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 Their plans were made, their preparations complete; in the smallest bedroom a single long, coarse black hair (plucked from the sweater Hermione had been wearing at Malfoy Manor) lay curled in a small glass phial on the mantelpiece.

“And you’ll be using her actual wand,” said Harry, nodding toward the walnut wand, “so I reckon you’ll be pretty convincing.”

Hermione looked frightened that the wand might sting or bite her as she picked it up.

“I hate this thing,” she said in a low voice. “I really hate it. It feels all wrong, it doesn’t work properly for me. . . . It’s like a bit of her.”

Harry could not help but remember how Hermione had dismissed his loathing of the blackthorn wand, insisting that he was imagining things when it did not work as well as his own, telling him to simply practice. He chose not to repeat her own advice back to her, however; the eve of their attempted assault on Gringotts felt like the wrong moment to antagonize her.

“It’ll probably help you get in character, though,” said Ron. “Think what that wand’s done!”

“But that’s my point!” said Hermione. “This is the wand that tortured Neville’s mum and dad, and who knows how many other people? This is the wand that killed Sirius!”

Harry had not thought of that: He looked down at the wand and was visited by a brutal urge to snap it, to slice it in half with Gryffindor’s sword, which was propped against the wall beside him.

“I miss my wand,” Hermione said miserably. “I wish Mr. Ollivander could have made me another one too.”

Mr. Ollivander had sent Luna a new wand that morning. She was out on the back lawn at that moment, testing its capabilities in the late afternoon sun. Dean, who had lost his wand to the Snatchers, was watching rather gloomily.

计划已经定好,准备已经完成,在那间最小卧室的壁炉架上,一根长长的粗糙的黑头发(从赫敏在马尔福庄园穿在那件毛衣上搞下的)卷缩在一个小玻璃药瓶里。

“你拿着她本人的魔杖,”哈利朝着胡桃木魔杖点了一下头说,“我想应该是很令人信服的。”

赫敏战战兢兢地拿起魔杖,好像害怕魔杖会蜇她或咬她一样。

“我讨厌这个东西,”她低声说道,“我真讨厌它。感觉很糟糕,用起来很不顺手……有点像她。”

哈利忍不住想起了赫敏当初怎样驳斥他对黑刺李木魔杖的嫌恶,当他认为那根魔杖不如自己的好用时,她坚持认为那只是心理作用,对他说只要多加练习。然而哈利决定不再重提她当初的建议,在偷袭古灵阁的前夜跟她作对似乎不是时候。

“不过,它可能会帮助你进入角色,”罗恩说道,“想想那根魔杖做了些什么!”

“那正是我要说的!”赫敏说,“就是这根魔杖折磨过纳威的父母,谁知道还有多少人被它折磨过?就是这根魔杖杀死了小天狼星!”

哈利没有想到这一点。他低头看着魔杖,有一种强烈的冲动想把它折断,想用靠在身旁墙上的格兰芬多宝剑把它砍成两截。

“我怀念我的魔杖,”赫敏可怜地说,“真希望奥利凡德先生也给我另外做一根。”

那天早上,奥利凡德先生给卢娜寄来了一根新魔杖。此刻卢娜正在屋后的草坪上,在下午的阳光下试验它的性能。迪安的魔杖也被搜捕队夺去了,他在一旁郁闷地看着。

Harry looked down at the hawthorn wand that had once belonged to Draco Malfoy. He had been surprised, but pleased, to discover that it worked for him at least as well as Hermione’s had done. Remembering what Ollivander had told them of the secret workings of wands, Harry thought he knew what Hermione’s problem was: She had not won the walnut wand’s allegiance by taking it personally from Bellatrix.

The door of the bedroom opened and Griphook entered. Harry reached instinctively for the hilt of the sword and drew it close to him, but regretted his action at once: He could tell that the goblin had noticed. Seeking to gloss over the sticky moment, he said, “We’ve just been checking the last-minute stuff, Griphook. We’ve told Bill and Fleur we’re leaving tomorrow, and we’ve told them not to get up to see us off.”

They had been firm on this point, because Hermione would need to transform into Bellatrix before they left, and the less that Bill and Fleur knew or suspected about what they were about to do, the better. They had also explained that they would not be returning. As they had lost Perkins’s old tent on the night that the Snatchers caught them, Bill had lent them another one. It was now packed inside the beaded bag, which, Harry was impressed to learn, Hermione had protected from the Snatchers by the simple expedient of stuffing it down her sock.

Though he would miss Bill, Fleur, Luna, and Dean, not to mention the home comforts they had enjoyed over the last few weeks, Harry was looking forward to escaping the confinement of Shell Cottage. He was tired of trying to make sure that they were not overheard, tired of being shut in the tiny, dark bedroom. Most of all, he longed to be rid of Griphook. However, precisely how and when they were to part from the goblin without handing over Gryffindor’s sword remained a question to which Harry had no answer. It had been impossible to decide how they were going to do it, because the goblin rarely left Harry, Ron, and Hermione alone together for more than five minutes at a time: “He could give my mother lessons,” growled Ron, as the goblin’s long fingers kept appearing around the edges of doors.

