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When he arrived in the entrance hall at eight o’clock that night, he found an unusually large number of girls lurking there, all of whom seemed to be staring at him resentfully as he approached Luna. She was wearing a set of spangled silver robes that were attracting a certain amount of giggles from the onlookers, but otherwise she looked quite nice. Harry was glad, in any case, that she had left off her radish earrings, her butterbeer cork necklace, and her Spectrespecs.

“Hi,” he said. “Shall we get going then?”

“Oh yes,” she said happily. “Where is the party?”

“Slughorn’s office,” said Harry, leading her up the marble staircase away from all the staring and muttering. “Did you hear, there’s supposed to be a vampire coming?”

“Rufus Scrimgeour?” asked Luna.

晚上八点,他来到门厅,发现有异常多的女孩子在那儿游荡。当他走向卢娜时,她们似乎都在怨恨地盯着他。卢娜穿着一套镶着银色亮片的袍子,这引起一些窃笑,但在其他方面她看上去还是挺好的。哈利很高兴她没戴萝卜耳环、黄油啤酒瓶塞项链和她的防妖眼镜。

“嘿!我们走吧?”

“哦,好啊,”她愉快地说,“晚会在哪儿?”

“斯拉格霍恩的办公室。”哈利带着她登上大理石台阶,离开了那些眼光和嘀咕声,“你听说了吗,有吸血鬼要去呢。”

“鲁弗斯·斯克林杰?”卢娜问。

“I — what?” said Harry, disconcerted. “You mean the Minister of Magic?”

“Yes, he’s a vampire,” said Luna matter-of-factly. “Father wrote a very long article about it when Scrimgeour first took over from Cornelius Fudge, but he was forced not to publish by somebody from the Ministry. Obviously, they didn’t want the truth to get out!”

Harry, who thought it most unlikely that Rufus Scrimgeour was a vampire, but who was used to Luna repeating her father’s bizarre views as though they were fact, did not reply; they were already approaching Slughorn’s office and the sounds of laughter, music, and loud conversation were growing louder with every step they took.

“我——什么?”哈利吃了一惊,问道:“你是说魔法部长?”

“对,他是个吸血鬼。”卢娜十分肯定地说,“斯克林杰刚刚接替康奈利·福吉的时候,我爸爸写了一篇很长的文章,可是部里有人不让他发表。显然,他们不想泄漏真相!”

哈利觉得说鲁弗斯·斯克林杰是吸血鬼太荒唐了,但他习惯了卢娜把她父亲的怪念头当真事儿讲,便没有说话。他们已经走近斯拉格霍恩的办公室,笑声、音乐声和响亮的说话声随着他们的脚步而增强。

Whether it had been built that way, or because he had used magical trickery to make it so, Slughorn’s office was much larger than the usual teacher’s study. The ceiling and walls had been draped with emerald, crimson, and gold hangings, so that it looked as though they were all inside a vast tent. The room was crowded and stuffy and bathed in the red light cast by an ornate golden lamp dangling from the center of the ceiling in which real fairies were fluttering, each a brilliant speck of light. Loud singing accompanied by what sounded like mandolins issued from a distant corner; a haze of pipe smoke hung over several elderly warlocks deep in conversation, and a number of house-elves were negotiating their way squeakily through the forest of knees, obscured by the heavy silver platters of food they were bearing, so that they looked like little roving tables.

不知道是本来如此,还是因为施了魔法,斯拉格霍恩的办公室比一般教师的房间大得多。天花板和墙壁上挂着翠绿、深红和金色的帷幔,看上去像在一个大帐篷里。房间里拥挤闷热,被天花板中央挂着的一盏金色华灯照得红彤彤的。灯里有真的小精灵在闪烁,每个小精灵都是一个明亮的光点。远处一个角落传来响亮的、听起来像用曼陀铃伴奏的歌声;几个谈兴正浓的老男巫头上笼罩着烟斗的青雾;一些家养小精灵在小腿的丛林中吱吱穿行,托着沉甸甸的银盘,把它们的身体都遮住了,看上去就像漫游的小桌子。

“Harry, m’boy!” boomed Slughorn, almost as soon as Harry and Luna had squeezed in through the door. “Come in, come in, so many people I’d like you to meet!”

