The Leader

Chapter 69

Harry watched the Tonks family enter his office, the three of them couldn't be more different if they tried. A tall stoic intimidating Andromeda Tonks nee Black, and Ted Tonks who wore his emotions on his sleeve (or it might just be because he was going through severe traumas when they interacted) either was possible. Tonks was…much like her father, too emotional, especially for an Auror. She couldn't keep her emotions to herself and tall like all Black's, even taller than her mother.

"Do you even remember what you really look like?" Harry asked her, making no effort to conceal his amusement. Just imagining how it felt to raise a child that could change her looks at the drop of a hat. What if a child had been near her and Tonks had wandered off? What if she had taken the wrong child? He smothered his amusement; the most absurd things did tend to amuse him though.

Rick who was further back, all but concealed smothered his own amusement. Not carefully enough, since Harry's gaze flickered to his for a brief moment. His own lips still stretched out showing his amusement.

"I did stick to my own height," Tonks protested, as she used the crutches to move around. They were metal ones, and unlike anything she'd seen before.

"It might be something you will need to stick to," Harry confessed, a frown marring his features, "I'm pretty sure that the magically created leg won't…change height with you." Carefully selecting his words.

"Created leg?" Tonks asked, breathing hitching, her parents staring at Harry hopefully, one more obvious than the other. Andromeda loved her daughter more than her own life, and wanted the best for her. To see her this down, this depressed was breaking her heart, she was so glad she survived what Dumbledore would have done…but her daughter couldn't see it that way. She would have rather died than lose her leg, career, her ability to walk, as bad as it was sometimes. "As in really magically created? Not a…wooden stump? Is it possible?"

Andromeda swallowed thickly, wondering if Harry would be doing the creating. It was likely, she had been listening to everything people were saying. Watching Harry and everyone here, and the power that boy had at his disposal? Terrifying, if anyone could accomplish the near impossible for her daughter. It would be him. Those with his kind of magic? Were capable of anything, she'd read all the books in the Black library. It was a surprise she hadn't ended up in Ravenclaw really. Her daughter hadn't had that possibility, she sounded incredibly naïve with that question. As did her husband. Hogwarts had truly diminished people's intelligence when it came to magical abilities and capabilities.

"Yes, it's possible, and no, not a wooden stump." Harry confirmed.

"There is something you must understand…" Severus begun, leaning forward knowing Harry wouldn't consider the fact it would be more painful. Well, no, that's not accurate, he would know how painful, but he wouldn't consider telling them. You either wanted something (enough to endure the agony) or you don't. "That it will be excruciating painful."

Tonks shifted uncomfortably, recalling the pain of her severed limb being taken. Turning pale, and looking a little clammy. "What do you mean?" she asked, trusting that when Severus said it would be that painful, she listened. This was the guy who had endured the Cruciatus curse every time he went to a meeting with You-Know-Who. She'd been stupidly naïve until she saw the evidence of what he endured one day. He didn't know what she'd seen, but she made sure that it got around, especially with those who had a bad thing to say about the wizard.

"There are seven thousand nerve endings in the foot." Severus went on to explain, "and with it being dark magic that has tainted the wound…it might take a bit of coaxing for Harry's magic to take."

"Which shouldn't take too long," Harry added, he was a dark creature after all, that and he practiced enough dark magic to have a dark core. "What about the knee? Won't that have a lot of nerves or is it just the elbow?" not the same he knew.

"There's only one nerve that goes through your knee, it's a branch of the Sciatic nerve called the Peroneal nerve. The nerve goes around the outside of the knee and down the outside of your lower leg. It can be risked being compressed, and that is extremely painful." Severus told him, he had done his due diligence where his healing certificate was concerned so he could brew healing potions and create them.

"Numbness and sensory issues." Harry murmured.

Severus inclined his head, not surprised Harry knew more than he let on, "Yes, but the foot will definitely be the most painful of the procedure." Graham had an awful time of it, especially with the tips of his fingers there were a lot of nerves in the hands after all. That was with being a vampire, being stronger, more capable. Tonks was just a witch.

"Are you sure you want to do this, sweetie?" Tonks asked his daughter, "It's not the end of the world…" trailing off seeing the look on her face. Sighing softly, "You've already made up your mind, so stubborn like your mother."

