I'm a big fan of the Harry Potter series. It's entertaining, and it explores some interesting questions. I've been thinking lately though that it would have been more interesting if the Sorting Hat had put Harry in Slytherin. Could Harry have still foiled Voldemort year after year?
The way I imagine it, the only thing necessary to get him in Slytherin would have been for him not to have met Ron on the train the first year. Then he could have become friends with Draco Malfoy instead. Would Malfoy have turned Harry toward evil, or could friendship with Harry have brought out a better side of Malfoy?
I like how J.K. Rowling develops the idea that Harry can't do any of what he does without the support of the people around him. But could he do it with Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson at his side instead of Ron and Hermoine, Professor Snape watching over him instead of Professor McGonagall, and (gasp) Filtch as his inside connection instead of Hagrid?
Granted, none of this would have any appeal if you didn't already know the story as it actually does unfold, but one of the things that bugs me about the story is that, in spite of a few hat tips to the idea that people aren't either all good or all bad, it's not at all hard to tell who's good and who's bad, with the notable exceptions of Snape and, to a lesser extent, Kreacher.
On the other hand, there's a certain way in which precisely this makes Harry's story a fitting model of the Christian life (and I'm guessing this is true of other moral/ethical systems as well), because Harry himself is the one character we see struggling with good and evil. And, as Harry looks out around him, all the other "good" people are pretty uniformly good, and it's generally only in "bad" people that he can see anything bad. It's my experience that life feels like that, though I've long since come to terms with the fact that it's an illusion.
So maybe, just maybe, the story with Harry in Gryffindor can be seen as an allegory for the way life looks from the inside looking out, and a rewriting of the story with Harry in Slytherin could be an allegory for life as it actually is. Which forces me to ask again, would the "good guy" win in that scenario?