The Dementors are soulless creatures considered to be among the foulest beasts on Earth. They are soul-sucking fiends who guard the wizard prison, Azkaban, until after the fall of Voldemort. In the books, Dementors appear to have a generally human shape, approximately ten feet (3.05 meters) in height, but covered in dark, hooded cloaks that reveal only grey, decayed hands. The wraith-like creatures have no eyes, and there is a large hole where the mouth should be. According to the author, they grow like fungi in the darkest, dankest places, creating a dense, chilly fog. They appear to possess a few traits of magic, notably, their ability to glide (fly, in the film adaptations) unsupported in either world. A dementor's gender is never hinted, but is heavily implied that they are genderless. The dementor's intelligence is also seldom hinted, but they are presumed sentient as they have been seen leading revolts and know how to use their abilities. A dementor's social life is debatable, as they are seen in large groups, in groups of two or three, or alone, they tend to choose one victim as their own or will share a victim. They almost work together, which implies that they are technically solitary.
Dementors are invisible to Muggles, but affect them in the same way. While at least one Squib in the series has claimed to see a Dementor, Rowling has stated that this was a lie and she noticed it because of the effect it had on her. Rowling has likened the effect of a Dementor to the human ailment known as depression, which the author has herself experienced. She describes it as "that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad."
Being blind, Dementors sense and feed on the positive emotions, happiness and good memories of human beings to move around, forcing them to relive their worst memories. The very presence of a Dementor makes the surrounding atmosphere grow cold and dark, and the effects are cumulative with the number of Dementors present. Despite their attachment to human emotion, Dementors seem to have difficulty distinguishing one human from another, as demonstrated by Barty Crouch Jr's escape from Azkaban, wherein they could detect no emotional/mental difference between the younger Crouch and his mother. In addition to feeding on positive emotions, Dementors can perform the Dementor's Kiss, where the Dementor latches its mouth onto a victim's and sucks out the person's soul. The victim is left as an empty shell, incapable of thought and with no possibility of recovery. It is believed that existing after a Dementor's Kiss is worse than death. The Ministry of Magic occasionally uses this as a punishment, such as on Barty Crouch, Jr. One way to shield oneself from Dementors is to use the Patronus Charm to drive them away. Chocolate is an effective first aid to mild cases of contact.
Harry Potter first encountered Dementors during his third year of school, when they were sent to guard Hogwarts against Sirius Black, who had recently escaped Azkaban Prison. Harry, whenever he got near one, was forced to relive his worst memory: hearing the last moments of his parents' lives before they were murdered by Lord Voldemort, which begins with Harry hearing his mother screaming. To overcome the Dementors, Harry asked Remus Lupin for assistance. Lupin taught Harry the Patronus Charm, albeit with some difficulty.
Harry's encounter with Dementors in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was in an alley near his home on Privet Drive, when he and his cousin Dudley Dursley were ambushed by two Dementors sent secretly and illegally by Dolores Umbridge. At the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Dementors of Azkaban stage a mass revolt against their employers to join Lord Voldemort, as he can provide them with more humans to feast upon.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the Ministry, under the control of Voldemort, used Dementors to punish those who were Muggle born for no other reason than because Voldemort hated Muggles and Muggle-borns. The Dementors also took part on Voldemort's side during the Battle of Hogwarts. After the appointment of Kingsley Shacklebolt to the position of Minister, Dementors are removed from Azkaban. Rowling said that after Voldemort's demise, Dementors will never be used by the Ministry of Magic again and the Ministry will contain them by limiting their numbers.



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