Slytherin might get the worst rap in the Harry Potter world, but they frequently don’t deserve their bad reputation. Yes, they’re sly, sneaky, occasionally backstabbing, and often immoral – but they are intelligent, resourceful, and fiercely loyal to those they deem worthy. Maybe these Slytherin facts will serve to change your mind.

7. Pureblood Heaven

Though anyone with the qualities of a Slytherin may be sorted into the House, Muggle-born and Half-bloods are very unlikely to end up in Slytherin. This is due to Salazar Slytherin’s obsession with pureblood wizards.

6. Cowardice or Smarts?

While the common perception – especially from Gryffindor – is that Slytherins are cowards, the truth is more complex. Slytherin Fact: A strong sense of self-preservation manifests with many of the same signs as cowardice – including cunning workarounds, running from danger, and preparing for the worst.

5. Salazar’s Locket

Salazar’s locket, Voldemort’s third Horcrux, didn’t end up in Tom Riddle’s hands on purpose – rather through a series of happenstance and murder.

Salazar’s locket was handed down through his family until it ended up in possession of the Gaunt family, specifically in the hands of Voldemort’s mother. She stole the locket and sold it to Borgin and Burkes, where it was bought by a witch. Riddle learned of the locket’s location, and a few days later that witch was dead, her locket…missing.

4. #NotAllSlytherins

This Slytherin fact may make you double-think your standards. Slytherin’s list of alumni is impressive, even if some of the characters have made some questionable choices. On the side of the bad guys, you have the House of Black, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Delores Umbridge. However, Andromeda Tonks was not just an ally of the Order of the Phoenix, but a Black and a member of Slytherin House.

3. Cascading Elements

Hogwarts Houses have a connection to specific elements, each signifying the power and influence of the elements on the world. Slytherin House is associated with water, and their traits and actions are demonstrative of the fluidity and amorphousness that water represents.

2. A Secretive Society

All Houses have a common room and dormitory, but only Slytherin’s has the unique charm and appeal of a snake. Unlike the warmth and comfort of the rest of the sleeping quarters, Slytherin houses their students beneath the Black Lake.

The only known password to Slytherin Central is “pureblood,” which we discover when Harry and Ron use Polyjuice Potion to sneak into the Slytherin Common room. Before our favorite trio’s resourcefulness, not a soul outside Slytherin had been granted access to the Slytherin Dungeon for seven centuries.

1. The World’s Greatest Wizard

Prepare yourself for this Slytherin fact. Although Voldemort is the most well-known student of Slytherin house, he may not be the most infamous. Author J.K. Rowling confirmed that the Sorting Hat had selected the world’s most famous wizard, Merlin, to join Slytherin House during his stint at Hogwarts.

These Slytherin facts may not strike fear into your heart – and that’s good. With a little understanding and a pinch of magic, the world’s most misunderstood Hogwarts House might just become the world’s favorite group of misfits.