‘And as if all that wasn’t enough,’ said Fudge, barely listening to the Prime Minister,

‘we’ve got Dementors swarming all over the place, attacking people left right and centre …’

Once upon a happier time this sentence

would have been unintelligible to the Prime Minister, but he was wiser now.

‘I thought Dementors guard the prisoners in Azkaban?’ he said cautiously.

They did,’ said Fudge wearily. ‘But not any more. They’ve deserted the prison

and joined He Who Must Not Be Named. I won’t pretend that wasn’t a blow.’

‘But,’ said the Prime Minister, with a sense of dawning horror,

‘didn’t you tell me they’re the creatures that drain hope and happiness out of people?’

‘That’s right. And they’re breeding. That’s what’s causing all this mist.’

The Prime Minister sank, weak-kneed, into the nearest chair.

The idea of invisible creatures swooping through the towns and countryside,

spreading despair and hopelessness in his voters, made him feel quite faint.