I was on Quora and one person asked the question, "Why is Neville Longbottom's Patronus non-corporeal?". I didn't think much of it until I read the answer by Matthew Beasley. He answered,

Because it was an incomplete version of the spell. You see this in PoA, when Harry is first learning how to cast a Patronus. His early attempts are non-corporeal, before finally finding a suitably happy memory to cast a fully corporeal Patronus. Neville (at least initially) was unable to find a suitably happy memory to produce a corporeal Patronus.

That got me thinking, could Neville produce a corporal Patronus?

  • The comment seems to be connected to this passage in OotP; ‘You’ve got to think of something happy,’ Harry reminded him. ‘I’m trying,’ said Neville miserably, who was trying so hard his round face was actually shining with sweat. We don't see him succeed, possibly because he's not powerful enough or possibly because he's borderline depressed about being his parents.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 9:52
  • @Valorum If Neville did find that memory though, would he be able to do it? Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 9:53
  • 1
    We don't know, hence why I'm voting to close as opinion-based. It might not be his lack of a happy memory, it might be his general incapacity as a wizard.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 9:54
  • Opinion-based yes, but I'm sure he'd have had a twinkle in his eye at the thought of Luna. Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 9:55

1 Answer 1


Most likely yes. There are two requirements to creating a corporeal Patronus: raw skill & ability, as stated in "Wonderbook: Book of Spells":

The Patronus Charm is difficult, and many witches and wizards are unable to produce a full, corporeal Patronus...

and a sufficiently happy memory, as stated by Harry:

Make it a powerful memory, the happiest you can remember. Allow it to fill you up… Just remember, your Patronus can only protect you as long as you stay focused… Think of the happiest thing you can

Neville is not limited by his magical knowledge or skill level, as we see him master the Boggart-Banishing Spell relatively quickly, he achieves an 'Exceeds Expectations' on his O.W.L. exam for Defense Against the Dark Arts, and he usually escapes most battles with minimal injuries despite taking an active role in said battles (Battle of the Department of Mysteries and Battle of Hogwarts).

As far as a sufficiently happy memory, we know that to conjure a Patronus, the "happy memory" the caster draws from only need to be happy or good in the subjective sense, as Dolores Umbridge casts one with ease. Also, the memory itself doesn't necessarily need to have made you happy at the time that it occurred, as long as the memory brings you happiness when you think about it in the moment. We know this as Harry is seen casting a corporeal Patronus when only thinking of the faces of his friends and not a specific memory about them.

In conclusion, there shouldn't be anything holding Neville back from creating a fully corporeal Patronus as long as he can find a memory that makes him sufficiently happy in the moment.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.