2017-03-18 10:48:00来源：爱词霸 哈利波特
“I’m not interested.”
“Save your breath.”
It was nighttime. Lily, who was wearing a dressing gown, stood with her arms folded in front of the portrait of the Fat Lady, at the entrance to Gryffindor Tower.
“I only came out because Mary told me you were threatening to sleep here.”
“I was. I would have done. I never meant to call you Mudblood, it just —”
“Slipped out？” There was no pity in Lily’s voice. “It’s too late. I’ve made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater friends — you see, you don’t even deny it！ You don’t even deny that’s what you’re all aiming to be！ You can’t wait to join You-Know-Who, can you？”
He opened his mouth, but closed it without speaking.
“I can’t pretend anymore. You’ve chosen your way, I’ve chosen mine.”
“No — listen, I didn’t mean —”
“— to call me Mudblood？ But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different？”
He struggled on the verge of speech, but with a contemptuous look she turned and climbed back through the portrait hole. . . .
The corridor dissolved, and the scene took a little longer to reform: Harry seemed to fly through shifting shapes and colors until his surroundings solidified again and he stood on a hilltop, forlorn and cold in the darkness, the wind whistling through the branches of a few leafless trees. The adult Snape was panting, turning on the spot, his wand gripped tightly in his hand, waiting for something or for someone. . . . His fear infected Harry too, even though he knew that he could not be harmed, and he looked over his shoulder, wondering what it was that Snape was waiting for —
Then a blinding, jagged jet of white light flew through the air: Harry thought of lightning, but Snape had dropped to his knees and his wand had flown out of his hand.
“Don’t kill me！”
“That was not my intention.”
Any sound of Dumbledore Apparating had been drowned by the sound of the wind in the branches. He stood before Snape with his robes whipping around him, and his face was illuminated from below in the light cast by his wand.
“Well, Severus？ What message does Lord Voldemort have for me？”
“No — no message — I’m here on my own account！”
Snape was wringing his hands: He looked a little mad, with his straggling black hair flying around him.
“I — I come with a warning — no, a request — please —”
Dumbledore flicked his wand. Though leaves and branches still flew through the night air around them, silence fell on the spot where he and Snape faced each other.
“What request could a Death Eater make of me？”
“The — the prophecy . . . the prediction . . . Trelawney . . .”
“Ah, yes,” said Dumbledore. “How much did you relay to Lord Voldemort？”
“Everything — everything I heard！” said Snape. “That is why — it is for that reason — he thinks it means Lily Evans！”
“The prophecy did not refer to a woman,” said Dumbledore. “It spoke of a boy born at the end of July —”
“You know what I mean！ He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down — kill them all —”
“If she means so much to you,” said Dumbledore, “surely Lord Voldemort will spare her？ Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son？”
“I have — I have asked him —”
“You disgust me,” said Dumbledore, and Harry had never heard so much contempt in his voice. Snape seemed to shrink a little. “You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child？ They can die, as long as you have what you want？”
Snape said nothing, but merely looked up at Dumbledore.
“Hide them all, then,” he croaked. “Keep her — them — safe. Please.”
“And what will you give me in return, Severus？”
“In — in return？” Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to protest, but after a long moment he said, “Anything.”
The hilltop faded, and Harry stood in Dumbledore’s office, and something was making a terrible sound, like a wounded animal. Snape was slumped forward in a chair and Dumbledore was standing over him, looking grim. After a moment or two, Snape raised his face, and he looked like a man who had lived a hundred years of misery since leaving the wild hilltop.
“I thought . . . you were going . . . to keep her . . . safe. . . .”
“She and James put their faith in the wrong person,” said Dumbledore. “Rather like you, Severus. Weren’t you hoping that Lord Voldemort would spare her？”
Snape’s breathing was shallow.
“Her boy survives,” said Dumbledore.
With a tiny jerk of the head, Snape seemed to flick off an irksome fly.
“Her son lives. He has her eyes, precisely her eyes. You remember the shape and color of Lily Evans’s eyes, I am sure？”
“DON’T！” bellowed Snape. “Gone . . . dead . . .”
“Is this remorse, Severus？”
“I wish . . . I wish I were dead. . . .”
“And what use would that be to anyone？” said Dumbledore coldly. “If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear.”
Snape seemed to peer through a haze of pain, and Dumbledore’s words appeared to take a long time to reach him.
“What — what do you mean？”
“You know how and why she died. Make sure it was not in vain. Help me protect Lily’s son.”
“He does not need protection. The Dark Lord has gone —”
“The Dark Lord will return, and Harry Potter will be in terrible danger when he does.”
There was a long pause, and slowly Snape regained control of himself, mastered his own breathing. At last he said, “Very well. Very well. But never — never tell, Dumbledore！ This must be between us！ Swear it！ I cannot bear . . . especially Potter’s son . . . I want your word！”
“My word, Severus, that I shall never reveal the best of you？” Dumbledore sighed, looking down into Snape’s ferocious, anguished face. “If you insist . . .”
