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The Potter family meets Ron and Hermione, who are married and who have two children. Rose, the elder, is starting her first year at Hogwarts, and Hugo is younger.

Draco is on the platform as well, with his own wife and son, Scorpius. Draco nods curtly to Harry and looks away.

James reports that Lupin and Tonks’s son, Teddy Lupin, is kissing their cousin Victoire, the daughter of Bill and Fleur Weasley.

Ginny tells James to send Neville Longbottom, now the Hogwarts Professor of Herbology, her love.

Harry offers some final words of comfort to Albus Severus, noting that one of the headmasters he was named for, Severus Snape, was a Slytherin and was the bravest man Harry ever knew.

The train departs. Harry gives a final wave, confers with Ginny, then touches his scar. It has not hurt for nineteen years, and all is well.

Analysis: Chapter Thirty-Six–Epilogue

The final chapter ties up all of the loose ends. If the climactic moment of the novel was Harry’s self-sacrifice, and the biggest emotional reward came with Harry’s recovery of Dumbledore’s love, now we need to see Voldemort defeated and his followers disposed of. The resolution of Harry and Voldemort’s duel and of the wand subplot that has run through this novel (and that really began three novels before, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) is very carefully explained and worked out. As with the revelations regarding Snape, we can see that the author knew where she was going years before and laid all of the groundwork in earlier novels, leading up to this payoff. Still, the explanation of why Harry’s wand kept beating Voldemort, why Harry is now the master of the Elder Wand, and why Harry’s blood inside Voldemort kept Harry alive while Voldemort was alive, yet Harry can kill Voldemort now (or allow him to kill himself) is all extremely complicated and will take most readers several careful re-readings to figure out. The meeting with Dumbledore is a resolution that affects readers in a much more visceral and emotional way, and most will simply be glad to see Voldemort finally die.

Because of the intricacy with which the final battle with Voldemort is plotted out and resolved, the Epilogue is a welcome addition, as it too speaks more directly to our emotions. Harry gets his reward in the form of the girl he loves, Ginny, and gets to be part of a family for the first time, as he has always longed to. After hating him for seven years, Harry has finally come to love and revere Snape, giving his name to Harry’s younger son, Albus Severus.