Through the Grapevine
When a picture of Harry and Hermione appears in the Daily Prophet, Harry's girlfriend, Ginny is livid and rushes back to Britain, cutting short her vacation in the Caribbean. It's just too bad that her attempts at damage control only succeed pushing her boyfriend and the 'bushy-haired bookworm' together.
Some Ginny-bashing, implied H/G (barely any, now that I think about it).
A/N: I was actually inspired by the telephone game of all things. Plus, I found out that my muse only comes when I'm under pressure ie. I have two midterms the next day. Anyways, now it's back to watching the Tudors now that it's finally showing in Canada!
It all started with a photo. It was pretty ordinary as wizarding photos went; it was merely one of many taken at the Weasley Wizarding Wheeze's Annual Gala and the Daily Prophet would have included it alongside the other photos taken at said Gala if it weren't for the people pictured.
However, being that any picture of the wizarding world's celebrities on the front page almost guaranteed more papers being sold that day, this particular picture was placed right on the front page, under the simple caption, 'WWW ANNUAL GALA A SUCCESS'.
This picture was of one Harry Potter and his friend Hermione Granger. He was shown smiling while she was laughing at something he had said. Well, they were standing rather close together, but this was nothing new to anyone. Even the gossip columns didn't bother remarking on it - it was a well-known fact that Harry Potter and his brilliant companion were nothing more than very good friends.
Unfortunately, Ginny Weasley did not see it that way. She had been enjoying her time in the Caribbean, away from the foggy weather in Britian. The abundant eye candy also helped too as she blew a kiss to one of the surfers. The object of her attentions merely ran his eyes over her figure before giving her a wink.
At that moment, her daily copy of the Daily Prophet arrived. Unlike Hermione, she didn't read it for the news – rather, she loved seeing her face plastered across the paper, even more since Harry and her first became a couple half a year ago.
Today, the couple on the front page rapidly caught her attention.
Yanking off her sunglasses, she stared at the picture and her eyes narrowed in anger. How dare Granger move in onto her territory! What was Harry doing with his arm around her waist?!
Underneath the picture, it stated that Harry Potter and his friend Hermione Granger looked spectacular as always as they attended WWW's Gala, the company which Harry had helped fund about a decade ago. It also mentioned that there were more photos from the Gala on page 27 of the paper.
With a sharp Crack! Ginny apparated back to the lodge and immediately started her packing. She would definitely straighten Harry out as to who he belonged to once and for all!
"You were on your vacation and I didn't want to feel like you had to cut it short simply just to accompany me to the Gala."
Ginny had swept into Harry's office, bypassing his agitated secretary as she had stormed in right in the middle of an important meeting. Luckily, the meeting had been with Remus Lupin, who had been more than understanding and left Harry and Ginny to discuss whatever it was that had the youngest Weasley breathing fire. After Lupin had closed the door behind him, Ginny had immediately asked Harry what he was thinking, taking Hermione to the Gala.
"Then you could have gone by yourself or you could have owled me and I would have gone with you!" Her eyes flashed angrily, "You didn't have to go with Hermione Granger of all people!"
Harry's mouth tightened into a thin line as this veiled insult to his best friend, but Ginny was too absorbed in her rant to notice.
"How can she treat my brother that way? Ron's your best friend, Harry! Why didn't he take her to the Gala? Let me guess, she probably told him that she didn't want him missing his Quidditch match or some other rot like that."
In her anger, Ginny had failed to see the picture of Ron and Luna on the society pages on page 28 of the Daily Prophet.
In reality, Ron and Hermione had only gone on a few 'real' dates before both had called it quits. He liked talking about Quidditch and she couldn't care less while her conversation topics tended to drift towards advances in Magical Science which bored him to sleep.
Not to mention that Ron, being unusually introspective in this matter, saw that she had her eyes set on another for a long time already. His suspicions were proven correct when, upon confronting Hermione with this fact, she did not agree with nor deny it.
He had started dating Luna Lovegood about a month ago after he had ran into her, literally, during an outing to Diagon Alley.
"-she's been after you forever and she was so jealous when we finally started going out, so she pounced the moment I was out of town! She was probably the one who cornered you into taking her, wasn't she?" Ginny continued on, utterly oblivious to the dark expression on Harry's face.
"Actually," Harry said coldly, "She was the one who didn't want to go. I was the one who convinced her to."
Ginny dismissed this with a careless wave, "Oh, she probably made it seem that way! In fact, I wouldn't put it pass her to do something like that-"
At that moment, Harry's temper got the better of him and Ginny shrieked as one of the glasses behind her exploded.
"Now that I have your attention," Harry said shortly, his green eyes flashing angrily, "I would ask that you kindly show yourself out as I have a lot of work to finish today."
