And now, for a quick commercial break:
Harry couldn't believe what he was seeing. Richard was helping a little old granny down the street. He promptly walked into an orphanage, grabbed an infant left by some teenaged mother, then went up to Richard. The caretaker hadn't even realized the brat was gone yet.
"Richard, eat this infant."
"Because you're acting like (shudder) a Hero."
Richard blinked, looked at what he was doing, then ate the infant to the horror of the little old granny.
He then proceeded to set the granny and the orphanage on fire.
Harry looked at the horrified audience.
"You're not you when you're hungry. Evil satisfies."
(Okay, I had to get that out of my system after one too many Snickers commercials.)
Harry looked at the Slytherin sixth years with a raised eyebrow.
"What happened to you?" he had to ask, knowing it would be amusing.
"Reanimated rabid raccoons and badgers with lasers on their head set on fire and in the mood to mate with something," deadpanned the only girl who had more or less been used as the target for the last class before Harry returned. Lucie Champagne, if he remembered right.
"Huh. I owe him fifteen galleons. I bet Professor Richard wouldn't be able to add lasers to a reanimated mammal and have it set on fire without the thing exploding before it got to fire it at least once," mused Harry. Lucie twitched. "Anyway since Professor Richard has been dismembered at the request of the staff...again...for the twentieth time this year... I shall act as the substitute until he finds some poor idiot who can use a sticking charm on his limbs and head."
At this point the staff was more or less used to Richard's antics. Or perhaps the word should be apathetic. So long as he kept his damage setting to maim rather than kill, they turned a blind eye to his presence in the school.
The students gave a pain-filled 'huzzah' (Harry didn't attack them with nearly the same frequency as Richard) as they set about learning how to cast silently.
Mainly the shield spell, considering they had to deal with Richard on a weekly basis.
PETER PETTIGREW REAL TRAITOR! SIRIUS BLACK TO RECEIVE COMPESATION FOR FALSE IMPRISONMENT!
"Huh. So he got tired of playing with the rat."
"Actually from what I understand there was a small miscommunication between the minions and the Greens accidentally set the idiot loose while he was on one of his breaks. The rat managed to apparate to the Ministry and all but handed himself to the Aurors. Apparently he believes Azkaban a better alternative," said Richard dryly.
"I suppose it would be a good idea to remind him that he's not that lucky, he only got a small break," mused Harry.
There was a law that allowed the head of a house to claim a prisoner from Azkaban to force them to serve like a house elf until the debt was repaid. Sirius, as head of the Black family, had enough clout he could simply walk in and get the rat back legally until he died or Sirius got tired of using him as a test dummy.
"That reminds me. Dark Lady Mandy sent you this through the Guild post," said Richard.
"'Mandy's Lessons On How To Be Properly Evil While Maintaining An Innocent Facade'?"
"Apparently she caught wind of your long term goals after that idiot is dealt with," shrugged Richard.
Dark Lady Mandy was infamous among the Guild for having bound Death to her when she was still a child. She was the Vice-Master of the Guild, because she was so evil she made some of the older members look like Rookies.
Ironically Richard was the First Member, but he had gotten bored listening to the whining of the lesser members, so he handed over the reigns to various other members who amused him enough. Every so often though, he would retake it if he felt the current leader wasn't being evil enough.
Rumor had it that Mandy was next-in-line once Richard got tired of the current leader...or the man died from 'mysterious' circumstances.
If she was reaching out to him now, that meant she was probably preparing to take over the guild and leaving Harry as her replacement. Either that or she wanted to chat. 50-50.
He just hoped he could see Mandy's pet reaper. He was sure it would be hilarious.
Harry wrote a quick missive to Sirius, informing him of the law that would allow him to reclaim Pettigrew from Azkaban to 'settle the debt' the rat owed the House of Black for framing him. Considering Peter would likely be...enjoying...the memories of all the experiments Sirius performed on him while he was a guest of the tower, it would give the unhinged ex-prisoner time to think of new tortures.
"So...does this mean no more dementors?" asked Richard almost disappointed.
"Well look at the bright side. This means I can start planning on how much I'm going to make Cale'anon freak out at the thought of there being two of you," said Harry. That made Richard perk up. Good thing the end of the year was coming up...as was the last chance Wood had for winning the Cup before he left Hogwarts.
