“Oh Holly, Draco, you made it!” Mrs. Weasley rushed over to the couple as soon as they walked into the backyard of The Burrow.
“Hi Mrs. Weasley! Yes, we got settled and unpacked just in time” Holly replied with a laugh, hugging the woman.
“Well everyone’s just about here, just waiting on Hagrid and then we’ll eat.” Mrs. Weasley explained. Holly looked behind her and saw a group of people mingling around a large table that was lit by floating lanterns.
“Want any help in the kitchen Mrs. Weasley?” Draco asked politely.
She blushed and waved him off, “Oh goodness me. I’ve got it covered, you two go catch up with everyone”
Holly and Draco shrugged their shoulders and joined the group. They fetched themselves a drink from the cart- Mulled Mead for Draco and Firewhiskey for Holly- and immersed themselves in conversation with Hermione’s parents. After they retold their adventures from Australia –“a relaxing unintended vacation” according to Hermione’s mother- the pair left Draco and Holly to talk to Mr. Weasley about the function of wind-up toys (he had finally exhausted all questions about the rubber duck). As Draco was pulled away from Holly by Bill and Fleur, she found herself talking to Fred.
“So?” Holly asked in a hushed tone, “What happened with Angelina?”
Fred sighed and rubbed his eyes wearily, “I told her a few days ago. It was awful but had to be done.”
Holly nodded sympathetically, “How did George take it?”
“Surprisingly well actually” Fred replied, “He suggested it might be best if she takes some time off from the shop while things cool down. Perfect timing for Draco to help us out so all ends well I guess. George even went over to talk to Angelina afterwards to see how she was doing so I wouldn’t feel bad.”
“Oh, well isn’t that…nice of him” Holly said cautiously. She personally thought that was mildly suspicious but if it didn’t bother Fred she guessed it was fine.
Mrs. Weasley’s voice carried over the crowd and everyone immediately took their seats. Holly saw Hagrid sit in his special chair at one end of the table. She made a note to talk to him once the meal was over; it wasn’t like Hagrid to be late for food.
Holly found herself across from Harry, Ginny, and Ron and in between Fred and Bill. She spent most of the dinner discussing different breeds of dragons with Bill and Harry with the other Weasley siblings piping in occasionally.
“I didn’t know they had dragons in Canada?” Billy asked Holly, “I thought they just stuck in Florida/Mexico area because the only breeds over there are heat sensitive?”
Holly shook her head with a mouthful of potato salad, “Oh no not at all” She replied after a gulp, “There are quite a few in Canada. They just stick to more of the unpopulated areas like the North West Territories and the tops of the Rockies”
“Rockies?” Ron asked.
“The Rocky Mountains Ron,” Ginny replied for Holly rolling her eyes, “Honestly, don’t you read?”
Harry and Fred snorted in their drinks. “You’ve been spending too much time with Hermione” Ron said shaking his head in wonder.
We all looked to the head of the table to see Mr. Weasley standing with his champagne flute raised.
“I would just like to thank everyone for being able to join us. I know the last few months have been hard on us all and it really means a lot that you all made time to come here tonight.” Mr. Weasley started.
“First off I would like to congratulate Draco on his name being cleared; may your days be filled with less worry and your mind be clear of all doubts” Holly looked to Draco who sat beside George. He had an appreciative smile on his face and he raised his glass to salute Mr. Weasley.
“Secondly, I wanted to wish everyone the best in their new positions starting this summer. Whether you’re are returning to Hogwarts or joining the work force, best of luck to you all”
“Finally,” Mr. Weasley said with a twinkle in his eye, “I know I speak for all of us when I say: Happy Birthday to my favourite set of twins -fraternal twins, sorry sons. Molly and I both feel like we’re a set of parental figures to you both and the respect we have toward you is amazing. So once again, Happy Birthday Harry and Holly!”
“Harry and Holly!”
Holly smiled as everyone at the table raised their glasses to her and Harry. She looked over at him and caught his eye. They toasted each other and leaned across the table to join hands. As their fingers touched, fireworks of light appeared in the sky above the table. Holly laughed as the group clapped and cheered at their magic. The twins had been practicing and waiting for the perfect time to unveil this hidden talent they had between them and tonight seemed like the perfect time.
After the group ate the delicious cake Mrs. Weasly had made –two cakes in the shapes of H & P- the group began to disperse.
“-Yes they added a new statue! Oh you must go soon, it’s simply wonderful!” Ron’s Auntie Muriel was telling Holly. The elderly woman had a bit too much sherry and was telling Holly about the simply wonderful statue that had been placed in Godric’s Hollow.
“Alright Muriel, time to go” Bill said, coming up behind the pair and leading the elderly witch away.
“Promise me you’ll go soon dearie?”
“Yes, Aunt Muriel. I’ll go as soon as I can!” Holly reassured her. She laughed to herself and she turned back to the party. Harry was talking to Andromeda Tonks as Ginny bounced little Teddy Lupin on her knee. Holly suppressed a laugh when the baby proceeded to regurgitate his dinner on Ginny’s chest. Ginny quickly passed the baby over to Draco who was the closest one to her as she hurriedly ran inside to clean herself up. Draco held Teddy awkwardly away from him like he was afraid the baby would self-destruct at any moment.
Before Holly could go over and help, Harry excused himself from his conversation and positioned Teddy on Draco’s lap to play with him. Draco’s worried face instantly changed into cheerful and began to play peek-a-boo. Holly stood there for a few moments with a hand to her mouth and she watched the precious scene. Draco eventually looked over and caught her eye. He blushed as she winked at him and then walked over to play with Teddy too. By the end of the night they had been able to get Teddy to change his hair colour from a bright turquoise to a bubble gum pink when they said those colours.
That night as Draco and Holly were getting into bed, Draco pulled Holly towards him and gave her a deep, lingering kiss.
“What was that for?” Holly asked giggling.
“What? I can’t kiss my beautiful girlfriend for no reason?” Draco replied kissing her again.
Holly kissed him back but then put a hand on his strong chest and pushed him away slightly, “Well yes of course but what’s the actual reason?”
Draco answered by giving her a soft kiss on her forehead, then both sides of her cheeks, ending with a light one on her lips, “I just realized how precious life is and that we should be living every minute of it. I’m done living with fear, guilt, and regret. At dinner tonight, instead of looking for the missing faces, I saw the ones who were still there.” Draco looked into Holly’s eyes seriously, “You are the best thing that’s happened to me Hol, I really believe I’d be in Azkaban… or worse right now if you hadn’t stuck by me”
“Well I try my best” Holly replied with a flip of her hair. They laughed at her attempt at humor; they both knew she felt the same way. She leant down and touched his lips with hers. A few moments later she pulled away.
“We’ll be ok though right?” Holly asked Draco, “With me being at school and you being here?”
Draco tightened his arms around her, “Of course we will. It won’t be easy but with me being occupied with the shop it won’t be so bad. And” he added with a smirk on his face, “Being so close to the Weasley’s means I won’t exactly go hungry”
“True enough” Holly said with a laugh. She stroked his blonde hair, “I’ll miss you”
Draco took her hand and kissed her fingers, “I’m going to miss you too.” He moved his face so his lips were just brushing hers, “I love you” Draco whispered.
“I love you too” Holly whispered back and closed the distance between them.