Character Connection 19
Link up your own post about a character you love
--or even a character you love to hate--
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One rule of this weekly meme is to avoid spoilers. I stand wholeheartedly behind that, of course, but see that it's a little tricky now that I want to feature a character who gets to grow throughout a series.
The last book has already been written, but I'm not going to go that far in his development. Instead, I'll write about him as I knew him for years--until just two weeks ago, really, when I finally learned whether my faith in him had been misplaced or not.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
by J.K. Rowling
"He went completely berserk. He said--well, he said loads of terrible stuff. He said he's been having to struggle against Dad's lousy reputation ever since he joined the Ministry and that Dad's got no ambition and that's why we've always been--you know--not had a lot of money, I mean . . .
". . . And it got worse. He said Dad was an idiot to run around with Dumbledore, that Dumbledore was heading for big trouble and that Dad was going to go down with him, and that he--Percy--knew where his loyalty lay and it was with the Ministry. And if Mum and Dad were going to become traitors to the Ministry he was going to make sure everyone knew that he didn't belong to our family anymore. And he packed his bags the same night and left . . ."
Percy has always, always been my favourite Weasley brother. I have loved him from the very beginning--since, I think, the scene in The Sorcerer's Stone in which Professor Quirrell bursts into the Great Hall to announce that a troll is in the dungeons and Dumbledore orders the prefects to lead the rest of the students back to their dormitories immediately. For that order was virtually a magic spell which transformed Percy before my mind's eye. As the text itself says, he was "in his element."
And that, fellow Potter-heads, is an epic deal.
Seriously, have you ever seen someone in his element? It's a truly beautiful sight. Think: Harry in a Quidditch match, Hermione in the library, Neville in a Herbology class. If it hadn't been for Percy's bossiness and insistence on abiding by the rules, I'll bet half the Gryffindor House would have run straight into the troll's arms. He so saved them.
Rowling makes much of Ron's feelings of inferiority next to his older brothers, but it is Percy who is the classic "middle child." His eldest brother is a good-looking, rebellious treasure-hunter; the next in line is a tough, heavily-muscled dragon keeper; the two right after him are twins with a genius for practical pranks; his youngest brother becomes the Harry Potter's best friend; and then there is a girl. Add to that the fact that Percy doesn't exactly have a winning personality and that his only real talent of keeping everyone in line is subverted by his own gloriously disorderly family . . . It's not fun to be him, is it?
His great ambition is to do well in politics--a field in which, he must have hoped, his organizational skills could finally win him some appreciation. And if you've read The Goblet of Fire, you saw that he really does work his buttoned-up bum off in order to prove himself. Indeed, it's kind of heartbreaking to think that he doesn't have much to show at the end of his first year: his siblings remain totally unimpressed and his boss . . . . Well, I'd better not put that spoiler in here!
Then we come to The Order of the Phoenix, where we learn that he has actually been promoted but that his own Ministry-employed father's reaction is to warn him that he only got it because the Minister of Magic wanted a spy in the Weasley family. Well, no wonder he goes "completely berserk"!
Since I promised not to say how he fares in the next two books, we'll have to leave it at this. But let me say at least that Rowling obviously never loved him as much as she should have.
Image Source: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling