Now I was finished in Knockturn Alley. With my new wand, I checked the time, it was almost 3 pm, which was quite late. This is true, but I had already achieved a lot. Now my steps lead around the corner into the Diagon Alley, a glimpse left and right, in the shadows of the buildings I pulled the hood back again.
Here in the bright Diagon Alley I would attract attention with my head covered, which I just didn't need. Everything was so busy, the same as when I arrived here before. As soon as I saw the big, white, slightly skewed building of Gringotts. I stepped up the blank and the - from the sun - shining white steps to the entrance. After I passed the polished bronze gate I saw the security goblins, which always bow for every customer who enters the building, in their scarlet, golden embroidered uniform, greeting them and stepped into the impressive marble porch of the bank.
I went to one of the counters, of which behind it a not so attractive goblin sat on a footstool and stamping documents. The moment he looked up, I stepped closer to the counter.
"Good day", I said and lead my hand to my chest while bowing my head and upper body slightly.
Surprised the goblin examined me with warily widened eyes. I lifted my head again and focused my eyes demandingly towards him. Wizards have been in the goblins bad books, and as I thought had good reasons to mistrust us. Their mistrust towards the magical world lead far back, as far as the 14th century, when the magical council tried to arrange a political regulation with all the human-like and magical creatures.
Bathilda Bagshot wrote in A History of Magic, "The goblins did not want to subordinate themselves to the wizards, because they felt it to be unworthy, to be denoted and treated like heteronomous magical creatures. Despite the goblins boycotts the magical council succeeded, to enforce a hierarchic rank order quite successfully. Even the goblins riots in the 16th century did not help them, to release them from the incapacitation through the wizards, besides the magical council decided that it would just be allowed for pure magical humans to use wands."
Indeed the goblins didn't need a wand to carry out magic, as they can carry out magic through their long fingers, but still they saw it as a decision to the degredation of their kind, which was truly understandable. They still were instructed to employ cursebreakers today, as they even with their magical skills weren't able to get hold on to treasures, which were protected through powerful spells. That's why I wasn't surprised when I got to feel their mistrust from centuries ago. Goblins weren't used to get treated with respect from wizards, as my curtsy represented.
"Yeeeesss...” he said sardonically and gave me a cheeky look. However he seemed to catch himself quite quickly again.
"I'm here for a confidential matter and would like to talk to someone under four eyes!” I said firmly.
The goblin nodded and said: "Whatever you wish, Madam, please follow me!" He heaved himself from his high footstool and walked in front of me to a door on his left side. He held it open for me, we passed through it, and then we stood in a plain corridor, where many doors lead away. He impatiently waved at me, indicating to follow him and opened a next door on the very back. I could just hear him say something in his own goblin-gibberish and saw how he bowed like me before.
You have three guesses, to where I learned the goblins curtsy. Exactly, I had read it in a book. I stepped next to him and he said: "Please, Mr. Rangok for you, Madam."
Now I stood in the door. "Thanks for your help", I turned to the goblin who lead me here, gave him my polite curtsy and stepped, without a glimpse behind me, through the open door, which closed itself, as if by magic.
A goblin sat behind a sophisticated, crested baroque desk, he seemed a bit taller than the other one who directed me to him. He too wore a red golden uniform, though had more stripes on his shoulder. I repeated the greeting. Yes exactly, as I said, I had it from a book about magical creatures and their customs. Even though I called myself a dark witch, I still thought, that all creatures should be treated the same, no matter if goblins, house-elves or centaurs.
"My pleasure, Mrs..?” I heard Rangok with a deep timbre in his voice say, he apparently seemed surprised about my respectful greeting from my part, but also very pleased. As wizards saw themselves as higher, better race, goblins were considered to be cunning and malicious, which they were in a certain level. Though I hoped, to build a good base of business with my respect and courtesy, as they were essentially important to my plans.
"Oh I'm sorry, Mr. Rangok, my name is Granger, Miss Hermione Granger!” I heard myself say honestly.
"Oh... but... please take a seat! You can see I am obviously confused, because I remember you looking differently... You understand... The Prophet!” he apologized warily and suspiciously. In the meantime I sat down, put my hand in my lap and looked Rangok in the eyes.
"Well, Mr. Rangok, it is, because I wear a camospell... One moment...” I said and took my wand out of my gown and swung it over my head. All camospell released themselves. "Well, I hope you can recognize me know based on the picture, that it is me!” I added and showed him a slight, sarcastic lift of the corner of my mouth. Now I lifted my wand again and whispered spells towards my hair and my eyes and obtained again the looks of "Minna Cale".