With Bill’s warning in mind, Harry could not help suspecting that Griphook was on the watch for possible skulduggery. Hermione disapproved so heartily of the planned double-cross that Harry had given up attempting to pick her brains on how best to do it; Ron, on the rare occasions that they had been able to snatch a few Griphook-free moments, had come up with nothing better than “We’ll just have to wing it, mate.”

哈利低头注视着曾经属于德拉科·马尔福的山楂木魔杖。他惊讶但庆幸地发现,它用起来至少跟赫敏的魔杖一样顺手。哈利记起了奥利凡德说过的魔杖性能的秘密,他估计赫敏的问题是:她没有战胜胡桃木魔杖效忠的对象,直接从贝拉特里克斯的手上夺得它。

卧室的门开了,拉环走了进来。哈利本能地伸手抓住剑柄,把宝剑揽到自己的身边,但马上又后悔了:他能看出妖精注意到了这个动作。为了掩饰刚才的尴尬,哈利说:“我们正在做最后的检查,拉环。我们已经告诉比尔和芙蓉我们明天离开,并且叫他们不要起床送我们。”

因为他们离开之前赫敏要化装成贝拉特里克斯,而让比尔和芙蓉知道的或猜到的越少越好,所以哈利等坚决不要他们送,并讲明了不再返回这里。珀金斯的旧帐篷在遭遇搜捕队的那天晚上弄丢了,比尔又借给他们一个,现在就放在串珠小包里。赫敏那天居然是把小包塞进袜子里才躲过了搜捕队的搜查,哈利得知后十分佩服。

尽管哈利会想念比尔、芙蓉、卢娜以及迪安,更不必说这几个星期来享受的家的舒适,但他仍然期待着逃离贝壳小屋的禁锢。他已经厌倦了总要确保他和罗恩、赫敏说话时不会被别人听见,厌倦了把他们自己关在狭小黑暗的卧室里。尤其是他想摆脱拉环。然而,在不交出格兰芬多宝剑的情况下,怎样以及什么时候才能与那个妖精分手,哈利一直想不出答案。那妖精很少让哈利、罗恩和赫敏单独待在一起五分钟以上,他们三人不可能商量出办法。

“他都可以给我妈妈上上课了。”罗恩埋怨道,因为妖精的长手指不停地出现在门边。

有比尔的警告在脑海里,哈利不禁怀疑拉环随时都在提防他们使诈。赫敏强烈反对计划中的骗局,以至于哈利放弃了同她商量如何完成它。而难得几次没有拉环的自由时间里,罗恩所能想到的也就是:“我们见机行事吧,伙计。”

Harry slept badly that night. Lying awake in the early hours, he thought back to the way he had felt the night before they had infiltrated the Ministry of Magic and remembered a determination, almost an excitement. Now he was experiencing jolts of anxiety, nagging doubts: He could not shake off the fear that it was all going to go wrong. He kept telling himself that their plan was good, that Griphook knew what they were facing, that they were well-prepared for all the difficulties they were likely to encounter, yet still he felt uneasy. Once or twice he heard Ron stir and was sure that he too was awake, but they were sharing the sitting room with Dean, so Harry did not speak.

It was a relief when six o’clock arrived and they could slip out of their sleeping bags, dress in the semidarkness, then creep out into the garden, where they were to meet Hermione and Griphook. The dawn was chilly, but there was little wind now that it was May. Harry looked up at the stars still glimmering palely in the dark sky and listened to the sea washing backward and forward against the cliff: He was going to miss the sound.

Small green shoots were forcing their way up through the red earth of Dobby’s grave now; in a year’s time the mound would be covered in flowers. The white stone that bore the elf ’s name had already acquired a weathered look. He realized now that they could hardly have laid Dobby to rest in a more beautiful place, but Harry ached with sadness to think of leaving him behind. Looking down on the grave, he wondered yet again how the elf had known where to come to rescue them.

His fingers moved absentmindedly to the little pouch still strung around his neck, through which he could feel the jagged mirror fragment in which he had been sure he had seen Dumbledore’s eye. Then the sound of a door opening made him look around.

Bellatrix Lestrange was striding across the lawn toward them, accompanied by Griphook. As she walked, she was tucking the small, beaded bag into the inside pocket of another set of the old robes they had taken from Grimmauld Place. Though Harry knew perfectly well that it was really Hermione, he could not suppress a shiver of loathing. She was taller than he was, her long black hair rippling down her back, her heavily lidded eyes disdainful as they rested upon him; but then she spoke, and he heard Hermione through Bellatrix’s low voice.

