Author's Note - Next week is my last week of online school and once it's over updates will be more frequent. I have quite a few ideas for the upcoming chapters and hope you'll all enjoy them.
Special thanks to my amazing beta Nellis Daughter of Athena who came up with the title of this chapter. You rock thanks for much!!
I would really appreciate it if you all took the time to type up a quick review even if it's just 'great chapter' or 'update soon'. I'd love to hear what you guys have to say about the story and what you want to see happen in it.
Chapter Ten – A Decision is Made
Chapter Ten – A Decision is Made
"I will take in the girl." Severus said softly.
With those six words the disagreement between Minerva and Albus ceased and both turned, completely stunned to look at the potions master.
"What?!" Minerva finally spluttered out after a couple moment of silence.
Severus bit back a sarcastic remark knowing that his statement was definitely a surprise. "I said Minerva that I would be willing to take in the girl. After all I live here at Hogwarts there is no safer place so the issue of protection is covered." Severus said to her in a reasonable tone.
"My dear boy while that is a rather generous offer you are aware that if you agree to take in young Korrine you will also have to take in Harry as well, correct?" Albus said leaning forward on his desk, clasping his hands together on top of it.
Severus was silent for a moment; yes he was aware that he would have to take care of the elder Potter as well. It would most likely be interesting to say the least as well as difficult considering how he'd treated the boy so far. But he was going to fulfill his promise. He nodded his head once to Albus, "Yes Albus I am well aware that it's a package deal, with one comes the other." He said.
"You'll have to be nice to the boy Severus!" Minerva told him matter-of-factly.
Severus sneered slightly at her. "Yes Minerva, I am well aware of that!" he snapped.
Minerva just stared at him for a moment longer before turning towards the headmaster. "Albus what do you think?" she asked him.
Albus allowed a smile to appear on his face. "Well I think it is a far better solution than sending her back to the Dursley's and as Severus said protection won't be an issue." He said and then looked serious. "Now Severus are you sure about this? This is a life altering decision and it must not be taken lightly." Albus said.
Severus nodded, he was well aware that his life would change if he did have guardianship over the Potter children, for the good or for the bad was unknown at the moment.
"Yes Albus I am certain. I will take both Korrine and… Harry under my care." He said having to remind himself to use Harry's first name.
"Well then that's splendid Severus will take in Korrine and all is settled..." Albus started.
"No not all is settled, the Dursley's can not get away with they have done unpunished. Whether it be by muggle law or magical I want to see action taken against them. In fact I think I might pay them a little visit myself." Severus said firmly.
"Now Severus I agree they need to be punished but don't go and do anything rash." Minerva cautioned.
"I have no intention of killing them Minerva, simply scaring the living daylights out of them will suffice until the proper authorities get their hands on them." He said and let a smirk appear on his face.
"Yes well, punishments aside we will need to have the Dursley's sign over guardianship rights to you Severus and both Korrine and Harry will need to gather their remaining belongings from the Dursley's residence. I believe that you Severus should take them both to retrieve their belongings and get the papers signed as soon as Korrine is well enough for the journey." Albus said reasonably to them.
"Of course headmaster." Severus said.
Suddenly the flames in the fireplace turned green and Poppy's head appeared.
"Albus?" she called out. Albus stood up from his seat and went and kneeled in front of the fireplace.
"Hello Poppy, Ms. Potter is now awake I assume?" he questioned.
Poppy nodded, "Yes she is awake, I gave her a pain potion, and she seems to be holding up all things considered. You can come down and see her whenever you like although I suggest giving her a few minutes to allow her to catch up with Mr. Potter." Poppy said.
Albus nodded his head. "Thank you Poppy we will finish up here and be down shortly." He said and waited until Poppy's head left the fireplace and ended the fire call. He stood up and returned to his seat behind his desk. "Well now that we have a plan of where Korrine shall stay, I believe we should now find out how exactly she wound up injured in Redwood Park." He stated.
Both Minerva and Severus nodded. "I agree Albus but we must be cautious. When dealing with abused children they often do not wish to talk about it and in some cases believe it is their fault or that they deserved it. We have no idea how long the abuse has been going on. We also don't know the extent of it or what emotional effects it has had on either of the children." Severus said speaking from his years of experience as the Slytherin head of house, having dealt with abused children in the past. As well as speaking from his own childhood.
Albus nodded and brought his clasped hands up to rest on his lips for a moment. "Yes we will keep that in mind. But if we do plan to prosecute the Dursley's we will need to know all the facts. We don't necessarily need them all right away but soon." He said and sat silently for a few moments then looked at the clock in his office. "Well I say we should head down and tell them about the new living situation for Ms. Potter." he said and began to stand up.
"Now Severus, please keep your temper in check Mr. Potter is most likely going to protest this arrangement of not only Korrine being under your care but himself as well. Given the fact of how you have treated him in the past." Minerva said as she stood as well.