"All just safety measures. I hope for your discretion!” I said very quietly but certain. Rangok examined this all with big, deceitful shiny eyes and a slight amazed open mouth.
"Err, no, no. I mean, of course. We take the wishes of our customers very seriously. I promise you, that no one will receive the information that you, are you! But I'm astonished, you are just 15, as old as... the... the-boy-who-lives, as long as I can remember. How come that you are allowed to use magic?" There was disbelief in the goblins voice, he still sat in front of me slightly shocked and confused.
"Exactly, actually I am not allowed to use magic. But how I am still able to do this, should not interest you!" I said harsh and continued soothingly:
"Please understand, I have secrets, no one can know!" I shrugged my shoulders apologetically.
"You are right, it doesn't concern me! But I am pleased to see you, Miss Granger. How can I help you, lastly time is money!", finally he showed his business side and a greedy, devious glint appeared in his eyes.
"You are so right. Well, my requests are varied.
First: Four years ago my grandma and my aunt both died in an airplane crash. I was the beneficiary of their life insurance and the heiress of both women’s capital. My parents put the money to a muggle bank on my name, now my question and request, could you get this money to Gringotts, so that I will always have access to it?", I asked and watched him eager.
"Well, Miss Granger, we are working close with the muggles and also their banks together, please give me a few minutes", he answered and opened one of the drawers of his desk. He took out a parchment "Miss Hermione "Jean", I added "Ah yes, Miss Hermione Jean Granger then, born on?" "19.09.1979 in Chelsea, London", I answered, and Rangok started to write like a wildman. I leant back in my seat and observed what he did. He shoved the parchment in a slot of metal on his desk and the paper vanished. At this time he already was after something else and immediately a paper flew from somewhere and landed next to him, fascinating!
A diabolic grin, which didn't really make goblins look friendly, lay now on his sharp tailored face.
"Well, what it shows me, it won't be a problem, Miss Granger. You have been registered as beneficiary everywhere and our law about ones wealth is a bit different than that of muggles, anyway if you assign us..?” he tried to appear reputable, but all in all he just appeared devious.
"Yes, I do, get the money! Into a new one, or is my current vault safe enough?” I tilted my head and examined my opponent calculatingly.
"Just in a moment Miss. Ah here, no. I would recommend a high security vault with blood tariff. The one you have is a standard vault, in which are at the moment 10.000 galleons!" the little, teeming goblin showed himself bustling.
"Come again? High security vault, is it that much?" I looked astounded and flabbergasted. After all it destroyed my mask of indifference, as my parents just told me that my future was secured and that I wouldn't need to worry about my financial situation.
"Wait a minute, Miss Granger. So, please, your documents are ready, read it, please!"
He handed me a stack of documents, then continued to speak, "In this one you instruct us with the assignment, to collect the money at the muggle bank, if you agree with that you just have to sign with this blood quill,” I received no other reaction than cold activity from this magical creature.
I did as I was told to, read the document thoroughly, and though couldn't see anything negative, except the 1.5% expense allowance for the goblins. Energetically I grasped the quill and signed. Based on my knowledge about the short pain, similar to an injection, which accompanied the writing with this blood quill, I could stifle any emotions, knowing, that Rangok would watch and register everything meticulously.
The last line was done and the document immediately lifted itself up and vanished quickly!
"Very well, we can continue with the next point," he said. I just gave him a nod, as I absolutely didn't want to show him, that his velocity amazed me.
"The second point would be my hereditary house in Wiltshire, ‘Rose Cottage’. I don't know, if you provide something like this, but I would like it if I could protect it professionally?" I asked appraisingly.
"Correct! We do indeed provide something like that. Things of value don't always have to be galleons. Gringotts does protect everything of value, for that we have a versatile protection group, one moment please,” he explained solicitously and appeared to be completely in his element.
He turned around, so that he was able to get to a shelf behind himself on the wall and to get a folder out of the drawer. He opened it and looked eagerly at me again, the chance of a deal seemed to spur the goblin.
"I could offer you an on-site-appointment tomorrow, at 5 p.m.," I shortened the whole scenario with a quick objection "That's alright, I will be at Rose Cottage tomorrow at 5 pm, I also want to give my blood for a blood protection!” I said determinedly. The corner of Rangok’s mouth pulled itself slightly sardonically up.
"Despite your young age you already know exactly what you want, Miss Granger. Splendid! Saves my time,” he bared his teeth to a threatening smirk, which appeared very spiteful to me.
Due to the goblins hidden compliment I bowed my head slightly, to express my thanks.
"Good, then we have settled this point too!" A rustle could be heard and a document shot out of a slot of the wall behind. It landed on the table in front of him. "And hereby we are on point once again,” he tossed in and flew diligently over the documents.
