Disclaimer: Anything you recognize, I don’t own. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all associated characters, settings, etc., belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, etc. Harry Potter and all associated characters, setting, props, etc., belong to J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Inc., etc.
PG-13 for language my grandmother would not approve of.
Set immediately after the events of The Order of the Phoenix
Percy Weasley sat hunched at the end of the bar nursing yet another shot of single malt. It may not have quite the potency of firewhisky but it seemed to do the job – if you drank enough. Two weeks ago he wouldn’t have been caught dead in a place like this. Up and coming ministry employees did not get drunk on Tuesday nights, especially not in muggle pubs. But then he wasn’t an up and coming ministry employee any more. In fact, Percy mused, swirling the liquid around his glass, he wasn’t an up and coming anything
any more. Last week, under-secretary to the Minister of Magic, this week so far in disgrace he would be lucky to get employment cleaning the Post owlrey.
It would be nice if he could work out when it had all started to go wrong. Some instant when he should have realised that maybe, just maybe, he needed to reassess his priorities. Catching the bartender’s attention, Percy gestured for a top up. Well the Sorting Hat had
wanted to put him in Slytherin; that should have been a big fucking wake up call. Oops Percy giggled to himself, he’d said, no wait a moment, thought ‘fucking’. Wouldn’t his brothers be shocked – oh right, they weren’t talking to him at the moment because he was a flipping – no, fucking – stupid git who chose a job
Okay, so the Hat wanted to put him in Slytherin, it had ended up putting him in Gryffindor, so at eleven there had obviously been enough Weasley in him to follow the family tradition of red and gold. Still, perhaps alarm bells should have rung that the Hat had even considered breaking several centuries of Weasley sortings. Percy still couldn’t work out why the Hat hadn’t put him in Ravenclaw. His Hogwarts career had been decidedly uncharacteristic of a Weasley Gryffindor – not a single detention, late piece of homework, or tardy appearance to class had marred his record.
Four years of perfect behaviour had netted him a prefect’s badge; another two years of intensive study had secured him Head Boy. Head Boy led to a respectable post at the Ministry, well respectable until the point when Percy had realised he had been fawning over a Death Eater puppet. Not
one of his finer moments. Yet Percy had been able to push the shame aside with the offer of a job with the glorious Minister of Magic, himself. He’d been so bloody proud to have reached such heights so quickly.
That’s what it came down to, Percy mused: pride. He had been raised to be content with shabby robes and second hand books, to value love over power, but deep down in the part of Percy that the Sorting Hat had first spotted, lay pride. He saw the condescending looks thrown at his father; the slightly pitying looks his mother received (She was a Prewitt you know, her grandfather must be rolling in his grave over the level she has fallen to)
and they burned.
Pride. Too proud to be content at being regarded as just another Weasley.
Too proud to realise he was just a kid, a pawn in a man’s war.
Too proud to even consider he could be wrong.
Now what? Lucius Malfoy had been outed as a Death Eater, Fudge was in disgrace and Percy who had swallowed every lie, every half truth they told him because they fitted his belief that he knew better than everyone else was left with nothing.
And finally, when it didn’t matter anymore; no pride.
Wesley Wyndham Price entered the bar cautiously, unsure of whom exactly he was supposed to find here. Lorne had been particularly unhelpful. Apparently while the Powers had been very detailed that Wesley had to be here in this bar at this time, they hadn’t bothered to give him any additional information. Glancing around the room he noticed that the other patrons seemed to be giving the young redhead in the corner a wide berth. The kid was radiating that drunken despair that really didn’t invite the usual camaraderie found amongst strangers in the presence of alcohol. Although given the subtle tingling Wesley felt as he approached the bar, it could just as equally be an unconscious magical manifestation designed to keep people away. Given the relative normalcy of the rest of the pub’s patrons, Wesley had to assume that this young wizard was the reason the Powers had sent him here. Taking the seat next to the young man, he debated his next move.
