If you've ever been on Tumblr, or any other Harry Potter obsessed part of the internet (so... all of it), you've probably come across a few wild theories. One of the most common fan theories (or alternate universes for anyone who reads fanfiction) revolves around what it would be like if Harry Potter had been in Slytherin house. Would he have been completely evil, or would he break the typical Slytherin stereotype and show that you can rock a green scarf while defeating Voldemort?
We're all used to hearing Slytherin referred to as the "evil" house, but don't go jumping to conclusions before you have all of the facts. Ever heard of Andromeda Black? What about Astoria Greengrass? Does Horace Slughorn ring a bell? They were all honorable members of Slytherin and good people who defied house stereotypes by showcasing their kindness, bravery, and resourcefulness.
It used to be my dream to be placed in Gryffindor and drink pumpkin juice with Harry and the Golden Trio in the Great Hall. That all changed three years ago when Pottermore sorted me into the infamous Slytherin house. I’ll admit, at first I was surprised and a little bit heartbroken that I would never have my Gryffindor fantasy come true. As I did my research and got to know more about Slytherin, though, I came to realize I was incredibly proud to (metaphorically) don my black and green robes after all.
Harry Potter may be known as the epitome of a Gryffindor, but wouldn't it be great to know just what would have changed if he'd been placed in Slytherin after all?
For those of you who need a quick refresher, during his sorting ceremony at Hogwarts, the Sorting Hat very much wanted to place Harry in Slytherin but changed its mind when Harry pleaded with it not to — because it does take your desire into consideration after all. But how would Harry's years at Hogwarts have been different if Ron had never mentioned the house's dark past and Harry hadn't asked to be kept out of Slytherin? Your house is based on the traits you possess as well as the traits you value most. Even though Slytherins are seen as sly and cunning, we also exhibit immense ambition, determination, and fierce loyalty — traits that could definitely come in handy when fighting The Dark Lord.
1. Everyone's Reaction Would Be Different
It's no secret that everyone at the sorting ceremony was hoping for the legendary Harry Potter to join their Hogwarts house. If Harry had been sorted into Slytherin, you can bet the only smiling faces in the Great Hall that day would have been sporting green and black robes.
2. He'd Have So Many Friends
Harry was super lucky during his time at Hogwarts to have friends as supportive and caring as Hermione, Ron, Neville and Luna. If he'd been in Slytherin, though, it's likely Harry would have a completely different group of friends who liked him more because of his history with Voldemort (or because he could have become the next Voldemort), or who just liked him because he was the rich, athletic Chosen One. I'd say this is one difference Harry wasn't missing out on.
3. His Friendship With Ron and Hermione Wouldn't Be Great
Even worse than him having a bunch of fake friends, Harry wouldn't have nearly the kind of relationship he had with Ron and Hermione if he were a Slytherin. Sure, he met them on the train before they were sorted, but being in opposing houses can cause a lot of strain on friendships, and they wouldn't have been nearly as close. Hopefully, I'm wrong, though, and the Golden Trio would be able to work through the stigma of Gryffindors being friends with Slytherins.
4. His Relationship with the Entire Weasley Family Would Be Almost Nonexistent
Because of his potentially unstable friendship with Ron, Harry might not have had as many opportunities to visit the Weasley family or get close to them. The Weasleys are practically Harry's second (or first?) family, and without their support, he would have missed out on Molly's Christmas sweaters, flying Arthur's car, getting the Marauder's map from Fred and George, and spending time with Ginny and the rest of the family during holidays. Harry's friendship with Ron gave him more than one friend. It gave him a family.
5. His Relationship with Snape Would Be Even More Complicated
Snape treated Harry and the other students at Hogwarts terribly for many controversial reasons that could be discussed at length in the Harry Potter fandom. It's difficult to say, though, whether he would treat Harry better or worse if he had been in Slytherin. I think it's more likely he would have tried to win Harry over or get him to be even less like his father by turning him into a stereotypical Slytherin. Harry never got a good vibe from Snape, though, so I'm not so sure that plan would have really worked.
6. He'd Probably Be More Confident
We all remember in the Half-Blood Prince when Hermione has to remind Harry not to let his reputation as The Boy Who Lived go to his head. It's easy to feel a little high and mighty, though, when most of your friends are adoring Slytherins who see you as their future leader. I'm not saying everyone would look up to Harry, or even particularly like him, but his self-esteem would definitely go up if he were a member of Slytherin house — which wouldn't be a bad thing for Harry. After all, he could have used a little more support through all his struggles.
7. He'd Have More Access to Info About Voldemort and the Death Eaters
Voldemort would be a huge topic of conversation in the Slytherin dorms, especially among Draco and his gang. Listening in on their conversations or even making himself a part of their chats would be the perfect, sneaky way to get the upper hand on the Death Eaters and help him defeat Voldemort — if he doesn't get caught.
8. He'd Have Duels with Draco in the Common Room
Even though they'd share a house, it's still unlikely Harry and Draco would ever be friends (as much as I wish they'd just get along). It's possible that being in such close proximity to each other all the time would even lead to a few hexes and spells being cast towards one another in the common room. Their constant battling might put on a good show every now and then (and send them to the hospital wing occasionally) but it wouldn't do any good for Slytherin trying to win the house cup.
9. He'd Totally Fail His Classes
As bright as he is, Harry is not the best at prioritizing. Without Hermione by his side constantly reminding him to study or finish his potions essays, Harry would have been too focused on defeating Voldemort and trying to stay alive to do well in school, especially in his last few years at Hogwarts.
10. He'd Have an Even Bigger Existential Crisis
Coming from a family of Gryffindors, Harry would ultimately end up struggling with the fact that he wasn't placed in the same house as his parents. This is a classic dilemma for a lot of Hogwarts students (see Sirius Black). Luckily for Harry, his parents wouldn't judge him if he were placed in Slytherin. Unluckily for Harry, a majority of the school would judge him because of Slytherin's history of producing so many dark wizards. This might make him wish he were a Gryffindor even more and lead to some kind of moment where he has to find himself and realize that his ambition, loyalty, and kindness are truly great (Slytherin) traits to have.
11. He'd Realize Not All Slytherins are Evil
Going through this existential crisis might make Harry consider why he was sorted into Slytherin after all and why not all of his Slytherin friends are complete jerks like he imagined they would be. Getting to know some Slytherin students better and truly becoming good friends with them wouldn't only change Harry's perspective of his house, but it would help him see useful characteristics within himself and his new friends that would help him through his journey.
12. Harry Would Still Be A Good-Hearted, Courageous Person
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think being put in a different house automatically changes your personality. You're placed into your house because of who you are, so your characteristics are already set. I've heard a lot of theories that Harry would act like a snob, dislike the Weasleys because they're blood traitors, and just become an overall jerk if he were placed in Slytherin. But I like to think Harry would have gone against the grain of being a stereotypical Slytherin and still gone out of his way to help others and be a good friend.
Even if these predictions are off or you think Harry's life would have gone in a completely different direction, I think it's important to remember Harry had some control over his destiny, no matter which house he was placed in. After all, like Dumbledore once said, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Images: Warner Bros; Giphy (14)