Disclaimer – These characters unfortunately do not belong to me. Sad, I know.
Make sure the read the note at the end. This just kind of popped into my head and I had to do it, so I hope my characterizations don't bother anyone. Hope you enjoy it!
The Right Side
Percy Weasley sat alone in his apartment, looking through papers for work the next day. He had nothing better to do with his time. Since he'd disowned himself from his family, his life had been less…eventful. Most of the time, he enjoyed not having to listen to pointless arguments or deal with pranks from the twins. At least that's what he told himself. There were times, like now, when he missed the daily bustle of the Burrow. But his family was wrong. They'd chosen to side with Dumbledore and Harry rather than with the Ministry and, even though it was now known that You-Know-Who was back, his obligations still lay with the Ministry. So what if things seemed a bit disorganized and chaotic? They were clearly just biding their time. Percy put down his papers and took his glasses off, pinching the bridge of his nose. Before he could think any more about the adequacy, or lack thereof, of his employers, there was a knock on his door.
"Who's here at this time of night?"
Puzzled, he got up and cautiously headed to the door, pausing in front of it. The knock came again making Percy jump. Sighing to himself, he shook his head.
"Come on, Percy. Get it together. It's probably just someone who's lost."
With that, he took a deep breath before unlocking and opening the door.
He froze at the sight before him. Needless to say, it was not someone who was lost. Instead, two identical faces he instantly recognized were in front of him. The one on the left, he couldn't tell whether it was Fred or George, was supporting the other, who was leaning heavily on his twin. Both looked awful.
"Fred! George! What are you-"
"Can we please come in, Percy? I don't know how much longer I can stand like this," the one on the left said.
Percy was too stunned to say anything, so he stepped aside and watched as his younger brothers stumbled in the door. One twin was barely conscious while his supporter was struggling with the added weight.
"Percy, please, help me…"
Percy snapped out of his stupor, quickly closed and locked the door, and rushed over to help the twins, all the bad feelings he may have felt for them forgotten. He took the other side of the twin on the right.
"Here, let's get him to the bed."
The bedroom opened into the living area, so it was just a few steps to the bed. With quite a bit of effort, the brothers managed to get the now unconscious twin onto the bed. The other collapsed onto the bed beside his brother, panting and exhausted.
"What happened to you two?! You both look horrible!"
"I'll tell you…after you make sure…he's okay."
It seemed to take quite a bit of effort for the red-head to get out the sentence. Percy realized he still didn't know which was which, instantly feeling bad. Even though no one could tell the two apart, he still felt that as their brother, he should at least have an inkling of which twin he was talking to.
Percy hadn't realized he was staring. He blushed a bit.
"Was it that obvious?"
Fred's bluntness shouldn't have surprised him. There was silence for a minute as Percy checked over who he now knew was George. Fred was sitting up and anxiously looking between his unmoving twin and his estranged brother. After a careful examination, Percy stood back. Fred looked up at him, eyes begging for news.
"He should be fine. I'm no healer, but he's breathing okay and his pulse is strong. He seems to have a fever though. I have some potions that might help."
Fred let out the breath he was holding and slumped down in relief. Percy turned around and walked into his bathroom, searching for the right potions.
"Was he hit with a spell?"
He took the silence as an affirmative.
"Do you know what he was hit with?"
He headed back into the room, potions in hand.
Fred shook his head. "I don't know. There was so much happening at once…"
"It's okay. We'll talk in a minute."
Percy gave George the potions and put them by the bedside.
"Like I said, he should be fine. It's just a fever. The only spells I know of that only cause a fever aren't very harmful, just incapacitating. Nothing we can't take care of. Let's talk in the living room."
"No, he's going to be asleep for a while whether you're in here or not. Let's go."
Fred let Percy walk him into the living room and sit him on the couch. Percy sat in the chair next to him.
Fred nervously looked back through the doorway at his sleeping twin.
"Shouldn't you stay with him? What if something happens?"
"He's going to be fine, Fred. If anything happens, we're right in here and we'll be able to help him."
Fred still looked nervous. Percy had never seen his brother like this. He was always so full of life and energy. Now he looked tired and a little scared. Percy looked Fred straight in the eye.
"I promise I won't let anything happen to him."
