The Contract

Chapter 1

To say Harry had been overwhelmed would be putting it lightly, as he walked with Hagrid towards Gringotts. He had an answer to everything that had plagued him for so long. Why he was able to do the things he did, what really happened to his parents, and why everyone was so nice towards him and more importantly why everyone was looking at him, watching him as if he was some sort of messiah. After spending his entire life ignored it was a bit much for him to take.

He liked the goblins, they weren't treating him any differently to any other Wizard. Now wasn't that weird to say? He was a wizard! He was going to a school to learn how to use magic. Zeroing in on Hagrid whispering – or attempting to – about something secret in a vault he was to pick up for Dumbledore. 'You-Know-What in vault You-Know-Which' if it was such a secret why collect it with so many people in the bank? Why not go to a room and ask the goblin there?

There were plenty rooms, Harry observed as they wandered towards the cart. He had to smother his amusement at how green Hagrid went when they went for the ride. Personally, Harry found it thrilling to say the least. As they barrelled along underground vaults, at a speed that was faster than most cars went. It had to be under London…way lower than even the train stations. How had nobody managed to find it? It had to be protected by magic.

Another thing he quickly realized, that his Aunt Petunia had to be lying about his parents being unemployed. Otherwise how did they have so much money to give to him if that was the case? Although, after mentally calculating it all, along with what they said he'd need, he realized there wouldn't be a massive pile left over after Hogwarts. It was more than he had before so he couldn't complain. Scooping up what had been recommended to him, Harry returned to the cart and on they went.

He feared that the hatred Vernon and Petunia had wouldn't extent to his money. Could he even try to stop them he wondered?

Just as they were about to leave, a goblin spoke up, "Mr. Potter, your account manager, Trerx would like a moment of your time."

"We have to go, I gotta get Harry his things for school," Hagrid said immediately, almost as if he had anticipated the question.

Harry looked up at the gigantic wizard, observing the beady black eyes filled with anxiety. If he didn't know any better, he would say Hagrid was worried. Why would he be worried about him speaking to his 'account manager?' which surprised him, didn't they cost money.

"As I said, just a moment of Mr. Potter's time," Bofze replied, unperturbedly staring up at Hagrid without any emotion showing on his face.

"Come on, Harry, let's go get yer things," Hagrid insisted trying to guide Harry out of the bank. Albus had asked him to make sure the goblins didn't overwhelm Harry with their legal jargon so young. That he would tell Harry at a pace that was more suited for his young mind. The order had come from Albus, so of course, Hagrid was going to do his level best to see it through.

"I'd like to talk to him," Harry insisted, refusing to be directed out of the bank. He wanted to make sure that his Aunt and Uncle – how he loathed calling them that given how they treat him – couldn't touch his money.

Hagrid stopped, staring at Harry with an almost dumb look on his face, "It's nothin' yeh need to worry about, Harry," Harry was just about to nod when Hagrid added, "Albus Dumbledore will tell yeh everything you need to know." Now that raised flags, he didn't know much, but what he did know was that Albus Dumbledore was the Headmaster of Hogwarts, why would his Headmaster have to tell him anything? Why would he even know about his finances? He was so confused.

"That's okay, I'd like to ask…Trerx a few questions anyway," Harry said, which was true enough.

"Are yah sure, Harry?" Hagrid asked again, looking very stuck, he wasn't good with confrontation. He wanted to do what Albus asked of him, but he couldn't exactly drag Harry out of Gringotts or demand he leave, it wasn't in his nature.

"Yes, I'm sure," Harry replied with a bit more backbone, he had so many unanswered questions, he wasn't going to leave without having them answered. Hagrid seemed reluctant to tell him anything, he'd had to coax out what happened to his parents for Merlin's sake. The goblins seemed more straightforward, and Harry suspected they'd tell him exactly what he wanted to know. And the fact Hagrid and Dumbledore were trying to hide things from him didn't endear them to him at all.

