School started again in the beginning of January and Ron was quite busy with his studies. He had his father's looks and athletic skill, but his mothers mind and love of learning. The best news for him came on a Monday afternoon a month after their return. Ron and Rupert were sitting at the Gryffindor table when Jareth came into the room followed closely by Tara and Parker. They were all looking exhausted and depressed. The exhaustion was understandable. They had been at Quidditch practice. Jareth was the team captain and keeper. Parker and Tara were the team beaters.
"Why so glum?" Rupert asked as his brother took a seat next to him.
"Out of what?"
"The Quidditch cup, unless we can find a seeker worth his snuff by Saturday's match against Ravenclaw." Jareth said thudding his head down onto the table. His head was quickly joined by Tara's and Parker's
"Why what happened to Wood?" James Wood, son of Oliver Wood, was a seventh year student and an excellent Quidditch player like his father.
"We're not entirely sure. One minute he's chasing the snitch the next he's on the ground screaming in pain. Pomfrey sent him to St. Mungo's but she won't tell us what the problem is."
"All she told us was that he won't be coming back to school anytime soon."
"We were this close to winning the cup." Jareth said holding up his hand showing his thumb and forefinger less then a millimeter apart.
"Are you even going to bother with tryouts?" Rupert asked.
"What's the point? We'll never find someone good enough who could learn the right moves in a week."
"Ron's good enough." Jareth, Tara, and Parker all looked up at him.
"Why didn't we think of him before?" Jareth asked looking at his sister and cousins. "If he's anywhere near as good as his father, we're saved." Ron looked quite frightened as they all turned to face him. There was a desperate look in Jareth's eye that scared him.
"Look – I've never played a game before."
"Doesn't mater – your dad won his first game and he had never played before."
"Yeah, but he had practiced with the team for a few months."
"But you've been flying and playing with us since you were little. You've got years more experience then he had at your age."
"I don't know –"
"Come on Ron, your family, help us out."
"But what if I'm rubbish?"
"You won't be and if your rubbish it'll be our fault because we recruited a seeker without any experience, but you won't be rubbish. Your Harry Potter's son – you'll be great." Ron still looked doubtful. "Come on Ron – at least come to practice tomorrow. Give it a shot."
"Alright," Ron said slowly and then despite himself he smiled brightly. He did love flying and everyone who watched him said he was good at it. He would have a chance to live up to the Potter Quidditch name.
That night he went to his parent's apartment to tell them. His dad beamed at him when he heard the news.
"That's brilliant son. You'll be a third generation Seeker." His father said brightly. "But you can't play on the broom we gave you that's no where near up to snuff."
"It's a good broom Harry."
"Yeah, but not good enough for team play."
"So what broom is he going to ride?"
"He could use my old Firebolt or we could get him his own." Despite that fact that the Firebolt came onto the market seventeen years ago it was still the best broom available. Harry, who had received his as a gift from his godfather shortly after they became available, had been flying the same one for years. It was reliable and unlike some older models it didn't slow with time. Every broom manufacture in the wizarding world had tried to replicate and/or out due the Firebolt, but none had succeeded.
"You mean, I could actually fly the broom that won four Quidditch cups and four World cups!"
"I was only on the team for three Quidditch cups wins, but yes that is what I mean. Unless of course you want your own."
"No riding yours would be cool."
"But then what will you ride Harry?" Hermione asked.
"Oh my flying days are over." Harry said with a far off look in his eyes.
"Don't be ridiculous Harry. You'll fly again – you'd fly every day given the chance. We'll give Ron your Firebolt and we'll get you a new one. Then we can give Ron's old broom to the school's collection or we can keep it for the younger ones."
"If you insist love," Harry said with a wink to his son. "Well let's go get that Firebolt for you son."
"Sounds good." Ron said following his father out of the family apartment. Apparently Harry's Firebolt was kept in Hermione's office along with his children's brooms.
"We have to keep it away from the apartment so Lily won't be able sneak out with it," Harry explained. "Your sister can be very crafty when it comes to getting what she wants. Once she used my invisibility cloak and the Marauder's Map to sneak sown to the kitchen and steal food when we sent her to bed without dinner."
"So you still have the Map?" Ron asked excitedly.
"Oh yeah – I have to keep it hidden now, especially since Lily discovered how to read it with out a wand." Harry answered without really thinking and then looked at Ron suspiciously. "How do you know what the Marauder's Map is?" Ron gave a mischievous grin that reminded Harry of the Weasley twins.
