Meeting the Parents
Disclaimer: Don't own anything recognized. :P
Summary: Percy meets Audrey's parents. May God have mercy on his soul…
A/N: Percy is probably really out of character. Ah, well. Also, "Percival" is definitely not Percy's full name (as far as JKR says and her word is law) but it fits the purpose of this fic xD
Percy Weasley had never been a people type of person. He was never social as a child, even less as a teenager, and even less than that as an adult. He had never been fond of talking to people and holding up conversations and the whole socializing bit. This being said, the moment Audrey mentioned tea with her parents, he tried as hard as he could to refuse without hurting her feelings. He attempted a work excuse. "Erm, sorry, love, but I think I work that day." She saw right through him. She lifted an eyebrow and stared at him in that way she always did that made him balk immediately. Damn women.
"Uh…Just joking. I do have a meeting though." He tried again but it was no use. She just crossed her arms, glaring, and he knew it was only a matter of minutes before he gave in. He couldn't resist one last try though.
"Alright, so that's a lie," He admitted, as if she didn't already know. "But I—"
"Don't!" She cut him off, moving her arms to her hips; a sign Percy knew full well it was not good. It meant only one thing for him and that was that Audrey's tolerance level was going down and fast. "You are going and that's that."
"But Audrey—" Percy Weasley was nowhere near a whiner, but even he could tell he was getting to that point.
"No, Perce. You're going. Now get ready!"
Percy sighed heavily. There's no way out and he knew it. Damn manipulative, demanding women! He's not going to the bloody tea and Audrey will just have to deal with it! Women think they know everything and have to control everything. Well, Percy won't allow it. He won't! Bloody, irritating wom—
"Stop ranting to yourself in your head and get ready, Perce!"
Percy blinked. Maybe women really did know everything…
With that terrifying thought, he scurried to prepare himself for the tea.
This had brought him here, sitting in the middle of Audrey's parent's living room, tapping his foot in anxiety while waiting for her parents to greet him. Audrey had practically dragged him in behind her, shoving him to sit on the couch while she went to find her mother and father.
Audrey is a muggle-born, so while her parents know that magic exists, they don't know much about it nor have any magic themselves. Unfortunately for Percy, this meant her father probably stored muggle weapons like guns and the like.
Just then, Audrey danced her way into the room, her parents trailing behind her. Her mother came in first, Lucy, looking like she had just stepped out of a fancy Ball of some sort. Her husband, Leo, looked like he had a part time job as a body guard. His biceps are the largest things Percy's ever seen, as they stood out like mountains on the large-framed man. He made a silent bet in his head that if he stood next to Leo, the man would look like a giant and Percy would look like an extremely long twig.
Note to self: don't piss him off or he will snap all your bones in half, Percy thought, unconsciously leaning back in the couch to put more distance between himself and Leo.
"Percival," Leo's voice greeted him with a nod as he took a seat across from Percy and Audrey.
He swallowed. "Er… Percy. Call me Percy."
"I think I'll call you Percival instead, actually. That is the name you were born with, yes?"
Percy blinked. "Well, yes… But I haven't been called that in years…"
"Looks like you're going to be going by it now, huh?"
Oka-a-a-y, he thought slowly, not just strong and mean looking. Pushy too. Well, nice to know where Audrey got her demanding side from…
"So, Percival," Lucy started, looking him down as if she's a predator stalking its prey, "let's just get right to the point, shall we? I'm Lucy, this is Leo, and you're the guy who's taking all the innocence out of our baby girl."
Innocence? Percy thought, sending an incredulous look at Audrey, who was blushing at the "baby girl" comment. They think you're innocent? He looked back at her parents. Are we talking about the same Audrey here? The Audrey he knows is far from innocent. Light years from innocent, in fact. He doesn't dare voice this aloud though. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, after all…
"Mum," Audrey rebuked sharply. "You promised to be nice."
"I am being nice," her mother denied, glaring at Percy like she wanted to chew him up and spit him out. "I'm only stating facts, darling."
"Well, state them nicer."
Ignoring her daughter, Lucy suddenly stood up. "Tea, anyone? Leo, Audrey? Percival?" She added his name as an afterthought, her tone of voice clearly saying she didn't approve if he drank tea in her home.
Leo nodded an affirmative while Audrey answered for both herself and her boyfriend, "Yes, Percy and I will both have a cup, thanks, Mum."
Lucy looked down her nose at him again as if he was no better than dung and stepped off into the kitchen.
Silence followed her departure. Not a comfortable silence either; it was full of tension and anxiety.
