102 Soft sensation
"What's going on?" said Ron's voice.
"Ouch!" gasped Hermione. "Ron, that was my foot!"
"Wait here, I'll go check it out."
"What did you say Arth?"
Harry saw the faint outline of Arth getting out of the compartment and leaving them to be.
"Arth! Where are you going? Come back! At least tell us where you are going!"
But he was already gone, melting into the shadows.
"My god, he really needs to tell us a thing or two before he disappears. Ain't that right Harry?"
"I'm sure that he knows what he is doing, he is Arth after all."
Harry took a look around the dark train.
"D'you reckon we've broken down?" Asked Harry.
"Dunno . . ."
There was a squeaking sound, and Harry saw the dim black outline of Ron, wiping a patch clean on the window and peering out.
"There's something moving out there," Ron said. "I think people are coming aboard. . . ."
The compartment door suddenly opened and someone fell painfully over Harry's legs.
"Hello? I'm sorry, I'm Neville Longbottom-"
Ron let out a pained yelp.
"Sorry — d'you know what's going on? — Ouch — sorry —"
"We're as lost as you Neville," said Harry, feeling around in the dark and pulling Neville up by his cloak. "Just sit down Neville."
There was a loud hissing and a yelp of pain; Neville had tried to sit on Crookshanks.
"I wonder when Arthur is going to come back? he should be back by now right? I'll go check." came Hermione's voice. Harry felt her pass him, heard the door slide open again, and then a thud and two loud squeals of pain.
"What are you doing?"
"I was looking for Arth."
"Come in and sit down."
Harry felt something land directly on his lap and realized with a sudden jolt that it was Ginny. After a few seconds of silence, Harry decided to finally speak up.
"Ginny!" said Harry shyly. "I'm here!"
"Harry! I-I'm sorry! I'll get o-off right now!"
Harry felt the thing get off and sighed in relief. However, Harry felt a little bit of regret as the soft sensation was still lingering in his lap.
She is Ron's sister Harry. You are not allowed to think like that.
Harry grumbled to himself for being an idiot when an unfamiliar voice suddenly spoke.
Professor Lupin appeared to have woken up at last. Harry could hear movements in his corner. None of them spoke.
There was a soft, crackling noise, and a light filled the compartment.
Professor Lupin appeared to be holding a handful of flames. They illuminated his tired, gray face, but his eyes looked alert and wary.
"Stay where you are," he said in the same hoarse voice, and he got slowly to his feet with his handful of fire held out in front of him.
But the door slid slowly open before Lupin could reach it.
Standing in the doorway, illuminated by the shivering flames in Lupin's hand, was a cloaked figure that towered to the ceiling. Its face was completely hidden beneath its hood.
Harry's eyes darted downward. There was a hand protruding from the cloak and it was black and sleek, as if someone was wearing a black glove.
But it was visible only for a split second. As though the creature beneath the cloak sensed Harry's gaze, the hand was suddenly withdrawn into the folds of its black cloak.
And then the thing beneath the hood, whatever it was, drew a long, slow, rattling breath, as though it were trying to suck something more than air from its surroundings.
An intense cold swept over them all. Harry felt his own breath catch in his chest. The cold went deeper than his skin. It was inside his chest, it was inside his very heart.
He felt as though he was about to die. As if he would never be able to be happy again.
Harry's eyes rolled up into his head. He couldn't see. He was drowning in cold. There was a rushing in his ears as though of water. He was being dragged downward, the roaring growing louder.
Then the dementor spoke.
In a cold, dead, monotone voice, the dementor turned its head around the compartment.
"I sense the lord. Where is he."
Then the screaming began.