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        The moment her finger touched the Mark, Harry’s scar burned savagely, the starry room vanished from sight, and he was standing upon an outcrop of rock beneath a cliff, and the sea was washing around him and there was triumph in his heart — They have the boy.

        A loud bang brought Harry back to where he stood: Disoriented, he raised his wand, but the witch before him was already falling forward; she hit the ground so hard that the glass in the bookcases tinkled.

        “I’ve never Stunned anyone except in our D.A. lessons,” said Luna, sounding mildly interested. “That was noisier than I thought it would be.”

        And sure enough, the ceiling had begun to tremble. Scurrying, echoing footsteps were growing louder from behind the door leading to the dormitories: Luna’s spell had woken Ravenclaws sleeping above.

        “Luna, where are you? I need to get under the Cloak!”

        Luna’s feet appeared out of nowhere; he hurried to her side and she let the Cloak fall back over them as the door opened and a stream of Ravenclaws, all in their nightclothes, flooded into the common room. There were gasps and cries of surprise as they saw Alecto lying there unconscious. Slowly they shuffled in around her, a savage beast that might wake at any moment and attack them. Then one brave little first-year darted up to her and prodded her backside with his big toe.

        阿萊克托的手指剛一碰到黑魔標記,哈利的傷疤就如著了火一般劇痛起來,布滿群星的房間從他眼前消失了。他站在懸崖下一塊突出的巖石上,周圍海浪洶涌,內心一陣狂喜——他們抓住了那男孩。

        砰的一聲巨響,哈利又回到他置身的地方,他茫然地舉起魔杖,可是面前的女巫已經向前撲倒。她重重地摔倒在地,震得書柜的玻璃丁當作響。

        “我以前只在D.A.訓練時練習過昏迷咒,”盧娜說道,聲音里微微透著驚奇,“沒想到會發出這么大的聲音。”

        果然,天花板開始顫抖。通向宿舍的門后面傳來越來越響的奔跑聲:盧娜的咒語驚醒了睡在上面的拉文克勞學生。

        “盧娜,你在哪兒?我需要鉆到隱形衣下面!”

        盧娜的腳突然出現了,哈利趕緊跑到她身邊。她剛把隱形衣披到兩人身上,門就開了,一群穿著睡衣的拉文克勞學生擁進了公共休息室。他們看見阿萊克托不省人事地躺在地上,都倒抽了一口冷氣,發出驚訝的尖叫。慢慢地,他們蹭過去圍在她身邊,看著這個隨時都會醒來、向他們發起進攻的猛獸。然后,一個勇敢的一年級新生沖過去用大腳趾頂了頂她的后背。

        “I think she might be dead!” he shouted with delight.

        “Oh, look,” whispered Luna happily, as the Ravenclaws crowded in around Alecto. “They’re pleased!”

        “Yeah . . . great . . .”

        Harry closed his eyes, and as his scar throbbed he chose to sink again into Voldemort’s mind. . . . He was moving along the tunnel into the first cave. . . . He had chosen to make sure of the locket before coming . . . but that would not take him long. . . .

        There was a rap on the common room door and every Ravenclaw froze. From the other side, Harry heard the soft, musical voice that issued from the eagle door knocker: “Where do Vanished objects go?”

        “I dunno, do I? Shut it!” snarled an uncouth voice that Harry knew was that of the Carrow brother, Amycus. “Alecto? Alecto? Are you there? Have you got him? Open the door!”

        The Ravenclaws were whispering amongst themselves, terrified. Then, without warning, there came a series of loud bangs, as though somebody was firing a gun into the door.

        “ALECTO! If he comes, and we haven’t got Potter — d’you want to go the same way as the Malfoys? ANSWER ME!” Amycus

        SEVERUS SNAPE bellowed, shaking the door for all he was worth, but still it did not open. The Ravenclaws were all backing away, and some of the most frightened began scampering back up the staircase to their beds. Then, just as Harry was wondering whether he ought not to blast open the door and Stun Amycus before the Death Eater could do anything else, a second, most familiar voice rang out beyond the door.

        “我想她可能死了!”他高興地喊了起來。

        “哦,看,”盧娜看見拉文克勞的同學們把阿萊克托團團圍住,開心地小聲說,“他們多高興呀!”