"So." Leo finally spoke a few awkward moments later. "How well did you do in school, Percival?"
He cleared his throat, puffing his chest out slightly before retracting it again. That was an old and bad habit of his, one he was trying to stop. "I received all twelve of my O.W.L.s and passed my N.E.W.T.s with perfect scores in all my subjects—" Seeing the blank look on his girlfriend's father's face at the mention of the Wizarding exams, he explained, "Er, those are exams we take at Hogwarts."
"So you're intelligent then."
"I'd like to think so," he said modestly. If he had been younger, he'd probably have boasted about his wonderful grades but he had changed since his Hogwarts and young adult days. Audrey had helped him with that.
"He's very smart," Audrey rose to his defense, reaching over and grasping his hand to give it a gentle squeeze. "Quite brilliant."
He smiled warmly.
Leo, however, didn't look convinced. The disbelief on his face clearly stated 'we'll see about that'.
Just then, Lucy walked back in with a tray of four cups of tea. She handed one to each of her family members, collected her own, and set the tray with his cup on the table in between the couch and the two chairs that Lucy and Leo were sitting in.
Rude, he thought, sending a look at Audrey. She frowned for a moment then shrugged, silently suggesting he just let it go. He nodded in response and politely took his cup of tea, sipping it slowly.
Lucy watched him closely as he drank the tea; it made him want to snap at her. What, can't a man drink tea around here without being watched? It's not like I'll hurt anything! he wanted to say. Instead he clapped his mouth shut, knowing full well that comment wouldn't go over well.
A few minutes of silent tea-sipping followed. Time seemed to drag on for Percy. How awkward was this, sitting in his girlfriend's parent's house to meet them for the first time? They hadn't made a very good first impression on him either. He didn't want to get off on the wrong foot with them—what if they disapproved of his and Audrey's relationship? He wasn't a bad guy. There was no reason to disapprove of him.
Lucy stood abruptly again. "Audrey, dear," she said, reaching over and pulling her wrist so she was forced to stand as well. "I have something to show you!"
"Mum—" Audrey started to protest, but her mother dragging her away cut her off. She sent an apologetic look at Percy on her way out. 'Sorry,' she mouthed just as she disappeared around the corner.
He couldn't help but feel a stab of betrayal. She just left him alone! With her scary-as-hell father! What in Merlin's name was she thinking?
He wondered if that was Lucy's plan all along. He wouldn't put it past her.
"Just you and I now, Percival," Leo said conversationally, but Percy heard the underlying promise of a hard conversation to come in the tone of his voice. "I have a few questions for you." Straight to the point, wasn't he? Audrey must get that from him too. "First, what is your middle name?"
"Ignatius," he answered immediately.
Why did he answer that so promptly? He hated telling anyone his middle name—it was so old-fashioned, just like his first name. When he was younger he used to take pride in it but now was a different story. He usually hedged around that question if it was ever asked, unless he was in court or filling out a legal document or something of equal importance that he needed to provide his full name.
Leo nodded curtly. "Good, good. Now, how old are you?"
"Twenty-three," responded Percy dutifully.
"And how long have you known my daughter?"
Again, he didn't hesitate to reply. "Two years."
"And you've dated her for how long?"
"I see. And have you had any inappropriate thoughts about my daughter?"
"Y—" He didn't want to answer, he didn't, but his mouth formed the words without his consent, "Yes. She's beautiful."
Merlin—why was he talking? Why was he being so truthful?
Oh, hell. Lucy had spiked his tea with Veritaserum. How in the hell did she get her hands on that? She's a muggle! He had a sneaking suspicion Audrey was behind this. Well played, he thought bitterly. He had fallen right for it too. Though, in his defense, how could he expect that from a muggle?
Trying to earn some brownie points, he tried to amend, "'Inappropriate' as in your definition of the word. I mean, sure, I like her—love her even—and I fantasized about her back then—and still kind of do—but—"
"Have you ever forced yourself upon her?" Leo asked compellingly, glaring harshly. Percy was a little thankful for the interruption. If he kept running his mouth, he'd surely have dug his own grave.
Percy swallowed. "No, of course not. I would never do that to her. I'm not that kind of guy," he said vehemently.
"Have you ever had sexual interaction with my child?"
No, he thought frantically, eyes widening in panic. He can't actually be made to answer this question. He wouldn't! He would not!
