We get it – whichever house you belong to is going to be the one you think is best. And a bit of competition, light-hearted teasing and playful rivalry between the Hogwarts houses is perfectly acceptable (and should even be encouraged when it comes to things like Quidditch). However, that doesn’t mean all the others are irrelevant or less important than the one you belong to. To dismiss a whole house due to their reputation or to lean into stereotypes is not the way for inter-house friendships to blossom. For example, if you’re a Gryffindor who thinks all Slytherins are bad or a Ravenclaw who thinks all Hufflepuffs are stupid, you will probably find it hard to widen your circle of friends.
One thing we have learnt is that you can’t assume that you know exactly what someone will be like based on how they have been sorted – they might just surprise you. Scorpius Malfoy proved that Slytherins can be kind. Hermione Granger demonstrated that Gryffindors can be highly intelligent. Cedric Diggory proved that Hufflepuffs could be brave. Cho Chang showed the sportier side of Ravenclaw and how they aren’t just obsessed with book learning. So, support your house and be loyal – but try not to act too superior.
While the Sorting Hat looks for whether bravery, ambition, intelligence or loyalty is a key characteristic of yours, it doesn’t mean it is your only personality trait. It also doesn’t mean that those characteristics don’t overlap at all. Gryffindor’s bravery and Hufflepuff’s loyalty can look quite similar – both have been known to look out for the underdog. The witches and wizards in Slytherin and Ravenclaw are thought to have shrewd minds. Those in Hufflepuff and Slytherin often work hard – whether it be because of Hufflepuff’s helpful nature or Slytherin’s determination to achieve their goals. Gryffindor and Ravenclaw both have a competitive streak (though Ravenclaws generally keep that quality quiet). Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw both share an open mind and are normally less cliquey than the other two houses. Finally, Gryffindor and Slytherin are both houses that are funny – whether they have a dark and dry style or take more of a class clown approach.
Though the houses have their fair share of things that unites them, their personalities are also quite distinct… and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be incredibly useful to have a friend that looks at the world in a slightly different way to you or pushes you out of your comfort zone.
For instance, while Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood were opposites, with Hermione being more logical and Luna more of a dreamer, the two of them still got on. Actually, we reckon that they helped each other to grow as people. One example of this would be how Luna made Hermione confront her tendency to be quite narrow-minded just by becoming part of her friendship group and exposing her to new things like The Quibbler. Lily Potter and Severus Snape were two very different people, with very different backgrounds, that forged a deep bond Snape never got over. And who can forget how Harry himself ended up with a child in Slytherin? Though he and Albus had a rocky road, by the end of Cursed Child they had forced each other to become better communicators and their relationship was stronger for it. Consequently, it might feel quite daunting to get to know someone outside of your house bubble – but there’s every chance you’ll be a stronger person as a result.
This is something you should not forget. While it is true that the houses are all more similar than they often care to admit, those similarities are not all the same. While a Gryffindor might bond with a Slytherin over their competitive nature, that wouldn’t be quite as endearing to a Hufflepuff. Or where a Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw might bond over their introvert tendencies, that probably isn’t the best way to win over a Slytherin. However, what it does mean is that you have so many types of friends available who complement different aspects of your personality.
There are lots of groups of friends who all come from the same house – the four Marauders, the golden trio and Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle spring to mind. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t excellent examples of meaningful inter-house relationships throughout the wizarding world.
For instance, there’s Harry Potter’s friendship with Luna Lovegood – she was arguably one of his only friends who could understand loss in a similar way to him. Cedric Diggory and Cho Chang were another pair who bonded outside of their respective common rooms (and became quite the power couple). Professors Sprout, McGonagall and Flitwick were all very fond of each other. Finally, there was the marriage of Remus Lupin (a Gryffindor) and Nymphadora Tonks (a Hufflepuff). Those two were so well suited to each other, brought out the very best in one another and we couldn’t imagine them not being together.
There are so many other examples of friendships between members of different houses, and we’ve only just scratched the surface. But what it proves is that it doesn’t matter which house you or your friends belong to. You will have similarities and you will also have differences. But overall, entering into a friendship with someone in another house might be the very best thing you could do.