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        “I thought you were supposed to be with Teddy at your mother’s?”

        “I couldn’t stand not knowing —” Tonks looked anguished. “She’ll look after him — have you seen Remus?”

        “He was planning to lead a group of fighters into the grounds —”

        Without another word, Tonks sped off.

        “Ginny,” said Harry, “I’m sorry, but we need you to leave too. Just for a bit. Then you can come back in.”

        Ginny looked simply delighted to leave her sanctuary.

        “And then you can come back in!” he shouted after her as she ran up the steps after Tonks. “You’ve got to come back in!”

        “Hang on a moment!” said Ron sharply. “We’ve forgotten someone!”

        “Who?” asked Hermione.

        “The house-elves, they’ll all be down in the kitchen, won’t they?”

        “You mean we ought to get them fighting?” asked Harry.

        “No,” said Ron seriously, “I mean we should tell them to get out. We don’t want any more Dobbies, do we? We can’t order them to die for us —”

        “你不是在你母親家里陪著小泰迪嗎?”

        “我受不了蒙在鼓里的滋味——”唐克斯顯得很痛苦,“我母親會照顧他的——你看見萊姆斯了嗎?”

        “他要領一支隊伍去操場作戰——”

        唐克斯二話沒說就跑了。

        “金妮。”哈利說,“對不起,我們需要你也離開一下。就一會兒,然后你可以再進來。”

        金妮似乎正巴不得離開她的庇護所呢。

        “然后你可以再進來!”哈利看見金妮跟著唐克斯跑上石階,忙沖著她的背影喊道,“你一定要再進來!”

        “等等!”羅恩突然說道,“我們把誰給忘記了!”

        “誰?”赫敏問。

        “家養小精靈,他們都在下面的廚房里,不是嗎?”

        “你是說應該讓他們參加戰斗?”哈利問。

        “不,”羅恩嚴肅地說,“我是說應該叫他們趕緊逃走。我們不想再出現更多的多比,對嗎?不能要求他們為我們去死——”

        There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.

        “Is this the moment?” Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. “OI! There’s a war going on here!”

        Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other.

        “I know, mate,” said Ron, who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a Bludger, “so it’s now or never, isn’t it?”

        “Never mind that, what about the Horcrux?” Harry shouted. “D’you think you could just — just hold it in until we’ve got the diadem?”

        “Yeah — right — sorry —” said Ron, and he and Hermione set about gathering up fangs, both pink in the face.

        It was clear, as the three of them stepped back into the corridor upstairs, that in the minutes that they had spent in the Room of Requirement the situation within the castle had deteriorated severely: The walls and ceiling were shaking worse than ever; dust filled the air, and through the nearest window, Harry saw bursts of green and red light so close to the foot of the castle that he knew the Death Eaters must be very near to entering the place. Looking down, Harry saw Grawp the giant meandering past, swinging what looked like a stone gargoyle torn from the roof and roaring his displeasure.

        嘩啪啪,赫敏懷里的蛇怪牙齒紛紛落在地上。她奔向羅恩,一把摟緊他的脖子,吻在他的嘴唇。羅恩丟掉手里的蛇牙和掃帚,以火熱的激情做出回應,把赫敏抱得雙腳離地。

        “這時間合適嗎?”哈利底氣不足地說,羅恩和赫敏卻摟得更緊了,在那里相擁著微微搖晃,哈利提高了聲音,“喂!這里正打仗呢!”

        羅恩和赫敏猛地松開,但胳膊還摟著對方。

        “我知道,伙計,”羅恩說道,他的模樣就像被一個游走球砸中了后腦勺,“機不可失,時不再來嘛,對吧?”

        “這事先放一放吧,魂器怎么辦?”哈利大聲說,“你們能不能——能不能先忍一忍,等我們找到冠冕再說?”

        “噢——好的——對不起——”羅恩說,然后趕緊和赫敏撿起蛇怪的牙齒,兩個人的臉都紅紅的。

        三個人回到樓上的走廊里,才發現就在剛才進入有求必應屋的幾分鐘內,城堡里的局勢嚴重惡化:墻壁和天花板抖得更厲害了,空氣里灰塵彌漫。哈利透過近旁的窗戶看見一道道綠光和紅光在城堡腳下很近的地方飛射,他知道食死徒肯定很快就要沖進來了。哈利往下望去,巨人格洛普漫無目的地走過,一邊甩著一個像是從房頂上拽下來的石獸,一邊不高興地吼叫著。

        “Let’s hope he steps on some of them!” said Ron as more screams echoed from close by.

        “As long as it’s not any of our lot!” said a voice: Harry turned and saw Ginny and Tonks, both with their wands drawn at the next window, which was missing several panes. Even as he watched, Ginny sent a well-aimed jinx into a crowd of fighters below.

        “Good girl!” roared a figure running through the dust toward them, and Harry saw Aberforth again, his gray hair flying as he led a small group of students past. “They look like they might be breaching the north battlements, they’ve brought giants of their own!”

        “Have you seen Remus?” Tonks called after him.

        “He was dueling Dolohov,” shouted Aberforth, “haven’t seen him since!

