Episodes of Neville’s Perspective in Hogwarts during the Second Wizarding War
Neville Longbottom gazed out at the passing scenery, feeling the slight rocking of the Hogwart’s Express. Darkness have fallen onto the landscape hours ago, an indication they were near the great castle.
“Everything is going to change now, isn’t it?” Ginny Weasley suddenly spoke up.
“At Hogwarts?” Luna Lovegood responded dreamingly.
“Yeah at Hogwarts...”
Hogwarts. Everything will change. The Death Eaters have infiltrated the school and positioned Professor Snape, the traitor, as the headmaster of the school. What Neville couldn’t understand is how someone can be so twisted that they could betray something that kept them in a safe haven for a long time.
He quickly sighed. Betrayal was another world to him. He couldn’t imagine betraying any of his friends. He looked at Ginny who was rummaging for her Hogwart’s robes to change into as they got nearer to their destination. He looked at Luna who was reading her father’s magazine, the Quibbler. He thought of Harry Potter, one of the bravest people he knew and someone that he looks up to. He thought of Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry’s friends. He remembers the many times that Hermione have helped him. No...he could never betray them. They were his friends.
“Neville quit dreaming!” Ginny demanded, “We are like three minutes away from Hogwarts. You should get changed.”
Neville smiled but in his guts, he was worried. It was the first time that he was afraid of Hogwarts. Afraid of what will happen and what ‘terror’ Professor Snape brought in after he was positioned in the seat of power of the school.
He got up and took out his robes. Neville brushed his fingers over the embroidered Gryffindor symbol. He was put into Gryffindor for a reason. Hastily, he flung it over his current outfit and buttoned it.
“We are here,” Ginny said.
“Yes, we are,” Neville echoed.
Neville stepped out of the train with Ginny and Luna and breathed in the fresh cool air. He saw the great outline of Hogwarts and made a silent vow. No matter what happens, no matter what changes in there, he has to fight for what he believes in...with his friends.
The Great Hall rang and echoed with friendly chatter and the clattering of the cutlery as students feasted. It had been quiet normal so far. The Sorting Ceremony drifted passed like nothing has changed. Neville didn’t know what to expect. Perhaps every time someone got sorted into Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, Professor Snape would suddenly banish them from the castle.
Neville chuckled. He should enjoy the feast while he can. He selected a chocolate pudding and smashed his fork into it. He gobbled it up.
“Hey, Neville how was the holiday for you?” Seamus suddenly asked.
He looked up and swallowed the chocolate pudding quickly, causing him to cough. He grabbed some water, drunk it and cleared his throat.
“Sorry. Oh it has been quiet,” Neville answered, “Gran and I mostly kept track of the news of what has been happening lately. Protection and new measures have been put up around our property when the Ministry of Magic fell.”
Seamus expression darkened abruptly. “You don’t reckon. I am amazed that there are this much people that came back to Hogwarts this year with our change of Headmaster.”
“Didn’t you hear the announcement that every young witch and wizard must attend?” Neville said.
“Of course I did,” Seamus said exasperatedly, “I mean I am surprised that they are all still here. They can move abroad like to Australia till everything blows over.”
“I guess,” Ginny put in, “But it would be hard wouldn’t it? The wizarding community is completely different to the muggle’s. You can’t just pack your wand and expect not to be questioned by muggle security as you leave the country. It would cause a whole bunch of problems. Long distance transportation is a bit troublesome for our society. That doesn’t mean no-one left though. Just difficult and the chances are high that you could be caught.”
“True that,” Seamus said.
“Dean isn’t here,” Neville pointed out, “I suspect he had to go into hiding due to his blood status. All loads of rubbish, isn’t it? All the muggle-born vanished. It is only half-blood and the pure-blood here now.”
“I hope Dean is going well out there,” Seamus said.
“Well as they can be,” Ginny sighed.
“There is one reason though to stay at Hogwarts that doesn’t involve being forced into staying,” Neville said.
“What is it Neville?” Ginny asked.
“Hogwarts needs all the help it can get until this war is won.”
“I ‘spect you’re right.”
At the exact moment, the pudding and dessert vanished, leaving the silver platters clean and shiny. Silence fell amongst the students. Neville looked up to the head table where Professor Snape has risen from the headmaster’s seat. He stared at Professor Snape with annoyance. He shouldn’t be on that chair. Not after what he did to this school.
“I have some announcements to make,” he started slowly.
There was a slight shiver that rippled through the Great Hall as the people looked up to the bat-like figure that stood before them. No one dared to make a sound.
“Great changes have been made and are in place ever since I was appointed headmaster,” Snape continued, “I would like you to welcome Professor Carrow who would teach the changed subject of Defence Against the Dark Arts as just the Dark Arts. He will also be serving as my deputy headmaster-“
Mutterings started to arouse from the students. Neville glanced at Ginny and Seamus in alarm. Ginny had her mouth open and Seamus nearly fell off his chair. The Dark Arts? Seriously, they were going to bring in the Dark Arts as a class and to top it all off, they are making a Death Eater to teach it? Neville did not know what to think.
