Gah! Why can't we edit reviews, MNFF??? I meant to say that I *do* think the timing of the end was just right, after all. Sorry, dear.
Minna, I'm growing so attached to your Percy. :) I may have mentioned this before, but this period of time is my favorite in the series, and it's so much fun exploring it through the eyes of other characters. You've written Percy's journey from Ministry-stooge back to his family and the fight against Voldemort so beautifully... truly, it's very convincing. I like the idea that the Muggleborn Registration Commission was the thing that began to crack his mind open to what was really going on there and how vile the evil truly was. Nice choice including Penelope. I really liked her here as well, and the choice it forced Percy to make. Of course, he is Mr. Rule Abiding, but he is changing. I understand what Katrina was saying about Aberforth maybe being an usual choice, and yet, I liked it more for that reason. It's completely believable the way you've written it, but its such an original, inspired take on it. How ironic to think that when the trio popped into the Hogs Head that night, Aberforth had been meeting with Percy for months... there's no reason it couldn't have happened that way.
The structure of the piece worked really well, with the dates provided. On first read, the last section being in May felt a little abrupt to me, after such a long break in time and it being the night of battle. But upon rereading, there wouldn't have been much to write of the in between time. I imagine it was more of the same... working and meeting with Aberforth and just waiting for things to come to a head. So I don't think that timing was just right, in the end.Lovely ending, the idea of Percy walking around Muggle London thinking things over... I really loved that part. It is probably my favorite. You mention that Aberforth is negative, keeping him in character, and then the call to fight comes... nicely done. Missing moments are my favorites, and this did not disappoint. Then again, I love all your Percy fic. :) ~Lori
Author's Response: <3 I'm really attached to Percy too, and I'm not sure I was that attached till I wrote this fic. Penelope was fun too. Aberforth, idk if I've said, but I didn't even really think too hard about the choice. He's clearly Percy's contact, as Percy says Ab alerted him about the battle, so if he was going to be close with anyone on the 'right side' during that time it was probably Aberforth. However, I did surprise myself a little how nice it was to write them being friends rather than just contacts. Muggle London....that was honestly so I could work in the British Museum, because that was one component of my prompt. But I'm glad it's not all out of place. Anyway, very glad you enjoyed this. Thanks again for the review. :DD
I really liked this quite a lot. I've read similar Percy stories before, but you're a dab hand at characterization... I particularly liked the "It's not my job," attitude; I could really see Percy using that as the reasoning to reinforce his overly cautious approach to authority. And you transitioned him quite seamlessly from that attitude to the Gryffindor-ian "I must do something!" attitude, using Penelope as your pivot--very smooth. After all, there was a reason he was sorted into Gryffindor with the rest of the Weasleys; there was bound to be a bit of courage somewhere down there.
My favorite part of this story, of course--the bit that really made it stand out from its other estranged-Percy counterparts--is the unexpected relationship with Aberforth. You TOTALLY make their dynamic work, and these are two characters that I never expected would stay in the same room together, let alone eat stew and chat! Bravo for that, dear author, it's quite impressive.
To be honest, there's little for me to criticize with this story. I suppose I would have appreciated a bit more excitement--namely Percy!espionage. For me the story ran a bit dull in the post-Penelope, rebellious period because I wanted to see more RAWR-Gryffindor recklessness. Of course, only to a certain degree, Percy is Percy, after all, but I definitely would have appreciated a few more scenes of Percy taking advantage of Selwyn and his general reputation at the Ministry to wreak a little more havoc besides simply doing research... So I suppose that's not a criticism of anything present in the story, but rather a plea for more writing, which is never a bad thing! :)
On that note, wonderful work and write on! :) (Would love to see your Aberforth more if you ever feel inspired...)
I can't believe that this only has two reviews. I read this a while ago and really enjoyed your characterization of Percy and the way you showed his transition back to his family.
I honestly hadn't really thought much about what things would be like for Percy during "The Deathly Hallows". I assumed that as soon as the death eaters took over the Ministry Percy had an epiphany, but I think the way you presented transition was more realistic and more in character. Percy seemed to cope with his job by saying that it wasn't his job to think about the morality of the issues, but rather just to follow orders. That made a lot of sense to me--I think Percy was definitely power hungry to a certain extent, but I don't think he was to the point that he could just do something that he thought was wrong because it would advance him. His blind trust in the ministry also felt very in character. In the third passage, I thought that it was interesting that he trusted authority to the point that he was trying to rationalize the idea of the muggleborn registration committee.
I also hadn't considered that the work Percy would be doing while he was working for the Ministry. The way in which you paralleled Percy's attitudes toward his work on the list of muggleborns and his attitudes toward the entire ministry worked really well. I think it worked because of how little rational sense their policy toward muggleborns made. I think my favorite part of the fic was, in the middle of the third passage, when Percy first sees the Ministry's justification for the committee: "Maybe there were a few Muggleborns â€“ not the ones he knew, but some out there â€“ who actually had stolen magic, and that was what this was about."
