I am conducting a scientific study on what houses people are in. Reblog this post if you are proud to be a Gryffindor. (Hufflepuffs reblog this, Slytherins reblog this, and Ravenclaws reblog this)
Since reading the first Harry Potter book, I have been fascinated by the Sorting Hat. The Hat offers a special brand of magic - not just in the Harry Potter universe, but also to the fans looking in. It offers a tantalizingly simple solution to a questions of identity and belonging. With one shout of House name, it decides your character, your friends, your future. Looking outward and inward at vast unknowns, what could be more tempting?
Of course, in subsequent readings and subsequent books, I realized that Sorting does not magically expose your true self or ensure your belonging. Snape, a Slytherin, showed as much or more bravery than anyone in the books. Loony Luna, a Ravenclaw, found her best friends in Gryffindor.
Rather, a Hogwarts House turned in my mind from a sentence laid down by the Sorting Hat to an opportunity - even, as for Harry, a choice - to become who you hope to be. For an explanation, I think we can turn to Dumbledore, who of course knew all along. He says, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
When we choose a Hogwarts House, we choose the qualities we want to develop, not necessarily the ones we have. That’s why Hermione, I believe, ended up in Gryffindor over Ravenclaw - she had intelligence and wit, yes, but she wanted to become courageous and loyal. She says it herself, at the end of the first book: “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things - friendship and bravery…”
We can become who we want to be, if only we choose to do so. Harry told his son Albus as much on Platform 9 ¾, and he and his friends show us as much over the course of seven books. And so I am a Gryffindor: not because I am brave, but because I am getting braver.