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        The enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall was dark and scattered with stars, and below it the four long House tables were lined with disheveled students, some in traveling cloaks, others in dressing gowns. Here and there shone the pearly white figures of the school ghosts. Every eye, living and dead, was fixed upon Professor McGonagall, who was speaking from the raised platform at the top of the Hall. Behind her stood the remaining teachers, including the palomino centaur, Firenze, and the members of the Order of the Phoenix who had arrived to fight.

        “. . . evacuation will be overseen by Mr. Filch and Madam Pomfrey. Prefects, when I give the word, you will organize your House and take your charges, in an orderly fashion, to the evacuation point.”

        Many of the students looked petrified. However, as Harry skirted the walls, scanning the Gryffindor table for Ron and Hermione, Ernie Macmillan stood up at the Hufflepuff table and shouted, “And what if we want to stay and fight?”

        There was a smattering of applause.

        大禮堂里那被施了魔法的天花板黑朦朦的,閃爍著點點星光,下面的四張長桌旁坐著衣冠不整、頭發蓬亂的學生,有的披著旅行斗篷,有的穿著晨衣。這里那里不時閃過校內那些幽靈的乳白色身影。無論是死人還是活人,每雙眼睛都盯著麥格教授,她正站在禮堂前高高的講臺上對大家講話,身后站著留下來的教師們,包括銀鬃馬人費倫澤,還有起來參加戰斗的鳳凰社成員。

        “……疏散工作由費爾奇先生和龐弗雷夫人負責監督。級長聽到我的命令之后,組織你們學院的學生,負責將他們井然有序地送到疏散地點。”

        許多學生都是一副嚇呆的樣子。不過,當哈利貼著墻根移動,在格蘭芬多桌旁尋找羅恩和赫敏時,厄尼·麥克米蘭從赫奇帕奇桌旁站起來大聲喊道:“如果我們想留下來參加戰斗呢?”

        他的話贏得了一些人的喝彩。

        “If you are of age, you may stay,” said Professor McGonagall.

        “What about our things?” called a girl at the Ravenclaw table. “Our trunks, our owls?”

        “We have no time to collect possessions,” said Professor McGonagall. “The important thing is to get you out of here safely.”

        “Where’s Professor Snape?” shouted a girl from the Slytherin table.

        “He has, to use the common phrase, done a bunk,” replied Professor McGonagall, and a great cheer erupted from the Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws.

        Harry moved up the Hall alongside the Gryffindor table, still looking for Ron and Hermione. As he passed, faces turned in his direction, and a great deal of whispering broke out in his wake.

        “We have already placed protection around the castle,” Professor McGonagall was saying, “but it is unlikely to hold for very long unless we reinforce it. I must ask you, therefore, to move quickly and calmly, and do as your prefects —”

        But her final words were drowned as a different voice echoed throughout the Hall. It was high, cold, and clear: There was no telling from where it came; it seemed to issue from the walls themselves. Like the monster it had once commanded, it might have lain dormant there for centuries.

        “如果夠年齡,可以留下。”麥格教授說。

        “我們的東西呢?”拉文克勞桌旁的一位女生大聲問道,“我們的箱子,還有貓頭鷹呢?”

        “來不及收拾財物了,”麥格教授說,“最重要的是把你們從這里安全地轉移出去。”

        “斯內普教授呢?”斯萊特林桌旁的一位女生喊了起來。

        “用一句通俗的話來說,他逃跑了。”麥格教授說,格蘭芬多、赫奇帕奇和拉文克勞桌旁爆發出一片歡呼。

        哈利順著格蘭芬多的桌子往前走,仍在尋找羅恩和赫敏。他走動時,許多人朝他這邊轉過臉來,他身后響起一片竊竊私語聲。

        “我們已經在城堡周圍布下防御,”麥格教授說道,“但不可能守住很長時間,除非我們不斷加固這種防御。因此,我要求你們必須迅速而沉著地行動,聽級長的——”

        突然,另一個聲音響徹了大禮堂,把她的話淹沒了。那聲音高亢、冷酷、清晰,說不清是從什么地方傳來的,似乎是墻壁本身發出來的。這聲音就像它曾經指揮過的蛇怪一樣,仿佛也在那里沉睡了好幾個世紀。

        “I know that you are preparing to fight.” There were screams amongst the students, some of whom clutched each other, looking around in terror for the source of the sound. “Your efforts are futile. You cannot fight me. I do not want to kill you. I have great respect for the teachers of Hogwarts. I do not want to spill magical blood.”

        There was silence in the Hall now, the kind of silence that presses against the eardrums, that seems too huge to be contained by walls.

        “Give me Harry Potter,” said Voldemort’s voice, “and none shall be harmed. Give me Harry Potter, and I shall leave the school untouched. Give me Harry Potter, and you will be rewarded.

        “You have until midnight.”

        The silence swallowed them all again. Every head turned, every eye in the place seemed to have found Harry, to hold him frozen in the glare of thousands of invisible beams. Then a figure rose from the Slytherin table and he recognized Pansy Parkinson as she raised a shaking arm and screamed, “But he’s there! Potter’s there! Someone grab him!”

        Before Harry could speak, there was a massive movement. The Gryffindors in front of him had risen and stood facing, not Harry, but the Slytherins. Then the Hufflepuffs stood, and almost at the same moment, the Ravenclaws, all of them with their backs to Harry, all of them looking toward Pansy instead, and Harry, awestruck and overwhelmed, saw wands emerging everywhere, pulled from beneath cloaks and from under sleeves.

        “我知道你們在準備抵抗。”

        學生們中間發出尖叫,有些人摟作一團,驚恐地四處張望,尋找聲音發出的地方。

        “你們的努力是沒有用的。你們不是我的對手。我不想殺死你們。我對霍格沃茨的教師十分尊敬。我不想讓巫師流血。”

        大禮堂里一片寂靜,這寂靜壓迫著人們的耳膜,這寂靜如此巨大,大得似乎禮堂里都盛載不下。

        “把哈利·波特交出來,”伏地魔的聲音說道,“你們誰也不會受傷。把哈利·波特交出來,我會讓學校安然無恙。把哈利·波特交出來,你們還會得到獎賞。”

        “我等到午夜。”

        寂靜再次把他們全部吞沒了。每個人都轉過腦袋,每雙眼睛似乎都找到了哈利,千百道目光死死地盯著他,使他動彈不得。然后,斯萊特林桌旁站起一個身影,哈利認出是潘西·帕金森,只見她舉起顫抖的胳膊尖叫道:“他在那兒!波特在那兒!快把他抓住!”

