Okay everyone, this is my first attempt at a Harry Potter fanfic, and my first attempt at a rewrite and character insert in general. This will be the first installment in a series of "The Guardian of Azkaban" stories paralleling the novels from Prisoner of Azkaban on. Go easy on me! And naturally, I don't own Harry Potter.
"Speaking in Azkabaaner."
That said, I proudly present to you...
The Guardian of Azkaban
Book 1: Rise of the Guardian
Chapter 1 – Enter the Guardian
Cornelius Fudge sat nervously behind his desk at the ministry. The night's events were far too much, even for him. First Sirius Black escaping from Azkaban, a supposedly impossible feat, then the trip to the prison itself to meet with the commander of the prison guards, the appropriately named dementor Admiral Judas Grim. Now, he would have to do the near impossible, convince Albus Dumbledore to allow a division of dementors to protect both Harry Potter and the school from Black.
His nervousness was not abated by the two sitting at the other side of his desk. The aforementioned admiral and one of his captains sat hovering over the armchairs near the minister's desk. They had conjured a steaming pot of some strange tea that smelled thickly of mint and were presently talking over their mugs in Azkabaaner, the harsh whispered language that dementors used.
It had been hard enough with his limited understanding of Azkabaaner on Azkaban, but the real surprise had come when it was revealed that the captain could speak English, albeit heavily accented. He was drawn from his thoughts by the grating whisper of the captain. "Would you like some tea, minister?"
Fudge pulled his coat around him tighter, attempting to block out the cold that the dementors brought with them. He looked from the captain, to the steaming kettle, and then back. Dementors were not known for their hospitality. In fact, dementors weren't known for anything other than their horrible powers. He made his choice, figuring it unwise to say no to them. "Yes, thank you. What kind is it?"
The captain inclined his head and conjured another mug. "It is Azkaban green mint tea. Green mint is one of the few plants that grow on the island. Cream and sugar?"
Fudge nodded. "Please."
The tea was almost too strong, but the mint flavor warmed the minister up almost to the point where he felt that he could get rid of his coat. He was only a few sips into his cup before the door opened to admit Albus Dumbledore into the room. The two dementors rose at his entrance and inclined their heads to the headmaster.
The captain spoke quietly to his superior in Azkabaaner. "Admiral, the proper mortal greeting is to shake hands."
Admiral Grim turned to his subordinate and nodded. As Dumbledore approached him, he carefully extended his hand and spoke. The captain translated. "Good evening, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. This is Admiral Judas of the house of Grim and I am Captain Esdras of the house of Demnin."
The steely eyes of the most powerful wizard alive cut into the hood of the dementor admiral. With no hesitation and no fear, he extended his hand, gripping the skeletal grey appendage of the dementor before him. He returned their greeting in Azkabaaner. "Good evening, admiral, captain."
The dementors bowed in respect and returned towards their seats. Fudge now had his turn to greet the headmaster and likewise extended his hand. "Albus, it's good to see you given the circumstances. Conjure up a chair. We have much to talk about."
Dumbledore withdrew his wand and produced a large cushiony lounge chair, politely accepting a mug of the dementor's tea. "I suspect that this is about precautions to be taken at Hogwarts. I cannot control what you do in Hogsmeade and the surrounding countryside, but I refuse to allow dementors onto the grounds."
Fudge sighed, having expected this. "Be reasonable, Albus. The closer the guards are to the students, the more protection they'll have."
Dumbledore shook his head. "The wards surrounding the school are strong enough. The last things we need are dementors wandering the halls and terrorizing the students."
At this, the admiral shifted slightly over his chair, speaking slowly. "We believe your fears to be unreasonable. We are prepared to offer Captain Demnin, our operative who is most experienced with mortals."
Dumbledore looked to the admiral and shook his head. "I do not care. No matter how skilled the captain is, he will still instill fear in the students if he is on the grounds."
At this, Captain Demnin rose. He spoke quietly, in carefully pronounced, unaccented English. "But what if the operative were placed on the inside? What if he were allowed to blend in, like a student?"
