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Neville Longbottom: The Other Chosen One

by David Haber

On the night that Sirius died, after the battle at the Ministry of Magic at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore showed Harry the complete Lost Prophecy. It is then we learn that it was possible that Neville could also have been the Chosen One. Dumbledore tells us this, and then immediately insists it could only have been Harry. Why mention it then, in the first place?

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Reader Comments: (Page 7)

I've always thought Neville's grandma was sorry that he, Neville wasn't the Chosen one instead of Harry. McGonagall says she should be happy with the grandson she has got!

The prophecy only becomes true when Voldemort acts on it. By acting on it and attacking Harry he sets it irrevocably in motion...and everything Voldemort does to Harry seems only to train him for their final encounter...every time he tries to stop him, he unwittingly helps him to develop the ss he need to fight him. So Harry is definitely the Chosen one, not Neville. But up until the time Harry was attacked, they could either one have been the boy in the prophecy.

Did Dumbledore act somehow to set the prophecy in motion? We don't know who knew about the prophecy at the time. I've always thought that Dumbledore would not have intervened with it either way, but suppose he, or someone else did act to set it in motion? Did Harry's parents somehow choose to be the ones Voldemort went after?...James after all did like to take risks. Or did Neville's parents choose to opt out? making Neville appear non-magical by tampering with his memory. Or did Snape try and influence Voldemort to choose the Longbottoms instead of the Potters? I've always wondered why he was so horrid to Neville.

I think Bellatrix knew about the prophecy (at least the first part) and that was why she and the other eaters went after the Longbottoms. We don't know for sure it was Snape who alerted Dumbledore that Voldemort was after the Potters. There's some connection between Lucius Malfoy and Snape that we don't know about fully yet...

Neville is definitely significant either way. He has always been part of the Ron Hermione Harry group. I like the idea that he somehow mirrors Peter Pettigrew...mirrors reflect the opposite of perhaps Neville be courageous in the way Pettigrew was cowardly.

I love the anagram from droobles best blowing gum about gold below St Mungos etc. Harry also donated a large sum to St Mungos via the fountain of magical brethren.

Posted by Joe from England on May 31, 2007 10:16 AM

Another great article! This could be possible. I'm just wondering about one thing.
If there actually IS something Nevilles gran wants him to forget something, then why did she send him the Remembrall?

And about Neville being the Chosen one: He could have been, but Voldemort marked Harry as his equal, so Harry is the Chosen One, not Neville.

Well, anyway, the son of the Longbottoms were in the same danger as the son of the Potters. Therefor I say, as I have said before:
I think Lord Voldemort went after the Potters because he planned to both Harry and Neville, and he didn't mean to only Harry. The prophecy was made in a way so the Dark Lord couldn't know for sure which boy it meant.
Anyway, I am sure that Neville in a way help Harry to Voldemort (and even with finding the Horcruxes, if Harry tells him about them), because Neville, too, surely wants revenge.

Posted by Luna from Norway on May 31, 2007 10:20 AM

How can we be sure Neville's gran sent him the remembrall? He gets it in the morning owl mail and the books says it's from his grandmother, but what if someone else sent it to look like it came from his gran? Someone else who wants Neville to remember...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on May 31, 2007 10:24 AM

After reading the article about Neville, I was wondering if Neville could have been used by Voldemort as a horcrux?
This would definately put a mark on Neville, just not a visible one. Another thought Neville seems to be the exact opposite of Tom Riddle/Voldemort. Though they look similar Neville is chunkier Tom was thinner, Tom kept his own council and was underhanded with others, Neville tells everything and is open, Tom had good control of his powers at young age even though he did not know about being a wizard, Neville has always had problems and his family thought he would not be much of a Wizard. Maybe somehow Harry and Neville have to destroy Voldemort together.

Posted by Sandy from Cleveland on May 31, 2007 11:18 AM

I think Dumbledore tells Harry that Neville could just as easily been selected as the chosen one because Dumbledore protected Neville more than Harry. Perhaps that is why Dumbledore didn't know that James had decided to make Wormtail his secret keeper instead.

Dumbledore said he makes mistakes. Perhaps that was his big mistake. Maybe he borrowed James' invisibility cloak to hide Neville thinking that Voldemort would come after the pure blood child, not the half blood and James got upset with him. The way that Dumbledore tells Harry makes me think that he is admitting something, like he is confessing that he was wrong about who Voldemort would chose.

I do think it is possible that Neville is under some sort of memory charm, but is it about his parents, the prophecy (his parents and Harry's parents had to have known some of it), or about whatever happened to his grandfather. We know he saw his grandfather and when Bellatrix (I think it was her) says something like "your grandmother is used to losing people to our cause" I always imagined that was her husband as well as her son and daughter in law.

Posted by LMD from North Carolina on May 31, 2007 12:26 PM

Congratulations Dave, this is your best work yet in my opinion. I was excited to read book 7 before I ever found your site and as I read these articles, it gets me even more anxious!

