I’m part of the Harry Potter generation. You know the one, those weirdos that use Hogwarts houses as an identity label. After all, a lot of us grew up with that boy under the stairs and went on his journey with him. And like JK Rowling said, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome us home and that reminds us to turn on a light in the darkest of times.
But in this day and age of Hogwarts houses being equated to the MBTI labels, I wanna focus on something everyone seems to forget:
We have a little of all the houses in us.
Recently, JK Rowling posted new information on Pottermore about the North American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: Ilvermorny. There’s even a Sorting quiz you can take.
Personally, I like the Ilvermorny houses and sorting ceremony better than Hogwarts, because it’s more in line with how I feel the students should be sorted (nothing against the Sorting Hat, but don’t you think an old hat shouting names is a bit old hat?
APPRECIATE MY PUN) and I wish we had more information about the school and it’s houses. For now, I’ll share this excerpt from Pottermore:
While the rest of the school watches from the circular balcony overhead, new students file into the round entrance hall. They stand around the walls and, one by one, are called to stand on the symbol of the Gordian Knot set into the middle of the stone floor. In silence the school then waits for the enchanted carvings to react. If the Horned Serpent wants the student, the crystal set into its forehead will light up. If the Wampus wants the student, it roars. The Thunderbird signifies its approval by beating its wings, and the Pukwudgie will raise its arrow into the air.
Should more than one carving signify its wish to include the student in its house, the choice rests with the student. Very rarely – perhaps once a decade – a student is offered a place in all four houses. Seraphina Picquery, President of MACUSA 1920 – 1928, was the only witch of her generation so honoured, and she chose Horned Serpent.
It is sometimes said of the Ilvermorny houses that they represent the whole witch or wizard: the mind is represented by Horned Serpent; the body, Wampus; the heart, Pukwudgie and the soul, Thunderbird. Others say that Horned Serpent favours scholars, Wampus, warriors, Pukwudgie, healers and Thunderbird, adventurers.
I love the idea of the houses representing the whole witch/wizard
/non-binary-equivalent-of-the-word-that-doesn’t-exist-because-of-stupid-gender-norms because it shows that we all have a little of each in all of us and that our values are considered too. I got Pukwudgie, which fits cos I let my heart guide me a lot, but that doesn’t mean I don’t listen to my mind, body, and soul.
This is the same of Hogwarts houses, and a lot of people seem to forget that.
Slytherins aren’t Slytherins cos they lacked the bravery to be in Gryffindor (REGULUS ARCTURUS BLACK), Gryffindors aren’t Gryffindors cos they lacked the brains to be in Ravenclaw (HERMIONE JEAN GRANGER), Ravenclaws aren’t Ravenclaws because they aren’t loyal enough to be in Hufflepuff (LUNA LOVEGOOD), and Hufflepuffs aren’t Hufflepuffs because they lack any of the other traits (CEDRIC DIGGORY, NYMPHADORA TONKS, NEWT SCAMANDER).
The houses are about what you value – which is why the Sorting Hat listened to Harry’s pleas to not be in Slytherin but not Neville Longbottom when he asked to be in Hufflepuff. Both boys valued bravery, but Neville tried to avoid it cos he assumed he wasn’t brave enough. It’s why Hermione Granger, top of her class, was a Gryffindor and not a Ravenclaw.
Valuing a trait doesn’t make you incapable of the other traits, it just means that you place more importance on it than you do the others.
Which is why I sometimes get offended when I’m told I’m brave or smart. Because I’m not a Gryffindor or a Ravenclaw. I’m a fiercely loyal Hufflepuff with the ambition of a Slytherin.
Yes, it takes courage to be out like I am sometimes, to deal with my mental illnesses and disabilities. I’ve been told time and again that I’m brave for being an out non-binary trans person when it’s still dangerous for people like me, for talking about my self harm, my depression, my anxiety, my autism, my Tourette’s. I’ve been told I’m brave for pushing myself to keep learning despite just being hospitilaized for self harm and having to deal with my Tourette’s getting worse at the age of 19. Yes, I push myself to learn because I want to, because it would kill me to have that opportunity missed.
But I don’t value my own courage because it’s not a choice, it’s a survival skill. I don’t value my studiousness because it’s not out of a love of learning, it’s to get me to where I want to be in life.
I don’t like being told I’m a Gryffindor or Ravenclaw because while their traits are great and worth having, they aren’t ones I chose to have. They were ones I was forced to hone if I wanted to reach my goals. They’re a result of my Hufflepuff hardwork and Slytherin ambition.
Hufflepuffs are said to be loyal, hard-working, and unafraid of toil. That’s me to my very core and that’s why I get offended when people say Hufflepuffs are just the nice ones, the ones that aren’t worth being in the other houses.
I’m not a Gryffindor for existing despite being disabled and queer, and I’m not a Ravenclaw for wanting a college education. I’m not a Slytherin because I don’t put my ambition before my loyalty.
I’m a hardworking Hufflepuff who manages the toil of fighting for my rights and existence everyday while still caring for others.