Chapter 1: Prolouge
When Percy was eight he took Charlie’s broom out for a joyride. It was the first day of summer and Charlie and Bill were downstairs with their parents, being big boys now and going to Hogwarts, and look at how they were growing so tall. His dad had been proud enough of Charlie for making the Quidditch team that he had bought him a broom. Fred and George thought it was the coolest thing and Charlie had spent the afternoon lifting them as high as the roof of their house while the rest of the family watched from below.
Percy had spent all winter running after the twins, fixing their owies, keeping them out of trouble, cleaning their messes, and entertaining them. Yet when Charlie came home with his new broom, Percy was no longer the cool big brother. Charlie was the big brother. Bill was the big brother. Percy apparently was a stand-in when they weren’t there.
He had watched Fred and George shriek and scream and laugh as Charlie did lazy loops in the backyard. Percy didn’t get to go high. He stood off to the side with Molly as she yelled at Charlie to be careful. But he wondered what it was like to fly into the sky. To feel the wind whip through his hair and to be able to go anywhere he wanted. The sky was filled with the breathtaking promise of freedom.
He didn’t really mean for what happen to have happened. He didn’t even mean to go outside of the house at all. He had just wanted to hover in the room for a moment just to get a taste of what it was like so that he could realize that it really wasn’t all that great (except it had to be great because it was what Charlie did and even Percy looked up to him). He wasn’t expecting the broom to shoot forward and out the window -- to be fair he didn’t know the proper way of handling a broom. But then he was outside and the wind really was that great and the sky opened up before him, the stars inviting in their brightness. He laughed as he went higher and higher. Maybe, just maybe, he could go high enough to capture one of the stars and bring it back to show Fred and George that he could be just as cool as Charlie.
His shriek of joy echoed over the field and he lifted his arms up as though they were wings. But then something happened. The wind was too strong, he wasn’t hanging onto the broom in the proper way, his legs weren’t where they were supposed to be. And then he fell.
Inside Molly Weasley had no idea that anything was amiss. The little ones were asleep. The twins were exhausted from their day so there were no worries about them sneaking out of bed for at least this night. Bill was complaining about Professor Snape, with Charlie adding his own running commentary (was that laughter she just heard?) on what he thought about the-
“Charlie, language,” Molly snapped as she got up to inspect the noise. She was sure Fred and George would have slept through the night after today. He gave her a sheepish grin in response and nodded. She walked over to the stairs and peered up them.
If she hadn’t moved, Charlie would have never seen the clock that was situated behind her head. He would never have seen as Percy’s dial moved from “Away” to “In Danger”. As it was, he saw it and froze for a moment before bolting to the backdoor, yelling out Percy’s name, and got outside just in time to see a little body disappear into the grass.
After painful bone reconstructions at the hospital and bruises bigger than the size of his entire hand, Molly swore that she would never let him out of her sight again. After seeing Charlie apologizing and crying and refusing to leave Percy’s side for the duration of his stay at the hospital, Percy swore that he would never do anything so reckless. Besides it had been embarrassing. And Charlie’s broom was gone.
Percy learned at a young age that freedom had more problems than was worth it.
So with this conviction of course he would be sitting right next to a broom on the train. There was no one with it. It was just a broom. And Percy was eyeing it like it was going to do something awful to him. So when the owner of the said offending item entered the car to plop in the seat right next to it and proceed to check it over like Percy did with the twins whenever they were young and constantly getting into dangerous, where-they-weren’t-supposed-to-be places, Percy started eyeing him like he was going to do something awful to him.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise with the way Percy was staring at the cooing idiot (didn’t he know how dangerous those things were?) that the boy would notice this. But Percy still jerked and tried to hold very, very still as brown eyes met his. The boy after a moment grinned at him and held out his hand. “Hey, mate,” he said.
The hand came towards him. The hand that had been touching that awful thing came towards him. Percy could feel his shoulders tense even more as he tried to meld with the seat behind him. Just like he hadn’t meant to go flying out a window into the swamp when he was eight, he hadn’t meant to say what he did. But after a snarled “That’s not my name.” came from his lips, he was up and out the door. Bill never mentioned the sudden appearance of his little brother at his side on the train ride to Hogwarts, nor the weirded glances a sandy-haired, rather talkative kid kept giving the bundle who almost refused to be separated from him once off the train. He didn’t mention either the terrified look that overcame Percy when the boy (announced as Oliver Wood) was sorted into Gryffindor right after him. But he did start eyeing the boy suspiciously, and knocked Charlie’s arm at the dinner table to point out the stiff posture of their brother as he stared at Oliver sitting across from him at the table gobbling down his food.