"I have to," the young Metamorphamagus insisted, "If I didn't, I'd regret it forever."

Ted nodded resignedly, stiffening his back, "Then we'll do it." If he could take the pain for his daughter, he'd do it in a heartbeat.

"You're both probably better off leaving." Harry told the parents, "I'd imagine it would be very difficult for you."

Severus glanced at Harry briefly, you wouldn't think he'd had any parental attention whatsoever the way he treated the Tonks. Kai had been Harry's father, so clearly, he had parental attention…although clearly at a later age he was twelve by that point, and he knew that Kai hadn't lived long. Harry, it seemed, was perpetuity doomed when it came to parental figures. So perhaps he hadn't. Then again, perhaps their histories hadn't been pleasant, it could be that they didn't know how to offer or accept comfort.

"I am not leaving my daughter!" Andromeda immediately and vehemently declared.

Harry coolly and coldly leaned forward, "You of all people know the magic I'm about to perform. If either of you interfere and screw it up...well, there won't be any further attempts. Do you understand?" gazing at the three Tonks' with a grim countenance. In doing this Harry was leaving himself vulnerable in a way he didn't want to contemplate. Even if it was only for a day, it wasn't just him that it would ultimately effect. It was his entire group he was putting in danger, not that he'd be that weak, and everyone could defend themselves and the children.

The entire group was on high alert for the next twenty-four hours that was all.

Even if Harry would likely be recovered within half an hour perhaps less. He wouldn't be fully recuperated for at least ten hours though.

"No, not really," Ted Tonks uttered entirely baffled, staring at Harry slightly shocked by his statements and the fact he seemed too blasé about the entire thing. It was his daughter they were talking about here.

Severus, Harry and Andromeda turned to stare at Ted with a very judgemental stare. It basically oozed 'are you thick' eyebrow raised and all. Ted sort of cringed, and folded into himself a little, he hadn't felt this way since he was eleven, and in his first year at Hogwarts. Even his wife was low-key judging him, oh, who was he kidding? She was totally full out judging him. He could feel her drilling holes in his head.

"Never mind," he rasped out, licking his lips.

"Potions are capable of regrowing bones, replenishing blood, spells can reattach nerves if found in time, reattach veins, and skin knit itself back together. I am going to do all of that and more, with pure magic, I'm likely one of the five wizards alive with the magical capabilities of pulling this off. Three of that five would likely overload their core and die of the shock of it. I'm likely the only one that can actually do it without exhausting myself." Harry told Ted, there was no single sign of smugness, he didn't emote anything as he explained. It was just a matter-of-fact statement really.

"It's that…difficult?" Ted gaped a little, overcome with shock at the realisation.

"Why didn't Dumbledore fix Moody's leg?" Tonks asked befuddled.

Harry laughed, "You honestly don't think Dumbledore has that kind of power, do you?" barely refraining from sneering at her nativity.

Tonks blinked, the Metamorphamagus would have taken umbrage at his tone not too long ago. However, knowing Dumbledore as she did now, she wasn't offended the slightest, especially not on Dumbledore's behalf. However, anyone who said Dumbledore wasn't powerful…surely had to be deluded right? "Dumbledore defeated the Dark Lord Grindelwald..." she trailed off, credit where it was due right?

"Do you want to know what really happened?" Harry asked, leaning forward, "How the venerated Albus Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald?" turning to Severus, "Funny how they can so easily say his name but turn into a cowering wreck trying to say Vo-vo-voldemort." Stuttering over the name causing Severus to slowly smirk.

"That would be because speaking Grindelwald's name didn't summon the devil and his minions to your location." Severus dryly commented. "It's how he managed to take down some of his toughest opponents because the fools dared to speak his name."

"Then why say it now?" Andromeda questioned, narrowing her gaze speculatively, "He doesn't have the power…" realization dawning.

Harry inclined his head, "He's terribly weakened, but still one of the most powerful wizards in the world." And he'd be even weaker when he proceeded to knit the soul back together, unfortunately, until he made an appearance, there was nothing Harry could do but set the centre stage.

