Neville Longbottom and all other characters related to the Harry Potter
books are property of J.K.Rowling, not mine. I’m only borrowing them for
a little bit after some harmless wondering about what could have happened
in a certain day of Neville’s life…
hope everyone who reads this enjoy it, or at least stop to think a little
bit about clumsy and adorable Neville!
else know one? Another illegal curse?’
hand flew into the air again and so, to Harry’s surprise, did Neville’s.
The only class in which Neville usually volunteered information was Herbology,
which was easily his best subject. Neville looked surprised at his own
said Moody, his magical eye rolling right over to fix on Neville.
one – the Cruciatus curse,’ said Neville, in a small but distinct voice.
was looking very intently at Neville, this time with both eyes.
name’s Longbottom?’ he said, his magical eye swooping down to check the
nodded nervously, but Moody made no further enquiries.
Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Edition, page
The Cruciatus Curse
Professor Moody asked in his very first class to the Fourth years Gryffindor
students what were the curses most heavily punished by wizarding law,
Neville was forced to remember something very unpleasant about his past.
that nobody but his grandmother and his great-uncle Algie knew about.
a very young age, Neville used to wake up in the middle of the night crying.
He never remembered exactly what he saw or heard at his nightmares. The
only thing he knew about those was that someone was screaming, but he
couldn’t make out who they could be, or if they were trying to say anything.
at least that was all he knew until last year.
had all started during the trip back to Hogwarts. Neville had gone to
Harry and Ron’s compartment once the lights went out, and had suddenly
felt a coldness spreading through his body, followed by screams in his
that he knew only too well.
this time he was recognizing two distinct voices, something he had never
done before: the voices of a man and a woman. And Neville suddenly realized
who they were: his father and his mother.
was petrified. It had been years since the last time he ever had that
nightmare. Now not only he was reliving it again, wide-awake, but he was
also completely aware of exactly what was happening.
first, he heard only his father screaming, with his mother’s sobs in the
background. Then his mother joined him, both in excruciating pain, just
after a deep, vicious, nasty, sadistic voice had said, ‘Crucio!’
the professor sharing the compartment with them had been able to scare
the Dementor away, and the pressure those highly disturbing sounds were
forcing upon Neville’s brain had been lifted.
the sounds had remained deep within his mind, perfectly and unbearably
clear. And after that dreadful experience with the Dementor, Neville couldn’t
help but mull over the subject over and over again during the following
he couldn’t have come up with these highly disturbing sounds on his own.
No one, not even a very imaginative person, could picture his or her own
parents in so much misery. So, there seemed to be only one explanation
was hearing his parents when placed under the Cruciatus Curse because
he had been there.
knew very few of that fateful night’s events, but his grandmother had
assured him that he was not with his parents on that night. She had told
him that he had been only two years old when a group of Death Eaters captured
and cursed them in the name of the Dark Lord, hoping to extract some information
from Frank Longbottom about the whereabouts of You-Know-Who.
then, he wouldn’t have recollections so real about his parents screaming
in agony under the Cruciatus Curse, would he?
months wondering about that, and remembering over and over again what
he had felt when the Dementor had entered that train compartment, Neville
finally had the chance to set everything straight.
he had gone back home for the Holidays, he had asked his grandmother about
that fateful night. Or rather, confronted her, something he had never
done before, and that greatly surprised her. But he had to do that at
that moment, especially because he had an uneasy feeling that his grandmother
had lied to him to protect him.
his grandmother, apparently too flabbergasted by Neville’s sudden determination
and fierceness in knowing about his past, confirmed his suspicion. On
that fateful night, Neville had been with his parents. The Death Eaters
had first attacked his father, then his mother and then…when nothing seemed
to break his father into telling anything, they had almost attacked Neville.
Apparently, the Death Eaters had heard Neville’s cries from the second
floor of their house when they had begun their attack at the Longbottoms,
and had brought him down to threat his parents by torturing him.
the Aurors arrived at that exact moment and saved him and his parents.
Well, at least his parents’ physical selves, because their minds had been
deeply scarred by the Cruciatus Curse.
fact that Neville was almost put under the Cruciatus Curse was actually
one of the possible reasons that explained his parents’ current mental
state. Sure, other people had been placed under the Cruciatus curse, but
usually they either died of agony, had a short period of mental impairment
that in a few months regressed, or survived unscathed (those lucky few
to have been placed under it only a couple of times).
the Longbottoms had been at St. Mungo’s for years now. And that had never
happened to anyone submitted to the Cruciatus Curse before.
weren’t the only ones affected by it, though. Neville had also been deeply
affected by the Curse, in a way very different than his parents, despite
the fact that he hadn’t been cursed. But he had spent the next few nights
awake, unable to sleep, crying and screaming for his parents.
his grandmother and his great-uncle Algie, who had been one of the Aurors
to find the Longbottoms in the clutches of the Death Eaters, decided that
the best thing to do was to erase that night from Neville’s memory.
they had to use a very powerful Memory Charm.
didn’t succeeded in erasing completely his memory, though. He still continued
to have nightmares, although less disturbing ones. At least Neville could
sleep part of the night, and with time he stopped having those at all,
especially when his grandmother started teaching him all about plants
was a hobby Neville’s grandmother had told him to be his parent’s favorite.
In fact, they still practiced it at St. Mungo’s, but now as a form of
therapy. And it was also the only thing that was finally able to stop
Neville’s nightmares completely.
what his great-uncle and grandmother didn’t expect, though, was that the
Memory Charm they had to use to erase Neville’s memory had been so strong
that it had impaired his brain from functioning perfectly.
Neville never developed the magic any normal child in the wizarding world
did. He had become almost a Squib, not to mention that, when growing up,
he also became a very forgetful and disastrous boy. And to his family
that was a great disgrace, since they were one of the oldest and more
traditional wizarding families around.
Algie, who had been the one to come up with the spell and actually performed
it on Neville, had been so transtorned by its results that he blamed himself
for it, and swore that he would pluck the magic out of Neville.
wonder he had been so happy that he had bought Neville his frog Trevor
when Hogwarts accepted him. He, like Neville’s grandmother, thought Hogwarts
would never accept Neville.
Neville had come to Hogwarts, and even though he was not the best student
in his year (well, it would be a lost cause anyway with Hermione Granger
as a classmate), he managed pretty well.
his grandmother finished telling Neville the whole truth about his past,
she added that they only did that to protect him. Neville couldn’t blame
her, or be mad at her. She had taken care of him when his parents were
unable to, and she had done a very good job of it.
he needed to know one more thing, no matter how hard it could be for him
to know the truth. He needed to know. He was a grown-up boy now. A brave
Gryffindor. And so he asked his grandmother what was the curse the Death
Eaters used on his parents.
looked up at him, startled even more by his question and a little frightened
too. But seeing what was unmistakably the Longbottoms determination on
his face, she whispered.
Cruciatus Curse. It’s one of the worst things a human being’ she said
the last few words sarcastically ‘can do to another. It’s one of the Unforgivable
Curses.’ She looked at Neville, the bitter look on her face disappearing
to give place to a fierce look. ‘But the monsters that did that to your
parents got what they deserved. The Ministry for Magic hauled them into
Azkaban for the rest of their lives.’
when Professor Moody had made his question, even thought Neville had never
volunteered for anything in Defense Against the Dark Arts, he raised his
hand to answer, without even thinking. And he did it not only once, but
that was a remarkable thing for Neville to do. After all, Neville was
the kind of student that went out of his way not to draw attention to
himself during classes. Especially during Potions, when Professor Snape
went out of *his* way to make the Gryffindor students suffer. And Neville
was one of his favourite victims, alongside Harry Potter and Ron Weasley;
and the fact that Neville was very clumsy and completely helpless at Potions
only class Neville ventured willingly to answer the teacher once in a
while was Herbology, but it was the only class he was good at, really
good. But then again, his grandmother had taught him all she knew about gardening and plants before he came to Hogwarts.
Not that any of his classmates knew about this.
Neville’s classmates’ surprise when he volunteered to answer Professor
Moody was completely understandable. After all, the only time Neville
had done something in a DADA class was when Professor Lupin, the professor
that had scared the Dementor away at the Hogwarts Express, had asked him
to face a Boggart, and Neville hadn’t truly volunteered for that.
Neville finally told Professor Moody about the Cruciatus Curse, Moody
provided a small explanation about the Curse and then subjected an engorged
spider to that curse.
at the spider rocking from side to side, in what was undeniable pain,
and wrapping its legs around itself, Neville had for the first time in
his life a clear image of a living being under the Cruciatus Curse. Coupling
that with the screams that were now permanently imprinted in his mind,
Neville was able to reconstruct a very possible and real version of what
had happened that night so many years ago. He couldn’t help looking at
the spider suffering and picturing a mental image of his parents doing
likewise. He dug his fingers into the wooden desk in front of him, remembering
his parent’s screams from his nightmares, and now having a sick mental
image of how they had twisted and turn in pain.
felt so shaken by it that for a moment he had thought to see an evil glint
on Professor Moody’s normal eye, and a small smile tugging at his lips.
But he couldn’t possibly have seen that. According to his grandmother,
he had been one of the Aurors, along with his great-uncle Algie, to arrest
the culprits that had attacked his parents (as a matter of fact, she had
been very pleased to learn that Moody was going to teach at Hogwarts this
he couldn’t be enjoying doing that to the spider, or seeing Neville’s
reaction to it.