fiery_flamingo: Stock: Books (books)
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Title: Take What You Give (2/13)
Character Pairing: Percy Weasley/Penelope Clearwater
Prompt: black ink
Rating: PG
Word Count: 639
Summary: Percy continues to be a subpar Prefect in the presence of Penelope Clearwater.
Author’s Note: This is my second installment for my [ profile] rarepair_shorts table. It is directly related to the first part found here so reading it first would be useful, though not completely necessary.
Prompt Table: Here

September 9, 1991

A week into classes, Percy was faced with a conundrum rarely experienced by his highly organized mind. He found himself incapable of completing even the simplest of classroom tasks, the stress of the problem making it difficult to focus at all. Quill and parchment were useless to him, the lecture flowed in one ear and dribbled out the other, wasted on him and his idle hands.

Put plainly, he had misplaced his inkwell and only Merlin--or the twins--knew where it had gone off to.

Now in History of Magic, his ears burned with the effort of retaining what they could of Professor Binns’ insights on the Goblin Rebellion of 1494. It was mostly for naught though; without the steady work of transcribing the lecture, Percy found Binns’ even tones near-hypnotic. With disturbing frequency he discovered that, at some unknown point, his eyes had slid closed, causing his whole body to jerk back into wakefulness. Only the inattentiveness of his fellow students allowed him to retain any sort of dignity.

Except for one student, of course, the soft snickering to his left reminded him.

Percy shot a disapproving look at Penelope, but she only gave her own in return. It was the most interaction they’d shared since she had dropped a quill on his desk the first day of class, a well past-due replacement for the one she’d so rudely taken two years ago.

A still reasoning portion of his brain told him that her look was the more appropriate response, but it was a small portion that was quickly beaten by the rest. They were Prefects and should present a united front, his Binns-addled mind declared. It should count for something.

Then the note landed.

Rough weekend? Stay up too late reprimanding Firsties?

Percy sighed; it must be true what they said about power and corruption. He had never received so many notes before becoming a Prefect.

He crumpled the note into a pocket and caught Penelope’s eye, shaking his head. Not understanding, she made a face and scribbling motions, her message clear: I already caught you sleeping so reply, you worthless excuse for an authority figure.

Knowing that this was quickly devolving, Percy was still unable to stop himself from making pointed gestures with his quill, trying to highlight his lack of ink.

After a few more confused looks from Penelope’s side, she realized the problem. Instead of turning her attention back to important things--like learning--as he had expected her to, a glimmer he recognized from his siblings alighted her eyes and she began to dig through her bag.

Hope and dread simultaneously grew in him as she set an extra bottle of ink on her desk, devious little smile already in place.

Timidly, he pointed at it and then himself.

A note appeared a moment later.

How will I know I’ll get it back? You seem the type to hold a grudge. It might be two whole years before I see it again.

Scowling, he tapped on his Prefect badge.

She scoffed and began scribbling.

I have one of those as well. Maybe if you ask nicely.

Seeing a chance to regain his focus, to be free of this rabbit hole of interaction, Percy threw caution to the wind. If Binns hadn't noticed them yet, he certainly wouldn't notice what happened next. And if he had any luck remaining, Percy thought, neither would anyone else.

Fred and George would never let him live it down. He'd be eternally disgraced.

“Please?” he whispered, near inaudible, and clasped his hands together in the universal sign of pleading.

And benevolent Goddess of Ink that she was, Penelope smiled and acquiesced, offering the small black bottle across the aisle.

Flush with victory--not at all from the faint brush of Penelope’s fingers on his own--Percy mouthed a quick thank you before turning forward, set on taking enough notes to make up for the lost half hour.

He never noticed Penelope’s soft sigh and eye roll before she too returned to taking notes. But his hand might have tingled, just a bit.


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