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Chapter 3: Gringotts
Hey you guys! I'm sorry it's been so long, school and work have been absolutely insane for me. :(
I wanted to thank all the people who reviewed the last chapter for me: KxxDxx, NextGenna4, Rebecca, PBJ, andee lou, lucydora, Ross S.A.H, claudiaandizzy, and of course the amazing Gin-gin06 and We Are Padfoot and Prongs who never fail to review my chapters. :) You guys really make me want to continue these stories and give me good insight for my story. Thank you.
Disclaimer: You guys are smart, I trust you. You know what belongs to me and what doesn't. Most of it belongs to the amazing JK Rowling whom without we would not be here reading/ writing these stories.
My eyes and my brain both seemed to shift into overdrive as they tried to drink it all in. There were so many sights to see, so much to observe. I glanced behind me to see what my parents were doing and by the looks on their faces I could only assume that they were as in-awe as I was. Tom turned his attention to me and smiled at me.
“This archway will seal itself after you leave and become nothing more than a brick wall, however to get back through, simply tap this barrel” He said pointing to a small barrel near the base of the archway on the side nearest Diagon Alley, “with the tip of your wand, as you’ll have to get a wand anyways, and it will reopen for you guys to exit through. If you have any questions, I’m sure everyone would be more than willing to help you out. Best of luck with everything Ms. Granger.” He nodded at us and walked off back into the Leakey Cauldron.
“Well love, where to first?” My mother asked me. I nearly forgot, I hadn’t read much into the letter; I had been so excited for everything, very unlike myself. I pulled the envelope and read the different lists. At the top of my list of supplies it instructed me to go to “Gringotts”, the wizard bank and to exchange some of my money for wizarding money. It also said that if I wished I could open up an account with them. It instructed us to walk straight down Diagon Alley after making a right from the Leakey Cauldron and we would eventually run into it.
“The bank.” I told my mother, grinning at her and stuffing it back into my pocket. It took all my strength not to run down the Alley but I knew if I did so I would look mental.
As we walked down Diagon Alley I couldn’t help but wonder exactly how many shops were there. How many people came here on a daily basis? How did all of these people find out they were witches and wizards? Was every person here magical? Surely not if my parents were here. How many others were like me? My mind shifted through so many questions I didn’t know where to begin. I focused my attention to the shops we were passing.
We passed by potion shops, clothing shops that looked as if they mainly sold long colored robes like so many people here wore, there were stops that held so many animals I couldn’t imagine the people walking in would have any room to move, there were shops for wands, shops with broomsticks in the windows, several cafes and restaurants and so much more. I began to realize that I would have to spend hours in each shop just to see everything, it made me a little sad that there would be no way to see everything today but I guess that would have to wait for another trip. Surely there would be another.
Before I knew it, we had arrived in what appeared to be a sort of clearing. As I glanced up I was faced with one of the most gorgeous buildings ever, a large sign across the front read “Gringotts”. So this was the bank. It was made of what appeared to be white marble and was build in a Greek architecture with columns and all. It towered over many of the other buildings and I was surprised we hadn’t seen it before.
As we walked closer to the bank, I noticed a sign over the front doors that seemed to be a warning. I read through it and basically got that if any theif was to try and take from a vault that didn't belong to them, they were in for a nasty surprise.
It was unsettling to say the least and I felt a shudder run down my spine. I knew however that I had nothing to worry about. Breaking rules and stealing from others wasn’t exactly me.
As we stepped through the front doors I had to stifle a gasp. There were several strange looking creatures roaming around the bank’s main room and sitting behind the large desks that lined all sides. My parents began to walk over to one of them and I stood closely behind them, curious as to what these creatures were and quite unsure what to think. As my parents came nearly face to face with one of the creatures, he glanced up and a slow smile spread across his face. It was quite creepy and unsettling.
“We need to establish an account.” My father said uncertainly.
“Very well,” the creature said, “what kind?”
“Excuse me?” My father asked.
“We have several types of vaults and accounts here. What is it that you want it for exactly?”
“Well, you see, my daughter here is errm well… magic?” He started and the creature glanced down as I shyly stepped out from behind my parents. “We’re not, if you couldn’t guess. Well, anyways, we need to convert some of our money over to your money so she can buy her supplies for school and possibly set up some time of savings?”
The creature merely smiled and shook his head. He and my father then got into deeper conversation about the different types and fiscal this, percentage that. As they continued to talk I let my eyes wander trying to take in all the details I possibly could.
The floor was made of what seemed to be white and gray marble every now and then lined with different color mosaics, the large desks were made of what appeared to be very old fine wood with granite tops, large gleaming chandeliers lined the ceiling gleaming with hundreds of what appeared to be crystals or diamonds, the ceiling was carved with intricate patterns and swirls. It was all so incredible and the more I looked around the less I could believe I was standing in a bank.
