Although Evan had been to Gringotts Wizarding Bank many times before, he had never been to the underground vaults, and he just took his Galleons back then on the go.
Hermione, like him, had never been to the depths of the old vault.
Only Harry, because his parents left him an inheritance, had to go to his vault every year to take some gold galleons as tuition before the school.
No matter they had been to the underground at Gringotts or not, they were all very interested in the Blacks' vault.
Although, according to Sirius, there was nothing to look at, it was just full of boring gold.
But gold enough to fill a room was enough to bring shock to those thinking about it.
It was the first day after Christmas. Just like the Muggle Street outside, Diagon Alley was cold and clear, covered with white snow everywhere.
On the street, apart from them, there were no other people, and many shops had not opened.
Everyone was worried, fearing that the Gringotts was not open.
But when they reached the towering snow-white attic in the central square of Diagon Alley, the thick snow on the ground had been cleared, and the shiny bronze door had been opened. A goblin in a scarlet and gold uniform was standing there.
“The goblins are devoted to their work. They don’t take any rest all year round. During the Christmas holidays, only the Gringotts will open as usual.” Lupin whispered.
“Don’t mislead the children, Remus! We all know why the goblins don’t rest, not because they are dedicated, but because they are that greedy. To me, these goblins don't care about Christmas.” Sirius said disdainfully. “For them, gold is more important than festivals.”
Sirius did not lower his voice. The goblin in front of the bronze door apparently heard the remark, and looked at them with eyes that were even less friendly than usual.
He still bowed to everyone, but his movements were stiff.
Evan saw that the goblin looked to be his own height, and had a smart, dark face and a sharp beard. His fingers and feet were particularly long.
“Gentlemen, this way, please!” He led them into the Gringotts.
Behind the bronze gate was a second silver gate.
When he first came to Gringotts, Evan just felt that the door was beautifully made.
Later, by reading the related literature, he knew that the door was the gate of the Gringotts when it was first established a thousand years ago. It was made of pure silver by the goblins, and the greatest alchemist of the time used a lot of magic on it.
Such ancient magic might not be functional anymore, but the door itself had historical value.
A row of words was engraved on the two doors. It was a warning sign left by the goblins. It seemed to be a curse. It was said in a verse that a thief shall suffer badly.
In Gringotts, behind the long counters, the goblins sat on high stools, receiving the first customers of the day, and the goblin who led them in led them to a very old goblin in the center.
“Sirius Black!” Seeing Sirius, the goblin was obviously very surprised. “What a rare guest, what can I do for you today?”
The goblin shivered; perhaps, at the thought of Sirius’s dark past in Azkaban, and the rumors outside that he was a frightening Death Eater.
“I want to go to the vault, not my own vault, but the black family’s vault.” Sirius added an accent on the Black family.
“The Black Family's vault?!” The old goblin flinched and then leaned out of the counter. “Do you have the key?”
“I do!” Sirius took out a rusty key and threw it on the counter.
Evan noticed that the key was long and it was engraved with the emblem of the Black family.
“Fine, no problem.” The goblin kept frowning and continued. “We can let you in, but you know, the old vault of your family is in a special area, surrounded by strong protective measures, and you'd better be alone…”
“We have to go down together. I don’t care about this special area!” Sirius said impatiently, “Don’t waste time, there are still many things waiting for me to do.”
The two stared at each other for a moment before the goblin backed down.
Lupin stayed on top waiting for them, and Sirius went down with Evan, Harry, and Hermione. While the Goblin agreed with black proposal, he still looked at the three as children, who should not be careful enough.
Seeing the goblin being so cautious, Evan was more curious about the vault of the Black family in the special area, trying to imagine what might be there.
"Griphook, you take the four of them to the underground vault.” The old goblin beckoned, and said to the goblin that had just led them in.
Griphook seemed to be waiting for this, and his eyes flashed with malicious intent.
Behind the counter was a narrow side door that he ran to open it for them.
When Evan walked in, he didn't see the same architectural style as the tall marble hall outside, but before his eyes was a narrow stone corridor, illuminated by a burning torch, like an ancient cave.
The stone corridor formed a steep slope leading to a small railway underneath.
Griphook whistled and a small cart rushed toward them along the tracks.
Harry was the first to climb into the cart skillfully. Evan and Hermione followed and Harry introduced what they should pay attention to.
“This cart will run very fast for a while, you’d better grasp firmly,” Harry warned. “The road inside is twisted and tortuous like a maze.”
Hearing Harry’s words, both Evan and Hermione got themselves mentally prepared.
But the speed of the cart far exceeded their imagination, and just when Sirius came up, Griphook pulled the lever.
The cart suddenly started moving, and it was getting faster and faster, and there seemed to be no limit to its accceleration.
It took them wriggling into a crack in the wall, twisting and turning through the labyrinthine passages, sloping downward all the time.
The dark, cold air in the deep underground hit their faces.
Evan could not hear anything over the rattling of the cart on the tracks. All he knew was that they kept swerving between the stalactites, flying ever deeper into the earth.
Beside Evan, Sirius, Harry, and Hermione’s hair flitted backwards. The three of them didn’t look too good, and they were looking nervously around.
Only the goblin, Griphook, was particularly happy. He turned his head and looked at them with a gloating joy.
Griphook waved his fingers from time to time, and the speed of the cart got quicker after each shaking.
Because of what Sirius had just said, he was retaliating against them.
In addition to being so greedy, goblins are definitely the most grudge-holding creatures in the world, seeking revenge for the smallest grievance.
If you accidentally offended a goblin, he might remember it his whole life.
Although he knew that they were in trouble, Griphook was still trying to scare them to death.
Evan clenched his teeth. In about twenty minutes, the four of them had already rushed to the deeper place under the ground.
They passed through an underground lake with huge stalactites and stalagmites hanging down to the ground.
“I haven’t been to such a deep place before!” Harry shouted, “I just went through those rocks and it seemed like I saw something blowing out…”
His cry suddenly stopped, they quickly turned a sharp bend, and the cart slowly stopped.
“Please get off, everyone! We have to change the cart. We have to use a cart that goes deeper to get to the Black family's vault.” Griphook took the lead and jumped. “This way, please. We need to walk for a while.”
But no one besides him moved, and everyone stared at the front.
In front of them, Evan saw what Harry had just seen, a gigantic dragon tethered to the ground not far away, barring access to the deeper vaults.
The dragon’s scales had turned pale and flaky during its long incarceration under the ground, and its eyes were milkily pink, both rear legs bore heavy cuffs from which chains led to enormous pegs driven deep into the rocky floor.
Its great spiked wings, folded close to its body, would have filled the chamber if it spread them. Sensing that someone was approaching, the Dragon turned its ugly head toward them and roared with a noise that made the rock tremble. It opened its mouth and spat a jet of fiery fire with an astonishing heat wave.
T/N: Hey there, this is Translating_Wizard. I hope you like the story so far and are happy with the releases, I just posted chapter 335 in Patreon! If you’re interested in supporting me and reading more chapters, hit the button below ^^Liked it? Take a second to support TranslatinOtaku on Patreon!