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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 12  

2007-07-24 13:21:09|  分类: [转载同人]The Su |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Chapter 12

And suddenly, there was a soft, almost eerie sound on the air - the sound of an unearthly beautiful music. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but it grew louder and louder until it filled the whole room and the heart of every person in it with a strange feeling of joy and courage and hope combined, more powerful than words, and more powerful than memories. Fawkes the Phoenix sang on Dumbledore's shoulder, and as he sang, all sadness was taken from them. When the music finally ebbed away, Dumbledore reached up to his shoulder and placed the magnificent bird gently on his arm, where it sat quite as still as before.

"We have good cause for hope," Dumbledore said, smiling again. "Fawkes knows it." He looked at each of the witches and wizards in the room in turn. Some of them smiled back at him, others seemed to be looking inward, still listening to the music that was now inside them.

"So what do you want us to do?" Sturgis Podmore finally asked in a whisper, his voice a strange mix of eagerness and apprehension.

"All that you can, Sturgis," Dumbledore replied. "Every little helps. But none of you will be forced to play a bigger part in this than you chose for yourself. I promise you that everything you do, you will do of your own free will. I must ask you all to be as strong as you can, but I cannot ask you to be stronger than that. I do not demand self-denial and blind loyalty. I do not demand a lifetime of service and submission. I do not demand an oath of unconditional obedience."

Dumbledore's eyes travelled over the assembled witches and wizards again, and came to rest on the black figure of Severus Snape in his corner. "I know too well," he said softly, "that loyalties may change, services may be offered to more than one master, and oaths may be broken."

Snape's eyes met Dumbledore's with unblinking steadiness.

"Only be aware," Dumbledore continued gravely after a tense pause, "that this is no game we're playing. I do not pretend it will be easy. I do not ask anyone to sever ties with your friends and family, or to put your position in the wizarding society at stake. But I must warn you that there might be conflicts of loyalty that you will have to be prepared to face. This is particularly important for those of you working for the Ministry or holding other official positions. Your involvement in the Order, should it come to light, could have more serious consequences than some awkward questions and the loss of the respect of your employers and colleagues. It means risking your jobs, and maybe even more than that."

"We're aware of that," Arthur Weasley said quietly.

"Thank you, Arthur. It is crucial to the success of our mission that we have some Ministry employees in the Order. I do not intend to work against the Ministry unless I must, but I am afraid we had better take care to always be one step ahead of them, rather than one behind.

"One more thing, before we turn to the practicalities," Dumbledore continued. "I assure you I'm aware that I have already placed a great responsibility on your shoulders, simply by inviting you to come here tonight. This responsibility will grow with every further step you take into the Order of the Phoenix. I urge you to think well and carefully about it before you decide to take those steps. And even when you have taken them - if you feel, now or later, that it is too heavy a burden for you, do not be afraid to speak up and tell me so."

Sturgis Podmore blushed to the roots of his straw-coloured hair. He and Hestia Jones nodded in obvious relief.

"And now, to the practical side of things," Dumbledore said briskly. "As for communication among ourselves, for the present we will have to stick to owls. I doubt they're being systematically intercepted, but all the same, be very careful how you word things. Do not let out any hint of the Order's existence. This place will be our Headquarters. Someone from the Order will always be here. The only way in and out is through the front door. And remember to keep your voices down in the entrance hall."

"These Headquarters," Hestia Jones spoke up timidly for the first time, "they scare me a little. What is this place?" Several of the other wizards nodded as if they had meant to ask the same question.

"Ah," said Dumbledore, "that is another question to which there is no simple answer, I'm afraid." He looked at Lupin and the dog next to him as if to ask for their approval to continue. The dog sat up very straight on its chair. Lupin put his arm over its back, like he would put his arm around the shoulders of a human friend, and gave Dumbledore a little nod.

"This," Dumbledore said, "is the noble and most ancient house of Black."

The reaction of his audience was very much as was to be expected.

"Black?" Hestia Jones gasped, clapping her hand over her mouth in shock.

