Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
A/N: This is written for Ralinde, because of the Fanfic Gift Exchange over on HPFC. I used the prompts silently, guide, and puddle. It's also being submitted to the Fanfiction Tournament on HPFC.
Thanks to Alex (I'mOnTheDarkSide) for beta'ing.
September 29th, 1997
Percy didn't enjoy the Muggle-born Registration Commission, or how he was forced to write transcripts of all the so-called trials. He didn't believe in any way that purebloods were superior to half-bloods who were superior to Muggle-borns. He had dated a Muggle-born girl, Penelope Clearwater, while they were at Hogwarts. He had seen the intelligence of Hermione Granger, his little brother's friend. He had seen Muggle-borns in his year who excelled, and he had never considered that they might be inferior simply because of their blood status.
Of course, it wasn't like he was going to say such things out loud in the Ministry of Magic. He had chosen his path; he had chosen the Ministry over his family, and this required him to sit down, shut up, and do what he was told. He wasn't going to jeopardize his job and possibly his life by telling these people what he truly thought of their Muggle-born Registration Commission.
He had been doing this for a little while now, sitting in on the court cases and taking notes, and he had mostly learned to block out the pleading voices, and simply copy down what he needed to copy down. They were all the same, he had quickly learned. "Please, I'm a witch, I swear!" "I have Wizarding family, I can prove it!" As heart-wrenching as that was, he had become mostly immune to it, and could sit there silently without showing any emotion, without truly thinking about what he was doing.
It surprised him, though, when somebody didn't plead, didn't beg. On the morning of October fifth, he looked down from his position to see a girl - woman, he corrected himself - only a couple years younger than him sitting on the chair in the middle of the courtroom. She was calm, holding her head up high, ignoring the disdainful looks of the other people in the room and the chill of the Dementors.
Her name was Audrey White, and from that moment, she fascinated him. But he knew he would never see her again; she was a Muggle-born, and he was a pureblood holding a job at the Ministry, and they would not interact. The war was over, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had won. Audrey White may have been interesting for a little while, but eventually, she disappeared from his mind.
October 22, 2000
Angelina's birthday party is absolutely packed with people, Percy mused. Angelina's friends, Alicia and Katie, had planned it, and their idea of planning apparently involved inviting every single person that they knew. Anybody who had been on the Gryffindor Quidditch team in Angelina's seven years at Hogwarts was there, as well as anybody who had been in her actual year - Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws included - and a bunch of people who Percy didn't even recognize.
He felt a bit awkward, surrounded by this many people. He had never been too much of a partier, and this certainly wasn't his type of setting. Despite the chilly air, it was held outside - perhaps because this amount of people wouldn't actually fit into any indoor space, save for the Great Hall. He retreated to the edge of the yard, sipping from the water glass he held in his hand.
There was a young woman already standing there, and he was tempted to move away and find someplace quieter. Even more so, he was tempted to leave - going back to his flat and curling up with a book seemed like a very nice plan. He had promised his family, though, that he would stay for a while, and so he stood there rather awkwardly, unsure of what to say. She looked up, then, and he felt a flash of recognition; he knew he had seen her somewhere before.
"Hi," she said. "I'm Audrey White." She held out her hand for him to shake, and he hastily switched his water glass to his other hand before reaching out and awkwardly shaking her hand. Her hand was cool - obviously as a result of being outside in late October - and small, with a firm grip.
"Percy Weasley," he responded, rather surprised to see her. He had guessed, three years ago when he saw her in the courtroom, she wasn't that much younger than him, yes, but he had expected to never see her again. Especially not in such a light, upbeat atmosphere like this one. "So," he said, trying to draw his mind away from that time and back to the present, "um, were you in Angelina's year at Hogwarts?"
"Yep," she answered, grinning. "I was in Hufflepuff. You must be Fr- I mean," she corrected hastily, "George's brother."
He ignored her slip; he knew she was going to say 'Fred and George's brother', but he didn't want to bring that up any more than she obviously did. "Yes," he answered. "It's very nice to meet you."
