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SIYE Time:17:59 on 18th August 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: 90820; Chapter Total: 4561







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Episode Twenty-six
Phone Calls and Goodnights



“We’ll just have to make a run for it,” Harry whispered in her ear, his hot breath making the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. For a second, she couldn’t think and was about to follow him quickly down the hall when a thought struck her.


She swore under her breath, but not quiet enough that Harry didn’t hear. She pulled him to a stop and pushed him back through Connie’s office door. Harry’s face was registering a very bizarre look of confusion. “What’s going on?” Harry asked as Ginny threw off the cloak, locked the door behind them and started back toward the archives room.


“We forgot to turn the monitors and stuff off. We can’t leave them on or someone will suspect people have been in here.”


Harry echoed her earlier curse and rushed to follow her into the archives room. A couple seconds after they closed the door, the outside door opened and Ginny saw Harry’s eyes follow the little dot, on the map, marked “Connie” move into the room next to the one with their labeled dots. Silently turning off the monitor Ginny tip-toed over to the door and pressed her ear to the door to see what she could hear from Connie’s office. She was on the phone.


“Of course,” she was saying. “Now, I’m not saying we know for sure, this is really just in case.” She paused. “Well, like I said, we’re not positive, but we’re all pretty sure we know who Mr. Potter is going to pick.” Ginny looked up to see Harry beside her also listening in. His face turned a deep shade of red as he heard this last comment. Harry muttered something under his breath that sounded very much like “How can you know when I don’t even know,” but she couldn’t be one hundred percent sure.


As the conversation wore on Harry stepped back from the door a bit in order to glare. Apparently, as close as he had been before, it had been impossible to focus on the door, so now he scowled as though he could see through the door in order to glare at Connie. Though, at the same time, it almost looked like Harry was blaming the door for Connie’s words.


“No, she won’t know a thing about your arrival.” A pause. “I’m sorry, but that’s our policy. You’re going to have to deal with it. We may be lucky and Harry won’t even pick her, but if he does, we’ll use you, alright?”


Without saying the name of the person she was talking to, Connie hung up the phone at the end of their conversation only to immediately pick it back up and redial. She asked for someone by name but Ginny didn’t recognize it and apparently, neither did Harry.


“Jordan, it’s me. I talked to the boy and its all set.” She listened to the voice on the other end and sighed in exasperation before answering heatedly. “No, we don’t yet have a twist for if Harry chooses the other girl, but do you really think there’s much of a chance of that? I mean, you have been watching the footage, haven’t you?” She paused again to listen. “Don’t worry. Like I told you earlier, we’re as close to being sure as is possible at this moment.” Harry snorted quietly at this causing Ginny to giggle into her hand. He glanced at her sideways and gave a half grin as though thanking her for not being offended yet blushing as though he hadn’t intended for her to hear him in the first place. Ginny grinned back, still giggling.


By the time she had stopped giggling Connie had once again hung up the phone. She shared a look with Harry as they heard Connie’s office door close. Harry sighed with relief.


Harry checked the map again to make sure that Connie really was gone and, over his shoulder, Ginny saw her dot moving down the hall. The two shuffled back out into Connie’s office, checking the archive room as they went to make sure everything was off and all trace of them was gone.


Without further ado, Harry draped the cloak around the two of them and stepped out into the hallway, moving in the opposite direction as Connie. With the invisibility cloak once again in place Ginny pulled out her wand and lit the way back to their rooms. After all the excitement, the walk back was refreshingly uneventful so Ginny was able to savor Harry’s closeness and breath deeply of his smell. She wished she knew what the smell was; a cologne? an after-shave? It was delicious, if such a word could be used to describe a scent.


When they finally got back to the alcove Ginny was reluctant to allow Harry to take the cloak off the two of them, having come to enjoy his closeness immensely. However, when the cloak did come off Ginny couldn’t help giggling.


“What’s so funny?” Harry asked in a whisper. Ginny, trying to compose herself, pulled Harry into her room in order to put a silencing spell on it.


Ginny’s voice was loud when she spoke, even to her own ears. “I’ve always wanted to use an invisibility cloak, but I never thought I’d get to do some real espionage. It’s no wonder you keep the thing around. Do you do this type of thing often?”


“I thought I told you,” Harry said in mock exasperation. “I only use it to get around when I don’t want people to see me.”


“Liar!” Ginny laughed. “You used it to sneak into a girl’s room just tonight. That proves it. I knew you were nothing better than a peeping-tom!”


Harry rolled his eyes at her, chuckling softly and folded the cloak over his arm. He looked like he was searching for something to say but he couldn’t find it. His lapse in the conversation completely changed the mood in the room and Ginny wasn’t sure what to make of it. She had tried to keep it lighthearted for a reason but that safety blanket of humor had somehow managed the smother the mood she had intended.


Ginny sat on the edge of her bed, watching Harry look around her room waiting for him to talk. When he did, it wasn’t what she had expected.


“Your room is pretty bare. I didn’t expect that of you,” he commented.
Thrown off her guard, Ginny answered much more truthfully that she would have had she had ample time to think of a better response. “Well, it didn’t use to be, but I was pretty sure I was going to be going home, so I packed all my stuff up last night.” Seeing the guilty look on Harry’s face, Ginny explained further. “I didn’t say that to make you feel bad again, you know. I’m completely baffled as to why I’ve made it this far, so it didn’t seem too far-fetched to think I would be leaving and Janice wouldn’t be.”


“So, do you not want to be here?”


“Harry Potter, stop putting words in my mouth. That is absolutely not what I said, and neither is it what I meant.” She forced herself to laugh and realized that it really wasn’t that hard to do. The way he had asked the question was almost enough to make her face heat again.


“Okay.” Harry smiled at her. “I’m glad to hear that.”


Ginny’s face did heat this time and she found herself wondering what exactly he had intended by that statement. Bloody boy and his darned adorability!


Ginny was about to make a comment when she was suddenly overcome by a fit of yawning. Covering her gaping mouth as quickly as possible, she noticed that her yawn had indeed been contagious and that Harry also looked as though he could swallow flies if he wasn’t careful. She fell into giggles as soon as she had control of her mouth back and he did the same, though his were more like deep-throated chuckles than they were giggles. Do guys giggle? Silly questions when one is sleepy.

“Well,” Harry began, folding and unfolding his cloak over his shoulder almost nervously. “I should get to bed and let you get some sleep as well.”


Ginny merely nodded, blinking tiredly to get the moisture out of her eyes that had been dislodged after the tell-tale yawn.


Not wanting him to leave so suddenly and assuming that she could later brush it off as tiredness if he seemed to be affronted, Ginny stood up fast and embraced Harry. She flung her arms around his neck and nestled her face into that perfect place between his neck and his shoulder. “Goodnight,” she whispered, pulling away.


This was when she noticed that his arms were wrapped around her too and he wasn’t letting go. Not at all complaining about this, Ginny rested her head back down again, her eyes closing in bliss. A picture flashed through her mind; Trista. Oh no. I can’t do this. She pulled back suddenly, her guilt rearing up imagining how upset Trista would be if she had found them like that. If it had been Ginny and Janice still left Ginny would have had no qualms about passionately kissing Harry at that moment, especially seeing the confused and hurt expression on his face. But since it was Trista Ginny felt like a traitor as she fraternized with Harry behind Trista’s back. Ginny may want, quiet desperately, to win, but not at the expense of Trista’s friendship.


Ginny smiled warmly, softening some of the hurt from Harry’s face but none of the confusion. “Goodnight Mr. Potter.”


He chuckled as he walked toward her door. “Goodnight Miss Weasley.”


“And don’t you go sneaking into girls’ rooms again. You never know what kind of surprise you’ll get.” Harry pulled an almost innocent face, so she had to add: “and I wasn’t referring to the whole sleeping topless thing. I meant more along the lines of — had I had access to something heavy and sharp I would have thrown it at you before seeing who you were.” He nodded at her joke and took his leave.



--------------------------



By the time she had showered and dressed the next morning she heard Trista knocking earnestly at her door. Ginny laughed as she opened it. “You don’t have to know, you know,” she told Trista as the girl stepped into the room.”


“It was locked,” Trista told her as she sat on Ginny’s bed.


Oh, that’s right. I locked my door to make sure Harry wouldn’t come back in. “Sorry about that. What’s up?”


Trista smiled sheepishly. “Help me pack? Connie just came to tell me that I’m going first.” She fairly bounced when she went on. “We’re going to Harry’s house now, did you hear? It’ll be great to see where he lives.”


Ginny nodded and acted surprised so that Trista wouldn’t ask her how she found out. ‘Oh, Harry told me that last night after he snuck into my room,’ would probably be a bad thing to say at this moment.


“So you’ll help me pack?”


Ginny laughed again. “Of course, you goose. When have I not helped you pack? Heck, you even helped me pack the other day.” Trista didn’t laugh quite as loud as Ginny.


“I’m so glad you didn’t go home. I’m not sure I would have known what to do without you.” Ginny sat down next to her on the bed when Trista’s face turned serious. “Will you promise me something, Ginevra?”


