Augusta Longbottom (b. pre 1947) was a pure-blood witch and member of the Longbottom family through marriage. She was the mother of famous Auror Frank Longbottom, mother-in-law to Auror Alice Longbottom, and grandmother to Neville Longbottom. Through Neville's marriage she has a granddaughter-in-law, Hannah Longbottom (née Abbott).
Early life and marriage
Little is known about Augusta's early life except that she may have had at least one sibling. In her school years she failed her Charms O.W.L., causing her to later label it a "soft option." It's likely that Augusta went to school with McGonagall and attended under Headmaster Dippet. It is also noted that she wanted her grandson to take Transfiguration, implying that while in school, she did well in that subject.
In 1947, Neville's "granddad" (most likely Mr Longbottom) put a fanged gerbil in Augusta's handbag as a prank, causing her to always keep a mousetrap inside it from that point onward. At some point Mr Longbottom died and his grandson was witness to it.
Raising her grandson
During the First Wizarding War, Augusta's son Frank was both an Auror and a member of the Order of the Phoenix, as was his wife Alice. The highly respected couple survived the war, but shortly after Lord Voldemort's defeat in 1981, they were attacked by Death Eaters who tortured them into insanity with the Cruciatus Curse. The couple had to be institutionalised, and their infant son Neville was placed into Augusta's care.
Augusta was clearly strict with her grandson, who she initially feared was a Squib. Even after Neville proved to be a wizard, his grandmother was stern and demanding of him, sending him Howlers when his behaviour displeased her and pressuring him to uphold the "family honour." She often took Neville to visit his incapacitated parents at St Mungo's, stating that he should be proud of their sacrifice.
Second Wizarding War
In 1995, Augusta supported Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore when they claimed that Lord Voldemort had returned to power, as did Neville. Her support even led her to stop subscribing to the Daily Prophet, due to the newspaper's vicious smear campaign against Harry and Dumbledore. When she found out that Neville has not told anyone of his parents' condition, she became angry at him for thinking he was ashamed and told Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Ginny Weasley about it. Sternness soon turned to pride, as she finally became proud of Neville after his involvement in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.
In 1997, after Death Eaters had taken control of the Ministry of Magic, Neville was one of the leaders of the student rebellion against Alecto and Amycus Carrow at Hogwarts. In an attempt to force Neville to be more cooperative, Auror John Dawlish was ordered to capture Augusta and take her hostage to ensure Neville's behaviour. Augusta, however, put up a fight, which Dawlish wasn't expecting; according to Neville, she put Dawlish in St Mungo's. After this, Augusta went on the run.
She later re-emerged at the Battle of Hogwarts to assist Neville when he called everyone to arms against the Death Eater army. She was the last to come through the secret passageway between the Hog's Head and the Room of Requirement, so sealed it to prevent any Death Eaters from breaching the school. Augusta expressed great pride in her grandson for following in his parents' footsteps. Augusta fought during the battle and survived.
Augusta Longbottom was described as a formidable looking witch. She was tall, thin and bony. She commonly wore a hat with a stuffed vulture on it and carried a bright red handbag.
Personality and traits
She seemed to have a very strong judgement of morality, as she chose to believe Harry and Albus Dumbledore's honest claims that Lord Voldemort had returned over the Ministry's incredibly biassed and dishonest denial. She even ceased her subscription of the Daily Prophet in angry protest for backing the Ministry's campaign to antagonise the truth.
Despite her elderly age (as Neville described her as a "little old witch, living alone"), she showed tremendous loyalty, bravery and logical thinking, as she easily and swiftly defeated the much younger Auror John Dawlish who was holding her hostage and fled, and participated in the Battle of Hogwarts without fear nor hesitancy.
Magical abilities and skills
- Duelling: Despite her age, Augusta Longbottom was an incredibly skilled and formidable duellist and the Death Eaters severely underestimated her duelling abilities, as she caused enough injury to John Dawlish, a highly trained and skilled Auror, to result in him to be sent to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. She also bravely participated in and survived the Battle of Hogwarts, showing her remarkable proficiency in martial magic.
