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Harry’s feet touched road. He saw the achingly familiar Hogsmeade High Street: dark shop fronts, and the outline of black mountains beyond the village, and the curve in the road ahead that led off toward Hogwarts, and light spilling from the windows of the Three Broomsticks, and with a lurch of the heart he remembered, with piercing accuracy, how he had landed here nearly a year before, supporting a desperately weak Dumbledore; all this in a second, upon landing — and then, even as he relaxed his grip upon Ron’s and Hermione’s arms, it happened.

The air was rent by a scream that sounded like Voldemort’s when he had realized the cup had been stolen: It tore at every nerve in Harry’s body, and he knew immediately that their appearance had caused it. Even as he looked at the other two beneath the Cloak, the door of the Three Broomsticks burst open and a dozen cloaked and hooded Death Eaters dashed into the street, their wands aloft.

Harry seized Ron’s wrist as he raised his wand; there were too many of them to Stun: Even attempting it would give away their position. One of the Death Eaters waved his wand and the scream stopped, still echoing around the distant mountains.

“Accio Cloak!” roared one of the Death Eaters.

Harry seized its folds, but it made no attempt to escape: The Summoning Charm had not worked on it.

“Not under your wrapper, then, Potter?” yelled the Death Eater who had tried the charm, and then to his fellows, “Spread out. He’s here.”

哈利的脚触到了路面。他看见了熟悉得令他心痛的霍格莫德大街:漆黑的店面,村外远处黑黢黢的群山轮廓,前方通往霍格沃茨的弯道,还有三把扫帚酒吧窗户里透出的灯光。他的心猛地抽搐了一下,想起就在差不多一年前,他搀扶着奄奄一息的邓布利多降落在这里,那一幕情景如刀割一般逼真。所有这些都是在降落的一瞬间感到的——就在他松开罗恩和赫敏的胳膊时,出事了。

一声尖叫划破了夜空,听着像伏地魔发现金杯被盗时的喊叫,这声音折磨着哈利全身的神经,他立刻明白了这是他们引起的。就在他看着隐形衣下的另外两个人时,三把扫帚的门突然打开,十几个穿斗篷、戴兜帽的食死徒高举着魔杖冲到了街上。

罗恩举起魔杖,哈利一把抓住他的手腕。敌人太多,不能使用昏迷咒,就连试一试都会暴露他们的方位。一个食死徒挥了挥魔杖,尖叫声停止了,但仍在远处的群山间回荡不绝。

“隐形衣飞来!”一个食死徒吼道。

哈利揪住斗篷,但它并没有溜走的意思,飞来咒对它不起作用。

“这么说你没包裹着,波特?”念飞来咒的那个食死徒喊道,然后又对同伙说,“小心散开。他就在这儿。”

Six of the Death Eaters ran toward them: Harry, Ron, and Hermione backed as quickly as possible down the nearest side street, and the Death Eaters missed them by inches. They waited in the darkness, listening to the footsteps running up and down, beams of light flying along the street from the Death Eaters’ searching wands.

“Let’s just leave!” Hermione whispered. “Disapparate now!”

“Great idea,” said Ron, but before Harry could reply a Death Eater shouted,

“We know you’re here, Potter, and there’s no getting away! We’ll find you!”

“They were ready for us,” whispered Harry. “They set up that spell to tell them we’d come. I reckon they’ve done something to keep us here, trap us —”

“What about dementors?” called another Death Eater. “Let ’em have free rein, they’d find him quick enough!”

“The Dark Lord wants Potter dead by no hand but his —”

“— an’ dementors won’t kill him! The Dark Lord wants Potter’s life, not his soul. He’ll be easier to kill if he’s been Kissed first!”

There were noises of agreement. Dread filled Harry: To repel dementors they would have to produce Patronuses, which would give them away immediately.

“We’re going to have to try to Disapparate, Harry!” Hermione whispered.

Even as she said it, he felt the unnatural cold begin to steal over the street. Light was sucked from the environment right up to the stars, which vanished. In the pitch-blackness, he felt Hermione take hold of his arm and together, they turned on the spot.

