A.N. My response to the „Bring Back Black" challenge. Unrelated to my Azkaban AU, but you might recognize some of the OCs. To my great shock, this is actually canon compliant.

Bring back Black!

Dark forms were floating around the Ministry of Magic, shadows of the past, and memories most people would prefer forgotten. It was dark outside as well, but around Level Nine, one would have thought daylight won't ever be seen again. The air was colder than the Arctic wind.

Numerous dark ghosts of depression and despair were gathering around the halls of the Department of Mysteries. The cloaked figures formed a swirling turmoil with the Death Chamber's central artefact in the middle. Occasionally, one would take a rattling breath, filling the room with the smell of a freshly unearthed grave.

The Ministry of Magic had declared that the Dementors had proven untrustworthy and there were plans in motion to completely remove them from Azkaban. But even if the Ministry wanted to sever its bond with the prison guards, there was still unfinished business to be completed.

Find Black. Bring him back. Kiss him on sight!

One Dementor, about a head taller than the others, glided slowly towards the Veil. The ragged dark cloak was being blown by a breeze that was undetectable to a human, but the Veil in the center was hovering slowly to the very same rhythm. The large Dementor moved carefully, as if showing reverence. A slimy, rotten hand touched the Veil. It didn't crinkle.

Find Black. Bring him back. Kiss him on sight!

For long centuries, Dementors were the assigned guards of the most horrible citizens of the wizarding Britain. Once the verdict had been announced, they made sure no blood-thirsty murderer or lunatic psychopath would reach the peaceful populace again. They were unbending like the stone walls themselves, constant and rigid among the harsh waves of the sea and of history. Dark wizards came and went, but Azkaban stood and its defenses were not breached once. Humankind offered a reliable flow of criminals, and evil met its doom between the three solid walls and the hundreds of nonbeings.

But there had come a time when the wizards and witches no longer cared about justice. Rules had been bent and broken by those meant to upkeep them. Eventually, the Dementors had found their bond to lawkeeping severed. Some had abandoned their posts after the Minister had used one of them to forever silence a key witness, others had stayed even when the Senior Undersecretary had turned them lose on two teenager boys. Innocents being brought in was old news, but when the charge had simply been "Mudblood", the last self-respecting Dementor had fled from Azkaban.

Near the shifting hall of the Department of Mysteries, a Dementor shook the frost off from both sleeves, and took a deep, all-freezing breath. This one had stayed close to the dark lord's pet murderers, constantly reminding them that their escape was a mere relocation, and also, the creature had prevented unsuspecting Muggles from wandering too close to the wizards' nest. And after centuries of service in Azkaban, they had been labelled untrustworthy by witches and wizards who had done little during the war. In turn, the would set a bit of Hell lose on the Ministry before leaving.

Find Black. Bring him back. Kiss him on sight!

Those were words of the Minister of Magic. Puppet of a Marked follower of the latest dark lord, and an incompetent idiot in his own right, but obeying him was their duty, and Dementors don't ever forget. True, some of them had left for Tibet when Black had been spotted there, but most had stayed in Britain, and were now present for their last duty before leaving.

The Dementor in the center glided so close to the Veil, it was impossible to tell where the tattered cloak ended and where the hanging textile began. The magical wind was blowing them both, they hovered to the same rhythm, materialized death and a phenomenon of darkest magic. They fused seamlessly, only a torn end of a cape hanging out from the deadly quiet, uncrinkling fabric.

After long minutes, the central Dementor started to back away from the Veil. In the tight grip of bony hands, a thin wizard's shape was visible, as he was still holding on to his wand. The Stunner that had once hit him must have worn off in the past two years in the place where time doesn't exist. Looking up and seeing his former guard from this close, he instinctively turned into his dog form, and attempted to bite the hands holding him. He was unceremoniously dropped on the floor before his teeth would have made contact.

The Dementor let out a shriek, not too unlike that of a banshee. The sound was unearthly and victorious, and it echoed between the Department's walls, shaking them. Then, all at once, the entire swirl of Dementors turned around, and, as if driven by one strong spell, the cloaked figures all left the Ministry.

Find Black. Bring him back. Kiss him on sight!

That was their last job to do, and now they had completed it. They had found Sirius Orion Black. They had brought the wizard back to the living. And certainly, they would have Kissed him, too, but not before seeing him.

The animagus returned to his human form, and laughed. It was a dry, barking-like sound, as the wizard finally understood. He was to be Kissed on sight.

And the Dementors, as he should have very well remembered, are blind.