Slughorn was wearing a tasseled velvet hat to match his smoking jacket. Gripping Harry’s arm so tightly he might have been hoping to Disapparate with him, Slughorn led him purposefully into the party; Harry seized Luna’s hand and dragged her along with him.

“Harry, I’d like you to meet Eldred Worple, an old student of mine, author of Blood Brothers: My Life Amongst the Vampires — and, of course, his friend Sanguini.”

Worple, who was a small, stout, bespectacled man, grabbed Harry’s hand and shook it enthusiastically; the vampire Sanguini, who was tall and emaciated with dark shadows under his eyes, merely nodded. He looked rather bored. A gaggle of girls was standing close to him, looking curious and excited.

“哈利,我的孩子!”哈利和卢娜刚一挤进门,斯拉格霍恩便声如洪钟地叫道,“进来,进来,有这么多人要让你见见呢!”

斯拉格霍恩戴着一顶带缨穗的天鹅绒帽子,与他的吸烟衫很匹配。他不由分说地领着哈利走进人群,把哈利的胳膊抓得紧紧的,好像要带他幻影移形似的。哈利拉住卢娜的手,拽着她一起走。

“哈利,我想让你见见埃尔德·沃普尔,我以前的学生,《血亲兄弟:我在吸血鬼中生活》的作者——当然,还有他的朋友血尼。”

沃普尔是个戴着眼镜的小个子男人,他抓住哈利的手热切地握着。吸血鬼血尼又高又瘦,眼睛下有黑圈,一副厌倦的样子,一群女孩站在他旁边,好奇而兴奋。

“Harry Potter, I am simply delighted!” said Worple, peering shortsightedly up into Harry’s face. “I was saying to Professor Slughorn only the other day, ‘Where is the biography of Harry Potter for which we have all been waiting?’ ”

“Er,” said Harry, “were you?”

“Just as modest as Horace described!” said Worple. “But seriously” — his manner changed; it became suddenly businesslike — “I would be delighted to write it myself — people are craving to know more about you, dear boy, craving! If you were prepared to grant me a few interviews, say in four- or five-hour sessions, why, we could have the book finished within months. And all with very little effort on your part, I assure you — ask Sanguini here if it isn’t quite — Sanguini, stay here!” added Worple, suddenly stern, for the vampire had been edging toward the nearby group of girls, a rather hungry look in his eye. “Here, have a pasty,” said Worple, seizing one from a passing elf and stuffing it into Sanguini’s hand before turning his attention back to Harry.

“哈利·波特,我太高兴了!”沃普尔说,一边瞪着近视的双眼仰望着哈利的面孔,“我那天还跟斯拉格霍恩教授说呢,我们大家拭目以待的《哈利·波特传》在哪儿呢?”

“呃,”哈利说,“是吗?”

“果然像霍拉斯说的那么谦虚!”沃普尔说,“但说真格的——”他态度一变,突然像谈起了生意,“我很愿意写这本书——人们渴望更多地了解你,亲爱的孩子,渴望!如果你能接受我的几次采访,每次四五个小时,那样,几个月就能成书。不会费你什么事,我保证——问问血尼是不是——血尼,别走!”沃普尔突然变得神色严厉起来,因为吸血鬼朝旁边那群女孩蹭了过去,眼里带着饥饿的光。“给你,吃块馅饼。”沃普尔说着从一个托盘的小精灵那儿抓过一块塞到血尼手中,然后又把注意力转到哈利身上。

“My dear boy, the gold you could make, you have no idea —”

“I’m definitely not interested,” said Harry firmly, “and I’ve just seen a friend of mine, sorry.”

He pulled Luna after him into the crowd; he had indeed just seen a long mane of brown hair disappear between what looked like two members of the Weird Sisters.

“Hermione! Hermione!”

“Harry! There you are, thank goodness! Hi, Luna!”