Percy honestly didn't expect it to work. He was shocked when Fred seemed to be reassured and relaxed a little bit. He didn't know what to make of it. He'd already abandoned his family, probably at the worst possible time. How could any of them trust him to take care of anything, much less an injured sibling? Yet, here he was, sitting across from his battered younger brother telling him he wouldn't let anything happen to the identical boy lying in a bed a few feet away, and Fred somehow believed him. He was brought out of his thoughts by Fred waving his hand in front of Percy's face. Apparently he'd been staring again.
"Take a picture. It'll last longer. And you don't seem to have any here, so it might brighten the place up a bit."
Percy ignored the attempt at humor.
"At least let me have a look at you. You look terrible."
Fred stopped smiling.
"I'm fine. You should be worrying about George."
They stared at each other, unblinking. Finally, Percy gave in and looked away.
"Fine. But don't think you're getting out of it. I'll be right back."
He went in and checked on George, again making sure he was breathing okay and that he had a steady pulse. Percy returned.
"He's still fine. Now, please tell me what happened."
Fred looked a little hesitant, clearly not as sure as he had been before that he could trust his brother.
"We were…out. Doing…something."
Percy raised his eyebrows. "Out doing something. Good, that clears things up."
Fred glared at him.
"We were attacked by…some people. We happened to be nearby. I didn't want to take him to the hospital, so I brought him here."
Percy could tell Fred was being careful with what he said. That could only mean one thing. There were plenty of topics Fred wouldn't want to talk about around him, but only one would get Fred this nervous. The Order. In that case, if he wanted Fred to tell him anything, he would have to make sure Fred knew this would stay between them.
"Fred, I'm not a spy. I won't tell the Ministry anything about tonight."
Fred remained silent, looking at him with an unreadable expression on his face. Percy was no mind reader, but he could hear what must have been screaming through Fred's mind. 'How do I know that? You betrayed us! How can I trust you?' Percy shook the thoughts from his head.
"Please, Fred, tell me what really happened. I promise I won't tell a soul."
Fred looked Percy in the eye determinedly. Percy looked back patiently, trying to show that he truly meant what he said. Fred closed his eyes and sighed.
"We were looking into something for the Order. It was just supposed to be a couple of Death Eaters meeting to decide on a location to make a trade of some black magic something or other. Turns out more than a couple showed up. They heard us when we tried to get away. We stayed pretty well covered and actually got off some good curses until they hit George with something. I set off some spells to distract them, grabbed George and ran. Eventually, we lost them, but George was already starting to stumble. I knew I couldn't take him to a hospital. The Death Eaters were well aware that they'd hit us. They would have been waiting in front of the nearby hospitals to finish us off before we could even get in. I recognized that we were near your place, so I figured I'd bring him here."
When he finished, Percy just sat there and stared at him. He didn't know why Fred had decided he could trust him, but he had. They'd been fighting Death Eaters. But they were so young! His little brothers had been fighting Death Eaters. And they'd won. Well…they hadn't lost. Things had certainly changed since he'd left…
"Perce, you're catching flies."
Percy, once again, shook himself out of his stupor. Why was that happening so much tonight?
"Uh, sorry. I just can't believe…"
"I know you can't. That's why you're here and not with us."
Percy closed his eyes and sighed. He knew this would come up with Fred at one point or another. But after finding out that his brothers had been fighting for their lives and for a greater cause, not to mention that they were actively working to stop You-Know-Who, while he sat on his couch reading papers about cauldrons…he just couldn't deal with it.
"Fred, can we please not do this right now."
To his surprise, Fred backed off.
Percy must have looked shocked because Fred gave him a tired smile.
"What? You took us in when we needed help. I feel obligated to return the favor."
"You're my brothers. What did you think I'd do when you came knocking on my door barely conscious?"
Fred looked down at his hands and shrugged awkwardly.
"Honestly, I wasn't sure."
"No matter what happens, you're still my family! I wouldn't just leave you out in the cold! You have to know that!"
"You did before," Fred muttered, almost to himself.
"Fred, please." He was pleading, but he didn't care. He didn't want to deal with family estrangement right now.
"What? It's true! You abandoned us and went to your precious Ministry! Even now that we know he's back-"
"Fred! Not now!"
Fred glared and looked like he was going to say something, but as he moved forward his eyes went out of focus and he started to tip to the side, letting out an involuntary groan. Percy was immediately by his side, sitting him back up, as Fred blinked rapidly.
