哈利·波特与阿兹卡班的囚徒
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


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    CHAPTER ONE OWL POST
    
    Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways. For one thing, he hated the summer holidays more than any other time of year. For another, he really wanted to do his homework but was forced to do it in secret, in the dead of night. And he also happened to be a wizard.
    It was nearly midnight, and he was lying on his stomach in bed, the blankets drawn right over his head like a tent, a flashlight in one hand and a large leather-bound book (A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot) propped open against the pillow. Harry moved the tip of his eagle-feather quill down the page, frowning as he looked for something that would help him write his essay, "Witch Burning in the Fourteenth Century Was Completely Pointless discuss."
    The quill paused at the top of a likely-looking paragraph. Harry Pushed his round glasses up the bridge of his nose, moved his flashlight closer to the book, and read:
    Non-magic people (more commonly known as Muggles) were particularly afraid of magic in medieval times, but not very good at recognizing it. On the rare occasion that they did catch a real witch or wizard, burning had no effect whatsoever. The witch or wizard would perform a basic Flame Freezing Charm and then pretend to shriek with pain while enjoying a gentle, tickling sensation. Indeed, Wendelin the Weird enjoyed being burned so much that she allowed herself to be caught no less than fortyseven times in various disguises.
    Harry put his quill between his teeth and reached underneath his pillow for his ink bottle and a roll of parchment. Slowly and very carefully he unscrewed the ink bottle, dipped his quill into it, and began to write, pausing every now and then to listen, because if any of the Dursleys heard the scratching of his quill on their way to the bathroom, he'd probably find himself locked in the cupboard under the stairs for the rest of the summer.
    The Dursley family of number four, Privet Drive, was the reason that Harry never enjoyed his summer holidays. Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and their son, Dudley, were Harry's only living relatives. They were Muggles, and they had a very medieval attitude toward magic. Harry's dead parents, who had been a witch and wizard themselves, were never mentioned under the Dursleys' roof For years, Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had hoped that if they kept Harry as downtrodden as possible, they would be able to squash the magic out of him. To their fury, they had been unsuccessful. These days they lived in terror of anyone finding out that Harry had spent most of the last two years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The most they could do, however, was to lock away Harry's spellbooks, wand, cauldron, and broomstick at the start of the summer break, and forbid him to talk to the neighbors.
    This separation from his spellbooks had been a real problem for Harry, because his teachers at Hogwarts had given him a lot of holiday work. One of the essays, a particularly nasty one about shrinking potions, was for Harry's least favorite teacher, Professor Snape, who would be delighted to have an excuse to give Harry detention for a month. Harry had therefore seized his chance in the first week of the holidays. While Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley had gone out into the front garden to admire Uncle Vernon's new company car (in very loud voices, so that the rest of the street would notice it too), Harry had crept downstairs, picked the lock on the cupboard under the stairs, grabbed some of his books, and hidden them in his bedroom. As long as he didn't leave spots of ink on the sheets, the Dursleys need never know that he was studying magic by night.
    Harry was particularly keen to avoid trouble with his aunt and uncle at the moment, as they were already in an especially bad mood with him, all because he'd received a telephone call from a fellow wizard one week into the school vacation.
    Ron Weasley, who was one of Harry's best friends at Hogwarts, came from a whole family of wizards. This meant that he knew a lot of things Harry didn't, but had never used a telephone before. Most unluckily, it had been Uncle Vernon who had answered the call.
    "Vernon Dursley speaking."
    Harry, who happened to be in the room at the time, froze as he heard Ron's voice answer.
    "HELLO? HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME? I -- WANT -- TO -- TALK -- TO -- HARRY -- POTTER!"
    Ron was yelling so loudly that Uncle Vernon jumped and held the receiver a foot away from his ear, staring at it with an expression of mingled fury and alarm.
    "WHO IS THIS?" he roared in the direction of the mouthpiece. "WHO ARE YOU?"
    "RON -- WEASLEY!" Ron bellowed back, as though he and Uncle Vernon were speaking from opposite ends of a football field. "I'M -- A -- FRIEND -- OF -- HARRY'S -- FROM -- SCHOOL --"
    Uncle Vernon's small eyes swiveled around to Harry, who was rooted to the spot.
    "THERE IS NO HARRY POTTER HERE!" he roared, now holding the receiver at arm's length, as though frightened it might explode. "I DON'T KNOW WHAT SCHOOL YOURE TALKING ABOUT! NEVER CONTACT ME AGAIN! DON'T YOU COME NEAR MY FAMILY!"
    And he threw the receiver back onto the telephone as if dropping a poisonous spider.
    The fight that had followed had been one of the worst ever.
    "HOW DARE YOU GIVE THIS NUMBER TO PEOPLE LIKE -- PEOPLE LIKE YOU!" Uncle Vernon had roared, spraying Harry with spit.
    Ron obviously realized that he'd gotten Harry into trouble, because he hadn't called again. Harry's other best friend from Hogwarts, Hermione Granger, hadn't been in touch either. Harry suspected that Ron had warned Hermione not to call, which was a pity, because Hermione, the cleverest witch in Harry's year, had Muggle parents, knew perfectly well how to use a telephone, and would probably have had enough sense not to say that she went to Hogwarts.
    So Harry had had no word from any of his wizarding friends for five long weeks, and this summer was turning out to be almost as bad as the last one. There was just one very small improvement -- after swearing that he wouldn't use her to send letters to any of his friends, Harry had been allowed to let his owl, Hedwig, out at night. Uncle Vernon had given in because of the racket Hedwig made if she was locked in her cage all the time.
    Harry finished writing about Wendelin the Weird and paused to listen again. The silence in the dark house was broken only by the distant, grunting snores of his enormous cousin, Dudley. It must be very late, Harry thought. His eyes were itching with tiredness. Perhaps he'd finish this essay tomorrow night....
    He replaced the top of the ink bottle; pulled an old pillowcase from under his bed; put the flashlight, A History of Magic, his essay, quill, and ink inside it; got out of bed; and hid the lot under a loose floorboard under his bed. Then he stood up, stretched, and checked the time on the luminous alarm clock on his bedside table.
    It was one o'clock in the morning. Harry's stomach gave a funny jolt. He had been thirteen years old, without realizing it, for a whole hour.
    Yet another unusual thing about Harry was how little he looked forward to his birthdays. He had never received a birthday card in his life. The Dursleys had completely ignored his last two birthdays, and he had no reason to suppose they would remember this one.
    Harry walked across the dark room, past Hedwig's large, empty cage, to the open window. He leaned on the sill, the cool night air pleasant on his face after a long time under the blankets. Hedwig had been absent for two nights now. Harry wasn't worried about her: she'd been gone this long before. But he hoped she'd be back soon -- she was the only living creature in this house who didn't flinch at the sight of him.
    Harry, though still rather small and skinny for his age, had grown a few inches over the last year. His jet-black hair, however, was just as it always had been -- stubbornly untidy, whatever he did to it. The eyes behind his glasses were bright green, and on his forehead, clearly visible through his hair, was a thin scar, shaped like a bolt of lightning.
    Of all the unusual things about Harry, this scar was the most extraordinary of all. It was not, as the Dursleys had pretended for ten years, a souvenir of the car crash that had killed Harry's parents, because Lily and James Potter had not died in a car crash. They had been murdered, murdered by the most feared Dark wizard for a hundred years, Lord Voldemort. Harry had escaped from the same attack with nothing more than a scar on his forehead, where Voldemort's curse, instead of killing him, had rebounded upon its originator. Barely alive, Voldemort had fled....
    But Harry had come face-to-face with him at Hogwarts. Remembering their last meeting as he stood at the dark window, Harry had to admit he was lucky even to have reached his thirteenth birthday.
    He scanned the starry sky for a sign of Hedwig, perhaps soaring
    back to him with a dead mouse dangling from her beak, expecting praise. Gazing absently over the rooftops, it was a few seconds before Harry realized what he was seeing.
    Silhouetted against the golden moon, and growing larger every moment, was a large, strangely lopsided creature, and it was flapping in Harry's direction. He stood quite still, watching it sink lower and lower. For a split second he hesitated, his hand on the window latch, wondering whether to slam it shut. But then the bizarre creature soared over one of the street lamps of Privet Drive, and Harry, realizing what it was, leapt aside.
    Through the window soared three owls, two of them holding up the third, which appeared to be unconscious. They landed with a soft flump on Harry's bed, and the middle owl, which was large and gray, keeled right over and lay motionless. There was a large package tied to its legs.
    Harry recognized the unconscious owl at once -- his name was Errol, and he belonged to the Weasley family. Harry dashed to the bed, untied the cords around Errol's legs, took off the parcel, and then carried Errol to Hedwig's cage. Errol opened one bleary eye, gave a feeble hoot of thanks, and began to gulp some water.
    Harry turned back to the remaining owls. One of them, the large snowy female, was his own Hedwig. She, too, was carrying a parcel and looked extremely pleased with herself. She gave Harry an affectionate nip with her beak as he removed her burden, then flew across the room to join Errol.
    Harry didn't recognize the third owl, a handsome tawny one, but he knew at once where it had come from, because in addition to a third package, it was carrying a letter bearing the Hogwarts crest. When Harry relieved this owl of its burden, it ruffled its feathers importantly, stretched its wings, and took off through the window into the night.
    Harry sat down on his bed and grabbed Errol's package, ripped off the brown paper, and discovered a present wrapped in gold, and his first ever birthday card. Fingers trembling slightly, he opened the envelope. Two pieces of paper fell out -- a letter and a newspaper clipping.
    The clipping had clearly come out of the wizarding newspaper, the Daily Prophet, because the people in the black-and-white picture were moving. Harry picked up the clipping, smoothed it out, and read:
    MINISTRY OF MAGIC EMPLOYEE SCOOPS GRAND PRIZE
    Arthur Weasley, Head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office at the Ministry of Magic, has won the annual Daily Prophet Grand Prize Galleon Draw.