        哈利還沒來得及說話,同學們已經采取行動了。他面前的格蘭芬多學生站了起來,不是面對哈利,而是面對斯萊特林。接著赫奇帕奇學生也紛紛起立,拉文克勞學生幾乎在同時也采取了同樣的行動。他們全都背對哈利,他們全都面朝潘西,哈利百感交集,既敬畏又感動。他看見魔杖從四面八方被抽了出來,有從斗篷底下,有從袖子里面。

        “Thank you, Miss Parkinson,” said Professor McGonagall in a clipped voice. “You will leave the Hall first with Mr. Filch. If the rest of your House could follow.”

        Harry heard the grinding of benches and then the sound of the Slytherins trooping out on the other side of the Hall.

        “Ravenclaws, follow on!” cried Professor McGonagall.

        Slowly the four tables emptied. The Slytherin table was completely deserted, but a number of older Ravenclaws remained seated while their fellows filed out; even more Hufflepuffs stayed behind, and half of Gryffindor remained in their seats, necessitating Professor McGonagall’s descent from the teachers’ platform to chivvy the underage on their way.

        “Absolutely not, Creevey, go! And you, Peakes!”

        Harry hurried over to the Weasleys, all sitting together at the Gryffindor table.

        “Where are Ron and Hermione?”

        “Haven’t you found — ?” began Mr. Weasley, looking worried.

        But he broke off as Kingsley had stepped forward on the raised platform to address those who had remained behind.

        “謝謝你,帕金森小姐,”麥格教授清楚而干脆地說,“你和費爾奇先生一起先離開禮堂。你們學院的其他同學也可以跟上。”

        哈利聽見了板凳的碰撞摩擦聲,禮堂另一邊的斯萊特林紛紛離開。

        “拉文克勞,跟上!”麥格教授大聲說。

        四張桌子漸漸地空了。斯萊特林桌旁空無一人;而拉文克勞魚貫而出時,一些年紀較大的同學坐著沒動;赫奇帕奇留下來的就更多了;格蘭芬多更是有一半的同學都待在座位上。麥格教授只好從講臺上下來,強行驅趕不到年齡的學生。

        “絕對不行,克里維,快走!還有你,珀克斯!”

        哈利匆匆走向坐在格蘭芬多桌旁的韋斯萊一家。

        “羅恩和赫敏呢?”

        “你還沒有找到——?”韋斯萊先生很擔憂地問。

        他的話沒有說完,因為金斯萊已經走到講臺上,向留下來的人發表講話。

        “We’ve only got half an hour until midnight, so we need to act fast! A battle plan has been agreed between the teachers of Hogwarts and the Order of the Phoenix. Professors Flitwick, Sprout, and McGonagall are going to take groups of fighters up to the three highest towers — Ravenclaw, Astronomy, and Gryffindor — where they’ll have a good overview, excellent positions from which to work spells. Meanwhile Remus” — he indicated Lupin — “Arthur” — he pointed toward Mr. Weasley, sitting at the Gryffindor table — “and I will take groups into the grounds. We’ll need somebody to organize defense of the entrances of the passageways into the school —”

        “Sounds like a job for us,” called Fred, indicating himself and George, and Kingsley nodded his approval.

        “All right, leaders up here and we’ll divide up the troops!”

        “Potter,” said Professor McGonagall, hurrying up to him, as students flooded the platform, jostling for position, receiving instructions, “Aren’t you supposed to be looking for something?”

        “What? Oh,” said Harry, “oh yeah!”

        He had almost forgotten about the Horcrux, almost forgotten that the battle was being fought so that he could search for it: The inexplicable absence of Ron and Hermione had momentarily driven every other thought from his mind.

        “Then go, Potter, go!”

        “Right — yeah —”

        “到午夜只有半個小時了,我們需要迅速行動!霍格沃茨教師和鳳凰社成員聯合擬定了一個作戰方案。弗立維、斯普勞特和麥格教授分別帶領戰斗隊登上三個最高的塔樓——拉文克勞塔、天文塔和格蘭芬多塔——那里視野開闊,位置有利,便于施魔法。萊姆斯,”他指指盧平,“亞瑟,”他指指坐在格蘭芬多桌旁的韋斯萊先生,“和我帶領隊伍進入操常我們需要有人組織把守進入學校的各個通道入口——”

        “聽著像是我們的活兒。”弗雷德指指他自己和喬治大聲說,金斯萊點頭同意。

        “好了,領隊的到上面來,我們分一下隊伍!”

        “波特,”麥格教授說著匆匆向他走來,這時同學們都朝講臺擁去,推推搡搡地搶位置,接受指令,“你不是要尋找什么東西嗎?”

        “什么?噢,”哈利說,“噢,對了!”

        他幾乎忘記了魂器,幾乎忘記了作戰的目的是讓他能夠尋找魂器。羅恩和赫敏的離奇失蹤暫時趕跑了他腦子里所有的其他念頭。

        “那就去吧,波特,快去吧!”

        “行——好的——”

        He sensed eyes following him as he ran out of the Great Hall again, into the entrance hall still crowded with evacuating students. He allowed himself to be swept up the marble staircase with them, but at the top he hurried off along a deserted corridor. Fear and panic were clouding his thought processes. He tried to calm himself, to concentrate on finding the Horcrux, but his thoughts buzzed as frantically and fruitlessly as wasps trapped beneath a glass. Without Ron and Hermione to help him he could not seem to marshal his ideas. He slowed down, coming to a halt halfway along an empty passage, where he sat down upon the plinth of a departed statue and pulled the Marauder’s Map out of the pouch around his neck. He could not see Ron’s or Hermione’s names anywhere on it, though the density of the crowd of dots now making its way to the Room of Requirement might, he thought, be concealing them. He put the map away, pressed his hands over his face, and closed his eyes, trying to concentrate. . . .

        Voldemort thought I’d go to Ravenclaw Tower.

        There it was: a solid fact, the place to start. Voldemort had stationed Alecto Carrow in the Ravenclaw common room, and there could only be one explanation: Voldemort feared that Harry already knew his Horcrux was connected to that House.

