[identity profile] sammyeatworld.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] remix_redux
Title: Yellow And Red Make Grey (Colours At Twilight Remix)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] topaz_eyes
Summary: Percy finally finds Ginny.
Rating: PG
Fandom: Harry Potter
Warnings: Angst
Spoilers: HBP
Title, Author and URL of original story: Yellow – Draft #1 by [livejournal.com profile] jaebi_lit
A/N: Thank you to my fantastic beta [livejournal.com profile] jazzypom!

Percy Weasley stood, uncertain, at the oak door of the small house off Privet Drive in Sussex, his hand hovering just over the brass door-knocker. He leaned on his walking-stick for support in the cold June drizzle. With the hood of his grey cloak around his shoulders, the light rain slicked down his thinning hair and spotted his owlish glasses, despite the Repelling charm he'd placed on them.

A mixture of elation and fear coursed through him, as bright as the scarlet geraniums in the neatly tended front garden. So much time he'd spent on this self-directed mission, he reflected; so much effort put into discreet questioning (then erasing the memories) of shop clerks all over Wizarding Britain, and then Muggle Britain, over the past twenty-five years. Now he was here, here at last, and he couldn't quite believe it. The result of all his careful searches lay just beyond the silent, solid door in front of him, and he was nervous about what type of reception he'd receive; if, indeed, any at all.

Percy caught a brief reflection of himself in the door's window. Of all the Weasleys, it was perhaps most ironic that Percy grew to look most like their father, Arthur, as he aged; ironic because Percy and Arthur had never resolved their falling-out before Arthur died in that last battle. Now, at forty-six, Percy sported the same thinning red hair and widow's peak; and the same lanky form with the slight paunch around the middle, as his father. Except for his round, thick glasses, he could have been his late father's identical twin. He even began to dress like his father; he carried the sturdy walking-stick for when early-onset rheumatism in his knee began to bother him. This uncanny resemblance now worried Percy, afraid that he might be considered a ghost to the occupants within; concerned that it might make things worse.

Nevertheless, with a deep breath, Percy rapped on the door and waited.

Thankfully, he did not have to wait long. Within a few seconds, he heard muffled footsteps on the other side. He held his breath as the door opened a crack, and a slight, freckled woman peeked out from behind.

"Hello?" a familiar voice sounded. Percy's heart leapt. The woman looked up then, and after twenty-five years of searching, Percy finally met the gaze of his sister Ginny Weasley.

Ginny opened the door a few inches further, to get a better look. Her eyes widened with shock, before she blinked, and her brow furrowed with puzzlement. "Oh dear Merlin," she gasped, her face blanching.

Percy could see enough of Ginny through the crack, to recognize that the passage of time had not been kind to his youngest and only sister, and his heart sank. Her hair was no longer the vibrant red of her youth; with all the strands of premature grey, it had faded to dull, pink sand. Her mouth and eyes had taken on fine lines of grief and weariness; which in any other circumstance might have added some maturity to her otherwise youthful features. Percy thought briefly that the last twenty-five years had not been kind to any of them.

Perhaps what was worst, was that her burnt-sugar eyes were no longer as warm as he remembered; they were wary, distrustful, appraising, and Percy himself was briefly struck dumb.

After a few heartbeats, Percy recovered. "Hullo, Gins," he finally offered in a shy, if rather stilted, voice. "How have you been?"

Ginny's face went totally blank, her eyes rapidly searching; but as she realized who it was at the door, Percy shivered, a chill piercing him. He watched her utter shock give way to burning suspicion, and he wondered if this wasn't some terrible mistake.

She glared balefully at him. "What are you doing here?" she whispered, her tone harsh and bitter as a whip. Her face pinched with anger, her eyes narrowing ominously. "How did you find us?"

"Who's at the door, Gins?" called another familiar voice from somewhere behind the solid oak door. "Do we have a guest?"

"It's all right, it's no one special," Ginny replied. Percy winced at the sharp tone. "Go back to the telly--"

"But I want to see who it is!" the voice said plaintively, and a large, broad hand ripped the door right open.

