The Snitch of Secrets Three

The Dementor's Kiss

Each of the entrances were constantly bombarded by dementors. The Gryffindors and teachers worked together to keep the dementors out of the castle. The majority of the dementors were attacking the Entrance Hall. The students were working hard to protect the school but were really beginning to struggle. Sirius was sweating, the charm was becoming too difficult to maintain with as many dementors trying to break through the barrier, "James – I don't know how much longer I can…" Lily began.

"I know…" James replied. He was out of breath, "Just a little longer, Lily."

The seventh years were just behind them, adding their patronus charms to the mix. Lily and the other third years were able to relax slightly as the magic became stronger as a result of the number of people casting the charm.

Lily sighed in relief. Her respite was short lived however as they found themselves surrounded. There were dementors in the castle.

The teachers had accidentally forgotten about the dungeon entrance. Almost fifty dementors had found their way into the castle through the dungeons. They made their way up through the castle. Most of them went towards the Great Hall but a few of them sensed emotion close to them. Near enough the whole of Slytherin were roaming the castle. The second years were locked in Professor McGonagalls office. One of the dementors passing the office could sense them on the other side of the door. The second years could feel the dementor was close. The room went suddenly cold as the dementor tried to open the door. The Slytherins almost screamed in fear. After several moments the dementor continued down the corridor. The Slytherins sighed in relief but seconds later another dementor was opening the window behind them.

Alice and Frank were stood at the top of the Astronomy Tower with Professors Kettleburn and Lifflilee. They were barely keeping the dementors at bay when they sensed a dementor behind them. Alice turned around, recasting the charm at the dementor that was coming towards them. The dementor fled as Alice's patronus chased it away. "What are the aurors playing at?" Alice asked angrily. "We can't keep this up any longer."

Professor Lifflilee nodded her head in agreement. Professor McGonagall came running towards them. "Not long now – I've spoken to the aurors. They think they can get the protective charm back up in a minute. They asked for help from the ministry but apparently the auror department are struggling tonight. There have been several attacks in London."

Professor Kettleburn grunted his acknowledgement, "how are you all coping? Longbottom? Prewett?"

"We're ok professor. For now. But I don't know how much longer we'll be able to maintain the charm," Frank explained. "It's getting harder all the time. They've also broken through somewhere – we just had a dementor attack us from behind. They're getting in somewhere."

"I'll find out where," McGonagall nodded before running away back the way she had come.

Wayne Burke, one of the Slytherin third years was hiding behind a tapestry on the fifth floor. Him and the other Slytherin third years were supposed to have been distracting the teachers whilst the sixth and seventh years brought down the charm so that the dementors could get in the school except everything had gone horribly wrong when Burke had lost his friends. He didn't know what had happened to them or the other Slytherins for that matter. They were supposed to have returned to the common room when they were finished but Burke had panicked when he realised he was alone and feared that he wouldn't make it back to the dungeons so he had hidden behind a tapestry. He had heard several teachers running passed him but had been too scared to move. Now though he was regretting it. He began to hyperventilate as he felt a sudden cold was over him. The Slytherin held his breath in fear as he saw a horrible, slimy, scabby hand pull back the tapestry. He tried to scream as he came face to face with a dementor but nothing came out. He couldn't move; he was too scared. He almost passed out with fear. He tried to back away but tripped until he was lying on his back on the ground. He tried to get up and run but the dementor was holding his shoulders. He tried to push it off but it merely held him tighter. He tried to kick it but the dementor didn't let go. Instead it held him tightly with one hand as it lowered its hood with the other.

Burke continued to struggle but to no avail. He wanted to scream when he saw the dementor's face – or lack of face to be more precise – but all that escaped his mouth was a hoarse cry. The dementor began to lean down. He pressed his hands on its chest; trying to push it off but he couldn't. He could hear it sucking in the air through the hole where its mouth should have been. It was a horrible sound. The dementors mouth covered his own and he could feel it sucking everything out of him; his very soul. His eyes were full of shock. That is until they were empty. The dementor dropped his body to the ground, leaving him a shell of his former self before continuing down the corridor in search of more prey.

The second year Slytherins tried desperately to cast the patronus charm but none of them seemed to be able to manage it. Regulus Black thought about his brother, he thought about a time when they would play Quidditch together in the garden, a time before all the arguments and a silvery dove flew from his wand. It was a beautiful bird. It flapped its wings at the dementor, forcing it back out the window. Regulus stepped forward to close the window before another dementor could attack them. That was the first and last time Regulus Black ever managed to cast the patronus charm.

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