The Secret Diary.

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In a room illuminated by several bright torches sat five figures around an oval shaped table topped with green felt on a raised platform. Around the platform stood roughly two dozen influential and, or rich spectators of different races watching the game of poker taking place before their eyes. The spectators and players were all dressed in their finest silk or dragon hide clothing; the males were wearing expensive suits while the females were looking beautiful in their evening gowns. One could tell that by merely looking at the gold-trimmed oak and polished furniture that this event was more prestigious then your regular house game.

The game in particular was a yearly event held by the Goblins of Gringotts in Britain for their richer clients. The clients often lost, and it was to the Goblin's great pleasure to rob them dry of their galleons in a very legal way; the fact that the losing wizards kept coming back was just a bonus for them. Being invited to actually participate was a great honour and a sign that majority of England recognized your family as a wealthy and worthy one – to refuse to participate would be a great insult to the Goblins and a sign of weakness (that's at least what the Goblins 'said', they just wanted their free money) – so the fact that wizards continued to lose their money in such a spectacular way wasn't much of a surprise.

Luckily for Harry, the fact that he was fourteen years old didn't bother the Goblins in the slightest. Gringotts was Goblin territory and hence, Wizarding laws on underage gambling didn't apply. All they saw was a wet behind the ears child who didn't know what else to do with his rather extensive inheritance – and the two hundred thousand galleon buy-in was a considerably large amount of it; almost half of his family's vault in galleons to be exact (properties and shares excluded). The Potters weren't the wealthiest family in England, not even close, but Harry and Remus together had garnered more than enough favour from the Goblin nation to be able to request a seat in the game from the bank's directors. The Goblins merely saw it as an attempt to increase the Potter fortune considerably on Harry's part while Remus had yelled at him until his throat was dry about squandering hundred of thousands of his family's fortune on a fruitless and immature 'business' venture.

Not only does the winner of this game win almost one and a half million galleons (eight players with a buy in of two hundred thousand galleons each), but they also earn the right to participate in the game hosted by the Switzerland branch of Gringotts once every ten years. The Switzerland branch was considered to be the 'head' branch of Gringotts and one of the wealthiest; the Goblins' richest clients often used and trusted that bank with its security being nigh impenetrable. The buy-in for that game was ten times the amount of the yearly one hosted in England, two million galleons to be exact, and as such, the winnings were all the more rewarding.

All of that mattered as much to Harry as Remus's lecturing however, he was not here for the money - he had his own agenda; though it should be known that he had no intentions of bankrupting himself and ruining any chances of curing his mother should he need money to do so.

The players this year consisted of two Goblins, four wizards, a Vampire and a Veela. The Goblins that participated were the same two that participated every year and Harry was certain they were specifically trained to just play Poker, as if it were their jobs; they were certainly good enough for his estimation to be a valid one. Bronzespear and Ripgore have been playing for two decades now and have won every game between them since they have started.

The Vampire who had attended, Vladimir Mikhaylovich, a Russian born businessman who was a pure-blooded vampire that inherited his family's English based business at a young age was one of the first to go out, having gone head to head against Ripgore only to have lose to an ace high straight.

The Veela was a woman from France by the name of Francine Delacour who was merely here on a business trip but decided to try her luck with Poker. It was unfortunate for her that her skills in the game were not as revered as her looks, otherwise they'd all have been bled dry hours ago.

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