The next evening, Holly, Mrs. Weasley and Ginny were puttering anxiously around the house. After a long day full of anxious looks by Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, a group consisting of Mr. Weasley, Bill, Fleur, Fred, George and Ron left the house, Disapparating once they reached The Burrow’s boundaries. That had been two hours ago.
Mrs. Weasley busied herself by washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Her face was pale and full of worry. She kept checking her clock that was sitting on its stand on the far wall. The clock didn’t tell time, but told the viewer the whereabouts of certain people. It showed the pictures of the entire Weasley family in various places including home, school, work, travelling, moral peril, lost, hospital, and prison. At this time every family member’s picture was pointed at ‘mortal peril’. Mr. Weasley had told Holly previously that it had been that way since Voldemort had come out in the open.
Holly and Ginny convened upstairs briefly to talk. They were both worried Mrs. Weasley was going to make herself have an anxiety attack because she hadn’t stopped moving since her family left. She had straightened the shoes, polished the silverware, weeded the garden, and even knit a tiny sweater for Holly’s puppy.
“I’m afraid she’s going to make herself sick with worry” Ginny told Holly.
“We need to get her to slow down a bit, I know she won’t relax completely but not madly cleaning might help” Holly replied, “I keep thinking she’s going to pull something in her neck whenever she looks at that clock!”
Ginny nodded in agreement, “She always looks when she thinks I won’t notice, but I do. She doesn’t want to let on that she’s worried but it’s obvious.” After a few more whispered words, the girls travelled into the kitchen in the hopes to calm Mrs. Weasley.
“Hi, Mrs. Weasley!” Holly called out before entering the room. She walked in and saw that Mrs. Weasley was furiously washing dishes that Holly could tell were already spotless.
Mrs. Weasley turned to Holly with a faint smile, “Oh hello girls, finished the laundry then? And Holly, please call me Molly for goodness sake”
Holly smiled back as she replied, “Yes, all done and folded in everyone’s rooms.” She paused slightly before asking, “Mrs. Weasley, how about we sit down and enjoy some tea and your delicious crumpets?”
Mrs. Weasley jumped slightly then said, “Oh! Oh of course we can, I’ll put the pot on” She hurried over to grab the teapot but her hands were shaking so much that she lost her grasp and the teapot fell to the ground with a loud SMASH. Shards of china scattered the floor as Mrs. Weasley let out a loud cry of worry.
“Oh dear! So silly of me!” Mrs. Weasley drew her wand and pointed it at the shards, “Lumos!”
The shards lit up like they were tiny light bulbs in each of them.
“Mrs. Weasley,” Holly started.
“No no wrong spell, I’m sorry dears. Incendio!” The shards suddenly all burst into flame at the wave of Mrs. Weasley’s wand.
“Mrs. Weasl-“ Holly started again
“Wrong again, oh my I’m just not thinking” Hysterically, Mrs. Weasley waved her wand helplessly and watched as the shards of the teapot were suddenly hovering in the air, still on fire. Ginny watched sadly as her mother was momentarily frozen on the spot watching her misspells go awry.
“MOLLY!” Holly shouted. At her words, Mrs. Weasley snapped out of her trance and placed a hand to her cheek in dismay. Holly waved her wand and the shards were extinguished and put themselves back together into a teapot.
“Let’s have a seat, I’ll make us the tea” Holly said gently as she guided Mrs. Weasley to the nearest chair at the kitchen table. Ginny scooped up a plate of crumpets and sat down beside her. Holly brought Mrs. Weasley a blanket for her lap and summoned the clock from its stand over to the table. She also brought out her puppy and placed it on Mrs. Weasley’s lap gently. Mrs. Weasley's hand immediately began stroking the puppy softly and some colour was regained in her face. When the tea was ready, Holly brought it over to the table and they all sipped in silence.
After a few moments Mrs. Weasley turned to Holly and said, “Thank you my dear, I was slowly going mad in my own head.” Holly waved off the compliment.
“We’re all worried, there’s no problem in that” Holly said with a smile. For about a quarter of an hour the three witches sat drinking tea, talking about Bill and Fleur’s wedding, taking caution to not bring up what was happening as they sat there.
