Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 7 – The Boggart in the Wardrobe

It was the Defence Against the Dark Arts class and Professor Remus Lupin had plans to teach us about the Boggart as there was one inside the wardrobe kept right in front of us. The Boggart sounded eager to meet us.

The Wardrobe with the Boggart inside.

Can anybody tell me what a Boggart looks like’, asked Professor Lupin and of course, there was one who knew the answer, Hermione, she said, ‘no one knows, Boggarts are shapeshifters, they take the shape of whatever particular person fears the most, that’s what makes them so…’, ‘so terrifying, yes, yes’, Professor Lupin finished Hermione’s sentence and added, ‘luckily, a very simple charm exists to repel a Boggart… let us practice it now… ah, without wands please… after me, ridiculous.’  We all spoke, ‘ridiculous.’ ‘Very good, little louder, very clear, listen – riddiKulus.’ Except Malfoy and his sidekicks, we all repeated the spell, ‘riddiKulous.’
The class ended before I could try.

Though I didn’t get a chance to face the Boggart in that particular class because when Potter… nevertheless, till date ‘riddikulus’ stays to be one of my favourite spells. I miss those days…


At the Harry Potter exhibition. 

A Boggart, present in many English folklore as a notorious spirit inhibiting the house or the field, is portrayed wonderfully in the Harry Potter series. It takes the shape of what we fear the most, which is quite troubling a thought, but we can overpower it by using the spell riddikulus i.e. by imagining a completely ridiculous shape and forcing the Boggart to be that.

This is truly a fabulous spell, big thanks to J. K Rowling for it.

In our Muggle (non-magic) life, we face Boggarts daily, stubborn Boggarts (bosses, elders, bullies and we ourselves) who aren’t shapeshifters; we give them a grand horrible shape in our mind and then look for places to hide. But we can make the trouble look ridiculous, we can laugh at it, at least from inside, and who knows after a few days, months, years, these troubles actually look ridiculous to us. Like our childhood worries, that bad score in a test, that upcoming Parents’ Meet, those nail-biting worries now look ridiculous.

Professor Lupin faces the Boggart and it takes the shape of the full moon.

Also, Boggarts aren’t very intelligent, all they try is to scare the one they face, like the Boggart took shape of the full moon when Professor Lupin came in front of it, without thinking that being moon won’t stop Lupin from saying the spell (one doesn’t become a werewolf just in seconds).

So, just like Boggarts our worries are also not that intelligent, if we calm down and think properly, an answer, a way-out immediately pops-up in front of us and all we are left is with the execution bit.


It is true that in non-magic world problems attack in umpteenth ways and maybe every time this spell might not work, but there is no harm in trying, all we have to do is stay calm as we face the troubling Boggart and say RIDDIKULUS!

Watch the Boggart scene from the Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban film here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doxxfXqpKYA