In a fit of geekiness my brother and I went on Pottermore to be sorted. I had my blue and bronze flag ready, and was thoroughly shocked to be sorted in to Slytherin.
image courtesy of Pixaby
Because books are my thing I went to the library (Google) and discovered that I got a Slytherin result because of my love for water (and probably Gothic spaces).
So. New Pottermore account. Re take the test. Sorted.
The appeal of the under-snake
I’ve always had a secret sympathy for Slytherins. It can’t have been easy to be in silver and green through either the marauder era, of the years Harry was at Hogwarts. The way that Dumbledore announces the winners of the house cup at the end of the first book feels unnecessarily cruel, as do McGonagall’s actions precluding them from the final battle.
Snape: a definitive reading by Lorrie Kim expands on the vague discontent I have always felt with the way Slytherin’s are pushed to the periphery in the books and are automatically mistrusted. The series from a Slytherin POV is a very different read and I recommend it as an easy and insightful read in what might be going on in the head of a character that we are never really allowed to get close to. The section on Prisoner of Azkaban certainly made me less of a Remus fangirl.
So, who am I?
I can be ambitious, determined and slightly crafty, or at least there are days when I really want to be while my subconscious is repeatedly telling me that this is not how good girls behave. Yet, for me that is part of what a witch or wizard should be – edgy and on the periphery, challenging boundaries and perspectives, and taking disrespect from no one.
Slytherin ticks all these boxes. Ravenclaw would be too comfortable for me, too safe, and I would never learn anything new about myself. I would never take the time to see the world differently.
And Slytherin House has Severus Snape so any argument against them is invalid.
Too many boxes?
Something that still bother me is Dumbledore’s claim that he felt the school sorted to soon. Is he implying Snape shouldn’t be in Slytherin? That Snape could accomplish any of the things he does if he didn’t have those slightly shady and socially unacceptable Slytherin characteristics that allow him to be self-sufficient, committed and confident enough to lie to Voldermort’s face?
Or is it an acknowledgement that no personality is ever so clear cut?
Perhaps the problem here (apart from me getting way too obsessed with the results of an internet quiz) is that Hogwarts sorts at all. In a society where there are already divisions is it healthy to split up the students and faculty further? Should the focus of magical education be on highlighting differences rather than similarities?
I am now wearing my snake badge with pride, but that doesn’t make me less of a book lover. Labels can be useful but also restrictive. They are not all that a person is, and as Dumbledore also says at the end of the Goblet of Fire we are strong when we stand together, and weak when we are divided.
In a world that’s changing it’s important to not only celebrate what makes us different, but to remember everything that makes us the same.