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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 2   

2007-07-05 23:31:14|  分类: [转载同人]The Su |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Chapter 2

Lupin, entering last, closed the door behind them and sealed it with a whispered "Colloportus".

"Lumos," muttered Moody, and the pale light from the tip of his wand revealed a view of the front part of a long hallway, and a staircase on their right leading to the upper floors.

"Blimey," said Mundungus in a low voice, taking a few more steps into the hall, looking around at the dark wooden panelling that was coming off the walls, the frayed carpet that gave off little clouds of dust under their steps, and the serpent-shaped chandelier hanging from the ceiling, covered in cobwebs. "Blimey," he said again. "Mad-Eye, what is this place?"

"The noble and most ancient house of Black," said a new voice from the door.

Mundungus gave a start and turned to the now three human faces confronting him. Between Moody and Lupin stood a third man, about Lupin's age, with almost shoulder length dark hair and deep set, equally dark eyes. His face looked rather drawn and wasted in the pale light, but his eyes were curiously alive.

"Black?" repeated Mundungus, taking a while to put two and two together. "This is your house?"

"Keep your voice down, Mundungus," Moody warned him.

Mundungus's expression changed from surprise to disbelief. "Your own house," he said to Sirius, ignoring Moody's warning. "A nice hideout for a mad mass murderer."

"He's not - " Lupin began.

"It's not my hideout," said Sirius grimly. "I haven't been here for twenty years. And," he continued, looking around the hall with a sigh, "I'm not sure it's good to be back."

"Has it changed so much?" Lupin asked sympathetically.

"No, not at all," Sirius replied. "That's what I meant."

He strode forward past Mundungus, his own wand raised and lit. "There used to be a huge portrait on the wall here," he said, pointing at a pair of velvet curtains on the left side of the hall.

"There still is," Moody said, drawing level with him. "Elderly lady in black and green silk and a lacy bonnet, sitting in a high carved chair. Sleeping."

"That's her," Sirius said.

"Want to have a look?" Moody asked, reaching for the curtains.

"No," Sirius said quickly. "I'm afraid I don't feel much like saying hello, after - "

"Sssh!" Lupin hissed suddenly, and now they all heard it - the sound of soft little footsteps, and a small voice muttering to itself. It was coming from somewhere beyond or beneath the far end of the hall, which was in total darkness. The four men held their breath. There was the sound of a door opening, and suddenly they heard the voice clearly.

"It was the front door, yes, Kreacher must go and see who it is! Mistress doesn't expect guests, she would have told Kreacher. Maybe it's thieves and burglars and murderers!" The voice was close now, hovering just beyond the range of their wand light.

"Moody," Sirius said in a low voice, "didn't you check the basement before we went in?"

"Nobody told me there was a basement," Moody snarled out of the corner of his mouth, his wand pointed firmly towards the source of the small voice.

"You could have asked."

"You could have barked."

There was a tense silence. Even the creature in the shadows had stopped muttering.

"Whoever you are," Moody suddenly called down the hall, his own voice not so much unlike a dog's bark, "show yourself or you'll regret it!"

There was movement in the darkness, and then a small creature shuffled forward into the wand light, shielding its enormous bulging eyes with a bony, withered hand. It seemed very old, its thin greyish skin hanging around its bones like an oversized piece of clothing. For real clothing, it wore nothing but a grimy loincloth that seemed to be made of an old towel. It had very long, pointed ears, and a nose like a snout. It was clearly a house-elf.

"What -" Moody said, but Sirius had already lowered his wand.

"Kreacher," he said. The house-elf gave a little start at being addressed with his name, looked up at the man who had spoken to him, and broke into a wide, toothy grin.

"Master!" he squeaked excitedly. "It's Master! He's come back at last!" And he bowed to the dusty floor. When he straightened up again, the grin had wavered slightly, threatening to slide off his ugly face, but the elf caught it just in time and forced it back. "He's back, oh, Mistress must hear of it, she must hear it at once, at once!" There was definitely something sly and wicked in his grin now, and sure enough, without warning, the elf suddenly broke into an ear-splitting squealing.

