Alice Longbottom

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Alice Longbottom is an Auror and member of the original Order of the Phoenix who is married to Frank Longbottom and the mother of Neville Longbottom. She and her husband were tortured into insanity after Voldemort's fall in 1981 by Death Eaters who thought they might know his whereabouts. They both became permanent residents of St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.

Contents

Appearances

Fourth book

When Harry Potter takes an uninvited look into Albus Dumbledore's memories after diving into his Pensieve, one of them is from when Dumbledore was attending a court case in the Ministry of Magic in his role as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. Four Death Eaters - Rabastan Lestrange, Rodolphus Lestrange, Bellatrix Lestrange and Barty Crouch, jr - were being convicted without trial for torturing first Frank Longbottom and then Alice when he refused to tell them where Voldemort was. Their use of the Cruciatus Curse meant their permanent imprisonment in Azkaban prison, although none of them remained inside. Dumbledore said that Alice and Frank don't recognize their son, Neville, when he visits them.[1]

Fifth book

Mad-Eye Moody showed Harry a photograph of the original Order of the Phoenix, which contains Alice and Frank Longbottom. Moody comments that death would have been better than what happened to them.[2] When Draco Malfoy makes a comment about how Harry should be in the ward at St. Mungo's for people who have received brain injuries due to magic, Neville attempts to fight Malfoy for this perceived insult to his parents (although Malfoy's reaction indicates he didn't know about the Longbottoms being in the ward). Harry manages to stop him, with the help of Ron[3]

At Christmas Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny are visiting Arthur Weasley in St Mungo's along with the other Weasleys and various Order members, when they feel it prudent to leave the room after Molly hears about Arthur's experimentation on himself with Muggle medicine. They leave for a cup of tea on the fifth floor, but when they reach the fourth floor for Spell Damage they run into their ex-Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, Gilderoy Lockhart who lost his memory when a memory charm he cast, meant for Harry and Ron, backfired [4]. They follow him and a Healer back into the Spell Damage ward just as Neville and his grandmother, Augusta Longbottom, are leaving Frank and [[Alice Longbottom's room.

Neville is mortified to see his friends there, who he has never told about what happened to his mother and father. His grandmother believes he never told them because he was ashamed of them, but Neville denies it. The trio and Ginny watch as Alice goes up to Neville and tries to give him a present of an empty Drooble's Best Blowing Gum wrapper, something she seems to have done many times before. His grandmother tells him to throw it away, claiming Neville, put that wrapper in the bin, she must have given you enough of them to paper your bedroom by now., but Neville pockets it. After they have left Harry tells them what he saw in Dumbledore's Pensieve the year before.[5]

Later on Neville is supportive of Harry after he gives an interview in The Quibbler about his encounter with Voldemort and his Death Eaters the year before. He realises how hard it must have been to talk about it and comments that people should know what the Death Eaters are capable of. However he still seems unable to himself talk about what he knows they did to his family.[6]

When Neville breaks into the Department of Mysteries along with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Luna, Harry and Neville are the last two standing when they try to stop Death Eaters from stealing the Prophecy. Lucius Malfoy comments that Neville's death will not come as a shock to his grandmother as she is used to losing family members and Bellatrix Lestrange remarks that she has had the 'pleasure' of meeting his parents. She enjoyed mocking Neville about how she had tortured his mum and dad and uses the same curse on him as she had used on his mother.[7]

When the contents of the Professor Trelawney's Prophecy were revealed for Harry after the break-in at the Ministry of Magic, Albus Dumbledore informed him that there were two wizarding families who had new babies born "as the seventh month dies" who had "thrice defied" the The Dark Lord The Longbottoms and the Potters.

Sixth book

When Harry Potter was on the Hogwarts Express travelling with Neville and Luna, he wonders about what would have happened had Voldemort decided the prophecy applied to Neville rather than him. He wonders whether Alice would have died for Neville the way his mother Lily had, whether she would have had the opportunity. If because of that she and Neville would have died, but Lilly Potter would have lived.

Later on in the train journey Harry and Neville were invited by Horace Slughorn for lunch in his train compartment. Slughorn had invited various students who had influential or talented parents, or those who he thought might have talent themselves. When he went round those he had invited asking them about their relations, there was an awkward moment when he got to Neville. Slughorn wasn't convinced that Neville had his parents' talent, though the later revelation that he had been at the Department of Mysteries helped to indicate Neville had at least something more about him.[8]

Final book

If applicable, maybe a few paragraphs here.

Portrayals within films

Alice is only seen briefly in the photo of the first Order of the Phoenix in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She is played by Lisa Wood.

Characterisation

Outward appearance

She no longer had the plump, happy-looking face Harry had seen in Moody's old photograph... Her face was thin and worn now, her eyes seemed overlarge and her hair, which had turned white, was wispy and dead-looking.[5]

When Harry is shown a photo of the original Order of the Phoenix by Moody, he feels like he knows her face well as she looks very much like her son Neville. He thinks of her face as friendly.

Personality

She and her husband were popular, according to Albus Dumbledore.[1] As we only see her once she lost her mind we cannot tell what she was like. However even after that she seems to want to give things to her son.

Magical accomplishments and skills

As an Auror Alice would have been highly skilled, something Neville's grandmother confirmed when the trio met her at St Mungo's.

Family

Her husband is the Auror Frank Longbottom and they had a son, Neville. Her mother-in-law is Augusta Longbottom. She is a Pure-Blood.

Additional Canon

J. K. Rowling has said that Alice and Frank never recover from their attack.[9]

She has also been asked about the significance of Alice giving the sweet wrapper to Neville:

That idea was one of the very few that was inspired by a real event. I was told what, to me, was a very sad story by someone I know about their elderly mother who had Alzheimer’s, and the elderly mother was in a closed ward. She was very severely demented and no longer recognized her son, but he went faithfully to visit her twice a week, and he used to take her sweets. That was their point of connection; she had a sweet tooth, she recognized him as the sweet-giver. That was very poignant to me. So I embroidered the story. Neville gives his mother what she wants, and (it makes me sad to think of it) she wants to give something back to him, but what she gives back to him is essentially worthless. But he still takes it as worth something because she’s trying to give, so it does mean something, in emotional terms.[10]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J. K. Rowling, GoF 30
  2. J. K. Rowling, OotP 9
  3. J. K. Rowling, OotP 17
  4. J.K. Rowling, CoS 16
  5. 5.0 5.1 J. K. Rowling, OotP 23
  6. J. K. Rowling, OotP 26
  7. J. K. Rowling, OotP 35
  8. J. K. Rowling, HBP 7
  9. NBC Interview with J.K. Rowling: Beyond the Epilogue
  10. The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet fan websites interview with J. K. Rowling (2005), The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet Interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling