These characters and their setting are the property of J. Rowling and her associates and affiliates. I am only borrowing them to make them do things their original creator would never, EVER have dreamed of. Cheers!
This story is very AU. I came up with the idea about six months before the HBP came upon the scene and burst the bubbles of so many of our fics. But I like this story and had such fun writing it down that I just had to share it with you.
Have you ever been to a Cheerleading Competition? Everyone should experience it just once... if only for a laugh! I had to attend quite a few of them in the last couple of years-- possibly as punishment for past crimes. As I sat through one of them, with my earplugs safely in, I tried to imagine how bizarre these events would look to someone of another culture or another time. As my favorite fanfiction is Harry Potter, of course I imagined someone from the Potterverse stuck in the bleachers, holding their ears, and gaping. Naturally, that character had to be Severus Snape! After all, if I have to suffer through it, so can he...
BRING IT ON, HOGWARTS!
Chapter 1: Disciplinary Action
"You wished to see me, Headmaster?" Severus Snape stood in front of Albus Dumbledore's desk stiff and unreadable. His quiet, silky voice betraying a touch of feigned boredom and imperfectly hidden impatience.
"Yes, Severus," said the Hogwarts Headmaster in his mild, pleasantly cordial manner-- a manner which irritated the Potions master more than it soothed him. "Please sit down. I need to speak to you about something."
Snape eyed him ironically but sat down with a graceful flourish of long black robes. "How may I help you?" he asked.
"It is a disciplinary matter, unfortunately," was Dumbledore's sad reply.
"Which of my students?" asked Snape darkly.
"None of them, actually," mused Dumbledore with irony. "Regrettably, I am speaking about you."
Snape's eyes narrowed. His posture of bored nonchalance instantly altered to one of still, quiet watchfulness, like an animal unused to being hunted suddenly sensing that it had possibly now become prey. A flash of fury hovered momentarily in his eyes before he forced his expression back to one of studied, relaxed indifference.
"I have just received an owl," the Headmaster continued in almost fatherly disapproval, "from Lady Breckenridge. A long letter containing great lengths of complaining parchment concerning the way you have spoken to her recently."
"Really?" Snape raised a negligent brow but maintained his stony calm.
"Really. She was most upset with you, and with Hogwarts because of it. She threatened to remove her son and place him in Durmstrang because of the way you treated her."
Snape made a disgusted noise. "Oh, let her, Albus!" he drawled scornfully. "That might be the best solution for the boy, after all. Here, I can only give him detention, which seems to have no effect on him whatsoever. What he needs is some strong, hard discipline... which he obviously doesn't get at home! Since the disciplinary methods of Durmstrang are legendary, if he is sent there on my account, I will actually have done the little twerp an enormous favor!"
Albus Dumbledore eyed him levelly.
"I certainly agree, Severus, that Bevis Breckenridge can be a bit of a problem, and that firmer discipline in his case would not be amiss, but the point of this interview is actually not him but you.It is your behavior I wish to speak about." He paused. "Did you really call the boy a blithering idiot to his mother's face and accuse his parents of having spider dung for brains?"
The Potions master rolled his eyes to the ceiling and examined it in a carefully studied pose of disinterest.
"And did you actually intimate that the entire Breckenridge family showed signs of simian descent?"
Snape shrugged. "Possibly. I can't remember my exact words, but I suppose I could have said that, or perhaps something even much more colorful. Did you know that Muggles actually believe they are related to apes, that they are in fact cousins to them? It would certainly explain a great deal."
"And did you really inform Mr. Leo Ferrars that the reason his daughter Emma failed your class was because she spent all of her free time seducing the entire Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Griffindor Quiddich teams and was too weary to do her homework?"
Severus smirked. "Well, it IS the truth, Albus!"
"I notice you left out the Slytherin team in your accusation," he noted dryly.
"The Slytherin team has more sense, not to mention taste! Honestly, Albus, that girl is an instructor's nightmare! Not only can she not keep her mind on her own potion, but she makes a singular effort to take as many other minds off their cauldrons as she can. She's the worst distraction I've ever seen! She guarantees an accident in class once a week."
