Harry Potter is dead. . .
The words echoed loudly in Hermione's ears. She could feel her knees begin to buckle, but she stood tall. All she wanted to do was fall to the ground and scream until her voice was too weak to rise above a whisper. She had let her best friend march off to his certain death, and here was his lifeless body nestled into Hagrid's oversized arms. Even with the evidence laid out so plainly in front of her, Hermione could not let herself believe that The Boy Who Lived was now the exact opposite.
Emotions were overcoming her. She could not hear anything over the blood roaring in her ears as her heart beat at an unhealthy pace. The world felt like it was going to crumble around her. Voldemort was standing triumphantly before them, a smirk across his face directed pointedly at Ron and Hermione who stood at the front of the pack of witches and wizards that were there to stand against the Death Eaters. Hermione could sense the defeat rushing over the crowd of people that had stood behind Harry in battle mere hours before. He was their only beacon of hope in this dark time, and now, he was gone. Hermione would not have been surprised if the whole lot of them dropped their wands and surrendered to Voldemort right there. She had half a mind to do so herself. She was tired, and her best friend was dead.
That is when a sound finally registered in her ears. It was the sound of a girl crying out in immense pain. Hermione turned her head slightly to see Ginny fighting against the hold her brother George had on her as she flailed around trying to get to Harry. Ginny's screams of agony caused new feelings to rise up within Hermione, and she could feel her blood start to boil. Too many people in this crowd were suffering the pain of losing someone they loved dearly. She herself had seen the bodies of too many people she cared for strewn throughout the Great Hall and now Harry. No, surrender was not an option. Voldemort deserved to pay.
Before Hermione even knew what was happening, Neville had rushed forward in an attempt to attack Nagini. This provided enough distraction for Voldemort and the Death Eaters that no one noticed that Harry's body had disappeared. Hermione, however, was unable to remove her eyes from the spot Harry lay and saw him pull the invisibility cloak over himself. Harry Potter was alive. Hope soared through Hermione's bones. She did not know where Harry went, but she knew he was alive. That is all she need. That was all anyone needed. Once everyone noticed the absence of The Chosen One's corpse, a roar of anger emanated from the crowd of Death Eaters and a cheer of triumph came from the people of Hogwarts. Then, they were dueling their hearts out against the Death Eaters, once again, with more courage than Hermione believed any of them knew they had.
Hermione, Ginny, and Luna found themselves dueling up against the one and only Bellatrix Lestrange. The three were struggling to hold out against the mad woman, who even after being held in Azkaban for fourteen years did not seem to have lost a single step. Bellatrix was effortlessly deflecting everything the girls threw at her and was quick to retaliate with curses of her own. Hermione could have sworn her heart stopped beating when she saw the green light of the killing curse whiz toward Ginny and just about collapsed from relief when it narrowly missed her head.
"Not my daughter, you bitch!" Hermione heard screeched from over her right shoulder, as Mrs. Weasley barreled onto the scene and took up the battle with Bellatrix.
Hermione took this reprieve as a chance to run over and check on Ginny. "Are you okay?!" she shouted over the noise of the battle as she threw her arms around the youngest Weasley.
"I'm fine, Hermione," Ginny replied gently into Hermione's ear as she briefly returned the hug.
Hermione pulled back and looked into Ginny's eyes. It lasted for a fraction of a second, but in that moment, Hermione felt safety and comfort beyond belief. In that moment, it hit Hermione just how beautiful of a woman Ginny had become. Hermione knew in that moment as well that there was not any way that they would lose this war. No darkness or evil would ever be able to dull a shine like the one in Ginny Weasley's eyes. As long as Ginny was in the world, Hermione knew that evil could never outweigh that amount of good. The efforts of the dark were hopeless. With that, Hermione returned to battle, and the rest became a blur.