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Fan Fic / Two Households

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Two Households is a Harry Potter For Want of a Nail fanfiction series written by mad_martha. It can found here. This series differs from the Harry Potter canon in two ways. Firstly, Harry is Sorted into Slytherin instead of Gryffindor. Secondly, Peter Pettigrew is captured by Sirius when the latter breaks into the Gryffindor dormitories. As such, Wormtail does not escape and Sirius is eventually exonerated.


Two Households is quite long, containing 14 individual fanfics and a map of the Black manor. The series as a whole is very detailed, including details on Wizarding politics and introducing new magical disciplines.

Tropes found in this series include:

  • All the Other Reindeer: Harry is a social pariah in Slytherin for most of his stay at Hogwarts. As the 'king' of Slytherin, Draco Malfoy makes sure that Slytherin is not a welcoming place for Harry.
  • Ambadassador: Henry Potter Sr., Harry's grandfather, was a well-respected diplomat that had connections all over Europe.
  • Abusive Parents: While the Dursleys were explicitly neglectful and emotionally abusive in canon, they aren't stated to have physically abused Harry. Not so much for Two Households, where Harry mentions that Vernon beat him as a child.
    • Sirius's parents were both abusive towards their children. Sirius's father used his unique Animation abilities to create terrifying automatons to monitor and threaten his children. His wife wasn't much better.
    • It's implied that Lucius Malfoy is not a good father to Draco.
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    • Implied with almost all of the patriarchs of the Pureblood families as most of them have been rendered unstable by centuries of inbreeding, though not all of them.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Severus Snape survives the Battle of Hogwarts, but loses his right arm.
  • Animate Dead: Although it's possible to Animate corpses, it is considered a Dark Art and is thus taboo
  • Armed with Canon: Wizards have their own version of the Bible in which all parts condemning magica are removed
  • Ascended Extra: Sirius and Remus are major viewpoint characters in this series, as is Ron. Blaise Zabini and Millicent Bulstrode also have more relevance as Harry's sort-of-friends and Housemates.
  • Baby Factory: ALL purebloods are treated this way, especially firstborn males who are pretty much legally required to continue the family line, regardless of their personal wishes.
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  • Badass Grandpa: Petaurius Pettifer is still a great duelist despite being the same age as Harry's grandfather
  • Badass Teacher: McGonagall, who saves Remus and Sirius from bigoted curse-happy wizards by a sheer awesome Death Glare
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Remus is usually the calm, sensible one that reins in his more hot-tempered partner, Sirius. However, he has limits and can get pretty scary when sufficiently angered (or if it's close to the full moon).
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: One of the secret rooms in the Black mansion turns out to be a Secret Museum (a collection of obscene artwork and literature), which ranges from titillating to shocking and/or disgusting. One item in the museum is a statue of the god Pan having congress with a goat
    • The Black's bath house has a large Roman mural on the wall depicting a huge orgy involving men, women and animals. Being a magic artwork, it's actually supposed to MOVE, but Remus put a spell on it with the motivation that just the imagery was perverse enough without adding movement to it. Yeah, the Black family before Sirius came along weren't just evil, they were gross too
    • Discussed regarding the statue of Pan having sex with a goat in thatit's okay because Pan is a god
  • Bi the Way: Harry and Ron have dated girls before getting together with each other.
  • Big Fancy House: The Rose House, the ancestral mansion of the Potter family. Unlike Grimmauld Place or the Black mansion, it has been properly kept by a staff of house elves, awaiting the day Harry came of age to inherit the place.
  • Blood Magic: This type of magic is generally frowned upon, but is sometimes used to secure powerful wards. Grimmauld Place and the Black Manor both have extremely powerful wards protecting them that are anchored with blood.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: While Harry does possess a sense of morality, it frequently puzzles other people. He views friendship as a constant trade of favours. The thought that people might want to help him just because they like him puzzles him. He's also perfectly willing to employ underhanded methods to get what he wants, but will never make excuses if caught.
  • Cats Are Magic: Rosebud, Ron's kneazle, is fiercely intelligent and can teleport at will.
  • The Chains of Commanding: After Harry becomes the reluctant new 'king' of Slytherin in his seventh year, he quickly runs into a lot of problems. Harry needs to deal with not only Malfoy and his cronies, but also every Slytherin that causes trouble. Dumbledore and the other professors hold Harry personally responsible for the actions of his Housemates; any punishments that they would suffer will also fall on Harry
  • Church of Saint Genericus: The Church of Holy Bones, which is part of the larger Wizard Orthodox Church
  • Churchgoing Villain: Most purebloods, including the Black family
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Religious magic requires the practioner to actually believe there's gods/angels/demons to call upon. If the belief is too weak, the magic will backfire
  • ClingyJealousGuy: Harry is subconsciously very possessive of his loved ones. He takes an immediate dislike to anyone that might interfere with his relationships with Ron or his family.
