I wrote this for the helmetfest2008 over on LiveJournal, in which we choose a character each month, prompts are submitted and names and prompts are matched through a draw from the wonderful fandom helmet. Yes, that does sound insane, never mind, it makes perfect sense to me.
The first month was Ron's month and this was my submission. The prompt was: Ron's pov at a vital Quidditch Match. I had much fun with this, but I must say thank you to my big sis Solstice Muse for the occasional pointer and help. :hugs:
Warning for strong language. let me know what you think :D
Cannons 'Til I Die
'Hi Harry! Are you coming over soon?'
Ron had answered the home telephone and was eagerly awaiting a positive response from his best friend.
Ron's brow furrowed as he listened to Harry's words.
'She's really throwing up blue sick? Wow, that's impressive. What happened?'
Ron wandered through the house and ruffled Hugo's hair as his son walked up to him.
'She ate it? Oh, Merlin! Have you asked George what the side effects are?'
He looked at Hugo who was pointing at the chocolate biscuit barrel and looking hopeful. Ron nodded his head, pointed at himself, and mouthed 'me too'.
'Well, at least she's going to be okay… No I don't mind at all…'
He took the chocolate biscuit his son was holding out to him and winked at him.
'Harry, it's fine, really. Lily is ill, and Ginny is away with the boys. I understand! Someone else can go with me…Yes I'm sure…'
Ron winced and pulled the phone away from his ear.
'Oh, that did not sound good.'
He put the phone back to his ear.
He hung up the phone and put it down on the kitchen table.
'z'unca ary 'kay?' Hugo asked through a mouthful of biscuit.
Ron, remembering he was trying to teach his son not to eat with his mouth full, swallowed his own mouthful and raised his eyebrows at his son.
'What has Mummy told you about talking with your mouth full?'
'Sorry. Is Uncle Harry okay?'
'Uncle Harry's fine, but Lily's not well. She ate… you know the bath things your Uncle George makes? One of those ball things that makes a Jacuzzi out of a normal bath and adds bubbles and dissolvable glitter and… smells and other stuff. Let this be a warning that when we say don't ever touch one of Uncle George's products without our permission, we mean it for a reason, okay?'
Hugo looked worried.
'Is Lil gonna be all right?'
Ron smiled at Hugo, trying to reassure him.
'She'll be fine. But, it means Uncle Harry can't come to the Quidditch match with me.'
Ron sighed. He had only just managed to get his hands on the tickets to this afternoon's game, having not expected to want them at all. Somehow the Cannon's had managed to get to the quarterfinals of the Quidditch Association Cup.
It wasn't unusual for the Cannon's to go out in the second or third round to a team not in the official league, but this year they had got through the first five rounds and were now in the last eight left in the competition.
Relying on his team's usual bad form, like every other season, Ron hadn't even dreamed of wanting or needing to have tickets to the later matches in the competition, but the Cannons were indeed playing in one of the four afternoon ties that would send four teams into the semi-finals of the competition.
Knowing that this would more than likely be the furthest his beloved team would reach in the competition, Ron had been to every one of his friends, colleagues, and various slightly dodgy blokes in the few pubs he frequently visited, to get his hands on a pair of tickets for the game.
He would never, ever tell Hermione how much he had paid for them, but for once, she didn't seem too determined to find out. Hermione knew how much of an opportunity this was for Ron, so she didn't begrudge him the money, or him disappearing for what could end up being the whole weekend.
But now he had no one to go with and he only had half an hour before the game started.
'I could come with you,' Hugo said brightly, looking slightly unsure of himself.
Ron smiled quizzically.
'You want to come and watch the Cannons, Hugo?'
Hugo thought for a minute and then nodded.
'Are you sure? It'll be very loud and there'll be loads of people there. It might get a bit…rowdy, but you'll be with me so you'll be safe, okay?'
Hugo looked less convinced about his offer now.
