The days that followed the escapade and the preceded Bill and Fleur’s wedding were very joyous for Holly. She spent most of her days enjoying the sunshine in the Weasley’s backyard, playing with Gryphon, de-gnoming the garden, and helping Fred and George with their chores for the wedding. Holly felt bad for Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny. Mrs. Weasley was using Ginny as a kind of punching bag; whenever something was to be done or if there was a job to do with Fleur, Ginny was the one being called. Harry, Ron and Hermione kept trying to stay up in Ron’s room. Holly wasn’t the only one who noticed however. Mrs. Weasley kept giving the trio chores that would keep them apart. She had confided in Holly that she hoped this would make the trio want to finish their education at Hogwarts. Holly had nodded slightly but knew this would never happen with Horcruxes to find.
Because Mrs. Weasley’s eyes were focused on the trio and the wedding, Holly had plenty of leisure time. She grew much closer to Fred and George, asking them about their joke shop and helping them think of new products as they pretended they were tending to the garden.
“Business is quite good, surprisingly” George remarked one afternoon. He was bent low over a bush, pruning shears in hand. Holly looked back to the house and gave a ‘thumbs up’ sign when she saw that Mrs. Weasley had moved from sight in one of the windows.
“Yeah,” Fred added, straightening up from his post, “We’re about the only place in Diagon Alley that isn’t boarded up” He picked up a nearby stick and flung it across the yard. Gryphon raced over to retrieve it and brought it back promptly to Fred.
“I reckon he likes me more than you” Fred winked at Holly.
“Nah, you’re like the fun loving uncle,” Holly replied, “but he will always come back to the hand that feeds him, me” Sure enough when Holly whistled for Gryphon, he came at once, sitting in front of her expectantly. She withdrew a treat from her pocket and praised him.
That evening, while Holly was walking up the stairs to wash up after dinner, Ron’s door suddenly opened and his freckled face peered from behind it. He motioned Holly to be quiet and enter the room. When she walked inside she saw Hermione surrounded by two piles of books, one much larger than the other. Harry who was sitting on Ron’s bed, looked up as Holly entered the room.
“Oh good, you’re here.” Harry said to Holly, “We wanted to discuss what our plan was with you in case we have to make a quick getaway”. Holly was flattered at the thought that the trio had included her in their plans and leaned on the windowsill to hear them.
“Yes, we’ve figured out how to destroy the Horcruxes...we'll kind of,” Hermione added, “We believe it has to be harmed by something indestructible. Harry destroyed Riddle’s diary with a basilisk fang and there’s only one rare substance that can cure that, phoenix tears”. Holly nodded, thinking hard of other objects that would fall under the category of indestructible.
After a few moments she shook her head, dismayed. “I’m sorry, I can’t think of anything right now. I’ll keep thinking and let you know.”
Holly thought very hard over the next few days. ‘Something indestructible but that would be safe to carry around, hmmm” she pondered. The arrival of Fleur’s family interrupted her thoughts, they were a happy, energetic family and were excited about the upcoming wedding. With the added three people, The Burrow had reached its maximum capacity. For dinner that night, they all gathered in the backyard around one long table. The group, joined by Tonks and Lupin, all enjoyed an enormous meal prepared by Mrs. Weasley. Bill’s hair length, the upcoming wedding, and Holly’s travels in North America were some of the topics of conversation that came up over dinner.
“So you flew through the Grand Canyon?” Tonks asked Holly, very intrigued.
Holly laughed at the memory, “Yes, Arthur Abbott and I were being chased by another wizard on a Hippogriff and by going through the canyon in its tight spaces we lost him. Our brooms are much smaller and easier to handle than a Hippogriff.”
Tonks was about to inquire more when she was cut off by a loud chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’. Holly looked down the table and saw two floating cakes emerging from the back door. They landed in front of Holly and Harry who were sitting across from each other. Harry’s was in the shape of a large Golden Snitch and Holly’s was in the shape of a Quaffle. She laughed when she saw it; she guessed the news of her appearance at the Quidditch Cup Final last year had gotten around. The twins blew out their candles at the same time and thanked everyone for the celebration.
“Since your birthdays fall on the day of the wedding, we thought we’d celebrate a day early so you’re not forgotten” Mrs. Weasley said smiling, obviously happy she had surprised the twins.
After dinner, Holly was walking down the stairs to the kitchen when she felt a hand cover her mouth and eyes and her body being pulled backwards. She squirmed and tried to wiggle herself loose but there was no use. Finally, she felt herself being put down on a bed and the hand removed. She took in her surroundings and saw that she was in a room full of boxes on one side and various posters in the wall. She crossed her arms indignantly when she saw Fred and George sitting on another bed laughing at her.
“And what was that all about?” She asked haughtily. George’s eyes went wide as he raised a finger to his lips and Fred hastily went over to Holly and clamped her mouth shut again.
“Lupin’s orders,” Fred told her, “The Minister for Magic is here with Dumbledore’s will. We’re not sure if we can trust him so Lupin told us to keep you quiet and hidden until he leaves.” Fred looked at Holly until she nodded her head, signaling she understood.
