|"Are you a wizard or not?"
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|Break-in of Gringotts Wizarding Bank (1991)|
Attempted theft of the Philosopher's Stone
- "Investigations continue into the break-in at Gringotts on 31 July, widely believed to be the work of Dark wizards or witches unknown. Gringotts goblins today insisted that nothing had been taken. The vault that was searched had in fact been emptied the same day. "But we're not telling you what was in there, so keep your noses out if you know what's good for you," said a Gringotts spokesgoblin this afternoon."
- —The Daily Prophet[src]
The break-in of Gringotts Wizarding Bank on 31 July, 1991, was an attempt by Quirinus Quirrell, (at the time Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry) under orders from Lord Voldemort to steal the Philosopher's Stone, which was being kept in Vault 713 of Gringotts Wizarding Bank. However, that same day, Rubeus Hagrid (accompanied by young Harry Potter) removed the Philosopher's Stone from the vault at the request of Albus Dumbledore. The robbery was reported in the Daily Prophet, and the fact that someone had breached the security of Gringotts and was not caught created a great public scandal. This was not the first time anyone had successfully broken into the bank, though it would not be the last. As mentioned by Griphook in 1998, the Gringotts goblins did not consider this to be a truly successful break-in, for the vault was already emptied, so there was nothing that could be stolen.
Harry Potter first learned of the break-in from Ron on the Hogwarts Express. It was later reported in more detail in a copy of the Daily Prophet issue on 6 September, 1991, which he read when he and Ron Weasley were visiting Rubeus Hagrid's cabin. This led Harry, Ron, and Hermione Granger to investigate the attempted theft, and they began to suspect that the current Potions Professor, Severus Snape, was behind the break in. When Harry caught Quirinus Quirrell trying to get it again in its new hiding place in a restricted area at Hogwarts Castle, Harry realised the professor was the real culprit.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)