    A delighted Mr. Weasley told the Daily Prophet, "We will be spending the gold on a summer holiday in Egypt, where our eldest son, Bill, works as a curse breaker for Gringotts Wizarding Bank."
    The Weasley family will be spending a month in Egypt, returning for the start of the new school year at Hogwarts, which five of the Weasley children currently attend.
    Harry scanned the moving photograph, and a grin spread across his face as he saw all nine of the Weasleys waving furiously at him, standing in front of a large pyramid. Plump little Mrs. Weasley; tail, balding Mr. Weasley; six sons; and one daughter, all (though the black-and-white picture didn't show it) with flaming-red hair. Right in the middle of the picture was Ron, tall and gangling, with his pet rat, Scabbers, on his shoulder and his arm around his little sister, Ginny.
    Harry couldn't think of anyone who deserved to win a large pile of gold more than the Weasleys, who were very nice and extremely poor. He picked up Ron's letter and unfolded it.
    Dear Harry,
    Happy birthday!
    Look, I' really sorry about that telephone call. I hope the Muggles didn't give you a hard time. I asked Dad, and he reckons I shouldn't have shouted.
    It's amazing here in Egypt. Bill's taken us around all the tombs and you wouldn't believe the curses those old Egyptian wizards put on them. Mum wouldn't let Ginny come in the last one. There were all these mutant skeletons in there, of Muggles who'd broken in and grown extra heads and stuff.
    I couldn't believe it when Dad won the Daily Prophet Draw. Seven hundred galleons! Most of it's gone on this trip, but they're going to buy me a new wand for next year.
    Harry remembered only too well the occasion when Ron's old wand had snapped. It had happened when the car the two of them had been flying to Hogwarts had crashed into a tree on the school grounds.
    We'll be back about a week before term starts and we'll be going up to London to get my wand and our new books. Any chance of meeting you there?
    Don't let the Muggles get you down!
    Try and come to London,
    Ron
    P.S. Percy's Head Boy. He got the letter last week.
    Harry glanced back at the photograph. Percy, who was in his seventh and final year at Hogwarts, was looking particularly smug. He had pinned his Head Boy badge to the fez perched jauntily on top of his neat hair, his horn-rimmed glasses flashing in the Egyptian sun.
    Harry now turned to his present and unwrapped it. Inside was what looked like a miniature glass spinning top. There was another note from Ron beneath it.
    Harry -- this is a Pocket Sneakoscope. If there's someone untrustworthy around, it's supposed to light up and spin. Bill says it's rubbish sold for wizard tourists and isn't reliable, because it kept lighting up at dinner last night. But he didn't realize Fred and George had put beetles in his soup.
    Bye --
    Ron
    Harry put the Pocket Sneakoscope on his bedside table, where it stood quite still, balanced on its point, reflecting the luminous hands of his clock. He looked at it happily for a few seconds, then picked up the parcel Hedwig had brought.
    Inside this, too, there was a wrapped present, a card, and a letter, this time from Hermione.
    Dear Harry,
    Ron wrote to me and told me about his phone call to your Uncle Vernon. I do hope you're all right.
    I'm on holiday in France at the moment and I didn't know how I was going to send this to you -- what if they'd opened it at customs? -- but then Hedwig turned up! I think she wanted to make sure you got something for your birthday for a change. I bought your present by owl-order; there was an advertisement in the Daily Prophet (I've been getting it delivered; it's so good to keep up with what's going on in the wizarding world), Did you see that picture of Ron and his family a week ago? I bet he's learning loads. I'm really jealous -- the ancient Egyptian wizards were fascinating.
    There's some interesting local history of witchcraft here, too. I've rewritten my whole History of Magic essay to include some of the things I've found out, I hope it's not too long -- it's two rolls of parchment more than Professor Binns asked for.
    Ron says he's going to be in London in the last week of the holidays. Can you make it? Will your aunt and uncle let you come? I really hope you can. If not, I'll see you on the Hogwarts Express on September first!
    Love from Hermione
    P.S. Ron says Percy's Head Boy. I'll bet Percy's really pleased Ron doesn't seem too happy about it
    Harry laughed as he put Herrmone's letter aside and picked up her present. It was very heavy. Knowing Hermione, he was sure it would be a large book full of very difficult spells -- but it wasn't. His heart gave a huge bound as he ripped back the paper and saw a sleek black leather case, with silver words stamped across it, reading Broomstick Servicing Kit.
    "Wow, Hermione!" Harry whispered, unzipping the case to look inside.
    There was a large jar of Fleetwood's High-Finish Handle Polish, a pair of gleaming silver Tall-Twig Clippers, a tiny brass compass to clip on your broom for long journeys, and a Handbook of Do-It-Yourself Broomcare.
    Apart from his friends, the thing that Harry missed most about Hogwarts was Quidditch, the most popular sport in the magical world -- highly dangerous, very exciting, and played on broomsticks. Harry happened to be a very good Quidditch player; he had been the youngest person in a century to be picked for one of the Hogwarts House teams. One of Harry's most prized possessions was his Nimbus Two Thousand racing broom.
    Harry put the leather case aside and picked up his last parcel. He recognized the untidy scrawl on the brown paper at once: this was from Hagrid, the Hogwarts gamekeeper. He tore off the top layer of paper and glimpsed something green and leathery, but before he could unwrap it properly, the parcel gave a strange quiver, and whatever was inside it snapped loudly -- as though it had jaws.
    Harry froze. He knew that Hagrid would never send him anything dangerous on purpose, but then, Hagrid didn't have a normal person's view of what was dangerous. Hagrid had been known to befriend giant spiders, buy vicious, three-headed dogs from men in pubs, and sneak illegal dragon eggs into his cabin.
    Harry poked the parcel nervously. It snapped loudly again. Harry reached for the lamp on his bedside table, gripped it firmly in one hand, and raised it over his head, ready to strike. Then he seized the rest of the wrapping paper in his other hand and pulled.
    And out fell -- a book. Harry just had time to register its handsome green cover, emblazoned with the golden title The Monster Book of Monsters, before it flipped onto its edge and scuttled sideways along the bed like some weird crab.
    "Uh-oh," Harry muttered.
    The book toppled off the bed with a loud clunk and shuffled rapidly across the room. Harry followed it stealthily. The book was hiding in the dark space under his desk. Praying that the Dursleys were still fast asleep, Harry got down on his hands and knees and reached toward it.
    "Ouch!"
    The book snapped shut on his hand and then flapped past him, still scuttling on its covers. Harry scrambled around, threw himself forward, and managed to flatten it. Uncle Vernon gave a loud, sleepy grunt in the room next door.
    Hedwig and Errol watched interestedly as Harry clamped the struggling book tightly in his arms, hurried to his chest of drawers, and pulled out a belt, which he buckled tightly around it. The Monster Book shuddered angrily, but could no longer flap and snap, so Harry threw it down on the bed and reached for Hagrid's card.
    Dear Harry,
    Happy Birthday!
    Think you might find this useful for next year. Won't say no more here. Tell you when I see you. Hope the Muggles are treating you right.
    All the best,
    Hagrid
    It struck Harry as ominous that Hagrid thought a biting book would come in useful, but he put Hagrid's card up next to Ron's and Hermione's, grinning more broadly than ever. Now there was only the letter from Hogwarts left.
    Noticing that it was rather thicker than usual, Harry slit open the envelope, pulled out the first page of parchment within, and read:
    Dear Mr. Potter,
    Please note that the new school year will begin on September the first. The Hogwarts Express will leave ftom King's Cross station, platform nine and three-quarters, at eleven o'clock.
    Third years are permitted to visit the village of Hogsmeade on certain weekends. Please give the enclosed permission form to your parent or guardian to sign.
    A list of books for next year is enclosed. Yours sincerely,
    Professor M. McGonagall
    Deputy Headmistress
    Harry pulled out the Hogsmeade permission form and looked at it, no longer grinning. It would be wonderful to visit Hogsmeade on weekends; he knew it was an entirely wizarding village, and he had never set foot there. But how on earth was he going to persuade Uncle Vernon or Aunt Petunia to sign the form?
    He looked over at the alarm clock. It was now two o'clock in the morning.
    Deciding that he'd worry about the Hogsmeade form when he woke up, Harry got back into bed and reached up to cross off another day on the chart he'd made for himself, counting down the days left until his return to Hogwarts. Then he took off his glasses and lay down, eyes open, facing his three birthday cards.
    Extremely unusual though he was, at that moment Harry Potter felt just like everyone else -- glad, for the first time in his life, that it was his birthday.
