The Burrow: Gryffindor Equals Bravery

by Rachael J

Most would agree that courage is the attribute that makes Gryffindors Gryffindors. However, there are several questions concerning certain members of whether they were put in the right place or not. One thing’s for sure, the sorting hat doesn’t lie and I’ll tell you why.

Let’s first take a look at courage. What is it? I find the best way to explain it is to paraphrase a dear Professor Utonium of The Powerpuff Girls. He states that, being brave is not being fearless, it’s being able to do what needs to be done no matter how scared you are. Truly, being brave is harder than being fearless and so is such a respectable attribute. Looking at bravery in this way also shows how people such as Peter and Neville are in the house.

Peter and Neville can hardly be thought of as fearless, but this doesn’t stop them from being Gryffindors. In fact, they both used one of the highest forms of courage possible. In PS/SS Dumbledore himself states: “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” Ah, see it? Both Neville AND Peter stood up to their friends, even if Peter did it sneakily. He knew how advanced and great wizards his past friends were, he knew the danger, was definitely scared, but still did what he thought to be right: to follow the biggest bully in the playground.

This brings us around to a Gryffindor everyone is ticked off with: Percy. If it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your friends, imagine how much it must take to stand up to your family. If Percy was truly timid, he would not have been able to stand up to his father like that. Percy did what he thought needed to be done, to break ties with people he thought were harmful to him.

Back to Professor Utonium’s statement on courage, it also explains why Hermione is in Gryffindor and not in Ravenclaw. True, Hermione went on those adventures with Harry and Ron, but didn’t Luna do something no less than Hermione in OotP? Hermione’s courage goes so deep as to actually be engraved in her personality. In other words, she can’t help but to do what needs to be done in the face of something she’s afraid of. What is Hermione afraid of? PoA shows us with a boggart dressed as a teacher giving her a horrible grade. This shows that this is a constant fear for her, her greatest fear. So what does she do? She studies, studies, studies. She studies because she’s afraid of it, but brave enough to do something about it.

Gryffindor equals bravery, it’s something they have. Ravenclaws may be clever, but in the face of danger might not be able to use it. Slytherins are cunning also, but when facing fear they’ll do whatever they can to get out. Hufflepuffs would probably be a mixture of Ravenclaw and Slytherin, a combination of running away or freezing up. Though very generalized comments on the other three houses’ valor, Gryffindor shows its strength that every member is brave in some way, even if it’s not honorable.