A True Hufflepuff

Warning: This is going to contain a lot of emotional Harry Potter things.

Yesterday, a terrifying thing happened. Pottermore re-released the Sorting Hat quiz. In a frenzy, I immediately went to my phone, created a new account and took the quiz while sitting at the breakfast table with my friends. And then a shocking thing occured. For the first time, on any real Harry Potter quiz I had ever taken, I was sorted somewhere other than Hufflepuff. I thought my world was ending. I threw down my phone and I almost started crying at the restaurant. This is not an exaggeration, I’m pretty sure my server was also fairly concerned for my well-being. When my friends asked me what was wrong I didn’t know how to articulate what I was feeling so I showed them the phone screen — I had been sorted into Ravenclaw.

Now let me take a moment and make it clear that there is NOTHING wrong with Ravenclaw. In fact there are so many things that are right for me about Ravenclaw, and I truly feel like I would have done well in Ravenclaw. I love learning, if I could be a student for the rest of my life I would be the happiest person alive. The entrance to Ravenclaw’s Common Room sounds like my idea of fun. I watch Jeopardy almost every day, I read as much as I can and I am my favorite part of my old job was when one of my peers would create quizzes to test me on my knowledge. Yes, that is my idea of fun. I crave understanding and these are just some of the qualities that absolutely would make me a proud Ravenclaw. But I know in my heart I am a Hufflepuff.

The first time I took the Pottermore quiz, back in the Beta days, I sorted into Hufflepuff. I was so proud and so relieved that my feelings were validated. Finally, a quiz that JK Rowling helped create told me what I knew to be true all along. So naturally I had to take it a second time just to be sure. In retrospect, that is a very Ravenclaw thing to do. The logical part of my brain wanted to be sure that the Sorting Hat was 100% sure that my Hufflepuffness was tried and true. And 5–6 years ago, whenever that was — the Sorting Hat proved me right. And then yesterday happened.

As I sat at the breakfast table yesterday morning, my heart sunk and I began to feel sick. How could something that had proved me right all those years ago let me down in the most heartbreaking way? How could the Sorting Hat do this to me? I allowed my friends to console me, and to remind me of a few important things:

Pottermore’s Sorting Hat quiz will always be inherently flawed because it doesn’t take the quiz taker’s preferred or desired house into account.

This is something we saw the Sorting Hat do with Harry. In my opinion, this likely happened with Luna as well. This may or may not be Pottermore cannon but I like to imagine that Luna Lovegood was in the same boat as me but chose Ravenclaw. Luna to me embodies as many Ravenclaw qualities as she does Hufflepuff but ultimately she chose Ravenclaw because that is where she best saw herself learning and growing. Maybe it’s because I see so much of the kind of person I want to be in Luna that I view her in this way.

“I’m not going to take the new, improved Pottermore quiz. If Hogwarts got a new sorting hat after you graduated, would you go back to re-sort?” -Rainbow Rowell

This one was very helpful for me. In the Harry Potter series…sorting only happens once. You don’t re-sort every year. In fact, you don’t re-sort at all and you carry that House pride with you for the rest of your life. It’s a beautiful and marvelous thing. For so many months and so many years, these people become your friends and ultimately they become your family. And I’m not saying that inter-house friendships don’t or shouldn’t happen because that’s absolutely not true. My best friend since Freshman year of High School is an absolute Slytherin and I love him to death. I would do anything for him. However, your Common Room is your Safe Space. Harry isn’t going to go back for his 10-year Hogwarts reunion and say “Let me try on that old Sorting Hat, see what house it would put me in now!” No. He knows he is a Gryffindor. Just like I know I am a Hufflepuff. Who happened to have sorted into Ravenclaw once on a (important) internet quiz.

Naturally, this morning I created a new account, and without any surprise I sorted into Hufflepuff. I don’t know if I can express the feeling of relief that washed over me. The pages turned yellow and suddenly I felt like I was at Home again. Now you may laugh, because yet again, I did a very Ravenclaw thing to prove my Hufflepuff point. I was so happy. I finally felt safe again. I was no longer treading in uncertain water. I felt balanced and centered like this is where I was supposed to have been all along. What I’m realizing now, is that even in my one day as a sorted Ravenclaw, I have been a Hufflepuff all along.

Earlier today, I saw someone post something about having taken the quiz three times and each time they got sorted into Hufflepuff. The mentioned how happy they were to be a “True Hufflepuff.” Suddenly, I felt a new set of fears I never had experienced before. Would my House no longer accept me because I sorted into Ravenclaw? Would they think me less of a Hufflepuff for having done so? The answer to both of these questions is 100% No. And I know this. And I also know that the statement I read was not one of malice but one of true pride and joy. One that perhaps I would have made, had I not sorted into Ravenclaw yesterday.

For those of you who experienced House confusion yesterday, I am right there with you. I empathize with you because I wish I didn’t need that fourth Sorting Hat quiz to tell me what I already knew to be completely true. I wish I didn’t need that congratulatory message welcoming me home, but I did. I know that the qualities of a Hufflepuff are the ones I try to embody in my daily life, as a friend, as a peer, and as a mentor. I know I am a True Hufflepuff even through my Hatstall. Just like Harry is a True Gryffindor even though the Sorting Hat was tempted to place him in Slytherin. Where your heart tells you you should be, that is your True house, even if a quiz told you otherwise. So while I can’t change your Pottermore background screen, I have gotten something for you.

For my True Slytherins:

For my True Gryffindors:

For my True Ravenclaws:

And lastly, for my True Hufflepuffs:

Welcome to the home where you have always belonged.