        But the only object anyone seemed to associate with Ravenclaw was the lost diadem . . . and how could the Horcrux be the diadem? How was it possible that Voldemort, the Slytherin, had found the diadem that had eluded generations of Ravenclaws? Who could HOGWARTS have told him where to look, when nobody had seen the diadem in living memory?

        In living memory . . .

        他從大禮堂里跑了出去,感覺到后面有許多雙眼睛在跟著他。門廳里仍然擠著正在疏散的學生。哈利被他們挾裹著上了大理石樓梯,到了頂上他立刻順著一條空蕩蕩的走廊跑去。恐慌和緊張使他的思緒混亂不清。他試著平靜下來,集中思想考慮怎么該找到魂器,可是思想像關在玻璃罩里的黃蜂一樣,瘋狂地、漫無目的地嗡嗡亂飛。沒有羅恩和赫敏在旁相助,他似乎理不清自己的思路。他放慢腳步,在空無一人的過道中間停了下來,坐在一個塑像離開后留下的底座上,從脖子上的皮袋里掏出活點地圖。他在地圖上怎么也找不到羅恩和赫敏的名字,不過,它們可能藏在那片擁向有求必應屋的密密麻麻的小點當中了。他把地圖收了起來,用兩只手捂住臉,閉上眼睛,努力集中思緒……

        伏地魔認為我會去拉文克勞塔。

        沒錯,這是一個可靠的事實,就從那里開始。伏地魔派阿萊克托·卡羅駐守在拉文克勞公共休息室,這只能有一個解釋:伏地魔擔心哈利已經知道他的魂器跟那個學院有關。

        可是,惟一能跟拉文克勞聯系在一起的似乎只有失蹤的冠冕……魂器怎么可能是冠冕呢?伏地魔是斯萊特林的學生,怎么可能找到拉文克勞多少代人都沒見過的冠冕呢?會是誰告訴他上哪兒去尋找的呢?活著的人的記憶中誰也沒見過那個冠冕呀。

        活著的人記憶中……

        Beneath his fingers, Harry’s eyes flew open again. He leapt up from the plinth and tore back the way he had come, now in pursuit of his one last hope. The sound of hundreds of people marching toward the Room of Requirement grew louder and louder as he returned to the marble stairs. Prefects were shouting instructions, trying to keep track of the students in their own Houses; there was much pushing and shoving; Harry saw Zacharias Smith bowling over first-years to get to the front of the queue; here and there younger students were in tears, while older ones called desperately for friends or siblings. . . .

        Harry caught sight of a pearly white figure drifting across the entrance hall below and yelled as loudly as he could over the clamor.

        “Nick! NICK! I need to talk to you!”

        He forced his way back through the tide of students, finally reaching the bottom of the stairs, where Nearly Headless Nick, ghost of Gryffindor Tower, stood waiting for him.

        哈利用手捂著的眼睛突然睜開了。他從底座上一躍而起,順著原路往回跑,追逐他的最后一個希望。回到大理石樓梯時,成百上千的人朝有求必應屋進發的聲音越來越響。級長們大聲喊著指令,努力分辨自己學院的學生。哈利看見扎卡賴斯·史密斯為了搶到隊伍前面而把一年級新生撞得東倒西歪。隨處可見年級較小的學生在哭鼻子,年級較大的學生焦急地呼喚朋友或兄弟姐妹……

        哈利看見一個乳白色的身影在上面的門廳里飄然而過,他趕緊在喧鬧聲中扯足嗓子大喊起來。

        “尼克!尼克!我有話對你說!”

        他在擁擠的人流中拼命往下擠,終于到了樓梯下,格蘭芬多塔樓的幽靈——差點沒頭的尼克正站在那里等他。

        “哈利!我親愛的孩子!”

        “Harry! My dear boy!”

        Nick made to grasp Harry’s hands with both of his own: Harry’s felt as though they had been thrust into icy water.

        “Nick, you’ve got to help me. Who’s the ghost of Ravenclaw Tower?”

        Nearly Headless Nick looked surprised and a little offended.

        “The Gray Lady, of course; but if it is ghostly services you require — ?”

        “It’s got to be her — d’you know where she is?”

        “Let’s see. . . .”

        Nick’s head wobbled a little on his ruff as he turned hither and thither, peering over the heads of the swarming students.

        “That’s her over there, Harry, the young woman with the long hair.”

        Harry looked in the direction of Nick’s transparent, pointing finger and saw a tall ghost who caught sight of Harry looking at her, raised her eyebrows, and drifted away through a solid wall.

        尼克用雙手攥住哈利的兩只手,哈利立刻覺得雙手像是插進了冰水里。

        “尼克,你一定得幫幫我。拉文克勞塔樓的幽靈是誰?”

        差點沒頭的尼克顯得又吃驚又有點兒生氣。

        “是格雷女士,這還用問。但如果你需要幽靈為你服務——?”

        “必須是她——你知道她在哪兒嗎?”

        “讓我看看……”

        尼克東張張西望望,在人頭攢動的學生中間尋找,他的腦袋在輪狀皺領上微微搖晃著。

        “她在那兒,哈利,那個長頭發的年輕女人。”

        哈利循著尼克透明的手指所指的方向望去,看見一個身材修長的幽靈。她發現哈利在看她,驚訝地揚起眉毛,然后轉身飄然穿墻而去。

        Harry ran after her. Once through the door of the corridor into which she had disappeared, he saw her at the very end of the passage, still gliding smoothly away from him.

        “Hey — wait — come back!”

        She consented to pause, floating a few inches from the ground. Harry supposed that she was beautiful, with her waist-length hair and floor-length cloak, but she also looked haughty and proud. Close to, he recognized her as a ghost he had passed several times in the corridor, but to whom he had never spoken.

        “You’re the Gray Lady?”

        She nodded but did not speak.

        “The ghost of Ravenclaw Tower?”

        “That is correct.”

        Her tone was not encouraging.

        “Please: I need some help. I need to know anything you can tell me about the lost diadem.”

        A cold smile curved her lips.

        “I am afraid,” she said, turning to leave, “that I cannot help you.”

        “WAIT!”

        哈利追了過去,沖進墻對面那道走廊的門,看見她在通道盡頭,仍然幽幽地越飄越遠。

        “喂——等等——回來!”

