|SIYE Time:18:40 on 23rd May 2017|
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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom
Story is Complete
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: 86921; Chapter Total: 4393
Ginny jumped a good three inches off the surface of the couch before she was able to regain control of her nervous system. In that time she lost control of her knitting needles, and had the irrational thought that she hoped she hadn’t lost any of her stitches as she looked up into the face of Harry Potter.
“I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to scare you.” Harry’s voice was hushed as he took a seat near Ginny on the couch.
“You didn’t — I mean, I’m not, er…I didn’t think anyone else was awake,” Ginny stammered helplessly.
“I had the same thought. Why are you up?”
Ginny realized that she couldn’t very well be completely honest and say “I’m up because I’m nervous that you might possibly kick me off the show tomorrow” so she simply said “I couldn’t sleep.”
“Yeah, me neither.” Harry sighed and leaned his head back on the couch. Ginny just stared. She found that she couldn’t keep her eyes off of him. Here he was, Harry Potter, in the middle of the night with the moonlight spilling in through the door to the garden looking completely at ease; and here was Ginny, completely besotted and feeling as though she was about to wet herself. Okay, well, not really, but the idea is the same.
“You know,” Harry spoke with his head still back and his eyes closed. “I never thought this would be so difficult. I mean, I knew that making these decisions would be tough, but I hadn’t the foggiest idea that I would have to hurt so many people during the course of this show. Take you for example.” He sat up to look at her and Ginny felt herself blushing and was glad for the blanket of darkness that kept her from being wholly revealed. “Even though you’ve made it through two rose ceremonies, you’ve cried both times. I didn’t think I’d have to see so many of you cry, but seeing someone who wasn’t kicked off cry… I just don’t really know how to handle this.”
Not really liking the idea of discussing her waterworks, Ginny quickly changed the topic. “So, what kind of mischief are you getting into with that invisibility cloak of yours?”
Harry sat there with his mouth hanging partially open simply staring at her. Abruptly he laughed. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you figured that one out.”
Ginny grinned wickedly. “You’re skirting around the question, Mr. Potter.”
He laughed again. “Yes, I suppose I am. I only use the cloak when I want to get to my room with no one seeing me.”
Ginny quirked an eyebrow disbelievingly. “Honest,” he declared.
Ginny reached down to pick up her knitting hesitantly, as it was now sitting next to his foot. “What are you making the scarf for?” he asked.
“Oh, I don’t know. Every once in a while, in the winter, it gets cold.” He shot her a half amused, half affront look. “Don’t you look at me like that,” she laughed. “You snuck up on me; I’m just trying to regain my dignity.”
“I think you’re trying to regain your pride,” he answered smoothly.
“Yes well — that too.” He laughed again at her response.
“So, the scarf is for yourself then?” he asked as Ginny began winding the excess yarn back up. She didn’t think she’d be finishing it tonight.
“Yeah, I guess. It’s just something to keep my hands busy.” She set the knitting aside and tried to feel at ease talking to Harry like this. It was rather nice, when she thought about it. “My mum knits all of us kids a jumper every Christmas. I guess that’s where I get it from. The difference is, mum can actually make the knitting take on a shape…I can just knit scarves.” She smiled, admitting her own inaptitude and looked at Harry through her eyelashes, pretending to gaze at the carpet.
“I like the color,” he admitted out of the blue. “That kind of dark red is my favorite color.”
She looked up smiling. “Really? Mine too. I don’t so much like burgundy though; it’s too purple-y. I prefer really deep reds, like brick red.”
Harry nodded. “I agree.”
Ginny couldn’t help laughing. When Harry looked at her, confused, she explained. “Don’t you think it’s weird that we’re sitting here in the middle of the night, in the dark and we’re talking about our favorite colors? It’s just a bit odd.”
Harry shrugged. “What else could we be doing?”
Bad Ginny! No naughty thoughts. Ginny once again colored and was doubly glad that he couldn’t see the way her face was flaming, because if he could, he was sure to know why. “I don’t know. I just think it’s strange,” she answered very smoothly, grateful that her voice had not betrayed her.
