the reporters began to make their way over to him. "Percy!... Percy! Do you have a statement for us?" The reporters were buzzing around him now, "How does it feel to be responsible for all of this?"
"Wait… I didn't…." Percy could feel himself getting flustered, meanwhile Fudge had turned and escaped into his office, "Excuse me…" Percy bolted after the Minister the reporters trailing after him until he made it into the relative safety of Fudge's office.
"Minister," Percy ran his finger beneath his collar, it felt very warm all of a sudden "What was that all about? I didn't deal with any information about You-Know-Who returning… "
"You're being sent to the centaur liaison office, Percy." Fudge interrupted him. "I'm afraid you've become a… well, an embarrassment to this office. We would have figured out that You-know-who had returned months ago if it wasn't for your interference…"
Percy began to feel dizzy…the centaur liaison office? Being sacked would be kinder. "What interference? I didn't have anything to do with…."
"I'll understand if you would rather leave the ministry entirely, that is of course, your decision."
Percy stopped for a moment, Fudge wasn't looking at him. Something was wrong. His heart began to pound with anger as he put it together. "That's it? I'm being the scapegoat because this entire office suddenly realized that it was wrong!"
"Well…" the Minister was turning a bit red now as he stared fixedly at his desk.
"I trusted you! I gave up my family because I believed in you!" Percy was breathing hard now as he stared at this man he once admired.
Fudge hesitated a moment then looked up from his desk. He made eye contact with Percy and said brutally, "Yes, that was unfortunate. But I'm afraid that since you've cut yourself off your family I really don't have any use for you."
Percy felt like he had been punched in the stomach. He couldn't even think of a reply.
"I expect you to have your desk cleaned out by the middle of the day. Report to your new department by 8 o'clock tomorrow." Fudge sat down at his desk and began to shuffle through reports, the dismissal clear in his voice.
Percy couldn't think of a thing to say. Wordlessly he turned around and fled Fudge's office.
A/N: Well there you have it. The first chapter. I am writing this fic as fast as I can because I intend to have the entire thing out before HBP. By then this entire thing will more than likely be AU and totally pointless. However it has been bashing around in my head for quite some time now and I'm afraid that if I don't write it then the gods will punish me and I'll never get another story idea. So here it is.
Umm... this is my first time actually working with a character that was introduced in the books (all my others were back characters that were mentioned but never really personified) so please let me know how I'm doing with Percy. I'm really trying to keep him in character.
Note about Centaur Liasion office: if you read Fantasic Beasts and Where to find them you will learn that being sent to the Centaur Liasion office is a way of demoting someone about as far as you can be demoted. In fact being sent there is an inner office joke for someone about to be fired.
Loved it? Hated it? Let me know. I live for reviews.