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Dumbledore's Army

A Collection of Posts Re: Neville Longbottom

Compiled by CoKerry

Revision date: October 26, 2002

Table of Contents

General Information:

Neville Longbottom is one of Harry’s classmates at Hogwarts.

At home, Neville lives with his Grandmother (“Gran”). Other relatives include his Great Uncle Algie (who bought Neville his toad, Trevor, when he was admitted into Hogwarts), and his Great Aunt Edna.

Neville’s father was an Auror. After Voldemort’s defeat, Death Eaters tortured the Longbottoms in an attempt to find out Voldemort’s whereabouts. Barty Crouch Jr., the Lestranges, and an unidentified man were convicted and sent to Azkaban for this. Circex posted, “according to the text ‘you are accused of capturing an Auror’...which seems as though Frank might not have been at home when he was first confronted by the Death Eaters.” Neville’s parents are now insane and have been placed in St. Mungo’s Hospital. Neville visits his parents on holidays but they do not recognize him.

Neville is forgetful and not very good at most forms of magic, especially Potions (for many years his family worried that he might be a Squib), but excels at Herbology.

What kind of a relationship does Neville have with his Gran?

Posted by Doctor Cornelius:

“What we know about Gran is that she has high expectations of him, and that she never seems pleased with him, but rather a bit annoyed at his ‘failure to uphold the family honor.’ We know that she's a rather ‘imposing’ woman, and that Neville ‘doesn't want the boggart to turn into her, either.’ So, although Neville's not terrified of her the way he is of Snape, he seems to feel more fear toward his Gran than any other motion. And that fear of failure-- leading, of course, to further failure-- seems to be the dominating emotion in Neville's life, and makes him even more vulnerable to a teacher like Snape.”

Posted by Zsenya:

“It must be very difficult for her to deal with the fact that her child is currently permanently in shock and locked up in St. Mungos. Although I do think that Gran has a few problems here and there and that Neville is somewhat afraid of her, I don't think it's to the degree that he's afraid of Snape. I do agree with Dr. C about the fear of failure, and I betcha that Neville feels a real need to try to be like his parents and I'm sure it's a combination of pressure from his grandmother and the rest of the family and that some of it is self-imposed. His feelings for his Gran also seem to be mixed with a sort of embarrassment. I mean - look at the way she dresses, and no one else is being raised by their grandmother.
Remember, she's also the same woman who sent Neville the Remembrall, routinely sends his packages of forgotten items, takes care to send his permission forms directly to the teacher. I think that she takes care of Neville and that he knows it and appreciates it to a degree.”

Did Neville witness his parents’ torture as a baby and was there a memory charm placed on him, which makes him forgetful to this day?

Posted by Arabella:

“He clearly knows about his parents - why else the white-knuckled muttering after the first DADA class with Moody? He must've been having flashes of the Cruciatus Curse happening to his mum and dad.”

Posted by GracieKat:

“Judging by his response when he answered Moody's question on the Unforgivables - his eerily calm, knowledgeable air when he provided the answer to Moody's question - I got the feeling that he had found out some time ago that his parents had been tortured by the C. curse, but he didn't know the true extent of the torture and what it entailed; that's why he was so horrified while watching the spider being tortured.”

In addition, in Goblet of Fire, when Harry opens the golden egg in the common room, Neville said the noise that came out sounded like someone being tortured.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, the dementors affect Neville, as they did Ginny and Harry, both characters who have gone through negative experiences. It is possible that Neville was reliving his parents torture, as the dementors made Harry remember his parents’ murder and Ginny her time with Tom Riddle.

Posted by GabrielleDelacoeur84:

“There's no reason that Neville wouldn't be able to have some subconscious memory of his parents' awful demise... after all, Harry can remember some vague details about the way his parents died, and he and Neville were about the same age at the times of both events.
I think it's a good assumption to make that somewhere, deep in Neville's subconscious mind, he remembers the horror of his parents' murders. After all, JKR has told us all along that it is possible for an adolescent to remember a horrific event from his infancy. I agree that he is quicker to respond to anything involving torture than he is to anything else, because it was involved in one of the most defining moments of his life... even if it was many years ago.”

Posted by Taradiane:

“The memory charm placed on the Muggles at the Quidditch World Cup left them disoriented - and if Neville was in fact a witness to his parents’ torture, that would be reason enough to give him a good dose of one.

And do we know for a fact that Neville remembers the visits to his parents at St. Mungo's? I can't recall anything in canon that states it. If my grandmother could have made me forget every unpleasant event in my life, she would of. So if Neville's grandmum doesn't think that Neville deals with the visits very well, maybe she charms him to forget those as well, or maybe charms him just enough to take away the worst of it. How horrible would it be to see your parents in such a state?! So perhaps he's suffering from the after-effects of too many memory charms.”

We also know from Bertha Jorkins that memory charms affect a person’s mental ability.

Are Pettigrew and Neville related?

Posted by Bittersweet:

“Could Neville be the nephew of Peter Pettigrew? Neville is described as *looking* like Pettigrew. Neville's mother would be Pettigrew's sister. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry looks at the photo album that Hagrid gave him. Then Harry has an angry fantasy about Sirius Black informing Voldemort: ‘He watched, as though somebody was playing him a piece of film, Sirius Black blasting Peter Pettigrew (who resembled Neville Longbottom) into a thousand pieces.’

I find it significant that Frank Longbottom and his wife are attacked, and Mrs. Longbottom is not given a name. We know that he’s from a large wizard family and his parents were popular. Why would J.K. Rowling set up a big family for Neville and not use them?

We do not know everything the Death Eaters knew about Pettigrew, but we know (from Sirius) that they blamed Pettigrew for Voldemort’s downfall. Why would Crouch Jr. et al think the Longbottoms knew Voldemort’s whereabouts? Sure they were Aurors, but so is Moody, why single out the Longbottoms? I would find it more likely that Crouch Jr. et al would be looking for Pettigrew. They knew Pettigrew was a Death Eater, a spy, and gave Voldemort the information that led to his downfall. If they thought that Pettigrew's finger wasn't enough body to be certain Pettigrew was dead, they might attack Pettigrew's family in hopes of finding him, or at least to make sure he's dead.

Neville might be living under the shadow of his uncle “the hero,” on top of the pain about the state of his parents. His Gran gets very upset about damage to the family honor. Could it be that Neville is the only young person in his family, only one likely to carry on the family, so his Gran is trying very hard to make him ‘respectable’ enough?”

Is Neville a parallel to Peter Pettigrew?

Posted by Firoza:

“I think that mentioning Neville's parents is JKR's way of saying that although Neville might resemble Wormtail, he won't become a traitor.”

Posted by Eloise070:

“The new generation will do the opposite of MWPP--or at least that Neville will be the Anti-Peter rather than like Peter-the-betrayer. JKR has very clearly compared the two, and she may be setting up for a big Neville moment when Voldemort/DEs will attempt to use Neville to get to Harry--since he seems an easy target--but he will stand up against the Dark and show his Gryffindor courage.”

Does Neville belong in Gryffindor?

In Sorcerer’s Stone, Neville fights Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, saying “I’m worth twelve of you, Malfoy,” and stands up to Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, he raises his hand to admit to writing down all of the passwords.

Posted by Spectre:

“It takes a lot of courage just to get through the day, for him. Imagine waking up in the morning each day knowing that you're going to be mocked everywhere you go, get a Howler at breakfast, fail at all your class exercises except Herbology, melt a cauldron in front of Snape, beg your classmates to get you into Gryffindor tower, be hexed by the Slytherins and probably end the day by being badly injured. Even those who love you are always impatient with you. You get to have about one good moment a year. Your own TOAD doesn't want to be around you. The high point of your whole day is when you get trapped in the missing step and Ron and Harry pull you out without even mentioning it. The only living things that actually respond to you in a positive way are a Dark Wizard trying to manipulate you in YAPTKH* (Moody/Crouch) and a bunch of plants.
Neville deals with all this without becoming a sullen, angry kid, or a loner, or a druggie. He keeps doing his best in the face of overwhelming temptation to give up, and he never once tries to cheat or even to avoid what's coming to him. That's Griffindor courage!
*YAPTKH = Yet Another Plot To Kill Harry.”

Will Neville be killed before the end of the series?

Posted by Arabella:

“He's got no protection other than his Grandmother, because his parents are insane and he hardly has any magic of his own.”

Will he become a Herbology professor?

J.K Rowling has stated in a chat that one of Harry’s classmates will become a professor. Neville’s natural aptitude at Herbology has made him a likely choice to become a Hogwarts professor.

Romantic pairings:

Neville asked Hermione to the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire, but went with Ginny after Hermione turned him down.

SinistraM posted:

“I see Neville not winding up with anyone at the end of the books, actually... though I think it would be funny and somehow appropriate if he ended up with Parvati, the best looking girl in their year. Not that there's any evidence for it, but it would be poetic justice.”

It has also been speculated that Neville will end up with Eloise Midgen or Hannah Abbot.

Interesting fact:

Morrighan points out that in Chamber of Secrets, when Neville buys several amulets in hopes of protecting himself from the Slytherin monster, he buys a purple crystal, a rotting newt tail and a large green onion before the other students pointed out that he was a pureblood and not at risk. An old superstition about onions is that they ward off snakes.


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