And it makes a lot of sense...
Can you believe that it’s already been almost 20 years since Harry Potter first entered our lives?
What’s even more unbelieveable is that we still have so many burning questions that remain unanswered. Like what happened to Lily’s parents, for example? Or what happens if the sorting hat simply cannot pick a house for a student? And how come Harry couldn’t see the thestrals all along if he’d witnessed Lily die as a baby?
But one of the most pressing questions we can’t get our heads around is this: why exactly did Professor Snape hate Neville Longbottom so much?
Sure, we can see that he’s pretty useless at potions. But surely that doesn’t explain why Snape was so hateful towards Neville that he feared him more than anyone or anything else? (Remember that lesson with the boggart? Our point precisely.)
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We all know why Snape hated Harry. His father did bully Snape and marry the woman of his dreams after all. And of course, Lily did die trying to save Harry, so it makes sense for Snape to not be Harry’s No.1 fan.
But Neville? We just can’t get our heads around it.
So imagine our relief when we finally read this fan theory which explains exactly what it was about Neville which made Snape hate him so much. Warning: prepare for your mind to be officially blown…
It all comes down to this tiny paragraph in Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix:
“Dumbledore took a deep breath. ‘The odd thing, Harry,’ he said softly, ‘is that it may not have meant you at all. Sybill’s prophecy could have applied to two wizard boys, both born at the end of July that year, both of whom had parents in the Order of the Phoenix, both sets of parents having narrowly escaped Voldemort three times. One, of course, was you. The other was Neville Longbottom.”
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Eagle-eyed Sahil Juneja, an avid Potter fan who claims to have read each book 16 times, explains:
“Neville could have been the “Boy-Who-Lived. Had Voldemort chosen Neville instead of Harry, Lily would still be alive.
“For years since Lily’s death, [Snape] blamed no one but himself. He turned coats for Dumbledore in order for some penance but that wasn’t enough of course. He still loved Lily and couldn’t bear that thought. And one fine day, Neville Longbottom came along. The living embodiment of his guilt. He manifested all his anger and hatred for himself onto that poor little boy. It was more likely a subconscious thing. The sight of Neville triggered the guilt and he couldn’t stand it.”
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Yes, we know. Socks officially knocked off.
And those other burning questions? Expect them to be answered in the three new Harry Potter books out on 6th September.