a/n: It's been a very long time since I wrote Harry Potter Fanfiction (six years!) and now that I have some free time on my hands and a few story ideas floating in my mind, I'm going to attempt to start writing again. While I now hold a degree in journalism, I haven't even attempted to write fiction of any kind in years so; this is very much an experiment for me. It will also just be a fun outlet for me and an attempt to get back into writing fiction.
My idea for this story has been done before, but I'm going to do it a little differently. Recently, since rediscovering fanfiction, I've taken a liking to the AU stories that use parts of the original books and then change them or completely start new with Harry's journey. I also like the stories that start after the final battle. Small decisions can change life in very big ways and I like when stories explore this.
Most of this will be from Ginny's point of view. Every once in a while I'll switch to Harry's. I'll try to at least once a chapter. Also there will be a bit of third person as well, but I've tried my best to make it easy to follow.
I'm always open to reviews and feedback. I'm also looking for someone to beta my chapters before I post them. I'm not perfect and I'll never catch every mistake. If you are interested, please send me a message.
Summary: AU – Ginny, a Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies is about to meet Harry for the first time. But how will she compare to the other five girls also trying to catch his attention?
Chapter 1: First Impressions
"You can't quite." Hermione replied. "You signed a five year contract and you are only three years into it. How bad can this really be? It's all just a publicity stunt for the team. You show up, smile for a few pictures, meet a few new people and move on with your life and career."
"Really Hermione? I would have expected you of all people to be on my side." I replied as I sat down at my kitchen table. "Aren't you the one all for women's right and the freedom to choose your own path etc etc etc?"
"Well, I am. Honestly I am." She relied sitting across from me. "But is this really that bad of an ordeal, Ginny? I'm sure the Harpies could ask you to do far worse things. You should see some of the things female athletes do in the muggle world."
"That's not the point," I said looking out the window over the sink. Sometimes it was easy to forget that I wasn't living at home when I looked at my country surroundings in Holyhead, Wales. My mother disapproved of me living on my own, but with my training schedule it just made better sense to live in Wales, closer to the team.
"Ginny, I know this is based on a silly muggle tv show, but it's not really going to be public like the show." She said pulling my attention back. "Think of it as a vacation at the very least. The season just ended and you have a few months to relax. If nothing else, this will give you a chance to get away for a while."
"Really? A vacation? Hardly." I stirred my tea without really looking at it. "This is just an excuse for a grown man to have a bit of fun with a group of willing women."
"Don't make it sound like that." Hermione replied. "Haven't you always wondered what it would be like to go on a date with Harry Potter? Here is your perfect chance. And don't pretend you haven't. Your brother has told me all about your fascination with him when you were younger. And if he turns out to be a total prat, well then at least now you would know and this could be one more thing you can laugh about later."
"If I were to go, what would I even take with me?" I said with a sigh.
"I knew you would go." Hermione said giving me a knowing look. I couldn't hold back my laughter.
"But I really don't understand why I was the one picked from the team. There are plenty of other single girls on the team."
"But were any of the others MVPs this season? Or rookie of the year last year?" Hermione asked with a raised eye brow.
"Oh look at you throwing around sports lingo. Ron really has taught you well." I said truly laughing now.
"Good, then its settle. Send a letter to your manager and tell him you will go." Hermione said standing up to find a piece of parchment and a quill. "I'll even be nice enough to not tell your mum about this right away."
"Lovely," I replied. "Mum will be all for this. She is always saying I need to get married and start giving her grandchildren, like she doesn't have enough sons around to do that for her. And I had really hoped your engagement to Ron would distract her from me for at least a week or two."
"You are her only daughter. She wants to see you happy like the rest of your brothers." Hermione said with a quick glance down at the ring that recently found its home on her hand.
"All of my brothers aren't married or engaged yet though. Charlie is in Romania still playing with dragons. I don't see her nagging him once a week at dinner about finding someone to settle down with." I said as I hastily scribbled a response to my manager.
"Charlie also doesn't come home that often." Hermione said.
"And I know why."
WANTED: Bride for Chosen One?
