In case you don’t follow me on social media, this might be news. In advance of the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I’ve finally joined Pottermore. I took the sorting quizzes for both Ilvermorny and Hogwarts on Monday night. For Ilvermorny I got Pukwudgie. No surprises there even though Pukwudgies aren’t as cool as the animals the represent the other houses, IMHO.
I was super nervous for the Hogwarts quiz. I have always wanted to be a Ravenclaw. Not gonna lie, I would have been bummed if I got Hufflepuff. I was starting to think that I’d be okay with Gryffindor. But Slytherin was absolutely out of the question. I’m too nice of a person, and I’m not smart enough to be cunning. Just occasionally clever (some people would say I’m very brilliant but they’re not me). And I don’t want to be associated with people like Voldemort or Draco Malfoy. I did not think that was the result I would get.
I answered the last question on the sorting hat quiz and saw my result:
I gasped and laughed at the same time. I was completely shocked. It didn’t make any sense. I was totally thinking either Hufflepuff or Gryffindor.
I called my family today and told them the news. They were very surprised. My mom, my second brother, and my sister are Hufflepuff, my first brother is Ravenclaw, and my third brother is Gryffindor. I’d have thought at least one of them would be Slytherin, too. But we’re all Pukwudgies, so go figure.
Some people would say it’s no use judging yourself by an online quiz, and they’re probably right. (The Buzzfeed quiz put me in Ravenclaw) The Pottermore quizzes can’t in any way be as comprehensive as the Sorting Hat or the statues in Ilvermorny’s front hall. But after thinking about it for half a day, I realized, you know what, Slytherin might not be that bad of a fit for me. Although some bad people are in Slytherin, not all Slytherins are bad people. I’m into online fandom enough to know that people who are Slytherins either on Pottermore or in their hearts or both know what being a Slytherin means.
You might not identify with 100% with every trait or behavior listed in someone’s Tumblr post about the aesthetics of a Hogwarts House. But some of those ideas will stick out to you because they fit you perfectly. Maybe not all of those attributes you relate to will be from the same house. A Hogwarts House doesn’t completely identify you, it just means that your attributes strongly correlate to ideals espoused by a particular house.
In the books, some people get sorted for their super-obvious traits, like Draco Malfoy for his ego; but some get sorted for the qualities that are deeper. Neville Longbottom got put into Gryffindor, but he didn’t demonstrate any significant courage until later in his first year at Hogwarts (and let me tell you, the payoff in book seven was huge). I’m caring and kind but not selfless enough to be an ideal Hufflepuff. I’m less impulsive than a Gryffindor but not brainy enough to be Ravenclaw. In Potter fandom, a lot of people who think they are Ravenclaw because they are smart and like to read books, but that doesn’t really mean much if you don’t know all of the answers all of the time.
One thing from the books that sticks out to me is Hermione Granger being a Gryffindor instead of a Ravenclaw. Third year, Hermione figured out before anyone else did that Professor Lupin was a werewolf. When she told him this, Lupin said, “Well, aren’t you the brightest witch of your age?” Hermione responded, “If I’d been a bit cleverer, I would have told everybody!” Hermione had given Lupin the benefit of a doubt in spite of the wizarding world’s prejudice against werewolves. Someone without her integrity would have wanted to out Lupin just for the satisfaction of it. I’m not saying Ravenclaws or Slytherins are more selfish, but I am suggesting that the Sorting Hat saw her courage to do the right thing two years previous.
There are obvious drawbacks to Slytherin house, such as being associated with really nasty people and having your dorm rooms in the dungeons. And we’re not known for being nice and cuddly like the Hufflepuffs. But beyond that, there’s no reason to be upset about the label. In fact I feel like I want to OWN it. This is why I’m thinking I’m okay with being in Slytherin:
- I am DRIVEN to get stuff done. I WANT to do things, I want to FINISH them. My drug of choice is accomplishment.
- For instance, I made like ten 10 cosplays this year—if I am anything as a cosplayer, I would describe myself as ambitious.
- I’m resourceful to the point that I will put together entire cosplays from clothes I found at the thrift store, little or no sewing or makeup required. I stocked up on props during the Halloween sales in October. I repurpose bedsheets as fabric for certain handmade costumes. It’s what comes from not having a lot of money but still wanting stuff very badly.
- I like to be around important people and to meet them
- I might not succeed at stuff I expect to do, but I have high expectations for myself.
- Indiana Jones fans, you are going to hate this: I have a fondness for nonvenomous snakes. I think they’re precious. I mean look:
If I must be a snake, at least make me an adorkable one.
- Green is my favorite color. Not poison green, but emerald green. Forest green. And I prefer green lightsabers
- I identify a lot with Emily the Background Slytherin (I would highly recommend these comics except there’s a lot of language. This is one of the cleaner ones):
- My dark side: I don’t crave power but I do want control. I am impatient. Some of the things that torment me the most are my personal failures. I am afraid that if I’m left in charge then I’ll enjoy the authority too much and start bossing around the people under me in the worst way possible. I expect too much of myself even though I know I have limitations. A lot of this is tied into my OCD.
Here’s another thing to consider: like all other Harry Potter fans, I sort characters in my other fandoms into Hogwarts houses. I have way too much fun doing this with the Avengers. Being in Slytherin house means I’m with the ambitious, powerful, and driven people of the MCU—not just villains like Loki but people like Tony Stark and Doctor Strange and Nick Fury. (Some people argue that Steve Rogers is a Slytherin: I disagree—but that’s another debate).
It’s practically fanon that Natasha Romanoff is a Slytherin. She uses any means—deception, manipulation, numerous forms of combat—to get what she needs. She is pretty smart, but compared to Stark or to Bruce Banner (Ravenclaw) her intelligence isn’t as valued by herself or others, which is similar to me. She is highly skilled at everything she does. And her friendship with Clint Barton is the most powerful example of a Hufflepuff/Slytherin friendship out there.
My personal headcanon is that Wanda Maximoff is a Slytherin. She and Pietro volunteered for Strucker’s experiments and then worked with Ultron to get revenge on the Avengers. After changing sides and joining the new Avengers team, she broke out of the Avengers compound to go help Cap fight Zemo, blowing a crater into the floor of the base with Vision in it. I mean, what kind of a person does that??? Wanda values her freedom and she takes her responsibility to protect the world seriously. She’s similar to me in personality in that she’s insecure and also a really nice person even though she has to choose between different groups of friends.
One statement in the Pottermore article ‘6 reasons why it’s great to be a Slytherin‘ struck me as very profound: “Snakes are some of nature’s most resourceful creatures, and if life weighs down on them they shed their skin and start anew. Some Slytherins, including a certain Draco Malfoy, have been known to do this too.” How do you like that for a metaphor? There have been times in my life where I’ve confronted struggles and had to “shed,” or in other words turn a new leaf and change myself, challenge myself to confront whatever I was facing. (And, back to the crossover headcanon, that’s something Natasha and Wanda do a lot)
Slytherin house, according to the welcome message written by J.K. Rowling herself, is about developing potential greatness. When it comes down to it, is greatness not something I aspire to? Not just being popular and respected but being great at what I do, including being good. Being Slytherin doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad person, but some of the traits espoused by Slytherin house such as ambition and the drive to achieve success can be tied to negative character traits. I am a good person, but I am also a driven one. So while I may not like being in Slytherin as much as being a Ravenclaw, and after a while I may consider retaking the Sorting Quiz, in the meantime I think I can get used to the idea of being a Slytherin. It might actually be cool.