So this is it guys. The last chapter for this fic. Please enjoy :) xx
Percy's hands were trembling as he packed up his briefcase for the evening. Even though he had made his decision, he was still nervous. Thousands of unpleasant thoughts weaved throughout his mind, playing havoc with his reasoning and igniting the coward within him. It was common nature to shrink into his tortoise shell and hide while the rest of the world dealt with problems. That was all he knew how to do. It was comfortable. It was why he had abandoned his family in the first place. The thought of fighting in the uprising, doing what was right even though there was a high risk that he could die, terrified him. Percy had never been brave, as he had been informed by the twins on countless occasions. Yet, maybe it was time to change that fact. He thought back to Audrey's words... "Coward... prat..." She was right. He was a coward. He was a prat. But there was still time.
With a confident nod, Percy strode out of his office with his head high. Yes, he thought. I can do this! Most of the Ministry had retired due to the uprising at Hogwarts. They were either going to join the fight or flee the country. But Percy had decided. He was going to fight with his family. So, as he left the Ministry that night he turned on the spot and Apparated into Hogsmeade.
It was chaos. People were running and screaming everywhere, mothers calling for their children over the deafening sounds of spell fire. There were no lights in any of the houses or shops. Madam Puddifoots', where Percy recalled going to with Penelope Clearwater during Hogsmeade visits, was a complete wreck and the Three Broomsticks was boarded up and a few of the windows were shattered. Percy continued walking, trying to avoid fleeing villagers, when someone called out to him.
"Weasley!" called a voice.
Percy turned around to see an old man, with a grey straggly beard peeking his head out of an old pub.
"Oh," said the man in a gruff voice. "I thought you were Weasley." He went to turn back inside.
"Wait," said Percy, hurrying up to the man. "I am Weasley."
The man looked confused and furrowed his brow. "You don't look like him. You're definitely not as tall and last time I checked, he didn't wear glasses."
Percy thought for a minute. "Are you talking about my brother, Ron?" he asked. Ron was the only one of his brothers that fit that description. Bill had long hair, Charlie was in Romania, Fred and George were stockier.
"Yeah, that was him," nodded the man.
"Ron? Is he here?" Percy's heart jumped a little. At least his little brother was safe out of the war.
"Nah, he went into the fight about an hour ago."
"What!" Percy shook his head. Of course, Harry Potter would be fighting. Ron wouldn't be able to sit idle and do nothing. Percy turned towards Hogwarts.
"Wait, where are you going?"
"I need to get in there!" said Percy fiercely.
The man kept a blank expression.
"Well, this way, this way," the man said, gesturing for Percy to come inside.
Percy followed the man into the dingy pub. It was dark and dusty, as though it hadn't been used in a while. But it was fairly intact, unlike the Three Broomsticks. As they went upstairs, Percy noticed that there was a large portrait on the wall of a young girl with dark hair. The man nodded at her and she returned his nod. The portrait swung open.
"There you go, son," said the man, gesturing to Percy to climb through the hold the portrait had made.
"Where will this take me?" asked Percy suspiciously.
"To a place where everything is hidden."
"Thank you," said Percy gratefully.
"Not a problem. The names, Aberforth," said the man gruffly.
Percy clambered into the hole, then turned around as Aberforth spoke.
"How come you're so late Weasley? Why weren't you with the rest of your family?"
Percy turned around and looked at Aberforth with a defeated of expression. "I've been stupid. I've been selfish. I let my own prejudices get in between me, my family and what's right. Have you ever felt like that?"
The old man studied Percy solemnly. Then abruptly said, "Keep the entrance open at the other end. I'll follow soon." He began to gather some items from the room and only stopped to pierce Percy with a tortured stare. "I think I've felt the same way as you for too long, Percy."
Percy smiled and began to sprint along the passage, which he never knew existed. When he reached a door, he pushed it open andtoppled out. Straightening up, he laid eyes on his family – staring a thim as though they had been stuck with lightning.
Once he exited the strange room, however, he was hit with the full force of the war. People were screaming and shouting curses from all corners of the castle. Most of the fighters were Death Eaters and Hogwarts students, but Percy spotted a few of the Order interspersed among the fight. Percy froze. He didn't know what to do. Should he fight? Should he look for his family? Should he retreat to the confines of the strange room, where it was safe? He chose the last option, but to his distress, he saw that it was locked for some reason. Percy began to panic. There was nowhere to hide. The only thing he could do was fight.
A flash of green light soared past his ear. Percy whipped around to see an unknown Death Eater only metres away from him, casting curses. He swiftly responded, drawing his wand and casting a stunning spell at the Death Eater. It hit him in the chest and he fell backwards, stunned. Percy felt a rush of adrenaline and pride. He began to descend to the lower floors when he saw two people fighting on the staircase. Percy's heart jumped to his throat. It was Audrey. Her short curly hair whipped around her face as she narrowly evaded a curse fired by her opponent. She stumbled and fell, just as her opponent was preparing for the final kill. Percy aimed his wand at the Death Eater.
"Petrificus Totalus!" he cried. The Death Eater flew backwards and over the staircase, plummeting to his death. Audrey looked up and grinned as she recognised her rescuer. Leaping to her feet, she threw herself at him and kissed Percy full on the mouth. Percy was stunned. But soon his shock subsided and he wrapped his arms around Audrey's small waist and kissed her back.
"You came," she said breathlessly as they pulled back.
"I did," replied Percy. Neither one of them moved from their embrace. Audrey giggled as she straightened Percy's glasses, which had gone askew with the force of her kiss.
"Come on," she said, pulling him by the hand. "We have a war to win!"
I know it was only short, but hopefully you enjoyed it. I love Percy's transformation over these few weeks, it is incredible really and I'm certainly glad for it. Thank you to all my beautiful readers :) and my Beta HolyHeadHarpy7 who helped me with the Aberforth part of this story and just overall editing in general. She is a champ! :) This is the first fic I have finished so I'm actually really proud! Please read and review! xx