Was Neville Almost A Slytherin? He Did Something Tricky In The Third Book Most Of Us Missed
The similarities between our favorite cinnamon roll (too good, too pure for this world) Neville Longbottom and hero Harry Potter are hella clarified by the time we realize that Trelawney's prophecy about a boy that will overthrow Voldemort could have applied to Neville or Harry. After all, they share a birthday, and were born to parents who had "thrice defied" Voldemort. The only reason The Boy Who Lived ended up being Harry was that Voldemort marked him. But what if there were one similarity between Harry and Neville that the books didn't address? For instance — could Neville maybe be more of a Slytherin than we noticed at first glance?
I personally always assumed that if Neville weren't a Gryffindor, he'd be more of a Hufflepuff. He's a hard worker and he's hella loyal. (Also I am a Hufflepuff, so I'm all about luring people into our kitchen-adjacent basement.) But the other day I stumbled on a post from Tumblr user lego-joking, which pointed out a curious Neville happening in the series that most of us didn't blink twice at:
Has anyone, anyone thought about how exactly Neville “got” Sir Cadogan to give him the whole week’s worth of passwords in Prisoner of Azkaban? Neville - especially at this point - isn’t the kind of person to downplay contributions from others, so the fact he doesn’t mention anyone else has to mean he did it all by himself. And judging by comments from the rest of the book, the portraits have the freedom to make up the passwords and change them whenever they feel like it. Even if this policy was specifically changed because of Sir Cadogan abusing it, the fact remains - how did Neville of all people get him to give information that only teachers and Prefects should’ve been privy to?
You probably dismissed this in the books because, well, Sir Cadogan is kind of annoying. Of course he would do something dumb like give Neville a whole week's worth of passwords, because he's way more interested in puffing out his two dimensional chest than, y'know, doing his damn job. But this is also a dude who changed the passwords on the daily, and made them all ridiculously complicated. Sir Cadogan took his job very seriously, even if he did muck it up by letting Sirius in.
Which begs the question: why would he give Neville the passwords? To get the passwords out of Sir Cadogan, it would undoubtedly taking someone with cunning, someone resourceful; someone who was embarrassed when they couldn't get into the tower, and wanted to protect their reputation by making sure it wouldn't happen again. Someone like ... a Slytherin.
So among all the similarities Neville has to Harry, was a near-sorting into Slytherin one of them? After all, Neville might even have more reason to lean toward Slytherin than Harry did — unlike Harry, Neville was a pureblood. Of course, there is no doubt that Neville is a true Gryffindor in his heart, or else he never would have been able to pull the stunt that saved everyone when he wielded the sword of Gryffindor to shank Nagini. Still, it is always curious to examine just how close students came to being sorted elsewhere. Hermione herself mentioned almost being sorted into Ravenclaw, and we know the Sorting Hat did a psychological number on young Harry re: Slytherin. Did it maybe hesitate just a bit with Neville as well?
It just goes to show, y'all — as fun as getting sorted is, we are so much more than the sum of our House.
Images: Warner Bros.; Giphy