Finally Ginny looked at her watch and said in a low, calm voice, “Ron and Tonks should be here in two minutes”
Mrs. Weasley looked startled at the time, it seemed as though she thought it was much earlier than it was. She got placed Holly’s dog in his bed and walked out to the window, wand drawn. Holly and Ginny glanced at each other then they too got up and waited in the kitchen. Mrs. Weasley started tapping her left hand on the windowsill, her wedding ring making a sharp sound on the wood each time.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Two minutes came and went. Mrs. Weasley whispered softly to herself, “They should be here by now”. A rusty oil can that used to be a portkey suddenly appeared on the lawn with no bodies attached to it.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
The tapping grew faster but Mrs. Weasley’s eyes never left the lawn where figures should have been appearing. An old battered sneaker appeared a few feet away from the oil can.
“Dad and Fred should be here now” Ginny whispered.
TAP TAP TAP TA-.
The tapping stopped suddenly as two figures appeared on the lawn. The women rushed out of the house and greeted Harry and Hagrid. The two looked disoriented after the portkey travel and looked around for more people.
Mrs. Weasley ran to Harry shouting “Harry! You’re the real Harry!” The group had taken the Polyjuice potion to disguise the real Harry if there had been an attack.
Harry told the three witches that the rescue mission had been ambushed by Death Eaters. He was shocked to hear that no one else had arrived yet. Mrs. Weasley rushed back into the house to get Hagrid a bottle of brandy. Holly quickly hurried after her and saw that she was shaking heavily. Holly waved her wand and sent the bottle back to Hagrid. As she was consoling Mrs. Weasley, Holly saw out of the corner of her eye that a blue light had appeared on the lawn. She hurried out to see Lupin and George had arrived. Her stomach tied in knots when she saw that George was unconscious and covered in blood. She preceded Lupin and Harry into the house to make a spot for George on the couch, calling urgently for Mrs. Weasley.
Holly and Mrs. Weasley bent over George to see what could be done. George’s left ear had been severed off and was bleeding heavily. Together Mrs. Weasley and Holly muttered ‘Vulnera Sanentur’ and watched as the wound started to heal itself. Mrs. Weasley was just dabbing ointment on where the ear was, when there was a loud shout from behind them.
“Oi!” Harry exclaimed. Lupin had appeared and had pushed Harry against the wall, wand drawn. Holly knew instantly what Lupin was doing and pushed him out of the way, her hand hitting Harry in the process. She braced herself as she felt the all too familiar internal push away from Harry. Holly felt her back hit a chair, about five feet from where Harry was standing. She winced slightly at the contact but walked back to where everyone else was standing.
“What was that?” Lupin asked the room.
“You were making sure it was the real Harry right? He’s not an impostor after that, only the real Harry can push me away like that.”
“Remarkable,” Lupin said, “What kind of magic is that? Did Dumbledore know?”
Holly cringed slightly at the mention of the late Headmaster’s name, “Yes he knew, we were going to work together to find out what is was but we never got to it…” She trailed off.
Lupin turned to the lawn at the sound of people’s voices. He and Harry rushed out to make sure there were no impostors. Holly heard the voices of Kingsley and Hermione outside. It had seemed that someone had told the Death Eaters they were moving Harry tonight and that was how they were ambushed. Holly stayed in the house to help Mrs. Weasley with George’s wound. He was still unconscious but Mrs. Weasley was confident he would come to when he smelt the powerful ointment she had placed on his wound. Holly left the couch and made her way around the room, healing various cuts and bruises everyone had received in the chase.
A great CRASH from the kitchen startled everyone in the living room. They watched as Mr. Weasley and Fred rushed to the couch to see George. Fred hung back slightly, hesitant to see the extent of his twin’s injuries. Holly squeezed his hand slightly, reassuring him and prodded him forward slightly when George started to stir.
“How do you feel Georgie?” Fred asked cautiously.
George muttered something under his breath. It sounded something like ‘Saint-like”
“Come again?” Fred prodded.
“Saint-like” George said, looking up at everyone, “You know, because I’m holey?” He pointed gingerly to where his ear used to be.
At his words, Fred laughed, “You’re pathetic! In all ear-related humor you go for ‘I’m holey’”
After this brief moment of humor, a shadow fell on the group. Tonks, Ron, Mad-Eye Moody and Mundungas Fletcher should have been back a long time ago. Ginny passed around the crumpet tray but no one took a bite. Kingsley Shacklebolt left for the British Prime Minister and Harry, Hermione, Ginny and Lupin kept watch for the missing people to return. Holly was washing their long forgotten teacups when the watchers plus Tonks, Ron, Bill and Fleur entered the kitchen.
