Cardboard Reply

Ginny came into the kitchen and started to fill the kettle. She then turned to the cooker, only to see Harry slumped in his chair, staring morosely at the ceiling. His only response to her greeting was a deep grunt.

After setting the kettle down and turning on the flame, she looked more fully at her husband, "You know, when someone says good morning, the polite thing is to say it back." She smiled, waiting for him to respond.

"Er? Uh, yeah. Good morning." He said unenthusiastically.

"I guess a cardboard reply is the best I'll get." She reached in the box and brought out the bread.

"Cardboard reply?" Harry was slowly coming out of his fog.

"Something Gwennog says when we don't play with enough enthusiasm. You had the passion of wet cardboard." Ginny smirked at him, "Try it again and see the difference.

Harry laughed, stood and wrapped Ginny in his arms. "How's this for a cardboard reply?" His lips on hers sent shivers up her spine and into her core.

"Hmmm better." She let him snog her deeply until the toast started to smell of char. "Alright, Lover. What's got you in the dark again?"

Harry moved back and leaned against the counter while she tossed the burned bread in the bin. "Oh, the paper. I was reading the comments about your game of two days ago, all of which are brilliant. I turned the page and in a letter to the editor, someone had written about me."

"Someone is always writing about you. Mostly drivel or fan-girl." The kettle steamed and she brought down two mugs.

"Yeah. This person wrote that he had figured, to the day, yesterday marked that I am now exactly the same age as my father when he died."

Breakfast was forgotten and she moved back to his arms. "What an awful thing to calculate."

"Yeah, it kinda hit me, you know."

"I can see. But you know, it's really a good thing." She kissed him and moved back so she could see his face. The snap on his jeans seem to have come loose.

"Good thing?"

"Yes, good thing. Look at it this way. When your father was exactly your age, he made a sacrifice so you can get to be this age. He and your mum are over on the other side, looking on you, proud at who you are and who you became."

"I know what they did for me." Harry said shortly. "They became martyrs for me."

"No, no. You got it wrong. They were parents. They did what parents did. Look at who you are. What parent would not be proud? You finished their job. You became what they couldn't be. For you to have achieved this day, you made their lives worth it. Do you understand?"

Somehow, the top two buttons of his shirt had been undone. The cuffs had opened wide. "I think I see what you are saying. By living longer than they did, I fulfilled their lives?" Another two buttons slipped from their moorings.

"Exactly! What you do from now on is to live YOUR life, not theirs. They made sure you can do things, like make love to your wife, work, read your books and make love to your wife." A forth button popped off and rolled under the table. The rest of the buttons soon followed in rapid succession.

"You know, you said make love twice now." His shirt tails were raising out of his waistband by an unseen hand.

"Did I? Hmm" She casually took the kettle off the cooker and extinguished the flame, "Extraordinary."

He walked slowly behind her and slipped his hands up her jumper to massage her flat belly, they moved agonizing slowly upwards. "They died so I could do this?"

"Hm hmm." She purred and leaned back.

"So, if I ravage you here and now, it's a memorial to them?" He nibbled on her neck, hitting her favorite spot just under her ear.

With a shudder, she turned and looked him deep in the eyes, "No, my love, it's a celebration of you. And it's time for the party." She grabbed his hand and apparated them straight to their room.