        “Tonks,” said Ginny, “Tonks, I’m sure he’s okay —”

        But Tonks had run off into the dust after Aberforth.

        Ginny turned, helpless, to Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

        “They’ll be all right,” said Harry, though he knew they were empty words. “Ginny, we’ll be back in a moment, just keep out of the way, keep safe — come on!” he said to Ron and Hermione, and they ran back to the stretch of wall beyond which the Room of Requirement was waiting to do the bidding of the next entrant.

        “但愿他能踩倒幾個人!”羅恩說,旁邊又傳來幾聲慘叫。

        “只要不是我們自己人就行!”一個聲音說,哈利一扭頭,看見金妮和唐克斯都已拔出魔杖,站在旁邊缺了幾塊玻璃的窗戶前。就在他注視她們的當兒,金妮朝下面一群搏斗的人中發了個惡咒,打得很準。

        “好姑娘!”塵土中一個身影朝他們跑過來吼道,哈利又看見了阿不福思,他灰色的頭發四下飄舞,領著一小群學生匆匆而過,“看樣子他們要攻破北面的墻垛,他們也帶了巨人!”

        “你看見萊姆斯了嗎?”唐克斯沖著他的背影大聲問。

        “剛才他在和多洛霍夫決斗,”阿不福思喊道,“后來就沒看見他了!”

        “唐克斯,”金妮說,“唐克斯,我相信他沒事的——”

        可是唐克斯已經在飛揚的塵土中跑去追趕阿不福思了。

        金妮無奈地轉過身,看著哈利、羅恩和赫敏。

        “他們不會有事的,”哈利說,但也知道這句話空洞無力,“金妮,我們過一會兒就回來,你要遠離危險,注意安全——走吧!”他對羅恩、赫敏說,三個人跑回那面墻,墻后面就是有求必應屋,正等著執行進入者的吩咐。

        I need the place where everything is hidden, Harry begged of it inside his head, and the door materialized on their third run past.

        The furor of the battle died the moment they crossed the threshold and closed the door behind them: All was silent. They were in a place the size of a cathedral with the appearance of a city, its towering walls built of objects hidden by thousands of long-gone students.

        “And he never realized anyone could get in?” said Ron, his voice echoing in the silence.

        “He thought he was the only one,” said Harry. “Too bad for him I’ve had to hide stuff in my time . . . this way,” he added, “I think it’s down here. . . .”

        He passed the stuffed troll and the Vanishing Cabinet Draco Malfoy had mended last year with such disastrous consequences, then hesitated, looking up and down aisles of junk; he could not remember where to go next. . . .

        “Accio Diadem!” cried Hermione in desperation, but nothing flew through the air toward them. It seemed that, like the vault at Gringotts, the room would not yield its hidden objects that easily.

        “Let’s split up,” Harry told the other two. “Look for a stone bust of an old man wearing a wig and a tiara! It’s standing on a cupboard and it’s definitely somewhere near here. . . .”

        They sped off up adjacent aisles; Harry could hear the others’ footsteps echoing through the towering piles of junk, of bottles, hats, crates, chairs, books, weapons, broomsticks, bats. . . .

        “Somewhere near here,” Harry muttered to himself. “Somewhere . . . somewhere . . .”

        我需要那個藏東西的地方,哈利在腦海里懇求道,當他們第三次跑過時,門出現了。

        他們剛跨過門檻,把門關上,戰斗的喧鬧聲就聽不見了,四下里一片寂寞。這地方有教堂那么大,周圍的景物看著像一座城市,那些林立的高墻,是由成千上萬個早已不在人世的學生所藏的東西組成的。

        “他從來不知道別人也能進來?”羅恩說,聲音在寂靜中回響。

        “他以為只有他能進來,”哈利說道,“也該他倒霉,我那時碰巧要藏東西……這邊走,”他又說,“我想就在這里……”

        他經過巨怪標本,又經過德拉科·馬爾福去年試圖修理、結果卻很悲慘的那個消失柜,然后他遲疑了,打量著垃圾堆之間的通道,不記得接下來該往哪兒走……

        “冠冕飛來。”赫敏焦急地大喊一聲,可是并沒有東西朝他們飛來。這房間似乎也像古靈閣的地下金庫一樣,不肯輕易把它收藏的東西交出來。

        “我們分頭尋找吧,”哈利對兩個同伴說,“找到一個戴發套和頭冠的老頭兒的半身石像!它放在一個大柜子上,肯定就在這附近的什么地方……”

        他們順著鄰近的幾條通道迅速跑開。哈利聽見兩個同伴的腳步聲在高高聳立的垃圾堆間回響,瓶子、帽子、箱子、椅子、書本、武器、掃帚、球棒……

        “就在這附近的什么地方,”哈利喃喃自語,“就在……就在……”

        Deeper and deeper into the labyrinth he went, looking for objects he recognized from his one previous trip into the room. His breath was loud in his ears, and then his very soul seemed to shiver: There it was, right ahead, the blistered old cupboard in which he had hidden his old Potions book, and on top of it, the pockmarked stone warlock wearing a dusty old wig and what looked like an ancient, discolored tiara.

