SIYE Time:21:22 on 21st 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: 101105; Chapter Total: 5015


Episode Nine

The plan for the Bumper Cars went over easier than Ginny thought it would. Instead of Ginny being on the receiving end of some horribly frightening looks, Christina endured a few incredulous stares, but no arguments. Harry seemed to like the idea and Ginny felt bad being forced to take the credit. She resolved to tell him later…if she ever had the chance. And definitely not where Lila or Elizabeth could hear. They would no doubt think she had some hidden agenda or something like that. This whole situation was getting out of hand, and the intrigues were making her head hurt.

Ginny was surprised that she had received no comments on the large red mark she was sure now graced her cheek. Harry gave it a brief look and his face clouded slightly, but Ginny just smiled at him, and he didn’t ask. Lila and Elizabeth were too busy with other things to wonder about the handprint.

Ginny was genuinely pleased to have Christina on her side at this point. Because of her intervention, Ginny was actually able to sit next to Harry on a ride other than a rollercoaster. She wasn’t able to talk to him at all but being near him was good enough for her at the moment. Since it had been Christina’s suggestion, she once again didn’t have to face down their looks; Christina seemed able to handle them much better than Ginny expected. She even told Christina so later.

“Well, they were manipulating everything up until this point, but I won’t let them do it anymore. You wouldn’t so I won’t either.” She gave Ginny a rare smile as she said this and Ginny felt like getting all emotional. She wanted to be prideful and take credit for the transformation, but she knew Christina had had it in her the whole time; she had just needed someone to back her up.

All in all, the last hour or so of the group date was much more pleasant than any of the earlier time, except for the solo ride with Mr. Potter. That was definitely the highlight of Ginny’s day.

As the five of them were walking around trying to decide what to do next, one of the cameramen made a signal to the others, and they all took the cameras from their faces. Ginny and the others stopped in confusion until one cameraman spoke. “I just got a message from the Producer. The group date is over, and Mr. Potter and Miss Crow’s date starts now.” He gestured to three of the cameramen and spoke again. “If the other three young ladies would follow these three gentleman they’ll lead you back to the limo and begin your interviews.”

Interviews? No one said anything about interviews. Ginny was a bit nervous. She knew how these reality shows worked and she just hoped she’d be able to temper her tongue well enough to not say anything that would sound incriminating, because even if you said something that obviously meant one thing, editors were great at making it seem as though you meant something entirely different.

She continued to be nervous the whole walk back to the limo and was grateful for the time it took to get there. This way she was given a bit of time to script out answers to questions they may ask. This was a smart move, as the first several questions were ones that she had been planning on.

‘Did you enjoy the day?’ was an easy one to answer. Leaving out the animosity of the other girls, Ginny instead focused mostly on how fun the rides were (minus the Ferris Wheel, which she stated was only good for finding out your position in the park) and her impression of Harry as an incredibly wonderful guy. The next question, ‘do you think you’ll be picked to continue on the show?’ though not exactly an easy question to answer, was still one that she had anticipated and she was glad that she knew how to put her thoughts into words. Telling the camera that she really didn’t know if she would make it past the next rose ceremony but hoping desperately that she would didn’t exactly seem to be the answer he was looking for, which is probably why he then jumped straight into the more controversial questions. Well, they were sort of questions…

“Earlier this afternoon when you went off alone with Mr. Potter we interviewed the other three girls. What I’m going to do is tell you what they said, and I want your reaction. What do you think of what they said? What reply would you make etc., you understand?” Ginny nodded vaguely, realizing that she was going to have to think fast.

“Miss Christina Blanche told us that you were a manipulator. She said, and I quote, ‘she’s not nearly this nice when Harry isn’t around. I just hope he doesn’t fall for her act.” The cameraman leaned his head around the camera to look at her expectantly.

Ginny smiled coolly before answering. “Nice try. Christina and I have come to an agreement, so we’re all good. If you want a reaction out of me, you need to do better than that.” She grinned at the slightly taken-aback expression on his face.

Clearing his throat, he went on. “Miss Elizabeth Crow informed us that from what she’s heard from the other girls, you’re a bit easy. She said that she’s glad you weren’t given the individual date because she was sure you would end up being a ‘snog-hog.’” He wasn’t able to go on, as, at that moment, Ginny burst out laughing.

“A snog-hog? That priceless! Oh, I love it. I’m going to have to remember that one.” Her laughter took over so she was completely unable to answer that question to his satisfaction.

By the time Ginny had stopped laughing, the other two girls had finished their interview, but unfortunately Ginny still had a few questions left. They were more like the first questions, so apparently the cameraman didn’t have a quote from Lila.

Her last answer seemed to satisfy the cameraman, not because of the controversy, but (and even Ginny had to admit this to herself) it was a very touching answer that many of the audience would be able to relate to.

“Are you upset that you weren’t given the individual date for tonight?”