"How sure are you that this will work?" Tonks asked, biting her lip, worriedly, she knew she'd take the chance regardless. If she wanted to do her job, she had to, she needed two legs, otherwise she'd just be a danger to herself and everyone around her.

"He's done it before," Andromeda corrected her daughters' assumption, staring at Harry shrewdly. "Haven't you?" she asked him, but with deference, she knew better than to irritate a powerful wizard, especially one that was about to do her family a favour. One they would be indebted to.

Harry arched a brow, pleasantly surprised, a sly smirk working across his face, "I'm surprised you aren't thinking I'm attempting it on her first to make sure nothing happens to my people."

"You're too confident in your abilities," Andromeda declared, almost demurely.

Harry glanced at Tonks, "It seems your daughter still has a lot to learn from you. As a member of the Black family…the loss shouldn't be borne."

Andromeda did now cower at the words, but straightened, "It was their own doing." Refusing to be blamed for something not her doing.

"The old generation is gone, and if you're not careful, the Black family will fade into obscurity and become forgotten. Don't tell me that you're happy with the thought of the Black family being remembered as a dark and incestuous family?" which wasn't true, the Black family had only one recent example and that was cousins. Although, how they were raised, together, might make people see it far more incestuous than it actually was.

"I honestly don't care," Andromeda confessed, tiredness seeping into her bones. "I have not considered myself a Black since I was seventeen-years-old and married my husband immediately."

Harry blinked, mulling over her words before inclining his head in understanding. He got it, he really did, but he'd like to see old families coming back out of the woodworks, whether they were a creature of any kind, and he'd see it through dammit. "Fair enough," he answered entirely indifferent.

Andromeda blinked surprised by his indifference, before relaxing and inclining her own head. She had a feeling, given his words, that Harry would bring the Black name back even if he had to rise it up by his bootstraps and ground it into submission.

Severus smirked, knowing Harry would do what Voldemort proclaimed to want to do, unravel what Dumbledore had done to the world and make it right.

"Lie down, supine if you please," Harry informed her, waving his hand, pillows emerged making a nest for the Metamorphamagus to lie in. This way when she flailed about, which she would do, and had nothing to do with her clumsiness due to messing with her own height every day.

Andromeda and Ted helped their daughter into the floor, the crutches set aside. With a little luck, after this moment…they would no longer be needed. Andromeda's heart was pounding erratically in her chest, barely able to believe she was going to see someone actually create a limb out of pure magic.

"Severus will stun you if you get too close," Harry warned them unsympathetically, it was his magic that would pay the price for their interference. Yes, not in any permanently manner, but it would infuriate him to have done this (and put his people on higher alert) for no damn reason, or even a reason that was screwed up.

They shielded the kids (while training them) to their best abilities, but they could pick up caution, wariness, stress far better than normal or magical children could. They could smell the emotions, and it put them edge too but they didn't understand that and it made the children very upset. Mostly because they didn't know why it was happening or what was going on. Emotions were messy, while dealing with your own or worse, other peoples.

Andromeda nodded, she understood why Harry was saying as such. She grasped her husbands' upper arm, subtly shaking her head. Praying that he wouldn't say anything, Ted didn't realize just how much they would owe Harry Potter if this was successful.

It was something they wouldn't be able to repay.

Never in a million years.

Tonks felt anxiety skittering down her spine, the thought of the pain was terrifying. She almost wished they hadn't said anything, for the fear of it coming felt insurmountable. She felt like her stomach was twisted in knots and she was going to be sick. That was until she felt the prickling of something…not quite pain trickling at her stump.

"Ow!" Tonks cried out as the pain flared, she clutched at the stump, still weirded out by the fact she was missing her leg. Where her leg should be, it was still all so alien to her. It was odd, because she had experienced fantom pains similar to the pain she felt right now.

Ted reflexively tried to go to his daughters' aid, he was by far the most lenient between himself and Andromeda. She was far more stern, and their daughter knew she wouldn't get away with acting up with her mother. However, neither would or could tolerate their daughter suffering, let alone by herself.

The only thing that made them pause was Severus with his wand held lazily in his hand. Black eyes gleaming, as if begging them to interfere so he could curse them. Then again, Severus' eyes gleamed like that most of the time anyway.