        “是啊……太棒了……”

        哈利閉上眼睛,傷疤突突地跳疼,他主動地再次陷入了伏地魔的思想……他行走在通往第一個山洞的地道里……他決定先檢查了掛墜盒再過來……那也不會要多長時間……

        公共休息室門外傳來敲門聲,拉文克勞的同學們都怔住了。哈利聽見門外的鷹形門環又發出那音樂般的溫柔聲音:“消失的東西去了哪兒?”

        “不知道!你給我閉嘴!”一個粗魯的聲音吼道,哈利知道是阿萊克托的哥哥——阿米庫斯。“阿萊克托?阿萊克托?你在嗎?你抓住他了嗎?快開門!”

        拉文克勞的同學們都嚇壞了,聚在一起竊竊私語。隨即,突如其來地傳來一連串巨響,好像有人朝門開了一槍。

        “阿萊克托!如果他來了,我們卻沒有抓住波特——你想遭到跟馬爾福一家同樣的下場嗎?快回答我!”阿米庫斯大聲咆哮著,一邊拼命地推著門,可是門沒有開。拉文克勞的同學們紛紛后退,最害怕的幾個開始匆匆跑回樓上的臥室。哈利正在猶豫著是不是應該把門炸開,擊昏阿米庫斯,不讓他再做別的。

        就在這時,門外又響起一個極為熟悉的聲音。

        “May I ask what you are doing, Professor Carrow?”

        “Trying — to get — through this damned — door!” shouted Amycus. “Go and get Flitwick! Get him to open it, now!”

        “But isn’t your sister in there?” asked Professor McGonagall. “Didn’t Professor Flitwick let her in earlier this evening, at your urgent request? Perhaps she could open the door for you? Then you needn’t wake up half the castle.”

        “She ain’t answering, you old besom! You open it! Garn! Do it, now!

        “Certainly, if you wish it,” said Professor McGonagall, with awful coldness. There was a genteel tap of the knocker and the musical voice asked again,

        “Where do Vanished objects go?”

        “Into nonbeing, which is to say, everything,” replied Professor McGonagall.

        “Nicely phrased,” replied the eagle door knocker, and the door swung open.

        The few Ravenclaws who had remained behind sprinted for the stairs as Amycus burst over the threshold, brandishing his wand. Hunched like his sister, he had a pallid, doughy face and tiny eyes, which fell at once on Alecto, sprawled motionless on the floor. He let out a yell of fury and fear.

        “請問你在做什么呢,卡羅教授?”

        “我想——穿過——這扇該死的——門!”阿米庫斯喊道,“去把弗立維叫來!叫他來開門,快!”

        “但你妹妹不是在里面嗎?”麥格教授問,“今天晚上早些時候,弗立維不是在你的緊急請求下放你妹妹進去了嗎?或許她可以替你開門?你就用不著把半個城堡的人都吵醒了。”

        “她不應聲兒,你這個老娘們!你給我把門打開!快!快打開!”

        “沒問題,如果你愿意這樣。”麥格教授說,聲音里透著可怕的寒意。只聽門環輕輕響了一下,那個音樂般的聲音又問道:“消失的東西去了哪兒?”

        “化為虛無,也就是說,化為萬物。”麥格教授回答。

        “說得好。”鷹形門環說,門一下子打開了。

        阿米庫斯揮舞著魔杖沖進門來,留在后面的幾個拉文克勞同學倉皇地朝樓梯奔去。阿米庫斯和他妹妹一樣是個駝背,長著一張蒼白的如面團般的臉和一雙小綠豆眼。這雙眼睛立刻看見了癱在地板上一動不動的阿萊克托。他發出一聲憤怒和驚恐的喊叫。

        “What’ve they done, the little whelps?” he screamed. “I’ll Cruciate the lot of ’em till they tell me who did it — and what’s the Dark Lord going to say?” he shrieked, standing over his sister and smacking himself on the forehead with his fist. “We haven’t got him, and they’ve gorn and killed her!”

        “She’s only Stunned,” said Professor McGonagall impatiently, who had stooped down to examine Alecto. “She’ll be perfectly all right.”

        “No she bludgering well won’t!” bellowed Amycus. “Not after the Dark Lord gets hold of her! She’s gorn and sent for him, I felt me Mark burn, and he thinks we’ve got Potter!”

        “ ‘Got Potter’?” said Professor McGonagall sharply. “What do you mean, ‘got Potter’?”