那个晚上哈利睡得很糟糕。开始几小时一直醒着,回想起潜入魔法部之前那天晚上的感受。记得当时他是满怀决心,几乎是兴奋的,而现在他却感到一阵阵焦虑和痛苦的怀疑,摆脱不掉对于彻底失败的恐惧。他不停地告诉自己计划很周密,对可能遭遇的所有困难都做了充分准备,而且拉环很熟悉情况。可是他心里仍然不踏实,有一两次听到罗恩有动静,他断定罗恩也醒着,但他们是和迪安一起睡在起居室里,所以哈利没有说话。

谢天谢地,六点钟到了,他们钻出睡袋,在昏暗中穿上衣服,轻手轻脚地走到花园里,等待着同赫敏和拉环会合。黎明很寒冷,但由于是五月了,没有什么风。哈利抬头看着仍在黑色夜空中闪烁着微光的星星,听着海水一遍遍冲击着峭壁——他将会怀念这声音。

现在,绿色的小嫩芽已经从多比坟上的红土中钻出,一年之后这个土丘将被鲜花覆盖。刻有多比名字的白石头已经有点风化的痕迹。他现在才意识到,再也找不到一个比这里更美丽的地方让多比安息了。然而,想到就要离开多比,哈利悲伤得有点心痛。他低头看着坟墓,再次疑惑小精灵是怎么知道去哪里营救他们的。他的手指不经意间伸向挂在脖子上的小皮袋,摸到了边缘不齐的镜子碎片,他曾相信在里面见到了邓布利多的眼睛。这时,开门声一响,他回过头来。

贝拉特里克斯·莱斯特兰奇大步跨过草坪朝他们走来,拉环陪在旁边。她穿着一件从格里莫广场带来的旧袍子,边走边把串珠小包塞进袍子里面的口袋。哈利尽管明知道那其实是赫敏,却仍然抑制不住一阵厌恶的战栗。她的个头比他还高,长长的波浪形黑发披在背后,肿眼皮的眼睛轻蔑地看着他。但她说话时,哈利从贝拉特里克斯低沉的声音中听出了赫敏。

“She tasted disgusting, worse than Gurdyroots! Okay, Ron, come here so I can do you. . . .”

“Right, but remember, I don’t like the beard too long —”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, this isn’t about looking handsome —” “It’s not that, it gets in the way! But I liked my nose a bit shorter, try and do it the way you did last time.”

Hermione sighed and set to work, muttering under her breath as she transformed various aspects of Ron’s appearance. He was to be given a completely fake identity, and they were trusting to the malevolent aura cast by Bellatrix to protect him. Meanwhile Harry and Griphook were to be concealed under the Invisibility Cloak.

“There,” said Hermione, “how does he look, Harry?”

It was just possible to discern Ron under his disguise, but only, Harry thought, because he knew him so well. Ron’s hair was now long and wavy; he had a thick brown beard and mustache, no freckles, a short, broad nose, and heavy eyebrows.

“Well, he’s not my type, but he’ll do,” said Harry. “Shall we go, then?”

All three of them glanced back at Shell Cottage, lying dark and silent under the fading stars, then turned and began to walk toward the point, just beyond the boundary wall, where the Fidelius Charm stopped working and they would be able to Disapparate. Once past the gate, Griphook spoke.

“I should climb up now, Harry Potter, I think?”

Harry bent down and the goblin clambered onto his back, his hands linked in front of Harry’s throat. He was not heavy, but Harry disliked the feeling of the goblin and the surprising strength with which he clung on. Hermione pulled the Invisibility Cloak out of the beaded bag and threw it over them both.

“Perfect,” she said, bending down to check Harry’s feet. “I can’t see a thing. Let’s go.”

“她的味道令人作呕,比弋迪根还糟糕!好,罗恩,过来让我给你弄……”

“好吧,但是记住,我不喜欢胡子太长——”

“哦,看在老天爷的分儿上,这不是好看不好看的问题——”

“不是的——它碍事儿!不过我喜欢我的鼻子变短一点,就照你上次弄的那样。”

赫敏叹了口气,开始工作,嘴里喃喃地念着,帮罗恩改变容貌。他被赋予了一个完全是捏造的身份,他们指望贝拉特里克斯那股邪恶的霸气会保护他。哈利和拉环将藏在隐形衣下面。

“好了,”赫敏说,“他看起来怎样,哈利?”

伪装过的罗恩还能勉强辨识出来,但哈利想那只是因为他和罗恩太熟悉了。罗恩现在头发长而拳曲,下巴上有一把浓密的棕色胡须,上唇也留着小胡子,脸上没有了雀斑,眉毛很浓,鼻子又短又宽。

“嗯,不是我喜欢的类型,但是还凑合。”哈利说,“我们可以走了吗?”

三个人都回头看了一眼贝壳小屋,它黑乎乎、静悄悄地卧在若隐若现的星星下。他们转身朝外走去,只要过了界墙,赤胆忠心咒就不再有效,他们便可以幻影移形了。一出大门,拉环便说话了。

“现在我该爬上去了,哈利·波特?”