The two sat in comfortable silence for several minutes. Neither of them felt the need to break silence as they sat together on the couch looking out the door onto the moonlit garden. Ginny desperately wanted to hold Harry’s hand again, but didn’t feel that she had the courage. She decided on the next best thing instead.
“I’m going to ask you a question, and I just wanted you to know that it’s completely alright if you say no.”
Harry looked at her confused but didn’t speak, so she took the initiative to ask. After taking a deep breath she looked nervously into his eyes and asked “Is it okay if I lean my head on your shoulder?”
Harry looked a bit nervous himself as he nodded to her. She laid her head atop his shoulder and breathed deeply. Heavens, he smells good! She found that she enjoyed the view just that much more from this vantage point and decided that she never wanted to move. Ever again.
Harry shifted a bit so she was forced to move, which, had she been any more pathetic that she already was, would have made her nearly cry. “That’s not very comfortable for me,” he admitted. So he shifted his position slightly so that he faced her more and patted himself on the chest, near his shoulder.
It was much softer there than against his shoulder and Ginny found herself even more reluctant to move. Then she heard his heart. It was beating very fast and very hard. Smiling to herself, she hissed at Harry. “Don’t worry.” He jumped slightly so she laughed while she said: “You’re still alive!”
She could feel his chest rumble with laughter beneath her cheek and decided that she could die right there and have no regrets. Well, maybe some. Little tiny ones.
Maybe it was the view, maybe the fact that she was half asleep, maybe just the fact that the smell of him was intoxicating, but whatever it was, Ginny found herself searching for his hand. When she found it, he squeezed her hand back. They sat like that for a very long time. “You’re comfortable,” Ginny mumbled into his chest and was rewarded again by his rumbling chuckle.
“I’m about to fall asleep,” Harry admitted reluctantly. Ginny had to admit that she agreed, but she didn’t want him to know. “We should go to bed now. I think we should both be able to sleep better now.”
Ginny sat up and peered blearily at him before nodding. She stood up slowly and stretched before reaching down for her knitting things. She couldn’t remember when she’d let go of his hand, but she suddenly felt the loss. She wanted it back, but she knew she couldn’t.
They separated and headed to their respective rooms and Ginny wondered if Harry could possibly be as reluctant to go as she was. She had almost made it to the hallway when she heard Harry’s voice. “Ginevra,” he whispered.
She turned back to him, waiting for him to speak again.
He hesitated, but all he said was: “Your brothers called you ‘Gin’ the other day. Are there any other nicknames you usually go by?”
Ginny had a feeling that this wasn’t what he had intended to say at first, but she answered just the same. “Most everyone calls me Ginny. Why? Do you not like my name?”
He smiled at her implication. “That’s not it, I just wondered. You don’t really seem that comfortable being called Ginevra, so I wasn’t sure.” He paused. “Is it alright if I call you Ginny?”
“Of course,” she replied, and was very glad that they were already whispering, as she was sure her voice would have sounded just as breathy had they not been.
“Thank you. Goodnight Ginny.”
Ginny set her knitting, nearly finished, on the table near her bed right next to her two magically-preserved red roses. He had noticed that she wasn’t used to being called Ginevra. What are you thinking! You got to hold his hand and feel his heart beat tonight and all you can think of is that he realized that you must have a nickname? Bloody hell, girl! You need to get to sleep.
And sleep she did. She had hoped she would dream, but like most nights when you want to dream the dreams just won’t come.
She was pleasantly rested the next day when her alarm went off. Memories of the night before kept her smiling all through her shower and she felt as though she could fly. He’s going to pick me today. I just know he is!
She got out and styled her hair and even gave herself enough time to put on a bit of makeup before heading off to breakfast. She was early. She had actually gotten there before Janice and her just-as-evil clone. She sat herself down right near the end, a seat next to where Harry always sat. Hoping desperately that Trista made it to breakfast soon, Ginny mentally saved Trista the seat across from her. They would both sit by Harry this morning. The next to walk into the dining area, however, where Janice and Laurie. Scowling something fierce, Janice took the seat directly across from Ginny and Laurie took the seat on Janice’s other side. Ginny felt her stomach churning. How could she eat when she constantly had to look at that?