"Follow me," the goblin grunted out, turning back towards where they had just been. Instead of heading towards the carts, they made their way towards the rooms, upon opening it he realized they were conference rooms of sorts. "Trerx will be here momentarily,"

Harry nodded as he looked around the room, the gleaming marble walls, filled with a whole paraphernalia of items. Most of them were weapons, like daggers, swords, spears, clubs and what he assumed was wands. A few were encased in glass, and on stands in corners of the rooms. There was a large gleaming white table that would and could fit up to over a dozen people with chairs split equally around it. At the front of the room was a single table, with only one chair behind it. Harry wasn't sure where to sit, so he simply stood, observing everything in the room with keen eyes. Mesmerised by the fact that goblins actually existed and had vaults tunnelled all over London.

"Good morning, Mr. Potter," said the goblin, entering the office, flicking the door closed with a click of its fingers, "My name is Trerx, I am the account manager for the Potter vaults,"

"Vaults as in more than one?" Harry asked, green eyes gleaming, already getting more information than he had.

Trerx paused, before walking hastily towards the desk, placing upon the table a large folder. "Yes, for you when you take on the mantle of Lord Potter, an inherited title from your father, and grandfather before him."

"Lord Potter?" Harry repeated blankly, it was a good job he'd insisted on getting answers.

Trerx grunted, giving Harry a look that stipulated he thought him completely stupid. He was not going to repeat himself all morning. "Take a seat, Mr. Potter, while I explain some things to you," he said eventually, after reading from the files in front of him.

Harry nervously did so, taking a seat opposite the goblin trying to stop his nerves getting the better of him.

"Your guardians are Vernon and Petunia Dursley of Number four Privet Drive is this information correct?"

"Yes," Harry said, grimacing.

"Your magical guardian is one Albus Dumbledore is this information also correct?"

Harry swallowed thickly, "I don't know…I just…I thought he was the Headmaster at Hogwarts…"

"You haven't met him?" Trerx asked, his teeth showing ferally, extremely angry over this information.

"No, Sir, not that I remember," Harry said glancing at the floor worriedly. "I…what is a magical guardian meant to do?"

"Do you know nothing of the world in which you were born to Mr. Potter?" Trerx asked incredulously.

"I didn't know anything, Sir, I still don't. I only found out yesterday. My uncle tried to stop me reading my letter or letting me attend. Hagrid brought me here so that I could get my school things." Harry explained entirely subdued.

"He took you without the consent of your guardians?" Trerx asked, then again, all things pertaining to the magical world was down to Albus Dumbledore. He was not liking what he was hearing at all.

Harry's head jerked up, "I want to attend Hogwarts!" he said, his voice strangled, realizing he had put his foot in his mouth. "I…please, Sir," he whispered desperation flowing through him at the realisation that everything could be stolen away before he even got to experience it.

"Calm yourself, Mr. Potter," Trerx replied, somehow not sounding quite so vicious as he had moments earlier. "It seems that Albus Dumbledore was remiss in his duties as your magical guardian. He has told you nothing of your rightful world, you should have come here knowing exactly what to expect. It is the duties and responsibilities of all Magical Guardians."

"Can I…stop it? Stop Dumbledore from being my magical guardian?" Harry asked, licking his dry lips, "Maybe get someone else to help me?" finding himself quite angry that someone could have told him everything about himself, his family, and seen how he was living and that someone had done nothing. All the abuse he'd suffered…it could have been prevented. He could have come here, to live in the magical world.

"There is one way," Trerx informed him, "If you can prove you are capable of looking after yourself you can become emancipated. Which would give you the title of Lord Potter seven years early, but you'd be able to access the entirety of your estate."

"How do I prove that?" Harry asked, his mind reeling. "And what does it mean being given access to my estate?"

