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We first see Neville when he's being told off by his Gran, round-faced and teary as he looks for his toad Trevor. Hermione Granger decides to help him look for it on the Hogwarts Express, leading to her first meeting with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. He takes a long time to be Sorted, eventually ending up in Gryffindor. He embarrasses himself in front of all the school by running to his table with the Sorting Hat still on his head.
He soon proves to be forgetful as he gets caught in a trick staircase and makes mistakes in his lessons, most notably in Potions by melting Seamus Finnigan's cauldron, earning the scathing treatment of Professor Snape. Neville is terrified of his first flying lesson and injures himself quickly. He forgets password to the Gryffindor Common and ends up getting caught in Harry and Ron's attempt at a midnight duel along with Hermione. The experience terrified Neville.
He also attracts the attention of Slytherin bully, Draco Malfoy, who keeps jinxing him and telling him that he isn't brave enough to be in Gyffindor. In Harry's second ever game of Quidditch, when Malfoy goads Ron to the point where Ron physically attacks him, Neville joins in to help. He takes on both of Malfoy's larger friends, Crabbe and Goyle, ending up knocked out.
Despite Neville's fear of midnight wanderings, he bravely tries to warn Harry and Hermione when he hears that his bully, Malfoy, is going to catch them out after hours. His attempts to warn them, only get himself caught as well. He loses fifty points for Gryffindor as a result and gets a detention. Neville was made unpopular for his punishment, though he escaped the school-wide insults that Harry was given due to his being relatively unknown. For detention, Neville, Harry, Hermione, and Malfoy are sent with gamekeeper Hagrid into the Forbidden Forest. On their mission to find an injured unicorn, Neville is paired with Malfoy. Malfoy scares Neville into sending a signal for help and so switches places with Harry, as a result narrowly avoiding an encounter Lord Voldemort, who Harry and Malfoy meet shortly afterwards in the forest.
At the end of the year, when Harry, Ron and Hermione are once again planning on sneaking out after hours, Neville tries to stand up against them and stop them for the sake of Gryffindor House. Unfortunately, the trio are on an important mission and won't be stopped. Hermione puts the full Body-Bind curse on Neville, and they leave him immobile on the Common Room floor as they head out to the forbidden corridor. At the end of the year, when the House points are calculated to determine which House wins the House Cup, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore saves until the last minute giving large numbers of points to Ron, Hermione, and Harry for their efforts in stopping Voldemort from stealing the Philosopher's Stone (which had been hidden in the school). These points made Gryffindor's total equal to that of Slytherin. Last of all Dumbledore awards Neville ten points for the courage to stand up to his friends, his points being the ones to put Gryffindor in the lead and earn them the House Cup.
Neville was very impressed with Harry and Ron when they turned up to school this year by flying Ford Anglia. When Ron receives a Howler from his mother, Neville advises him from experience that it's better to open them than ignore them. The new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, manages to awe Neville a little with his dark introduction to a cage full of Cornish Pixies. In the end Neville was perhaps right to be worried as once released the pixies seized him by the ears and left him hanging on the candelabra in the ceiling.
After the Chamber of Secrets was opened and Mrs Norris the cat and Colin Creevey had been attacked, Neville bought several items that would supposedly protect him (a large, green, smelly onion - possibly a Gurdyroot - a purple crystal and a newt tail) before the Gryffindors pointed out that as a Pure-Blood he was unlikely to be attacked. Neville's response is that everyone knows he's nearly a Squib, like Argus Filch, Mrs Norris' owner.
Neville had his first attempt at a duel when Lockhart formed a Duelling Club. His opponant was Justin Finch-Fletchley and neither of them seem to have managed to cast Expelliarmus as intended, as they were on the floor panting. Lockhart chooses them as a volunteer pair to teach them how to block spells, but Snape quickly steps in.
"Longbottom causes devastation with the simplest of spells. We'll be sending what's left of Finch-Fletchley up to the hospital wing in a matchbox." - Snape
When the time for the second years to choose their O.W.L.s Neville was sent reams of advice by letter from all the witches and wizards in his family, confusing him all the more with what he wanted to take. He went around asking people which subjects they thought sounded hard. Shortly afterwards it was Neville who found Harry's bed and possessions all thrown about in Ginny's attempt to find Tom Riddle's diary. On learning that despite the attacks they were still going to have end of year exams, Neville manages to accidentally Vanish the leg of his desk in Transfiguration.
When Harry Potter blew up his Aunt Marge he decided to run. When he accidentally managed to hail the Knight Bus rather than use his own name, he used Neville's. When Harry later sees Neville at Diagon Alley he chooses not to speak to him as he was being told off by his grandmother at the time for misplacing his booklist.
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Portrayals within films
Neville is portrayed in all the films by Matthew Lewis.
Neville is described as round-faced.
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Magical accomplishments and skills
At first Neville displayed little magical ability. His grandmother feared he might even be a Squib. However he had magic enough to attend Hogwarts school. At first he mostly seemed to do badly in lessons, particularly in Potions and Transfiguration where he often caused accidents. However he displayed an aptitude for Herbology.
After Harry Potter taught him Defence Against the Dark Arts in the secret Dumbledore's Army in 1995, he became proficient at duelling and one of the quickest learners in the class. Neville studied to take N.E.W.T.s in Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology and Charms. He later became a Professor of Herbology.
- Neville owns a pet toad that frequently tries to escape from him, called Trevor.
- In 1991 in his first year at Hogwarts, Neville was sent a Remembrall by his grandmother.
- Neville owned a rare plant called Mimbulus Mimbletonia, which he took with him to Hogwarts in 1995.
- Up until his fifth year at Hogwarts Neville used his father's old wand. However in 1996 when he broke into the Department of Mysteries with some members of Dumbledore's Army, his wand was broken by Antonin Dolohov when he kicked Neville in the face and broke his nose.
- In 1996 Neville was one of the last of Ollivander's customers when he bought a new wand (cherry and unicorn hair).
Neville's parents were Frank and Alice Longbottom. They were popular Aurors who were tortured into insanity after Voldemort's first downfall in 1981. Death Eaters Bartemius Crouch Jr., Bellatrix Lestrange, Rodolphus Lestrange and Rabastan Lestrange had hoped to get Voldemort's whereabouts from them. They were all sent to Azkaban.
Neville was brought up by his grandmother, Augusta Longbottom. She was initially disappointed in her son's apparent lack of magical ability and forgetfulness. However when Neville helped Harry to break into the Department of Mysteries and fight Death Eaters, she at last became proud of him.
Neville has a great-uncle called Algie and a great-aunt called Enid. When Neville was young Algie tried to scare Neville into displaying magical talent. He even pushed Neville off of Blackpool pier where he nearly drowned. When Neville was eight years old he was hanging Neville from an upstairs window and accidentally dropped him when Enid offered him a meringue and he let go. Luckily Neville was able to magically bounce and as a reward Algie bought Trevor for Neville.
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In popular culture
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J. K. Rowling revealed that Neville ended up marrying Hannah Abbott (who became landlady of The Leaky Cauldron) and lives with her above the pub. In a PotterCast episode featuring J. K. Rowling she has said that Neville worked as an Auror for Kingsley Shacklebolt before becoming a Professor of Herbology at Hogwarts. She has also said that Neville would keep his magical Galleon from Dumbledore's Army which would impress his students.