Something's Gotta Give
Disclaimer- I don't own JKR's characters… the title belongs to LeeAnn Rimes, who wrote the song that accompanies it. This story takes themes from that great song, a bit from Natasha Bedingfield's "Frogs and Princes", and a bit borrowed from the movie "Must Love Dogs". Oh, and Coldplay belongs to…well…Coldplay.
Authoress' Note- Sorry, guys. It's another plot bunny. I couldn't get it out of my head. So I apologize profusely to those of you that were disappointed that I haven't yet updated my other stories. (I'm trying to get all of them updated by Sunday, because Monday I'm leaving on vacation and will be gone until next Friday)
Chapter 1: RavishingRed
Ginevra Weasley sighed as she grudgingly looked over at the white laptop sitting innocently on her kitchen counter. "10 New Responses!" the icon on the screen cheerily flashed.
I can't do this, she thought exasperatedly, desperately sipping her mug of chamomile tea. I'm…I'm not ready.
Ginny had just ended the longest two years of her life, going through a bitter divorce with her lifelong friend and ex-husband, Harry Potter. They had cited "irreconcilable differences" on their divorce papers, and for once, someone checking that box was telling the truth.
She wasn't sure where it happened. They had only been married for seven years total. But somewhere in there…they grew apart. They stopped feeling for each other the way that they used to. The battle had changed everyone, nobody more so than Harry. When he had come back to her after barely surviving the final battle with Voldemort, she had seen it- a gaunt expression of death in his eyes.
Her love, her childhood friend…was lost forever. And even though they attempted to carry on like nothing had changed for over half a decade, Ginny knew…the love they once had was lost, too. She could see it in the empty way he looked at her, in the morning kisses that were more compulsory than passionate…
It depressed her to think about it. Now, Ginny was thirty-one. She had been so sure that she would have the perfect life by now. Ginevra had thought that all her worries were over on her wedding day- she would get to have the perfect husband, black lab, two kids, and fuel-efficient minivan. But it didn't work out. Maybe it isn't meant to work out for people like me, she thought with frustration, setting her mug down onto the counter and going towards the fridge. She was glad that Harry had come into her life, for however a brief a period it was. Without him, she never would have known about the wonders of refrigerators. Ginny had actually gotten to the point where she relied on a few interesting Muggle contraptions, thanks to Harry.
She focused solemnly on the stainless steel fridge, brushing her scarlet locks over her shoulder. I miss him. I know that we weren't working out…but sometimes I think that someone- anyone- would be better than this…this emptiness.
In fact, it was her lonely attitude that had prompted her two best friends to do such a ridiculous thing for her in the first place.
"Ginny, it's not that big of a deal, really. Everyone is online nowadays," her friend Hermione Granger had stated enthusiastically, taking Ginny's laptop from her hands and booting it up.
"Really, Gin! And you can find anybody on these sites! Did you know, I found a guy who swears he saw the Crumple-Horned Snorkack just the other day! Finally, someone believes me!" Luna Lovegood had shouted excitedly, using her hands to make grand arm gestures while she spoke.
Ginny had just waved a hand in Luna's direction after her statement, clearly indicating that she did not want to meet any Crumple-Horned Snorkack sightseers anytime soon.
"They're not all like that, Gin. Really. There are millions of men on these sites, there have to be someone you like," Hermione had said, in her tone that plainly stated that there was no room for discussion.
Ginny had simply heaved a sigh and sat down on one of her bar stools, running her hands through her hair. "I'm not ready for this, you guys."
"Yes, you are!" Hermione and Luna had chorused irritably.
"Really, dear, it's been two years," Luna had said quietly, coming over to stroke Ginny's hair reassuringly.
"Nothing bad will happen. The worst is you get a couple of awkward first dates. But you'll be taking a chance. You'll be getting yourself out there. And, personally, I can see nothing better for you to do at this point," Hermione had said logically, clicking on the Internet Explorer icon.
Ginny sighed. "Okay. I guess I don't really have much of a choice, do I?"
"Absolutely not. We already made you a profile," Hermione said with a smirk, typing in the site's name in the search engine.
"Are you kidding? Then why did you two even bother asking me!" Ginevra had retorted irritably, crossing her arms over her chest.
"We wanted you to feel like you had a say in the matter, even if you didn't," Luna had chimed in helpfully.
And now, was showing a total of 10 interested males, all eager for Ginny to listen to their charming voice messages.
Grudgingly, she walked over to the laptop, and clicked "Play".
A falsely cheery voice was what came out.
"Hey, Ginny! My name is Tom, and I work for the Ministry of Magic…"
"Hi, Tom," Ginny interjected sarcastically, just because she knew he would have no way of knowing.
"…I'm part of the Unspeakables team, but I guess I can't really tell you what we do, because it's unspeakable…Um…you're really pretty! I love your hair…you look familiar. Do you have family working in the Ministry? Hmm…Anyway. If you're interested, just give me a buzz! You know where to find me!"
Ginny laughed humourlessly. "That I do, Tom. That I do. Not that I'd want to."
Aren't you being a bit hard on him? I mean, there is the fact that he had no idea what he was talking about most of the time…and the fact that Dad's been in the Ministry for over thirty years, and has brought us there many times to meet his co-workers, but whatever. Maybe I'll give him a shot if I can't find anyone better.
She sighed as the long list of potential suitors gave their equally dull interviews. Come on, guys, how about something a little different?
But that something different never came. Discouraged, she examined the site more fully, wondering if there was a way to meet a cute guy that put her a little bit more in control.