        “He told us Potter might try and get inside Ravenclaw Tower, and to send for him if we caught him!”

        “Why would Harry Potter try to get inside Ravenclaw Tower? Potter belongs in my House!”

        Beneath the disbelief and anger, Harry heard a little strain of pride in her voice, and affection for Minerva McGonagall gushed up inside him.

        “We was told he might come in here!” said Carrow. “I dunno why, do I?”

        Professor McGonagall stood up and her beady eyes swept the room. Twice they passed right over the place where Harry and Luna stood.

        “他們干了什么?這幫小崽子!”他嚷道,“我要給他們念鉆心咒,讓他們告訴我是誰干的——黑魔王會怎么說呢?”阿米庫斯站在他妹妹跟前,用拳頭砸著自己的腦袋,尖聲大叫,“我們沒有抓到那小子,他們竟然把我妹妹殺了!”

        “她只是被擊昏了,”麥格教授蹲下身查看了阿萊克托一番,不耐煩地說,“她不會有什么事的。”

        “呸,她麻煩大了!”阿米庫斯咆哮道,“被黑魔王抓住她就完了!她竟然把他給召來了,我感到我的標記燒起來了,黑魔王還以為我們抓住了波特呢!”

        “抓住了波特?”麥格教授警覺地說,“你說什么,抓住了波特?”

        “他告訴我們波特有可能會闖進拉文克勞塔樓,要我們一抓住波特就把他召來!”

        “哈利·波特為什么要闖進拉文克勞塔樓?波特是我們學院的!”

        在麥格教授那疑惑和憤怒的聲音里,哈利聽出了一絲驕傲的口氣,他內心立刻涌起對米勒娃·麥格的愛戴。

        “他就告訴我們波特會來這里!”卡羅說,“我哪知道是怎么回事?”

        麥格教授站起身,銳利的眼睛在房間里掃視著,目光兩次從哈利和盧娜站的地方掃過。

        “We can push it off on the kids,” said Amycus, his piglike face suddenly crafty. “Yeah, that’s what we’ll do. We’ll say Alecto was ambushed by the kids, them kids up there” — he looked up at the starry ceiling toward the dormitories — “and we’ll say they forced

        SEVERUS SNAPE her to press her Mark, and that’s why he got a false alarm. . . . He can punish them. Couple of kids more or less, what’s the difference?”

        “Only the difference between truth and lies, courage and cowardice,” said Professor McGonagall, who had turned pale, “a difference, in short, which you and your sister seem unable to appreciate. But let me make one thing very clear. You are not going to pass off your many ineptitudes on the students of Hogwarts. I shall not permit it.”

        “Excuse me?”

        Amycus moved forward until he was offensively close to Professor McGonagall, his face within inches of hers. She refused to back away, but looked down at him as if he were something disgusting she had found stuck to a lavatory seat.

        “It’s not a case of what you’ll permit, Minerva McGonagall. Your time’s over. It’s us what’s in charge here now, and you’ll back me up or you’ll pay the price.”

        And he spat in her face.

        “我們可以推到那些毛孩子身上,”阿米庫斯說,那張胖豬臉突然變得狡猾起來,“對呀,就這么做。我們就說阿萊克托遭到毛孩子的偷襲,就是住在上面的那些毛孩子,”他抬頭看著宿舍的位置,望著布滿星星的天花板,“我們就說是他們逼著她按了標記,讓黑魔王得到了假情報……他可以懲罰他們。多幾個毛孩子少幾個毛孩子又有什么差別?”

        “這是事實與謊言、勇氣與懦弱之間的差別!”麥格教授臉色白了,說道,“總之,這是你和你妹妹不能理解的一種差別。但有一點我必須說明白:絕不能把你們的許多愚蠢行為嫁禍到霍格沃茨的學生身上。我不允許。”

        “你說什么?”

        阿米庫斯向前逼近,一副咄咄逼人的樣子,他的臉離麥格教授只差幾寸。麥格教授沒有退縮,而是以一種鄙夷的目光看著他,就好像他是粘在馬桶圈上的令人惡心的東西。

        “這可不是你允許不允許的事,米勒娃·麥格。你的日子結束了。現在是我們在這兒掌權,你必須支持我,不然你吃不了兜著走。”

        他朝麥格教授臉上啐了一口。

        Harry pulled the Cloak off himself, raised his wand, and said, “You shouldn’t have done that.”