“Silence!” Professor Snape’s voice rang out sharply. “I would also like to introduce Professor Carrow’s sister, Professor Carrow, who would be taking Muggle Studies as a compulsory subject-”
This time, Neville felt like he needed a good long trip to the bathroom to get rid of the nausea he was feeling. He could picture the chaos and the derailing of this school already! He saw Professor McGonagall with an expression that she ate something extremely sour. He saw Professor Sprout with her head bowed down on the silver plate in front of her.
“-your loyalty lies with this school and its staff,” Snape ended, “Get some rest and you shall resume your magical training tomorrow.”
There was hustle as a sea of black streamed out the Great Hall. There were whispers and comments on what Professor Snape had just announced.
“What do you think about the whole thing?” Seamus inquired.
“I think Hogwarts definitely needs our help,” Neville responded.
It was late in the night but Neville couldn’t sleep. He could hear Seamus soft snores and the faint patter of rain outside. He looked at the two empty beds that Harry and Ron usually occupied if they were here. He wondered where they and Hermione were and what they were doing. They told no one. Even Ginny doesn’t know.
He imagined it was something to defeat You-Know-Who, something that could bring the war to its end. Neville believed in Harry. His eyes flickered over to the next bed that belonged to Dean Thomas. He hoped Dean was ok and...alive.
With a shaking sigh, Neville closed his eyes, mind still swarming with worry.
“You got to be joking!”
“What Neville?” Ginny asked.
“Look at my timetable!” Neville yelped, with his hand frozen, clutching a piece of toast.
He thrust his timetable sheet into Ginny’s hand.
“It is torture!” he muttered.
“Man! You really have it tough today don’t you,” Ginny said, eyes sweeping through the timetable, “You have double period of the Dark Arts followed by Muggle Studies. Hey, at least you have Charms and double Herbology afterwards.”
“Why do we have to learn the Dark Arts,” Neville moaned.
“Because the messed up school curriculum said so,” Ginny said impatiently, “Face it. There is no point in complaining. I can’t say I am pleased with it either but we need to endure it.”
“But being the first class to get to experience that particular class?” Neville continued, “What is this misfortunate!”
“It isn’t that surprising. You are in seventh year,” Ginny said.
“And to think I have to do the Dark Arts as my N.E.W.T!” Neville rambled on, “Well at least I know I’ll get a ‘T’ for one subject...and be proud of it.”
Neville looked down at his breakfast. He had lost his appetite. Instead, he grabbed a jar and poured himself some water.
“Hey, Neville, Ginny!” a voice spoke up, “What’s with the gloomy faces?”
Neville looked up and saw Seamus smiling over him.
“We got the Dark Arts as the first class,” Neville said glumly.
“Blimey, you’re not serious!” Seamus exclaimed.
“You guys already heard the news I am guessing,” Lavender Brown said, her face sullen.
“What do you think they would make us do?” Parvati Patil asked, worried.
“I have no idea,” Neville said nervously, “But I bet it isn’t creating flowers out of thin air.”
“What happens if we learn the unforgivable curses?” Seamus asked.
“Whatever it is, we will be there for each other,” Lavender said.
“Of course,” Neville said.
“What do you have Ginny?” Parvati queried.
“Not really sure,” Ginny replied, “Professor McGonagall needs to check it.”
“Oh yeah, you are in 6th year. You know though, I bet you Muggle Studies will be loads of rubbish on how Muggles are horrible,” Parvati said, “Kind of stupid really.”
“Do they really think that they could convince us of that?” Seamus said, in disbelief, “What a waste of time.”
“I don’t know what they hope to achieve,” Neville said.
“Doesn’t matter, it is compulsory,” Seamus continued, “But I find it unfair how we only have less than a year to learn all those rubbish before we are put into one of the most important examinations in our lives! Is Snape seriously making the seventh year go into N.E.W.T after what is suppose to be 7 years of learning, turned into 1? This is so stupid!”
Seamus glared up at the head table.
“You summed it all up Seamus,” Lavender said.
“We should get to our first class,” Parvati announced, “It is almost time.”
Neville got up slowly, still crestfallen.
“Good Luck guys!” Ginny shouted behind them.
“We will need it,” Seamus muttered.
Neville entered the dark classroom cautiously. He could feel the nausea taking over. It was dimly lit and the windows were covered by maroon curtains with only tiny streams of light peeking through. All in all, it was a gloomy room.
He slipped next to Seamus at a wooden desk and took out his textbook hoping for a theory lesson instead of a practical.
“Well, what an interesting class we have here,” a voice boomed at the back of the classroom.
Everyone turned around. Neville’s eyes landed on a hulk-like figure. The figure marched up to the front of the class with a leering expression.
“Well I hope you guys are up for the Dark Arts,” Professor Carrow announced.