'Hugo, I'd love for you to come and watch the Cannons with me, but if you don't want to come, I understand. It's up to you.'
Hugo looked at the floor for a few seconds and then back at his dad.
'I want to come.'
Ron grinned and his son matched his expression.
'Well, you need to get changed for the occasion. Full Cannon-wear is absolutely needed, don't you think?'
Hugo nodded and sped out of the kitchen.
Ron turned round and found his wife looking concerned in the doorway through to the lounge.
'He's very young, Ron. What if he gets scared or lost or…'
'I won't lose him, Hermione, and I explained to him that it would be loud and a bit rough, but he wants to go!'
'We said we'd leave it another couple of years until we let him go to matches; he's very impressionable, and don't even try and stand there and tell me the language will be clean!'
Ron couldn't help but smirk.
'Hermione, he's an intelligent boy, he understands the concept of bad language and what's appropriate to say and what not to say, and anyway, we're in the family stand! There'll be loads of kids there and everyone knows not to shout and scream abuse at the ref!'
'You managed to get tickets in the family stand?' Hermione asked, her expression softening instantly.
'Yeah, stands A to F are family, we're in stand E.'
'Oh, well, if Hugo wants to go and he knows never to wander more than a foot away from you, then, I suppose it'll be okay.'
'Well, I'll use the Ward Bands as well, too, if you want, that way he won't get knocked for six and he can't move away from me.'
Hermione nodded. 'Well, in which case, have fun, the both of you.'
'We will. It's just a shame that Hugo's first Quidditch match is a guaranteed loss for the Cannons.'
'Well, just remember, no swearing, Ron.'
Ron rolled his eyes.
'Family stand, Hermione.'
'Off you go then, you're gonna be late.'
Ron looked at his watch.
Hermione watched as her husband ran out the kitchen and shook her head.
'I think I'll commission George to make some sort of swear word filtering earmuffs. We'd be rich!'
Ron looked down at his son and couldn't help but grin at the look of awe and fascination on his face.
'Programmes! Three sickles each. Programmes over 'ere!'
'Dad! Can we get a programme? Please?'
Ron laughed out loud and put his hand on Hugo's head to steer him over towards the small stall selling the programmes.
He handed the money over for two programmes to the seller, and handed Hugo his own programme. Hugo looked up at his dad in awe before his eyes jumped back to the glossy cover of the programme.
'Don't try and read it now, wait until we're sat down; keep tight hold of it.'
Hugo nodded and Ron replaced his hand on top of his son's head. Hermione always tutted at Ron when she saw him do that. He knew Hugo couldn't wander off away from him due to the Ward Bands they were both wearing, and no one could bump into Hugo either, so he was safe that way too. Still, Ron thought it was more comfy for Hugo to have his dad's hand on his head than having to stretch his arm upwards for however long while they walked to their seats.
Ron and Hugo made their way over to the family stand and waited in line for the wizard at the entrance to tell them where to go: up the stairs for how long, left, right, or to go in the other entrance further along.
When Ron got to the front of the queue, he handed the wizard in full Cannons replica robes the two tickets and waited for his instruction.
The wizard frowned.
'You're at the wrong end of the stadium, mate. These tickets aren't for the family stand.'
'What?' Ron replied sharply. 'Blocks A to F are in the family stand!'
'No, they're not. Blocks F, then A, M, I, L and Y are in the Ifamily/I stand, not blocks A to F.'
'How long's it been like that? Last time I came it was blocks A to F that were the family stand!'
'It's been at least a season, mate.'
Ron puffed out his cheeks and let out a breath. 'Oh, okay.' He pushed his fringe out of his eyes and subconsciously pulled Hugo closer to him. 'Where do I need to go then?'
'Right, Block E is in between blocks W and R and you need to go all the way round to the opposite side of the stadium and then—'
'Oh, no, please don't say what I think you're about to tell me!'
'…and then when you're at the Twerp stand…'
'…you want the middle entrance of the five.'