“What’s happened to you?” asked Harry, for Hermione looked distinctly disheveled, rather as though she had just fought her way out of a thicket of Devil’s Snare.

“Oh, I’ve just escaped — I mean, I’ve just left Cormac,” she said. “Under the mistletoe,” she added in explanation, as Harry continued to look questioningly at her.

“Serves you right for coming with him,” he told her severely.

“I thought he’d annoy Ron most,” said Hermione dispassionately. “I debated for a while about Zacharias Smith, but I thought, on the whole —”

“亲爱的孩子,你能赚多少钱啊,你想象不到——”

“我实在不感兴趣。”哈利坚决地说,“我看到了一个朋友,对不起。”

他拖着卢娜挤进人群,他确实看到了一头棕色的长发,好像消失在了两个古怪姐妹演唱组之间。

“赫敏!赫敏!”

“哈利!你在这儿,太好了!嘿,卢娜!”

“你怎么了?”哈利问道,赫敏看上去凌乱不堪,好像刚从魔鬼网中挣脱出来。

“哦,我刚刚逃脱——我是说,我刚刚离开了考迈克。”她说,见哈利还在询问地看着她,又解释地加了一句,“在槲寄生底下。”

“谁让你跟他来的。”哈利严厉地说。

“我想他最能惹罗恩生气,”赫敏冷静地说道,“我考虑过扎卡赖斯·史密斯,但是我想,总体上——”

“You considered Smith?” said Harry, revolted.

“Yes, I did, and I’m starting to wish I’d chosen him, McLaggen makes Grawp look a gentleman. Let’s go this way, we’ll be able to see him coming, he’s so tall. . . .”

The three of them made their way over to the other side of the room, scooping up goblets of mead on the way, realizing too late that Professor Trelawney was standing there alone.

“Hello,” said Luna politely to Professor Trelawney.

“Good evening, my dear,” said Professor Trelawney, focusing upon Luna with some difficulty. Harry could smell cooking sherry again. “I haven’t seen you in my classes lately. . . .”

“No, I’ve got Firenze this year,” said Luna.

“你考虑过史密斯?”哈利反感地问道。

“是啊,我现在希望选择的是他,跟麦克拉根一比,格洛普都显得像绅士。我们到那边去,可以看到他过来,他那么高……”

三人向房间那头挤去,一边抓过几只装着蜂蜜酒的高脚杯,等到发现特里劳妮教授一个人站在那儿时,已经太晚了。

“您好。”卢娜礼貌地说。

“晚上好,亲爱的。”特里劳妮教授费了点劲才看清了卢娜。哈利又闻到了雪利料酒的气味。“最近我课上没见到你……”

“嗯,我今年选了费伦泽的课。”卢娜说。

“Oh, of course,” said Professor Trelawney with an angry, drunken titter. “Or Dobbin, as I prefer to think of him. You would have thought, would you not, that now I am returned to the school Professor Dumbledore might have got rid of the horse? But no . . . we share classes. . . . It’s an insult, frankly, an insult. Do you know . . .”

Professor Trelawney seemed too tipsy to have recognized Harry. Under cover of her furious criticisms of Firenze, Harry drew closer to Hermione and said, “Let’s get something straight. Are you planning to tell Ron that you interfered at Keeper tryouts?”

Hermione raised her eyebrows. “Do you really think I’d stoop that low?”

Harry looked at her shrewdly. “Hermione, if you can ask out McLaggen —”

“There’s a difference,” said Hermione with dignity. “I’ve got no plans to tell Ron anything about what might, or might not, have happened at Keeper tryouts.”

“哦,当然,”特里劳妮教授带着怒气醉醺醺地干笑一声,说道,“我喜欢叫他驽马。你们可能以为,我回来了,邓布利多教授会把那匹马打发走吧?可是没有……我们还要分摊上课……这是侮辱,说真的,侮辱。你知道……”

特里劳妮教授似乎醉得没有认出哈利。趁着她在激烈抨击费伦泽,哈利凑近赫敏说:“我们现在说清楚,你打算告诉罗恩你干预了守门员选拔赛吗?”

