One of the defining moments in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is Harry’s sorting.
The Sorting Hat believed Harry was best suited to Slytherin House.
Harry, though, had met Draco Malfoy and Hagrid.
Both had already caused Harry to believe that Slytherins were bullies at best and evil at worst.
So, Harry argued with the Sorting Hat and got sorted into Gryffindor.
Later, Dumbledore uses this choice of house as evidence that Harry is not like Tom Riddle.
The headmaster says, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, ch. 18).
In this way, Dumbledore also insinuates that Slytherin is a bad “choice” and Gryffindor is a good one.
Many fans dislike this black-and-white treatment of good, evil, and the Hogwarts houses.
Thus, many fanfictions break the stereotypes of the original series.
Readers enjoy seeing Draco Malfoy offered a shot at redemption.
They want to see Snape overcome his prejudice.
They wonder what Harry would be like as a Slytherin “on the way to greatness” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, ch. 7).
So, what would Harry Potter be like if the Sorting Hat had won the argument?
Slytherin Harry Potter fanfiction stories exploring this premise are understandably popular.
The change of house often makes Harry more independent and powerful.
He often has much more agency and becomes adept at scheming.
Intrigued? Take a look at this roundup of the most popular fics about Harry in green and silver.
1. you belong to me (i belong to you)
Harry Potter’s status as an auror is the least of his accomplishments.
He’s also the vanquisher of Voldemort and the Master of Death.
Yet, none of that stops an accident causing Harry to wake up decades in the past.
He finds himself in the body of a Slytherin boy who tried to take his own life.
Oh, and he’s housemates with Tom Riddle, and Tom seems to know Harry isn’t who he pretends to be.
This fic tops the kudos rankings on AO3 despite being incomplete.
With over 100k words and its one-of-a-kind premise, it’s definitely worth the read!
2. Leo Inter Serpentes: First Year
In canon, Draco makes a bad impression on Harry at Madame Malkin’s.
In Leo Inter Sepentes, their encounter is not so formative.
Harry arrives at Hogwarts without the preconceived notion that Slytherins are bad.
This means he goes where the Sorting Hat wanted to put him all along.
You’ll recognize many events from canon.
The draw of this series is in seeing how Harry’s house changes the details.
This is a full series now in Harry’s seventh year and still being updated.
The first year is just over 50k words, but as Harry gets older, the fics get longer.
The series is approaching the one-million-word mark total!
3. ink and parchment | blood and bone
This fic is all about girl power.
Canon Harry gets a makeover as the Girl-Who-Lived, Eliza Potter.
Another difference from canon in this fic is that the Dursleys abandon Eliza at an orphanage.
Her childhood turns Eliza into someone who survives through her intelligence and flexibility.
At Hogwarts, Eliza has no patience for being The-Girl-Who-Lived or for meddling headmasters.
Eventually, she finds more companionship with Tom Riddle than with Dumbledore.
This is a complete fic spanning all seven years of Eliza’s Hogwarts education.
As expected, it is on the longer side, with nearly 420k words and sixty-seven chapters.
Want more? The author also has a collection of out-takes and extras called doodles in the margins.
4. The heir of something or other
This one-shot takes a deep dive into Harry’s life and friendships as a first-year Slytherin.
Unlike many Slytherin Harry fics, Snape still hates Harry in this story.
In fact, Harry’s life is so miserable in Snape’s house that he’s thinking about running back to the Dursleys.
The troll incident changes everything.
As in canon, this event is the catalyst for new, formative friendships.
As Slytherins, though, the people involved may not be who you’d expect.
This is a long one-shot with over 14k words.
This crack fic is not the traditional Slytherin Harry fic.
Harry does not actually become a member of Slytherin House.
Instead, he decides he’s had enough of people being idiots and embraces his Slytherin side.
The primary idiots in question? None other than Draco Malfoy and Gilderoy Lockheart.
Harry isn’t holding back, now!
Some other characters get a twist, as well.
Snape becomes a good guy, while Ron and Dumbledore get bashed.
This 19k word fic starts in Harry’s second year.