六七个食死徒朝他们跑来,哈利、罗恩和赫敏迅速后退,拐进了最后的一条小街,仅差几英寸就被他们撞上了。他们在黑暗中等待着,听着脚步声跑过来跑过去,食死徒举着魔杖搜寻,一道道魔杖的光在街上穿梭扫射。

“我们离开吧!”赫敏小声说,“现在就幻影移形!”

“好主意。”罗恩说。没等哈利回答,一个食死徒就叫了起来:“我们知道你在这儿,波特,你逃不了啦!我们会找到你的!”

“他们早有准备,”哈利小声说,“弄了那个咒语,我们一来就发出警报。我想他们肯定也采取了什么办法要把我们留在这里,困在这里——”

“摄魂怪怎么样?”另一个食死徒大声喊道,“把它们放出来吧,它们会很快找到他的!”

“黑魔王想要亲手杀死波特——”

“——摄魂怪不会杀死他的!黑魔王要的是波特的命,不是他的灵魂。如果他先被吻过,再要杀死他就容易了!”

食死徒们嚷嚷着表示同意。哈利心头掠过一阵恐惧:驱散摄魂怪必须召来守护神,那样立刻就会暴露自己。

“只能试试幻影移形了。哈利!”赫敏小声说。

她话音没落,哈利就感到一股不同寻常的寒意从街上袭来。四周的灯光都被吸走了,就连星星也消失了。在伸手不见五指的黑暗中,他感到赫敏抓住了他的胳膊,他们一起原地旋转。

The air through which they needed to move seemed to have become solid: They could not Disapparate; the Death Eaters had cast their charms well. The cold was biting deeper and deeper into Harry’s flesh. He, Ron, and Hermione retreated down the side street, groping their way along the wall, trying not to make a sound.

Then, around the corner, gliding noiselessly, came dementors, ten or more of them, visible because they were of a denser darkness than their surroundings, with their black cloaks and their scabbed and rotting hands. Could they sense fear in the vicinity? Harry was sure of it: They seemed to be coming more quickly now, taking those dragging, rattling breaths he detested, tasting despair on the air, closing in —

He raised his wand: He could not, would not, suffer the Dementor’s Kiss, whatever happened afterward. It was of Ron and Hermione that he thought as he whispered, “Expecto Patronum!”

The silver stag burst from his wand and charged: The dementors scattered and there was a triumphant yell from somewhere out of sight.

“It’s him, down there, down there, I saw his Patronus, it was a stag!

The dementors had retreated, the stars were popping out again, and the footsteps of the Death Eaters were becoming louder; but before Harry in his panic could decide what to do, there was a grinding of bolts nearby, a door opened on the left-hand side of the narrow street, and a rough voice said, “Potter, in here, quick!”

He obeyed without hesitation: The three of them hurtled through the open doorway.

“Upstairs, keep the Cloak on, keep quiet!” muttered a tall figure, passing them on his way into the street and slamming the door behind him.

需要穿越的空气似乎变成了坚实的固体,他们不能幻影移形了。食死徒的魔咒还真厉害。寒意一点一点地渗透进哈利的肌肤。他和罗恩、赫敏在小街上一步一步后退,顺着墙壁摸索,尽量不发出一点声音。

接着,摄魂怪在街角出现了,有十多个,无声无息地飘移过来。他之所以能看得到它们,是因为它们黑色的斗篷、结痂腐烂的手比周围的黑暗更加深浓。它们能感觉到附近的恐惧吗?哈利知道肯定能。它们现在似乎移动得更快了,发出令他憎恶的那种又长又慢、咯咯作响的呼吸声,品尝着空气里的绝望,围拢了过来——

他举起魔杖。不管后面会发出什么事,他都不能、也不愿经受摄魂怪的吻。“呼神护卫!”他小声说,心里想的是罗恩和赫敏。

银色的牡鹿从他的魔杖里奔出来往前冲去。摄魂怪四散逃开,从看不见的地方传来一声得意的叫嚷。

“是他,就在那儿,就在那儿,我看见他的守护神了,是一头牡鹿!”