赫敏扬起了眉毛。

“你真以为我做得出那种事?”

哈利精明地看着她。

“赫敏,如果你能邀请麦克拉根——”

“那不一样,”赫敏傲然道,“我没打算告诉罗恩守门员选拔赛上本来会发生什么,或不会发生什么。”

“Good,” said Harry fervently. “Because he’ll just fall apart again, and we’ll lose the next match —”

“Quidditch!” said Hermione angrily. “Is that all boys care about? Cormac hasn’t asked me one single question about myself, no, I’ve just been treated to ‘A Hundred Great Saves Made by Cormac McLaggen’ nonstop ever since — oh no, here he comes!”

She moved so fast it was as though she had Disapparated; one moment she was there, the next, she had squeezed between two guffawing witches and vanished.

“Seen Hermione?” asked McLaggen, forcing his way through the throng a minute later.

“No, sorry,” said Harry, and he turned quickly to join in Luna’s conversation, forgetting for a split second to whom she was talking.

“Harry Potter!” said Professor Trelawney in deep, vibrant tones, noticing him for the first time.

“那就好,”哈利热切地说,“不然他又会崩溃,我们下一场又完了——”

“魁地奇!”赫敏气呼呼地说道,“男孩子就只关心这个吗?考迈克没问过一个关于我本人的问题,一直给我大讲特讲考迈克·麦克拉根的一百个惊险救球——哎呀,他来了!”

她动作快得像幻影移形,前一秒还在这儿,下一秒就从两个大笑的女巫中间钻过去消失了。

“看到赫敏了吗?”一分钟后麦克拉根从人堆里挤过来问道。

“没有,对不起。”哈利说完,赶紧转身加入了卢娜的谈话,一时竟忘记了她面前的人是谁。

“哈利·波特!”特里劳妮教授用那带着回响的深沉声音叫了起来,第一次注意到了哈利。

“Oh, hello,” said Harry unenthusiastically.

“My dear boy!” she said in a very carrying whisper. “The rumors! The stories! ‘The Chosen One’! Of course, I have known for a very long time. . . . The omens were never good, Harry. . . . But why have you not returned to Divination? For you, of all people, the subject is of the utmost importance!”

“Ah, Sybill, we all think our subject’s most important!” said a loud voice, and Slughorn appeared at Professor Trelawney’s other side, his face very red, his velvet hat a little askew, a glass of mead in one hand and an enormous mince pie in the other. “But I don’t think I’ve ever known such a natural at Potions!” said Slughorn, regarding Harry with a fond, if bloodshot, eye. “Instinctive, you know — like his mother! I’ve only ever taught a few with this kind of ability, I can tell you that, Sybill — why even Severus —”

And to Harry’s horror, Slughorn threw out an arm and seemed to scoop Snape out of thin air toward them.

“啊,您好。”哈利冷漠地说。

“我亲爱的孩子!”她说道,声音很小,但传得很远,“那些谣传!那些故事!救世之星!当然,我早就知道了……兆头总是不好,哈利……可是你为什么不来上占卜课了呢?对你来说,这门课尤为重要啊!”

“啊,西比尔,我们都觉得自己的课最重要!”一个洪亮的声音说,斯拉格霍恩出现在特里劳妮教授的另一边,他面色通红,天鹅绒帽子有点歪,一手端着蜂蜜酒,一手举着一块巨大的百果馅饼,“可是我想我从没见过这样一个魔药方面的天才!”他用宠爱的,虽然有些充血的眼睛看着哈利,“有天赋——像他妈妈!我只教过几个天资这么高的学生,我可以告诉你,西比尔——就连西弗勒斯——”

哈利惊恐地看到斯拉格霍恩伸出一只胳膊,就像是从空气中把斯内普钩了出来。

“Stop skulking and come and join us, Severus!” hiccuped Slughorn happily. “I was just talking about Harry’s exceptional po-tion-making! Some credit must go to you, of course, you taught him for five years!”

Trapped, with Slughorn’s arm around his shoulders, Snape looked down his hooked nose at Harry, his black eyes narrowed.

