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.
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 Minerva 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, whilst visiting St Mungos with him at Christmas, she was furious 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, as Aberforth Dumbledore was no longer protecting it. Augusta expressed great pride in her grandson for following in his parents' footsteps. Augusta fought during the battle and survived.
Personality and traits
Augusta Longbottom was a severe woman who frequently claimed that her grandson, Neville, lacked the talents that his parents had possessed. She was angry when she realised Neville had never told anyone about why he lived with her, thinking that he was ashamed of his parents. Nevertheless, Augusta grew proud of her grandson after discovering how dedicated he was to defeating Lord Voldemort. She was civil towards Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger when she met them in St Mungo's.
She might be somewhat biased towards what she is proud of, as she found her grandson's initial lack of talent as a failure of inheriting his father's prestige, and looked down on the idea of Neville studying charms class, simply because she failed her O.W.L. in this subject herself, and instead favoured transfiguration, most likely due to her own skill and success in it.
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 biased 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
Augusta Longbottom was considered a highly talented and powerful witch. Much of her skill lay in martial magic and she was a highly formidable duellist, capable of overpowering Death Eaters and the Auror John Dawlish who where much younger than her. Augusta's age did not interfere with her magical abilities, in a similar fashion with Minerva McGonagall, and both witches survived the Battle of Hogwarts when much younger witches and wizards perished. Despite the fact that she failed her Charms O.W.L, Augusta must have been proficient enough in the various protective enchantments needed to survive whilst she was on the run. It is also probable that she was good with Transfiguration, as she was very insistent with her grandson taking the subject at N.E.W.T.-level.
- Duelling: Despite her old age, Augusta Longbottom was an incredibly skilled duellist who the Death Eaters severely underestimated, as she easily defeated and injured John Dawlish, a highly trained and skilled Auror, badly enough to result in him to be sent to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, although Dawlish had not been fighting at full potency from having become "punch drunk" from being the favourite punching bag of the Order of the Phoenix. She also bravely participated in and survived the Battle of Hogwarts, likely defeating many Death Eaters in process, showing her remarkable proficiency in martial magic.
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 often reprimanded her grandson and sent Neville a Howler on at least two occasions. 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 said numerous times that she wanted Neville to be more like them.
- "Ah, yes. Yes, yes, I know who you are, of course. Neville speaks most highly of you."
- — Augusta meeting Harry Potter in St Mungos[src]
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.
- "My gran says that’s rubbish. She says it’s the Daily Prophet that’s going downhill, not Dumbledore. She’s cancelled our subscription. We believe Harry. My gran’s always said You-Know-Who would come back one day. She says if Dumbledore says he’s back, he’s back."
- — Augusta's belief in Dumbledore and Harry Potter[src]
Augusta Longbottom naturally respected Albus Dumbledore, considering that she allowed both her son and daughter-in-law to join the Order of the Phoenix that Dumbledore led out of obvious trust of Dumbledore's leadership and despite Alice and Frank becoming insane for their reputation as members of the Order, Augusta remained as respectful and loyal to Dumbledore as ever, showing she never blamed him for having failed to protect them.
Augusta was utterly disgusted by then Ministry of Magic's blatantly dishonest slandering of Dumbledore and quickly cancelled her Daily Prophet subscription over her anger at them publishing Ministry propaganda. Augusta likely was devastated when Albus died and attended his funeral and would prove her loyalty to the great wizard by courageously fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts.
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)
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- The Queen's Handbag
- World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 6 (The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 (Christmas on the Closed Ward)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (The Half-Blood Prince)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 11 (The Sorting Hat's New Song)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
- Writing by J. K. Rowling: "The Quill of Acceptance and The Book of Admittance" at Wizarding World 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 Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7 (The Slug Club)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 29 (The Lost Diadem)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Epilogue (Nineteen Years Later)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 7 (The Boggart in the Wardrobe)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 5 (The Whomping Willow)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 14 (Snape's Grudge)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
- Behind the Name: Augusta
- http://www.snitchseeker.com/harry-potter-news/nevilles-grandmother-augusta-longbottom-cast-deathly-hallows-73518/ Finch in DH