Category:Gringotts Wizarding Bank
From UnknowableWikigoblins, and protected by several spells and enchantments. Therefore, it is held to be the most secure in the world—except, perhaps, Hogwarts (PS5). Dragons also guard the most important vaults.
Gringotts has a branch in Diagon Alley. It is a tall white building with bronze doors, followed by a silver pair of doors with the following warning engraved:
Enter, stranger, but take heed Of what awaits the sin of greed For those who take, but do not earn, Must pay dearly in their turn So if you seek beneath our floors A treasure that was never yours, Thief, you have been warned, beware Of finding more than treasure there.
The silver doors lead to a marble hall with approximately one hundred goblins at a long counter, whose activities include examining jewels, weighing money, and scribbling in ledgers. All Gringotts employees wear scarlet and gold uniforms.
Vaults are located hundreds of miles underneath London and are accessed with the use of a goblin-led cart that travels around a complex and deep subterranean network of tunnels. The vaults at the deepest level are the largest and most expensive, and thus, most of the oldest wizarding families—such as the Blacks and the Lestranges—have vaults there (DH25).
The bank was broken into for the first time on July 31, 1991 (PS6), but nothing was stolen (PS8). Quirinus Quirrell entered the place with the intention of obtaining the Philosopher's Stone from Vault 713; luckily, the vault had been emptied earlier that same day by Rubeus Hagrid, under Albus Dumbledore's orders (PS5). The bank was broken into a second time in 1998, when Harry Potter and his friends broke into the Lestrange vault to obtain one of Voldemort's Horcruxes
Gringotts in the series
Harry Potter first visits Gringotts before his first year, when he goes to Diagon Alley with Hagrid to get money from his vault for his school supplies. Hagrid has Harry's key, presumably obtained from Dumbledore before he left to collect the boy. The two are taken down to Harry's vault by a goblin named Griphook, where Harry learns that he is the owner of a small fortune, inherited from his parents. He takes some money from the vault, after which Griphook takes the pair to Vault 713, a high-security vault that can only be opened by a Gringotts goblin. Hagrid removes a "grubby little package wrapped up in brown paper" from the vault, which is later revealed to be the Philosopher's Stone (PS5). Later, on the Hogwarts Express, Harry learns from Ron Weasley that there was an attempted robbery at Gringotts—presumably by a Dark witch or wizard because no one was caught—when Ron is talking about his brothers; his eldest brother Bill is a Curse-Breaker for the bank, stationed in Africa (PS6). When visiting Hagrid after the first week of classes, Harry sees a cutting from the Daily Prophet regarding the break-in, and learns that the robbery occurred on July 31, the same day he and Hagrid went to Gringotts; the article says the vault was "emptied the same day," and Harry deduces that the attempted robbery was targeted at Vault 713 (PS8). When Harry confronts Professor Quirrell when trying to retrieve the Sorcerer's Stone from the Mirror of Erised, the latter reveals that he tried to break into Gringotts to steal the Stone for Lord Voldemort, but his attempt failed, because the Stone was no longer there (PS17).
Harry visits Gringotts with the Weasleys when shopping for school supplies before his second year at Hogwarts; at this time, he is struck by the contrast between his wealth and the Weasleys' poverty. In contrast to his mounds of coins, the Weasley family vault only contains a small pile of Sickles and a single Galleon. Harry and the Weasleys also meet up with Hermione Granger and her parents at the bank, who, much to Arthur Weasley's delight, are changing Muggle money for wizarding money (CS4).
Harry goes to Gringotts for a third time before the summer of his third year to get money for the upcoming school year (PA4). Later that year, at Christmas, he receives a Firebolt as an anonymous gift—Sirius Black later reveals that he sent the broom, using money from his own Gringotts account, in Vault 711 (PA11, PA22).
The summer before Harry's fourth year, Mrs. Weasley buys school supplies for Harry, Hermione, and her children still attending Hogwarts; while at Diagon Alley, she gets money out of Harry's Gringotts vault for him (GF10). She presumably does the same thing the summer before Harry's fifth year, when she goes to get the children's school supplies again, though it is not explicitly mentioned (OP9).
When the Order of the Phoenix reforms, after Voldemort's rebirth during the third task of the Triwizard Tournament, Bill applies for a desk job at Gringotts instead of working overseas, so he can be around to work for the Order. At this point, he develops a relationship with Fleur Delacour, who also works at the bank—ostensibly to "eemprove 'er Eeenglish"—which leads to their engagement before Harry's sixth year (OP4, HBP5).
During Harry's fifth year, when students must start thinking about their post-Hogwarts career, Curse-Breaking for Gringotts is one of the options. The brochure given to the students describes the job as "a challenging career involving travel, adventure, and substantial, danger-related treasure bonuses," which, among other things, requires a high score on the Arithmancy OWL (at the very least, though more likely the NEWT) (OP29).
Before his sixth year, Harry does not go to Gringotts to replenish his money; instead, Bill gets it for him out of the Potter vault, as Gringotts is on high security and paranoia runs rampant due to Voldemort's return. The eldest Weasley brother, when giving Harry his gold, remarks that it now takes around five hours for the public to access their vaults, as security is so tight (HBP6).
When a group of students (including Ginny Weasley) attempts to steal Gryffindor's sword from Severus Snape's office while Harry is hunting for Horcruxes, Snape sends the sword (which is actually a fake) to the Lestrange vault in Gringotts for "safekeeping" (DH15).
While hunting for Horcruxes, Harry realizes that Voldemort had given one of them to Bellatrix Lestrange to put in her family vault in Gringotts. He then asks for assistance from Griphook, whom he rescues from Death Eaters, to break into the vault (DH24), and Griphook agrees (DH25). With some difficulty, Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Griphook break into the bank and the Trio recovers Hufflepuff's Cup (the Horcrux) and escapes on the dragon guarding the vault (DH26). This story helps inspire hope in the resistance movement, and furthers Harry's status as a hero (DH29).
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