6. That Universe Over There
Harry Potter in a parallel universe always produces a unique fic.
This one features a very powerful version of Harry.
He is the Master of Death, Lord Peverell, and Lord Slytherin.
All that power helps him to start setting things right in the alternate universe.
He adopts his other self, and makes it his mission to destroy Voldemort.
(The world-domination thing was an accident.)
The author must have enjoyed the shenanigans born from their idea, because there are fifty-eight chapters to read!
7. The End is the Beginning
When Harry dies, Death tells him that… well, Harry isn’t allowed to.
Death then sends Harry back to the physical world.
But instead of being returned to the moment of his death, Harry is shoved back into his four-year-old body.
In true British fashion, Harry decides there is nothing to do but carry on.
He starts to realize that perhaps this is a second chance; a chance to be free.
Using his future knowledge, Harry makes the best of his childhood so that when the time comes, he won’t be a pawn.
This fic is pre-Hogwarts and takes its time (160k words) to get to Harry’s school days.
Harry’s liberation from manipulators and sociopaths continues in the sequel, Metamorphosis.
8. Harry Potter: Master of Malicious Compliance
This is a “crack treated seriously” fic with a Slytherin Harry who does whatever it takes to get what he wants.
Usually, he accomplishes this by taking things far too literally.
Enjoy this delightfully petty version of Harry in 75k words.
The fic starts in Harry’s childhood and follows him all the way through seven years of Hogwarts.
9. Other People’s Choices
Most Slytherin Harry fics choose to diverge from canon at Harry’s Sorting.
But, in this fic, the Sorting Hat regrets letting Harry have what he wanted.
It re-sorts him into Slytherin when it falls on Harry’s head in the Chamber of Secrets.
Harry thinks that this is life-ruining, but no one else seems to get it.
This is the first fic in an ongoing series, Choices.
Harry’s transition between houses gets a lot of attention in the first installment.
Later, his changing friendships and Parselmouth abilities also become prominent.
Snape and Sirius attempting to be co-guardians to Harry is another great aspect.
There’s plenty of material here with a total of 148 chapters.
10. Harry Potter and the Den of Snakes
Harry and his twin are very different.
Julian was spoiled, while Harry was abandoned and neglected.
When they are sorted into Slytherin and Gryffindor, respectively, they become inevitable rivals.
As Voldemort rises again, though, their differences might not be so important.
You’ll enjoy this monumental AU if you like scheming characters working for good.
This fic is the first part of the Sarcasm and Slytherin series.
It got all the way to fifth year before it was abandoned; but, the author has come back!
The saga continues in Sarcasm and Slytherin 2, which picks up where the first series left off.
The series is now in Harry’s sixth year, and is still receiving updates.
There are also many AU spin-offs small and large, so be sure to check out the author’s full works.
11. Actions Speak Louder than Words
When Harry is sorted into Slytherin, Ron argues with the Sorting Hat and follows him.
Instead of focusing on Harry, this short fic is Ron-centric.
It focuses primarily on the pair’s friendship and loyalty instead of house affiliation.
This is why I decided not to rank it in the main list.
Yet, given its popularity on Archive of Our Own, it deserved an honorable mention.
Slytherin Harry Potter Fanfiction: Conclusion
There are many ways a different Sorting can change Harry’s story.
No matter how he got into Slytherin, seeing him grow into the potential the Sorting Hat saw is fun.
Have you read any of the Slytherin Harry Potter fanfiction stories mentioned above? Do you have favorite Slytherin Harry Potter fanfictions of your own?
Share with us below!
And if you want to read more unique Harry Potter fanfiction, check out:
Prince of Slytherin? How is that not on the list? It’s fantastic and epic length. Sarcasm and Slytherin and Prince of Slytherin have a lot of the same notes, but once they diverge it’s really incredible how many plots PoS keeps going on at once.
I somehow managed to miss that one! I haven’t read it myself but I’ll definitely have to check it out. Fic authors that manage to juggle multiple plotlines well amaze me! I love that as a reader but it’s not my personal strength as a writer, which I feel just gives me a stronger appreciation for it. I really appreciate the rec!