哈利弯下腰,妖精爬到他背上,双手相扣抱住哈利的喉咙口。他并不重,但哈利不喜欢碰到妖精,也不喜欢他那样紧抱着自己,力气大得惊人。赫敏从串珠小包里取出隐形衣盖住了他俩。

“好极了,”她说,一边俯身检查哈利的脚,“我什么也看不到。走吧。”

Harry turned on the spot, with Griphook on his shoulders, concentrating with all his might on the Leaky Cauldron, the inn that was the entrance to Diagon Alley. The goblin clung even tighter as they moved into the compressing darkness, and seconds later Harry’s feet found pavement and he opened his eyes on Charing Cross Road. Muggles bustled past wearing the hangdog expressions of early morning, quite unconscious of the little inn’s existence.

The bar of the Leaky Cauldron was nearly deserted. Tom, the stooped and toothless landlord, was polishing glasses behind the bar counter; a couple of warlocks having a muttered conversation in the far corner glanced at Hermione and drew back into the shadows.

“Madam Lestrange,” murmured Tom, and as Hermione passed he inclined his head subserviently.

“Good morning,” said Hermione, and as Harry crept past, still carrying Griphook piggyback under the Cloak, he saw Tom look surprised.

“Too polite,” Harry whispered in Hermione’s ear as they passed out of the inn into the tiny backyard. “You need to treat people like they’re scum!”

“Okay, okay!”

Hermione drew out Bellatrix’s wand and tapped a brick in the nondescript wall in front of them. At once the bricks began to whirl and spin: A hole appeared in the middle of them, which grew wider and wider, finally forming an archway onto the narrow cobbled street that was Diagon Alley.

It was quiet, barely time for the shops to open, and there were hardly any shoppers abroad. The crooked, cobbled street was much altered now from the bustling place Harry had visited before his first term at Hogwarts so many years before. More shops than ever were boarded up, though several new establishments dedicated to the Dark Arts had been created since his last visit. Harry’s own face glared down at him from posters plastered over many windows, always captioned with the words undesirable number one.

哈利背着拉环在原地旋转,拼命集中意念想着破釜酒吧——那是对角巷的入口。当他们进入压得透不过气来的黑暗时,妖精抱得更紧了。几秒钟后,哈利的双脚踏到了地面,睁眼一看是查林十字路。麻瓜们匆匆走过,带着大清早那种没精打采的表情,丝毫没意识到小旅馆的存在。

破釜酒吧里几乎没有人。汤姆,那个驼背又没牙的老板,正在吧台后面擦拭玻璃杯;几个在远处墙角里窃窃私语的巫师瞥了一眼赫敏,退到了暗处。

“莱斯特兰奇夫人。”汤姆低声说道,当赫敏走过时,他恭敬地低下了头。

“早上好。”赫敏说,在隐形衣下背着拉环轻轻走过的哈利看出汤姆有些惊讶。

“太有礼貌了,”从旅馆进入小小的后院时,哈利对赫敏耳语道,“你对他们要像对待垃圾一样。”

“好,好!”

赫敏抽出贝拉特里克斯的魔杖,在面前普普通通的墙上轻敲一块砖头。墙块马上开始旋转,中间的地方出现了一个小洞,洞口越变越大,最后形成了一个拱洞,通向一条鹅卵石铺砌的狭窄街道,那就是对角巷。

街上静悄悄的,刚到店铺开门的时间,外面几乎还没有顾客。蜿蜒曲折的卵石小巷变化很大,当年哈利初进霍格沃茨之前来这里的时候,小巷中熙熙攘攘,何等热闹。而现在这么多的店铺都用木板封上了,倒是新建了几家经营黑魔法物品的店面,哈利上一次来时还没有呢。哈利自己的面孔从许多窗口张贴的海报上瞪着他,下面写着头号不良分子。

A number of ragged people sat huddled in doorways. He heard them moaning to the few passersby, pleading for gold, insisting that they were really wizards. One man had a bloody bandage over his eye.

As they set off along the street, the beggars glimpsed Hermione. They seemed to melt away before her, drawing hoods over their faces and fleeing as fast as they could. Hermione looked after them curiously, until the man with the bloodied bandage came staggering right across her path.

“My children!” he bellowed, pointing at her. His voice was cracked, high-pitched; he sounded distraught. “Where are my children? What has he done with them? You know, you know!”

“I — I really —” stammered Hermione.

The man lunged at her, reaching for her throat: Then, with a bang and a burst of red light he was thrown backward onto the ground, unconscious. Ron stood there, his wand still outstretched and a look of shock visible behind his beard. Faces appeared at the windows on either side of the street, while a little knot of prosperous-looking passersby gathered their robes about them and broke into gentle trots, keen to vacate the scene.

Their entrance into Diagon Alley could hardly have been more conspicuous; for a moment Harry wondered whether it might not be better to leave now and try to think of a different plan. Before they could move or consult one another, however, they heard a cry from behind them.

“Why, Madam Lestrange!”

Harry whirled around and Griphook tightened his hold around Harry’s neck: A tall, thin wizard with a crown of bushy gray hair and a long, sharp nose was striding toward them.

“It’s Travers,” hissed the goblin into Harry’s ear, but at that moment Harry could not think who Travers was. Hermione had drawn herself up to her fullest height and said with as much contempt as she could muster:

“And what do you want?”

