Gringotts Bank

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Katrina's POV

"Yeh'd be mad ter try an' rob it," said Hagrid as Harry and I read the words engraved into the set of doors that stood before us. I shivered slightly at the ominous warning but managed to smile in thanks to the goblin who ushered us through the silver doors and walked us over to one of the open counters situated within the vast marble hall.

"Morning," said Hagrid to the goblin at the desk. "We've come ter take some money outta Mr. Harry Potter and Ms. Katrina's safes."

"You have their keys, Sir?"

"Got them here somewhere," said Hagrid as he started emptying his pockets onto the counter. The goblin wrinkled his nose and I chuckled quietly to myself at the expression on his face. Harry, I noticed, was watching a goblin on our right weighing a pile of rubies as big as glowing coals.

"Got em," said Hagrid at last, holding up two tiny golden keys.

The goblin examined them closely. "That seems to be in order."

"An' I've also got a letter here from Professor Dumbledore," said Hagrid importantly, throwing out his chest. "It's about the You-Know-What in vault seven hundred and thirteen."

The goblin read the letter carefully. "Very well," he said, handing it back to Hagrid, "I will have someone take you down to all three vaults. Griphook!"

Griphook was yet another goblin. Once Hagrid had crammed all his stuff back inside his pockets, he, Harry, and I followed Griphook toward one of the doors leading off the hall.

"What's the You-Know-What in vault seven hundred and thirteen?" Harry and I asked at the same time. I grinned at him and punched his shoulder lightly. "Jinx! You owe me a soda!"

"Deal." He said as we both turned to look at Hagrid in anticipation.

"Can't tell yeh that," said Hagrid mysteriously. "Very secret. Hogwarts business. Dumbledore's trusted me. More'n my job's worth ter tell yeh that."

Griphook held the door open for us and whistled loudly. I wish I could whistle, but it was a skill I had yet to even come close to mastering. A small cart came hurtling up the tracks and we climbed in; Hagrid with some difficulty, and were off.

We hurtled through a maze of twisting passages as the cold air rushed past us. Once, I thought I saw a burst of fire at the end of a tunnel and twisted around to see if it was a dragon, but too it would have been cool to see a dragon! I had read about them in a worn out children's book at the orphanage and had always thought it would be so cool if they turned out to be real. Better yet, how amazing would it be to own one! Nah, that probably wouldn't work. But still, it was nice to know that they weren't just a fairytale. It looked like a lot of what I had thought to be stories were in fact, reality, and I couldn't wait to discover the mysteries of the magical world!

We plunged even deeper, passing an underground lake where huge stalactites and stalagmites grew from the ceiling and floor.

"I never know," I heard Harry call to Hagrid over the noise of the cart, "what's the difference between a stalagmite and a stalactite?"

"Stalagmite's got an 'm' in it," said Hagrid. "An' don' ask me questions just now, I think I'm gonna be sick." I know I shouldn't find it funny but I couldn't help but laugh at the expression on Hagrid's face.

He did look very green, and when the cart stopped at last beside a small door in the passage wall, Hagrid got out and had to lean against the wall to stop his knees from trembling. I walked over to him and patted his knee (the highest spot I could reach) in what I hoped was a comforting way. When he'd stopped shaking, he gave me a small smile.

"Thanks, Katrina. Yer' a good kid."

"You're welcome, Hagrid. You can call me Kat, if you'd like." The man might be huge and somewhat of a stranger still, but he seemed nice and I wanted to show him how much I appreciated him helping me navigate my way around. Normally I was left on my own and let's just sometimes lead me into trouble on the streets of london. I hated spending time at the orphanage with Liza and the other girls so I wandered around a lot...But I just liked to think that it made me stronger and more capable of looking after myself.

Griphook unlocked the door. A lot of green smoke came billowing out, and as it cleared, Harry and I gasped. Inside were mounds of gold coins. Columns of silver. Heaps of little bronze Knuts.

"All yours, Harry" smiled Hagrid.

All Harry's. It was incredible.

"Wow, Harry!" I exclaimed trying to take it all in. "You owe me a room-full of soda now!" I grinned widely at him so he knew I was just kidding.

Hagrid helped Harry pile some of it into a bag.

"The gold ones are Galleons," he explained to us. "Seventeen silver Sickles to a Galleon and twenty-nine Knuts to a Sickle, it's easy enough. Right, that should be enough fer a couple o' terms, we'll keep the rest safe for yeh." He turned to Griphook. "Vault seven hundred and thirteen now, please, and can we go more slowly?"

"One speed only," said Griphook. I shook my head feeling sorry for my large new friend, knowing how sick he must be feeling.

We were going even deeper now and gathering speed. The air became colder and colder as the cart hurtled round tight corners and I shivered as my blood froze. I felt arms wrap around me and smiled up at Harry. He was so sweet!

We finally arrived and the two of us rushed out of the cart desperate to solve the mystery of what the vault contained.

"Stand back," said Griphook importantly. He stroked the door gently with one of his long fingers and it simply melted away.

"If anyone but a Gringotts goblin tried that, they'd be sucked through the door and trapped in there," said Griphook.

"How often do you check to see if anyone's inside?" I asked, horrified.

"About once every ten years," said Griphook with a rather nasty grin.

Something really extraordinary had to be inside this top security vault, we were sure, and both of us leaned forward eagerly, expecting to see fabulous jewels at the very least...but at first it appeared to be empty. Then I noticed a grubby little package wrapped up in brown paper lying on the floor. Hagrid picked it up and tucked it deep inside his coat. I longed to know what it was, but knew better than to ask. I knew there must be a reason for all of Hagrid's secrecy.

"Come on, back in this infernal cart, and don't talk to me on the way to Kat's vault, it's best if I keep me mouth shut," said Hagrid.

One wild cart ride later and we stood in front of a large black door. My turn. Griphook ran his finger across the thick metal like he had done with the mystery vault and it slowly swung open.

I gasped. The contents was just as shocking as Harry's had been. There were stacks upon stacks of the large gold coins and light was reflecting off of every surface. As I stood there scanning the room in amazement, I noticed that there wasn't just coins in the vault. The sides of the room were lined with high shelves packed with all kinds of trinkets, swords, shields, scrolls, and other instruments I couldn't identify. They looked homemade and I could tell it must have taken a genius to invent them.

"Hurry up, Kat! We don't 'ave all day!" Hagrid grumbled as he leaned heavily against one of the walls.

I quickly scooped up handfuls of coins and glanced over to Hagrid to make sure I had gotten enough. He managed a small nod of his head and we got back into the cart. By the time we finally got back to the surface, even I was feeling a little queasy. The minute we got back outside though, I was back to normal as I bounced up and down with excitement. I heard a strange sound besides me and looked over to see Harry struggling not to burst into laughter again as he stared at me. In response, I stuck my tongue out at him and pulled him down the street with me like before.

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