"I'd hoped that I wouldn't need to remind you that the proper method of dealing with that is not to call her mother a brothel Madam and her father a Troll-wit."
"I could have said worse!" fumed Snape sourly. "I've met Trolls, and even Giants, with greater intellectual capacity and charm than Leo Ferrars. And as for the always delightful Mrs. Ferrars, there should be a law preventing bovine and asinine miscegenation! I told them that too."
"Now honestly, Severus!" Dumbledore's gentle voice had a sharp edge to it. "Was that really necessary? Think of the impression you are making on these parents, not to mention the image you are giving them of this school!"
"And I ask you, Albus," countered Snape, "Is it really in the best interest of this school to continually suffer these fools gladly? Haven't we a better reputation to uphold than that?"
"My dear Severus," said Dumbledore in slow, reproving regret, "there is a very big difference between suffering fools gladly and becoming one yourself."
Snape sat up in ramrod straight indignation, his face a study of hot, thunderstruck fury.
"EXCUSE me, Headmaster!" he spat, far too incensed for any polite show of deference. "You, yourself, were not present at any of the interviews in question! You fail to take into account the insulting manner with which these individuals approached ME. I refuse to be dictated to, threatened, or condescended to by people whose brain capacity is smaller than my left toenail, and whose understanding of my subject of expertise is less than their moronic offspring!"
"And by responding in kind, Severus, and worse, you willing descend to their level. Surely you can see that a little self control on your part would do far more for your personal dignity, as well as the dignity of the institution that employs you."
The Headmaster's mild blue eyes were locked on Snape's furious black ones like the horns of an alpha bull to those of a rival.
"It never fails to amaze me," he continued, "how someone with your incredible intellect and accomplishments simply cannot see how foolish your bad temper and your rude, antisocial behavior make you appear."
Snape opened his mouth to speak but failed to find any words to throw back at his superior. He obviously was not accustomed to viewing his actions and speech in this sort of light.
Dumbledore noticed his subordinate's hesitation and continued to drive home his point, but with less harshness in his fatherly tone.
"You are a more than competent teacher, Severus. There have been no serious accidents in the Potions Lab since I hired you seventeen years ago, and your students have a higher than average pass rate in the O.W.L.'s and the N.E.W.T's. You also have a personal mastery of your subject like few others I know of. But, apart from that, you give little else to the job.
"You are reclusive, disagreeable, moody, and rude to students, parents, and staff alike. You pride yourself upon being the scourge of the school. You seem to feel that it is your personal responsibility to hunt down and punish every lawbreaker you can find. Apart from serving as a Quiddich referee, which you only do if you are forced to, you participate in no extracurricular activities. You take on no apprentices. You head no clubs or organizations. And you even refuse to share the rare and out of print books you are hoarding in your own private collection!"
He looked sternly and mournfully for a moment at his mutinous Potion's master before going on. "For your own good, my boy, I am proposing disciplinary action."
Snape looked up sharply. Alarm was dawning in his eyes.
"Now, I'm doing my best not to be too severe with you. But in your case, it may be all for the best."
The Potion's master appeared almost mesmerized with horror. "You are not going to... dismiss me... are you?" His voice was almost faint.
"Oh no, Severus," said Dumbledore soothingly. "Nothing so drastic as that! My aim is to encourage you to be a better teacher, not prevent you from doing the job. But I am going to assign you some extra duties..." Snape looked immediately relieved.
"Now, I do realize that your severe wit and sarcasm are part of your unique personality, but they can be tamed. They can, and must, be controlled. And I do think you need to get out of the dungeons more often. As luck would have it, a need has just arisen which I think you would fill admirably. Therefore, I am assigning you as Faculty Advisor to the new Hogwarts Cheerleading Team."
There was a long and poisonous pause.
"The new Hogwarts Cheerleading Team."
The Potions master stared at his superior in stunned disbelief.
"That is what I heard you say, Headmaster," he said tartly, "but it makes no sense whatsoever. What are these cheers, and how does one go about leading them? I have never heard of anything, even remotely, like this in my life."
"I doubt you would, my boy. It is, after all, a Muggle sport."
Snape's eyes widened. He pronounced his next sentence carefully, each syllable enunciated in soft, deliberate scorn.
"And why, pray tell, are we practicing a Muggle sport here at a Wizard institution?"
"Because, my dear Severus, the Ministry feels that it would be a good idea."
Dumbledore faced the incredulous Snape with serene tolerance, and settled back in his chair as if preparing for a lengthy story-- or a siege.
"In the long history of our people, there has always been an understood need for secrecy. We live amidst the greater Muggle world, but we are separate-- not of them"
Snape nodded judiciously, and rather fervently to that.
"And we have gone to great lengths to achieve this. Many wizards have no contact at all with Muggles, and most have no real understanding of their world-- an odd thing when one considers the magnitude of our differences in total population. They outnumber us hundreds, possibly thousands, to one, yet most wizards have only a vague understanding of them. They, of course, have been kept strictly in the dark concerning us, and we work constantly to maintain that secrecy."
He looked ironically at his dark, brooding Potions master and sighed.
"That secrecy has been breaking down in recent years. In this latest struggle against dark forces, our war with Voldemort, so many Muggles were involved and affected that some measure of cooperation with Muggle authorities had to be sought. As a result, there are now more Muggles who know about us than there have been for centuries-- and these Muggles only know about us in unpleasant terms. This is not a good situation."
The look he sent Snape was sobering.
"More and more non-magical people have heard of our school. Most, thankfully, have only heard the name of it, and we really don't want them to learn any more. We also don't want them to see us as alarming and dangerous. Therefore, the Ministry of Magic wishes us to reach out to the Muggle community in the realm of sports and games. The idea is that competing with them in their own athletic traditions will demystify us and make us appear normal to them-- normal enough for them to ignore us, perhaps. By remaining too much of an enigma, the Ministry feels we will only be encouraging Muggle curiosity, which, of course, could lead to some awkwardness and possible danger."
Snape nodded thoughtfully, frowning slightly as he attempted to digest what he had just heard.
"And so we must compete against Muggle schools on their own playing fields?" he asked.
"Yes. Essentially, that is the idea-- except that we have encountered some fundamental problems in implementing this idea."
"Problems such as..."
"Well, for the most part, few wizards have any experience in Muggle games. We haven't the slightest idea how to play them, or indeed, even what some of them are. In fact, we would not have been able to comply with the Ministry directive at all this year if Miss Hermione Granger hadn't offered to assist us in starting up a Muggle- style cheerleading team."
Snape rolled his eyes heavenward and sighed loudly.
"I knew it! I just knew Granger had to be involved in this somehow! What did she do, discover a book on the subject?"
Dumbledore smiled mildly and continued in a relentlessly affable tone.
"Reading material on the subject does exist, Severus, and I'm sure Miss Granger could procure some for you. We are very, very fortunate to have a Muggleborn student in our midst who actually has extensive expertise in this sport. Miss Granger has two older sisters who have competed in it nationally, and she, herself, has been training in the physical disciplines involved since she was five or six. This physical training was one of the things that helped her recover so quickly from her war injuries and return to us.
"But come, Severus. You need to see them in action. Cheerleading really is an impressive sport. Once you witness it, I'm sure you'll agree with me. They should still be practicing in one of the first floor rooms. If we leave now, we should be able to catch them at it."
Snape rose with pronounced reluctance. While he trusted Dumbledore as he trusted no other, he had no faith at all in the old man's taste. The headmaster was a formidable wizard, but he was also a known eccentric. Their personalities were at opposite poles, and Snape felt that whatever Dumbledore had in store for him, it would never be something he would find pleasant. But he stiffly followed the headmaster. There wasn't much else he could do.