1. Severus Snape
They nearly got away. Ginny smashed the glass case, Luna brushed the shards away and Neville had his hand on the sword – then Snape was there, looming over them.
Snape bared his teeth, sallow face terrifying in the dark headmaster's office. "Get out," he hissed, and Neville stumbled a step back, arms hovering protectively in front of Ginny and Luna. He caught Ginny's eye, and she nodded. They were defeated, at least this time.
It wasn't until they were safely several corridors away that Neville wondered why, then, it was Snape who'd looked wearily defeated as he watched them leave.
2. Luna Lovegood
Hagrid, overseeing their detention in the Forbidden Forest, accidentally walked them straight into a conference of centaurs. Hagrid stepped back from the clearing, apologising. But Luna stepped forward, saying, "You know, there's something I've always wanted to ask them about Mars…"
The sun rose on Luna still earnestly conferring with a red-maned centaur, who nodded thoughtfully at her points about the unusual size of this year's harvest moon. By the time they all stumbled back to the castle in the pale dawn, Neville had the distinct impression she'd just single-handedly won the centaurs to their side of the coming war.
3. Seamus Finnegan
"No," Seamus said. His voice quavered, but he stood firm behind his desk.
Alecto Carrow's face twisted into a nasty smile. "No?" she repeated. "If you won't cast the curse on your errant classmate, dear boy, then I shall have no choice but to perform it on both of you. What good will your noble sentiments be then, I wonder?"
Neville, his wrists tightly bound, tried to signal Seamus with his eyes. There was no shame in obeying her. There was no need for Seamus, too, to suffer.
"No," Seamus said again, louder. Alecto smiled horribly and raised her wand.
4. Ginny Weasley
Luna gone. It seemed impossible.
Neville and Ginny met in the Room of Requirement, although there was no official DA meeting, and the Room offered up a hammock wide enough for two. After a moment's hesitation, Ginny climbed in, then reached out a hand to Neville. They held onto each other in the quiet dark.
"I worry about her," Ginny whispered into Neville's shoulder, her voice softer than he'd ever heard it. "I worry about Harry. I worry about everyone."
"I know," he said, and wrapped his arms tighter. It wasn't strange. It was Ginny. The sister he'd never had.
5. Augusta Longbottom
"Resisted arrest and evaded capture," the article in the Daily Prophet read. "Wanted for injuring a Ministry employee. Considered armed and dangerous."
Neville bit his lip, then winced. It was already sore from the Carrows' latest round of Cruciatus. When he'd started fighting back, Neville hadn't meant it to have repercussions on anyone but himself. But he should have known he would eventually pick up a newspaper and read this article.
Despite himself, he smiled, his split lip cracking painfully. The Ministry had picked the wrong old lady to pick on.
"Good for you, Gran," he murmured under his breath.
6. Michael Corner
Easter. Ginny gone. No word from Luna. No word from Harry. Michael Corner tortured for the simple crime of freeing a chained-up first year. His screams still echoed in Neville's wincing head.
No more. No more open resistance, no more of anyone but him taking the blame. Neville wouldn't let anyone else be hurt, not if he could help it.
The Carrows were on his heels; he could hear Amycus panting. He had one chance to get this right. I need a place where I can think and plan.
In the wall ahead of him, a beautifully familiar door appeared.
7. Aberforth Dumbledore
The Hog's Head barman stared at him. Oddly, the fact that Neville had entered the pub from the upstairs living quarters rather than the street didn't seem to faze him.
"I knew your parents," Aberforth Dumbledore said suddenly. "Barmy, the both of them, getting mixed up with that Phoenix lot."
Then he said, "Yes," although Neville hadn't asked a question.
Neville felt his eyebrows rising in confusion.
The barman grunted in annoyance. "You can have whatever you need, but for Merlin's sake, come through at night, not in the middle of the bleeding day. And don't let anyone see you."
8. Lavender Brown
"Luna!" Lavender screamed, and Neville spun towards the sound of her voice, although he knew Luna couldn't possibly be here, at Hogwarts, here in the Room of Requirement that had swelled with the ranks of Dumbledore's Army.
Lavender was holding her golden DA coin in the palm of her hand, transfixed.
"She's safe," she whispered. "They're safe. She got a message through, oh, look, she says Harry and Ron and Hermione rescued her and Dean from Malfoy Manor."
"Dean?" Seamus asked hoarsely.
Lavender could only nod. "They're safe," she repeated. "They're all safe." Seamus reached over and squeezed her hand.
9. Alice and Frank Longbottom
Neville kept a portrait of his parents under his pillow in the Room of Requirement. He didn't tell anyone. It was the only possession he'd managed to bring with him, and that was only because he'd had it with him that day when the Carrows chased him here.
He held whispered conversations with them, sometimes, when everyone else was asleep. "Am I doing the right thing?" he asked. "Would you have done the same?"
Neville knew it was only a coincidence of wizarding photography, but in the picture his mother nodded and her mouth seemed to form the word Yes.
10. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger
He'd never thought he could be so overjoyed to see Ron's freckles, Harry's lopsided glasses, Hermione's wild curls. Neville talked a mile a minute as he led them through the passageway from the Hog's Head to the castle, his fingers sending out a message through the charmed coin in his pocket even as he spoke.
He turned to grin at the three of them, looking baffled in his wake. Their clothes were torn, they were covered in dust and soot, and Neville thought they looked beautiful.
He pushed open the door to the Room and called, "Look who it is!"
11. Professor Sprout
The battle was rising up around them, but Neville knew where he needed to be. He found Professor Sprout outside Greenhouse Three, both of them coming in at a dead run.
"Devil's Snare, I was thinking," she panted. "I have some in the back of Greenhouse Five."
Neville nodded. "And Fiery Foxglove? And those Spiny Porcupine Bushes that are pretty much full grown? And the Mandrakes could do some good too, don't you think, professor?"
Professor Sprout grinned, her flyaway hair like a halo around her head. "Yes," she said. "Neville Longbottom, I like the way you think. Come on."
12. Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks
During the ceasefire, in the strange ringing silence that followed Voldemort's eerily amplified proclamation, Neville helped to gather the dead. He and three other students together lifted up kind Professor Lupin and his wife, the fun Auror Tonks. Their faces were gentle, as if they were asleep.
"You helped me when I needed it," Neville whispered in Professor Lupin's unhearing ear. "You taught me to believe in myself. I'll never forget that."
Across from him, Hannah Abbott was crying silently, her arms tight around Lupin's knees as Neville bore his shoulders. Their eyes met. They didn't need to exchange words.
13. Harry Potter
Harry appeared out of the dark, out of nothingness, looking like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Well – that was precisely what he had.
"Where are you going, alone?" Neville demanded. It would be just like Harry to turn himself over to Voldemort if he thought it would save the rest of them.
"It's all part of the plan," Harry said. Neville wasn't sure he believed him, but he knew he couldn't stop him.
Then Harry said, "Kill the snake."
Neville nodded, something in his chest blooming bright. Yes. That was a thing he could do.
14. Neville Longbottom
Something heavy dropped onto his head and Neville saw stars. He reached up and lifted the Sorting Hat from his head, thrust his hand inside it and felt – the Sword of Gryffindor. After all this time, right where he needed it after all.
Kill the snake, Harry had said.
Neville's mother had nodded and said, Yes.
Neville looked back at the faces of all these people loved. In the crowd of resistance fighters he saw Ginny and Luna, Dean and Seamus, Ron and Hermione. All the students, all the teachers.
He straightened his shoulders, lifted the sword high, and swung.