  • Cool Old Guy: Petaurius Pettifer, Henry Potter Sr.'s best friend. He teaches Harry the art of dueling and introduces Harry to his obligations as the paterfamilias of the Potter family. He's one of the few people that Harry respects.
    • Henry Potter Sr himself was this, though Harry never had a chance to meet him as he died shortly after Harry's birth.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Harry casts first and asks questions later. He's willing to use underhanded tactics and strike unsuspecting opponents. It's justified because he's being trained to fight Voldemort, who certainly won't fight honorably.
  • Corrupt Politician: The Wizengamot is mostly populated by members of the First Families. Unfortunately, that means that the Wizengamot is filled with pureblooded elitist snobs that are only interested in accumulating power. Those that seek actual, positive change (like Dumbledore and Pettifer) are in the minority.
    • Made worse by the fact that the positions are inherited, and thus virtually guaranteed to go to inbred lunatic wizards who don't care about anything other than pureblood politics.
  • Creepy Cathedral: The Holy Bones church sponsored by the Black family. It's decorated with human bones on the inside, including the bones of children. Somewhat justified since, like a few Muggle churches, the bones are simply relics rescued from cemetaries and catacombs threatened by development, and there is nothing sinister about the origin of the remains.
  • Cute Kitten: Rosebud, Ron's baby Kneazle. Granted, kneazle's aren't technically cats, but close enough for this trope
  • Damning With Faint Praise: The only good thing that Remus can think of to describe Grimmauld Place was it wasn't haunted
  • Deadpan Snarker: Harry is extremely snarky, possibly even more so than in canon
    Blaise: (talking about the Sunday Prophet) Do you want the cartoons section?
    Harry: No thanks. I like my humour to be funny.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Many characters hold homophobic and/or elitist views that would not fly in modern Muggle society.
  • Enemy Mine: The opposition to Voldemort means that this is how the Order of the Phoenix works. It's membership includes Christians and pagan wizards, as well haughty purebloods, talented muggleborns, criminals and Aurors. Not the sort of people that would normally work together.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Father Marius betrays The Order of the Phoenix and hands Harry over to the Death Eaters.
  • The Face: Harry becomes this for Slytherin after usurping Malfoy's position as 'king'. Zabini reminds Harry that the latter must make himself available and visible to his House if he wants to stay in power. He is also the go-to guy for any problems with his Housemates
  • Fantastic Racism: The wizarding world is not kind to werewolves. They are banned from many jobs, forcing them to find whatever work they can (legal or not). They are not allowed to live among Muggles (preventing them from getting a more mundane job) and cannot inherit anything in the event that a family member dies
    • Many purebloods hold Muggleborn or mix-blooded wizards in disdain. That's not even getting into how they feel about Muggles... This is actually becoming a problem in-story, as the purebloods childish obsession with intermarriage is causing them to go extinct. The only reason Wizard Britains caste-like social system hasnt collapsed already is that wizards tend to live longer than Muggles.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Voldemort is mentioned as being an atheist, despite, as Harry points out, the very concept of some magic requires incantations that call on demons, angels and other higher beings. After some thinking, Harry concludes that it's more likely that Voldemort is a Hollywood Atheist who thinks that if God is real, then he/she doesn't care one way or another about humans, which is more or less Harry's own position, though less founded on psychosis and narcissism
  • For Want of a Nail: Harry shook Draco Malfoy's hand on the Hogwarts Express, causing Ron to storm off in a huff. Because of this, Harry was disinclined to share a House with Ron, resulting in the Sorting Hat placing him in Slytherin
    • Also, Peter Pettigrew was captured and tried by the Ministry of Magic. This allowed Sirius to be exonerated and return to his life with Remus Lupin. He later adopts Harry, taking custody of his godson from the Dursleys
  • Good Is Old-Fashioned: Pettifier
  • Gratuitous Latin: Members of the Wizard Orthodox Church are called Omnis Arcanum Christians, which means All Secret Christians in Latin.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It may be partially blamed on his age, but Harry is a very prickly person. It's not uncommon for him to stomp off in a rage at the slightest provocation.
    • Sirius is also prone to losing his temper.
    • Remus gets very short-tempered and confrontational close to the full moon.
