The Burrow: Afraid of the Boggart?

by Jeg

In real life, my greatest fear is death, manifested in the form of a cemetery. It is perhaps that fact that death is so unknown to everyone; no one has come back from it to tell us how it is really like, so we are left here to imagine an endless list of possibilities. A cemetery just displays death in my eyes. I understand the true purpose of honoring lost love ones, but that doesn’t change how I feel. No matter how many times I pass by even the smallest graveyard, chills go up my spine and my breathing stops for a moment.

However, in the Harry Potter world, I’m sure things would be a bit different.

A boggart is supposed to take the form of whatever you fear the most. Some examples in Prisoner of Azkaban are a severed hand, a mummy, and a spider. We have already seen what happened when what you fear the most is fear through the manifestation of the Dementor for Harry. But what would appear if the thing you were most afraid of was a boggart’s true form?

Think about it: no one knows what a boggart really looks like. I’ve always imagined it as a clump of cobwebs stuck to the side of something, but I sincerely doubt it looks anything like that in the least. Maybe it is the scariest of all monsters, or just a tiny creature that mimics the scariest thoughts of the people around it. Either way, it is a complete unknown.

There is really nothing amusing you can do to the boggart’s true form to make it funny. In the books, the characters facing the boggart were all familiar with what their fear appeared to be. Ron, to his extreme displeasure, knew what a spider looked like and could easily think of detaching its legs to make it roll on the floor. Mrs. Weasley, although never completing the process of ridding a boggart, vaguely knew what the dead bodies of her loved ones would resemble. With the boggart being so unknown, you cannot make anything funny to change it.

Which also makes me wonder…maybe the reason a boggart is vanished when it becomes something funny is because its true form is something quite mockingly hilarious, and its true fear is itself!