Capturing the cup

Harry, Ron and Hermione search the Gringotts vault of Bellatrix Lestrange in their search for Hufflepuff's cup

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

By J.K. Rowling

Harry’s wandlight passed over shields and goblin-made helmets set on shelves rising to the ceiling. Higher and higher he raised the beam, until suddenly it found an object that made his heart skip and his hand tremble.

‘It’s there, it’s up there!’

Ron and Hermione pointed their wands at it too, so that the little golden cup sparkled in a three-way spotlight: the cup that had belonged to Helga Hufflepuff, which had passed into the possession of Hepzibah Smith, from whom it had been stolen by Tom Riddle.

‘And how the hell are we going to get up there without touching anything?’ asked Ron.

‘Accio cup!’ cried Hermione, who had evidently forgotten, in her desperation, what Griphook had told them during their planning sessions.

‘No use, no use!’ snarled the goblin.

‘Then what do we do?’ said Harry, glaring at the goblin. ‘If you want the sword, Griphook, then you’ll have to help us more than – wait! Can I touch stuff with the sword? Hermione, give it here!’

Hermione fumbled inside her robes, drew out the beaded bag, rummaged for a few seconds, then removed the shining sword. Harry seized it by its rubied hilt and touched the tip of the blade to a silver flagon nearby, which did not multiply.

‘If I can just poke the sword through a handle – but how am I going to get up there?’

The shelf on which the cup reposed was out of reach for any of them, even Ron, who was tallest. The heat from the enchanted treasure rose in waves, and sweat ran down Harry’s face and back as he struggled to think of a way up to the cup; and then he heard the dragon roar on the other side of the vault door, and the sound of clanking growing louder and louder.

They were truly trapped now: there was no way out except through the door, and a horde of goblins seemed to be approach- ing on the other side. Harry looked at Ron and Hermione and saw terror in their faces.

‘Hermione,’ said Harry, as the clanking grew louder, ‘I’ve got to get up there, we’ve got to get rid of it –’

She raised her wand, pointed it at Harry and whispered, ‘Levicorpus.’

Hoisted into the air by his ankle, Harry hit a suit of armour and replicas burst out of it like white-hot bodies, filling the cramped space. With screams of pain Ron, Hermione and the two goblins were knocked aside into other objects, which also began to replicate. Half-buried in a rising tide of red-hot treasure, they struggled and yelled as Harry thrust the sword through the handle of Hufflepuff ’s cup, hooking it on to the blade.

‘Impervius!’ screeched Hermione, in an attempt to protect herself, Ron and the goblins from the burning metal.

Then the worst scream yet made Harry look down: Ron and Hermione were waist-deep in treasure, struggling to keep Bogrod from slipping beneath the rising tide, but Griphook had sunk out of sight and nothing but the tips of a few long fingers were left in view.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

By J.K. Rowling