Percy looked at him incredulously.
"I just had to catch you as you nearly passed out on my couch."
"I was…testing you. Your reaction time was great. I told you. I'm fine."
Percy decided to take a different approach. He knew Fred was stubborn. He'd bide his time until Fred couldn't deny needing help. Either that or wait until he passed out. He was really hoping for the former. With that in mind, he changed the subject.
"How did you remember my address?"
"Um, well, we memorized it, just in case we needed to…test something, you know, for the shop."
Percy's face fell a little. "Ah."
Percy cleared his throat, again wanting to avoid the family stuff for the third time in a matter of minutes.
"Well, it's pretty impressive that you could evade the Death Eaters like that."
"Yeah, well, lots of practice evading siblings growing up paid off I guess."
They both smiled. Small smiles, but smiles nonetheless.
After a moment of silence, Percy suddenly straightened up. "Wait a minute! You said 'us'!"
Fred looked confused. "Come again?"
"You didn't say that the Death Eaters knew they'd hit one of you. You said 'us', meaning you too. Where did they hit you?"
"Wow, delayed reaction much?"
"It's nothing bad. George is the one you should worry about. Go check on him again."
"Uh-uh, not gonna work this time. Come on, Fred, where did they hit you?"
Beaten, Fred stared at Percy for a minute before slowly raising the sleeve of his black shirt to reveal a bloody gash. The black of the shirt had covered the blood soaking it.
"Oh my-, Fred, why didn't you say something!"
"It's not that bad! Just a little cut! And I made sure it wouldn't get on your couch."
"I don't care about the stupid couch! You've lost a lot of blood!"
Percy got up, happy in his victory of getting Fred to at least admit he was injured (though still worried that he was hurt in the first place), and got a wet cloth and bandages.
"Aw, come on, Percy, I'm fine."
"No, just let me get the blood off of it. Then you won't have to worry about getting it on the couch." He smirked at Fred.
Caught by his own words, Fred was forced to acquiesce.
"Fine," he said, rolling his eyes.
With Fred's grudging acceptance, Percy took care of his brother's arm. After he'd wiped it clean and bandaged it, he stood back up.
"There, not so bad, see?"
"Yeah, yeah, you're a miracle worker."
Percy wasn't deterred by Fred's sarcasm.
"Did you get hit with any spells?"
"A few, but nothing serious."
Despite his brother's assurances, Percy checked him over fully, as he had George. After he was satisfied that Fred was okay, he sat back. There was an awkward silence before Fred spoke, trying to be himself despite the fact that he looked exhausted.
"So, do I have to actually pass out to get some food?"
"Oh, sorry! Uh, I don't have much, but I can get you some water and biscuits."
Fred grinned up at him and nodded. Percy went to the kitchen. When he returned a few minutes later, Fred was curled up on the couch, fast asleep. Percy smiled, put down the food and water and went into his bedroom. He emerged again with a blanket, and draped it over Fred. He stood for a minute, just looking between his twin brothers. He focused on Fred again, reaching down and touching his forehead, just to check, on the off chance that he might have developed a fever in the past 15 minutes. He looked so young and innocent while he slept. Clearly those days were over though. Percy scoffed to himself. Those days ended when they were 3 years old and tried to flush Percy's teddy bear down the toilet.
Percy sat in a chair that gave him a clear view of his two sleeping visitors. The smile faded. He couldn't pretend anymore. There was a war going on and, whether he was there or not, his family was on the front lines. He closed his eyes and sighed.
The rest of the night was spent moving between the sleeping twins to make sure they were okay. He slept for a couple of hours on the chair in the living room. After a long night, the sun woke Percy. He squinted and stretched a little bit before going to check on George again. Putting his hand on George's forehead, he was pleased to find the fever had broken. George stirred and blinked up at Percy. Percy smiled.
George started to push himself up on the bed warily, looking around at his surroundings.
"Percy? What are you doing here? What happened?" A look of panic crossed his face. "Where's Fred?"
"George, calm down. Fred is asleep on the couch in the other room. You were both attacked by Death Eaters. You got hit with a curse and had a pretty nasty fever for a while, but it has apparently broken. As for why I'm here, it's my flat, so I should be here."
