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        The Elder Wand slashed through the air and green light erupted through the room; the kneeling goblin rolled over, dead; the watching wizards scattered before him, terrified: Bellatrix and Lucius Malfoy threw others behind them in their race for the door, and again and again his wand fell, and those who were left were slain, all of them, for bringing him this news, for hearing about the golden cup -

        Alone amongst the dead he stormed up and down, and they passed before him in vision: his treasures, his safeguards, his anchors to immortality — the diary was destroyed and the cup was stolen: What if, what if, the boy knew about the others? Could he know, had he already acted, had he traced more of them?

        Was Dumbledore at the root of this? Dumbledore, who had always suspected him; Dumbledore, dead on his orders; Dumbledore, whose wand was his now, yet who reached out from the ignominy of death through the boy, the boy -

        But surely if the boy had destroyed any of his Horcruxes, he, Lord Voldemort, would have known, would have felt it? He, the greatest wizard of them all; he, the most powerful; he, the killer of Dumbledore and of how many other worthless, nameless men: How could Lord Voldemort not have known, if he, himself, most important and precious, had been attacked, mutilated?

        True, he had not felt it when the diary had been destroyed, but he had thought that was because he had no body to feel, being less than ghost. . . . No, surely, the rest were safe. . . . The other Horcruxes must be intact. . .

        老魔杖猛地從空中劈下,綠光噴射而出,跪著的妖精滾到地上,死了。觀看的巫師們嚇得四散而逃。貝拉特里克斯和盧修斯·馬爾福拼命沖向門口,把別人都甩在后面。他的魔杖一次一次地劈下,沒跑掉的都被殺死了,一個沒留,因為他們給他帶來了這個消息,因為聽說了金杯——

        獨自站在死尸中間,他暴跳如雷。一切一一出現在他的眼前:他的珍寶、他的護衛、他長生不死的希望——日記已經被毀,金杯又被偷走。假如,假如,那個男孩還知道別的?他會知道嗎?他已經動手了嗎?他找到了更多嗎?

        鄧布利多是這一切的根源嗎?鄧布利多,那老家伙總是懷疑他;鄧布利多,那老家伙已經按他的指令被殺死了,連魔杖都是他的了;然而那老家伙卻在可鄙的陰間,通過那個男孩來報復,那個男孩——

        但是,如果那男孩銷毀了他的某個魂器,他,黑魔王伏地魔,肯定會知道,肯定會感覺到吧?他是世界上最偉大的巫師;他是最強大的;他殺死了鄧布利多和其他許多無名鼠輩。如果他——他自己,最重要的和最珍貴的自己受到攻擊、損傷,他黑魔王伏地魔怎么可能不知道?

        是的,日記被毀時他沒有感覺到,但他一直認為那是由于他當時連幽靈都不如,沒有身體來感覺……不,另外幾個肯定是安全的……其余的魂器肯定是完好無損的……

        But he must know, he must be sure. . . . He paced the room, kicking aside the goblin's corpse as he passed, and the pictures blurred and burned in his boiling brain: the lake, the shack, and Hogwarts —

        A modicum of calm cooled his rage now: How could the boy know that he had hidden the ring in the Gaunt shack? No one had ever known him to be related to the Gaunts, he had hidden the connection, the killings had never been traced to him: The ring, surely, was safe.

        And how could the boy, or anybody else, know about the cave or penetrate its protection? The idea of the locket being stolen was absurd. . . .

        As for the school: He alone knew where in Hogwarts he had stowed the Horcrux, because he alone had plumbed the deepest secrets of that place. . . .

        And there was still Nagini, who must remain close now, no longer sent to do his bidding, under his protection. . . .

        But to be sure, to be utterly sure, he must return to each of his hiding places, he must redouble protection around each of his Horcruxes. . . . A job, like the quest for the Elder Wand, that he must undertake alone . . .

        Which should he visit first, which was in most danger? An old unease flickered inside him. Dumbledore had known his middle name. . . . Dumbledore might have made the connection with the Gaunts. . . . Their abandoned home was, perhaps, the least secure of his hiding places, it was there that he would go first. . . .

