Holly stood in the middle of the second floor landing, battling three Death Eaters at once. Screams and blasts filled the air around her as Hogwarts was locked into combat. The pictures on the wall ran from one end of the castle to the other, delivering news and dressed in armor.
“Flipendo!” Holly cried. One of the Death Eaters was pushed backwards out a massive hole that used to be a castle wall. The remaining Death Eaters backed Holly down the stairs until she felt the Entrance Hall wall on her back. She waved her wand desperately and managed to stun one of them.
Holly couldn’t turn around to see what had happened but she could guess by the sounds of tinkling jewels that the Housepoint hourglasses had shattered. Their contents spilled out into the Entrance Hall. Holly was locked in duel with the masked Death Eater and couldn’t look down at her footing. An emerald rolled under foot just as Holly moved her left foot backwards. Off balance, she started to fall away from the Death Eater. She watched in terror as he raised his wand to finish her in her moment of weakness. She saw the slash of his wand and the light of the curse as it flew through the air. Holly braced herself for the impact.
Suddenly she heard a great howl of pain and opened her eyes. A large Boxador had jumped into the spell’s path! It landed painfully on the ground and didn't get up.
“GRYPHON! NOOOO!” Holly cried as she watched the Death Eater move in to finish the injured dog off. Holly quickly got up and cursed the Death Eater, making him hit a far wall.
“Gryphon!” Holly hurried over to her injured Boxador. He was bleeding badly from one leg and looked up at Holly helplessly. Her adrenaline flowing freely through her veins, Holly picked up the injured dog and carried him away from the battle. She found an empty corridor and quickly healed his leg.
“There, all better” Holly muttered. She tried not to think about why on earth Gryphon would leave Fred. The only logical explanation she could think of was the brave dog was avenging his second master. Holly pushed the image of Fred’s body out of her mind.
“Ready to get back in it boy?” Holly asked. Gryphon gave a determined bark of agreement and they ran back into the Entrance Hall.
Holly saw the wolf ancestor come out in Gryphon that night. He barred his teeth, biting the Death Eaters and bringing them down so Holly or others could properly curse them. More than once Holly turned around and was shocked to see how aggressive Gryphon was being. She quickly brushed that aside; the fight and natural instincts were obviously coming forth.
They were battling in the courtyard now. Gryphon had gone long ago, chasing after an injured Death Eater. Holly was teaching students how to quickly take out a Spider; levitating one of the pieces of the castle and making it land on their head.
“Holly!” Holly spun around and saw Harry, Ron and Hermione hiding beneath one of the massive bells that used to hang in the clock tower. Holly raced over, narrowly avoiding a Giant’s arm and huddled in the bell with the trio. They told her they had destroyed the Diadem and the Cup Horcruxes.
“I looked into his mind, Voldemort’s in the old boat house with Snape! Can you cover us while we go see what they’re up to?” Harry asked quickly.
“Of course, give me five to get in position” Holly replied. She raced through the courtyard, past the Entrance Hall and up to one of the balconies overlooking the lake and the path to the boathouse. Holly saw the figures of Harry, Ron and Hermione hurrying down the pathway. A black figure appeared just behind them and raised his wand. Holly quickly cursed him and he fell into the water with a satisfying splash. When she saw that the trio had made it to the boat house undetected, she turned back to the battle.
Holly joined Luna, Neville, Ginny, and a few girls from the Ravenclaw Quidditch team as they attempted to take down a horde of Spiders that were making their way up the floors of the school. Their many spells were just bouncing off the Spiders’ thick skin and rebounding on the wall and floors. The group exchanged a quick look and then opened their mouths for one last spell.
“REDUCTO!” Everyone cried at once. The effect was immediate; the Spiders’ bodies disintegrated before them on the stairs. Holly quickly Vanished the remains and hurried down another landing to help Mrs. Weasley battle a pair of Death Eaters. The Death Eaters showed no weaknesses, they dodged every curse that was thrown at them and fought back twice as hard. Holly could feel that Mrs. Weasley was fading beside her. Holly didn’t think she alone could hold the relentless Death Eaters back. Suddenly a voice echoed throughout the halls, causing everyone to stop in their tracks.
“You have fought valiantly, but in vain.” Voldemort’s voice sent chills down Holly’s spine. “If you continue to resist me, you will all die. One by one. I do not wish this; every drop of magical blood lost is a waste. Lord Voldemort is merciful. I order my forces to withdraw. Dispose of your dead with dignity. Harry Potter, I now speak directly to you. You have let your friends die for you instead of facing me yourself. Join me in the Forbidden Forest and confront your fate. Any man, woman or child who conceals me from you will perish. You have one hour.”
