icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
[personal profile] icarus
On Percy.

Now that the furor about Snape being "evil" has died down a bit, let's talk about Percy and all the new information about him.

What new information do you say?

Wellll... let's just have a looksee at what's implied with what little we know. And a warm thank you for the input of [livejournal.com profile] lillian78, [livejournal.com profile] cheshyre, [livejournal.com profile] mad_maudlin, [livejournal.com profile] monzz, [livejournal.com profile] dphearson, [livejournal.com profile] tekalynn, [livejournal.com profile] biichan, [livejournal.com profile] leogryffin, [livejournal.com profile] cordelia_v, [livejournal.com profile] wickedelf, [livejournal.com profile] gail_b, and [livejournal.com profile] mark356.

See? We are many and we outrank you. :D

Percy In a Post-HBP World. What's the point?

We see so little of Percy in HBP that, as Mark points out, he might as well not be there at all.

Yet, oddly, he is.

Why not get rid of him? Oliver's barely mentioned. Zacharias makes the briefest of appearances -- plenty of characters vanish. Well, Percy's a Weasley you might say. The family's a huge part of Harry's life. Yet not only does Percy put in an obligatory family appearance in the middle of the book, he's mentioned at the beginning... and tellingly, he's pointed out at Dumbledore's funeral in the entourage of the new Minister-whose-name-I-can't-spell.

He's on friendly enough terms with the new Minister at Christmas to not fall all over himself as he did with Fudge, or blatantly worship as he did with Crouch. Oh yes, he's used. But he's clearly aware of it and calmly playing the game. (By the way, the Minister would be completely ignorant of Percy's troubles with his family. In such a world, one must be "normal" and "fit in" so family problems are left at home. The Minister would have said, "How about I join you for Christmas with your family?" and Percy would have answered, "Uh, yes. Sure.")

Over and over Percy's name is linked with the Ministry and those-in-power, and over and over again we see how the family, especially the twins (and Ginny) treat Percy.

Didn't Dumbledore warn us that the way house-elfs (and other creatures) have been treated is a large reason they won't help in the war against Voldemort? Now here we have someone with a clear grudge, who's been treated with as much respect as a house-elf (note the parsnips on his glasses and the twins' long history with Percy) persistently near power. Whose influence and position appears to be improving.

What happens if the trio needs help from Percy, a rule or two bent, or access to Ministry files?

Percy's Skyrocketing Career

Percy's survival of the ousting of Fudge is nothing less than startling. I've been writing blind-and-deluded!Percy for a while now, and I'm having to reassess.

Normally in politics (and corporations) the crew goes down with the captain -- especially someone new like Percy who was definitely Fudge's man. An Umbridge will survive, deeply entrenched as she is with myriad connections. A Percy? Pfft. Forget it.

In OotP I bought Arthur's insistence that Percy was promoted solely to keep an eye on the Order, yet I seem to have been wrong. Percy is no longer useful for that and he's still there. In fact, Percy immediately cut off contact with his family (and, note, any useful information about the Order) the moment his father suggested he hadn't earned his promotion. I'm kicking myself a bit because obviously Percy hasn't been a worthwhile spy on the Order all along. I just assumed Fudge kept him despite the fact he didn't serve his original purpose. But the fact Percy's still near power proves Arthur was wrong.

Is Percy actually competent?

He did run the international Triwizard Tournament at the age of eighteen, doing both his own and his boss' jobs. Granted, he wasn't suspicious of the notes from "Crouch," but that was largely his ego and ambition, happy to sieze the opportunity (note his dismissive attitute about Crouch "getting old" once he had the power in his tight little hands). Not a pleasant picture, but it doesn't show someone who's incapable; instead we find someone whose ethics are overrun by ego and ambition, and are flexible to the circumstances.

He's survived both an inquiry and Fudge.

How? What did he do? We don't know.

But normally it would require some combination of:

1) connections,
2) a willingness to bail on Fudge,
3) an ear to the ground and political ramifications,
4) instinct to avoid shark-infested waters and political losses,
5) ability to form links to the new camps (help oust Fudge even?),
6) maybe a little dirt on a few people,
7) links to the press (Percy did give those press statements in OotP),

... and last and probably least,
8) general competence at his job.

Having swum the shark-infested waters of an international corporation, I can tell you that none of this is easy.

Harry has grown up, but so has Percy. He's a player.

[livejournal.com profile] cheshyre joked about Percy becoming a "kingmaker." Yet has anyone noticed that now Percy's in with the new Minister suddenly Arthur has a better job? After all these years? No evidence for it whatsoever, of course, but it's an interesting coincidence, especially given Percy blamed his father's lack of ambition for the family's poverty and has something to prove.

Percy and Family

Would Percy care enough to help Arthur's job? Remember, it was Molly who wanted Arthur to be more successful.

