Gringotts was quite busy as patrons went in and out but to her surprise the minute, she stepped in through the bronze doors one of the guards said, "Miss Prince, please head to teller Bogrod's, Griphook is waiting to take you inside."
"Thank you," Rowan said, before making her way inside the great marble hall. If Gringotts had been busy before right now it was all hands-on deck as the ship was sinking. The goblins seemed rather harried as they ran in and out taking patrons to their vaults, while those at the teller counters couldn't get through patrons fast enough as the lines seemed just as long as ever. Gringotts would be closing early this evening in order to accommodate the VIP guests that would begin to arrive in only an hour or two.
Squeezing through the crowd, Rowan made her way to Bogrod, the elderly Goblin teller to only spot the familiar face of Griphook unhappily standing next to the teller counter. The instant Griphook saw her, he rushed over and faintly bowed, "This way, please." Griphook did not bow much to garnish the attention of the other patrons.
"And how fares your day, Griphook? Busy?" Rowan made small talk as he led her through one of the doors to a rather elegantly furnished hallway. It would seem this was for the VIPs only.
Griphook lips merely twisted as he muttered, "It's the Christmas season." Rowan inclined her head at the truth of the statement. Of course, the bank would be busy, it was that time of the year.
Studying the famous goblin portraits on the wall, they pass closed conference rooms. Whether they were filled at present, Rowan didn't know as Griphook led her to the middle door on her left. "Someone will be with you shortly," Griphook instructed as she stepped inside.
This conference room unlike the one she had been before was elegantly carpeted with an antique Turkish rug. The table and wooden ornaments glistened having been polished with varnish. The painting on the wall was of floral sceneries, some muggle as they did not move. But smack dab on one of the walls was a painting that caused her mouth to flop open.
"That can't be the original," Rowan whispered as she hurried over to stare at the piece. She'd already spotted an original Renoir and Monet, but this couldn't be Van Goh's original Starry Night could it? But unlike the original, there are tiny black witch-like figures flying on broomsticks through the starry sky.
"Like it?" Said a hoarse voice from behind her causing Rowan to whirl around as she had been so distracted studying the painting on the wall.
"It's one of my favorite works from the artist," Rowan explained to the elderly goblin that had appeared behind her, Grok Gringotts. Behind him was his regular entourage of attendants and guards with pointy spears.
Squinting his eyes at the piece, Grok Gringotts dismissively waves his long, neatly trimmed fingers at her. "You may have it if you would like," Grok Gringotts said. "I never much liked modern impressionist artists."
Rowan almost chokes as she says, "This is an original isn't it?"
"He painted two," Grok confessed as he took a seat at the table. "One for the muggles without the flying witches and this one. The ministry couldn't very well allow its existence and confiscated it. I procured the painting for a mere sickle as a trifling decoration for the room."
Although greatly tempted, Rowan didn't know whether to take up Grok Gringotts on his offer. She didn't have to as Grok turned to one of his aides and said, "Wrap it up for Miss Prince to take home."
"You don't have to really," Rowan weakly said as she watched the attendant take it away.
"I have a much better piece to put it in its place," Grok dismissively said as he gestured to her to have a seat.
Rowan rather stunned took her seat unable to believe she'd suddenly become the owner of an original, Van Goh. But more importantly of one of her favorite pieces, the Starry Sky or in this case, the original, Starry Sky with Witches. Clearing her throat, Rowan says in Gobbledegook, "Thank you for the gift, clan head. And how do you fare on this day? I hope that gold will soon be pouring into your vaults."
Grok flashes her a pleased pointed toothed smile as he replies in English, "I am well, child, your accent has much improved."
Rowan makes a wry face and says, "I should certainly hope so."
"Now, then I have come with a proposal," Grok said causing Rowan to warily glance over at him.
"I have prepared a private box for yourself to participate in the auction," Grok paused as he pointed to an attendant who stepped forth with an enchanted glass ball. "Or you may view the auction from this safety of these chambers. Your choice."
"May I see the auction catalog," Rowan coolly said back causing Grok to flash her another pleased smile. Almost rolling her eyes, she withholds from doing so given the identity of who was before her.
An attendant scurried forward with a thin catalog with moving pictures of the items inside. Rowan flips through the catalog and spots a few items of interest several times, but nothing that would make her participate in the auction. After a few minutes, she closes the catalog and says, "There is nothing that is of real interest to me."
Grok flashes her another sharp-toothed smile as he says, "You would be amazed by how many greedy wizards fall into that trap." Rowan's lips turn into a thin line at the response as the attendant takes the catalog from before her.
"We've prepared beverage and drinks," Grok said as he stood up, while several attendants rushed in with platters of food and drink. "For you to watch from the comfort and privacy of this room. There will be guards to be posted at all times outside of these doors. And have been instructed to wait outside of the door at all times nor to allow no passage into the chamber, no matter who it was until the auction is over. And should you need usage of the facilities the door at the other side of the room holds one."
"Your manners are impeccable, Grok Gringotts," Rowan flattered him. Grok Gringotts merely flashes her a grin as if to say, "But of course I am." Turning away, he departs from the room leaving Rowan alone and waiting for the auction to start.