"Fred and George told me about it before I came to school. They also told me about your invisibility cloak."
"Something for me to pass on to you, but not till you're a bit older. Your mother would strangle me if I gave them to you when you were eleven. Well – she'll probably be angry with me no matter when I give them to you - very into rules your mother is, but I think she'll be a bit more forgiving if I wait a few years."
"Your dad actually gave you his Firebolt! That is so cool! You'll do so well on Saturday."
"The broom will do well – that's no guarantee that I won't screw up."
"Stop being so hard on yourself mate – you'll be brilliant." It was Tuesday night and Rupert was walking Ron down to his first Quidditch practice. "You're a great flyer and now you've got a great broom. So stop worrying." Ron couldn't understand why he was so nervous. Flying came naturally to him and Seeker was his favorite position to play, but something kept telling him that this was going to be bad.
Practice went extremely well. Ron fit in perfectly well with the rest of the team and seemed to understand every play that they practiced by instinct. He caught the snitch several times in quick succession and by the end of practice Jareth was smiling brightly.
"We're saved! There's no way Ravenclaw will beat us on Saturday, not with such a great seeker on our side."
"I told you you'd be brilliant." Rupert said coming down out of the stands and joining the team as they walked towards the locker room. "You should believe in yourself more mate." Ron wanted to be humble, but he couldn't help but smile. He had done well. Maybe all those bad feelings he had been having were just his nerves getting the better of him.
"Personal I think it's pathetic. Is Potter the best you could do? I suppose it's because of his father isn't it. Saint Potter jr – riding in on the family broom to save Gryffindor from a defeat they so desperately deserve." It was Malfoy. He was strutting across the Quidditch pitch towards them.
"Shove off Malfoy," Jareth called.
"Don't listen to him Ron – he's just upset that we found a replacement Seeker so soon, especially one as good as you. He was probably the one who injured Wood in the first place – hoping that we would have to pull out of the Cup." Tara said continuing to walk towards the looker room, but they rest of the team didn't follow her, they were flanking Ron.
"Oh yes Weasley I'm so upset that you found this pathetic replacement. If he can catch the snitch then I'm a mudblood - speaking of mudblood's I noticed your mother's getting fat Potter. What's the matter, did she spend too much time around Weasley's whale of a grandmother?"
"She's pregnant you moron." Ron said laughing to himself. Was this the best Malfoy could do?"
"Oh is she now? That's interesting – so who do you think knocked her up? Only my father said you mother was a little whore who would do anything for a little attention. I can't imagine that's changed just because she had you and your father got sucked into marrying her." Ron's eyes blazed with anger and he started to run across the pitch. Dropping his broom to the ground and forgetting he even had a wand Ron attacked Cian with all the strength he could muster. Punching him, kicking him – trying to hurt Cian in any way possible. The rest of the Gryffindor team was right behind him, but they didn't help Ron like he thought they would instead they pulled him off Cian.
"Come on Ron – he's not worth it." Jareth said pinning Ron's arms behind his back and dragging him back across the pitch.
"He called my mother a whore!" Ron said struggling against Jareth, trying to break free.
"He's trying to get to you; he wants you to get in so much trouble that you won't be allowed to play Saturday." Tara said taking one of Ron's arms and helping her brother drag him away.
"And you're well on your way to giving him what he wants." Parker said getting in front of Ron so that he couldn't get directly to Cian.
"Ron he called our grandmother a whale, but you don't see us attacking him. He's just upset that our teams better then his." Rupert said picking up Ron's broom and joining the team as they walked into the locker room. He sounded calm but Ron could tell he was furious.
"He called – my mother – a whore!" Was all Ron could say before he stormed into the showers. That stupid Malfoy git. Ron took out his frustration by ramming his balled fist into the tiled wall. He knew he had over reacted, well not over reacted – he had reacted just fine, but maybe he shouldn't have been so violent. The others were right. Malfoy had been baiting him and he had fallen for it; probably getting himself into a huge amount of trouble in the process, but it was worth it. He had gotten to punch Malfoy and that was a beautiful thing. Ron reached out his hand to turn on the cold water – that would help him calm down – and saw blood dripping down his knuckles. He looked to the wall he had punched. The tiles were broken, some at sharp angles, and he saw blood.