End of the Year exams were considered frightful, especially considering how Richard administrated them.
He upped his damage-quota to 'permanent maiming' and told his students they had to survive a set time limit that Harry would strictly monitor. The teachers kept Richard far, far from the Ministry-sent examiners so they didn't find out who the DADA teacher actually was.
As migraine-inducing as having Richard around was, grades were at their highest point in years and the students were actually paying attention in classes again.
For the younger years it was two minutes. For sixth years it was five. Those in fifth and seventh were automatically except from the course...as was Harry because he was the TA.
"I so can't wait for summer to come. Only a lousy week with the idiots, then I get to have some real fun!" said Harry after the fourth-year Ravenclaws were finished dodging...er, testing.
That was roughly when Harry heard a commotion at the gates. He, along with the other students, went to see what was going on through the window...apparently the Minister had come on "official business" with Hagrid. Harry only hoped it wasn't about Buckbeak.
Malfoy had been a pain in the ass the entire time he pretended he was injured.
Harry later learned that the Minister had come to kill Buckbeak, only to find out that the beast in question had been sold to an "anonymous" private owner shortly after Draco was injured.
And by anonymous, that meant Harry had 'paid' Hogwarts the price of an adult Hippogryff. Buckbeak was promptly transferred to the Overlord Tower as a guard dog for the above-ground access. Since the beast was no longer around the students, the Minister couldn't do anything about it because Dumbledore provided a proof of sale written with a griffin feather.
And without finding the owner, they couldn't 'dispose' of Buckbeak.
Harry might return the regal creature back to the school once the issue had died down. It wasn't like the Minister would know it was him, since he never saw the hippogryff.
At least Hagrid didn't have to deal with seeing Buckbeak killed.
Though the look on the Minister's face when Harry lead the other students into a mass slaughtering of the dementors (what few were left anyway) was pretty damn hilarious...as was the expression of the man they had sent to kill Buckbeak.
"You know what to do once you reach the past, right?"
"Find you, scare Cale and get a picture of his expression the moment he realizes there's not two of you."
"And?" said Sirius.
"Study up on how to become an animagus so I have an ace up my sleeve."
Contrary to popular belief, he wasn't in fact a dragon animagus.
He was a nekomata animagus, though he had to explain to Sirius what a nekomata was.
Sirius honestly had no idea there were giant two-tailed cats that could fly, change size and shoot flames out of their mouths.
Harry took a deep breath, and waited for Richard to be done with his chanting. They were in the Tower's ritual room, to avoid any...mishaps, courtesy of the League of Heroes or any other outside forces.
He could feel the magic taking effect.
Then, nothing. At least until he realized he was falling, again. At least he had his Firebolt this time.
Back in the Tower...
"Oops? What do you mean 'oops'?"
"I made a slight miscalculation. He'll probably live, but he won't enjoy it when he finds out. Though if I know my apprentice he still has the Guild of Multiverse Trolls on speed dial after what happened earlier."
"What. Did. You. Do?" said Sirius.
"I may or may not have shorted out the 'return' part of the item I gave him."
Sirius groaned. This was the problem with working with warlocks. They didn't think things through or test things first!
Back with Harry...
Harry took a look around and realized he had at least hit the target point. Shortly before the battle where the shining city vanished because Cale 'killed' an innocent child.
Be funny to see the elf's face when he learned that the 'child' was in fact that annoying arch mage.
Harry found where Richard was, and grinned. He had just finished massacring that boring village.
He dropped down and waited for the warlock to see him.
"Like my work?"he asked.
"Impressive, but not nearly as creative as you could have been," said Harry.
"You didn't pose the corpses for one and their screams were barely loud enough to reach the height I was flying at," said Harry.
Richard didn't stare, but he did pause before asking "And what would you suggest?"
"Well for starters you could have had their skeletons dance something ridiculous while they were killing their former 'friends' and family, not to mention leave the dead bodies in hilarious positions for people to stare at later until the flesh rots," said Harry honestly.
The two sized each other up, before Richard held out a bloodied hand.
"Harry. I'm actually your apprentice from very far off in the future here to give Cale'anon a heart attack at the thought of a second you."
