It seems to me that whatever house your parents were in is where you will end up. I know the Sorting Hat initially wanted to Sort Harry into Slytherin, but that had a lot to do with his connection to Voldemort. He ultimately ended up in the same house as his parents (as all children seem to), Gryffindor.

The Weasleys (Ron and Ginny), and later the offspring of the main characters are all bent out of shape over the Sorting. Ginny is congratulated by her mother for being Sorted to Gryffindor, despite the fact that Ginny already had six brothers in that house (would she have been chastized for ending up in Hufflepuff?). What were the odds she would have ended up somewhere else?

When it comes to Sorting students into their houses, the students seem very concerned about what house they will wind up in. What are these kids so worried about?

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    The sorting is based on values, not familiy. If you value knowledge, you will be set to Ravenclaw, for example. Needless to say, if your parents value the acquisition of knowledge most and foremost, their children are likely to share those values, but it is not a guarantee. Correlation, not causation.
    – Borror0
    Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 23:21
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    @Borror0, that is causation not correlation. Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 2:39
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    @WinstonEwert: Division being decided by values which the parents will try to pass on to their kid, the house one fell into strongly correlated with his or her parents' houses, but it's not causation.
    – Borror0
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 22:34
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    @Borror0, no that is causation. You argue that the children are sent to the same house because they share values with their parents. That is cause and effect. The lack of a gaurantee doesn't take away causation. To say that its just correlation would be if you were claiming that its simply a coincidence. Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 23:56
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    @Pureferret, the parentage is an indirect cause, but its still a cause and thus causation. If it was just correlation it would mean there is no cause-an-effect operating whatsoever. Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 0:34

7 Answers 7


Students are not always sorted into the same house as their family. In Harry, et. al.'s class, for example, the Patil twins were sorted into different houses - Parvati in Gryffindor and Padma is in Ravenclaw.

In Goblet of Fire, Harry makes a comment along those lines, and Hermione gives this very counterexample:

Brothers and sisters usually go in the same Houses, don’t they?” [Harry] said. He was judging by the Weasleys, all seven of whom had been put into Gryffindor.

“Oh no, not necessarily,” said Hermione. “Parvati Patil’s twin’s in Ravenclaw, and they’re identical. You’d think they’d be together, wouldn’t you?”

Goblet of Fire, chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament)

Anyway, if houses did run in the family and two wizards who were in different houses married, which house would their children be in? E.g. Tonks was in Hufflepuff and Lupin was in Gryffindor - where would Teddy go?

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    For what it’s worth, Teddy was sorted into Hufflepuff, where he became Head Boy.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 18:48

No, Sirius Black is an example of someone that was sorted in an other house than what is family was in.

Although he was the heir of the House of Black, Sirius disagreed with his family's belief in blood purity and defied tradition when he was sorted into Gryffindor instead of Slytherin at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which he attended from 1971 to 1978.


Another example was Tonks - she was a Black branch by ancestry (her mother Andromeda was a sister of Bellatrix and Narcissa Black) but she was in Hufflepuff - her head of house was Prof. Sprout; and it was confirmed by JKR:

Q: What houses were Tonks and Myrtle in?
A: Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw respectively.

According to HP Wikia, her mother (Andromeda) was a Slytherin, though I'm unsure of where that info comes from - but even if that's inaccurate, her grandmother and grandfather on Black side were most certainly Slytherins.

Tonk's father a Muggle-born and thus, while his house was not known, it almost certainly was not Slytherin.


Albus Potter was sorted into Slytherin, according to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This was something of a surprise to all concerned give that his grandfather and grandmother, father and brother had all been sorted into Gryffindor.

SORTING HAT: Albus Potter.

He puts his hat on ALBUS’s head — and this time he seems to take longer — almost as if he too is confused.
SLYTHERIN! There’s a silence.
A perfect, profound silence.
One that sits low, twists a bit, and has damage within it.


CRAIG BOWKER JR.: Whoa! A Potter? In Slytherin?

By the same token, apparently Ron and his brother also thought that it wasn't completely obvious that Ginny would be sorted into Gryffindor, despite having multiple family members in the house.

RON: You know, Gin, we always thought there was a chance you could be sorted into Slytherin.

GINNY: What?

RON: Honestly, Fred and George ran a book.

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    Albus had another reason, albeit not a very good one, for believing that he might not be sorted into Gryffindor: He had a prat for an older brother who liked to scare him with made-up stuff.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 19:03
  • @EvilSnack - And while that's true, Ron was sorted into Gryffindor despite having brothers who exhibited much the same traits.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 20:09

The sorting, aside from being affected by personal choice (like Harry), depends on what is valued most by the founders instead of lineage as stated by the Sorting hat itself in the 1995 song.

Said Slytherin, "We'll teach just those Whose ancestry's purest."

So only Slytherin has a preference towards lineage... because that's what Slytherin value above all other traits.

Personal choice affects the outcome particularly if you have traits valued by more than one house, like Harry & most likely Sirius... It was quite clear that Sirius dislike the idea of being Slytherin or a Black. But people in general tend to be proud of their heritage and have no particular reason not to be in the same house as their family, so most don't make personal choice to avoid a house.

And some students are worried about disappointing their parents if they don't end up in the same house, I think.

As for Hufflepuff being chastised. It's the House that is generally considered to be where students the other Houses didn't want end up. An embarrassing idea for some but not for the Hufflepuffs... who generally held the same value as the founder.

Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot. And treat them just the same."


Houses in Harry Potter are more than just about family, so it would be obvious that, depending on the personality, the houses can or will be different. Maybe because a Hufflepuff and a Hufflepuff raise a child, the child could act pretty similar by the parents teaching needed traits to the kid. So it would be a higher chance for the kid to be in the parents' house. Raven + Griffin = more likely to be Ravenclaw and Gryffindor. That's what I think, at least.


It all depends on how the child is raised and their own personality. Although Sirius was taught to worship other Slytherins he disagreed with his family so it made sense when he was sorted into Gryffindor rather than Slytherin. With Albus Potter, he had a lot to live up to with his father and he felt rather pressured by Harry. In the Cursed Child, he doesn't want anything to do with the famous Harry Potter and hated it when he is connected to his father so he is sorted into Slytherin. I think it really comes down to how much alike the whole family is and if they are proud of who they are.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Your examples have already been mentioned in other answers; you should only post a new answer if you have something more to add.
    – DavidW
    Commented Dec 2, 2019 at 0:48

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