The last thing Ginny had always seen before she kissed him was the scar. As their faces drew together, she had always noticed it there on his forehead, so large and glaring this close like she was seeing it for the first time, right before everything closed into the darkness of the kiss. For a moment even after she no longer had her eyes open, she always kept seeing the scar there behind her eyelids as a burning red shape against the black. Then it would be the first thing she saw when she opened her eyes and they broke apart. Even in their happiest moments together, it was impossible to forget who he was. Perhaps that was why she had been so prepared for it when he had to leave. She was never the kind to deny and pretend.

He had been distancing himself from her the entire time he'd been staying at the Weasleys', not even talking to her in his old safe and friendly way, but then on the last day he had finally shared with her what he was setting out to do. Everyone was still in the backyard celebrating the wedding. Charlie was lighting lanterns as the last of the dim sunlight faded and nobody showed any sign of leaving the party soon.

Except for him. With the sun's diminishing light, he seemed to be reminded of what the dawning of the next day was bringing, and there was a very perceptible change in him at that point in the evening. His smile became weaker, finally fading, and he started standing away from the crowd and became very quiet. It was suddenly as if he was already gone. And finally he went around the house to the front yard and sat in the swing attached to a tree that Ginny used to sit in as a little girl and not be able to touch the grass with her feet. She thought of this as she walked around to the front of the house and found him there. She could no longer remember the feeling of her ribbon-tied pigtails flailing in the breeze and thin, airy spring dresses. The flowers in her mother's garden were all withering in the chilly mist that never lifted.

Sitting in this swing, his long legs were bent at awkward, narrow angles, and he sat completely still unlike one usually does in a swing. When she approached him from behind, he spoke to her right away without having to look and see who it was.

"I was hoping you would follow me over here," he said, and got up and turned toward her. She waited for him to say more, but he was abruptly arrested by her appearance, as if he had not paid much attention to the way she looked yet today. Seeing her standing there by herself in the misty night air was something different from seeing her among a crowd. She was wearing long, shining dress robes and her hair was braided into a crown around her head with little white and yellow flowers in it.

"Come here," he just said. She stepped closer, and he put one hand to her waist and took one of her hands in the other. They started dancing slowly to the music sounding distantly from the other side of the house.

"I wanted to tell you some things," he said into her ear after allowing a few minutes of silence between them. "But you may not even want to know them."

Her silence told him to go on. She listened as he explained what it was he had to do. He told her about dark caves and ancient lockets and said some words without flinching that they do not even print in Defense Against the Dark Arts books. Then he told her about the Prophecy. When he told her this he stopped dancing and looked straight into her eyes as if to make sure it was not a mistake to tell her. "Hardly anyone knows this," he said. "I can't allow anyone else to know it." He put his hands to her shoulders and said firmly, his eyes showing complete confidence that she could handle it, "But I would want you to know the truth about this if anything should happen. . .If things go wrong."

She would be amazed later that she had managed to stay looking strong and stable, standing up straight and staring back up at him. She did not say the things she almost wanted to - that she didn't understand why Ron and Hermione could follow him but she could not, that it was just so unfair and let's just forget everything and run away somewhere. She just nodded.

Before leaving her and going into the house, he leaned forward and kissed her forehead. He stopped in the middle of pulling away, like something was holding him there. And the last thing he said, very quietly, in a sad and distant voice that was somewhere in a memory of the past and not here with her anymore, was "You smell like flowers."

Now she can do nothing but wait. Entire days she spends gazing out the window at the stormy, always dark sky, looking to the horizon as if he will come riding back there on a horse with the rising sun behind him. She thinks of the Prophecy and even though it is against her nature, she sometimes thinks she wishes he had not told her something that made it all so tangibly real. At night she lays back in her bed that is not comfortable and safe and will not be until he makes it so. And when she closes her eyes to go to sleep, all she can see is the scar as a bright bolt of lightning slicing through the dark.