“Yeah, You and Whose Army?”

Neville – Old French for “from the new farmland.”

Longbottom – The name itself is considered quite humorous, but “bottom” is an old word for “staying power.” This seems to accurately fit Neville’s personality and overall devotion to Harry.

Though Neville is originally shy and it is questioned why he is in Gryffindor, as the years pass, it becomes more and more obvious as to why he was placed where he was. I always believed in Neville and at first I thought of him sort of like Dudley. JK Rowling described him as blonde and chubby, just like Dudley. However, it is very clear very early that Neville is nothing like Dudley. Dudley is a coward who hides behind his fists. Neville has the courage to keep trying at everything even though he has had a difficult life. He is so like Harry in some ways, but so different in others. Once Neville gets a little more self-confidence, he becomes a true leader and helps people, just like Harry. Neville never gives up and fights for the changes he wants to see. On the other hand, Neville is awkward sometimes, and he doesn’t open up well. He won’t go out looking for adventure and tends to play by the rules a little more.

Neville had a terrible childhood, though I don’t think his was as terrible as Harry’s. Neville was born on July 30, 1980, the day before Harry, which would change their lives forever. Neville’s parents, Alice and Frank, were Aurors and members of the first Order of the Phoenix. Like Harry, Neville really knew his parents because they were tortured into insanity by four Death Eaters, including Bellatrix Lestrange. More reasons to dislike Bellatrix. I know what it’s like to look at someone you love and know they don’t recognize you because my grandmother had Alzheimer’s. It’s a terrible feeling, but I couldn’t even imagine the pain of not being recognized by my own parents. Frank and Alice lived in St. Mungo’s for the remainder of their lives. This is why Neville is raised by his grandmother. Neville may not seem like a very important character but he changes so much in the course of 7 years, and always for the better. He starts off shy, but eventually, lives up to his true Gryffindor nature and becomes one of the bravest characters in my opinion.

One of my favorite Neville scenes is where he defies Lord Voldemort and tells everyone that even though Harry is dead, they can continue to fight because it’s the right thing to do. The Neville seen in years one and two would never have had the courage to do something as gutsy as that. Plus, Neville destroys the final horcrux, Nagini, without knowing why it was so important, just doing it because it was asked of him. Also, Neville tries to restart the D.A. in his seventh year to fight against the Carrow siblings.

Now more about why Neville’s parents were tortured and his fate is intertwined with Harry’s. The Prophecy.  In case you don’t remember, I’ll quote it for you:

“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…and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies.”

Thank you Sybil for those wise words that you don’t even remember speaking. Well, as I said earlier, Harry and Neville were both “born as the seventh month dies.” Both of their parents were in the Order and in one way or another defied Voldemort 3 times. No details on how, but it happened which is all that really matters. After Snape overhears this and runs and tells Voldy, Bellatrix, Rodolphus, and Rabastan Lestrange, with the help of Barty Crouch Jr., Cruciatus Frank and Alice for information, and eventually into insanity. Clearly, Voldemort found James and Lily’s son more of a threat for he tried to kill Harry, not Neville. Though his plan may have been to eliminate both of them, but he never got to Neville because of the whole Harry incident. (This could count as one of the times Lily and James defied Voldemort because Lily’s love is what kept Voldemort from hurting Harry. Just a side note.) On top of Neville losing his parents, he didn’t even exhibit magical powers until he was much older than the norm. His family was worried that he would be a Squib (non-magical person born into a magical family), and not knowing how to deal with it either tried to force him into something that would require magic or tease him. Also, while researching for more info for this article I stumbled upon something. What if Voldemort DID mark Neville, just not physically like Harry? What if Neville was placed under a spell that made him forget his magical abilities like this article suggests? My mind has just been blown. It would explain a lot…oh my goodness. Plus, Neville does have the power to vanquish the Dark Lord. He kills Nagini after all! This is why love the Harry Potter fandom.

So why is it that I love Neville so much? Well, if you ask me, that’s a pretty terrible childhood. Almost as bad as living-with-the-Dursleys-and-not-knowing-you’re-a-wizard-until-a-half-giant-breaks-down-your-door bad. But even with all of that baggage, Neville never stops fighting to prove himself. I think he does it partially for himself, and partially so everyone will back off. There’s a scene in the first book that is often forgotten about where Neville tries to prove himself worthy of Gryffindor. He overhears Malfoy taunting the Gryffindor Quidditch team and then gets into a fight with Crabbe and Goyle. Neville is knocked out, but the fact that he stood up to them just makes me love him so much (there’s a similar scene in the movie, but I don’t like it as much). I don’t understand how you couldn’t love Neville (plus, Matthew Lewis is perfect for Neville! I’m so glad they got rid of the fake teeth and fat suit for the final movie! Read Matthew’s thoughts on Neville here). Unfortunately Neville isn’t always so gutsy, even a few times refuses to report Snape or Malfoy because he doesn’t want more trouble. Anyway, the real reason that Neville is one of my favorite characters is because he’s an underdog. Who doesn’t love an underdog? Not only an underdog, but one who overcomes so much in such a short period of time and becomes a wonderful person. God, I love Neville Longbottom. I don’t think this article is going to be any good at describing why I love him so much, I just do.

More on Neville here!

Plus an entire Tumblr dedicated to Neville!

Some Neville quotes:

“Why is it always me?”

Neville: “You can’t go out, you’ll be caught again. Gryffindor will be in even more trouble… I won’t let you do it. I’ll – I’ll fight you!” Ron: “Neville, get away from that hold and don’t be an idiot –” Neville: “Don’t you call me an idiot! I don’t think you should be breaking any more rules! And you were the ones who told me to stand up to people!”

“I’m worth twelve of you Malfoy.”

Dumbledore: “And finally, it takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends. I award ten points to Neville Longbottom!”

Neville: “Fourteen years ago, a Death Eater named Bellatrix Lestrange used the Cruciatus Curse on my parents. She tortured them for information, but they never gave in. I’m quite proud to be their son. But I’m not sure I’m ready for everyone to know just yet.” Harry: “We’re going to make them proud, Neville. That’s a promise.”


“You didn’t see her (Alecto). You wouldn’t have stood for it either. The thing is, it helps when people stand up to them, it gives everyone hope.”

“Yeah, you and whose army?”

Neville Longbottom: “It doesn’t matter that Harry’s gone.” Seamus Finnigan: “Stand down Neville!” Neville Longbottom: “People die every day. Friends, family. Yeah, we still lost Harry tonight. He’s still with us, in here. So’s Fred, Remus, Tonks… they didn’t die in vain. But YOU will. ‘Cause you’re wrong! Harry’s heart did beat for us! For all of us! It’s not over!”

Voldemort: “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.” Neville: “I’ll join you when hell freezes over! Dumbledore’s Army!”


“Until the Very End”

James – Means “supplanter.” To “supplant” is” to take the place of, or substitute, especially through intrigue or underhanded tactics.” James was also an apostle of Jesus.

Potter – A name J.K. Rowling has always been fond of since childhood. “Potter’s Field” is often the name given to a cemetery where a city or town buries those who have gone unclaimed or unwanted (a community’s orphans). “Potter’s Field” is also considered a cursed land because Judas hung himself in one.

Prongs – A slender pointed or projecting part; a point of an antler. Clearly referring to the stag that represents Harry Potter’s Patronus and James Potter’s Animagus form.

“It was as though he was looking at himself but with deliberate mistakes. James’s eyes were hazel, his nose was longer than Harry’s, and there was no scar on his forehead, but they had the same thin face, same mouth, same eyebrows. James’s hair stuck up at the back exactly as Harry’s did, his hands could have been Harry’s and Harry could tell that when James stood up they would be within an inch of each other’s heights.”

Ever since the great reveal that Snape isn’t the bad guy he pretends to be, people dislike James Potter more and more for his treatment of Snape when they were younger. I couldn’t disagree more. James was a teenager, not that it’s a very good excuse, but who didn’t do dumb things as a teenager? Plus, I believe that a lot of the stuff he did was because he was jealous of Snape’s relationship with Lily. This picture describes it perfectly to me.

James was sometimes arrogant and cocky, but deep down, he was a loyal friend who died trying to save his family. When Voldemort’s memory of the night he murdered James and Lily, it shows James’ true character. Lily is upstairs putting Harry to bed and James is relaxing on the couch. Voldemort enters the house, and James automatically tries to fight. He doesn’t even have his wand, meaning he is powerless. He wouldn’t go down without trying to protect his family. Though Voldemort just breezes past James without a second thought, James’ love for Harry is just as important as Lily’s. I think that’s something that is overlooked a lot in this series. Motherly love is important and a common theme in the books, but what about James? He didn’t even have a chance against Voldemort, even if he had had his wand, he would have died anyway. He didn’t just give up and try and persuade Voldemort to save him. He jumped up and tried to save them. It honestly bothers me that people dislike James because he was a bully at Hogwarts. But only to one kid. Snape, on the other hand, was rude to everyone and bullied his students when he became a teacher. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Snape, but James needs to stop being looked down on. This picture is a little more degrading to Snape than I would like, but I think it really shows why James is such a brilliant character.

The fact that Harry looks so much like James is important to me. First of all, it’s a way for Harry to hold onto his father. Another thing is James and Snape hated each other and it gives Snape yet another reason to dislike Harry. Harry may look like his father, but I think they are rather different. James broke the rules for fun; Harry broke them to do good, usually. Also, though Harry never really knew his father, his father is very important to the development of his character. Harry’s Patronus after all, is a stag, his father’s Animagus form.

I’m not trying to say that James is better than Snape, because I love them both. Nor am I trying to say that James is flawless, because obviously he’s not. But for a character that isn’t in the books much, he really does have an important role, and I think we should stop overlooking that. After all, James’ demise was because he trusted someone he shouldn’t have, not because he was a bully.

Some quotes from and about James:

“’Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart!’ Like my dad…”

“Lily, take Harry and go! It’s him! Go! Run! I’ll hold him off!”

“You are nearly there. Very close. We are…so proud of you.”

Harry: “You’ll stay with me?” James: “Until the very end.”

JK Rowling: “James always suspected Snape harbored deeper feelings for Lily, which was a factor in James’ behavior to Snape.”

more info on James here!

“I was and am the Dark Lord’s most loyal servant.”

Bellatrix – “Bella” is a construct of the word “bellum” meaning “war” and “trix” refers to “a woman in power.” Bellatrix is therefore known as the “Female Warrior” and is also the pale yellow star indicating the left shoulder of the constellation Orion, the Great Hunter. (from mugglenet.com)

Lestrange – To be “estranged” means to be “removed from society.” In French, “etrange” means “strange” or “weird.”

“She sat beside her sister, as unlike her in looks, with her dark hair and heavily lidded eyes, as she was in bearing and demeanour; where Narcissa sat rigid and impassive, Bellatrix leaned toward Voldemort, for mere words could not demonstrate her longing for closeness.”

Ever since the movies came out, so many people have fallen in love with Bellatrix Lestrange. While she may be a very interesting character, think about what she’s done for a minute. She tortured Neville’s parents to a point that’s worse than death; they don’t even recognize their own son (I’ll talk about this more when I get to Neville). Then there’s Sirius. While some debate whether Sirius is a father figure or a brother, he is still very important to Harry and Bellatrix takes him away from Harry. Bellatrix also tortures Hermione because she is afraid that Voldemort will be angry because they supposedly got into her vault at Gringotts. One of the things I hate most about Bellatrix is that she killed Dobby. Dobby is wonderful, and the movies haven’t shown just how important he is. I loved him; he did so much for the trio even when they didn’t know it. I cried when he died (the movie didn’t do it justice, but I still did). Bellatrix is a hateful character. Though she married, her true love is Voldemort. If that doesn’t say enough about her character, I don’t know what will.

Why include a character filled with so much hate? Well, unfortunately, Pottermore has yet to finish opening the 2nd book, so we may not find out for a very long time what J.K. Rowling was thinking when she created Bellatrix. She does bring a few things to the table. In the beginning of Half-Blood Prince, Bellatrix is the first character on Voldemort’s side to suggest that Snape may not be completely loyal. This is one of the first times someone suggests Snape may be double agent.

Obviously, Bellatrix doesn’t believe that Snape’s actually on Dumbledore’s side because that would involve betraying Voldemort, aka her one true love. And that brings up another really great point about Bellatrix. She is an obvious foil (contrast) to Molly Weasley, and even to extent Narcissa Malfoy.

Let’s start with Molly. While Bellatrix isn’t a mother, she does love in her own weird and obsessive ways. While Molly cares about everyone she comes into contact with pretty much, Bellatrix only really cares about Voldemort and herself. The only reason she marries Rudolphus is because he is a pure-blood wizard. If she could have, there is no doubt that she would have married Voldemort. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why Bellatrix marries at all. But the main contrast between Molly and Bellatrix is the difference from motherly love and obsessive love. This is probably the reason that Jo had Molly defeat Bellatrix, which, by the way, is one of my favorite scenes, not only in the movie, but in the book as well. Without a doubt, the best Molly Weasley quote is “Not my daughter you bitch!” Jo, you are brilliant.

You may wonder how Bellatrix could be so different from her sister Narcissa, who is also on the side of evil, but, again, it has to do with love. Narcissa is truly concerned when Draco becomes a Death Eater and has to try and kill Dumbledore. Narcissa realizes that Voldemort expects Draco to fail and therefore Narcissa wants Snape to protect Draco. Bellatrix is disgusted with how worried Narcissa is claiming that she would willingly give up her only son to serve Voldemort. Again with the obsession. I’m not sure if you’ve gotten my point yet, but I kind of hate Bellatrix. I mean, I love Helena Bonham Carter and how perfectly she portrays Bellatrix, but I don’t understand why people love her so much.

What about you? What are your thoughts about Bellatrix?

Some quotes from Bellatrix:

“Longbottom, is it? How’s mum and dad?”

“What will happen to your children when I’ve killed you? When mummy’s gone the same way as Freddie?!”

Bellatrix: “You stupid elf! You could have killed me!” Dobby: “Dobby never meant to kill! Dobby only meant to maim, or seriously injure!”

“Cissy, put the boys in the cellar! I’m going to have a conversation with this one, girl to girl.”

“You should be honored Cissy, as should Draco.”

“Potter, you cannot win against me! I was and am the Dark Lord’s most loyal servant. I learned the Dark Arts from him, and I know spells of such power that you, pathetic little boy, can never hope to compete!”

“…I don’t trust you, Snape, as you very well know! …Where were you when the Dark Lord fell? Why did you never make any attempt to find him when he vanished? What have you been doing all these years that you’ve lived in Dumbledore’s pocket? Why did you not return at once when the Dark Lord was reborn? Where were you a few weeks ago when we battled to retrieve the prophecy for the Dark Lord? And why, Snape, is Harry Potter still alive, when you have had him at your mercy for the last five years?”

More info on her: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Bellatrix_Lestrange

This picture is from a Harry Potter fan page on Facebook, and it’s actually what inspired me to write this entry: