This story is dedicated to the wonderful Schermionie, who is the best friend one can ask for.
A special thank you to Carnal Coffee Bean Catastrophe, who has been kind enough to beta-read it. All mistakes have been added after her beta-reading and are therefore mine.
Percy hates those days. The ones when the ministry is full of press and curious people because there's a big trial going on.
People are rushing past his office. The usually calm atmosphere is disturbed by chatter. His secretary is not paying attention to the notes on her desk, and he needs to go to take them himself.
He registers soon enough why she is not doing her job properly. Oliver Wood, Quafflepunchers's keeper, is there talking to some ministry official Percy doesn't pay attention to. He simply sighs and reads through his notes.
He can't comprehend the interest all women have for Wood. One, he is publicly gay. The man won't spare a second glance at them. Two, he betrayed Britain when he choose to play for a French Quidditch team. Okay, they are - were - leaders of Europe's League, but still. They wear ridiculous pink robes. Percy honestly can't understand the interest Wood still gets in Britain.
He is about to re-enter his office when he hears his name. He turns; Oliver Wood is marching toward him.
"Weasley. It's been years." They shake hands. It's been years indeed. Seven years since Hogwarts, to be precise. And they weren't even friends back then. Percy doesn't understand how the other man even remembers his name, nor why he wants to start small talk before his testimony as a witness in a trial.
"I just need to escape all this," Oliver says quietly, waving at the mass of curious people looking at them.
Percy nods and gestures for him to enter the office.
Once inside, Wood politely waits for Percy to invite him to sit, which he does as he takes himself a place behind his desk.
He has work to do, but small talk only seem appropriate. The field of potential common subjects aren't wide, so Percy goes for Quidditch.
"Your team is doing okay." He doesn't follow the sport news, but he is aware that the team is not what it was anymore.
Oliver Wood just laughs before adding, "Not much interested in sport, I see. We are doing awful. But there is very little a keeper can do if the beaters are bad. And with our injured seeker, it doesn't help. Anyway, this season will be a downer for us, but I have great hope for the next." He pauses.
"MacQueen." He says the name like even Percy should be interested in what the name entails, but he is not sure. He changes the conversation.
"What are you doing here anyway? The trial is only this afternoon."
"Better safe than sorry. The press can be a pain. I wanted to avoid the rush. I hate crowds."
Percy nods, understanding if a little surprised. It's when he realizes he has not a drink to offer to the man and says so.
"It's okay, Weasley. I invited myself anyway. How's the relationship with Russia going, by the way?"
Percy is surprised by the turn in the conversation. They discuss world politics and import quotas. After one hour, Wood excuses himself.
"I have lunch with Mr Trey, business to discuss. It's been nice to see you." They shake hands, and Oliver leaves. Percy wonders if the man Wood is meeting is Mr Trey, as in the president of the protection of British handicraft's association.
Percy is at Bill and Fleur's. He's trying to keep contact with his family as much as he can, but it's hard for someone as busy as him. Fortunately, Fleur is an excellent cook and loves to invite him over for dinner. It helps.
It's just the three of them and the baby, eating dessert. Fleur broaches the discussion of her Quidditch team, which is Bill's now too. Even if they are awful.
"Well there is very little a keeper can do with bad beaters and an injured seeker." Percy borrows Wood's words and surprises them both.
Bill smiles at him. "Yeah, but there is MacQueen. Maybe."
Percy nods, remembering the name.
"Next season. There's hope."
Bill gladly continue the conversation. It's mostly him and Fleur, but Percy knows what to say at the right moments. Like every politician, he can have a conversation even without fully understanding the subject.
The evening is good and pleasant. He leaves their place with a smile on his lips.
Percy is at the burrows and takes the sport pages of the Prophet. He usually avoids it, but now he doesn't mind. His relationship with Bill evolved very nicely since the time he talked about sport, and he would like it to keep this way. Bill's company is nice. Percy even finds some interest in Quidditch now.
