So HP7 Deathly Hallows 2 comes out tomorrow, well, later today. That being the case, I decided to write an HP related entry—a People Watch. I'm gonna be honest. My first choice as the first People Watch feature from the Harry Potter universe was different. I planned on featuring Luna Lovegood. However, as I scoured the interwebs for images, I came across a picture that shocked me. It was a picture of the actor playing The Boy That Could Have Been—
|Loyal friend, brave soldier of Dumbledore's Army and Herbology Geek: true hero.|
Neville is by far one of the most underrated characters in the Harry Potter franchise.
A prophecy once spoke of a young boy being born that would bring about the fall of Lord Voldemort. Given the nature of the prophecy, it was narrowed down to two boys. One of which was Harry Potter, of course. The other was Neville Longbottom. Despite Neville's equally tragic past, his story was overshadowed by title character Harry's.
Neville was the son of two of the Order of the Phoenix's most treasured members: Ex-Auror Frank Longbottom and his wife, Alice. Upon hearing the prophecy, Voldemort sent out his minions to pursue and kill the boys that the prophecy might be speaking of. Neville's parents, refusing to back down and give up their son, were tortured past the point of insanity using the Cruciatus curse. Upon discovering that Neville was in fact NOT the prophesied savior, the Deatheaters let him be, virtually orphaned. He is placed under the care of his Grandmother: Augusta Longbottom—a fearsome and powerful and overbearing old witch. Not to worry, she's one of the good guys.
As fate would have it, not only is Neville in Harry's year, but he is also sorted into the same house: Gryffindor.
|Neville perplexed by a remembrall from his grandmother during his first year at Hogwarts.|
Despite his forgetfulness and clumsiness (which for me adds to his charm), Neville has proven his loyalty, perseverance and courage. In his first year, it was his ten extra points that earned Gryffindor the House Cup. As the years went by, the qualities that drew me to Neville never faltered. He grew up to be an integral part of the forces of Good.
|An older Neville and his icky toad Trevor. I.Hate.Toads...|
Speaking of an "older Neville", I am about to present the image that led me to switch from Luna Lovegood to Neville. Neville was played by British actor Matthew Lewis. The character of Neville probably required Lewis to gain weight and wear prosthetic teeth and/or a fat-suit because this is what I found:
|Matthew Lewis: NOT a bad looking guy!|
|Why, yes Neville! I will help you milk your bubotuber!!!|
I have always had a fondness for Neville, even before I found out that Matthew Lewis was kinda smokin' (seriously!).
Neville shows us that you don't have to be a Harry Potter to be a hero. You don't need to be a superstar to be special. Here was a boy with a tragic past and an overbearing grandmother pressuring him to uphold the pure-blood family name. He was forgetful and clumsy. Not dashing or particularly handsome, either. Neville, even under wizarding standards, was a pretty average guy—a supporting character. Some might even consider him below average *ehem Draco*. But you can't deny the fact that this guy, this dumpy dorky average joe, is one bona fide hero.
People sometimes overlook the part he plays in the series. But he is usually seen wand-ablaze alongside Harry, Ron, Hermione and Luna against the forces of evil. Why, in Harry, Ron and Hermione's absence it was he, and Luna Lovegood who led Dumbledore's Army at Hogwarts. Neville is the only other character able to wield the sword of Godric Gryffindor as he beheaded Nagini, an enormous and powerful snake and one of Voldemort's Horcruxes. The events of the Harry Potter series would not be the same without the lovable Neville.
He shows that heroism and courage can come from the unlikeliest places. From the greatest of the great, the lowest of the low, and the rest of us who fall somewhere in between. You don't need to be the center of attention or the title character to be great. Heroism need not be flaunted or exaggerated. No bragging. No limelight necessary, because true heroism and greatness coming from the purest and truest of intentions will bring its own brand of fame. Someone will notice—I mean, I have. We each have the ability for compassion and courage and strength and heroism. In our own little ways we can be heroes. We may think they're little, but to someone else it can mean so much.
We should all learn a thing or two from Neville.
Neville Longbottom: clumsy, forgetful Herbology geek—a true hero.