|SIYE Time:9:25 on 22nd March 2018|
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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: 99572; Chapter Total: 4857
Eye of the Storm
After the shock of getting through the rose ceremony so quickly and the repulsion of seeing that Janice had made it too Ginny got back her good mood with a vengeance! Ginny and Trista stayed up late that night talking in Trista’s room. Ginny was hesitant to tell her friend about what had happened the night before, for fear that Trista would be upset, so she said nothing about it.
Trista, however, seemed to feel no such restraint and was thus regaling all the events of her date with Harry, though she had already done so days earlier. Ginny didn’t really mind; she felt a pang of jealousy every once in a while, but she would quickly quash it and listen attentively again. It wasn’t as though Trista was bragging, though, she was just so excited that she couldn’t keep anything in. That’s just how Trista was.
Ginny was tempted to sneak out again after Trista left, but the chance of another midnight meeting was rare, and even if it did happen…what would be her excuse. ‘No, actually I’m exhausted, but I thought I’d sleep out here on the off chance that you’d come out and we could repeat the actions of last night.’ Yeah right. Ginny fell asleep quickly after Trista left, and it was of Harry that she last thought before sleep overcame her.
The next morning, Ginny was nervous. She didn’t really know why, though. There were now only three of them left with Harry so she worried how breakfast would be. How would she act around Janice? How would Janice act around her? How would Janice act around Harry? Now that she thought of it, she couldn’t really remember anything remarkably horrible about the way she acted when Harry was around. Though, breakfast was the only time she had ever seen them together, and Ginny had never really been part of the conversations on that end of the table.
Ginny didn’t feel like worrying about make-up and decided that if she had to go anywhere today she would remedy that. So, she fixed her hair, practiced her smile in the mirror (and after realizing how dumb she was being, stuck her tongue out at herself in the mirror) and went out to breakfast. And, of course, she was late.
Janice and Trista each had a seat to either side of Harry. The table, which had recently been long enough to three on each side and one at the head was now sized for the remaining three and Harry. There was no head of the table; it was a perfect square and Ginny sat staring directly at Harry.
Ginny wondered vaguely why no one had taken this seat, until she realized that Janice had her chair pulled as close to Harry’s side of the table as was possible. If the table were any smaller she could have been sitting practically on his lap. Ginny wanted to grind her teeth, but instead put on a pleasant smile and began talking to Trista.
Breakfast tasted like ashes to Ginny that morning. For the first time she was really able to hear what Janice was saying to Harry and it was a pile of steaming cow dung.
“That’s so interesting. I loved my defense against the dark arts class in school, but we were never allowed to work with a boggart. I’m not even sure I know what it would have turned into for me.” Janice shivered prettily as she continued. “You must be so brave.”
He believes all that? I mean, yeah, he is really brave, but come on now! Can’t he tell she’s just feeding him lines?
Ginny looked at Harry to see him smile politely at Janice and change the subject. She latched on again. “Expelled? You were almost expelled from school? Well, I’m sure it wasn’t your fault, was it?”
Harry assured her it hadn’t been his fault. Ginny wanted to ask him to go into more detail, but Janice wasn’t going to let her get a word in edgewise. There was one time during lunch — when Janice really went all out and decided to talk to Trista, as though it would make her look good to be friendly one of her competitors — when Harry’s attention wasn’t taken completely by Janice. Ginny desperately wanted to talk to Harry but she knew there was very little chance of that with Janice at the table. She did catch his eye, though. They shared a smile and Ginny had to duck her head and occupy herself with her food so that he wouldn’t see her blushing. Mm! I love his smile!
Connie joined them not much later to discuss the plans for the next couple of days. Apparently for the next three days the girls were going to be taking Harry home to meet their families. Ginny blanched. An entire day during which Harry could potentially be subjugated by her two older and twin brothers? They were sure to try and get in as many embarrassing stories about Ginny as they possibly could in the short time. This was going to be a disaster!
“Today, Harry will be going home with Janice to meet the Torbeck family.” If Janice hadn’t been trying so hard to impress Harry, she would have been smiling at Ginny like a cat with cream on it’s whiskers. As it was, she had the audacity to look surprised and — saints preserve us! — nervous! The day that Janice Torbeck is nervous is the day I sign up to be the guinea-pig for my brothers!
As soon as they were excused, Ginny made a bee-line for her loo. She wasn’t completely sure she was going to throw up, but she recognized that it was better safe than sorry.
Trista let herself in not long after Ginny positioned herself over the toilet, and leaned against the counter looking down at her.
“Now, I really wish I had just been kicked off yesterday. Even that would be better than what I know is going to happen.” Ginny kept her head over the toilet as she spoke and felt a bit too dramatic, but not in the mood to care.
“Why?” Trista asked softly. “What’s going to happen.”