Percy looked up slightly startled that anyone had bothered to sit down next to him. He really hoped that this wasn’t going to lead to awkward conversations along the lines of “so do you come here often?” He didn’t know why everyone seemed so insistent on believing he was gay. He’d had a girlfriend yet certain family members and ex school mates laboured under the misapprehension that he was just waiting for the right time to come out of the closet. Of course the way his luck had suddenly turned, it was pretty much a given that he was not going to enjoy whatever was coming.
Wesley sighed and opted for a direct approach. “My name is Wesley Wyndham Price, formally of the Watcher’s Council and I was given a message that I was to meet you here tonight.”
“Me?” Oh God, please don’t let Oliver have set him up on a blind date without telling him.
“Well given the very non-magical status of the rest of the crowd I’d say yes, you.”
“Magic? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Perhaps the Ministry hadn’t been able to tie him to a crime and were trying to catch him revealing secrets to a muggle.
“Yes, magical. I may not have the level of power that you possess but I certainly recognise talent when I see it.”
“What do you want with me?” Percy was trying really hard not to panic at this point.
“Well that is the million dollar question, isn’t it?” At Percy’s puzzled expression, Wesley sighed, “Pureblood?”
Percy nodded, his confusion still very much in evidence. “Percy Weasley.”
Acknowledging the introduction with a smile, Wesley continued. “As I said I was formally of the Watcher’s Council, however my current employer is a little more … unusual, with interests outside of the Council’s normal sphere.” Noting that Percy did not appear to be any less confused, Wesley sighed, muttering under his breath about Powers not preparing people. “On occasion my employer gets messages, from certain … agencies identifying people we are supposed to help. Yesterday I was in Los Angeles when the message came that I had to be here in this bar tonight. So Percy, why don’t we work out why I have been sent here?”
Percy was never quite sure what happened next. One moment he was furiously working out how to get away from the obviously disturbed stranger and the next everything was just pouring out in a rush. “I bollocked everything up. I was working for the Minister and even though my family warned me that he couldn’t be trusted, that he was just using me I didn’t believe them. I thought they were jealous, that I knew better than they did, that He Who Must Not be Named was really dead and they were living in the past. To cut a long and very depressing story short, they were right, I was wrong only I can’t even attempt to admit that, as if I even tried to contact any of them my brothers would hex me on sight.”
Ah the reason the vision had specified him and not Angel was becoming clearer. “So basically you trusted someone you shouldn’t have, and suddenly you find yourself cut off from your family and friends and have no idea what to do now that your world has collapsed around you?” Wesley started to unconsciously rub the scar on his throat. “Funnily enough, you might find that I know exactly what that feels like.”
Percy shot him a startled look and tried not to let his attention focus too obviously on the scar.
“You could say that I found myself in a similar situation a few years ago. Be glad your story doesn’t include talking hamburgers and your best friend trying to kill you.”
“Not important at the moment. One day I’ll tell you the full extent to my stupidity, but right now I think you should focus on what you’re going to do next.”
“I have absolutely no idea,” Percy said desperately. “I want to try and make things right but I have no idea where to start.”
“You trained at Hogwarts, correct?”
“How do you know about Hogwarts?
“The Council had access to a lot of information about the wizarding world not normally available to muggles. By the lack of a French accent I deduced you were likely to have been schooled there rather than Beauxbatons. Am I right?”
“Yes. I was Head Boy.”
“Excellent start. What house were you in?
“Gryffindor.” In a sudden attack of honesty, Percy felt the need to confess, “Although there was a point where I was almost put in Slytherin.”
“So brave and a strategist. What were your best subjects?”
“Defence Against the Dark Arts and Ancient Runes, I was passing fair at Charms and Arithmancy. None of that matters now. No one in England is going to employ me.”
Wesley was smiling broadly by this point; the PTB’s intentions were suddenly a lot clearer. “Tell me Percy, what are your feelings about Los Angeles?”End Fic
**Author’s note: at this point the story stands at a one shot. I have no immediate plans to create a sequel.