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SIYE Time:18:14 on 18th October 2017


Reality Bites
By Trinka

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom
Genres: Comedy
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 759
Summary: Ginny is persuaded to be on a Bachelor-type reality show against her better judgement. Who is the hunk all the women are fighting over? We know him. We love him. But in my story, Ginny's never met him. NOTE: If you think you'll hate this story, read it anyway! I hate reality shows too, you know! lol Trust me, you'll love it...I proclaim in as non-arrogant a way as possible... *sweat drop*
Hitcount: Story Total: 94354; Chapter Total: 6065







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Episode One
Reality


Ginny stared blankly at the crisp, white parchment in her hands. “What is this?” Hermione turned to peer over her shoulder and just as quickly snatched the letter from Ginny’s hands with a loud squeal.


“This is incredible! I just knew they’d pick you!” she turned and hugged Ginny tightly. Ginny stood there bewildered, her hands still in the same position they had been in when there had been a letter in her grasp.


“Would you like to tell me what in the name of all things muggle is going on here?”


Hermione quieted down abruptly and had the decency to blush. “Okay, now, don’t get mad but I saw this add in Witches Weekly for this new reality show. They needed a witch between the ages of 18 and 26, which you obviously are, and I had to send in a bunch of other information too.” Ginny’s eyes widened dangerously. “Don’t worry. I know enough about you to have answered all the questions right. And apparently, you’re exactly what they were looking for. ” Hermione added brandishing the letter.


Ginny only slumped into a chair. “Please tell me you’re kidding.” Hermione only shook her head. “It’s not one of those eat-worms and hate-everyone-on-your-team type of reality shows where I’m going to make a fool of myself and get voted off on the first day, is it?”


“No, no. Of course not! Who do you think I am? No. It’s a…it’s a…dating type show.”


“Oh bugger it! You mean the show where there are two-dozen girls vying for the attention of one guy who keeps kicking off all the decent girls because they aren’t easy or don’t flatter him enough? Please tell me your kidding? This is a nightmare!” Hermione said nothing, choosing instead to just look at the floor. Ginny thought she saw a smile and figured it was very wise of Hermione to try and hide it. If Ginny could prove there was a smile hidden she’d likely hex Hermione. “Why the blazes didn’t you send in your own information?”


Hermione looked up quickly. “You know I couldn’t possibly take off that much time from work, and you’re between jobs, so it’s perfect.”


“I’m between jobs, Hermione, which means I should be looking for a job, not hiding from cameras and listening to girls talk about snogging a guy we’ve only known for two weeks! This is ridiculous!”


“Look,” said Hermione sternly.


“You’ve been pining away in this apartment for two and a half months. You and Neville are no longer together, so you might as well live like you aren’t!” Ginny glared at Hermione defensively. “Ginny, you need to get over him; it’s not healthy.”


“Fine. If I go on this show will you give me a break?”


Hermione smiled sweetly. “Of course I will. I’ll give you about a two and a half week break. While you’re off hiding from cameras, listening to girls talk about snogging a guy they hardly know and going on dates with an incredibly eligible bachelor.”


“I think I’m either going to laugh, cry, scream, vomit…or kill you.”


“Why don’t you just laugh,” Hermione said, patting Ginny’s arm. “Less traumatic that way.”




~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



Two weeks later, Ginny still had second thoughts. For that matter, she also had third and fourth thoughts, but there was no way Hermione was going to let her back down. “I’m going to kill you when I get back,” was the last thing Ginny said to Hermione as she folded herself into the limousine and watched until her apartment was no longer in view. I can’t believe I’m actually doing this!


She had been a bit surprised by the limo. I mean, this was a Wizarding show; why not just Apparate? But Hermione explained that these shows often preferred to do everything fancy and nothing only half-way. I personally don’t think that Apparating would be doing things ‘half-way.’ It would certainly be better than an hour and a half long car ride.