The information was leaked today that the wizarding world's most eligible bachelorettes with be gathering to try and win the heart of the savior of the wizarding world.
According to Mr. Potter's godfather, Sirius Black, the young women will all be staying in the same castle as Mr. Potter for an extended period of time as he takes the time to get to know them.
Notoriously private, this news has come as a shock to many, as many young women look to the sky to see if an owl will deliver them a golden invitation to this once in a lifetime chance.
"Harry has been through a lot in his life, this is really a chance for him to get to know others his age and possibly find someone he can see himself with," Mr. Black said.
Mr. Potter declined to comment on this development in his life and returned all of the owls we sent to him.
"Why did I agree to this?" I asked for the hundredth time as I stood in the entrance hall to the castle Sirius had insisted we rent for this ridiculous plan.
"Because you never get out and when you do, it's to stuffy ministry events that are filled with people three times your age." Sirius replied with a happy look on his face. "how are you ever going to have your happily ever after your mum always wanted you to have if the only women you meet are 86 and have few of their own teeth left."
"There are on occasion younger people there and you make it sound like I enjoy going to those things. As soon as I can escape, I usually do and if I remember correctly, you are usually right behind me." I said turning to him.
"But how many people can say that they can convince some of the most eligible women in wizarding England to come spend a few weeks with them by simply putting their name on the return address?" Sirius said with a raised eyebrow.
"If the idea seems so appealing, why didn't you do this for yourself? I don't see you rushing to settle down with anyone."
"Ah, but you see, I'm old now and really the time for me has past. Besides, it's far more exciting to see you look so uncomfortable." He replied.
"Remus just married a year ago. He is your age. And come to think of it, Dora is almost around the same age of many of these women. In fact I think over half of them are older than I am." I said. "Maybe you did do this for yourself."
"Maybe I did." Sirius said with a gleam in his eye I knew not to trust. "But it's too late for that conversation now. The invitations are sent and the women will be arriving any minute."
"I'm so happy we aren't hiding in the muggle world anymore so you can't find any other stupid muggle shows to replicate in my life."
"Well there are a few others I'd like to try my hand at…"
"Sirius, this is your one and only chance." I said as the fireplace in front of me turned green.
I didn't expect to tumble out of the fire and into Harry Potter's arms. Any other girl would have been excited at the idea, but I was mostly horrified. The floo has never been my favorite mode of transportation, especially with a trunk in one hand. And of course as soon as my feet touched the ground I had to lose my balance and start to fall. How much more of an embarrassment can I be to the profession of quidditch?
"Are you alright?" I think he was talking to me. As I pulled myself from my thoughts and looked into his well-known green eyes I knew I looked like a complete nutter.
"Yeah? Yeah. The floo and I seem to never get along very well." I said.
"I'm Harry Potter by the way, although please just Harry and no press given nicknames." He said as he still had his arm me holding me steady. Perhaps he thought I'd fall back over again. Unlikely, but with the way things had gone so far, the chances of me stumbling as soon as I was trusted to hold myself up again were likely.
"I know," I replied before I caught my tounge. "I mean, I'm Ginny Weasley."
He laughed then and slowly pulled away.
"I've seen you play. You're pretty good. Especially that goal you made at the end of the championship game, it was brilliant." He said.
"Thanks, too bad it wasn't enough for us to win." I replied. Most members in my family in the past few weeks knew better than to bring up that game. While it had been one of my best for the season, our seeker missed the snitch by seconds and lost the cup for us. The Ballycastle Bats are one of our bigger rivals and the defeat was crushing.
"Well, I hear Ballycastle's seeker is retiring after this season so maybe you'll have a better chance at beating them the next time you face them." Harry said as a more relaxed look crossed his face. I could tell right away that quidditch talk was really one of his preferred past times. "Um, but I guess we can talk about quidditch another time?" he said seemingly remembering why we were standing there. "Welcome to whatever it is Sirius decided to call this."
"'Find Potter a date' works," The man beside him, Sirius Black, said.
"Yeah, right, so anyway, your room is right up the stair, down the hall, through the door and to the… left. Fifth door. Your name will be on it." He said looking down at the piece of parchment Sirius handed him. "A few of the other women have already arrived and we are all meeting for dinner in the great hall at seven. Until then, you can get settle and have a look around the grounds."
