ABSTRACT: Pottermore: the chance for all of us to be officially sorted into one of the four houses through a quiz made by J.K. Rowling herself. But what happens when youâre in the opposite house from what you thought youâd be in? It happened to me.
Finally. After staying up all night for the clues, waiting a day for the confirmation, and another month or two for the welcome e-mail, I finally log into Pottermore and am ready to be sorted into my house. This is the final word: years of discussions, guessing, and online quizzes all lead up to this, the quiz made by J.K. Rowling herself. Into which house will I be placed? Iâm sure to be a Ravenclaw; everyone I know agrees.
Even so, as I see the first question, I am no longer a girl shut up in her bedroom staring at a computer screen. I am eleven years old again, and I am walking up the steps into the Great Hall and placing the Sorting Hat on my head. There are butterflies positively living in my stomach. Has my whole life led up to this? My reputation, my dignity, everything relies on the Sorting Hatâs verdict. Am I being overly dramatic? Absolutely not.
Closing my eyes and taking a deep breath, I submit my final answer. I am a Ravenclaw, I know it. How could I not be? Iâm good in school, Iâm a know-it-all, and Iâm smart. I love thinking outside the box. Thereâs no way I couldnât be a Ravenclaw. Heartened, I open my eyes.
And the world falls away beneath my feet.
I'm a Hufflepuff.
Even the infamous Slytherin house would be better than this. At least itâs respectable.
I am going to be the laughing-stock of my entire Potter-loving family.
Desperately, I click back, hoping I can somehow change my answers. The computer laughs in my face, redirecting me to the same page, with my âWelcomeâ letter. I close my eyes and lean my head against the wall. I could forget all about this account and get a new one. But then Iâd have to wait until October or later. There was no way to get past this. The butterflies in my stomach turned into a potion of broiling shame.
I read through my welcome letter, ranting on about loyalty, blah blah blah. There must be some mistake. Shutting my laptop, I venture downstairs to tell my family the unfortunate news. My motherâs reaction is exactly as I expected: upon hearing that Iâm a Hufflepuff, she immediately laughs, but quickly takes pity on me. My brothers also scoff. And theyâre not even the worst ones. When my cousins find out... I shudder at the thought.
I paste a smile on my face, telling myself to just accept it: I was placed in Hufflepuff, and Iâm stuck there. Fed up with Pottermore, I turn off my computer and go to bed.
Later on, I decide that I just need to suck it up and learn to live with being in the most ridiculed house of all. And if Iâm going to be a Hufflepuff, I might as well enjoy it. So I begin looking deeper into the qualities of a Hufflepuff, beginning from what it plainly says in the welcome letter.
The first thing it says is that Hufflepuffs are fiercely loyal and hard workers. I really love the comparison to the houseâs emblem animal: the badger. Because of popular television programs for kids, I was brought up believing that badgers were fluffy, caring, huggable creatures. It wasnât until much later that I learned of the badgerâs true savage and violent nature. However, Hufflepuffs think of the badger as one of the most loyal animals: protective of itself, its young and its home, it will ferociously guard against all attackers when provoked. A badger can even fight off âanimals much larger than itself, including wolvesâ. Thinking of Hufflepuffs as fierce badgers really changes its outlook.
I think another thing that appealed to me about Hufflepuff is that itâs the underdog house: always underestimated, always shunned. I knew that the houseâs reputation was against me. Hufflepuffs are also written off as soft, dumb, dimwitted. I know I am none of those things. My 90%+ average at school should prove that. I would have to fight for my honour and my houseâs, and I embraced the challenge.
If there is one thing that Hufflepuff house can boast of (not that Hufflepuffs really boast), itâs that we have turned out the least amount of Dark wizards. Does this prove anything? Maybe it shows that most Hufflepuffs are just decent people, and loyal to the good values that Hogwarts is supposed to teach.
The more I read about Hufflepuff house outside of the unsatisfactory information the Potter books give, the more I was able to apply it to my life and the more I realized that I really was a Hufflepuff. Do I not furiously defend what I care about when someone challenges it? I know I do exactly that when some fool dares to criticise Harry Potter (What can I say? Iâm a Potter freak!). I love debating with others, because defending my points is sort of a passion of mine. I also read through the descriptions of my wand wood, length and core. They all seem to fit together, mentioning loyalty, trust and defending loved ones. The final example? Iâm defending my house, Hufflepuff, right now.
Whether I like it or not, Hufflepuff is my house, and Iâm proud to be in it. Iâve learned a lot about myself from the Sorting, and when my cousins were also sorted into Hufflepuff, I helped them come to terms with it too. What can I say? We take care of our own. There is a lot more to all the Hogwarts houses than any of us thought, Hufflepuff included. J.K. Rowling is finally letting us all in on the secrets of the houses. I am a Hufflepuff at heart, and I am proud.
Natalie McDonald, who appeared in Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire, was based on a real girl Rowling knew who was dying of leukemia. She wrote to JK Rowling asking what was going to happen in the next Harry Potter book as she would not live long enough to read it.