Neville felt a slight vibration next to him and saw Seamus hand covering his mouth to stop himself laughing.
“The Dark Arts is a tool that the Dark Lord wants you to learn-“
And it was here that Neville decided he cannot be bothered listening to the false praise of the Dark Arts. It was certainly a waste of time. He started to dwell his thoughts on the D.A, Dumbledore’s Army. Without Harry, the D.A does not have a leader but Dumbledore’s Army...wasn’t the purpose of it, to learn defensive spells against the Dark Arts when no-one could teach them? What perfect time would it be if he could restart it?
It could give people hope, it could give him hope. He reflected on the brilliant times he had 2 years ago with different people he met with one common goal. If they could unite against Umbridge, they could definitely be able to unite against the Carrows. But he could not do it alone. He needs help. He knew that Luna and Ginny would be on board with it.
A sudden nudge awoke him to the shady classroom again. He saw Professor Carrow sneering down upon him with an evil glint on his eyes.
“I take it that you are Neville Longbottom,” Professor Carrow sneered.
“Y-y-yes,” he stammered.
Neville mentally kicked himself for stammering. He shouldn’t be afraid!
“I see you are day-dreaming in my class?” Professor Carrow smirked.
Neville stared up at him, his mind blank.
“Get up,” Carrow said.
He remained firm on his seat.
“GET UP!” Carrow shouted and suddenly dragged Neville up with steely force.
He waved his wand and floated Neville in front of the class. Neville looked around the class. He saw pity on the Gryffindor’s expression while glee shone on the Slytherin’s.
“We are learning the Cruciatus Curse today,” Professor Carrow said, “You will be expecting to use this as punishment for people who disobey orders. The Cruciatus Curse is a curse that causes extreme agony and torture. I shall demonstrate!”
Professor Carrow’s black eyes fell on Neville. Neville could only dimly register that he was the guinea-pig before he felt the overwhelming pain. He smashed against the floor as imaginary searing hot knives cut and slashed at his skin. It felt like he had been tossed into a blazing inferno. He could feel something like a blunt rustic axe sawing away at his body parts. His mind was about to explode and deteriorate... and suddenly it was gone.
Neville rolled over on his back. He could still hear the echo of his screams vibrating in the silent air. Tears started to form in his eyes as he thought about his parents. How his parents reached the point of their derailing due to this curse... How his parents bravely fought the Death Eaters who tortured them to insanity and it was this thought that cleared his mind and gave him the strength to stand up again.
He wiped away his tears and faced the Death Eater. He won’t be put down like this.
“Oooh, tough are we,” the Death Eater taunted, “tough like your parents? But I am not here to make you as stupid as them. I am here to teach. I am here to teach you and your peers the fine art of the Dark Arts.”
Professor Carrow leered down at them and smirked.
“Slytherins partner up with the Gryffindors. We don’t want friends torturing friends, do we?” he laughed, “Slytherins, take your pick and perform your best Cruciatus Curse on your enemies.”
Neville looked around the classroom and saw his friends...down...squirming feverishly with their tortured screams echoing throughout the room. He turned around to face his assigned partner, Crabbe. He saw Crabbe smiling slightly and a fresh wave of pain flooded into him as he was hit for the second time...
“Luna, Luna! Over here,” Ginny whispered.
Luna turned around and quickly walked over to the statue where Neville and Ginny was hiding behind.
“Are you guys all set? Meet back here at 3am okay? That is one hour,” Neville hushed, “We have to do this fast and efficiently.”
Ginny and Luna nodded and ran off to their separate location. Neville slipped off to the Great Hall. After the horrendous class, Neville formulated a plan. He asked Ginny and Luna to help and they agreed with enthusiasm.
He took out his wand and started to cast brilliant coloured streams onto the front wall of the Hall.
“What are you doing?” a voice said.
Neville turned around and there stood a short boy with his arms crossed.
“What are you doing?” he repeated.
“Wh-who are you?” Neville asked nervously.
“Luke Webb, third year,” he said, grinning mischievously.
“Why are you here?”
“I’ll answer that if you answer me,” he smiled.
“Rebelling,” Neville sighed.
He has already resigned to the fact he was probably going to be whipped into pieces by the Carrows. He might as well say the truth.
“Don’t worry, I am not here to dob you in or whatever,” Luke reassured, “I am here because I want to join.”
Neville glanced at the shining wall to his graffiti.
“I don’t know,” he said, “Nothing is exactly planned out.”
“Don’t worry. I can wait.”
The next morning, people were crowding around different parts of the castle. There were mutterings and murmurs about the coloured graffiti on the walls. Rumours flew around the whole castle but Neville knew...
He walked past the Great Hall wall.
“Good job Neville,” Ginny whispered excitedly, “We did it!”
“Yes we did, didn’t we?” Luna smiled.
Neville grinned in response and glanced at the brightly lit message proclaiming hope. Hope for the students of Hogwarts:
We are fighting! - the D.A