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She looked around at Dumbledore again, and though her cheeks were flushed, her gaze was steady. “I don’t think many people will be sorry to see the back of him.”

“You understand, I’m sure, that we will not be keeping him permanently?” said Dumbledore. “He will have to return here, at the very least, every summer.”

“Oh, well, that’s better than a whack on the nose with a rusty poker,” said Mrs. Cole with a slight hiccup. She got to her feet, and Harry was impressed to see that she was quite steady, even though two-thirds of the gin was now gone. “I suppose you’d like to see him?”

“Very much,” said Dumbledore, rising too.

She led him out of her office and up the stone stairs, calling out instructions and admonitions to helpers and children as she passed. The orphans, Harry saw, were all wearing the same kind of grayish tunic. They looked reasonably well-cared for, but there was no denying that this was a grim place in which to grow up.

她又看着邓布利多,她虽然面颊酡红,目光却很沉着。

“我想,许多人看见他离开这儿都会拍手称快的。”

“我相信您肯定明白,我们不会一直让他待在学校里,”邓布利多说,“至少每年暑假他还会回到这儿。”

“噢,没问题,那也比被人用生锈的拨火棍抽鼻子强。”科尔夫人轻轻打着酒嗝说道。她站了起来,哈利惊异地发现,尽管瓶里的杜松子酒已经少了三分之二,她的腿脚仍然很稳当。“我猜你一定很想见见他吧?”

“确实很想。”邓布利多说着也站了起来。

科尔夫人领着他出了办公室,走上石头楼梯,一边走一边大声地吩咐和指责她的帮手和孩子们。哈利看到那些孤儿都穿着清一色的灰色束腰袍子。他们看上去都得到了合理的精心照顾,但是毫无疑问,在这个地方长大,气氛是很阴沉压抑的。

“Here we are,” said Mrs. Cole, as they turned off the second landing and stopped outside the first door in a long corridor. She knocked twice and entered.

“Tom? You’ve got a visitor. This is Mr. Dumberton — sorry, Dunderbore. He’s come to tell you — well, I’ll let him do it.”

Harry and the two Dumbledores entered the room, and Mrs. Cole closed the door on them. It was a small bare room with nothing in it except an old wardrobe, a wooden chair, and an iron bedstead. A boy was sitting on top of the gray blankets, his legs stretched out in front of him, holding a book.

“我们到了。”科尔夫人说,他们在三楼的楼梯平台上拐了一个弯,在一条长长走廊的第一个房间门口停住了。她敲了两下门,走了进去。

“汤姆?有人来看你了。这位是邓布顿先生——对不起,是邓德波先生。他来告诉你——唉,还是让他自己跟你说吧。”

哈利和两个邓布利多一起走进房间,科尔夫人在他们身后关上了门。这是一间空荡荡的、没有任何装饰的小屋,只有一个旧衣柜、一把木椅子和一张铁床。一个男孩坐在灰色的毛毯上,两条长长的腿伸在前面,手里拿着一本书在读。

There was no trace of the Gaunts in Tom Riddle’s face. Merope had got her dying wish: He was his handsome father in miniature, tall for eleven years old, dark-haired, and pale. His eyes narrowed slightly as he took in Dumbledore’s eccentric appearance. There was a moment’s silence.

“How do you do, Tom?” said Dumbledore, walking forward and holding out his hand.

The boy hesitated, then took it, and they shook hands. Dumbledore drew up the hard wooden chair beside Riddle, so that the pair of them looked rather like a hospital patient and visitor.

“I am Professor Dumbledore.”

“ ‘Professor’?” repeated Riddle. He looked wary. “Is that like ‘doctor’? What are you here for? Did she get you in to have a look at me?”

He was pointing at the door through which Mrs. Cole had just left.

“No, no,” said Dumbledore, smiling.

汤姆·里德尔的脸上看不到一点儿冈特家族的影子。梅洛普的遗言变成了现实:他简直就是他那位英俊的父亲的缩小版。对十一岁的孩子来说,他的个子算是高的,黑黑的头发、脸色苍白。他微微眯起眼睛,打量着邓布利多怪异的模样和装扮。一时间没有人说话。

“你好,汤姆。”邓布利多说着走上前伸出了手。

男孩迟疑了一下,然后伸出手去握了握。邓布利多把一张硬邦邦的木头椅子拉到里德尔身边,这样一来,他们俩看上去就像是一位住院病人和一位探视者。

“我是邓布利多教授。”

“教授?”里德尔重复了一句,他露出很警觉的神情。“是不是就像医生一样?你来这里做什么?是不是她叫你来给我检查检查的?”

