Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Percy Weasley
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
|Percy Ignatius Weasley|
|Related Family||Arthur Weasley (father)|
Molly Weasley (mother)
Bill Weasley (oldest brother)
Charlie Weasley (older brother)
Fred Weasley (younger brother)
George Weasley (younger brother)
Ron Weasley (younger brother)
Ginny Weasley (younger sister)
|Loyalty||first Albus Dumbledore |
then Ministry for Magic: Bartemius Crouch Sr., Cornelius Fudge, Rufus Scrimgeour, Pius Thicknesse
Percy Ignatius Weasley is the third son of Arthur and Molly Weasley. He is two years older than the twins Fred and George. He became a Prefect in his fifth year at Hogwarts, which was Harry's first year, and Head Boy in his seventh year. After graduation, he went to work in the Ministry of Magic.
According to the author, Percy's birthday is 22 August. His birth year is not given, but internal series evidence suggests 1976.
Role in the Books
Percy first appears at the train station with the other Weasley family members as they are leaving for Hogwarts. He is a Prefect, and seems inordinately proud of the fact; Fred and George try to take him down a few pegs, without success. Once Harry is Sorted into Gryffindor House, he ends up sitting next to Percy; Percy does tell him a few things about what is going on, but the feel is very much parent-to-child, rather than student-to-student as we would expect to see with any other student. After the arrival feast, he leads the Gryffindor first-years to the dormitory and tells them the password.
We don't see much of Percy for the rest of the book. He appears at Christmas, briefly, and he is seen at the Leaving Feast telling people that Ron is his brother, but otherwise appears very little.
While Percy is a prefect again this year, he doesn't spend so much effort publicizing the fact; apparently, as he has been a prefect for a full year now, he no longer feels the need to broadcast this fact. He does seem to have gotten a lot stuffier over the summer, though.
Harry spends the latter part of his summer break at The Burrow, the Weasley's home. While he is there, the other Weasley brothers mention that Percy is acting oddly, remaining shut up in his room. Ron mentions that he had wanted to send a message using Percy's owl, Hermes, because the Weasley family owl, Errol, has gotten old and unreliable, but that Percy had refused him, saying that he needed Hermes himself.
One evening, after Mrs. Norris is petrified, he catches Ron with Harry and Hermione outside Moaning Myrtle's bathroom on the second floor and admonishes his brother. Ron argues with him about the situation, sarcastically claiming he is worried about his chances of Head Boy being ruined. For this, Percy says he is taking five points from Gryffindor and severely warns Ron that if he is caught again, he will write to their mother.
At Christmas, the twins have bewitched Percy's Prefect badge so that it reads "Pinhead". Percy is oblivious to this change, but does wonder why everyone is laughing at him. When Harry and Ron are disguised as Crabbe and Goyle, and are looking for the Slytherin common room, they run into Percy, who threatens them with detention for wandering the corridors.
Harry asks Percy for help selecting courses to take for his third year. Percy is very little help; his attempts to advise Harry, though presumably meant well, are so full of pomposity that Harry can't get anything useful out of them.
When Hermione and Penelope Clearwater are Petrified by the monster in the Chamber, Percy is apparently very deeply shocked. Fred and George suggest that this is because Penelope was a Prefect as well, and Percy had thought that Prefects were invulnerable.
Ginny, at breakfast one day, seems to be deeply disturbed about something, and is about to tell Harry and Ron something, but Percy arrives and scares her off. He says that he knows what Ginny was going to say, and that it had nothing to do with the Chamber.
In the Chamber, after the defeat of Tom Riddle, Ginny tells Harry that she had meant to tell Harry that she thought she was the one who was opening the Chamber, but Percy's appearing at the table had driven her away – she simply couldn't tell Harry that while Percy was there.
Finally, on the train home, Ginny reveals that the thing Percy had thought she was going to reveal was the fact that he had a girlfriend. She had walked in on them in an empty classroom once, and Percy had made her promise not to tell. The girlfriend was Penelope Clearwater, which explains why her being Petrified was such a shock to Percy.
Harry receives a birthday card from Ron. Included in the card is a clipping from the Daily Prophet regarding the Weasleys winning a prize and vacationing in Egypt. In the picture, Harry sees Percy wearing his new Head Boy badge. Ron says that Percy is, if possible, even more pompous and insufferable than before.
Harry spends the last few weeks of his vacation in Diagon Alley, in the Leaky Cauldron. On the last day before school starts, the Weasleys and Hermione show up to do their school shopping. When they meet in the Leaky Cauldron later, Percy is as pompous as a Lord Mayor; the twins are trying to take him down a few pegs by imitating him, but it doesn't seem to work. Later, Percy is upset because he thinks someone has damaged his picture of Penelope Clearwater; in fact, she has developed some spots and is trying to hide under the picture frame. He then starts tearing the room he shares with Ron apart because his Head Boy badge has gone missing; it turns out that Fred and George have nicked it so that they can "improve" it. When Fred shows it to Harry, it says "Bighead Boy".