Ginny sighed dramatically and leaned back against the black leather seat. The outfit she had on was one of the several that Hermione had convinced her to buy. The letter had informed her that dress robes were not necessary. Actually, they were discouraged since the dates they would be going on would be places where there would be muggles around. So, there she sat wearing a clingy, dark red, knee-length dress with modest silver embroidery that made her hair look like “burnished gold” as Hermione called it. The neckline was square and completely decent, but the dress was clingy. Ginny did not like clingy. She felt like she constantly had to tug at the spaghetti straps holding it up so that the neckline would remain as modest as it should be.


Sighing, Ginny decided that if she had to endure this long ride, she might as well try to enjoy it. Looking out the window she realized that she had never been to this part of the country before. Fascinated by all the small towns that dotted the country-side and the green springing up from all the newly planted crops, Ginny lost herself for most of the trip. She was pulled back to reality when the driver turned his head slightly to speak to her.


“We’re going to be arriving at the house in about twenty minutes. I’m to warn you that the cameras will be on you as soon as you step out, so be on your guard.” He smiled reassuringly at her through the rearview mirror when he saw the panicked look on her face.


“Thank you,” she practically croaked. Only twenty minutes till they arrived! Oh bloody hell! Picking up her tote from the floor beside her feet, she dug through it until she found her mirror. She blinked several times after looking into it, being rudely reminded that Hermione had convinced her to cut her hair. Instead of straight and to her shoulders, as had been her style for as long as she could remember, it was only about chin length and layered so that it framed her face. Not for the first time, she balked at how almost pretty she looked. I should have picked up this hairstyle long ago!


The twenty minutes flew by much faster than Ginny had hoped as she scrambled to reapply her lip gloss and make sure her make-up still looked good. She almost swore. Make-up! Since when do I wear make-up? I haven’t even met the guy and he’s already ruining me!


“Just leave all of your stuff in the car and someone will take care of it,” the driver informed her and she nodded dumbly, finding no comfort in his reassuring smile this time.


Bollocks.


The car slowed to a stop and Ginny, who hadn’t been paying any attention, looked up for the first time to see where this whole nightmare would be taking place. ‘House’ did he say before? This isn’t a house, it’s a mansion! No, it’s a castle! “Bloody hell,” she groaned as the driver got out to open her door for her.


He had been right about the cameras — as soon as the door opened, Ginny feared she would never have privacy again. At least three different cameramen stood at different angles around her. As long as they don’t have a camera angled to look up my skirt…it would be easy with one as short as this one. She jumped slightly as she saw a house-elf step up from behind the other cameramen, thankfully staying far enough away to keep from taking any risqué shots.


I’m going to die, she thought, doing her best to smile at the cameras and not look as nervous as she felt. And if I don’t, she continued, I’m going to kill Hermione.


A pristine looking woman wearing a skirted business suit met Ginny at the door. Ginny wished briefly that she had been able to wear something as sensible, but couldn’t dwell on the thought long as she was ushered into a room full of women wearing clothing just as silly as her own. One of them seemed to be wearing a formal gown. I’ll bet she feels over dressed, Ginny thought sympathetically.


The woman in the formal attire smiled when she saw Ginny looking at her and actually came to sit next to Ginny as she found an empty couch. “Hi there. I’m Trista. Trista Clarkson,” she said in a friendly voice.


“Ginny – er, Ginevra Weasley.” For some reason Hermione thought it best that she use her real name and after much arguing, Ginny finally consented. I’ll introduce myself as Ginevra, but I don’t have to like it.


“Gosh, I’m nervous. How about you?” Trista asked looking around the room with a look on her face that Ginny was sure mirrored her own.


“Terrified,” was Ginny’s breathless response.
“Yes well,” Trista said with a sheepish grin, “at least you don’t look like your expecting to be invited to a ball.” She sighed in exasperation. “I’ve never even watched one of these shows and no one ever specified what we were supposed to wear on the first day.” She laughed slightly, but Ginny thought she could see tears forming in her eyes.