Concerning Neville betraying the trio somehow: George R. Martin would pull that, but I don't see J.K. Rowling doing it...which is why it very well could happen -- we just wouldn't expect it to.

There is definately something major that involve Neville. I can't wait to see what it is!

Posted by Tim from Flagstaff, AZ on May 31, 2007 4:27 PM

I was over the moon to find this article on my fav HP website! Thanks Dave! I�ve just started re-reading HBP in prep for DH and have started thinking about the significance of Neville and what role he play in the DH.

As mentioned by others, it is fairly certain that he play a vital role in the next book. JKR has been building his character in the last few books, and undoubtedly there is a reason for that.

I didn�t like reading the comparison of Neville and Pettigrew when I first read it in POA, I felt quite defensive of Neville. But even Pettigrew�s closest friends were deceived by him until his true colours were shown, so I can understand the train of thought that thinks Neville betraying Harry et al as plausible.

However, as Dumbledore has said himself, it is our choices that define us, and Neville has shown his strength of character as early on as the first novel when he stands up to his friends. I think, inherently, that this shows how different he is to Pettigrew.

I do not think that Neville is the chosen one. Harry was marked by Voldemort as his equal, and that let the prophecy begin to be fulfilled. I do wonder why Voldemort chose Harry. I don�t think it has ever been properly addressed, and I think we find out the reason in DH.

Love the theory about Neville�s memory being modified and think it is totally plausible. Still think his Grandmother may have done it, not realising the effects it would have on his magical ss. She obviously was disappointed that Neville wasn�t up to his parent�s standards for years, shown by the elation of the publicity their family enjoyed following the Ministry of Magic battle.

Perhaps the Rememberball is a gift of guilt from his grandmother. Perhaps she only wanted to modify his memory to erase seeing his parents being tortured, and feels guilty about the lasting effects it�s had on him.

Think it�s an interesting point that Neville may have bought the last wand Ollivander ever sold (HBP). I believe that there are no coincidences in JKR�s book, and this snippet of information is significant, unsure exactly why though.

Ultimately, I think Neville play a vital role in the final battle of DH. I like the idea that because Harry and Voldemort�s wands are connected, someone else may have to cast the final spell to destroy Voldemort, and think it would be ironic if it was Neville, the �not-Chosen One�, the boy Voldemort DIDN�T mark as his equal, that cast the spell that destroyed the Dark Lord.

I have an image, not unlike the battle scene in the graveyard at the end of GOF, Harry and Voldemort in battle, their wands connected, and Neville coming to stand by Harry's side and his wand connects with Harry's and together they overcome Voldemort.

Posted by Meredith from Sydney, Australia on May 31, 2007 6:09 PM

i think it is possible for neville to be the chosen one... the prophecy never says when voldemort would mark his equal... and it never says HOW he mark his equal. nobody really knows why the curse marked Harry with a scar, due to the fact that nobody has ever survived the ing curse.

David from Copenhagen said that maybe by ing Harry Voldemort was marking Neville as his equal because he would be the only one left that could be the chosen one. i was thinking the same thing.

i was also thinking that the reason that neville has a horrible memory is because his grandmother put a spell or charm on him. i'm not sure whether it was to make him forget something he may have saw or to surpress any magical abilities he may have so that Voldemort won't come after him. But if she thought it would protect him i think she would have done it. plus in HBP we find out that his granmother wasn't very good in charms when she was at Hogwarts, so if she did put a charm on Neville maybe it did more than just surpress a memory maybe it really really screwed up his memory.

i agree with vivek from chennai it does say "the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord" twice... there was no need for it to be repeated at the end of the prophecy unless it was refering to another person. the prophecy would have already been clear without repeating that phrase.

Posted by Taryn from Easton, Pennsylvania on May 31, 2007 8:22 PM

LMD: nice remarks, it really makes sense. I hadn't thought of the Cloak being used to protect Neville.

Posted by herve on June 1, 2007 12:00 AM

I didn't think about that at all! No, we can't be sure that Neville's gran sent him the Remembrall. But who could it be? Maybe his mother?

Posted by Luna from Norway on June 1, 2007 04:02 AM

Harry is always reffered as "the chosen one" not "the only one". Thus the chances of Neville ing The Dark Lord is quite high.

When one of Neville's floundering feet kicked the prophecy, it flew some ten feet to their right and smashed on the step beneath them. As both of them stared at the place where it had broken, appalled at what had happened. A pearly-white figure with hugely magnified eyes rose into the air, unnoticed by any but them [Harry and Neville].

Isn't it strange that the pearly-white figure was visible only to Harry and Neville. This is a clear indication that both Harry and Neville are equally related to the prophecy.

Posted by vivek from chennai on June 1, 2007 06:54 AM

It's possible, vivek, but I think the reason only Harry and Neville saw the apparition come from the prophecy was that they were the only ones paying attention. Everyone else was engaged in the battle. The apparition even spoke the prophecy, but nobody heard it, because the battle was too loud.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on June 1, 2007 07:20 AM

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