The bitter wind pushed him along, hurrying him towards his destination. It was a clear night, the half moon shedding a harsh glow on the streets of London and making what had been common and mundane a few hours ago seem now sinister, heavy with evil intent.
Kind of like me, he thought ruefully. His hands were pushed deep into the pockets of his cloak, one clutching a tattered note and the other firmly clasped onto his wand. With his head bowed down and feet shuffling along the deserted street he must look homeless. Or crazy.
He reached his destination just as the wind picked up from uncomfortable to unbearable. Old editions of The Daily Prophet whirled in a crazy dance with discarded cans and the assorted trash of wizard kind. On a night like this his mother would claim she could smell the snow coming. He took a deep breath, filling his lungs with the bitter odor of candle smoke and yesterday's incense.
Apparently I didn't inherit that gift, he smiled to himself. But the thought of his family soon chased any mirth from his face. He feared that the damage he had done would take more than a few apologies to mend. Now he was about to take a step that might sever family ties completely.
Why am I here? How did I get to this place? He paced for a moment in the street, hesitating on the doorstep of the establishment he'd walked three miles to reach. This kind of thing isn't meant for people like me.
But he had a duty to perform. When he'd joined the Ministry of Magic he'd taken an oath. A sacred promise to keep the well-being of wizard kind at the forefront of all he did. To remember that his life was to be spent in service to those around him.
And now wizard kind was fumbling blindly at the brink of war. He had been at the top of his class, a prefect, Head Boy even. He was no idiot. The signs were clear, but the people had been distracted. So he was here, at the doorway of a dark place, to try and avert disaster.
If only they would listen! The frantic thought wasn't a new one. If only they would pay attention. We cannot fight this war in the old ways. Or we will lose everything.
His parents, his friends, people he respected and admired were a part of the problem. Because the blindly followed an old man who was letting his fondness for an ideal get in the way of what was necessary.
Dumbledore will lead us all into failure.
He knew what had to be done. Alliances needed to be made, lines needed to be crossed. This conclusion was not a hasty one. For years he had been listening, watching, assessing the situation. Though the solution he had come to was contrary to his very nature he knew it was the right course of action.
The only course.
Percy Weasley had taken an oath. He had sworn to serve the people. So he had gone places and done things that made his stomach churn to recall.
All for the note he now carried in his pocket. The note that brought him here.
Dumbledore thought that love would conquer the darkness. He honestly thought that Harry Potter could stand up to the most powerful dark wizard ever known. Yet He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named hadn't just ruled over life, he had decimated death as well. He had defied the very laws of nature.
And his parents still fervently believed that mere Old Magic would triumph over ultimate Evil. Fools. Good people, but they would die saturated in their misguided beliefs.
Unless Percy followed through. Unless he took the information he had given up so much to attain and walked through the door.
His place at the Ministry brought him no end of bitter irony. A few years ago he would have given anything to have achieved his current position. Yet now that the blinders were off, now that he could really see...
Simpering obedience wasn't an easy mask to wear. What was worse was that no one found it strange, his cowering before a man who walked blithely through a minefield.
Just walk through the door, you coward, he demanded. You can't go back to what you were before. This course must be completed.
But he did love the actual work at the Ministry. Finding ways to improve the average person's life, seeking always the higher purpose - it appealed to the Gryffindor in him. So this was just another job, then. Just another way of fulfilling his office.
Percy took a deep breath and opened the door.
After all, he was a Weasley.
Weasleys didn't break oaths.
Disclaimer: All characters and situations belong to JK Rowling. I'm just borrowing them on the condition that I return them unharmed and within canon.
A/N: Just a bit of sillyness.