That's right, everyone! I talked about it and now I've delivered, this is the third book in the Guardian of Azkaban series, telling the story of Esdras Demnin in his third year at Hogwarts as a sixth year student. For those of you not familiar with my work, I request that you read my first two Guardian of Azkaban stories; it'll give you all the background you need. While you're there, review it, too.
Remember, like the HP books themselves, if you start in the middle, you're going to be confused about a few things. And a last word of warning, text in italics is in Azkabaaner and I don't own HP
That said, I proudly present to you…
The Guardian of Azkaban
Book 3: In Service of the Order
Chapter 1 – Unauthorized Action
Admiral Esdras Demnin of the Azkaban Guard was starting to get used to these relaxing summers. The three hundred fourteen year old Dementor, formerly a well known workaholic, had finally stopped putting in overtime hours and was now spending his off days in Kilmarnock, Scotland. The significance of this charming city and its surrounding countryside was that it was the home of his girlfriend of almost two years, Katie Bell, a mortal. And the reason behind a Dementor having a mortal girlfriend was incredibly simple in the magical world; Esdras Demnin was a Dementor animagus who could take human form.
The two had begun a friendship two school years earlier on the Hogwarts Express heading to school at the start of their fourth year. After a brief rough period when Esdras' true nature as a Dementor was revealed, they became inseparable. The events of those two years at school only served to reaffirm the strength of their relationship as they dealt with the escaped Azkaban prisoner Sirius Black, facing each other from opposite sides of the Quidditch pitch, Esdras' participation in the Triwizard Tournament, an overly amorous Veela, yet another escaped Azkaban prisoner, Barty Crouch, Jr., and the OWL exams. Currently, they were the closest they had ever been, having literally been joined at the soul at the end of the last school year, a procedure which allowed Katie absolute invulnerability to Esdras' terrible Dementor powers.
Yet the pair lived in a ray of sunshine in a steadily darkening world. Both knew the threat that was all around them, with the last year bringing the terrible news that the Dark Lord Voldemort had again risen. It would only be a matter of time before all out war was again declared. However, the Dementor had chosen his side. As rightful king of all Azkaban, Esdras Demnin and all his immediate subordinates had accepted membership in the Order of the Phoenix, the secret organization pledged to fight Voldemort at every turn.
This evening, though, Esdras had managed to get off work early and had made his way from Azkaban to Kilmarnock as quickly as possible. Yet to an observer standing on the road looking towards the house, no activity could be seen. Entering the house, one would see the remains of a delicious dinner lying in the kitchen, the warming charms still active on the dish that held the Beef Wellington. Likewise, in the dining room, the remains of a luscious dessert sat at the two set places. The candles had long since burnt down in their holders, a measure of how long the space had been deserted.
No, no one was inside these rooms at Bellmont, the comfortable Kilmarnock home of the Bell family. One would have to go upstairs and into a decidedly feminine bedroom to find any hint of activity. For there, nestled between the sheets, lay both Esdras and Katie. The mortal had her eyes closed as she rested comfortably against the Dementor's shoulder. "I'm glad mom and dad are on their second honeymoon."
Esdras chuckled softly, opening his glowing green eyes to stare at the ceiling. "I'm glad your brother finally moved out. I doubt he'd have voluntarily left the house if I told him I was planning to cook you dinner."
Katie smiled and snuggled in closer. "True. He would have been watching you like a hawk and I doubt you'd have gotten past the staircase with me."
Shaking his head slowly, Esdras floated out of bed and reached down for his cloak. He glided slowly to the window and smirked. "Thank the gods for small miracles, then." He sighed. "We've been busy for a while, it's already dark out."
The Dementor was greeted with a feminine giggle. "Well, that's all your fault…not like I'm complaining, mind you."
Esdras leaned happily against the window frame. For not the first time in his life, he laughed to himself about the lecture he had received in secondary school about what had been politely called 'Consequence Avoidance Spells'. Apparently, such lessons were equally common at Hogwarts around the third year. The pair had been putting their lessons to the test of late, with a surprising amount of enthusiasm. Shaking his head happily and gazing out into the night he was surprised to see, with his Dementor eyes, a glowing form flying at high speed, and it seemed to be getting closer. He looked over his shoulder. "Katie, come look at this."
