Who actually killed Voldemort Harry or Longbottom

The boy who could have been Potter

Nice, plump, clumsy: Neville Longbottom is the outsider in Harry Potter. But one with a great secret.

They belong to the standard repertoire of youthful heroes: the lovable outsiders who - optically out of competition - make the main character shine brighter and also offer her the opportunity to prove her good heart. Or several: Because someone like Neville Longbottom needs help almost all the time in the tricky day-to-day life at the magic boarding school. Sometimes he is harassed by the evil Malfoy, sometimes he loses his pet and he constantly forgets the most important things - despite the souvenir ball.

But where there are many weaknesses, you can improve a lot. From band to band. Far away from the strict grandmother, Neville, the loser, becomes Neville, the ace in herbalism, Neville, the fighter in Dumbledore's army and, in Book No. 5, Neville, the near-hero. That's when you learn that the prophecy that made Harry the Chosen One originally meant Potter and Longbottom. In fact, both reflect their fate: Harry's parents were killed by the evil Lord Voldemort. Nevilles, once great wizards, were tormented insane by Voldemort's men.

The doubling shows how random the positions are also in the magical world. And cleverly feeds speculation about "what if": Is Neville the real hero? Asks the fan base. The author herself always declined. But you know: Neville will still play a role. Which one can be read from today, Saturday. etc.

TO PERSON

Surname: Neville Longbottom

Born: July 30, 1980 (1 day after Potter)

Role: Almost hero

Actor: Matthew Lewis

Special marks: Pet toad [EPA]

("Die Presse", print edition, July 21, 2007)