And Percy stared into the unmistakable visage of someone he'd never expected to see again.


"H—Ha—Harry Potter?"

Percy felt the blood rush from his face, and his knees begin to give out. He felt himself sag, and his vision began to dim.

From somewhere in front of him, Ginny said, "Oh, for Merlin's sake! Come in and sit down, Percy, before you faint!"

Another voice (Harry's voice, Percy's mind supplied), added, "He knows me? How does he know me, Gins?"

Hands grabbed his arm and pulled him inside, out of the drizzle, into a small front hallway lined with coats and shoes. They guided him to a deacon's bench, and Percy sat, shaking violently.

When he dared to look up again, there were two figures in front of him. Ginny stood, with her arms folded across her chest, and a frown on her face, in a smaller, thinner echo of Molly Weasley. And, sitting down, Percy saw that his eyes were not deceiving him; it was, indeed, Harry Potter standing beside Ginny.

Harry Potter at forty-two, who no longer had his scar.

Percy's mind raced. No one in the Wizarding world, knew exactly what happened in the final battle with Lord Voldemort. In Godric's Hollow, in the ruins of the Potters' house, Harry and Voldemort stood facing each other, their wands locked together. That much had been verified by the eyewitnesses present.

But then, in the bedlam of blood and gore and the overwhelming stench of death, no one knew exactly what had happened next; except that somehow, Harry had assimilated Voldemort's power, then pointed his wand on himself, shouting "Avada Kedavra!" in the ultimate sacrifice. White light, not green, had enveloped him; he'd disappeared, vanished without a trace, above the ashes of Godric's Hollow.

That had been the official version of Harry Potter's last stand, anyway. All the witnesses to the scene, refused to discuss what had happened. So, in the gospel according to the Ministry of Magic, Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, The Chosen One, had vaporised in that brilliant flash of light, and was presumed dead.

A full Wizarding funeral had followed for Harry Potter, with only his wand present as any evidence he'd existed. The day itself was celebrated every year since.

Though obviously, that wasn't the whole story, Percy realized now. Whatever had happened after Harry disappeared, Percy wasn't privy to the knowledge. But it didn't matter; Harry was here, standing in front of him.

Harry Potter had survived.

Or perhaps, not quite, Percy realized with a shock. The form standing in front of him looked exactly like Harry, but something seemed—off. This was not the Harry that Percy remembered. What was before him, was oddly child-like: not a man, but not really a boy, either. What had happened?

Percy fought down his surprise, forcing a polite smile. "How are you doing, Harry?" he asked, just barely able to keep his voice from shaking; he stuck out his hand.

Harry blinked, his face registering some mild astonishment, or perhaps recognition of a ghost from the past; he ignored Percy's outstretched hand, instead peering at him, studying his face with the keen gaze of a hawk. "Should I know you?" he asked, puzzled. "I think I should know you."

Percy nodded, and was about to reply that he was, indeed, Ginny Weasley's older brother; but Harry's lucidity passed almost as quickly as it came. Bland serenity replaced the searching gaze; Harry simply stared blankly at him for a long moment, then shrugged, before turning to shuffle down the hall.

Ginny had not failed to notice the exchange; she glanced between Harry and Percy. "He recognized you," she said softly, with none of the harshness from before.

Percy nodded, a lump forming in his throat. Harry had aged, as all of them had; his messy dark hair was shot through with silver streaks. But there was something else particularly odd about him; something that seemed missing. Perhaps it was the way he was dressed; bare feet, old baggy sweatpants, a T-shirt that appeared two sizes too large on his frame.

"Well, you're here, so you may as well stay for tea," Ginny said. Percy grinned at the familiar, put-upon echo of Molly Weasley in Ginny's brisk words. "Come to the kitchen and sit while I get it ready."

With that she turned on her heel and strode down the hall. Percy watched her retreating back for a moment; still straight and proud. He took off his cloak and hung it on the coat-tree before following her, still unsteady on his legs. Leaning on his walking-stick for support, he shuffled down the hall to the back of the house, where the kitchen was located.