摄魂怪退去了,星星又开始眨动着眼睛,食死徒的脚步声越来越响。情急之下,哈利一时不知如何应对。就在这时,旁边传来门闩吱吱嘎嘎的声音,小街左侧的一扇门打开了,一个粗暴的声音说:“波特,快进来,快!”

哈利毫不犹豫地照办了,三个人冲进了敞开的门。

Harry had had no idea where they were, but now he saw, by the stuttering light of a single candle, the grubby, sawdust-strewn bar of the Hog’s Head Inn. They ran behind the counter and through a second doorway, which led to a rickety wooden staircase that they climbed as fast as they could. The stairs opened onto a sitting room with a threadbare carpet and a small fireplace, above which hung a single large oil painting of a blonde girl who gazed out at the room with a kind of vacant sweetness.

Shouts reached them from the street below. Still wearing the Invisibility Cloak, they crept toward the grimy window and looked down. Their savior, whom Harry now recognized as the Hog’s Head’s barman, was the only person not wearing a hood.

“So what?” he was bellowing into one of the hooded faces. “So what? You send dementors down my street, I’ll send a Patronus back at ’em! I’m not having ’em near me, I’ve told you that, I’m not having it!”

“That wasn’t your Patronus!” said a Death Eater. “That was a stag, it was Potter’s!”

“Stag!” roared the barman, and he pulled out a wand. “Stag! You idiot — Expecto Patronum!”

Something huge and horned erupted from the wand: Head down, it charged toward the High Street and out of sight.

“That’s not what I saw —” said the Death Eater, though with less certainty.

“上楼,别脱隐形衣,别出声!”一个高高的身影说,从他们身边走到小街上,重重地关上了门。

哈利刚才不知道他们身在何处,此刻在一根孤零零的蜡烛摇曳的微光下,他看见了猪头酒吧那破烂肮脏、散着锯末的吧台。他们跑到柜台后面,又穿过一扇门,那里有一道摇摇晃晃的木头楼梯,他们尽快爬了上去。楼梯顶上是客厅,铺着破旧的地毯,还有个小小的壁炉,壁炉上方挂着一幅很大的油画,画上是一个金发的姑娘茫然而温柔地望着屋内。

下面的街道上传来喊叫声。他们仍然披着隐形衣,悄悄走到满是污垢的窗前向下张望。他们的救命恩人——这时哈利认出他是猪头酒吧的老板——是惟一没戴兜帽的人。

“怎么啦?”他朝一个戴兜帽的面孔吼道,“怎么啦?你们敢把摄魂怪弄到我的小街上来,我就要召守护神来对付它们!我不能让它们靠近我,我跟你们说过的,绝对不能!”

“那不是你的守护神!”一个食死徒说,“那是一头牡鹿,是波特的!”

“牡鹿!”酒店老板大吼一声,抽出魔杖,“牡鹿!你这个白痴——呼神护卫!”

他的杖尖冒出一个长着犄角的大家伙,它埋着脑袋冲向大街,消失不见了。

“我看见的不是这个——”那个食死徒说,但不像刚才那么肯定了。

“Curfew’s been broken, you heard the noise,” one of his companions told the barman. “Someone was out in the street against regulations —”

“If I want to put my cat out, I will, and be damned to your curfew!”

“You set off the Caterwauling Charm?”

“What if I did? Going to cart me off to Azkaban? Kill me for sticking my nose out my own front door? Do it, then, if you want to! But I hope for your sakes you haven’t pressed your little Dark Marks and summoned him. He’s not going to like being called here for me and my old cat, is he, now?”

“Don’t you worry about us,” said one of the Death Eaters, “worry about yourself, breaking curfew!”

“And where will you lot traffick potions and poisons when my pub’s closed down? What’ll happen to your little sidelines then?”

“Are you threatening — ?”

“I keep my mouth shut, it’s why you come here, isn’t it?”

“I still say I saw a stag Patronus!” shouted the first Death Eater.

“Stag?” roared the barman. “It’s a goat, idiot!”

“All right, we made a mistake,” said the second Death Eater. “Break curfew again and we won’t be so lenient!”

