Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

The Wrong Sort
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

Percy Weasley's parents had always warned him not to associate with the 'wrong sort'. The wrong sort were dark wizards, dishonest, untrustworthy and malicious. The wrong sort would kill you as soon as look at you. The most important thing, however, was that the wrong sort were always, always Slytherins.

It was a pity, then, that Percy Weasley's closest friends at Hogwarts just happened to be the sort of people that his parents would thoroughly have disapproved of. Ezekiel Carrington and Andromedus Vaisey were both ambitious, intelligent and cunning, rather like Percy himself – but unfortunately the two were Slytherins. Percy knew that his mother would have killed him had she known, so he was perfectly content to lie and pretend that Penelope Clearwater (who was a halfblood and a Ravenclaw, and so tolerable enough to be classed as the 'right sort') was the only person with whom he had any contact over the summer.

Now he was back at Hogwarts, however, Percy didn't have to pretend so much. He could sit in the library with Carrington and Vaisey without a having to worry about anyone seeing him. His younger siblings were all Gryffindors in the most stereotypical sense – rash, loud and far too obsessed with other people's views of them to ever be seen dead in a library. Hermione Granger was the one exception he could think of, but of course there were always exceptions to every rule, and besides, she wasn't the type to blab to his siblings that she'd seen him sitting with the Slytherins.

It was the last day before the Christmas Holidays, and Percy, Carrington and Vaisey were sitting in their usual corner of the library. Vaisey was working as hard as Percy, his hands covered in spots of ink as dark as his hair and eyes. Carrington, meanwhile, was flicking leisurely through a newspaper, twirling a lock of his straw-coloured hair round a finger, and looking utterly unconcerned.

"Carrington, you do realise we have a Potions essay to finish?" Percy asked eventually.

Carrington rolled his eyes in response. "Circe's tits, Weasley. We can do our work over the holidays – that essay isn't due in for nearly a month."

"I don't know how you intend to get a job at the Ministry," Percy snapped. "Your NEWT grades look set to be appalling."

"I have contacts," Carrington replied. "As do you, Andy; I don't see why you bother working so hard. There's really no point."

"Don't call me that," Vaisey snapped, throwing his quill down onto the table. "And I know I don't need to work – maybe I just want to."

"You know, I sometimes think that you should have been sorted into Ravenclaw and Percy here into Slytherin," Carrington said, yawning. "The pair of you strike me as bloody ridiculous sometimes."

"I bloody well should not have been in Ravenclaw. They're all so boring!" Vaisey snarled. "Unlike the Ravenclaws I learn things in order to put them to use. There's no point knowing things but never actually doing anything with that knowledge."

Carrington smiled. "What about you, Percy? Going to argue that you I'm being evil by so much as suggesting that you ought to have been in Slytherin with us."

"You already know the answer to that," Percy sighed. "I should have been, but you know very well that I couldn't."

"Why?" Carrington asked. "Because green would have clashed awfully with your hair?"

"Because my family would have disowned me," Percy replied tersely. "I've explained this to you before. Now can you please shut up; I have work to do. Some of us can't rely on contacts to secure us good positions at the Ministry."

"But you do have contacts, Percy," Vaisey replied. "What are we here for, hmm? I'm sure my father would be able to find you a nice little post in the Department of International Magical Co-operation."

"That would be a suitable starting point," Percy laughed. "But really, Andromedus, is that ever likely to happen?"

It was only when Percy Weasley started work in the Department of International Magical Co-operation on a higher salary than his father that his parents had any idea that he'd been associating with the 'wrong sort' all this time.