  • Happily Adopted: Harry, eventually. At first, he's quite happy to be away from the Dursleys. However, he frequently finds himself at odds with Sirius, who has a bad habit of sticking his foot in his mouth around his godson. Eventually, Sirius learns not to treat Harry like James's replacement and Harry loosens up around his godfather
    • On the other hand, he has always gotten along with Remus. It helps that Remus got to know Harry as a professor before adopting him
  • Happiness in Slavery: As canon, house elves although a few wizarding families are greatly abusive
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Harry views the majority of humanity with suspicion and mistrust, with very few exceptions. He expects just about everyone to have an ulterior motive and for every favor to come with a hidden string. Blaise Zabini even half-jokingly calls Harry a misanthrope
  • The Hecate Sisters: The White Goddess pagan wizards worship
  • Heir Club for Men: By Wizarding law, male heirs take precedence over any female heirs in matters of inheritance. While women can inherit if no other suitable male candidates can be found, they will always be the last resort
    • Once Sirius takes his place as the paterfamilias of the House of Black, he is required to produce an heir. Since he's in a committed relationship with Remus, he finds himself in a difficult situation. He ends up making an arrangement with Pettifers granddaughter, and has a daughter with her who is raised by him and Remus. He also adopts Narcissa's second son as his own after she reveals Lucius might not be his father
  • Karma Houdini: Draco gets a minor case of this as his attempted murder of Ron has no real consequence in the long run, since Dumbledore agrees to let him back into Hogwarts after he fails to learn enough German for Durmstrang. The Order is more concerned with denying Voldemort as many followers as possible, and permanently expelling and isolating Draco would drive him right into Voldemorts arms.
  • Idiot Ball: Draco Malfoy gets hit with this hard in the seventh fic, when he crafts a trap spell set up with a static Sectumsempra, considering he would be the main suspect after his attempted murder of Ron. Taken Up to Eleven when Harry decides not to report him
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Remus after Harry tells of the depraved dreams Voldemort sends him
  • Interrupted Bath: Susannah Black, the ghost of a teenage girl that haunts the Black mansion, has the unfortunate tendency to spy on Harry whenever he's undressing, and at one point, catches him in the bath while he's polishing his broom.
  • Ill Boy: James Potter turns out to have been this as a young child. He was also the only surviving child of his father Henry Sr, whom all died in stillbirth. Henry himself was the only surviving child of six, who all died from an unspecified wasting sickness, implied to be the result of the inbreeding common among the pureblood families. Harry was born healthy because of the fresh blood provided by his mother. Harry ends up becoming this after Voldemorts death, as the final battle takes an enormous toll on him and almost kills him. After nearly a month in a coma, Harry eventually recovers, but is left with lingering health issues for the rest of his life
  • The Lancer: Blaise Zabini acts as Harry's number two in their seventh year. Zabini supports Harry in his bid for Slytherin 'kingship', often providing him with advice
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Gender-Inverted Trope. When Harry and Ron reveal to Sirius, Remus and Pettifier about the Black Manor's secret erotic museum, the discussion is practically this trope
  • Marionette Master: Wizards that possess the power of Animation can control puppets and automatons. Harry, Flitwick, and Sirius's father are all very powerful Animators.
  • Moral Guardians: Hogwarts' Board of Governors used to be composed of these. At one point, they had demanded segregated school houses because many of them didnt want their daughters consorting with lower class boys, and were only thwarted because both the Sorting Hat and Hogwarts itself wouldnt co-operate, and even then they still forced the school to use ridiculously conservative Quiditch uniforms for the girls for several years.
  • Morality Pet: Ron is the only person that Harry is unequivocally nice to
  • My Beloved Smother: A minor and humorous example. Maffy, Harry's House Elf nurse who cared for both him and his father when they were infants, insists on treating Harry as an overgrown toddler. She likes to fuss over him whenever he visits her (not that he minds).
    • Molly Weasley. While she isn't intolerable, she wants certain things for her children, and doesn't really approve of Ron and Harry's relationship, though she doesn't outright try to break them up
  • Nay-Theist: Harry and Voldemort are this as they believe that if there are gods, then they must be the jerkass variety
  • No Social Skills: Spending his formative years with the Dursleys did a number on Harry's social skills. His years of isolation at Hogwarts didn't help either. Harry has a lot of trouble making meaningful interpersonal relationships with others. He tends to rebuff any friendly overtures with pointed sarcasm, alienating potential allies and isolating himself
  • Nouveau Riche: Pettifer has this opinion of the Malfoys
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Any attempts at changing the status quo in the Wizengamot is shot down by the elitist purebloods in attendance (read: basically all of them)
  • Parents as People: Although Sirius and Remus try their best to support Harry, they do mess up sometimes. Sirius has a difficult time accepting Harry as a Slytherin at first and frequently compares Harry to James. Remus tries to intervene between the two, but can only do so much.
