Of Hogwarts and Houses

With the release of the new trailer for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them” I’ve never found myself prouder to be a Hufflpuff. It’s revealed that Newt was nearly suspended from Hogwarts for “endangering human life” but was saved by Dumbledore, leaving everyone to wonder what Dumbledore saw in Newt Scamander. Throwing the Hufflepuff stereotype of meekness and dull wits to the wind, Newt seems to be clever, cunning, and resourceful.

This trailer pushed Anne (my younger sister) to join Pottermore.com, where she was sorted into Gryffindor. I wasn’t overly surprised since Anne can be pretty feisty at times, but is a great person whose fun to be around (she’s also a pretty great sister), but she seemed upset. Anne was hoping to be sorted in Ravenclaw. I asked her why and she said that Gryffindor has a lot of expectations piled on top of it: bravery, cunning, loyalty,  and hot headedness. She even said that she would have rather been in Slytherin than Gryffindor. According to her the other houses don’t have quite the bang to them or as strict a stereotype.

Anyone who read the Harry Potter series knows that the Gryffindors are shown as party animals, jumpers before thinkers, and the first to pick fights. Hufflepuffs are dim, lazy, and slow. Ravenclaws are cold, logical and cunning. Slytherins basically get equated with death eaters.  Gryffindors are also shown in the spotlight as the house to be in, without taking into account that everyone has a different personality.

I find this kind of weird, because the sorting hat specifically describes the houses:

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;

Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.

 

The sorting hat literally says that Gryffindors put others before themselves, that Hufflpuffs aren’t afraid of hard work, that Ravenclaws can be abstract and creative geniuses, and that Slytherins are loyal and ambitious people. Their stereotypes and associated features contradict what they are actually like.

When I was first sorted in Hufflpuff I was upset. Especially since Hagrid had clearly said “a bunch o’ duffers” about the house. Of course, then I found a bunch of house groups on facebook and was introduced to the fact that Hufflepuff’s specialty is botany. Something I’ve always been good at is gardening. I also love bugs and biology. Making friends? yep. Baking? Yep. Exploring nature? yep. After some thought I came to realize that my house fit me like a glove.

I certainly hope that anyone else whose questioning their house will look into themselves and try to reflect on who they are and what standards they hold themselves to, instead of trying to get into the most popular house or a house that might not suit them. At the end of the day, though, it’s all pretend, but gives a sense of belonging to some people. You shouldn’t cry or be upset over a house choice, because you might find yourself in a house that fits you perfectly.

 

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