"You too," she said happily. "I'm going to get something from the snack table. Maybe I'll see you around?"
"Maybe," he answered, watching her go. There was a slight bounce in her step as she left, turning around to give him a quick wave. He sipped his water, waving back, and vaguely thinking that maybe the fascination with Audrey White had returned.
June 2nd, 2001
Percy had seen Audrey White several times after Angelina's birthday party. They had bumped into one another a few times in places like Diagon Alley, and the third time that it happened they had ended up talking for two hours, getting to know one another. From there a friendship had formed; they were such different people, but surprisingly, it worked. They met up several times, simply hanging out and talking, and within a couple of months, Percy could call this outspoken Muggle-born Hufflepuff his closest friend.
He hadn't been able to deny a growing attraction, either. Although she wasn't stunningly gorgeous, she was certainly pretty, and although their personalities were so dissimilar, they somehow meshed well. He had been working up the courage to ask her out for a while, and before he could, she asked him on a date to a Muggle restaurant that she knew. He was so joyful and relieved - now he was actually going out with her, yet he didn't have to ask her out - that he nearly kissed her on the spot. Somehow - he wasn't sure how - he had refrained from doing so.
Percy Apparated to her flat and knocked on the door; it opened within half a minute, and she stepped out, wearing a simple yet elegant dress that served to make her even prettier than she already was. She smiled at him.
"You look nice," he said.
"Thanks! You do, too," she answered, linking her arm with his. "So the restaurant is right down the street - we can just walk," she explained, linking her arm with his.
"Sounds good," Percy replied as she guided him down the road. As they stepped inside the restaurant, he grinned to himself. Really, nothing could beat this.
August 14, 2003
It had taken Percy a while to figure out exactly how he should propose to Audrey. It wasn't as if he had ever done this before, and he really didn't want to ask anybody for help, either. Although both Bill and George were married, and therefore would probably have some decent advice, he was too stubborn and proud to get anyone to help him. He supposed it was his Gryffindor nature shining through; proud and stubborn were definitely Gryffindor traits.
Finally, he had ended up choosing something simple. He had invited Audrey to his flat at seven o'clock; he spent the earlier part of the night simultaneously cooking a meal (spaghetti - he couldn't cook anything too fancy) and getting himself ready. He had dressed up in nicer-than-usual robes and kept the small box which contained the ring in his pocket, and he would constantly pat his leg to make sure the box was still there.
Audrey arrived, and they ate the meal, which thankfully had not been a disaster. When they were finished, he dropped down to one knee - he knew enough about proposals to know that was practically mandatory - and pulled out the box, opening it to show her the simple diamond ring inside. "Audrey, will you marry me?"
Her eyes shined with tears, and she nearly threw herself on top of him trying to hug him. "Oh, Percy, I thought you'd never ask!"
March 31, 2004
Planning a wedding apparently took a lot of time. Percy hadn't realized just how much; he hadn't been there for Bill and Fleur's, and although he had attended George and Angelina's, he hadn't been involved in any of the behind-the-scenes work. Now, though, he saw how much had to be done - invitations, food, music, photography, clothing...the list went on and on. It was because of all this planning that the wedding had been scheduled for March, even though he had proposed the previous August. Seven months seemed like a lot of time to wait, but it made sense once he realized how much actually had to be done.
Finally, though, the day came. It was a clear day, slightly chilly but not too bad. There were some puddles spread across the ground, as it had rained the previous day, but they were small and easily avoidable. It looked like it was a perfect day, and Percy was glad. He stood up at the front, watching as the wedding party - composed of his brothers and some of Audrey's friends - proceeded up the center aisle. The last two people to come up were Audrey and her father. Audrey looked radiant, shining, more beautiful than she had ever looked before. It took all of Percy's strength not to kiss her right then and there.
After they both said 'I do', he got the chance. He took her into his arms, pressing his lips to hers, ignoring all the people watching them. It was just him and Audrey, and in that moment nothing else mattered. He knew that they'd have the rest of their lives together, and it was the best feeling in the world.