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I've walked sometimes confused sometimes ready to crack open wide.
Sometimes indignant, sometimes raw.
Can you imagine I pay him 75 dollars an hour sometimes?
It feels like highway robbery.
And sometimes it's peanuts.
I wish it could last a couple more hours.
-- Alanis Morissette, "The Couch"

Thursday, March 1 - Morning

From the waist up, Percy was the picture of perfection and professionalism: immaculately groomed, waiting attentively and reading a magazine. From the waist down, however, his knees jiggled and his feet tapped out a little tune over and over again.

What the bloody hell are you nervous about? It's Anne. Your friend. What are you afraid of? What could be worse than coming to terms with being gay in the first place?

The problem was, he didn't know the answer, and was nearly terrified to find out.

Remember, it's for Greg, and your family, and yourself too. You owe it to all of them to get your ass in there and get some help. You're long overdue, and you know it.

Thursday, February 1 ~ Evening

Greg glanced at the clock and set the pot on the stove to simmer. The cold winter air and snow just inspired him to attempt to make hot cider. It had taken all day and several failed attempts that went down the sink but he felt he managed a lightly spiced cider. The entire house likely smelled of cinnamon and apples.

He heard the door open and close as Percy came home. “In the kitchen!” He called out as he stirred the mixture adding just a touch more of the spices.
The time has come for me
To break out of the shell
I have to shout
That I'm coming out
-- Diana Ross
Saturday, January 27th - Afternoon

It had been over a week, and Percy had finally managed at least one good night's sleep without any of the dreams. However, he still could not stop thinking about what he had overheard at the Three Broomsticks. He had thought long and hard about what he could possibly do to help Charlie - preferably without having to face him and look him in the eye - and had decided that subtlety was the best course of action. If that didn't work, then he would have to take more drastic action.

Though he still couldn't think of an option that meant he would never have to see his brother again. Unfortunately, that was no longer an option.

And thus he made his way to his brothers' cabin, a copy of The Joy of Gay Sex shrunken and secreted about his person for later planting in an appropriate location.

Holding back a shiver of apprehension, and gathering up every last bit of his Gryffindor courage, he knocked at the door - a part of him desperately hoping only Bill was home.
The Only Trouble With Wearing A Bag On Your Head Is You Run Into a Lot of Trees.
Monday, January 22 ~ Afternoon

Honestly, he'd thought of calling in sick. Trouble with that was his Mum would be over at the cabin ASAP with soup and asking what was wrong. Damn, if that would work because Charlie knew that she would somehow know what was wrong and he'd definitely have to move to Timbuktu, not that he wasn't contemplating the move anyway.

As long as he didn't see any of the people at the club that nightCollapse )
They keep saying the right person will come along;
I think the knight bus hit mine a few years ago.
Friday, January 19th ~ Late Afternoon

Sitting down at her desk with a sigh, Anne pulled the top, right hand drawer open to find the latest forms the Ministry office had sent her to fill out.

"If I could spend as much time actually talking to the students as I do having to fill out the latest most comprehensive and efficient forms they send..." Anne was grumbling to herself as she lifted a stack of folders onto the desk top and leafed through them quickly. "Where the hell-oo. What's this?" Anne asked as one of the folders knocked over the pile of mail she hadn't taken care of yet. A colorful brochure caught her eye as it was revealed.

Pulling out the shiny foldout, her eyebrows rose at the images.

Hellloooo, handsome.Collapse )
WWN News Update
Saturday, January 6 ~ Evening

"... And as parents across the commonwealth well know, this weekend the Hogwarts Express will speed across the land to bring the students back to their books.

"Tonight, though, the members of the Board of Governors and select members of the Hogsmeade community were welcomed to the castle ahead of the start of second term by the staff.

"Percy Weasley, the director of the Hogsmeade Ministry office, spoke at length and quite knowlegeably about traditional and non-traditional spellcasting methods.

"So, students, take comfort in this as you head back to class: even over the holidays, your teachers went in for a little learning themselves."

"Never too old, eh?"

The sound of a door creaking open floated over the airwaves, and if one listened closely, a fiercely whispered exchange could be heard:

"Tell them about the after-party! The drunken debauchery! Tell them what really happened!"

"Rita, get the hell out of here! You don't have any sources, we'll get sued ..."

"Some greedy witch got engaged before I could have a fair crack at the groom-to-be! That's injustice! I should write an editorial ..."

A fierce rustling was heard, and the original voice returned.

"This has been Ezekiel Brunderbluss with your evening news and as always ladies and gentlemen WWN is interested in the comments and concerns of our listeners. If you have one, please contact us by owl or floo. We appreciate the interest shown and will respond as soon as possible. The Wizarding Wireless Network now returns you to our regularly scheduled programing."
Christmas Day broadcast

The quick fanfare announcing a feature piece lilted over the WWN airwaves, followed by the familiar voice of Horace Knickerbocker.

