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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 4  

2007-07-05 23:41:15|  分类: [转载同人]The Su |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Chapter 4

A pale morning light was filtering through the dusty windows high up in the walls of the kitchen at No. 12, Grimmauld Place, when with a faint little pop, Albus Dumbledore materialised out of nowhere in the middle of the room. He straightened his purple robes and looked around. A peaceful sight met his eyes. The fire, no longer kept alive by either wood or magic, had died down, the embers still glowing faintly. In the chairs next to it were two sleeping figures. One of them was curled up sideways in his chair, covered with a shabby trench coat. The other's head had sunk forward onto his arm which was flung out across the rough surface of the wooden table, a few strands of his long dark hair falling over his face. A bottle and two glasses were still on the table, all empty.

Dumbledore smiled down at the motionless figures, then turned his attention to the stove in the corner under the windows, and pointing his wand, lit a fire in it. Next, he pointed at a large copper frying pan hanging on the wall, which promptly detached itself from its hook and obediently slid down onto the stove with a soft clatter. The sleeper under the trench coat stirred.

"Good morning," said Dumbledore quietly, his back still turned to them, now taking several eggs out of the pockets of his robes and cracking them open with a sharp tap of his wand. They slid down into the pan with a hiss that made the man under the trench coat open his eyes and raise his head.

"Albus!" Remus Lupin exclaimed, and suddenly wide awake, jumped to his feet. The coat fell down on the floor, and Lupin almost tripped over it, reaching across the table to shake the other sleeper by the shoulder. "Sirius, wake up, Dumbledore's here!"

"What?" the other man grunted, opening one eye to the morning light and closing it again quickly with a groan.

"Albus, I'm so sorry," Lupin said, blushing to the roots of his greying hair. "We meant to stay awake, or take turns sleeping, but then - "

"Then you fell victim to the ancient magic of Ogden's Old Firewhisky, as I can see," Dumbledore finished the sentence for him, still smiling. He took the pan from the fire. Lupin came to assist him, picking up some plates and cups from the sideboard. He blew a thick layer of dust off each of them and set the table for breakfast.

"I hope you have at least been drinking to the success of our mission," Dumbledore continued, putting the pan down on the table so close to Sirius's head that Sirius jumped and finally pulled himself upright.

"Morning," he muttered, blinking at the pan full of fried eggs, bacon and toast with bloodshot eyes.

"We're sorry," Lupin repeated.

"Kreacher can make tea," Sirius offered by way of an apology, helping himself to breakfast with a hungry sigh.

Dumbledore raised an eyebrow. "Kreacher?"

Sirius's hand stopped somewhere in mid-air, suspended halfway between his plate and the pan. He and Lupin exchanged a guilty look.

"The Blacks' old house-elf," Lupin explained quickly. "He lives in the boiler cupboard over there. We met him last night. Didn't Phineas Nigellus tell you?"

Dumbledore looked quickly over his shoulder at the cupboard Lupin had indicated, and for a split second saw the grey face of a house-elf with very long ears and a snout-like nose peering out of the crack between the door and the wall. Then it was gone.

"No, Phineas did not tell me," Dumbledore said. "The elf witnessed your arrival?"

"I'm afraid he did," said Lupin. "He turned up when we were in the hall."

"Did he recognise you?" Dumbledore asked Sirius, who finally lowered his hand and nodded grimly.

Dumbledore sighed, and turned towards the cupboard door again. "Kreacher?" he said in a loud but friendly voice. "Kreacher, come out here, please. I would like a word with you." Nothing happened. The door remained shut. "Nobody wants to harm you, Kreacher," Dumbledore continued. "We just need to talk." Again, there was no reaction.

"Kreacher!" Sirius suddenly thundered, banging his fist down on the table. "You do as you're told and get out of there, or I'll come and get you!"

Dumbledore gave Sirius a slightly irritated look, but then the door creaked open and the house-elf stepped out of the cupboard.

"It's the only language he understands," Sirius shrugged.

"Master called?" the elf asked in his squeaky voice, forcing a toothy smile.

"I called you," said Dumbledore. "I wonder if you could make us some tea."

The elf looked from Dumbledore back to Sirius, but made no reply.

"Go on, do as you're told," Sirius barked at him.

