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The Great Gringotts Robbery

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The Harry Potter Canon

Harry, Ron, Hermione, & Griphook break into Gringotts, steal Hufflepuff’s Cup, lose Gryffindor’s sword, and escape on a dragon.

Before leaving Shell Cottage, Hermione disguises herself as Bellatrix Lestrange with the use of Polyjuice Potion and disguises Ron by using spells to alter his facial features. Harry and Griphook are hidden under the Invisibility Cloak, with Griphook riding piggyback on Harry. They apparate to the Leaky Cauldron and enter a dismal, desolate Diagon Alley, where a beggar confronts Hermione/Bellatrix about his missing children, but is warded off by Ron. They next meet Travers, who accompanies them to the bank.

At the entrance Harry secretly uses the Confundus Charm on the two Probity Probe-bearing wizards who stand guard where uniformed goblins used to. In order to sidestep security measures, Harry uses the Imperius Curse on a goblin named Bogrod and then again on Travers. Harry makes Travers stay out of the way and has Bogrod control the cart.

As they ride the cart deep underground, Harry worries that it was foolish to have Hermione disguised as Bellatrix and with her wand when all the Death Eaters knew who had taken Bellatrix’s wand. Then Ron and Hermione’s disguises disappear when the cart is caught in the Thief’s Downfall, which is a protection against thieves in Gringotts. It also lifts the Imperius Curse from Bogrod, but Harry uses it on him again.

The group continues on and comes to a handful of vaults guarded by a vicious, partly blind dragon. It lets them pass because it associates the sound of the Clankers with pain and retreats. Bogrod opens the vault, which is absolutely stuffed with treasures and valuable items. They begin searching for the Horcruxes, but the vault’s contents turn burning hot and multiply when touched. Eventually, they realize they can use the sword of Gryffindor to touch things without the consequences. When they find the cup, Griphook takes the sword and joins the goblins coming to stop the intruders. Harry, Ron, and Hermione escape on the dragon and help it blast through the earth to get away.

Timeline Notes

We know this occurs on May 1 because it is the day before the Battle of Hogwarts, which takes place on May 2.

They get up a 6:00 AM to get dressed and get ready to go.



Our robbers see several miserable beggars in Diagon Alley, insisting they are wizards and asking passersby for money. Travers refers to them as "the wandless" (and by the pronoun "it"). How these people came to be in this situation is unclear, since other people whom the Ministry have found to not be real witches and wizards seem to have gotten harsher punishments than being stripped of their wands and allowed to go free. At least one beggar seems to have had his children taken away under the new regime. -BB

The wandless are additionally disadvantaged because people are supposed to believe they were "stealing" magic, but their ragged, down-and-out existence may shed some light on being a squib when the rest of the people in your society are largely only self-sufficient or able to take care of themselves because they can use magic. -BB

Seeing how Hermione struggles to keep up Bellatrix Lestrange's nasty persona, it was quite wise of them all to decide that Ron's assumed identity should be that of the fictional Transylvanian Dragomir Despard, who can hardly speak any English at all. -BB

Travers laments the unavoidability of interacting with Goblins in order to use money. One wonders why Voldemort's regime did not try to seize control entirely from the Goblins. Wizards with Probity Probes have replaced the uniformed goblins who used to stand guard at the entrance, so we know it does not seem to be the case that the Ministry or the Death Eaters simply are not able to exert their will over Gringotts. -BB

The wording about the dragon's skin becoming pale and flaky during its long confinement underground is ambiguous; it is not clear if this is meant to indicate a cause and effect relationship, which would seem to shed some interesting light on dragon biology, or if it is merely meant to reinforce that the dragon appears to have been treated with astonishing cruelty for a considerable length of time. -BB

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Tags: burns danger doors heat marble pain security theft underground