Houses (Harry Potter)

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In the Harry Potter novels, students attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are "sorted" into four Houses in their first year: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. Students in the same house sleep, eat, and attend classes together. Each house has its own colors and, more significantly, its own character. Students are sorted according to temperament and, arguably, political affiliation.

It is common for fans even outside Harry Potter fandom to identify themselves by the house which they feel represents their personality. The house system has been the inspiration for much fanac, including

Many fans have argued that the House system as represented in the novels is problematic.

Gryffindor: bravery

All the major protagonists (Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore) were sorted into this House. During Harry's time at Hogwarts, the head of Gryffindor was Minerva McGonagall.

The house was founded by Godric Gryffindor. The House Ghost is Nearly Headless Nick, who had previously been a student from Gryffindor before his death.

Slytherin: ambition

Most of the villains in the series were sorted into this House, including Harry's nemesis, Lord Voldemort. Although Slytherin House is coded as the "evil" house in canon, many fans are sympathetic toward or identify as Slytherins. This may be in part due to the popularity of characters like Severus Snape (Head of Slytherin) and Draco Malfoy. However, many fans identify with Slytherins' character traits in general (ambition, cunning).[1]

J.K. Rowling has stated that fans' preference for Slytherin characters derives from the attractiveness of the actors or from an unhealthy desire for "bad boys" [need quote]. Much meta has been written by frustrated Slytherin fans on the author's perceived failure to understand their interest. "If you identify with House Slytherin, the later books are essentially a series of slaps in the face"[2]

In fanon, Slytherin is often the House of Sexiness[3] and is perhaps the most popular House among fans. See also Fanon Draco.

The house was founded by Salazar Slytherin. The House Ghost is The Bloody Baron who had previously been a student from Slytherin before his death.

Ravenclaw: intellect

The house of bookworms. Cho Chang and Luna Lovegood were sorted into this house; its head is Filius Flitwick.

The house was founded by Rowena Ravenclaw. The House Ghost is The Grey Lady aka Helena Ravenclaw who had previously been a student of Ravenclaw before her death and the daughter of the Rowena.

Hufflepuff: loyalty

The also-ran of canonical houses, Hufflepuff is where you get sorted if the best someone can say of you is "she means well." Relatively few fans identify strongly with Hufflepuff. (source?)

There are fan forums for Hufflepuff Pride though, such as Hufflepuff Pride communities[4] on LJ, as well as a flourishing fan market for Hufflepuff Pride merchandise, such as cafepress shops[5] and Hufflepuff needlecrafts.[6] Those who do identify as Hufflepuff often assert that loyalty and hard work are underrated, and that while Gryffindors may get the glory and Ravenclaws the respect for their knowledge, it is the Hufflepuffs who will buckle down and stick it out to the very end.

Canonical Hufflepuffs include Cedric Diggory, Nymphadora Tonks and Hannah Abbott; its head is Pomona Sprout.

The house was founded by Helga Hufflepuff. The House Ghost is The Fat Friar, who had previously been a student of Hufflepuff before his death.


Sparklypoo is a house first created in a fan comic[7] parodying the frequent self-insertion of Mary Sues into Harry Potter fiction. It is the house Mary Sues are sorted into.

Notable Fanworks

The following is a list of Harry Potter fanworks that focus on the Houses.

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


Crossover and Fusion Fanworks



  1. sistermagpie. Those crazy fans. Posted to LiveJournal 2005-05-29. (Accessed May 9, 2009)
  2. puritybrown, Fannish meta: No, I don't want elephant for starters, thanks!, posted to Livejournal 2007-10-11. (Accessed April 27, 2009)
  3. furiosity, Christ on a cracker, posted to Livejournal 2005-12-03. (Accessed April 27, 2009)
  4. (accessed 9 May 2009)
  5. (accessed 9 May 2009)
  6. knottyknitter. Themed List: Harry Potter Patterns (accessed 9 May 2009)
  7. Accessed 5 May, 2009
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