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There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet. | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 [insp]

Harry Potter is sitting at his desk, a bottle of fire whisky in his hand. He tries to smile as he thinks of his children and his wife and how good the world is now, but he can’t. Instead, he stumbles to the window and stares at the sky and remembers.

Ginny Weasley is standing alone outside. She knows Harry needs time alone, and quite frankly, she does too. She tries not to think of George, but she can’t help it. A tear falls down her cheek as she stares up at the sky and remembers.

George Weasley sits on his bedroom floor, drunk. He holds a Muggle gun up to his head, the same as he does every year this time. But he can’t pull the trigger. He never can. He cries bitterly and utters his twin’s name as he stares at the ceiling and remembers.

Ron Weasley is working late at the office. He doesn’t want to go home and let anyone see him like this. He twiddles his wand in his scarred hands to distract himself, then he looks up and stares at the ceiling and remembers.

Hermione Weasley-Granger keeps a straight face as she listens to a pair of wizards complain about a stolen hippogryff and pretends to care. She makes it to the stalls on time right before she breaks down and sobs. As tears flood her vision she stares up at the bathroom ceiling and remembers.

Draco Malfoy is sitting by the window in his study. He watches his wife dance around the room, practicing for an upcoming event. Usually, all his attention is on her, but today it isn’t. The scars on his chest begin to tingle as he looks through the window and up at the sky and remembers.

Neville Longbottom is standing in his Herbology classroom, hands shaking after dismissing class early. He catches a glimpse of the back of Albus Severus Potter before he breaks down. Biting his lip to keep from making noise he looks up at the ceiling and remembers.

Luna Scamamder is deep in the South American jungles with her husband and sons. She is too distracted to notice a mysterious twinkling creature jump from behind a bush. Her husband notices and grabs her hand as she stares up at the tops of the jungle trees and remembers.

Today, everyone who was there May 2, 1988 remembers. They wish they didn’t, but they do. They remember all the pain and suffering, all the lost loved ones, all the scars that will never fully heal.

But tomorrow, they will wake up and remember why they fought. And they will keep going.

The Battle of Hogwarts was real.

It didn’t just happen in the books, with paper and words. It didn’t just happen on the big screen as we watched it play out.

It happened in our hearts.

When our favourite characters came rushing in, our hearts soared with them. When our favourite characters met with death, we plummeted alongside them, our bodies turning cold. When they fought and fought and fought with nothing but the goal to save their school, we were right there, urging them on, praying for strength, offering our silent encouragement.

Witches, wizards, creatures, animals alike, they weren’t exempt from our vice-like dreams and wishes of hope and motivation.

We were their driving source, they were ours.

When they rose, victorious, we shared the ecstacy. When they fell, some fell farther, because how could we stay alive when they were gone?

The Battle of Hogwarts was real, and it left scars, battle wounds, and marks on us all. It’s a time we’ll never forget, because like all things good and bad, it changed our lives forever.