"Ciaran McIrney remembers his first Cribbage's Wizarding Cracker well."

A high-pitched male voice came over the network.

"I was two years old, and my older sisters were squabbling over the last cracker. I somehow got hold of one end when Marcia let go and sort of fell on it as it opened — my face was blue from the smoke for a month after. Mum was angry at the time, but brings the piccies out now whenever I have a bird over. Still have the Screaming Yo-yo I got from it, though."

The smooth voice of the narrator took up the thread.Collapse )
Bet you thought we forgot.

Saturday, December 16th ~ Early Morning

Bill unlocked the front door and propped it open so that it wouldn't bang shut when the others arrived, and then he went about making himself some breakfast. After a moment's thought he went ahead and made some eggs for Charlie too, after all it was the his birthday. Sort of.

Once everyone was in place, Bill lead the way back to Charlie's room and barged in, not bothering to knock.

Hey, if they managed to catch Chuckles in his shorts, more the better. They were all family, after all.
Yeah, 'cause silence is knowledge
And knowledge is power
I'm under explicit orders to dare not speak its name
Monday, December 11 * Afternoon

Vector stood at the head of the staff lounge, running briskly and efficiently through a parchment scroll of party plans.

"There will be no music, and entertainment will come in the form of an after-dinner lecture. I've found a supremely tedious man who does 20 minutes on the dietary habits of Wilfred Elphick."

"Board member Higgins will be ready to leave following the truite au bleu, because he is frightened of fish, even if they are prepared perfectly in court bouillon. The Martinses will be offended that we're going with a French menu instead of a traditional English."

"In short, I believe all the undesirables will be ready to leave by 8 at the latest, due to the highly unfashionable start time we've selected."

"At which point, restraint of the ..." Vera paused and closed her eyes, before using what Roger had insisted was the proper terminology, "'newbies and virgins' will be left up to my partner in crime and the real party may begin."

She folded her arms and looked around the room, quite pleased with herself on the whole.

When you walk through the garden
you gotta watch your back
well I beg your pardon
walk the straight and narrow track
Wednesday, 6 December • Afternoon

The piece of parchment hadn't looked like something guaranteed to send Kingsley's blood pressure up again, but so it had.

A request — filed after the fact — for three weeks of holiday time following the heels of an embarrasing break-in and the assignment of a new Auror to Hogsmeade. Wilson might not be much good for investigation, or security, or helping out his colleagues, but no one could deny the oafish wizard had bollocks the size of coconuts.

Shacklebolt crumpled the request and stood up to look over the cubicles in the Auror Headquarters. Too many empty seats yet.

And soon enough there'd be another — the Hogsmeade situation was ridiculous, and he was going to fix it right now.

To: Percy Weasley
Director, Hogsmeade Office, Ministry of Magic

From: Kingsley Shacklebolt
Head of the Aurors, Department of Magical Law Enforcement

It's come to my attention once more that Hogsmeade's Auror Station is in need of additional support.

Make preparations now; additional manpower is forthcoming.
Sunday morning
It's all the streets you crossed, not so long ago
Watch out the world's behind you
There's always someone around you who will call
-- "Sunday Morning", Velvet Underground
Sunday, December 3, 10am

After Anne's reply, Percy had gone out for a quick, invigorating run - after all, he had to make room for breakfast. After getting home, he quickly dressed in a lavender button-down shirt and navy slacks, then rushed out of his apartment to make it to the restaurant in time.

He had been getting a little lonely lately, what with Greg's pronounced absences due to poker tournaments, and other things he wouldn't disclose even to Percy. He had begun wondering... but worked hard to put his suspicions aside. This brunch was exactly what he needed - a new friend to take his mind off his worries, and to simply enjoy a lovely day with some Ministry speak, or even some 'girl-talk' - for while he had no romantic or sexual interest in the 'fairer sex', he always enjoyed the chance to talk about important matters such as the latest styles and the hottest men around.

In fact, he someday hoped to have a hag of his very own.

Upon entering the restaurant, he was escorted to a table by a young lady named Becky. He took one of the profferred menus and scanned his options as he waited for Anne.
“There's no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there's no excuse for boredom, ever.”
-- Viggo Mortensen
Sunday, December 3rd, Morning

Dear Anne,

I hope this owl finds you well. After our lovely conversation at Harry Potter's Hallowe'en party, I had hoped to meet with you to either speak of Ministry affairs, or simply to enjoy a friendly brunch, seeing as we are both still rather new to the area. However, with the arrival of the new Auror, and certain family affairs, I have not had the opportunity to do so until now.

