On the surface of it, this sounds like a ridiculous question. Every student in the books is described as a Slytherin, a Gryffindor, a Hufflepuff, or a Ravenclaw. There aren't even any "unaffiliated" students. However, we do have this tweet from J.K. Rowling:

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She seems to confirm the existence of Slytherpuffs, apparently a hybrid of Slytherin and Hufflepuff.

Can Hogwarts students be sorted into more than one House?

  • 7
    Consider that each house was both an affiliation and a physical space within Hogwarts Castle, with dormitories and common rooms. How would it work for one student to belong to more than one house? Would they have bunks in each? Similarly, how would an unaffiliated student be accommodated? Makes sense to me that student accommodation is divided into a number of residence wings - let's call them houses, each student is assigned a space in one, and each house has an identity to which the student is then affiliated. Hence each student is sorted into exactly one house.
    – Anthony X
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 3:40
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    Some of the House-sorting quizzes online will use terms like this to describe someone who belongs to one house but also has traits of another house (e.g. a Slytherpuff might be a Hufflepuff with traits of a Slytherin). It seems to be a fan thing. JKR might have heard about the terms and decided to use them without actually meaning to imply that it was possible, in-universe, for someone to be in two houses. Even in-universe, we could describe Hermione is a Ravendor, or Harry as a Slytherdor, since the hat was conflicted about them.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 4:50
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    @Torisuda ‘Slytherdor’ sounds like one of those talking, happy doors from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. ‘Gryfferin’? Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 6:35
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    @Marakai Have you met Dolores?
    – Skooba
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 12:04
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    Aren't people who belong to two houses divergent?.......<ducks>
    – Mike Clark
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 14:41

4 Answers 4


She is referring to the idea of a Hatstall - where the Sorting Hat can't easily decide between students and their houses.

I had said that examples include Harry, who wasn't an easy choice between Gryffindor and Slytherin and Hermione, Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick, who were all considered for both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.

In actual fact, as the Pottermore writing explains, only McGonagall and Peter Pettigrew were true Hatstalls because they took so long (over five minutes/in Pettigrew's case the stall was obviously between Gryffindor and Slytherin). The others were 'near Hatstalls' (thank you @Janus Bahs Jacquet).

On Pottermore, in some cases, the final question is "Which House do you want to be in?" And you are presented with two choices.

I think Rowling's joke that they are incredibly rare is about the apparent contrast between Hufflepuff and Slytherin, but a couple of friends of mine had this on Pottermore. They came to find quite a strong link between the ambitious, strong-willed values of Slytherin and the truth/loyalty based strong-willed values of Hufflepuff. A Ravenclaw, in contrast, could be considered quite apathetic and remote.

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    Harry, Hermione, and Flitwick weren’t Hatstalls, they’re Near Hatstalls. Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 6:32
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    Hermione was a Hatstall? If I remember book 1 correctly, didn't the hat nearly instantly decide on Gryffindor for Hermione? Or was that Draco Malfoy in Slytherin?
    – Nzall
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 10:50
  • @NateKerkhofs At one point, Hermione says that the hat considered putting her in Ravenclaw. Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 11:30
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    But was Harry a hatstall actually or was the hat merely reacting to the presence of Voldemort? Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 11:34
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    @ChrisBecke ask that in its own question. The answer might be easy, but worth it. Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 14:52

JKR's tweets are usually inspired from some form of intoxication.

Her tweets are not to be considered Primary Canon especially when they seem completely facetious, and completely contradict the books. She is a real person first, and an author second or third (she is also a mother (might be 2nd who knows)) so statements that seem funny, and don’t correlate to her books in a logical sense are, more often than not, simply a joke.

We can be reasonably confident that the Sorting Hat is not capable of sorting people into 2 houses, especially after Harry's own sorting.

‘Not Slytherin, eh?’ said the small voice. ‘Are you sure? You could be great, you know, it’s all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that – no? Well, if you’re sure – better be GRYFFINDOR!’ - Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.

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    Additionally, if you look at the replies to JKR’s tweet (and presumably also the tweet she was replying to, though __dominika’s tweets are protected, so I can’t tell), it seems to be talking about people who were sorted into different houses on different sites; e.g., people who were sorted into Slytherin on the old Pottermore, but Hufflepuff on the new Pottermore. Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 6:34
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    "JKR's tweets are usually inspired from some form of intoxication." Citation needed.
    – jpmc26
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 0:24
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    "Slytherin! ... Just kidding, Ravenclaw!"
    – user11521
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 1:16
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    @jpmc26 projection ... (Himarm is the local drunk in Mos Eisley)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 23:46
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    Does this mean the infamous "Hufflepuff group masturbation" tweet was just a joke? Phew, thanks goodness for that!
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 11:56

I don't think it is possible to be sorted into more than one House, however, it seems possible to display traits from more than one. In the end, it appears to boil down to either which traits are strongest, or the House you choose as the one you believe to be most fitting for you.

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    What do you make of the tweet? Is that utter gibberish or a bending of the rules in your opinion?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 21:51
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    I think it just refers to the fact that a person can display traits of both Houses. Perhaps the person in question would sometimes act like a Slytherin would, while other times, it would be the way of a Hufflepuff that was chosen.
    – Liv Nilsen
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 21:54

No, the logistics of that would be baffling.

Students cannot possibly belong to more than one house. They are placed in both their classes and assigned to a dormitory by house. In the house cup, they also earn points for or get points deducted from their house for great success or failure.

“Welcome to Hogwarts,’ said Professor McGonagall. ‘The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory and spend free time in your house common room.”
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 7 (The Sorting Hat)

If it were possible for students to belong to multiple houses, then Hogwarts would have to find a way to determine which house they will share each class with, how often they sleep in each of their houses’ dormitories, and which of their houses should be added to or taken from in points if they earn or lose points in the House Cup. Therefore, it would be far more logical to only allow students to be sorted into and then belong to one house.

Students can have traits of other houses.

However, students may still have strong traits of other houses than their own. Hermione had sufficiently strong Ravenclaw traits that the Sorting Hat considered having her be one.

“How come you’re not in Ravenclaw?’ he demanded, staring at Hermione with something close to wonder. ‘With brains like yours?’

‘Well, the Sorting Hat did seriously consider putting me in Ravenclaw during my Sorting,’ said Hermione brightly, ‘but it decided on Gryffindor in the end.”
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 11 (The Sorting Hat’s New Song)

However, he decided on Gryffindor, so Hermione is a Gryffindor. Though she still has strong Ravenclaw traits, from the time she was sorted, her house became Gryffindor and Gryffindor alone. Her Ravenclaw traits would still be present as strongly but they would have no effect on her Hogwarts house.

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