So to provide a little bit of context to my question I put up a scenario that happened at school.

A friend and I were talking about some horror movies and we happened to end up talking about what we feared most. Seeing as he was a really creative and artistic person he said that he feared his 'imagination'as he described it as nice yet also occasional confronting in a mental sense.

Another friend stated that he feared his 'memory' as he says that thinking back sometimes made him relive his worst moments such remembering about the death of one of his family members.

I wanted to know whether boggarts are able to take form of abstract fears and if so, how would they be going about it?


I would say that, technically, yes a Boggart could take the form of an abstract fear based on how Hermione describes a Boggart in Prisoner of Azkaban:

‘So, the first question we must ask ourselves is, what is a Boggart?’

Hermione put up her hand.

‘It’s a shape-shifter,’ she said. ‘It can take the shape of whatever it thinks will frighten us most.’

Prisoner of Azkaban - page 101 - Bloomsbury - chapter 7, The Boggart In the Wardrobe

She doesn't say "thing", "object", or "person" -- she just says "whatever it thinks will frighten us most."

The Boggart would have figure out how to present itself in a meaningful way, though, to be scary.

Now I'm wondering if the Boggart ever guesses wrong when it comes to individual fears ...

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    I think an obvious example is the form a Boggart takes when face-to-face with Lupin. I imagine Lupin's fear is transforming into a werewolf, and the harm he could do in that state, rather than the moon itself, yet that's the form the Boggart takes. – Anthony Grist Oct 23 '13 at 9:34
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    @AnthonyGrist - make that an answer – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 23 '13 at 14:44
  • I have a fear of photosynthesis. I wonder if the Boggart would turn into a flower in the sunlight. – Jack B Nimble Oct 23 '13 at 15:40
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    I would add the Dementor turning into a Boggart as an example of it taking the form of an abstract fear: Harry's fear of fear itself. – alexwlchan Oct 23 '13 at 16:15
  • Oh yeah.. i remember lupin saying that harry feared 'fear' itself as in the dementor.. – sight ward Oct 24 '13 at 4:25

I believe it would find a physical manifestation of the fear. For example, when Harry's boggart is a Dementor, Lupin says that, because of this, what Harry fears most is fear itself. Whether this is true or not, this would probably happen with most fears- if you fear abandonment, you'd probably see the one you love most walking away.
Also, J. K. Rowling has stated that Voldemort's boggart would be his own dead body, as what Voldemort feared most was death. Death is an abstract fear, but it can be represented by a corpse.
I hope this helps.

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