What Was Your Name, Again?
By Mike [FP]
Fics begun in 2005 (post-OOTP/post-HBP)
Just a quick drabble inspired by what to me is one of the most grating HP fanfic cliches: that Harry will inevitably remember the goblin who took him to his vault for the first time [and all too often, will see to said goblin's promotion - usually from cart attendant to manager of young Mr. Potter's vast fortunes] (rolls eyes).
A pair of goblins bowed Harry through the silver doors and into the vast marble hall. His eyes swept the long counter. There was no queue.
"Good morning," Harry said quietly to an unoccupied goblin. "I’m here to take some money from my vault."
"Hold a minute," Harry said. He rifled through his pockets, scattering two Canary Cremes and a spare Horcrux. The goblin before him hissed as the Cup left dark smoke trails on an open ledger. The goblin to the right looked up from a pile of emeralds and peered appraisingly at the Cup through his jeweler’s eyepiece, and Harry quickly stashed it away.
"Here it is," Harry said, holding up his golden key.
The goblin looked it over. "This seems in order. Very well," he said, handing it back to Harry. "I will have someone take you down to the vaults." He waved at a goblin standing to the side. Once Harry put away the Canary Cremes, he followed the goblin toward one of the doors leading off the hall.
"I am Griphook," the goblin said. Harry nodded as they entered the narrow stone passageway that held the carts.
"I am Griphook," the goblin repeated. "We have met."
"I see," Harry said. The goblin scowled and then whistled and a cart hurtled toward them. They climbed in and were off into a maze of passages.
The air stung at Harry’s eyes — they were moving at least as fast as his Firebolt, he figured. "Perhaps you remember?" the goblin called out over the rushing wind. "It was your first time at Gringotts."
"What?" Harry said. He looked intently into the field of stalactites, intent on seeing one of the fabled Gringotts dragons.
"When we met — it was your first time at Gringotts," Griphook went on.
"That seems a long time ago, doesn’t it?" Harry said, not taking his eyes off the rocks adjacent to the underground lake. There was an orange glow just then, surely reflected from a burst of fire. "I scarcely remember it."
"It was only five years ago, perhaps six," the goblin grumbled.
"I was with Hagrid…" Harry said. The cart whipped around a corner and once again he was deprived of a dragon sighting. "Of course — he was here for the… erm, never mind. He was here." He laughed. "These carts surely weren’t made for his like, I can tell you. I remember that much."
"People comment on your excellent memory, Mr. Potter," the goblin said tersely.
"My memory? Honestly? My memory isn’t anything worth mention," Harry said. "Hermione does most of the remembering, I’d say. Ron and me, we just do things."
"Your consideration for magical beings is well known —friend to the lowly house elf and such," the goblin hissed. "I had thought that you would recall my name."
"No, no, afraid I didn’t," Harry said absently. "Seems like this is taking longer than usual, don’t you think… er… um…?"
"Griphook. Grip — hook," the goblin spat through clenched teeth.
"Oh, right — that. Never have been any good with names," Harry said. "This trip does seem to be taking a long time…" His eyes narrowed. "You aren’t angling for a tip, are you?"
Griphook growled loudly and the cart came to a screeching halt. "Your vault," the goblin screeched.
Harry raised an eyebrow as the goblin roughly opened the cart door. "Thank you…?" he said, confused. He heard the goblin mutter things along the lines of â€˜Chosen One, indeed!’, and Harry wondered idly if this was how Kreacher had started out.