Narcissa inspects Harry’s body

Narcissa inspects Harry’s body

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling

There was complete silence in the clearing. Nobody approached Harry, but he felt their concentrated gaze, it seemed to press him harder into the ground, and he was terrified a finger or an eyelid might twitch.

‘You,’ said Voldemort, and there was a bang and a small shriek of pain. ‘Examine him. Tell me whether he is dead.’

Harry did not know who had been sent to verify. He could only lie there, with his heart thumping traitorously, and wait to be examined, but at the same time noting, small comfort though it was, that Voldemort was wary of approaching him, that Voldemort suspected that all had not gone to plan ...

Hands, softer than he had been expecting, touched Harry’s face, pulled back an eyelid, crept beneath his shirt, down to his chest and felt his heart. He could hear the woman’s fast breathing, her long hair tickled his face. He knew that she could feel the steady pounding of life against his ribs.

‘Is Draco alive? Is he in the castle?’

The whisper was barely audible; her lips were an inch from his ear, her head bent so low that her long hair shielded his face from the onlookers.

‘Yes,’ he breathed back.

He felt the hand on his chest contract; her nails pierced him. Then it was withdrawn. She had sat up.

‘He is dead!’ Narcissa Malfoy called to the watchers.

And now they shouted, now they yelled in triumph and stamped their feet, and through his eyelids Harry saw bursts of red and silver light shoot into the air in celebration.

Still feigning death on the ground, he understood. Narcissa knew that the only way she would be permitted to enter Hogwarts, and find her son, was as part of the conquering army. She no longer cared whether Voldemort won.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

By J.K. Rowling