If Neville Longbottom were “The Chosen One”
I know this is a topic that has been discussed before, but it’s something I find very interesting to delve into. There are so many “what ifs” that we can explore in the Potter series, but I think this is one of the biggest ones. If Voldemort had interpreted the prophecy to mean Neville and his parents, there are quite a few things that would be different about the story. You see, it’s not as simple as switching characters and leaving the story and the outcome the same. Different characters react to things in different ways and make different decisions that can completely change the course of a story.
The first big question would be if Neville’s mother would have died to protect her son and consequently place a protection over him so Voldemort wouldn’t be able to touch him. Surely she would, but what if she wasn’t in a position too? What if she wasn’t in the same room as Neville? What if she was surprised and attacked from behind before she knew what was happening and had a chance to act to protect her son? If the protection was never put into place, it’s doubtful that Neville would have survived very long.
If Voldemort had attacked Neville as a baby and transferred part of himself into the boy, then the sorting hat would have likely tried to put Neville into Slytherin on his first night at Hogwarts. Would Neville have argued with the hat’s decision? Would he have swayed it to instead place him in Gryffindor? If the chosen one had been in Slytherin house, would he have fought for good or evil? Would his housemates have influenced him? This alone could completely alter the story as we know it. I know that Slytherin house isn’t all bad, but if Neville ended up making friends with the wrong people he could have been corrupted by greed and ideas of what an ideal wizarding society should look like. He might not want to destroy Voldemort and the Deatheaters. True, the fact would still remain that Voldemort had tried to kill him and succeeded in doing so with his parents, but would Neville be able to fight against peer pressure and still set out on a quest to rid the world of an extremist? I feel like he would still fight for himself and his parents. I think he would want to avenge their deaths and make Voldemort pay.
There’s also the question of what friends Neville would have made. We know that Harry would not have been able to defeat Voldemort without the help of his friends. He honestly did very little alone. If Neville didn’t have two best friends who would do anything for him, would he have succeeded in vanquishing the most feared dark wizard of all time? Surely Dumbledore would have coached him as he did with Harry, but would Neville have been so prepared by other people, such as Professor Lupin? Would Lupin have offered special help to Neville? Would Neville have asked for it?
There are so many variables to consider. It’s interesting to hear other fans ideas and thoughts of how the story could have been different if Neville was the chosen one, so feel free to comment with your own thoughts on the subject.