"Ahhh, stop, stop, stop, stop, please!" Tonks begged, desperately clutching at the middle of her stump, almost curled up in foetal position.

"Silencio!" Severus cast fast and swift as he so often was, encompassing Tonks' voice in silence. Giving her parents the mercy of not having to listen to her beg and plead for Harry to stop. It was instinctive, the pain, to want it to stop, but she wanted that leg more. She'd been aware going in that there would be a great deal of pain involved.

That and he didn't want to listen himself, the more time he spent away from the Dark Lord the less inclined he was to endure the screaming of an ally. He'd come to know Tonks while she was here, in a way he hadn't known her while they were in the Order together. She'd admitted to having a massive amount of respect for him and what he did. Severus had thought he was…unlamented, and would have remained so if he died. To know he'd been respected despite his demeanour and that they'd worried for him meant more than the two Aurors would ever know.

Perhaps there were others who thought the same thing but never expressed it. It gave him hope that all he'd sacrificed hadn't been swept under the rug as if it were meaningless.

Andromeda's breath caught in her throat, as what looked like flesh began to grow out and downwards against her daughters' leg. Oh, Merlin, it was working, it was actually working…he had succeeded. Then she felt it, Harry's magic heating the room uncomfortably, and it made her shiver.

She'd never felt magic like his before.

It was almost, dare she say, oppressive, it made her want to cower, to bow down in worship.

Everyone except Tonks felt the same way.

Ted wrenched his gaze from harry, almost feeling like he'd cheated on his wife. Focusing on his daughter, mesmerised by the sight in front of him. He was seeing a magical limb created that looked like bubbling skin, like the beginnings of Poly Juice potion was said to be.

It felt like it took forever, but Ted Tonks would be shocked to find that it took no more than ninety seconds.

Perhaps it went so quickly and easily because Ted Tonks couldn't hear his daughters screams of pain. Even if he could see her twisting and writhing in the bed of blankets and pillows Harry had provided his daughter.

Even with her 'limb' whole, the pain still coursed through Tonks. The pain was so beyond anything she'd ever felt she couldn't name just how worse it was compared to anything. She clutched at the foot feeling agony coursing through her body, not just the foot.

She'd never felt the sharp searing pain of the Cruciatus Curse, despite going up against the dark side…but if it was anything compared to this…she didn't want to. She felt a whole new respect for Severus and what he'd done.

"Have you seen today's newspaper?" Severus questioned Harry, wondering if he'd had the time to do so. Harry had so much to do, and so little to accomplish it. Ignoring the spell Ted Tonks cast to remove the silencing around his daughter.

"Tonks?" Ted whispered, moving towards her, she was silent and still, so, so, so still. His daughter hadn't been still a day in her life, not even in sleep.

"Yeah," Harry said, frowning, "She's going to regret her words." Green eyes gleaming with a feral viciousness that was the last thing his enemies saw.

Severus wrenched his heated gaze away from Harry, turning to Tonks, "How are you feeling?" he asked her, watching as she stretched her leg, wiggled her toes, tears streaming down her face a mask of awe adorned her features.

Then Tonks lurched up and to the surprise of them all, wrapped herself around Harry, blubbering out thank you's and 'you have no idea what this means to me' and 'I owe you so much'.

The look on Harry's face…you'd have thought someone had thrown excrement at him.

Rick certainly found the entire thing entertaining.

A/N – I have nothing about Skeeter in my document for The Leader…I have no clue whether she's dead or alive oops! So, if any of you guys remember her being mentioned (I don't think it's likely she has though) let me know! And will Harry threaten her into compliance? Or will she die for her words? What about Umbridge? Would you like to see something happen to her? There are so many little bits I've got to gently tug into place (or can be left out really since neither are important) 😉 but it's always fun to add a little Umbridge hatred given who Harry's group is…but again, I'm doubting myself on whether they're alive or not *grumbles* creating documents and still having doubts LOL 😊 go figure! Well, anyway I should stick to the ideas I've got and not deviate otherwise I'll have dozens of more chapters LMAO! So will Tonks have a child for Severus and Harry? Will it be both their DNA or will it be a child each to continue their lines? FYI they'd be half-vampire like Wyatt 😊 R&R please