“Don’t you see? Janice has completely brainwashed Harry! As far as he’s concerned, Janice is as nice a person as either of us, though a little desperate. He doesn’t see that it’s all a show. And now he has to meet our families?” Ginny did look up then. “You don’t know my family, Trista. He’ll never want to see me again after spending time with the over-exuberant twins Fred and George, the success-obsessed head-boy Percy, and the attention-starved Ron. And one could only hope that Bill and Charlie won’t be around or we’ll really have a handful. Then there’s my dad, who’s obsessed with muggles and mum who will act like the two of us haven’t been fed properly since this whole thing started. But first, he’s going to give Janice an entire day to brainwash him about the wonderful-ness of her, and by that time, there’ll be no stopping her!”
Trista stood there looking down on her, a ghost of a smile playing on her lips. “Are you finished?” she asked lightly.
Ginny’s nod was sulky as she repositioned her head over the toilet. She felt even more ill now. “Now, don’t you think you may be overreacting just a bit?” Trista raised her voice slightly and talked right over Ginny’s protests. “I mean, after all, Harry isn’t dumb. He’s sure to see what Janice really is eventually. I would bet that him spending time at her house will be the worst thing for her. And after all, she’s going first, so the two of us have the chance to undo her brainwashing when we get our turns.” She pulled Ginny gently to her feet. “Don’t worry about it okay? Besides, your brothers are all older than you, right? Who’s to say they’ll even be there?”
“Oh, they’ll be there,” Ginny muttered sourly. “Even if Fred and George have to call in a personal holiday and close the shop, they’d never miss the chance to torment me. And Ron still lives at home, believe it or not. Pathetic sod. He needs to get married.”
Trista chuckled quietly but Ginny ignored her, focusing on the contents of her stomach, which, at the moment, seemed to have no desire to make a re-appearance.
At length, Trista coaxed Ginny out of the loo and by that time Harry and Janice were long gone. As for one, good riddance! And for the other, please see through her!
For the sake of Ginny’s stomach, Trista opted to talk of anything but the up-coming family affairs. Instead they pulled out another of Trista’s contraband and watched a movie in Trista’s room which was once again sound proofed. Good thing no one seemed to care what the ones left behind were doing; everyone was focused on the two that were gone.
Despite Trista’s efforts at trying to change the topic, Ginny somehow got to talking about Neville. “He liked this movie, you know. He’s the only guy I know who would admit to liking a movie like this,” Ginny said gesturing toward the chic-flick on screen with a wave of her hand. “He was really a sweet guy. He started out as kind of a geek, but I saw through that stereotype. By the time we finished school, there were over a dozen girls that wished they had seen what I had seen in him. And yet, he still stayed humble.”
Ginny glared as she recalled. “You see, it was after school ended that his head inflated. He had been rubbish in Potions until I started helping him in school, so after we finished school and I was helping with the synthesis he took for granted that I was doing the potions work. As far as he was concerned, I was merely an off-shoot of him; his potions were being brewed because of me, but his mind saw that they were getting finished because he wanted them to be. When I figured out that synthesis on my own, he had to realize that I was not some sub-set of Neville, but my own person. I’m not sure he was able to handle that.”
The two were silent for a long time as they watched the movie and brewed over what Ginny had said. Ginny felt tears stinging her eyes and brushed it off saying, “Oh, I love this part,” to hide the real reason for the tears.
Ginny was too miserable to stay up much later after they finished their second movie. She begged off and retreated to her room where she quickly finished the scarf through a haze of tears and fell exhausted into bed.
The next morning Trista and Ginny ate breakfast by themselves since Harry and Janice weren’t expected back for another hour at least. Connie did come in half way through to announce that Trista would have the honor of taking Harry to her house this day. After she left, Ginny felt Trista’s eyes on her and was determined not to look down crest. “Now’s your half of the de-brainwashing. You had better do a good job.” The smile on her face felt plastered and fake to Ginny but she held on to it with all her strength. Trista smiled, a bit surprised, and the two hurried off to get her ready.
They had just barely finished packing when Connie came to get her. Ginny followed Trista to the alcove and saw both Harry and Janice waiting. Before Ginny could so much as glare, Janice swept over and pulled Trista into a hug. “Have fun,” Janice cooed. “I only wish I could see your house too,” she added as she held Trista at arms length and smiled at her. Ginny closed her mouth with a snap and chanced a look at Trista who appeared to be completely dumbfounded and was looking at Janice like she was some peculiar breed of prat. Twisting her face into a brief smile, Trista squeezed Ginny’s arm discreetly and walked over to Harry.
“Want to play a game of chess?” Janice asked right before everyone left, so that they would all be sure to hear her.
After they had left Ginny rounded on Janice. “What are you playing at?” Ginny’s temper was flaring.
“What? I really do want to play a game of chess with you.”
“That’s not what I meant, and you know it. Stop using us to make yourself look good. Harry’s too smart to fall for that, and we’re too smart to let you do it.” Janice smirked
“Harry doesn’t seem to be too smart yet. He’s falling for it, and he’s falling for me. You might as well go home now, because you’ll never make it past the next rose ceremony.” She paused with another smirk. “Sure you don’t want to play chess? You’ll never be able to beat me.” That last could have been taken either way; never beat her in the show and never beat her at chess. It also had the feel of a threat.
“I’ll go get my pieces,” Ginny growled through clenched teeth.
“Wonderful,” Janice called after her as she stormed to her room.
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