“Funny, I never had the impression that I managed to teach Potter anything at all.”

“Well, then, it’s natural ability!” shouted Slughorn. “You should have seen what he gave me, first lesson, Draught of Living Death — never had a student produce finer on a first attempt, I don’t think even you, Severus —”

“Really?” said Snape quietly, his eyes still boring into Harry, who felt a certain disquiet. The last thing he wanted was for Snape to start investigating the source of his newfound brilliance at Potions.

“别偷偷摸摸的,来跟我们聊聊,西弗勒斯!”斯拉格霍恩快活地打着饱嗝说道,“我正谈到哈利在魔药学上的特殊才能!当然也有你的功劳,你教了他五年!”

斯内普被斯拉格霍恩的胳膊箍住了肩膀,动弹不得,他的目光顺着鹰钩鼻子落到哈利身上,黑眼睛眯缝着。

“有趣,我从没觉得我教会过波特任何东西。”

“哦,那就是天才!”斯拉格霍恩叫道,“你没看见他第一节课交给我的活地狱汤剂呢——没见过哪个学生第一次能做得比他更好,我想就连你,西弗勒斯——”

“是吗?”斯内普平静地说,眼睛像钻子似的盯着哈利。哈利有点不安,惟恐斯内普追究起他在魔药学上新才华的来源。

“Remind me what other subjects you’re taking, Harry?” asked Slughorn.

“Defense Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Transfiguration, Herbology . . .”

“All the subjects required, in short, for an Auror,” said Snape, with the faintest sneer.

“Yeah, well, that’s what I’d like to do,” said Harry defiantly.

“And a great one you’ll make too!” boomed Slughorn.

“I don’t think you should be an Auror, Harry,” said Luna unexpectedly. Everybody looked at her. “The Aurors are part of the Rotfang Conspiracy, I thought everyone knew that. They’re working to bring down the Ministry of Magic from within using a combination of Dark Magic and gum disease.”

“提醒我一下,你还修了什么课,哈利?”斯拉格霍恩问。

“黑魔法防御术,魔咒课,变形课,草药课……”

“一句话,当傲罗需要学的所有课程。”斯内普说,带着微微一丝冷笑。

“是的,我就是想当傲罗。”哈利挑战地说。

“你会是一名优秀的傲罗的!”斯拉格霍恩声音洪亮地说。

“我觉得你不应该当傲罗,哈利。”卢娜出人意料地说道,大家都看着她,“傲罗是腐牙阴谋的一部分。我以为大家都知道呢。他们要利用黑魔法和牙龈病从内部搞垮魔法部。”

Harry inhaled half his mead up his nose as he started to laugh. Really, it had been worth bringing Luna just for this. Emerging from his goblet, coughing, sopping wet but still grinning, he saw something calculated to raise his spirits even higher: Draco Malfoy being dragged by the ear toward them by Argus Filch.

“Professor Slughorn,” wheezed Filch, his jowls aquiver and the maniacal light of mischief-detection in his bulging eyes, “I discovered this boy lurking in an upstairs corridor. He claims to have been invited to your party and to have been delayed in setting out. Did you issue him with an invitation?”

Malfoy pulled himself free of Filch’s grip, looking furious.

“All right, I wasn’t invited!” he said angrily. “I was trying to gatecrash, happy?”

哈利噗嗤一笑,把一半蜂蜜酒吸到了鼻腔里。真的,光为这个带卢娜来也值了。他从杯子上抬起头,咳嗽着,脸上湿漉漉的,还带着笑,却又看到了一件像是有意要让他兴致更高的事情——德拉科·马尔福被费尔奇揪着耳朵朝这边走了过来。

“斯拉格霍恩教授,”费尔奇呼哧呼哧地说,下巴上的肉抖动着,金鱼眼中闪着抓到学生调皮捣蛋时的那种疯狂的光,“我发现这个男孩躲在楼上走廊里,你给他发请柬了吗?”

马尔福挣脱了费尔奇的手,看上去气急败坏。

“行了,没邀请我,”他愤愤地说,“我想闯进来,高兴了吧?”