I think Penny was the finale of Percy's mental debate over the list of muggleborns. I liked how prior to that point, he'd been willing to assume that the muggleborns he knew, such as Penny, weren't the people that the Ministry policy was intended to control, and then suddenly, he's confronted with proof that muggleborns, like Penny, are being rounded up. I was surprised that Percy's first reaction to Penny asking to use his floo is to tell her that he can't because, "it's against the law". However, the contrast between his initial reaction and what he finally did showed the change in his view of the Ministry really well.
I thought that the format, as a series of brief moments worked perfectly for this fic. I have a pathetically short attention span, and so I liked how your choice of moments kept the plot and character development moving quickly. It felt like every moment advanced the story significantly. In addition to that, the fic flowed from each moment to the next very naturally. It was interesting to me that the majority of the fic took place in August and September, then it ended right before the final battle. I liked how Percy continued to be frustrated at how little he could do, except to a greater degree in May than in September. Percy's attitudes seemed very similar to how they were in September, which, I think, kept the gap in time from being notable and from being choppy.
I liked your choice to include the final scene--it felt very logical to finish right before the point where Percy reappears in canon. While we all know that Percy rejoined his family for the final battle, including him going to finally openly oppose the Ministry and Voldemort made the transition feel more meaningful.
To sum up, I thought that you did a wonderful job with this story. I really liked your characterization, and how your plot was almost entirely driven by Percy's characterization. I very much enjoyed reading it.
You do like writing about the Selwyns, don't you? (Or maybe that's because I only just read "An Artful Dodge"... anyway.)
I think this was a lovely story, and you really showed another side of Percy and why he acted the way he did. You really showed his pride and ambition but also his strong sense of right and wrong (although the first two sometimes overshadow this) and the times he really longs for his family.
Including Penelope was a wonderful idea. Percy has chosen to believe in the Ministry, which cost him his family, but also means that he can hide from reality and seeing her and the unfairness of how she's treated really conflicts him all over again. (I hope that sentence made sense.) You've really shown that he believes what he wants to believe, and obviously he likes believing in the Ministry - who doesn't want to believe that the authority is right. Anyway, sorry for that long rant, but I really think you've nailed Percy's character in this.
The one thing I question about this story is Aberforth. It's a while since I've read DH, but I thought Aberforth was quite hopeless about the war (which you have shown), and that he therefore encouraged people to keep themselves out of danger and get out of the country. But I suppose Percy chose not to put himself in danger, and Aberforth understood that. So it's not really a big thing, it just clashed a little the first time I read it.
At the same time, I think Aberforth understands that what Percy really wants is unrelated to the war, he really wants to redeem himself with his family and Aberforth knows he can help him to do that.
I think my favourite scene was possibly when Percy and Aberforth ate together - it was a really small moment in the story but really significant for Percy and really well written.
Wonderful story, and particularly good characterisation of Percy.
Author's Response: Ooh, busted. The Selwyns are my go-to not-obviously-one-side-or-the-other pureblood family. I should find a few new ones, or at least make one up next time. xD
I think with this story I was trying to reconcile the Percy who sent that awful letter to Ron in OOTP with a boy brought up in the Weasley family - and maybe also a little of why he was a Gryffindor, finally finding the courage to stand up for what's right. I'm glad you thought it worked out.
I'm not sure why I decided to include Penny - I think Carole mentioned her being Muggleborn and how Percy's list would have an impact on her and this confrontation sort of was a reality check for him as well as a demonstration of the consequences of his actions. So yeah, your sentence totally makes sense and is what I was going for.
Ab was quite hopeless when Harry saw him, but it was early days yet when Percy went to see him - September, only a month after the Ministry takeover. The narrative skipped quite a few months between the bit where Ab invites Percy to dinner and the night of the battle. And I think it's also different circumstances - Percy has admitted that he feels he needs to make up for helping bad things to happen and I think maybe Ab can understand that. Which you have mentioned in the next paragraph.
I think the scene with dinner in Ab's rooms is also my favorite. It is small, but I think it's something Percy desperately needed. He's been very, very alone in all this, and it's good that he has someone to turn to. I didn't originally plan for this scene to take place, but when I re-read the bit of DH with Ab in it couldn't help but like him...and maybe think he would understand that that's what Percy needs right then.
Thank you so much for reading and leaving me this lovely review, and I'm glad you liked the characterization of Percy. He is a bit hard for me to understand at times, so it was hard writing this story, and I think without my friends to talk it over with I might have butchered it utterly.
Thank you for this great one-shot. I always find myself drawn to the stories which could fit right in to Rowling's original creation. You did a wonderful job filling in this little gap she left to our imagination.
Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing. I'm glad you enjoyed it. =)