Saturday, August 26, 2017

Confessions of a Flabbergasted Gryffindor

The formative experience of every young wizard’s life is being sorted into their Hogwarts house. When I got into Harry Potter last year I knew that I needed to be sorted, so I signed up for Pottermore. I went through all the questions, soaking in the Pottermore aesthetic and feeling the magic in my bones. And I … was sorted into...

...wait for it…


I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was honestly shocked with this result. “I am not incredibly brave,” I said. “I am not impulsive,” I said. I, for all intents and purposes, just did not fit the classic Gryffindor stereotype.

I was puzzled. I was flabbergasted. Yet, in my opinion, Pottermore is as close to the Sorting Hat as we can possibly get.* Several people even confirmed Pottermore’s assertion. So… I supposed I was a Gryffindor.

* Caveat: Pottermore can be wrong, and in Harry Potter canon, the Sorting Hat takes your preferences into account, so there's some wiggle room!

I embraced my House tentatively at first; I had all the pride for my house but deep down I wondered if I was a fraud. Was I a Hufflepuff masquerading in Gryffindor clothing? What if Pottermore was wrong? (A real possibility.) What if I was wrong? (That would be embarrassing.) What if I was living a lie? (Yes, I take Hogwarts Houses very seriously.)

It isn’t until recently that I’ve realized Pottermore wasn’t wrong and I’m not living a lie. I’ve been a Gryffindor ever since I was little and dreamed of fighting sword battles and going on epic quests. I’m a Gryffindor when I wake up in the morning and decide to keep going, keep fighting, no matter what. (And I was especially Gryffindor when my mother and I made a reckless decision to cross a busy street and all I could do was laugh maniacally, high on adrenaline.)

But the best thing is that being a Gryffindor has, in fact, made me be more brave. If I am ever facing something scary, I remember my Gryffindor soul. I tell myself, “hey, you’re a Gryffindor, you can do this,” and I feel just a little bit braver. Even if I’m not actually a Gryffindor (the horror!), I’m becoming a bit more like one everyday.

Lesson learned #1: Your Hogwarts House is, in canon, based most on what traits you value, rather than what traits you may actually have. Ultimately, though, it can be whatever you want it to be.

Lesson learned #2:

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” - Nelson Mandela


Post a Comment