"Black!" exclaimed Sturgis Podmore. "But - but they're Dark wizards!"

"We're in the house of Sirius Black's family?" Emmeline Vance demanded sharply, looking alarmed as if she was expecting a whole host of Blacks to burst into the kitchen any moment.

"You've got some nerve." Elphias Doge tried to hide his nervousness behind sarcasm.

Those in the room who had seen this coming remained silent, exchanging rather anxious looks.

"This used to be the home of the Black family, indeed," Dumbledore said. "And yes, you might call them Dark wizards. But be that as it may, no Dark wizard will enter this house while it is our Headquarters. The owner has seen to that."

"The owner?" Emmeline Vance was not easily satisfied.

"Yes, the owner," Dumbledore confirmed. "Dedalus here informs me that the private property of any witch or wizard is always passed on to their next of kin after their death. As long as there's a relative still alive, it may not be confiscated by the Ministry, or claimed by a third person, under any circumstances. In these matters, I fully rely on the legal opinion provided by the senior partner of Diggle, Diggle and Hopkirk, Diagon Alley solicitors since 1679, himself."

Dedalus Diggle nodded vigorously in agreement. Lupin could see Moody tapping his foot impatiently behind Dumbledore's back, and wished that the Headmaster would stop lecturing the assembled Order on wizarding laws of inheritance and come to the point. The dog at his side sat still as a statue.

"And in the case of the Black family," Dumbledore continued, "the only surviving family member in the direct line happens to be Sirius Black. This is his house."

"But Albus," Elphias Doge ventured to say, "isn't this a bit risky? Black is on the run - what if he comes back here to hide, or something?"

"That is exactly why we are here, Elphias," Dumbledore said. "Because it's such an excellent hiding place. We're here with Sirius Black's consent. As a matter of fact, we're here at his invitation."

This was too much. Sturgis Podmore opened his mouth, but no word came out. Doge fell back into his chair, shaking his head in disbelief. In contrast, Emmeline Vance sat even more upright, her hands gripping the arms of her chair. "He knows?"

"It may sound unbelievable," Dumbledore continued firmly, "but I must ask you to hear me out. Everything will be explained, if you let me. I spoke to Sirius at Hogwarts a little more than a year ago, on the night of his recapture and subsequent escape. And I learned things from him that it is high time all of you who are here tonight learned as well."

Nobody interrupted him this time. Everyone's eyes were fixed on Dumbledore's ancient face, those of the dog gleaming yellow in the fire light.

"I learned the truth about a day fourteen years ago," Dumbledore began, "a truth that we all failed to see back then, and that we never bothered to uncover afterwards. We were blinded," he said forcefully, raising his voice, "content to trust our eyes, rather than our hearts, which spoke so differently. For all these years, we have believed Sirius Black to be a traitor and a murderer. For all these years, we have pitied and honoured Peter Pettigrew as the innocent victim of a ruthless killer. But we were wrong. Terribly wrong."

He paused. Every face that was turned to him reflected either disbelief, or anxiety, or both. The tension was palpable.

"I must ask you all to let go of this comfortable and familiar version of events," Dumbledore continued in the same clear voice, "and to do justice to the truth, and justice to Sirius Black. I know him to be a brave man, an honest man, and an innocent man. I therefore ask you to recognise him for what he is, and has always been: one of us."

Nobody moved or spoke.

"Absurd," Emmeline Vance finally whispered.

Dedalus Diggle was shaking his head, and he was not the only one who did.

"Why?" asked Sturgis Podmore.

"Let me tell you."

"Albus," said Elphias Doge, leaning forward in his chair, with a nervous glance in the direction of the fireplace where Severus Snape was standing. "You've asked us the same once before."

Snape's black eyes met Doge's, and the old wizard almost winced under their dark fire. He looked away quickly.

"And I was right," Dumbledore said calmly. "You surely don't doubt that any longer?"

Doge blushed, but made no answer.

"But just like last time, Elphias," Dumbledore continued, "I do not expect you to take my word for it without proof. So let me tell you why."