Travers stopped in his tracks, clearly affronted.

“He’s another Death Eater!” breathed Griphook, and Harry sidled sideways to repeat the information into Hermione’s ear.

许多衣衫褴褛的人挤坐在各家店铺的门口。哈利听到他们在向寥寥无几的过客哀诉,乞讨金币,并强调自己是真正的巫师。有个男的一只眼睛上蒙着染血的绷带。

当他们沿着街道往前走时,乞丐们瞥见了赫敏,顿时作鸟兽散,都拉起兜帽遮着脸尽快逃离。赫敏好奇地目送他们,直到眼睛上蒙绷带的男人蹒跚地走到她面前。

“我的孩子们!”他指着她咆哮道,声音沙哑刺耳,听起来有点精神错乱,“我的孩子们在哪儿?他把他们怎么样了?你知道的,你知道的!”

“我——我真的——”赫敏结结巴巴地说。

那个男的突然冲向她,伸手来抓她的喉咙。随着砰的一声和一道红光,他向后摔倒在地,不省人事了。罗恩站在那儿,魔杖仍举在手里,胡子后面的脸上满是惊讶。街道两边的窗户里露出了人脸,一小群衣着体面的过路人拉起长袍小跑起来,急于离开现常

这样进入对角巷实在是太惹人注目了,哈利一时犹豫是否现在就撤离,重新再制定一个计划。可是他们还没来得及挪动脚步或商量,就听到身后传来一声叫喊。

“咦,莱斯特兰奇夫人!”

哈利急转过身,拉环把他的脖子抱得更紧了。一个瘦高个的巫师大步向他们走来,一头浓密的灰发,鼻子又长又尖。

“是特拉弗斯。”妖精在哈利耳边嘶嘶地说,但是哈利一时想不起特拉弗斯是谁。

赫敏挺直了身子,带着她所能装出来的最大轻蔑问道:“你想干吗?”

特拉弗斯停住脚步,显然觉得受到了冒犯。

“他也是食死徒!”拉环耳语道,哈利悄悄靠过去,把这个信息传进赫敏的耳朵。

“I merely sought to greet you,” said Travers coolly, “but if my presence is not welcome . . .”

Harry recognized his voice now; Travers was one of the Death Eaters who had been summoned to Xenophilius’s house.

“No, no, not at all, Travers,” said Hermione quickly, trying to cover up her mistake. “How are you?”

“Well, I confess I am surprised to see you out and about, Bellatrix.”

“Really? Why?” asked Hermione.

“Well,” Travers coughed, “I heard that the inhabitants of Malfoy Manor were confined to the house, after the . . . ah . . . escape.”

Harry willed Hermione to keep her head. If this was true, and Bellatrix was not supposed to be out in public —

“The Dark Lord forgives those who have served him most faithfully in the past,” said Hermione in a magnificent imitation of Bellatrix’s most contemptuous manner. “Perhaps your credit is not as good with him as mine is, Travers.”

Though the Death Eater looked offended, he also seemed less suspicious. He glanced down at the man Ron had just Stunned.

“How did it offend you?”

“It does not matter, it will not do so again,” said Hermione coolly.

“Some of these wandless can be troublesome,” said Travers. “While they do nothing but beg I have no objection, but one of them actually asked me to plead her case at the Ministry last week. ‘I’m a witch, sir, I’m a witch, let me prove it to you!’ ” he said in a squeaky impersonation. “As if I was going to give her my wand — but whose wand,” said Travers curiously, “are you using at the moment, Bellatrix? I heard that your own was —”

“我只是想和你打个招呼,”特拉弗斯冷冷地说道,“但是如果不受欢迎的话……”

哈利现在听出他的声音了,特拉弗斯是被召唤到谢诺菲留斯家的食死徒之一。

“不,不,哪里,特拉弗斯,”赫敏忙说道,试图掩盖刚才的错误,“你好吗?”

“嗯,我承认我很惊讶见到你出来走动,贝拉特里克斯。”

“是吗?为什么?”赫敏问。

“嗯,”特拉弗斯咳嗽了一下,“我听说马尔福庄园的人都被禁闭在屋子里了,在那个……啊……逃脱之后。”

哈利祈求赫敏保持镇静。如果这消息是真的,如果贝拉特里克斯不该在公共场合出现——

“黑魔王原谅了那些过去对他最忠诚的人,”赫敏说,惟妙惟肖地模仿着贝拉特里克斯最傲慢时的态度,“也许你在他那里的信用没有我好,特拉弗斯。”

食死徒又好像受到了冒犯,但似乎也少了些怀疑。他低头看了一眼刚被罗恩击昏的那个男人。

“这东西怎么得罪了你?”

