#AtoZChallenge @AprilAtoZ #HarryPotter – B is for Butterbeers and Boggarts!


When I look back in time, I remember standing in the line at my school library waiting for my turn to choose a book. A few of my friends had been raving about ‘Harry Potter’ through the week, so my eye was firmly on the book with purple and red spine that said ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’. The other two were already taken by two classmates. When my turn did come, I just sprinted toward it, and accosted it. The big smile on my face was mirrored in that of the librarian’s as she stamped my card.

The book, being my introduction into the magical world of Harry Potter, has a soft spot and a special place in my heart since. It’s with delight that I recollect the events from it when I talk with my fellow Potterhead friends, and it’s with equal shock that I vent against the movie, which I felt was nowhere close to the book, and missed things which were important, like the Quidditch Cup final. When I read the book for the first time, I was so obsessed with it that I finished it in 4 hours without missing a word, and then re-read it the next day again before exchanging it with my friend who had borrowed ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. It was the third book that presented me with the two B words I’m writing on today.

Butterbeer. Image Source: Harry Potter Wikia

I suppose the first thing I expected Harry would do when the Dursleys didn’t sign his permission slip for Hogsmeade visits is to go ahead and visit Hogsmeade anyways. Maybe it was the rebel in me starting to find his voice. Sure enough, that did happen. But even before that, the report of Ron and Hermione’s visit to Hogsmeade brought this – ‘foaming mugs of hot Butterbeer that really warms you up’. It made me wonder what this Butterbeer was. When I read more about after I grew up, I found it was a non-alcoholic (or maybe slightly alcoholic) drink made with butter, sugar and water. The Hogs Head Inn sold it for two sickles each, but it’s not known what it cost at The Three Broomsticks, where it’s most seen in the series. There are quite a few Butterbeer recipes available online now, though I haven’t gone and made any.

A Boggart, Shapeshifting. Image Source: Harry Potter Wikia

The first magical creature that I came across in Harry’s classes at Hogwarts was a Hippogriff. But one that made more of a mark on me was the second, introduced in his first lesson by the weary looking Professor of Defence against the Dark Arts, Remus Lupin. As told by Hermione, a boggart is a shape shifter which takes the form of whatever it thinks will frighten the first person it sees. In a way, it is not a creature but a non-being. No one knows what this non-being looks like, since it takes the form of your fear as soon as it sees you. This particular lesson of Lupin’s, it took the form of Neville’s biggest fear – Professor Snape. It brought about one of the most hilarious scenes in the entire series, when Neville used his imagination and the charm that repels a boggart (Riddikulus) to make the boggart shape shift into something that sends the class into peals of laughter. It showed me that laughter, our imagination and the support of friends can actually make the biggest fears look ridiculous. It’s not always easy to keep emotions in check, even when it comes to tackling boggarts. The Woes of Mrs. Weasley in The Order of the Phoenix showed that. It showed me then that tackling fear also requires strength. What would the boggart turn into if you were to stand in front of it? That’s something to think of.

My strength to face my fears and worries is in my writing, so it’s kind of like my version of the Riddikulus charm. So I’m waiting for Monday, and the letter C, so I can continue writing this April. See you then. May your boggarts be tackled with laughter, strength and magic, and the yumminess of butterbeer (if you’re going to concoct some)! Riddikulus!

How fast time seems to fly by. I remember taking part in the first ever April A to Z Challenge, where for the month of April (except for Sundays) we write on themes around the 26 alphabets. This year marks the 7th Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and my 7th as well. I’ve successfully completed 4 of the 6 years before, so hoping for a fabulous 5th year of blogging success. You can go here if you want to know more about what the challenge is. My theme this year is ‘The World of Harry Potter’.

(© 2nd April 2016)


Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

44 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge @AprilAtoZ #HarryPotter – B is for Butterbeers and Boggarts!”

  1. You know what I love about these posts? The way that huge smile gets stuck on my face.

    Well, I don’t know about butterbeer warming me up, but this post sure did!

    Hope that one day, we will meet, and one of us would have, by then, perfected the recipe of Butterbeer and have a long conversation about Harry Potter over it! 🙂

    Awesome, Leo!
    (Dhivya Balaji recently posted… Our Trees Still Grow In Dehra by Ruskin Bond : A Review)My Profile

  2. I haven’t tried a butter beer recipe, but when reading a book set in Tibet, I made their butter tea with my kids. Let me tell you, it was an acquired taste!