"By proving you can live on your own without a guardian, both your Aunt and Uncle as well as your magical guardian." Trerx informed him, this meeting was going on longer than anticipated. "Which I'm afraid is definitely not something that can be done, you know nothing of the magical world, it would hinder your emancipation request. Which had to be done through the Ministry of magic. Unfortunately, your magical guardian holds considerably sway there and would ultimately prevent your emancipation going through."

"But he failed as a magical guardian!" Harry protested, finding himself indignant over what he was hearing.

"That he did, but you must understand he holds a lot of power within the Ministry of magic." the goblin warned him. "A great deal of that power comes from being your magical guardian. Even becoming emancipated early wouldn't stop that power, not until you are fifteen years old and legally able to claim your seats."

"Seats?" Harry whispered utterly bewildered.

"Even if you studied and read everything you could get your hands on…there is no way they'd give you emancipation, Mr. Potter." The goblin warned him, they could do a lot of things, but this wasn't one of them. "I am sorry," and he actually genuinely meant that, which was a first. Most wizarding families he dealt with were quite rude and demanding and he felt nothing for them. For Harry though he did indeed feel sorry.

"What if I tell them I was abused?" Harry whispered, saying the word as though it was something degrading and demeaning. Everyone else he had told didn't believe him, so quite honestly…he didn't think much would come of this conversation.

Trerx's eyes flashed furiously black at the mere mention of the word, "And would that be the truth, Mr. Potter?" eyeing the wizard, trying to gauge his truthfulness. His clothes did suggest they did neglect him though, the income the Dursley's got was in front of him along with the money Dumbledore give them as a stipend for Harry's care should be enough so he got clothes that fit him and food. Food they clearly did not give him judging by how bony he was. while he couldn't see what was under the clothes, his neck, face and hands were all far too thin for a growing eleven-year-old boy. Now that he was looking, he began to suspect that the boy was telling the truth.

Harry merely nodded once, a single time. "Yes," he added as if the nod hadn't been confirmation enough.

Trerx's mind began to calculate every single step he could take in order to help Harry's situation. Each one was nixed inevitably as it either backfired or Dumbledore gained the upper hand. He had too tight a reign on the Ministry of Magic. Then he remembered, Harry's grandmother was Dorea Black. Yet he hadn't come across any information within the Potter file.

Clicking his fingers quickly, bringing everything remotely related to Dorea Black in front of him. Her information should have been part of the Potter files, why it wasn't was a mystery to him. He would need to find the goblin manager in charge of the accounts back then. Silently cursing the bad filing, with pursed lips, almost forgetting Harry was there due to his unnatural silence.

That's when he noticed it.

The contact.

A betrothal contract between a Lestrange and Potter, still incomplete written by Corvus Lestrange and Dorea Black-Potter before they were even parents. Corvus Lestrange was still alive, but Dorea was gone. The next Lestranges Rodolphus and Rabastan were imprisoned in Azkaban, one already married. The brothers had not even a single heir amongst them, and Harry Potter was the last Potter alive today.

It would not do.

Unless…well, he would research everything he could until he had an answer.

"Give me a few days to find a loophole or information that might help you, Mr. Potter. We shouldn't keep Mr. Hagrid waiting any longer, not without rousing Dumbledore's suspicion I wouldn't be surprised if he's not already here. Have care what you say to him, despite his gentle demeanour he's a powerful wizard and there is a reason he defeated the Dark Lord Grindelwald." The goblin informed him as he scribbled information down in front of him. "In the meantime, get these books, they will help you understand the magical world better." It was just beginner information, but it was better than nothing.

"And you'll get in touch?" Harry asked, not taking the goblins word on Dumbledore's character to heart. He would see for himself, so far two people had very different views on him. "By Owl?" assuming that was the case.

"That is correct, Mr. Potter, and if we don't hear from you, we will come regardless." Trerx revealed seriously, the contract was something to fall back on if it comes to it. It probably wasn't something Harry wanted anyway, so he would only suggest it as a last resort.

Which would be met with strong denials regardless.