    
    第一章 猫头鹰邮递
    
    就许多方面来说,哈利·波特是个不同寻常的男孩。比如说,他在一年中最恨的就是暑假。再比如说,他倒是真心想做他的家庭作业,但他却被迫偷偷地、总是在深夜才做。而且,他碰巧是个男巫。
    现在差不多已经是半夜了,他正趴在床上,被单像帐篷一样罩在脑袋上。他一手拿着电筒,靠在枕头上,打开了一本皮面书——巴希达巴沙特所著的《魔法史》。哈利皱着眉头,在书页上从上而下地移动着那支羽毛笔的笔尖,他正在寻找能帮助他写论文的材料,论文题目是《十四世纪焚烧女巫的做法是完全没有意义的——讨论稿》。
    羽毛笔停留在一段似乎会有用的文字开头。哈利把鼻梁上的圆形眼镜向上推了推,又让电筒发出的光更靠近那本书。他读道:
    在中世纪的时候,非魔法界人士(更普遍的叫法是“麻瓜”)是特别害怕魔法的,但是他们并不善于识别魔法。他们偶尔真地抓到男巫或女巫,但在这种时候,焚烧并没有收到什么效果。男巫或女巫在被焚烧的时候会施展一种冻结火焰的基本魔法,一面享受着火焰所产生的温和的刺痒快感,一面假装痛苦而发出尖叫。占卜者温德林十分喜欢被焚烧,曾让自己在各种各样的化装形态下被人们抓住,其次数达四十七次之多。
    哈利把笔放在两排牙齿之间咬着,伸手到枕头下面拿墨水瓶和一卷羊皮纸。他慢慢地、很小心地打开墨水瓶,把那支羽毛笔伸进去蘸了蘸,然后开始书写,时不时地停下来谛听。因为如果德思礼家的人去洗手间的路上昕到了他的羽毛笔写字的声音,这整个夏天他就很可能要被他们锁在楼梯下面的碗柜里。
    住在女贞路四号的德思礼一家正是哈利从来不能好好过暑假的原因。弗农姨父、佩妮姨妈以及他们的儿子达力是哈利在世界上仅有的亲戚。他们都是麻瓜,就是说,是不懂魔法的世俗之人,他们对魔法采取的态度仍停留在中世纪。哈利双亲已故,他们生前分别是男巫和女巫,他们的名字德思礼一家从来是绝口不提的。多年来,佩妮姨妈和弗农姨父一直认为,如果他们能够尽量地作践哈利,他们兴许就能够把魔法从哈剩身上榨出来。令他们极其愤怒的是,他们一直没有成功。现在他们天天担惊受怕,怕的是有谁发现哈利过去两年来的大部分时间一直在培养魔法师的霍格沃茨学校就读。最近德思礼一家做得最多的事就是在暑假开始时把哈利的咒语书、魔杖、坩埚和飞天扫帚锁起来,并且不准他和邻居说话。
    对于哈利来说,接触不到咒语书可真是不方便,因为霍格沃茨学校的老师给他布置了一大堆家庭作业。论文之一,就是关于缩身药剂的那篇,特别烦人,那是要交给哈利最不喜欢的老师斯内普教授的,斯内普正巴不得有个借口罚他留校一个月呢。因此,哈利在暑假的第一个星期就抓住了一个机会。正当弗农姨父、佩妮姨妈和达力到前花园去欣赏弗农姨父的公司为雇员买的那辆新车(他们说话声音很响,为的是让邻居们也都注意到这辆新车)时,哈利就悄悄下了楼,打开楼梯下面碗柜上的锁,一把抓出他的几本书,并且把书藏在他自己的卧室里。只要他不在被单上留下墨水渍,德思礼一家就不会知道他在夜里研究魔法。
    现在哈利尽量不和他的姨妈姨父发生矛盾,因为他们已经对他不高兴了,这都是因为暑假开始以后的第一个星期里他接到了魔法学校同学的一个电话。
    罗恩韦斯莱是哈利在霍格沃茨学校的一个好朋友,他全家都是巫师。这就是说,他懂得哈利不懂的许多事情,但他从来没有用过电话。倒霉的是,那天接电话的是弗农姨父。
    “我是弗农德思礼。”
    这时哈利正好也在房间里,他听到罗恩回答的声音时,不由得愣住了。
    “喂——喂——听得见我说话吗?我——找——哈利——波特!”
    罗恩使劲地嚷,弗农姨父为此吓了一跳,把电话听筒拿到离他的耳朵足有一英尺远的地方,瞪眼看着它,一脸既是狂怒又是惊骇的表情。
    “你是谁?”他对着电话听筒的方向吼道,“你是谁?”
    “罗恩——韦斯莱!”罗恩吼回来,好像是在对足球场另一端的弗农姨父喊话,“我是——哈利——学校——里的朋友——”弗农姨父的小眼睛转向哈利,哈利像生了根似的站在当地。
    “这里没有什么哈利波特!”他吼道,现在他手上握的电话听筒离他有一臂之遥,好像怕听筒会爆炸似的。“我不知道你说的是什么学校!再不要打电话给我!我看你敢到我家里来!”
    于是他把听筒扔回到电话机上,好像是在扔一个有毒的蜘蛛。
    随之而来的痛斥是前所未有的。
    “你怎么胆敢把电话号码给这种——像你这样的人!”弗农姨父吼道,唾沫星子溅了哈利一头一脸。
    罗恩显然明白他给哈利惹了麻烦,因为他再也没有打电话来过。哈利在霍格沃茨学校的另外一个好朋友赫敏格兰杰也没有和哈利联系过。哈利猜想是不是罗恩警告过赫敏,叫她不要打电话。罗恩这样做没有必要,因为赫敏是哈利那个年级里最聪明的女巫。她的父母都是庥瓜,她完全懂得怎样打电话,而且她很可能头脑清楚,不会说她是霍格沃茨学校的。
    所以,哈利在长长的五个星期里没有从他的魔法界朋友那里得到任何信息,而这个暑假和去年暑假一样糟。只有一个小小的改进:在哈利发誓说不会用猫头鹰给他的任何朋友递送信息之后,他得到允许,可以在夜里把他的猫头鹰海德薇放出去。弗农姨父让了步,因为海德薇如果一直关在笼子里,它就会闹个不停。
    哈利写完了有关温德林的论述,停下笔来,再度谛听。房子里黑黑的,一片静寂,只有远处传来他那位膀大腰圆的表哥达力的鼾声。一定已经很晚了。哈利的眼睛很疲倦。明天写完这篇论文怎么样……他盖好墨水瓶的盖子,从床底下拖出一个旧枕套来,把电筒、《魔法史》、论文、羽毛笔和墨水瓶都放了进去,然后爬下床来,把这一堆东西放到床底下一块松动的地板下面。最后他站起身来,伸了伸懒腰,看了一下床边的夜光钟所显示的时间。
    此刻是凌晨一点。哈利肚子里一阵翻腾。一个小时以前,他满十三岁了,而他刚刚还不知道呢。
    哈利极少盼望过生日,这是他的另外一个和平常孩子不一样的地方。他还从来没有得到过任何生日贺卡。德思礼家的人完全忽略了他前两年的生日。他没有理由指望他们会记得他今年的生日。
    哈利穿过黑暗的房间,经过海德薇的空空的大笼子,走向窗口。他靠在窗台上,在被单下面待了那么长时间以后,夜晚的凉爽空气拂在他脸上特别舒服。海德薇已经有两夜没有回来了。哈利并不担心它——以前它也有过这么长时间不回来的情况——但是他希望它很快会回来。它是这所房子里惟一看见他不会退缩的生物。
    就一个十三岁的孩子而言,哈利显得很小很瘦,不过去年以来他也长高了几英寸。然而,他乌黑的头发仍旧和以前一样:不管他想什么法子,它们仍旧乱糟糟地不听话。眼镜后面的眼睛闪着明亮的绿色,在前额上的头发中间,明显可见有一道细长的伤疤,伤疤的形状好像是一道闪电。
    在哈利所具有的一切与众不同的特点之中,这道伤疤是最特殊的。十年来,德思礼一家一直硬说这是一次车祸留下的纪念,哈利的父母就是在那次车祸中丧生的。但他们并不是死于车祸,他们是被人杀死的,是被百年以来最可怕的黑巫师伏地魔杀死的。哈利逃脱了这次厄运,只在前额留下了这道伤疤,那时,伏地魔的诅咒没有杀死他,反而返回到他自己身上。伏地魔九死一生,逃脱了……但是,自从哈利到霍格沃茨学校上学以来,曾经与这个魔头面对面地相遇过。哈利站在黑暗的窗口,想起上次的相遇,不能不承认他能活到十三岁,实在是幸运。
    他扫视满布星星的天空,寻找海德薇的踪影,也许它嘴里衔着一只晃晃悠悠的死耗子,就这样向着他飞回来了,还等着他的称赞。哈利心不在焉地往外面的屋顶上看去,几秒钟之后才醒悟过来他看到了什么。
    在金黄色的月亮照耀之下,一个奇形怪状、歪歪扭扭的黑影正在向哈利这边飞来,而且越来越大。哈利一动不动地站在那里,眼看它飞得越来越低。他迟疑了一刹那,手抓住窗栓,心想是不是应该关上窗子。但那个稀奇古怪的东西飞到了女贞路的一根灯柱上方,于是哈利看出来那是个什么东西,一跳闪开了。
    三只猫头鹰从窗口飞了进来,其中两只护着第三只,那第三只似乎失去了知觉。它们噗的一声落在哈利的床上,中间那只灰色的大猫头鹰一头栽了下来,不动了。它的腿上拴着一个大包裹。
    哈利马上就认出了这只失去知觉的猫头鹰——它的名字叫埃罗尔,是韦斯莱家养的。哈利立刻冲向床边,解开埃罗尔腿上的带子,拿下那个包裹,然后把埃罗尔放到了海德薇的笼子里。埃罗尔睁开一只朦胧的眼睛,发出一声表示感谢的声音,然后开始喝了几口水。
    哈利再去看那两只猫头鹰。其中之一,就是那只大的、雪白的雌猫头鹰,是他自己的海德薇。它也带着一个包裹,而且看上去一副得意洋洋的样子。他解下它的包裹,这时,它用喙轻啄了哈利一下,表示爱抚,然后就穿过房间和埃罗尔站到一处去了。
