The two wizards were quiet for several minutes before Harry broke the silence. "Granddad..I mean Professor, what's going to happen?"
"You may continue to call my Granddad, Harry." The old wizard said gently. "And, as far as what's going to happen, I'm going to get you out of here and into Madam Pomfrey's care. She'll have you fixed up in no time."
Harry nodded relieved. Madam Pomfrey would be able to heal him in a matter of seconds. Maybe even fix it so he wouldn't have asthma either. But one thing confused him. "Why didn't you take me to Hogwarts after the fire?"
"Because I needed to wait till you awoken before moving you. It is not safe to transport someone who is unconscious by portkey."
Harry looked up confused. "What's a portkey?"
Dumbledore chuckled. "I apologize Harry, I had forgotten you still have lots to learn about our world. A portkey is a mode of transportation that will take you from one place and drop you off at another. You have to set a portkey for an exact location and time for it to leave. Making portkeys is advance magic and regulated by the Ministry."
Harry nodded. "When do we leave?"
"Once the doctor returns with the inhaler, I will go and sign the paperwork to release you. "
Harry nodded but looked uncertain. "I won't have to use it will I? I mean Madam Pomfrey would be able to heal me, won't she?"
Dumbledore chuckled. "Yes, she will. We just need to make it look like you will be using it."
"Ok." Harry looked down at his hands before once again looking at the headmaster. "What will happen to the Dursleys?"
Harry was shocked to see the Headmaster's eye sparkle with anger. "They will be charged with neglect and abuse of a minor. Your cousin is currently in the care of your uncle's sister. There will be a trail in a month's time. I'm afraid you will need to attend. You will need to testify."
Wide eyed, Harry gaped at the man. "B-but it wasn't that bad sir. I mean –"
Dumbledore held a wrinkled hand to stop Harry's rambling. "Harry, my boy," he started gently. "They locked you in that room and left you there to die. Your aunt even admitted to such when questioned by police."
Harry looked down at his hands. He knew the Dursleys didn't like him, but he never thought they would seriously leave him for dead. His vision blurred and he willed himself not to cry. He already knew this
and he shouldn't be so surprised. He had said so himself when he told his friends that they wouldn't be proud of him for saving the Philosopher's Stone. Yet, knowing in his head and finding out fully in your heart that it was true were two different things.
Harry only looked up when he once again felt the headmaster's hand on his own. "Harry, I am truly sorry I didn't look into your upbringing before you came to Hogwarts. Or look into it more when you requested to stay at Hogwarts for the summer."
"That's ok, sir." Harry said thickly. "You didn't know."
"No it's not. But thank you for saying anyway. As Headmaster, it is my duty to see to the safety of all my students, while in school and out. I failed you in that Harry, and I truly am sorry."
They both sat in silence once more for several minutes before Harry quietly asked. "What's going to happen to me?"
"As Headmaster, I have temporary custody of you until we can find a permanent guardian for you."
Harry nodded. Uncertainty filled him, what if they couldn't find anyone willing to take him? Would he have to go to an orphanage? Did the wizarding world even have orphanages?
"Harry," Dumbledore started to say but was interrupted by the arrival of the doctor.
"Hello, Harry, Mr. Dumbledore. How is our patient doing?" Dr. Rodgers asked, coming to stand at the side of Harry's bed.
"I'm good," Harry replied softly, looking once more at his hands.
Dr. Rodgers smiled at the small boy. "Good. No more coughing fits then?" When Harry shook his head, he continued. "I have your inhaler, Harry." He held the white prescription bag out to him. "There is a booklet in the bag that explains about the medication more fully and it has the dosage you need to take. Make sure to follow it to the letter."
"I'll make sure he does," Dumbledore said. "Do you have the release paper yet? I'm sure that Harry would rather rest at home."
"Yes, of course. If you would just follow me, I'll get those papers for you." Turning towards Harry he said, "I hope you feel better, Harry. Make sure your grandfather gets you a follow up visit with your regular doctor."