        He had already stretched out his hand, though he remained ten feet away, when a voice behind him said, “Hold it, Potter.”

        He skidded to a halt and turned around. Crabbe and Goyle were standing behind him, shoulder to shoulder, wands pointing right at Harry. Through the small space between their jeering faces he saw Draco Malfoy.

        “That’s my wand you’re holding, Potter,” said Malfoy, pointing his own through the gap between Crabbe and Goyle.

        “Not anymore,” panted Harry, tightening his grip on the hawthorn wand. “Winners, keepers, Malfoy. Who’s lent you theirs?”

        “My mother,” said Draco.

        Harry laughed, though there was nothing very humorous about the situation. He could not hear Ron or Hermione anymore. They seemed to have run out of earshot, searching for the diadem.

        “So how come you three aren’t with Voldemort?” asked Harry.

        “We’re gonna be rewarded,” said Crabbe: His voice was surprisingly soft for such an enormous person; Harry had hardly ever heard him speak before. Crabbe was smiling like a small child promised a large bag of sweets. “We ’ung back, Potter. We decided not to go. Decided to bring you to ’im.”

        他在迷宮里越走越深,尋找著上次進這個房間看見過的東西,耳邊響著自己粗重的呼吸聲。突然,他的靈魂似乎顫抖起來:有了,就在前面。那個表面起泡的舊柜子,他曾把那本舊魔藥課本藏在了里面,而在柜子的頂上,正是那個布滿麻點的男巫半身像,頭上戴著灰撲撲的舊發套,還有一個古舊褪色的王冠一樣的東西。

        雖然還差十來步,哈利已經把手伸了出去,可是突然他身后有個聲音說道:“站住,波特。”

        哈利腳下打著滑停了下來,轉身一看,克拉布和高爾并肩站在他身后,都用魔杖指著他。在兩張譏諷的面孔之間狹小的空當里,他看見了德拉科·馬爾福。

        “你拿的是我的魔杖,波特。”馬爾福說,他自己手里的魔杖從克拉布和高爾之間的空隙里指著哈利。

        “已經不是了,”哈利喘著氣說,一邊攥緊手里的山楂木魔杖,“誰贏的歸誰,馬爾福。誰把自己的魔杖借給了你?”

        “我母親。”德拉科說。

        哈利笑了起來,其實這情形并沒有什么可笑的。他已經聽不見羅恩和赫敏的聲音,他們大概跑到遠處去尋找冠冕了。

        “你們三個怎么沒跟伏地魔在一起?”哈利問。

        “我們想得到獎賞。”克拉布說,對于這么一個大塊頭來說,他的聲音低得令人吃驚。哈利以前幾乎沒有聽他說過話。克拉布像個將要得到一大袋糖果的小孩一樣天真地笑著。“我們留下來了,波特。我們決定不走了,決定把你帶去見他。”

        “Good plan,” said Harry in mock admiration. He could not believe that he was this close, and was going to be thwarted by Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle. He began edging slowly backward toward the place where the Horcrux sat lopsided upon the bust. If he could just get his hands on it before the fight broke out . . .

        “So how did you get in here?” he asked, trying to distract them.

        “I virtually lived in the Room of Hidden Things all last year,” said Malfoy, his voice brittle. “I know how to get in.”

        “We was hiding in the corridor outside,” grunted Goyle. “We can do Diss-lusion Charms now! And then,” his face split into a gormless grin, “you turned up right in front of us and said you was looking for a die-dum! What’s a die-dum?”

        “Harry?” Ron’s voice echoed suddenly from the other side of the wall to Harry’s right. “Are you talking to someone?”

        With a whiplike movement, Crabbe pointed his wand at the fifty-foot mountain of old furniture, of broken trunks, of old books and robes and unidentifiable junk, and shouted, “Descendo!”

        The wall began to totter, then the top third crumbled into the aisle next door where Ron stood.

        “Ron!” Harry bellowed, as somewhere out of sight Hermione screamed, and Harry heard innumerable objects crashing to the floor on the other side of the destabilized wall: He pointed his wand at the rampart, cried, “Finite!” and it steadied.

        “想得真妙。”哈利假裝夸獎他。他簡直不敢相信馬爾福、克拉布和高爾將要使他功虧一簣。他開始慢慢地、一點一點地向后挪動,魂器就在那里,歪戴在半身像的腦袋上。只要開戰前他能用手把它抓住……

        “你們是怎么進來的?”他問,想轉移他們的注意力。

        “去年一年我幾乎都住在藏寶屋里,”馬爾福用尖利的聲音說,“我知道怎么進來。”

        “我們剛才就躲在外面的走廊里,”高爾嘟嘟囔囔地說,“我們現在會施幻身咒啦!結果,”他綻開一個傻乎乎的笑容,“你突然在我們面前冒了出來,說要找一個冠帽!什么是冠帽?”

        “哈利?”羅恩的聲音突然從哈利右側墻的另一邊傳了過來,“你在跟人說話嗎?”

        說時遲那時快,克拉布突然用魔杖一指那堆五十英尺高的垃圾堆——都是破舊的家具、箱子、課本、校袍,以及無法辨認的其他雜物,大喊一聲:“應聲落地!”

        垃圾墻開始搖晃,然后倒塌在羅恩所在的隔壁通道里。

        “羅恩!”哈利喊道,赫敏在看不見的地方發出尖叫,搖擺不定的垃圾墻的另一邊有數不清的東西稀里嘩啦地落到地上。哈利用魔杖指著墻大叫道:“咒立停!”垃圾墻不再搖晃了。

        “No!” shouted Malfoy, staying Crabbe’s arm as the latter made to repeat his spell. “If you wreck the room you might bury this diadem thing!”

        “What’s that matter?” said Crabbe, tugging himself free. “It’s Potter the Dark Lord wants, who cares about a die-dum?”

        “Potter came in here to get it,” said Malfoy with ill-disguised impatience at the slow-wittedness of his colleagues, “so that must mean —”

        “ ‘Must mean’?” Crabbe turned on Malfoy with undisguised ferocity. “Who cares what you think? I don’t take your orders no more, Draco. You an’ your dad are finished.”

        “Harry?” shouted Ron again, from the other side of the junk wall. “What’s going on?”

        “Harry?” mimicked Crabbe. “What’s going — no, Potter! Crucio!”

        Harry had lunged for the tiara; Crabbe’s curse missed him but hit the stone bust, which flew into the air; the diadem soared upward and then dropped out of sight in the mass of objects on which the bust had rested.

        “STOP!” Malfoy shouted at Crabbe, his voice echoing through the enormous room. “The Dark Lord wants him alive —”

        “So? I’m not killing him, am I?” yelled Crabbe, throwing off Malfoy’s restraining arm. “But if I can, I will, the Dark Lord wants him dead anyway, what’s the diff — ?”

        A jet of scarlet light shot past Harry by inches: Hermione had run around the corner behind him and sent a Stunning Spell straight at Crabbe’s head. It only missed because Malfoy pulled him out of the way.

        “It’s that Mudblood! Avada Kedavra!”

        “別!”克拉布還想再念一遍那個咒語,馬爾福大喊一聲拽住了他的胳膊,“如果你把這屋子毀了,那個什么冠冕就會被埋掉!”

        “那有什么關系?”克拉布說著,使勁掙脫了馬爾福,“黑魔王要的只是波特,誰在乎一個破帽子?”

        “波特到這兒來是為了找它,”馬爾福勉強掩飾著對頭腦遲鈍的同伙的不耐煩,說道,“那肯定意味著——”

        “‘肯定意味著’?”克拉布帶著不加掩飾的兇狠轉向馬爾福,“誰管你是怎么想的,我再也不聽你發號施令了,德拉科。你和你爹都完蛋了。”

        “哈利?”羅恩又在垃圾墻的另一邊喊道,“怎么回事?”

        “哈利?”克拉布學著他的腔調說,“怎么回事?不,波特!鉆心剜骨!”

        哈利已經沖過去拿那頭冠,克拉布的咒語沒有擊中他,卻擊中了石像。石像立刻飛到空中,冠冕被拋了起來,然后隨著石像落在一大堆雜物里,看不見了。

        “住手!”馬爾福沖克拉布大喊,聲音在巨大的房間里回響,“黑魔王想要抓活的——”

        “那又怎么樣?我又沒有要他的命!”克拉布嚷道,使勁掙脫馬爾福拉著他的胳膊,“要是能把他干掉也好,反正黑魔王是要他死,有什么兩樣——?”

        一道耀眼的紅光從哈利身旁幾寸的地方射過——是赫敏在他身后的拐彎處跑來,沖著克拉布的腦袋發了個昏迷咒。馬爾福趕緊把克拉布拉到一邊,咒語沒有擊中。

        “是那個泥巴種!阿瓦達索命!”

        Harry saw Hermione dive aside, and his fury that Crabbe had aimed to kill wiped all else from his mind. He shot a Stunning Spell at Crabbe, who lurched out of the way, knocking Malfoy’s wand out of his hand; it rolled out of sight beneath a mountain of broken furniture and boxes.

        “Don’t kill him! DON’T KILL HIM!” Malfoy yelled at Crabbe and Goyle, who were both aiming at Harry: Their split second’s hesitation was all Harry needed.

        “Expelliarmus!”

        Goyle’s wand flew out of his hand and disappeared into the bulwark of objects beside him; Goyle leapt foolishly on the spot, trying to retrieve it; Malfoy jumped out of range of Hermione’s second Stunning Spell, and Ron, appearing suddenly at the end of the aisle, shot a full Body-Bind Curse at Crabbe, which narrowly missed.

        Crabbe wheeled around and screamed, “Avada Kedavra!” again. Ron leapt out of sight to avoid the jet of green light. The wandless Malfoy cowered behind a three-legged wardrobe as Hermione charged toward them, hitting Goyle with a Stunning Spell as she came.

        “It’s somewhere here!” Harry yelled at her, pointing at the pile of junk into which the old tiara had fallen. “Look for it while I go and help R —”

        “HARRY!” she screamed.

        A roaring, billowing noise behind him gave him a moment’s warning. He turned and saw both Ron and Crabbe running as hard as they could up the aisle toward them.