        她總算停了下來,懸在離地幾英寸高的地方。哈利猜想她長得很美,長發齊腰,長袍及地,但她同時又顯得很傲慢,目中無人。待走近一些,哈利認出自己曾幾次在走廊里碰見過這個幽靈,但一次也沒跟她說過話。

        “你是格雷女士?”

        她點點頭,沒有說話。

        “是拉文克勞塔樓的幽靈?”

        “不錯。”

        她的口氣一點也不熱情。

        “求求你,我需要幫助。我需要你把失蹤的冠冕的情況都告訴我。”

        她的嘴唇扭曲成一個冷笑。

        “恐怕,”她說著轉身要離開,“我幫不了你。”

        “等等!”

        He had not meant to shout, but anger and panic were threatening to overwhelm him. He glanced at his watch as she hovered in front of him: It was a quarter to midnight.

        “This is urgent,” he said fiercely. “If that diadem’s at Hogwarts, I’ve got to find it, fast.”

        “You are hardly the first student to covet the diadem,” she said disdainfully. “Generations of students have badgered me —”

        “This isn’t about trying to get better marks!” Harry shouted at her. “It’s about Voldemort — defeating Voldemort — or aren’t you interested in that?”

        She could not blush, but her transparent cheeks became more opaque, and her voice was heated as she replied, “Of course I — how dare you suggest — ?”

        “Well, help me, then!”

        Her composure was slipping.

        “It — it is not a question of —” she stammered. “My mother’s diadem —”

        “Your mother’s?”

        She looked angry with herself.

        哈利并沒打算叫嚷,但憤怒和緊張幾乎把他壓垮了。幽靈在他面前盤旋,他著急地看看表:離午夜只有一刻鐘了。

        “事情很緊急,”哈利焦躁地說,“如果那個冠冕在霍格沃茨,我必須找到它,馬上。”

        “你不是第一個垂涎冠冕的學生,”她輕蔑地說,“一代一代的學生都纏著我——”

        “這不是為了得到好分數!”哈利朝她嚷道,“是為了伏地魔——打敗伏地魔——難道你對這個不感興趣?”

        她不會臉紅,但是透明的面頰似乎變得不那么透明了,回答時聲音里透著激動:“我當然——你怎么敢說——?”

        “那就快幫助我吧!”

        她不像剛才那么鎮靜了。

        “這——這問題不是——”她結結巴巴地說,“我母親的冠冕——”

        “你母親的?”

        她似乎對自己感到很惱火。

        “When I lived,” she said stiffly, “I was Helena Ravenclaw.”

        “You’re her daughter? But then, you must know what happened to it!”

        “While the diadem bestows wisdom,” she said with an obvious effort to pull herself together, “I doubt that it would greatly increase your chances of defeating the wizard who calls himself Lord —”

        “Haven’t I just told you, I’m not interested in wearing it!” Harry said fiercely. “There’s no time to explain — but if you care about Hogwarts, if you want to see Voldemort finished, you’ve got to tell me anything you know about the diadem!”

        She remained quite still, floating in midair, staring down at him, and a sense of hopelessness engulfed Harry. Of course, if she had known anything, she would have told Flitwick or Dumbledore, who had surely asked her the same question. He had shaken his head and made to turn away when she spoke in a low voice.

        “I stole the diadem from my mother.”

        “You — you did what?”

        “I stole the diadem,” repeated Helena Ravenclaw in a whisper. “I sought to make myself cleverer, more important than my mother. I ran away with it.”

        He did not know how he had managed to gain her confidence, and did not ask; he simply listened, hard, as she went on:

        “My mother, they say, never admitted that the diadem was gone, but pretended that she had it still. She concealed her loss, my dreadful betrayal, even from the other founders of Hogwarts.

        “我活著的時候,”她生硬地說,“是海蓮娜·拉文克勞。”

        “你是她的女兒?那你肯定知道冠冕的下落!”

        “雖然冠冕賜予人智慧,”她說,顯然想使自己重新鎮靜下來,“但我懷疑它不會幫助你打敗那個自稱是黑——”

        “我不是跟你說了嗎,我感興趣的不是自己戴它!”哈利激烈地說,“沒時間解釋了——如果你關心霍格沃茨,如果你希望看到伏地魔完蛋,就必須把你知道的關于冠冕的事情都告訴我!”

        她還是不動聲色,在空中飄飄蕩蕩,低頭望著哈利。一種絕望的情緒把哈利淹沒了。她如果知道一些情況,肯定早就告訴弗立維或鄧布利多了,他們想必問過她同樣的問題。哈利搖了搖頭,正轉身要走,她卻低聲說話了。

        “我從我母親那里偷走了冠冕。”

        “你——你做了什么?”

        “我偷了冠冕,”海蓮娜·拉文克勞又輕聲說了一遍,“我想讓自己比母親更聰明,更有名望。我帶著冠冕逃走了。”

        哈利不知道自己怎么贏得了她的信任,他沒有問,只是仔細地聽她往下說:“他們說,我母親始終沒有承認冠冕不見了,她一直假裝冠冕還在。她甚至對霍格沃茨的另外幾個創辦人也隱瞞了她的損失,隱瞞了我可怕的背叛。”

        “Then my mother fell ill — fatally ill. In spite of my perfidy, she was desperate to see me one more time. She sent a man who had long loved me, though I spurned his advances, to find me. She knew that he would not rest until he had done so.”

        Harry waited. She drew a deep breath and threw back her head.

        “He tracked me to the forest where I was hiding. When I refused to return with him, he became violent. The Baron was always a hot-tempered man. Furious at my refusal, jealous of my freedom, he stabbed me.”

        “The Baron? You mean — ?”

        “The Bloody Baron, yes,” said the Gray Lady, and she lifted aside the cloak she wore to reveal a single dark wound in her white chest. “When he saw what he had done, he was overcome with remorse. He took the weapon that had claimed my life, and used it to kill himself. All these centuries later, he wears his chains as an act of penitence . . . as he should,” she added bitterly.

        “And . . . and the diadem?”

        “It remained where I had hidden it when I heard the Baron blundering through the forest toward me. Concealed inside a hollow tree.

        “A hollow tree?” repeated Harry. “What tree? Where was this?”

