|SIYE Time:9:21 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: 99567; Chapter Total: 4905
Ginny stood waiting with her things in the alcove by herself. Trista had stayed with her for a few minutes to try reassuring her but had left not long ago when she wasn’t getting a reaction. She didn’t have to wait by herself much longer.
Harry dragged his stuff out of his room not long after Trista left and Ginny offered to help. He looked up at her as though he had never seen her before. “It’s alright. If I really needed help, I could have used magic.”
Taken aback by his tone, Ginny merely agreed with a laugh that sounded hollow even to her own ears. This was going to be worse than she thought. She was tempted to say something to undo whatever it was that Janice had said to him, but then had to reflect on her reasoning. Depending on what Janice had told him, he would probably realize on his own that it wasn’t true and she knew that if she told him, her heart would be in the wrong place; her agenda would mainly be to discredit Janice and not so much to clear her own name.
Standing there, waiting, Ginny would occasionally look over at Harry but he seemed to be ignoring her. This really was going to be worse than she thought if he wasn’t even planning on talking to her. They were going to have a very boring ride if he was going to continue pretending that she was nothing but a piece of furniture.
“Um,” Ginny’s voice cracked and she cleared her throat, face flaming. “I thought I should probably tell you a little bit about my house.” He made no comment and didn’t even acknowledge that he’d heard her but she trudged on. “We call it the Burrow, but don’t ask me why; the story behind it was around for much longer than I have been. My parents, Molly and Arthur live there, obviously, and my brother Ron is still living at home also. Ron is the same age as you; one year older than me. No doubt Fred and George heard about you coming over so they’ll probably be there today too, but I don’t know about the others. Percy, who is a year older than the twins will most likely not be around since he has taken to thinking he is better than the rest of us and Bill and Charlie are working elsewhere and don’t come home very often. If we’re lucky it’ll just be my parents and Ron, but I’m pretty sure the twins will be there — they’d never miss a chance to torment me — so if that’s the case we won’t be so lucky.”
Without looking at her, almost as though he was talking to himself, Harry spoke. “Why do you dislike the twins so much?”
Ginny did a double take. “I don’t dislike them, per se, but for so many years they have treated me less as a sister and more as a live-in tester.” She stopped and looked at him even though she knew he would still be staring at the door as though hoping it would start talking to him instead of her. “Just a warning; if either of them give you something to eat, don’t eat it. Anything in the house that is truly edible will be given to you by my mum or by me. Don’t eat anything else. There’s no telling what it will do to you.”
Harry nodded still not looking at her and Ginny sighed before joining him in staring at the door. What’s taking so long?
As though to fulfill their wishes, the door to the rest of the castle opened and Connie came grinning into the room. “Everything is ready,” she told them warmly before noticing the looks on their faces. Harry’s was a mix of emotions; pensive but furious. Ginny’s, she knew without being able to see her own face, was lost, bewildered and hurt.
Connie cleared her throat and continued as though she hadn’t noticed the state the two were in. “If you’ll just follow me we can send you on your way.” Ginny and Harry bent to retrieve their things. “Don’t worry about that. They’ll carry it all for you,” she said, gesturing to the men that heeled her.
Despite Connie’s words Ginny lifted her purse and slung it across her shoulder. She trailed Harry out of the room as he followed Connie.
Ginny stared at her feet at they walked, not really seeing the hallways they walked along, not really sensing the presence of others. She knew why Harry was mad at her, but the specifics of what Janice could have told him eluded her. She said that Harry thinks I’ve been telling lies. What would she tell him I had been lying about? Ginny’s troubled mind couldn’t find the answer.
When they got outside they were bundled into the limo and Connie waved them away. It was at this point that Ginny’s emotions became completely unreadable, even to herself.
She knew she was scared about this whole ordeal, even more so knowing that Harry was upset with her. At the same time, she was also excited. It seemed such a long time since she had seen her parents. She thought she was even looking forward to seeing Ron. Plus, as much as she loathed admitting it, even to herself, the presence of Fred and George would be a balm to her mood if Harry persisted with his silent treatment. Even if it was at her own expense, laughter would be a welcome change.
But aside from those emotions she felt also apprehension. She didn’t know what Janice had told Harry so she didn’t know what to say or do to dispel Harry’s belief in them. She also felt a tightening in her chest. She hurt worse than she ever had; a pain that was not physical and so hard to describe. It was as though someone had punched a hole through her heart. Every minute that Harry’s kept silent it got worse.