        “Like it hot, scum?” roared Crabbe as he ran.

        But he seemed to have no control over what he had done. Flames of abnormal size were pursuing them, licking up the sides of the junk bulwarks, which were crumbling to soot at their touch.

        “Aguamenti !” Harry bawled, but the jet of water that soared from the tip of his wand evaporated in the air.

        “RUN!”

        哈利看見赫敏倒地躲閃。克拉布竟然起了殺心,哈利的怒火騰地冒起來,腦子里忘記了一切。他朝克拉布發了個昏迷咒,克拉布趕緊閃身躲避,把馬爾福手里的魔杖撞掉了。魔杖滾到堆積如山的舊家具和破箱子下面不見了。

        “別殺死他!別殺死他!”馬爾福朝同時瞄準哈利的克拉布和高爾嚷道,他倆略一遲疑,這對哈利來說已經夠了。

        “除你武器!”

        高爾的魔杖從手里飛了出去,消失在他身旁的雜物堆里,高爾傻乎乎地原地跳了跳,想把魔杖搶回來。馬爾福躥起來躲過赫敏的第二個昏迷咒,羅恩突然出現在通道盡頭,對準克拉布發了個全身束縛咒,但偏了一點沒有擊中。

        克拉布迅速轉身,又叫了一聲:“阿瓦達索命!”羅恩縱身一跳,躲過了那道綠光。赫敏沖上前,邊跑邊用昏迷咒擊中了高爾,沒有魔杖的馬爾福縮在一個三條腿的大衣柜后面。

        “它就在這里!”哈利指著舊頭冠落入的那堆垃圾對赫敏喊道,“把它找出來,我去幫羅——”

        “哈利!”赫敏大叫一聲。

        哈利身后突然傳來滾動、奔涌的聲音,剎那間他有了一種不祥的預感。他轉身看見羅恩和克拉布順著通道沒命地奔了過來。

        “喜歡燙的吧,廢物?”克拉布邊跑邊吼。

        但是克拉布似乎無法控制他所做的事情。熊熊的烈焰追著他們,吞噬著垃圾墻的邊緣,火舌所到之處都變成了灰燼。

        “清水如泉!”哈利大叫,但是杖尖噴出的水柱立刻在空氣中蒸發了。

        “快跑!”

        Malfoy grabbed the Stunned Goyle and dragged him along; Crabbe outstripped all of them, now looking terrified; Harry, Ron, and Hermione pelted along in his wake, and the fire pursued them. It was not normal fire; Crabbe had used a curse of which Harry had no knowledge: As they turned a corner the flames chased them as though they were alive, sentient, intent upon killing them. Now the fire was mutating, forming a gigantic pack of fiery beasts: Flaming serpents, chimaeras, and dragons rose and fell and rose again, and the detritus of centuries on which they were feeding was thrown up in the air into their fanged mouths, tossed high on clawed feet, before being consumed by the inferno.

        Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle had vanished from view: Harry, Ron, and Hermione stopped dead; the fiery monsters were circling them, drawing closer and closer, claws and horns and tails lashed, and the heat was solid as a wall around them.

        “What can we do?” Hermione screamed over the deafening roars of the fire. “What can we do?”

        “Here!”

        Harry seized a pair of heavy-looking broomsticks from the nearest pile of junk and threw one to Ron, who pulled Hermione onto it behind him. Harry swung his leg over the second broom and, with hard kicks to the ground, they soared up into the air, missing by feet the horned beak of a flaming raptor that snapped its jaws at them. The smoke and heat were becoming overwhelming: Below them the cursed fire was consuming the contraband of generations of hunted students, the guilty outcomes of a thousand banned experiments, the secrets of the countless souls who had sought refuge in the room. Harry could not see a trace of Malfoy, Crabbe, or Goyle anywhere: He swooped as low as he dared over the marauding monsters of flame to try to find them, but there was nothing but fire: What a terrible way to die. . . . He had never wanted this. . . .

        馬爾福一把抓住被擊昏的高爾,拖著他一起逃去,神色驚慌的克拉布跑在最前面。哈利、羅恩和赫敏跟著他飛奔,大火追在他們身后。這不是一般的火,克拉布施了一個哈利不知道的魔咒。他們拐了個彎,火立刻追了上來,就好像這些火焰是有生命有感覺的,決意要把他們燒死。這時候,火焰開始變形,變成一大群由火組成的野獸:火蛇、客邁拉和火龍,它們騰起來,落下去,又騰起來,多少個世紀積累的破爛垃圾被拋在空中,掉進它們長著獠牙的嘴里,落在它們長著利爪的腳上,最后被地獄般的烈火吞沒了。

        馬爾福、克拉布和高爾不見了,哈利、羅恩和赫敏突然停下腳步。那些火獸所他們圍在中間,越逼越近,爪子、觸角和尾巴在啪啪甩動,熱浪像墻壁一樣圍住他們。

        “怎么辦?”赫敏在火焰震耳欲聾的怒吼中尖叫著問,“怎么辦哪?”

        “給!”