“Mad-Eye’s dead.” Bill told the group. George paused in the movement of sitting up on the couch. Hagrid slowly set down his bottle of brandy. Holly stood frozen, mid-rinse of a cup. Bill proceeded to tell everyone how Mundungas had seen Voldemort and immediately fled, giving away Mad-Eye’s position. The group listened in shock. They slowly convened in the living room, speaking to no one, each silently mourning. After a few moments Bill waved his wand and sent glasses of fire-whiskey to everyone and held up his own glass.
“To Mad-Eye” He said. The somber group mirrored him and each took a swig of their glass.
After a few words of explanation, everyone recounting their flight from Privet Drive, Bill and Lupin left to try to find Mad-Eye’s body. Mr. Weasley waved his wand and enough chairs for everyone appeared in the living room. Holly sat in between the Weasley twins on the couch and Harry, Ron and Hermione on their chairs. She watched as everyone grieved, and felt somewhat out of place. Holly had never met the famous Auror and couldn’t join in when various people started talking about the various thing he had done. Holly’s puppy ran into the room, startling many who were deep in thought.
Holly called her Boxador over and scooped him up on her lap. The puppy stared at George in curiosity, it seemed as though he knew George was hurt. George leaned over to pet the puppy and received a good hand washing by the puppy’s wet tongue.
“Have you thought of a name for him yet dear?” Mrs. Weasley asked Holly. Many eyes turned her way, happy to be distracted by a different topic of conversation.
“I think I decided on Gryphon” Holly replied, smiling down at the puppy.
Fred laughed, “That little scamp? A name for a legendary animal that was known for its fierceness, power and courage?” Holly opened her mouth to retort back but was cut off by the hiccupping half-giant in the corner.
“A-Ah Fred, don’t judge it by its size now. T-that breed of dog will be mighty enough soon” Hagrid said.
Holly nodded in thanks and looked at Fred with an ‘I told you so’ glance. He rolled his eyes and picked up Gryphon to bring him to the couch.
One-by-one, the group in the living room dispersed. Lupin and Tonks left together after a quick farewell and the promise to return as soon as possible with news. Holly left for bed after tucking Gryphon in for the night in his little bed. She was sharing Ginny’s room with her and Hermione as Bill and Fleur would occupy his room.
Holly had a hard time finding sleep that night. She listened to the other girls’ soft snores as stared at Ginny’s door. Suddenly she heard a creak and a shadow pass by. ‘The bathrooms are above here, why is someone up and about?’ she thought to herself. Holly quietly got out of bed and followed the shadow down the stairs. She was on the bottom step when she saw a familiar head of jet-black hair leave the kitchen and move onto the lawn, wearing a travelling coat and backpack.
Holly jogged to catch up with her twin calling his name out quietly but sharply to get his attention. He turned around, obviously annoyed and slung his backpack to the ground.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Holly accused him
“I can’t keep letting people step in the way of danger for me. Mad-Eye died defending me, I won’t let anyone else.” He replied.
Holly laughed, “Get your head out of your ass!” She watched as his face screwed up in annoyance. She started again, “All I meant was, it’s not all about you. Mad-Eye died trying to take down Voldemort. It just so happens that you are the best shot we’ve got to defeating him. If you run away now, all they did tonight was for naught.” Harry hesitated, unsure of what to say next.
“Polyjuice potion, fending off Death Eaters so you could get here safely, George lost an ear, all of this was done for you, yes, but it was really done as a stepping stone to defeating Voldemort.” Holly continued. Harry ran a hand through his hair, processing all of this.
“And if you leave without Ron or Hermione, they’ll kill you before Voldemort does.” Holly added smiling slightly.
Harry sighed in defeat, “All right, all right, you convinced me.” He picked up his backpack and moved to start heading back to the house with Holly. Before they reached the door, Harry turned to her and whispered, “Please don’t tell anyone about tonight. You were bang on, they would kill me.”
Holly nodded and then smiled to herself. ‘Crisis averted’ she thought, relieved she had followed her intuition. She fell asleep happy, despite the events the night had encountered.