I have read the whole series and watched every movie, but I never caught how Neville could have been the chosen one. Can somebody please explain?
Quick reminder of the prophecy made by Prof. Trelawney in front of Dumbledore when applying for the Divination post :
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies...."
Man, now that's quite a memorable job interview. Anyway, there are two points to remember :
- The Chosen One kid is born at the end of July ("born as the seventh month dies"). According to Pottermore, Neville was born on July 30th, just one day before Harry.
- His parents went against Voldemort three times ("born to those who have thrice defied him"). Taken from this interview retranscription :
SU: What did the Longbottoms do that they earned that wrath from Bellatrix? Such-- There's three times, like the Potters thrice defied the Dark Lord.
JKR: They were efficient! They were efficient. That's all they needed to do to earn her wrath. They were-- They had rounded up Death Eaters, they were very good Aurors, they knew what they were doing, they were responsible for a lot of captures and arrests and imprisonments. And-- So there you are.
MA: What about the three times-- The thrice-defying of Voldemort?
JKR: Of James and Lily?
MA: Of Neville's parents. Well, James and Lily, too.
JKR: It depends how you take defying, doesn't it. I mean, if you're counting, which I do, anytime you arrested one of his henchmen, anytime you escaped him, anytime you thwarted him, that's what he's looking for. And both couples qualified because they were both fighting. Also, James and Lily turned him down, that was established in "Philosopher's Stone". He wanted them, and they wouldn't come over, so that's one strike against them before they were even out of their teens.
So, Neville's folks also went against Voldemort. That, plus the birth date thing, made Neville eligible for Chosen One Kid.