"He's baaaack! BAAAAAAAACK!!!" he wailed, and then several things happened at once. Moody never got further than "Shut up, you -", while Lupin clapped his hands over his ears, his face screwed up in pain. A second later, the curtains in front of the portrait on the left hand wall had flown open, revealing the ugly sight of the woman in the silk dress, just as Moody had described her, but now wide awake and screaming at the top of her voice.

"YOU!" she screamed, pointing an accusing finger at Sirius, "UNGRATEFUL BRAT THAT YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN, HOW DARE YOU COME SNEAKING BACK INTO THE HOUSE OF YOUR FATHERS, AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT, LIKE A MURDERER - "

"STUPEFY!" yelled Moody, pointing his wand at the painting. A red jet of light shot out of his wand, but it glanced off the canvas as if off an invisible shield.

"SILENCIO!" shouted Lupin almost at the same time, but with no more luck than Moody. The woman in green and black wailed on, unstunned and unsilenced.

"BREAKING INTO MY HOUSE, IN THE COMPANY OF SHABBY THIEVES AND CRIMINALS - "

"Ungrateful brat!" the elf repeated happily, adding his squeaky voice to the infernal noise echoing up and down the hallway. "Thieves! Murderers!"

"Hang on," Mundungus said practically, and grabbed the frayed and dusty curtains, trying to yank them shut. They flew out of his hands, refusing to close over the still shrieking painting. Mundungus grabbed them again. "Help me!" he shouted. Lupin came to his aid, and together they managed to cover the portrait.

The silence was so sudden it was almost palpable. Moody let out a low whistle. Lupin wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his coat. Sirius, who had stood rooted to the spot throughout the whole racket, slowly came to life again. He turned away from the curtains covering the portrait, and stared very hard at the little house-elf. The creature flinched under his gaze, and sank into another low bow with a whispered "Master". But when he looked up again, his face was twisted in undisguised hatred, and when he spoke, the wicked grin reached almost from pointed ear to pointed ear. "Welcome home."

Sirius gave the house-elf a murderous look. His wand was still in his hand, and his companions could see his fingers tighten around it.

"Erm, Mundungus," Lupin suddenly said in a casual voice, "how did you know that?" He pointed over his shoulder at the now completely still curtains.

"Oh, that," Mundungus replied with a grin. "Easy. It's, well, not the first time I've had a portrait in someone's home shout 'thief' and 'burglar' at me, y' know..." He glanced apologetically at Moody, who was frowning deeply. "Anyway, I find the bes' way is to get outta their sight. They all calm down after a while."

"Brilliant," Lupin said approvingly.

"Useful," Moody admitted with a grunt, apparently not inclined to give Mundungus more credit for his crook's tricks than absolutely necessary. "Right. Let's keep our voices down, have some more light, and take a closer look at the place."

He pointed his wand at the old-fashioned gas lamps along the walls of the hall, and one after the other, they flickered into life, lighting the hallway from end to end.

"Hang on," Mundungus said again, looking up and down the hall in confusion. "Where'd that big black dog go?"

"Nowhere," Sirius said, turning sharply on his heel, away from the elf and back to his companions. "Let's go and find the headmaster's portrait. It used to be in the study."

"Nobody ever tells me anythin'," Mundungus muttered.

"You can stay down here and keep an eye on that elf," Moody instructed Mundungus. "And don't touch anything."

Mundungus looked injured at the implication, but said nothing. Moody took off his bowler hat, revealing his mismatched eyes, one dark and one electric-blue, and hung the hat over the serpent-shaped ornament on the lower end of the banister. Then they began ascending the stairs to the upper floors.

"They might have moved him to an unused room," Sirius remarked. "It's quite irritating to have someone like him breathing down your neck when you're writing a letter or reading a book, even if he doesn't comment on it every single time. Look," he said, pointing at a row of plaques on the wall, a grim collection of shrunken house-elf heads, all with the same extremely long ears and snout like nose as the live one downstairs. "How soon do you think Kreacher's going to join them?"

Moody only grunted in reply. They had arrived on the second landing. Several doors led off it. The closest was to their right.

"You go first," Sirius muttered, standing back to make room for Moody, who raised an eyebrow.

"Anything wrong?" He scanned the closed door to make sure there was nothing unpleasant hiding within.

"No," Sirius said, not looking at either of his companions, "it's just - "

"This used to be yours?" Lupin guessed.

