I have a bit of a soft spot for Neville, and this made me cry.
I'm so, so impressed that you managed to show someone overcoming adversity in 500 words, but you did, and you did it brilliantly. I think that you really captured the essence of who Neville was and what his insecurities were in the beginning of the series - the emphasis on guilt was especially heart-breaking, because I could absolutely see how the combination of feeling like he was letting his grandfather down and feeling like he was an impostor for being in Gryffindor would lead to him feeling like that.
I also really liked your choice to depict Neville as feeling like he'd failed when he tried to stop Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I know that Dumbledore was trying to tell him that he had showed bravery in standing up to them, but I'd always wondered if Neville got the message. I tend to agree with you - I don't think he did, not really. And the line, Your cowardice stops you from admitting your shame? That's genius. It's so well put.
But then you showed him joining Dumbledore's Army, and fighting the Ministry, and leading the rebellion at Hogwarts, and finally even killing Nagini - and I loved the progression you showed. It's not like a flip switched in his fifth year where suddenly, he was brave - it kind of felt like a combination of true maturing and fake-it-til-you-make-it, and I loved it.
Tiny, tiny, note, though - weren't Harry and Neville born at about the same time, since Trelawney's prophecy could have applied to Neville as well? You seemed to have him having his birthday mid-year in this, which wouldn't really work if his birthday is in July.
Like I said - super minor. Overall, this was wonderful.
House Cup 2014 Review - Ravenclaw
Author's Response: Aww! I'm sorry for making you cry :'( I cried a little when writing this, at the beginning.
I'm very very happy that you think I captured Neville! As I've grown older, I've connected with Neville more and more, and now he's one of my favourite characters so for you to think that I have an understanding of him, and more importantly, that understanding translates into the story, then that's one of the highest compliments I could be paid as a fanfictioner. Thank you *hugs*
To me, it seemed as if his guilt and his belief that he'd somehow failed in everything had a lot to do with what kept him back. I think maybe in fifth year, when he began to gain some confidence in himself (I think he's probably the only one out of the main cast of characters who liked themselves more in the fifth book) that's when the way he saw himself started to change. And the second person was a really neat way of showing that change.
Gah. Yes, he is definitely seventeen at that point, not eighteen. Go me for rushing! Thank you for pointing that out - I hate canon discrepencies like this!
Thanks for the wonderful review :)