Harry was already sitting down at the kitchen table, beside the refrigerator. Percy nodded at him before lowering himself into the wooden chair opposite. He looked around the cramped but bright room, before settling his gaze on Harry again, wondering what had happened in the intervening time.

The rest of the Weasley family knew, he decided. Ginny had disappeared just a day after Harry had. Through all those family gatherings--all those past Christmases when Ginny was absent, all those excuses that Molly, Fred, George, Ron, Bill and Charlie fed him; they knew. They purposely kept Percy from her, knowing that he would report Harry's existence to the Ministry.

Which, of course, Percy thought sourly, was exactly what he would have done back then, as a service to the Wizarding world.

At any rate, it was clear that Ginny had decided to care for Harry. So Ginny and Harry went into seclusion, carefully guarding the final secret of the war.

Harry didn't seem to notice Percy; he absently ran a hand through his messy greying hair. In his other hand he clutched something that looked rather like a Golden Snitch; one gossamer wing peeked out from between his fingers. Harry tracked Ginny's movements, a child's adoring expression on his face.

Ginny stood at the sink, filling a battered kettle with water. Percy watched her set the kettle down on the cooker. He gaped, surprised, as Ginny leaned over to light the burner.

"Not using magic, Ginny?" Percy withdrew his wand from his belt. "Here, let me--"

At that, Harry whispered, "Magic? He knows magic?" He stared at Percy's outstretched wand as if it were a snake about to strike.

Ginny whirled around, her eyes wide. "Put that thing away!" she said sharply, and immediately sprinted to Harry's side.

Percy blanched, not knowing what was happening. "What did I do?" he asked, utterly confused as he stuck his wand back into his belt.

Ginny knelt down beside Harry's chair, clutching his free hand. "Why don't you go to the garden, Harry, and fetch us some strawberries for tea?" she said, her voice low and soothing. "There's nothing like fresh fruit to go with our biscuits."

"Yeah, all right," Harry replied, rising from the chair. Ginny let him go. Harry stared again at Percy as he walked past, this time with an odd look of longing in his eyes.

Ginny went to the window above the sink, scrubbing at an imagined bit of dirt on the spotless tap with her washing-up rag.


At that she turned to face him, her face dark. "You don't have the right to call me THAT," she spat. "Not any more."

"All right then, what shall I call you? Ginevra?" Percy asked, spreading his hands wide. He felt a small thrill of satisfaction when she cringed at the use of her proper name.

Ginny pursed her lips, looking more and more like her mother; but she twisted the rag in her hands. After another long moment, she turned back toward the window.

"Harry can't do magic any more," she said finally, staring outside.

"Oh," Percy said, trying to parse this new bit of information. "Oh." Then he nodded as it fell into place. "When he defeated He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named?"

He trailed off, reluctant to say Voldemort's name. In the twenty-five years after his defeat at the hands of Harry Potter, the Wizarding community still did not utter Voldemort's name aloud.

"When he defeated Lord Voldemort, he lost all his powers," Ginny said. She said the name smoothly, and did not flinch; unlike Percy, who flinched at the utterance. "His powers and Voldemort's cancelled each other out. We knew because Harry lost his scar, too."

"Well, of course they would cancel each other out," Percy said officiously. Ginny said nothing. "But surely the Healers at St. Mungo's can check him out to confirm his loss of powers?"

"Hermione assessed him," Ginny replied, her voice tight. "She's a Healer."

"Yes, indeed," Percy nodded to himself. Hermione would not be wrong in her assessment.

"Harry's totally non-magical now. A Squib can perform more magic than he can." Ginny turned her head to look out the window. "We don't perform any magic in front of him, we've learnt it simply agitates him. He knows he's missing something; we don't want him to figure it out."

Percy blinked, at a loss for words. After a minute, he rose to stand beside her, and together they watched Harry lift up the leafy vines to reveal the fat, juicy, ripe strawberries resting beneath in the drizzling rain.

"Not only that, it's like the years at Hogwarts never happened," Ginny continued wistfully. "He—he lost all memory of Hogwarts. Seven years of his life, gone just like that. He thinks he's still eleven years old. For the past twenty-five years, he's been eleven."