"Oh. Well, ur, thanks."
"Um, can I see Fred?" George asked after a moment's silence.
"Oh, sure. Are you okay to walk?"
"Course I am! Gonna take more than a little fever curse to get me off my feet!"
Percy smiled, happy that his brother was okay, and, despite George's protestations, helped him out of bed and over to the chair next to where Fred was still sleeping like a rock. He then shook Fred, careful to avoid the bandaged shoulder.
"Fred! Wake up!"
Fred blearily opened his eyes, much the same way George had just minutes before.
"Is George okay?"
"Why don't you ask him?"
Fred looked over at the chair to see George sitting, tired, but otherwise okay and grinning widely at him.
Fred instantly looked relieved, then reached over and smacked George's shoulder.
"Oi! You couldn't have ducked two seconds earlier?! That blasted spell could've killed you!"
"Oh, like you didn't get hit by anything! You weren't exactly being careful!"
"Oh, yes, let's all carefully assess our surroundings as we're being accosted by 7 Death Eaters! There's an excellent plan! I'm sure they won't mind standing around for a few minutes while we carefully map out our escape!"
"Boys! Stop it right now!"
Fred and George instantly looked up at Percy.
"Wow, Perce, that almost sounded like mum!"
"Yes, excellent, have you been practicing?"
Percy looked between them, remembering just what it was like to have them both conscious and in the same room. "Just-uh-do you want something to eat?"
"That would be superb."
He rolled his eyes at his brothers' huge grins. "Alright, I'll be right back."
He gathered a few bits and pieces for breakfast. When he came back out, the twins were talking in hushed tones. Fred had just taken his hand away from George's forehead, obviously checking to make sure he was okay, and George looked like he was telling him he was fine. Fred's bandage had been moved and adjusted, no doubt by George. Both of them still looked like hell, but better than they had the night before. He set the food down and the twins ate, teasing Percy about his place. But there seemed to be an unspoken agreement to stay away from talk of Percy's break with the family. After 15 minutes, Fred and George looked at each other and stood up. They tried to hide it, but both were still unsteady on their feet.
"Well, we'd better be off."
"Yes, don't want to inconvenience you any longer."
Percy couldn't believe it. "You both still look terrible! Please stay, at least for a little while."
"Sorry Perce, I know you love our winning personalities, but we need to get back."
"We'll be fine. Don't worry."
Percy gave a resigned sigh. "Fine."
They walked to the door in silence.
"You're sure you'll be okay?"
They both gave him their signature smiles. "We'll always be okay."
Somehow, Percy wasn't convinced. There was yet another awkward pause and the twins looked at each other, scuffing their feet on the ground. Fred spoke.
"And, uh, thanks Perce, for, you know, taking us in and all."
"Yes...it was very, uh, well,-"
Not wanting the twins to suffer any longer, Percy interrupted. "It's fine. No problem."
"Well, then, we'll go. It'd probably be best if we didn't mention this to, well, anyone."
Percy nodded in understanding. If the Ministry found out, it wouldn't be good news and if his family or the Order found out, well, who knows what might happen, but he wasn't ready to face it quite yet.
"Agreed. Be safe, will you?"
They replied with a grin. "As safe as we usually are."
With that the twins turned and left, slowly and a little unsteadily. Percy sighed and closed the door.
Twenty-four hours earlier, he would've said he had made the right decision in breaking from his family. One night with, of all people, his twin brothers had made him question that. The Ministry was taking too much time. Their strategies weren't working. And what was he doing? Sitting around, reading reports, running pointless errands. He'd always believed that he was doing what was best. But now he had to wonder…was he really on the right side?
Note: Okay, my characterizations might be a little off from the books. I feel like the twins are maybe a little out of character, with actually treating Percy nicely, but oh well. I had this idea and I really wanted to use it. We'll go with the twins didn't want to be mean after Percy had taken them in. Percy may also be a little out of character, but I feel like there has to have been a point when he started questioning the Ministry, even if he didn't immediately do anything about it. I wanted to give him some credit, maybe be a little more sympathetic towards him, which is weird because I hated his guts when he broke from the family. Oh well. I thought I'd make him a little bit more human. Alright, that's it. Hopefully it was satisfactory and people enjoyed my view of the world! Please review, but don't be too harsh!