The Snitch of Secrets Three

Boggarts and Cheering Charms

Professor Salazar stood at the front of the classroom. The desks were pulled back against the walls and in the centre of the room there was a large wardrobe. "Today we will be studying the boggart. A boggart is a shape-shifting creature that takes on the form of the viewer's worst fear. When facing a boggart, it is best not to face it alone. If there are a few of you the boggart is more likely to become confused. It will not know which of you to scare. Because a boggart looks different to each of us, no one knows it's true appearance."

"The incantation is riddikulus," Professor Salazar explained, "say after me… without wands please… Riddikulus!"

"Riddikulus," the class said together.

"Very good," Professor Salazar grinned. "Now the incantation and wand movement are not enough alone. This charm requires something more. For one it requires concentration. You have to push past the fear and concentrate on something that will make the boggart look amusing. Laughter is the only way to defeat a boggart."

"I want you to think of your worst fear," the teacher told the class loudly, "Everyone got it?" he asked.

Some of the students nodded automatically. James thought for a moment. He didn't know what he was scared of; Voldemort, death eaters, the death of his friends, the death of his father. He shuddered at the thought. James frowned. He was most scared of the idea that there is absolutely nothing that he can do to save them. He was scared that he wouldn't be able to protect them. He didn't know how the boggart would interpret it though.

"Right once you have your fear you need to think of something that will make it funny," Professor Salazar smiled almost kindly. "Let's see who can demonstrate? Miss Prewett… Miss Prewett what is your fear?"

"Er – Frank's mother," Alice muttered in response. Harry who was watching from the corner laughed remembering Neville's answer to that exact question. Augusta Longbottom was indeed a scary woman.

The professor smiled, "I see. Can you describe her to us?"

"Erm…" Alice had turned slightly red and wouldn't meet anyone's eye. "She is a stern looking woman who wears a lot of stuffed animal hats. "She's lovely just a little bit scary."

"Indeed," professor Salazar smiled, "I need you to think about something that will make Mrs Longbottom appear amusing."

Alice nodded, "I've got it."

"Are you ready?" Salazar asked.

Alice nodded. "Very well," the teacher magically opened the wardrobe. "Everyone line up behind Miss Prewett."

The class gathered into a long line behind Alice just as a boggart version of Mrs Longbottom began to make her way out of the wardrobe. She was wearing a green robe with matching hat and a bright red handbag. Alice frowned, stepping back slightly, "R-Riddikulus!"

Mrs Longbottom's hat transformed into a cake. The woman tried to keep the cake on her head but it fell covering the witch boggart in cake. Alice and the rest of the class burst out laughing. "Whose next?" Professor Salazar asked.

Kate stepped forward and the boggart changed quickly into a spider. She hesitated for only a second before she cast the spell, "riddikulus!"

The spider began to grow until it exploded until all that was left was a bubble. The class erupted in laughter.

Emmie ran forward and the boggart quickly transformed into a dragon. Several girls screamed but Emmie merely held up her wand, "riddikulus!" The dragon turned a bright pink colour.

Sirius stepped forward and the boggart transformed into his brother Regulus except he looked different. He was wearing a heavy cloak. He pulled up his hood so that his face was covered and rolled up the sleeve of his cloak to show them all the mark on his arm. Most of the students looked at the boggart in confusion but the Gryffindors understood. Sirius cast the spell and Regulus started singing karaoke. A ravenclaw girl called Louise stepped forward and the boggart changed yet again. This time it was Professor Flitwick. He began to speak; "I'm terribly sorry to inform you of this but you have failed all of your exams. You will have to retake the year." Another ravenclaw; Dorcas Meadowes was afraid of zombies whilst another was scared of receiving a letter from the ministry. Several students looked confused. James understood though – it was the letter you get when a ministry official in your family dies. Adrian Greenock stepped forward next and the boggart transformed into a group of Slytherins with their wands raised. "Riddikulus!" the slytherins quickly developed pig snouts and ears.

Remus stepped to the front of the line. He felt slightly nervous. The boggart changed yet again. This time into a full moon. There were several quizzical looks from the other students. "Riddikulus!" The moon burst like a balloon and flew around the room. The room was full of laughter.

Peter took Remus' place at the front of the line as the boggart became Professor Salazar. That caused the class to erupt with even more laughter. The boggart professor looked confused. "R-Riddikulus!" The teacher began to blow up until he was bigger than the wardrobe. Peter looked nervously at the real professor but he was laughing along with everyone else. Next it was Lily's turn. She shuffled forward nervously. The boggart took on the shape of three dead bodies; two adults and a young girl who was only slightly older than Lily. Lily screamed at the sight of her muggle family dead on the ground in front of her. She tried to lift her wand and say the incantation, "R-r-R."

James stepped forward blocking her from the boggart. It quickly changed this time it was Lily's corpse, then Sirius', then Remus, then Peter, Alice, Frank, Marlene, Kate, his father and his mother… soon the ground in front of James was covered in corpses and stood over them was a secondary James. This boggart James could do nothing. There was nothing he could do to help. He couldn't rescue them. James sighed, "riddikulus!"

The corpses quickly came back to life and started doing star jumps. James had his hand on Lily's arm. He turned around and dropped his hand from her arm and made to go to the back of the line not meeting her eye. The boggart changed again. This time it took the form of a dead girl; Alice. Frank looked helplessly at her corpse before saying the incantation.

When the lesson was finally over Alice ran over to Frank and kissed him, "you really do love me don't you?"

Frank smiled at his girlfriend, "I've only been telling you that for the last two years."

The rest of the day went rather quickly. They were still caring for their Flobberworms in care of magical creatures. Marlene's flobberworm had died the night before and Kate's seemed a bit worse for wear. The competition looked like it would end up being between James, Sirius and Lily's flobberworms. Their final lesson of the day was charms. Professor Flitwick had them practicing cheering charms on each other resulting in the Gryffindors being rather happy for the rest of the evening. Lily and Alice even had several fits of the giggles.

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