Monday, August 1, 2022

6 Moments That Made Us Love Neville

Neville Longbottom may have once been the dorky little kid who tagged behind Harry, Hermione, and Ron. However, when push came to shove, we learned why he was a true Gryffindor. This last weekend we celebrated his birthday. So for his birthday, here are some of my favorite Neville moments.

“I'm worth twelve of you, Malfoy.”

Neville was the butt of so many jokes, especially in his early Hogwarts years. An easy victim for Malfoy’s bullying (not to mention Snape’s, but I’ve ranted enough about him). In a deleted scene in the movie, we saw Neville with the leg-locker curse, but in the book we get the aftermath of that scene. He was told to stand up to Malfoy. And while it may not seem like much, especially since he got beat up for it, dropping the above quote on Draco Malfoy probably took every ounce of courage that Neville had. 11-year-old Neville deserves all the love for that one.

“I award ten points to Neville Longbottom!”

I’m sure it was frustrating for Harry and his friends to encounter Neville on their way out the door. It’s not like they were trying to save the Wizarding World or anything. But after all was said and done and the Stone was safe, it was still the end of the school year. Neville probably didn’t think that Dumbledore knew he existed, never mind that he stood up to Harry and the gang. Yet during those final moments of their first year, Dumbledore awarding Neville his first points changed everything for the House Cup, making him Gryffindor’s hero.

“Has Neville never told you why he has been brought up by his grandmother?”

A misfit since the beginning, one of the first things we knew about Neville was being raised by his grandmother. It wasn’t until three years later that Harry learned why this was. A private family matter, as it was, Harry was heartbroken when he learned about Frank and Alice Longbottom. Breaks my heart too, especially now as a father… I can’t imagine my child having to live with that trauma. Even Harry thought that Neville deserved more sympathy than him.

“It was all supposed to be about fighting You-Know-Who, wasn't it?”

After Voldemort deceived Harry into thinking Sirius was being tortured, he and his friends rushed to find a way to London to help. Neville (along with Luna and Ginny) insisted on tagging along. Neville, who had been scared of his own shadow, was volunteering to join Harry on a mission to save his supposedly murderous godfather. That’s a true friend. And not only did he join Harry at the Ministry of Magic, but he held his own against the Death Eaters that ambushed them there. 

“We’re his army,” said Neville. “Dumbledore’s Army.”

While Harry and friends were off traveling and camping, trying to find Voldemort’s horcruxes and uncovering the mystery of the Deathly Hallows, Neville stayed strong amidst the anti-Muggle and anti-Muggleborn atmosphere. In the movie, we saw him stand up to Death Eaters on the train. But it didn’t stop there. He openly defied their Death Eater teachers and restarted Dumbledore’s Army under their noses. So when Harry, Ron, and Hermione returned to Hogwarts to finish off the horcruxes, Neville had a fighting force ready to go for them.

“I’ll join you when hell freezes over! Dumbledore’s Army!”

Neville’s finest hour! While Harry was playing dead to get back into Hogwarts, Voldemort made his speech to get some last minute followers and spare some lives. Instead, Neville stepped up and told him off. To whatever extent he claimed his role as the “Chosen One” he could have been, as he rose up against the Dark Lord, slayed Nagini (the last of the Horcruxes), and roused Harry and Dumbledore’s followers to fight against the Death Eaters and other dark creatures. If not for Neville killing Nagini, the Battle of Hogwarts could have ended very differently.

So here’s to Neville Longbottom, the bravest almost-Hufflepuff out there. Happy birthday!

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