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Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first of September was crisp and golden as an apple, and as the little family bobbed across the rumbling road toward the great sooty station, the fumes of car exhausts and the breath of pedestrians sparkled like cobwebs in the cold air. Two large cages rattled on top of the laden trolleys the parents were pushing; the owls inside them hooted indignantly, and the redheaded girl trailed tearfully behind her brothers, clutching her father’s arm.

“It won’t be long, and you’ll be going too,” Harry told her.

“Two years,” sniffed Lily. “I want to go now!”

The commuters stared curiously at the owls as the family wove its way toward the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Albus’s voice drifted back to Harry over the surrounding clamor; his sons had resumed the argument they had started in the car.

这一年的秋天似乎一下子就到了。九月一日的早晨像苹果一样脆生生、金烂烂的。小小的一家人在车声中轻快地穿过马路走向庞大的、被熏黑的火车站,汽车的尾气和行人呼出的水汽像蛛网一样闪闪发光,飘在清凉的空气中。两只大笼子在父母推的行李车顶上格格作响,笼子里的猫头鹰不满地叫着。红头发小女孩抓着爸爸的胳膊,泪汪汪地跟在两个哥哥后面。

“不用多久,你也会去的。”哈利对她说。

“两年呢,”莉莉吸着鼻子,“我现在就想去!”

一家人穿过人流朝第9和第10站台之间的隔墙走去,旅客们好奇地盯着猫头鹰。喧闹声中,阿不思的嗓音从前面飘到了哈利的耳边,两个儿子继续着在车里就开始的争论。

“I won’t! I won’t be in Slytherin!”

“James, give it a rest!” said Ginny.

“I only said he might be,” said James, grinning at his younger brother. “There’s nothing wrong with that. He might be in Slyth —”

But James caught his mother’s eye and fell silent. The five Potters approached the barrier. With a slightly cocky look over his shoulder at his younger brother, James took the trolley from his mother and broke into a run. A moment later, he had vanished.

“You’ll write to me, won’t you?” Albus asked his parents immediately, capitalizing on the momentary absence of his brother.

“Every day, if you want us to,” said Ginny.

“Not every day,” said Albus quickly. “James says most people only get letters from home about once a month.”

“We wrote to James three times a week last year,” said Ginny.

“And you don’t want to believe everything he tells you about Hogwarts,” Harry put in. “He likes a laugh, your brother.”

“我不会!我不会进斯莱特林!”

“詹姆,别闹了!”金妮说。

“我只是说他也许会,”詹姆笑嘻嘻地看着弟弟说,“这又没错,他也许会进斯莱特——”

詹姆看到妈妈的目光,不说话了。波特一家五口走近了隔墙。詹姆略带骄傲地回头瞥了弟弟一眼,接过妈妈手里的推车飞跑起来,转眼就消失了。

“你们会给我写信的,是吗?”阿不思趁着哥哥不在的这一刻工夫,赶紧问爸爸妈妈。

“每天都写,如果你愿意的话。”金妮答道。

“不要每天,”阿不思马上说,“詹姆说大多数人差不多一个月才收到一封家信。”

“我们去年一星期给詹姆写了三回呢。”金妮说。

“他跟你说的霍格沃茨的事不可全信,”哈利插言,“你哥哥爱开玩笑。”

Side by side, they pushed the second trolley forward, gathering speed. As they reached the barrier, Albus winced, but no collision came. Instead, the family emerged onto platform nine and three quarters, which was obscured by thick white steam that was pouring from the scarlet Hogwarts Express. Indistinct figures were swarming through the mist, into which James had already disappeared.

“Where are they?” asked Albus anxiously, peering at the hazy forms they passed as they made their way down the platform.

“We’ll find them,” said Ginny reassuringly.

But the vapor was dense, and it was difficult to make out anybody’s faces. Detached from their owners, voices sounded unnaturally loud. Harry thought he heard Percy discoursing loudly on broomstick regulations, and was quite glad of the excuse not to stop and say hello. . . .

他们一同推着第二辆小车往前跑,逐渐加速。快到隔墙时,阿不思畏缩了一下,但没有发生碰撞,一家人都来到了9又3/4站台上。站台被红色的霍格沃茨特快列车喷出的大量白色雾气笼罩着,模糊的人影在雾气中涌动,詹姆已经看不见了。

“他们在哪儿?”阿不思边走边望着雾中的人影,焦急地问。

“会找到的。”金妮安慰道。

但蒸气太浓了,很难看清人们的面孔。看不见人的说话声听起来异常响亮。哈利好像听到珀西在高声谈论飞天扫帚管理问题,他庆幸可以不用停下来打招呼了……

“I think that’s them, Al,” said Ginny suddenly.

A group of four people emerged from the mist, standing alongside the very last carriage. Their faces only came into focus when Harry, Ginny, Lily, and Albus had drawn right up to them.

“Hi,” said Albus, sounding immensely relieved.

Rose, who was already wearing her brand-new Hogwarts robes, beamed at him.

“Parked all right, then?” Ron asked Harry. “I did. Hermione didn’t believe I could pass a Muggle driving test, did you? She thought I’d have to Confund the examiner.”

“No, I didn’t,” said Hermione, “I had complete faith in you.”

“As a matter of fact, I did Confund him,” Ron whispered to Harry, as together they lifted Albus’s trunk and owl onto the train. “I only forgot to look in the wing mirror, and let’s face it, I can use a Supersensory Charm for that.”

Back on the platform, they found Lily and Hugo, Rose’s younger brother, having an animated discussion about which House they would be sorted into when they finally went to Hogwarts.

“我想那就是,阿不思。”金妮突然说。

雾气里显出了四个人,站在最后一节车厢旁。哈利、金妮、莉莉和阿不思走到近前,才看清了他们的面孔。

“嘿。”阿不思说,似乎大大松了一口气。

罗丝笑盈盈地看着他,已经穿上了崭新的霍格沃茨校袍。

“停车挺顺利吧?”罗恩问哈利,“我也是。赫敏不相信我能通过麻瓜驾驶考试,是不是啊?赫敏?她还以为我不得不对考官使混淆咒呢。”

“我可没有,”赫敏说,“我对你完全放心。”

“其实,我使了混淆咒。”罗恩帮着把阿不思的箱子和猫头鹰搬上列车时,对哈利耳语说,“我只不过是忘了看后视镜,实际点吧,我可以用超感咒。”

回到站台上,只见莉莉和罗丝的弟弟雨果在热烈地讨论将来他们进霍格沃茨后会被分到哪个学院。

“If you’re not in Gryffindor, we’ll disinherit you,” said Ron, “but no pressure.”

“Ron!”

Lily and Hugo laughed, but Albus and Rose looked solemn.

“He doesn’t mean it,” said Hermione and Ginny, but Ron was no longer paying attention. Catching Harry’s eye, he nodded covertly to a point some fifty yards away. The steam had thinned for a moment, and three people stood in sharp relief against the shifting mist.

“Look who it is.”

Draco Malfoy was standing there with his wife and son, a dark coat buttoned up to his throat. His hair was receding somewhat, which emphasized the pointed chin. The new boy resembled Draco as much as Albus resembled Harry. Draco caught sight of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny staring at him, nodded curtly, and turned away again.

“如果你不进格兰芬多,我们就解除你的继承权。”罗恩说,“不过别有压力。”

“罗恩!”

莉莉和雨果笑了,但阿不思和罗丝神情严肃。

“他不是当真的。”赫敏对金妮说,但罗恩的注意力已经转移了。看到哈利的目光,他把头向五十米外微微一点。此刻蒸气消散了一些,三个轮廓分明的人影站在飘浮的雾气中。

“看那是谁?”

德拉科·马尔福跟他太太和儿子站在一起,黑上衣一直扣到喉咙口。他的脑门有点秃了,衬得下巴更尖。那男孩是德拉科的翻版,就像阿不思是哈利的翻版一样。德拉科发现哈利、罗恩、赫敏和金妮在看他,冷淡地点了点头就转过身去了。

“So that’s little Scorpius,” said Ron under his breath. “Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother’s brains.”

“Ron, for heaven’s sake,” said Hermione, half stern, half amused. “Don’t try to turn them against each other before they’ve even started school!”

“You’re right, sorry,” said Ron, but unable to help himself, he added, “Don’t get too friendly with him, though, Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood.”

“Hey!”

James had reappeared; he had divested himself of his trunk, owl, and trolley, and was evidently bursting with news.

“那就是小斯科皮。”罗恩悄声说,“每次考试都一定要超过他,罗丝。感谢上帝,你继承了你妈妈的脑子。”

“罗恩,拜托。”赫敏一半严厉、一半想笑地说,“不要让他们还没上学就成了对头!”