“有人违反了宵禁,你听见声音了,”他的一个同伙对酒吧老板说,“有人违反规定跑到了街上——”

“如果我想把猫放出去,我自然要放,去你妈的什么宵禁!”

“是你触响了啸叫咒?”

“是我又怎么样?要把我押到阿兹卡班去吗?就因为我把鼻子探出了自己的家门而杀死我吗?好吧,想这么做,你们尽管动手吧!不过为你们考虑,我奉劝你们不要去摁你们的黑魔小标记把他召来。他来了只看见我和我的老猫,肯定不会高兴的,是不是?”

“你就别替我们操心了,”一个食死徒说,“还是考虑考虑你自己吧,违反宵禁!”

“如果我的酒吧关门了,你们这帮人上哪儿去倒卖魔药和毒品呢?你们的小副业怎么办呢?”

“你胆敢威胁——?”

“我保证守口如瓶,你们就是为了这个来的,是不是?”

“我还是认为我看见了一头牡鹿守护神!”第一个食死徒大喊。

“牡鹿?”酒吧老板吼道,“那是只山羊,白痴!”

“好了好了,我们弄错了。”第二个食死徒说,“再敢违反宵禁,我们就不会这么客气了!”

The Death Eaters strode back toward the High Street. Hermione moaned with relief, wove out from under the Cloak, and sat down on a wobble-legged chair. Harry drew the curtains tight shut, then pulled the Cloak off himself and Ron. They could hear the barman down below, rebolting the door of the bar, then climbing the stairs.

Harry’s attention was caught by something on the mantelpiece: a small, rectangular mirror propped on top of it, right beneath the portrait of the girl.

The barman entered the room.

“You bloody fools,” he said gruffly, looking from one to the other of them. “What were you thinking, coming here?”

“Thank you,” said Harry. “We can’t thank you enough. You saved our lives.”

The barman grunted. Harry approached him, looking up into the face, trying to see past the long, stringy, wire-gray hair and beard. He wore spectacles. Behind the dirty lenses, the eyes were a piercing, brilliant blue.

“It’s your eye I’ve been seeing in the mirror.”

There was silence in the room. Harry and the barman looked at each other.

“You sent Dobby.”

The barman nodded and looked around for the elf.

食死徒们转身返回大街上。赫敏放心地舒了口气,从隐形衣下面钻了出来,坐在一张摇摇晃晃的椅子上。哈利把窗帘拉严了,把隐形衣从自己和罗恩身上脱了下来。他们听见酒吧老板在下面闩上酒吧的门,走上了楼梯。

哈利的注意力被壁炉台上的一个东西吸引住了:一面长方形的小镜子支在台上,就在那个姑娘肖像的下面。

酒吧老板进了房间。

“你们这些该死的傻瓜,”他粗暴地说,挨个儿看看他们三个,“你们是怎么想的,竟然跑到这儿来了?”

“谢谢你,”哈利说,“真不知该怎么感谢你。你救了我们的命。”

酒吧老板气哼哼地嘟囔着。哈利走上前去,抬头端详着他的脸,努力透过一缕缕金属丝般的灰色头发和胡须看清他的模样。他戴着眼镜,在脏兮兮的镜片后面,一双蓝色的眼睛明亮、锐利。

“我在镜子里看见的就是你的眼睛。”

房间里一片寂静。哈利和酒吧老板互相对视着。

“多比是你派来的。”

酒吧老板点点头,左右张望着寻找那个小精灵。

“Thought he’d be with you. Where’ve you left him?”

“He’s dead,” said Harry. “Bellatrix Lestrange killed him.”

The barman’s face was impassive. After a few moments he said, “I’m sorry to hear it. I liked that elf.”

He turned away, lighting lamps with prods of his wand, not looking at any of them.

“You’re Aberforth,” said Harry to the man’s back.

He neither confirmed nor denied it, but bent to light the fire.

“How did you get this?” Harry asked, walking across to Sirius’s mirror, the twin of the one he had broken nearly two years before. “Bought it from Dung ’bout a year ago,” said Aberforth. “Albus told me what it was. Been trying to keep an eye out for you.”

Ron gasped.

“The silver doe!” he said excitedly. “Was that you too?”

