In a split second, I felt a rush of overwhelming relief.
I couldn’t bring myself to cheer like the hundreds of people erupting in joy around me, but I knew that everything had changed.
A second ago, I watched a pale alienoid creature in a dark cloak fall to the stone floor of the Great Hall.
I don’t know how, but I was certain that this cruel being was truly and finally destroyed, unlike the last time.
His body rested limply on the cold floor, looking strangely peaceful, though I admit I couldn't see his face. The simplicity of his collapse was perhaps what convinced me he was gone.
There was no backlash, reverberation, disintegration or hint of remaining energy. If Voldemort were still living, the last thing he'd do is lie down and look weak.
I turned my head away from darkness toward the light of my life. The worn, ragged, but resolved man that I loved stood barely a yard from the defeated Dark Lord with an unfathomable expression.
The world seemed to move in slow motion as I turned my attention to him. My youngest brother and Hermione were the first to reach Harry.
An instant later, I trailed them, eager to wrap my arms around Ron, Hermione and Harry, feeling like I’d not seen them in a lifetime. Now, in some ways, it really had been a lifetime ago.
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