他指着刚才科尔夫人离开的房门。

“不,不是。”邓布利多微笑着说。

“I don’t believe you,” said Riddle. “She wants me looked at, doesn’t she? Tell the truth!”

He spoke the last three words with a ringing force that was almost shocking. It was a command, and it sounded as though he had given it many times before. His eyes had widened and he was glaring at Dumbledore, who made no response except to continue smiling pleasantly. After a few seconds Riddle stopped glaring, though he looked, if anything, warier still.

“Who are you?”

“I have told you. My name is Professor Dumbledore and I work at a school called Hogwarts. I have come to offer you a place at my school — your new school, if you would like to come.”

“我不相信你。”里德尔说,“她想让人来给我看病,是不是?说实话!”

最后三个字他说得凶狠响亮,气势吓人。这是一句命令,看来他以前曾经多次下过这种命令。他突然睁大了眼睛,狠狠地盯着邓布利多,而邓布利多没有回答,只是继续和蔼地微笑着。过了几秒钟,里德尔的目光松弛下来,但他看上去似乎更警觉了。

“你是谁?”

“我已经告诉你了。我是邓布利多教授,我在一所名叫霍格沃茨的学校里工作。我来邀请你到我的学校——你的新学校去念书,如果你愿意的话。”

Riddle’s reaction to this was most surprising. He leapt from the bed and backed away from Dumbledore, looking furious.

“You can’t kid me! The asylum, that’s where you’re from, isn’t it? ‘Professor,’ yes, of course — well, I’m not going, see? That old cat’s the one who should be in the asylum. I never did anything to little Amy Benson or Dennis Bishop, and you can ask them, they’ll tell you!”

“I am not from the asylum,” said Dumbledore patiently. “I am a teacher and, if you will sit down calmly, I shall tell you about Hogwarts. Of course, if you would rather not come to the school, nobody will force you —”

“I’d like to see them try,” sneered Riddle.

听了这话,里德尔的反应大大出人意外。他腾地从床上跳起来,后退着离开了邓布利多,神情极为恼怒。

“你骗不了我!你是从疯人院里来的,是不是?‘教授’,哼,没错——告诉你吧,我不会去的,明白吗?那个该死的老妖婆才应该去疯人院呢。我根本没把小艾米·本森和丹尼斯·毕肖普怎么样,你可以自己去问他们,他们会告诉你的!”

“我不是从疯人院来的,”邓布利多耐心地说,“我是个老师,如果你能心平气和地坐下来,我就跟你说说霍格沃茨的事儿。当然啦,如果你不愿意去那个学校,也没有人会强迫你——”

“我倒想看看谁敢!”里德尔轻蔑地说。

“Hogwarts,” Dumbledore went on, as though he had not heard Riddle’s last words, “is a school for people with special abilities —”

“I’m not mad!”

“I know that you are not mad. Hogwarts is not a school for mad people. It is a school of magic.”

There was silence. Riddle had frozen, his face expressionless, but his eyes were flickering back and forth between each of Dumbledore’s, as though trying to catch one of them lying.

“Magic?” he repeated in a whisper.

“That’s right,” said Dumbledore.

“It’s . . . it’s magic, what I can do?”

“What is it that you can do?”

“霍格沃茨,”邓布利多继续说,似乎没有听见里德尔的最后那句话,“是一所专门为具有特殊才能的人开办的学校——”

“我没有疯!”

“我知道你没有疯。霍格沃茨不是一所疯子的学校,而是一所魔法学校。”

沉默。里德尔呆住了,脸上毫无表情,但他的目光快速地轮番扫视着邓布利多的两只眼睛,似乎想从其中一只看出他在撒谎。

“魔法?”他轻声重复道。

“不错。”邓布利多说。

“我的那些本领,是……是魔法?”

“你有些什么本领呢?”

“All sorts,” breathed Riddle. A flush of excitement was rising up his neck into his hollow cheeks; he looked fevered. “I can make things move without touching them. I can make animals do what I want them to do, without training them. I can make bad things happen to people who annoy me. I can make them hurt if I want to.”