“No, I’m not!” said Filch, a statement at complete odds with the glee on his face. “You’re in trouble, you are! Didn’t the headmaster say that nighttime prowling’s out, unless you’ve got permission, didn’t he, eh?”

“That’s all right, Argus, that’s all right,” said Slughorn, waving a hand. “It’s Christmas, and it’s not a crime to want to come to a party. Just this once, we’ll forget any punishment; you may stay, Draco.”

Filch’s expression of outraged disappointment was perfectly predictable; but why, Harry wondered, watching him, did Malfoy look almost equally unhappy? And why was Snape looking at Malfoy as though both angry and . . . was it possible? . . . a little afraid?

“不,我不高兴!”费尔奇说,这话与他脸上的得意全然不符,“你有麻烦了!校长不是说未经允许晚上不许乱走吗?嗯?”

“不要紧,阿格斯,不要紧,”斯拉格霍恩挥了挥手说,“圣诞节嘛,想参加晚会又不是罪过。这次就算了吧,下不为例。德拉科,你可以留下。”

费尔奇那愤慨和失望的表情自然是意料之中的。但令哈利纳闷的是,马尔福为什么几乎同样不高兴呢?斯内普看着马尔福的眼神为什么既愤怒又……这可能吗?……有点害怕?

But almost before Harry had registered what he had seen, Filch had turned and shuffled away, muttering under his breath; Malfoy had composed his face into a smile and was thanking Slughorn for his generosity, and Snape’s face was smoothly inscrutable again.

“It’s nothing, nothing,” said Slughorn, waving away Malfoy’s thanks. “I did know your grandfather, after all. . . .”

“He always spoke very highly of you, sir,” said Malfoy quickly. “Said you were the best potion-maker he’d ever known. . . .”

Harry stared at Malfoy. It was not the sucking-up that intrigued him; he had watched Malfoy do that to Snape for a long time. It was the fact that Malfoy did, after all, look a little ill. This was the first time he had seen Malfoy close up for ages; he now saw that Malfoy had dark shadows under his eyes and a distinctly grayish tinge to his skin.

可是哈利几乎还没来得及记住眼前所见,费尔奇已经转身拖着步子,一边小声嘟囔着走开了,马尔福也已经整理出一副笑脸感谢斯拉格霍恩的宽大,斯内普的表情又平静得深不可测了。

“没什么,没什么,”斯拉格霍恩一摆手,说道,“毕竟,我认识你的祖父……”

“他一向对您称赞有加,先生,”马尔福马上说,“说您是他知道的最好的魔药专家……”

哈利瞪着马尔福,不是为这马屁而惊奇(他见马尔福拍过斯内普好多回),而是马尔福看上去确实有点病态。很久以来他第一次这么近地观察马尔福。他发现马尔福的眼睛下面有黑圈,皮肤明显有些发灰。

“I’d like a word with you, Draco,” said Snape suddenly.

“Oh, now, Severus,” said Slughorn, hiccuping again, “it’s Christmas, don’t be too hard —”

“I’m his Head of House, and I shall decide how hard, or otherwise, to be,” said Snape curtly. “Follow me, Draco.”

They left, Snape leading the way, Malfoy looking resentful. Harry stood there for a moment, irresolute, then said, “I’ll be back in a bit, Luna — er — bathroom.”

“All right,” she said cheerfully, and he thought he heard her, as he hurried off into the crowd, resume the subject of the Rotfang Conspiracy with Professor Trelawney, who seemed sincerely interested.

