Published on Jul 29th 2021
It’s Neville Longbottom’s birthday! To celebrate, we’ve thought about some of the reasons why we adore this brave Gryffindor – from his heroic deeds to his love of Herbology…

His love for all things Herbology

Neville didn’t have the easiest time when it came to his lessons at Hogwarts. We know our hearts broke every time Professor Snape was cruel to him in Potions. But Neville did have a wonderful gift for Herbology. We couldn’t have been happier than when we found out that he had gone on to become a Herbology professor – it was the perfect fit for him. We adored the passion that he had for the subject, the way he would light up when talking about magical flora and fauna and how it was the one class that helped to raise his self-esteem.

‘Oh yes,’ said Neville, ‘I’m fine, thanks. Just reading this book Professor Moody lent me ...’

He held up the book: Magical Mediterranean Water-Plants and Their Properties.

‘Apparently, Professor Sprout told Professor Moody I’m really good at Herbology,’ Neville said. There was a faint note of pride in his voice that Harry had rarely heard there before. ‘He thought I’d like this.’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

His clumsy nature

We secretly love that Neville wasn’t the most coordinated person – it undoubtedly brought some lighter moments to the story. Whether he was tripping over a stool on his way to the Sorting Hat, breaking his wrist in his first ever flying lesson, smashing teacups in Divination or melting Seamus’s cauldron in Potions – it just made him all the more relatable.

Neville had never been on a broomstick in his life, because his grandmother had never let him near one. Privately, Harry felt she’d had good reason, because Neville managed to have an extraordinary number of accidents even with both feet on the ground.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

His rebellious streak

When we first met Neville, he didn’t strike us as someone that was a risktaker or rulebreaker. In fact, sometimes it seemed as though he was using all his concentration just to get through the day without any major accidents or disasters. He certainly didn’t seem to have space to be thinking about mischief or mayhem. Yet he grew as a person throughout the series and, by the time we reached Deathly Hallows, he had become a strong leader – with a rebellious side. We think the way he stood up to the Carrows and Snape was fantastic, he never gave them a moment’s peace. Who would have believed that the Neville we met as a first-year would be the Neville that broke into the Headmaster’s office or graffitied the walls of Hogwarts?

‘The Carrows never rumbled how we were communicating, it drove them mad. We used to sneak out at night and put graffiti on the walls: Dumbledore’s Army, Still Recruiting, stuff like that. Snape hated it.’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

His bravery

We would suggest that Neville is one of the bravest characters in the entire story. And while it is possible to think of plenty of examples that demonstrate this from later in the series, one of our favourite brave Neville moments has to be the very first time he stood up for himself. As Albus Dumbledore said in Philosopher’s Stone ‘It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends’.

‘You can’t go out,’ said Neville, ‘you’ll be caught again. Gryffindor will be in even more trouble.’

‘You don’t understand,’ said Harry, ‘this is important.’

But Neville was clearly steeling himself to do something desperate.

‘I won’t let you do it,’ he said, hurrying to stand in front of the portrait hole. ‘I’ll – I’ll fight you!’

‘Neville,’ Ron exploded, ‘get away from that hole and don’t be an idiot –’

‘Don’t you call me an idiot!’ said Neville. ‘I don’t think you should be breaking any more rules! And you were the one who told me to stand up to people!’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

His loyalty

One other excellent thing about Neville was his loyalty. Despite being a pure-blood who would be accepted in Voldemort’s new world, he was never tempted to do anything other than the right thing. He showed loyalty to his friends, his school and also his parents. Neville continued their work of fighting Dark wizards – from the Battle of Department of Mysteries to the Battle of Hogwarts and never wavered in his resolve.

‘But you are a pure-blood, aren’t you, my brave boy?’ Voldemort asked Neville, who stood facing him, his empty hands curled in fists.

‘So what if I am?’ said Neville loudly.

‘You show spirit, and bravery, and you come of noble stock. You will make a very valuable Death Eater. We need your kind, Neville Longbottom.’

‘I’ll join you when hell freezes over,’ said Neville. ‘Dumbledore’s Army!’ he shouted, and there was an answering cheer from the crowd, whom Voldemort’s silencing charms seemed unable to hold.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

His hard-working nature

As we’ve touched upon before, Neville did struggle when it came to learning magic. It didn’t come as naturally to him as it did to people like Hermione or Ginny. However, rather than wallow in self-pity, Neville worked hard. He was determined, never gave up and ended up being able to hold his own amongst his peers. We were particularly proud of the way he threw himself into being a member of Dumbledore’s Army and were thrilled to see all that hard work eventually pay off.

In fact, Neville barely spoke during the DA meetings any more, but worked relentlessly on every new jinx and counter-curse Harry taught them, his plump face screwed up in concentration, apparently indifferent to injuries or accidents and working harder than anyone else in the room. He was improving so fast it was quite unnerving and when Harry taught them the Shield Charm – a means of deflecting minor jinxes so that they rebounded upon the attacker – only Hermione mastered the charm faster than Neville.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

His resilience

Harry Potter wasn’t the only student in his year to have had a troubled or traumatic upbringing. Neville was raised by his gran after Bellatrix Lestrange and her cronies tortured both his parents into insanity. Nevertheless, Neville did not let that horrific event hold him back or break him. When he came face to face with the person responsible for upending his life, he did not wilt or crumble – even when she used the same Cruciatus Curse on him. The strength it must have taken to do that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

‘No, no, no,’ said Bellatrix. She looked transported, alive with excitement as she glanced at Harry, then back at Neville. ‘No, let’s see how long Longbottom lasts before he cracks like his parents ... unless Potter wants to give us the prophecy.’

‘DON’D GIB ID DO DEM!’ roared Neville, who seemed beside himself, kicking and writhing as Bellatrix drew nearer to him and his captor, her wand raised. ‘DON’D GIB ID DO DEM, HARRY!’

Bellatrix raised her wand. ‘Crucio!’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

His love for his family

While Neville didn’t really mention his parents and often seemed to be a little terrified of his gran, we still got the sense that he loved them all deeply. We know we were particularly touched when he pocketed the sweet wrapper his mother presented to him as a gift in St Mungo’s, rather than tossing it away as his Gran suggested. We also adored the way he seemed to be so proud of the woman who raised him, especially when she was battling Death Eater’s like the best of them. The fact that he kept her letter in a pocket close to his heart says it all really…

‘Thing was,’ he faced them, and Harry was astonished to see that he was grinning, ‘they bit off a bit more than they could chew with Gran. Little old witch living alone, they probably thought they didn’t need to send anyone particularly powerful. Anyway,’ Neville laughed, ‘Dawlish is still in St Mungo’s and Gran’s on the run. She sent me a letter,’ he clapped a hand to the breast pocket of his robes, ‘telling me she was proud of me, that I’m my parents’ son, and to keep it up.’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Do you agree with our reasons behind our love for Neville Longbottom? Or do you have different reasons for loving this courageous wizard?


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