Today is Neville Longbottom’s birthday. Tomorrow is Harry Potter’s. Both have the potential to be the one that the prophecy referred to. Neville has no idea how close he came to being “the chosen one”.
That’s why I love him.
I think that what the series tells us about prophecies is that they really only hold power if you believe that they will come to pass. Dumbledore even says to Harry that Voldemort gave him the power to kill him by deciding to target Harry in the first place.
So my question is this: if Voldy had targeted Neville instead, would everything still have turned out alright?
Personally, I think it would have.
The Longbottom’s proved that they had just as much love, strength, and commitment to the good side. They were order members, yes, but they also withstood the torture of the Lestranges. I think Alice would have protected her son just as Lily did. Maybe not in the same way, as we can’t say that Voldemort would have even given her the option to live, but she would have protected her son until her last breath. We see the intensity of a mother’s love in so many places in the series, not just on the good side with Molly and Lily, but even in Narcissa, putting her son above anything else. It would be disingenuous to discount Alice as having that in her as well.
The most vehement argument against this stance tends to be about Neville, it seems. But we see throughout the series that he has the ability to take a stand when he needs to. I think of that little 11 year-old standing up to the Trio, not wanting his house to lose more points, and I know that he always had the strength and courage to qualify as a true Gryffindor. And I feel like it’s almost too obvious to bring up the fact that in Harry’s absence he took lead of the DA and then stood up to Voldemort himself when he thought Harry was dead.
If Voldemort had chose to go after Neville instead of Harry, there are a million little plot points that would have been turned on their head, and a million little details that lead to Voldy’s demise that would have had a different significance. Ultimately, we can’t say that things would have worked out the same, or even that Voldemort would still have met his end. But, I think it’s very poor logic to say that it would have anything to do with a lack of strength on the part of any member of the Longbottom family. They all would have stood up, just like the Potter’s did, and they would have fought with everything that they had right to the end.
“When it comes to hiccups, and also when it comes to everything else, I like to remind myself that every other time I thought something wasn’t going to end, it ended.”—John Green (Advice on Dumb Boyfriends, Going to College, and More)