Ginny didn't seem to mind the old nickname this time. "In a way, it's a blessing, because he doesn't remember all the deaths and destruction." She smiled as Harry tilted his head upwards to the rain, letting it fall on his face. "What he doesn't know, can't hurt him now."

Percy was not, nor had ever been, an affectionate sort of fellow, but he felt moved enough to place an awkward hand on his sister's shoulder. He felt the small bones under his palm, the fine core of unbreakable steel that ran through.

"But Harry's happy, and healthy, and that's what counts," Ginny said, snapping out of her reverie, and she brushed Percy's hand off. "His Uncle Vernon died not long after the events at Godric's Hollow. His Aunt Petunia and Dudley Dursley went to America after that. But Harry knew me, and Ron and Hermione, despite everything, so we decided we'd take care of him ourselves."

Percy frowned. "Ginny, you know the Ministry of Magic can help you. We will provide for Harry and for you, give you anything you request--"

"His mum and dad had enough Galleons saved to pay for his daycare programmes," Ginny said, ignoring his offer. "He goes to a sheltered workshop during the days while I work. Ron and Hermione come and sit with him every week, so I can have a go at magic again. That way, I don't get out of practice."

"But you don't—surely you don't want to live as a Muggle the rest of your life?" Percy tried to swallow his disbelief.

"It works for Harry," Ginny said crossly. "That's what matters. If we went back into the Wizarding world, he'd be stared at, gossiped about. He'd be a sideshow attraction, not a man! He wouldn't even understand why everyone would bow and scrape at his feet, because he's forgotten all of it!"

"What about you?" Percy asked, point-blank. "Why you, Ginny? Why can't Ron, or Hermione take care of him? She's Muggle-born--"

"Because I promised I'd wait for Harry to return!" Ginny shot back. "If it's the last thing I do!"

She tensed, and Percy felt the hair on the back of his neck crawling, in that almost-forgotten sensation of Ginny about to throw a particularly vicious Bat-Bogey Hex at him. He saw Ginny's hand slide towards her apron pocket, and he slid his hand to his belt.

Right on cue, Harry appeared in the kitchen doorway with a full quart basket of strawberries and mud caked on his toes. "I'm back, Gins!" he said cheerfully, not noticing the tension between Ginny and Percy.

Ginny and Percy stared at him, dumb-struck. Then Percy laughed, and Ginny, after a minute, joined in.

"What's so funny?" Harry demanded, looking cross. "What's the joke? Is it about me?"

"Nothing, Harry," Ginny replied between giggles. "It's nothing, just a question of impeccable timing." Harry still looked doubtful. Ginny gestured at the basket. "Here, bring those to the sink."

Percy reached out and took the basket, passing it on. With Harry back in the kitchen, Percy couldn't question Ginny any longer. "Well, those strawberries look marvellous," he announced, in a falsely cheerful voice, and Harry beamed with the praise.

The kettle whistled, and Ginny took it off the boil, pouring water to warm the teapot. Percy had never seen tea prepared the Muggle way, so he was fascinated despite himself, watching Ginny dump out the water before filling the bright yellow teapot again. She dropped a tea ball, containing loose tea leaves, into the pot, letting it steep.

"Mind you, Harry, only a couple of biscuits for now," she said, her back to them as she cleaned and hulled the strawberries; as Harry closed his hand over half a dozen of them from the tin on the table.

"Awww, Gins!" he protested, but he dutifully put four of them back.

"Just like Mum," Percy said, in equal parts admiration, awe and fear. "Eyes in the back of your head!"

"She never lets me get away with anything," Harry said in agreement. Percy heard Ginny snort at that.

"I don't think you washed your hands after being in the garden," she replied. "Go wash up, before I serve tea." Then she glanced at him. "And your FEET!"

Harry left the room. Water ran somewhere off to Percy's left, while Ginny placed three small bowls of strawberries on the table, along with clotted cream. When Harry returned, his hands still damp-looking, Ginny brought over the tea tray and sat down.

