Goblins, Galleons, and Good-bye

“Harry,” someone said in a soothing and comforting voice, “wake up, its time to go.”

Harry slowly opened his eyes to find a pair of brown eyes looking at him. He was lost in them for a moment, and so was Hermione in his eyes, until they both snapped out of it a short moment later. He sat up in the bed and put on his glasses. Hermione’s eyes widened at the fact that Harry didn’t sleep with a shirt on. Harry also realized this, and pulled up his sheet a little bit more. She’s seen him shirtless a lot of times, but it just seemed so… indecent now.

“What time is it?” Harry asked, breaking Hermione’s trance of staring at his abs.

“Oh… it’s seven-thirty.” She said, checking her watch. “Didn’t you set a waking-up spell?” Harry grinned. “I call it an alarm charm.” Hermione’s mouth twitched. “And yes, I set it for seven forty-five. But this is you we’re talking about. Maybe I should have set it for five?” Harry asked casually with a grin.

Hermione went red and looked down at her shoes. She was fully dressed in muggle clothing. She had on muggle jeans for men (she said that the girls’ pants were too tight when they were supposed to be larger than her size, and Ginny said that they looked good on her) and a large, pink tee shirt.

Saving Hermione from more embarrassment, Harry put his feet on the ground and stood up, heading towards the chair, which he laid out his clothes the previous night. “You have the list, right?”

“Uhh… yes, I have it… … we’re going to Gringotts first, right?” Hermione asked, as she was looking at Harry’s back until he put on his shirt.

“Yeah, If they want me there. Then we’re going to the muggle world, right?” Harry asked as he was stepping into the closet to change into his pants. It took every muscle in Hermione’s body to not sneak up to the closet and look through the crack. She mentally berated the hormonal part of herself. He doesn’t like me like that! She kept telling herself.

Hermione waited and double-checked the list (once again) while waiting for Harry to come out, hoping she doesn’t follow her instincts at any given time while she waits.

It didn’t take long, as Harry stepped out of the closet wearing a large, black tee shirt and a pair of long, blue-jean shorts, showing off his arm and leg muscles. Hermione quickly turned red and looked away from Harry as she fast-walked over to what was hanging on the door; an Invisibility Cloak.

“Should we get going, then?” Harry asked.

“Let’s go.” She said, folding the Cloak and putting it in the black bag that was on the floor. “We’ll put our things in here, but I need to make it look convincing enough to pass for something muggle.” She then pointed her wand at the bag and a big, white, curvy checkmark came into view.

Harry nodded his approval and grabbed Hermione by the hand and said, “Get the Cloak back out.” She pulled the Cloak out of the bag and threw it over them. The Cloak hadn’t reached the floor, so they scooted down a little, just enough so they could walk. When the Cloak could still show their feet, they both knew what they had to do next; they were too distanced.

Harry let go of Hermione’s hand and hesitantly put an arm around Hermione’s waist and pulled him closer to her. Hermione thought her heart would burst out of her chest, as it was trying its best to ram itself out. But, she didn’t know that Harry’s heart was beating just as quickly and just as intense. He quickly disapparated, now that the Cloak touched the ground, so that the beating wouldn’t be heard.

The air escaping from their lungs did slow down their heart rates a bit. A short moment later, they were in Diagon Alley. The place looked incredibly… lively. There were witches and wizards jumping, rejoicing over the fallen Dark Lord, shooting up fireworks on occasion, possibly from WWW. There were no closed shops around and the streets were crowded. It was only a week and a half ago, so Harry and Hermione expected them to still be happy, but this was just too much!

Harry whispered in Hermione’s ear, “I think they’re crazier than they were almost eighteen years ago. I guess it’s because they know for a fact that he’s dead. I heard they have his body on display at the Ministry.”

They started walking towards Gringotts, and since the building was so big, they couldn’t miss it. They brushed into a few people along the way, but they didn’t notice as they were too jubilant, running out, buying items and enjoying life while it lasts. When they approached the front of the bank with not two, but six Wizarding guards, three on each side, they saw the familiar inscription on the door.