The elf sank into a low bow. "If it pleases Master," he muttered. "Kreacher must do as he's bid, even if Master is an ungrateful brat, and a murderer too, they say... poor Mistress, if she knew, faithful Kreacher making tea for a murderer..." Kreacher shuffled over to the pantry, still muttering under his breath.

Dumbledore sat down at the table, apparently quite satisfied.

"Tea," said Sirius grumpily. "Why didn't you ask him if he wanted to be sacked?"

"House-elves do not like to be sacked, as you well know," Dumbledore replied, helping himself to some breakfast, too. "And they are usually too well trained to answer any question with the truth, rather than with what they think their masters want to hear. You have to judge their actions, not their words. I know everything I need to know now. This elf knows who you are, which makes it far too dangerous for us to have him relocated - but he's still taking your orders, which makes it quite acceptable that he should stay. He will be the least trouble that way."

"What about judging this one's words, too?"

"What would you do with him then?"

"Put his head on the wall next to his predecessors?"

Dumbledore put down his fork and knife and gave Sirius a very grave look through his half-moon glasses. "I do hope, Sirius" he said in a quiet but firm voice, "that if you ever in your life have to kill a living creature, it will be for a much better reason."

Sirius looked down at his plate and said nothing. Lupin shifted uneasily in his chair.

"And now, gentlemen," Dumbledore continued, picking up his fork and knife again, "we had better eat up and start working on the house. I have better things to do with my time than providing two hung-over bachelors with breakfast."

Sirius and Lupin now blushed simultaneously, very much like two schoolboys caught without any homework done.

"I would suggest, as it is no doubt in the best interest of your own safety," Dumbledore said, a little smile playing around his lips, "that we start by making this place Apparation-proof?"

* * *

"Did you find anything else unexpected last night? Apart from the house-elf?" Dumbledore asked as the three of them made their way upstairs. Kreacher had taken his time about the tea, finally emerging from the pantry with a teapot full of hot water, claiming that there was, to his infinite regret, no tea in the house to offer to the gentlemen that had dared to trespass on his mistress's property. Sirius had told him to use the hot water for the washing up, and they had left the elf to it.

"The house has always been Unplottable, as well as Muggle-repellent," Sirius answered Dumbledore's question. "I don't think the spell's worn off entirely, or maybe some Muggle would have started wondering about the house. But maybe it needs a little refreshing."

"The front door was sealed with more than Colloportus," Lupin added. "It might be password protected. Mundungus got us in last night."

"And," Sirius said, lowering his voice as they emerged from the kitchen staircase into the hallway, "we've got a huge problem here in the hall."

"Which is?"

"Her," Sirius said, pointing at the curtains covering his mother's portrait. "My mother. Wake her up and she shouts the house down."

"Ah," said Dumbledore. "Phineas hinted that you had an argument with a portrait downstairs last night. He did not give me any details. Well, shall we see whether we can talk reason to Anastasia Black?"

Sirius shrugged. "That's another thing that probably hasn't improved with her death."

Lupin only covered his ears with his hands.

Dumbledore strode forward and pulled the moth-eaten velvet curtains open. The woman in the painting opened her eyes, so wide that they threatened to pop out of her head, but this time she seemed so taken aback at whom she was facing that there was a second's silence before she started shrieking.

"YOU!" She pointed a thick finger at Dumbledore. "YOU! YOU'RE BEHIND ALL THIS! I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN! YOU ESTRANGED THE BOY FROM ME IN THE FIRST PLACE, MADE HIM A TRAITOR TO HIS OWN BLOOD, AND NOW YOU DARE SET FOOT IN MY HOUSE!"

"Yes, I do," Dumbledore said calmly, and to the surprise of the other two, Mrs Black shut her mouth and listened. "But I should like to remind you that this is no longer your house, but your son's, since you're actually dead."

Lupin lowered his hands, shaking his head in disbelief, but was forced to clap them over his ears again when Dumbledore had finished.

"INFAMY! DEAD! ME! I WILL NOT BE INSULTED LIKE THIS IN MY OWN HOUSE!" Mrs Black shrieked.

"This is not your house!" Sirius shouted back at her. "It's mine, and you're going to leave it as soon as - " But his words did not have the same silencing effect on Mrs Black as Dumbledore's.

"YOU'RE NO SON OF MINE!" she screamed as soon as Sirius had opened his mouth, drowning his voice with her shrill tones that made the gas lamps along the wall rattle. "NO SON OF MINE! TRAITOR TO YOUR OWN BLOOD! DISGRACE OF THE FAMILY!"