  • Perverse Puppet: Sirius's father, Mercurius Black, was a powerful Aniamtor given to experimentation. He created many horrifying automatons while alive and set them around Black Manor to spy on his kids. Although these contraptions didn't have minds of their own, they were programmed by Mercurius to attack people (including his own sons). A few of them are still roaming around inside the sealed off parts of the mansion decades after his death.
  • Pet the Dog: Although he's rude to pretty much everyone, Harry never fails to show kindness to House Elves. He always makes sure to thank them for their help and show his appreciation
  • Politically Correct History: Averted. The Board of Governors was composed of Moral Guardians who did not want their daughters to be around lower class boys and thus created a dress code that included corsets and bloomers and there was even an attempt to have segregated Houses but Hogwarts did not cooperate. When Dumbledore became headmaster, the dress code ended
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: The Potter's family motto is Fides et Fortitudo Vincerrunt note 
  • Rags to Riches: Harry discovers that he is the paterfamilias, or the family head, of the Potter family. The Potters are one of the First Families, the top crust of the Wizarding world. That means that he not only has a manor of his own, but also many investments and a whole lotta money.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Voldemort engages in gang rapes on women with his Death Eaters and forces Harry to watch through their Horocrux bond. He doesn't even care about the sex (Sirius thinks that his inhuman status probably means he is no longer capable of normal sexual activity anyway), he just sadistically enjoys the trauma it causes Harry and hopes it will corrupt Harry's own view of sex.
  • Reality Ensues: The pureblood ideology of the First Families have come back to bite them in the ass in a major way, as many branches are not giving birth to healthy children. In the Potter line, James was something of a miracle as all his older siblings had died within a few years, and his own son being born healthy was mostly due to Lily's muggle origin. As anyone with a passing understanding of biology could tell you, a genetic pool needs as much fresh material as possible, not delusional fantasies about supremacy
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Sirius and Remus are members of the Wizard Orthodox Church, mostly because of societal expectation
  • Relationship Upgrade: Harry and Ron become romantically involved.
    • Remus and Sirius are handfasted (wizard equivalent of a civil union) and have been living together for years before Sirius was sent to Azkaban. They resume their relationship after Sirius is exonerated.
  • Religion Is Magic: Certain elements of magic require the practioneer to call upon saints, angels and in the case Black Magic demons and devils for spellcasting
  • Reluctant Ruler: In his seventh year, Harry decides to step up and take over as the 'king' of Slytherin. He only does so to prevent Draco from becoming 'king' again, but is not happy about it.
    • Harry is this as the head of the House of Potter, making him essentially royalty. He has no interest whatsoever in the position, but feels obligated to take up his place.
  • Royal Inbreeding: The First Families are considered nobility in the Wizarding world. Inbreeding is very common among them, since many First Families are obsessed with keeping their bloodlines 'pure'. This has caused a significant decrease in fertility in recent years, with many families dying out from lack of heirs.
  • The Stoic: It's noted that Harry has an impressive poker face. He has a fierce temper, but can appear outwardly calm with effort.
  • Sinister Minister: Father Marius turns out to be this, his genial personality is a complete facade, he's actually a pureblood supremacist and incredibly bigoted and corrupt. The epilogue reveals than when he's finally caught by the Aurors six years after Voldemort's deaths, his only defense is a series of religiously based racist rants.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Sirius and Harry (although Harry's still growing).
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Harry is much less friendly and compassionate in Two Households. He's very prickly and sarcastic, as well as self-serving and reserved. For much of the series, Ron is his only friend. Harry tends to snap at people, alienating them and preventing them from getting closer
    • Fred and George Weasley are very hostile towards Harry. They are prejudiced against Slytherins and assume that Harry is a typical snobby Slytherin (not that Harry's cantankerous attitude helps). Ginny Weasley is influenced by the twins's opinion of Harry, turning her crush on Harry into intense resentment
  • Understatement: Pettifer's reaction to the Black Manor's secret museum is that it's in poor taste
  • What's in It for Me?: The basic mindset of Slytherins in general. They tend to have a very mercenary mindset, trading favours and allegiances as needed.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: After Harry starts a riot in the Slytherin common room (with the help of Draco Malfoy), Dumbledore finds it necessary to teach his student about responsibility. Since Harry is 'king' of Slytherin, he will be held personally responsible for the actions of his Housemates. Any punishments meted out to his fellow Slytherins will also affect him.
  • Wine Is Classy: Pureblood families put a lot of importance on high-quality wine and champagne, to the point that it's actually a topic during Harry's coming-of-age party. Harry, being all of 17 at that point, has little experience with alcohol of any kind.


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