        As Amycus spun around, Harry shouted, “Crucio!”

        The Death Eater was lifted off his feet. He writhed through the air like a drowning man, thrashing and howling in pain, and then, with a crunch and a shattering of glass, he smashed into the front of a bookcase and crumpled, insensible, to the floor.

        “I see what Bellatrix meant,” said Harry, the blood thundering through his brain, “you need to really mean it.”

        “Potter!” whispered Professor McGonagall, clutching her heart. “Potter — you’re here! What — ? How — ?” She struggled to pull herself together. “Potter, that was foolish!”

        “He spat at you,” said Harry.

        “Potter, I — that was very — very gallant of you — but don’t you realize — ?”

        “Yeah, I do,” Harry assured her. Somehow her panic steadied him. “Professor McGonagall, Voldemort’s on the way.”

        哈利一把扯掉身上的隱形衣,舉起魔杖說道:“你不該這樣做!”

        就在阿米庫斯轉過身來的一剎那,哈利大喊了一聲:“鉆心剜骨!”

        食死徒一下子懸了起來,像個落水者一樣在空中扭動翻轉,痛苦地撲打、嚎叫。隨著嘩啦一聲巨響和碎玻璃濺落的聲音,他砸在一個書架的門上,然后不省人事地摔倒在地。

        “我明白貝拉特里克斯的意思了,”哈利說道,血液在腦子里涌動,轟轟作響,“你需要真正下得了狠心才行。”

        “波特!”麥格教授抓住自己的胸口,小聲說道,“波特——你在這兒!真——怎么會——?”她努力使自己鎮靜下來,“波特,這太愚蠢了!”

        “他朝你吐唾沫。”哈利說。

        “波特,我——你真是——真是見義勇為——但你難道沒有想到——?”

        “噢,我知道。”哈利安慰她道。不知怎的,她的緊張倒讓他鎮定了下來。“麥格教授,伏地魔要來了。”

        “Oh, are we allowed to say the name now?” asked Luna with an air of interest, pulling off the Invisibility Cloak. This appearance of a second outlaw seemed to overwhelm Professor McGonagall, who staggered backward and fell into a nearby chair, clutching at the neck of her old tartan dressing gown.

        “I don’t think it makes any difference what we call him,” Harry told Luna. “He already knows where I am.”

        In a distant part of Harry’s brain, that part connected to the angry, burning scar, he could see Voldemort sailing fast over the dark lake in the ghostly green boat. . . . He had nearly reached the island where the stone basin stood. . . .

        “You must flee,” whispered Professor McGonagall. “Now, Potter, as quickly as you can!”

        “I can’t,” said Harry. “There’s something I need to do. Professor, do you know where the diadem of Ravenclaw is?”

        “The d-diadem of Ravenclaw? Of course not — hasn’t it been lost for centuries?” She sat up a little straighter. “Potter, it was madness, utter madness, for you to enter this castle —”

        “I had to,” said Harry. “Professor, there’s something hidden here that I’m supposed to find, and it could be the diadem — if I could just speak to Professor Flitwick —”

        There was a sound of movement, of clinking glass: Amycus was coming round. Before Harry or Luna could act, Professor McGonagall rose to her feet, pointed her wand at the groggy Death Eater, and said, “Imperio.”

        SEVERUS SNAPE

        “怎么,現在可以說這個名字了?”盧娜興趣盎然地問道,一把扯掉了隱形衣。

        看到又出現一個違反規矩的學生,麥格教授再也承受不住了,她踉踉蹌蹌地后退了幾步,跌坐在近旁的一把椅子上,緊緊地揪住她那舊格子呢晨衣的領口。

        “我想,我們叫他什么已經沒有多大關系了,”哈利對盧娜說,“他已經知道我在哪兒。”

        在哈利腦海里某個遙遠的角落——那個角落連接著燒灼、暴怒的傷疤,他看見伏地魔坐著陰森可怖的綠船,在漆黑的湖面上飛快地掠行……他很快就要到達石盆所在的小島了……

        “你必須逃走,”麥格教授輕聲說,“快,波特,越快越好!”

        “我不能,”哈利說,“我還有一件事情要做。教授,你知道拉文克勞的冠冕在哪兒嗎?”