    哈利不认识那第三只猫头鹰,这是只黄褐色的漂亮的猫头鹰,不过他立刻知道了它来自哪里,因为它除了携带着一个小包裹以外,还带得有一封信,信封上有霍格沃茨学校的饰章。哈利取下这只猫头鹰携带的邮件,它郑重其事地抖抖羽毛,展开双翼,就从窗口飞向夜空去了。
    哈利坐在床上,抓过埃罗尔带来的包裹,一把撕开外面的牛皮纸,看到了用金色纸包起来的礼物,那是他生平第一次收到的生日贺卡。哈利的手有一点儿发抖,他打开了信封。两张纸掉了出来——一张是信,另外一张是剪报。
    这张剪报显然是从魔法界的报纸《预言家日报》上剪下来的,因为那张黑白照片上的人物是活动的。哈利拿起这张剪报,把它抚平,读到了以下的内容:
    魔法部工作人员得大奖
    魔法部禁止滥用麻瓜物品司主任亚瑟韦斯莱得到了《预言家日报》年度大奖加隆奖。兴高采烈的韦斯莱先生告诉《预言家日报》的记者说:“我们将把这笔钱花到夏季埃及旅游上去。我们的大儿子比尔在埃及为古灵阁魔法银行做破咒语的工作。”韦斯莱一家将在埃及待一个月。在霍格沃茨学校开学以前回来。目前韦斯莱家有五个孩子在那里上学。
    哈利看了看那张活动的照片。他看到韦斯莱家九个人站在金字塔前,都在使劲向他招手,脸上不由得露出了笑容。韦斯莱太太身材小而胖,秃顶的韦斯莱先生却很高大,他们的六个儿子、一个女儿都有一头火红色的头发(尽管这张黑白照片上看不出来)。罗恩正站在这张照片的中间,又高又瘦,他的宠物小耗子斑斑站在他肩上,他的手臂搂着他的妹妹金妮。
    哈利想不出谁能比韦斯莱一家更应该得到这么一大笔钱,这家人很好,但是很穷。他拿起罗恩的信,打开来看。
    亲爱的哈利:
    生日快乐!打电话的事我真抱歉。我希望麻瓜们没有让你日子难过。我问过我爸,他说我不应该那么瞎嚷嚷。
    埃及真棒。比尔带我们去了所有的金字塔,你真不知道古埃及的巫师对这些金字塔施过多少咒语。妈妈不让比尔到最后一座金字塔里去。那里有许多样子古怪的骨架,是强行进入金字塔的麻瓜们留下的。他们长出了多余的脑袋等等东西来。我真不能相信我爸竟然得到了《预言家日报》的抽奖!有七百加隆呢!这笔钱大部分都花在这次旅游上了,不过他们要给我买一根新魔杖,以便明年用。
    那次罗恩的旧魔杖突然折断了,哈利对这件事记得很清楚。那次他们两人一起乘车到霍格沃茨去,车撞到了学校禁林的一棵树上,魔杖就此折断了。
    我们大约在开学以前一星期回来,我们还要到伦敦去买我的魔杖和我们的新书,会在伦敦遇到你吗?别让麻瓜们扫你的兴!争取到伦敦来吧。
    罗恩珀西当上男生学生会主席了。上周他得到通知的。又及。
    哈利又看那张照片。珀西七年级了,这是他在霍格沃茨的最后一年,他在照片上看起来特别自命不凡。整齐的头发上戴着一顶土耳其帽,他已经洋洋得意地把男生领袖的徽章别在这顶帽子上了,角质边的眼镜在埃及的阳光下闪闪发光。
    现在哈利转向给自己的礼物,动手拆开包裹。包裹里面的东西好像是小型的陀螺。陀螺下面还有罗恩写的一张便条:
    哈利——这是一个袖珍窥镜。如果周围有什么不可信任的人,它就会发出亮光并且旋转起来。比尔说这等于垃圾,是卖给旅游的男巫的,而且这东西不可信赖,因为昨晚晚餐时分它一直在发亮。但他不知道弗雷德和乔治已经往他的汤里放了甲虫。再见 罗恩
    哈利把这个袖珍窥镜放在他床边的小桌子上,陀螺在它的尖端部分上取得了平衡,很稳当地站在那里,反映出哈利钟上发光的指针。他高兴地看着陀螺,看了好几秒钟,然后拿起海德薇带来的包裹。
    包裹里面也有一份包扎起来的礼物、一张卡片和一封信,这是赫敏送的。
    亲爱的哈利:
    罗恩写信给我,把他打电话给你弗农姨父的事告诉了我。我真希望你没事。
    目前我在法国度假,我不知道怎样才能把这封信送给你——如果海关的人打开了这封信怎么办?但是海德薇出现了!我想它希望你确信能收到生日礼物以改变你的心情。我通过猫头鹰订单买到了给你的礼物;《预言家日报》登了这个广告(我让人们把报纸寄给我,一直能够了解魔法界的动态是很好的)。你看到了一星期以前报上登的罗恩一家人的照片吗?我打赌他学到了许多东西,我真的妒忌啊——古埃及的巫师真令人着迷。
    法国这里也有些令人感兴趣的魔法。我已经全部改写了我的关于魔法史的论文,为的是把我在这里发现的一些事情也包括进去。
    罗恩说他要在暑假的最后一周到伦敦去。你也能去吗?你的姨妈和姨父会让你去吗?我真希望你能去。如果不能,我会在九月一日的霍格沃茨特别快车上见到你!爱你的赫敏。
    罗恩说珀西当上了男生学生会主席。我打赌珀西高兴得不得了。罗恩对这件事似乎不那么高兴。又及。
