Author's Note: Shameless rip-off of the famous Monty Python sketch. In fairness, it's a deliberate ripoff in-universe...


Deep within Azkaban lay the cell block dedicated to the most hardened of Death Eaters - the remorseless, the shameless, and the mindless. Initially, they'd had a lot of life in them, with the ones that weren't going stark raving mad proudly taunting their captors and prophesying the imminent return of their master. When the months had turned into years, and their master failed to make a reappearance, they'd gotten a lot quieter.

Which made it all the more surprising when one loudly and coherently spoke up. "Hello?" The voice paused, as though awaiting a response from a specter only its owner could see, then continued on. "Hello, I wish to register a complaint." No response. "Oh, sweet Cousin Bella..."

"You don't have the right to speak so familiarly to me, blood-traitor!" the prisoner three cells down snapped.

"Oh, silly me - the nice men running this prison told me we were secretly the best of friends," the first prisoner remarked. "News to me, too. Now, as I was saying, I wish to make a complaint."

"Oh, is Siri-Wiri not feeling so good? Should one of our darling nursemaids give Siri a widdle kiss to make him feel better?" A bony finger jabbed through the bars at a Dementor drifting past, which remained utterly indifferent to human quarrels.

The first prisoner gave a mirthless laugh. "No, Bella. I wish to complain about this Dark Lord what I supposedly got sold not seven years past by such... worthies as surround me now." He paused for effect. The Lestrange brothers were sobbing, Dolohov was mostly unresponsive, Rookwood had done nothing for three years but recite ever-larger prime numbers, Crouch was long dead, Travers could do nothing but grunt and weep after biting off his tongue in a fit, and Mulciber was preoccupied with futile attempts to wandlessly cast the Imperius on himself 'to pass the time until our Lord's return'. The only fully lucid prisoners in the block were bickering with each other right now.

"They are far better men than you could ever be, treacherous disgrace of my House," the second sneered. Several seconds passed before she asked, almost unwillingly, "And what complaint does one such as you dare to make about the Dark Lord?"

"I'll tell you what it is, faithful exemplar of my disgraceful House," the first mimicked. "He's dead, that's what's wrong with him!"

Bony fists banged against the cell bars, chains rattling in time with each violent outburst. "He's not dead! He is not dead! As I have told you, and all the boot-licking, Muggle-loving filth who hold my Lord's servants in captivity, he merely rests, biding his time and regaining his strength, until his glorious return when he shall wash this land with your polluted blood!"

A mirthless chuckle came from the first cell. "Look, Bella," its occupant drawled, "I know a dead Dark Lord when I see one, and we're looking at one right now."

"No! No! He is not dead! He -" She had to take a deep gulp of air before continuing her screaming. "He is resting!" Abruptly, a girlish giggle bubbled up from her hoarse throat, and she sighed like a schoolgirl contemplating her first love. "Remarkable wizard, my Lord - do you not know?" she crooned. "Such beautiful magic, such breathtaking intellect-"

"Neither magic nor intellect enter into it," the first prisoner said frankly. "He's stone dead."

"No no no no, no, NO! He but rests!"

"All right then, if he's resting, I'll wake him up!" The first prisoner raised his voice. "VOLDEMORT! Vollllldemort! Voldy-Moldy!" An incoherent snarl came from the prisoner three cells down. "You can come and get me if you show -"

A fist slammed into the cell bars, this time splitting the skin over a knuckle. Its owner barely noticed. "You hear that, blood-traitor?" she hissed. "That's the sound of the Dark Lord coming for you!"

"No, I'm afraid that was you hitting your cage," the first one said. "Beginning to see things that aren't there, Bella?"

"I never-"

"Oh, I think you are..."

"I never... You worthless, filthy-mouthed, disgraceful little -"

"Oh, Voldy! VOLDEMORT! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call! Come and get me, if you can!" Mad, barking laughter filled the cell block, echoing down the long corridors of Azkaban. It rose and rose in volume and vigor, until it broke at its height and degenerated into yet another litany of mindless shrieks, joining the rest that filled the prison.

