Proud

When he was younger he felt embarrassed at being a Weasley, they were poor and his brothers were unruly and rude. If they went out as a family Percy would be constantly reminded of how he wore his brothers hand me downs and home made woolly clothes. His mother would clatter along ahead of the bunch of children she had sprouted out and Percy would watch the people stare at her. Her patchwork robes clashing with the stylish wizards who graced the cobbles of Diagon Alley. Behind her, his twin brothers would be tripping each other up while Bill punched Charlie every so often, reminding them all of his older brother status. They would bump into other patrons of the Alley, causing people to glare at them.

Somehow Percy was left out of it all. The rest of his siblings had divided into their pairs. The twins, Ron with Ginny and Bill with Charlie. Percy knew he didn't fit in. They all were hyper and excitable. They were happy with rolling in the mud all summer long and picking splinters from their hands after long days playing Quidditch on broken brooms. He would sit in the living room, his head buried in a book while around him everyone else would tumble with each other, bumping into furniture. They would nurse bruised skin and split lips, all the while his parents scraped together enough to get them school robes. He didn't understand how he fitted into the family except for the bright garish red that adorned his head. He didn't understand how his parents were able to accept their poorness. He didn't understand how they allowed their children to make such fools of themselves. He didn't understand how none of them wanted to read, or brew potions or study runes.

At school he felt the weight of the legacy that his brothers had left before him but never quite lived up to the his popular siblings. Bill had been Head Boy and always had been popular. If Percy saw him in the common room he would be surrounded by a group of people. Charlie too was popular and excelled in Quidditch. But Percy had to work hard to get any recognition in school. When people found he wasn't as fun or interesting as his older brothers they lost interest. He had few friends, only really Penelope to fall back on. So he turned to his attention to his work. He became Prefect due to his swottiness.

Now in hindsight he knew that his attitude to his family was why he was sucked into the Ministry. This was a respectible job, finally something that brought him out of his family's reputation. He was earning money and he didn't have to wear Bill's old shirts. The Ministry began to brainwash him and he was sucked into the lie. He was turned against his family but he was alright with that. They didn't care about him when he was growing up so he didn't care about them either. Sometimes he felt bad, guilty for his parents but instead an overriding feeling of indignant disgust for their idiotic belief that He Who Must Not Be Named was back filled his stomach whenever he thought of his family.

But now as he sat in the destroyed Hogwarts after the Battle he felt different. He felt extremely guilty at his actions. For ignoring his mother as she reached out to him. For not believing them when they were obviously so right. He felt sick with himself for being such a coward, for being too proud to go home and apologise. But they had welcomed him back, putting all of his mistakes behind them. He had been embraced again and for once in a long time he felt loved.

In front of him the body of Fred lay on the floor. He was battered and bruised - and dead. He felt numb, his brother was gone and he wasn't sure of how to react. His family surrounded them. Bill and Fleur wrapped around each other in comfort sat opposite him. His gnarled face twisted into a deep frown. Charlie beside them, deep in thought. George stood at Fred's feet and Percy could not see his face. He looked alone, surrounded by his family and yet couldn't be consoled by their comfort. Ron and Ginny stood side by side. Ron's face was blank, Ginny's dripping with tears. He saw that they were holding hands and Percy was struck with how young they were, and yet they had seen so much. Percy felt another wave of revulsion towards himself. Percy sighed to himself. He still wasn't included in the family as they grieved - he had been away too long for them to instantly adjust to his presence. But that didn't matter anymore because Percy forgot all the times where he hated his brothers, instead those feelings were replaced with admiration. He saw how other people around them reacted to the Weasleys. People came and offered condolences. He saw respect and awe in their eyes as they greeted his parents. And Percy felt himself feel that too. Percy felt a small smile grace his tired face as he felt immensely proud of them all.

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