Dumbledore, apparently completely undisturbed by the ear-splitting noise, had drawn out his wand and was tracing a line around the portrait, just inside the frame.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Mrs Black shrieked, sounding horrified. "DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH ME!"

"I'm not touching you," Dumbledore assured her very politely, and Sirius and Lupin relaxed for the few seconds of comparative silence his words gave them. "I am merely taking precautions." Next, he tried to move the tip of his wand between the frame and the wall, accompanied by more outbursts of "TRAITOR! DISGRACE!" on the part of Mrs Black. "I might have known," he said to himself. "What a pity." And without any effort at all, he pulled the velvet curtains shut. Silence fell.

Lupin took his hands away from his ears and let out a great sigh. "It's definitely the wrong time of the month for this," he muttered.

"What did you do there?" Sirius asked Dumbledore.

"I sealed her frame," Dumbledore replied. "The Collopictus spell. It is not, although its name suggests it is, related to the Colloportus one. But its effect is similar. At least we can be sure now that she can't get out of this painting and visit other portraits of hers, and betray us."

"Other portraits of hers?" Sirius asked incredulously. "Who'd want my mother's portrait in their house?"

"We cannot be sure," said Dumbledore. "But that danger is now averted."

"Can't we just take her down?" Lupin asked hopefully, still seeming a little shaken. "Or turn her around to face the wall or something?"

"I'm afraid not," said Dumbledore. "The painting is sealed to the wall with a Permanent Sticking charm. The trouble is, a Permanent Sticking charm can only be countered by the person that performed it in the first place. So if that person is dead..."

"You mean there's no way of getting rid of the old hag?" Sirius asked.

"Other than tearing the whole wall down with her, I am afraid there isn't."

Sirius snorted in disgust.

"Just keep her covered at all times, and avoid noise in the entrance hall. That is all we can do. Which is a pity," Dumbledore added and looked around, "as I had thought that the hall would make a good meeting place. It looks like we will have to use the kitchen instead. Ah well, it's cosier down there at any rate. Now, let's get started. We will begin with the attic and work our way downwards from there."

Dumbledore moved briskly towards the staircase. Sirius and Lupin followed.

"It will take a while to make the house Apparation-proof," Dumbledore explained on the way up, as if they were in class. "It would be easier if this was not a terraced house. As it is, we can't draw our line around it on the outside, at least not without tracing the whole block - which would look decidedly suspicious to any Muggle watching, and much more suspicious to any witch or wizard in the neighbourhood trying to Apparate home from work tonight and finding themselves unable to."

"Do any other witches or wizards live around here?" Lupin asked with a note of unease in his voice.

"Of course not," Dumbledore said. "That's another reason why this place is ideal for our purposes." He gave Sirius a smile. "As I was saying, we will have to trace each room individually, on the inside, including the attic, the bathrooms, the corridors, the walk-in cupboards and also all secret rooms if there are any. Be sure to do it carefully. If in doubt, do it twice. Leave the slightest gap in your line, and the whole house will remain open for Apparation. That's what happened to the Ministry of Magic, you know. There is a leak somewhere, and it has never been detected. That's why people keep Apparating at will in and out of what should be considered a high security building."

"Why don't they just do it all over again to make sure?" Sirius asked.

"You see, not all the rooms in the Ministry are accessible any longer," Dumbledore replied. "And besides, I would not make myself very popular at the moment if I were to suggest to Cornelius Fudge that he might want to reconsider his security policy regarding Ministry buildings." There was a silence. Dumbledore's remark required no further explanation. "And maybe I wouldn't be doing myself a favour, even if he did listen," he added thoughtfully.

Sirius and Lupin exchanged a puzzled look.

"This house, however," Dumbledore continued, "should be manageable enough. It will take time, but I dare say within about a week this place will be the best Headquarters the Order of the Phoenix ever had."

Sirius stopped dead on the stairs. "A week?" he asked. "You're saying I'll be stuck in this house for a week before anything happens at all?"

Dumbledore turned around to Sirius, four steps below and looking up at him with a deep frown on his face. "I'm afraid so," he said. "But there will be enough to do for all of us, I assure you."

Sirius still looked unhappy when they continued their way up to the attic.

 

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