“What are you talking about?” said Aberforth.

“我以为他会和你在一起。你把他留在哪儿了?”

“他死了,”哈利说,“贝拉特里克斯·莱斯特兰奇杀死了他。”

酒吧老板的脸上毫无表情。过了片刻,他说:“这消息让我很难过。我喜欢那个小精灵。”

他转过身,不再看他们三个,兀自用魔杖把一盏盏灯点亮了。

“你是阿不福思。”哈利对着他的后背说。

他不置可否,弯腰去点炉火。

“你是怎么弄得这个的?”哈利问,一边走到小天狼星的镜子跟前,它跟两年前被哈利打碎的那面镜子是一对。

“大约一年前从蒙顿格斯手里买的,”阿不福思说,“阿不思跟我讲过。我一直在密切注意你。”

罗恩吃惊得喘不过气来。

“那头银色的牝鹿!”他激动地说,“也是你吗?”

“你在说什么呀?”阿不福思问。

“Someone sent a doe Patronus to us!”

“Brains like that, you could be a Death Eater, son. Haven’t I just proved my Patronus is a goat?”

“Oh,” said Ron. “Yeah . . . well, I’m hungry!” he added defensively as his stomach gave an enormous rumble.

“I got food,” said Aberforth, and he sloped out of the room, reappearing moments later with a large loaf of bread, some cheese, and a pewter jug of mead, which he set upon a small table in front of the fire. Ravenous, they ate and drank, and for a while there was silence but for the crackle of the fire, the clink of goblets, and the sound of chewing.

“Right then,” said Aberforth when they had eaten their fill, and Harry and Ron sat slumped dozily in their chairs. “We need to think of the best way to get you out of here. Can’t be done by night, you heard what happens if anyone moves outdoors during darkness: Caterwauling Charm’s set off, they’ll be onto you like bowtruckles on doxy eggs. I don’t reckon I’ll be able to pass off a stag as a goat a second time. Wait for daybreak when curfew lifts, then you can put your Cloak back on and set out on foot. Get right out of Hogsmeade, up into the mountains, and you’ll be able to Disapparate there. Might see Hagrid. He’s been hiding in a cave up there with Grawp ever since they tried to arrest him.”

“有人派了一头雌鹿守护神来找我们!”

“这种脑子,可以去当食死徒了,小子。我不是刚证实我的守护神是只山羊吗?”

“噢,”罗恩说道,“是啊……唉,我饿了!”他的肚子突然咕噜咕噜叫起来,他便像是替自己辩护似的说。

“我有吃的。”阿不福思说。他走出房间,片刻之后又回来了,拿来了一大块面包、几片奶酪和一罐蜂蜜酒,放在炉火前的一张小桌上。三个人狼吞虎咽地又吃又喝,房间里一时安静下来,只有炉火的噼啪声,高脚酒杯的碰撞声,以及咀嚼食物的声音。

“好了,”阿不福思说,这时他们已经吃饱喝足,哈利和罗恩昏昏欲睡地瘫坐在椅子上,“需要想个最好的办法把你们从这里转移出去。夜里不行,你们刚才也听见了,如果有人夜里在户外活动会怎么样:触响啸叫咒,他们就会像护树罗锅扑向狐媚子蛋一样扑向你们。我恐怕不能第二次再用山羊去冒充牡鹿了。等到天亮吧,宵禁解除后,你们可以重新穿上隐形衣,步行出发。赶快离开霍格莫德,到大山里去,在那里可以幻影移形,说不定还会看见海格。自从他们想要抓他,他就和格洛普一起躲在了一个山洞里。”

“We’re not leaving,” said Harry. “We need to get into Hogwarts.”

“Don’t be stupid, boy,” said Aberforth.

“We’ve got to,” said Harry.

“What you’ve got to do,” said Aberforth, leaning forward, “is to get as far from here as you can.”

“You don’t understand. There isn’t much time. We’ve got to get into the castle. Dumbledore — I mean, your brother — wanted us —”

The firelight made the grimy lenses of Aberforth’s glasses momentarily opaque, a bright flat white, and Harry remembered the blind eyes of the giant spider, Aragog.