"Thanks. I'll, um, just be going then." I said with a nervous smile. I don't know what I had expected. It wasn't like I had never seen pictures of Harry before. And even of Sirius for that matter, but meeting the two in person was really an odd experience. Here were two men who had spent nearly twenty years hiding from the darkest wizard we had seen in modern wizarding history, and yet they seemed perfectly normal. Harry seemed likely he could easily be one of Ron's mates from school. But I suppose everyone has a normal side to them away from the press.
Once I arrived in my room, I noticed that I would luckily not have a roommate. After seven years of Hogwarts and spending far away games with my teammates, I looked forward to having my own space during the off season. I also couldn't promise to be able to stand many of the other girls would be here. From the way the press made it sound this was supposed to be a who's who of single witches from 17 to 30.
At the foot of the bed was a table with a letter sitting on top of it.
Dear Miss Weasley,
Thank you for attending. Tonight's festivities will begin at seven with a formal dinner in the Great hall. Appropriate dress will be required. During this time you will be given a chance to meet the other women and speak with them. Also in attendance will be Mr. Potter and people he holds in high priority in his life. They will also be serving as judges to help Mr. Potter decide which witches are suitable for him.
Please enjoy your time here and focus on being yourself. A letter will arrive each morning to tell you the agenda for each day.
My mind again turned to the other women who would be here. As I unpacked I decided on a dress for the evening before deciding to take a walk around the grounds until dinner.
As I walked in the garden I came across a ground of three other women sitting on benches. I guess the chance to meet the other women would be sooner than I had thought.
"You must be Ginny Weasley, I'd recognize that hair anywhere," one of the women said as I approached them. "My ex-boyfriend talked about you constantly during your first season." She had long straight brown hair pulled into a low ponytail. She was wearing a simple outfit that fit with the seaside setting. She contrasted from the other two women she had been talking to who both looked like they had tried far too hard on their appearances for first impressions with Harry.
"I hope I'm not the reason he is an ex." I replied with a smile hoping this woman didn't already hold this against me.
"Hardly, if we were still together, I wouldn't be here." She replied. "I'm India Barbary, and yeah, my dad is a part of the Weird Sisters."
"Really? My brothers had poster of them on their walls when we were growing up. Well, except Ron, his walls were always dedicated to the Cannons." I said.
"Interesting, how does he feel about having a Harpy in the family?" India asked.
"He has warmed up to it, but I think the tickets to the cannons matches have helped." I said with a laugh.
"Sounds like you are a good person to have around." She said. "Let me introduce you the others. This is Scarlett Maklin, her grandmum owns Madam Maklins," India said pointing the the blonde woman to her left. Her hair was pulled up into a complicated updo and she wore an ivory colored dress with dark blue accents. "And this is Betty Alderton. Her parents own the Cleansweep Broomstick Company." Betty, like Scarlett was wearing a dress, but hers was shorter and dark green and her dark hair was also pulled up.
"Now we just have two more girls to wonder about. From what I gathered and from looking at the doors in our hall, there are six of us total. There's Alicia Fenwick, I think she is the daughter of a prominent ministry worker and her uncle was a part of the order that Harry's parents were a part of. And there is Olive Flume, who is the heiress to the Honeydukes fortune. Obviously, Mr. Black wanted to make sure all of us weren't unfamiliar with the spotlight."
"I suppose," I replied. "Have all of you been here long?"
"For about an hour," Betty responded as I noticed her sizing me up.
I knew some of the women here would be after dating the idea of Harry Potter and I was curious why exactly they had agreed to be here. I knew why I was. While the Harpies didn't want us to attach the wrong sort of press on and off the pitch, they did want to see our names popping up from time to time. This usually meant charity events and the occasional store appearance. Asking me to attend this seemed a little out of character, but I suppose it was a way to remind the public about their top chaser during the off season. And if Harry and I hit it off, him appearing at our games would certainly help our already high ticket sales.
Not that I would pursue a relationship just because my team insisted on it. I love my team, but not that much.