Nicknames/Aliases: Writes under the name "Pete Graves." Has no other aliases.
Birthdate: July 30, 1980
Occupation: Publicly, for all intents and purposes, Neville avows to others that he is living from a trust fund alloted to him by his parents and grandfather. The reality is far different.
Under the pseudonym "Pete Graves," Neville writes nonfiction books about crime in the wizarding world. This is a niche market, to say the least - there are few wizarding authors and still fewer who take interest in such a little discussed area of wizarding history. To make ends meet, Neville (still as Graves) also writes occasional guest features for the Daily Prophet when a major crime hits the papers or when the paper chooses to tackle "hard-hitting" topics about crime, such as prison reform or cold cases. The pseudonym is very important to Neville - first, he does not believe that friends and family would accept his career easily, second because the nature of his work puts his family at considerable risk, given that he often writes about criminals who are currently in Azkaban and not yet deceased.
There are a number of reasons that he chose this as his career after the war - initially, it was because the schedule enabled him to stay at home and raise his daughter, or so he told himself. The reality is that it suits him. Neville's a good listener - and more than that, he genuinely takes an interest in other human beings - he also has a crusader streak in him that slowly emerged during the war. Telling the stories of others injured by crime and by war (and this often goes for the perpetrators in his stories, as well as the victims) is for Neville a way to assauge some of the guilt that he feels for not being able to save his own family.
Home: The Longbottoms have just returned to London after a year living in Clermont Ferrand, France where Neville was working on a book investigating a war criminal hiding in Paris. They are currently renting a small two-bedroom flat in the wizarding portion of the city until something better comes along.
Finances: Struggling, constantly struggling. Books - particularly when one is a writer in an unpopular genre - don't make a lot of money. Neville writes on freelance assignments where and when he can but with massive medical bills, plus three people at home to support, the Longbottoms never have enough to spare. The only person who seems to notice or mind is Augusta - both Neville and Jinx regard it as a permanent state of existence and don't generally think much of being poor.
Household: Daughter, Hyacinth Etruria Longbottom - never called anything but "Jinx," 10. Hyacinth's nickname came because Augusta is fond of nagging the child and her father by saying things like "stop it with your hijinks, child." This earned her the affectionate tag of "Hijinks" from Neville which eventually just shortened itself to Jinx.
Jinx is easily the most graceless child in all of Creation (an impressive feat, considering her father) and as a result, isn't very pleasant to be around. She's also extremely protective of her father because they've moved so often in her young life. They've never stayed in one place long enough, nor does she have the personality type, to make any real friends and as a result, she's much more comfortable with adults than other children. She also has no magical ability to speak of - something that people like to point out to Neville, sometimes in front of her - and gets along miserably with Augusta. Many of her issues with her life are ones she hides from her father, because of her sense of needing to protect him. Jinx is much older in her mind than people often give her credit for and much more intelligent.
Grandmother, Augusta Etruria Bode Longbottom, ancient. Neville's grandmother who raised him in the absence of his parents. She is a forceful, strong woman and a powerful witch who wears green robes, a fox-fur scarf, a distinctive hat topped with a stuffed vulture, and carries a large red handbag. She lives with Neville under the mutually-supported illusion that she is there because Neville can't care for Jinx alone but the fact of the matter is that Augusta herself has little income, much of it having been spent prior to Neville's adulthood in medical treatments for her son and his wife.
While they do not live with him, Neville financially supports his parents, Frank and Alice Longbottom, in Ward 49 of St. Mungo's.
Wife, Alexandria (Alix) Witherow, deceased in March of 1999 in the Battle of Louth.
Father, Francis (Frank) Harfang Longbottom
Mother, Alice Elizabeth Graves-Longbottom
Great-Uncle, Algis (Algie) Longbottom
Great-Aunt, Enid Longbottom
Grandad, Wallace Harfang Longbottom, deceased in 1990.
Blood Status: Pureblood
House Alumni: Gryffindor but left school at the outset of the war, in 1997.
