Dear Neville Longbottom, Professors’ Wing, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:
While the rest of the world is planning out their joint Harry Potter/J.K. Rowling birthday celebrations for tomorrow, I want to take a moment to celebrate you. You’re the perennial groomsman of the Harry Potter series, never as much of a sexy bad boy as Draco, not as funny as Ron, not as endearingly wacko as Luna, and you missed being The Chosen One by one day. (So close yet so far!)
So today, on your 33rd birthday, let’s look back on your Hogwarts years and highlight some moments where we were cheering for you. While your friend Harry Potter may have a crazy-popular book series named after him, you were great and managed some mischief on your own as well — and we haven’t forgotten that. Read on below for 10 of our favorite memories, and then add your own.
1.) Obviously your greatest moment was killing Nagini in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Just go ahead and watch it again below:
2.) If I feel like crying, I just remember how tough your situation with your parents is, and how quietly you cope with all that additional stress. The moment that had you holding onto a gum wrapper that your mother gave you breaks my heart every time.
3.) You were a loyal member of Dumbledore’s Army and loyal to Harry when many — even some of his friends — were turning against him. In Order of the Phoenix, you defended Harry against Seamus Finnigan, even when it wasn’t the most popular thing to do.
4.) Even when the odds were horribly stacked against you, you didn’t hesitate to charge into the Department of Mysteries with Harry to try and save Sirius Black (SOB).
5.) Your first year at Hogwarts was plagued with mishaps (Trevor goes missing! Wrist broken courtesy of flying!) but you stuck out to readers — and Dumbledore — in Sorcerer’s Stone by standing up to your friends. To quote Dumbledore himself, that’s courage.
6.) We all know what Professor Snape looks like in a dress thanks to you:
7.) Accio bravery! You participated in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower in your sixth year, and (besides Luna) were the only one to respond to the summons by the D.A. coins.
8.) In your seventh year, you co-led the D.A. right under the Death Eater professors’ noses, regularly standing up against their bigotry and cruelty. You got all political, and it looked good on you. Fight the power!
9.) D.A.? More like the most BA sentence ever: “I’ll join you when hell freezes over! Dumbledore’s Army!”
Neville Appreciation Society in the comments — go!