|"Are you a wizard or not?"
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- "The Elder Wand slashed through the air and green light erupted through the room; the kneeling goblin rolled over, dead; the watching wizards scattered before him, terrified: Bellatrix and Lucius Malfoy threw others behind them in their race for the door, and again and again his wand fell, and those who were left were slain, all of them, for bringing him this news, for hearing about the golden cup — "
- —Voldemort ruthlessly massacres the Goblins with the Killing Curse[src]
In 1998, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger broke into Gringotts in order to steal one of Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes from the vault belonging to the Lestrange family. The trio were assisted by Griphook, a former employee of Gringotts, who agreed to help them in exchange for Godric Gryffindor's Sword. The trio broke into the bank with Hermione disguised as Bellatrix Lestrange, Ron given a fake identity as a disguise, while Harry and Griphook under the Invisibility Cloak. They found their way into the vault and acquired Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, and in their attempt to escape ended up flying a half-blind dragon out of the bank in what would become a famous escape.
- Goblin: "M-my Lord, m-my Lord… we t-tried t-to st-stop them… Im-impostors, my Lord… broke — broke into the — into the Lestranges’ v-vault…"
- Voldemort: "Impostors? What impostors? I thought Gringotts had ways of revealing impostors? Who were they?"
- Goblin: "It was… it was… the P-Potter b-boy and t-two accomplices…"
- Voldemort: "And they took? Tell me! What did they take?"
- Goblin: "A… a s-small golden c-cup, m-my Lord…"
- — Voldemort being informed of the theft of Hufflepuff's cup[src]
On the same day as the break-in, Voldemort was informed by several goblins from Gringotts that the Trio had robbed the Lestrange vault. This caused Voldemort to panic, and when he was informed that a small golden cup had been stolen, he flew into a rage. Realising at that moment that Harry was hunting his Horcruxes, Voldemort unleashed the Elder Wand while Nagini watched and the rest of the witnesses fled, including Lucius Malfoy and even Bellatrix Lestrange pushing others aside in their haste. The Dark Lord smote each goblin on the floor in their turn, including Griphook who collapsed holding the Sword of Gryffindor, until he was left alone amongst the dead with his followers, who were slowly and fearfully approaching the carnage.
Troubled, Lord Voldemort spoke to Nagini in Parseltongue, telling her that their secret had been discovered and warning her to never leave his sight, before Disapparating to a cave to seek out the locket of Salazar Slytherin. As the snake and the Dark Lord departed, the Sword of Gryffindor disappeared from Griphook's hand, presumably returning to the Sorting Hat at Hogwarts Castle. Voldemort listed all the locations of his Horcruxes in his mind, unaware that Harry was connected to his mind at the time. He unwittingly revealed that his last Horcrux was at Hogwarts Castle, just as Harry previously suspected. This caused Harry, Ron, and Hermione to venture to Hogwarts, setting the stage for the climactic Battle of Hogwarts.
Behind the scenes
- The book does not explicitly state where the massacre took place. However, the film (second-tier canon, per the canon policy) clearly states that the massacre occurred within Malfoy Manor, the same room where Bellatrix Lestrange murdered Dobby.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2