And as he had promised, he did. He told the assembled Order, briefly and briskly, of Peter Pettigrew's treason fourteen years ago, of his flight in the shape of a rat, of Sirius's escape from Azkaban many years later, and of Peter's discovery in the Shrieking Shack on the edge of Hogsmeade. He spoke very quickly, as if he feared that he would lose their attention, and their confidence, if he paused. And although he only recounted the very gist of what would otherwise have been a much longer and even more unbelievable story, it still took a long time. The witches and wizards listened in complete silence.

But it was not a friendly silence, Lupin realised with growing disquiet. It wasn't working. It wasn't working at all. They might be listening, but they clearly didn't believe what they were hearing. None of their faces, hard masks of doubt and disbelief, softened as Dumbledore progressed in his tale. It had been a mistake to spring the truth on them like this, unprepared as they were. . They had got too used to the other, the more comfortable truth, and they weren't going to let go of it so easily. Minerva McGonagall had been right. For once, Dumbledore had overestimated the power of the truth, Lupin thought bitterly. And the power of his own gift of speech. There was no knowing what would happen when Dumbledore came to the end of his tale. But it was too late now. There was no turning back.

Lupin knew that Sirius beside him shared his fears. There had been no mention of a big black dog anywhere in the story, but Lupin could feel the dog under his arm fidgeting nervously now. He tightened his embrace, trying to give Sirius the reassurance that he so desperately needed himself.

He had uncomfortably felt the eyes of every witch and wizard in the room on his back when they had come to the part of Peter's second escape. The memory of it was painful enough, even though Lupin's transformation hadn't been mentioned with a single word. He was thankful that Dumbledore had spared him at least that.

When the Headmaster had finished, there was a short silence, old and new questions, old and new doubts in many faces. And then, they suddenly all spoke at once.

"Unbelievable!"

"But the Muggles - "

"Not Peter!"

"How - "

"That dirty -"

"Oh, James and Lily!"

"Why didn't - "

"And we're to believe a wild tale like this," Doge's wheezy voice rose sceptically above the others, "without further proof, second or third hand as it is, and coming from mere school children, and a - " he stopped short, his face colouring slightly again.

This time, the dog did let out a low growl and bared his fangs at Doge, but Lupin certainly made no move to prevent it.

"Please," Dumbledore said firmly, raising his hand, determined at last to put an end to all doubts. "You wish for first hand evidence, Elphias? You can have it. If my and Remus Lupin's word is not enough, no doubt Sirius Black himself will gladly provide the answers to all your remaining questions. Ask him yourself. He's here tonight."

Lupin felt something tighten in his stomach that made it hard to breathe. The dog at his side sat staring at Dumbledore, so alert now that it was trembling. The Headmaster gave it an encouraging smile.

"Sirius... if you could resume your usual form."

There was no time for the meaning of these words to sink in. The black dog instantly leapt out from under Lupin's arm, down from the chair, and as it leapt, transformed back into a man. Landing on two feet next to Dumbledore was Sirius Black in his human form, facing the assembled Order of the Phoenix with his arms crossed and a look of defiance on his face, daring them to challenge him and the truth of what they'd heard.

But nobody did. The faces Sirius looked into only spoke of utter bewilderment and confusion at so many astonishing revelations within so short a time. Half the room was staring at him with their mouths literally open.

Then suddenly, the tall black wizard and the young witch next to him, who had remained completely silent during Dumbledore's account, gave each other a short nod, and in a few long strides, the black wizard had crossed the room to where Sirius was standing. Minerva McGonagall and Arthur Weasley exchanged an alarmed look. Moody reached into his robes for his wand. Lupin jumped up from his chair. But the black wizard got to Sirius first, reached out with his arm - but all he did was extend his hand to him.

"The name's Kingsley Shacklebolt," he said in a deep but resonant voice. "Auror and Squad Commander at the Ministry of Magic. I've been in charge of the hunt for you for the past two years. It's a great honour to meet you at last."

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