In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the main characters infiltrated the Ministry and attacked Umbridge and Yaxley in the end. Both were near to Dementors and after being stunned the Dementors tried to attack the accused muggle borns which were saved by Harry Potter. But why didn't the Dementors attack Umbridge and Yaxley who were incapacitated afterwards? The Dementors could have easily kissed both of them since Potter protected their preferred victims.

  • 5
    Why would they? Dementors aren't totally mindless beings who try to suck the soul out of every human they come across. They're capable of making allegiances, following orders, and presumably understanding the consequences of their actions. Umbridge and Yaxley were on their side. Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 10:47
  • 3
    Dementors were probably afraids of Umbridge
    – dna
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 13:40
  • Why didn't you post this as an answer? In my head dementors were like animals waiting for their chance of food.
    – Milgo
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 6:12
  • Same reason sharks won't attack lawyers?
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


Two thoughts (and we can do little more than make educated guesses because of course it's never expressly stated.)

1: Dementors aren't just random animals. They make alliances and "go over/back" to Voldemort. Which implies a certain amount of rational thought and action. Similarly, they were "ordered" to patrol border of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PoA) and (since they show up at the first Quidditch match) apparently weren't physically/magically restrained from going other places. Which again implies a certain level of intelligence. They can follow orders (hence no restraint) yet are capable of making their own cost/benefit analysis (disobeying is worth it for the feast they'd get at the match). So it may well be that the Dementors knew Umbridge and the other Death Eaters were on "their side" and thus did not attack them.

2: Dementors feed on emotion. An unconscious person may have less of an emotional aura to entice them. Heightened emotions are more interesting to dementors, as Lupin told us in PoA when he's explaining to Harry about why the Dementors turned up at the Quiddich match. It was a "feast" that they couldn't resist. Additional, also per Lupin in PoA, Dementors "don't see as we do." They sense people's emotions. We also know they don't have normal eyes from when Harry sees a Dementor's face in the same book. So it may be that an unconscious person is less "visible" or maybe totally invisible, to a Dementor. At the very least they may seem less appetizing. Given the amount of despair they were feeding off of already (all the horrified muggle-borns they presumably saw before Harry got there) they may just not have been hungry enough to bother with a pair of "unappetizing" unconscious people.

These two scenarios may even play into each other. Perhaps a mix of knowing what their orders were and the unappetizing nature of unconscious people whose emotional state they hadn't previously "tasted" (because Umbridge's Patronus was blocking them) combined to give Yaxly and Umbridge a reprieve.

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