His legs were trembling. He stumbled forward and sat down on the bed again, staring at his hands, his head bowed as though in prayer.

“I knew I was different,” he whispered to his own quivering fingers. “I knew I was special. Always, I knew there was something.”

“Well, you were quite right,” said Dumbledore, who was no longer smiling, but watching Riddle intently. “You are a wizard.”

“各种各样。”里德尔压低声音说,兴奋的红晕从他的脖子向凹陷的双颊迅速蔓延。他显得很亢奋。“我不用手碰就能让东西动起来。我不用训练就能让动物听我的吩咐。谁惹我生气,我就能让谁倒霉。我只要愿意就能让他们受伤。”

他的双腿在颤抖。他跌跌撞撞地走上前,重新坐在床上,垂下了脑袋,盯着自己的两只手,像在祈祷一样。

“我早就知道我与众不同。”他对着自己颤抖的双手说,“我早就知道我很特别。我早就知道这里头有点什么。”

“对,你的想法没有错。”邓布利多说,他收敛笑容,目光专注地看着里德尔,“你是一个巫师。”

Riddle lifted his head. His face was transfigured: There was a wild happiness upon it, yet for some reason it did not make him better looking; on the contrary, his finely carved features seemed somehow rougher, his expression almost bestial.

“Are you a wizard too?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Prove it,” said Riddle at once, in the same commanding tone he had used when he had said, “Tell the truth.”

Dumbledore raised his eyebrows. “If, as I take it, you are accepting your place at Hogwarts —”

“Of course I am!”

“Then you will address me as ‘Professor’ or ‘sir.’ ”

Riddle’s expression hardened for the most fleeting moment before he said, in an unrecognizably polite voice, “I’m sorry, sir. I meant — please, Professor, could you show me — ?”

里德尔抬起头来。他的面孔一下子变了:透出一种狂热的欣喜。然而不知怎的,这并没有使他显得更好看些,反而使他精致的五官突然变得粗糙了,那神情简直像野兽一样。

“你也是个巫师?”

“是的。”

“证明给我看。”里德尔立刻说道,口气和刚才那句“说实话”一样盛气凌人。

邓布利多扬起眉毛。

“如果,按我的理解,你同意到霍格沃茨去念书——”

“我当然同意!”

“那你就要称我为‘教授’或‘先生’。”

里德尔的表情僵了一刹那,接着他突然以一种判若两人的彬彬有礼的口气说道:“对不起,先生。我是说——教授,您能不能让我看看——?”

Harry was sure that Dumbledore was going to refuse, that he would tell Riddle there would be plenty of time for practical demonstrations at Hogwarts, that they were currently in a building full of Muggles and must therefore be cautious. To his great surprise, however, Dumbledore drew his wand from an inside pocket of his suit jacket, pointed it at the shabby wardrobe in the corner, and gave the wand a casual flick.

The wardrobe burst into flames.

Riddle jumped to his feet; Harry could hardly blame him for howling in shock and rage; all his worldly possessions must be in there. But even as Riddle rounded on Dumbledore, the flames vanished, leaving the wardrobe completely undamaged.

Riddle stared from the wardrobe to Dumbledore; then, his expression greedy, he pointed at the wand. “Where can I get one of them?”

“All in good time,” said Dumbledore. “I think there is something trying to get out of your wardrobe.”

哈利以为邓布利多一定会拒绝,他以为邓布利多会对里德尔说,以后在霍格沃茨有的是时间做具体示范,并说他们眼下是在一座住满麻瓜的楼房里,必须谨慎从事。然而令他大为惊讶的是,邓布利多从西服上装的内袋里抽出魔杖,指着墙角那个破旧的衣柜,漫不经心地一挥。

衣柜立刻着起火来。

里德尔腾地跳了起来。哈利不能责怪他发出惊恐和愤怒的吼叫,他的所有财产大概都在那个衣柜里。可是,里德尔刚要向邓布利多兴师问罪,火焰突然消失了,衣柜完好无损。

里德尔看看衣柜,又看看邓布利多,然后,他指着那根魔杖,表情变得很贪婪。“我从哪儿可以得到一根?”

“到时候会有的。”邓布利多说道,“你那衣柜里好像有什么东西想要钻出来。”

And sure enough, a faint rattling could be heard from inside it. For the first time, Riddle looked frightened.

“Open the door,” said Dumbledore.