Ron took the tickets back from the wizard with a sigh and muttered a 'thanks' before ushering Hugo off around the stadium.
'What's wrong, Dad?' Hugo asked.
'Nothing, Hugo, we're just not sitting where we thought we were.'
'Where are we sitting?'
'In the Twerp Stand.'
Hugo giggled at the word.
'Why is it called the Twerp stand?'
'Two reasons: One, it was named after the Founder of the Cannons, Reginald Twerp, and two…'
Ron stopped walking and looked at the very loud crowd of Cannons supporters who were walking past them sporting drums, horns and whistles.
'…you'd have to be a complete and utter twerp to sit there.'
They were ten minutes into the match and Ron was happy.
Well, the Cannons were already losing by seventy points so he wasn't too happy, but he was relaxing and starting to enjoy watching the match.
Understandably, he had been on edge as he and Hugo took their seats within the mass of orange, and then they had spent the next ten minutes bobbing up and down to let other people past them so they could take their seats.
Not long after, the traditional opening song of the fans had started up by the band, which were only sat a few rows behind Ron and Hugo. The drums had started and then the trumpets had started the melody.
'Cannons 'til I die, I'm Cannons 'til I die. I know I am, I'm sure I am, I'm Cannons 'til I die!'
Hugo had joined in on the second time around and by the third Ron had joined in, too.
The next few minutes had been taken up with watching the two teams come out on to the pitch and the – also traditional – banging of the band drums with an exuberant 'CANNONS!' shout at the end of each rhythm.
For this game, the Cannons were scoring towards the Twerp Stand, which Ron was happy about. Hugo would get to watch his team score.
If they ever managed to score.
After twenty minutes of very little action up their end of the stadium, the 'die hard' Cannons fans were starting to lose patience with their team.
To add to their bad mood, the Arrows' Keeper was starting to showboat a little on his broom, circling the hoops at speed, rolling through them and generally giving the impression that he had nothing else to bother him exceptt the slight breeze that ruffled his robes. In all fairness to him, there wasn't anything else to bother him except the breeze that ruffled his robes, seeing as though the Quaffle hadn't made it as near as forty feet from his hoops since the first minute of the match, but still, there was no need to rub the Cannons' supporter's noses in it.
But he did, so the supporters made their feelings known.
'Stop poncing around you fu—'
Ron had heard the rest of the sentence but at that point he had grabbed Hugo's black and orange jester's hat – complete with bells, which jingled in perfect harmony to each other – and pulled it over his ears.
When Ron was sure the man wasn't going to carry on his abuse of the Arrows' Keeper, he let go of his son's head and set him back in his chair properly.
'Did that man say a bad word, Dad?' Hugo asked.
Ron nodded. 'Very bad. If you hear bad words, Hugo, what do you do?'
'If I'm not sure if the words are bad or not, I check with you, but if I know they're bad, then I know that the person saying them is either very angry or upset, or doesn't know a better word to use in the bad word's place.'
Ron had to laugh at his son's word-perfect rendition of Hermione's 'bad language rule' and patted him on the back.
'Exactly. Now, you'll probably hear quite a lot of bad language this afternoon, Hugo. I don't want you repeating it at all, okay?'
Hugo nodded, making the bells on his hat jingle, and turned his attention back to the match.
Then something magnificent happened. The Cannons managed to string together a series of passes that evaded the Appleby Arrows' Chasers and they were making their way up to their hoops.
As the three Chasers got nearer the whole crowd around Ron and Hugo stood up. Ron picked Hugo up so he could see properly, and they all watched, muttering to themselves, urging the players on to pass once more to throw the Keeper off before attempting a shot on goal.
The crowd noise grew as that final pass was made successfully and the Cannons Chaser brought his arm back and then threw the Quaffle as hard as possible towards the hoop on his right hand side.
The mutterings and encouragement died down instantly as the red ball sailed through the air and then the air erupted with triumphant yells!
