|Trope · Genre|
|Related:||Houses (Harry Potter), Hogwarts AU|
|See Also:||Hogwarts, Canon Divergence AU, Mirror Universe|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Sorting AU is a term used for Harry Potter Alternate Universe fanfiction or other fanworks that imagine what would happen if canon characters had been sorted into a different House, for example Harry Potter gets sorted into Slytherin instead of Gryffindor, or Draco Malfoy gets sorted into Ravenclaw instead of Slytherin.
Sometimes just one character is sorted differently, other times several House allocations are changed. The most common characters are probably Harry and Draco, but there are multiple sorting AUs for Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Severus Snape, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, and occasional ones for most major characters.
The trope is one of the most widely written in the fandom, to the extent it is sometimes regarded as a cliché. Works vary from cracky to serious examinations the value systems of non-Gryffindor Houses and/or the extent to which a character's fate in the HPverse is affected by his/her House. In some non-Slytherin Draco stories, for example, Draco resists Voldemort and fights on Harry's side. Sometimes there are prior divergences from canon, which often explain why the character is assigned a different House; for example in the Ravenclaw!Harry epic Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Petunia Evans marries someone other than Vernon Dursley so that Harry has a different upbringing. Sorting AUs vary from ficlets recounting just the sorting process to epics giving a blow-by-blow account of seven years of canon, with the different spin conferred by the altered House. Some sorting AUs examine all four possible House choices in separate stories.
The trope can be used to allow positive interactions between characters canonically sorted into different (antagonistic) Houses, including cross-House ships and mentoring stories. The epic type is often used as an excuse for world building, and tends to develop minor characters from the alternative House.
- Perhaps one of the most famous examples of the trope , "A Slytherin in Gryffindor Clothing"  by Mahaliem, has Draco wake in an alternate universe where he is in Gryffindor and Harry in Slytherin.
- Harry the Hufflepuff, Archived version by lullabyknell (June 2016); podfic by Opalsong (Jan. 2017)
- Hufflepuff!Harry being entered into the Triwizard Tournament, Archived version by lullabyknell (Oct. 2016); podfic by Opalsong (Jan. 2017)
- Twenty Things About Harry Potter (Ravenclaw, 7th Year), Twenty Things About Ron Weasley (A Hufflepuff), and Three Untitled Moments (link) by Mad Martha. Ron is a Hufflepuff in these.
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky. Popular epic in which Petunia Evans marries a scientist, and Harry (& Hermione) are sorted into Ravenclaw.
- On the Way to Greatness by mira mirth
- Expectations by Potterworm
- House Colours by Sarka. Also includes Gryffindor!Draco and Slytherin!Hermione.
- Another famous example 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.
- Better Be Slytherin! by jharad17. Snape mentors & eventually adopts an abused Harry
- The Sacrifices Arc by Lightning on the Wave is possibly the longest Slytherin!Harry AU written, with a full seven book arc that is very different from canon and much darker than the original series. Saving Connor is the first book.
More here: Slytherin!Harry
Lots of people resorted
- A Different Sort of Sorting, Archived version by lullabyknell (Aug. 2016); podfic by Opalsong (Jan. 2017)
- See Alternate Universe - Sorting (Harry Potter) at AO3
- A themed list  containing a number of Sorting AUs was compiled by Painless-j.