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"And they could be anything?" said Harry. "They could be oh, in tin cans or, I dunno, empty potion bottles. . . ."
"Well, Harry," said Dumbledore, "I am sure you understood the significance of what we just heard. At the same age as you are now, give or take a few months, Tom Riddle was doing all he could to find out how to make himself immortal."
"Of course," he muttered, "this is all hypothetical, what we're discussing, isn't it? All academic . . ."
'Rosmerta, please send a message to the Ministry,' said Dumbledore, as he mounted the broom nearest him. 'It might be that nobody within Hogwarts has yet realised anything is wrong ... Harry, put on your Invisibility Cloak.'
"I'm sorry, Harry; I should have said, he would not want to im-mediately kill the person who reached this island," Dumbledore corrected himself. "He would want to keep them alive long enough to find out how they managed to penetrate so far through his de-fenses and, most importantly of all, why they were so intent upon emptying the basin. Do not forget that Lord Voldemort believes that he alone knows about his Horcruxes."
They stared at each other.
Harry stared down into the water, looking for the vanished hand, and a sick feeling rose in his throat.
Chapter 24: Sectumsempra
"Yes," said Harry, still breathing hard.
Slughorn turned paler than ever; his shiny forehead gleamed with sweat.
He must have got a lot of good quality venom from Aragog, Harry thought, for Slughorn wore a satisfied smirk as he stepped up to the rim of the pit and said, in a slow, impressive voice, "Farewell, Aragog, king of arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you won't forget! Though your body will decay, your spirit lingers on in the quiet, web-spun places of your forest home. May your many-eyed descendants ever flourish and your human friends find solace for the loss they have sustained."
"Sir, I wondered what you know about. . . about Horcruxes?'
'Watch it,' he said, pointing wamingly at Harry and Ginny. 'Just because I've given my permission doesn't mean I can't withdraw it -'
'Yes,' said Harry, 'but I haven't got a licence.'
Malfoy wheeled around, drawing his wand. Instinctively, Harry pulled out his own. Malfoy's hex missed Harry by inches, shattering the lamp on the wall beside him; Harry threw himself sideways, thought Levicorpus! and flicked his wand, but Malfoy blocked the jinx and raised his wand for another —
"Aguamenti!" he shouted, jabbing the goblet with his wand. The goblet filled with clear water; Harry dropped to his knees beside Dumbledore, raised his head, and brought the glass to his lips — but it was empty. Dumbledore groaned and began to pant. "But I had some — wait — Aguamenti!" said Harry again, pointing his wand at the goblet. Once more, for a second, clear wa-ter gleamed within it, but as he approached Dumbledores mouth, the water vanished again. "Sir, I'm trying, I'm trying!" said Harry desperately, but he did not think that Dumbledore could hear him; he had rolled onto his side and was drawing great, rattling breaths that sounded agoniz-ing. "Aguamenti —Aguamenti —AGUAMENTI!"
Dumbledore was on his feet again, pale as any of the surround-ing Inferi, but taller than any too, the fire dancing in his eyes; his wand was raised like a torch and from its tip emanated the flames, like a vast lasso, encircling them all with warmth. The Inferi bumped into each other, attempting, blindly, to es-cape the fire in which they were enclosed. . . .;
'Perhaps the horse has heard people say that I have not inherited my great-great-grandmother's gift. Those rumours have been bandied about by the jealous for years. You know what I say to such people, Harry? Would Dumbledore have let me teach at this great school, put so much trust in me all these years, had I not proved myself to him?'。
The careless way in which Voldemort regarded this Horcrux seemed most ominous to me. It suggested that he must have made — or had been planning to make — more Horcruxes, so that the loss of his first would not be so detrimental. I did not wish to be-lieve it, but nothing else seemed to make sense. Then you told me, two years later, that on the night that Volde-mort returned to his body, he made a most illuminating and alarm-ing statement to his Death Eaters. ‘I who have gone further than anybody along the path that leads to immortality.’ That was what you told me he said. 'Further than anybody!' And I thought I knew what that meant, though the Death Eaters did not. He was referring to his Horcruxes, Horcruxes in the plural, Harry, which I don’t believe any other wizard has ever had. Yet it fitted: Lord Voldomort has seemed to grow less human with the passing years, and the transformation he had undergone seemed to me to be only explainable if his soul was mutilated beyond the realms of what we might call 'usual evil' . . ."（央视记者 徐海霞）