SIYE Time:23:10 on 27th May 2018

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: 101244; Chapter Total: 5076


Episode Eight
Don’t Be Sorry

The cameramen following Harry and Ginny when they got off the ride made it hard for the two to continue their conversation. They simply stuck to talking about the ride itself and wondering aloud if the others had enjoyed the Ferris Wheel without them. Not likely, Ginny thought sardonically.

Much to Ginny’s relief, the cameramen seemed content to film them as they were and didn’t ask any questions. Thinking of that, however, reminded her that the other girls had been talking to the cameras when she and Harry had left them. I wonder what they said about me. Ginny thought on that for a moment and realized that maybe she didn’t want to know. I doubt it was anything complimentary.

Harry and Ginny found the other three just outside the exit from the Ferris Wheel, as they supposed they would, once again surrounded by cameras. But now, instead of being questioned by the cameramen, they were simply talking amongst themselves.

Christina, who’s back was to her, made a comment about Ginny that Ginny really wished she hadn’t heard. When Christina saw they were back, she had the decency to blush, at least. Hurt, Ginny couldn’t make herself look at Christina but her shuffling feet proved that Christina knew Ginny had heard. Whether or not Harry heard was a mystery. If he heard, he made no reference to it, for which Ginny was glad because bringing it up would only make the other girls dislike her more. If their bachelor was sticking up for her, they would undoubtedly use that as another check against her.

Their stomachs suitably settled (or at least, not wanting to be left behind again) the girls had seemed to come to an agreement of finding rides that were more than Ferris Wheel material, but less than rollercoaster. When Ginny suggested catching the ten-minute show in the small Omnimax Theater, the other girls flatly ignored her. It wasn’t until after they had passed it that Ginny realized that the ten-minute show was all about rollercoasters. Ignoring her in such a way made her feel as though they were monitoring her, and this was Strike One.

They went on the Twister once, and, after having begged the engineer, were finally allowed to ride four to a bucket since Lila was “so small!” Ginny sat in one alone, willing herself to enjoy the ride despite the cold frankness of the other girls. When it was decided, Harry had shot her a look, but Ginny had just smiled, in essence telling him it was all right. That look was enough to help her enjoy the ride.

Next they went on the Yo-Yo, a swing like ride that basically twirled the many chain-suspended swings in a circle, progressively higher. It wasn’t that fantastic of a ride, but the swings were individual so she was able to sit relatively close to Harry without any sparks flying from Christina, Elizabeth and Lila. Without thinking, Ginny suggested the U.F.O. ride next earning her an approval from Harry and ferocious glares from the girls. Strike Two.

Elizabeth eventually complained of being hungry, and everyone agreed with her. When Harry ordered nachos, Elizabeth, Lila and Christina immediately did the same. Rolling her eyes, Ginny ordered a corndog and a lemonade. The five of them sat at an umbrella-covered table to eat. Ginny got back up to get some ketchup and mustard and when she came back there was quite a bit of space between her and the other girls, who were now crowding around Harry. Ginny felt that she wouldn’t be surprised if she developed a twitch from this whole experience.

Ginny finished up her corndog rather quickly but was still hungry. “Could I have a few nachos?” she asked, trying to be timid, in order to possibly placate the ravenous she-wolves at the table with her. The three of them ignored her as usual, until Harry pushed his paper bowl toward her, offering a few of his nachos. They glared at her as though it was her fault; as though they hadn’t been the reason Harry had felt obligated to share. This was just too much. She knew it was Strike Three, and she was more than happy to sit this one out.

Standing up quickly she made some kind of lame excuse about not feeling well, or needing to use the loo. She didn’t remember exactly what she said, but she headed to the nearest rest area without looking back.

Locking herself in a stall, Ginny leaned against the door. I’m going insane! Ginny wished there was a bit more space in the cramped stall so she could pace. As it was, two baby-steps in each direction was hardly enough for a suitable pace. Sighing, she let her head fall back to rest against the door.

She understood what was happening, and she couldn’t really say that she was unhappy about it. She had bonded, in a sense, with Harry. She was not sorry about that, but instead overjoyed! But this same thing that delighted her, forced the others to despise her. I wonder if anyone else had this problem. I wonder if they wondered if they were the only one. I wonder why I’m allowing myself to wonder at a time like this! Shut up already!

Knocking her head back against the stall door, Ginny felt like screaming. She felt like punching something. If only Janice were here. I think perhaps Elizabeth, Christina and Lila would be suitable replacements for Janice at this point. Not quiet as satisfying, but suitable nonetheless. Growling in her throat, Ginny unlocked the door and stepped out of the stall. Keeping up appearances, she decided to wash her hands, in case someone wondered why she hadn’t. Stupid thing to think of at a time like this.