Richard chuckled darkly as lightning crashed in the sky, despite the lack of clouds. It was nice to have an honest critique of his work. That chuckle turned into laughter as Harry promptly tried to set his master on fire, just because he could.
Cale had a sense of foreboding, but initially dismissed it. It could be anything from Richard being particularly evil to Richard being bored and wanting to kill off an entire orphanage.
What happened instead gave him nightmares.
Richard had an able and willing helper. One just as bad as he was, only not as durable and much younger!
"Where'd you find a sadistic wizard?" asked Benny.
"He found me. I'm keeping him."
There was a brief pause as something decapitated Richard while he wasn't looking.
"Where'd that ax come from?"
"Sorry. I'm not used to carrying anything heavier than your severed limbs. Well that and I was bored," said Harry. He promptly balanced Richard's head on his right hand. "Alas, poor Yorrick, I knew him well. He owed me money."
There was a pause of silence...before someone in the background snickered. Harry put Richard's head on and healed it up before Benny could.
"You do realize his head is on backwards, right?"
"And your point is? Besides, watching him walk into walls should prove hilarious," said Harry.
"...You don't eat small children do you?"
"Babies and toddlers give me indigestion," said Harry with a perfectly straight face.
"Is anyone going to fix my head? Hello?"
Harry grinned...before setting his hand on fire with a 'fwoosh'.
"Is anyone else remotely terrified of a second Richard, or is it just me?" asked Cale.
"It's not you," said the others.
"You do realize you're in the presence of someone who convinced Richard to teach at a school of magic as the Defense teacher, right?"
"Please tell me this is a horrible dream and Richard is right about to dismember me out of boredom," said Cale, pinching his nose.
Benny smacked him on the head.
"Not a dream," she told him. Cale actually whimpered, though he did wonder where that odd noise came from.
"So in order to get home we have to kill an innocent kid?" said Cale'anon. This day just got more and more horrific. First Richard finds a younger, more horrifyingly creative version of himself, and now they had to kill a child in order to preserve their future.
Someone had taken pity on Richard and at least put his head on right, but it was still a pretty bad day. For him at least.
"I volunteer for this task!" said Harry a little too eagerly.
"What's your plan?"
"Reanimated elves on fire singing showtunes while kicking the kid into the wall and then ripping him apart piece by piece," said Harry immediately.
"Oooh...Nice. But where are you going to get the elves?"
"They'll be here in about five minutes," said Harry.
"Yeah, the fight above us? The guys on our side totally got their asses handed to them. They don't want us to return to the present, or at least your present."
"How do ye know this?"
Harry promptly pulled out a well used book.
"What is that?" asked Cale.
"It's called Looking for Group. I have up until the part where Richard returns to his village and brings a force of unholy nightmares with him. Three hundred pages of wholesale mass slaughter by my favorite warlock," said Harry happily.
"Can we keep him?" asked Richard.
"No. I'm sure his parents are horrified about how their son turned out," said Cale.
"My parents died protecting me when I was a year and a half old, I was forced to live with my less than tolerant aunt who never bothered to teach me right from wrong and my mentor thought that I killed their murderer with 'love'. I'd rather be a Chaotic Neutral bastard than a dead one," said Harry flatly in a tone that could have been commenting the weather.
"Awkward," said Richard in amusement. Cale had really put his foot in his mouth in that situation. He really liked this kid. He really did.
"Besides, it's not like it matters who kills the kid anyway. Can't you see the truth in front of you or do I really need to spell it out?" asked Harry.
"That's not actually a kid."
"That's not a real kid, so it really doesn't matter if you kill him or not. It's in the same class as that shrieking brat you saved," said Harry flatly.
Suddenly any doubts Cale had about killing the kid went away. He stabbed the boy in the heart and they went into their present.
"Aw...did you really have to tell him that?" whined Richard.
"It was either that or listen to more angst bullshit that really doesn't do much except make others want to smack you. Besides, we both know who that brat really was," deadpanned Harry.
"You present a convincing argument. I approve!" said Richard, giving him a thumbs up.
"That being said, every time Cale gets whiny I am so setting his cloak or hair on fire," said Harry in a voice so low only Richard heard it. Richard's dark chuckles followed them all the way through the tunnel.