(A/N: This is actually a distant chapter from my other story 'Pretense' (Read!!) but I thought it was more like a stand alone story. Enjoy!)
WE'VE GOT TEAM SPIRIT
A high pitched buzz echoed throughout the room, making his head spin and his stomach dive- bomb. He knew what this meant.- in thirty minutes he would have to go get the crap kicked out of him.
Ron began to rise from the bench alongside his team mates and paused. As he watched them it struck him how pathetic they all were.
Ted Singleton, seeker and Captain, looked half asleep, and Ed Emerson and Alexis Doyle, the two beaters, were pale and drawn, looking like walking corpses. The feet of the keeper, Leo Lyn, were just visible beneath the toilet cubicle from which the sound of violent vomiting could be heard. One of their chasers, Fran Capolski hadn't even bothered to turn up, and the remaining team member, Harvey Tyler was sprawled across the tiled floor, a blissful grin on his worn face, as he babbled incoherently and swigged from a large bottle of vodka.
Ron couldn't believe that this was the Chudley Cannons, the team that had won the League twenty-one times in a row. What had happened? How could he be a part of such a pitiful lot of idiots?
He had seen this a thousand times before. It was always the same feeling of depression that hung in the air.
But this time was different for Ron. He couldn't help but think of Ginny, his fearless sister. She was so brave and courageous. She had followed her dream and risked it all to write, but he was too scared. Too incapable to get anywhere in life.
But why? A little voice, that strangely enough sounded a lot like Hermione, spoke up from the deep recesses of his consciousness. Why can't you be who you want to be?
This made Ron stop and think. He could just...No, he wasn't good enough...But what if... No, he wasn't brave enough...Maybe then... No, he wasn't strong enough. Was he?
Ron looked around the group of people once more, but he saw something different this time. He saw potential. They had the makings of a great team. They could still be something. If only they could realise it too...
Hope. They needed hope.
Ron saw what had to be done. They had to be shown there was a possibility of being more than just the trash at the bottom of the heap. They needed hope. And he had to give it to them.
He instantly felt afraid. He wasn't a leader. He followed other- he always had. He knew though that there was no getting out of it. He had to quit being a sheep and for the first time in his life, take charge.
Ron overturned a box of spare padding, jumped on it and wolf whistled to get their attention. They were all somewhat startled at the display of...well, liveliness that they weren't used to. No one ever interacted with each other. It just wasn't done. Usually, they just avoided all communication except the most fundamental (i.e. grunting).
"Oi! Now, you will listen to me..." He could see Singleton nodding back off to sleep- time for drastic measures. "...Unless, you want me to make sure you'll have to crap out of a tube for the rest of your lives, and let me assure you, I am very capable." He grinned evilly at the beater that was nervously edging towards the exit.
"We are a team. We may not look like it. Or act like it, for that matter, but whether you like it or not we're gonna go out there as a team."
They looked at him as though he'd just informed them that pygmies had just set up camp in his ears and the only way to get them out was with plastic explosives.
Ron decided to try a different tact- the truth.
"Look, we're all in the same boat here. I know that we are bloody terrible. I know that I can't even remember the last time we won a match, and I've got a pretty good memory. But, I also know that when I look around this locker room I see talent. We can achieve something." Ron paused and took a deep breath. "I don't want to tell you we'll win. I don't want to promise anything. But, I need you to know that if we just try, we can be somebody."
Singleton stood forward. "But we've been bloody trying for years. What do you want us to do- sweat blood?"
"You call this trying?!" Ron snorted. "Sat in this locker room, wasting away, bit by bit until we finally have to go out there and make fools of ourselves? Don't make me sick! We are all feeling sorry for ourselves and it has to stop. Don't you see?" He looked at them all in desperation, eyes pleading then continued in a calmer voice. "I don't know much but what I do know is that if we put all our heart and soul into it we can come from it as someone to be proud of. Even if we lose we can at least say we went down fighting. Isn't that what you want? We won't have respect right away- but it'll come. What is the most important thing is that we'd finally have respect for ourselves."
Ron looked up to see glimmers of hope and determination on the faces of his comrades, now just a shadow of what had been, but still there nonetheless.
Ted Singleton whimpered. "But, Weasley, we're going to be slaughtered!"
Ron was furious at the so- called 'captain' for re- introducing doubt into his team's mind. There was only one thing to do- take charge.
"Negative thinking! No negative thinking!" He roared at them. "When you are out there, all of you, remember- Constant vigilance!!" Ron barked loudly, making them all jump and causing a beater to abruptly awaken with a cry.
Ha! Ron thought to himself. I can understand why old Moody did that so often! It's damn funny!
"Parker!" The substitute chaser, playing Exploding Snap in the corner looked up at his sharp tone in surprise. "You'll be filling in for Capolski. Hurry up, girl!" She scuttled around, preparing for her first big match.
"Singleton! You better watch Garcia closely- she's a spry one and she's going to get that snitch if you don't act like you've got a firework up your arse and move quickly! CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" They all jumped again and Ron stifled a grin.
"Now, Emerson, you need to remember to bend your arm back further- you'll get a better swing at it and keep watch for those pesky bludgers at ALL TIMES."
Ron turned to the young beater Alexis Doyle. "You! Now, if you want to still be able to have children when you leave here today you'll pay attention to your job." Ron waggled a finger and wiggled his eyebrows at Doyle, as if reprimanding a naughty child. "And, remember- your job is not to drool over a certain chaser!" Doyle snapped his gaze away from Eve Parker immediately, turned crimson and mumbled an embarrassed 'sorry'.
I could get use to this! Ron thought happily.
"Lyn! Get over here now and stop puking!" Ron suddenly realised that it was a bit unfair and, truth be told, silly to expect someone who had been vomiting uncontrollably for the past hour to miraculously control it. "You'll be alright, won't you, Leo?" Ron, in a friendly gesture, slapped the keeper on the back, which unfortunately caused another wave of retching.
"How could you do this Leo? You know how green Keyes is!" He slid a sly glance at the young and spirited substitute player in the corner who had been listening attentively and had now jumped to his feet in indignation, but seeing Ron's amused grin, his eyes widened and he looked hopeful.
"I get to play?"
"I get to play! I get to play! I get to play!"
Ron turned around an once again began dishing out orders. "...And, for Christ's sake, will someone get Harvey up off the floor and wipe him down." At the incompetent job the seeker was doing Ron screeched "For the love of God, man, take the booze off him and sober him up!" Harvey grinned, oblivious as he was carted off.
Ron looked around at his haven, now bustling with activity in great contrast to the emptiness he felt before. Now it felt like the Burrow- people screaming at each other and laughing and playing.
They had tolerated his demanding attitude and brashness. He wouldn't have put up with it. If he had acted that way at the Burrow he would've got a slap around the head and an earful from his mother.
Now that he had a moment to himself he was astonished to find that they had listened to him! He thought they would just laugh at his over- sentimental Spielberg moment, and jeer at his attempt to rile them up. But they had listened.
He knew why they did, of course. It wasn't that he did a fantastic job. It was because they desperately needed leadership and Singleton was a pathetic excuse for a Captain. It hadn't mattered to them who had offered it.
For once he, Ron Weasley, was the Boss and , after the third person had run up to him to get his advice or approval, he realised that he finally had respect. (Or possibly fear... but he'd settle for either)
(A/N: Hope you enjoyed my fic! Let me know what you think and REVIEW!!! P.S. If you want to be mean and flame me at least make it constructive criticism)
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