“没关系,不会再这样啦。”赫敏冷冷地说。

“这些没有魔杖的东西有时很麻烦,”特拉弗斯说道,“如果他们只是乞讨我倒不介意,但有一个竟然要我到魔法部去为她辩护。‘我是个女巫,先生,我是个女巫,让我证明给你看!’”他尖叫着模仿着,“好像我会把我的魔杖给她——可是,”特拉弗斯好奇地说,“你现在用的是谁的魔杖呀,贝拉特里克斯?我听说你自己的被——”

“I have my wand here,” said Hermione coldly, holding up Bellatrix’s wand. “I don’t know what rumors you have been listening to, Travers, but you seem sadly misinformed.”

Travers seemed a little taken aback at that, and he turned instead to Ron.

“Who is your friend? I do not recognize him.”

“This is Dragomir Despard,” said Hermione; they had decided that a fictional foreigner was the safest cover for Ron to assume. “He speaks very little English, but he is in sympathy with the Dark Lord’s aims. He has traveled here from Transylvania to see our new regime.”

“Indeed? How do you do, Dragomir?”

“ ’Ow you?” said Ron, holding out his hand.

Travers extended two fingers and shook Ron’s hand as though frightened of dirtying himself.

“So what brings you and your — ah — sympathetic friend to Diagon Alley this early?” asked Travers.

“I need to visit Gringotts,” said Hermione.

“Alas, I also,” said Travers. “Gold, filthy gold! We cannot live without it, yet I confess I deplore the necessity of consorting with our long-fingered friends.”

Harry felt Griphook’s clasped hands tighten momentarily around his neck.

“Shall we?” said Travers, gesturing Hermione forward.

Hermione had no choice but to fall into step beside him and head along the crooked, cobbled street toward the place where the snowywhite Gringotts stood towering over the other little shops. Ron sloped along beside them, and Harry and Griphook followed.

“这就是我自己的魔杖,”赫敏冷冷地说,一边举起贝拉特里克斯的魔杖,“我不知道你听到了什么谣言,特拉弗斯,你似乎被很可悲地误导了。”

特拉弗斯似乎有点吃惊,他转向罗恩。

“你的朋友是谁?我不认识他。”

“他是德拉哥米尔·德斯帕德,”赫敏说,他们商议计划时决定,一个虚构的外国名字对于罗恩是最安全的掩护,“他几乎不会说英语,但是很支持黑魔王的目标。他是从特兰西瓦尼亚来看我们新政权的。”

“是吗?你好,德拉哥米尔。”

“你好。”罗恩伸出手说。

特拉弗斯伸出两根手指与罗恩握手,似乎担心弄脏自己似的。

“那么,你和你的——啊——这位支持我们的朋友这么早就到对角巷来有何贵干呀?”特拉弗斯问道。

“我要去古灵阁。”赫敏说。

“哎呀,我也要去,”特拉弗斯说,“金子,肮脏的金子!我们活着离不开它,然而我承认,我很遗憾我必须跟那些长手指的朋友打交道。”

哈利感到拉环的手一时勒紧了他的脖子。

“请吧?”特拉弗斯说着,示意赫敏向前走。

赫敏别无选择,只好跟在他的身边,沿着蜿蜒曲折的鹅卵石街道,朝高高耸立在小店铺之上的那座雪白的塔楼——古灵阁走去。罗恩走在他们身旁,哈利和拉环跟在后面。

A watchful Death Eater was the very last thing they needed, and the worst of it was, with Travers marching at what he believed to be Bellatrix’s side, there was no means for Harry to communicate with Hermione or Ron. All too soon they arrived at the foot of the marble steps leading up to the great bronze doors. As Griphook had already warned them, the liveried goblins who usually flanked the entrance had been replaced by two wizards, both of whom were clutching long thin golden rods.

“Ah, Probity Probes,” sighed Travers theatrically, “so crude — but effective!”

And he set off up the steps, nodding left and right to the wizards, who raised the golden rods and passed them up and down his body. The Probes, Harry knew, detected spells of concealment and hidden magical objects. Knowing that he had only seconds; Harry pointed Draco’s wand at each of the guards in turn and murmured, “Confundo” twice. Unnoticed by Travers, who was looking through the bronze doors at the inner hall, each of the guards gave a little start as the spells hit them.

Hermione’s long black hair rippled behind her as she climbed the steps.

“One moment, madam,” said the guard, raising his Probe.

“But you’ve just done that!” said Hermione in Bellatrix’s commanding, arrogant voice. Travers looked around, eyebrows raised. The guard was confused. He stared down at the thin golden Probe and then at his companion, who said in a slightly dazed voice,

“Yeah, you’ve just checked them, Marius.”

Hermione swept forward, Ron by her side, Harry and Griphook trotting invisibly behind them. Harry glanced back as they crossed the threshold: The wizards were both scratching their heads.

他们最不希望出现的就是一个警惕的食死徒,最糟糕的是,特拉弗斯陪伴在他以为的贝拉特里克斯身旁,哈利就没有办法同赫敏和罗恩交流了。很快,他们已经到了通往青铜大门的大理石台阶底部。正如拉环警告过的那样,大门两侧穿制服的妖精已经换成了两个巫师,各持一根细长的金棒。

“啊,诚实探测器,”特拉弗斯夸张地叹口气,“很原始——但很有效!”