Wand: 10 ¾” cherry wood with unicorn hair core
Appearance: Neville is still somewhat round of face as he was when younger but he has lost some weight from the stresses of war and his long hours spent in diplomacy. He’s not typically attractive- his skin has a tendency to occasionally blotch and his complexion is somewhat uneven. Extremely short - about 5'4" - but comes off as taller when he chooses to. Has black hair that is naturally curly (and that he never remembers to cut), dark brown eyes and a snub nose. Tends to shove a baseball cap over his hair to attempt to keep it in some kind of control but wisps of the hair still curl out from the sides and the back. He's also beginning to age prematurely, something that can be seen in the silvering of his hair near his temples. Generally clean-shaven because he has some difficulty growing facial hair. He also doesn’t grow it because his daughter doesn’t like it.
Although Nev isn’t as chubby as he used to be, he still has difficulty remembering that and tends to dress as if he still were in shirts that are a bit too big and baggy clothing as if he’s hiding himself. He also has achieved an odd sort of trained grace from his time working in diplomacy during the war and tends to move somewhat slowly, mimicking a gracefulness that doesn’t come naturally. When he gets comfortable with someone, he tends to revert back to his old self, constantly breaking, spilling and knocking things over.
First Impression: "Watch the china."
Personality: Oddly stoic and strongly determined though neither is an attribute most people would recognize in him. Is shy & introverted by nature (for him, he could die quite happily if he never saw anything but plants for the rest of his life). Has learned, however, to work with other people and to be (somewhat) more graceful with his interactions.
He’s genuinely kind to people and extremely patient with a paternal, if absentminded, demeanor. He can be very understanding, yet not always insightful about the needs and feelings of others. He has a tendency to accept people as they are, even when most would not consider that appropriate. Does have leadership qualities when put under pressure although it’s not something that he has needed to express much, typically being in the presence of others who had established leadership roles. He has forcefully taken on that position, however, when it comes to a fight that truly matters to him. It takes a lot to anger Neville but when he is angered, it is a calm, white-hot fire that doesn’t stop burning until its cause has been extinguished. He feels that same anger towards Voldemort- for being responsible for taking his parents from him, for the loss of his good friends and for the death of his wife. Once Neville takes a stand on something, he is not easily moved from it.
Probably Neville’s biggest social difficulty is in dealing with potential admirers or relationships. When that translates to people being attracted to him, he A) generally is so completely oblivious to it that he doesn’t notice; B) doesn’t understand their attraction and manages to talk them out of it; or C) simply runs away from the situation. He’s never pursued or been pursued in a relationship- the only one he was ever involved with revolved around an arranged marriage he didn’t arrange.
Political Views: Neville basically subscribes to the motto "live and let live." Yet for all of that, he can be talked into occasionally taking on political tasks in the name of the Order due to his connections and pureblood heritage. He was raised by someone who was socially conservative and politically liberal and while Nev believes in many things that would be considered liberal viewpoints (equal rights for lycanthropes, women's right to choose, freedom for house elves, against capital punishment and the use of dementors), he also has agreed to things, like his marriage, that would shock his muggleborn friends. He tends to view things in shades of grey - there are no clear distinctions in Neville's world.
- Loves to wake up early. One of those people who's up to watch the dawn and truly loves it.
- Reads the newspapers daily and keeps clippings of crimes in a series of scrapbooks. Generally speaking, keeps the scrapbooks shoved in a bookshelf and writes names of plants on the outside as this has proven something to keep his friends out of them in the past.
- Visits his parents every other week religiously. Takes tea with Pomona Sprout generally at least once monthly afterwards to calm his nerves about the whole thing.
- Blushes easily, particularly when discussing anything physical, and as a result, often has a faintly pink nose from mild embarrassment
- Often chews gum when he's feeling lonely, not because he likes it but because it makes him feel loved.
- Carries a notebook with him to write things down. Neville has an exceptionally poor memory and relies heavily on notes to assist him in this.
Strengths: Extremely inquisitive, endlessly patient, kind, strong-willed, compassionate, beautiful singing voice, strong talents with elemental magic- working with animals & plants, somewhat familiar with muggle living, extremely accepting of other people and their choices (this acceptance does not extend to his own), honest, loyal, courageous, willing to stand up for the weak.
Weaknesses: Extremely inquisitive, low self-confidence, devotion to daughter, stubborn, compassionate, shy, somewhat clumsy, poor memory, dislikes urban environments, weakness for nature, daydreamer, over-accepting of others, somewhat naive at points.