        哈利從最近的垃圾堆上抓過兩把看著很沉重的掃帚,扔了一把給羅恩。羅恩拉過赫敏坐在他的身后,哈利騎上第二把掃帚,用腳使勁踢了幾下地面,飛到空中,離一只張嘴要咬他們的噴火巨鳥的利喙只差幾英尺。濃煙和熱浪令人窒息,在他們下面,邪惡的大火吞噬著多少代被追查的學生的非法物品,吞噬著千百個違禁試驗的罪惡成果,吞噬著數不清的人藏在這個房間里的秘密。哈利四處都看不見馬爾福、克拉布和高爾的影子。他在那些貪婪兇惡的火獸的上方盡量飛得很低,尋找他們,但是除了火看不見別的。這樣的死法太慘了……他絕不希望……

        “Harry, let’s get out, let’s get out!” bellowed Ron, though it was impossible to see where the door was through the black smoke.

        And then Harry heard a thin, piteous human scream from amidst the terrible commotion, the thunder of devouring flame.

        “It’s — too — dangerous — !” Ron yelled, but Harry wheeled in the air. His glasses giving his eyes some small protection from the smoke, he raked the firestorm below, seeking a sign of life, a limb or a face that was not yet charred like wood. . . .

        And he saw them: Malfoy with his arms around the unconscious Goyle, the pair of them perched on a fragile tower of charred desks, and Harry dived. Malfoy saw him coming and raised one arm, but even as Harry grasped it he knew at once that it was no good: Goyle was too heavy and Malfoy’s hand, covered in sweat, slid instantly out of Harry’s —

        “IF WE DIE FOR THEM, I’LL KILL YOU, HARRY!” roared Ron’s voice, and, as a great flaming chimaera bore down upon them, he and Hermione dragged Goyle onto their broom and rose, rolling and pitching, into the air once more as Malfoy clambered up behind Harry.

        “The door, get to the door, the door!” screamed Malfoy in Harry’s ear, and Harry sped up, following Ron, Hermione, and Goyle through the billowing black smoke, hardly able to breathe: and all around them the last few objects unburned by the devouring flames were flung into the air, as the creatures of the cursed fire cast them high in celebration: cups and shields, a sparkling necklace, and an old, discolored tiara —

        “What are you doing, what are you doing, the door’s that way!” screamed Malfoy, but Harry made a hairpin swerve and dived. The diadem seemed to fall in slow motion, turning and glittering as it dropped toward the maw of a yawning serpent, and then he had it, caught it around his wrist —

        Harry swerved again as the serpent lunged at him; he soared upward and straight toward the place where, he prayed, the door stood open: Ron, Hermione, and Goyle had vanished; Malfoy was screaming and holding Harry so tightly it hurt. Then, through the smoke, Harry saw a rectangular patch on the wall and steered the broom at it, and moments later clean air filled his lungs and they collided with the wall in the corridor beyond.

        Malfoy fell off the broom and lay facedown, gasping, coughing, and retching. Harry rolled over and sat up: The door to the Room of Requirement had vanished, and Ron and Hermione sat panting on the floor beside Goyle, who was still unconscious.

        “C-Crabbe,” choked Malfoy as soon as he could speak. “CCrabbe . . .”

        “He’s dead,” said Ron harshly.

        “哈利,我們出去吧,我們出去吧!”羅恩吼道,但是在黑黑的濃煙中根本看不見門在哪里。

        就在這時,在可怕的混亂中,在吞噬一切的火焰的轟鳴中,哈利聽見了一個人微弱的慘叫聲。

        “太——太——危險了——!”羅恩嚷道,可是哈利還在空中盤旋。濃煙彌漫中,他的眼鏡多少對眼睛起了些保護作用。他掠過下面熊熊的火陣,尋找生命的跡象,尋找沒被燒成焦炭的一只胳膊、一張臉……

        他看見了,馬爾福摟著不省人事的高爾,在燒焦的桌子堆成的搖搖欲墜的高塔上。哈利俯沖下去。馬爾福看見他過來,趕緊舉起一只胳膊,但哈利剛一抓住就知道沒有用:高爾太重,馬爾福的手上都是汗,立刻就從哈利手中滑脫了——

        “如果我們被他們拖死,我就殺了你,哈利!”羅恩的聲音吼道。就在一個巨大的噴火客邁拉撲過來時,他和赫敏把高爾拖到了他們的掃帚上,然后打著轉兒、起伏不定地再次飛到空中,與此同時,馬爾福爬到了哈利身后。

        “門,往門那兒飛,門!”馬爾福在哈利的耳邊叫道。哈利加快速度,跟著羅恩、赫敏和高爾穿過令人窒息的滾滾黑煙。在他們周圍,最后幾件沒被烈焰燒毀的東西,被邪惡的火中怪獸們歡慶地拋向了空中:杯子、盾牌、一串閃亮的項鏈,還有一個古舊而褪色的王冠——

        “你干什么,你干什么?門在那邊!”馬爾福尖叫。但是哈利突然一個急轉彎,俯沖下去。閃閃發光的冠冕似乎在以慢動作降落,翻轉著,慢慢地落向一條正張著大口的巨蛇嘴里。在這千鈞一發之際,哈利得手了,用手腕套住了它——