Riddle hesitated, then crossed the room and threw open the wardrobe door. On the topmost shelf, above a rail of threadbare clothes, a small cardboard box was shaking and rattling as though there were several frantic mice trapped inside it.

“Take it out,” said Dumbledore.

Riddle took down the quaking box. He looked unnerved.

“Is there anything in that box that you ought not to have?” asked Dumbledore.

果然,衣柜里传出微弱的咔哒咔哒声。里德尔第一次露出了惊慌的神情。

“把门打开。”邓布利多说。

里德尔迟疑了一下,然后走过去猛地打开了衣柜的门。挂衣杆上挂着几件破旧的衣服,上面最高一层的搁板上有一只小小的硬纸板箱,正在不停地晃动,发出咔哒咔哒的响声,里面似乎关着几只疯狂的老鼠。

“把它拿出来。”邓布利多说。

里德尔把那只晃动的箱子搬下来。他显得不知所措。

“那箱子里是不是有一些你不该有的东西?”邓布利多问。

Riddle threw Dumbledore a long, clear, calculating look. “Yes, I suppose so, sir,” he said finally, in an expressionless voice.

“Open it,” said Dumbledore.

Riddle took off the lid and tipped the contents onto his bed without looking at them. Harry, who had expected something much more exciting, saw a mess of small, everyday objects: a yo-yo, a silver thimble, and a tarnished mouth organ among them. Once free of the box, they stopped quivering and lay quite still upon the thin blankets.

“You will return them to their owners with your apologies,” said Dumbledore calmly, putting his wand back into his jacket. “I shall know whether it has been done. And be warned: Thieving is not tolerated at Hogwarts.”

Riddle did not look remotely abashed; he was still staring coldly and appraisingly at Dumbledore. At last he said in a colorless voice, “Yes, sir.”

里德尔用清晰、审慎的目光深深地看了邓布利多一眼。

“是的,我想是的,先生。”他最后用一种干巴巴的声音说。

“打开。”邓布利多说。

里德尔打开盖子,看也没看地把里面的东西倒在了他的床上。哈利本来以为里面会有更加令人兴奋的东西,却只看见一堆平平常常的玩意儿,其中有一个游游拉线盘、一只银顶针、一把失去光泽的口琴。它们一离开箱子就不再颤抖了,乖乖地躺在薄薄的毯子上,一动不动了。

“你要把这些东西还给它们的主人,并且向他们道歉。”邓布利多平静地说道,一边把魔杖插进了上衣口袋里,“我会知道你有没有做。我还要警告你:霍格沃茨是不能容忍偷窃行为的。”

里德尔脸上没有丝毫的羞愧。他仍然冷冷地盯着邓布利多,似乎在掂量他。最后,他用一种干巴巴的声音说:“知道了,先生。”

“At Hogwarts,” Dumbledore went on, “we teach you not only to use magic, but to control it. You have — inadvertently, I am sure — been using your powers in a way that is neither taught nor tolerated at our school. You are not the first, nor will you be the last, to allow your magic to run away with you. But you should know that Hogwarts can expel students, and the Ministry of Magic — yes, there is a Ministry — will punish lawbreakers still more severely. All new wizards must accept that, in entering our world, they abide by our laws.”

“Yes, sir,” said Riddle again.

It was impossible to tell what he was thinking; his face remained quite blank as he put the little cache of stolen objects back into the cardboard box. When he had finished, he turned to Dumbledore and said baldly, “I haven’t got any money.”

“在霍格沃茨,”邓布利多继续说道,“我们不仅教你使用魔法,还教你控制魔法。你过去用那种方式使用你的魔法,我相信是出于无意,但这是我们学校绝不会传授、也绝不能容忍的。让自己的魔法失去控制,你不是第一个,也不会是最后一个。但是你应该知道,霍格沃茨是可以开除学生的,而且魔法部——没错,有一个魔法部——会以更严厉的方式惩罚违法者。每一位新来的巫师都必须接受。一旦进入我们的世界,就要服从我们的法律。”

“知道了,先生。”里德尔又说道。

很难知道他脑子里在想什么。他把那一小堆偷来的赃物放回硬纸箱时,脸上还是那样毫无表情。收拾完后,他转过身来,毫不客气地对邓布利多说:“我没有钱。”

“That is easily remedied,” said Dumbledore, drawing a leather money-pouch from his pocket. “There is a fund at Hogwarts for those who require assistance to buy books and robes. You might have to buy some of your spellbooks and so on secondhand, but —”

“Where do you buy spellbooks?” interrupted Riddle, who had taken the heavy money bag without thanking Dumbledore, and was now examining a fat gold Galleon.