他走上台阶,朝大门左右的巫师点了点头,他们举起金棒在他周身上下移动着。哈利知道这种仪器会探测到隐藏魔咒以及暗藏的魔法物件。哈利知道只有几秒钟的机会,他迅速举起德拉科的魔杖点了点两个门卫,低声念了两遍“混淆视听”。两个门卫被咒语击中,都微微一震,特拉弗斯看着铜门里面的内厅,没有注意到。

赫敏登上台阶,长长的黑发在身后如波浪般飘荡。

“等一等,夫人。”门卫举起探测器说道。

“你刚刚已经检查过了!”赫敏用贝拉特里克斯那傲慢的、盛气凌人的口吻说。特拉弗斯回过头,扬起眉毛。

门卫迷惑了,低头盯着细细的金色探测器,然后盯着他的同伴,后者有点茫然地说:“是的,你刚才查过他们了,马里厄斯。”

赫敏大步往前走,罗恩跟在她的身边,隐形的哈利和拉环紧随其后。过了门口,哈利回头瞥了一眼:两个巫师都在挠脑袋。

Two goblins stood before the inner doors, which were made of silver and which carried the poem warning of dire retribution to potential thieves. Harry looked up at it, and all of a sudden a knifesharp memory came to him: standing on this very spot on the day that he had turned eleven, the most wonderful birthday of his life, and Hagrid standing beside him saying, “Like I said, yeh’d be mad ter try an’ rob it.” Gringotts had seemed a place of wonder that day, the enchanted repository of a trove of gold he had never known he possessed, and never for an instant could he have dreamed that he would return to steal. . . . But within seconds they were standing in the vast marble hall of the bank.

The long counter was manned by goblins sitting on high stools, serving the first customers of the day. Hermione, Ron, and Travers headed toward an old goblin who was examining a thick gold coin through an eyeglass. Hermione allowed Travers to step ahead of her on the pretext of explaining features of the hall to Ron.

The goblin tossed the coin he was holding aside, said to nobody in particular, “Leprechaun,” and then greeted Travers, who passed over a tiny golden key, which was examined and given back to him.

Hermione stepped forward.

“Madam Lestrange!” said the goblin, evidently startled. “Dear me! How — how may I help you today?”

“I wish to enter my vault,” said Hermione.

The old goblin seemed to recoil a little. Harry glanced around. Not only was Travers hanging back, watching, but several other goblins had looked up from their work to stare at Hermione.

“You have . . . identification?” asked the goblin.

“Identification? I — I have never been asked for identification before!” said Hermione.

第二道门前站着两个妖精,银制的大门上镌刻着窃贼必受恶报的诗句。哈利抬头看着它,突然一个如刀刻般鲜明的记忆浮现在他的眼前:他刚满十一岁的那天,他一生中最奇妙的生日那天,就是站在这里,海格在他旁边说:“就像我说的,你要是想抢这个银行,那你就是疯了。”那天,古灵阁在他看来是一个神奇的地方,是施了魔法的宝库,里面藏着那么多他根本不知道在他名下的金子。他从没想到过自己会回来偷盗……但几秒钟后,他们已经站在了巨大的大理石门厅里。

长长的柜台后面,妖精们坐在高凳上,接待当天的第一批顾客。赫敏、罗恩和特拉弗斯朝着一个年长的妖精走去,他正在透过镜片检查一块厚厚的金币。赫敏借口要向罗恩介绍大厅的特色,让特拉弗斯走在她的前面。

那个妖精把手里的金币丢到一边,随口说了声“小矮妖”,然后向特拉弗斯问好,接过他递上去的一把小金钥匙,检查过后又还给了他。

赫敏跨步向前。

“莱斯特兰奇夫人!”妖精说道,显然很吃惊,“啊呀!您——今天我能为您做点什么?”

“我想进入我的金库。”赫敏说。

年长的妖精似乎退缩了一下。哈利瞥了一眼四周。不仅特拉弗斯停下来看着她,好几个妖精都抬起头盯着赫敏。

“您有……身份证明吗?”那个妖精问。

“身份证明?我——我——以前从没有向我要过身份证明呀!”赫敏说。

“They know!” whispered Griphook in Harry’s ear. “They must have been warned there might be an impostor!”

“Your wand will do, madam,” said the goblin. He held out a slightly trembling hand, and in a dreadful blast of realization Harry knew that the goblins of Gringotts were aware that Bellatrix’s wand had been stolen.

“Act now, act now,” whispered Griphook in Harry’s ear, “the Imperius Curse!”

Harry raised the hawthorn wand beneath the cloak, pointed it at the old goblin, and whispered, for the first time in his life, “Imperio!”

A curious sensation shot down Harry’s arm, a feeling of tingling warmth that seemed to flow from his mind, down the sinews and veins connecting him to the wand and the curse it had just cast. The goblin took Bellatrix’s wand, examined it closely, and then said, “Ah, you have had a new wand made, Madam Lestrange!”