The office dissolved but re-formed instantly. Snape was pacing up and down in front of Dumbledore.
“— mediocre, arrogant as his father, a determined rulebreaker, delighted to find himself famous, attention-seeking and impertinent —”
“You see what you expect to see, Severus,” said Dumbledore, without raising his eyes from a copy of Transfiguration Today. “Other teachers report that the boy is modest, likable, and reasonably talented. Personally, I find him an engaging child.”
Dumbledore turned a page, and said, without looking up, “Keep an eye on Quirrell, won’t you？”
A whirl of color, and now everything darkened, and Snape and Dumbledore stood a little apart in the entrance hall, while the last stragglers from the Yule Ball passed them on their way to bed.
“Well？” murmured Dumbledore.
“Karkaroff ’s Mark is becoming darker too. He is panicking, he fears retribution; you know how much help he gave the Ministry after the Dark Lord fell.” Snape looked sideways at Dumbledore’s crooked-nosed profile. “Karkaroff intends to flee if the Mark burns.”
“Does he？” said Dumbledore softly, as Fleur Delacour and Roger Davies came giggling in from the grounds. “And are you tempted to join him？”
“No,” said Snape, his black eyes on Fleur’s and Roger’s retreating figures. “I am not such a coward.”
“No,” agreed Dumbledore. “You are a braver man by far than Igor Karkaroff. You know, I sometimes think we Sort too soon. . . .”
He walked away, leaving Snape looking stricken. . . .
And now Harry stood in the headmaster’s office yet again. It was nighttime, and Dumbledore sagged sideways in the thronelike chair behind the desk, apparently semiconscious. His right hand dangled over the side, blackened and burned. Snape was muttering incantations, pointing his wand at the wrist of the hand, while with his left hand he tipped a goblet full of thick golden potion down Dumbledore’s throat. After a moment or two, Dumbledore’s eyelids fluttered and opened.
“Why,” said Snape, without preamble, “why did you put on that ring？ It carries a curse, surely you realized that. Why even touch it？”
Marvolo Gaunt’s ring lay on the desk before Dumbledore. It was cracked; the sword of Gryffindor lay beside it.
“I . . . was a fool. Sorely tempted . . .”
“Tempted by what？”
Dumbledore did not answer.
“It is a miracle you managed to return here！” Snape sounded furious. “That ring carried a curse of extraordinary power, to contain it is all we can hope for; I have trapped the curse in one hand for the time being —”
Dumbledore raised his blackened, useless hand, and examined it with the expression of one being shown an interesting curio.
“You have done very well, Severus. How long do you think I have？”
Dumbledore’s tone was conversational; he might have been asking for a weather forecast. Snape hesitated, and then said, “I cannot tell. Maybe a year. There is no halting such a spell forever. It will spread eventually, it is the sort of curse that strengthens over time.”
Dumbledore smiled. The news that he had less than a year to live seemed a matter of little or no concern to him.
“I am fortunate, extremely fortunate, that I have you, Severus.”
“If you had only summoned me a little earlier, I might have been able to do more, buy you more time！” said Snape furiously. He looked down at the broken ring and the sword. “Did you think that breaking the ring would break the curse？”
“Something like that . . . I was delirious, no doubt. . . .” said Dumbledore. With an effort he straightened himself in his chair. “Well, really, this makes matters much more straightforward.”
Snape looked utterly perplexed. Dumbledore smiled.
“I refer to the plan Lord Voldemort is revolving around me. His plan to have the poor Malfoy boy murder me.”
Snape sat down in the chair Harry had so often occupied, across the desk from Dumbledore. Harry could tell that he wanted to say more on the subject of Dumbledore’s cursed hand, but the other held it up in polite refusal to discuss the matter further. Scowling, Snape said, “The Dark Lord does not expect Draco to succeed. This is merely punishment for Lucius’s recent failures. Slow torture for Draco’s parents, while they watch him fail and pay the price.”
“In short, the boy has had a death sentence pronounced upon him as surely as I have,” said Dumbledore. “Now, I should have thought the natural successor to the job, once Draco fails, is yourself？”
There was a short pause.
“That, I think, is the Dark Lord’s plan.”
“Lord Voldemort foresees a moment in the near future when he will not need a spy at Hogwarts？”
“He believes the school will soon be in his grasp, yes.”
“And if it does fall into his grasp,” said Dumbledore, almost, it seemed, as an aside, “I have your word that you will do all in your power to protect the students of Hogwarts？”
Snape gave a stiff nod.