When Percy comes to visit, it's obvious Percy has only done so for the Minister. The only person he speaks to his mother as he stares stiffly above everyone else's heads. He's arrogant and his walking out on Christmas day is heartbreaking for Molly (she cries till New Year's), if understandable. We only know about the parsnips on his glasses, but the twins and Ginny show no remorse and take no responsibility for driving him out. Ron says he's no loss. When Percy steps into the Weasley household, only Molly hugs him, and Arthur is hardfaced and cold. Percy has stepped into enemy territory.

It's harsh that he didn't turn up to visit Arthur in the hospital in OotP, that he doesn't check in on Bill in HBP (I'm not surprised about Ron because one of the trio's always injured). Percy's rejection of his family is cold. But given his reception on Christmas, in front of the Minister which would put most people on their best behaviour, I can't say I blame him. Do they want Percy there? The answer for everyone but Molly is no.

By arriving with the Minister, Percy is not just allowing the Minister to use him. He is using the Minister to send his father a message: you were wrong. But all the family sees is Percy being used again, ignoring that obviously this visit is not Percy's sole job responsibility (and it's a little egocentric of them to think so).

Frankly, the fact Percy makes this statement shows he does care about what they think. His stiffness with them demonstrates as much hurt as anger. The family dynamic where Percy is concerned has always been Molly setting him up as a target by using him as an example for the twins (Percy's own brittleness making it irresistible), the twins rubbing his nose in it, then Molly stepping in (to little effect). His father not believing in him must have been a blow, as if his own father were taking the twins' part: "Excuse me? You don't think I could get this job on my own?"

If Percy arranged for Arthur's new job, well, that will be an interesting father/son moment, as it's as much a humiliating "fuck you, I'm better than you, Dad" as it is helpful. But certainly if Percy does have the power, he's perfectly capable of rearranging his family's life to suit what his mum always wanted.

Far from a happy family resolution, I see impending disaster. It would take, I think, an actual death in the family to close the gap. I'm holding out for Ginny as the future corpse (calling Septumsempra a "good one" -- honestly, what kind of ethics does that girl have?).

Percy the Death Eater Lackey?

At this point, it seems unlikely Percy will be knowingly involved with "the bad guys." Percy's not evil, he's misguided. And now he doesn't seem all that misguided either. He has shown far too much political savvy to be saddled with a dodgy cause, though if Voldemort took over tomorrow he would certainly -- apparently -- survive. Probably with his job intact as Voldemort's personal assistant.

There's an interesting suggestion that Percy may be - or may find himself - under Imperius, much like the low level lackey in the Muggle Prime Minister's office at the beginning of HBP. The Muggle lackey could foreshadow what is in store for Percy. Rowling could be setting a sort of "poetic justice" as retribution for Percy not noticing Crouch's plight.

Without a doubt Percy's slavish devotion to rules makes him an ideal candidate for Imperius. The scenario is quite possible and could explain Percy's remarkable survival in the Ministry: dark forces are manuevering their unwitting puppet into position.

If so, is Percy already under the Imperius curse?

It is unlikely that the Imperius curse caused the split with his family as some have suggested. Voldemort clearly would have benefited from Percy as an inside source at Grimmauld Place. Also, so far as we've heard, Imperius causes strange behaviour, at least when it's being fought (note Crouch's behaviour, the Muggle lackey's). Percy's behaviour, while priggish and rude... okay, it's completely normal for Percy to be priggish and rude. Percy's very behaviour with his family -- the wounded pride, the brittle temper -- demonstrates that he was not under the Imperius curse at Christmas. However, he is ideally placed to have Imperius cast on him at some future date.

Percy and relationships, and let's face it, slash.

With his family completely out of the loop on Percy's life, this door is wide open. We don't know where he lives. We have no idea what Percy's personal life is like -- except that if he's available to drop in his family on Christmas at the Minister's whim, there isn't much of one.

Percy could be having chaste dates with well-connected witches to further his career. He could be sleeping with a reporter (the Percy/Rita ship looms large), or he could stopping by a wizard bathhouse and getting fucked against a wall twice a week. We have no idea.

What we do know is that Percy's obsession with appearances and money (as shown by his bet with Penny Clearwater in PoA, refusing to admit that he didn't have a Galleon to gamble on a Quidditch match) is now coupled with an actual thriving career, one which represents his entire self-worth. He's not going to risk that for anything.

We can also guess that Percy has had at least one and possibly two promotions since GoF, along with glowing performance reviews and the pay raises this entails. Whatever his personal life, he has an unusually high income for someone his age.

What we do need to remember is that, regardless of his competence and apparent success, Percy is only twenty years old. His mistakes will be those of a young man. Given how determined he is to prove he's all grown up, without a doubt there's someone in the picture, somewhere.




