I've Never Seen So Many
The Gryffindors stood outside Professor Dumbledore's office. They were making their way through a mental list of sweets. None of the sweets they could think of were Dumbledore's password. Professor McGonagall was walking down the corridor, "what are you three up to?"
"Professor, we need to see Professor Dumbledore," James told their teacher.
"Well you can't. Professor Dumbledore has gone to London on business."
"But – the school is in danger," James told her.
"What on earth are you talking about Potter?"
"I have reason to believe that the dementors will break through the protective enchantments tonight."
"That's impossible – Professor Dumbledore cast the spell himself," McGonagall told them. "You need to go back to the common room. It is almost curfew."
"But Professor…" Sirius began.
"Boys – it is not your responsibility to protect the school. It is mine."
The boys made their way back to the common room. "She can't be serious!" James complained.
"What are we going to do?" Peter asked.
"We can't leave the school unprotected," Sirius sighed.
"But what about the Prime Minister?" James asked.
"I guess we have to choose," Remus sighed.
James nodded, "We have to protect the school…"
Sirius nodded. "Right – we can't do it alone."
"We'll need help…" James thought out loud. "We can ask Frank and the girls." He didn't really want to get them involved but he had a terrible feeling that bad things were going to happen.
The guys nodded, "do you really think she doesn't believe us?"
"I hope she believes us," James sighed.
They found Frank and the girls in the common room. "We need to talk," James told them.
They all looked at him in surprise, "What's up?" Alice asked.
"The dementors are going to attack the school tonight. Dumbledore is gone and they're going to attack," James explained.
"How do you know?" Lily asked soberly.
"There was a prophecy."
Lily almost laughed, "Potter – you don't believe any of that rubbish, I know you don't."
"This was different. It was real. I know it was."
Lily frowned as she saw the sincerity in his eyes. "Ok – what can we do?"
James was surprised by how quickly Evans had accepted what he had to say. "Er – we need to patrol. Split up… pair up and search the castle. I have a feeling the Slytherins will be involved so our first priority is to distract them."
Everyone nodded, "how will we communicate?"
"Patronuses," Sirius replied.
"Right – keep to the shadows. Disillusionment charms! Lily can you put disillusionment charms on everyone? Don't let the teachers see you," James continued, "Right Alice, Frank – if you take the Astronomy Tower." They both nodded as Lily cast disillusionment charms on them. "Sirius, Marlene –the dungeons, basement, the ground floor." Sirius nodded, not that James could see him do it. "Remus, Kate – first, second, and third floor. Pay particular attention to the clock tower entrance. Peter, Mary – fourth and fifth." Peter nodded his head slowly. "Evans and I will take the sixth and seventh floors and we'll also keep an eye on the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw towers."
Everyone nodded in agreement before leaving the common room.
Once everyone else was gone James turned to Lily, "wait here."
He ran up the stairs and grabbed his cloak. He also grabbed the map. He couldn't show Lily the map but he could check it without her knowing hopefully. "What were you doing?" Lily asked as she heard him coming back down the stairs. "I hate this I can't see you."
"Well take the charm off us then," James frowned.
"I can't. We'll be seen."
"No we won't – I have an invisibility cloak," James replied.
Lily lifted the spell and saw the cloak in James' hand, "wow."
"Pretty cool right?"
"This is how you do it?"
"Get away with everything!"
"It helps," James laughed.
James covered them in the cloak. They made their way out of the common room. "I guess we should start with the seventh floor – since we're already here."
"Sounds logical," Lily commented. They had their wands out. After several moments of silence, Lily broke it, "so I heard about Doreen. She's kind of like your sister isn't she?"
"Kind of – my parents took her and her siblings in after their parents died so Nancy could carry on at Hogwarts."
Lily nodded, "that was really good of them."
"That's my parents for you; always trying to help someone."
Lily smiled, "I can't believe the Slytherins would attack a first year."
James sighed, he didn't want to discuss the attack or he'd have to tell her about Snape's part in it. "We should check in here," he tried to distract her from the conversation. He quickly glanced at the map, hiding it from Lily's view. He could see Alice and Frank. They were alone in the tower. There weren't even any couples up there making out. Marlene and Sirius were hiding in a classroom as Filch walked passed. Remus and Kate were walking along a corridor and Peter and Mary's dots were practically on top of each other as they hid from Professor McGonagall.
"Do you see anything?" Frank asked Alice. They were looking over the edge of the tower, out over the grounds. He couldn't see a dementor insight.
"No – not a thing. Not even in the forest."
"How do you think they will break Dumbledore's spell?"
"I don't know," Alice frowned. At that moment a dementor swished past them. Alice screamed, "I didn't see that coming." The dementor went and joined the other dementors in the forest.
"What's going on?" Frank asked. The magical barrier around the castle was making a horrible crackling noise.
"They must be breaking the barrier," Alice frowned. "Bloody hell – look Frank. I've never seen so many!" She pointed down at the forest where at least a hundred, perhaps more dementors were gliding towards the castle, "it's starting."