“Good. Now then. Your first priority will be to discover what Draco is up to. A frightened teenage boy is a danger to others as well as to himself. Offer him help and guidance, he ought to accept, he likes you —”
“— much less since his father has lost favor. Draco blames me, he thinks I have usurped Lucius’s position.”
“All the same, try. I am concerned less for myself than for accidental victims of whatever schemes might occur to the boy. Ultimately, of course, there is only one thing to be done if we are to save him from Lord Voldemort’s wrath.”
Snape raised his eyebrows and his tone was sardonic as he asked, “Are you intending to let him kill you？”
“Certainly not. You must kill me.”
There was a long silence, broken only by an odd clicking noise. Fawkes the phoenix was gnawing a bit of cuttlebone.
“Would you like me to do it now？” asked Snape, his voice heavy with irony. “Or would you like a few moments to compose an epitaph？”
“Oh, not quite yet,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “I daresay the moment will present itself in due course. Given what has happened tonight,” he indicated his withered hand, “we can be sure that it will happen within a year.”
“If you don’t mind dying,” said Snape roughly, “why not let Draco do it？”
“That boy’s soul is not yet so damaged,” said Dumbledore. “I would not have it ripped apart on my account.”
“And my soul, Dumbledore？ Mine？”
“You alone know whether it will harm your soul to help an old man avoid pain and humiliation,” said Dumbledore. “I ask this one great favor of you, Severus, because death is coming for me as surely as the Chudley Cannons will finish bottom of this year’s league. I confess I should prefer a quick, painless exit to the protracted and messy affair it will be if, for instance, Greyback is involved — I hear Voldemort has recruited him？ Or dear Bellatrix, who likes to play with her food before she eats it.”
His tone was light, but his blue eyes pierced Snape as they had frequently pierced Harry, as though the soul they discussed was visible to him. At last Snape gave another curt nod.
Dumbledore seemed satisfied.
“Thank you, Severus . . .”
The office disappeared, and now Snape and Dumbledore were strolling together in the deserted castle grounds by twilight.
“What are you doing with Potter, all these evenings you are closeted together？” Snape asked abruptly.
Dumbledore looked weary.
“Why？ You aren’t trying to give him more detentions, Severus？ The boy will soon have spent more time in detention than out.”
“He is his father over again —”
“In looks, perhaps, but his deepest nature is much more like his mother’s. I spend time with Harry because I have things to discuss with him, information I must give him before it is too late.”
“Information,” repeated Snape. “You trust him . . . you do not trust me.”
“It is not a question of trust. I have, as we both know, limited time. It is essential that I give the boy enough information for him to do what he needs to do.”
“And why may I not have the same information？”
“I prefer not to put all of my secrets in one basket, particularly not a basket that spends so much time dangling on the arm of Lord Voldemort.”
“Which I do on your orders！”
“And you do it extremely well. Do not think that I underestimate the constant danger in which you place yourself, Severus. To give Voldemort what appears to be valuable information while withholding the essentials is a job I would entrust to nobody but you.”
“Yet you confide much more in a boy who is incapable of Occlumency, whose magic is mediocre, and who has a direct connection into the Dark Lord’s mind！”
“Voldemort fears that connection,” said Dumbledore. “Not so long ago he had one small taste of what truly sharing Harry’s mind means to him. It was pain such as he has never experienced. He will not try to possess Harry again, I am sure of it. Not in that way.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Lord Voldemort’s soul, maimed as it is, cannot bear close contact with a soul like Harry’s. Like a tongue on frozen steel, like flesh in flame —”
“Souls？ We were talking of minds！”
“In the case of Harry and Lord Voldemort, to speak of one is to speak of the other.”
Dumbledore glanced around to make sure that they were alone. They were close by the Forbidden Forest now, but there was no sign of anyone near them.
“After you have killed me, Severus —”
“You refuse to tell me everything, yet you expect that small service of me！” snarled Snape, and real anger flared in the thin face now. “You take a great deal for granted, Dumbledore！ Perhaps I have changed my mind！”
“You gave me your word, Severus. And while we are talking about services you owe me, I thought you agreed to keep a close eye on our young Slytherin friend？”
Snape looked angry, mutinous. Dumbledore sighed.
“Come to my office tonight, Severus, at eleven, and you shall not complain that I have no confidence in you. . . .”
They were back in Dumbledore’s office, the windows dark, and Fawkes sat silent as Snape sat quite still, as Dumbledore walked around him, talking.
“Harry must not know, not until the last moment, not until it is necessary, otherwise how could he have the strength to do what must be done？”
“But what must he do？”
“That is between Harry and me. Now listen closely, Severus. There will come a time — after my death — do not argue, do not interrupt！ There will come a time when Lord Voldemort will seem to fear for the life of his snake.”
“For Nagini？” Snape looked astonished.
“Precisely. If there comes a time when Lord Voldemort stops sending that snake forth to do his bidding, but keeps it safe beside him under magical protection, then, I think, it will be safe to tell Harry.”