George arrives while he is reading the Europe league's page. There is big portrait of Oliver Wood. The article is about the trial going on, but it focuses on Oliver only and not the result itself. He is about to fold the newspaper when George takes it from him. His brother makes a comment about him reading sport. It should bother him, but George's teasing is always welcome now. It's funny how thing change.
Percy and George aren't the closest of the brothers, but the situation is less tense than at the beginning of the war. Percy learnt to deal with George's personality; he is more adaptable now, that's what Hermione says to him anyway. He, personally, always found himself to be good at getting along with all kind of people. He guesses he was wrong. He has learnt to admit it after the war.
Percy has to admit Oliver Wood has become a little of an obsession lately. Well, not the man, but all the press about him. Every movement of his is scrutinized. The way he dresses, whom he talks to, his different charity organisations. Percy is surprised by the number and the variety of those.
It's the reason why when the keeper presents himself at the ministry for yet another testimony, Percy finds himself offering help escaping the media. On the way to his office, he asks his secretary to prepare tea. There are at least two hours before the beginning of the trial, and this time it's Percy who invites. And Oliver who gladly accepts.
They talk and once again Percy find the man to be incredibly interesting and cultivated. He is as hard a worker as Percy himself. It is surprising. The hours pass quickly, and Percy is pleased that he had the idea to invite the man. When they shake hands before Oliver leaves for his audition, the keeper is smiling broadly.
Percy has reconnected with Bill. The relationship between Bill and Percy is well settled now. Bill even joins him for lunch at Diagon Alley. They discus the current news, and the sports, too.
Percy doesn't only follow the Quidditch now, he follows everything related to it. There is a political world behind Quidditch and a great market opportunity. Bill laughs at him when he mentions it, but it isn't offensive. His brother even suggests for them to support the funding of the London Stadium by going to a match, the two of them and Charlie too.
It has been a while; they haven't seen their brother in a long time. Percy accepts and decides to book tickets for a Quafflepunchers's match.
It is never awkward at home with Charlie. There is their mum to distract everyone, and little Victoire too. Everything goes like Charlie visited them more than once a year.
But at the stadium, it's different. They haven't spent time, only the three of them, in years. More than years, they haven't spent time together like this since before Hogwarts.
The conversations are sporadic and the game seems to last forever. Charlie is sat between Percy and Bill. Percy watches the game intensely and Bill goes on about girls.
Charlie doesn't react to Bill's attempts at figuring out any of his brother's potential Romanian love interests. Percy has long suspected that Charlie has no interests but dragons.
Bill questions Charlie about his habits and hobbies in Romania. They chat for a little, but after a while Percy can sense that Bill's curiosity towards his brother's love life is emerging again. Only this time he tries with boys. Percy almost wants to laugh; his big brother suspecting Charlie to be gay when he never realized Percy was bi.
It is not like he had tried to hide the fact. It's just that he never met a man of interest while he was in Hogwarts. That had came after, at a period of troubles with his family, a period he doesn't like to remember.
When Bill mentions the chaser's allure, he probably doesn't expect Percy to answer. Even less, to mention Oliver Wood's alluring looks. His comment surprises even Percy himself.
Bill is surprised and Charlie laughs.
"You were betting on the wrong horse," he says. And everything goes back to normal.
At the end of the game, his brothers corner him and say they wouldn't tell if he didn't feel like it. Percy simply shrugs. Charlie mentions how much his baby brother has changed.
People keep telling him how he's changed, how he's more adaptable. He questions his sister-in-law at lunch. Hermione agrees with them, apparently. "It's a good thing," she says. "Look how close Bill and you are now."
And it's true, Percy realises. He is close to his brother now, and in his head it all began because of a Quidditch conversation.
It's a very strange and new thing for Percy, to follow an impulse. But it's been proved change can be good and he wants to evolve to be a better man. Consequently he decides to follow his urge to go and talk to Oliver Wood.
The result of the trial has been given and the plaintiff has won. It was expected, but Percy wants to congratulate Oliver on the good result they had. And maybe invite him for a drink of victory.