        “A forest in Albania. A lonely place I thought was far beyond my mother’s reach.”

        “后來我母親病了——病得很重。雖然我做了不孝不義的事,她仍然迫切地想再見我一面。她派了一個男人來找我。那人愛了我很久,但我拒絕了他。我母親知道那人不找到我是不肯罷休的。”

        哈利等著。她深深吸了口氣,把腦袋往后一仰。

        “他找到了我藏身的森林。我不肯跟他回去,他就暴怒起來。巴羅一向是個脾氣暴躁的人。他恨我拒絕了他,嫉妒我的自由,就把我給刺死了。”

        “巴羅?你是說——?”

        “血人巴羅,是的,”格雷女士說著撩起斗篷,露出雪白的胸脯上一道黑色的傷口,“他醒過神來后,痛悔莫及,拿起他索取了我性命的武器,自殺了。這么多世紀過去了,他為了悔罪,至今還戴著鐐銬……他是活該。”她憤憤地加了一句。

        “那么……那么冠冕呢?”

        “當時我聽見巴羅在森林里跌跌撞撞地向我走來,就把它藏了起來,后來一直留在那里。藏在一棵空心樹里。”

        “一棵空心樹?”哈利追問道,“什么樹?在哪兒?”

        “在阿爾巴尼亞的一座森林里,一個非常荒涼的地方,我以為我母親鞭長莫及。”

        “Albania,” repeated Harry. Sense was emerging miraculously from confusion, and now he understood why she was telling him what she had denied Dumbledore and Flitwick. “You’ve already told someone this story, haven’t you? Another student?”

        She closed her eyes and nodded.

        “I had . . . no idea. . . . He was . . . flattering. He seemed to . . . to understand . . . to sympathize. . . .”

        Yes, Harry thought, Tom Riddle would certainly have understood Helena Ravenclaw’s desire to possess fabulous objects to which she had little right.

        “Well, you weren’t the first person Riddle wormed things out of,” Harry muttered. “He could be charming when he wanted. . . .”

        So Voldemort had managed to wheedle the location of the lost diadem out of the Gray Lady. He had traveled to that far-flung forest and retrieved the diadem from its hiding place, perhaps as soon as he left Hogwarts, before he even started work at Borgin and Burkes.

        And wouldn’t those secluded Albanian woods have seemed an excellent refuge when, so much later, Voldemort had needed a place to lie low, undisturbed, for ten long years?

        But the diadem, once it became his precious Horcrux, had not been left in that lowly tree. . . . No, the diadem had been returned secretly to its true home, and Voldemort must have put it there —

        “— the night he asked for a job!” said Harry, finishing his thought.

        “I beg your pardon?”

        “阿爾巴尼亞,”哈利重復道,奇跡般地從一片混亂中理清了思緒,他現在明白她為什么把沒有告訴鄧布利多和弗立維的事情告訴他了,“你已經跟人講過這個故事,對嗎?跟另一個學生?”

        她閉上眼睛,點了點頭。

        “我……我不知道……他……很會討人喜歡。他似乎……似乎善解人意……有同情心……”

        沒錯,哈利想,海蓮娜·拉文克勞想要霸占她無權獲得的財寶的欲望,湯姆·里德爾當然能夠理解。

        “唉,被里德爾花言巧語騙去東西的,可不止你一個人。”哈利說道,“需要的時候,他可以使自己變得很迷人……”

        這么說,伏地魔從格雷女士那里套出了失蹤的冠冕的下落。他去了那座遙遠的森林,把藏著的冠冕取了回來,大概就在他離開霍格沃茨不久,還沒有開始在博金-博克商店工作。

        多年以后,當伏地魔需要一個地方潛伏下來,不受打擾地度過那漫長的十年時,那些荒涼偏僻的阿爾巴尼亞森林不正是他理想的避難所嗎?

        可是,冠冕一旦成為他寶貴的魂器,就不會留在那棵卑微的樹里了……不,冠冕已被秘密送回它真正的家,伏地魔肯定把它放在了那里——

        “——他來申請工作的那天夜里!”哈利終于理清了思路。

        “你說什么?”

        “He hid the diadem in the castle, the night he asked Dumbledore to let him teach!” said Harry. Saying it out loud enabled him to make sense of it all. “He must’ve hidden the diadem on his way up to, or down from, Dumbledore’s office! But it was still worth trying to get the job — then he might’ve got the chance to nick Gryffindor’s sword as well — thank you, thanks!”

        Harry left her floating there, looking utterly bewildered. As he rounded the corner back into the entrance hall, he checked his watch. It was five minutes until midnight, and though he now knew what the last Horcrux was, he was no closer to discovering where it was. . . .

        Generations of students had failed to find the diadem; that suggested that it was not in Ravenclaw Tower — but if not there, where? What hiding place had Tom Riddle discovered inside Hogwarts Castle, that he believed would remain secret forever?

        Lost in desperate speculation, Harry turned a corner, but he had taken only a few steps down the new corridor when the window to his left broke open with a deafening, shattering crash. As he leapt aside, a gigantic body flew in through the window and hit the opposite wall. Something large and furry detached itself, whimpering, from the new arrival and flung itself at Harry.

        “Hagrid!” Harry bellowed, fighting off Fang the boarhound’s attentions as the enormous bearded figure clambered to his feet. “What the — ?”

        “Harry, yer here! Yer here!”

        “他來請求鄧布利多讓他教書的那天晚上,把冠冕藏在城堡里!”哈利說,把想法大聲說出來使推理變得更清晰了,“他上樓或下樓到鄧布利多的辦公室去時,肯定順路把冠冕藏了起來!但他仍然想爭取到那份工作——那樣他就有機會把格蘭芬多的寶劍也偷到手了——謝謝你,太感謝了!”

        哈利轉身離去,只留下幽靈飄飄悠悠地浮蕩在那里,一臉迷惑。哈利轉彎返回門廳時看了看表:離午夜還差五分鐘了,他雖然弄清了最后一個魂器是什么,但它究竟藏在哪里,他仍然一無所知……

        多少代學生都沒能找到冠冕,這就說明它不在拉文克勞塔樓里——但不在那里,又在哪里呢?湯姆·里德爾在霍格沃茨城堡里找到了怎樣的秘密場所,并且相信那個地方永遠不為人知呢?

