Like most children of the 90s, I grew up on Harry Potter.
I read the books as soon as they came out, avoiding food, sleep, and all of my responsibilities until I reached the last page. I cried when Dumbledore died and weirdly, cried even more when Dobby died. I threw myself a Harry Potter-themed birthday party — as an adult.
You get it. I’m a Potterhead through and through.
And like all dedicated Harry Potter fans, I had a Hogwarts house. Over the years, I’d taken just about every Harry Potter sorting hat quiz I could find and they’d all told me the same thing — I was a Hufflepuff.
Now most people don’t like being a Hufflepuff, because it’s largely the forgotten house. It’s not the brave house or the smart house. It’s just the house where they wear yellow and are polite to each other or something. About the only thing Hufflepuff had going for it in the Harry Potter books was Cedric Diggory and that poor kid died (and was forced to be in the Twilight movies, which was also a bummer).
But personally, I took great pride in being a Hufflepuff, because I think kindness is the single most underrated personality trait. Now more than ever, the world needs more Hufflepuffs. In a world full of bad news, bitterness and Twitter feuds — we need the nice guys and gals of the badger house. We need the people who are good at simply being good.
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people.
I learned this the other day when I took the quintessential sorting hat quiz on Pottermore — the official site of all things Harry Potter — for the very first time.
At this point, you may be wondering why I didn’t do this sooner if I was such a big Harry Potter fan. And, well that’s a darn good question. Thanks for asking. Logically, I know I hadn’t taken the quiz because I was simply too lazy to register in the site. Or, I could have been subconsciously avoiding it because I was worried about what it would tell me about myself.
I think it was the latter, because, it turns out, I was right to put off the sorting hat.
After all, it told me something I didn’t want to know. J.K.’s very own sorting hat told me I’m a…a…a… (insert dramatic drum roll) …Slytherin.
Naturally, when this result — my true house — was revealed, I had a mini identity crisis. Or as much of an identity crisis one can get in reaction to an internet quiz based off a children’s book.
I’d like to believe I would have accepted it gracefully had I been given any other house. There’s nothing wrong with being a Gryffindor or a Ravenclaw, for example. But Slytherin, what the heck was I supposed to do with that?
As J.K. spends seven books and eight movies telling us, that’s the bad house — as in the house full of bad people. In the first book, our beloved Hagrid even tells Harry: “There’s not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn’t in Slytherin.” (Hagrid was wrong by the way. *cough* *cough* Peter Pettigrew.)
About the only good guy in Slytherin who gets any attention in the Harry Potter books is Snape. He’s cool and all, but let’s be real, he’s hardly enough to cancel out Draco, Voldermort — and worst of all, Dolores Umbridge. These people are the freaking worst, or to put it more delicately, I don’t think we’d be particularly chummy.
But then it hit me — Slytherin is perfect for me, because I don’t need to like these particular Slytherins, or the few nasty Slytherins like them. I need to change them.
As a Slytherin who desperately wants to be a Hufflepuff, I’d be the perfect candidate to infiltrate the green house and spread kindness like mad. I could use my Slytherin ambition, determination, resourcefulness, and cunning to trick these bad Slytherins into becoming better people.
And, well, if that didn’t work, I’d use my Slytherin self-preservation (a.k.a. saving my own skin skills) to get me the heck out of there.
I heard Hufflepuff is nice — maybe I could transfer. I’m sure the Hufflepuffs would let me and if not, eh, I’d just trick them into it somehow.