“Well, yes, but at the same time, no. It would have been lovely to spend time alone with Harry…er, more than I got already,” Ginny blushed. “But if I make it past the next rose ceremony, I’ll get to see Harry every day, and if I don’t make it, I’d rather not have had a lot of time with him. It would be too painful to leave then. If I don’t make it into the top six, I’d rather not know what I’m missing.”

The cameraman dismissed her and went to join the others. That was when Ginny noticed that Lila had Christina cornered against the limo talking to her. And from the look on Christina’s face, it was not a pleasant conversation.

“Why are you suddenly siding with that…that manipulating slut?” Was the first thing Ginny heard when getting close enough. Well, now I know her opinion of me; a combination of the other two.

“You know,” began Ginny making Lila spin around with an alarmed look on her face. “If it would make you feel better you could slap me. It did a world of good for mine and Christina’s relationship, and I’m willing to go through that pain once again if it will keep you from hating me for no reason.”

“No reason? I hate you for very good reason!” Lila retorted.

“What reason? Because I’ve been ‘manipulative’? Because I’m a ‘slut’? I find it interesting that both of your reasons are ones that are nowhere near to being true.” Ginny held up one finger. “First of all, as I told Christina earlier, nothing I have said or done today was for any reason other than the fact that that is how I am. I laugh randomly. I love rollercoasters and hate the Ferris Wheel. I will gladly give up privileges if it will keep people from fighting. That’s who I am. I didn’t do any of those things in order to make Mr. Harry Potter like me. Secondly,” she held up another finger. “I have been in very few serious relationships. The most serious of which ended a few short months ago. We were engaged, but it was called off. I wouldn’t even let him kiss me for the first two months that we were dating. Does that sound like something a slut would do? And lastly, those reasons alone still wouldn’t be enough for you to hate me. You didn’t seem to dislike me earlier today before we left. In fact, at that point, it seemed we were on our way to becoming friends.

“That’s what shows like these do! They play people against each other in order to get a better story out of the situation. So, you have two choices; you can play along with them, and possibly get a bit more air time — while also getting more air time for me, I hope you realize — by ‘hating’ me publicly, or we can have a truce and you can keep both of us from looking like the bad guys.”

Lila frowned for a moment; “How can I trust that everything you’ve just said wasn’t simply to keep you from looking like the bad guy?”

Ginny shrugged. “There is nothing I can do to prove it to you if you aren’t going to believe me to begin with. If you don’t believe me, that’s okay. I know that I’m telling the truth, so I have nothing to worry about. A few rumors won’t kill me, and a few glares won’t either.” Ginny found herself thinking of Janice. She hasn’t killed me yet, but I may kill her.

“I want you to ask to sit next to Harry on the way home.”

Ginny shook her head in exasperation. “I’m not going to make what you think about me true just so that you’ll trust me. Asking to sit next to Harry when I know the three of you also want to sit next to him is not something I would do.”

Lila smiled slowly. “You passed,” she whispered embarrassedly.

Ginny stared at her dumbfounded until Lila began to giggle. In no time the three of them were laughing together and Ginny felt a weight lifting from her shoulders. As they calmed themselves down Lila’s face began to darken.

“Oh no!” she moaned out of nowhere.

“What’s wrong?” Christina asked with concern, laying a hand on Lila’s shoulder.

“My interview! I said all sorts of horrible things about you. Oh Ginny, I’m so sorry.” She looked like she was about to cry, so Ginny spoke up quickly.

“Please, don’t worry about it. All three of you told them horrible things about me earlier today and I’m still in one piece. As long as you don’t mean any of it anymore.”

It wasn’t a question, but Lila took it as one, shaking her head furiously as though a simple shake wouldn’t have convinced Ginny.

“No real harm done then.”

The girls continued to talk and laugh as they waited for the hour to pass. As they were talking, Ginny couldn’t help telling them what Elizabeth had said about her in the interview earlier.

“Snog-hog?” Lila was just barely able to ask through her laughter.

“Yeah! Can you believe it? I’m definitely going to remember that term. I’m sure it will come in useful someday.”

“I thought I heard her say something like that, but I was being interviewed at the time too, so it didn’t really register that she’d actually said that. That’s hilarious!” Christina added.

The limo driver strolled on back not too long after and let the three girls back into the limo, which was a relief. Now that the sun was setting, it was getting a bit chilly. Ginny hadn’t even thought to get her jacket out. She wasn’t sure this was an appropriate place to resize it anyway. There was no knowing in a place like this if muggles were watching.

Safely out of the cold and talking and laughing as they were, it didn’t seem very long before Harry and Elizabeth returned. Elizabeth didn’t seem very happy when she saw how well the three girls were getting along, especially when Harry joined in on their conversation, leaving Elizabeth outside their discussion, much the way Ginny had been on the way there. Empathizing, Ginny wanted to make sure that Elizabeth didn’t feel as totally left out as she had.

It really was as simple as just asking, “What do you think Elizabeth?” Elizabeth seemed confused at first, as though she had heard wrong, but then she smiled bemusedly and joined in. It was a much happier group that made the trip home than the one on the way there.
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