        “拉——拉文克勞的冠冕?我怎么會知道——不是失蹤好多個世紀了嗎?”她微微直起些身子,“波特,你進入這座城堡真是愚蠢,太愚蠢了——”

        “我必須這么做,”哈利說道,“教授,有一件東西藏在這里,我要把它找到,可能是那個冠冕——要是我能跟弗立維教授說說——”

        突然傳來動靜和碎玻璃的碰撞聲,阿米庫斯醒過來了。沒等哈利或盧娜做出反應,麥格教授忽地站起,用魔杖指著那個搖搖晃晃的食死徒,說了聲:

        “魂魄出竅。”

        Amycus got up, walked over to his sister, picked up her wand, then shuffled obediently to Professor McGonagall and handed it over along with his own. Then he lay down on the floor beside Alecto. Professor McGonagall waved her wand again, and a length of shimmering silver rope appeared out of thin air and snaked around the Carrows, binding them tightly together.

        “Potter,” said Professor McGonagall, turning to face him again with superb indifference to the Carrows’ predicament, “if He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named does indeed know that you are here —”

        As she said it, a wrath that was like physical pain blazed through Harry, setting his scar on fire, and for a second he looked down upon a basin whose potion had turned clear, and saw that no golden locket lay safe beneath the surface —

        “Potter, are you all right?” said a voice, and Harry came back: He was clutching Luna’s shoulder to steady himself.

        “Time’s running out, Voldemort’s getting nearer. Professor, I’m acting on Dumbledore’s orders, I must find what he wanted me to find! But we’ve got to get the students out while I’m searching the castle — it’s me Voldemort wants, but he won’t care about killing a few more or less, not now —” not now he knows I’m attacking Horcruxes, Harry finished the sentence in his head.

        “You’re acting on Dumbledore’s orders?” she repeated with a look of dawning wonder. Then she drew herself up to her fullest height.

        “We shall secure the school against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named while you search for this — this object.”

        “Is that possible?”

        阿米庫斯爬起來走到他妹妹身邊,撿起她的魔杖,老老實實的拖著腳步走到麥格教授面前,連同自己的魔杖一起遞了過去,然后在地板上阿萊克托的身邊躺了下來。麥格教授又一揮魔杖,憑空變出一根銀光閃爍的繩子,像蛇一般繞過卡羅兄妹,把他倆結結實實地捆在了一起。

        “波特,”麥格教授對卡羅兄妹的處境完全不予理會,又把臉轉向哈利說,“如果那個魔頭真的知道你在這里——”

        她的話還沒說完,一陣劇痛一般的怒火沖上哈利的頭頂,使他的傷疤如同著了火一樣。剎那間,他低頭看見一只石盆,里面的藥水已經變清,他看到藥水下面的金掛墜盒不見了——

        “波特,你沒事吧?”一個聲音說,哈利回過神來,他正抓住盧娜的肩膀穩住身子。

        “時間不多了,伏地魔越來越近。教授,我是在按照鄧布利多的吩咐行動,我必須找到他要我找的東西!不過當我在城堡里搜尋的時候,必須把同學們都疏散出去——伏地魔要的是我,但他是不會介意多殺幾個人的,尤其現在——”現在他已經知道我在偷襲魂器了,哈利在腦子里說完了這句話。

        “你在按照鄧布利多的吩咐行動?”麥格教授重復了一句,臉上慢慢露出驚異的神情,然后直直地站了起來。

        “在你搜尋這件——這件東西的時候,我們會抵擋那個魔頭,保護學校的安全。”

        “有可能呢?”

        “I think so,” said Professor McGonagall dryly, “we teachers are rather good at magic, you know. I am sure we will be able to hold him off for a while if we all put our best efforts into it. Of course, something will have to be done about Professor Snape —”

        “Let me —”

        “— and if Hogwarts is about to enter a state of siege, with the Dark Lord at the gates, it would indeed be advisable to take as many innocent people out of the way as possible. With the Floo Network under observation, and Apparition impossible within the grounds —”

        “There’s a way,” said Harry quickly, and he explained about the passageway leading into the Hog’s Head.

        “Potter, we’re talking about hundreds of students —”

        “I know, Professor, but if Voldemort and the Death Eaters are concentrating on the school boundaries they won’t be interested in anyone who’s Disapparating out of the Hog’s Head.”

