Harry glimpses Voldemort's mind again and leads the trio to the Shrieking Shack. They witness Voldemort kill Snape, believing it will make him the Elder Wand's master. As Snape dies, he gives Harry his memories that prove Snape's loyalty to Dumbledore, motivated by his lifelong love for Harry's mother Lily. After being cursed by Gaunt's Ring Horcrux, a doomed Dumbledore had ordered Snape to kill him at a strategic time, sparing Draco from carrying out Voldemort's order to murder him. It was Snape who sent the doe Patronus to the forest. The memories also reveal that Harry himself is a Horcrux; he must die in order to destroy Voldemort.
Resigned to death, Harry approaches Voldemort's camp in the Forbidden Forest, informing no one except Neville whom he asks to kill Voldemort's snake if he gets the chance. Along the way, he realizes what the inscription on the snitch Dumbledore gave him meant. He tells the snitch that he is about to die and finds the Resurrection Stone inside it. Whereupon he summons the spirits of his parents, Sirius Black and the recently killed Remus Lupin, who accompany him to Voldemort's camp. Voldemort casts the Avada Kedavra curse at Harry.
Awakening in an ethereal place that looks to him like King's Cross station, Harry is unsure whether he is alive or dead. Dumbledore appears and explains that Voldemort's Horcrux within Harry has been destroyed. He says that just as Voldemort cannot die while his soul fragments remain, Voldemort cannot kill Harry because he used Harry's blood (which carries the ancient magical protection his mother gave to him through her sacrifice years before) in his resurrection.[HP4] Voldemort's killing curse instead destroyed the only thing within Harry that did not carry Lily Potter's protection — the fragment of the Dark Lord's own soul he unknowingly passed to Harry the night his mother and father sacrificed themselves to save him. Harry glimpses a representation of Voldemort's true self: a weeping, deformed child that Dumbledore describes as 'beyond any of our help'. Harry is also given an explanation as to why his wand acted on its own accord against Voldemort: Harry's wand recognized Voldemort as his enemy and responsed accordingly. Because Voldemort was using another wizard's wand - since learning of the twin-core connection between his and Harry's wand - the wand he used was ill-equipped for the unexpected challenge.
Harry revives, but feigns death. Voldemort orders Narcissa Malfoy to check Harry. Doing so, she realises that Harry is alive and quietly asks him if her son Draco is still alive. Harry mutters that Draco is fine, prompting her to lie to Voldemort and declare that Harry is dead, as she and her husband Lucius no longer care about anything other than their son's safety. Harry is carried to Hogwarts as Voldemort's trophy by the captured Hagrid and displayed to agonised supporters gathered in the school hall. When Neville Longbottom defies Voldemort, the Sorting Hat is thrust onto his head and set aflame.
A sudden disturbance is brought about by Grawp, the centaurs and the giants. Neville pulls off the Sorting Hat, draws Gryffindor's sword from it and decapitates Nagini with a single stroke, destroying the final Horcrux. Harry moves around under his invisibility cloak and lends aid throughout the ensuing battle, as his supporters rally to defy Voldemort and the Death Eaters one last time. Reinforcements arrive in the form of the people of Hogsmeade, the friends and family of everyone who remained to fight all led by Professor Slughorn and Charlie Weasley, the centaurs (shamed into action by Hagrid), the Thestrals and Hippogriffs led by Buckbeak and the House Elves led by Kreacher. Bellatrix Lestrange engages Hermione, Luna and Ginny in a fight in the Great Hall, but after firing a Killing curse that misses Ginny by an inch, an enraged Molly Weasley takes over from the three girls and defeats Bellatrix in a deadly duel. Knowing that he is the Elder Wand's true master, Harry finally confronts Voldemort, informing him that when Draco Malfoy disarmed Dumbledore on the Astronomy Tower,[HP6] he unknowingly became the Elder Wand's master; this allegiance was then transferred to Harry when he won Draco's wand at Malfoy Manor. During this Harry challenges Voldemort to "try for some remorse" however Voldemort is unconcerned. Voldemort then casts another Killing Curse at Harry, but the spell rebounds off Harry's disarming spell, killing Voldemort, and leaving Harry victorious.
Among the fatalities are Fred Weasley, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Colin Creevey, and Bellatrix Lestrange. Roughly fifty of Potter's allies are killed, along with an undisclosed number of Death Eaters. After the battle, Harry tells Dumbledore's portrait that he is keeping the Invisibility Cloak, but the Resurrection Stone will remain lost in the forest. The Elder Wand shall be returned to Dumbledore's tomb, where its power will be extinguished if Harry dies undefeated. Dumbledore approves. Before returning the Elder Wand to the tomb, Harry uses it to repair his own wand.