The warrant for the arrest of Stan Shunpike lay on Percy's desk. It lay there accusing Percy for his silence.
The Minister wished to make an example, show his people that he was a man of action and that their actions had consequences. Percy, who had been bullied by his brothers, his school friends, and ignored by his father, had always thought that that was the correct path but here was the example. The Mister wanted to make an example of Stan.
Percy wouldn't believe it. He had been deceived before but he remembered Stan from school. Held back a year Stan had to sit his OWLs with Percy. Then he had left to go work on the Knight Bus with his father. Stan talked a lot. Poked his nose in and gave comment where it wasn't his place or before he had fully grasped the situation. This was the reason he was due for arrest, he had been over heard in a pub discussing something he had no business knowing.
This was no way to continue. No way to catch Lord Voldemort. Turning everyone against each other only encouraged the secrets and lies. If people did not feel safe with their friends, at their work, in their homes then Lord Voldemort had won. And everyone was a criminal.
As Percy looked up and over the Muggle Containment Committee, he supposed that most of the population were considered criminals now. He'd never thought about it before. He wondered if anyone else saw. He'd never seen because he'd honestly never cared before. He'd never had anything to hide, and no reason to hide anything. Everyone knew his father, who was so free and easily made friends, so everyone had known Percy.
Percy used to care about this job. About the people he worked for. He just turned up to the office now and did what was asked. And now he was being asked to sign the warrant to have Stan Shunpike taken from the holding cells downstairs to Azkaban. Not for the first time Percy missed Minister Fudge.
He had always known where he stood with Minister Fudge. Also them man would never have pulled last Christmas's stunt and drag him back to his family home in order to speak to Harry Potter.
Percy should have said something but what was the use. He couldn't help anyone if he was fired. Stan could only be release by a form signed by the minister himself.
Percy had the power of signature for the minister but he didn't want to show his hand. He had to initial every bit of paper that he signed for the minister in case of scandal. What if he didn't, just this once?
The prisoner release form lay on his desk and Percy looked at it like he had not been the one who put it on his desk. He thought back to when Umbridge rang about his brothers. The swamp in the corridor that no one would admit to but who everyone knew who was responsible, the teachers were even impressed. The lesson learned was to not be subtle. You had to be outrageous to get away with things. Something so over the top that no one would stop you because it was so unbelievable it had to be true. If people did stop you and you weren't in it completely you trip you up.
People knew what Percy had sacrificed working with the Ministry and not siding with his family. He'd never stick his neck out.
Percy picked up his pen and signed.