When Harry expects Ginny to hold him to a promise, there's silence.
It just about breaks your heart.
And the way she says it is so damn casual, like you're going to visit a friend or run to the store, not at all like you might - not come back. But it's also so sure, as though she knows just how set in stone it really is.
And she doesn't realize that her words are ripping you up on the inside, threatening to tear off the shell of bravery and reveal your wounds, all the vulnerabilities you're not supposed to have but she sees and heals anyway.
You sigh as you reach out your free hand to the trunk of one of the trees at the edge of the Forbidden Forest.
"I don't know," you say, and chew on the inside of your cheek to stop yourself from adding anything else. Because you know that if you tell her, Maybe in the summer that she'll figure it out, and this stained-glass illusion with its rainbow colors that you've created is beautiful and you'd be sad to see it disappear.
She squeezes your hand; the gesture breaks a hole in your pretty window with a fist that returns bloody and scraped from the jagged shards that are left.
You stop walking and she stops with you as if she read your mind. You take her other hand and just kind of stare at her, trying to count the freckles sprayed across her nose and cheeks (...twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five...) to forestall the moment; but you lose count and your chest is hollow and it hurts to breathe and you step forward and wrap your arms around her and say, "Ginny..."
"I know," she says softly. "I know."
You plant a kiss on her forehead, resting your own against it and almost wanting to cry. This is the conversation you never wanted to have.
"You'll be safe."
"Yeah. I'll try." You will.
You're waiting for it, preparing for it, bracing yourself for the blow because if you let it catch you off guard, you are going to get knocked down.
You close your eyes.
It doesn't come.
There's no "promise me": the only two words she could possibly say to make you stay or fall apart or make that promise that you aren't going to be able to keep and that just wouldn't be fair. But she doesn't say it.
You pull back to see Ginny attempting a smile. She doesn't say anything, but that's okay - she kisses you and all the things you're leaving unsaid are said and for now you're never going anywhere.