Katie groaned and pulled herself out of bed, wrapping herself in the sheet as she came. "What are you looking at? Oh…" It was obvious she saw the same thing. "It looks like a Patronus. And it's getting closer."
The Dementor backed slowly away from the window. "That's what I was afraid of."
It only took a few seconds, but the Patronus slammed into the side of the house and appeared within the bedroom, ripping the mortal form from Esdras' Dementor frame and forcing him against the wall. Now in the same room with it, both Dementor and mortal could tell that it was a glowing silver phoenix. However, the silver beast did not attack. Instead, it simply opened its mouth and spoke in Azkabaaner with the wizened voice of Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. "Esdras, I'm sorry to interrupt your evening with Katie, but I have an urgent mission for you. Harry has been attacked by Dementors and was forced to defend himself by casting a Patronus. I am currently dealing with the Ministry in regards to disciplinary actions and need you to oversee his protection. While other Order members are on guard, you are best suited to deal with Dementors in the event of another attack. Proceed with all due hast to his house at 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. Be advised that his guardians are severely opposed to magic."
With its message delivered, the glowing phoenix abruptly disappeared. Katie, who at the first words spoken in Dumbledore's voice had jumped over the bed and hidden, poked her head back out. "Harry's in trouble?"
Esdras tossed off his cloak and began digging around the room for his scattered mortal clothing. "Apparently, and it must be serious if Dumbledore sent his Patronus out. That's reserved for Order use only." He smirked as he pulled his pants out from under the bed. "And don't worry, the Patronus just relays a message. Dumbledore wouldn't actually be able to see you."
Katie blushed and nodded as she rose up from behind the bed and began to gather up her clothes. "This is your first mission as a member of the Order of the Phoenix, how exciting!"
The Dementor looked coolly at her, reading where she was about to take the conversation. "Yes, my first mission. Not yours. Don't you dare think you're coming along. You're only immune to one Dementor, and that's me. If there's another attack attempt, you're as vulnerable as Harry."
The mortal glared, pulling her shirt down and smoothing it out. "I'm not that weak. Besides, I can speak Azkabaaner and am bonded to the rightful king of Azkaban. They'd be fools to attack me."
Esdras groaned. "If they carried out an unauthorized action like this, I don't think they'd care if you were bonded to me or not." He turned his attention to her and sighed at the pitiful look she had on her face. "Don't do this to me, Katie. It's not safe for you and what would your parents say to me if they found out I took you into a potentially dangerous situation like this?"
Katie shrugged. "Nothing if they don't find out." She narrowed her eyes at the Dementor. "Now you listen to me. Harry will need all the support he can get. You know as well as I do that he's still not over what happened in the maze during the Triwizard Tournament so I am going to go and make sure he's okay whether you help me or not."
They held their respective glares for a few moments before Esdras sighed and turned away. "Fine, but we treat this as a military operation. You're under my command and follow my orders. Is that clear, soldier?"
The mortal smiled sweetly, pleased to have her way. "Yes, my darling Lord Admiral."
Esdras secured his cloak and looked firmly to her. "Good, now hurry up. I want to make a quick stop before we go to Harry. I think he'll be fine for a few more minutes."
Tactically speaking, Esdras was not a fan of blindly Apparating into an unknown area with wand and Glaive drawn. Many soldiers, muggle, mortal, magical, and Dementor, better than him had gotten killed by using such a tactic. However, with time against him, there was no better way to go. The pair appeared directly on the front stoop of 4 Privet Drive with Katie carefully protected behind Esdras as they both faced out towards the road. Esdras, in Dementor form and invisible to muggles, carried the ten foot tall platinum Glaive of Silence and swung it in a slow arc, looking for any possible attackers or signs of impending attack. To his surprise and relief, all was clear.
When he finally turned, Katie looked up at him and shrugged. "What now?"
Sheathing the Glaive and looking at the front door, he paused to scratch his hood. "Dumbledore said that his guardians are against magic, so I guess we should ring the doorbell."
However, their carefully constructed plan was disrupted by a barely muffled shout coming from inside the house. "REMEMBER MY LAST, PETUNIA!"
