41

In the seventh Harry Potter book/movie, Harry, Ron and Hermione broke into Gringotts. They didn't do it in secret. Everyone knows about it.

Were they ever punished for this? Or did the ministry show mercy because their purpose was noble?

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    Especially given that a member of the Order ended up as Minister of Magic after the Battle of Hogwarts, I daresay they were probably granted immunity for past crimes in light of their contributions to wizardkind. Also, given the treatment of goblins by Voldemort and that the trio didn't steal anything to enrich themselves, I would guess all would be forgiven by the goblins of Gringott's as well. – rojo Mar 23 '15 at 14:25
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    Related, possibly a dupe: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/52267/3567 That question asks why Harry wasn't imprisoned for using an Unforgivable Curse during the break-in. – alexwlchan Mar 23 '15 at 14:31
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    Even though the cause was just, I think after the events of the HP series Gringotts really needs to reconsider their security. They brag about being unbreakable and then proceed to be broken into twice within seven years. Thanks, Harry! – Whelt Mar 23 '15 at 14:37
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    @TylerH "no fortunes were harmed during the making of this movie." – user11521 Mar 24 '15 at 3:24
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    People on the successful side of a war generally won't even be punished for killing civilians unless those civilians were deliberately targeted (and even then they often get away with it), never mind damage to property. – Jon Hanna Mar 24 '15 at 10:37
48

No they weren't.

Once the war ended, none of them faced any sort of trial (that we know of). Harry and Ron were subsequently appointed to the post of Auror at the Ministry of Magic itself and Hermione returned to Hogwarts.

My guess is that considering the young age of the protagonists, the extenuating circumstances involved, the fact that they'd almost single-handedly saved the world and the general lack of "public interest" in prosecuting (not to mention the poor treatment of the goblins by Voldemort's death eaters) that no-one was willing to charge them with a crime.

Also, as @Rojo has pointed out, the next Minister for Magic was Kingsley Shacklebolt, a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Since the Minister evidently has the ultimate say over prosecutions, it hardly seems likely that they'd face any charges with one of their key allies in the role.

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    I personally found it more interesting that, in the epilogue, Ron was admitting to Confounding a muggle to pass his driving examination, and admitting the same to an Auror... – FuzzyBoots Mar 23 '15 at 15:26
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    @SeanDuggan - Given the activities of one "Mad-Eye" Moody while he was an Auror in the Ministry, I'd say Ron's antics are hardly worth ticketing. – user23715 Mar 24 '15 at 20:46
  • @user23715: Eyeh, but that was generally against other wizards. Muggles... well, the only people allowed to wipe out their brains seem to be the police. – FuzzyBoots Mar 24 '15 at 20:48
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    @SeanDuggan - Out-of-Universe there are any number of quirky things that JKR has put in her novels for fun. This is likely one of them showing us that, in essence, Ron never quite grows up. "HA, HA! That Ron, what a cut up!" or whatever they say across the pond. In-Universe, Ron's actions could be a problem but since he no longer has the Trace on him (yeah?) there would be no one to notice. And don't forget what Hermione did to her parents -both Muggles. – user23715 Mar 24 '15 at 21:01
  • @FuzzyBoots Well, the Auror in question was Harry, Ron’s best friend, who wasn’t exactly opposed to breaking rules himself when it suits him. I highly doubt Harry would report him. – Bellatrix Sep 15 '18 at 2:45
8

Considering the Malfoys faced no punishment for their crimes after they switched sides and abandoned Volemorts cause, it would seem highly unlikely that 3 people who were fighting against him would face any sort of punishment.

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    Your logic is sound, but as-is, this is just a comment on likelihood, and not really an answer. – phantom42 Mar 23 '15 at 16:11
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    Malfoys are powerful unlike Harry.. And, they gave proper reasons under law. – I Love You 3000 Mar 23 '15 at 16:12
  • I think post-war Harry would be quite powerful. If he would use, that's something else :) – Don_Biglia Mar 24 '15 at 8:02
4

Not by the Ministry. The Gringott's goblins are responsible for their own security and are quite capable of handling their own affairs, thank you very much.

For example, they have a system that will imprison a thief inside an impregnable vault and seal him up in there without sustenance for up to ten years. Does that sound like the kind of thing the ministry would approve of? (Well, considering Azkaban and the dementors, maybe.) And they were keeping a live dragon in London (well, under London) against all the rules. I don't think the Ministry can muster sufficient authority to discipline Gringotts and being the kind of bureaucrats they were, they were probably happy to see Gringotts embarrassed.

What the Gringotts goblins did to the three I don't know. But they were heroes to the wizarding world and the goblins are already disliked by many (reasonable and non-Death Eater) wizards, so Gringotts, already smarting under the bad publicity of two break-ins, probably had enough PR savvy to just want to bury it. (Still, if I were Harry, I'd send someone else to Diagon Alley to make withdrawals from my vault.)

None of the above is Canon, but it just makes sense.

  • I doubt the Gringotts goblins did much of anything, as (at least in the movie, I'm drawing a blank in the book) Voldemort slaughtered them when he realized his Horcruxe was stolen. – Ryan Perry Mar 24 '15 at 17:16
  • @RyanPerry Well, some of them. Those in the room. Not the whole bank's worth, right? (In the book.) – davidbak Mar 24 '15 at 19:25

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