Would you care to meet for brunch today? I hear Un Peu de Ciel has a Continental Breakfast that is simply to die for, and I have yet to find someone to come enjoy it with me.

Percy Weasley (aka, maker of divine Cosmopolitans)
When you are in trouble, people who call to sympathize are really looking for the particulars.

~Edgar Watson Howe, Country Town Sayings, 1911

Wednesday, November 22nd

One last delicious dish to share with you today, dear listeners.

After her sudden and mysterious disappearance a year ago, the delicate flower and socialite Pansy Parkinson has returned. One has to wonder what could have drawn her back.

Or who.

My sources tell me this perfect Pansy has been spreading her petals for not one but two of Hogsmeade's hunkiest catches. Men who were supposedly already off the market, at least as far as their girlfriend and fiance - yes, fiance - were probably concerned.

These two tasty testosterone packed men fought over her on Monday at the Phoenix according to eye witnesses. The photos are to die for. Not as gorgeous as the Streak, but still something to warm my -


What? I was going to say heart. We can talk about warming something else later, Zeke, now run along. Rita's working.

Where was I?Collapse )
Im already missing you
But I'm not even gone
In time we'll be together again
And it wont be long
-- Evanescence, "Missing You"

Tuesday, November 21 - Early evening

When the sun had begun to set, Percy had lit a few candles rather than turn the lights on. He sat on his couch, cuddled with his favourite cushion, and the radio was playing some of his favourite music.

Yet none of it could make him feel any better.

He was still reeling over the weekend's encounter with his parents. Why did they have to be so difficult? Why did his father have to misunderstand anything he said? Why did they have to keep comparing him to his siblings?

Why couldn't they simply be happy that he had found someone he cared for?

He sighed and rolled his head back along the couch, wondering why it seemed sometimes that everything he touched turned into an unmitigated disaster.
And, Mama, you've always said,
Better look before you leap!
Maybe so, but here I go
Lettin' my heart lead me
-- The Judds

Sunday, November 19 - afternoon

It had been over a week since Percy and Greg had talked about a potential dinner with the Weasleys, and between work and trying to make some personal time with his boyfriend - not to mention trying to figure out what to say to his mother - it had taken him this long to get up his courage to face the inevitable.

He had in his hands a dozen red roses - it couldn't hurt to butter his mother up a little before telling her about Greg - and he walked through the front door of The Three Broomsticks. After a wave to the serving girl, he went straight to the kitchen at the back as he'd become accustomed to doing whenever coming to visit with his mother.

"Mum?" he called out as he stepped through the back door.
The great advantage of living in a large family is that early lesson of life's essential unfairness. ~Nancy Mitford

Friday, November 10 - Evening

With the news of a new Auror being commissioned to Hogsmeade had come an increase in work around the Ministry office, and by Friday, Percy had the beginnings of a fantastic headache. The memory of his 'conversation' with his older brothers on Sunday had also been on his mind, and had not helped one bit. The only thing that had kept Percy sane was the knowledge that come Friday - today - he would be joining Greg at his place for their 'standing appointment' and would finally be able to put work behind him, if only for a little while.

The idea of spending the night in Greg's arms didn't hurt, either.

It had only been two weeks since the night they had made love at Percy's apartment, and Percy still felt nervous tingles at the thought of seeing Greg again. He apparated outside the front door and knocked, holding a bag behind his back containing some dessert he had picked up between leaving work and arriving home to change into something more comfortable.
Beginning to feel my age.
Sunday, November 5th -- Evening

His encounter with Pansy had been Friday and yet he was still feeling some of the after effects two days later. Nothing serious, he certainly wasn't about to go to St. Mungo's or Poppy and try to explain that he'd finally gotten laid ("Twice," Bill noted with no small amount of glee) again and woke up the next day feeling like he'd been sat on by Hagrid or something. Today was better than yesterday at least.

"Face it, Billy Boy, you're getting old. Oh gods, I'm too young to be too old for sex."

Which made him think of the older men that he knew...Collapse )
A nation of shopkeepers.
Friday, 4 November || Afternoon

The owl from the Auror at Hogsmeade had come in the morning, but had gone unanswered at the time. Had the response been prompt, Hogsmeade would have found itself without an Auror force completely for the next few days, as the prior one would have been sacked.

Not that anyone in the town would have noticed, judging from the job Auror Wilson had done.

By mid-afternoon the bile had settled to allow a notice to be sent to the Hogsmeade Ministry office.

Mr. Weasley:

In light of the incident Wednesday night, it has been agreed that the addition of personnel to the Hogsmeade Auror Station is of the highest priority.

