It was the darkest of nights. Not your warm, romantic, mushy darkness that makes you stare at the sky and maybe count stars – but the kind of darkness that means business.
A hooded creature emerged from the castle. Yes, it was a castle. I know that castles have really gone out of fashion of late, but then, so have hooded creatures.
The hooded creature was, as you must have figured out by now, covered in a hood. It was very tall. It also had very thin, long fingers, an almost anaemic complexion and was covered in a very impressive-looking, old-fashioned cloak.
By every classical definition, it resembled a vampire.
In fact, it was a vampire.
Unfortunately, for a vampire it was a rather docile one. It wasn’t the uber-cool type that dupes cute girls into submission to obtain its daily dietary source. For a vampire it was really boring. It had a day job at a blood-bank, thereby fulfilling multiple requirements during the day and hence leading a seriously boring life, listening to Transylvanian Radio Channels in the evening and sleeping in a dilapidated coffin at night.
However, for a week or so, The Blood Bank Employees’ Union had gone on an indefinite period of strike, thereby leaving him hungry and malnourished for days at a stretch. But then, he could not ignore the usual decorum that vampires were supposed to follow. He had been living on frozen goats’ blood insta-mixes. It was a boring life even by a vampire’s standards.
Tonight was different, though.
The vampire took brisk steps across the darkest of alleys, searching for a probable victim. Just when it was contemplating taking the form of a bat and spreading its wings to fly across the sky in typical vampire fashion, it saw a passing shadow, and decided to follow it.
The passing shadow was, of course, a figure of speech. You do not get shadows, passing or static, in a night this dark. It was a real figure the vampire had spotted.
The real figure walked in a swagger. Or at least it seemed so in the dark. In reality, it was a rather clumsy walk, almost a stumble. As the vampire approached it, it looked rather confused.
The figure was hooded as well. It was quite a sight – two mysterious hooded figures on the same alley, facing each other. Any passer-by would have thought it was a climax scene straight out of some cheap Hollywood gangster movie.
The vampire approached its victim and gripped its wrist with its wiry fingers. The other hooded figure seemed somewhat taken aback, and did not seem to protest. The confused vampire lowered its hood (over the years it had developed a rather foolishly styled hands-free method of lowering its hood) and reached out for its victim.
The other hooded creature, too, shrugged off its uncouth hood. It was not a vampire, though. It did not have any vampirish instinct, though – for the sole reason that it was not a vampire.
A strong breeze blew across the alley. A cloud floated by, revealing the full moon that had been so skillfully hidden from the scenario by the narrator of the story. The vampire took a moment to have a look at its supposedly hapless victim. Its teeth snarled in moonlight.
It was a werewolf.
It had been a tough ask being a werewolf. For one thing, he could not have a steady relationship going, since a night's disappearance every month was difficult to explain. Additionally, werewolves weren’t as cool as vampires – they slept on beds, had a normal diet, and had a perfectly commonplace month throughout the month barring a single day.
This was the day, though.
The vampire recoiled and took a couple of steps back. It thought of feeling scared, but then, fear was not its forte. Vampires all over the world and down the ages were not known for being afraid. It was more out of shock than anything else.
The werewolf advanced. Its teeth glistened in the bright moonlight. It was ready to pounce upon the vampire. Unlike the vampire, it was quite muscular, and the vampire was definitely no match in a physical tussle.
And then, it happened. The vampire lost all willingness to save its life and run away. The werewolf, on the other hand, lost all willingness to pounce upon the vampire. They lost all motivation. A sickening, morose feeling engulfed their brains. They felt sad. Really sad. It was as if even the sole intention of living had been sucked out of them.
A third figure glided across the alleyway towards them. This was a hooded one as well. As it approached closer and closer, a strong feeling of melancholy spread across the air. The vampire had visions of remaining confined inside a coffin for ages. The werewolf had visions of the full moon never setting. In other words, both of them turned out to be classic cases for budding mythical creatures’ psychiatrists.
The vampire, fighting its inner self, won the battle in the end; it assumed the form of a bat, spread its wings and flew across the night sky, its silhouette against the moon showing in classical vampires’ movies fashion.
The werewolf stood foolishly. It realised that it was being drained of all motivation and happiness. Being of a strong physique, managed to accumulate strength out of nowhere, and ran away from the third creature as soon as possible.
Hooded creature number three was very close to the werewolf when the latter had disappeared from the scene. It had even lowered its hood.
Where there should have been a mouth, there was, well, a very non-mouth object. It was hungry, and the only way its hunger could be satiated was by administering a kiss. It was a dementor.
The dementor was taken aback at both its victims’ disappearances. It stood there, utterly perplexed, and then set about towards the nearest door.
But he could not reach the door. He was intercepted.
A fourth hooded creature had appeared on the fray. This one was shorter, and judging by the curves, it was definitely female.
She lowered its hood and let her shining cascade of hair fall on her shoulders. She was stunningly pretty. Had the vampire or the werewolf been around, carnal desires might have overcome hunger for a period, however small. However, the dementor, utterly unperturbed by the attractiveness of the woman, glided forward.
Oh, what a night this was! His victim was alone, and it wasn’t even carrying a wand! Surely she could not escape his clutches tonight! Food, after all this time. Food.
The dementor approached the woman. A complete lack of libido meant that the aroma or the proximity of her features did not have an impact of any sort on the dementor. It lowered its hood, half-expecting the distressed, sad face to surrender to its power of mind control.
Only that the face was not distressed at all. She was smiling. And then, she began to laugh.
The dementor was seriously taken aback. This was almost contempt of dementorial behaviour – what kind of creature smiled – let alone laughed – in the presence of a mighty dementor? Let alone the fact that she was no easy meat – how would he face the dementor brethren of Azkaban? They would all laugh at him if the story got out, he knew.
He looked again. There was no mistake. The girl was indeed laughing. It was a silent laughter, but the non-existent sound seemed to penetrate the dementor’s non-existent ears with the usual amount of intensity that non-existent forces typically use while entering non-existent entities.
The dementor could not take it anymore. This was what he had always feared – a helpless creature not succumbing to his power – even laughing on his face. He glided away as fast as he could from the source of the trouble.
A cloud had covered the moon again. As a gentle breeze blew across the alley, the woman sighed. She had nowhere to go tonight. It would have been nice if the other two had been around, she thought. It would have been fun.
Life, after all, is rather boring for boggarts.