"Let's get it over then." Without waiting for an answer from Sirius, Moody had turned the serpent-shaped handle and pushed the door open.

"About time," a bored voice greeted them. "I thought you'd never even make it here, after all the racket downstairs. You're lucky you didn't wake the Muggle neighbours."

Out of a large ornate frame on the wall to their left, a man was looking down at them, his lips curled in a sneer. He was wearing black and green like the woman in the hall, but judging from his hairstyle and his white silk stockings and buckled shoes, his painting was much older. Around his neck was the heavy chain of office with the Hogwarts crest that the headmasters wore on official occasions.

"Well, we're here now, Nigellus," Moody growled. "And you'd better take yourself off back to Dumbledore double quick and tell him that his advance guard has completed its mission successfully and with no casualties."

"Excuse me," the former headmaster replied haughtily. "My duty - " and the tone of his voice left them in no doubt as to what he thought about it, "my duty is to the current Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and to him or her only. I would like you to note that I am not taking orders from anyone else, least of all from suspended ex-Aurors, lycanthropes and - " his gaze travelled from Moody and Lupin to Sirius, and he fell silent.

" - mad mass murderers?" Sirius suggested sarcastically.

"Don't be ridiculous," said Headmaster Nigellus, almost affectionately. "You're family after all, Sirius."

"Thanks for reminding me, Phineas," Sirius replied, "just when I'd almost managed to forget."

Phineas Nigellus gave him a thin smile and stroked his pointed black beard.

"I wasn't suspended," Moody grumbled, "I retired."

"And I am not going to waste my time bickering over mere technicalities with you lot," Phineas replied in his earlier haughty tone. "I am going to see Professor Dumbledore now, and if he thinks you worthy of a reply, I might condescend to coming back to tell you." And with a swish of his black and green robes, he was gone, leaving the canvas blank in its frame.

"Shall we go and have a look at the other rooms until he's back?" Lupin asked.

Sirius shrugged indifferently. "If you like," he said. "I think you will find them all much like this one."

The bedroom they were looking into was in the same state of decay as the rest of the house - dusty, gloomy and almost empty, long fallen into disuse. Except for the bed, there was hardly any sign that it had ever been used at all, and certainly no sign of its last inhabitant having been a fifteen-year-old boy. They waited in silence, Sirius leaning in the doorframe, staring blankly at the wall opposite.

"You know, this house will be really useful," Moody broke the silence after a while.

"As useful as Mundungus Fletcher?" Sirius asked, not willing to be cheered up so easily.

"More useful," Moody said. "Big enough to house a fair number if needed, but not too big to hide it. Could even withstand a concerted attack or siege for a while, given the defence was properly organized."

"Speaking of being properly organized," came Phineas Nigellus's voice from the empty frame, followed shortly afterwards by the former headmaster himself, "Professor Dumbledore says well done to no casualties - he did seem surprised about that - and he will be with you first thing in the morning. You, that's Sirius and Lupin, are to stay here until he joins you. Mad-Eye Moody and the crook can go home. Under no circumstances is Sirius to leave the house. Take a note for Professor Dumbledore of anything unexpected that you find in the house, but don't attempt to change or get rid of it yourself."

"Does that include Kreacher?" Sirius asked innocently.

"Kreacher?" Phineas Nigellus seemed puzzled.

"Well, what are we supposed to do with him?"

"Do you mean he is still there?"

Moody and Sirius exchanged a look.

"Do you mean you didn't know?"

"Of course I didn't," said Phineas in his most dignified tone. "There are no paintings in the kitchen, you know. And besides, I doubt I have spent much more time in this house than you over the last twenty years, Sirius. I dare say I've always found your mother's company slightly less unpleasant than you did, but life in this place did not improve with her death - particularly not in the hall, as you have already found out, if my ears have not deceived me. Now, if you please, gentlemen, I don't know about you but I at least should like to get some rest tonight." And he made to move out of the frame.

"Good night," Moody called after him. "And tell Dumbledore not to ring the doorbell!"

But Phineas Nigellus was already gone.

Lupin slowly turned to Sirius, who met his eyes with a rather stubborn look on his face.

"That was - your mother?" Lupin asked very quietly.

Sirius nodded grimly. "That was her. I always told you you didn't want to meet her, didn't I? I hope you believe me now."

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