        巨蛇朝他撲來,哈利又一轉身飛向空中,朝著他祈禱有門開著的地方飛去。羅恩、赫敏和高爾不見了,馬爾福一邊尖叫著,一邊緊緊抓住哈利,把哈利抓得生疼。接著,哈利在濃煙中看見墻上有一塊長方形的東西,便調整掃帚對準它沖去。片刻之后,新鮮的空氣灌進了他的肺里,他們撞在了外面走廊的墻上。

        馬爾福從掃帚上摔了下去,臉朝下趴在地上,喘氣、咳嗽,連連干嘔。哈利翻了個身坐起來。有求必應屋的門消失了,羅恩和赫敏坐在地板上高爾的身邊喘著粗氣,高爾仍然神志不清。

        “克——克拉布,”馬爾福剛能說話,就哽噎著說,“克——克拉布……”

        “他死了。”羅恩毫不客氣地說。

        There was silence, apart from panting and coughing. Then a number of huge bangs shook the castle, and a great cavalcade of transparent figures galloped past on horses, their heads screaming with bloodlust under their arms. Harry staggered to his feet when the Headless Hunt had passed and looked around: The battle was still going on all around him. He could hear more screams than those of the retreating ghosts. Panic flared within him.

        “Where’s Ginny?” he said sharply. “She was here. She was supposed to be going back into the Room of Requirement.”

        “Blimey, d’you reckon it’ll still work after that fire?” asked Ron, but he too got to his feet, rubbing his chest and looking left and right. “Shall we split up and look — ?”

        “No,” said Hermione, getting to her feet too. Malfoy and Goyle remained slumped hopelessly on the corridor floor; neither of them had wands. “Let’s stick together. I say we go — Harry, what’s that on your arm?”

        “What? Oh yeah —”

        He pulled the diadem from his wrist and held it up. It was still hot, blackened with soot, but as he looked at it closely he was just able to make out the tiny words etched upon it: Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.

        A bloodlike substance, dark and tarry, seemed to be leaking from the diadem. Suddenly Harry felt the thing vibrate violently, then break apart in his hands, and as it did so, he thought he heard the faintest, most distant scream of pain, echoing not from the grounds or the castle, but from the thing that had just fragmented in his fingers.

        “It must have been Fiendfyre!” whimpered Hermione, her eyes on the broken pieces.

        “Sorry?”

        沉默,只聽見喘氣和咳嗽聲。接著一連串砰砰的巨響,震得整個城堡都在顫抖,一支由透明的人影組成的浩浩蕩蕩的隊伍,騎著馬飛奔而過,他們的腦袋夾在胳膊底下,還在殺氣騰騰地吶喊著。無頭獵手隊經過后,哈利搖搖晃晃地站起來,打量著四周:戰斗還在進行。除了剛才那些撤退的幽靈,他還聽到更多的人在喊叫。他的內心恐慌極了。

        “金妮在哪兒?”他突然說道,“她剛才還在這兒,她應該回到有求必應屋的。”

        “天哪,在那場大火之后,你以為那屋子還管用嗎?”羅恩問,但他也站了起來,一邊揉著胸口一邊左右張望,“我們分頭找找——?”

        “不,”赫敏說著也站起身。馬爾福和高爾還是無力地癱在走廊的地板上,兩人都沒了魔杖。“我們不要分開。我們走吧——哈利,你胳膊上是什么?”

        “什么?噢,對了——”

        他把冠冕從手腕上褪下來舉在手里。冠冕還是滾燙的,上面沾滿了黑色的煙灰,但他仔細看時,勉強辨認出了上面刻著的細小的文字:過人的聰明才智是人類最大的財寶。

        一種血一般的、烏黑黏稠的東西,似乎正從冠冕里滲透出來。突然,哈利感到冠冕在劇烈地振動,然后在他手里裂成了碎片。它裂開時,哈利隱約聽見了極其微弱、極其遙遠的痛苦的慘叫,不是從城堡或操場傳來,而是從他手指間那個剛剛碎裂的東西里發出來的。

        “肯定是厲火!”赫敏眼睛盯著那些碎片,帶著哭腔說。

        “你說什么?”

        “Fiendfyre — cursed fire — it’s one of the substances that destroy Horcruxes, but I would never, ever have dared use it, it’s so dangerous — how did Crabbe know how to — ?”

        “Must’ve learned from the Carrows,” said Harry grimly.

        “Shame he wasn’t concentrating when they mentioned how to stop it, really,” said Ron, whose hair, like Hermione’s, was singed, and whose face was blackened. “If he hadn’t tried to kill us all, I’d be quite sorry he was dead.”

        “But don’t you realize?” whispered Hermione. “This means, if we can just get the snake —”

        But she broke off as yells and shouts and the unmistakable noises of dueling filled the corridor. Harry looked around and his heart seemed to fail: Death Eaters had penetrated Hogwarts. Fred and Percy had just backed into view, both of them dueling masked and hooded men.

