Sense And Sensibility
by Abaddon

This is an office. It is indicated by the clean lines of the wall, the brass nameplate on the door, and the potted fern positioned just so outside the door. There is no attempt to make it individual or comfortable; and whether its inhabitant prefers the anonymity he has been stationed in makes no difference. The office has no secretary, so clearly its inhabitant suffices as one, assisting more important people with more important jobs and the ability to change their own décor.

Wesley Wyndham-Price doesn't stop, doesn't stare. He is a man of action after all, soon to be cast into the unknown with nothing but his bare wits to protect him against the trials and temptations of this sorry world, but first he must face the appropriate paperwork. After a brief rap with his knuckles, he opens up the door and is greeted by an equally bland scene as the corridor that waits outside. There is a desk. There is a chair. There is a mail tube and no signs of either plant or bookcase. This is an office, and this young man, all red hair, glasses and freckles is nothing but a minor functionary, and yet he has more power over Wesley than can be possibly imagined.

"I have an appointment," Wesley says, wringing his hands together, and is hardly surprised by the cravenness in his own voice. "Wesley Wyndham-Price. I presume I am talking to one Percival Ignatius Weasley?"

"Junior Assistant to the Minister," Percy informs Wesley, calm and collected and oh so supercilious, looking at Wesley as if he's something the cat dragged in. Or possibly the house-elf, Wesley thinks, considering the locale. There's a brief glance to the diary that lies open on the desk, and the smile Percy gives him is far too condescending for Wesley to enjoy himself any time in the next hour. "You must be the Unspeakable. The former Unspeakable."

Time to put a brave face on things. "Yes, that's right," Wesley tells him and doesn't at all wish the ground would open up beneath him right this very moment. "Now that the Watchers' Council has seen fit to relieve me for other duties, I don't want to be a burden on the purse of the Ministry any longer, oh no." He reaches into his jacket pocket -- double breasted of course, and tweed -- and pulls out a folded wad of papers, all correctly dotted and dated and signed. "All I need is the signature of yourself on these forms, and I'll no longer be considered anyone's responsibility but my own."

"I certainly don't consider you my responsibility," Percy tells him primly, and their fingers brush as he takes the forms. He doesn't even glance up as Wesley as he pages through them, and there's something incredibly insulting about this boy barely out of school making sure he can date things correctly. Wesley pushes his glasses up on his nose with his right index finger, and stares, stock still when he catches Percy doing exactly the same thing.

"What are you looking at?" Percy demands, his eyes flashing, and Wesley knows just how irritating a fool can be.

"You. You do seem quite young for this position, don't you?"

"I don't need some outcast telling me about my responsibilities," Percy sneers, signing the last page away and folding the forms back up, tossing them at Wesley, who doesn't quite manage to catch them.

"I am not an outcast-"

"You are whatever we tell you to be," Percy cuts in, cold and uncaring. "Centuries ago, your forebears decided that we must engage the world we lived in and so you did. You put a demon in a girl and made her a weapon. And we have been cleaning up after you ever since. Your kind can barely work spells, you can't use a wand; you're more dangerous than any Death Eater and more useless than any squib. We don't want to talk about your lot, so we don't."

"I reject these kind of accusations entirely. They are without basis or substance and completely invalid," Wesley shoots back, but he tucks the papers into his jacket nonetheless.

"Oh go away. You wanted to play with the Muggles, so you can. Go. Leave. I have much important business to do." Percy buries himself amongst the papers on his desk, and it's something beyond a dismissal. When he raises his head again in five minutes, he seems quite surprised to see Wesley still there.

"Important work?" Wesley thunders. It's five minutes past the punchline, but that's never bothered him before. "Like what? Making tea? Taking notes? They've stuck you in an office where the windows don't even display the illusory landscape correctly!" His arm lashes out at the window behind Percy's desk, dark and dull and boarded up.

"There is a fault with the charm in this area; as soon as the workmen have completed repairs I shall have whatever vista I am assigned." Percy's response is prim and proper and Wesley wants to strangle him.

"Good God, man, if this is what former Head Boys get up to nowadays then clearly the standard has gone down. I was just like you a few years ago; eager to please, to succeed, to impress. To be everything a father wasn't because I wanted to beat him and don't you dare give me that look I've kept up with Ministry politics and read the Daily Prophet outcast my arse!" It's a rush, but it's a thunderous rush, and as he can't stick it to his father or the Council Wesley will take the nearest authority figure. Besides, it's not as if he's got anything to lose.

Percy's openmouthed and gaping at him, and Wesley's curious to know if he ever looked like than when Buffy told him off, and probably so. As such, it's not an especially good look for either of them.

"You've been in this position for what, four years? Do you honestly think you're getting anywhere?"

Percy's still doing that gaping thing, so Wesley does the thing least likely. It's a definite change for him, but it bares some promise, and if nothing else it's not the person he used to be. He strides up to the desk, wraps his fingers around Percy's neck and hauls him up for a kiss.

Percy's still a gasping mess of course, but now he's a moaning gasping mess, and that fills out Wesley's ego quite nicely thank you very much. He finishes off the kiss in due course, and lets Percy drop to his seat.

"I guess I'll be going then. And should the Ministry need to contact me-" he braces himself for the inevitable we won't and it doesn't come, "then you may find me in the brave new world of America, where I shall be fighting the good fight as Wesley Wyndham-Price, Rogue Demon Hunter!"

With that, Wesley strides back, and straight into the wall. It's not as dignified an exit as he'd like, but fortunately Percival Ignatius Weasley is still too much in shock to notice.


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