At the Battle of Hogwarts we see the usually pompous and humorless Percy quipping and fighting like a duelist to everyone (and especially Fred's) surprise:

“Hello, Minister!” bellowed Percy, sending a neat jinx straight at Thicknesse, who dropped his wand and clawed at the front of his robes, apparently in awful discomfort. “Did I mention I’m resigning?”
“You’re joking, Perce!” shouted Fred as the Death Eater he was battling collapsed under the weight of three separate Stunning Spells. Thicknesse had fallen to the ground with tiny spikes erupting all over him; he seemed to be turning into some form of sea urchin. Fred looked at Percy with glee.
“You actually are joking, Perce… I don’t think I’ve heard you joke since you were—”
~Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 - The Battle of Hogwarts

If I am not mistaken, this is the first joke ever we hear from Percy.

What is the reason for the atypical behaviour of this character?

closed as primarily opinion-based by C.Koca, amflare, user58, Buzz, Ward - Reinstate Monica Feb 26 '18 at 0:39

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    I believe you are reading too much into one joke, and that J.K. Rowling just decided to bring forward some humour since she felt it needed it. This probably explains why Fred's last spoken sentence in the sandbox is never fully complete so any details of Percy are not mismatched or inconsistent with other details. – Mr Pie Feb 25 '18 at 16:03
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    @user477343 if JKR simply decided to bring in some humor then ANY other chatacter would've been a better fit, including a decorative suit of armor – user68762 Feb 25 '18 at 16:42
  • We all have one very serious friend who focuses on his/her studies and very rarely jokes. I think it is no more than that. – C.Koca Feb 25 '18 at 17:02
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    I don't think you're reading too much into it. Imo it's about redemption though crisis. The implication is that Percy was actually a normal guy who put up a bunch of psychological walls. And, in a crisis, those walls crumbled and the Weasley in him re-emerged. I doubt Rowling would alter an established character willy-nilly, just for the sake of bringing some humor to a scene where people are trying to kill each other. – Misha R Feb 25 '18 at 17:03
  • @Morrigan Maybe, maybe not. It's a good point though :) – Mr Pie Feb 25 '18 at 17:13

No person is entirely without a sense of humour. Different people laugh at different things, and are more or less adept at making jokes, but in the end everybody laughs.

Let us examine what Percy experiences in this situation.

First, for a long time now Percy has been in conflict with his family. He believed them to be in the wrong. We know that there have been arguments before he left his parents' house, we know he's generally a decent person (albeit with a stick up his), so this whole situation can't have been easy for him. Did he ever doubt his choice? Only fools never doubt. Now, suddenly, all this tension, doubt, pain etc. is released: Percy can be confident he's doing the right thing - he's fighting Voldemort, no grey areas there. And he's reunited with his family.

Second, there's the battle. How does Percy experience it? Adrenalin, fear, exhilaration, stress? He's a Griffindor, so we know fear is not the dominant feeling. Other than that, we can only assume some reasonable combination of the above.

Can this mix of adrenalin, relief, fear and other emotions produce a burst of humour from a normally more serious person? I think it very well can. Percy is normally serious and dignified, but I don't think he is actively suppressing another side of himself. I think this side is just less prominent, not actively suppressed. Then, an abnormal situation produces from him an abnormal response. Fred and George, the jokers, can be serious in some situations, right? So why shouldn't the serious Percy be able to joke occasionally?

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    Fred and George, the jokers, can be serious in some situations, right? So why shouldn't the serious Percy be able to joke occasionally? - Not sure this is sound logic here. This isn't a situation that inspires most people to joke, so it's a bit of a cop-out to say "hey, he doesn't have to be serious all the time." In real life this may have been a more valid point, but in fiction things rarely happen for no particular reason. The fact that it took a fight for the lives of himself and his family for Percy to throw a quip is significant. – Misha R Feb 25 '18 at 19:43
  • It seems like an example of gallows humour. JKR likely picked a usually more serious character in order to emphasize it. – delinear Feb 26 '18 at 11:39