“In Diagon Alley,” said Dumbledore. “I have your list of books and school equipment with me. I can help you find everything —”

“You’re coming with me?” asked Riddle, looking up.

“Certainly, if you —”

“那很容易解决。”邓布利多说着就从口袋里掏出一只皮钱袋,“霍格沃茨有一笔基金,专门提供给那些需要资助购买课本和校袍的人。你的有些魔法书恐怕只能买二手货,不过——”

“在哪儿买魔法书?”里德尔打断了邓布利多的话,谢也没谢一声就把钱袋拿了过去,正在仔细端详一枚厚厚的金加拢

“在对角巷。”邓布利多说,“我带来了你的书目和学校用品清单。我可以帮你把东西买齐——”

“你要陪我去?”里德尔抬起头来问道。

“那当然,如果你——”

“I don’t need you,” said Riddle. “I’m used to doing things for myself, I go round London on my own all the time. How do you get to this Diagon Alley — sir?” he added, catching Dumbledore’s eye.

Harry thought that Dumbledore would insist upon accompanying Riddle, but once again he was surprised. Dumbledore handed Riddle the envelope containing his list of equipment, and after telling Riddle exactly how to get to the Leaky Cauldron from the orphanage, he said, “You will be able to see it, although Muggles around you — non-magical people, that is — will not. Ask for Tom the barman — easy enough to remember, as he shares your name —”

“我用不着你,”里德尔说,“我习惯自己做事,我总是一个人在伦敦跑来跑去。那么,到这个对角巷怎么走呢——先生?”他碰到了邓布利多的目光,便补上了最后两个字。

哈利以为邓布利多会坚持陪着里德尔,但事情又一次出乎他的意料。邓布利多把装着购物清单的信封递给里德尔,又告诉了里德尔从孤儿院到破釜酒吧的具体路线,然后说道:“你准能看见它,尽管你周围的麻瓜——也就是不懂魔法的人——是看不见的。打听一下酒吧老板汤姆——很容易记,名字跟你一样——”

Riddle gave an irritable twitch, as though trying to displace an irksome fly.

“You dislike the name ‘Tom’?”

“There are a lot of Toms,” muttered Riddle. Then, as though he could not suppress the question, as though it burst from him in spite of himself, he asked, “Was my father a wizard? He was called Tom Riddle too, they’ve told me.”

“I’m afraid I don’t know,” said Dumbledore, his voice gentle.

“My mother can’t have been magic, or she wouldn’t have died,” said Riddle, more to himself than Dumbledore. “It must’ve been him. So — when I’ve got all my stuff — when do I come to this Hogwarts?”

“All the details are on the second piece of parchment in your envelope,” said Dumbledore. “You will leave from King’s Cross Station on the first of September. There is a train ticket in there too.”

里德尔恼怒地抽搐了一下,好像要赶走一只讨厌的苍蝇。

“你不喜欢‘汤姆’这个名字?”

“叫‘汤姆’的人太多了。”里德尔嘟嚷道。然后他似乎是如鲠在喉,不吐不快,又似乎是脱口而出:“我的父亲是巫师吗?他们告诉我他也叫汤姆·里德尔。”

“对不起,我不知道。”邓布利多说,声音很温和。

“我母亲不可能会魔法,不然她不会死的。”里德尔不像是在对邓布利多说话,而更像是自言自语,“肯定是我父亲。那么——我把东西买齐了之后——什么时候到这所霍格沃茨学校去呢?”

“所有的细节都写在信封里的第二张羊皮纸上。”邓布利多说,“你九月一日从国王十字车站出发。信封里还有一张火车票。”

Riddle nodded. Dumbledore got to his feet and held out his hand again. Taking it, Riddle said, “I can speak to snakes. I found out when we’ve been to the country on trips — they find me, they whisper to me. Is that normal for a wizard?”

Harry could tell that he had withheld mention of this strangest power until that moment, determined to impress.

“It is unusual,” said Dumbledore, after a moment’s hesitation, “but not unheard of.”

His tone was casual but his eyes moved curiously over Riddle’s face. They stood for a moment, man and boy, staring at each other. Then the handshake was broken; Dumbledore was at the door.