Trista showed up finally and was able to take the seat next to Ginny. “I wanted to save the seat across from me, but it is now otherwise occupied,” Ginny whispered out the side of her mouth.
“I see that,” Trista whispered back.
And on this morning of the rose ceremony when Ginny finally sat where she wanted and felt confident for the first time during this show…Harry didn’t show up for breakfast. It was miserable.
Despite the fact that Janice, for some reason, decided to say absolutely nothing at all during breakfast the looks she gave Ginny made her wish she had her knitting needles again. The looks were condescending and more confident than Ginny ever thought she herself could be. Ginny wished the table wasn’t so wide so she could grind Janice’s toes into the carpet.
After what seemed like hours breakfast ended and each of the girls went off to get ready for the next ceremony. Trista and Ginny got ready together and were the first to wait in the alcove for the summonses.
Becky showed up next and sat next to Ginny on the couch while they waited. Becky’s foot was kicking with nervousness making the other two occupants of the couch feel the movement. If Ginny hadn’t suddenly been so nervous herself she would have politely asked Becky to stop. There seemed no reason to now, though.
Janice and Laurie came next followed closely by Denise who made a face at Janice’s back before sitting in one of the chairs near the couch that Trista, Ginny and Becky were sitting in. A long uncomfortable silence began and with it, the entrance of the cameramen.
Ginny tried to look confident but she was sure she failed miserably so instead she merely looked anywhere but at the cameras until they moved on. Trista’s face was radiant but Ginny could see an underlying nervousness in her as well. Janice just looked smug while Laurie tried to mimic the look and failed at it as badly as Ginny had failed at looking confident. Becky kept teasing her lower lip with her teeth whenever a camera wasn’t pointed at her and Denise looked like she was going to be quite sick, yet trying to hide it behind a pleasant smile. It was a sad lot.
When someone finally came to take them to the ceremony room Ginny sighed audibly, and she wasn’t the only one. Let’s just get this over with, the sighs apparently said.
The stadium seating in the ceremony room was gone, replaced by couches and chairs that were identical to the ones in their alcove. The same seating arrangement came to play; Ginny sitting between Trista and Becky, Denise in a chair nearby and Janice and Laurie on their own couch.
The usual fanfare played as Connie entered, said something that Ginny paid no attention to and signaled for Harry to enter.
He looked gorgeous with his hair mussed as always and, to Ginny, his eyes appeared to twinkle. He was only holding three red roses. What about the white roses? Ginny thought in a panic. She couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t let him give out the white roses to the girls sent home. It wasn’t fair! They needed some kind of memento from the time here.
Harry gave a short speech that Ginny couldn’t quite absorb in her anguish about the white roses. She now wished, more desperately than ever, that she would get a red rose. If not, she’d get nothing; absolutely nothing. The other girls, minus Janice, seemed to be thinking the same thing.
Only three red roses. Ginny hoped she didn’t hyperventilate. Then suddenly — she heard her name being called. Confused, and very out of it, Ginny walked up to Harry and took her rose. His fingers brushed hers as he handed the rose down to her and snapped her out of her trance. She smiled wonderingly up at him and he smiled back then she was walking through the door and was directed back toward the alcove. She wanted to ask her escort to let her wait by the door to see who else was picked but she couldn’t get the words out so she merely continued to follow. Well, that was a bit anti-climactic.
The alcove had changed again. Three doors in the hallway; the hall had grown in width so that at least four people could walk abreast down it and not touch the walls or each other. Harry’s room was still across the alcove and the furniture was far grander than it had been, if that could be imagined.
Ginny walked woodenly down the hall and into the room with her name on it. Her name was on it. Already. These guys are good, Ginny thought with no real conviction.
She had a thought and turned quickly back out into the hallway. The other two doors already had names on them as well. The one on the other side of the hall, diagonal from her own room had the name ‘Trista’ written on it. Ginny almost cried with relief. Walking down the hall she read the name off the last door.
It said ‘Janice.’
So, did you like it? I love this chapter, so I hope you liked it. A lot of references in this chapter sound very much like my fiance and myself; hope no one minds that the two may be slightly out of character -- this is alternate universe, after all :) Please leave feedback!
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