My feet dragged dully on the dry eart below me as I pushed myself slowly back and forth. A radio crackled somewhere in the distance, though it was nearly drowned out by the laughter of the few children in the dusty lot. I lowered my eyes as the sun beat down on us, and cast a shallow glance to my right. Harry sat rigid as a stone in the swing next to me. I narrowed my eyes at the steely look in his bright green eyes, and followed his gaze. Should've guessed. I sighed to myself. Dudley and his gang of misfits were stalking towards us, booming with laughter.
"Hey 'Big D'." Harry spat. "Beat up another ten-year-old?"
"This one deserved it." Dudley said, lifting his chin. A few of the boys behind him sounded their opinions.
"Five against one, very brave." Dudley's sneer turned to a stupid grin, and I took a deep breath to brace myself for what he would spew in our faces.
"You're one to talk. At least I'm not afraid of my pillow." He turned and laughed in pitiful unison with the four behind him. "'Don't kill Cedric!'" He crossed his astronomical arms over his chest. "Who's Cedric, your boyfriend?" Another round of brain cell killing laughter encircled us, and I knew Harry just had to keep his composure for a few minutes more.
"Shut up." Harry growled, and I bit my lip. Without thinking, I slipped a hand into Harry's, and gave it a warning squeeze.
"'He's going to kill me, Mum!'" Harry's hand tightend painfully around mine, and I let out a single sharp breath of agony. "Where is your mum? Where is your mum, Potter? She dead?" My wand began to quiver in my pocket as a seething glare formed on my face. "Is she dead?" A few of the boys whooped at the loathing expressing growing on Harry. "Is she dead Po-" Harry sprang from the swing, whipped his wand out, and jammed it under the fat louse's chin. The boys behind Dudley laughed, but Dudley froze in his tracks.
A strong, cold wind whipped my hair into my face, and the sky darkened drastically. The boys began to murmer, and quickly ran from the playground. Harry lowered his wand as heavy raindrops began to fall.
My Converse pounded the ground as we ran. I didn't know where we were going, but I was going anyways. My clothes were soaked as, at last, shelter could be seen through the pounding precipitation. We stopped to catch our breath, but I suddenly didn't have the will to. My skin felt tight and numb, and my heart rate slowed. "Harry," I whispered somberly. I turned to him, and screamed. A dementor had him by the throat, and lifted him to the cement wall. His pale face became a blur.
"Gwen..." He gasped. "Dudley...Run!" I couldn't find it in myself to leave him, but Dudley was already running. The git slipped on the slick floor, and smashed his head on the concrete. A second dementor wafted in, and began sucking Dudley's soul. If I hadn't been panicing, I might've made a joke about it. Instead, a third dementor's boney fingers pinched the thin flesh over my shoulder. It wrapped around me, and my vision began to fade. Through the icy, black veil consuming me, I noticed something odd. A massive, swirling white mist had formed in the dank tunnel. It surged towards me, and the dementor disappeared.
Dudley still lie on the floor, though I managed to pull myself up. "Are you," Harry panted, and wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead. "You all right?"
"Yeah, I, I..." My eyes began to sting, "I..." and my stomach cramped. "Yeah. Thanks." He nodded slowly, and I couldn't help but notice his raven hair jerking about as he shivered. Goose bumps no bigger than pin pricks plagued his otherwise flawless face, and the cold sweat running down his cheeks almost made it look as if he were crying.
"No problem." His breath was warm and comforting as he peered down at me. I was vaguely aware of how close we were standing, though we were less than a foot apart, I felt miles away from him. My eyelids burned, steaming saltwater rising under them. "Your shoulder." He said quietly, "It's bleeding. Are you hurt?" He delicately tugged my sleeve down a bit, revealing the spot where the dementor's fingers had sliced into my skin. I trembled under his touch, as my nerves began to wake. He gulped awkwardly, and whispered, "C ome on, don't cry. We're ok. Everything's going to be ok. I promise. I promise." No matter what he said to me, he couldn't stop the hot tears streaming down my face. "Shh." He sighed, "Listen to me." There was a beautiful strength in his voice as he pressed his forehead to mine. His hands were sweaty as he pressed them to my waist. "Listen to me, Gwen. Look at me. You are a Gryffindor. You will make it through this. We have to get out of here." I whimpered in undertanding, and as his patronus drifted around us, he released me.
"Thank you," I said shakily as we walked over to Dudley. Harry simply nodded, and hauled his cousin's massive form up. I took Dudley's left arm, and wrapped it around my then stinging shoulder.