QotD: Percy Weasley

Percy Weasley has the distinction of being the least favorite Weasley. Yet he is so well written. Often that is so great about J. K. Rowling’s writing. She has characters that are wonderful people, ok people, annoying people, naive people, terrible people, decent people who do terrible things, etc. And even if you hate the person, you can still appreciate the writing that goes into the character.

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, this happens during the Halloween feast once they have discovered there was a troll in the castle:

There was an uproar. It took several purple firecrackers exploding from the end of Professor Dumbledore’s want to bring silence.
“Prefects,” he rumbled, “lead your Houses back to the dormitories immediately!”
Percy was in his element.

There are sometimes sentences that are so good they send chills up the spine. “Percy  was in his element.” Is SO CONCISE and SO PERFECT. A lesser author might have spent a paragraph describing how excited Percy was to flex his authority. An even lesser author would have ignored this tendency in Percy altogether, and just cut straight to him yelling at his house to get in line.

But a simple “Percy was in his element.” implies everything we know about his character. That he is power-hungry, loves authority, and ever since he put on his prefect badge he has been waiting for the opportunity to prove it.

Did I really need to wax poetic about this line? Did it need to be explained?
Probably not. But I felt the need to celebrate a particularly beautiful bit writing, and as a teacher, over-explaining is the only way I know how 😀

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