Holly watched as Voldemort’s Death Eaters lowered their wands and walked out of the castle. The sounds of screaming and blasts disappeared.
“Well, might as well regroup.” Mrs. Weasley said to Holly wearily. “Let’s go to the Great Hall sweetie and be with our families again” Holly didn’t have the heart to tell Mrs. Weasley of Fred’s condition. She didn’t want to tell her what she had witnessed; reviving Fred only to assume that he succumbed to his injuries. Why else would Gryphon leave Fred unprotected?
As they were walking down the stairs Harry appeared from around a corner.
“Oh Harry, thank goodness you’re safe. Forget about what He said, we’ll find a way to beat him yet.” Mrs. Weasley told Harry. He gave her a weak smile and proceeded to walk up the stair to Holly.
He told her what he saw in the boathouse. Voldemort needed to kill Snape to truly be the Master of the Elder wand, Snape was dead, Harry had his memories, and was going to look at them in Dumbledore’s Pensieve.
“Want to come?” Harry asked. Holly quickly nodded her head and the pair set off for the Headmaster’s office. When they reached the entrance, Holly saw that the stone gargoyles that guarded the office had been blown to pieces.
“Password?” One of them said faintly
“Dumbledore” Harry said at once.
“Sounds good” the other gargoyle replied.
When the twins entered the office, it was empty. The past headmaster’s portraits that hung on the walls were gone, leaving behind blank canvases. Harry took the Pensieve out and emptied the contents out of the small vial that he had been holding. Without a second’s hesitation, the twins plunged into Severus Snape’s memories.
Holly watched with Harry as a young Severus Snape met Lily Evans and began his schooling at Hogwarts. She watched as James Potter and his friends bullied Snape mercifully, Lily fall in love with James, and the night Voldemort came to the Potter house. She learned that Snape had turned spy for Dumbledore so he could make sure Lily's life was spared. Snape had killed Dumbledore on his orders, so Draco Malfoy would stay innocent. Dumbledore’s death had been pre-planned. Snape had set the sword of Gryffindor in the woods for Harry to find. Snape’s Patronus was a doe, in memory of Lily and his love for her that he held onto his whole life. Finally, Holly watched as Dumbledore told Snape that Harry was the final Horcrux, one that Voldemort didn’t mean to make. Harry had to die, and Voldemort had to do it himself.
When the twins emerged from Snape’s memories, Holly could see that Harry had gone pale.
“If you don’t mind Holly, I’d rather not talk about what we saw” Harry told her.
Holly smiled sadly, “I was just going to ask if you saw Ron, Hermione or Ginny before you came up here”
Harry shook his head, “Ron and Hermione stayed in the Great Hall while I came up here. Ginny…I’m not sure the last time I saw her was.”
“Maybe you should see them before you do…whatever you’re planning on doing” Holly said softly.
“Yeah, maybe you’re right” Harry replied.
The pair walked silently out of the office and down the stairs to the Entrance Hall. Harry turned to go into the Great Hall after smiling a sad smile at Holly. She returned the smile and looked past him into the Hall. The survivors had congregated in the open space. The dead had been placed in the middle of the room. Holly saw the Weasley family huddled in a corner of the room, bending over a body on the ground. She quickly looked away, terrified to see who it was. Her eyes swept the room, trying to avoid seeing the dead. Unfortunately a flash of colour brought their attention to a pair of bodies closest to the door. Lupin and Tonks laid side by side, their hands outstretched towards each other, inches from touching. Tonk's last hair colour had been a fiery red, the colour of war and death. Blinking back tears Holly quickly turned around and walked to the courtyard. Suddenly she felt soft fur on her hand and looked down to see Gryphon starring up at her.
“Oh hey boy, how are you doing? How’s the leg?” Holly asked her Boxador, inspecting the leg that had been injured earlier. Gryphon looked at her quizzically as she examined the leg.
“Looks like you never got hurt” Holly said patting the dog’s head. She knelt down so she was face to face with him. “I know you can’t understand me when I say this but I love you. You've been an amazing friend to me throughout all of this and I was so lucky to have you by my side.” Holly rubbed Gryphon’s ears and face, “I have to go away for awhile ok? Be good and protect Harry, Hermione and the Weasley’s for me. Alright? Love you boy.” Holly kissed Gryphon’s fore head and stroked him one last time before turning away. Gryphon barked once at Holly’s retreating back but she didn’t turn back around, knowing if she did she would never follow through with her plan.
As she let the tears fall down her face she knew she was doing the right thing. That’s what her play was all along; the Potter no one knew existed. As she walked into the Forbidden Forest she wiped the tears off her face, squared her shoulders, and walked confidently to meet the Dark Lord.