- Transfiguration: As Augusta strongly wanted her grandson Neville to study transfiguration at N.E.W.T. level, this implied she was skilled in this highly difficult branch of magic and that she herself succeeded in this subject whilst she was a student at Hogwarts.
Augusta was the guardian of Neville and raised him from a young age. During the early years of Neville's life, Augusta often thought that Neville was a Squib and was afraid he would not get into Hogwarts. She was extremely proud when he did but it was apparent that Augusta placed high expectations on Neville and was yet to be certain that he had substantial power.
Augusta was seen reprimanding her grandson and later sent Neville a Howler. She pushed Neville to be like his parents by doing well in school, especially in Transfiguration (a class Neville hated). However, Neville loved Augusta and she cared a great deal for him, however stern she could be.
In later years, she became proud of Neville as she realised how excellent a wizard and moral person he was. She was shown commenting in the Daily Prophet about his powers and during the Battle of Hogwarts, she was proud to fight alongside him. After the end of the Second Wizarding War Neville married Hannah Abbott though it is unknown whether they had any children. Neville also replaced Professor Sprout as the Herbology professor at Hogwarts, which would have truly made his grandmother proud.
It is unknown what her relationship with Frank and Alice was before they were tortured, but it must have been fairly close as Augusta was chosen to raise their infant son after they were no longer able to. After the attack, Mrs Longbottom seemed to love her son and daughter-in-law, often taking Neville to visit them at St Mungo's. However, at times, she seemed to tire of providing for them, as she sounded weary when speaking to Alice and advised Neville to throw away a gum wrapper Alice gave him. However, it is assumed that she still cared for them as she obviously respected them and says numerous times that she wants Neville to be more like them.
Augusta and Madam Marchbanks were described as close friends by Neville Longbottom. Griselda had come for dinner at Mrs Longbottom's many times.
Augusta Longbottom was shown to highly respect Harry Potter and demonstrated this by her support for his and Albus Dumbledore's honest claims that Lord Voldemort had indeed returned. She was truly disgusted by then Ministry of Magic's blatantly dishonest slandering of both him and Dumbledore, with her even cancelling her Daily Prophet subscription over her anger at their publishing of Ministry propaganda. She also treated Harry very courteously when he, Ron and Hermione were visiting St. Mungos. Furthermore, she demonstrated her loyalty towards Harry and his cause by courageously deciding to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts to defeat Lord Voldemort and his army.
Augusta is a Latin name and the feminine form of Augustus, meaning "great" or "venerable," derived from the Latin verb augere, "to increase." Augustus was the name given to the first emperor of Rome, and subsequently Augusta was sometimes used as a title for empresses of the Roman and Byzantine empires.
Behind the scenes
- The 2006 short film The Queen's Handbag includes a reference to Neville's grandfather, and describes a joke he played on Augusta in 1947 involving her handbag and a fanged gerbil, which led her to keep a mousetrap in her bag thereafter.
- Augusta was played by Leila Hoffman in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, as she was faintly seen escorting Neville to the Hogwarts Express.
- Ninette Finch was cast as Augusta in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Her scenes were cut, however it appears she can be seen in the background of some battle sequences.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Mentioned in deleted scene)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only) (First identified as Augusta Longbottom)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game) (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Mentioned only in DS version)
- The Queen's Handbag (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ Neville's grandfather put a fanged gerbil in her handbag in 1947, so Augusta has to have been alive - and old enough to own a handbag - by 1947
- ↑ World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling
- ↑ Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Quill of Acceptance and The Book of Admittance" at Pottermore on Pottermore states that Neville had "disappointed great aunts and uncles." Algie and Enid are Neville's only known great-aunt and great-uncle. Thus, Neville must have had at least one other great-aunt and one other great-uncle in addition to them, who could potentially be siblings of Augusta.
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (The Half-Blood Prince)
- ↑ The Queen's Handbag
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- ↑ Behind the Name: Augusta
- ↑ http://www.sainou.com/leila-hoffman/
- ↑ http://www.snitchseeker.com/harry-potter-news/nevilles-grandmother-augusta-longbottom-cast-deathly-hallows-73518/ Finch in DH