I'm thinking of writing a bit about Frank and Alice Longbottom, but I'm worried my ideas won't feel 'Neville' enough. But...given that Neville was raised by his grandmother, how different do you think I can safely make his parents? I don't want them to be cookie-cutter copies of Neville, and they were well-respected Aurors, after all.
I want to make them more bold, more rebellious - and not just in defying Voldemort, but in little things like attitude, style, appearance, etc. Would that seem alienating? What traits of Neville's should I be sure to include?
I am one of those people who can't put them in James and Lily's year because Auror training takes three years, and for them to become well-respected Aurors would have taken more time after that. So if they left Hogwarts in 1978 they would have barely finished their training by the time Voldemort was defeated. I have Frank leaving a year earlier than Alice, in 1973 or 1974.
I can't really find much on them, especially their appearance - not hair color, eye color, etc. Am I missing something somewhere? Especially a last name for Alice??
Thanks for any other advice on how to approach them!
I think Neville got his innate bravery from them, the Gryff stuff. But Neville's childhood was so different, so tainted by loss in spite of his Gran's efforts. I think the fact that NEville is more shy and timid and scared as a young kid is not due to genetics, but due to his childhood. Because of this, you making his parents rather different wouldn't bother me in the slightest. Neville has a deep, fighting courage... it just takes awhile for it to rise to the surface.
Good luck--can't wait to read it, Gina!
Come on. You can't have a subject line like that and honestly think I won't show up.
Neville was indeed raised by his grandmother, his father's mother. It stands to reason that she raised Neville much as she raised his father - emphasising many of the same moral values, for example. I think we would see more Neville in Frank than in Alice, simply because they were raised in a similar manner.
That's not to say that Frank would be a more confident Neville, though. Even if they had the same person raising them, they are two very different people - and presumably Frank had a father around to emulate, which Neville did not.
There are, of course, things that I should point out about Neville's character that would likely have been instilled in him by his grandmother:
- Neville is innately kind and accepting of people. Recall that after Sirius was killed in the DoM, Neville offered his sympathies to Harry. Recall also that at this point, as far as we know, Neville had NO REASON to believe that Sirius was anything other than, you know, the mass murderer from two years ago. So Neville saw that Harry was distraught by his death and with no other evidence than the observation that Sirius was fighting on their side, determined that this person was important to Harry in some way (apparently his godfather, though how Neville knew that is a bit of a mystery) and deserved kind words to recognise his passing.
- Neville values family. That Gran makes sure Neville is proud of his parents and takes him to visit them shows that Augusta values family a great deal, which is something she probably raised Frank and Neville to believe as well. Neville may reflect this more because he didn't have a lot of family around growing up, but Frank seems to be an only child, much like Neville - and so Gran probably brought the extended family around rather a lot for Frank as well. They're also a pureblood family, and while not pretentious about it, they were likely very aware of and celebrated that bond that they had.
- Neville is a pureblood, which means that Alice is a pureblood as well - which means that the family had pureblood friends and was probably at least on the fringes of that society. (Even the Weasleys likely dabbled a bit in that society, as evidenced by Arthur's ownership of dress robes.) As such, though neither Frank nor Neville would behave anything like the Malfoys and the Blacks, it is possible that Alice might hail from a more traditional upbringing. We don't know which family Alice hailed from, but it WAS a pureblood family, and we know how those fork and twist. She could even be a Greengrass (assuming of course that Draco married a pureblood).
- Neville is forgetful. While I have my own headcanon about why this is so, it's not widely accepted so I won't bring it up here - which means that probably one of his parents has this trait to some degree. This is more of a genetic thing than an upbringing thing, but I'll put it in this list anyway.
- Appearance: we know that Neville looks more like Alice than like Frank (Alice was "the very image of Neville," according to Harry when he was looking at the photograph of the original Order). She was likely slightly stockier than your average woman. Neville has light brown to dark blond hair, which isn't saying much - his parents could have been dark-haired and had a recessive allele for light hair that ended up with Neville. (But trying to go into genetics with Harry Potter never ends well.) It is more likely that one or both of them did have light-coloured hair, and probably the hazel/green/blue eyes that tend to go with light hair. Gran is described as thin, iirc, which while it could just be because she is old, may suggest that the Longbottom frame is typically more gangly than what Neville inherited from his mum.
All this to say that as long as you don't make them horrible people, they'll likely be entirely believable as Neville's parents with the scaffolding that you've already pieced together. I hope this helped at least a little, and wasn't completely conflicting and confusing.
Alex: Very helpful post-3 points to Hufflepuff