“你说得对,对不起。”罗恩说,但又忍不住加了一句,“不过别跟他走得太近,罗丝。你要是嫁给了一个纯血统,爷爷一辈子也不会原谅你。”

“嘿!”

詹姆钻了出来,已经卸下行李、猫头鹰和推车,并显然有一肚子新闻要讲。

“Teddy’s back there,” he said breathlessly, pointing back over his shoulder into the billowing clouds of steam. “Just seen him! And guess what he’s doing? Snogging Victoire!”

He gazed up at the adults, evidently disappointed by the lack of reaction.

“Our Teddy! Teddy Lupin! Snogging our Victoire! Our cousin! And I asked Teddy what he was doing —”

“You interrupted them?” said Ginny. “You are so like Ron —”

“— and he said he’d come to see her off! And then he told me to go away. He’s snogging her!” James added as though worried he had not made himself clear.

“Oh, it would be lovely if they got married!” whispered Lily ecstatically. “Teddy would really be part of the family then!”

“He already comes round for dinner about four times a week,” said Harry. “Why don’t we just invite him to live with us and have done with it?”

“泰迪在那边,”他气喘吁吁地说,指指身后云雾般翻滚的蒸气中,“刚才碰到了!你猜他在干什么?亲吻维克托娃!”

他抬头望着大人,显然为他们的无动于衷而失望。

“我们的泰迪!泰迪·卢平!在亲吻我们的维克托娃!我们的表姐!我问泰迪他在干什么——”

“你打搅了他们?”金妮说,“你真像罗恩——”

“——泰迪说他是来送她的!然后就叫我走开。他在亲吻他!”詹姆又说,像担心自己没说明白。

“哦,如果他们结婚多好!”莉莉兴奋地说,“这样泰迪就能真正成为咱家的人了!”

“他已经差不多一星期来吃四次饭了,”哈利说,“我们为什么不干脆请他住到我们家来呢?”

“Yeah!” said James enthusiastically. “I don’t mind sharing with Al — Teddy could have my room!”

“No,” said Harry firmly, “you and Al will share a room only when I want the house demolished.”

He checked the battered old watch that had once been Fabian Prewett’s.

“It’s nearly eleven, you’d better get on board.”

“Don’t forget to give Neville our love!” Ginny told James as she hugged him.

“Mum! I can’t give a professor love!”

“But you know Neville —”

James rolled his eyes.

“对啊!”詹姆热烈地说,“我不介意跟阿不思合住——泰迪可以住我的房间!”

“不行,”哈利坚决地说,“你和阿不思不能住在一个房间,除非我想让房子被毁掉。”

他看了看那块曾经属于费比安·普威特的破旧手表。

“快十一点了,你们上车吧。”

“别忘了跟纳威说我们爱他!”金妮拥抱詹姆时说。

“妈妈!我不能对教授说爱!”

“可你认识纳威——”

詹姆翻了翻眼睛。

“Outside, yeah, but at school he’s Professor Longbottom, isn’t he? I can’t walk into Herbology and give him love. . . .”

Shaking his head at his mother’s foolishness, he vented his feelings by aiming a kick at Albus.

“See you later, Al. Watch out for the thestrals.”

“I thought they were invisible? You said they were invisible!”

But James merely laughed, permitted his mother to kiss him, gave his father a fleeting hug, then leapt onto the rapidly filling train. They saw him wave, then sprint away up the corridor to find his friends.

“Thestrals are nothing to worry about,” Harry told Albus. “They’re gentle things, there’s nothing scary about them. Anyway, you won’t be going up to school in the carriages, you’ll be going in the boats.”

Ginny kissed Albus good-bye.

“在校外是认识,可在学校里,他是隆巴顿教授,不是吗?我不能走进草药课堂去跟他说爱……”

他为妈妈的愚蠢而摇头,同时朝阿不思的方向踢了一脚,发泄自己的情绪。

“回头见,阿不思。注意看夜骐。”

“它们不是隐形的吗?你说过它们是隐形的!”

但詹姆只是笑着,允许妈妈吻了他,给了爸爸一个匆匆的拥抱,跳上正在迅速挤满乘客的列车,挥了挥手,就跑进车厢里找他的朋友去了。

“不用害怕夜骐,”哈利对阿不思说道,“它们很温柔,一点也不可怕。再说,你们也不会坐马车进学校,要坐船的。”

金妮亲吻着阿不思跟他道别。

“See you at Christmas.”

