Name: Courtney Kathrys

Title: Kiss


Summery: I have learned that a kiss can take more than just your breath - I've learned that it can also take your soul." - A nameless woman deals with aftermath of the Dementors Kiss to her husband.

Notes: Both the woman and the man in this story are specifically nameless. This is to represent that the victims in this story could be anyone in the Wizarding World. How something so tragic and cruel could be the fate of just the average family. The victim is NOT Sirius, as so many people seem to think. Though I can't understand for the life of me how they came to that conclusion. The only named character is Crouch, and that is to show the time period (which would have been during the first rise of Voldemort, or immediately following his fall). However, the hands and the voice are Dumbledore.

Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters are by JK Rowling. I only own the plot, the woman speaking, and her family.

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Late at night I still have dreams. He's smiling and has that roguish smirk plastered over his face, and his hair is being whipped wildly in the wind. He'll pick me up and twirl me and kiss me and stare at me with his eyes. Oh, it's the eyes that haunt me the most. Whenever that part comes I'll find myself lost in them and the playful sparkle will capture me, as the eyes turn from something beautiful and deep to something cold and hard. I'm imprisoned in those eyes. Before long, even the hatred in them fades to nothingness, just two, shallow, emotionless voids. It's then that I wake up screaming.

I've never been one of those girls who turned to puddles of some oozing liquid upon the intensity of eye work. I never paid much attention to a particular shade, or shape, or sparkle. I always assumed there were more pleasing body parts to appreciate, and that too much attention was wasted on eyes.

He didn't have any particularly beautiful eyes, looking back. They were your normal shape, a nondescript light brown, nothing overly extraordinary. I wouldn't find myself getting lost in his gaze or mesmerized by the fiery passion ignited by them. Eyes were better suited for other things, for admiring with, not admiring at. Yet I find myself daily searching his eyes now, hoping for a glimmer of something that will entice me to him.

There's that old adage that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and I never paid it any mind until now. I look into his eyes and I see boarded windows, I see no soul. It is gone, sucked out of him by nothing more and nothing less than a kiss.

Oh kisses can be fiery and passionate, they can be tender and sweet, they can be cold and distant, and they can even leave you breathless – but a kiss can take more from you than just your breath. I've learned that they can also take your soul.

He was wrongly accused of being a Death Eater, and was convicted without a trial. Azkaban was full, so Crouch ordered "just the kiss then," as if the sentence was somehow lessened. The man who had held me in his arms tenderly, had played Quidditch in the yard with our five year old son, who would greet me every day by twirling me around the room – that man screamed, that man cried, that man fought for every happy memory that existed inside of him to try and somehow produce this miraculous wandless Patronus, which he obviously couldn't do. Those scaly hands gripped him and held his head as he screamed my name over, and over, and over again... and then he stopped.

That mouth that wasn't my mouth was on top of his, searching his mouth with a tongue that wasn't my own. It was my turn to scream his name, and I fell to the floor, my body shaking with sobs, as the Dementor let its victim loose, throwing the limp form to the ground like some sort of rag doll.

I couldn't move, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't even bring myself to open my eyes as I lay there on the floor of the room shaking. I felt a pair of gentle hands lifting me up and sitting me on a chair, and I vaguely recall a soothing voice offering his apologies, and saying that he wished he could have stopped it, but despite his best efforts, Crouch refused to see reason. I remember nodding dumbly as the man's voice carried me home and tucked me into bed.

That next morning found me sore and tired and burning. My body ached from the sobbing which had racked it continuously. I rose to check on my son as he slept soundly, oblivious to the notion of what had just happened to his father. I stopped at the door to the guestroom, knowing exactly what I'd find. Whenever someone is sentenced to the Kiss, their family is offered the choice of caring for them their self, or of sending them to St. Mungos. I had decided to care for him myself in some fit of loyalty. Slowly, I entered the room, knowing and dreading what I'd see.

The normally cheerful guest room was as white and as sterile as a hospital, nothing remained of the room I used to know. Someone must have transfigured it while I slept. Near the window was a small bed with crisp white sheets and a still form lay underneath. Cautiously I approached, terrified to what I would find.

I stood before him and watched him. His eyes were open and glassy and vacant – no sign of anything human or living within its depths. I sat down beside him and took his hand, limp and cold, in my own. Slowly, I curled up next to him, wrapping his motionless arms around me and letting myself fall asleep again.

I came around in time, and stopped being so zombie-like. I learned how to feed him, and how to tell the difference between asleep and awake. I learned how to bathe him, and to change him when he relieved himself. I learned how to check his vitals and move his limbs daily. Most importantly, I learned how to talk to him pleasantly, because even though he was dead inside, he could hear me.

My son was confused at first, but as he grew older he began to understand, and with that knowledge came anger, righteous and deep. Every winter and spring and summer he come home from Hogwarts and tells his motionless father about Quidditch and girlfriends and his ambitions. He wants to be Minister of Magic, to change the laws about Dementors and trials and punishments. I think he might just succeed.

Sometimes I feel almost normal, and sometimes I catch a glimmer of happiness. I can still feel, and love, and exhibit emotion. I am not empty inside. I still have a life that I can live and live to the extent.

But late at night I still have dreams.

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