"Thank you Trerx," Harry murmured, accepting the piece of paper, placing it in his pocket and patting it absently. Able to pronounce the goblin's name properly, no easy feat, especially for humans.

"Be well, Mr. Potter," the goblin said, already making mental notes to cancel his three appointments today, only keeping one which was scheduled with the goblin king. He was going to do his best to help the boy, even if its only to get him out of the Dursley's grasp.

But his eyes trailed towards the contract yet again, and he knew, he knew, that this was going to be the only way. Well, at least he could say in a few days he'd done best by his client, nobody can ask any more of him than that.

With that Harry silently exited the room feeling quite numb with everything he'd learned. He felt nothing regarding Dumbledore, no betrayal, no anger, just numbness.

His excitement was renewed as he gathered everything he needed for Hogwarts with Hagrid. Including a beautiful white owl he soon named Hedwig, the name he found within the confines of his new shiny school books. Regretfully, Vernon locked them away before Harry could really begin reading everything and everything he could get his hands on.

At least he wasn't being squashed into his cupboard anymore, instead he was in Dudley's second bedroom. Sure it was filled with junk, broken furniture and a bed that springs dug into his back…but it was still a room. It was more than he was used to and better than he had in the past.

Two Days Later

It all felt like a wonderful dream he'd had, and he would have definitely thought it if not for the room he currently woke up in. It was now day three. He ached like blazes though, Petunia had smacked the side of his head with the frying pan again, which left him with a blazing sore head. Vernon had taken his mood out on him dragging him up the stairs moments after he got back, somehow managing to shove him into every movable and immovable object possible before throwing him inside the room. Furious for having to go to the cabin in the middle of the sea and having to find a way to get back without the boat. As always everything was his fault. Then there was Dudley, man, while doing his chores – which had doubled in twenty-four hours – Dudley and his friends and ensured he regretted the fact Hagrid had come. Not to forget the pig tail. Which by the way he still found hilarious, definitely worth the pounding of his flesh.

The good thing was, he was no longer numb, he'd been stewing on everything he'd learned for two days now. With nothing but chores to do, his mind wandered. He had so many questions and no answers. Why had Dumbledore not come to visit him? Why hadn't he informed him of the magical world and everything he should have done as a magical guardian? Why give him to the Dursley's in the first place? He needed to know the laws, but if he was his magical guardian it must mean his parents had wanted it that way? His parents who had died for him and not in a car crash as he'd been told for ten years.

If Trerx came through, he'd know the answer to these questions.

And hopefully soon.

So, will Harry sneakily get away from the Dursley's without Dumbledore knowing until it was too late when the wards break due to lack of 'place to call home' with Harry playing by the Dumbledore's golden boy rules until it's time where he can get away or will we have him remaining studious and alert refusing to play along? Which house will I have him in this time? Gryffindor (with the offer of Slytherin like in the original), Slytherin or Ravenclaw? Who can you see Harry ending up with (as a guardian)? Corvus Lestrange? Or a distant relation of Corvus Lestrange since he was 'unreachable?' one who is neutral in the war? Giving Harry a place to stay? Will Harry be desperate enough that he agrees with the contract to be engaged 'not married' to Rabastan? Only for it to come back and bite him in the ass or will it be the best thing that ever happened to him? Read and Review please

I know, eleven years old it's ridiculous BUT I do want it to be before Sirius comes into his life AND the chapters WONT be focused on his Hogwarts education perhaps two or three per year and mostly focused on Rabastan and Harry I promise with a bit of what Dumbledore's doing added in...I wish I could just start it at sixteen but that would ask for FLASHBACKS which I loath doing!

Knowing how I usually am with stories you probably already know where I'm going with this so it won't be much of a surprise :P but I do want to make it different as always similar plot BUT different how its played out. I know the chapter is short but it's just to see if there will be enough people interested in it to continue the story...or whether it will be put on hold until I finish my other stories!