Title: The Secret Life of Percival Weasley
Author: cyren_2132 (formerly cyher)
Summary: To others, he seemed the fool, but Percival Weasley had a secret mission within the ministry, protecting untold muggles he would never meet and family and friends who would never know. Until one day...
Warnings: *Use of cruciatus in a battle *People have emotions
Pairings: Arthur/Molly, though it's hardly the crux of the story. Mention of previous Percy/Penelope.
Notes: Set near the beginning of Book Six. Mostly, I wanted some way to explain Percy's asshattery that wasn't just "Percy is an asshat." And no, I haven't abandoned the Stargate: Alternate Point of View fic, but you know how some things just get in your head and won't go away? That was this. After it, I've got a little anthology of Stargate ficlets that helped me get back into that frame of mind to post, and then - hopefully - much more APOV.
Percy continued down the sidewalk. He still couldn't believe he was doing this. One day he's sitting behind a desk in his father's office and the next...well, he just couldn't believe it, even after two years.
He kept an alert eye on all the muggles passing by in their winter coats and scarves, chatting and laughing into small boxes - mobile telephones, a muggle means of portable communication, he told himself, absently reciting lines from the last chapter of an old Muggle Studies textbook. The devices in that book were much larger than the ones Percy saw in use today, however.
But no matter. The point remained that these poor souls had no idea the danger they were in. Couldn't even fathom it. He'd spent time once in a small coffee shop and overheard a few patrons discussing far away wars that would only touch most of them peripherally. That there was one right in their backyard completely escaped their notice.
As it should.
Percy kept walking. He had a very important appointment.
The farther he got from the heart of town, the sparser foot-traffic got. He finally stopped at a small park - if it could be called that; it was really more like a patch of grass with a pair of trees - and waited.
The evening's chill made seconds feel like minutes, and Percy soon wished he had thought to enchant his gloves with an ever-warm charm before he left. He couldn't do it now, though. Magic in muggle areas was strictly forbidden. Except in case of emergency, that is, and Percy knew his irritatingly cold ears and fingertips were no such thing.
Keeping his eye on a dark alley across the way - the back door to a small diner - he tugged his hat down and blew into his hands, rubbing them together and imagining a warmth he didn't feel.
The street was empty now, except for a young couple that had just rounded the corner with a little girl. The girl was crying about a lost toy that the diner's waitstaff theorized may have been accidentally thrown out with the trash.
"Allora, darling," the young woman said, "it's getting dark and if your toy is in the bin, it will be all dirty - maybe even broken. Let's go home and Papa will get you another tomorrow."
Yes, do that, Percy thought to himself. But the girl continued to cry and the idiot man insisted that they give it a to save a pound.
Percy checked his watch. There wasn't time for this. He cursed silently as the family entered the alley and started toward them. He quickened his pace as he concocted an official sounding diatribe about the health and safety concerns of crawling around trash bins at dusk.
Percy was about to round the corner into the alley when he heard three distinct cracks. He instinctively pulled back, as if on a string, and pressed his back against the wall and the young woman squeaked in surprise.
Percy drew a sharp breath and the cold air burned his lungs. Three people had just apparated into that alleyway.
"Who are you?" the man said, his bravado unable to hide the fear in his voice.
"Tsk tsk," Percy heard a woman - not the girl's mother - say slowly. "You muggles should really know better than to be in our way." The killing curse tumbled from her lips then, as fast as her other words were slow. A green flash filled the alley and Percy heard a sickening thump.
The woman screamed for her husband and Percy tried to move. Come on Percival he said to himself. You got 'Outstanding in Defense on your OWLs and NEWTs ... move.
But he couldn't.
"Avada Kedavra!" the woman yelled again. The alley fell silent save for the quiet tears and sound of tiny footsteps creeping toward the dim light of the street lamps.
"Oh, darling," the woman said - her voice full of sugary mock sympathy. "It'll be all right soon." Percy tightened his hand around his wand and took a deep breath. "Avada..." the woman began.
"Expelliarmus!" Percy yelled as he turned into the alley. The woman went flying backward the length of the alley; her wand landed with a plop inside a rubbish bin. Percy looked at the girl and she looked back at him too terrified to run. He whipped off his hat and set it on her head while trading curses with the two Death Eaters who accompanied the witch that killed the young muggle couple.
A confundus curse struck the thinner of of the Death Eaters square in his middle and he went running away from Percy and into a wall. The witch, finally free from a pile of old cardboard boxes dove into the bin that held her wand, and the third - a tall muscular man with long stringy hair had stopped momentarily. He stared at the sky and Percy took the moment to shoot green sparks in the air and tell the girl run.
She didn't. The larger Death Eater laughed - the low guttural sound turned to grunts and then something not quite a howl. Percy spared a glance up. The moon was peeking over the roof of the buildings, and it was full.
The werewolf-Death Eater charged. Percy had never seen a werewolf up close in its wolf form. His mind went blank. No fancy curse, no spell, no prayer came to mind that would save the girl and him from a werewolf. So he did the first thing he thought of...a small little spell from his first year - his first week, actually - at Hogwarts.
With a swish and flick of his wrist the charging werewolf left the ground and hovered in the air. It was a perfect levitation charm on a wolf much heavier than a feather. Professor Flitwick would have been so proud.
A few waves of his hand sent the beast flying into the walls. The thinner Death Eater flung a hex at Percy before apparating away. Percy ducked, losing his concentration on the werewolf, and felt the hex slam into the wall behind him.
The werewolf struggled to its feet and the witch cackled with delight as she found her wand. She moved to crawl from the bin and Percy silently sent a blast of energy toward them both, knocking them back. The lid of the bin crashed down and he turned to the werewolf,
Percy knew magical ropes weren't his strong point, but he needed some way to contain the werewolf. It had started to charge again when Percy raised his wand and concentrated.
The werewolf stumbled, it's front legs now shorter than its back. It flipped head over heels before lurching forward, and falling to the ground, transfigured into a harmless stuffed puppy.
Percy dropped to his knees in exhaustion, a thin line of blood trickling from his nose. The little girl looked at him from her spot of relative safety, hidden behind two stacked wooden crates of rotting vegetables. Her big blue eyes were barely visible from underneath his hat, enchanted with a personal shield charm. His brothers' design.
Percy told the girl to run again, and this time she listened. The trash bin opened with a bang and he turned to it.
"Expelliarmus!" the witch yelled.
Percy fell back, his head slamming into the pavement and his wand flying from his hand. He heard it hit the ground with a clatter and roll into the street.
Once again, Percy found himself unable to move - this time for the spell placed upon him. He watched, straining to see from the corner of his eye, as the witch approached. She stopped once to stare at the toy formerly a werewolf. The plush doll vibrated as if any minute it would explode back into the beast it had been. She chuckled, patted its head and continued toward Percy.
"Now, now," she said, "that wasn't very nice of you, turning poor old Jareth into that ickle doggie," her voice was once again laced with sugary sweetness. It wasn't until she reached him that it turned cold. "And look at what you've done to my beautiful robes." A leaf of lettuce stuck to her shoe and a strand of pasta hung from her stained shoulder as an unidentified sauce dripped in cool droplets on Percy's forehead. "That wasn't nice at all." She pointed he wand at him and spoke words Percy hoped he would never hear.
"Crucio," she said as red sparks flew from her wand.