    哈利又哈哈大笑起来。他放下赫敏的信,拿起她的礼物。这礼物很沉。他熟悉赫敏,肯定这是本充满了艰难咒语的大书——但他猜错了。他撕开了包装纸,心儿大大地一跳。他看见一个细长的黑色皮匣子,匣子上印着一行银色的字:飞天扫帚维修工具箱。
    “哇,赫敏!”哈利低声说道,拉开这匣子的拉链,看看匣子里面的东西。
    里面有一大罐弗里特伍德牌子的高度完美的飞天扫帚上光剂、一双银光闪闪的扫帚细枝剪切器、一个可以在长途旅行时安装在飞天扫帚上的小小的黄铜指南针,还有一本《飞天扫帚护理手册》。
    哈利除了想念朋友以外,对有关霍格沃茨的东西想得最多的就是魁地奇了。魁地奇是魔术界最受人喜爱的一项运动——危险程度很高,极其令人兴奋,而且是骑在飞天扫帚上玩的。哈利碰巧是玩魁地奇的一把好手,他是百年以来入选霍格沃茨学院队的最年轻的队员。哈利最心爱的三件宝物之一就是他的光轮2000飞天扫帚。
    哈利把这个皮匣子放在一旁,拿起最后一个包裹。他立刻就认出了牛皮纸上那不整齐的字迹:这件礼物来自海格,他是霍格沃茨的狩猎场看守。他撕开最上面的一层纸,看到了一件绿色皮质的东西,但他还没有来得及好好地打开包装,这个包裹就古怪地颤抖了一下,先不说里面的东西是什么,就厉声大叫起来——好像它是有嘴巴似的。
    哈利愣住了。他知道海格决不会有意送他什么危险的东西,但对什么东西危险,海格的看法是和普通人不一样的。人们知道海格曾经与巨大的毒蜘蛛为友,曾经从小酒吧的客人手里买过有三个脑袋的烈性大狗,还曾经偷偷地把非法的龙蛋拿到了他的小屋里。
    哈利神经质地碰碰这个包裹。它又厉声叫了起来。哈利伸手去够床边的灯,一手牢牢地抓住这盏灯,并且把它高举过头,随时准备打下来。然后他另一只手抓住其余的包装纸一拉。
    于是里面的东西掉下来了——是一本书。哈利只来得及看到这是一本漂亮的有绿色封面的书,上面印着金色的书名:《妖怪们的妖怪书》,这本书就随即一弹上了床,站立起来,沿着床边急促奔跑,活像某种奇形怪状的螃蟹。
    “哦,哦。”哈利低声说。
    一声脆响,这本书从床上栽到地上,在房间里急促地拖拖拉拉地走着。哈利偷偷地跟着它。这本书躲到了他书桌下面黑暗的地方。哈利一面心里祷告着德思礼一家千万别醒过来,一面趴在地上去够那本书。
    “哇!”
    这本书啪的一声在他手上合了起来,然后就拍动着离开了他,仍旧凭借它的封面急促地奔跑着。哈利到处爬行,向前扑去,想把这本书拍倒在她。弗农姨父在隔壁房间发出一声响亮的梦呓。
    哈利把这本还在挣扎的书紧紧抱在怀里,海德薇和埃罗尔这两只猫头鹰在一旁饶有兴趣地看着。哈利急忙走到五斗橱那里,拉出一根皮带来,用皮带紧紧捆住这本书。这本书恼怒地颤抖着,但它再也不能急促奔跑和厉声喊叫了。所以哈利把它扔在床上,伸手拿起海格的卡片。
    亲爱的哈利:
    生日快乐!这件东西下一年也许对你有用。不多说了。面谈。
    希望麻瓜们对你好。
    祝诸事顺利 海格
    海格认为一本会咬人的书竟然可能有用,哈利觉得这兆头不好,不过他把海格的贺卡和罗恩的、赫敏的放在一起,脸上的笑意比什么时候都要浓。现在还没有看的只剩下来自霍格沃茨的信了。
    哈利注意到这封信比以往的要厚。他撕开封口,抽出里面的第一张羊皮纸读起来:
    亲爱的波特先生:
    请注意新学年将在九月一日开始。霍格沃茨特快列车将于十一点钟从国王十字车站9又3/4站台出发。
    在某几个周末,三年级学生获准访问霍格莫德。请将随信附上的同意表交给你的父母或监护人签字。随信附上新学年的书单。你的忠诚的副校长 麦格教授
    哈利抽出霍格沃茨学校的同意表来看,脸上的笑容不见了。周末访问霍格莫德村,那真是太棒了。他知道那完全是个魔法村,他还从来没有去过。但他怎么才能说服弗农姨父或是佩妮姨妈签字同意呢?他看看闹钟。此刻已经是凌晨两点了。
    哈利决定等到睡醒以后再为霍格莫德村的事发愁,于是他就回到床上,伸手去拿他自己画的那张日历,又划去了一天,他在为回到霍格沃茨学校的那一天倒计时呢。然后他拿下眼镜,躺了下来,眼睛睁开着,面对着他那三张生日贺卡。
    尽管哈利是那么突出地与众不同,此刻他的感觉和一般人是一样的:他生平第一次为过生日而高兴。
    

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