ETA: to correct Tekalynn's name and properly reference joke.

Date: 2005-07-19 11:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stanharding.livejournal.com
That's terrific!

Honestly, I hadn't given much thought about Percy, one way or another, but obviously you have, and it all makes sense. We should keep an eye on that one.

Date: 2005-07-19 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
Heyla, thank you! I think Percy's going to play a bigger role in book seven than he did in book six (probably a petty and annoying one). One nice thing: the door is so completely open to slash. Percy could be up to anything.

Very carefully, of course.

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-19 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pxr5.livejournal.com
Let me run this by you:

well, we know Percy is arrogant. Suppose that he decided that he was going to help his family on his terms, whether his family would cooperate or not.

He manoeuvres himself into position at the ministry, gets Arthur the job, and proceeds to subtly manipulate things for the better for all of the Order members.

Perhaps Dumbledore knew. Perhaps not.

Of course, he's still human. He can't reveal what he did to his family, as they'd just reject it all, and yet he can't help but feel hurt since *he* knows that he deserves better treatment.

I keep hoping Percy is going to turn out to be one of those unsung heroes of the book.

Date: 2005-07-19 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
It's like... The Lady's Not For Burning. The one good man who's also competent, whose deeds are unsung, unappreciated.

But what can he do for the Order? I can see what he could do for Arhtur, but the Aurors and whatnot?

Icarus

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What could Percy do?

From: [personal profile] cheshyre - Date: 2005-07-19 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2005-07-19 12:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dphearson.livejournal.com
1) Not is Percy compentent, he's extremely competent. Somehow, fandom has forgotten that Percy scored perfect OWLS and NEWTS, and was helping run a departmet of the triwaizards- at 19. Yes, his name was not remembered, but by golly, by 19? When I was 19, I was worrying about gettinga damn internship!

2)Would Percy care enough to help Arthur's job? Remember, it was Molly who wanted Arthur to be more successful.

I think Percy cares and loves Molly, his mother. If he did have a hand in getting his dad that position, with increases warding and security and pay, it would be because he loves his mother. Everybody else can go hang. And I think that the rest of the family senses this. It does not excuse their excreble behaviour ( throwing turnips? How old are they, two? Three, tops?)Suddenly, the person they used to tease does not need them- or need to be around them anymore. That hurts. Tehre is need for forgiveness on both sides.

3) Percy is no DE lackey. Agreed on Percy's nimbleness. If Severus, the New Dark Lord, um, Voldemort, was able to take over, Percy would no doubt institute new bureacracy to fit.
Now, that' s competence you can't find everyday.

4) Percy could be having chaste dates with well-connected witches to help his career. He could be sleeping with a reporter (the Percy/Rita ship looms large), or he could stopping by a wizard bathhouse and getting fucked against a wall twice a week. We have no idea.

Or maybe all three :)

and if it is all three, boy, can you imagine Percy's day planner?

Awesome post! It goes in memories!

Date: 2005-07-19 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
Heh. Thanks for all your help, the discussions were really illuminating.

and if it is all three, boy, can you imagine Percy's day planner?

Ha! "I have Frederick for a late lunch on Friday, Stephi's party Saturday at 8... oh no. Where the devil am I going to fit in the Minister's daughter? Well, Frederick can find another whipping boy for Friday and that's all there is to it." Percy nipples the end of his quill. "I could pencil him in for Sunday afternoon, drop an excuse with Steph to be out of there by 10am? Yes, that'll work."

he loves his mother. Everybody else can go hang.

Yep. He loves the rest of them, too, but he's not giving an inch until they give him respect.

Percy scored perfect OWLS and NEWTS, and was helping run a departmet of the triwaizards- at 19.

No kidding. Where I see a problem cropping is in that every guy I know who was that successful, that young, becomes pretty cocky and self-confident. He may have learned from his two political battles, they may have taken him down a peg, or he may have just learned to temper his attitude. Externally, that is.

There's a real possibility of some very underhanded political dealings with him. Surviving Fudge would have taken... Percy must have shown no loyalty at all.

Severus, the New Dark Lord

*snorfles*

Percy is no DE lackey.

Yeah, at this point if he joined the Dark Lord it's a conscious and carefully considered decision. Damn, there goes at least three of my fics. Ah well. AU, here we come.


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From: [identity profile] dphearson.livejournal.com - Date: 2005-07-19 01:48 pm (UTC) - Expand

percy's day planner

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Re: percy's day planner

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Re: percy's day planner

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Date: 2005-07-19 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caseylane.livejournal.com
The thing I keep trying to justify is, why was Percy a Gryffindor? He's so very driven that he seems much more suited to Slytherin. Where is his bravery, his loyalty? I can't believe that it's going to be shoved under the rug. I think Jo has some kind of real plan for Percy.