The Cannons had scored.
'Yesssssssssssssaaaaaaaa!' Ron shouted at the top of his voice. 'Come on!'
Hugo had his hands raised in the air. It was he first time he had ever seen the Cannons score and he had had a perfect view. Maybe there was something to be said for sitting in the Twerp stand after all.
When the cheers had died down and the game had resumed in the middle of the pitch, the drums started again. It was a slow rhythm and then the trumpet played the five note intro. Ron instantly recognised the tune and added his voice to the hundreds, which started to sing.
'Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, you're flying around on a tree, que sera, sera.'
Hugo giggled as he realised the taunt was aimed at the Keeper who had been showboating.
'Stupid Keeper! He should have been—'
'That'll teach yer, ya stupid wan—'
Again, Hugo's jester hat was pulled firmly over his ears and Ron's hands muffled the last half of the final word of that sentence.
'Bad words?' Hugo asked.
'Yeah. Sorry, son.'
They both turned their attention back to the match in time to see the Cannons' Keeper pull a spectacular save off and throw the Quaffle out to his Chaser, Clifton Chadwick, who started speeding up the pitch.
'No, surely not!' Ron exclaimed as the Chaser managed to swerve around the Beater, who was about to hit a Bludger at him, and then he was all alone with only the Keeper to beat.
The Keeper, in a brave move, flew out to the Chaser and made himself as large as possible, arms splayed and balancing precariously on his broom. Chadwick threw the Quaffle, but the Keeper made no attempt to catch it at all and smashed straight into the Cannons player.
To say the supporters were annoyed was an understatement.
'Absolute tosser! Complete ARSE! What did you think you were doing? Did you think we wouldn't see that?'
The whistle had blown and Ron was expecting a penalty to be awarded to the Cannons.
The Referee awarded a kick out to the Arrow's Keeper.
'No fucking way!' Ron exclaimed. 'What the hell are you doing? You're not fit to referee you blind bas—!'
Realisation that his son was listening to every word he said dawned over Ron and he turned to look at his son who was looking up innocently at him.
'Very bad words, Dad,' Hugo said solemnly, but with a smirk playing at his lips.
'Er…yeah. Hugo… could you not tell Mum I said those things? You see…'
He sat back down on his seat so he was at the same level as Hugo.
'When it comes to something like sport, people get really…het up over it. Supporters get really passionate about something they love and sometimes that excitement and passion boils over and people say things that they wouldn't normally say.'
Hugo nodded his head.
'So, shall we keep what's said during the match, here, in the stadium?'
A song started up around them, but Ron didn't join in, even though he knew the words.
'He flies through the air with the greatest of ease, until he flies into the woods and the trees, he is the world famousl- blind referee, and our goal he has taken away!'
Hugo blinked and looked at his dad.
'Mum says people get osess-… obs-… opsessed with sport, and need to learn to control their anger.'
Ron looked out to the hundreds of Cannons fans, which were effing and blinding at the referee, and started up the chant 'The referee's a wanker…'
'As ever, Hugo, your Mum may have a point.'
It had been a very bizarre afternoon.
Ron and Hugo were jumping up and down and screaming with the crowd around them, but against all odds, they were screaming and shouting with joy, because the Cannons had somehow managed to claw back the points they were behind and were now forty points in front of the Appleby Arrows.
Ron had never been so excited and Hugo had never shouted so loud in his short life.
'Come on, Cannons!' Hugo shouted at the top of his lungs.
'Come on, lads, you can do it!' Ron bellowed.
Ten seconds later they had another reason for screaming: the Cannons had scored again.
'DICK! Dick Swinton! Absolute LEGEND!' Ron screamed as the Cannons' Chaser was mobbed by his fellow players.
The game resumed and the crowd still roared with cheers and shouts. There were various renditions of 'And it's all gone quiet over there…' which Hugo thoroughly enjoyed, and then he spotted something that Ron hadn't.