For most of the trip Ginny sat gazing out the window dreading the day to come. At one point she chanced a look at Harry and had a hard time tearing her eyes away. Even when upset with her he was gorgeous. His hair was wild and untamable and thick enough that even from where she sat she wished she could run her fingers through it. His eyes, though not directed toward her still startled her with their shocking green. His scar, a fading mark on his forehead, was something that she had never really taken much notice of until this moment. Knowing now that he didn’t enjoy the celebrity he had been pushed into, Ginny wanted to be able to reassure him that the scar was not important to her but she didn’t have the words; even if she had, she wasn’t sure that he would appreciate them at this point. He still had not looked at her.
That instant that had felt like an eternity passed and she forced her gaze out the window once again, fighting back tears. You are so pathetic. She tried to tell herself that she was just being stupid but it wasn’t until now that she realized how much she cared for Harry. It sounded so cliché, even to her, but it was true. The little bit of time she had been able to spend with him had been great. They had gotten along well, carried on interesting conversations, had the same interests — and come on! — he didn’t treat her like a fool when she said something stupid. He actually thought her funny.
And now he wouldn’t talk to her. He wouldn’t talk because he believed something false about her that she knew she couldn’t talk her way out of. A single tear made a path down her cheek but she didn’t wipe it off. She knew that kind of movement would draw Harry’s eyes even for a second and she didn’t want him to know she was crying.
The rest of the ride passed with just as much silence. Ginny wondered irrationally if it would cause the same situation if she started laughing randomly again, but the rational side of her shut up the irrational side before the thought could more than skim across her consciousness.
When the Burrow came into sight Ginny almost sighed. It looked just as she remembered it. It wasn’t until she chanced another look at Harry that she realized how poor she was sure to suddenly look.
Awkward and blushing from pure gut-wrenching embarrassment, Ginny let herself out of the limo and decided that she didn’t want to look at Harry either. She didn’t want to see the disgust on his face as he looked at her house, tilting and held up only by magic with it’s desperate need of a paint job and un-manicured lawn with the occasional garden gnome. She walked stiffly toward her house hoping that Harry was as gracious as she thought him to be and wouldn’t make an embarrassing comment about the state of her house where her mother could hear. Her face was flaming when she reached the walkway leading to the door.
Molly opened the door with gusto and reached out to hug her daughter. Polite enough not to make a comment on Ginny’s face, she pulled away and greeted Harry warmly. Ginny looked at Harry from under her eyebrows and saw him smiling genially at her mum. She had never liked him more than she did at that moment.
“Please come in,” Molly said with a gesture to the interior of the house. Harry smiled at her and followed her inside. Ginny was a bit slower in entering. It was almost as if walking into the house would be waiving anything her brothers may have planned to do to her; as though there was someway to bypass the horror if she simply didn’t go inside.
The driver carrying their baggage came up behind her, however, so she had the choice of going inside or being knocked over; the driver couldn’t see around the luggage very well. She stepped inside.
Harry was now being greeted by her father who was shaking his hand quite vigorously. She saw Ron to one side of her father standing as though waiting his turn and, to her utter dismay, Fred and George stood just outside the kitchen talking to each other out the sides of their mouths.
There was noise from the kitchen and Ginny heard the most welcoming voice she could have heard at that moment. Seconds later, Hermione walked out of the kitchen. Smiling a bit smugly, she walked over to Ginny who threw her arms around her best friend. “You have no idea how glad I am to see you.” Ginny muttered to Hermione. “But I’m still going to kill you. Maybe even more so now than I wanted to originally.”
Hermione simply laughed and hugged her back. “Well, aren’t you going to introduce us?” she asked stepping back from Ginny and appraising Harry.
“Well,” she said to Harry, who actually deemed to look at her. “You’ve already met mum and dad, you already knew Fred and George, and it appears you are in the process of meeting Ron,” she started noticing that Ron was still shaking Harry’s hand, despite the fact that Harry was no longer looking at him. “So I wanted to introduce you to my best friend, Hermione.”
Like the perfect gentleman, and like he wasn’t angry with Ginny, Harry walked over and shook Hermione’s hand exchanging pleasantries. Ginny was so proud of him. He had already made a very good impression on everyone. Now, if only they could get around the whole, he’s-mad-at-her ordeal, this would have been a fairly good situation.
Harry was pulled back over to the other side of the room where he was trapped in conversation with Ron who didn’t appear to want to let anyone else in on the conversation. Harry seemed to be enjoying himself, however, so Ginny felt no need to go try to save him.
“Something’s wrong, isn’t it?” Hermione spoke quietly.