I found his visit home actually painful. It had to be very difficult for him to show up, especially knowing that his entire family would be there. He had to have known what to expect.

I guess Percy's loyalty is to a cause and that cause is patriotism. His bravery is standing up for that when it means turning his back on all that he held dear.

I don't know, it's just kind of sad.

Date: 2005-07-19 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
I think that Percy's essential just for that reason: he paints a three-dimensional picture of these houses. Just like someone who's in Slytherin can be on the good side, someone in Gryffindor can be -- not a hero. Slughorn isn't with Voldemort for all that he's Slytherin; he's an individual, he likes to play matchmaker and be important. Percy's a good guy, who plays politics because it's something he earnestly believes in. But he also likes being a player. The difference... well, there's not much difference is there? A little in the motivations.

I like Percy because he's the "Muggle" in the story, for all that he's a wizard. He's us, our falibility and our ordinary views.

That visit home was awful. And exactly what he expected too, you could tell. The way they treated him was appalling, and the only way he could escape it was to hurt his beloved mum. That must've torn him apart.

Icarus

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I think

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Re: I think

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A year later

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Re: A year later

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Re: A year later

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Date: 2005-07-19 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] killerbeautiful.livejournal.com
wow, this is awesome! trust you to be able to concentrate on percy and put together this comprehensive assessment when my head is still spinning with everything... i'm putting this in my memories and reccing it. it's detailed, interesting, and a thought-provoking read. thumbs up! :D

Date: 2005-07-19 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] killerbeautiful.livejournal.com
also- The family dynamic where Percy is concerned has always been Molly setting him up as a target by using him as an example for the twins- which i always found so blind of her, that she couldn't see she was making it worse for percy.... the way things fell out on his christmas visit was not surprising to me, just because he's been seen this one way his whole life and everybody bought into it, there's never been a single person [that we see in canon anyway] who's seen him as anything other than perfect percy head boy who does everything right... it's sad, but how else is he going to turn out? a boy who likes to keep his mum happy becomes a kid who likes to stay out of trouble becomes a young man who likes to ensure others follow the rules becomes a man who likes the power involved in rulemaking and enforcing.... it's not a shock that he is where he is, really. and he's more than half slytherin too, if you ask me. :)

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Date: 2005-07-19 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] cheshyre
As far as Percy's intelligence and ability to survive (along with still caring for his family), I point back to OotP Chapter 14. The chapter starts with Harry whining about just how hard it is to write a coded letter to Sirius (and how transparent it is, too). The chapter ends with Percy's letter to Ron, and despite the pompous tone, just look how much information he manages to convey about future events. In fact, given we know the post was being scrutinized at that point, some of the tone might have been exaggerated to play to the censors' bias just to get thru.

Date: 2005-07-19 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
*blinks* Man. I've got to re-read that.

It also points to how much he must have known. That's not someone hanging outside the office just listening to Fudge. He must have a lot of different sources.

Hmm. In CoS (or was it SS?), it was Percy who knew Snape that Snape wanted that DADA position. He turned out to be right about that, too.

Food for thought.

Icarus

Percy's letter to Ron in OotP

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Percy's letter to Ron in OotP, 2nd half

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Date: 2005-07-19 02:03 pm (UTC)
ext_18536: (Default)
From: [identity profile] mizbean.livejournal.com
Interesting analysis.

I had expected Percy to play a bigger role in HBP, but I don't think we are done with Percy. I also see impending disaster.

At this point, it seems unlikely that Percy will be involved with "the bad guys." Percy's not evil, he's misguided.

I agree, he's not evil. He has the moral values that his parents gave him, but he may unknowingly let himself be used by people in the Ministry with darker intentions. I'm also not sure if JKR respects his ambition much, she may be setting him up for a fall.

I had a theory that he may inadvertently do something that brings harm to someone in his family and he will realize that far too late and not be able to prevent it. It's also pretty certain that one of the Weasleys will die, given Molly's boggart.

Is Percy actually competent?

Interesting question. He's obviously smart. He was Head Boy and seems capable at his job, but I remember him spending months investigating cauldron bottoms during GoF and missing key clues that something wasn't right with his boss, Barty Crouch. And the cauldron bottom task seemed like such obvious busy work -- something to get him out of the way -- that he should have recognized had he paid attention.

I can't say I'm a Percy fan. He's a tad sanctimonious for my taste, but I find his role in all this fascinating. I also think he will reconcile in with his family in the end, however it may be under tragic circumstances.

Date: 2005-07-19 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
You're reading him based on his situation and personality three years ago. Percy's changed. For the better or worse, I dunno.