“我有话跟你说,德拉科。”斯内普突然说。

“哎呀,西弗勒斯,”斯拉格霍恩说,又打了一个饱嗝,“圣诞节,别太严厉——”

“我是他的院长,严厉不严厉应由我决定。”斯内普简短地说,“跟我来,德拉科。”

两人走了,斯内普在前,马尔福气呼呼地后面跟着。哈利犹豫地站了片刻,然后说:“我去去就来,卢娜——哦——上厕所。”

“好的。”卢娜愉快地说。哈利匆匆钻进人群时,似乎听到她又对特里劳妮教授讲起腐牙阴谋,特里劳妮教授好像还真感兴趣。

It was easy, once out of the party, to pull his Invisibility Cloak out of his pocket and throw it over himself, for the corridor was quite deserted. What was more difficult was finding Snape and Malfoy. Harry ran down the corridor, the noise of his feet masked by the music and loud talk still issuing from Slughorn’s office behind him. Perhaps Snape had taken Malfoy to his office in the dungeons . . . or perhaps he was escorting him back to the Slytherin common room. . . . Harry pressed his ear against door after door as he dashed down the corridor until, with a great jolt of excitement, he crouched down to the keyhole of the last classroom in the corridor and heard voices.

出来之后,哈利从兜里抽出隐形衣披到身上,这样做很容易,因为走廊上很空,难的是找到斯内普和马尔福。哈利跑了起来,斯拉格霍恩办公室里仍在传出的音乐与谈话声掩盖了他的脚步声。也许斯内普把马尔福带到他的地下办公室去了……也许正在把他送回斯莱特林的公共休息室……哈利还是把耳朵贴到一扇扇门上。当他凑到走廊上最后一间教室的钥匙孔上时,顿觉一阵狂喜,他听到了说话声。

“. . . cannot afford mistakes, Draco, because if you are expelled —”

“I didn’t have anything to do with it, all right?”

“I hope you are telling the truth, because it was both clumsy and foolish. Already you are suspected of having a hand in it.”

“Who suspects me?” said Malfoy angrily. “For the last time, I didn’t do it, okay? That Bell girl must’ve had an enemy no one knows about — don’t look at me like that! I know what you’re doing, I’m not stupid, but it won’t work — I can stop you!”

There was a pause and then Snape said quietly, “Ah . . . Aunt Bellatrix has been teaching you Occlumency, I see. What thoughts are you trying to conceal from your master, Draco?”

“……不能再出纰漏,德拉科,要是你被开除——”

“那事跟我无关,知道吗?”

“我希望你说的是真话,因为那事拙劣而又愚蠢,你已经受到怀疑了。”

“谁怀疑我?”马尔福生气地问,“再说最后一遍,不是我干的,知道吗?那个叫凯蒂的女孩准是有个没人知道的仇人——别那样看着我!我知道你在干什么,我又不傻,可是没用——我能阻止你!”

停了一阵子,斯内普轻声说道:“呃……贝拉特里克斯姨妈教过你大脑封闭术。你有什么念头想瞒着你的主人,德拉科?”

“I’m not trying to conceal anything from him, I just don’t want you butting in!”

Harry pressed his ear still more closely against the keyhole. . . . What had happened to make Malfoy speak to Snape like this — Snape, toward whom he had always shown respect, even liking?

“So that is why you have been avoiding me this term? You have feared my interference? You realize that, had anybody else failed to come to my office when I had told them repeatedly to be there, Draco —”

“So put me in detention! Report me to Dumbledore!” jeered Malfoy.

There was another pause. Then Snape said, “You know perfectly well that I do not wish to do either of those things.”

“You’d better stop telling me to come to your office then!”

“我没想瞒着他,我只是不要你插在里面。”

哈利把耳朵贴得更紧了一些……是什么使马尔福开始这样对斯内普说话呢?斯内普,马尔福以前可是好像一直挺尊敬,甚至挺喜欢他的啊?

“所以你这学期躲着我?你怕我干涉?你要知道,德拉科,如果换了别人,我多次叫他来我办公室而他不来——”

“关禁闭!报告邓布利多!”马尔福讥笑道。

又停了一阵子,斯内普说:“你很清楚我不想做这些事。”

“那你最好别再叫我去你的办公室。”

“Listen to me,” said Snape, his voice so low now that Harry had to push his ear very hard against the keyhole to hear. “I am trying to help you. I swore to your mother I would protect you. I made the Unbreakable Vow, Draco —”

“Looks like you’ll have to break it, then, because I don’t need your protection! It’s my job, he gave it to me and I’m doing it, I’ve got a plan and it’s going to work, it’s just taking a bit longer than I thought it would!”

