She pretends to be asleep, every morning when he rolls out of bed, stretches, and leans over to gently kiss her cheek before leaving to start his workday. She is thankful that the shower is always running in the bathroom before the tear rolls down her cheek and onto the pillow.

The tears are silent, but she still takes comfort in the fact that she is alone when she sheds them. She was never one for crying, even as a child, thus, the tears are hastily released and disappear into the white linens. It is only then that she is strong enough to pull the bedclothes back and put her feet onto the chilling tile.

He kisses the corner of her lips before he leaves for work.

The empty page beckons the quill resting on the table, but each time she picks it up, she is unable to form coherent sentences.

Oh, how she aches.

Each day is another kiss, another tear, another blank, empty page.

"Our anniversary is coming up," he reminds her as they lay, mostly silent, in bed.

He isn't like Ron, who is so forgetful that he often spends his anniversary sleeping in the attic at the Burrow.

No, her husband is everything thoughtful. His job allows him both the time and the money to lavish him with gifts. He gives her kisses too, and she hates those nights more than anything else in the world.

She has to look him in the face when he hovers above her—perspiring forehead pressed against hers, silently begging her for some kind of response. But, however much he pleads, she lies there, doing as much as needed, but no more. She sometimes strokes his short, bristly hair to give her thanks—for loving her, for accepting her barren personality, for marrying her—but she cannot bring herself to let noise escape her. She does nothing but give him his pleasure because he deserves it.

He deserves far more than she can give him, but love betrays him as much or more as it betrays her.

If meaningful conversation were only words heard, her life would be a silent film.

"Hmmm," she replies, mind wandering to the parchment on the desk, devoid of thoughts and ink.

He gives up this line of discussion, knowing it will get him nowhere. "Did… did you write today?"

Her brow furrowed, she wonders, "Why do you ask?"

He picks up her hand, which is lying on top of the quilt, and intertwines their fingers. "You have ink on your fingertips," he says softly.

He always thought that one day she would grow to love him the way she loved another. He thought that if he loved her enough he could squeeze out the pain. He thought everything would fall into place as surely as the rain over an English morning.

Alas, he knows now he was wrong in wanting to blot out her hurt, knows that she loves him in a way that is not enough for either of them to be happy. He doesn't tell her that his lips are still burning from the kiss Parvati stole the day before at Flourish and Blotts. She had pushed him against the sturdy bookshelf and massaged his lips with her own—the first kiss on the lips he had shared in over six years, when Ginny had given him a respectable peck at the alter on their wedding day.

That thought had broken him of his trance. He gave Parvati a sad smile, and walked away, trying desperately to calm his pulse, and wanting desperately to have not wanted that kiss.

"What can I do to make you love me?" he thinks aloud.

It was a mistake: she disentangles her fingers from his and lies back on the bed, turning on her side, away from him. She closes her eyes and looks outwardly calm, but he knows it's a lie. The lamps on either side of their bed—Muggle ones; a gift from his mum—flicker dangerously, the one on her side going completely black.

"Why does it have to be so hard?" he asks, frustrated even more by the fact that the old Ginny would have been pissed by now.

"I don't know what you're talking about," she replies quietly.

But he knows what she would have said. "No one asked you to marry me, you prat."

"How do I deal with the fact that you cheat on me with a dead man?"


"I didn't mean it to happen this way. I wasn't supposed to ruin everyone's lives."

"Maybe if you were to talk to someone," he suggests, turning to face her back, his hand resting on her hip. "Someone will understand."

"Harry would have understood."

"I'm sorry."

"What for?" she asks.

He strokes her copper hair. "I'm not him."

A familiar scent fills his nostrils. Ginny used to smell of flowers, but long before they were married she began washing with a harsher, all-purpose, scentless soap. Today, her hair smells like wind and trees and broomsticks.

"Did you fly today?"

"We did."

The next morning he doesn't kiss her. Instead he jumps into the shower with a solemn look on his face.

There will still be tears on the pillow.