“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.”

Harry grinned. “I remember Hagrid telling me before I started Hogwarts that you have to be mad to rob Gringotts.”

Hermione grinned back. “I agree. You have to be completely mad to rob this place. I’m glad we’re not that nutters.” A few seconds later, after trying to hold in their chuckles, they burst out laughing, but silent enough for the guards not to hear them until they finally regained their posture. He then let go of Hermione’s waist and pulled off the Cloak.

The guard on the far left noticed who he was first. “Is that… sweet Merlin, it’s Harry Potter!” He yelled. Thank goodness , Harry thought, as the streets were too loud for him to be heard. But the guards did.

“Is that really… ?”

“Showing up at Gringotts?”

“He must be going into hiding… “

“I can’t believe it… “

“Harry!”

They all yelled at once, with the last one being the loudest. The one on the right side closest to door ran to Harry and shook his hand. He pulled off his hood to show bright red hair glinting in the rising sun. It was Bill Weasley.

“What’re you doing here? You can’t just come waltzing in Diagon Alley like this!” he whispered excitedly. “You’ll be swarmed with people all over here—”

“Which is why we want to go into the safety of Gringotts.” Harry answered calmly. “I just wanted to go inside to check my vault… and others.”

Bill’s face dropped as he gasped. “Are you talking about attempting that stunt you pulled last time?” He asked incredulously.

“No,” said Harry, still calm, “I’m talking about Sirius’s vault.”

“Then why did you say, other’s’?” Bill countered.

“We have reason to believe that Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault belongs to Harry, since she is a member of the Black family, and there are no relatives to her other than Draco Malfoy.” Hermione answered, just as pleasant and calm. “But he cannot use his vault, as he is ‘on the run’.” Hermione said, causing Harry to grin.

Bill nodded at this statement after a few short moments of thinking, then said, “Well, go inside and see what the Goblins say.” As they started walking back towards the humongous doors, he started speaking again. “You guys and Ron were on the ‘Banned for Life’ list immediately after the break-in and Griphook was fired. You were erased from the list and Griphook came back after it was confirmed that you killed Voldemort.” Bill said, with little hesitation on the last word. “You broke many rules that day, but you broke many records that day.” Bill finished with a huge grin. “I bet the goblins will be happy to see you.”

Harry groaned. “Great. I just need to get some Galleons, turn them into pounds, and get out of here.”

They’ll do it, but they won’t be happy about it. And you owe them a dragon.” He said teasingly as he let them through the doors.

Harry and Hermione noticed some changes in security immediately. There were wizards all around with magical eyeballs strapped to their forehead, searching frantically for any hidden people. There were black boxes that were held by some goblins, long enough to hold a wand.

“Potter,” someone said shrewdly. They looked to the left and saw no one there for a second, then looked down to see a familiar goblin. “What brings you back to Gringotts so soon?” He said with a smile, but they could both hear the venom in his voice.

Harry only smiled. “I’d just like to get some money from my vault. It’s nice to see you again, Griphook.” The goblin frowned and pulled out the black box. “Please place your wands in this box. You will get them back when you are ready to leave.”

Hermione took out her wand and placed it in the box, while Harry followed with both of his.

“Excellent.” Said Griphook dully as he closed the box. “Now, I will lead you to your vault.” He started walking past the doorway with two aurors guarding it with magical eyes and Harry and Hermione followed him into the cart.

After a moment of speeding past the vaults, he spoke. “As you know, anytime you come to Gringotts, I will escort you to your vault, since I was the first to escort you. Miss Granger, I have never seen you come to Gringotts… as yourself… before. I suspect that you do not have a vault?”

“No. I use pounds and transfer them to Galleons, since I live in the muggle world, technically.” Hermione replied.

“Ahh… well then, are you planning on living in the muggle world for the rest of your life?”

“No, the wizarding world.”

“I suggest you create a Gringotts vault, then. It would be easier than to keep transferring money.”

“Okay… yes, I will do that next time. But right now we’re on a busy schedule.” Hermione answered, thoughtful about the vault with her name on it.