“Good-bye, Tom. I shall see you at Hogwarts.”

里德尔点了点头。邓布利多站起身,又一次伸出了手。里德尔一边握手一边说:“我可以跟蛇说话。我们到郊外远足的时候我发现的——它们找到我,小声对我说话。这对于一个巫师来说是正常的吗?”

哈利看得出来,他是故意拖到最后一刻才提到这个最奇特的本事,一心想把邓布利多镇住。

“很少见,”邓布利多迟疑了一下,说道,“但并非没有听说过。”

他的语气很随便,但他的目光却好奇地打量着里德尔的脸。两人站了片刻,男人和男孩,互相凝视着。然后两人松开了手,邓布利多走到了门边。

“再见,汤姆。我们在霍格沃茨见。”

“I think that will do,” said the white-haired Dumbledore at Harry’s side, and seconds later, they were soaring weightlessly through darkness once more, before landing squarely in the presentday office.

“Sit down,” said Dumbledore, landing beside Harry.

Harry obeyed, his mind still full of what he had just seen.

“He believed it much quicker than I did — I mean, when you told him he was a wizard,” said Harry. “I didn’t believe Hagrid at first, when he told me.”

“Yes, Riddle was perfectly ready to believe that he was — to use his word — ‘special,’ ” said Dumbledore.

“我看差不多了。”哈利身边那位满头白发的邓布利多说。几秒钟后,他们又一次轻飘飘地在黑暗中飞翔着,然后稳稳地落在现实中的办公室里。

“坐下吧。”邓布利多落在哈利身边,说道。

哈利坐了下来,脑子里仍然想着刚才看见的一切。

“他相信这件事的速度比我快得多——我是说,当你对他说他是一个巫师的时候。”哈利说,“海格最初告诉我时,我可不相信。”

“是啊,里德尔巴不得相信他是——用他自己的话来说——是‘与众不同’的。”邓布利多说。

“Did you know — then?” asked Harry.

“Did I know that I had just met the most dangerous Dark wizard of all time?” said Dumbledore. “No, I had no idea that he was to grow up to be what he is. However, I was certainly intrigued by him. I returned to Hogwarts intending to keep an eye upon him, something I should have done in any case, given that he was alone and friendless, but which, already, I felt I ought to do for others’ sake as much as his.

“His powers, as you heard, were surprisingly well-developed for such a young wizard and — most interestingly and ominously of all — he had already discovered that he had some measure of control over them, and begun to use them consciously. And as you saw, they were not the random experiments typical of young wizards: He was already using magic against other people, to frighten, to punish, to control. The little stories of the strangled rabbit and the young boy and girl he lured into a cave were most suggestive. . . . ‘I can make them hurt if I want to. . . .’ ”

“那个时候——你就知道?”哈利问。

“我就知道我刚才看见的那个人是有史以来最危险的黑魔法巫师?”邓布利多说道,“不,我根本不知道他会成为现在这样的人。不过我确实对他非常感兴趣。我回到霍格沃茨后就打算密切关注他,其实我本来就应该这么做的,因为他独自一个人,没有朋友,但是,我当时就觉得我这么做不仅是为了他,也是为了别人。

“你刚才也听见了,对于这样一个年轻巫师来说,他的能力是惊人地完善和成熟——而最有趣、也最不祥的一点是——他已经发现他可以在某种程度上控制这些能力,并开始有意识地使用它们。正如你看见的,他不像一般的年轻巫师那样毫无章法地胡乱做些实验。他已经在用魔法对付别人,用魔法去恐吓、惩罚和控制别人。那只被吊死的兔子,还有被他骗进山洞的那一男一女两个孩子的故事就很能说明问题……我只要愿意就能让他们受伤……”

“And he was a Parselmouth,” interjected Harry.

“Yes, indeed; a rare ability, and one supposedly connected with the Dark Arts, although as we know, there are Parselmouths among the great and the good too. In fact, his ability to speak to serpents did not make me nearly as uneasy as his obvious instincts for cruelty, secrecy, and domination.

“Time is making fools of us again,” said Dumbledore, indicating the dark sky beyond the windows. “But before we part, I want to draw your attention to certain features of the scene we have just witnessed, for they have a great bearing on the matters we shall be discussing in future meetings.

