0010 - This came up more than once during comment conversations this last week, and I'm now very curious. If for some reason Draco were to be sorted into a house other than Slytherin, which house do you think he'd be put into (and why)?
If Draco were sorted into a Hogwarts house other than Slytherin, would it be:
What makes you pick that house? (If the text box is not enough, please comment)
TICKY BOX! :D
TICKY BOX! >:0!!1
LILY IS TEH HAWT!1
My own thoughts on the matter have actually changed significantly since I first began paying attention to Draco. A lot of Draco-centric fanfic tends to portray him as either exceptionally bright or significantly above average in intelligence; this is something I as a Draco fan can identify with and understand readily, but does it reflect the source text?
"But since when has Malfoy been one of the world's great thinkers?" (Harry, in HBP12)
I sort of cheered when Harry said this -- and while it can be read several ways, I think the subtext here is that Draco is not generally known for his uber-sharp mind. Not that Draco is stupid, or unintelligent -- far from it. Ron and Harry aren't exactly the world's greatest thinkers, either; I think the idea here is that Draco is not meant to be read as a super-bright individual on par with Hermione.
In fanfic, we often see that Draco is second only to Hermione as far as his school performance goes, but I think that's a result of reading Lucius's derogatory remarks regarding Draco's performance in CoS. Sure, Lucius points out that Hermione (a girl of no wizard family) beat Draco in every class but that doesn't necessarily mean that Draco was second to her in all classes, either. The line can be read that way, but there is very little to support that view -- at any rate, I think Lucius was focused on the fact that Hermione was Muggle-born and clearly shouldn't have beat Draco at all, no matter by how much.
Ron, for example, is often portrayed as stupid in fanfiction, which is clearly bullshit because in case it wasn't apparent from HBP, Ron's school performance is on par with Harry's -- and so, it appears, is Draco's. Draco has got NEWT-level Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration that we know of for sure: all tough subjects, to be sure, but his presence in the classes means nothing -- Ron and Harry are in all three as well, not even talking of Hermione.
To sum up, Draco is a good student but he doesn't show any evidence of exceptional ability in anything but Potions (and, according to HBP, Occlumency). He does look down on Crabbe and Goyle for being slow, that much is true -- which is not as much a reflection of his intelligence or lack thereof as it is a reflection of his (already well-established) intolerance of those he perceives as "lesser" persons.
Ravenclaw is associated with "a ready mind", "wit and learning", wisdom, and -- I think this is the most important of all -- an affinity for learning, a love of knowledge for its own sake (as opposed to learning things in order to accomplish something). To me, the shattered wineglass at the end of OotP is very symbolic of Draco's priorities as far as learning and succeeding at school are concerned. He appears to utterly lack the attention span and concentration required of a true Ravenclaw, in short. The "love of knowledge" is also something that is never explicitly manifested in Draco's canon characterisation and it's the weightiest reason I think that a Ravenclaw, Draco ain't. If anyone amongst the more developed Slytherins is a Slytherclaw, it's Snape.
As far as I'm concerned, Hufflepuff is not even a serious consideration when it comes to Draco, to be honest with you. He might be hard-working when it suits him and he might be loyal to a select few, but I think Draco's concept of justice, while not entirely absent, is rather fluid and one-sided. In English, what I'm trying to say is that he's a prejudiced little shit and Hufflepuff/prejudice seems to be the anti-OTP in canon.
This leaves Gryffindor -- most would probably balk at reading Draco as a Gryffindor because hi, his "cowardice" is possibly his best-known trait.
But is it really cowardice? Yes, in many instances it is, but I wonder how much Draco's portrayal suffers from the Harry-POV bias. I don't personally consider the desire to save one's own hide cowardice, I consider it smart. Then again, I identify with Slytherin strongest. *g* Draco is definitely not brave in the traditional sense of the word, but is he all-cowardly? I wouldn't say that post-HBP, no. A lot of Draco's decision to actually join Voldemort's side had to do with his upbringing and I don't think it was an act of courage on his part. What I do think was brave was that despite his desperation, isolation and terror, he kept going until he accomplished what he'd set out to accomplish. Courage is not the absence of fear, after all -- courage is going on despite your fears, and Draco very much did that.
Also, it takes at least some courage to keep getting on Harry Potter's nerves even when one knows that this never ends well. What fuels Draco's insistence on making Harry's life miserable is foolhardy courage, but it's courage nonetheless. I remember that when I was first reading GoF, even before I was a fan of Draco's, I remarked to myself that Draco's awfully brave for a Slytherin, given that he keeps getting in Harry's face even though he's always beaten down and usually humiliated. There's definitely the hallmark Slytherin perseverance and determination, but that's not enough to actually act -- that takes courage. It's just not the traditional Gryffindor brand of courage.
Draco's also as passionate about his beliefs as any Gryffindor would be. The less positive traits associated with Gryffindor that are also present in Draco include attention-seeking and a tendency to act rashly, which have both been amply demonstrated by Draco, in both cases in close connection with Harry's presence. Draco resents the attention Harry gets and it's most often Harry who makes Draco lose his shit and go for his wand.
So there's my answer. Slytherdor. Which is probably one of the main reasons I never get bored of shipping H/D -- that Harry is a Slytherdor is practically canon fact. :)
Thoughts? Opinions? Llamas? I'm aware that I didn't cover every possible angle, so have at it. XD