Harry Potter

Why Was Voldemort So Afraid Of Harry And Not Neville When They Had Equal Power To Destroy Him?

Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom, Lord Voldemort

Lord Voldemort was deathly (no pun intended) afraid of Harry Potter. However, there was another boy he should have also feared: Neville Longbottom. Both boys had equal power to take him down. But why did the Dark Lord target one but not the other? That’s what we’ll explore here. Also, this may contain spoilers for the books and films.

Before we explore why Voldemort was so afraid of Harry but not Neville, let’s look at the upbringing of both boys, beginning with Longbottom.

Neville Longbottom was born to pure-blood wizarding couple Frank and Alice Longbottom, Aurors, on July 30 1980. After Lord Voldemort’s first defeat on Halloween night in 1981, his Death Eaters, mainly Bellatrix Lestrange, her husband Rodolphus, his brother Rabastan and Barty Crouch Junior, were responsible for the torture of the two Aurors. After this, the then-one-year-old Neville was sent to live with his paternal grandmother, Augusta.

Augusta Longbottom Is A Scary, According To Neville Longbottom

Augusta was a terrifying woman (if Neville is to be believed) who expected the best of her grandson. At one point, she thought he was a squib due to his lack of magical prowess. However, he soon proved himself when he bounced back after being tossed from a window by his great-uncle. Minerva McGonagall, the deputy headmistress of Hogwarts and the head of Gryffindor House said the following during the Half-Blood Prince:

It’s high time your grandmother learned to be proud of the grandson she’s got rather than the one she thinks she ought to have — particularly after what happened at the Ministry.

Minerva McGonagall – Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince About Augusta’s View On Neville.

Mrs Longbottom had her heart in the right place. However, it is misguided as she wants Neville to have the same talents as his parents. Therefore had high expectations of him. However, she never realised how terrified her grandson was of her. After all, his boggart was Professor Snape in his grandmother’s clothing. It’s possible that she was just as hard with his father, Frank, as he was growing up.

A Proud Moment

Upon the final battle with Voldemort, Augusta was incredibly proud of Neville for finding his place in the war. He would also replace Professor Pomona Sprout as Herbology teacher and become the head of Gryffindor House. Neville is also the godfather of Albus Potter, Harry and his wife Ginny’s youngest son.

Interestingly, Neville was never a threat nor a target for Voldemort for one reason; he was a pure-blood. The Dark Lord was not. Despite having every other aspect the prophecy requires, the Longbottom boy, with a knack for Herbology, is not “the chosen one.” The former Tom Riddle had not heard the complete prophecy and only went after Harry because of his blood status.

The Boy Who Lived

Harry James Potter was born the day after Neville on July 31 to pure-blood James Potter and his muggle-born wife Lily (née Evans). Given his status as a half-blood, this is why Lord Voldemort chose him over Longbottom. But little did he realise, he marked Potter as “his equal.” When you believe you’re more important than someone else, you tend to think no one is equal to you, even if they’re so much younger.

The Dark Lord and Potter had much in common. They both grew up orphans. Found solace at Hogwarts upon starting their first years. They even gained reputations during their school days. Finally, their wands would also share a core, oh, and they would share a soul. When Voldemort attempted to kill Harry on Halloween night in 1981, his killing curse backfired, rebounding on him and destroying his body. Little did he realise the baby boy had become his sixth Horcrux. The goal was to create six; the child had yet to be part of that plan. The seventh would become his beloved snake, Nagini. Harry was a “pseudo-Horcrux.”

Voldemort Pretends To Be A Prue Blood When He’s Not

Voldemort rallied around him pure-bloods, despite himself being a half-blood. None of his Death Eaters, outside of Severus Snape, were anything other than purebloods. This was why Bellatrix and her brother-in-law, Lucius Malfoy, became members, as it boosted their egos with their “pure blood mania.” There is no way that the Dark Lord himself would accept anything else. It also showed how arrogant and hypocritical he was. He disguised his status and pretended to be something he wasn’t.

However, it is unclear whether the Death Eaters were at all aware that their fearless (and noseless) leader wasn’t, in fact, one of them. Lord Voldemort had a pure-blooded witch mother and a muggle father, making him a half-blood. A notion that has never sat well is the idea that he was more afraid of Harry than he was of Neville. Shouldn’t the pureblood be more powerful?

Also, wouldn’t Bellatrix have been repulsed by her master if she had known his blood status? After all, she did call Harry a “filthy half-blood” for mentioning Lord Voldemort by name. It’s quite possible that Narcissa and Andromeda’s older sister would have made an exception because she loved the power he wielded.

Equal In Power

Harry and Neville, despite being of two different blood statuses, were equal in power. No one person is ever more powerful than another. For example, Longbottom was better at Herbology than Defence Against The Dark Arts. Potter, meanwhile, was more in tune with his inner fighter.

When he was under the tutelage of Remus Lupin during his third year, Harry excelled to the point that Hermione Granger, one of his two best friends, encouraged him to form Dumbledore’s Army and be the leader as he was the most proficient combatant. He could produce a patronus, and he faced down Voldemort three times; once as a baby, then during his first year and then in the graveyard in his fourth year and survived. Moreover, one sought out trouble, and the other did not.

While Harry and Neville are in some ways the same, they are also not. Longbottom always knew that he was magical. Potter learned of his magical status when he turned 11. Lord Voldemort shared the same backstory as Harry almost. He knew he could do things with his mind but didn’t understand how or why. He was also highly nasty to the other kids in the orphanage and took pride in being cruel to them.

Harry and Neville were the complete opposite when it came to their upbringings. Despite being raised in dysfunction, they didn’t turn out cruel or mean.

In conclusion, Voldemort feared Harry more than he was of Neville because he was equal in more ways than he could have anticipated. The Dark Lord’s arrogance that only he could live forever became his ultimate undoing. Longbottom is a pure-blood, meaning in Voldemort’s eyes, he had more right to live than Harry, despite being of the same blood status.

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About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She prides herself as a truth seeker and will do (almost) anything for coffee or Coke No Sugar. Oh! And food!