“Now… onto more important matters… where is my sword?” He said, still not looking back at them.

“Now that it is all over, I can tell you. We needed it for the destruction of Voldemort. It was essential that we destroy his Horcruxes with it.” Harry calmly replied.

Griphook’s head turned sharply at them, his mouth slightly open. “That’s why you broke in… the cup… was a Horcrux?”

Harry and Hermione simply nodded.

“How many others?” He said in a low whisper, as if he was too afraid to know.

“Six,” Harry and Hermione answered at the same time.

He was completely silent and almost passed the vault. Then he spoke in a quiver. “Mr. P-Potter, y-your vault will be moved s-soon.” At the raised eyebrows of Harry and Hermione in confusion, he added, “Moved to a more secure vault. You will soon receive an Order of Merlin, and you are already very wealthy. Your vault will be moving to a secure location. “We’ll have vault 713 ready for you soon.”

Harry grinned a huge grin, but kept silent. “Your key, Mr. Potter? This will be the last time that you will need it.” Harry was thankful that he put the key in his pants pocket the night before, and handed to him. The goblin unlocked the door with a slide of his finger and a turn of the key, and beyond it was thousands and thousands of Galleons with silver, golden-brown, and black sparkling, a few family heirlooms, and a note on a marble stand in the front center that wasn’t there before.

Griphook let Harry and Hermione in, and Harry went straight for the note while Hermione slowly walked there, looking around the vault. “Harry, I knew you were wealthy, but this… don’t let Ron come to this vault!” she said, awing at the different treasures and mounds that were definitely taller than the Lestrange vault.

“I keep offering him and his family money.” Harry said, unfolding the note. “They’ll get some Orders of Merlin, anyway. Hermione, look!” He said excitedly, beckoning Hermione to walk faster. She loved it when he looked like that. It made him look so childlike. ‘If any one deserves to be a kid again’ , she thought, ‘it’s Harry’ .

As soon as Hermione came to Harry, he handed her the note. She began reading the neat writing, very similar to Hermione’s.

Harry,

Happy seventeenth birthday! I really hope that you are living to read it. Well, of course you are among the living if you are reading it. Well, thanks to some ruddy prophesy, we probably might not be alive by now, and we’re terribly sorry. As long as you are alive, though, it’s worth it. Thanks to the prophesy, though, we knew we were going to die soon, but you would somehow live.

This Gringotts vault is all yours, now, and if anything happened to ‘Padfoot’, his vault is yours, also. In the words of your father, ‘Use it well.’ I’m sure you have gotten the Cloak from Professor Dumbledore in your first year and have used it time and time again to cause mischief, just like your father. I had to set him straight every time, and I hope there is someone like that for you, too.

We probably have a few birthday presents to make up for, so we have a few presents for you in Professor Dumbledore’s possession. If anything were to happen to him (most likely of old age, though), I have left them in either Professors McGonagall’s or Flitwik’s possession. Professor Binns may still be teaching there also, but he is not one of my favorite teachers. He knows nothing about muggles. He probably thinks they’re not important enough. Please don’t tell him I said that, though. I was one of his best students (since I was raised by Muggles and understand everything in the class). I might not place it in Professor Slughorn’s possession, if he is still there.

Harry, one day, I know for sure that you will be a very powerful wizard, more powerful than Voldemort. Honestly, you have to be in order to fulfill the prophesy. If we say anything about it in this letter, Dumbledore will probably try to destroy it, and tell you the gist of what it says when you’re seventeen, if he remembers what it says. That man is so secretive. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tells you about it when it’s all over!

There is something we should tell you about your dad’s… well, yours, now… Invisibility Cloak. All other Cloaks fade over time, but that Cloak has been in the family for generations, he says. I read a story about a Cloak of Invisibility that lasts forever somewhere, when I was little, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere, in all the biggest books I can find. I’ve even read ‘The Big Book of Disillusionment and Other Invisibility Items and Spells’. It must be a very special (or very expensive) Cloak. I asked Professor Dumbledore about it, but he just told me not to bring it up with anyone. I’m wondering if it’s dangerous or not. It has certainly done nothing but get James and the rest of the ‘Marauders’ into trouble, so I guess it’s safe. Just try not to get into trouble, like your father.

