I was living a wonderful life at 42 Ivy Cottage; and I had been living here for millions of years now. Many a household did this cottage shelter and many a household did I entertain – yes entertain.
Humans – they normally come across as not too fond of us; but in reality we do provide a lot of amusement. I, especially have always been, well, almost liked by all the families who have been here at 42 Ivy Cottage. I would enjoy making things disappear; make the cat go crazy; pull the shoes out of the rack, but I wasn’t in particular mischievous or destructive.
I am not a ghost or a spirit, I am a boggart. The humans in this house have known that and have never really been afraid of me. Except probably the time when Aunt Polly of the Saunders family had come to stay over.
Aunt Polly was having a leisure bath when I got into the bath with her and started blowing life size colourful bubbles. She obviously could not see me but she could see the bubbles. I thought she would be pleased to see the huge crimson, mauve, orange bubbles raising from the bath; floating up to the ceiling and then bursting with a loud pop. Instead she jumped of the bath, managed to wrap a towel around and ran screaming out of the bathroom. I think the Saunders were a little upset with me; because they left within a few days of this event.
I had always had a ball of a time at 42 Ivy Cottage till… Till that one unfortunate day when Phineas Nigellus Black and his wife Ursula Flint moved in with their son Sirius Black. I was happy when they came in I had always liked children and Sirius seemed like a kid who did like some fun around. What I did not know then was that the Blacks, they knew magic.
This is what happened: one day when Sirius was out playing on the porch. I thought of having some fun with him and I gave him a little push. He turned around and since he could not see me he shrugged and went back to his play. I waited for a couple of minutes and went ahead to push him again. Just as I pushed him his mother Ursula walked out and saw an invisible being push her son. Livid, she took her wand out; pointed towards me and uttered something. I, for the first time started taking a weird un-shapely form. I was becoming visible.
Sirius caught hold of me and locked me up in a box he was carrying. I was terrified in there. I did not know what fate stood before me. I didn’t know what was happening. But I was being taken around all over the place. I could feel the jerks and the bumps in the box.
After what seemed like forever I was finally let out of the box. When I came out I saw I was facing Mr. Black. He gave an evil, sinister smile and pointed his wand towards me. I don’t know what he said but I felt a shooting pain all over my body. It was like a thousand of bees and stung me all over. I screamed and I heard my own scream loud and clear. I realised that I actually had a mouth now and I could speak. Now, I should have been happy with that, but no; I was a boggart. Boggarts don’t speak. Boggarts do not have a form. Boggart are not to be seen. They are only supposed to play harmless, funny mischief.
“What were you thinking trying to push my boy like that”, he roared. I was frightened, terrified like I had never been before. I stuttered something. Mr Black burst out laughing and only if you would call it laughter; it was as terrifying as a hundred banshees all wailing together.
“Frightened are you?” he said with a cold stealth in his voice. “Not liking the form that you’ve taken, is it?” he asked with the same slyness.
I stared at him blankly. “Oh, you poor little thing”, he said in a sinister tone. “I wish I could turn you back into an invisible formless boggart” he said softly. “But I won’t for what you’ve done to my boy”, he yelled.
He then pointed his wand and cursed me, “You insignificant filthy boggart, while I turn you into a shapeless form again, you will be locked up in dark places and even when you do come out, you will take the form of the fear of the person whom you see the moment you are out in the open.”
Phineas Nigellus Black had uttered the curse in a single breath and I completely passed out after he said it.
Life had changed; and I hated it. The Blacks moved from 42 Ivy Cottage to a place called 12 Grimmauld Place. They took me along with them and locked me up in a drawer.
The curse was dreadful. The first time I was let out was by Sirius. The minute I saw him I turned into a corpse. I felt terrible about my self. He too was frightened but then he pointed his wand at me and said Riddikulus and I immediately turned into a silly looking girl with a frilly dress and started dancing in what I felt was the most inane manner ever. Everyone in the room roared with laughter. I had no control whatsoever on myself. Oh, I felt so humiliated that day.
Well that was just the beginning. This would keep happening occasionally. I spent centuries in 12 Grimmauld place and saw generations of the Black family come and go. They were all the same, one worse than the other.
I remember the worst time I had been was with this girl Bellatrix. She was never up to any good. She invented this game where two or three of them would come together and open me up; and then I would get all confused. I would take a mixed up form of a mummy and a spider together; or that of a corpse, a snake and a slug together. That in it self made me look so funny that a counter riddikulus spell was not required.
I was wretched. I had lost all hopes of a life.
The Blacks all perished after a while.
12 Grimmauld Place lay vacant except for
an old faithful slave, Kreacher, who never bothered me.
Many years later some people started moving in. From voices that I heard they seemed to be on a secret mission. They kept talking about some Harry Potter and about someone whose name they never mentioned or rather were too scared to mention.
I waited but no one came to the drawer I was in. I was getting restless. Even if it again meant that I would take a fearful form and then get ridiculed, I wanted to get out. I started creating a ruckus in the drawer. I knew the people outside had heard me. But they did not do anything.
He next day I suddenly heard someone walk towards the drawer. The drawer opened and I saw a nice lady as I surged out. I immediately took the form of the dead body of a young red haired boy. She uttered Riddikulus, but something went wrong and I instead turned to another slightly older red haired boy staring at her with lifeless eyes. Now she was really scared. She tried the spell again but this time I turned into a dead elderly gentleman with blood all over my face.
She was weeping and sobbing by now; but I just kept changing forms from one red haired dead body to another. There was something going seriously wrong with the spells. The unfortunate lady was just not getting it right. Finally I turned into a dead body of a dark haired boy with glasses and a scar on the forehead. I realised that I was the Harry Potter boy they kept talking about.
Suddenly I saw the real Harry Potter enter into the room. Seeing me and the lady, he shouted out to someone. Two men came running in. I recognised one of them. He was one of the Black boys. His name, if I remember correctly, was Sirius. I heard him address the other man as Remus. Remus pointed his wand at me. He was looking at me; be me, I mean the Harry potter me.
I don’t know why but I suddenly felt buoyant. I tried to communicate to him through the eyes of the dead boy. It was difficult but the look in Remus’s eyes gave me a hope. I just felt that he understood that I was pleading to him.
I do not remember what happened then, but suddenly I turned in to a whiff of smoke and blew out of the window. I was freed. I was liberated at last.
I found my way back to 42 Ivy Cottage and I have been here ever since. So if you ever come to stay here and find the drawstring of your pyjamas missing every night, do not worry. It’s just me.
Click here to check out the Black family tree from the House of Black
Click here to check out the Black family tree from the House of Black