        Harry, Ron, and Hermione ran forward to help: Jets of light flew in every direction and the man dueling Percy backed off, fast: Then his hood slipped and they saw a high forehead and streaked hair —

        “Hello, Minister!” bellowed Percy, sending a neat jinx straight at Thicknesse, who dropped his wand and clawed at the front of his robes, apparently in awful discomfort. “Did I mention I’m resigning?”

        “You’re joking, Perce!” shouted Fred as the Death Eater he was battling collapsed under the weight of three separate Stunning Spells. Thicknesse had fallen to the ground with tiny spikes erupting all over him; he seemed to be turning into some form of sea urchin. Fred looked at Percy with glee.

        “You actually are joking, Perce. . . . I don’t think I’ve heard you joke since you were —”

        “厲火——邪惡的火——可以毀滅魂器的物質之一,但我一輩子也沒膽量使用它,太危險了。克拉布怎么知道——?”

        “肯定是從卡羅兄妹那里學來的。”哈利神色嚴峻地說。

        “真可惜,他沒有專心聽他們講怎么把火熄滅。”羅恩說,他的頭發跟赫敏的一樣被烤焦了,臉上黑乎乎的,“要不是他一心想殺死我們,我也會為他的死感到難過呢。”

        “可是你有沒有想到——”赫敏小聲說,“這就是說,如果我們能把那條蛇——”

        她的話沒說完,因為尖叫聲、吶喊聲,還有分明的格斗聲響徹了整個走廊。哈利環顧四周,心里不禁一沉:食死徒已經攻進了霍格沃茨。弗雷德和珀西后退著出現了,兩人都在跟戴兜帽的蒙面大漢決斗。

        哈利、羅恩和赫敏跑上前去相助,一道道強光射向四面八方,跟珀西格斗的那個人快速后退,他的兜帽滑落了,他們看見他高高的額頭和雜色的頭發。

        “你好,部長!”珀西大喊一聲,沖著辛克尼斯干脆利落地發了個惡咒。辛克尼斯丟掉魔杖,用手抓住長袍的胸口處,顯然難受極了。“我說過我要辭職的吧?”珀西補充了一句。

        “你在開玩笑,珀西!”弗雷德喊道,跟他搏斗的那個食死徒在三個昏迷咒的重擊下癱倒了。辛克尼斯倒在地上,全身冒出許多小釘子,好像正在變成一種海膽。弗雷德高興地看著珀西。

        “你真是在開玩笑,珀西……我好像很久沒聽你開玩笑了,自從你——”

        The air exploded. They had been grouped together, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, and Percy, the two Death Eaters at their feet, one Stunned, the other Transfigured; and in that fragment of a moment, when danger seemed temporarily at bay, the world was rent apart. Harry felt himself flying through the air, and all he could do was hold as tightly as possible to that thin stick of wood that was his one and only weapon, and shield his head in his arms: He heard the screams and yells of his companions without a hope of knowing what had happened to them —

        And then the world resolved itself into pain and semidarkness: He was half buried in the wreckage of a corridor that had been subjected to a terrible attack. Cold air told him that the side of the castle had been blown away, and hot stickiness on his cheek told him that he was bleeding copiously. Then he heard a terrible cry that pulled at his insides, that expressed agony of a kind neither flame nor curse could cause, and he stood up, swaying, more frightened than he had been that day, more frightened, perhaps, than he had been in his life. . . .

        And Hermione was struggling to her feet in the wreckage, and three redheaded men were grouped on the ground where the wall had blasted apart. Harry grabbed Hermione’s hand as they staggered and stumbled over stone and wood.

        “No — no — no!” someone was shouting. “No! Fred! No!”

        And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.

        空氣突然間爆炸了。他們剛才聚攏在一起,哈利、羅恩、赫敏、弗雷德、珀西,還有他們腳邊的兩個食死徒,一個中了昏迷咒,一個中了變形咒。在危險似乎暫未來臨的一瞬間,世界被撕裂了。哈利覺得自己飛到了空中,他只能死死地抓住那根細細的木棍——他惟一的武器,并用雙臂護住腦袋。他聽見了同伴們的大喊和慘叫,卻無法知道他們到底怎么了——

        然后,世界漸漸化為疼痛和一片模糊。他的半個身子都被廢墟埋住了,走廊剛才遭到了可怕的襲擊。寒冷的空氣告訴他,城堡的一側被炸飛了,面頰上熱乎乎的、黏稠的感覺告訴他,他正在大量流血。接著,他聽見了一聲令他揪心的慘叫,那叫聲里所表達的痛苦,絕不是火焰或咒語能夠引起的。哈利搖搖晃晃地站起身,心頭極度,比他這一天、這一輩子的任何時候都要恐懼……

        赫敏從廢墟掙扎著站起來,三個紅頭發的人聚在墻壁被炸飛的地方。哈利抓住赫敏的手,兩人跌跌撞撞地走過碎石頭和碎木片。

        “不——不——不!”有人在大喊,“不!弗雷德!不!”

        珀西搖晃著他的弟弟,羅恩跪在他們身邊,弗雷德的兩只眼睛空洞地瞪著,臉上還留著最后的一絲笑容。

        圖片來源:高品圖像

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