Neville does not do well thrust into unknown situations—he struggles to gain his footing at Hogwarts and to learn the spells and often has trouble with them, because he’s not given enough time to practice and cannot simply adapt alongside his friends. But he watches Harry, learns from him, and becomes more proactive as time goes on—leading the Resistance inside Hogwarts in Harry’s absence in the final book, and modeling much of what he does after his friend as inspiration. Using the skills Harry taught him and the spells, recreating Dumbledore’s Army, and carrying on the fight against the Death Eaters. He becomes highly interested in Herbology and plants when “Moody” introduces him to it, and is knowledgeable enough to help Harry find a way to breathe underwater. He goes on to make a career out of his interest. He is a warm and friendly boy, but needs other people to bolster him up – Lupin is able to help him a great deal by being warm, tolerant, forgiving, and kind. He learns better when practicing with other students and receiving constant affirmation, as Harry notices in their secret Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons. Neville lives in almost constant fear of people who dismiss and bully him—including Snape and his grandmother. But once Harry leaves Hogwarts, he comes into his own – forming a new group, recruiting kids from the other Houses, and gleefully informing Harry of their progress. He matures into a more courageous and confident boy, and learns to think and act for himself. He also thinks clearly, and chastises his friends for wanting to break the rules, which might earn their House a loss of points (as Dumbledore says, it requires great courage to stand up to your friends). Neville is fearful of the unknown and not very creative in thinking outside the box, but under stress becomes more reckless—as Ron says, “Blimey, Neville… learn to pick your battles!” when he finds him “high” on their troublemaking (and sporting injuries to boot).

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Neville suffers from crippling self-doubt that makes him cling to his friends for support and causes him to suffer beneath the draconian teaching methods (bullying) of Professor Snape. He is easily fearful and cowed, but also wants to be brave. He cautions Harry and his friends against the potential downfall of their choices, for which Dumbledore rewards him with House Points. By networking with others who also want to be brave, Neville becomes counter-phobic – aggressively working against the dark forces inside Hogwarts, for the greater good, and not caring how much he gets hurt, showing a growth into greater self-confidence in pursuit of a Cause. He tends to be deeply introverted and private about his suffering; he does not tell any of his friends the tragic story of his parents, nor share his thoughts easily with them.