        哈利一邊拼命思索,一邊又拐過一個彎,但他在新的走廊里沒走幾步,就聽到嘩啦一聲巨響,左邊的窗戶突然爆開。他趕緊跳到一邊,一個龐然大物從窗戶外飛了進來,撞在對面的墻上。緊接著又見一個毛茸茸的大東西從這龐然大物身上掙脫出來,低聲吠叫著朝哈利撲來。

        “海格!”哈利大吼一聲,拼命擺脫獵犬牙牙的殷勤,胡子拉碴的龐然大物費力地站了起來,“怎么——?”

        “哈利,你在這兒!你在這兒!”

        Hagrid stooped down, bestowed upon Harry a cursory and ribcracking hug, then ran back to the shattered window.

        “Good boy, Grawpy!” he bellowed through the hole in the window. “I’ll see yer in a moment, there’s a good lad!”

        Beyond Hagrid, out in the dark night, Harry saw bursts of light in the distance and heard a weird, keening scream. He looked down at his watch: It was midnight. The battle had begun.

        “Blimey, Harry,” panted Hagrid, “this is it, eh? Time ter fight?”

        “Hagrid, where have you come from?”

        “Heard You-Know-Who from up in our cave,” said Hagrid grimly. “Voice carried, didn’ it? ‘Yeh got till midnight ter gimme Potter.’ Knew yeh mus’ be here, knew what mus’ be happenin’. Get down, Fang. So we come ter join in, me an’ Grawpy an’ Fang. Smashed our way through the boundary by the forest, Grawpy was carryin’ us, Fang an’ me. Told him ter let me down at the castle, so he shoved me through the window, bless him. Not exac’ly what I meant, bu’ — where’s Ron an’ Hermione?”

        “That,” said Harry, “is a really good question. Come on.”

        They hurried together along the corridor, Fang lolloping beside them. Harry could hear movement through the corridors all around: running footsteps, shouts; through the windows, he could see more flashes of light in the dark grounds.

        海格彎下腰匆匆抱了一下哈利,幾乎勒斷了他的肋骨,然后又跑回打碎的窗戶前。

        “好孩子,格洛普!”他對著窗戶上的窟窿喊道,“待會兒見,乖孩子!”

        在海格身后漆黑的夜色中,哈利看見遠處突然射出幾道強光,又聽見一聲古怪的、哀慟的尖叫。他低頭看了看表:正是午夜。戰斗開始了。

        “天哪,哈利,”海格喘著氣說,“這就來了,是不?開戰了?”

        “海格,你從哪兒來的?”

        “我們在上面山洞里聽見了神秘人的聲音,”海格神色嚴峻地說道,“那聲音傳得真遠,是不?‘午夜之前你們必須把波特交出來。’我就知道你肯定在這兒,就知道發生了什么事。下來,牙牙。所以我們就來參戰了,我和格洛普還有牙牙。格洛普馱著我和牙牙,從森林里突破了學校的邊界。我叫他在城堡里把我放下來,結果他把我從窗口塞了進來,真有他的!其實我不是那個意思,可——羅恩和赫敏呢?”

        “嘿,”哈利說,“可真讓你問著了。走吧。”

        他們一起在走廊上匆匆往前走,牙牙蹦蹦跳跳地跟在旁邊。哈利聽見四下的走廊里響聲雜沓:奔跑聲,喊叫聲。他透過窗戶看見漆黑的操場上閃爍著一道道強光。

        “Where’re we goin’?” puffed Hagrid, pounding along at Harry’s heels, making the floorboards quake.

        “I dunno exactly,” said Harry, making another random turn, “but Ron and Hermione must be around here somewhere. . . .”

        The first casualties of the battle were already strewn across the passage ahead: The two stone gargoyles that usually guarded the entrance to the staffroom had been smashed apart by a jinx that had sailed through another broken window. Their remains stirred feebly on the floor, and as Harry leapt over one of their disembodied heads, it moaned faintly, “Oh, don’t mind me . . . I’ll just lie here and crumble. . . .”

        Its ugly stone face made Harry think suddenly of the marble bust of Rowena Ravenclaw at Xenophilius’s house, wearing that mad headdress — and then of the statue in Ravenclaw Tower, with the stone diadem upon her white curls. . . .

        And as he reached the end of the passage, the memory of a third stone effigy came back to him: that of an ugly old warlock, onto whose head Harry himself had placed a wig and a battered old tiara. The shock shot through Harry with the heat of firewhisky, and he nearly stumbled.

        He knew, at last, where the Horcrux sat waiting for him. . . .

        “我們去哪兒?”海格氣喘吁吁地問,他腳步沉重地跟著哈利,震得地板都在顫抖。

        “我也不知道。”哈利說著,又盲目地拐了個彎,“但羅恩和赫敏肯定在這附近的什么地方。”

        前面的通道上已經躺著戰場上的第一批傷亡者:平時看守教師辦公室入口的兩個石獸已被從另一扇破窗戶射進來的惡咒擊中,變得四個四分五裂,殘片在地板上有氣無力地蠕動著。哈利從一個與身體分家的腦袋上一躍而過時,它虛弱地呻吟道:“哦,別管我……就讓我躺在這兒,自生自滅吧……”

        那張丑陋的石臉使哈利突然想起了謝諾菲留斯家那尊羅伊納·拉文克勞的大理石半身像,戴著那個可笑的頭飾——接著又想起拉文克勞塔樓里的那尊塑像,白色的鬈發上戴著石頭冠冕……

        跑到通道盡頭時,他又想起第三尊石像:一個丑陋的老男巫,哈利親手給他腦袋上戴了一個舊發套和一個破爛的冠冕。哈利突然一個激靈,就像受了火焰威士忌的刺激,差點跌倒在地。

        他終于知道了,知道魂器在什么地方等著他……

        Tom Riddle, who confided in no one and operated alone, might have been arrogant enough to assume that he, and only he, had penetrated the deepest mysteries of Hogwarts Castle. Of course, Dumbledore and Flitwick, those model pupils, had never set foot in that particular place, but he, Harry, had strayed off the beaten track in his time at school — here at last was a secret he and Voldemort knew, that Dumbledore had never discovered —

        He was roused by Professor Sprout, who was thundering past followed by Neville and half a dozen others, all of them wearing earmuffs and carrying what appeared to be large potted plants.

