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, many personality tests
- AU fanfiction that imagines what would happen if canon characters had been sorted into a different House (e.g. Slytherin!Harry)
- crossover fanworks that sort characters from other fandoms into a House
- knitting of scarves and other paraphernalia in the different House colors
Many fans have argued that the House system as represented in the novels is problematic.
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).
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"
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 on LJ, as well as a flourishing fan market for Hufflepuff Pride merchandise, such as cafepress shops and Hufflepuff needlecrafts. 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.
The following is a list of Harry Potter fanworks that focus on the Houses.
- Slytherin!Harry : House Colours by Sarka. Also includes Gryffindor!Draco and Slytherin!Hermione. Another famous example of Slytherin!Harry is A Friend like Me by Lady Vader in which Draco imagines what things would have been like if he had managed to befriend Harry, including Harry being sorted into Slytherin. A similar concept is explored in The If Sieve.
- Slytherin!Ron: As in Mad Martha's "Checkmate series" , where Harry, incidentally, is a Hufflepuff.
- Ravenclaw!Harry: Also by Mad Martha in Twenty Things About Harry Potter (Ravenclaw, 7th Year), Twenty Things About Ron Weasley (A Hufflepuff), and Three Untitled Moments. Ron is the Hufflepuff in these.
- Gryffindor!Draco: Maybe one of the most famous examples of the trope is "A Slytherin in Gryffindor Clothing"  by Mahaliem, in which Draco wakes in an alternate universe where he is in Gryffindor and Harry in Slytherin.
Crossover and Fusion Fanworks
- Never Was A Badger So by SkoosiePants. Bandom (Panic! at the Disco). “Apparently,” he said as they made their way out of the store, “I have a soft spot for spazzy Hufflepuffs.” (March 2007)
- Old Country by astolat. Supernatural. Dean Winchester is a Hufflepuff who thinks he's a Gryffindor, and Sam Winchester is a Slytherin who thinks he's a Ravenclaw. Discuss. (September 2007)
- HP x SH crossover Art Trade by sadyna. Sherlock Holmes. The BBC and 2009 film versions of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson meet. BBC!Sherlock is wearing Slytherin colors, BBC!John is wearing Hufflepuff colors, RDJ!Holmes and Watson are wearing Gryffindor colors. (November 2010)
- sistermagpie. Those crazy fans. Posted to LiveJournal 2005-05-29. (Accessed May 9, 2009)
- puritybrown, Fannish meta: No, I don't want elephant for starters, thanks!, posted to Livejournal 2007-10-11. (Accessed April 27, 2009)
- furiosity, Christ on a cracker, posted to Livejournal 2005-12-03. (Accessed April 27, 2009)
- http://community.livejournal.com/the_puff_house/profile (accessed 9 May 2009)
- http://www.cafepress.com/hufflepuffpride (accessed 9 May 2009)
- knottyknitter. Themed List: Harry Potter Patterns (accessed 9 May 2009)
- Accessed 5 May, 2009