“What is it?” Ginny asked with concern.


“Will you promise me that no matter what happens we’ll still be friends? I know I won’t hate you if you win and I don’t want you to hate me if I win.” She made to go on but Ginny cut her off.


“Trista, don’t worry. I promised myself from the start that I wouldn’t allow Harry to mess up our relationship. You were my friend before either of us even had a clue that we could get this far.”


“That’s true,” Trista said with tears in her eyes. “I need to tell you something though.”


Ginny’s heartbeat quickened. She didn’t like the tone of Trista’s voice at the moment.


“During the last date, well…Harry kissed me. I figure that he must have kissed you before too but you hadn’t wanted to hurt my feelings and therefore hadn’t told me. So, I thought I’d tell you so that if he had kissed you too, you wouldn’t be embarrassed to tell me.”


Ginny’s heart stopped beating altogether for a few seconds. “No Trista,” Ginny said, forcing herself to smile. “He hasn’t kissed me.”


“Oh Ginevra, I’m so sorry! I thought for sure he would have kissed you if he had kissed me. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. Oh! I feel horrible now.” Tears leaked down Trista’s face.


“Trista, calm down. It’s alright. Please, stop crying. I don’t mind,” Ginny lied. Secretly she wanted to start crying too but not while Trista was there. It would only make Trista feel worse. “If you don’t stop crying your eyes are going to be all red and puffy and he won’t want to kiss you again.” Trista laughed through her tears and worked at calming herself down.


“I really am sorry. I shouldn’t have brought it up.” Ginny just smiled at her. “Are you still going to help me pack.”


“Absolutely not,” Ginny laughed, her facetious attitude brightening Trista’s mood. “Come on. I can’t help you pack in here. I forbid you to take any of my clothing with you. That would be far too weird.” The two continued to laugh as they crossed the hall to Trista’s room.



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Ginny stood on the dock, her arms spread wide being buffeted by the strong winds, leaning into it, her eyes closed in delight She heard voiced behind her. Indistinct. Familiar. On the sand behind her stood two people, shoulder to shoulder. They didn’t seem to be aware of each other as they stood staring at Ginny. The first, light hair combed back meticulously, had a look of intense longing in his eyes. The other, dark of hair, smiled warmly, his eyes twinkling as though with a secret joke.


Neville. Harry. What are they doing here?


“Gin,” Neville pleaded. “I’m sorry. I want you back. Please. I miss you so bad I can’t stand being without you anymore.”


Before he had even finished speaking Harry spoke. “Ginny,” he chuckled. “It’s been a long time since I was this happy. Your sense of humor is so refreshing. I’m glad I met you.”


One face twisted with pain and yearning the other softened with humor and warmth. They spoke at the same time — pleading; affectionate.


“I love you.”



----------------------------



Ginny woke with a start.


“Er, okay. That was weird,” she muttered to herself. She blinked her eyes several times to get them back in focus. They felt heavy, as eyes usually did after crying yourself to sleep. She had tried not to think about what Trista had told her after she and Harry had left but the thought wouldn’t go away. She knew now who Connie had been talking about. Obviously if they had been watching the footage they would have seen Harry kiss Trista. There would be no doubt in their mind that Trista was Harry’s choice, especially after watching the footage from Ginny’s house.


Trista was going to win. Ginny had resigned herself to the fact that she would be leaving before the last rose ceremony but somehow it hurt more now. To go from knowing you have no chance to thinking that maybe you do to once again knowing you didn’t was harder than Ginny had expected. She wanted to go home now. She didn’t want to have to go through the rest of it. It would hurt too much to spend another day with Harry knowing that he had chosen someone else.


Her nap, though allowing her eyes to get puffy, had refreshed her and Ginny decided to take another shower for good measure. She didn’t know what else she was supposed to do. Lunch would be in no more than a half an hour but she didn’t relish eating at the table by herself.


After she had showered and eaten she sat herself down to finally finish the scarf that she had been putting off. When she finished that she would read. If she finished her book again perhaps she could find something else interesting to do. She sat knitting thinking about how much fun Trista must be having and wallowing in self-pity as she imagined Harry kissing Trista. It took all her willpower not to cry.

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

Well, I still have another chapter left after this (but only one more) and you will probably all hate me for it but love me at the same time. After that, I don't know how often I'll be able to post because by then I'll probably be a married woman (I'm getting married on the 18th) but I'll try to finish this story soon -- just a couple more chapters left, if I haven't missed my mark. Review, review! *grins*
Reviews 759
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