Severus stopped walking towards the door and turned to face Minerva, he knew she was right and he stiffly nodded. "Yes Minerva I know this and I intend to... Apologize for my past actions." He said biting out the last part. He knew he would apologize but it wasn't in his nature to and he didn't have to like doing it.
Minerva gave him a soft smile and nodded. "Very well then let's go shall we." She said and exited the office heading towards the infirmary both Severus and Albus following, the ladder now having the ever familiar twinkle in his eyes.
Meanwhile Harry sat next to Korrine's bed silently, leaning forward his elbows resting on his knees staring at her intently waiting for her to wake or make the slightest move, worry etched over his face. "Come on Kori, you gotta wake up." He muttered to her softly.
Korrine slowly began to stir; she shifted a bit while keeping her eyes closed. She realized she wasn't any longer in pain, nor was she lying on the cold plastic playground equipment. No she felt warm and was laying comfortably on a soft mattress with warm covers over her. 'Am I dead? Is this what heaven feels like?' she thought and opened her eyes looking up at a white arched ceiling that. She watched as the golden light from the setting sun outside floated in and again questioned if she had died in the park or not. Although that was quickly brought to a halt as she heard her name called.
"Kori? Kori you're awake!" she heard a very familiar voice say and she turned her head to see her brother sitting next to her bed, his eyes were slightly puffy but he had a huge grin on his face.
A smile appeared on Kori's face as she looked back at her brother. "Harry!" she exclaimed happily and Harry leaned forward and hugged her tightly. Kori hugged him back and then felt a sharp pain in her side and let out a hiss and grabbed at her ribcage, while it was the harsh pain she'd been feeling for the past few days it still hurt. She then realized she was no longer in her dirty clothes but in white and blue pinstriped pajama's.
Harry quickly pulled back. "Sorry, I should be more careful. I'm just so happy that you're ok." He said. "How are you feeling? Are you in pain? I should go get madam Pomfrey." Harry ranted quickly to his sister and quickly stood up from his spot next to Korrine's bed and dashed off into madam Pomfrey's office. Kori just shook her head a bit at her brother's actions and let out a small giggle.
A couple of seconds later Harry reemerged from the office with who Kori assumed was Madam Pomfrey behind him. "Well hello dear, it's nice to see you've woken up. You gave us all quite a scare." Madam Pomfrey started.
"I'm so-sorry ma'am." Kori said softly and shyly. Harry took his spot at his sister's bedside again and held her hand; he gave her a soft reassuring smile which Kori returned.
Poppy waved off Kori's apology then waved her wand over Kori's body doing a few spells to check up on her. "Well I'm not sure if you are aware of how close to death you were. You had one broken rib and two that were fractured but I fixed them. You were also stabbed, thankfully none of your major organs we punctured and I healed that wound as well, although you will have a faint scar. You lost a mass amount of blood, had you been a muggle you would have died but your magic kept you alive. So you'll be suffering from what's called a magic drain, you'll feel very sluggish and tired for a couple of days at the least. I'll give you some nutrient potions they should help you recover." Poppy said.
Poppy bustled over to a cabinet and took out a potion and began to pour some into a cup. "While I have healed your ribs they will still ache for a while but I will give you some pain potions to help ease the discomfort but I will want to keep you here for a few days to make sure you're healing properly. Here is some of it, drink up." She continued and handed Kori a cup with the potion in it.
Kori silently took in all that madam Pomfrey was saying, the fact that she had in fact almost died hitting her hard. 'I almost died.' Was all she could think, she numbly took the cup and swallowed the potion she was taken out of her daze at the taste of the potion.
"Oh ew." She said and made a disgusted face as Poppy took the cup from her. Harry had a small amused smile on his face at his sister's reaction to the pain potion, he himself had, had the same reaction when he'd first taken some.
"Well you didn't expect it to taste like chocolate now did you? It's not that bad my dear; you took some earlier although you were very out of it. Perhaps I should have warned you about the taste." Poppy said the last part as an afterthought and handed Kori another cup.
Kori took the cup with a questioning look. "It's just water." Poppy told her and Kori nodded her uneasiness about what was in the cup gone and she took a few large gulps draining the cup.
"Thank you." She said with a smile.
Poppy nodded, "I'll let you two catch up while I go inform the headmaster that you've woken up. Later on I will put a salve on those bruises of your to help them heal quicker." She said and walked away into her office. Poppy threw some floo powder into the fireplace and made a fire call to the headmaster's office. She informed him that Korrine was awake but to wait a bit before coming down to allow the Potter's to talk with one another alone. After Albus agreed she ended to floo call and busied herself in her office.
Kori stayed silent until madam Pomfrey had gone into her office. "So this is Hogwarts? I'm at Hogwarts?" she asked.
Harry nodded his head and looked around the infirmary. "Yup this is Hogwarts; although this is just the infirmary the rest is much more impressive." Harry said. "I'll have to show you around later, once you get better." He added with a smile, silently hoping that the headmaster would allow her to stay at Hogwarts with him so he could show her around. Although he doubted it, he couldn't loose what little hope he had. He didn't know what was going to happen to Kori from here which scared him. All he knew was that there was no way he was going to allow her to be sent back to the Dursley's.