“Firstly, I hope you noticed Riddle’s reaction when I mentioned that another shared his first name, ‘Tom’?”

Harry nodded.

“他还是个蛇佬腔。”哈利插嘴道。

“是啊,一种罕见的能力,据说跟黑魔法有关,不过我们知道,在伟大和善良的巫师中间也有蛇佬腔。事实上,他与蛇对话的能力并没有使我感到很不安,令我担心的是他明显表现出来的那种残酷、诡秘和霸道的天性。

“时间又在捉弄我们了,”邓布利多指了指窗外漆黑的天空说道,“不过在我们分手之前,我想请你注意一下我们刚才目睹的那一幕中的某些东西,它们跟我们将来要一起讨论的问题密切相关。

“首先,我想你肯定注意到了,我提到有人的名字跟他一样,也叫‘汤姆’时,里德尔是什么反应吧?”

哈利点了点头。

“There he showed his contempt for anything that tied him to other people, anything that made him ordinary. Even then, he wished to be different, separate, notorious. He shed his name, as you know, within a few short years of that conversation and created the mask of ‘Lord Voldemort’ behind which he has been hidden for so long.

“I trust that you also noticed that Tom Riddle was already highly self-sufficient, secretive, and, apparently, friendless? He did not want help or companionship on his trip to Diagon Alley. He preferred to operate alone. The adult Voldemort is the same. You will hear many of his Death Eaters claiming that they are in his confidence, that they alone are close to him, even understand him. They are deluded. Lord Voldemort has never had a friend, nor do I believe that he has ever wanted one.

“And lastly — I hope you are not too sleepy to pay attention to this, Harry — the young Tom Riddle liked to collect trophies. You saw the box of stolen articles he had hidden in his room. These were taken from victims of his bullying behavior, souvenirs, if you will, of particularly unpleasant bits of magic. Bear in mind this magpie-like tendency, for this, particularly, will be important later.

“And now, it really is time for bed.”

“这就显示出,他蔑视任何把他跟别人拴在一起的东西,蔑视任何使他显得平凡无奇的东西。即使在那个时候,他就希望自己与众不同,孤傲独立,声名远扬。你也知道,在那次对话的短短几年之后,他就抛弃自己的名字,打造出‘伏地魔’这样一个面具,并在它后面蛰伏了那么长时间。

“我相信你同样也注意到了,汤姆·里德尔当时已经极为自信,讳莫如深,而且显然没有一个朋友。他自己去对角巷,不需要别人的帮助和陪同。他什么都愿意自己做。成年后的伏地魔也是这样。你会听见许多食死徒声称他们得到了他的信任,并声称只有他们才能够接近他甚至理解他。其实他们都受了愚弄。伏地魔从来没有一个朋友,而且我认为他从来都不需要朋友。

“最后——我希望你没有因为犯困而忽视这一点,哈利——年轻的汤姆·里德尔喜欢收集战利品。你看见他藏在房间里的那一箱赃物了吧。它们都是从那些被他欺侮过的孩子们那里拿来的,可以说它们是某些特别可恶的魔法伎俩的纪念品。你记住他这种像喜鹊一样喜欢收集东西的嗜好,这对于将来格外重要。

“好了,哈利,真的该睡觉了。”

Harry got to his feet. As he walked across the room, his eyes fell upon the little table on which Marvolo Gaunt’s ring had rested last time, but the ring was no longer there.

“Yes, Harry?” said Dumbledore, for Harry had come to a halt.

“The ring’s gone,” said Harry, looking around. “But I thought you might have the mouth organ or something.”

Dumbledore beamed at him, peering over the top of his halfmoon spectacles.

“Very astute, Harry, but the mouth organ was only ever a mouth organ.”

And on that enigmatic note he waved to Harry, who understood himself to be dismissed.

哈利站了起来。他朝门口走去时,目光落在上次放着马沃罗·冈特那枚戒指的小桌上,可是戒指已经不在那儿了。

“怎么了,哈利?”邓布利多看到哈利停住脚步,问道。

“戒指不见了,”哈利左右张望着说,“不过我以为你这里还会有一把口琴什么的。”

邓布利多笑了,眼睛从半月形的镜片上方望着他。

“眼光很敏锐,哈利,但口琴只是一把口琴而已。”

说完这句令人费解的话,他朝哈利挥了挥手,哈利明白自己应该离开了。

(图片来源:高品图像)

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