He withdrew his hand and they began quiet conversation, mussing over what Harry, Ron and Hermione would get from Dumbledore. Holly learned about an hour later that Hermione had been given a children's book, Ron a Deluminator, and Harry the golden snitch he caught in his first game. Harry had also been given a sword of Gryffindor but the Ministry had withheld it, saying it wasn’t his to own. Holly went to sleep that night with her mind whirling with possibilities to why they wouldn’t give Harry the sword and what Dumbledore's other gifts had meant.
She had little time to think about it when she awoke; it was wedding day. The morning went by in a blur and before she knew it, Holly was zipping her dress closed and Hermione was putting the finishing touches on her makeup. Hermione was wearing a lovely lilac coloured dress that flowed; perfect for a summer wedding. Holly had borrowed one of Ginny’s dresses for the occasion. It was poppy-red with a row of flowers making up the straps. They both carried their small clutches, the square black clutch on Holly’s wrist and the small beaded bag on Hermione’s. Both girls brought the purses with them wherever they went, just in case.
The girls sat beside Fred, George, Harry and Ron during the ceremony. Ginny was looking beautiful in her bridesmaids dress and Holly noticed her and Harry exchanged glances a couple of times. Holly had found out when she first came to The Burrow that Harry had ended things with Ginny for her safety. Ginny had confided in Holly a few times about how hard it was for her. Holly knew only too well how she was feeling.
After the ceremony, the newly wedded couple had their first dance. Holly looked on with the rest of the wedding guests as the beautiful couple looked lovingly into each other’s eyes. After the first song, other couples joined the newlyweds on the dance floor. Holly watched as Ron and Hermione started dancing together under the twinkling lights of the tent’s canopy. Harry and Ginny swayed together, dancing a few feet away. Holly saw that Ginny’s face lit up, happier than she had seen her this summer and laughed at something Harry said. Holly smiled to herself as she moved away from the dance floor to find a seat. Before she could find one, a strong arm grabbed her by her waist and held one of her hands.
“Oh no you don’t, everyone’s dancing tonight” Fred said, twirling Holly onto the dance floor. She laughed as they spun their way through the crowd of couples. Holly looked to see where George was and saw him dancing with a Veela cousin. Fred had apparently seen this as well. He winked at Holly then twirled her into George’s arms, causing him to spin his partner into Fred’s. Holly laughed at the betrayed look George gave his twin at the switch in partners.
“Ah well, he’s missing out. You look just as lovely if not more than Fleur’s cousin” George told Holly. She laughed again and waved away the compliment, letting George spin and dip her in his arms. After they all got their dancing out of their system, the young people of the party found a table to sit at. It was short lived as Ron and Hermione were called by his Aunt Muriel to come to her table to talk. Harry moved to sit beside an old friend of Dumbledore’s, Elphias Doge and Fred and George disappeared into the dark with a pair of Veela cousins. This left Ginny and Holly alone at the table.
“So?” Holly prodded, “How was the dancing?” She winked meaningfully at Ginny.
Ginny sighed, “It was amazing” She paused, then said, “I miss him so much. Sometimes I wish the reason we broke up wasn’t because of this war. It’s harder to get over it when you know he still loves you but you just can’t be together you know?”
Holly nodded in understanding, “Don’t I know it. It’s also frightening to think about if he broke up with you because you’d be in danger, he’s probably in much worse danger.”
Ginny looked at Holly as she said that and looked at her quizzically. A look of understanding soon replaced that as Ginny’s mouth formed a small ‘O’. She leaned in close to Holly and whispered, “That’s the real reason you broke up right?”
Holly gave Ginny a small, sad nod. Ginny was just about to open her mouth again when suddenly a bright silver and blue light in the shape of a lynx entered the reception area. All the guests stood like statues as they listened to the Patronus speak in the voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt.
“The Minister for Magic is dead, the Ministry has fallen. They are coming.”
Immediately after these words, figures in black robes and masks on their faces materialized in the reception area. People started screaming and disappearing. The enchantments that had protected The Burrow had disappeared and the Death Eaters were here.
“Run!” Holly yelled at Ginny. The girls quickly separated, Ginny hurrying over to her brother Charlie and they Disapparated together. Holly ran through the reception hall, firing protective enchantments whenever she could. She saw a few flashes of green light; the Death Eaters were here to kill. Holly ran towards one of the openings of the canopy and saw out of the corner of her eye, Harry, Ron and Hermione Disapparate. Holly raced onto the lawn, stunning a Death Eater in her way. She whistled furiously for Gryphon and frantically looked for him on the dark lawn. In her hurry she ran right into a hard solid body. Her wand raised she looked up to see George Weasley.
“Holly! We have to get out of here! Have you seen Fred?” He asked
“No! Have you seen Gryphon?” Holly replied. After a quick shake of George's head, they ran further into the dark, away from the reception hall.
“Here! We’re here!”
Fred’s voice caused Holly and George to turn towards the garden in the far corner. Fred rushed towards the, Gryphon in his arms.
Fred stopped in front of Holly and George, out of breath, “I-I saw him in the garden earlier when I went there with a Veela cousin. When I heard the Patronus I ran to get him; I knew it would be hard for you to find him.”
Before Holly had a chance to thank him, she heard a noise behind her. She turned to see a black figure emerge in the dark, his wand drawn. Holly heard the beginnings of a spell but before she had time to react, she felt a hand grasp her arm and everything went black.