"I knew it!" The infamous Weasley temper got the better of her, "I knew you'd always pick her side over mine! Well, guess what Harry Potter! If you like her that much, YOU CAN MARRY HERMIONE GRANGER FOR ALL I CARE!"
With that, she swept out of the room and slammed the door before her.
"-YOU CAN MARRY HERMIONE GRANGER FOR ALL I CARE!"
Outside, Mrs. Tellbush's eyes widened before she quickly dashed off a note; walking briskly towards the mail room, she resisted the urge to giggle as she attached her note to the leg of one of the owls.
A few minutes later,
The editor-in-chief of Witches' Weekly looked up from her work as an ordinary brown owl swooped in through the window. Absent-mindingly, she gave the owl a treat and unrolled the parchement, after which she almost fell backward in shock.
According to Harry Potter's secretary, the Boy-Who-Lived was getting married!! What took the cake was that this was confirmed by no other than one Ginny Weasley, Potter's former girlfriend!
"Marcy!!" She bellowed, "Hold everything! What I've got here is going to increase sales at least two-fold!!"
The next day:
HARRY POTTER ENGAGED!!
We at Witches' Weekly have received information from a highly reliable source confirming that Harry Potter is indeed off the bachelor market! So who is the highly lucky witch that has captured the heart of the former Boy-Who-Lived? Indeed, it was a surprise to most of us as well, seeing as the last woman he was dating was none other than Ginevra Weasley, the only daughter of Arthur Weasley, the Minister of Magic. However, we have reports that Ms. Weasley was overheard congratulating her former beau on his impending marriage to none other than Hermione Granger! Ms. Granger, as most will know, has been friends with the Hero of the Wizarding World since they first met on the train to Hogwarts in first year. It seems as though their feelings of friendship have since developed into love. To be continued on page 3.
Reactions to the article were varied.
Ginny Weasley shrieked before ripping out pages out and crumpling them.
Harry Potter was confused as to when he had proposed to Hermione and he said so as much to Ron Weasley, who merely shook his head. The latter had barely escaped the Burrow with his hearing intact after Molly had read the article and then proceeded to offer her opinion to everyone within hearing range.
Hermione just raised an eyebrow before turning back to the research proposal she had been working on. The three of them had gathered together at Harry's place for their usual breakfast on Saturday.
Ron's girlfriend, Luna Lovegood, merely wondered if Harry and Hermione would mind having the Quibbler publish their wedding photos. She even asked Hermione, who shrugged and agreed if said wedding were ever to occur. Harry choked on his tea upon hearing this.
Later on that day, Ginny Weasley was photographed attempting to beat up a reporter with an umbrella after said reporter asked her if the rumors about Harry Potter's impending nuptials were true. This only served to confirm public opinion that Harry and Hermione were indeed together.
Meanwhile, at the Daily Prophet, one of the reporters responsible for the entertainment pages yelled excitedly as he came across a particular picture of Hermione Granger. Upon his colleagues asking him what the fuss was all about, he pointed to a ring that Hermione wore on chain around her neck that all of them had overlooked before. Said photo was at least three years old, which then led to speculations that Harry and Hermione had been in a secret relationship since their school years.
Further research dug up the fact that the ring was actually a Potter heirloom – Lily Potter's engagement ring no less!
What they didn't know what that Harry had been merely going through his vaults one day when he stumbled onto some of his mother's jewelry. He had been thinking of an appropriate present for which to give Hermione for her birthday and while he had gotten her some books, he knew she was also a girl at heart – and what girl didn't like jewelry?
Hermione had been pleased, though she had joked that this was the most expensive friendship ring she had ever received!
The next day saw a picture of Hermione waving with a separate picture of the ring (enlarged to show readers the details on the ring) on the cover of the Daily Prophet.
Ginny immediately tried to floo to Harry's apartment, but the latter had blocked off his floo connection after reporters had tried to storm his home the other day.
Fuming, Ginny had headed towards Hermione's work place instead, intent on confronting the scarlet woman, unaware that the university had blocked off all access to the research building where Hermione's office was located as per university policy for all areas in which sensitive research was being performed.
Hence, when she tried to gain access by blasting the doors, she was immediately caught in a full body-bind and deposited in campus security's holding room. She was only released after she managed to convince them that it was all a horrible mistake and that she had only been trying to contact Professor Granger in order to help the latter cope with the tragic news. Ginny did not see the security official rolling his eyes and muttering about 'spoiled society brats' as she left.
That night, Harry didn't even bother going back home, instead, he went directly to Hermione's place and collapsed onto the couch.
He seemed torn between amusement and annoyance as he heard about Ginny's attempts to contact Hermione and the two of them ended up talking into the night, reminiscing about different topics.
Harry woke up sometime in the early morning, and as he gazed down as the sleeping girl curled up beside him, he felt a warm feeling coming over him. Leaning down, he brushed his lips over hers and was surprised to hear her give a soft sigh. He could have swore that he heard her say his name.