“Yes. Very wrong.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Do you have a couple hours?” Hermione grinned at Ginny’s question and the two of them isolated them in another corner of the house. Ginny could still see Harry and Ron but neither of the two couples could hear each other.
Ginny explained to Hermione all about Janice and what she had implied the day before. She went into great detail about the way Harry had reacted toward Ginny before in contrast to how he was reacting to her now.
“I can’t think of what she could have said that would make this much of an impact on him,” Ginny sighed.
“Have you tried asking him?” Ginny gave Hermione a withering look.
“He won’t look at me, let alone talk to me. I mean, I could ask him, but there’s no guarantee that he would answer me.”
Hermione nodded in understanding. She glanced over to where Harry and Ron sat. “He’s quite a bit more attractive than I ever thought he would be.”
Ginny laughed aloud before agreeing wholeheartedly.
As the two calmed down Ginny felt someone at her side. She turned with a jump to see Fred and George smiling wickedly at her. “Did we scare you?” Fred asked.
“We sure didn’t mean to.”
Ginny rolled her eyes at the two. “What do you want?”
“It appears you and young Harry are having a tiff,” Fred began
“A lover’s quarrel, as it were,” George finished.
Ginny ground her teeth before answering. “Hardly. But yes, in a sense.”
“You want we should…how would you say it Forge?”
“Blimey, I’m not sure, Gred, perhaps…” The two looked at each other.
“Well, we do have those new…”
“That’s right we could use the…”
“Contortionist confection,” they said in unison.
“It tastes heavenly,” George put in.
“Right,” Fred added innocently. “But it does have that side-effect. You know the one I’m talking about?”
“No, what’s that?” Ginny scowled as the two continued talking to each other as though this had not been planned beforehand.
“Oh, whoever eats it will have the uncanny knack of getting limbs caught in the strangest of places. Elbows caught in trouser pockets–”
“Feet caught in sleeves. It’s quite embarrassing really.”
Ginny growled at the two of them. “You’re obviously not as perceptive as you had imagined. We are not fighting. He is mad at me and I seem to have no say in it. Do you really think I would allow you to do something that would make him even madder at me?”
The twins had the audacity to look offended. “Dear sister; did you really think we meant this as a threat to Mr. Potter?”
“Really, we thought he would enjoy it.”
Hermione finally stepped into the conversation and Ginny couldn’t have been more pleased; a few more seconds of this and her brothers would have been physically incapable of administering any of their concoctions to Harry.
“Sod off, will you two?”
The twins made mockingly alarmed noises and backed away slowly. “Sod off we will. I don’t want to anger these two.”
“Yeah, they’re scary.”
Another voice was added to the conversation. “What do you boys think you’re doing?” demanded Molly Weasley.
Fred gave George a sidelong look. George swallowed. “Nothing mum. We were just talking to our beloved sister.”
“We’ve missed her so.”
“Well you leave them alone. Don’t you have something to work on; some goo-splattering ink or some such?”
“What a great idea mum.”
“Never would have thought of it without you.”
Ginny mouthed the words ‘thank you’ to Molly who smiled at her daughter and went to join Ron and Arthur who now appeared to be interrogating Harry.
“Maybe you should go save him. Even if he is upset with you, I’m sure he’d appreciate getting away from that.”
Ginny saw Fred and George headed in Harry’s direction as well and thought that intervention for Harry would be a very wise decision.
“I thought,” Ginny said to get everyone’s attention. “that you might like a tour of the house, Harry.” Ginny was rewarded by Harry’s eyes on her face as he smiled a bit distractedly and stood from the middle of the group.
Ginny headed up the stairs with Harry close behind. Without looking back she spoke to him in a hushed voice. “You don’t really have to see the whole house if you don’t want to. I just figured you’d like to get away from being the center of attention again.”
Ginny sighed when that seemed to be all he was willing to say to her.
They reached the first landing, on which Harry looked around a bit before continuing to follow her up. “This is the room you’ll be staying in,” Ginny told him when they reached the second landing. “It used to be Charlie’s room, but he doesn’t live here any longer, so it’s sort of become a guest bedroom.”
“Thank you,” he repeated.
Awkwardly she stood there as Harry opened the door and looked in, seeing his things already inside. “I’m in the room one floor up if you need me.”
He turned to look at her, face blank, and didn’t speak.
Ginny nodded to herself when he remained silent. “Well, I hope you have a really nice time here.” And with that flippant comment, Ginny ascended the staircase to her room with tears stinging her eyes.
I can't believe they don't have Fred and George as choices for characters in the story. Oh well. I love the interation between Ginny and the twins in this one. I hope you did too :)
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