“Hermione?” My father called from behind me and I turned to face him nearly colliding with the creature who had come down from his desk and now stood in front of me, no more than a meter off the floor.
“Welcome to Gringotts Ms. Granger. My name is Mudazr the goblin (aha! So that’s what the creatures were!) and I’ll be showing you to your vault. Your father and I just set up a basic savings account for you and some of your muggle (muggle?) money has been exchanged for wizarding money and placed in your vault. Wizard money is made up of 3 different coins: sickles, knuts, and galleons. There are 17 sickles to every galleon and 29 knuts to every sickle. If you have any issues with conversions while shopping either stop back here to ask either me or a fellow goblin or ask a shopkeeper as I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to help you. Now, if you’ll follow me I will show you to your vault.”
Mudazr then turned away from me and began walking toward the far end of the bank. He began talking and I ran to catch up.
“As I was saying, your vault number is 62442 and it’s one of our smaller, less guarded vaults but will suffice just nicely for your current needs. You’ll find no need to worry about the contents of your vault as Gringotts is probably one of the if not THE safest place to store things in the entire world.” He stopped talking as we walked through a large archway and into what appeared to be a dark hallway.
We walked up to what looked like an old mine cart. Mudazr walked up to it and opened the door on the side. When my parents and I didn’t movie he turned to us, a slow smile spreading across his face. I shivered and it wasn’t due to the cold.
“Well. Come on then, step in.” He said and I hesitantly moved forward cautiously stepping into the cart and taking a seat in the back my parents following suit. Mudazr followed us in and shut the door, sitting down in the front.
Mudazr turned to us still smiling. “You better hold on.”
The cart lurched forward and I stifled back a scream and managed to get a firm grip on my seat before we plummeted downwards. I felt like I was on some kind of insane roller coaster. Twisting and turning every direction I no longer had a sense of where we came from or where we were going. I didn’t know what was up or what was down. The cart screeched to a halt and we were in front of a row of doors.
Mudazr stood up seemingly unfazed from our little journey. He stepped out of the cart and held the door open obviously expecting us to follow. I stood up and regretted it instantly. I nearly toppled over; I was dizzy beyond belief and grew somewhat nauseous. I gripped the side of the cart in order to get my bearings and after a few seconds my head stopped swimming and I was able to straighten up.
The goblin reached into his pocket and pulled out a large old-fashioned looking key.
“This.” He began, “is the key to your vault. I will give it to you after this and it will be your way of getting into your account. A goblin will still need to accompany you but you merely present this with your name and vault number and you will be taken down here.” He turned and walked towards one of the several doors lining the wall. “This is your vault, number 62442.” He put the key into the lock and turned it. There was a series of clicks and the door opened.
Behind the door was what appeared to be no more than a blank room about 5 feet wide, 10 feet deep, and 10 feet tall. In the center was a small pile of money, gold, silver, and bronze coins all stacked into neat piles in the center. Wizard money. I wondered how magic worked and how they were able to get the money my father had transferred from my other savings account (non-magic) exchanged for wizarding money and placed in here so quickly. My mind raced with all the possibilities but I assumed it was some sort of charm.
“Grab what you need and we’ll be on our way back up.” Mudazr said from behind me. I stepped into the vault and grabbed 10 gold coins and a handful of the silver and bronze ones. My mother held out her purse and I dropped the coins inside. It felt odd to not be using any paper money. Mudazr then locked the door with my key and walked back to the cart opening the door for us once again.
The trip back was no more pleasant but I knew what to expect this time and was a little more prepared. When we unloaded the cart I was still off balance but it wasn’t as bad as before. When we stepped back into the lobby I was nearly blinded, I hadn’t realized how dark it had been. Mudazr then stopped walking in front of his desk.
“Here’s your key Miss Granger. Keep it safe.” He handed me the key and I was surprised at how light it was for its size. I barely even noticed its weight yet it had to be nearly the length of my hand. The goblin then shook hands with my father and gave a small bow to my mother before climbing back up to his desk.
My mother looked down at me and smiled. “Where to now darling?”
A/N: Alright, so what did you guys think??! I know it wasn't super eventful or anything, but, well, nothing much has happened yet. Let me know what you think thus far! Feed that hungry box down there. Can't you hear it calling out to you??! "_____ < --(insert your name there) FEED ME! DO IT! I'M OH SO HUNGRY! " Mehh so I'm weird. :P Anyways back to the point, please review! It means a lot to me! :D You will make me a very happy author who will update more often. :) Hope you all enjoyed.