"What happened? All I remember is being stabbed and falling asleep at the park then here I am." Kori said to her brother.
"I got that letter with the blood on it in the great hall during breakfast. I took it to professor Dumbledore. He, professor Snape and professor McGonagall left to go get you and bring you back. You have no idea how worried I was. I wanted to go with them but they wouldn't let me." He said and ran his free hand through his hair.
"Then when I saw you as Professor Snape brought you in…" Harry started and he felt his eyes start to water a bit. "…I thought… I thought I lost you. I thought you were dead." He whispered softly. "And I almost did loose you; it's my fault you're like this I never should have left you there with them." He said and turned his head away from his sister.
"Harry." Kori said softly and squeezed his hand in a comforting gesture. "It's not your fault." She said sternly and then her voice softened. "I don't blame you for what ha-happened." She added and Harry turned to look at her eyes still glassy with unshed tears. He gave her a watery smile and she smiled back at him, "If anything it was my fault. I ran away and that's why I got sta-stabbed." She said softly and looked down. "I just… I just missed you so much and was so tired of that place. I couldn't stand it anymore." She finished and bit her lip for a moment. Then Korrine looked up at her brother, her eyes shining with tears as well. "But at least we are together now and no one can sep-separate us again." She said to him.
They shared a watery smile and hugged each other tightly. Harry was sitting on the edge of the bed. "Don't worry Kori, I won't let them take you away, I promise I will do everything I can to keep us together." He said as he continued to hug her he felt his robes on his chest become damp as Kori silently cried as she hugged him and he let a few tears of his own fall, relieved that she was ok and alive.
"I missed you Harry." She said softly into his chest.
"I missed you too Kori. I love you sis." He said and rubbed her back softly.
"Love you too." She replied.
They continued to hug for a few more minutes before letting go, happy to be around one another again. Kori settled back against the pillows on the bed she was laying in. "Do they know?" she asked softly while looking down at her hands in her lap.
"Know what?" Harry asked slightly confused by Kori's abrupt question.
"Do they know that uncle Ver-Vernon did most of this? Or do they think it happened af-after I ran away?" she asked in the same soft tone.
"Oh…" Harry started, "Yea they know." He finished and nodded his head slowly.
Harry now having the full effect of his teachers knowing he was abused, hit him. They now knew what he'd been trying to hide since he got there. He let out a light sigh unsure what was going to happen now. Would they treat him any differently than before? He just hoped it didn't somehow get out to the other students. Although he figured if they found out about how Korrine wound up in Hogwarts they'd put two and two together and realize he was abused as well.
"Well, since they know they won't send me bac-back there would they? I mean they wouldn't send me back to the Dursley's would they Harry?" she asked a hint of fear evident in her voice.
"No, no of course not." Harry stated quickly, "And if they try to I won't let them. Don't worry Kori you're never gonna have to go back there." He said firmly and Kori just nodded and they stayed silent for a few moments until Harry broke it.
"Kori, what happened exactly? Your letter didn't say much. Why'd you leave? How'd you get stabbed?" Harry started when the door to the infirmary opened and in walked Dumbledore, along with professor McGonagall, and professor Snape.
"Hello Ms. Potter it's a pleasure to meet you I'm Albus Dumbledore headmaster of Hogwarts." Albus said happily with a smile as he reached the foot of Korrine's bed. "Although I do wish it had been under different circumstances." He added with a less happy look on his face. "These are my colleague's professor Severus Snape and professor Minerva McGonagall." He said pointing to each on either side of him. Minerva gave her a small smile while Severus nodded at her in acknowledgement.
"It-it's nice to meet you to all of you." Korrine said softly nervous to be under the stare of all three adults.
Dumbledore seemed nice enough the other two unnerved her, professor McGonagall seemed to have a strict air about her and professor Snape just seemed completely intimidating standing there with his arms crossed over his chest in his all black robes staring at her. Of course hearing what Harry had to say about both professors didn't help all that much either. While he had said McGonagall was strict he had also said she was nice. On the other hand he had described Snape to be a mean man who hated her brother.
Her gaze went from Dumbledore to McGonagall then to Snape before she looked down at her folded hands in her lap. "I'm sorry sir if I caused you any trouble." She said.
"Ah there is no need to apologize my dear; you were in a very dangerous situation. I am the one who is sorry for allowing this all to happen to you." He said. "But I do believe we all need to have a talk, if you're up for it of course." He said.
Korrine looked up at him and nodded slowly. "Um sure that's fine sir." She said and bit her lip.
"Excellent." Dumbledore said and conjured three comfy looking chairs for himself, Minerva and Severus who all took their seats at the foot of the bed. The three professors each took their seats at the foot of the bed and Albus clasped his hands in his lap.
"Now my dear if you don't mind why don't you start by telling us what caused you to leave the Dursley's." Albus said kindly and Kori looked at the elderly man for a moment before nodding.
Author's Note - I hope you all enjoyed it! Let me know what you think about it.