Fears: The return of the Death Eaters, the deaths of those close to him. Mildly afraid of strangers although he's learned to overcome it for the most part. He often ducks crowds for that reason, frequently making quiet exits for brief periods of time when forced to take part in public festivities. He's also extremely afraid of waking up one morning to find that he's lost his memory completely.
- Gardening. Neville always has a garden somewhere. He moves in plants before he starts opening boxes.
- Writing and capturing oral histories of ordinary people, rather than just murderers and victims. Sometimes he dreams of publishing something under his own name, something about the good in people rather than the bad.
- Moving. While it's not really apparent, Neville does have a mild case of wanderlust. Whether this is general or circumstantial, he couldn't tell you.
- Hiking. Neville and Jinx do a lot of hiking through forests and on mountains - Nev grew up in a tourist town and finds deep forest and remote locales entrancing. Since he's effectively raising Jinx as a city kid, he feels that doing those activities is important.
- Ballroom dancing. It was one of the very few things he was good at at school.
Favorite Belongings: Neville isn't a terribly possession-oriented person. Thoughout the war, he became used to packing up and moving at a moment's notice. His biggest concern was Jinx and Alix and simply taking care of them.
Of the things that he now owns, he prizes the following the most:
- His scrapbooks and notes - Neville has trouble with his memory and relies heavily on them. His journal is important for the same reason.
- A collection of gum wrappers kept crumpled up in an old cigar box.
- His battered baseball cap
- Alix's old guitar
- His Remembrall from school (though it never really has helped), battered now from Jinx's teething
- Blackpool. It's where he grew up and despite the fact that it's an old tourist town, he associates it with holidays. And near-death experiences but he's generally been able to forgive and forget that.
- the Greenhouse at Hogwarts. All of his happiest memories are there.
- Pomona Sprout's home in Chelsea. While he rarely speaks to her of anything in depth, it's comforting to know that the possibility exists.
- Sometimes Neville wishes his parents were dead.
- The last job that he took, in Clermont Ferrand, was due to the fact that he believed Bellatrix Lestrange to be in France. While he pretends not to care about the Lestranges, the fact remains that he wants them dead very badly. This desire for vengeance is one of his greatest secret weaknesses.
Neville was born in London, then went to live with his parents. They were attacked in their home when he was an infant by the Lestranges. Unlike Harry, Neville has no clear recollection of those hours. What he knows is what his gran told him- that neither he nor his parents, both gone mad from the curses hurled, were discovered for quite some time. Aurors at the scene thought it possible that Neville suffered some backlash from the curse, damaging his memory, something that Neville has struggled with ever since.
He moved to Blackpool to live with his grandparents following the death of his parents. While his parents had been fairly well off, his grandparents had a more modest income (or rather one that seemed modest- drained as it was by his parents’ medical bills and the hiring of private nurses). Unlike the Weasleys, Neville never had a painful awareness of being poor. This might have been due to the pride with which his grandparents carried their poverty and also due to the impeccable lineage and connections that they had.
It was from his grandad that Neville first learned to dance although he wouldn’t think of it that way. Wallace Longbottom was a loud, happy man who frequently burst into song and enjoyed dancing despite the fact that his wife didn’t appreciate either. Wallace wasn’t inclined to sing so much as bellow and part of Neville’s gentle tonal quality developed as a reaction to the raw, jarring sound of his grandad’s voice. Despite Wallace’s bold, brash attitude, Neville loved him and admired him greatly. However, like all of the males that he admired in his youth, Neville simply wasn’t made to be anything like him, however much he might have wanted that.
His grandfather died when Neville was ten. The pair of them had gone for a walk and Wallace just fell, then didn’t get up again. Neville managed to keep it together long enough to fetch his gran but nothing could be done. His grandad’s death changed everything for the two of them- his gran became much more critical and in some ways, Neville always thought that her conviction that he couldn’t do anything started there. That his inability to save his grandfather somehow made her feel that he was less than his father. Of course, this belief fostered a lack of confidence and real inabilities.
By the time he went to Hogwarts, between all of his relatives, Neville had really lost much of the confidence that he had gained. Through his friendships with the other Gryffindors, he slowly began to recover it.
