Disclaimer: I’m not JKR. I admire her business sense and a few of her ideas. However, her writing leaves holes large enough to drive the Death Star through. Anyone who wishes to profit from her work isn’t me. Got it? Good. Moving on.
It was a dark and stormy night. In truth, most were at Azkaban. The difference between this night and all others was the gaping hole in the wall. Typically it was a dark, stormy night full of ice cold spray pelting through the window. The window did not exist to offer the incarcerated either a view of the sea or fresh air in their cell. It was, in fact, placed exactly so a prisoner in chains could count on enduring a frozen Atlantic gale combined with nearly endless sleet, Azkaban’s version of a shower. Occasionally, on a calmer day one might be shat on by seagulls. At least it was a bit warmer.
The Dementors seemed to enjoy the endless variations of the cold. In an odd way, Bellatrix was fond of them. They seemed somehow to be kindred spirits. She had observed them closely over the years she had resided in Azkaban, first because there was nothing better to do. But later because she thought she detected slight differences between them. They were subtle, certainly. To the naked eye a Dementor was nothing more than an animated lump of greasy rags with a hole for a mouth. They flew, froze everything around them and rendered all who encountered them into a state of abject despair. Yet one had slightly lighter robes than the others. One was shorter. One turned faster, one slower. There was one who moved as though almost asleep, and it was to this one that the duty of digging graves was assigned.
In time Bellatrix attempted to befriend them. Her efforts were not encouraged or rewarded, not at first. Any attempt to contact the Dementors resulted in simply drawing their attention. Repeated attempts resulted in a layer of thick ice and eventually a trip to the infirmary for frostbite and hypothermia. Yet she was determined. Unlike other prisoners who adopted the occasional stray pigeon or rat, the Dementors became her pets. Or it might have been the other way around. There was really no telling with Dementors.
There was only one thing a Dementor valued. Fortunately, it was the one thing Bella had an endless supply of, even in a place as wretched as Azkaban. They loved misery. Traditionally they ate positive feelings, replacing them with… nothing. That void then filled with the loss of the happiness, prompting massive depression. However, enough positive feelings, concentrated in a very specific way, could keep a Dementor at bay. Called the “Patronis Charm”, Bellatrix had never managed it. But she knew of it, and the theory behind it. And it prompted a few ideas.
Dementors were not well studied. In fact, under normal circumstances all living things took whatever measures necessary to avoid them. Dementors ate happiness as one eats cotton candy. But they could also, she discovered, eat violence, anger, pain, fear, in fact they loved nearly all powerful emotions. Joy fed them the most satisfying of meals, but a specific style of hatred could fuel a Dementor for days, if properly directed. She thought that directing hate at a Dementor was common enough. But her brand of hate, a mixture of passion and murder, stood alone. So she fed them, and they loved her and if it was possible to be content while simultaneously being cold, miserable, hungry, tired and largely bored, Bellatrix managed it.
She knew, of course, that the Death Eaters were organizing. Even if she did not have alternate means, common sense told her that a loyal Death Eater would not stop until the Dark Lord was resurrected. And of course, all Death Eaters were loyal. Either that, or they were dead and of no consequence. As the years passed she would feel a slight stirring on her arm from time to time. Someone was thinking of her. Or someone close was thinking of Him. Either way, her other pet (if one might call it that) became the serpent tattooed on her arm. She often spoke to it when it became restless, wondering if it could actually hear. Or if someone could hear though it. Snakes had no ears, neither did skulls, and such matters became important when days were long and empty.
Bella had been sleeping when the world blew itself apart. It was, indeed a dark and stormy night. Thunder rolled over the furious sea. It wasn’t uncommon for poor souls on the lower floors to drown when a storm blew hard. Tonight the building shook with it, so much so that at first she thought it simply a lightning strike on the tower. Perhaps it was. Whatever means they used she never knew. When she fell asleep there had been a thick wall between her and the outside world, protecting them from things that go bump in the night.
When she woke, the hole was there, her chains were gone, and the Dementors awaited her command. And she laughed, for life was good.