With the bank alarm triggered, our heroes rush to Bellatrix's vault. Harry spots the horcrux the Hufflepuff House's cup perched at the top of a large pile of treasure. Of course, there's a catch: A Gemino spell multiples any object they touch. This sort of magic makes me wonder why any wizard family is poor, but there's a more pressing problem as the room begins to fill up. Harry barely captures the horcrux and Griphook takes this opportunity to screw them over grabbing the Sword and leaving them.
A goblin security brigade surrounds the vault and Hermione has a so-crazy-it-just-might-work idea: Set the massive albino dragon outside the vault free and ride it out. (I take back what I said about wizard vs. muggle banks I'd feel a lot better about our financial system if Wells Fargo guarded my checking account with a dragon). This is exciting stuff. My favorite part is the dragon torches a bunch of the bankers and we're apparently not supposed to feel bad about it.
Our heroes jump off at the nearest cold-looking lake. They don't give any thought to setting a murderous dragon loose in the world, but when it swoops down on an elementary school for a snack somebody's gonna be in big trouble.
Suddenly, Harry has one of his mind-meld visions with He Who Shall Not Smell Much. He learns another horcrux is at Hogwarts and it's somehow related to house founder Rowena Ravenclaw. Great line when Hermione says they need to make a plan and Harry snaps: ''When have our plans ever actually worked out? We plan, we get there, and all hell breaks loose.''
Hogsmeade: Am I the only person who's always wanted to get a butterbeer in this quaint village? Seems like an ideal spot to stay at a bed and breakfast. You can escape from work and disconnect since there's probably no cell phone coverage. I'm definitely sold if there's butterbeer pale ale.
Harry and Co. arrive and set off yet another alarm. They're rescued by the cynical Aberforth, the owner of the Hog's Head pub. Some quick exposition: We learn Aberforth is Dumbledore's brother and that he's been helping them from afar while watching Harry in a two-way looking glass. Harry is so intent on getting into Hogwarts that he doesn't seem creeped out by the fact that some craggy guy living in the back of a bar has been secretly watching him for months. Aberforth also guards the last secret passage into Hogwarts.
Hogwarts: Hey, it's Neville Longbottom. He looks like he jumped from 14 years old to 44 in a way only Brits can master. Neville leads Harry and friends to the magical Room of Requirement, which changes its environment to match the user's needs. Harry finds all his old Dumbledore's Army buddies have been hiding here, sleeping in hammocks because, I guess, nobody required the Room to provide beds (I would at least ask the Room for a pizza buffet and a hot tub). They're all thrilled Harry's back but now he must explain he's looking for an object, but doesn't know what it is or where it might be. Then Ginny comes in...
NEXT: The trouble with Ginny; Ravenclaw's lost what?