'Dad! Look!' He pointed high into the air where the two Seekers were flying towards the tiniest of glints of gold in the sky.
Ron gripped Hugo's shoulders tightly as the Cannons' Seeker sped towards the Snitch. The Arrows' Seeker was flying faster, but the Cannons' player was nearer by quite a distance.
'Please don't fu— er… mess up, please don't mess up, please don't mess up, please don't mess up!' Ron mumbled over and over.
Both Ron and Hugo were holding their breath, as the agonising wait to see if their not exactly top quality Seeker would win them this game.
And then it happened.
The Seeker made a lunge forward and then both his arms were raised in the air in utter jubilation. The referee blew his whistle and the game had ended.
The Chudley Cannons were in the semi finals of the Quidditch Association Cup.
Ron was shouting 'Yeeeeeeeeeeesssss!' and 'Come on!' over and over again. Hugo was being thrown up into the air and caught by his dad before being hugged until he couldn't breathe.
Hugo was laughing and shouting and having the time of his life with his dad. He started shaking his head in earnest to add his jingling bells to the noise of the crowd. He had to stop soon after he started, as he was going dizzy, so went back to shouting.
The drums started again, and Ron couldn't help but grin. He had never been to a match where the Cannons had won in such a spectacular fashion, and he, therefore, had never had the privilege of singing the chant that was about to start up.
He clapped in time with the drums and then started singing.
'You can stick your bloody broomstick up your arse.
You can stick your bloody broomstick up your arse.
You can eat the fucking quaffle, you lot are fucking awful,
You can stick your bloody broomstick up your arse!'
'Mum! MUM! WE WON! The Cannons WON!'
Hugo had run through the house and up the stairs to find his Mum in his bedroom, folding his washed and ironed clothes.
He launched himself at Hermione and she just about managed to catch him and lift him up before he either ran into the wardrobe or tripped up on his toys he had left scattered on his floor.
'They won?' Hermione asked, obviously bemused.
'Yeah! They were great! Me and Dad had so much fun! We were in the stand where they have the drums and the trumpets and we got to see all the Cannons' goals because they were shooting to our end, and then, and then…'
'Breathe, Hugo!' Ron said as he walked into his son's bedroom carrying the jester hat.
'You said you were in the Family stand!' Hermione shrieked at her husband.
'Ah, well, I thought we were. Here's me thinking that Stands A to F were the Family stand, but apparently they changed it round a while ago. Stand E was in the Twerp stand.'
'Oh Merlin!' Hermione said with a sigh. 'Dare I ask what our son was exposed to in the name of language and chanting?'
'Er… Hugo, you go downstairs and put your coat away, okay?'
Hugo nodded and Hermione put him down. He ran out the room and down the stairs.
'Okay, well, at first I did my best to stop him hearing anything too harsh, but I would have had to have my hands over his ears during the whole match to block everything out. I reminded him of your 'bad language rule'—'
'Our 'bad language rule'.'
'Yeah, that, and he asked me if words were bad or not and he knows not to say them. Give him credit, Hermione! He's a smart lad!'
Hermione sighed and nodded.
'Fine. He looked like he had a really good time!'
'It was amazing! They started off playing really crap, but then something happened and they started playing well! It was fantastic to watch!'
Hermione couldn't help but smile.
'I'm glad the two of you had fun, but next time, please make sure you're in the family stand!'
'I will, but it was fine, really!'
He kissed her and walked out the room punching the air in delight. He set off down the stairs, intent on floo calling Harry to tell him the news and see if Lily was feeling any better, when Hugo passed him going up.
He heard the footsteps change as Hugo ran from carpet onto his wooden floor, so knew he was in his room.
Ron grinned as the memory of the goals and the catch of the Snitch by the Seeker ran through his mind once more. He didn't think anything would take the smile off his face.
'Mum, what does buggering wank mean?'
He thought wrong.