After dinner and a brief explanation of the rules (from Bill as he was the Head Boy) and Bill and Charlie’s constant persistence to have one or the other near him at all times, and multiple reassurances that he would be alright sleeping in a new strange place (they seemed oddly highly concerned), Percy finally managed to make it to his room. There were only two beds, and Percy realized with dread that Oliver had been the only other boy sorted into Gryffindor in his year. No one would be able to hear him scream. He was going to go flying out a window again. Never mind, he might just jump and get it over with now. But, wait- where was?
Oliver came into the room to see Percy peering under his bed. Oliver thought his roommate was insane. Percy thought his roommate was a reckless fool. And this pretty much summed up their relationship through the next four years. It wouldn’t be until the fifth year that something changed. And this is where our story starts.
Chapter 2: Chapter two part one
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Percy the Prefect could be found at nearly every hour of the day with his head in some sort of book. The challenge came in trying to find where the rest of his body was. Oliver had learned this lesson from very early on into their what was hesitantly called friendship (only by Percy, Oliver had no qualms about using the term). Over the course of four years Oliver considered himself a professional at figuring out where Percy was. Percy never wandered to some random place. There was always a purpose, intentional or underlying, to his many destinations. So whenever Percy didn’t want to be found, then he wouldn’t be found by anyone but Oliver. Except Oliver finally had to concede a loss when after an hour of searching he could not find strand nor book of Percy Weasley anywhere. He had found the twins. Or to be specific, they had found him. But Oliver declined their invitation consisting of a friendly arm thrown around his shoulders and playful ribbing to search for their brother. Which of course they had something to say about but he ignored the comments as he did the previous year. They didn’t know where he was either. But then again they didn’t really care. Oliver cared and considering that it was the first night back from summer break, Oliver didn’t think that there would be too many places that Percy would go, but clearly he had been wrong.
Oliver threw open the door to their room and tromped in, a brief look around proving that Percy had not come back in the time he was searching. He shut the door with his arm, and took off his robe, dropping it on the floor because Percy hated things on their floor and Percy was currently being a prat, and made his way to a bed which he proceeded to plop down on. He made himself comfortable as he took a moment to think. Percy hadn’t been in their room all evening, nor had he been in the library (Oliver had checked every aisle). He wouldn’t go down near the dungeons or outside, but he would avoid anyplace that was up high so the astronomy tower and the roofs were out of the question. Perfect prefect Percy didn’t break rules, so he wouldn’t have gone to Hogsmead either, but he wasn’t in the Great Hall nor in any of the classrooms. And he definitely wasn’t in the Gryffindor Tower anywhere because Oliver had been up and down the whole thing, into every nook and cranny, looking for him.
Percy often found places to hide for awhile, sometimes from Oliver himself and the rest of the Quidditch team once the school year got into full swing, but the first night of each year they had always taken the time to get caught up with each other. It had started out as a tentative friendship, but it was a friendship nonetheless, and while Percy still liked to sigh and complain at times, he liked structure and it was in their structure to hang out the first night of the school year. So where in Merlin’s name was the bloody fool?
Oliver pulled the pillow further under his head and settled in to wait. Percy was sure to be back in time for curfew.
Now, in Percy’s defense, he wasn’t breaking any rules, nor was he in any place up high or questionable. It was dark and there wasn’t anyone else around, which meant it was where Percy needed to be at the moment. Dinner had been too loud, too busy. The twins had made an issue out of themselves, and the Gryffindor’s had been too occupied with the admittance of Harry Potter. Of course Ron would get caught up in that. His brothers, whether it was his two elder or three younger, would always be in caught up in something. After giving a mini-tour of the castle, from the great hall to the Gryffindor tower, and sharing the password, he had gone to the Prefect meeting. The four heads of houses were there, along with the other prefects and the head boy and head girl. Only so much could be said in owls over the summer. Two nights a week he would patrol the halls. His group had Monday and Thursday, with alternating Saturdays among the other groups. But he didn’t have to do it tonight. The Head Boy and Head Girl had given the six newest prefects the first night off.
He turned his head to the side and sighed. He got up and dusted his robes off, fixing them back into perfection, fingers briefly feathering over the prefect badge on the front with the capital letter P. It was slightly cool to the touch. He made his way quickly back, the halls mysteriously silent for the first night. Not running into the twins playing in the hallways probably had something to do with the excitement in Gryffindor tower.
