8

Yes, it's elitist and selective and in general probably unethical, but wasn't it the best (and maybe only) attempt of successful cooperation between relatively large number of individuals from all the Houses in Hogwarts?

I don't count Dumbledore's Army, Slytherins weren't invited to that one.

11

I don't think you can call it "best" example, by any stretch of imagination. AN example, sure. "Best", no.

  • If you count merely "being invited", then every whole-school ceremony (sorting, holiday feasts, Quidditch matches, Tri-Wizard, etc...) counts as such.

  • If you count as far as "Head of one house interacting with students from another", almost all lessons count, as does Quidditch. Or anytime Dumbledore interacts with prefects from non-Gryffindor.

  • If you count "students from all houses socialize explicitly", there's no indication that Slug club was any different than other school events - Slytherins likely socialized with themselves and I don't recall any example disproving that.

  • Overall, the main purpose of Slug club was so Slughorn could socialize with people he liked to network with - NOT for them to socialize with each other, in the name of house unity or otherwise.

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    I understand correctly that a quidditch mach where they bash each others heads in or at the lessons where they compete for house points is a good example for unity, but a club where they regard each other as belonging to the same clique and cooperate for mutual gain is not? – user68762 Jul 13 '16 at 14:40
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    I disagree with the assertion that you can call it an example, to be honest, since there was no real indication that there was any co-operation - successful or otherwise - between members of different houses. Members of the Slug Club didn't really do anything other than be adjacent to each other while talking to Slughorn. It was also really, really exclusive, so that rules out the "relatively large number of individuals" aspect of the question, too. – Anthony Grist Jul 13 '16 at 15:56
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    Those were social networking events, benefitical to all involved. Hermione describes: "Oh, it was quite fun, really. I mean, he drones on about famous exploits a bit, and he absolutely fawns on McLaggen because he's so well connected, but he gave us some really nice food and he introduced us to Gwenog Jones." (HBP11) – user68762 Jul 13 '16 at 17:28
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    I won't add Quidditch to a house unity event. You are cheering for your own house and want other houses to lose and their players to get hurt in the process. That's not unity. – atayenel Jul 13 '16 at 22:14
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    The lessons? They compete for points. If you're a teacher you can't even pair up students from other houes for a project, because of the friggin house point system. They sit in different parts of the classroom and (Sly-Gryff) hex each other in the breaks. – user68762 Jul 14 '16 at 4:54
6

I'm not sure it counts as an example

I don't recall any "unity" being displayed during Slug Club meetings. Certainly, there were students from various houses. Harry and Hermione were there, as Gryffindors. There were also Slytherins, such as Blaise Zabini.

But were they cooperating? No.

Harry and Neville purposely ignored Zabini:

Zabini did not make any sign of recognition or greeting, nor did Harry or Neville: Gryffindor and Slytherin students loathed each other on principle.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

And later, Harry and Zabini demonstrated their feelings more openly:

As he pushed past Harry into the darkening corridor, Zabini shot him a filthy look that Harry returned with interest. He, Ginny, and Neville followed Zabini back along the train.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

There was not "inter-house unity" here. Quite the contrary: the animosity between Gryffindor and Slytherin was on full display. These students were more or less forced to be together by Slughorn's insistence. They did not enjoy it. There is no indication, to my knowledge, that Harry, Ginny, or Hermione changed their opinion of Blaise while in the Slug Club, or that their interactions with him influenced their opinion of Slytherin (or vice versa).

Besides, the Slug Club was rather small. There may have been more in the movies, but it would seem that in the books the Slug Club was mostly those students whom Slughorn gathered in his compartment on the Hogwarts Express.

But even if it did, there is a much better example

The best example of inter-house unity is the Battle of Hogwarts.

  • Members of the three non-Slytherin houses fought from the beginning.
  • Despite McGonagall's attempt to get rid of all the Slytherins, they went for help, and Slughorn at least returned to fight against Voldemort:

    And now there were more, even more people storming up the front steps, and Harry saw Charlie Weasley overtaking Horace Slughorn, who was still wearing his emerald pajamas. They seemed to have returned at the head of what looked like the families and friends of every Hogwarts student who had remained to fight, along with the shopkeepers and homeowners of Hogsmeade. The centaurs Bane, Ronan, and Magorian burst into the hall with a great clatter of hooves, as behind Harry the door that led to the kitchens was blasted off its hinges.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  • Furthermore, the Malfoy family (all Slytherins) betrayed Voldemort in this battle, as did Severus Snape. Narcissa Malfoy even expressly colluded with Harry, a Gryffindor.

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    But those quotes are from the first day of the club, so it's more a 'before' picture. Later it became really hilarious Zabini and all the purebloods sitting and listening Hermione telling them about her dentist muggle parents :) (and yes, the battle of hogwarts is also a good example. Interesting that it's slughorn again who brings the slytherins.) – user68762 Jul 13 '16 at 19:57
4

In terms of inter-house cooperation, a word needs to be put in for the Yule Ball.

Not only did multiple couples from different houses take part, but they even managed to get couples from different countries (and species) involved.

More than half of the couples we know about went with someone from a house other than their own; Cedric Diggory (Hufflepuff) went with Cho Chang (Ravenclaw), Ron Weasley (Gryffindor) went with Padma Patil (Ravenclaw) and Fawcett (Ravenclaw) went with Stebbins (Hufflepuff).

enter image description here

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    While I certainly agree with this, can you remember any Gryffindor-Slytherin couples? That's the big problem; the other three houses have never had all that much trouble getting along. – Adamant Jul 13 '16 at 22:32
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    @Valorum - unless you're Cooper Harris from Eurotrip, I doubt your idea of naughty includes having been Crucioed. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 14 '16 at 0:32
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    Also, -1 for a picture of Edward. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 14 '16 at 0:32
  • @Valorum "I heard Slytherin ***" eww! is a comment like that really appropriate on this site? :( – RedCaio Jul 14 '16 at 0:45
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    @Au101 if you're referring to the cruciatus curse, then mentioning the existence of a fictional torture, without any graphic details, but rather simply dropping the name of the torture still seems pretty 'safe for work'/'family-friendly'. On the other hand, Valorum's comment about Slytherin girls is neither 'safe for work' nor 'family-friendly'. (I'm not saying he should get in trouble or anything, I just hope he doesn't make a habit of posting sexual innuendos about underage teenage girls on SF&F.SE, a site that strives to be 'safe for work') Also, I don't watch the Simpsons (too offensive) – RedCaio Jul 14 '16 at 1:37

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