There was a scuffling and a great thump: Someone else had clambered out of the tunnel, overbalanced slightly, and fallen. He pulled himself up on the nearest chair, looked around through lopsided horn-rimmed glasses, and said, “Am I too late? Has it started? I only just found out, so I — I —”
Percy spluttered into silence. Evidently he had not expected to run into most of his family. There was a long moment of astonishment, broken by Fleur turning to Lupin and saying, in a wildly transparent attempt to break the tension, “So — ‘ow eez leetle Teddy?”
Lupin blinked at her, startled. The silence between the Weasleys seemed to be solidifying, like ice.
“I — oh yes — he’s fine!” Lupin said loudly. “Yes, Tonks is with him — at her mother’s —”
Percy and the other Weasleys were still staring at one another, frozen.
“Here, I’ve got a picture!” Lupin shouted, pulling a photograph from inside his jacket and showing it to Fleur and Harry, who saw a tiny baby with a tuft of bright turquoise hair, waving fat fists at the camera.
“I was a fool!” Percy roared, so loudly that Lupin nearly dropped his photograph. “I was an idiot, I was a pompous prat, I was a — a —”
“Ministry-loving, family-disowning, power-hungry moron,” said Fred.
“Yes, I was!”
Well, you can’t say fairer than that,” said Fred, holding out his hand to Percy.
Mrs. Weasley burst into tears. She ran forward, pushed Fred aside, and pulled Percy into a strangling hug, while he patted her on the back, his eyes on his father.
“I’m sorry, Dad,” Percy said.
Mr. Weasley blinked rather rapidly, then he too hurried to hug his son.
“What made you see sense, Perce?” inquired George.
“It’s been coming on for a while,” said Percy, mopping his eyes under his glasses with a corner of his traveling cloak. “But I had to find a way out and it’s not so easy at the Ministry, they’re imprisoning traitors all the time. I managed to make contact with Aberforth and he tipped me off ten minutes ago that Hogwarts was going to make a fight of it, so here I am.”
“Well, we do look to our prefects to take a lead at times such as these,” said George in a good imitation of Percy’s most pompous manner. “Now let’s get upstairs and fight, or all the good Death Eaters’ll be taken.”