Dumbledore looked to the captain. "Impossible. That could never…" His voice slowed. Before him, the dementor captain began to shrink. His towering nine foot form lowered to about six feet and began to fill out. A clicking sound was heard as shod feet hit the ground.
The dementor lowered his hood, and the headmaster gasped. Looking back at him from beneath a mop of dusty blonde hair was a pair of bright, glowing green eyes. The captain smiled with a human mouth. "Are you so sure, Albus Dumbledore? And please, call me Esdras."
The bearded wizard rocketed out of his chair. "How is this possible? What are you?"
The admiral rose and answered, floating around his subordinate to take in the illusion. "Captain Demnin has been working on this animagus form for nearly a century. It is almost perfect. The glowing of his eyes is a result of using his dementor vision to supplement his human eyes."
Fudge rose up in awe. This sort of thing was supposed to be impossible. Dementors were terrors, horrible creatures that lived to consume the souls of the living. And they certainly shouldn't be using magic. "Ministry regulations state that only humans can use magic. This is illegal!"
Captain Demnin turned towards the minister, the hollow edge of his dementor voice encroaching into his speech. "Who, pray tell, is going to arrest us?"
Fudge sat down very quickly.
Dumbledore shook his head. "No, this still will not work. The cold and darkness will give you away, regardless."
At that, Admiral Grim conjured a satchel from midair and withdrew two simple, black cloaks. He handed one off to Captain Demnin and kept one for himself. When both were secured around the dementors, they floated a few steps back. The shadows lightened and the cold quickly dissipated.
The captain turned to face the bearded wizard. "Most of our technology is based on cloaks. This is the mark twelve inhibitor cloak. It localizes our powers to a five foot radius. We expect to have decreased the protection radius to the cloak itself within the next few weeks. Now that we have designed the basic spells, we can make them more powerful. We even hope to integrate the spell into regular mortal clothing, making a cloak a mere accessory."
Dumbledore was still unconvinced. "What about the pervasive feeling of depression that you leave? And why don't I feel that now?"
Esdras again smiled. "When a dementor is underfed, he will automatically start to passively feed. In this state, he cannot control his feed reflex and takes in whatever food he can from his surroundings. This is why most encounters with dementors have included feelings of depression. However, when a dementor is well fed, passive feeding can be controlled and he will only actively feed, where he is able to decide when, where, and what he eats."
The admiral nodded. "We ate before we got here. It's best if you don't ask about that."
Albus returned to his chair and bridged his fingers in front of his nose. He sat quietly for a few long minutes before turning to the minister. "How did we not know about this?"
Returning to his seat, and sitting in it this time, the captain looked sharply towards the minister. "The nature of the dementor has been perverted over the last few centuries by a rather well planned smear campaign. But, this is hardly the time or the place to discuss our grievances with the ministry."
Dumbledore nodded and considered the dementor turned mortal before him. "If you wish to guard Hogwarts you will have to act as a student. That involves taking classes. You appear to be about fourteen. That would make you a fourth year."
The dementor nodded quickly. "Yes, sir. I am ready for this eventuality. I believe I should be especially adept at History of Magic, I've witnessed the last three hundred some years of it."
Albus Dumbledore sighed before extending his hand to the dementor turned human. "Very well then, Esdras. You will receive your letter by owl before the start of the term."
Admiral Grim turned to face his subordinate, who snapped to attention and returned to his natural form. "Captain Esdras Demnin, you will receive official orders within the next twenty four hours."
The dementor soldier saluted. "Sir."
Minister Fudge rose from behind his desk and looked at the clock. The hand was pushing dangerously close to 'Far Too Late'. "Well, I think we've come a long way in a short time. I'm certain that we can all work out the details tomorrow, can't we? Good. If you all will excuse me, I still have to meet with the muggle Minister."
With nods, the two dementors and one wizard left the minister's office and quickly moved towards the waiting night.