Originally posted by Karaley Dargen
Actually, I disagree here. I don't think Snape saw that in Neville; he does not seem to be the kind of person who just helps others because he's nice like that. He helped Harry because he was Lily's son, but what reason would he have to help Neville? In some ways, his childhood probably was more similar to Harry's than to Neville's.
I have another theory on that matter, and I have recently discovered that I am not the only one with that opinion. Terri has a Oneshot up (I hope it's ok that I link this here, Terri?) that deals with exactly that question, and it comes to the same conclusion that I always come to:
[Don't read if you're scared of spoilers]
There were two boys, two families who could have been attacked that night - the Potters or the Longbottoms. Had it been the Longbottoms, had Neville died or been scarred, then Lily would still be alive, and even if he would never have had the chance to talk to her again, he would still have known that she was there to do good in the world. So Neville in fact is the constant reminder that it was, in the end, as a final factor, just bad luck that killed Lily.