In the Harry Potter world, the Slytherin house gets a terrible reputation as the darkest wizards known to wizard kind. Even someone as accepting of bloodthirsty animals as Hagrid once said, "There's not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin."
It's rarely mentioned just how one of the greatest wizards to have ever lived, Merlin himself, came to be a Slytherin. It was also a Slytherin who gave up his life to become a double agent to save the world from evil. There are many more Slytherin good deeds than the house gets credit for, and they're certainly much more than a bunch of villains. Let's celebrate this fact by taking a look at some of the best things Slytherins have ever done.
10 Snape Sacrificed His Life To Spy For Dumbledore
Some might argue that Severus Snape owed this to the wizarding world, after he gave Voldemort information that led to the destruction of his childhood friend and her husband, but an entire lifetime making up for a big mistake seems like overkill. Snape, who still harbored feelings for Lily Potter years after her demise, did just that, sacrificing his entire existence to fulfill one of the most dangerous gigs of the Order of the Phoenix: spying on Voldemort as a double agent.
Snape risked everything in this position, and the fear of being caught had to eat at him daily. No matter how bravely the countless other heroes of the franchise fought, they can't quite touch what Snape must have gone through.
9 Isolt Sayre Founded Ilvermorny
As a descendant of Salazar Slytherin, it's no wonder that Isolt Sayre had wizard-school-founding blood in her veins. Raised by a cruel aunt who took out her parents in a house fire, Isolt was denied entrance into Hogwarts, where she desperately wanted to be a Ravenclaw even though she might have been sorted as a Slytherin.
Not only did Isolt marry a Plymouth settler and English No-Maj, but she saved injured children from a monster, founded the American school for witchcraft and wizardry, Ilvermorny, and served as its Headmistress. Sayre was likely one of the best people to emerge from the Slytherin bloodline.
8 Snape Routinely Protected Harry From Harm
From the moment Harry Potter stepped into Hogwarts, Severus Snape saw the face of his tormentor and hated the child. He also spent every moment either tormenting Harry... or protecting him, even when Harry suspected it was Snape to blame for attacking him.
Nothing excuses the way Severus Snape treated a little boy who happened to look like an enemy he'd known as a child, but the fact that he stepped in to protect him time after time, even not firing back as Snape fled the scene of Dumbledore's death and Harry continued to attack him, counts for something, too.
7 Andromeda Tonks Helped The Order Of The Phoenix
It cost her almost everything, but Andromeda Tonks, who was such a kind witch she was burned off the Black family tapestry for disappointing her family, aided the Order of the Phoenix. She allowed them to use her home as a safe house during the transport of Harry Potter, which put them in grave danger. She also married a Muggle-born, Ted Tonks, which offended her family greatly.
Andromeda was left without her husband and child as a result of the war, two experiences a mother and wife should not have to endure. While she was left with young Teddy to love, Andromeda suffered more than many other Slytherins for their deeds, such as...
6 Narcissa Malfoy Protected Harry Potter
It doesn't seem fair that the Malfoys came through the Second Wizarding War largely unscathed, after all of the terror they had caused when so many others experienced great loss and heartbreak. Narcissa Malfoy's greatest strength was being a mother, and that was why her desire to protect Draco led to her protecting Harry Potter when Voldemort asked her to confirm Harry's demise. She lied to him, despite her fear, after Harry confirmed Draco's safety.
Luckily, Scorpius Malfoy is changing everything as the kindest of them all, even as he responds to the rudeness of Ron and Hermione's daughter, Rose.
5 Snape Lied To Umbridge To Protect Students
There are many moments in the books where fans can see Snape choosing good over evil, even when he isn't being ordered to do so by Dumbledore. One of these was when he lied to Dolores Umbridge about having Veritaserum to use on the students. Dumbledore wasn't around so he didn't have to protect them, but he still chose to do so.
Of course, in this instance, Snape was also working out of self-preservation, but it still remains one of the best things he's done to help the kids at Hogwarts out. Many wish to know what happened during his time as Headmaster of the school on the day-to-day basis, which should be made into a film or book of its own.
4 Horace Slughorn Mourned Aragog With Hagrid
Like some of these examples, this act of kindness began with purely selfish motives, as Horace Slughorn simply wanted to take some of the Acromantula's valuable venom for his stash. Still, what followed was one of the nicest things any professor at Hogwarts, aside from Albus Dumbledore (who also always had his motives), ever did for the Keeper of the Keys.
Slughorn said a lovely farewell, spent time with Hagrid and allowed the half-giant time to really express his emotions and grieve with company. It didn't change Slughorn's motives, but it sure did make Hagrid feel loved. Slughorn also later helped fight in the Battle of Hogwarts.
3 Snape Helped Destroy A Horcrux
Another example of Snape continuing to do the right thing after Dumbledore was gone occurred when he sent Harry his Patronus to help him find the Sword of Gryffindor, in order to destroy the locket Horcrux. A clueless Harry still didn't understand that his nemesis and most hated teacher was continuing to watch over, protect and help him during his fight against Voldemort.
Snape later gave Harry the explanation that he could have simply taken to his grave, too. When he asked Harry to collect his tears, he gave the young man his precious memories to give him closure.
2 Merlin's Accomplishments Led To The Order Of Merlin
One of the most famous, most accomplished wizards of all time, Merlin himself, was a Slytherin. That means that every heroic deed, every time he saved the lives of countless people or gifted Muggles with his wisdom, plans and protection, it was courtesy of a Slytherin.
Of course, this means that all of the times he really messed up were also a credit to his house, but like Albus Dumbledore, Merlin always operated with the best of intentions. Even if he made some big mistakes, his accomplishments were so vast that they led to the Order of Merlin being created, as the highest honor for a wizard or witch to receive.
1 Snape Gave Up His Life In An Alternate Reality
Fans who weren't convinced that Snape was truly a 'good guy' got their final answer when Rowling released Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In the play, Snape was given information about his own demise, which occurred in the timeline where Voldemort lost. In this alternate reality, Snape lived on, and he could have chosen to continue to do so.
Instead, for the good of mankind (and wizardkind), he chose to help restore the timelines to their rightful place, knowing that it would only end his life in the process. This Snape is even more heroic than any other version of the character as a result.