        The lake, surely impossible . . . though was there a slight possibility that Dumbledore might have known some of his past misdeeds, through the orphanage.

        但是他知道,他必須確定……他在屋里踱著步,把妖精的尸體踢到一邊,他沸騰的腦海里是一幅幅燒灼而模糊的畫面:湖、小屋、霍格沃茨——

        他暴怒的頭腦稍稍冷靜了一些:那個男孩怎么可能知道他把戒指藏在岡特小屋?從沒有人知道他和岡特家是親戚,他一直隱瞞著這層關系,對謀殺案的追查從沒有線索指向他,戒指肯定是安全的。

        那個男孩,或不管是誰,又怎么可能知道那個山洞或穿透它的防護呢?掛墜盒被偷的想法很荒謬……

        至于學校,他在霍格沃茨隱藏魂器的地方只有他一個人知道,因為只有他一個人探測到了霍格沃茨最深的秘密……

        還有納吉尼,它現在必須留在身邊,時刻處在他的保護之下,不再被派去執行命令……

        但為了萬無一失,完全萬無一失,他必須返回到每一個隱藏地點,他必須加固每一個魂器的防護措施……這個任務,像搜尋老魔杖一樣,必須由他獨自完成……

        他應該先去看哪一個?哪一個最有危險?一種熟悉的不安在他心頭閃現。鄧布利多知道他的中間名字……鄧布利多也許把他和岡特家聯系在一起了……也許廢棄的岡特老宅是最不安全的隱藏地點,他第一個要去的就是那里……

        湖,肯定不可能……盡管鄧布利多也許有一點點可能會通過孤兒院知道他過去的一些劣跡。

        And Hogwarts . . . but he knew that his Horcrux there was safe; it would be impossible for Potter to enter Hogsmeade without detection, let alone the school. Nevertheless, it would be prudent to alert Snape to the fact that the boy might try to reenter the castle. . . . To tell Snape why the boy might return would be foolish, of course; it had been a grave mistake to trust Bellatrix and Malfoy: Didn't their stupidity and carelessness prove how unwise it was ever to trust?

        He would visit the Gaunt shack first, then, and take Nagini with him: He would not be parted from the snake anymore . . . and he strode from the room, through the hall, and out into the dark garden where the fountain played; he called the snake in Parseltongue and it slithered out to join him like a long shadow. . . .

        Harry's eyes flew open as he wrenched himself back to the present: He was lying on the bank of the lake in the setting sun, and Ron and Hermione were looking down at him. Judging by their worried looks, and by the continued pounding of his scar, his sudden excursion into Voldemort's mind had not passed unnoticed. He struggled up, shivering, vaguely surprised that he was still wet to his skin, and saw the cup lying innocently in the grass before him, and the lake, deep blue shot with gold in the failing sun.

        “He knows.” His own voice sounded strange and low after Voldemort's high screams. “He knows, and he's going to check where the others are, and the last one,” he was already on his feet, “is at Hogwarts. I knew it. I knew it.”

        “What?”

        還有霍格沃茨……但是他知道魂器在那里是安全的。波特進入霍格莫德都不可能不被察覺,更不用說學校了。不過,最好還是警告一下斯內普,說那男孩會設法潛入城堡……當然,告訴斯內普那男孩為什么會回去是犯傻。信任貝拉特里克斯和馬爾福就是重大的失誤,他們的愚蠢和大意不是證明了相信別人是多么不明智嗎?

        那么,他要先去岡特小屋,把納吉尼帶在身邊,他不能再和蛇分開了……他大步跨出房間,走出門廳,進入了噴泉聲中黑暗的花園。他用蛇佬腔呼叫大蛇,它游了出來,像長長的影子貼向他身邊……

        哈利突然睜開眼睛,把自己猛拉回當前的現實中。他躺在夕陽下的湖岸上,羅恩和赫敏在低頭看著他。從他們焦急的表情和傷疤連續的劇痛判斷,他們已經注意到他剛才突然闖入了伏地魔的思想。哈利戰栗著掙扎起來,發現身上仍然透濕,略微有些驚訝。小金杯看似毫無危險地放在他面前的草叢里,深藍色的湖面在落日的余暉中金光閃閃。

        “他知道了。”在伏地魔的高聲尖叫后,他自己的聲音聽起來陌生而低沉,“他知道了,而且他要檢查另外幾個在哪里。最后一個,”他站了起來,“在霍格沃茨。我猜到了。我猜到了。”

        “什么?”

