Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"Harry Potter and the deathly hallows", J.K. Rowling

Отрывок из первой главы "The Dark Lord Ascending":

"He always did himself well, Lucius. Peacocks ..." Yaxley thrust his wand back under his cloak with a snort.
A handsome manor house grew out of the darkness at the end of the straight drive, lights glinting in the diamond-paned downstairs windows. Somewhere in the dark garden beyond the hedge, a fountain was playing. Gravel crackled beneath their feet as Snape and Yaxley sped towards the front door, which swung inwards at their approach, though nobody had visibly opened it.
The hallway was large, dimly lit and sumptuously decorated, with a magnificent carpet covering most of the stone floor. The eyes of the pale-faced portraits on the walls followed Snape and Yaxley as they strode past. The two men halted at a heavy wooden door leading into the next room, hesitated for the space of a heartbeat, then Snape turned the bronze handle.
The drawing room was full of silent people, sitting at a long and ornate table. The room's usual furniture had been pushed carelessly up against the walls. Illumination came from a roaring fire beneath a handsome marble mantelpiece surmounted by a gilded mirror. Snape and Yaxley lingered for a moment on the threshold. As their eyes grew accustomed to the lack of light they were drawn upwards to the strangest feature of the scene: an apparently unconscious human figure hanging upside down over the table, revolving slowly as if suspended by an invisible rope, and reflected in the mirror and in the bare, polished surface of the table below. None of the people seated underneath this singular sight was looking at it except for a pale young man sitting almost directly below it. He seemed unable to prevent himself from glancing upwards every minute or so.
"Yaxley. Snape," said a high, clear voice from the head of the table. "You are very nearly late."
The speaker was seated directly in front of the fireplace, so that it was difficult, at first, for the new arrivals to make out more than his silhouette. As they drew nearer, however, his face shone through the gloom, hairless, snake-like, with slits for nostrils and gleaming red eyes whose pupils were vertical. He was so pale that he seemed to emit a pearly glow.

"Severus, here," said Voldemort, indicating the seat on his immediate right. "Yaxley - beside Dolohov."
The two men took their allotted places. Most of the eyes around the table followed Snape and it was to him that Voldemort spoke first.
"So?"
"My Lord, the Order of the Phoenix intends to move Harry Potter from his current place of safety on Saturday next, at nightfall."
The interest around the table sharpened palpably: some stiffened, others fidgeted, all gazing at Snape and Voldemort.
"Saturday ... at nightfall," repeated Voldemort. His red eyes fastened upon Snape's black ones with such intensity that some of the watchers looked away, apparently fearful that they themselves would be scorched by the ferocity of the gaze. Snape, however, looked calmly back into Voldemort's face and, after a moment or two, Voldemort's lipless mouth curved into something like a smile.
"Good. Very good. And this information comes –"
"From the source we discussed," said Snape.
"My Lord."
Yaxley had leaned forward to look down the long table at Voldemort and Snape. All faces turned to him.
"My Lord, I have heard differently."
Yaxley waited, but Voldemort did not speak, so he went on, “Dawlish, the Auror, let slip that Potter will not be moved until the thirtieth, the night before the boy turns seventeen."
Snape was smiling.
"My source told me that there are plans to lay a false trail; this must be it. No doubt a Confundus Charm has been placed upon Dawlish. It would not be the first time, he is known to be susceptible."

Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfil the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?