        “There’s something in that,” she agreed. She pointed her wand at the Carrows, and a silver net fell upon their bound bodies, tied itself around them, and hoisted them into the air, where they dangled beneath the blue-and-gold ceiling like two large, ugly sea creatures. “Come. We must alert the other Heads of House. You’d better put that Cloak back on.”

        “我認為有,”麥格教授淡淡地說,“你知道,我們教師都很擅長魔法。如果大家全力以赴,我相信肯定能把他拖住一段時間。當然啦,必須對斯內普教授采取一點行動——”

        “讓我——”

        “——如果黑魔王就在門口,霍格沃茨要被圍攻,確實需要把無辜者盡可能地轉移出去。飛路網受到了監視,學校里又不能幻影顯形——”

        “有一條路。”哈利立刻說道,他仔細講了通向豬頭酒吧的那條通道。

        “波特,我們說的是成百上千個學生——”

        “我知道,教授,但如果伏地魔和食死徒都把注意力放在學校,他們不會關心有誰從豬頭酒吧幻影移形的。”

        “這倒有點道理。”麥格教授表示贊同。她用魔杖一指卡羅兄妹,一張銀色的大網立刻落到兩人被捆綁的身體上,把他們兜起來吊到了半空,像兩只巨大而丑陋的海底生物一樣懸掛在藍底綴金的天花板下。“走吧,我們必須叫醒其他院長。你最好把那隱形衣穿上。”

        She marched toward the door, and as she did so she raised her wand. From the tip burst three silver cats with spectacle markings around their eyes. The Patronuses ran sleekly ahead, filling the spiral staircase with silvery light, as Professor McGonagall, Harry, and Luna hurried back down.

        Along the corridors they raced, and one by one the Patronuses left them; Professor McGonagall’s tartan dressing gown rustled over the floor, and Harry and Luna jogged behind her under the Cloak.

        SEVERUS SNAPE

        They had descended two more floors when another set of quiet footsteps joined theirs. Harry, whose scar was still prickling, heard them first: He felt in the pouch around his neck for the Marauder’s Map, but before he could take it out, McGonagall too seemed to become aware of their company. She halted, raised her wand ready to duel, and said, “Who’s there?”

        “It is I,” said a low voice.

        From behind a suit of armor stepped Severus Snape.

        Hatred boiled up in Harry at the sight of him: He had forgotten the details of Snape’s appearance in the magnitude of his crimes, forgotten how his greasy black hair hung in curtains around his thin face, how his black eyes had a dead, cold look. He was not wearing nightclothes, but was dressed in his usual black cloak, and he too was holding his wand ready for a fight.

        她大步朝門口走去,一邊舉起魔杖,杖尖躥出三只銀色的貓,它們的眼睛周圍都有眼鏡形狀的斑紋。三個守護神敏捷地往前跑去,只見旋轉樓梯上灑滿了銀光,麥格教授、哈利和盧娜匆匆奔下樓。

        他們跑過一道道走廊,守護神一個個離開了。麥格教授的格子呢晨衣在地板上沙沙作響,隱形衣下的哈利和盧娜小跑著跟在后面。

        又下了兩層樓,突然多了一個人輕輕的腳步聲。是哈利先聽到的,他的傷疤仍在刺痛。他在脖子上的皮袋里摸索活點地圖,可沒等他掏出來,麥格教授似乎也發現了有人。她停住腳步,舉起魔杖準備戰斗,一邊問道:“誰在那兒?”

        “是我。”一個低沉的聲音說。

        從一套鎧甲后面,走出了西弗勒斯·斯內普。

        哈利一看見他,心里就冒出仇恨的怒火。哈利只記得斯內普罪大惡極,幾乎忘記了他的具體模樣,忘記了他油膩膩的黑發像窗簾一樣耷拉在他枯瘦的面孔周圍,忘記了他那雙黑眼睛有著怎樣冷酷無情的目光。他沒穿睡衣,而是穿著平常的黑色斗篷,手里也舉著魔杖準備戰斗。

        “Where are the Carrows?” he asked quietly.

        “Wherever you told them to be, I expect, Severus,” said Professor McGonagall.

        Snape stepped nearer, and his eyes flitted over Professor McGonagall into the air around her, as if he knew that Harry was there. Harry held his wand up too, ready to attack.