The password slipped from his tongue as an afterthought, the portrait swinging open to admit him. The common room was packed, but a brief look proved that none of the telltale shock red hair of his brothers were there, nor was Harry Potter. But everyone was standing around, gossiping and complaining (what was there to complain about? They hadn’t even gotten their schedules yet). He spotted Felicia, the other new Gryffindor prefect, sitting on one the couches, surrounded by the other four fifth years girls. She spotted him and smiled briefly in his direction, her mouth still chattering away while her friends turned to look. He continued through the crowd. It took him a minute to get to the stairs to the boy’s side of the dorm. He made it up and to his door and opened it, immediately looking and finding the only other boy who had been sorted into Gryffindor in his year.
“Why do you always put your shoes on my bed?” he started.
Oliver looked over from Percy’s bed. “Percy,” he said, eyes lighting as he propped himself up. “Hello to you too.”
Percy gave him that look. “Shoes, Oliver,” he reminded him. Oliver rolled his eyes, but kicked off his shoes, two soft thumps hitting the ground near Percy’s bedside. Percy was by the bed in an instant, grabbing the shoes and placing them together neatly by the door.
Oliver rolled over onto his side, looking over at his roommate. Percy took off his own shoes, placing them next to Oliver’s, reaching down and picking up Oliver’s robe and tossing it onto Oliver’s bed, before moving to his desk. He was fiddling with the papers there, separating the stack of books to reorganize them, probably in order according to what time he had each class. Even though no one had their schedules yet, Percy would be the one to know what classes were at what times. He already had notes for each one, Oliver noticed. Oliver highly doubted that the worn out look of the books were because they were used already, although he was sure that Percy had gone through each one thoroughly. He rolled back onto his back, folding his arms behind his head for support. “Where were you tonight?” he asked him.
“Why does it matter?” Percy said irritably, turning away from his books to sit in his chair. His eyes strayed briefly for It. It had to be here somewhere. And he found It resting against the other door frame, standing up in Its awful glory. Oliver spared a glance over to the broom, an amused smile flitting for a moment over his lips before he focused back on Percy. After four years he knew when to keep his mouth for the most part shut (if Percy’s opinion was sought on the matter, he would argue that Oliver still didn’t know when to do so). And sure enough it was Percy to break the silence. “When is the first Quidditch practice?” he asked him.
Oliver felt like he should be confused by the question. Percy had never taken interest before. But then again Percy tended to blurt out weird questions when he didn’t have anything else to say and didn’t want the silence. As much as Percy complained about his family, Oliver didn’t think Percy had ever learned how to handle a quiet room if there were people in it. “I wanted to meet tonight-” Percy snorted. “but Angelina-”
“Was very emphatic in her no?” Percy finished. Oliver gave a mock frown.
“But we have a very serious problem,” Oliver said.
“Of course you do,” Percy humored him.
Oliver sat up on the bed, throwing his legs over the side. “We have no seeker. I told McGonagall-”
“She’s keeping her eye out for someone.”
“I’m sure she is,” Percy said wryly. Professor McGonagall’s passion for the Gryffindor Quidditch team was no secret to anyone. He suspected that she gambled on the Gryffindor’s winning every year, but he had no confirmation to back it up. It was just a feeling he got when she started eyeing the other heads of houses at the start of the season.
“Are you going to go to the matches this year?” Oliver asked him.
Percy gave him a look and didn’t bother to reply. But after another moment of silence, he started to get restless. His fingers drummed on the chair he sat on as he tried and failed to think of something to say. “I’m going to the Prefect bathroom,” he finally settled on. He got up to track down his clothes and towels.
That got Oliver up. Oliver swung his legs over the side of the bed, feet touching the floor in preparation of launching himself off Percy’s bed. “I’ll go with.”
Percy slammed his trunk shut. “You will do no such thing,” he exclaimed. “That is for the head boy and girl and Prefects-”
“And Quidditch captains,” Oliver finished for him, grinning at Percy’s horrified expression. Percy stared at him for a moment, and then set his jaw in that way he has when something displeases him as he set about pulling out robes and searching for his towels. Oliver for the most part felt very cheerful as he went in search of his own items.
Contrary to belief, Oliver was not a messy roommate. Living with Percy for so long fixed any major problems he might have originally had, such as putting his books on the floor (Percy nearly freaked the first time he did that. Now his books had a nice little place on the side of his desk, standing up with the spines out and in alphabetical order - Percy’s doing, not his). It took him no time at all to find what he needed and he was prepared and sitting, finally, on his own bed to wait for Percy. Percy, Oliver could have sworn, was almost dragging his feet.
I'm sorry this is taking so long. I'm having trouble getting Percy to cooperate with me. I wanted to post this much at least. The latter half is being worked on and will be up as soon as I'm finished with it.