Esdras' hood went wide in surprise and he drew his wand. "Alohamora!" The lock clicked open and Esdras opened the door, leading the charge into the muggle household with wand drawn. He reached the kitchen and stopped, the pile of smoking ash on the kitchen table was an obvious sign that the shouting had simply been a Howler. Otherwise, the scene before him was surprisingly normal. Four mortals, two adults and two children, stood around the kitchen table. Both of the children looked pale, which Esdras quickly attributed to Dementor exposure.
Esdras calmly took his mortal form, appearing out of thin air to the three shocked muggles. He smiled brightly, given the circumstances. "Hello, Harry. Dumbledore suggested that we should look in on you." He observed his friend closely. "You need chocolate."
The Dementor tossed the mortal a chocolate bar from within his cloak right as the bulky form of Vernon Dursley came to stand between him and the other mortals. "Get out of my house and take Harry with you. We'll have none of your kind running about."
The female, however, shook her head. "No, Vernon. Harry has to stay."
Shocked, he turned away from Esdras. "What?"
Esdras took this distraction to be as good a time as any to talk to someone who actually knew what was going on and herded Katie over to the other side of the table to stand beside Harry. "Lovely people you live with, care to make introductions?"
The scarred mortal smirked, the chocolate had brought the color back to him and he was looking stronger. "My uncle, aunt, and cousin, Vernon, Petunia, and Dudley Dursley." The Muggles had finally finished their discussion, so Harry nodded to his two friends in turn. "Everyone, this is Katie Bell and Esdras Demnin, he's an admiral in the Azkaban Guard."
Katie smiled her most charming smile. "You have a lovely home, Mrs. Dursley."
Politeness, however, was lost on the Muggles as Vernon rounded the table and took Katie by the arm. "Even if Harry has to stay, you two don't. Now get out of my house."
In a flash, Esdras was hovering in midair, the ten foot long Glaive of Silence drawn from his cloak and the blade pressed against Vernon's neck. Even though the mortal was unable to see the Dementor's royal weapon, he could feel the sharp blade. "I believe you would be well advised to not touch my girlfriend. Ever."
The Muggle released Katie and backed away slowly, taking in the fact that Esdras was hovering a foot off the ground. As Esdras sheathed the Glaive in his sleeve again, he managed to stammer out a response. "What on earth are you?"
The Dementor smiled, his green eyes glowing brightly. "I am a Dementor from Azkaban. I have been sent to protect Harry and figure out why two of my kind attacked him. I can assure you that with me here, you are the safest you could possibly be."
Petunia shook her head violently at this. "Impossible, you can't be a Dementor; we aren't able to see them. And you would be doing horrible things to us. And they are confined to Azkaban."
Esdras shook his head slowly and drew his wand; with a wave he cast his spell. "Allow me to give you the eyes to see me better. Oculis magica." He smirked to the muggle pair. "We have cloaks to inhibit our powers, thank you. And only the prisoners are confined to Azkaban. We're given a bit more freedom."
Slowly and dramatically, Esdras slipped from his animagus form. Soon, he was towering nine feet tall in the quiet suburban kitchen, his hood almost brushing the ceiling. He spread his arms out, causing the edge of his cloak to billow menacingly. As the three Dursleys screamed in terror, Katie merely rolled her eyes. "Show off."
Esdras was surprisingly calm as he floated over to the Dursleys, causing them to back up against the wall. He spoke with a careful, if heavily accented, English. "We will stay the night, Katie and I. We will reluctantly protect you along with Harry. You will not oppose or resist us. I would suggest that you all go to bed and simply avoid us. No harm will come to any of you, you have my word. Now, be gone."
It was almost comical how fast the Dursleys ran for the safety of the upstairs floor. Harry, despite everything that had happened, was laughing softly to himself as he sat at the kitchen table. "I wish I had a picture of that just now."
Katie, however, glared softly at Esdras, who was retaking his human form. "Is that standard operating procedure for confronting Muggles, Lord Admiral?"
Esdras simply shook his head as he ended the Oculis Magica spell. "It is now." He smiled and conjured a small satchel and started pulling things from it. "Now, we're going to forget all about Dementors and the Ministry and everything tonight. I have fish and chips from New Demnin and popcorn and muggle movies! We'll have a party."
Harry, for the first time all evening, perked up slightly. "I've never had a party here before."