Tea was mostly a silent meal. Harry ate heartily, as any child would, gleefully smashing his butter biscuits into his bowl of strawberries and clotted cream. Percy sipped at his tea, fanning it with his tongue, watching Ginny watch Harry. She wore the same fond consternation on her face that he remembered Molly wearing, time and again.

Percy remembered the yellow cloak, the hood blowing off in the windy rain, the flash of red hair in Diagon Alley, that had rekindled his hope in finding Ginny again. All this time, he'd assumed—he was sure that Ginny would continue to make the rounds of her old favourite places. Gladrags, Madame Malkin's, Titiana's Glamours: the Ginny he remembered from childhood would have, he knew. The lively, carefree Ginny; the little girl running, trying to keep up with her older, boisterous brothers, hair flying wild behind her like ribbons in a breeze.

But as he surreptitiously regarded Ginny, her delicate hands wrapped around her mug of tea, he saw that that brilliant girl was gone, slowly replaced over the years by this tired, greying woman. Now she played mother to a man she'd once loved; a man who could not love her back, except as a child. Harry was her child now, would always be, when she'd hoped she'd have children with him. Together they would slowly fade into obscurity as Muggles, with Harry oblivious to his fame in the Wizarding world; and Ginny working tirelessly to ensure that he would continue to be so.

Percy had no doubt that before he left, Ginny would unleash a potent Memory Charm on him, the way he'd done to countless store clerks over the last twenty-five years, to guard the final secret of the war.

Percy thought of his own solitary, quiet, bookish life. The last twenty-five years had been the most peaceful the Wizarding world had known for a long time, thanks to Harry Potter. He was a legend there, a mystery; perhaps it was best, to let it pass.

One time he had planned to become Minister of Magic. Though somehow his plans had derailed over the years; the time that should have been spent cultivating contacts, was instead spent trying to find and reconcile with his sister. Reporting Harry's existence and location would put him back on the fast track to becoming Minister, he knew.

But whatever notion he had of reporting Harry to the Ministry of Magic, paled beside the thought of seeing Harry lose this peaceful life in the Muggle suburbs. And while Percy was still ambitious, he was also a Weasley, and he knew where his loyalties ultimately lay.

Even if he occasionally forgot.

Harry had finished his strawberries and biscuits, and slurped at his milk, the sound yanking Percy out of his reverie. "Can I go watch football on the telly now?" he asked.

"Put your dishes in the sink first," Ginny replied, but Harry had already risen with his bowl, spoon and glass. The dishes landed in the sink with a distinct clunk, and Harry was out of the kitchen.

Percy drained his teacup. His eyes met Ginny's; the warmth glimmered at last in her burnt-sugar eyes.

"I'm sorry I never answered your letters," Ginny said, "but I couldn't let anyone know where we were."

"I understand," Percy replied. "Hermes was probably relieved when I stopped sending them."

Another awkward silence followed. Percy looked out the kitchen window, at the pinkish glow through the heavy clouds on the western horizon. "Well, then, I'd best be going," he announced cheerily. "Thanks for the tea, Ginny." At that he set the chipped tea cup on its saucer, rose and headed towards the front hall.

From the front room came the sounds of cheering, and the announcer saying, "And the score's now one to nothing for Scotland." Percy saw Harry sitting on the floor, in front of a box with a glowing, multicoloured screen, his back to the door; the light from the box appeared to cast a halo over his head. Percy smiled despite himself.

When he looked over at the coat tree, there was no yellow cloak there; just two plain, nondescript grey ones, hanging on separate hooks.

He shrugged into his own cloak. When he set his hand on the door knob, he turned to find Ginny watching him with an odd, sad expression.


"Don't," she whispered. Her eyes were glistening, and this sparked a sting in his own. "I have to. I'm sorry." She clutched her apron pocket.

Percy acquiesced without question. Brother and sister both looked into the front room, ensuring that Harry was fully engrossed in his football. Satisfied, Ginny withdrew her wand. Percy only nodded, placing his hand on the doorknob.

"Take care, then," Percy said, again stiff and formal.