Neville’s Gran arranged his marriage on his 17th birthday, picking a young woman of prestigious bloodlines 7 years older, who had been widowed recently and wasn't thought of as a great catch. (Augusta had the full belief that this would enable her to retain her dominance on the family.) Alix (short for Alexandria) Witherow was her name and while Neville didn’t love her, he liked her well enough to do what was expected of him. They married and had a daughter, Hyacinth, almost nine months to the day of their marriage (something that earned them quite a few chuckles from their friends). Despite his marriage and fatherhood, both of the women in his life supported his efforts in the war. Neville bloomed as a result of being married and found confidence that he hadn’t possessed before.
Alix was not what Augusta had planned for, however. Like her husband, she blossomed after marriage, proving to be a light, spritely figure with a sense of fun that had never been allowed in her childhood home or her first marriage. Her will was strong and it wasn't long before the two younger Longbottoms struck out on their own to join the Order despite Alix's pregnancy. Despite the fact that he says now he never loved Alix, the fact is that Neville believes he might have, had the circumstances differed. He was inexperienced and clumsy - Alix was a tidal wave, thundering over everything in her path. She was completely honest and incapable of deception and as a result, carelessly hurt Neville much more than another woman might have. Their marriage was damaging in some respects, but it's a damage that Neville would have difficulty articulating nor, after her death, does he feel it appropriate.
Most of their relationship was spent apart but in service to the Order and the Ministry. Neville volunteered his services to the Ministry and laughingly, they put him in the position of diplomatic envoy. The official reasoning for the placement was his purity of blood and familial connections - in actuality, Neville eventually came to perceive, they believed he could be used as a lure, bait to call out the Dark Lord, even as he met the supposed criteria of someone who could treat with the Death Eaters and pureblood foreign governments. He didn't like it but he wasn't good enough to fight, wasn't good enough to heal and so Neville took it on.
And he was horrible at first. Spilling things down dresses, knocking things over, stammering whenever he opened his mouth, forgetting names... But eventually, Neville learned that if he simply kept his mouth shut and listened, moved slowly, took notes that people respected him. He began to look serious, rather than shy, and as he grew into the role, he also began to grow up, losing some of his shyness.
His diplomatic career ended, however, in March of 1999 when Alix was killed in the Battle of Louth, leaving their young daughter motherless. Hyacinth had spent most of her young life with his grandmother due to her parents' work and Neville vowed to himself that it would be different. But he hadn't counted on the pressures involved in raising a young child who kept calling for a mother who wasn't there, or the people who needed him to see his commitments through. As a result, he left Jinx once more in the dog days of the war to serve as a foot soldier in the battles of April and May, doing his best to support his friends from school.
And then the Last Battle happened and things began to change again.
With the death of Voldemort, there had always been a strange, small, wincing hope that his parents would become sane, that things would reverse themselves and that life would become all that Neville had always wanted it to. But killing Voldemort didn't make things miraculously better and he was left with a series of problems - the support of his family, the support of his parents and mounting expenses that he didn't know what to do with or how to face. The Longbottom home in Blackpool was being sold off to pay for another year of his parents' life, his trust fund was almost gone to the same cause, and Alix had left him and Jinx nothing to support them after her death. That had, after all, been his job originally in the broader scope of things.
He didn't know what to do and so he began to sit in on the War Trials. It was a strange reaction to have to his own impotence but Neville had never been a normal man. He started taking notes, sometimes with a toddler at his knee, and notes began to turn into stories, sentences to conversations, and before he knew it, he'd written a series of articles about what was going on - articles that were actually quite good. He submitted those under a pseudonym and managed to make a little money from the deal.
The articles caught the eye of Whizz Hard Books, a small press, and he was contacted by an editor who commissioned him to write a nonfiction book about the disappearance of Caradoc Dearborn. Unable to live without the money, Neville said yes. And thus began a career around writing stories about crime.
His profession is somewhat erratic and, as a result, the Longbottoms have lived for long periods of time in other European wizarding countries while Neville worked on a book. France and Denmark were the two that residence was set up in, living in France for one year and Denmark for four. After a year's residence in Clermont Ferrand, Neville is returning to Britain, having finished a book about the death of wizarding heiress Coralie Abrial. The book has received good reviews but little popular notice and so, with a sigh, Nev is currently searching for a new subject.
PB: M. Ward