"Well, I'm pleased, to inform you, that we opened a blood security vault in the high security sector. Due to your inheritances you have around 6 million pounds or rather 3.5 million galleons ready. Your aunt also left a block of shares in worth of 500.000 pounds at the moment, behind, that all has been transferred into your new vault at this very moment", he informed me succinctly and casually, as to how my current financial belongings are at this very moment. My heartbeat increased noticeable, I never knew that I was rich.
Wow, unbelievable, I needed to process this news in the evening. Considered in a trice it would ease my future plans and actions, one concern less, neat. By now I was already very pragmatic and took it however it came.
That’s when I said fancy "Pleasant, Mr. Rangok, that it proceeds so smooth. I ask you, to convert the 6 million pounds into galleons and to sell the block of shares to the best possible but also as fast as possible, leave it in pounds though, in other words muggle money, as I still want to own such funds too. Furthermore I want, that Gringotts will enhance the money and retracts wins, I don't want that the gold gets dusty."
The goblins head transmuted into a continual nodding, similar to a nodding dog, as it shot spitefully through my head.
"Good, good however you wish. I noted everything and it will be accomplished. Please sign both of these documents here, again with the blood quill. Please regard, that 0.15 percent of the content in the vault goes as provision to us, when we work with the money", he explained busily.
I read, looked up, nodded and signed again and gazed almost as hypnotized to the ink, which was my blood. I regarded how the deep dark-red withdrew itself from the snow-white parchment. It had something, something very definite.
"As a result of this you will obtain a blood-money-pouch, which is directly linked to your vault, so that you won’t need to fill it again", he handed me a dark brown pouch, in the other hand a delicate stiletto-dagger, or to put it in another way, a knife. "You need to drop blood in the pouch, ten drops should be enough."
I took both items, opened the pouch and put it on the desk, took the knife in the right hand and lifted my other hand above my wallet. With a feisty streak I went through the palm of my hand, cut myself. Again I knew about Rangok’s observation and again I wouldn't grant him a sign of my emotions. Without distorting my face I closed my left hand to a fist and let the blood drop into the pouch. After ten drops I pulled my wand over the wound and spoke an Episkey to the cut, which closed itself in seconds.
"You’re welcome. Now it hasn't any use for anyone apart from you, Miss Granger. Furthermore I have a card for you, like the one you know from the muggles. With that card you can get money on every cashpoints or counter, for this you need to sign again at the back with the blood quill and write down a four-digit combination!"
I took the card, which resembled a muggle credit card and did what he told me to do, it immediately began to hiss loudly and the numbers vanished.
"Now, please follow me. You still need to pay for the vault with a blood tariff." And he already raised himself eager and hastily up from his big office chair and walked towards the door on his left. I immediately raised myself to follow him.
Here the surroundings weren't impressive anymore, but rather creepy with bare dark stone and the now torches illuminated the corridor. I followed him down a narrow tunnel until we approached a wagon, which would drive us on railroad tracks down into the depth. We seated ourselves into the wagon and soon the bumpy and swift drive began into the labyrinth of Gringotts. It lasted a while until the wagon stopped abruptly.
Now Rangok paused in front of a huge, silver double door and showed me the spot on the middle of the door, on which I would need to press my hand on.
"Please, lay down your hand here.” He pointed out and I followed his instruction and was a hundred percent sure, that my hand shortly would be stung. Well, I won, because a short pain followed and soon the door quickly shone golden.
"Marvelous, would you like to visit the content of this vault now?" he asked sedulous.
A look at my watch and I shook my head. "Another time." Soon we took the way back into the office. After everything was settled and I really put away all my things, I looked again with a spell at my watch. By now it was 6 pm and still I wasn't finished yet.
"Very pleasant, how come, that you overcame the drive so well? Many of our customers don't like to get a trip down very often. Can I do something else for you, Miss Granger?" He seemed almost disappointed to my ears that I wasn't hanging over the wagon puking out my soul, those goblins were just a mean folk.
"I love rollercoasters, a muggles invention which is kind of intense, to be compared with this trip down, to be honest I enjoyed it and yes, there would be so much more I need, but I think, that would blast the time frame, as I already am slowly running out of time,” I said.
"Absolutely, no problem, I will give you an appointment to sort out the last points, would the day after tomorrow be fine for you, let’s say 1 pm?" Mr. Rangok offered immediately zealous.
I nodded. "Gladly and thank you for everything, see you then!"
I raised myself up, as well as the goblin, raised my hand to my heart, bowed and swiftly left the Diagon Alley, to be able to arrange the dinner for my parents on time.