As I’m devoting my February to reviewing and chatting about romance books, it seemed fitting to chat about one of my favourite couple tropes, a trope that seems to be beloved across the internet, and a trope I can never get enough of: Slytherin x Hufflepuff.
On the off chance you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, a lot of readers today (myself included) use the Hogwarts Houses in Harry Potter as an easy way to sum up a character from another book or series. Jude Duarte from The Folk of the Air, for example, is a complete Slytherin because she’s ambitious and cunning AF.
On the other hand, Maia from The Goblin Emperor is 100% a Hufflepuff because he’s kind and hard-working and the kind of person who values loyalty in themselves and in others. In fact valuing loyalty is something Slytherins and Hufflepuffs share, even if they might not necessarily value it for the same reasons.
Slytherins and Hufflepuffs fit surprisingly well together! There’s certainly an opposites attract element to them, but there’s something about a Slytherin’s cunning and Hufflepuff’s loyalty that work; a Slytherin’s ambition combined with a Hufflepuff’s work ethic will give you a pair capable of taking over the world.
I feel like Hufflepuffs are pretty much the only people who can make a Slytherin do something they might not be all that interested in doing because Hufflepuffs can bring out a Slytherin’s best qualities. Slytherins, on the opposite end of the scale, are excellent at teaching Hufflepuffs how to be selfish when it matters so that their good natures aren’t taken advantage of. Let’s face it, if you ever cross a Hufflepuff I hope for your sake they don’t have a very good Slytherin friend who’s out for revenge.
But we’re not here to talk about vengeance! We’re here to talk romance so, without further ado, here are my three favourite couples who I think fall into the Slytherin x Hufflepuff trope…
Evelyn and Celia from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is “You’re safe with me”—that’s intimacy.
Evelyn is SUCH a Slytherin. I guess the clues were there from the beginning when green became her go-to colour, but Evelyn is probably one of the most ambitious and cunning protagonists I’ve ever followed and I adore her. Celia, on the other hand, is loyal to a fault; her own loyalty and her belief in the need for other people’s loyalty often brings her as much heartbreak as it does joy. These two can bring out the best in each other, though – whether it’s Evelyn giving Celia tips on how to get the most out of what the world is willing to offer you or Celia being there for Evelyn at times when almost no one else is – and I love them.
Anne and Captain Wentworth from Persuasion by Jane Austen
I am half agony, half hope.
In all honesty, these two could easily both be Hufflepuffs. They’re both loyal to each other, even when neither of them realises it, and neither of them are averse to hard work, and yet I’d definitely mark Wentworth down as a Slytherin. When Anne rejects his marriage proposal, not for want of loving him, his response is to go to sea, be involved in numerous battles and return to England as a decorated war hero just so he can rub his newfound success in the faces of Anne and everyone who persuaded her to reject him. If that doesn’t make him a Slytherin, I don’t know what will.
Anne, on the other hand, never sways in her love for Wentworth. While she might have rejected his marriage proposal (and considering the time she lives in, it’s understandable why she does!) it doesn’t mean she loves him any less, and she even turns down later, perfectly good marriage proposals because the men who ask her aren’t Wentworth.
I love these two; they’re the ultimate second chance romance, from what I think is Austen’s most accomplished novel. Funny, really, considering I loathed it when I first read it! If you’re looking for an adaptation of this one, I highly recommend the 1995 adaptation starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds.
Achilles and Patroclus from The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
“They never let you be famous AND happy.” He lifted an eyebrow. “I’ll tell you a secret.”
“Tell me.” I loved it when he was like this.
“I’m going to be the first.” He took my palm and held it to his. “Swear it.”
“Because you’re the reason.”
Please excuse me while I go and sob in a corner. Achilles might seem like more of a Gryffindor at first glance, but he’s definitely a Slytherin in my book. He’s ambitious as hell – he wants to be remembered as a hero, and he’s prepared to die young to achieve that goal which is big commitment energy – and he’s also pretty darn cunning when he needs to be. He’s always finding ways past his eagle-eyed mother to be with Patroclus and it’s only really Patroclus, my sweet Hufflepuff child, who has any power over him whatsoever.
Achilles claims Briseis because Patroclus asks him to, so she won’t be forced into sex slavery, and he even refuses to kill the person who will make him famous when Patroclus asks him to because, “What has Hector ever done to me?” (And no, I’m still not over that quote.) These two are everything good about the Slytherin x Hufflepuff duo. Achilles is fiercely protective of Patroclus and Patroclus is fiercely loyal to Achilles, and just thinking about this novel makes me want to cry.