        “Mandrakes!” Neville bellowed at Harry over his shoulder as he ran. “Going to lob them over the walls — they won’t like this!”

        Harry knew now where to go: He sped off, with Hagrid and Fang galloping behind him. They passed portrait after portrait, and the painted figures raced alongside them, wizards and witches in ruffs and breeches, in armor and cloaks, cramming themselves into each others’ canvases, screaming news from other parts of the castle. As they reached the end of this corridor, the whole castle shook, and Harry knew, as a gigantic vase blew off its plinth with explosive force, that it was in the grip of enchantments more sinister than those of the teachers and the Order.

        “It’s all righ’, Fang — it’s all righ’!” yelled Hagrid, but the great boarhound had taken flight as slivers of china flew like shrapnel through the air, and Hagrid pounded off after the terrified dog, leaving Harry alone.

        湯姆·里德爾一向獨來獨往,不相信任何人,他是那么傲慢自大,大概以為他——只有他一個人——了解霍格沃茨城堡里隱藏的最深的秘密。鄧布利多和弗立維這些模范學生無疑從不涉足那個特殊的場所,然而哈利,在校時曾經去過常人沒去過的地方——終于,有了一個惟獨他和伏地魔知道而鄧布利多從未發現的秘密——

        斯普勞特教授把他從沉思中驚醒,她腳步重重地走了過去,后面跟著納威和六七個其他同學,都戴著耳套,手里拎著像是大型的盆栽植物。

        “曼德拉草!”納威一邊跑,一邊扭頭對哈利喊道,“準備把它們拋出墻去——讓他們嘗嘗滋味!”

        現在哈利知道該往哪兒去了。他撒腿就跑,海格和牙牙跟在后面。他們經過一幅又一幅肖像,畫中人跟著他們一起跑,那些戴輪狀皺領、穿馬褲、套鎧甲、披斗篷的男女巫師,亂紛紛地擠進別人的畫框,大聲通報著城堡別處的消息。他們跑到這條走廊的盡頭,整個城堡都在顫抖,一只巨大的花瓶突然爆裂,從底座炸碎了,于是哈利知道此刻控制城堡的是另一種魔法,比教師和鳳凰社成員的咒語要邪惡得多。

        “沒關系,牙牙——沒關系!”海格大聲喊道,可是破碎的瓷片像榴霰彈一樣在空中飛濺,嚇得大獵狗驚慌逃竄。海格嗵嗵嗵地跑去追它,留下了哈利一個人。

        He forged on through the trembling passages, his wand at the ready, and for the length of one corridor the little painted knight, Sir Cadogan, rushed from painting to painting beside him, clanking along in his armor, screaming encouragement, his fat little pony cantering behind him.

        “Braggarts and rogues, dogs and scoundrels, drive them out, Harry Potter, see them off!”

        Harry hurtled around a corner and found Fred and a small knot of students, including Lee Jordan and Hannah Abbott, standing beside another empty plinth, whose statue had concealed a secret passageway. Their wands were drawn and they were listening at the concealed hole.

        “Nice night for it!” Fred shouted as the castle quaked again, and Harry sprinted by, elated and terrified in equal measure. Along yet another corridor he dashed, and then there were owls everywhere, and Mrs. Norris was hissing and trying to bat them with her paws, no doubt to return them to their proper place. . . .

        “Potter!”

        他舉著魔杖,穩住腳步穿過一條條顫抖的通道,一個畫中人——小個子騎士卡多根爵士,陪在他身旁從一幅畫沖出另一幅畫,大聲喊著一些鼓勵的話,一直跑了整整一條走廊。他的鎧甲鏗鏘作響,那匹肥胖的小矮馬小跑著跟在后面。

        “吹牛大王、混蛋、臭流氓、無賴,把他們趕出去,哈利·波特,把他們打退!”

        哈利快速拐過一個彎,發現弗雷德和一小伙學生,包括李·喬丹和漢娜·艾博,站在另一個空底座旁邊,那上面的雕像原來掩藏著一個秘密通道。這些人都拿著魔杖,聚在隱蔽的洞口傾聽動靜。

        “這個夜晚真過癮!”弗雷德喊道。城堡又震顫起來,哈利既興奮又害怕地沖了過去。他在另一條走廊里奔跑時,到處都是貓頭鷹在飛,洛麗絲夫人嘶嘶叫著用爪子去拍打,無疑是想把它們趕回合適的地方……

        “波特!”

        Aberforth Dumbledore stood blocking the corridor ahead, his wand held ready.

        “I’ve had hundreds of kids thundering through my pub, Potter!”

        “I know, we’re evacuating,” Harry said, “Voldemort’s —”

        “— attacking because they haven’t handed you over, yeah,” said Aberforth, “I’m not deaf, the whole of Hogsmeade heard him. And it never occurred to any of you to keep a few Slytherins hostage? There are kids of Death Eaters you’ve just sent to safety. Wouldn’t it have been a bit smarter to keep ’em here?”

        “It wouldn’t stop Voldemort,” said Harry, “and your brother would never have done it.”

        Aberforth grunted and tore away in the opposite direction.

        Your brother would never have done it. . . . Well, it was the truth, Harry thought as he ran on again; Dumbledore, who had defended Snape for so long, would never have held students ransom. . . .

        And then he skidded around a final corner and with a yell of mingled relief and fury he saw them: Ron and Hermione, both with their arms full of large, curved, dirty yellow objects, Ron with a broomstick under his arm.

        “Where the hell have you been?” Harry shouted.

        “Chamber of Secrets,” said Ron.

        “Chamber — what?” said Harry, coming to an unsteady halt before them.

        阿不福思·鄧布利多擋在了前面的走廊上,手里舉著魔杖。

        “幾百個孩子鬧紛紛地穿過我的酒吧,波特!”

        “我知道,我們在疏散,”哈利說,“伏地魔——”

        “——在進攻,因為他們沒有把你交出去,我知道。”阿不福思說,“我不是聾子,整個霍格莫德村都聽見了他的話。難道你們誰都沒想到留下幾個斯萊特林當人質嗎?剛才被安全疏散的就有食死徒的孩子。把他們留在這里豈不更高明一些?”