Adjust your budget projections now; the assignment change will be made as soon as a suitable candidate for the position can be found.

Mr. Rufus Scrimgeour.
Minister of Magic
A spider crawled across my face,
Spreading its web on the human race …
Mama Loi, Papa Loi
I see fire in the dead man's eye
Saturday, Oct. 28 ~ Nightfall to dawn

"... Get your fun in while you can, because a cold front will be settling in tomorrow. Tonight will be a busy night across the land, with pubs packed and parties in full swing.

"And why do you think it is, my dear listeners? Just because the holiday proper falls on a weekday? Oh, no, I hardly think it's that simple.

"Hallowe'en is Tuesday. All Hallows' Eve, Samhain, the night when spirits may breech the barrier between their world and ours with ease.

"Let all the good little witches and wizards have their fun tonight. Make it your own. For Hallowe'en ... does not belong to us."
And the moon is out and the stars are bright
And whatever comes is gonna be alright
Cause tonight you will be mine - up on cloud number nine
And there aint no place that I'd rather be
And we cant go back but youre here with me
Yeah, the weather is really fine - up on cloud number nine

Wednesday, October 25, Early Evening

Percy heaved a heavy sigh and wondered what on earth he had been thinking when inviting Greg over to his place for dinner. His apartment was immaculately clean - he would accept nothing less - but remained relatively unchanged from when he had first moved in. Compared to Greg's massive home, this small apartment was rather... quaint.

And to top it all off, his cooking abilities were somewhat less than stellar.

Thank Merlin Un Peu De Ciel had a take-out menu. All it had taken was a quick owl from work, and everything had been ready when he'd stopped by on his way home. He'd really have to express his thanks to the owner sometime in the future - perhaps let her know she definitely had a friend in the Ministry office after unknowingly helping to arrange this particular feast.

Thankfully, what Percy lacked in actually cooking ability, he more than made up for in presentation. The plain plates were set out on the counter, and he took the containers from the restaurant bag one-by-one, artfully placing each of the items on the plates in just the right amounts, and in a way that was pleasing to the eye. Garlic mashed potatoes with just a hint of orange food colouring, choice cuts of roast beef au jus, and spears of asparagus. Once everything was perfect in his eyes, he placed the plates in the already heated over to keep them warm until dinner was to be served.

Now, all that he needed was his guest.
So just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'd understand
We all need somebody to lean on

Saturday, October 21 - Late afternoon

Percy walked into the Three Broomsticks, still elated from his date the night before. Every time he thought of Greg, a smile crossed his face, and he wouldn't have it any other way. In his elation, he'd thought to stop by his parents' pub for a quick bite to eat... and maybe to see his mother, if she wasn't busy. The only trick would be to not let on that he had been out with Greg. Things were still very new between the two of them, and Percy had no idea how his mother would react upon learning about his choice in men.

The moment he entered, however, his plans quickly changed as he spotted his oldest brother sitting at a table in the corner. He had yet to speak to any of his brothers since his return, and decided that this was the Fates' way of saying Get on with it, already!

Gathering his courage, he walked over to his brother's table. "Bill?"

Patience is a virtue that takes too long - Unknown
Friday, October 20, 2006 - evening

The steam wafted from the pot simmering on the stove. The scent of basil, cilantro, oregano and tomatoes floated in the air as Greg dipped a spoon into the sauce and tasted it. The spices seemed well balanced to compliment the tang of the sundried tomatoes and ground sausage. Greg really wasn’t a master chef. He had learned how to make a few dishes pretty well. Italian was the simplest for him to learn. While he wanted to impress Percy with his abilities, he decided to stick with what he knew best. He didn’t want to create a meal that was inedible.

Turning down the heat, Greg turned to chopping the fruit for the salad. He rather hoped that Percy liked Italian, he wasn’t too sure. It would be mostly comfort foods for this evening. Appetizer of cheese and crackers with a seafood dip, dinner of pasta with marinara sauce, garlic bread and fruit salad. Desert was in the fridge and would be a surprise. He hadn’t set the table yet since he didn’t know where Percy would prefer to eat.

A little something to remember me by
Tuesday, October 17, 2006 - Morning

Greg finished shrinking the package to the size an owl could handle. He hoped that the instructions would be enough to have Percy work it and plug it in. He hoped that Percy would appreciate the Espresso/Cappuccino machine as well as the month's supply of Starbuck's coffee beans.

He let his owl fly to Percy's office with strict instructions to leave it by the office door.


I thought I could bring the little bit of American convenience to you.


You don't remember my name
I don't really care
Can we play the game your way?
Can I really lose control?

Just once in my life
I think it'd be nice
Just to lose control - just once
With all the pretty flowers in the dust

Thursday, October 12, Early Afternoon