I'm not really in the mood to sell myself through a minute-long message, Ginny thought irritably, searching the screen for something a bit different. Hmm… "chat", eh? That sounds promising…
Clicking the icon, she was asked for a temporary chat username. Tapping her finger against her chin as she thought, Ginevra's face almost instantly burst into a mischievous smile. Perfect…she thought, typing it in.
RavishingRed has entered WonderfulWitchChat1 at 22:04 hours
RavishingRed, there are 9 members in this chatroom. Members of this chatroom are currently: BlondesdoitBetter, DyingtoDance, JigsawJunkie, JimlikeshisPimms, Modelizer, SecretDragon, Serendipity, SlavetoStarbucks, WestHamRocksSocks
JimlikeshisPimms- hey Red! How are you doing tonite?
Ginny smiled as she lowered her fingers to the keyboard to respond to Jim.
RavishingRed- Pretty good, thanks- and you?
JimlikeshisPimms- decent, yeah. Decent. You in London?
He likes to get right down to the nitty-gritty, doesn't he? Ginny thought irritably, brushing a stray strand of hair out of her face.
RavishingRed- A ways away, actually. I'm around Bristol.
JimlikeshisPimms- Ah, well then, never mind.
RavishingRed- Never mind what? I didn't even get to talk to you.
She blew the pesky stray hair out of her face again as she thought about some of the pervy men online nowadays. I'll bet Jim likes more than his Pimm's, Ginny thought with a slight chuckle.
WestHamRocksSocks- So are you two going to have your own conversation all night, or is anyone else planning on chipping in something?
BlondesdoitBetter- I know! Let's talk about celebrities…I bet I can beat anyone in here at Six Degrees of Separation!
JigsawJunkie- Six degrees of what?
BlondesdoitBetter- It's a Muggle game. You match actors and actresses through the movies they're in, but you have to do it within six movies.
WestHamRocksSocks- Sounds like a ridiculous waste of time.
JigsawJunkie- Exactly. Sounds fun! Who wants to pick two?
Ginny sighed as she got up from her stool. They would obviously be at that ridiculous game awhile, so she got up to make herself some hot chocolate. As the milk heated to just the right temperature, she heard a funny noise from the computer.
Oh, no, she thought worriedly, dashing over to it. I've only had this thing a few months…could I have broken it already?
But, no, there was nothing wrong with the computer at all. Instead, there was a flashing window that had cropped up in her taskbar.
))PM from SecretDragon (22:23 hours)
SecretDragon - You live near Bristol, eh? That's right around me.
RavishingRed- Yeah. Coincidence, then. Interesting.
SecretDragon- I tried to view your profile, but I'm on my buddy's computer, and it's totally buggered up. The picture won't download because of some weird anti-virus program he's got on. But I really dig your interests, I'm a Coldplay fan, too D
RavishingRed- You don't have a pic up, either, mister! So you can't talk. They are pretty fantastic J
SecretDragon- Yeah…I don't have a pic up for a reason, though. My rep precedes me a bit with girls sometimes. I prefer to have a fresh start regardless of who I'm dealing with.
RavishingRed- What, are you some rich, famous Quidditch star who lost the final match of the Cup?
SecretDragon- lol, something like that.
RavishingRed- Wow, I feel so dull now, lol
SecretDragon- I'm sure that's not true. What do you do?
RavishingRed- I'm an author.
SecretDragon- Now why would you ever think that that was dull? That's an admirable profession. We certainly need more like you and less Gilderoy Lockharts in the world…unless I'm talking to Lockhart who is secretly posing as an available, insightful and fabulous woman! Oh no. I'm going to need to vigorously scrub my fingers.
Ginny laughed hysterically. This guy was actually funny! It felt so good for someone to make her laugh again. Even though she didn't really put much faith in online dating (or online anything, for that matter), she actually found that she was having a better time than she had had in ages.
RavishingRed- I wasn't Gilderoy the last time I checked. smiles did you know him?
SecretDragon- Lockhart? Yeah. I went to Hogwarts, and he taught there my second year.
RavishingRed- Really? You went to Hogwarts, too? What house?
SecretDragon- That's for me to know and you to find out, missy.
RavishingRed- Oh, well, excuse me J
Ginevra was actually rather glad he didn't reveal what house he had been in. She was enjoying this moment, and that was all that mattered. If he took away his anonymity, she was afraid she might not be able to be herself as much…that maybe the old insecurities would come back. That was definitely something she didn't want right now. She just wanted to talk to a nice man, and that's exactly what was happening. Two, then three hours passed before she realized that they were gone. She was actually sad at the thought of logging off.
Ginny Weasley was pretty…well…almost positive she would never meet someone from the Internet. It didn't coincide with her morals. Men from the Internet were scary old men posing as teenagers, or worse, as women. There was no way a successful relationship could ever come from online dating, Ginny tried to assure herself. But, deep down, something was nagging. Something that said- How do you know…until you try?
RavishingRed- I should probably get going, it's pretty late.
SecretDragon- Yeah, it is. Will you be on again tomorrow?
RavishingRed- Dunno. Will you?
SecretDragon- I was thinking of logging on at about 7 and staying on until you messaged me ;D
Ginny giggled and blushed. That was pretty sweet. With her bland social life, she had nothing better to do, anyway.
RavishingRed- I'll be on as soon as the writer's block hits J
SecretDragon- Well, here's hoping you get nothing written tomorrow, because I had a wonderful time talking with you.
SecretDragon- Okay, well I will talk to you tomorrow then!
RavishingRed- Yes, have a good night!
SecretDragon- 'Night, Red J
Ginny thoughtfully brushed that annoying stray hair back behind her ear. Maybe this online dating thing wasn't such a bad idea, after all.