When Harry is unable to visit Hogsmeade, Percy tries to console him by telling him that he won't be missing much. Harry does not find Percy's brand of consolation much use.
After Sirius Black's first attempt to break into Gryffindor Tower, all the students are returned to the Great Hall to sleep while the school is searched. Percy is mentioned as being one of the prefects patrolling the Great Hall to ensure that nobody misbehaves. After this, Harry finds that there is almost always a teacher within earshot of him, and that Percy seems to be following him around. He already understands the reason for this, as he overheard Mr. Weasley and Mrs. Weasley talking about how Black wants to kill Harry. But he still finds the rather heavy-handed guard a bit oppressive.
On the second occasion that Black breaks in, it is Percy that initially orders everyone back to bed, an order that is ineffective.
Finally, at the end of the book, it is revealed that Percy has received decent NEWT scores, and graduates.
Percy has graduated from Hogwarts and begins working for the Ministry of Magic, where he is an assistant to Bartemius Crouch. When we first see him, he is closeted in his room at The Burrow, and complaining about the noise everyone is making as he is working on a report about substandard cauldrons being imported from overseas. At dinner, he keeps dropping hints about some top-secret project he's involved with. It appears that he hopes that someone will ask him about it, so that he can make himself seem more important by refusing to divulge information.
Percy Apparates to the Quidditch World Cup with Bill and Charlie, joining Harry, Hermione, Mr. Weasley, and the younger Weasleys. While waiting for the start of the match, Percy sees his boss, Mr. Crouch, walk by, and dashes up to offer him a cup of tea. Mr. Crouch accepts, but calls Percy "Weatherby"; the twins in particular make fun of Percy because his boss doesn't even really know his name.
In the riots after the match, Percy assists Bill, Charlie, Mr. Weasley, and the Ministry wizards working to quell the riot.
Afterwards, once everyone has returned home, Mr. Weasley says he's going to have to head in to the office to handle the fall-out from the riots. Percy officiously decides to go in as well, saying something about Mr. Crouch wanting his cauldron bottom-thickness report. It appears that Percy has been moved from cauldron bottoms to general damage control, because he later laments the number of claims for compensation that have been coming in, and that exploding Howlers have scorched his desk.
At the Yule Ball, Percy is present, filling in for Mr. Crouch, who he says is ill and has gone home to rest. He also tells Harry that he has been promoted to be Mr. Crouch's personal assistant, and that Mr. Crouch is sending in instructions by owl. Mr. Crouch is still incapacitated in February, when it comes time for the Second Task, and Percy fills in for him as judge. Percy's pompous pose somewhat cracks when Harry comes to the surface of the lake with Ron; Percy runs out into the water to help Ron ashore.
Shortly after this, Ron, Harry, and Hermione visit Sirius Black, who has returned and is living in a cave outside Hogsmeade. Sirius comments how odd it is that Mr. Crouch is sick, he had never taken time off work before, and asks Ron to ask Percy for any additional information he might have about Mr. Crouch's illness. Percy, when he finally replies around Easter, is quite testy, and provides no additional information.
Some time after Mr. Crouch appears on the grounds at Hogwarts asking for Dumbledore, and then disappears, Percy is reportedly "called in for questioning", presumably by Aurors. There is some question whether Percy should have been able to detect the severity of Mr. Crouch's ailment from the tone of his messages. We don't hear about the end result of that questioning, though when the Third Task occurs, Percy is no longer judging in Mr. Crouch's stead. Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic, is there in his place.
Percy is promoted again, this time to the post of Assistant to the Minister for Magic. This ends up being a sticking point, as the rest of the Weasley family sees this as Percy being seconded to spy on his family, all of whom are notorious for their support of Albus Dumbledore, and presumably share his belief in Lord Voldemort's return. After a tremendous argument, in which Percy says that Arthur Weasley's lack of ambition is why they never have enough money, Percy packs his things and moves out of The Burrow, eventually finding himself an apartment in London. Mrs. Weasley goes to London to try and convince Percy to come home, but he angrily bangs the door in her face without even giving her a chance to explain.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Weasley are upset over the entire situation to the point where everyone has to avoid mentioning Percy aloud, as evident by the other Weasley children warning Harry against mentioning him. Otherwise, Mr. Weasley breaks whatever he is holding and Mrs. Weasley bursts into tears.
Percy is the scribe at Harry's trial before the Wizengamot for underage use of magic. After Harry is cleared of all charges, Harry is talking to Mr. Weasley outside the courtroom. Percy walks by and does not notice, or pretends not to notice, his father.
Shortly after the start of the school year, Percy sends Ron a letter, scheduled to arrive late at night rather than with the morning post. In this letter, Percy congratulates Ron on becoming a prefect, and says that Ron may want to break up with Harry since Dumbledore's time in power at Hogwarts may be limited, and it might be a good idea to start getting in touch with the new power structure. If he has any questions, he can always ask Dolores Umbridge, a "thoroughly delightful person". He also suggests that Ron should check the Daily Prophet the next morning, because he might see someone there he knows. Furious, Ron rips up the letter and throws it into the fire. The next issue of the Daily Prophet does have a picture of the Minister for Magic and Dolores Umbridge, on a story about Educational Decree number Twenty-Three, and Percy is in the background.