Your father also left a present for you at Hogwarts, but it involves you having to wear the Invisibility Cloak to get it. Just go to the caretaker’s office wearing the Cloak. I’m sure that the caretaker of Hogwarts is still Mr. Filch. Go to the office and look for a piece of parchment in one of the boxes with no words on it. I’m sure they all are labeled in years, so look in the boxes labeled ‘1978’. It’s a blank piece of parchment, but point your wand at it and say ‘I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.’ What you see in the title of the parchment are nicknames of the four Marauders. James is ‘Prongs’, Sirius Black is ‘Padfoot’, Remus Lupin is ‘Moony’, and Peter Pettigrew is ‘Wormtail’. When you are done looking at what appears on it, say ‘Mischief managed’. Although I don’t intend for you to be ‘managing mischief’ at all, I am sure you will be responsible… if you didn’t inherit your father’s personality. Your father says the only reason he or the other Marauders didn’t get it back is because there will be more generations that will need to cause Filch more trouble.

As we have said before, we are sure you are an extremely powerful wizard, Harry. After all of the prophesy is fulfilled, we want you to live, Harry, and I mean really live. I want you to have fun, play with friends, and most importantly, study for your NEWTS. After you leave Hogwarts, I want you to be happy. I want you to fall in love, get married, have children, (hopefully ones named after me and James) and live a full life. You have the ‘power’ and the wealth to do it, so do it!

And, Harry, please remember this.

Most kids would hate their parents for leaving them at an early age. We hope that you do not hate us. We love you, and will always love you. Dumbledore says that there will always be a way of contacting us, even when we die. I think he was talking about a portrait or pensieve memories. It just isn’t the same, though. I wish there was some way to talk to you directly. I would love to get the chance to see you again, but if there is no other way except the obvious, We can wait a couple-hundred years.

And we will be very proud of you if you fulfilled the prophesy in a good or bad way. We know you’ll make the right decision.

With lots and lots of love,

Lily Evans Potter

P.S.—If you want to know anything about us, try looking at Sirius Black’s or Remus Lupin’s memories in a pensieve. We also left a lot of memories of our Hogwarts years in Dumbledore’s possession, and I had Professor McGonagall count all of the memories and place a detection charm on the phials in case the Headmaster tries to tamper with it, as she had done on the presents.

Hermione felt a tear coming down her eye. She looked over to Harry, who also had tears, but was smiling at the letter. After another moment of silence, Hermione spoke.

“Are you all right, Harry?” She put an arm around her shoulder, as he put an arm around her waist.

“Yeah,” he said. “For the first time, I mean it when I say ‘I’m fine’.” He chuckled a bit.

“What?” Hermione asked.

“Nothing, nothing,” Harry said with a grin. He let go of Hermione and started walking towards the mounds of Galleons. Hermione followed and put the note in her pocket. “I’ll keep it in my pocket, okay?”

“Alright. So, what’s the currency for Galleons-to-pounds anyway?” Harry asked, picking up a handful of Galleons.

Griphook was still waiting outside, and heard the question. “I have a card right here for the currency.” The Goblin walked inside the vault and handed the card to Hermione.

“I see… ” Hermione nodded thoughtfully. “A Galleon is approximately 5 pounds, but there is this one coin I have never seen before. It’s called a Pluno, and apparently, its worth is fifty Galleons!”

Griphook walked over to the mounds and pulled out what seemed to be a black half-dollar, and it had this weird dazzling effect to it. “ This is a Pluno, and it would never get dirty, like the other coins. You have quite a number of these, Mr. Potter. Even most Order of Merlin, First Class wizards and witches have never laid eyes on these.”

Harry nodded at this, a little shocked, and picked up a Pluno. That’s when he realized that he did notice a lot of black sparkles in the mounds of gold. “It just feels… different,” Harry said. “It feels smoother than the other coins. Why have I never seen them before?”

“Because these are very rare… ” Hermione said slowly. “It must be, seeing as I have never seen them before.”

