Fic: Percy's Interview
Claim: Percy applies for a job in the newly reorganized Ministry.
Pairings (if any): none
Summary: Percy is forced to come to terms with who he is while interviewing for a place in The Ministry's new Auror Academy
Warnings (if applicable): none
Author's Notes: My hat's off to Jill Ayers for being my beta and being so quick about getting the story back to me.
Percy looked across the desk at the rather shrewd looking gentleman sitting in a high-backed leather chair. The interviewer, as he’d come to regard the man, was dressed in the dark robes that all Aurors wore and nothing else that might be a sign as to the man’s rank or position within the group. Sighing as if he’d done this a thousand times today, the interviewer shuffled the papers on his desk until they were in something resembling order.
Percy was briefly reminded of a title Fred and George had given him when he was twelve, "The World's Youngest Old Man." His mother had laughed till her eyes teared up when she'd first heard it, and even his father had chuckled. Percy had hated it. He hated the way it had made him feel and had hated it even more when he saw that it had become a title reserved not only for his brothers’ usage, but many of the students at Hogwarts and even a few of the professors . Still, he couldn't help applying this same title to the man before him.
The interviewer looked to be in his mid-thirties and yet behaved as if he might be sixty. His movements were cranky and the wrinkles in his forehead seemed to have come from a lifetime of frowning. He seemed reasonably fit and yet Percy was reasonably sure that when the man walked, he did so in a slow, shambling gait.
“I am Instructor Hristova and you are interviewing for a place in the Auror Academy. Is that correct, Mr. Weasley?” the man asked with a slight Bulgarian accent as he continued to shuffle his papers.
“Tell me what you saw when you first entered the Auror Headquarters, Mr. Weasley,” the man asked dryly, still refusing to meet Percy’s eyes.
“I saw five Aurors going over some paperwork,” Percy answered quickly.
The Instructor glanced up at him as if seeing him for the first time and then looked back at his papers. “Did you not see the empty desks?”
“Yes sir. There were twenty three in total. I also saw a box of lozenges, a painting commemorating the losses at Hogwarts two months ago, a--”
“Enough, Mr. Weasley. You’ve impressed me with your powers of observation,” the interviewer said wryly as he looked up from his papers. The man's green eyes briefly glanced at Percy and then turned towards the wall as if he were trying to decide whether to speak or not.
Percy stood stock still, not yet sure if he should respond to the man’s joke or simply wait for him to continue.
“Mr. Weasley, we’ve had twenty applicants, five of which I’ve interviewed today. Four of them were idiots and the other is thirty years my senior. We are understaffed Mr. Weasley. I will admit that much, but that does not mean we have lowered our standards. We want the very best in our department, young man, and we will not settle for less. Understood?”
“Yes sir,” Percy said with a quick nod.
“Good, now have a seat,” the interviewer said with a gesture towards the chair next to Percy.
Percy slowly sat down, wary of what Hristova might ask next.
“You went to school at Hogwarts for all seven years and completed your education, earning top marks in almost every class -- except one,” Hristova said with just a hint of a smirk. The man pulled a paper that looked suspiciously like a report card out of the stack of papers on his desk. “Madame Hooch states that you had more than a few problems flying a broom and often couldn’t even get the broom off the ground. Rather ironic that so many of your brothers and even your sister should be Quidditch players then, isn’t it?”
“Yes sir,” Percy said, not quite letting his eyes meet the other man’s. “I preferred academia to sports and so I often spent my time studying.”
Hristova glanced at Percy and then back down at his desk as he began to resume shuffling his paperwork. “Mr. Weasley, I feel that what I am about to say should have gone without saying, but since I know your father I will go ahead and say it. During this interview you will tell me nothing but the truth. If, at any point in this interview I should suspect that you are lying to me, we will end this interview immediately. Do you understand?” the interviewer barked.
“Yes sir,” Percy replied quickly, willing himself not to blush at having been caught so easily in his minor deception. “I have a fear of heights, sir.”
