When I first read the Harry Potter books, I knew I wanted to be sorted into Gryffindor. Every test I take online agreed, too. But do I have the actual trait of bravery that defines the house? It’s true I do things other people consider brave, like travelling on my own, even though I don’t think it’s anything impressive. It’s also true that I naturally try and avoid things I find scary. Did I subconsciously pick the options I knew would lead to that house? Well, maybe.
But I don’t think it would matter, because of one fact people forget: you can choose. And I think that students at Hogwarts are sorted not on the traits they have, but on the traits they value. Since most children will choose the house based on their values, that’s why it works. This explains how Peter Pettigrew ended up in Gryffindor – he asked to go there, and bravery was something he didn’t have but did want, and he looked up to the other Marauders who had it. On the other hand, Neville who asked to go into Hufflepuff was sorted into Gryffindor, because he admired his parents and wished he could be as brave as them, but didn’t think he was. Of course, we all know of Neville’s bravery at this point, but back then, eleven-year-old Neville didn’t think he had any, even though he wanted to. And Crabbe and Goyle, who never show any shred of ambition, probably asked to go into Slytherin.
And why wasn’t Hermione sorted into Ravenclaw? She says on the Hogwarts Express that she’d been asking around and wants Gryffindor. Also, every time she puts her hand up in class, knowing her classmates will laugh and call her a know-it-all, she’s being brave. Every time she goes into an exam, when failure is her biggest fear, she’s performing an act of extraordinary bravery. You have to remember that Hermione doesn’t want knowledge for knowledge’s sake, she wants to learn so she can be the best. Which does play into the negative trait of Gryffindors as always wanting glory.
Why do I not want Ravenclaw for myself, when I read so much? In school, I was often the person with my hand up. However, picking up a lot of information from daily life is not the same as purposefully learning it. Personally, I struggle with learning. I like reading non-fiction books at times, but the repetition you have to do to actually learn something tends to bore me. Now, I’m not saying that I dislike learning and never do it, just that it is a chore for me. Which is something I’m aware of and take into consideration when I have to learn. And while I always seemed to do well in class participation, the second I was given a worksheet and a book, my mind would wander. In fact, participating in class was a coping mechanism of mine to keep myself listening.
What’s your Hogwarts house? Do you feel you fit it’s traits exactly?