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冰梦幻境

梦,在天空中划过翻飞的流年;我们,跌落无尽的冰河……

 
 
 

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以冰雪的名义——With the name of ice-age know......如果有一天,你在旅行的途中遇见一个会相信哥斯拉就躲在你身后睡觉的男孩,一个抱着猫便会笑得很开心的女孩,还有一个会在你耳边出很多鬼点子的小姐姐,就请你告诉他们,告诉他们:“我回来了。”

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The Summer of the Phoenix Chapter 11  

2007-07-24 13:19:22|  分类: [转载同人]The Su |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Chapter 11

And it kept ringing almost incessantly for the next half hour, accompanied equally incessantly by shrieks from Mrs Black's portrait. Mrs Weasley and Remus Lupin took their station in the hall, opened the door to the witches and wizards that arrived, gave hasty explanations in hushed voices and ushered them down to the kitchen. Every time the bell went off, Mrs Black renewed her abusive shrieks with full force, showering every new arrival with fresh insults. It was pandemonium.

Down in the kitchen, Sirius, sitting on one of the chairs in the form of the black dog, watched the room fill with the witches and wizards that had come in answer to Dumbledore's call. Some of them came alone, some of them in twos and threes. Some of them greeted each other with the familiarity of old friends; some acknowledged each other more formally.

There were many familiar faces among them, some almost unchanged since Sirius had last seen them more than a decade ago, while others had aged visibly. There were new faces, too - there was a witch not much past thirty, with frizzy black hair and rather rosy cheeks, who looked around a little shyly, but jumped up eagerly to greet Minerva McGonagall when she entered. Sirius shifted uneasily at the sight of the wizard that had arrived in Professor McGonagall's company. Severus Snape, in his usual black, greeted no one, gave the black dog a short and perfectly indifferent look, and chose a place for himself in the corner next to the fireplace, leaving the two chairs in front of him to be occupied by Professor McGonagall and the young witch who had to be Hestia Jones.

Among the other newcomers was a tall black wizard, bald and with a trimmed beard. He looked about himself with mild curiosity as he stationed himself at the back of the room, leaning against the long table that had been pushed back against the wall. Next to him, sitting casually on the table top dangling her legs, was another witch, even younger than Hestia Jones. She wore Muggle jeans and a red and green Holyhead Harpies t-shirt. Her hair was short and spiky, dark at the roots but bleached almost white at the tips.

Sturgis Podmore, whom Sirius had seen from the upstairs window, had arrived with old Dedalus Diggle, smiling nervously while Diggle was beaming at everyone and shaking hands all around. Emmeline Vance and Elphias Doge arrived separately, but within very short time of each other, both still imposingly tall but even thinner and bonier than Sirius remembered them.

None of those that arrived asked any questions about the big dog. Many of them eyed it rather suspiciously, but no one dared to approach it. Not that that would have been any better if he had been in his human form, Sirius thought bitterly.

Only Bill Weasley, who was still in his Gringotts robes but had got rid of his tie, gave the dog a wink and an encouraging grin when he entered with his father.

Among the last to take their places was Mundungus Fletcher, although he had had the shortest way from upstairs. He had the distinct look of someone just roused from sleep about him, and settled in a corner pulling his shabby coat about him as if he intended to go straight back to sleep.

The room was crowded by now. There weren't even enough chairs for everyone. A subdued but excited murmur was on the air.

Finally, both the ringing of the bell and Mrs Black's shrieks ceased in the hall overhead, and Mrs Weasley and Lupin came back down to the kitchen, followed by the last arrivals, Alastor Moody, who stationed himself next to the door like a sentry, and Albus Dumbledore himself.

Perched on Dumbledore's shoulder was a magnificent bird, larger than a swan, its feathers, gold and crimson, gleaming in the fire light. It sat very still, its black beady eyes unblinking as Dumbledore faced the assembled witches and wizards. He waited for their whispers to die down and for Mrs Weasley and Lupin to take their seats, Mrs Weasley next to her husband and Lupin next to the black dog. Then he smiled and opened his arms in a gesture of welcome.

"Welcome," he said. "Welcome to all of you." He looked around the room at their anxious and expectant faces. "Tonight, we have much to discuss, so allow me to come straight to the point. I need ask none of you why you have come here. You are all here because you believe, or at least consider it possible, that the wizard who styles himself Lord Voldemort has returned." The smile faded from his ancient face. "Well, he has. With the help of his servants, he has returned to a full bodily form."

A murmur went around the room. It was not the first time that any of those present had heard of this, but there were few that had heard it stated with such calm certainty before, and even fewer that did not start at the name Dumbledore had spoken so evenly. This did not escape him.

