Why?:Neville Longbottom: Enemy of the State
The spin off from the seriously successful Harry Potter book series (118 books in total, and no set reading order!) was launched in 2009, with a competition from the author JK Rowling. Neville Longbottom: Enemy of the State was the most successful book in February ever.
The author offered her slightly over-devoted fans the choice of four titles for the spin off, which cost $23.99. The options were:
- Neville Longbottom: Enemy of the State (23,451 votes)
- Neville Longbottom and the Battle of the Publishers (4,298 votes)
- Neville Longbottom and the Accidental Racist Comment Live on TV (19,485 votes)
- Neville Longbottom and the Chamber of Deathly Half-Blood Stones (24,876 votes)
- Neville Bares All (112,399 votes)
- The Nevster - Wizard's Last Hope (65,331 votes)
- Neville Longbottom's Annotated Dictionary (3 votes)
Though the fans had voted for the title "Neville Bares All", JK Rowling announced that that would be impossible, and in fact that the title was going to have to be the 4th place "Neville Longbottom: Enemy of the State". This lead many fans to wonder why they paid 50p to vote.
Upon release, it was the most successful book ever released, after Harry Potter (books) and The Bible. It put the Torah to shame though, even when they were offering a free Nintendo Puu with it. Many fans queued in the middle of the night to get it, which was strange, because it came out in the morning, and there wasn't exactly a shortage. The book has been credited with wiping out the Amazon rainforest, though Just Kidding Rowling says that that was the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The readers were also set a challenge, to find the small mention of Nike in the book, to prove that their sponsorship was so subtle it didn't affect the reading.
The plot was simple, divided into three parts: Part 1, called "London", Part 2, called "Naples", and Part 3, called "Zurich". The author said the book was about what happened when the English Government set out to capture Longbottom, who they considered a terrorist, after an accident on board the Hogwarts Express which caused Kings Cross to blow up. It pitted the Government's skills and equipment against a magician who was not very good.
Part 1: London
Neville was on board the Hogwarts Express, waiting to leave, when it happened. He was minding his own business, preparing to go back to work as a Herbology teacher, and preparing to consummate his relationship with Madam Sprout. However, just then, something adverbly happened. King's Cross blew up! Being a teacher, Neville had to investigate. So he put his wand away (the children in the carriage didn't like looking at it anyway), and ran through the barrier to see what was going on. There was lots of dust and stuff, so he put on a shawl, which he found on a man lying dead on the ground. He bent down. This man was also carrying a DIY Bomb Kit! Neville picked it up.
Just then, the riot police came and told him to put his hands up. "It's not mine!" he protested, and started to run as they approached. He had to Apparate, but he'd never passed his test! "Goodness me!" he said. Looking behind him, they were catching up. There was nothing for it. "Bulletus Sprayus!" he yelled, shooting his wand behind him. All the men, collapsed, dead. Phew. Now he had some time. Running back into Platform 9 3/4, he discovered the train had left without him. (We know its unlikely, a train leaving on time, but still.) Shit! He'd have to skip to Hogwarts. Just then, he saw Ron Weasley's invisible flying Ford, and tried to hitchhike a lift. "Sorry, Professor!" Ron yelled down. "I couldn't possibly provide you that simpler get out! Things are going to get a lot worse!"
Part 2: Naples
Neville got very confused as he started the long journey to Hogwarts, because he realised he didn't know where Hogwarts was. He was going to have to Apparate. Then he noticed, as he was skipping down the railway track, there was a train behind him. No time like the present! He shut his eyes and tried to move. Nothing happened. The train was about to hit him. He yelled the first spell that came into his head. "Wingardium Leviosa!" He lifted the train off the track. It was hovering high in the sky. "Wow!" said Neville. "I'm not bad." He carried on skipping.
Inside, the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown was getting angry. "Feck this stupid hovering nonsense!" he yelled, in a thick Scottish accent. "I keel that wizard!" He brought out his gun, and aimed. Neville heard the bang. Time to go, he thought. But he couldn't Apparate! Then he heard a bang, and felt a huge pain in his back. Had he been shot? No, he'd Apparated to Naples. Which was not where he wanted to go. So he felt kind of bad. Especially when he saw a "Wanted" poster. With his face on it...
Part 3: Zurich
It took Neville a moment to realise that he was reading it in English, therefore he wasn't in Naples. In fact, he was in Naples Street, in the Greater Manchester area.
"It's him!" yelled a voice from behind. "The terrorist, like!" Neville slowly turned around to find a couple of chavs. He had to deal with this carefully. He couldn't have them running for the police. Thinking quickly in his mind, he brought out of his pocket a little plant. "If you don't say anything, I'll let you have this!" They looked confused. "Are you kidding?" The eight year olds brought out knives. "Fine." he said, and threw the plant at them. Nothing happened. But Neville didn't want anything to happen. He just needed enough time to yell "Avada Kedavra!" and kill them both. He then stole their Nike Air Super Plus Multi Happy Go-Go Nike trainers. Just do it. Now 50% off in selected retailers. For a limited time only!
Neville needed to change his identity. There was a spell for that. "Identitus Changitus!" It was nearing evening. He went into a B&B, and asked for a room, introducing himself as Bottom...Long Bottom. The waitress seemed attracted to him. All thoughts of Madam Sprout forgotten, Neville performed his favourite trick. He waited in his room naked, then rang room service. They had a fun night.
When Neville woke up, he was chained to a desk. And he was in Zurich! OMG! Oh no, wait, he was in Zurich Insurance Manchester Branch. But still, why? This was a mystery. Just then, Neville thought he could hear the sound of riot police surrounding the building. He looked for a way to get out. Where was the waitress he had spent the night with? Had she seen through his disguise? He needed to get out, and fast. But he couldn't reach his wand! The police were coming up the stairs! They were going to find him... TO BE CONTINUED
The readers and loyal fans were of course delighted that there was another piece of crap merchandise for them to buy, but the Daily Mail said it was worse than "something written by immigrants", and the Times said it was "utter shit." In fact Ron Weasley gave the only positive review, but that was because he got publicity out of the book, from his cameo. Some critics said that the fact Nike had sponsored the book made it worse. However, the book of course made so much bleeding money there will be sequels:
- Neville Longbottom: Public Enemy No. 1
- Neville Longbottom: You Only Live Thrice
- Neville Longbottom: Dr.Yes
- Neville Longbottom: From Russian Mafia HQ With Love
- Neville Longbottom: Out For Revenge
- Neville Longbottom: The spy who shagged me
- Neville Longbottom: Casino Royal
- Neville Longbottom: The man with the golden wand
- Neville Longbottom: The Killer's Return