A/N: This is once again for the One Character Competition, round 7 already. This time, we had to write a story of 500-800 words about our character meeting one character from a list of characters and use a prompt. My character is Kingsley and my prompt is 'fireplace'.

Percy sighed as he put another document on top of a mountain of documents beside him and started reading the next. It wasn't a particularly fun job he had to do. For weeks on end now, the Ministry received letters from worried wizards and witches, who apparently rather believed some bespectacled boy and an old man than the epitome of knowledge: the Minister. The Minister had explained time and again that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named wasn't back, but they wouldn't listen. They kept owling these letters and Percy, Junior Secretary to the Minister, kept sending them the same reply over and over again: No, they didn't have to be afraid about You-Know-Who because he was dead. No, they didn't have to worry about the safety of the wizarding community, the Ministry had it all under control, thank you very much.

It was already well past dusk before Percy put his wand and quill down. He had finished all letters in the office, but knew that he'd have to start all over again tomorrow, when new letters would be flying in. He rubbed his temples and realised all of a sudden that he was very tired.

"Well, that's it for today," he muttered. "There'll be plenty things to do tomorrow." He stored the documents and carried the reply-letters to the Ministry Owlery. After that, he'd go home, have some cacao and then get to bed. He felt like he deserved that.

It was in the Atrium, just when he was about to step into the fireplace, that he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder. He froze and turned around.

"Don't be scared," Kingsley Shacklebolt's deep baritone sounded.

"Hello Kingsley," Percy nodded barely noticeable.

"You look troubled," the older wizard stated.
"You don't look to good yourself either," Percy retorted.

There was a slight hesitation and then Kingsley said: "You are hurting them."

Percy didn't need to ask whom he was referring to. "Excuse me?" he said indignantly.

"They miss you, you know? Your mother spends half her days crying."

"Well, they know what to do if they want me to come back. And what right do you have to tell me that, in that tone?" He furrowed his brow. "Wait a minute, you're part of this Order-thing as well, aren't you?"

"I'm just speaking as a friend of the family, Percy. Is it really worth losing them? Is it worth never seeing your family again?"

"Like I said, they know where to find me if they want to apologise. Once they've seen the error of their ways, I'd be more than willing to let them into my life again. And now, if you don't mind, I'd like to go home."

Percy demonstratively stepped into the fireplace, and took a handful of green Floo powder.

Kingsley let out an irritated sigh. "Fine, suit yourself. I'm just putting it out there. Do with it what you want."

"I will."

Percy threw the Floo powder as he stated his address. The figure of Kingsley Shacklebolt vanished and Percy thought no more about his words. Even though he missed his parents just as much – though he would never admit that – he was not the one in the wrong and therefore he felt that he had nothing to apologise for. They'll come around eventually, he thought.

A/N: Percy is one of my favourite characters, but he also had his moments of being a douche. The time before Voldemort's definite return the most obvious.