"And although I still see some of you flinch at his very name," he continued, "you would not be here if you didn't believe that if he is back, he must be stopped. We could not prevent his return to a body." A shadow passed over Dumbledore's ancient face again. "But we must not allow him to return to the power he once held. All of you, even if you were still children at the time, remember the reign of terror that preceded his downfall fourteen years ago. Those were dark times - possibly the darkest times the wizarding world has ever seen. We must not ever let this happen again. "

There was a murmur of general consent.

When Dumbledore continued, his voice was firm and full of confidence. "We must prevent it, and we will. This time, we are far better prepared to meet the threat. We have seen before what Voldemort is capable of, and willing to do. We have seen him rise to unimaginable power, through unimaginable ambition and ruthlessness. But we have also seen him fall."

"Not forever," Moody's gruff voice said from the door.

"Not forever, Alastor," Dumbledore agreed. "The shadow has taken another shape and grown again. But if he is delayed again, and again, he may never return to power. And I have reason to believe that we are closer to this moment now than ever before, closer than we might dare to hope. And most importantly," he continued, "this time, we are warned. Voldemort had hoped to return in secrecy, to gather his powers and his supporters behind him, and then strike suddenly and unexpectedly. As matters now stand, he may still strike suddenly, but it will not be unexpected. Voldemort did not reckon with young Harry Potter to witness his rebirth and then survive and escape to tell the tale."

There was another murmur from the assembled witches and wizards.

"Erm - " Elphias Doge cleared his throat. "I don't want to complicate matters, Albus," he said in his wheezy voice, "but your trust in the boy is absolute?"

Lupin felt the dog next to him shift uneasily, and for a moment he feared that Sirius might give away his disguise by baring his fangs at Doge, but the dog remained silent.

"You are right to ask, Elphias," Dumbledore said patiently. "To answer your question: Yes, I do believe Harry absolutely. The signs have been there for us to read for years now. I know that Harry has no reason whatsoever to make up a story such as this. And as far as the recent events are concerned, Harry's word is not the only evidence we have. I myself have been to the site of Voldemort's rebirth, and I have seen the proof of what Harry has told me with my own eyes."

There was a gasp of surprise from his audience.

"You have been there?" Emmeline Vance asked, her eyes wide with horror.

"I have," Dumbledore confirmed calmly. "I went there the morning after those events. I found the graveyard in the village where Voldemort's Muggle father used to live just as Harry had described it. It was deserted, of course, but the earth on the father's grave was trampled. There were the ashes of a fire big enough to heat a large cauldron. And there were the footsteps of more than a dozen people all over the place. It is impossible to read these signs in any other way than to confirm the story Harry has told me.

"We are gathered here tonight," Dumbledore continued after a moment's pause, "to plan how to prevent Voldemort's return to power. This is the great task that falls to us, and to us alone." For the third time, a shadow passed over his face. "For we cannot rely on any help from outside our own small circle. This time, it is not fear that paralyses the wizarding world and the authorities in it whose primary task it is to defend it and protect its welfare. But paralysed it is - by a different, equally dangerous cause: Denial. I informed the Minister for Magic of Voldemort's return minutes after I had heard of it myself - but Cornelius Fudge refused point-blank to believe one word of it. This has been the Ministry's official position ever since. The truth does not fit in with Fudge's view of him sitting comfortably in his office with no more problems on his hands than organizing a nice and peaceful Quidditch World Cup. You will not hear Voldemort's return mentioned in any official Ministry statement, and neither will you read about it in the Daily Prophet."

"The Daily Prophet is useless!" Dedalus Diggle thundered with uncharacteristic vehemence.

"It's not only useless," Dumbledore said, "it's becoming dangerous. If you read the Prophet carefully, you will find that the Ministry has done more than given them instructions to keep quiet about anything that might hint at Voldemort and his supporters being a very real danger to the wizarding world again. They're also trying to systematically discredit anyone who lends his or her voice to the truth." Dumbledore paused as if he was searching for the right words. "Unfortunately, this strategy is showing first signs of success," he continued, and his voice had lost some of its steadiness. "This morning, I was called to an urgent meeting of the Wizengamot at the Ministry. I was asked to resign from my position as Chief Warlock."

More excited murmuring went around the room.

"Why?" Minerva McGonagall asked sharply.

"A mere formality. The Ministry has decided that since it was enlarged for the great trials fourteen years ago, the Wizengamot has become too big to be functional. So they're asking all those that have been members for more than twenty years to resign and enjoy their well deserved retirement."

