The Curious Observer

August 16, 2013

Professor Longbottom,

If you could go back to your first year, knowing what you know now, what would you say to the students who didn’t believe in you? What would you say to Draco Malfoy after he stole your Remembrall or put the Leg Locker jinx on you? Now that you have grown up, what would you say to the discouraged student who believes that they will never grow into their magic or have luck in school?

Curious Observer

Dear Curious Observer,

If I could do my first year over again knowing what I know now, I honestly don’t know if it would have been much different. It certainly wouldn’t have helped the way Draco or Snape treated me, they wouldn’t’ve believed me if I said, “Yeah, well, I’m going to be better than you someday!” In fact, it might have made things worse…. Knowing about my future would have made it easier for eleven-year-old me to cope with feeling useless and left out. I would have had something to look forward to, to be proud of. But I don’t know how I would have handled the pressure of that; I was not a very confident student! I might have been overwhelmed and given up before I ever had a chance.

For those who are like I was – discouraged and feeling useless – you all have something to show. I thought I was a lost cause until I discovered my interest in Herbology. Once I knew that I could do something well, it gave me confidence to succeed in other things. Magic is very tricky; it depends on a lot of things for success. Many things can affect how “good” you are at magic, from using a second-hand wand, to trying to cast a charm whilst suffering from a head cold. Some people, like Hermione Granger, take to magic right away, and others take longer to show any talent (like myself). Also, the marks you get in school are only one way to measure talent. Even after I became a better spellcaster, I only earned decent marks in class. But I certainly know my way around a greenhouse, and I can even manage a solid Patronus now! Look at Ron’s brothers Fred and George for an example of succeeding without top marks.

I wish you the best in school and afterwards. I am confident that you will find your talents and make the most of them!

Much success,
Neville

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