        Ron was gaping at him; Hermione sat up, looking worried.

        “But what did you see? How do you know?”

        “I saw him find out about the cup, I — I was in his head, he's” — Harry remembered the killings — “he's seriously angry, and scared too, he can't understand how we knew, and now he's going to check the others are safe, the ring first. He thinks the Hogwarts one is safest, because Snape's there, because it'll be so hard not to be seen getting in, I think he'll check that one last, but he could still be there within hours —”

        “Did you see where in Hogwarts it is?” asked Ron, now scrambling to his feet too.

        “No, he was concentrating on warning Snape, he didn't think about exactly where it is —”

        “Wait, wait!” cried Hermione as Ron caught up the Horcrux and Harry pulled out the Invisibility Cloak again. “We can't just go, we haven't got a plan, we need to —”

        羅恩沖他張著嘴巴,赫敏跪了起來,看起來很擔心。

        “你看到什么了?你是怎么知道的?”

        “我看到了他發現金杯的事,我——我在他的腦海里,他——”哈利想起了那場殺戮,“他氣得要命,也嚇壞了,他想不通我們怎么會知道的,現在他要去檢查另外幾個是否安全,第一個是戒指。他認為霍格沃茨的那個是最安全的,因為斯內普在那里,我們要混進去很難不被發現。我想他會最后檢查那一個,但是他仍然可能在幾小時之內趕到那里——”

        “那你看到在霍格沃茨的什么地方了嗎?”羅恩問道,也爬了起來。

        “沒有,他在想著要警告斯內普,沒有想那東西確切在哪兒——”

        “等等,等等!”當羅恩抓起魂器,哈利再次掏出隱形衣時,赫敏大喊道,“不能就這樣去,沒有一個計劃,我們需要——”

        “We need to get going,” said Harry firmly. He had been hoping to sleep, looking forward to getting into the new tent, but that was impossible now. “Can you imagine what he's going to do once he realizes the ring and the locket are gone? What if he moves the Hogwarts Horcrux, decides it isn't safe enough?”

        “But how are we going to get in?”

        “We'll go to Hogsmeade,” said Harry, “and try to work something out once we see what the protection around the school's like. Get under the Cloak, Hermione, I want to stick together this time.”

        “But we don't really fit —”

        “It'll be dark, no one's going to notice our feet.”

        The flapping of enormous wings echoed across the black water: The dragon had drunk its fill and risen into the air. They paused in their preparations to watch it climb higher and higher, now black against the rapidly darkening sky, until it vanished over a nearby mountain. Then Hermione walked forward and took her place between the other two. Harry pulled the Cloak down as far as it would go, and together they turned on the spot into the crushing darkness.

        “我們需要采取行動。”哈利堅定地說。他本來希望睡一覺,盼著鉆進新帳篷,但現在不可能了。“一旦他發現戒指和掛墜盒都不見了,你能想象得出他會做什么?如果他認為霍格沃茨都不夠安全,把魂器轉移了怎么辦?”

        “但是我們怎么進去呢?”

        “我們先去霍格莫德,”哈利說,“看看學校周圍的警戒是什么樣的,然后再想辦法。到隱形衣下面來,赫敏,我希望這次我們不要分開。”

        “但是它恐怕裝不下我們——”

        “天快黑了,沒人會注意到我們的腳。”

        巨大翅膀的拍打聲在黑色的湖面上回響著,火龍已經喝足了水,飛入空中。他們暫時停止了準備工作,看著它越飛越高,黑色的身影映在迅速暗下來的天空中,直到消失在不遠處的山峰后。然后,赫敏走過來站在他倆中間,哈利把隱形衣盡量往下拉了拉。他們一同原地旋轉,進入了壓迫身心的黑暗中。

        圖片來源:高品圖像

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