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Why Wasn’t Neville Longbottom in Hufflepuff?

Why Wasn’t Neville Longbottom in Hufflepuff?

A testament to personal growth and resilience, Neville Longbottom is undoubtedly one of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter universe. The shy, bumbling boy, constantly living in the shadows of his parents’ heroic legacy, blossoms into a brave leader, proving that courage can take many forms.

Many fans, while admiring his transformation, also find themselves puzzled over one specific aspect of Neville’s journey: Why was Neville sorted into Gryffindor and not Hufflepuff?

Neville’s personal struggles are no secret. From the tragedy that befalls his parents at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange to the constant reminders of his perceived inadequacy in his grandmother’s eyes, Neville’s early life is a saga of insecurities and self-doubt.

Given his character and demeanor during his early years at Hogwarts, it would not be unreasonable to question his placement in Gryffindor, the house known for its courageous lions, as opposed to Hufflepuff, renowned for its loyal and hardworking, yet often underestimated, badgers.

As we delve into the reasons behind this decision, let us first revisit the character arc of this modest yet remarkable wizard.

Why Wasn’t Neville Longbottom in Hufflepuff?

While it may seem that Neville Longbottom’s characteristics align with the Hufflepuff house, which values hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play, Neville was sorted into Gryffindor for a good reason. The Sorting Hat, the magical artifact that sorts new students into their Hogwarts Houses, sees not just what traits a student possesses, but also what traits they value and what their potential is.

At first glance, Neville appears shy and unassuming, often lacking the boldness we associate with Gryffindor. But it’s essential to remember that Gryffindor also stands for courage and determination, attributes Neville has in abundance, even if they aren’t immediately apparent. This courage is subtly exhibited throughout the series and fully blossoms towards the end, especially when Neville stands up to Voldemort, demonstrating a level of bravery that would make any Gryffindor proud.

Moreover, Neville’s preference played a role in his sorting, just like it did with Harry. In the Sorting Hat’s own words, “I’ll have a look inside your mind and tell where you ought to be. You might belong in Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart. Their daring, nerve, and chivalry set Gryffindors apart.” Neville asked to be placed in Hufflepuff because he didn’t believe he was brave enough to be a Gryffindor, but the Sorting Hat saw his potential for bravery and placed him there anyway.

Therefore, while Neville could have made a good Hufflepuff, his bravery, inherent nobility, and his belief in the Gryffindor values are what make him a true Gryffindor at heart.

“When Neville Longbottom, the boy who kept losing his toad, was called, he fell over on his way to the stool.

The hat took a long time to decide with Neville.

When it finally shouted, “GRYFFINDOR,” Neville ran off still wearing it and had to jog back amid gales of laughter to give it to “MacDougal, Morag.”

What the sorting hat said to Neville:

“You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve, and chivalry set Gryffindors apart…”

“You might belong in Hufflepuff,

Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil…”

Here’s a more in-depth look into why Neville was sorted into the correct house.

1. Neville Has Always Been Brave

Many people judge bravery by acts of heroism. Maybe you also consider someone brave if they are a fearless leader or act daringly. However, Neville shows us that true bravery and courage are acting despite your fears.

While Hufflepuffs are brave as well, they are more inclined to be brave behind the scenes instead of directly in the spotlight.

He never shies away from the fact that the world can be scary and that it’s okay to be afraid. For example, when he joins Dumbledore’s Army (a brave act), he is honest about the fact that he doesn’t know much about defensive magic.

Yet he doesn’t quit; he keeps at it until he successfully conjures a Patronus.

2. The Sorting Hat Said So

It’s no secret that Neville wanted to be a Hufflepuff. In fact, he silently begged the Sorting Hat to place him in Hufflepuff instead of Gryffindor.

While the Sorting Hat takes a student’s wishes into account, it saw something in Neville that he couldn’t see for himself.

The Sorting Hat doesn’t tend to make mistakes. Neville may have questioned its decision, but as we see later on, the Sorting Hat did indeed make the right choice.

3. He Proves Himself to Be a True Gryffindor

If anyone doubted Neville’s status as a Gryffindor, he definitely proved himself when he summoned the Sword of Gryffindor.

Neville pulls the sword from the Sorting Hat and proceeds to use it to kill the snake Nagini, Voldemort’s final Horcrux.

Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom

It’s vitally important to note that the Sword of Gryffindor only presented itself to a true Gryffindor – as seen with Harry, Ron, and subsequently Neville.

4. Neville Stepped up as a Leader

While Hufflepuffs possess many character traits of an excellent leader, they often lack the desire to step into the spotlight and take charge.

It would seem that Neville was the same way. After all, he is hard-working, kind, and accepting of all – the traits of a Hufflepuff.

Despite being fearful, Neville always stands up for what is right.

Not only did he join Dumbledore’s Army, but when it was disbanded, he stepped up with Luna Lovegood as one of the new leaders.

5. He Was Willing to Bend the Rules

This one might seem odd, but Gryffindors often bend (or break) the rules when it’s for the purpose of doing the right thing.

While Hufflepuffs did join Dumbledore’s Army, Neville eventually took ownership of leading it – a very Gryffindor thing to do.

Also, Hufflepuffs deeply value honesty. Not that Gryffindors are always dishonest, but they are definitely willing to work around the truth for the sake of the greater good.

6. Neville Longbottom Faced His Greatest Fear

Understandably, one of Neville’s greatest fears was Voldemort himself.

If it hadn’t been for Voldemort and, subsequently, Bellatrix, Neville’s parents would not be in their condition.

Neville knew that Voldemort was the most powerful dark wizard alive, yet he didn’t hesitate to stand up to him when all hope was lost.

With Harry seemingly dead and all of Hogwarts holding its breath, Neville limps forward all alone, ready to fight.

Not to say Hufflepuffs don’t face their fears, but typically one of their greatest fears is relationship-based, like disappointing others. Neville isn’t afraid to publicly address his fear in front of everyone, exactly how a Gryffindor would.

7. He Reached His Full Potential 

As previously mentioned, Neville could’ve fit in with Hufflepuffs, but he was always meant to be a Gryffindor.

Hufflepuffs would’ve accepted him for who he was (and they did) but wouldn’t have pushed him to be the wizard he became.

As a Gryffindor, Neville was frequently challenged with facing his fears. He learned to stand up for himself and continuously got better at magic.

It’s unlikely that Neville would’ve been able to confront Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts if he had not learned what he did as a Gryffindor.

8. He Was Born a Hero

Gryffindors greatly value heroism. Although Harry was known as “the boy who lived,” Neville also survived while his parents were nearly killed.

Just because he didn’t “defeat” Voldemort doesn’t mean that Neville wasn’t destined for greatness.

Additionally, he turned out to be quite heroic, even though his harsh grandmother raised him. He was a very impressive Gryffindor indeed.