A/N: WOW! I was buried under the protests against changing the name from Harika to Harriett. I am therefore leaving it alone. I thought I made the name up. Apparently, it is Hindu and means beautiful and wonderful.
July 14, 1997
"We told you none of your freaky owls, girl!"
"It's not my freaky owl, Uncle." Hari sneered.
Her uncle smacked her hard for her sass. She stumbled into the wall and grit her teeth. Two weeks.
"Who sent it?" Vernon hissed.
Hari moved carefully away from him to the owl and removed the letter. The owl took off immediately indicating no response was needed.
Hari opened the ornately addressed parchment. She scanned it quickly. Her eyes opened wide. She re-read it.
You are hereby summoned to appear before the Department of Magical Contracts on Wednesday, July 17, 1997 for the activation of the Line Protection Contract between House of Potter and House of Slytherin enacted by Lord Gasper Potter and Lord Jarle Slytherin in 1483.
Failure to appear without sufficient and pre-approved reason will be considered to be willful reneging of the contract resulting in loss of magic, titles and vaults to the slighted party.
Considering you are still a minor, this summons is also a portkey. It will activate at ten a.m., Wednesday, July 17 depositing you directly to the Department of Magical Contracts.
Head of Department of Magical Contracts
"Girl," Vernon growled threateningly.
"It's…ah…from the ministry."
"In trouble again, are you?"
"No," Hari huffed. "They are informing me of an ancient contract that's been activated. I have to be there on Wednesday. Transportation has been arranged. No one will arrive on your doorstep and you won't have to take me anywhere."
"As long as your chores are all done before you go and you keep your freakishness away from us."
Vernon glared at her before turning and slamming out of her room.
Hari read and reread the summons. After two days she still did not know what they were going on about. What was a Line Protection Contract? Why would House Potter sign one with House Slytherin? She got that House Potter meant the Potter family, but it seemed to mean more than that although what she couldn't quite figure out. From what she could tell the Potters were purebloods, but not that wealthy or influential unless that was one more thing being kept from her.
The House of Slytherin gave her pause. Wasn't Riddle the Heir to Slytherin? Had another taken that spot when he lost his body? Who would the Slytherin family representative be? What was going to be required of her? Where did their loyalties lie and was this a plot to get hold of her and hand her over to Voldemort?
Did she want to deal with it or ignore and continue with her plans? In two weeks she'd be an adult able to use magic outside of school. She intended to hex her lovely relatives to just this side of insane, clear her magical signature off them and then leave England behind for good. She fully intended to show them they were right to fear her all these years.
She was tempted to write Sirius and ask him, but that would let Dumbledore know and she had become very convinced since the fiasco third year and his stance on keeping Sirius a wanted man since then that she needed to keep him as much in the dark about what she was doing as he was keeping her in the dark about everything. She definitely did not want him to have any suspicion of her flight plans.
If she hadn't remembered the two way mirror Sirius had given her, she would have gotten him killed fifth year thinking Voldemort had him captive in the ministry. As it was, he was still captive in his old family home and hating every moment of it. Towing Dumbledore's line to keep from being turned over to the aurors.
She hated that old bastard. She could understand why Voldemort wanted him dead. Everything Dumbledore did was to advance his position, the admiration of the masses. The idiot thought integrating with muggles was a good idea. Hari was fairly certain he was finagling to be at the top of the heap when it happened. Dumbledore didn't care who suffered or was destroyed or died in the process that much was obvious to her even if most people seemed blind to his real ambitions and personality.
Shifting slightly on the bed she winced as fresh injuries and bruises made themselves known. Her dear, loving relatives had been making sure she knew she wasn't wanted this summer. It had been made clear every day and night that she was to leave on her birthday.
Maybe once she didn't have to come back she could get ahold of some of the potions that faded or removed scars. At least physical ones. It would take a mind healer to get rid of the worst of the emotional ones and she wasn't sure she wanted even a professional to see the mess she was or what she'd had to endure.
She would go to the ministry and see what was going on. How bad could it be? She could always leave afterward. She didn't have a title to lose and not much money. She'd lived most her life without magic and although she'd miss it she wouldn't marry an arrogant jerk or someone who'd turn her over to be killed just to keep it.