"They're only keeping Fudge's lapdogs," Alastor Moody snorted.

"What did you say to them?" Minerva McGonagall inquired.

"I refused, of course. And so I was voted out. By the vast majority of the members."

Again, Dumbledore's audience gasped collectively. It was news to them all.

"It will be in the Daily Prophet tomorrow, I suppose," Dumbledore continued evenly. "And of course they will take great care not to mention 'You Know Who' in this context. And there might be more of these obstacles coming. I received an owl last night from the International Confederation of Wizards. There will be an extraordinary meeting next weekend, which I have been asked to attend to 'explain my position.' That does not bode well. However, I will not believe that all hope is lost until they take me off the chocolate frog collecting cards, too." Dumbledore's eyes twinkled behind his half-moon glasses, but his little joke was only acknowledged by a handful of half-hearted smiles.

"What are you planning to tell them?" McGonagall asked, her unsmiling expression making it clear that she was referring to the International Confederation of Wizards rather than the chocolate frog manufacturers.

"Why, the truth of course," Dumbledore replied. "There are enough lies in the world already.

"It grieves me to say this," he went on after another little pause, "but the Minister's attitude forces us to act with extreme caution, and in extreme secrecy, not only towards those that we suspect or know to be supporters of Voldemort, but also towards the Ministry itself. Unlike in the days of the first war, the Ministry is still functioning, and functioning almost too well when it comes to sensing interference on my part.

"We cannot rely on any official help or support," he concluded. "On the contrary, it is crucial that our activities remain, for the moment, secret from anyone outside our own circle. Of course, one of our aims must be to convince as many witches and wizards as possible of the truth about Voldemort's return. But do take care who you tell of this. You might find that there are some who are not to be trusted - among your own friends, too, and maybe even among your closest family."

There was a distinct sob from Mrs Weasley, who had pressed her handkerchief to her face at Dumbledore's last words. Arthur Weasley patted his wife's arm in a gesture of helpless comfort. Bill Weasley, standing behind his parents, looked extremely unhappy.

"I know how hard this is for some of you," Dumbledore said sympathetically. "But it is the only thing that I must ask of you all, regardless of what else you may decide to do or not to do after our meeting tonight - to act with extreme caution, and in extreme secrecy."

There was a heavy silence. Nothing that Dumbledore had said before had conveyed the same sense of urgency. Then one after the other, the witches and wizards in the room nodded in agreement.

"So what will we do after this meeting?" the young witch with the spiky short hair spoke up for the first time.

"We will complete the task the Order of the Phoenix took upon themselves many years ago," Dumbledore replied. He surveyed the young witch through his half-moon glasses and smiled at her.

"The Order of the Phoenix?" she asked curiously. "Who were they?"

"The answer to that will take us back more than fifteen years," Dumbledore began as if he had only waited for this question. "During the years of the first war against Voldemort, a small group of people gathered in secret, just like we are gathered here today. They were only few - fewer than Voldemort's supporters and far fewer than the intimidated mass of witches and wizards that no longer knew what to do and whom to trust. They were few, but still they decided to take upon themselves the immense task of freeing the wizarding world from the evil that was penetrating it like a slowly working poison. They were fearless and determined - indeed, I am proud to say, they were the bravest witches and wizards that I have ever met in my entire long life."

Again, he looked around the room. Emmeline Vance lowered her eyes, a slight blush colouring her high cheekbones. Dedalus Diggle was literally swelling with pride.

"They were brave enough," Dumbledore continued, "to be ready to sacrifice their careers, their health and sanity, even their lives for the cause they believed in. And some of them did. Some of them gave and lost everything.

"But they are all remembered," he went on in a warm voice, "remembered with respect, with honour, and with love. Marlene McKinnon. Dorcas Meadowes. Benjamin Fenwick. Edgar Bones. Caradoc Dearborn. Gideon and Fabian Prewett. Lily and James Potter. Frank and Alice Longbottom."

A silence fell. More than one pair of eyes glistened with tears as Dumbledore recalled the names of Voldemort's victims. Remus Lupin shifted in his seat and wondered if he was the only one, probably apart from Sirius, who had noticed the conspicuous absence of one particular name from this roll of honour.

"Their memory is sacred to us," Dumbledore continued solemnly, raising his voice to carry clearly across the room. "It is not only for their sake, but for the sake of every living witch and wizard, and their children and grandchildren, that we, the survivors, must and will again take up the fight against the evil that we had hoped to have defeated fourteen years ago. Voldemort has returned. But so have those who will never rest until he is destroyed forever. Like a phoenix from the ashes, the Order of the Phoenix is reborn."

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