His mouth apparently wasn't hooked to his brain because it opened itself and answered, "Yes." Seeing the man's eyes darken, he quickly added, "But it was her idea!" He felt like a child ratting out a friend but he couldn't help it. Gryffindor or not, this man was terrifying him. Not wanting to but unable to help it, he stared at Leo's large muscles. He could kill me with one quick snap, he observed. Yes, much better to stay on the man's good side—if he could, that is. It wasn't going very well so far.
Leo's eyes seemed to cloud over more at that statement. "Oh, so you're calling her a scarlet woman?"
'Scarlet woman'. Honestly. He thought only his mother called people that. "No, I was just stating that I didn't force her into it is all," he replied truthfully. (Of course it was truthful—he was under Veritaserum for Merlin's sake!)
He didn't seem to like that answer but he reluctantly accepted it. "Moving on—do you have any intention of hurting my little Audrey?"
"No," he answered strongly. This interrogation was beginning to grate on his last nerve. He understood the fact that her parents were protective but did Leo really need to badger him with stupid questions? "Why would I hurt the woman I love?"
"Love?" Leo repeated disbelievingly. "That's the second time you've mentioned loving her. How do I know you aren't lying?"
"Well, let's see." Sarcasm was laced in his voice, practically dripping off the words as they were spoken into the air around the two men. "Perhaps because I'm under a truth serum?"
"I still don't understand how that works," Leo admitted. "Audrey tried to explain it but I just don't understand magic. We're not talking about that now, though. I asked a question. How do I know, Percival? How do I know that you're in love with her? How do I know you'll take care of her? How do I know you're good for her? Aside from the background check I ran on you, I don't know much about you."
"Because—wait, you ran a background check on me? How did that work? You're a muggle and I'm a wizard!"
"I have connections; now answer my question," he commanded in a no-nonsense tone.
"Because if I didn't care for her, I wouldn't be with her," Percy started. "I wouldn't be sitting here taking your bloody questioning if I didn't care for her. Any discomfort I'm getting from this—which is a lot, mind you—is worth it because it's for Audrey."
Leo looked thoughtful and still a little uncertain. That disbelieving look in his eyes was visibly starting to fade though. He seemed to be accepting Percy's answers and for that he was grateful. He didn't know how much more cross-examination he could take from this man.
"Fine," he conceded with a nod. "I won't kill you—today," he added meaningfully. "I'll believe you for now. But if you ever—and I mean ever—hurt her in any way,Percival Weasley, I—will—end—you." The last four words were slow and deliberate and sent chills down Percy's spine.
He nodded, gulping. "Understood."
"Good." Leo settled his back against the chair, getting himself into a comfortable slouched position. He folded his hands together, intertwining his fingers, and laid them on his stomach, watching Percy intently as his fingers drummed against one another.
Just then, as if she had been waiting for the right time to enter, Lucy entered the living room again, Audrey in tow. He didn't have a doubt in his mind she had been outside in the corridor listening to a good portion of the conversation while waiting for a sign to return to the room. "Have a good talk, Percival?" She directed at him politely. He saw right through it.
"No," he said truthfully. "It was uncomfortable to say the least."
"Why?" Audrey asked innocently, returning to her spot next to him and grabbing his hand in hers again.
"Just the Veritaserum you provided your parents with."
"Ah, Veritaserum. A clever idea of mine if I say so myself."
"I'm not feeling the cleverness behind this idea right now."
"Oh, Perce," she sighed, kissing his cheek. "I had to. It was the only way I could convince them that you would be absolutely truthful. And you were!"
"Embarrassingly so, though, love," he returned.
She smiled, not concerned at all by his embarrassment. "Sorry?"
He rolled his eyes. "You aren't."
"No, not really," she agreed.
"How did you get Ministry clearing for a bottle of it anyway?" he wondered. "Its use is strictly monitored."
"I have connections," she replied vaguely, much like her father did only a few moments before.
"I don't want to know."
"Audrey, dear, how long did you say this Ver-veri-verit—truth thing—would last?"
"Hmm, I dunno. Depends on the dosage, I suppose."
"Well, I gave him about six drops."
"Six?" Percy shouted. "When Professor Snape taught us about it, he only said three drops was sufficient!"
"Well, now you've double the dosage," Leo started, a smirk playing on his face.
Lucy finished for him, "And twice as more questions to answer. You thought my husband's interrogation was bad? You haven't seen anything yet."
Percy put his head in his hands, groaning loudly. Oh, how he wished he had the antidote! He was definitely getting Audrey back for this torture as soon as they were alone!
A/N: I apologize in advance for any mistakes. I haven't slept in a while and I am extremely tired right now! xD