At last, it died down, and the prisoner's breathing slowly steadied. "He's dead, Bella," he said at last. "Just accept it."

"No, no... No, he's - stunned!"

"STUNNED?" the first prisoner echoed. He let out a disbelieving laugh. "What, he was cramming for his Defense O.W.L.?"

"No!" the other screeched. "Potter and his Mudblood whore must have stun- surprised him, just when he was on the verge of final victory! Doubtless even within their reach, with their disgusting Muggle tricks and the limitless depths of Mudblood treachery," she added with a sneer.

"Would you say Dark Lords stun easily?" Answered only by wordless spitting and snarling, the first prisoner continued, "Well... see here, Bella... just see here.I've definitely had enough of this. Your Lord is definitely deceased, and when I landed in here not seven years ago, you assured me that his total lack of presence was due to him being a bit tired and shagged out following a wild All Hallows' Eve."

"Well, he's... he's, ah... probably somewhere on the Continent, biding his time before making his return," the second managed. "Most likely in some obscure and sparsely-populated country... perhaps he's touring the fjords..."

"TOURING the FJORDS?!" The first prisoner sounded about to lose it again, but got himself under control in time to manage a few more words. "What kind of talk is that? Look, if his survival is so certain, why did the rest of his servants roll over onto their backs the moment the Ministry came knocking at their homes?"

"Those cowards have never known anything but rolling over onto their backs for anything resembling power!" she spat. "But the Dark Lord is far greater than they know, blood-traitor! His glorious-"

"Look, I was the first one on the scene, I was the first to find poor little-" The first prisoner's voice cracked, but he forced himself to go on- "To find Harry Potter. And there he was, the one your Lord had pulled out all the stops to kill - and the only reason I knew your master had dared to attack him at all was this little nick on his forehead." A few seconds passed. "Seems to me, Bella, like your Lord failed there."

"Well - I - Of course he seemed to have failed there!" she rallied. "If he hadn't seemed to have failed, you fools would never have rested on your laurels, certain of the Dark Lord's demise! None of the weaklings and cowards in his service would have revealed themselves for the traitors they are! No one would have been so insane as to sacrifice their dignity and their senses at the altar of a squalling, puling babe! But when the Dark Lord returns, he will slip past all your defenses, toss his vanquisher's body at the feet of his idolators for all of them to see, and raise our kind to its rightful glory on a tide of traitors' tears and Muggle blood!"

"Raise you to glory?" the first prisoner scoffed. "Bella, none of you will be raised to anything - least of all your master. There will be no second rise. Voldemort is dead."

"No! No! He shall rise!"

"He shall not!" the first prisoner barked. "He's passed on! The Dark Lord is no more! He has ceased to be! He's expired and gone to meet his maker! He's a stiff! Bereft of life, he rests in peace! If there'd been anything left of him, he'd be pushing up daises! His metabolic processes are now history! He's off the twig! He's kicked the bucket, he's shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible! This is an ex-Voldemort!"

Her incoherent screams of rage and his mad howls and barks of laughter filled the block, and would continue to echo through the corridors of Azkaban until the Minister's next visit; put out by the horrid racket, he impulsively decided to move them as far apart as possible, and gave the order for it to be done after the conclusion of his tour. For a justification, he cited that at least two leading magical experts (his secretary and her father the janitor) had judged that Bellatrix Lestrange's sheer fury could conceivably empower her to slip her chains, squeeze between the bars of her cell, and evade the Dementors just long enough to beat her cousin to death with her bare hands. Being about as sensible as any of the Minister's orders, it was carried out promptly, and Black was relocated to an isolated cell where he could neither be provoked by nor provoke any more of his fellow prisoners.

Instead, it would be the Minister who provoked him, or rather the issue of the Daily Prophet that the Minister was carrying that day... But that is a different story.