"Oh crap." Ron whispered. Some of the cuts were deep, he would need to have them healed. That would mean he would have to go to the Hospital Wing. He would have to admit he had been fighting again. He walked back to the locker room, the team was still standing there some of them were pulling off their pads and some were talking about what had just happened. Ron walked past them all and headed back out onto the pitch wrapping the side of his robes around his hand in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Ron muttered to himself as he passed Cian, who was still on the ground apparently writhing in pain.
"Ron wait up!" Rupert called after Ron. He had seen Ron leaving the locker room and had come running after him.
"I need to get to the Hospital Wing." Ron said once Rupert had caught up to him.
"Why?" As an answer Ron unwrapped his hand and let Rupert see the cut on his knuckles. "How did that happen?"
"I punched the wall."
"Well that was stupid."
"I see that now, but I can't go back and undo it."
"What are you going to tell Madame Pomfrey?"
"I have no idea." The Hospital Wing was deserted when they got there. Rupert went to get Madame Pomfrey while Ron took a seat on the nearest bed.
"What have you gotten up to now?" Madame Pomfrey asked hurrying out of her office. Ron unwrapped his hand again and she made a disapproving noise. "How in the world did you do that?"
"I um – Quidditch accident."
"How did you shred your hand like this playing Quidditch?"
"Um – well I..."
"If you don't want to tell me maybe you'll tell your parents." Madame Pomfrey said walking to a fireplace.
"Oh you don't have to bother them."
"Nonsense," she said casting a glimmering powder into the fire. He couldn't hear what she said since she was talking into the fire, but seconds after she spoke his parents appeared one after the other.
"What's wrong Ron?" His mother asked hurrying to his bedside.
"Nothing serious – I just hurt my hand during Quidditch."
"Don't lie Ron." His father said taking Ron's hand in his and examining it carefully. "This is no Quidditch injury."
"Were you fighting again?" His mother asked and he looked down at his shoes as Madame Pomfrey took his hand and began healing it.
"Technically I didn't hurt my hand fighting."
"Alright – I got in a fight with Malfoy, but only because he called you a whore. He said you'd do anything for attention while you were at school and that Dad only married you because you had me. The team pulled me off him, but I was still angry and I punched the wall in the showers. The tiles broke and cut up my hand." His father wrapped his arm around his mother who was visibly hurt by what Malfoy had said.
"Ron you have to ignore Malfoy when he says things like that. He only says them to get you angry. Trust me his father was the same way."
"Did you ever get in a fight with him?"
"A fist fight? Only once."
"Actually it was because he insulted my parents."
"Your hand will be fine. Just keep it bandaged and stop fighting. I can't spend my whole life mending Potters." Madame Pomfrey said wrapping up Ron's hand and heading back to her office.
"How can you lecture me if you did the same thing at my age?" Ron asked as his father lead him out of the Hospital Wing.
"Actually I was fifteen when that happened and I'm not lecturing you I'm warning you. Getting in fights all the time is going to get you in trouble."
"It certainly will." A cold voice said. Professor Snape was walking down the hall towards them. Flouting in the air in front of him was a stretcher carrying Cian Malfoy who had passed out. "The Slytherin team found Mr. Malfoy on the pitch where you left him and called me down to help. I reached him just before he passed out and you should know that before he passed out he named his assailant."
"He called my mother a whore."
"Your actions can not be excused. You have just lost your house fifty point and you'll be serving a month of detentions with me. Now step aside I need to get Mr. Malfoy to the Hospital Wing." Ron watched Professor Snape walk Malfoy's stretcher into the Hospital Wing and saw his father glare at Professor Snape's back.
"He always has been the Malfoy lap dog. That will never change." His father said bitterly walking further down the hall and pulling Ron along with him.
"What?" Ron asked curiously.
"Nothing." His mother answered for his father.
"Anyway Ron I want you to promise us something."
"Promise you wont fight."
"But what if he..."
"You have to be the bigger person Ron. Be better then I was. Don't fight with him anymore."
"Alright Dad, I promise I won't fight with him anymore."
AN: Yeah 'cause that'll happen wink wink So review, let me know what you think. : )
myman-harry526 - thanks
Malfoy vs Potter - : )
HuNnIe - Ron is well on his way to becoming the next chapter and yeah he will get closer to his parents.
Monkeyfeet180 - : )
Solon - : )
HOBOrules - hope this chapter is long enough for you : )
LisaBlack1 - I'm glad you like this story so much