“What is your plan?”

“It’s none of your business!”

“If you tell me what you are trying to do, I can assist you —”

“I’ve got all the assistance I need, thanks, I’m not alone!”

“听我说,”斯内普的声音压得太低了,哈利把耳朵使劲贴在钥匙孔上才能听到,“我想帮助你。我对你母亲发过誓要保护你。我立了牢不可破的誓言,德拉科——”

“看来你必须打破了,因为我不需要你的保护。这是我的工作,他给我的,我正在做。我有一个计划,会成功的,只是时间比我预计的要长些!”

“你的计划是什么?”

“你管不着!”

“如果你告诉我,我可以帮你——”

“我已经有足够的帮手,谢谢,我不是一个人!”

“You were certainly alone tonight, which was foolish in the extreme, wandering the corridors without lookouts or backup, these are elementary mistakes —”

“I would’ve had Crabbe and Goyle with me if you hadn’t put them in detention!”

“Keep your voice down!” spat Snape, for Malfoy’s voice had risen excitedly. “If your friends Crabbe and Goyle intend to pass their Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. this time around, they will need to work a little harder than they are doing at pres —”

“What does it matter?” said Malfoy. “Defense Against the Dark Arts — it’s all just a joke, isn’t it, an act? Like any of us need protecting against the Dark Arts —”

“It is an act that is crucial to success, Draco!” said Snape. “Where do you think I would have been all these years, if I had not known how to act? Now listen to me! You are being incautious, wandering around at night, getting yourself caught, and if you are placing your reliance in assistants like Crabbe and Goyle —”

“They’re not the only ones, I’ve got other people on my side, better people!”

“Then why not confide in me, and I can —”

“你今晚无疑是一个人,这是极其愚蠢的,在走廊里游荡,没有岗哨也没有后援。这些是低级错误——”

“本来有克拉布和高尔跟着我,可是你关了他们的禁闭!”

“小点儿声!”斯内普警告道,因为马尔福这时激动得提高了嗓门,“你的朋友克拉布和高尔这次要想通过黑魔法防御术的O.W.Ls考试,还得多下点儿功夫——”

“通不过有什么关系?黑魔法防御术——只是一个笑话,一场戏,对不对?好像我们中间有谁需要黑魔法防御——”

“这是一场对成功非常关键的戏,德拉科!”斯内普说道,“如果我不会演戏,你想我这些年会在哪儿?听我说!你现在很不谨慎,夜里到处乱走,被人当场抓住,还有,如果你依赖克拉布和高尔这样的助手——”

“不是只有他们,我身边还有别人,更强的人!”

“为什么不能告诉我,我可以——”

“I know what you’re up to! You want to steal my glory!”

There was another pause, then Snape said coldly, “You are speaking like a child. I quite understand that your father’s capture and imprisonment has upset you, but —”

Harry had barely a second’s warning; he heard Malfoy’s footsteps on the other side of the door and flung himself out of the way just as it burst open; Malfoy was striding away down the corridor, past the open door of Slughorn’s office, around the distant corner, and out of sight.

Hardly daring to breathe, Harry remained crouched down as Snape emerged slowly from the classroom. His expression unfathomable, he returned to the party. Harry remained on the floor, hidden beneath the cloak, his mind racing.

“我知道你在打什么主意!你想抢我的功!”

又停了一阵子,斯内普冷冷地说道:“你说话像个小孩子。我很理解你父亲入狱令你心烦意乱,但——”

哈利几乎连一秒钟的思想准备都没有,就听到马尔福的脚步声在门的那边响起。他赶紧闪到一边,门已砰地打开了,马尔福大步朝走廊那头走去,经过斯拉格霍恩办公室敞开的门口,转过拐角不见了。

哈利大气不敢出,继续蹲伏着,斯内普慢慢走出教室,表情深不可测,回去参加晚会了。哈利蹲在隐形衣下,脑子飞快地转动着。

(图片来源:高品图像)

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