I, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, am fairly certain that I am going to die tomorrow. I will be going to the cave with Harry; the cave that holds within its walls a great and terrible evil. A horcrux.
Of course – if all goes well – the obtaining of the horcrux need not kill me. It is an incident with a previous horcrux that haunts me. My left hand – blackened; dead. My own doing. I should never have tried-
No matter, it won’t be long before I too am dead. Not long at all.
I don’t know how I am so sure of this – so sure that I will not live to see this time tomorrow night. I am no seer. Unfortunately the feeling of death is overwhelming, and I am seldom wrong. I do not fear death – no. I have been anticipating it for so long, and have walked to it more times than I can count. All the times I could have died, yet did not. Battles in the first war; the second war. That night, in 1945… when I should have died.
I have been prepared for decades, awaiting death’s cold embrace. Bravery has kept me going all these years – I suppose it is the Gryffindor in me. That damned Gryffindor bravery. A fire burning deep inside my very soul; I could not stop it if I wanted to. I am confident it will continue to burn, even after my passing, from this world to the next. For this I am thankful, and it reminds me so of the Phoenix, and rising from the flames. I don’t suppose I may rise from the flames? No. Of course not.
I have to cleanse myself of these depressing thoughts and dread. Dread of what is to come; dread of what has already occurred; dread of what will surely occur once I am gone. I am no fool, I know I am the only reason Voldemort has not taken his plans to the next stage yet. Because he is afraid of me - and rightly so he should be. I cannot lie, I truly hate Riddle for what he has become and for what he has done, and all that he stands for. I mostly hate that I could have stopped all of this earlier, had it not been for my ignorance. I watched him become this; this thing. It is my fault.
Destruction will envelop Hogwarts and the Ministry once I am gone. It troubles me deeply that I can do nothing to stop it, but it is my time. There is nothing more I can do than just hope that the pieces will fall in the places I have fought so hard to lead them to. Some things must happen. Some deaths. For the greater good.
I cannot help but laugh at the sentiment. The greater good. How it holds true, even almost a century later. In a different form of course, as I do not plan to murder any innocent muggles or others who ‘stand in my way’. I do not plan to control; I plan to save from those who wish to control.
The possibilities that ran through my mind as a young man during the summer of 1899 make me sick when I think of them presently. I would not take that summer back though, if I could, as I feel everything happens for a reason. And it was a good summer; until the end. And it was a good philosophy; we were just going about it the wrong way.
It is necessary to take into account the larger picture at hand, though I would much rather think of all beings individually. I cannot feel guilt. I cannot acknowledge it quite yet. If I do, it will surely be my downfall. And yes, it does still matter. Even now with Merlin knows how long left to live; the dream will not die with me. Or all would be for not.
So many thoughts run through my head. Am I leaving the world as I wanted? Of course not. There are so many other ways I would rather go, but all so selfish. There is no use pretending, I am not inhuman. I have cravings, and they are not all for lemon drops and cockroach clusters.
I should not think of it, but it is hard not to. All the things I have had to keep from those I care so deeply for. Now, with so little time left… I have not had a spare moment in years. My quest to destroy Voldemort has overtaken my life, though I have graciously allowed it, and I have shamefully been unable to pay good friends the attention they so deserve.
Again, with the larger picture versus the individual. Even when those individuals are so important to me. How I want to choose the individuals and just-
I mustn’t have such thoughts, especially not now. I have lived one hundred and sixteen years, and since I was nineteen I have tried to live them all selflessly. But the individuals…
Elphias comes to mind. Dear Elphias Doge; it feels as though I have not seen him in ages. But I remember our last visit so clearly. We spoke animatedly of our childhood days, back in Hogwarts. It was one of the few times since I had known Harry's fate that I felt truly serene. That was three years ago. It’s been only letters since then, and mostly rushed on my part with little depth at all.
Many have made fun of his admiration for me, but they do not seem to understand it is completely mutual. I have been so grateful for such a friend. And that he knew all of my darkest secrets yet still, somehow, managed to look past them! And I’ll never see him again…
It breaks my heart, I must admit.
I do not recall when I last told him how much I appreciated his friendship; his unconditional love. I do not recall if I have ever told him, or if I have always just assumed it known. I should have told him. I should have told him.
It is hard to remain strong at times like these. When I feel the regret eating away; the guilt. When I know so much yet am unable to share the details in fear of ruining it all. When I want so badly to send out mass letters of how much people have meant to me and how I will always hold them dear to my heart, but can’t.
And then there is Harry. I know his fate. How can I send this young boy, not even yet of age, to his death at Voldemort’s hand. For the greater good? But there are no other options.
In the end, death is almost an escape. Almost welcoming. The coward’s way out, I suppose. I was always a coward. My only regrets are that the one person who depended on me so greatly had to be let down, and that the one person I could always depend on never knew how much it meant to me.
But when the sun sets, all is dark. And it’s calm. And looking out the tall windows at the grounds below, I can breathe deeply and think how it will all work out in the end. Because it has to.