“What?” said Hermione. “No, no, that’s mine —”

“A new wand?” said Travers, approaching the counter again; still the goblins all around were watching. “But how could you have done, which wandmaker did you use?”

Harry acted without thinking: Pointing his wand at Travers, he muttered, “Imperio!” once more.

“Oh yes, I see,” said Travers, looking down at Bellatrix’s wand, “yes, very handsome. And is it working well? I always think wands require a little breaking in, don’t you?”

Hermione looked utterly bewildered, but to Harry’s enormous relief she accepted the bizarre turn of events without comment.

The old goblin behind the counter clapped his hands and a younger goblin approached.

“他们知道了!”拉环在哈利的耳朵轻声低语,“他们一定得到警告,说有人会冒名顶替!”

“您的魔杖就可以证明,夫人。”那妖精说着,伸出了微微颤抖的手。哈利突然产生了一个可怕的念头,意识到古灵阁的妖精们知道贝拉特里克斯的魔杖已经失窃了。

“马上动手,马上动手,”拉环耳语道,“用夺魂咒!”

哈利在隐形衣下面举起山楂木魔杖,指向那个年长的妖精,平生第一次轻声念道:“魂魄出窍!”

一种奇特的感觉迅速传入哈利的手臂,一股麻刺刺的暖流似乎从他的脑海里流出,顺着肌肉和血管把他与魔杖和刚施的咒语连接在一起。那个妖精接过贝拉特里克斯的魔杖,仔细地检查过后说:“啊,您又做了一根新魔杖,莱斯特兰奇夫人!”

“什么?”赫敏说,“不,不,那是我的——”

“新魔杖?”特拉弗斯又走回柜台前,周围的妖精仍在注视着,“但你是怎么做到的呢?找了哪一位魔杖制作人?”

哈利不假思索地采取行动,他将魔杖指向了特拉弗斯,再次低声喝道:“魂魄出窍!”

“哦,是,我看到了,”特拉弗斯低头看着贝拉特里克斯的魔杖说道,“是的,很漂亮。好用吗?我一直认为魔杖需要一点时间来磨合,你认为呢?”

赫敏似乎完全被搞糊涂了,但是她一言不发地接受了这些古怪的变化,哈利深深地松了口气。

柜台后面那位年长的妖精拍了一下手,一个年纪稍轻的妖精走了过来。

“I shall need the Clankers,” he told the goblin, who dashed away and returned a moment later with a leather bag that seemed to be full of jangling metal, which he handed to his senior. “Good, good! So, if you will follow me, Madam Lestrange,” said the old goblin, hopping down off his stool and vanishing from sight, “I shall take you to your vault.”

He appeared around the end of the counter, jogging happily toward them, the contents of the leather bag still jingling. Travers was now standing quite still with his mouth hanging wide open. Ron was drawing attention to this odd phenomenon by regarding Travers with confusion.

“Wait — Bogrod!”

Another goblin came scurrying around the counter.

“We have instructions,” he said with a bow to Hermione. “Forgive me, Madam, but there have been special orders regarding the vault of Lestrange.”

He whispered urgently in Bogrod’s ear, but the Imperiused goblin shook him off.

“I am aware of the instructions. Madam Lestrange wishes to visit her vault. . . . Very old family . . . old clients . . . This way, please . . .”

And, still clanking, he hurried toward one of the many doors leading off the hall. Harry looked back at Travers, who was still rooted to the spot looking abnormally vacant, and made his decision: With a flick of his wand he made Travers come with them, walking meekly in their wake as they reached the door and passed into the rough stone passageway beyond, which was lit with flaming torches.

“我要用丁当片。”年长的妖精对他说,年轻的妖精迅速离去,不一会儿就拿来一个小皮包交给年长的妖精,小包里似乎装满了丁当作响的金属。“好的,好的!请跟我来吧,莱斯特兰奇夫人,”年长的妖精说着,从凳子上跳下去不见了,“我带您去您的金库。”

他出现在柜台的尽头,很高兴地朝他们跑过来,小皮包里的东西仍在丁当作响。特拉弗斯现在很安静地站在那里,嘴巴张得大大的。罗恩困惑地看着特拉弗斯,等于在吸引别人注意这个怪现象。

“等等——鲍格罗德!”

另一个妖精急忙绕过柜台跑了过来。

“我们有指示,”他说道,同时向赫敏鞠了一躬,“请原谅,莱斯特兰奇夫人。关于莱斯特兰奇的金库,我们得到过特殊的指示。”

他在鲍格罗德的耳边急急地低声说了几句,但是被施了夺魂咒的妖精推开了他。

“我知道有指示。莱斯特兰奇夫人希望看着她的金库……很古老的家庭……老顾客……这边走,请……”

他仍然丁当作响地匆匆朝大厅的一扇门走去。哈利回头一看,特拉弗斯还像生了根一样站在原地,眼神茫然而不正常。哈利做出决定:轻挥魔杖让特拉弗斯跟了过来。那巫师温顺地紧跟在他们后面,他们穿过那扇门进了粗糙的石廊,里面有燃烧的火把照明。

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