Chapter 1 : A Portrait in Remorse
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The Headmaster's office had been sealed, he made sure of it. The once whimsical whirling of the gadgetry and gismos filling the room had stopped; everything was silent within the room. Even the portraits had left, out to try in vain to help those in the light. It was no use, they were dead. Gone forever, there was nothing they could do but shout cries of support and hurl insults at the dark.
All the portraits had left, except, of course, one. The one, the largest, the one of most importance in the happenings, battling and dying that was home in Hogwarts, not yet a year after his death. Death had always been inevitable for him, and his brilliance, experience and wisdom still could not quash the thought all humanity has, that it, death, could be avoided. But, no, even his dear friend, and creator of the Philosopher's Stone, Flamel couldn't escape it.
Death wasn't even the word for what had happened; it was murder, but it was wanted. And the culprit, the assistant, in all of this would also inevitably end up dead. It was a tragic thought, one that the man who's imprint now rested on the large piece of canvas dreaded thinking of.
Severus Snape was the key, more so than beloved Harry Potter, in bringing down the Dark Lord, although few outside the man in the portrait knew this. This man, an old Headmaster, a truly loved Headmaster, knew that Snape was worth more than anyone could imaging, yet said not a word. He knew this, Dumbledore knew this, and allowed a man of such importance go on being hated, mistreated and ignored.
And now he was letting countless become injured, maimed and killed in the name of a war that many of them were too young to understand fully. He knew even Harry didn't know everything about the war, everything about Voldemort, or even everything about himself. But he, the man considered the greatest of all time, was stuck as merely a representation of his former self on what was, frankly, a scrap of nothing.
He was glad, possibly even truly happy, that magic allowed his memory and thoughts to be left behind in his portrait form. More than anything, though, he wished that everything about him was left inside the marble block he was buried in. Being able to talk to the people he cared about, being able to provide guidance and assistance, being able to continue in the name of the light was nothing in comparison to what being locked inside his frame meant: he could do nothing.
Dumbledore was old, everyone knew that. He was far older than he liked, had seen far more than he cared to remembered. Sitting in the Headmaster's office as the final battle took place around him, all those bad memories, the terrors, received no resistance as they entered his painted mind.