Chapter 26 Summary
Harry suffers through a sleepless night before he, Ron, Hermione, and Griphook leave for Gringotts Bank to attempt the break-in. Hermione joins the group as the spitting image of Bellatrix Lestrange after using Polyjuice Potion. Hermione is even armed with Bellatrix’s actual wand, so she looks quite convincing despite her lack of confidence. Harry and Griphook use the Invisibility Cloak while Hermione transforms Ron’s appearance so he can venture with them virtually unnoticed. They disapparate to Diagon Alley.
It takes Hermione a while to imitate the coldness and ruthlessness of Bellatrix Lestrange, but she just begins to master Bellatrix’s manner when they meet another Death Eater named Travers. Hermione introduces Ron as a “fictional foreigner” named Dragomir Despard. Travers indicates he is going to Gringotts as well. Hermione has no choice but to accompany Travers.
When they enter Gringotts, Hermione’s visage of Bellatrix demands to enter her vault. She shows them her wand for identification and passes the Goblin test, but only because Harry uses the “Imperio” spell and because everyone thinks she has had a new wand made for her.
They set off with another Goblin named Bogrod towards Bellatrix’s vault. Unfortunately, they go through an enchanted waterfall that removes all spells before being thrown out of the cart. Hermione no longer looks like Bellatrix and Ron looks like Ron. Harry uses the Imperius Curse again on Bogrod so that the group can continue on. When they come upon the dragon, Griphook produces some small instruments that mean “pain” to the dragon. In this way, they are able to pass.
They make it into Bellatrix’s vault, but they find out almost immediately that Bellatrix has added “Gemino and Flagrante Curses” that cause all of the items in the vault to “burn and multiply.” As Bellatrix’s treasure begins multiplying, they search for Horcruxes. With Harry’s instincts heightened, they find a Horcrux: “the cup that had belonged to Helga Hufflepuff.”
After using the Sword of Griffindor to retrieve the cup (which Harry safely stows in his pocket), Griphook betrays them by stealing the sword, declaring them thieves, and calling other Goblins. Meanwhile, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are desperately struggling against mounds of burning and multiplying treasure.
In a fit of desperation, Harry frees the dragon and the three friends climb onto the dragon’s back. They escape on the back of the dragon and Gringotts is safely behind them.