Like many, many people, I love Harry Potter. I have read the books several times and recently started reading the series to Newt. The movies? Own them all and tune in every time ABC Family (Now called Freeform- because, let’s face it- there is not much “family” in their programming) does a Harry Potter movie marathon- even if it is just on in the background. Ok- that’s not entirely true- it seems that channel exists only to play Harry Potter movies, Pretty Little Liars and (thankfully) Hocus Pocus in October. So I probably tune in about half of the time they have a marathon.
Several years ago I sat at my computer after everyone else had gone to bed. I was finally prepared to be sorted into my house. There are many “Which Harry Potter House are you in” quizzes to be found, but only one true quiz. The one JK Rowling herself developed. The one from Pottermore.
I knew I wouldn’t be in Gryffindor. Gryffindor is great and all, but I am know myself and “bravery, nerve, daring”- not really how I would describe myself if only allowed a few words. Ravenclaw is where I longed to be. Intelligence, wit, wisdom, creativity? THAT is my style. The name is awesome. Colors- Blue and Bronze? Check- love them. But alas, in my heart of hearts, I knew I was destined for- sigh- Hufflepuff.
Look- there are great wizards from Hufflepuff, such as Cedric Diggory and my favorite character (from the books anyway- grossly underutilized in the movies), Tonks. Hufflepuffs value hard work, dedication, patience, kindness, tolerance…basically the social workers of the wizarding world. There is certainly no shame in being a Hufflepuff. In fact, the traits they value are the same traits I value in real life. The traits that I hope to embody. But, it is so not the cool kid house. So not glam or sexy.
So, there I was, sipping wine, taking my quiz and steeling myself for the yellow and black badger crest to appear when I hit submit, when I found myself instead spitting out my wine as a green and silver crest with a snake appeared.
SLYTHERIN!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOO! Clearly the test was mistake. There was no way in this actual world that I was a Slytherin. I suddenly knew how Harry must have felt when he sat there with the Sorting Hat on his head whispering, “Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.” Except, no, Slytherin was not even an option for me. Not even a thought in my head.
As I said, everyone in the house was asleep and though I was having a virtual identity crisis in my dining room, I thought better of waking the husband to process this new information I just learned about myself- he did have to be up at 4AM for work the next day.
Instead, I examined the evidence. The first thing I did (after I poured myself another glass of wine), was read the Welcome Letter, which you can read here. You can read the paraphrasing of my inner dialogue right here:
Emblem is the serpent, wisest of creatures- ok- I like wisdom. Dormitory is in the dungeon- not cool- oh wait, it is under water. I like water. I might be able to see a giant squid from my bedroom window? I can live with that. Dungeons feel like a mysterious shipwreck? Ok- so the dorm is pretty cool. Reassurances that not all Slytherins are dark wizards… well that’s good. Wait a minute- Merlin was a Slytherin. Not too shabby. The “coolest and edgiest house.” Why, that is the opposite of Hufflepuff. I can be cool and edgy. No- I AM cool and edgy and FINALLY someone sees that (the someone being JK Rowling of course). Let’s see- I don’t like all of the negative talk about the other houses, but I do play to win and I do take care of my own. “Greatness” is a word I like. I want to do everything better than mediocre- I want to be the best. Maybe I AM A SLYTHERIN.
When I think about it, the evidence has been there the whole time. I am a Scorpio- a water sign. Slytherins are associated with water. Scorpios and Slytherins are also the badassiest of their respective categories. And it’s not just me that makes the connections between Scorpios and Slytherins, see here. Additionally, I was born in the Year of the Snake and the snake is the symbol of Slytherin. Coincidence? Apparently not. I am resourceful, ambitious, clever, determined, a good leader….By the time I went to bed that night, I accepted my new reality and shortly after, fully embraced it. I even have a “Proud Slytherin” board on my Pinterest.
Fast forward to today. Over the past few days, I a blog post has been germinating in my head about how by embracing my Slytherin traits I have found the strength and determination to make much needed, positive life changes. It was going to be a really good post too- very empowering.
But then I read something somewhere about how the Pottermore website was revamped. Being curious about the changes to the website, I decided to log in. With the revamping, I had to sign up anew, which is fine, since I always have to dig up old emails to find my username as it used to be generated from Pottermore and was LumosWillow666 or something equally annoying. Now your email is your user name. Once registered to the new site, you have the option of either choosing your previously sorted house or taking the quiz again. In order to choose your previously sorted house, you have to enter your previous user name- which I already established would have taken some extra time and effort. Now that I have firmly embraced my Slytherin identity, I figured the quiz would be the easier route.
I had zero anxiety as I submitted my sorting quiz results. I was so sure of my rightful house. But this time, instead of my now beloved green and silver crest, up pops the crest of Ravenclaw!
What the what?!?!?!?!?!?
A few short years ago, I longed to be in Ravenclaw and here I am, officially sorted into that house. But now, I’m pissed. I have zero feelings of connection to that house. I frantically searched the site trying to find a way to retake the quiz, or enter my previous house, or cancel my account- to no avail. In fact, in several places, Pottermore makes it clear, once you are sorted into a house on the new site, this is your house FOREVER. I considered cancelling my email account so I could reboot everything and start again. It only took me a few seconds to realize I only needed to create a new gmail account, to create a new Pottermore account and enter my previous sorting results to take my rightful place among the other Slytherin of the world. But then I decided to approach it like a true Slytherin and I have this to say:
You are dead to me Pottermore. Dead to me.