Day of wrath! O day of mourning!
See fulfilled the prophets' warning...
This was it, then. Albus had told him that it would probably take his life, and Albus was rarely wrong. He reflected that had he been consulted, he would have chosen a different end. Yet no one had ever consulted his wishes on anything of importance, so there was no reason to start at the end of his life. As he fell to the floor, he begged the Fates for some way to carry out his last task. He didn't like to die with unfinished work at hand.
... Wherein all hath been recorded...
The Fates heard him and gave one final grace. He saw her eyes and knew her son. He knew the boy had vowed to kill him; Dumbledore's Army had thrown it in his face. Yet he hoped for a moment of clarity, that his enemy's son would understand the need to accept what was given.
Guilty, now I pour my moaning,
all my shame with anguish owning...
He closed his eyes and thought of all the things he had held so tightly. All the hurts he received and all the hurts he had given others came to mind. They were only earthly attachments after all, and he could now let go.
... Low I kneel...
... perform the healing of mine end.
The boy stayed in answer to his spoken request. He drank in the size and shape of her eyes, and now he looked without the pain he had held for so long. He could let go of the crushing disappointment and rage that had comprised his earthly life. Cleansed of those burdens, he could look forward to the next life.
Grant him eternal rest.
A/N: Based upon Dies Irae, which was often sung at funerals before the 1960s. Italicized quotes come from stanzas 1, 5, 12, 17, and 19.
Thank you to Trickie Woo for beta reading and to Gelsey for a wonderful community and a challenge that pushed me way out of my comfort zone.