Ever since I first read Harry Potter as a teenager, I assumed I was a Ravenclaw.
I did well at school and I was the only one in my primary school class who enjoyed it, and one of a handful in my high school class who had never wagged school and looked forward to learning, even though my math teacher bullied me to the point I made an official complaint and got a tutor (I wasn’t dumb, the teacher had lots of complaints against him, and I tried so hard that even a B+ wasn’t good enough in the top level. I ended up passing with an A-). I worked hard, had a straight A average, consistently received awards for high grades, and I respected my teachers. I had a love of learning that propelled me through a tertiary education and even into self-led further learning opportunities. I used to read non-fiction for fun.
So when I answered Pottermore’s quiz honestly and was sorted into Hufflepuff, I was surprised, shocked, and a little disappointed. After all, my husband took the quiz 3 times and was sorted into Gryffindor twice and Slytherin once.
And I’m a Hufflepuff?
The house that takes everyone, regardless of ability or ambition or bloodline?
The stoner house?
I started to read about Hufflepuff, the house I had always dismissed, and I quickly learned they’ve never produced a dark wizard, they have their share of high achievers but don’t brag about it, they’re hard workers, and loyal, and good. Cedric Diggory was a Hufflepuff. So was Tonks and Newt Scamander, star of the newest Potterworld film. But they’re not as cool as Gryffindor, who got fucking Neville fucking Longbottom, arguably one of the worst students of his year, and everyone knows Ravenclaw takes the smartest (except Hermione), and a lot of bloggers I meet online think of themselves as Slytherin, although I think that’s mostly to do with Tom Felton than the ideas and ideologies that Slytherin believe in.
My whole life I thought I valued intelligence over everything else. I think my best quality is my intelligence, seconded only by my loyalty. I loved watching Beauty and the Geek makeover episodes because they geeks I already found partially attractive due to their intelligence suddenly became a whole lot hotter due to their makeovers (see: sapiosexual).
But that Pottermore quiz made it clear to me that I value being good and honest and hardworking even more than I value intelligence.
And it’s not just that as a child I was one of the brightest and smartest in the class and as I’ve gotten older and become a smaller fish in a bigger pond I’ve found people at my level and ability and beyond that.
Somewhere along the way I began to doubt my own intelligence and faith in myself. I am genuinely afraid that if I was really a Ravenclaw, I’d never be able to solve the riddle to get into the common room because I either overthink things or simplify and see patterns where there just aren’t any.
I’m no longer the smartest in the room.
I might not even be in the top 10%, which is where I’ve always kind of ended up.
My intelligence is questionable.
But my loyalty, my hard working nature, and my sheer ‘goodness’ cannot be questioned.
Not when I’ll keep a friend until they hurt me so badly my relationship is forever shattered.
Not when I always put 110% into everything I do.
And not just because I was the only girl in my high school class who didn’t smoke or drink and was never invited to parties because I would never break a rule and didn’t have sex until I was 22 to the man I was already engaged to and would go on to marry.