        “那也擋不住伏地魔,”哈利說,“而且你哥哥絕不會這么做。”

        阿不福思不滿地嘟嚷著,大步朝另一個方向走遠了。

        你哥哥絕不會這么做……沒錯,正是這樣,哈利一邊想一邊繼續往前跑。鄧布利多維護了斯內普那么長時間,他絕不會把學生扣作人質……

        他腳步打滑地拐過最后一個彎,頓時既放心又惱火地喊了起來。他看見他們了,羅恩和赫敏,兩人懷里都抱著又大又彎、黃乎乎、臟兮兮的東西,羅恩胳膊底下還夾著一把掃帚。

        “你們倆到底上哪兒去了?”哈利喊道。

        “密室。”羅恩說。

        “密——什么?”哈利說著,在他們面前搖搖晃晃地剎住腳步。

        “It was Ron, all Ron’s idea!” said Hermione breathlessly. “Wasn’t it absolutely brilliant? There we were, after you left, and I said to Ron, even if we find the other one, how are we going to get rid of it? We still hadn’t got rid of the cup! And then he thought of it! The basilisk!”

        “What the — ?”

        “Something to get rid of Horcruxes,” said Ron simply.

        Harry’s eyes dropped to the objects clutched in Ron and Hermione’s arms: great curved fangs, torn, he now realized, from the skull of a dead basilisk.

        “But how did you get in there?” he asked, staring from the fangs to Ron. “You need to speak Parseltongue!”

        “He did!” whispered Hermione. “Show him, Ron!”

        Ron made a horrible strangled hissing noise.

        “It’s what you did to open the locket,” he told Harry apologetically. “I had to have a few goes to get it right, but,” he shrugged modestly, “we got there in the end.”

        “He was amazing.” said Hermione. “Amazing!”

        “So . . .” Harry was struggling to keep up. “So . . .”

        “So we’re another Horcrux down,” said Ron, and from under his jacket he pulled the mangled remains of Hufflepuff’s cup. “Hermione stabbed it. Thought she should. She hasn’t had the pleasure yet.”

        “Genius!” yelled Harry.

        “It was nothing,” said Ron, though he looked delighted with himself. “So what’s new with you?”

        “是羅恩,這都是羅恩的主意!”赫敏激動得氣喘吁吁,“真是絕妙,不是嗎?你走了以后,我就對羅恩說,即使找到了另一個魂器,又怎么毀掉它呢?那個金杯還沒能毀掉呢!于是他就想起來了!蛇怪!”

        “什么——?”

        “除掉魂器的東西。”羅恩簡單地說。

        哈利的目光落在羅恩和赫敏懷里抱的那些東西上,才發現是從一個死去的蛇怪身上掰下來的彎曲的巨牙。

        “你們怎么進去的呢?”哈利把目光從蛇怪挪到羅恩身上,問道,“需要說蛇佬腔呀!”

        “他說了!”赫敏小聲說,“說給他聽聽,羅恩!”

        羅恩發出一種難聽的、窒息般的嘶嘶聲。

        “你打開掛墜盒時就這么說的,”他帶點歉意地對哈利說,“我試了幾次才說對,不過,”他謙虛地聳了聳肩,“我們總算進去了。”

        “他真神!”赫敏說,“太神了!”

        “所以……”哈利努力跟上他們的思路,“所以……”

        “所以我們又干掉了一個魂器,”羅恩說著,從外衣里掏出赫奇帕奇金杯的殘片,“是赫敏刺的,覺得應該由她來,她還沒享受過這份樂趣呢。”

        “你太有才了!”哈利喊道。

        “沒什么,”羅恩說,不過看上去對自己還是挺滿意的,“你怎么樣?”

        As he said it, there was an explosion from overhead: All three of them looked up as dust fell from the ceiling and they heard a distant scream.

        “I know what the diadem looks like, and I know where it is,” said Harry, talking fast. “He hid it exactly where I hid my old Potions book, where everyone’s been hiding stuff for centuries. He thought he was the only one to find it. Come on.”

        As the walls trembled again, he led the other two back through the concealed entrance and down the staircase into the Room of Requirement. It was empty except for three women: Ginny, Tonks, and an elderly witch wearing a moth-eaten hat, whom Harry recognized immediately as Neville’s grandmother.

        “Ah, Potter,” she said crisply as if she had been waiting for him. “You can tell us what’s going on.”

        “Is everyone okay?” said Ginny and Tonks together.

        “ ’S far as we know,” said Harry. “Are there still people in the passage to the Hog’s Head?”

        He knew that the room would not be able to transform while there were still users inside it.

        “I was the last to come through,” said Mrs. Longbottom. “I sealed it, I think it unwise to leave it open now Aberforth has left his pub. Have you seen my grandson?”

        “He’s fighting,” said Harry.

        “Naturally,” said the old lady proudly. “Excuse me, I must go and assist him.”

        With surprising speed she trotted off toward the stone steps.

        Harry looked at Tonks.

        他話音未落,他們的頭頂上突然響起爆炸聲。三人抬頭看去,灰塵從天花板上紛紛撒落,接著遠處傳來一聲喊叫。

        “我知道冠冕是什么樣子了,也知道它在哪兒。”哈利快速地說,“他把它藏在了我藏那本舊魔藥課本的地方,好多世紀的人都把東西藏在那兒。他以為只有他一個人才能找到。走吧。”

        墻壁又在顫抖,哈利領著兩個同伴穿過隱蔽的入口,下樓來到有求必應屋。里面空蕩蕩的,只有三個女人:金妮、唐克斯和一位頭戴一頂蟲蛀的帽子的老女巫,哈利一眼認出是納威的奶奶。

        “啊,波特,”她脆嘣嘣地說,似乎一直在等著他,“你可以跟我們說說情況了。”

        “大家都好嗎?”金妮和唐克斯同時問道。

        “據我們所知還行,”哈利說,“通往豬頭酒吧的通道里還有人嗎?”

        哈利知道,如果還有人在有求必應屋里面,它就不能變形。

        “我是最后一個過來的,”隆巴頓夫人說,“我把它封上了。我想,現在阿不福思已經離開酒吧,再讓通道敞著就不妥當了。你看見我孫子了嗎?”

        “他在戰斗呢。”哈利說。

        “那是當然,”老太太自豪地說,“請原諒,我得去幫他。”說著,她以驚人的速度奔向了石階。

        哈利看著唐克斯。

        圖片來源:高品圖像

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