He may have started off as a sidekick, but you better not count out Neville Longbottom. This oddball proved to be one of the most loyal and courageous members of a Hogwarts House known worldwide for its fealty and bravery. Long live Neville Longbottom!
Neville Longbottom Facts
Neville is canonically left-handed: in a publicity photo for Order of the Phoenix, he can be seen writing with this hand, and eagle-eyed fans can see that he also hold’s Godric Gryffindor’s sword with his left hand in publicity material for The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Naturally, he also holds his wand in his left hand throughout the films.
23. The Meringue Incident
Neville’s family, however, didn’t the small signs of magic he exhibited as a baby and were afraid Neville was a squib when he was growing up. Until, that is, the Meringue Incident. When Neville was eight, his Uncle Algie was dangling him outside a window when he got distracted by a meringue and dropped his nephew. Neville, in his first explicit display of magic, bounced all the way down, unharmed.
Matthew Lewis, who brought Neville to life on film, expressed publicly how disappointed he was that a crucial scene from the books was not included in the movies. It’s the scene where Neville visits his parents in St. Mungo’s in Order of the Phoenix. Lewis felt it was an important moment for Neville, and showed that all his bravery throughout the events of the books and films is for his parents.
21. Love life
Although, in the films at least, Neville confesses to his love for Luna Lovegood, that relationship ends up being more of a summer fling. Instead, he ends up marrying Hufflepuff’s Hannah Abbot. The couple live above the Leaky Cauldron.
20. It Is Always Him, Though
Actor Matthew Lewis’s favorite line of Neville’s from the films is, “Why is it always me?”
19. Tracking Down the Baddies
Following the war, Neville joined Harry and Ron at the Ministry working in the Auror office. He only stayed long enough to reform the Ministry of Magic, and then went on to work as the Herbology professor at Hogwarts.
18. A Proud Name
Though it’s hard not to giggle a little at it, Neville’s last name, “Longbottom,” is a real English last name and refers to someone who lives in a valley or a dell. Rowling also considered the last names “Sidebottom” and “Pupp” for Neville.
17. New Neville in Town
The name “Neville” means “new town” in French, and was also the name of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
16. Awkward Phase
We all remember how, after the films had finished shooting, Matthew Lewis suddenly became very, very attractive almost overnight. Well, that’s because the filmmakers were actively trying to hide his good looks: Lewis had to wear a fat suit in Prisoner of Azkaban when he lost most of his baby fat to puberty, and up until Order of the Phoenix, he had to wear a set of false teeth. He was even under contract to not get his real teeth straightened, “Which meant I had to go 10 f**cking years without having anything done,” he recalled.
15. Unrequited Love
Because he’s got good taste, Hermione was actually one of Neville’s first crushes. If you’ll remember, he asked her out to the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire; she politely declined, and Neville ended up going with Ginny Weasley.
14. Real Love?
Later, Lewis revealed that he also had a crush on Emma Watson in real life. In fact, he had a thing for her for quite a long time, nursing some feelings from about age 11 to 14. As Lewis joked, “I was a looker, so she missed out, clearly.” He continued, “She’s a very, very good-looking girl, she was even back then. But I think everyone had a crush on someone!”
13. The Godfather
Neville is actually Albus Severus Potter’s godfather.
12. Stalling Out
We now all clearly see Neville’s bravery, but when he first started at Hogwarts, he wasn’t so sure of himself. When he first went to the Sorting Hat and was sorted in Gryffindor, he argued with the Hat and begged to be put in Hufflepuff; he was afraid he could never be as brave as his parents, and was worried he’d never live up to the Gryffindor name. He had the Hat on so long, it almost caused a Hatstall, which is when a sorting lasts more than five minutes. Eventually, however, he was of course sorted into Gryffindor.
11. Unique Wand
Neville’s first wand, inherited from his father, is snapped by Dolohov in the Department of Mysteries, and he has to get a new one. His second wand, 13 inches and made of cherry and unicorn hair, is thought to be the last wand Ollivander ever sold.
The Longbottoms are a pureblood wizard family, meaning that Neville is likely at least distantly related to the Potters, the Weasleys, the Crouches, and the Blacks.
In his seventh year, while Harry, Ron, and Hermione are out finding Horcruxes, Neville helps lead Dumbledore’s Army.
With his round face, it’s been said that Neville takes after his mother, Alice Longbottom, in his looks.
7. Just Charming
Though we know Neville is talented in Herbology, it’s easy to forget that he also shows aptitude for Charms, and even masters the Shield Charm almost as easily as Hermione.
6. Good Uncle
Neville seems close to his Uncle Algie despite the Meringue Incident. Both Algie and Neville share an interest in Herbology (Algie gives Neville his Mimbulus Mimbletonia plant), and Algie also gifts him with Trevor the Toad.
5. Not a Nice Gradma
Neville’s grandmother, Augusta Longbottom, is one tough cookie, and raised Neville after his parents were tortured into insanity by Death Eaters. Even so, her overbearing presence likely contributed to Neville’s lack of magical aptitude; Dumbledore has said that a lack of confidence can block a witch or wizard’s powers.
Neville’s Boggart, which takes the shape of the thing he fears the most, is Professor Severus Snape.
3. Close in Age
Neville was almost The Boy Who Lives: he was born just one day before Harry Potter, on July 30th, 1980, which could have made him the one to face Voldemort as a baby. When he tried to kill Harry, Voldemort was reacting to Sybill Trelawney’s prophecy, which stated that he should beware a baby boy born at the end of July. As she prophesied, “the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies.” If Harry had been born even just hours later, Voldemort would have gone after Neville, whose parents had also defied him.
2. Holding a Grudge
Some theorize that Snape’s hatred for Neville comes from Neville potentially being the boy in Trelawney’s prophecy: if Harry hadn’t have been born just a day after Neville, Voldemort would have gone after the Longbottoms, and Snape’s precious Lily would still be alive.
1. A Natural
Although Neville Longbottom isn’t widely known for his magical prowess, he actually showed signs of magical power very shortly after his birth; his magic stirred when he tucked himself more tightly into his blankets after he was born. This act caused him to be enrolled in Hogwarts when he was only a seconds-old baby, as the school keeps a magic quill that notes the names of underage witches and wizards who show magical abilities.