“Well, we can’t stuff the bag with Plunos and Galleons, because when we turn them into pounds, it would look like we robbed a bank when we take some out.” Harry said, getting back to the task at hand.

“I can take care of that,” Griphook said. “What is your favorite color?” Griphook asked the two of them.

While Harry answered brown, Hermione answered green. “Excellent choice,” he said, this time with a genuine smile. He reached into his left pocket and pulled out two wallets, one brown, and one green. He handed each one to them. Harry and Hermione felt them and awed at the feel of the wallet. It was harder than leather, but smoother than polyester. It was probably dragon hide.

“Consider it as a gift,” Griphook continued, “as I for one would like to thank you for killing that foul excuse for a being, even as a wizard. You drop the Galleons or Plunos you need into the wallet. It will hold as much as you need, and not as much as you want, so you can be conservative, so just pour the Galleons in until it pours over. As you open it when you need to purchase something, the exact amount that you need shall be there, in the currency you need. When you are low on money, the wallet will start warming up, and when you are completely out, the wallet will be very cold and eventually frost will appear on it. If you are reckless about spending money, or you won’t be able to visit Gringotts a lot, we can enchant these wallets to do the same, except there is a direct link to your vault, so the wallet will automatically refill itself.”

Harry and Hermione were awed at the wallets’ capabilities. They weren’t sure which ones to get. Hermione decided that she should keep the wallet she has now, while Harry decided to have his enchanted, since he doesn’t know how long they’ll be gone. Griphook performed a charm in Gobbledygook that only a Gringotts goblin could perform on the wallet. Harry put his wallet in his pocket and looked around the front of the vault again.

After Harry cheekily persuaded Hermione (who didn’t want Harry’s money) with words such as “Remember when you told me we’re in this together, and to accept when others help you?” and “You and Ron have a lot in common.” She immediately began filling up the wallet, which kept emptying every time she looked away.

When the Plunos and Galleons started running over, she poured the coins that were still visible out and put the wallet in her pocket. They thanked Griphook for the wallets as they looked around the safe once more. Harry saw something shimmering in the back of the vault, but he had no time to look at it. They had some shopping to do.

Griphook led them back toward the main entrance and handed them their wands. “Come back anytime,” he said, “just make sure we know it’s you. And you owe us a dragon.”

Harry and Hermione thanked him again and left. Harry wrapped his hand around Hermione’s shoulders with minimal awkwardness and walked outside with the cloak on. Bill was still out there watching the crowd for anyone suspicious. After the war ended, Bill thought it was best for the family to stick together for now so they could all grieve together, so he moved from Egypt’s to London’s Gringotts.

They walked out to the sidewalk and Harry asked Hermione, “Where do you want to go? I don’t really know any stores to go to, or any alleyways to apparate in.”

Hermione took out her list. “Well, first, we need some new clothes. You definitely need some.” She added, seeing as he never went shopping before. “I know the perfect place.” She put the list back in her pocket and a few seconds later, when the air returned to their lungs, they were at the storage room of a department store.

Harry took a hold of Hermione’s hand, causing a warmth that flooded through both of them in the cold and dark closet, and they started to walk, but Hermione stopped abruptly.

“Harry, what were you laughing about at the vault?”

Harry formed one of his lopsided grins that made her knees incredibly weak. Thankfully, it was too dark for him to see. “You didn’t notice?” He asked. “The smartest witch in our year—or anyone’s year, for that matter—didn’t notice what I was laughing about?” Hermione, who’s cheeks turned pink after the greatest compliment she had received in ages, shook her head. “What?”

“I’m just amazed at how much like my mother you are.” Harry said, chuckling.

Hermione’s eyes widened in disbelief. “How? I’m a muggleborn, like she is, and I was a prefect, but I don’t see anything else.”

Harry laughed some more and pulled off the cloak, still holding Hermione’s hand. “You have no idea how similar you two are.”

As they walked out of the closet into the department store, still holding hands, Harry was reviewing the note in his mind.

‘Maybe… dad and I go for the same women.’