Warning: Weasleycest, don't like it, don't read it
When you come from such a large family, you will naturally have a favourite sibling, though it is rare that you'd admit it. Percy was mine. I loved him in a way that went far beyond the usual brotherly love and into the realms of taboo. I still remember the first time I realized.
Percy wore an oversized baseball cap when he ran into my room, tears staining his freckled cheeks. He was ten.
"What's wrong, Perce?" I asked, setting aside my summer Charms homework.
He sniffled and fiddled with his glasses. "My hair!" he cried.
"What about it?"
With trembling hands, he removed the hat, displaying a head of brown curls. "Fred and George said I was adopted! They- they-" His words were replaced by pitiful sobs. I pulled him into my arms and rubbed his back, trying to imitate the soothing sounds Mum made when we were upset. My brother shook slightly and buried his face in my chest.
"Shh," I whispered. "They're only eight. They can't help it. Remember when you accidentally made Bill's nose grow because he wouldn't let you play with his wand?" Percy let out a shaky laugh and nodded. "Mum fixed that for him, didn't she? And she can fix your hair, Perce. No use crying over spilled potion."
He pulled away and offered me a small smile. "Thanks, Charlie." I ruffled his hair playfully and sent him on his way.
That moment changed everything. Seeing Percy so sad and vulnerable stirred within me a new type of love. I was too young to understand my emotions. I'd assumed it was my brotherly instincts kicking in at last. Percy wasn't like Bill. If he was teased, he wouldn't fight as our eldest brother did. He was too sensitive for that. I believed I was just protective of my younger brother; my weak, defenseless kid brother. But I was wrong.
Perce crept into my dormitory and sat next to me on my bed as I twirled my prefect badge.
"It's a bit smudged," he noted."You want me to polish that for you?"
"No," I chortled."You're the obsessively neat one, not me."
He blushed and shrugged, caressing my badge with such tenderness, such longing. I couldn't look away from his wide-eyed wonder. That same feeling I'd felt when he cried to me the previous year returned. Protectiveness? No. . . Something more. Something alien that I couldn't quite name. "I want one," he said."I want to be like you."
"What about Bill?"
"Hmm? Oh, him too. But mostly like you, Char." Love. That was the nameless emotion. A different love. A love that truly scared me. "Charlie?"
His blush reached his ears, and he turned his eyes to the ceiling. "You're my favourite brother, you know."
I smiled and touched his cheek. "You're mine, too. Only, don't tell Bill. You know how he is."
Percy laughed and wrapped his hand around mine."I won't tell if you won't," he offered.
That summer, things got complicated.
"I kissed Wood."
"You did what?"I gasped, turning to face him. For the first time in my life, I felt jealous. The thought of someone else's lips on him sent a burning pain from my chest to the very pit of my stomach. "Was it good?"I asked, trying to sound casual about it."I mean, do you- do you fancy blokes?"
Before Percy could answer, Mum bustled into the room, holding Scabbers. "Percy, dear," she sighed, setting the rat on Percy's shoulder, "Scabbers was in the cupboard again. You really ought to keep up with him better."
"And, Charlie, go help Bill feed the chickens. It seems we've acquired some strays."
"I thought this was a joke," Bill mumbled."Stray chickens and all that."
I shrugged and bent down to scoop up the feed. My mind was still on Percy and Oliver. How could that happen? How could Percy kiss him? Wood wasn't even that good looking!
"Oi!" Bill snapped. "You're acting like a prat! Now I have feed in my shirt!"
"Sorry," I mumbled. I hadn't realized I'd gotten the feed, let alone that I'd slung it blindly.
"You feeling okay, mate?"
"Just. . . I dunno. I'm a little mixed up right now, to be honest."
Bill laughed and lightly punched my arm. "When aren't you mixed up?" he teased.
Percy entered my room after dinner. "I think I do fancy blokes," he admitted.
"So do I."
"But I fancy girls too."
"And so the similarities die," I laughed. "What about Wood?"
Percy shrugged and picked up my badge. I chuckled as he wiped it against his shirt. "You really should polish this thing," he muttered.
"Don't avoid the question, Perce. Do you fancy Wood?"
"No. He's all about shagging, I think. That's not what I want."
"I bloody love you," I remarked, feeling my face flush."I mean, for knowing what you want."
"And what do you want, Char?"
You. To hold you. Just you. Instead, I said, "Something I can't have."
Percy tilted his head, staring curiously at me."Why not?"
"Because some things are just impossible."
We drifted apart, as siblings do. Perce disowned the family for the longest time, but things eventually settled. He even asked me to be the best man at his wedding.
"How do I look?" he asked anxiously, smoothing his dark dress robes.
"Perfect." With a sad smile, I added, "Perfect Percy. You really are, you know. Well, nearly."
He nodded, frowning at his reflection. "Yeah. I never liked my freckles."
"I wasn't talking about them."
"I know," he sighed, meeting my eye in the mirror. "Sometimes I want to forget you exist. I wonder if it'd be easier then."
"To love someone else."
My face burned, and I dropped my gaze to my feet."How long have you known?"
"Ages. I made up a story about snogging Wood to see how you'd react. You tried to hide it, but I could tell."
I ran a hand through my hair and reluctantly stared back at him."We should go. Audrey's waiting."
"I love you, Perce, but I have to let go."
"What if I don't want you to let go?" he protested.
I pulled him close and pressed a chaste kiss to his lips."I have to. But I promise you'll always be my favourite brother."