The news about Harry and Hermione continued well into the next week, as the papers were reluctant to give up on an issue that was selling so well!
Meanwhile, Ginny had received an owl from Harry, telling her to meet him for lunch at a small muggle restaurant in London. She was a bit disappointed that there wouldn't be as much chances for the wizard press to find out about it, but she decided that Harry probably wanted to apologize and didn't want the newspapers making such a big deal about it. Well, she could be magnanimous, provided that he do some quality groveling.
She had thrown her arms around Harry once she spotted him. To her surprise, he merely shrugged off her arms and in all, was mostly silent throughout the meal.
Unable to wait in suspense any longer, she asked him if he was still going to the Ministry's Ball next month.
"I haven't decided yet," Harry said slowly, "But I suppose that brings me to the reason why I asked you to meet me today."
"It's alright Harry," Ginny patted his hand, "I know that Hermione was behind all the fake rumors and I forgive you. Of course, I wouldn't mind having some jewelry to go along with the lovely green gown I had just bought the other day…" she trailed off suggestively.
When Harry merely stared at her in silence, she misinterpreted his anger for shock, "Oh, you probably thought that I would throw a tantrum over it or something? Harry, darling, we're adults now! It wouldn't do for me to be jealous of someone so utterly insignificant as Hermione Granger."
What Ginny couldn't see were that Harry's hands were clenched tightly into a fist as she continued her disparaging comments about one of his best friends.
"-I'm sure there's some nice scientist where she works that'll deign to take her to the Ball-"
"That's enough, Ginny."
Ginny froze in mid-speech. She had never heard Harry speak to her in that voice before. In fact, he looked as though he had trouble keeping his anger in check. Poor dear, all that talk about Hermione must have upset him-
"I'm breaking up with you, Ginny. For good."
Her eyes almost bulged out when she heard this. For a moment, she thought that she was hearing wrong, but Harry simply threw down a couple of bills in disgust and stalked out of there.
It took her a few seconds to come to her senses before she grabbed her purse and ran after him.
He ignored her and continued on in the direction of the Leaky Cauldron.
"Harry!" she grabbed his arm before he yanked it out of her grasp.
"Why?!" She almost screamed at him, angry tears filling her eyes, "I thought we were happy together!"
Harry gave her an indecipherable look, "Happy?" he snorted, "You accuse me of cheating on you, you constantly insult one of my best friends, we have almost nothing in common except Quidditch…" Harry sighed, "Look Ginny, we're simply too different. You deserve better than me."
"Oh?!" Ginny glared at him, "So now you're giving me the 'it's not you, it's me' argument?! Well, let me make it clear, I'm the one breaking up with you, Harry Potter! So there!" and with that she stalked off down the street.
Harry couldn't help but breath a sigh of relief. Now if he could only figure out his feelings for Hermione…
A few weeks later, Harry announced that he was going on a vacation and that he would be gone indefinitely.
"He's probably still depressed about the break-up," Ginny thought as she read about the news in the Prophet, "No matter, it serves him right!"
About a month after that, she found out about Hermione's new boyfriend from Ron.
"You can't mean to say the bushy-haired bookworm actually found someone that'll have her?"
An annoyed look appeared on Ron's face before it quickly disappeared. Inwardly, he wondered what had happened to the sweet girl that had been his sister before their last years at Hogwarts.
"Actually, I've heard that he does research…works at the same lab Hermione does."
Ginny almost snickered out loud – who would have thought that her predictions would be so spot on?
A year later at the Ministry Ball
Ginny watched the entrance with disguised anticipation, waiting for her former boyfriend to show up. She hadn't spoken to Harry ever since that day in muggle London and Ron had made it clear that he wanted no part in her argument with Harry.
Well, she'd just show Harry what he was missing, she thought with sense of superiority.
After waiting for what seemed a long time, there was still no sign of Harry. However, she did see Hermione with her husband though, the scientist bloke. He raised an eyebrow when he caught her glance, and she gave him a sultry smile in return. This caused him to blush and she gave Hermione an evil smirk when she caught the brunette glaring at her.
Hermione was now about six months pregnant and it was definitely showing. "I pity the poor thing that has Hermione's hair," Ginny though sardonically as she considered the man by Hermione's side, "Not to mention his bland looks."
"I'm glad you're with me, Mione," James Evans whispered as he maneuvered them away from the youngest Weasley.
"Well, considering how fat I am these days, you had better be glad," grumbled Hermione, "I feel like a whale while Ginevra over there is as thin as a twig!"
James kissed her temple as he placed a hand on the prominent bump she was spotting beneath her dress. "She's not the mother of my child. So, how is the little guy today?"
"I can certainly feel it," said James as he felt a tiny foot kicking his hand, "This kid of ours is going to be great at Quidditch!"
