When I was first sorted way back when (circa 2012) I was a Gryffindor and proud. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were all Gryffindors and they were heroes. Gryffindor suited me. It was the house with the most merchandise, it was the house that I knew the most about, and the house had a really cool crest. What’s not to like about Nearly Headless Nick and the trio?
I went through the checklist of Gryffindor House Traits:
Bravery: check. I woke my little sister up in the morning.
Courage: check. I could totally walk through my house in the dark.
Daring: check. Once, I had thrown my mom’s cigarettes in the toilet (and flushed!).
Nerve: check. In class, I had raised my hand once or twice.
Chivalry: sure, why not? I hold doors for everyone.
And, I was pretty content with this analysis. These are good traits to have – especially for little 16-year-old me who had only read books 1-4 (still true) and who had only seen the movies 1-6 (also, still true). I was in high school, and that in itself was a daily challenge. It was a high compliment for shy, quiet me to be considered brave by any stretch of the imagination. I’d bragged about being in the same house as Harry, Ron, and Hermione to a friend or two, and I’d gotten Gryffindor wands for Christmas. I was content with being Gryffindor.
Recently in 2015, the Pottermore website was updated. Of course, I had to resort myself. I had to see if I was still as brave and chivalrous as I was the first time I’d been sorted. I had to prove myself to still be a Gryffindor through and through. I still thought of myself as brave and had come out of my shell a bit more since my first sorting. There was no way I couldn’t be in Gryffindor.
I was wrong. And, as it turned out, I wasn’t Gryffindor. I didn’t pass the test.
I had become a Hufflepuff. (gasp!)
Loyal: I’d stayed with the same company for years.
Patient: I work with the elderly, enough said.
True: I do not lie, unless absolutely necessary.
Unafraid of Toil: I guess this one depends on your definition of “toil.”
Due to this slight conflict in identity, a slew of questions popped into my mind. If JK Rowling says that I am a Gryffindor, then I am a Gryffindor; but she also says I’m a Hufflepuff. Does that mean that I am no longer a Gryffindor? Do I have to return my wands? Do I have to swap out my lion for a badger? Does this mean that I’ve changed? How does one Hufflepuff?
After some serious thought on identity, I’ve decided that it is okay to not categorize yourself. Part of me enjoys the comradery that comes with the organization involved in houses and labels, however, another part of me realizes that these things are just arbitrary. I’ve combined my Once-A-Gryffindor-Now-A-Hufflepuff status and allowed myself to be both. I am not one or the other, I am a Gryffinpuff, brave and loyal, courageous and patient, nerve and truthful, chivalrous and (somewhat) unafraid of toil (depending on your definition). And, I’m perfectly content with that. Over time, people change and grow. I’ve grown out my high school shyness (and into a college-type shyness) and I’ve become someone who is okay with voicing her opinions on things. I’ve become okay with being wrong. In my opinion, it’s okay to label yourself as whatever you want to label yourself as, however, that label should not be the only thing that defines you as a person. We are all multifaceted beings. We are allowed to exist in multiple spaces and categories, or not. Your preference.
From now on, I’ll be buying twice the merch and having double the fun.
What’s your favorite part of your Hogwarts house?