As she stepped out of the restroom she was immediately surrounded by the cameramen again. Just bloody great. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and resumed walking. After opening her eyes, of course. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Walking into something with a bunch of cameras zeroed in on her like that.

When she finally caught sight of their table, Ginny instantly knew why the cameramen were suddenly so interested in her. The table was empty except for a bored, perturbed Christina.

“Where did everyone go?” Ginny asked, looking around.

“To wait in line for the Silver Bullet. I stayed behind to wait for you,” Christina answered with fake cheerfulness.

“How did they decide to make you wait for me?” Ginny asked in a voice quiet enough that the cameras wouldn’t be able to pick it up. “Rock, paper, scissors? Or was it that you had already sat by Harry more than the others?”

Christina was obviously trying very hard to keep her face pleasant. “I offered to stay behind,” she said aloud, then dropped her voice low as well. “You’re not the only one that sees the benefit of selflessness in this situation.”

“Yes, because that’s the whole reason I’m acting like this,” Ginny hissed sarcastically. “Because I’m just as shallow as the rest of you, and see this as a war instead of a glorified game show. I wish you all would just grow up. Just because I’m not vying for a seat next to Harry for every ride doesn’t mean there’s anything behind my motives other than simple fairness.” Ginny paused for a second. “You know what fairness is, right? I could explain it for you if you’re confused.”

Ginny’s ears rang with the impact of Christina’s palm, but she tried not to flinch as she felt the blood rushing to her inflamed cheek. It was hardly a wonder there was that much force behind the blow, considering how long her arms are. A curse to all tall people! Ginny thought, all rational thought having flown from her rattled brain.

“Well,” was all Ginny said, trying hard not to let her voice crack as she felt a familiar lump at the back of her throat. “I deserved that. Shall we go meet the others now?”

Ginny headed in what she assumed was the direction of the Silver Bullet and figured she was correct when Christina fell into step behind her and made no comment. Ginny finally saw it up ahead, and began walking faster, until she realized that Christina’s pace didn’t match her own. Turning, she was surprised by the look on Christina’s face.

Christina said something that Ginny couldn’t hear over the noise of the park, so she walked back over to stand in front of her. Not nearly face-to-face since Christina was a good 6 to 7 inches taller. “What did you say?”

“I’m sorry,” Christina whispered again, looking anywhere but at Ginny’s face.

“No you’re not.” Christina’s eyes found her own angrily. “And if you are, you shouldn’t be.” Confused, Christina still didn’t look away. “I deserved to be slapped. I can’t really say I’m glad you did it because it did hurt really bad. But, I deserved it.” She paused to let her words sink in. “What I don’t deserve, however, is your treatment toward me.

“Despite what you and the other girls think, nothing I have done up until now has been for the purpose of winning. I didn’t want to be on this show, my best friend signed me up without my knowledge. I do like Harry as well as any of the other girls on this show, but I am not one to manipulate others in order to win. Nothing I have said today was said in order to make Harry like me more, as you seem to assume it was, nor do I intend to say or do anything from this point on for the sole purpose of winning.” Ginny stopped talking once again, not sure if she had gotten her point across as she hoped.

“I am sorry,” Christina finally said. “But you’re right. I’m not sorry for slapping you, even though my hand hurts right now. I’m sorry for going along with the others. I’m sorry for getting mad at you on the ride here. I’m sorry for thinking you were being manipulative…and I’m sorry we’ve been walking in the wrong direction this whole time.”

Ginny blinked. “What?”

Christina blushed and giggled at the same time. “The Silver Bullet is back that way.”

Ginny looked in the direction they were heading, then looked where Christina was pointing. “But I — it looks like — isn’t that —” Christina shook her head when she saw where Ginny was pointing. “Well, I sure feel stupid. Shall we ask the cameramen if they know what this ride is called?”

Christina laughed and made a face before shaking her head. “I’m not sure I care. I’m glad that isn’t the Silver Bullet though. My stomach hasn’t settled enough to go on something like that!”

Laughing as they walked toward the real Silver Bullet, Ginny asked Christina what she would like to do here.

“I want to go on the Bumper Cars, actually,” was her response.

“Why haven’t you suggested it yet?”

Christina only shrugged.

“Well, let me see,” Ginny pondered. “Which would get me in less trouble? Suggesting the Bumper Cars, telling everyone you want to ride on the Bumper Cars, or telling everyone that you have a suggestion of where to go, and letting you suggest the Bumper Cars?”

Christina laughed before answering. “I’m not sure. If I had the guts to, I’d say none of the above, that I should just suggest it myself, but… How about you suggest the Bumper Cars and I’ll agree with you?”

It was Ginny’s turn to laugh. “That will be the first time all day that one of you has agreed with me! It just might work…”

Grinning mischievously at the cameramen who had been desperately trying to hear their conversation the whole time, Ginny and Christina continued toward their destination.

“So, truce?” asked Ginny quietly.

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