        “I was under the impression,” said Snape, “that Alecto had apprehended an intruder.”

        “Really?” said Professor McGonagall. “And what gave you that impression?”

        Snape made a slight flexing movement of his left arm, where the Dark Mark was branded into his skin.

        “Oh, but naturally,” said Professor McGonagall. “You Death Eaters have your own private means of communication, I forgot.”

        Snape pretended not to have heard her. His eyes were still probing the air all about her, and he was moving gradually closer, with an air of hardly noticing what he was doing.

        “I did not know that it was your night to patrol the corridors, Minerva.”

        “You have some objection?”

        “卡羅兄妹呢?”他輕聲問。

        “大概在你叫他們去的地方吧,西弗勒斯。”麥格教授說。

        斯內普走近前來,目光從麥格教授周圍迅速掠過,似乎知道哈利就在那里。哈利也舉起了魔杖,隨時準備出擊。

        “我有個感覺,”斯內普說,“阿萊克托抓到了一個闖入者。”

        “真的嗎?”麥格教授說,“這種感覺從何而來?”

        斯內普微微活動了一下左臂,那里的皮膚上烙著黑魔標記。

        “哦,當然,”麥格教授說,“我忘記了,你們食死徒有自己的秘密聯系方式。”

        斯內普假裝沒有聽見麥格教授的話,目光仍然在她周圍的空氣里搜尋,同時一點點地向她逼近,而看他的神情,仿佛并沒發覺自己在這么做。

        “我記得今天夜里不該是你在走廊里巡邏,米勒娃。”

        “你有意見?”

        “I wonder what could have brought you out of your bed at this late hour?”

        “I thought I heard a disturbance,” said Professor McGonagall.

        “Really? But all seems calm.”

        Snape looked into her eyes.

        “Have you seen Harry Potter, Minerva? Because if you have, I must insist —”

        Professor McGonagall moved faster than Harry could have believed: Her wand slashed through the air and for a split second Harry thought that Snape must crumple, unconscious, but the swiftness of his Shield Charm was such that McGonagall was thrown off balance. She brandished her wand at a torch on the wall and it flew out of its bracket: Harry, about to curse Snape, was forced to pull Luna out of the way of the descending flames, which became a ring of fire that filled the corridor and flew like a lasso at Snape —

        “我只是奇怪,這么晚了,是什么讓你從床上爬起來的?”

        “我好像聽到了動靜。”麥格教授說。

        “真的嗎?似乎到處都很安靜呀。”

        斯內普直視著她的眼睛。

        “你看見哈利·波特了嗎,米勒娃?如果你看見了,我必須強調——”

        麥格教授出手之快,簡直令哈利難以相信。她的魔杖在空中嗖嗖揮砍,哈利一時以為斯內普肯定會神志不清地癱倒在地,不料他的鐵甲咒實在太敏捷,震得麥格失去了平衡。她朝墻上的一支火把揮舞著魔杖,火把立刻從支架上飛出來。正準備給斯內普念咒的哈利只好趕緊把盧娜拖到一邊,躲避落下來的火焰。火焰變成一個火環,占滿整個走廊,像繩套一樣朝斯內普飛去——

        Then it was no longer fire, but a great black serpent that McGonagall blasted to smoke, which re-formed and solidified in seconds to become a swarm of pursuing daggers: Snape avoided them only by forcing the suit of armor in front of him, and with echoing clangs the daggers sank, one after another, into its breast —

        “Minerva!” said a squeaky voice, and looking behind him, still shielding Luna from flying spells, Harry saw Professors Flitwick and Sprout sprinting up the corridor toward them in their night-

        SEVERUS SNAPE clothes, with the enormous Professor Slughorn panting along at the rear.

        “No!” squealed Flitwick, raising his wand. “You’ll do no more murder at Hogwarts!”

        Flitwick’s spell hit the suit of armor behind which Snape had taken shelter: With a clatter it came to life. Snape struggled free of the crushing arms and sent it flying back toward his attackers: Harry and Luna had to dive sideways to avoid it as it smashed into the wall and shattered. When Harry looked up again, Snape was in full flight, McGonagall, Flitwick, and Sprout all thundering after him: He hurtled through a classroom door and, moments later, he heard McGonagall cry, “Coward! COWARD!”

        “What’s happened, what’s happened?” asked Luna.