“Tell him what？”
Dumbledore took a deep breath and closed his eyes.
“Tell him that on the night Lord Voldemort tried to kill him, when Lily cast her own life between them as a shield, the Killing Curse rebounded upon Lord Voldemort, and a fragment of Voldemort’s soul was blasted apart from the whole, and latched itself onto the only living soul left in that collapsing building. Part of Lord Voldemort lives inside Harry, and it is that which gives him the power of speech with snakes, and a connection with Lord Voldemort’s mind that he has never understood. And while that fragment of soul, unmissed by Voldemort, remains attached to and protected by Harry, Lord Voldemort cannot die.”
Harry seemed to be watching the two men from one end of a long tunnel, they were so far away from him, their voices echoing strangely in his ears.
“So the boy . . . the boy must die？” asked Snape quite calmly.
“And Voldemort himself must do it, Severus. That is essential.”
Another long silence. Then Snape said, “I thought . . . all these years . . . that we were protecting him for her. For Lily.”
“We have protected him because it has been essential to teach him, to raise him, to let him try his strength,” said Dumbledore, his eyes still tight shut. “Meanwhile, the connection between them grows ever stronger, a parasitic growth: Sometimes I have thought he suspects it himself. If I know him, he will have arranged matters so that when he does set out to meet his death, it will truly mean the end of Voldemort.”
Dumbledore opened his eyes. Snape looked horrified.
“You have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment？”
“Don’t be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die？”
“Lately, only those whom I could not save,” said Snape. He stood up. “You have used me.”
“I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter’s son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter —”
“But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all？”
“For him？” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum！”
From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe: She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
“After all this time？”
“Always,” said Snape.
And the scene shifted. Now, Harry saw Snape talking to the portrait of Dumbledore behind his desk.
“You will have to give Voldemort the correct date of Harry’s departure from his aunt and uncle’s,” said Dumbledore. “Not to do so will raise suspicion, when Voldemort believes you so well informed. However, you must plant the idea of decoys; that, I think, ought to ensure Harry’s safety. Try Confunding Mundungus Fletcher. And Severus, if you are forced to take part in the chase, be sure to act your part convincingly. . . . I am counting upon you to remain in Lord Voldemort’s good books as long as possible, or Hogwarts will be left to the mercy of the Carrows. . . .”
Now Snape was head to head with Mundungus in an unfamiliar tavern, Mundungus’s face looking curiously blank, Snape frowning in concentration.
“You will suggest to the Order of the Phoenix,” Snape murmured, “that they use decoys. Polyjuice Potion. Identical Potters. It is the only thing that might work. You will forget that I have suggested this. You will present it as your own idea. You understand？”
“I understand,” murmured Mundungus, his eyes unfocused. . . .
Now Harry was flying alongside Snape on a broomstick through a clear dark night: He was accompanied by other hooded Death Eaters, and ahead were Lupin and a Harry who was really George. . . . A Death Eater moved ahead of Snape and raised his wand, pointing it directly at Lupin’s back —
“Sectumsempra！” shouted Snape.
But the spell, intended for the Death Eater’s wand hand, missed and hit George instead —
And next, Snape was kneeling in Sirius’s old bedroom. Tears were dripping from the end of his hooked nose as he read the old letter from Lily. The second page carried only a few words: could ever have been friends with Gellert Grindelwald. I think her mind’s going, personally！ Lots of love.
Snape took the page bearing Lily’s signature, and her love, and tucked it inside his robes. Then he ripped in two the photograph he was also holding, so that he kept the part from which Lily laughed, throwing the portion showing James and Harry back onto the floor, under the chest of drawers. . . .
And now Snape stood again in the headmaster’s study as Phineas Nigellus came hurrying into his portrait.
“Headmaster！ They are camping in the Forest of Dean！ The Mudblood —”
“Do not use that word！”
“— the Granger girl, then, mentioned the place as she opened her bag and I heard her！”
“Good. Very good！” cried the portrait of Dumbledore behind the headmaster’s chair. “Now, Severus, the sword！ Do not forget that it must be taken under conditions of need and valor — and he must not know that you give it！ If Voldemort should read Harry’s mind and see you acting for him —”
“I know,” said Snape curtly. He approached the portrait of Dumbledore and pulled at its side. It swung forward, revealing a hidden cavity behind it from which he took the sword of Gryffindor.
“And you still aren’t going to tell me why it’s so important to give Potter the sword？” said Snape as he swung a traveling cloak over his robes.
“No, I don’t think so,” said Dumbledore’s portrait. “He will know what to do with it. And Severus, be very careful, they may not take kindly to your appearance after George Weasley’s mishap —”
Snape turned at the door.
“Don’t worry, Dumbledore,” he said coolly. “I have a plan. . . .”