“Bye, Al,” said Harry as his son hugged him. “Don’t forget Hagrid’s invited you to tea next Friday. Don’t mess with Peeves. Don’t duel anyone till you’ve learned how. And don’t let James wind you up.”

“What if I’m in Slytherin?”

The whisper was for his father alone, and Harry knew that only the moment of departure could have forced Albus to reveal how great and sincere that fear was.

Harry crouched down so that Albus’s face was slightly above his own. Alone of Harry’s three children, Albus had inherited Lily’s eyes.

“Albus Severus,” Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Rose, who was now on the train, “you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”

“But just say —”

“圣诞节见。”

“再见,阿不思,”哈利在儿子拥抱他时说,“别忘了海格请你下星期五去喝茶。别招惹皮皮鬼。别跟人决斗——在你没学会怎么决斗之前。还有别让詹姆把你逗急了。”

“要是我进了斯莱特林呢?”

这句悄悄话是说给爸爸一个人听的,哈利知道,只有别离时刻才会迫使阿不思泄露这份恐惧有多么强烈与真实。

哈利蹲了下来,使阿不思的脸比自己的略高一点。在哈利的三个子女中,只有阿不思继承了莉莉的眼睛。

“阿不思·西弗勒斯,”哈利轻声说,只有父子俩和金妮能听到,此时她体贴地假装朝已经上了车的罗丝挥着手,“你的名字中含有霍格沃茨两位校长的名字。其中一个就是斯莱特林的,而他可能是我见过的最勇敢的人。”

“可是如果——”

“— then Slytherin House will have gained an excellent student, won’t it? It doesn’t matter to us, Al. But if it matters to you, you’ll be able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin. The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account.”

“Really?”

“It did for me,” said Harry.

He had never told any of his children that before, and he saw the wonder in Albus’s face when he said it. But now the doors were slamming all along the scarlet train, and the blurred outlines of parents were swarming forward for final kisses, last-minute reminders. Albus jumped into the carriage and Ginny closed the door behind him. Students were hanging from the windows nearest them. A great number of faces, both on the train and off, seemed to be turned toward Harry.

“Why are they all staring?” demanded Albus as he and Rose craned around to look at the other students.

“Don’t let it worry you,” said Ron. “It’s me. I’m extremely famous.”

“——那斯莱特林学院就会得到一名优秀的学生,是不是?我们觉得这不重要,阿不思。但如果你很在意的话,你可以选择要格兰芬多不要斯莱特林。分院帽会考虑你的选择的。”

“真的?”

“我就是这样的。”哈利说。

这一点哈利以前从来没对孩子们说过,他看到了阿不思脸上现出的惊奇。但红色列车的车厢开始关闭了,家长们模糊的身影拥上前去,给孩子们最后一刻的亲吻和叮咛。阿不思跳上列车,金妮帮他把门关上。学生们从最近的窗口探出身子,车上车下许多面孔似乎都转向了哈利。

“他们干吗都盯着看啊?”阿不思问,他和罗丝扭头看着其他学生。

“别为这个烦神,”罗恩说,“是我,我特别有名。”

Albus, Rose, Hugo, and Lily laughed. The train began to move, and Harry walked alongside it, watching his son’s thin face, already ablaze with excitement. Harry kept smiling and waving, even though it was like a little bereavement, watching his son glide away from him. . . .

The last trace of steam evaporated in the autumn air. The train rounded a corner. Harry’s hand was still raised in farewell.

“He’ll be all right,” murmured Ginny.

As Harry looked at her, he lowered his hand absentmindedly and touched the lightning scar on his forehead.

“I know he will.”

The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.

阿不思、罗丝、雨果和莉莉都笑了起来。列车移动了,哈利跟着往前走,望着儿子那瘦小的、已经兴奋得发光的面庞。哈利一直微笑着,挥着手,尽管这像一种小小的伤逝,看着儿子渐行渐远……

最后一丝蒸气消散在秋日的空气中,火车转弯了,哈利挥别的手仍然举在空中。

“他没事的。”金妮小声说。

哈利看着她,放下手,无意中触到了额头上闪电形的伤疤。

“我知道。”

伤疤已经十九年没有疼过了,一切太平。

(哈利·波特全剧终)

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