        Harry dragged her to her feet and they raced along the corridor, trailing the Invisibility Cloak behind them, into the deserted classroom where Professors McGonagall, Flitwick, and Sprout were standing at a smashed window.

        “He jumped,” said Professor McGonagall as Harry and Luna ran into the room.

        接著它不再是火,而是一條巨大的黑蛇,麥格把它炸成了黑煙。幾秒鐘內,黑煙變形、凝固,成為密密麻麻的匕首追了過去。斯內普只好把那套鎧甲擋在身前,一把把匕首撞在鎧甲的護胸上,當當不絕——

        “米勒娃!”一個尖細的聲音說,哈利一邊仍替盧娜遮擋著穿梭的魔咒,一邊回頭看去,只見弗立維和斯普勞特教授穿著睡衣從走廊里匆匆跑來,身材臃腫的斯拉格霍恩教授氣喘吁吁地跟在后面。

        “住手!”弗立維舉著魔杖尖叫,“不許你再在霍格沃茨殺人!”

        弗立維的魔咒擊中了斯內普當作盾牌的鎧甲,嘩啦一聲,鎧甲變活了。斯內普拼命掙脫把他死死擠壓住的鐵臂,并把鎧甲朝襲擊他的人飛擲過去。哈利和盧娜趕緊閃身撲倒,鎧甲撞在墻上,成為碎片。等哈利再抬頭看時,斯內普正在拼命逃跑,麥格、弗立維和斯普勞特都嗵嗵地追了上去。斯內普飛快地跑進一間教室,片刻之后,哈利聽見麥格大喊:“懦夫!懦夫!”

        “怎么啦?怎么啦?”盧娜問。

        哈利把她從地上拉了起來,兩人把隱形衣拖在身后,順著走廊奔進那個空蕩蕩的教室,麥格、弗立維和斯普勞特教授都站在一扇打碎的窗戶前。

        “他跳下去了。”哈利和盧娜沖進教室時,麥格教授說。

        “You mean he’s dead?” Harry sprinted to the window, ignoring Flitwick’s and Sprout’s yells of shock at his sudden appearance.

        “No, he’s not dead,” said McGonagall bitterly. “Unlike Dumbledore, he was still carrying a wand . . . and he seems to have learned a few tricks from his master.”

        With a tingle of horror, Harry saw in the distance a huge, batlike shape flying through the darkness toward the perimeter wall.

        There were heavy footfalls behind them, and a great deal of puffing: Slughorn had just caught up.

        “Harry!” he panted, massaging his immense chest beneath his emerald-green silk pajamas. “My dear boy . . . what a surprise . . . Minerva, do please explain. . . . Severus . . . what . . . ?”

        “Our headmaster is taking a short break,” said Professor McGonagall, pointing at the Snape-shaped hole in the window.

        “Professor!” Harry shouted, his hands at his forehead. He could see the Inferi-filled lake sliding beneath him, and he felt the ghostly green boat bump into the underground shore, and Voldemort leapt from it with murder in his heart —

        “Professor, we’ve got to barricade the school, he’s coming now!”

        “你是說他死了?”哈利三步并作兩步地奔到窗口,沒有理睬弗立維和斯普勞特看到他突然出現時發出的驚愕的喊叫。

        “不,他沒有死,”麥格教授忿忿地說,“他不像鄧布利多,他手里還拿著魔杖……而且,他似乎從他主子那里學了幾手。”

        哈利看見遠處有一個很大的、蝙蝠般的身影,正穿過黑暗朝圍墻飛去,他不由得心生恐懼。

        身后傳來重重的腳步聲和呼哧呼哧的喘氣聲,斯拉格霍恩追了過來。

        “哈利!”他氣喘吁吁地說,按摩著穿鮮綠絲綢睡衣的肥大胸脯,“我親愛的孩子……多么令人意外……米勒娃,請解釋一下……西弗勒斯……怎么……”

        “我們的校長暫時休息了。”麥格教授指著窗戶上那個斯內普形狀的大洞說道。

        “教授!”哈利雙手捂著額頭大喊一聲。他看見布滿陰尸的湖水在他身下掠過,感覺到陰森可怖的綠船輕輕撞在地下湖的岸邊,伏地魔殺氣騰騰地從船上跳下來——

        “教授,我們必須封鎖學校,他這就來了!”

        圖片來源:高品圖像

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