Tor.com's Emily Asher-Perrin has a great essay on Neville Longbottom's roll in the Harry Potter series.
But it’s not quite so simple as all that. See, Rowling largely operates Harry’s generation in a clear system of parallels to the previous generation, Marauders and all.
I remember having a discussion with friends about Neville. I came away believing that it was Neville's story told through Harry's eyes. But Asher-Perrin takes it one set further. I had never made the generational parallel connection before. I guess I know what I am going to be doing for the next month.