If Harry, Ron and Hermione had not been in Gryffindor, which houses would they have wound up in why?

Harry would have been Hufflepuff, Ron would have been Ravenclaw, and Hermione would have been Slytherin.

I know, I know, they’re supposed to be Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw respectively, cause symbolism and all that. Hear me out.

Let’s start with Hermione Granger.

I hope I’m in Gryffindor, it sounds by far the best; I hear Dumbledore himself was in it, but I suppose Ravenclaw wouldn’t be too bad… Sorcerer’s Stone, pg 106

Hermione wants to be in Gryffindor not because it fits her, but because it’s the best—the best, most successful people were in it.

See, Hermione’s core motivation is that she wants to be the smartest, the most mature, the best. She’s incredibly ambitious: if she gets below an Outstanding on her O.W.L., she’s practically failed. She starts a campaign to free the house-elves: partially out of concern, yes, but mostly because she wants to be a revolutionary thinker. She wants to be remembered, whether as the brightest witch of her age or the Abraham Lincoln of the wizarding world.

Why would Hermione be a Ravenclaw? Because she reads a lot? The thing is, Hermione doesn’t read because she’s curious. She reads because she has to know everything, or otherwise she’s not the best. And in Hermione’s black-and-white thinking, if she’s not the best, she’s a complete failure.

But she’s smart, I can hear someone saying, so she must be Ravenclaw!

Smart? Sure. But wise? Witty? No, Hermione is cunning. She brews Polyjuice Potion to disguise herself as the enemy. She draws inspiration from Voldemort’s Dark Marks to invent enchanted communication Galleons. She permanently disfigures Marietta Edgecomb.

Or perhaps in Slytherin You'll make your real friends, Those cunning folks use any means To achieve their ends. Sorcerer’s Stone, pg 118

Attack her crush with enchanted paper birds? Permanently disfigure a girl for snitching? Hermione has no qualms about hurting others to achieve her goals.

No doubt about it, Hermione’s a Slytherin.

Ron Weasley

Ron is a tricky one. Let’s evaluate all three options.

Some people argue Ron is a Slytherin. After all, his reflection in the Mirror of Erised is a trophy-holding Head Boy and Quidditch captain—does that not indicate ambition?

No, it doesn’t. See, Ron doesn’t want to be great. He wants to be equal. His brothers were stellar students and Quidditch masters; unless he is Head Boy and a top athlete, he’ll still be inferior. He’s not ambitious, just insecure. Furthermore, he’s not cunning in the slightest—in fact, he’s quite blunt. We can cross out Slytherin.

What about Hufflepuff?

For Hufflepuff, hard workers were Most worthy of admission… Goblet of Fire, pg 177

Hahaha no. Ron’s a slacker. He’s loyal, though, we’ll give him that.

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, If you’ve a ready mind, Where those of wit and learning Will always find their kind… Sorcerer’s Stone, pg 118

Of the trio, Ron has the best head on his shoulders. He’s the one who stayed calm in the Devil’s Snare, the chess master, the one who figured out how to speak Parseltongue and destroy Hufflepuff’s Cup. He’s known for his witty retorts. But he’s not a true Ravenclaw; he has little interest in learning.

Ron is clever but not curious, loyal but lazy. He’s a bit Hufflepuff and a bit Ravenclaw, but not really either. So how can I confidently say that Ron would be Sorted into Ravenclaw?

Because choice is a factor in Sorting as well, and we can be sure that Ron, hearing the Hat’s debate between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, would be thinking Not Hufflepuff, not Hufflepuff as hard as he can. Because Ravenclaw is a respectable House, and Hufflepuff is seen as, well, “a load ’o duffers”, as Hagrid puts it.

Only in Ravenclaw could Ron feel equal to his brothers.

Harry Potter

As the Sorting Hat mused, Harry would do quite well in any House. He’s loyal and determined, witty and clever, cunning, and resourceful.

Of the three Houses, he’s the least Slytherin. Yes, his quest is ambitious, but Harry himself isn’t; he’s just doing what he must to keep his friends alive.

Harry’s witty remarks, clear sight, and clever problem-solving could earn him a place in Ravenclaw, but they’re not his core values. Wit is not Harry’s greatest treasure; family is.

Family. Friends. That’s what Harry values most. He’s loyal to a fault, throwing caution to the wind to rescue Sirius and blindly trusting Dumbledore against all wisdom. No matter how inadvisable it is, no matter how dumb it will make him look, no matter how much work it will take, Harry’s friends come first.

Dumbledore’s man through and through. That’s Harry.

Harry would be a good Ravenclaw or Slytherin, but he’s a Hufflepuff at heart.

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