"Neville, are you ready, the train leaves in an hour? " Augusta Longbottom’s loud and stern voice easily carried up the stairs of their home. Neville was sat in his bedroom on a chair by his bed, the room strewn with robes, parchment and books. It was September 1st and Neville Longbottom was going to Hogwarts for the 7th and final time, but this time he felt no excitement.
His grandmother had heard from the Weasleys that Harry Potter had gone off on his own mission to take on Lord Voldemort a few weeks ago. Neville could remember the day vividly. Luna had come over and was warning Neville about the dangers of giving a Pumpkin Pasty to a Curdling Humbergater, when his grandmother had entered the room and announced, "Harry Potter, now ‘Undesirable Number One´” she spat the title out as if it were sour milk,” has gone with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and now they are on the run! Weasley and Granger have made it seem as if they aren’t with the Potter boy, Weasley by pretending to be dying of spattergoit and Granger has laid a false trail of having fled the country, but I am not fooled. They’ve gone.”
“Gone!” Neville replied, bewildered, “What do you mean gone?”
“I mean boy that Potter has taken his friends and gone off to fight You-Know-Who and his Death Eaters, that’s what I mean!”
“What? On his own?” Neville said, shock filling him like water on a sinking ship.
“No Neville, were you not listening?” Augusta said impatiently, “He has gone with his friends to kill him!”
"But-but they can't kill him, they're my age. They're just kids!"
"Exactly Neville, they are your age and they are attempting the impossible but they are doing it anyway." Augusta looked very proud of the three young escapees even though she had barely met them.
“What so he isn’t coming back to Hogwarts this year?” Neville asked.
“I didn’t think he would,” Luna said in her usual dreamy voice, “It is his destiny to fight the Him, just as it is ours to help him fight.”
“Our destiny? How can we help him, he must be in hiding we haven’t got a chance of finding him. That would only hurt his chances of success?”
“I don’t think that we are supposed to be looking for him,” Luna replied, equally dreamily, “I think that we have to just be ready to help him when he asks for it. This world is a dangerous place now, people will need protecting.”
“Quite right Luna!” Augusta Longbottom looked at Luna proudly. “Why can’t you be more like this girl Neville, honestly?! You two must go to Hogwarts and prepare yourselves and others for when Harry Potter needs your help. You must help protect the less able because even Hogwarts is no longer safe. Harry Potter is the Chosen One, he will bring down You-Know-Who but he can’t do so without his friends.”
Even looking back on that day, filled Neville with trepidation. As he threw his possessions into his trunk, he thought of his parents. The two people in the world he most wanted to please, and yet the two people he could not possibly hope to emulate. Frank and Alice Longbottom were heroes of the last war and casualties of its aftermath. He wanted to do them proud, be worthy of the Longbottom name. He wanted to be brave and have courage, but such things are not easy to do when you are scared. He finished packing the trunk, shut the lid and dragged it out of his room. He stopped just before he closed his bedroom door to stare at it one last time, gazing up his summer oasis, his place of safety. He knew that Hogwarts may not be so safe this year.
He staggered down the stairs with his trunk, but halfway down, he tripped and the trunk slipped out of his grasp and slid down the stairs, torpedoing a very old dresser in the hallway sending wood, glass and contents spewing across the floor.
“Idiot boy!” His grandmother came running into the hall and surveyed the wreckage.
“Fix it immediately!”
“Rep-reparo,” Neville said, shaken by his grandmother’s anger. One of the legs of the table feebly stirred, but that was all that happened. ”Reparo” This time nothing at all happened. He raised his wand a third time but before he could speak his grandmother raised her wand and the table sprang up fixed and slid back into place. She turned and looked sternly at Neville.
“Honestly Neville, you have been at Hogwarts for 6 years and you can’t even perform a simple charm like that.”
Neville hang his head and muttered, “Sorry. I was nervous.”
“Sorry? Nervous!?” Augusta Longbottom drew herself up to her full height. “Sorry won’t help you if you face Death Eaters boy! Nervous won’t protect you if they throw Unforgivables at you. Do you think your parents ever said sorry if they couldn’t perform a spell? Do you think they would have just given up and said sorry? They worked they practised. They became Aurors for Merlin’s sake! Find your inner strength, you’re a Longbottom!”
Neville, who was cowering at the start of his grandmother’s speech, straightened at the mention of his parents. The ones he was woefully unworthy to follow but had no choice but to try. “I’ll try gran” he replied meekly, “can we go now?”
“You will do more than try my grandson. You make my Frank proud.” She grabbed Neville´s hand and twisted on the spot and disapparated with him and the trunk in tow.”