In the book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we are introduced to dementors. What exactly are dementors? According to Professor Lupin they are, “among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them” (P. 187). They are meant to represent fear, which is why they are the ones who guard the prison of Azkaban. It’s strange that Harry’s encounter with the Dementors wasn’t the same as everyone else’s. When Harry first encountered them on the Hogwarts Express, he had fainted, yet no one else had. This was a result of Harry’s past, the Dementors affect him this much because of the horrible things he has encountered. Harry mentions that he can hear his mother’s screams right before her death. That’s something nobody would want to even think about experience let alone have to relive it.
When Professor Lupin had the class practicing on the Boggart he got in the way of Harry’s turn because he had thought Harry’s greatest fear was Voldemort. His greatest fear ended up being the Dementors. Lupin observes this saying, “that suggests that what you fear most of all is – fear. Very wise, Harry” (p. 155). This is important because in the previous books Harry, Ron, and Hermione go through things like keeping Voldemort from the Sorcerer’s Stone and finding out who opened the Chamber of Secrets. These types of obstacles aren’t for the faint of heart (Ron is more of a scardy cat but he’s too loyal to leave Harry and Hermione alone). When Harry went through these things, he never really seemed afraid, he looked determined in trying to solve the puzzles and keep the evil away. Harry is the Chosen One, Voldemort marked him as his equal when he gave him the scar on his forehead. Fear usually holds people back and keeps them from doing things, fear would hold Harry back, which is why it’s important for him to overcome those fears. Which he does when he learns how to do a Patronus which helps keep the Dementors away.
Fear, although just an emotion, can be a powerful influencer. For example, in the next book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Cornelius Fudge doesn’t believe that Voldemort is back. This influences many things to change especially at Hogwarts. Dolores Umbridge, who works for the Ministry of Magic becomes a professor at Hogwarts but is really sent there to keep an eye out for Dumbledore. In this situation a powerful figure who has influence on others, makes the decision to not believe Harry and puts others in danger. Compared to Harry, who is also a powerful figure in a different way, who keeps the lives of the innocents in mind and does his best to keep them safe.