"What is it with men and that game?"
"C'mon, Mione, you attended every single one at Hogwarts."
"That's only because you were playing and I was afraid if I didn't watch, you'd end up killing yourself or something. Like when you're trying to perform those wonky faints…"
"Wronski Feints, dear. And I never did manage to perform one at school. I was either in detention with Umbitch or fighting for my life the Tri-Wizard or looking for horcruxes…Although," a mischievous look suddenly appeared on James' face.
"I know that look," Hermione looked at him suspiciously, "You and the Twins better not be planning anything."
"I was merely going to suggest that, if you were to see the toad, you can hex her and blame it on hormones. It's the perfect excuse!"
Hermione's lips twitched, "I'll think about it."
Suddenly James stiffened behind her, "Jealous ex-girlfriend at nine o'clock."
Hermione merely nodded as James placed his hand possessively on her stomach as Ginny approached them.
"Hermione, it's been ages since I've seen you!" Ginny noted the bump the other girl spotted, "Been busy, haven't we?"
"You could say that," Hermione say wryly, "James here wants to start his own personal Quidditch team."
Ginny raised an eyebrow in surprise, "You play Quidditch?" She directed this at the man standing beside Hermione.
"Ah yes," Ginny laughed, "Hermione really does like her seekers, doesn't she?"
Hermione ignored the dig.
"Did you go to Hogwarts? I can't say that I've heard of you before…though you do seem a bit familiar." In fact, now that Ginny had finally seen Hermione's husband up close, she had to admit that he wasn't all that bad-looking. A bit boring, maybe, but there was potential - not that Hermione would know what to do with it.
Inwardly, Hermione was seething. That woman was flirting with her husband right in front of her!
However, their conversation was broken up by the arrival of Ron and Luna.
"Har-James! Hermione, how are you two?" Ron glanced at Ginny to see if she noticed his slip of tongue, but she seemed preoccupied with talking to Luna.
"So you're announcing it tonight, right?" Ron asked the couple in a low voice.
James nodded though he suddenly sounded a bit tired, "It's been great this year but eventually I'm going to have to come back out or people'll start wondering what happened to me."
"I really don't want to be you when the press finds out," Ron grimaced, "Especially when the howlers start coming in."
"What howlers?" Ginny asked.
Ron opened his mouth to make up an excuse, but James beat him to it, "I'm going to be making an announcement later on. You should stick around for it."
"I sure will," Giving him another flirtatious smile, Ginny turned and headed towards some other people she had recognized.
"Stop that, Harry. It's bad for your teeth." Hermione said once she heard the gnashing sound.
"How did I manage to stand her for the few months we were together is beyond me. I must have been brain-washed or something," muttered James.
"James!" Arthur Weasley called out as he headed towards them, "And Hermione! How's everything coming along? Good?"
"Mood swings," was all James said before Hermione's elbow came into contact with his side. "Ow."
"I do not suffer from mood swings."
James just gave Arthur a long suffering look after the latter chuckled at this.
"Anyways, I think now would be a good time to make your announcement. Then you can leave before the paparazzi comes out in full force."
James nodded before turning to Hermione, "Wish me luck," he whispered, "I love you."
"I know," she brushed her lips against his.
Across the room, Ginny rolled her eyes at this display before she watched as James made his way to the podium. Probably some boring announcement about something new scientific discovery or something like that, she thought.
"Good Evening, everyone! I just wanted to say that Harry Potter will be returning soon."
The whole room went silent.
"He'll be happy to answer any questions tomorrow...actually, you know what? I really hate referring to myself in the third person." And with that, the glamour faded and the former Boy-Who-Lived now stood up at the podium.
Ginny's jaw dropped.
"Anyways, I'll be happy to answer any questions tomorrow, but my wife and I will be leaving now." With that, he quickly lifted Hermione into his arms and they disapparated from the ballroom.
Everyone quickly turned to the person beside them and began discussing the announcement when a shrill voice broke through the noise: "RON WEASLEY! DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS?!"
Ron just sighed, rolled his eyes, grabbed Luna's hand and disapparated as well, leaving behind his angry sister.
The next day, the headlines of the papers was as follows:
HERO FINALLY RETURNS
HARRY POTTER MARRIES CHILDHOOD PAL
BOY-WHO-LIVED GOING TO BE A FATHER SOON
Ginny snarled and swept the papers off the table onto the floor. However, she took solace in the fact that Harry had been too embarrassed to show himself for over year in the company of Hermione. What she didn't realize was that Harry simply disliked seeing his name in the news and having his life in the public eye all the time.
On the floor, the photo from the Annual Gala, in fact, the one that had started the chain of events in the first place, could be seen.
I've been reading so many Evil!Dumbledore, Jealous!Ron and Harry-in-Azkaban fics these days, it's almost a wonder that Ron has escaped being bashed in this fic.