Extreme measures

Harry relies on the Imperius Curse to get into Bellatrix Lestrange's vault

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling

'Act now, act now,' whispered Griphook in Harry's ear, 'the Imperius Curse!'

Harry raised the hawthorn wand beneath the Cloak, pointed it at the old goblin and whispered, for the first time in his life, 'Imperio!'

A curious sensation shot down Harry's arm, a feeling of tingling warmth that seemed to flow from his mind, down the sinews and veins connecting him to the wand and the curse it had just cast.

The goblin took Bellatrix's wand, examined it closely and then said, 'Ah, you have had a new wand made, Madam Lestrange!'

'What?' said Hermione, 'no, no, that's mine -'

'A new wand?' said Travers, approaching the counter again; still the goblins all around were watching. 'But how could you have done, which wandmaker did you use?'

Harry acted without thinking: pointing his wand at Travers, he muttered, 'Imperio!' once more.

'Oh, yes, I see,' said Travers, looking down at Bellatrix's wand, 'yes, very handsome. And is it working well? I always think wands require a little breaking in, don't you?'

Hermione looked utterly bewildered, but to Harry's enormous relief she accepted the bizarre turn of events without comment.

The old goblin behind the counter clapped his hands and a younger goblin approached.

'I shall need the Clankers,' he told the goblin, who dashed away and returned a moment later with a leather bag that seemed to be full of jangling metal, which he handed to his senior. 'Good, good! So, if you will follow me, Madam Lestrange,' said the old goblin, hopping down off his stool and vanishing from sight, 'I shall take you to your vault.'

He appeared around the end of the counter, jogging happily towards them, the contents of the leather bag still jingling. Travers was now standing quite still with his mouth hanging wide open.

Ron was drawing attention to this odd phenomenon by regarding Travers with confusion. ' Wait - Bogrod!'

Another goblin came scurrying around the counter.

'We have instructions,' he said, with a bow to Hermione, 'forgive me, Madam Lestrange, but there have been special orders regarding the vault of Lestrange.'

He whispered urgently in Bogrod's ear, but the Imperiused goblin shook him off.

'I am aware of the instructions. Madam Lestrange wishes to visit her vault … very old family … old clients … this way, please …'

And, still clanking, he hurried towards one of the many doors leading off the hall. Harry looked back at Travers, who was still rooted to the spot looking abnormally vacant, and made his decision: with a flick of his wand he made Travers come with them, walking meekly in their wake as they reached the door and passed into the rough stone passageway beyond, which was lit with flaming torches.

'We're in trouble, they suspect,' said Harry, as the door slammed behind them and he pulled off the Invisibility Cloak. Griphook jumped down from his shoulders; neither Travers nor Bogrod showed the slightest surprise at the sudden appearance of Harry Potter in their midst.

'They're Imperiused,' he added, in response to Hermione and Ron's confused queries about Travers and Bogrod, who were both now standing there looking blank. 'I don't think I did it strongly enough, I don't know …'


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

By J.K. Rowling