    • Most welcome to, Bhawna. 🙂 I’m loving re-reading and writing about this magical world now.

      No. Not that I remember. 😀 I’ll have to re-check. Maybe you can whip up a Yellow Mellow one?

  3. My boggart would be a giant cockroach. EEEEEEEEEKKKKKKK!
    As I mentioned, I haven’t read the books, but I remember the boggart episode from the film. It was interesting to know that we can make our fears ridiculous.

  4. Aww.. thanks, V for showering us with the Riddikulus Charm! 🙂
    I loved the Boggart seesion too. It is one of my fav. parts in both the book and the movie. The expression on Ron’s face when it turns to a Spider is so cute 🙂
    I’ll be back again!
    (Shalini recently posted… Living Out of the Box #AtoZChallenge)My Profile

    • I love that Harry Potter and the world can be related to like that. 🙂 It’s why I like writing on it, and how each person likes it for some reason. 😀 Thank you, Tulika. 😀

  5. Hey Leo, I remember Neville as the fearsome introvert who in the end transforms into a brave member of Dumbledore’s army. I have a soft corner for the character, specially after how he gets ridiculed all the time and later fights his fears to come out strongly.

    I chose to write about Bangalore, and thought of re-starting me Haiku journey. Please drop by.

    • On Bangalore, huh? 🙂 Yeah, IS Sanjana 😀 I’ll come soon. Neville is one of my favorite characters too, but there are others who I like more than him. 😀

  6. Hey Leo, I remember Neville as the fearfull introvert who in the end transforms into a brave member of Dumbledore’s army. I have a soft corner for the character, specially after how he gets ridiculed all the time and later fights his fears to come out strongly.

    I chose to write about Bangalore, and thought of re-starting me Haiku journey. Please drop by.

    • Bangalore, huh? 🙂 Yeah, IS Sanjana 😀 I’ll come soon. Neville is one of my favorite characters too, but there are others who I like more than him. 😀

  7. I started my Hogwarts journey through Prisoner of Azkaban too! Weird coincidence 🙂 I have always wondered about what shape my boggart would turn into. As for the butterbeer, I would like some please!

    • How nice! 🙂 Same pinch, Aathira. 😀 I have a fairly good idea what the boggart would turn into too. I could use some butterbeer now, but chilled, not hot and foaming. 😉

  8. I’d like to order that Butterbeer now….sigh, the sweltering heat! The Boggart was such a fabulous character….Rowling sure had her human psychology in place! Your post has all the wheels turning reverse….down memory lane! Waiting for C now…cheers 🙂
    @KalaRavi16 from

    • Yeah. Like I said to Aathira, a glass of cold butterbeer would be nice. 🙂 The boggart, yeah, was a wonderful addition. I don’t know if it was JK Rowling putting it in place, but looking back, it does feel like that. 😀 Glad you are liking it. Thank you, Kala.

    • Not judging. 🙂 There are many who don’t understand that magic because of not reading. It’s their choice. Never too late to start, if you want to, Janaki. 😀

  9. I think they created the drink – Butterbeer.. I do think they sell it at the Harry Potter theme park.. I will check it out when I visit and let you know! 😀 😀
    (Pixie recently posted… Darkness)My Profile

    • Ah. Mine is an empty bookshelf, Mithila. (shivers)

      Glad you liked my take on the letter B. 😀 I actually read through your A to Z of last year’s last night. 😉

      I don’t think we’ll share a lot of topics. The world of Harry Potter has so many choices, isn’t it? 🙂

  10. Life Lessons in Harry Potter..whoa!! Amazingly written 🙂
    As for butterbeer, I haven’t tasted yet either..it is freely available here during the festive season. I wonder if they will have some non-alcoholic version in a new HP themed Bar they have opened recently that I have been meaning to visit…Will let you know when I do.
    (The trouble is I dont drink ..hehe; so typically I don’t go to bars or pubs! hehe..but I suppose I have to make an exception for this one).

    • Not always, but there are lessons to be taken from Harry Potter, yes. 🙂 Glad you liked it. Thank you, Mithe.

      Let me know how the butterbeer was. We don’t get it here. 😛

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