“Ah, well then, tell me something Mr. Weasley. Is this a fear you could overcome?”
“If necessary, I could certainl-“
“If necessary? Of course it’s necessary, Mr. Weasley,” the interviewer barked as he sat up in his chair. “Lord Voldemort is gone, but there are more than a few witches and wizards struggling to take his place. Then there are the ones who don’t want the spotlight, the ones who enjoy anonymity and take from our society without anyone being the wiser. We have no room for fears in this department!”
Percy bit his lip. It had been a while since he’d been able to confront his fears. To see them for what they really were. Silly, mindless, trivial, he had given it inconsequential names, but he knew in his heart that they still had a grasp on him. For this job though, for the people he thought he might be able to put his fear aside. “Then I can,” Percy said..
“You will,” the interviewer snapped, the sound of his teeth echoing through the room as they clashed against one another. “If you are offered a position Mr. Weasley you will find yourself doing quite a few things that will be to your dislike. You will get dirty. You will learn of horrors you’ve never imagined and should you pass and become an Auror it is highly possible that you will die in the end.”
Percy let the man have his moment of drama and then asked the one question he’d been thinking since he’d arrived in the room. “Are you trying to unnerve me, sir?”
“No, I am trying to convey to you the realities of what you are applying for, young man.”
“Sir, I did not just wake up this morning with the idea that it would be a quiet, wonderful experience to serve in the Auror Department. This is not a flight of fancy for me, but something I have been carefully considering for the last several months. To me the Ministry has been all about order and service. I have always wanted to be a part of that and in these last few months I have come to realize that no department embodies those two ideals the way this department does. I want to be on the front lines of change, sir, and I believe it will happen with this department.”
“And why do you want this training so badly, Mr. Weasley? You already qualify for a hundred of other jobs in the Ministry. You were a summer intern there since you were thirteen and a paper pusher the moment you graduated from Hogwarts, so why this need to apply for the Auror Academy?”
“Because,” Percy started and then faltered when he felt his throat begin to dry up. “I want to enforce the law sir. I was a prefect in my fifth and sixth year and in my seventh year I was Head Boy at Hogwarts. I want to see that justice is fulfilled and-“ He squeezed his eyes shut as he tried to compose his thoughts, to keep his mouth from blathering on, but for all his will, his patience, his emotions got the better of him. “Because I want to see Augustus Rookwood brought to trial and I want to do my best to see that another battle like the Battle of Hogwart’s never happens again. I can’t do these things from behind a desk within the Ministry. As I said earlier, Instructor Hristova, I want to be on the front lines.”
The instructor leaned back in his chair and looked as if he were taking in Percy for the first time. “That was a very good speech, Mr. Weasley,” he said quietly. “Now tell me, what is it, other than a body to fill a chair, that you can offer this department.”
Percy wondered if the man had even read over his resume. Perhaps Hristova was just testing him, watching to see if Percy might have some hidden talent or just something he might not have put on the resume or maybe he was just waiting for Percy to make another passionate outburst. Percy winced inwardly at what he’d already said. “I was third in dueling at Hogwarts. My knowledge of potions and charms is nearly encyclopedic and I am constantly willing to learn something new. I am someone who can get the job done, sir.”
The interviewer frowned just a little at that last line. “Yes, well, that remains to be seen Mr. Weasley. Nontheless, I would like you to report to the Auror training academy next Monday at 7:00 AM. You have a lot to learn and not much time to do it in as you are being put on the fast track, so to speak. Do you think you can do this, Mr. Weasley?”
“Yes sir,” Percy said, willing himself to remain calm and professional despite the enjoyment he felt.
“Then we shall see you tomorrow morning. Good day,” the man said before lowering his head back to his paperwork.
Percy slowly stood up, unsure as to whether or not he should return the man’s ‘Good day,’ or if he should simply leave in silence. After a few seconds, he decided on the latter and quietly left. Tomorrow he would see the man again and he was determined not to let Instructor Hristova get to him as he had done today.