A Boggart is a shape-shifter that takes on the form of its intended victim's worst fear. It generally likes to hide in dark, enclosed places, such as in cupboards, under beds, or in hollow trees. The term is derived from the boggart of British folklore; these creatures are annoying household spirits, but do not traditionally have shape shifting abilities. Since a boggart changes shape upon sight, few know what one actually looks like in unaltered form. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Professor Lupin teaches his students in Defence Against the Dark Arts to approach a boggart in groups of two or more, so that the boggart will have difficulty in choosing which one to frighten. A common wizards' defence against a boggart is to use a spell to make it appear amusing, since boggarts are weakened by laughter. Pointing a wand at the boggart and saying "Riddikulus" while thinking of something very funny achieve this; this charm can apparently be used to destroy an already weakened boggart.
Characters and their Boggarts:

Harry Potter - A Dementor (When Professor Lupin tells him he thought that Harry's boggart would take the shape of Lord Voldemort, Harry explains that he did think of Voldemort at first, but then remembered the night on the Hogwarts Express just before the start of third year, and the dementor who boarded the train searching for Sirius Black.)

Ron Weasley - Giant Spider

Hermione Granger - Professor McGonagall telling her she had "failed everything".

Neville Longbottom - Professor Snape.

Remus Lupin - The full moon. He fears turning into a werewolf.

Molly Weasley - The dead bodies of her loved ones.

Parvati Patil - A bloodstained, bandaged mummy

Seamus Finnigan - Banshee.

Dean Thomas - A severed hand walking on its own.

Lord Voldemort - His own corpse.

Albus Dumbledore - The corpse of his dead sister.

Author J. K. Rowling has stated that her boggart would be a a giant spider.

Actor Rupert Grint has stated that, like Ron, his boggart would be a spider.
The boggart first appears in the Prisoner of Azkaban, where Remus Lupin first shows his class the boggart. Then the boggart appears in Prisoner of Azkaban again, where Harry uses it to practice his dementor spell (Expecto Patronum). The boggart appears in the Goblet of Fire in the final task of the Triwizard Tournament and once again takes the form of a dementor. Lastly, the boggart appears in the Order of the Phoenix when Mrs. Weasley has difficulty getting rid of the boggart as it turns into her children's lifeless bodies. Eventually Remus Lupin destroys the boggart. He does this despite the boggart not having been weakened at all by laughter, an indication as to his magical power.



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