Harry Potter and everything to do with the Sorting really has been prominent in my mind as of late. Particularly the day I actually took the Pottermore quiz the time it first opened.
I was eleven, the movie franchise started, which was when the next generation of kids were canonically being born, as well as the tensions with the whole muggle-magical folk lessening.
Everyone around me seemed to be crazy for this series, while I was sitting back wondering why everyone was so obsessed. I saw the first movie for the first time on a school bus heading from camp back home. While silently watching, I realized I resonated with the quiet moments and bold moments Harry had in the first movie. To this day, I love those scenes. I had a difficulty explaining why to myself, but now I realize it was because that’s who I was. Quiet, visably calm and collected, yet faced challenges head on, not thinking about being afraid when fear began to seep into consciousness. Just keep trudging along, keep fighting, no matter how many obstacles were in my way. Just not allowing fear to be a concept whether I was conscious of it or not.
That’s not to say I didn’t have fear. I was afraid of a lot of things, loud, shouting voices, angry and red faces, doing something wrong, not meeting up to my own and my teacher’s expectations, certain peers that teased and bullied me. The bullying, while no where near as bad as bullying could be the older I got, it was a factor I thought and talked about, a lot .
Being eleven, it was also around the time I became much more self aware of my differences, realizing how I didn’t know how to make and keep relationships with peers my age. Everything moved too fast, social nuances other peers seemed to understand almost immediately, I stayed behind and struggled. Even concepts you were “supposed” to understand at that age, I failed to see what was the purpose of those said subjects. So I shrugged it off and figured, “Well, I can’t understand it anyway, it’s of no use to me, so why bother?”
Onto the subject of Houses, back then, while I still wasn’t interested in Harry Potter, I wanted to be in anything other than Hufflepuff or Slytherin. I didn’t see myself in either house, since I hated the idea of either being in the “weak” house (i. e Hufflepuff) or the “evil” house. I liked how everyone seemed to love the Gryffindors, and I wanted to be seen by my peers. I started to want the attention, I wanted to socialize, while still maintaining my individuality, not becoming part of “the pride” to the point where I lose myself. Of course, this proved to be more difficult in many ways the older I went into the grade, especially middle school. I was always seen as the “good” kid by most teachers, which seemed to make enemies in some peers, misjudging my silence, oddities, and blunt honesty as being stuck up, shy, or even nasty. So I just got used to the idea of always being the lone wolf, retreating to my safe haven, with my books, writing, animals, and cartoons. I wasn’t judged there, I had control of my environment there, where anything could happen, or didn’t even have to happen. Boredom was a rarity, since I could entertain myself.
When I entered into Pottermore, I was of course, sorted and into it later than everyone else, being an on and off again fan. I had no expectations of what House I’d be sorted in. Or so I thought…once I saw the green banner, my mouth gaped. I just paused staring at the screen. I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t happy, I was intrigued and confused. It just wasn’t an option I considered for myself. But after the fact, I looked up Slytherin things online, read posts on tumblr, took other Sorting Hat quizzes only to find out that Slytherin was exactly the House I could only accept as an answer. With Hufflepuff as a second possibility.
I suppose my point in this, if I was sorted into any house, I think I could have been sorted into Slytherin even at eleven. Not because I just naturally edged to darkness, not because I preferred solace and isolation, and especially since at that point, the “pure bloodedness” idea was slowly becoming outdated, even in Slytherin House. But because the Sorting would have known I would need to go through those challenges to get where I am now. To embrace all of me, accept who I am, to understand that I need to go into the dark to swallow, digest, inhale, emerse, make friends with the inner parts of me, every part, before I could even fathom having a connection with a fellow human being. If I was in another House, I would always feel that something was missing, incomplete, worth searching and discovering because it would better Self. If I was sorted into another House, I would always feel I was neglecting myself, keep up with the self destructive and dangerous idea that I had to sacrifice every piece of myself in order to be accepted by everyone else, whose thoughts and opinions are as fickle and ever changing as the seasons, when the one I really had to please, to accept, it was me.
I had to slide and slither through the mud before I could reach the river, to the lake, to the ocean, where I would make and create myself.