Getting an idea, Ginny excused herself, saying she would be right back, and sought out the woman in the business suit. “Trista Clarkson you say? Well, only half of you are here so far, so I’m sure there’s time. I’ll have one of the men show her where her stuff was put.”


“Thank you, I know she’ll appreciate it.” Ginny walked back toward the couch and motioned for Trista to come over. With a puzzled expression, Trista stood and smoothed her skirt self-consciously before walking over to join her. “I got you permission to go and change into something more appropriate.”


Trista looked like she was going to cry again, but her face radiated relief. “Oh, thank you so much Genevra! I’ll never forget this!” She bit her lip suddenly. “Would you mind coming with me? It took two people – besides me! – to get this dress on. I don’t think I could get it off by myself.”


Ginny laughed a bit and agreed, leading her over to Connie Young, the woman in the business suit. Smiling warmly at the two, she pulled aside one of the men that had just walked in to serve drinks and gave him orders to direct the girls to one of the rooms.


Despite looking like an old – though spectacular – castle from the outside, it was not nearly as drafty as she had expected. The two of them followed their guide through endless halls, footsteps barely making a sound on the soft white carpet beneath their feet. Tapestries hung on the walls and stands with sculptures and other art were scattered meticulously throughout so that no matter where one stood, it was neither boring to look at, nor too cluttered. I could get used to this, Ginny reluctantly admitted to herself.


They finally reached the room where the gentleman opened the door and informed them that he would be waiting outside to escort them back to the sitting room. Ginny shared an amused, yet impressed look with Trista before closing the door in his face as politely as possible.


Trista looked around for a moment before spotting her things in one corner of the room. “This is it,” she sighed tiredly. Ginny could understand. Her own nerves were starting to exhaust her as well.


Ginny helped Trista get out of her gown then waited while Trista slipped into a cute little halter-top spring dress. Afterward, they both walked outside where they were bowed to by their escort and led back to the sitting room.


Not much had changed during the time they were gone. A few more girls occupied the room and their couch was now fully occupied so they stood together near the wall and talked quietly as they watched the other girls.


“I wanted to talk to you earlier, because you look exactly like my little sister,” Trista remarked rather randomly. Ginny looked askance at Trista’s dark curls. Noticing the look, Trista laughed; a musical laugh, like a silver bell. “She’s my step-mom’s daughter. All of her kids are fair-haired, but my step-mom actually looks more like me. I’m taller though, if you can believe that.” Trista was slight and also a tad short — probably only an inch taller than Ginny herself.


“That’s interesting,” Ginny began with a slight laugh. “Everyone in my family look practically identical. We all have red hair and far too many freckles. It’s a curse,” she added for amusement.


“Are you kidding me? I’d love to have freckles. I bet they’re good at hiding blemishes.”


Ginny snorted a laugh in a very unlady-like manner, making some of the other girls in the room look at her in disgust. “Hide blemishes? They are blemishes as far as I’m concerned.”


Trista grinned at her as though she didn’t believe a word of it, but Ginny was not given the chance to prove herself. A sudden fanfare began playing.


I guess they really do go all out with these things, she thought getting over her initial shock.


Connie Young walked in after the trumpets had quieted down and announced in a magically enhanced voice: “Ladies, I would like to introduce your Bachelor to you. Please welcome Harry Potter.”


Ginny’s mouth dropped open before she could stop herself, but her reaction wasn’t nearly as bad as some of them. Half of the girls in the room looked as though they were going to swoon. Some of them did. Paying absolutely no mind to the girls on the floor being hastily awakened, Ginny stood enraptured as the Boy Who Lived walked into the sitting room.



~*~*~*~*~*~



A/N: Sadly, chapter one by itself wasn't long enough, so this is actually chapters one and two. And, I've never had to post this with html, so I hope that all of the codes work. Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll like this. So far I have 20 chapters done, and at the other place I post I update every 4 days, so I'll probably be finished with the story by the time I get up to chapter 20 here! Jaa, mata ne!
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