There’s nothing like a good fan theory to make you see one of your favorite fandoms in a totally new light. Especially a Harry Potter fan theory.
This one is the result of a lengthy discussion on Quora, where members wondered why Professor Snape always treated Neville Longbottom with such disdain. User Sahil Juneja has a totally reasonable explanation, and it has to do with Lily Potter.
“Neville could have been the Boy-Who-Lived. Had Voldemort chosen Neville instead of Harry, Lily would still be alive.”
WHOA. That makes perfect sense. In fact, we don’t know why we didn’t see it earlier. Juneja continues:
As Dumbledore explains in Order of the Phoenix, the prophecy could have applied to two boys: Harry and Neville. Both of them were born at the end of July, both had parents in the Order of the Phoenix, and both sets of said parents escaped Voldemort three times.
So knowing about Snape’s love for Lily, it only makes sense that Neville reminds him of what could have been, hence the cold attitude. Plus, we bet it had a little bit to do with Neville’s mediocre performance in Potions class.