“My brother Albus wanted a lot of things,” said Aberforth, “and people had a habit of getting hurt while he was carrying out his grand plans. You get away from this school, Potter, and out of the country if you can. Forget my brother and his clever schemes. He’s gone where none of this can hurt him, and you don’t owe him anything.”

“You don’t understand,” said Harry again.

“Oh, don’t I?” said Aberforth quietly. “You don’t think I understood my own brother? Think you knew Albus better than I did?”

“I didn’t mean that,” said Harry, whose brain felt sluggish with exhaustion and from the surfeit of food and wine. “It’s . . . he left me a job.”

“我们不离开,”哈利说,“我们需要进入霍格沃茨。”

“别犯傻,孩子。”阿不福思说。

“我们必须去。”哈利说。

“你们必须做的,”阿不福思向前探着身子,说道,“是尽量远远地离开这儿。”

“你不了解。时间不多了,我们必须进入城堡。邓布利多——也就是你哥哥——想要我们——”

火光照在阿不福思的眼镜上,满是污垢的镜片突然变成不透明的、夹板一样的亮白色,哈利想起了巨蜘蛛阿拉戈克的那双瞎眼。

“我哥哥阿不思想要许多东西,”阿不福思说道,“在他贯彻他的宏伟计划时,人们经常受到伤害。波特,你赶快离开这所学校,如果可能的话,离开这个国家。忘记我的哥哥和他那些巧妙的计划吧。他去了一个这些都伤害不了他的地方,你并不欠他任何东西。”

“你不了解。”哈利又说。

“哦,是吗?”阿不福思小声说,“你认为我不了解我自己的哥哥?你认为你比我还要了解阿不思?”

“我不是那个意思,”哈利说,疲惫再加上酒足饭饱,他的脑袋显得有些迟钝,“是……他留给了我一项任务。”

“Did he now?” said Aberforth. “Nice job, I hope? Pleasant? Easy? Sort of thing you’d expect an unqualified wizard kid to be able to do without overstretching themselves?”

Ron gave a rather grim laugh. Hermione was looking strained.

“I-it’s not easy, no,” said Harry. “But I’ve got to —”

“ ‘Got to’? Why ‘got to’? He’s dead, isn’t he?” said Aberforth roughly. “Let it go, boy, before you follow him! Save yourself!”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I —” Harry felt overwhelmed; he could not explain, so he took the offensive instead. “But you’re fighting too, you’re in the Order of the Phoenix —”

“I was,” said Aberforth. “The Order of the Phoenix is finished. You-Know-Who’s won, it’s over, and anyone who’s pretending different’s kidding themselves. It’ll never be safe for you here, Potter, he wants you too badly. So go abroad, go into hiding, save yourself. Best take these two with you.” He jerked a thumb at Ron and Hermione. “They’ll be in danger long as they live now everyone knows they’ve been working with you.”

“I can’t leave,” said Harry. “I’ve got a job —”

“Give it to someone else!”

“哦,是吗?”阿不福思说,“一桩美差,是吗?令人愉快?简单易行?一个资历不够的小巫师用不着勉为其难就能完成的事情?”

罗恩不自然地冷笑一声。赫敏看上去有些紧张。

“我——事情不容易,不容易,”哈利说,“但我非做不可——”

“‘非做不可’?为什么‘非做不可’?他已经死了,不是吗?”阿不福思粗暴地说,“别想这事了,孩子,免得你也步他的后尘!保住你的命吧!”

“我不能。”

“为什么?”

“我——”哈利觉得无言以对,他没法解释,便转守为攻,“可是你也在战斗呀,你在凤凰社里——”

“现在不是了,”阿不福思说,“凤凰社完了,神秘人赢了,大势已去,那些假装不承认这些的人是在欺骗自己。波特,你待在这里永远不会安全,他急不可待地想抓住你。所以,到国外去吧,躲藏起来吧,保全自己的性命吧。最好把这两个也带上,”他用大拇指点了点罗恩和赫敏,“他们只要活着就有危险,现在大家都知道他们跟你一起做事。”

“我不能离开,”哈利说,“我有任务——”

“交给别人!”

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