Over Christmas, Mrs. Weasley sends Percy a traditional Weasley Christmas jumper as she always does. However, she tears up on Christmas Day when she gets a package from Percy sending his sweater back unopened and when she learns that he doesn't seem to care that his father was seriously injured.
When Fudge comes to the school to witness the arrest or expulsion of Harry for running an illegal student group, Percy tags along as scribe. Percy is present when Dumbledore claims responsibility for the organization known as Dumbledore's Army, and once Fudge has heard Dumbledore's "confession", he sends Percy off to forward a copy to the Prophet.
Although Percy will remain Fudge's assistant, presumably, we don't hear from him again through the course of this book.
New Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, wants to recruit Harry Potter as the Ministry of Magic's "Poster Boy." Knowing that Harry is staying with the Weasleys at the Burrow over the Christmas holidays, he uses Percy as an excuse to visit them. When they arrive, Mrs. Weasley throws herself into Percy's arms and embraces him, which he does not reciprocate. The Minister tells Molly and Arthur that they were in the area, and Percy wanted to stop in and see his family. Claiming he has no intention to intrude on the family reunion, Scrimgeour asks Harry to show him around the garden. He then attempts to persuade Harry to help the Ministry of Magic improve its public image. When Harry refuses, Scrimgeour departs, taking Percy along with him.
Percy has evidently not done too well in reconciling with his family; as he furiously departs, apparently he is wearing mashed parsnips, for which Fred, George, and Ginny all claim credit for flinging at his glasses, leaving Mrs. Weasley in floods of tears for the next week. At the end of the school year, the funeral of Albus Dumbledore takes place and Percy attends the funeral as part of Scrimgeour's entourage, though he ignores both his parents and siblings.
Percy is not mentioned at the start, but it is notable that he is absent from Bill and Fleur's wedding, something that again makes his mother cry. When Harry and Ron are in the Ministry of Magic, we see Percy briefly. He steps onto an elevator ("lift" in the UK edition) while reading through some important documents, then notices that he is sharing an elevator with his father and quickly leaves when the doors open at the next floor.
Percy finally redeems himself and admits he was wrong during the final battle for Hogwarts and asks for his family's forgiveness. Mrs. Weasley bursts into tears and rushes forward to embrace him, with Mr. Weasley following soon after. He even jokes and tells Voldemort's puppet Minister of Magic, Pius Thicknesse, he "resigned", immediately after Jinxing him. At Fred's death, he throws himself over the body to shield it from any further harm, then, with Harry's help, drags the body out of the way from danger. He then sprints off to save a group of students who were being chased by a Death Eater.
In the epilogue, Harry thinks he hears Percy expounding about broomstick regulations as he walks along Platform Nine and Three Quarters, and is quietly glad that the enveloping steam makes it unnecessary for him to stop and say hello.
The author created a family tree for the Weasley children as part of a television show highlighting her work. There, it was revealed that Percy married a woman named Audrey and the couple had two daughters, Molly and Lucy.
Percy is very committed to be perfect in whatever it is he is doing and is a hard worker for the Ministry of Magic. Much like the rest of the Weasley family, he seems to be a talented wizard, evidenced by his appointment as prefect and Head Boy.
Percy appears blind to his work superiors' failings. He is also so obsessed with rules that he never questions the reason behind them; he just obediently (albeit blindly) follows them.
Percy seems to be over-impressed with himself, apparently claiming powers that he does not have, but evidently feels he should have. He also accords himself and his work more importance than either would appear to have.
Relationships with Other Characters
Percy Weasley's pompous and arrogant behavior often allowed for criticism and taunts. However, he did manage to get a girlfriend during his 6th year, Penelope Clearwater. Though details are few, he did spend the summer of 1992 in his room, writing to Penelope. His affection for her was reiterated when she was petrified by the Basilisk, when he showed deep shock.
Towards his superiors in the Ministry, Percy is almost fawning, rushing to get a cup of tea for Bartemius Crouch, despite Crouch not even correctly recalling his name, and sycophantically praising each utterance from Fudge. Percy seems to be the typical bureaucratic yes-man, destined to remain forever an underling, though perhaps ending up as second fiddle to the top man, in this case the Minister for Magic. We believe this is meant to indicate Percy's ambition, and perhaps illustrate also the shallowness of his character, as he climbs the career ladder at the Ministry in the only way he knows.
We are led to believe that it is this ambition, and Percy's inability to understand that there is more to life than job hierarchy, that lead to the estrangement between him and the rest of his family. Percy reportedly says as much when he leaves the family home between Harry's fourth and fifth year at Hogwarts. We are never absolutely certain what causes Percy's change of heart; possibly the distastefulness of the work he finds himself doing in a Death-Eater controlled Ministry of Magic makes him homesick. However, it is true that he is reconciled with his family by the end of the final book, though Harry's comments in the epilogue suggest that his stuffy and pompous personality remains largely unchanged.