"Forget us," Ginny whispered, touching the wand to the side of Percy's head. "Obliviate."

There was a flash, and Percy felt light-headed for an instant. When his vision cleared, he gazed into the eyes of the woman in front of him. He thought he should know her somehow, but he didn't. She looked too old to be his little sister Ginny.

"Thank you for dropping by," the woman said kindly. She pocketed some kind of wooden stick in her apron.

Percy nodded curtly. "Well, goodbye then, and thank you."

He let himself out. The heavy drizzle from earlier had lightened to a faint spray as he strode down the cul-de-sac, out towards the main road. He had been so sure he'd found Ginny this time.

He ducked into the play park, at the end of the street. Shielded by the trees, he Apparated back to Diagon Alley, where the evening crowds were just beginning to build. It was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Harry Potter's defeat of the Dark Lord. The street dance and celebrations would last at least until morning.

Percy, however, did not find himself in any mood to celebrate; he was just tired. So very tired. He wove through the milling crowds towards his flat.

Out of the side of his vision, there was a flash of bright yellow in the greys and bluish-blacks of the evening crowd, and a glimpse of red hair when the wind blew off her hood, near Gladrags.

The girl pulled the hood back up over her face. But Percy did not turn his head to see who it was. He didn't need to. In his incipient despair, he knew it would not be her.

Percy blinked to clear his eyes, even though by this time, it had stopped raining.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-22 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaebi-lit.livejournal.com
Wow. Thank you for that story. Yellow - Draft #1 is one of my favourite bits of my own writing and I've been hoping that someone would choose it for remix for the past few years and I was really excited to see that you had! I wanted to see how other people would interpret what was there, and I really like where you've gone with it. I love your Percy and how he's changed, and the disparity between what he was expecting to find ("he was sure that Ginny would continue to make the rounds of her old favourite places. Gladrags, Madame Malkin's, Titiana's Glamours: the Ginny he remembered from childhood would have, he knew.") and what he does find. His expectations are unrealistic but he's able to come to terms with this older Ginny and understand why she's made her choice, which in turn shows how he has changed.

the time that should have been spent cultivating contacts, was instead spent trying to find and reconcile with his sister. Reporting Harry's existence and location would put him back on the fast track to becoming Minister, he knew.

But whatever notion he had of reporting Harry to the Ministry of Magic, paled beside the thought of seeing Harry lose this peaceful life in the Muggle suburbs. And while Percy was still ambitious, he was also a Weasley, and he knew where his loyalties ultimately lay.

I like that. Percy's ambitious, but ... not the way he used to be, and the change from ambition-at-the-cost-of-his-family to family-at-the-cost-of-his-ambition over 25 years is very realistic to me.

I really, really liked this story, so thank you!


Date: 2007-04-22 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaebi-lit.livejournal.com
Longer thoughts are at my journal.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] topaz-eyes.livejournal.com
Hello there! I am so very pleased that you liked the remix. Your original jumped right out at me when I was reading over your archive. I loved your idea of Percy searching for Ginny; I wondered what would happen if Percy ever did find her, and the story blossomed from there.

Thank you for your lovely comments, and for writing the brilliant original work. I saw that you also responded in your LJ, and I can't thank you enough for your thoughtful commentary on how the remix compared and contrasted to the original. I will respond to it later, hopefully in a day or so; for now I wanted to touch base with you here and reiterate just how thrilled I am that you liked your remix! :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 06:22 pm (UTC)
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (Sonorus)
From: [personal profile] such_heights
Oooh, this is really lovely! I like this version of events very much, and your characterisation of Ginny broke my heart. Percy's great as the POV character, too. Enjoyed!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] topaz-eyes.livejournal.com
Thank you! I've never written Ginny or Percy before, so I'm glad this story worked for you.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] panisdead.livejournal.com
This is sad without being overblown; I like it.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] topaz-eyes.livejournal.com
Thank you!
(deleted comment)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] topaz-eyes.livejournal.com
Thank you. I'm glad you thought the story worked.


remix_redux: (Default)
We Invented the Remix...Redux V

May 2007

  12 345

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios