A Tribute to the Brave One: Neville Longbottom

On this day 35 years ago, the wizarding world gained a special wizard who eventually grew up to be a brave hero who changed the fate of the magical community.

Neville Longbottom.

Many people seem to view Neville as the Boy Who Could Have Been since Professor Trelawney’s prophecy could have easily resulted in him being Voldemort’s target. Though Neville, and many other wizards and witches, doubted his abilities, it is because of him Harry was able to defeat Voldemort—Neville was the one to destroy the final Horcrux. Neville was also the one to face Voldemort and openly defy him, refusing Voldemort’s invitation to join the Death Eaters.

To me, in a world full of chaos, Neville Longbottom represents normalcy. Many of us want to be the Harry Potters or the Draco Malfoys. We want to be the most popular person in the universe without even trying, and we crave power over others. However, Neville represents who we truly are.

When things were falling apart in the wizarding world, Neville remained the constant. Yes, he doubted himself constantly. He often couldn’t remember spells and charms, and if he did remember them, he most likely goofed up—but this is what makes Neville so relatable. Neville represents who most teenagers and young adults are. We’re clumsy, forgetful, self-conscious, and frightened. We’re confused about who we truly are, and we’re almost too afraid to showcase our true selves if we have it figured out. However, underneath the exterior, we’re humble and kind. We’re eager to learn, and we’re happy to participate in something that benefits the greater good. We’re hopeful for the future, and we’re hopeful that we’ll have a positive impact on the world. We, teenagers and young adults of the world, are the Neville Longbottoms.

Though it may seem advantageous to be the Harry Potters of the world, or even the Draco Malfoys, the Neville Longbottoms—the ones who display their kindness and pure heart—are the ones who truly win in the end.

A participant in many battles, an active member of Dumbledore’s Army, and the one who stood up to his friends in a time of adversity, Neville Longbottom represents a true Gryffindor.

So on his 35th birthday, I wish Professor Neville Longbottom a happy birthday! Because of his bravery, the wizarding world is finally at peace, and because of him, we never gave up hope throughout it all.