I remember him spending months investigating cauldron bottoms during GoF

Most people's first job is small-time, and Percy's been at the Ministry for three years now. His cauldron bottom reports only covered the first few months of his career until Crouch disappeared.

missing key clues that something wasn't right with his boss, Barty Crouch.

He didn't want to know anything about Crouch because with Crouch gone he was no longer doing cauldron bottom reports, but running the Triwizard Tournament. It's a sad commentary on Percy's character, but there it is.

We have to be sharp enough to recognize that just as Harry has grown in the last three years, so has Percy.

His family is blind, they see the fellow who did cauldron bottom reports -- three years ago. It's just like families to do that. When I go home, my mother forgets I'm nearly 40 and treats me as though I'm a teenager. Regardless of my career and personal successes, I will always be the one who forgot to change the cat litter. ;) Percy's in the same boat and you're seeing Percy through his family's eyes (Harry's very much part of the family) -- they're ignoring the facts.

Percy's been part of the Minister's personal staff (two Ministers) for two years now. That's a higher position than Arthur's had for the last thirty. If Percy got the job on a fluke, he hasn't hung onto it on a fluke, not with a change of power.

but he may unknowingly let himself be used by people in the Ministry with darker intentions.

That was my reading of him during OotP, but that again comes from his family's blindness and not keeping with the time -- and he's clearly grown.

When he shows up for Christmas he's no longer bedazzled at the Minister's presence (as he was with Crouch and Fudge); most of his attention is on his family (nose in the air, intent on surviving the coming insults).

This tells us a lot. It shows a man who's secure in his position, and who's aware that it isn't flattery that Minister has come with him for Christmas. Percy offers no explanation for his presence and does not back up or echo the Minister's lies. He knows is BS and he has never been a liar.

This is a big change. GoF Percy would have bragged to his family about how close he was to the Minister. OotP Percy would have repeated everything the Minister said, eagerly taken his coat, opened the door, laughed at hollow jokes. Percy's not a lickspittle any more, and if he's being used, it's with his informed consent.

At this point, if Percy does anything wrong, we can can lay the blame squarely at his feet, because the man I saw in HBP knows exactly what he's doing.

I also think he will reconcile in with his family in the end

I don't think the reconciliation is the important part.

What's important is what does someone with a chip on their shoulder do? JKR showed how Snapes aren't born but made, and how Malfoys are under a lot of pressure to do Voldemort's bidding. But they're on the other side of the fence, right? Slytherins, right? We've just spent six books seeing how Percy was made, seeing him bullied. His decision's coming in book seven.

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-19 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lillian78.livejournal.com
A wonderful assessment of Percy. I can't help but think that in a family plagued by money troubles that would become one of Percy's biggest motivations to make a "name" for himself and his taking a stab at gaining a foothold in the corridors of power. Now, in most families that are afflicted with financial problems, it would be seen as a very good thing. However, in Percy's family, there almost seems to be a case of reverse snobbery in effect. Partly because Arthur's a bit of an eccentric and not terribly successful in his business life and, I think, also because that makes Percy one of "them" the society that has mocked and derided the family i.e. like the Malfoys. It's almost comparable to the generation of hippie parents that gave birth to children who grew up to be both materialistic and eager to join the "establishment". Quite a shock when you were part of the generation that wanted to shake the foundations of society to try and right all wrongs.

Date: 2005-07-19 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kitsune13.livejournal.com
*nods* I think it's also a crucial point that the Weasleys' poverty has been due, in part, to their political beliefs -- as Molly points out at the end of GoF. Fanon likes to portray Arthur as an unambitious bumbler, but he's not. The events of CoS are set in motion by Lucius Malfoy attempting to block Arthur's Muggle Protection Act. It's not that Arthur has no ambition, it's that he's not willing to compromise his beliefs for political advancement. And the fact that Arthur gets promoted when there's a regime change is *extremely* telling. Have you seen [livejournal.com profile] ellen_fremedon's chess theory? Her idea is that, while Dumbledore and Voldemort are the most powerful players, the board is actually one of political ideologies. So DD and V are the queens, but the kings are Arthur and Lucius.

With that in mind, I have a hard time condemning Ginny, and the other Weasleys for their responses to him. Percy throwing his lot in with the Ministry was not just a betrayal of the family, but of everything the family -- and DUMBLEDORE -- stands for, and there are lives on the line. So I don't buy that Percy is secretly working for Dumbledore, because he rejected that. But I think Percy's "redemption' is going to be personal, rather than political; he's been shown throughout the books to care for his family, especially Ron and Ginny -- he's very pompous and incapable of expressing it, but he cares (CoS and GoF). That letter broke my heart. I predict that Percy is going to die saving one of his family, probably Ron.

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Date: 2005-07-19 03:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miyuki-mina.livejournal.com
Whoa... this *excellent* Percy defense should be posted at [livejournal.com profile] hated_character, yes. :D

Date: 2005-07-19 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
Cool! Good idea.

*wanders off to do just that, once I finish this Percy ficlet.*

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-19 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tekalynn.livejournal.com
Quick note: I didn't make the "kingmaker" comment, that was [livejournal.com profile] cheshyre. Thanks. (And my user name has two n, not one.)

Date: 2005-07-19 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
Thank you, I'll fix that. I think I have Dana's name misspelled as well.

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-19 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hermione-like.livejournal.com
Would you mind if I linked to this over at [livejournal.com profile] percy_fans? :)

Date: 2005-07-19 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
Oh, not at all! Please, be my guest. *straightens bowtie, checks teeth in the mirror*

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-19 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kijikun.livejournal.com
Snape isn't evil! He isn't he isnt he isnt!

I very much agree with you on Percy.

Date: 2005-07-20 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
I don't believe he is, no. But he's definitely far less pleasant than we've previously imagined.

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-19 11:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caitiedidit.livejournal.com
Excellent post. It made me want Percy fic badly. :)

Date: 2005-07-20 05:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
And it made me want to write it.

This is a match made in heaven. ;)


Icarus

Date: 2005-07-20 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leni-jess.livejournal.com
Thank you for these close and careful observations. Percy has become a lot more interesting to me (I used to find him exquisitely embarrassing), though I don't expect to be writing him except as a minor character.

The Weasley family as an entity in politics has become more complex, too. And it's possibly heading in several different directions - if ever anyone looked like potential DEs it's the twins, with their cruelty, interest in instant gratification, lack of empathy, and weirdly skewed brilliance which isn't properly recognised.

This Percy was probably in a position to get back at the twins any time in the year, in an over-regulated society like the wizarding world. Interesting that he didn't find some ordinance they'd transgressed, and have it enforced.

Of course, the twins are also selling stuff to the Ministry in bucketloads - however unlikely that no one's ever thought of all that shielding stuff before - so it might have been a little difficult for Percy to press a probably minor charge, but I'm sure the idea of a castened pair of vendors might appeal to some of their ministerial customers... (Goodness knows that Peruvian powder would give that project an assist - 'giving aid and comfort to the enemy'.)

One might almost think Percy's got past his family (except his mother), and contents himself with knowing he is far more than they ever thought, powerful, accepted, and successsful to boot - but he did always like acknowledgement, so probably not. Not a live and let live sort of fella.

/ramble

Date: 2005-07-20 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leni-jess.livejournal.com
Oops, that's 'chastened'.

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Date: 2005-07-20 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-jackalope.livejournal.com
I actually think it is interesting that Percy got so many mentions in the book, while Charlie, (you remember the other older brother?) got no mention at all, in fact I don't even think he got a passing mention, though I'd have to go back and reread. No "oh Charlie is still in ROmania with the dragons, hope he doesn't kill himself". While I"m not sure what this means, I do think we will be seeing more of Percy.

Also I think the Christmas scene had the chance to be a warm family reunion had anyone besides Molly bent just a little bit, say Arthur, or the twins. Had anyone said, "nice to see you Percy" it would have gone much differently. This left me angry at the entire family, and much less so at Percy.

Date: 2005-07-20 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
I'm surprised about Charlie, but I think you're right. *blinks*

Also I think the Christmas scene had the chance to be a warm family reunion had anyone besides Molly bent just a little bit

Absolutely. It really tells me that they've made their own beds with him. I wasn't surprised, but when it continued with the parsnips, I was disgusted with the whole family.

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-20 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] -lady-godiva.livejournal.com
I followed your link in [livejournal.com profile] percy_fans here, and I must thank you. This was refreshing and very realistic. You seemed to have looked at the situation from all angles, which I most certainly appreciate.

Thanks! :)

Date: 2005-07-20 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
Credit goes to the discussion group who brought up all these angles -- and I've been hearing more since. Someone here has mentioned the possibility that Percy might be under the Imperius curse at some point.

O.O

Can you think of a better candidate? What if that's how he's survived Fudge -- he's been planted?

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-20 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harveywallbang.livejournal.com
this is why these books aren't just for kids...
brilliant percy-study.

Date: 2005-07-20 04:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
Oh yeah, the books are just tremendous fun. This one, aside from the cliffhanger, is probably my favourite and is certainly the best since PoA.

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-20 06:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] souredpoison.livejournal.com
Oh. My. God. Iloveyousomuch! Thank you for writing this. I've been insisting to others that Percy is a wonderful character, and his behavior is understandable. Thank you for supporting this idea, and writing this essay to prove the point. Thank you for thinking out the reasons for his decisions, and wondering about his place in the books. Thank you for showing he has to be good at his job, and thank you for just general Percy lovin'.

Although, I do have to disagree with you on one point, I don't think it'd be Ginny to make him coming back. I think it would probably be one of his older brothers (Charlie, preferably) because they're older, and most likely, closer to him. Even though the whole thing about Bill may have messed with that idea.

In whole, wonderful job! Well thought out, and stated excellently.
-Lizz

Date: 2005-07-20 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
His behaviour's perfectly understandable and a long time coming to boot.

I don't think it'd be Ginny to make him coming back.

I have to admit, the only time I've ever liked Ginny is when she had her elbow in a pat of butter. So this was more wishful thinking than anything else.

Icarus

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Date: 2005-07-20 08:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] astartea.livejournal.com
That was a very interesting essay. As I said in another post, I don´t think we´ll see lot of Percy in the next book but I really hope I´m wrong.

I agree with you in all the points, specially in Percy´s love for his mother (and Molly´s love for him, like we can see in POA, qhen every member of the family ins laughing at him except her in the leaky Cauldron)


And about Percy being a DE, it´s impossible, because in HBP, that clock of Molly Weasely has the nine hands pointing at "mortal peril", and Rowling has confirmed that this is because all of them are "blood-traitors", so at least till book 6º, he´s not a DE.

Thanks for posting all this.

Date: 2005-07-20 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
Thank you. :)

I don't think we'll see lot of Percy in the next book but I really hope I'm wrong.

Well... it depends upon what you mean by a lot. Entire chapters devoted to him? No, of course not.

JKR has spent six books carefully setting something up, using Percy to make a point. Unlike Bill or Charlie, Percy is in every single book, and we're seeing something build:

- first he's the political gossip (showing not only Slytherins are ambitious)

- the Perfect Prefect (the family buffoon, snapping the heroic image of Gryffindors and showing Harry the Weasleys aren't perfect)

- the arrogant Head Boy (showing a Gryffindor can be just blind with power)

- the eager low-level Ministry lapdog (showing a similar blindness, and that Head Boy doesn't mean much, setting us up for when Harry's not made Prefect)

- the anti-Dumbledore supporter and the break with the Weasleys (once again bringing up the point that being a Gryffindor and from the right family doesn't mean anything, as the Weasleys reap the reward of how they treated him)

- the Ministry fixture (showing us that the resentment over how he was treated is lasting)

- The Last Book... can we honestly say she's just going to abandon this thread she's been building?

Percy's not important, but he makes an important series of points. (He's also a useful way to convey information that only someone close to the Minister could know as we saw in OotP - Percy as machinae. *snort*) If he wasn't important to JKR's themes, she would have let him go once he left Hogwarts with maybe a mention or two later.

Percy is the way JKR points out some grey areas on the Gryffindor side and undermines the assumption that these house affiliations set one's destiny. He's also a way she points out the flaws in "the good guys"; we learn that the Marauders were bullies, but we can't say 'oh that was just the past' because we watch our current pals bully Percy solely because he's obnoxious. Percy never does anything wrong: he's just annoying.

I'm not sure where she's taking it. She could use him to convey useful information. She could use him to blow away some more assumptions. She could use him to balance the redemption theme. One thing's for sure, he's too useful, she's built it too carefully: she's not going to throw this thread away.

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-20 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reposoir.livejournal.com
Personally, ever since reading a very thought-provoking comment by someone on some board who people thought might have been JKR, I honestly think he's under the Imperius curse and HBP only strengthened my belief in that. Woe!

Date: 2005-07-20 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
How would anyone be able to tell if the speaker was JKR? What were the clues?

I'm not sure someone under the Imperious curse would be as obnoxious as Percy, but for later -- oh, he's just such a perfect candidate for it. And no one would ever guess it wasn't really him because they don't think much of him to start. Augh.

Icarus

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Date: 2005-07-20 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
I don?t think we?ll see lot of Percy in the next book but I really hope I?m wrong.

Well it depends upon what you mean by a lot. Entire chapters devoted to him? No, of course not.

JKR has spent six books carefully setting something up, using Percy to make a point. Unlike Bill or Charlie, Percy is in every single book, and we're seeing something build:

- first he's the political gossip (showing not only Slytherins are ambitious)

- the Perfect Prefect (the family buffoon, snapping the heroic image of Gryffindors and showing Harry the Weasleys aren't perfect)

- the arrogant Head Boy (showing a Gryffindor can be just blind with power)

- the eager low-level Ministry lapdog (showing a similar blindness, and that Head Boy doesn't mean much, setting us up for when Harry's not made Prefect)

- the anti-Dumbledore supporter and the break with the Weasleys (once again bringing up the point that being a Gryffindor and from the right family doesn't mean anything, as the Weasleys reap the reward of how they treated him)

- the Ministry fixture (showing us that the resentment over how he was treated is lasting)

- The Last Book... can we honestly say she's just going to abandon this thread she's been building?

Percy's not important, but he makes an important series of points. (He's also a useful way to convey information that only someone close to the Minister could know as we saw in OotP - Percy as machinae. *snort*) If he wasn't important to JKR's themes, she would have let him go once he left Hogwarts with maybe a mention or two later.

Percy is the way JKR points out some grey areas on the Gryffindor side and undermines the assumption that these house affiliations set one's destiny. He's also a way she points out the flaws in "the good guys"; we learn that the Marauders were bullies, but we can't say 'oh that was just the past' because we watch our current pals bully Percy solely because he's obnoxious. Percy never does anything wrong: he's just annoying.

I'm not sure where she's taking it. She could use him to convey useful information. She could use him to blow away some more assumptions. She could use him to balance the redemption theme. One thing's for sure, he's too useful, she's built it too carefully; there's no way she's going to throw this away.

Icarus

Date: 2005-07-20 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] cheshyre
I was thinking earlier about Percy's attitude towards Dumbledore and when it shifted. Rereading the earlier books, I realized the change is even more dramatic than I thought:

From the Sorting Feast in the first book:
"Is [Dumbledore] -- a bit mad?" [Harry] asked Percy uncertainly.
"Mad?" said Percy airily. "He's a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes.
From Order of the Phoenix, when Ron describes Percy's argument with Arthur:
"He said Dad was an idiot to run around with Dumbledore, that Dumbledore was heading for big trouble and Dad was going to go down with him
That's not merely like to dislike: Percy's attitude starts out almost worshipful, which makes his later rejection an awfully huge difference to bridge.


Percy's relations with Crouch and Fudge were similarly adulatory. The way Percy's described, you can almost believe his lips were welded to his boss's bottom. [That's certainly how his brothers treat him.]
But in each case when they became liabilities, he dumped them and moved onto the next bigger boss. And his attitude towards Dumbledore soured when he left school and was no longer dependent on the headmaster's good moods.

That's quite a pattern being established.
Interpretation depends on how cynical you want to be:
  • Maybe Percy wants somebody to believe in and makes a genuine effort, but his expectations are too high and he's disillusioned every time.
  • Or maybe it's all pretense.

    ---

    One more facet to how Percy manages to survive. Remember in Book 2 when Harry's trying to decide upon electives? Percy advises him:
    "It's never too early to think about the future, so I'd recommend Divination."
    Maybe Percy has some innate talent for seeing when to jump. [He also took Muggle Studies, which is interesting in light of his relations with Arthur, but that's a different discussion.]
  • Tidbit from Chris Rankin's webchat

    Date: 2005-07-22 10:01 pm (UTC)
    From: [personal profile] cheshyre
    Having little better to do, I popped over to BBC for a webchat Chris Rankin was giving. Missed about half of it; transcript will be available Monday, but one tidbit I thought interesting in terms of interpreting Percy's character:

    I asked:
    Has JKR said anything to you about Percy's fate or whether he'll play a larger role later on? [For all that he was barely in HBP, she made sure to mention him beginning, middle and end.]
    And Chris Rankin answered
    All I know from JKR is what she told me...
    at the Chamber of Secrets Premiere..
    Which was that Percy would redeem himself somewhat in Half-Blood Prince.


    I don't quite see "redemption" in his portrayal in HBP, though he certainly seems more sympathetic at the Xmas scene. Maybe she's referring to something she had to cut between then and publication.

    Still, food for thought.

    Re: Tidbit from Chris Rankin's webchat

    Date: 2005-07-22 10:16 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
    Oh! Thank you.

    It also could have been moved to the next book.

    Hope springs eternal....

    Of course, I'm not really looking for redemption here. More like, hmm, interest and fun.

    By the way, I emailed Killer Beautiful that Percy/Snape story, but I'm reallly interested in a sort of "first look" beta. Would still like to check it out?

    Icarus

    Re: Tidbit from Chris Rankin's webchat

    From: [personal profile] cheshyre - Date: 2005-07-22 10:44 pm (UTC) - Expand

    Date: 2005-08-22 04:56 pm (UTC)
    From: [personal profile] cheshyre
    Granted, he wasn't suspicious of the notes from "Crouch," but that was largely his ego and ambition, happy to sieze the opportunity

    Taking another look at some Percy character essays for my own comments on Percy's birthday, one more exonerating observation from RedHen:
    [A]fter having (literally!) lived in the boy's pocket as his pet rat for more than half a dozen years, Wormtail would have known exactly the best way to word those communications from "Mr Crouch" to rouse the least possible suspicion. Finding Percy Weasley already established in Crouch's Department must have looked like a gift from the gods to Voldemort and Pettigrew.

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