Harry nodded and watched as the two adults walked out of the room. Once he was alone he leaned back heavily into the pillows. Idly his fingers played with the edge of the blanket as his mind went over everything that happened. His eyes filled with tears as the weight of the situation finally hit him. He truly was alone now.
Several minutes passed until Dumbledore came back. "Harry?" he asked in concern. When the boy looked up, he quickly noticed the tear tracks on the boy's cheeks. "Oh, Harry." Dumbledore quickly made his way to the bed and sat down, gently pulling the boy into his arms.
"Everything is going to be ok, Harry. Madam Pomfrey will have you healed in no time."
"It's not that, sir," Harry whispered into the man's shirt. "W-what's going to happen to me now? I've got nobody."
Sighing, Dumbledore tightened his hold on Harry. "It's a long story that I feel will be best told once we are back at Hogwarts but for now just remember that I have custody of you so you are not alone."
The small boy jerked his head up in surprise. "But you said it was only temporary. What if you can't find anyone to take me?" he asked in a small voice
Dumbledore looked down at the small boy in his arms. "While that's true that I only have temporary custody as Headmaster I know that it won't be too much of a problem for me to get permanent custody of you. It will be all explained to you at Hogwarts. As I said, it's a long story and I know that you are anxious to get out of here."
Releasing his hold on Harry, he stood up and collected some clothing that was sitting on a chair in the corner. "Now, I have you all signed out and we can leave for Hogwarts once your dressed. I bought some Muggle clothes for you. I hope they fit, I wasn't sure of your exact size. "
Wide-eyed, Harry took the clothing from his new guardian. "Thank you, sir."
Walking stiffly with the Headmaster's help, Harry made it to the bathroom and closed the door behind him. Once alone, he sat gingerly on the toilet seat and looked at the clothes for the first time. There was a pair of jeans that looked like they might actually fit him, a green t-shirt with a picture of a large dinosaur on it, and to his embarrassment, socks and underwear. The Headmaster had obviously shopped in the children's department, he thought slightly red faced. Harry carefully put the clothes on and was surprised at how well they fit, if a little big causing the boy even more embarrassment over his small size.
Harry walked back out of the bathroom and saw that someone had brought in a wheelchair so that he would be able to leave without much difficulty.
"Ah, Harry. I'm glad to see that they fit so well." The boy nodded as he walked to the bed and sat down.
"Thank you again, sir."
"It was no problem at all, my boy. And please call me Granddad." He reminded gently.
Harry nodded, if a little confused. 'Why does he still want me to call him Granddad? It's not like any of the hospital staff is going to hear.'
"Now, the nurse came and brought this wheel chair for you to use while we leave. Normally I would just take us to an unused corner and Apparate us to Diagon Alley but we must make appearances. I am going to wheel you out into the parking lot where I have a car waiting for us."
Harry nodded. "I didn't know wizards had cars, Granddad," he said as he eased himself into the wheelchair.
"The ministry keeps cars on hand for any ministry worker who needs to be out in the Muggle world. I was able to convince the minister to let me use one for today."
The two wizards made their way through the halls and soon found themselves outside in the fresh air. Dumbledore wheeled him to a blue car and helped him into the back seat. One of the hospital workers took the chair once Harry was safely inside. Dumbledore got into the driver's seat and started up the car. As the car was navigated through the parking lot, Harry felt his eyelids begin to droop and was soon fast asleep.
Author's note: I know, I know. I've made you all wait an extremely long time for this chapter and I am so sorry about that. Life has been really crazy the past few years and I also had quite a lot of writer's block that made it hard to sit down and write for this story. I think I have things mapped out a bit for the remainder of this story. Just to let you know I only see this story going through the summer months and ending with the sorting feast at the start of Harry's second year.
I hope you guys enjoy this chapter. And please let me know if you see any glaring mistakes.