As a house, Slytherin does not have the best reputation – yes, we know every one of Voldemort’s friends was in Slytherin and, okay, their founder hid a monstrous Basilisk in the underground chamber of a school, of all things – but that doesn’t mean they’re all bad. On the contrary, as potential partners Slytherins have quite a lot to offer…
Although some Slytherins chose to channel their ambition in some very questionable directions, it’s certainly not bad to be ambitious, unless you’re doing dastardly things to achieve those ambitions. And in some cases, that did happen: take Lord Voldemort’s ‘ambitions’ to murder and torture Muggles and Muggle-borns. But, usually, ambition is a good quality – many Slytherins are possessed of a drive to succeed, and this motivates them to greater feats. As Ollivander once said:
‘After all, He Who Must Not Be Named did great things – terrible, yes, but great.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
As the partner of a Slytherin, you could probably help them channel this ambition in more appropriate ways. Say, excelling in a chosen career rather than excelling in bloodshed. To paraphrase Dumbledore, there’s always a choice, and you could help your Slytherin make the right ones. Plus, going out with an ambitious Slytherin could help you pick up the pace in your own life: they’d probably help you work out your goals, maybe get you on some kind of five-year plan. If you’re someone who feels the need for a motivating presence in your life, you could do a lot worse than dating a Slytherin.
This ambition and drive makes Slytherins pretty single-minded in their pursuits – from Horace Slughorn trying to make friends with the great and good of the wizarding world to Voldemort trying to take it over, they definitely do not give up easily. And despite what we may think about Slytherin house, this determination doesn’t always come from a selfish place – after all, Draco Malfoy’s decision to accept Voldemort’s mission in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was largely motivated by a desire to prevent his family from suffering and, of course, Snape’s dangerous life as a double-agent was driven by his love for Harry’s mother, Lily.
So while on first glance, Slytherin house seems far more preoccupied with blood status and hierarchy than with love and bravery, that isn’t always the case. As with everything, a Slytherin’s determination just needs to be channelled in the right way.
From Salazar Slytherin’s hidden chamber to Voldemort’s Horcruxes and Draco’s Dumbledore mission, Slytherins are so prone to secrets that it almost goes without saying that they’re a cunning bunch. Although, actually, the Sorting Hat did say it when we first met it:
‘Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Yet again some Slytherins have a tendency to use this trait for devious purposes, but while we’re not saying a predilection for keeping secrets is a brilliant trait in a potential partner, it could have its uses. They’d be great at planning surprise parties, Slytherins, and we bet if you were in a tricky spot, their practiced deception might come in useful. They could probably talk you out of a situation, if they wanted to.
Of course, not all Slytherins are the same – for all that he was, Snape was never really a charmer – but there have been many examples of Slytherins talking their way in or out of a situation over the years. Before he was known around the world as Voldemort, Tom Riddle charmed most of his Hogwarts teachers; for a long time, Lucius Malfoy’s charm (and wealth) gave him a high level of influence over the Ministry of Magic; and Draco Malfoy, although mostly just a bully, did have some charm of his own, even if it only extended to Crabbe, Goyle and Pansy Parkinson.
Obviously you need more in a relationship than fake charm, but as the partner of a Slytherin you’d be the one to see beyond it and discover any hidden depths.
What’s more romantic than a dungeon softly lit with candles?
Given that the Sorting Hat seriously considered placing Harry Potter – the eternally brave Gryffindor – in the house of his greatest enemy, Voldemort, it seems likely that we all possess a Slytherin trait or two. And we have to say, that’s no bad thing. All you need to do is pair that burning ambition and determination with a conscience and a heart – which might sound tough with no help, but if your Slytherin other half can’t do that on their own, well, that’s where you come in.