How to Survive Being Sorted into Slytherin

After getting sorted into Hogwart’s worst house, you might feel like your life’s over. It’s not. Or maybe it’s not. This is bad, don’t get me wrong, but your life isn’t necessarily over. Maybe.

By Jessinta Smith, Suffolk Community College


I, like most other humans, have a love of Harry Potter.

So way back when the lovely J.K. Rowling announced that the pottermore site was to come, I was filled with glee.

I knew I would become a Gryffindor. I am smart and brave and really cocky and think I’m important like most Gryffindors do. I signed up for the beta and was proven right! Yes!

But a lot of people said that if you retried with the same answers, you would get a new house. I tried it out and I did. I got Ravenclaw, which was way off for me. So the beta version’s ideas weren’t what I thought, and I didn’t trust those answers. I kept on with my belief: I was a Gryffindor.

Then the new version of the website went up, which is a lot better in my opinion. I couldn’t remember my old password, so I just figured I would start from scratch and make a new account. That’s when it happened. That’s when I took that fateful sorting hat test. That’s when I answered those questions. That’s when I knew.

I was a Slytherin.

Something had to have gone wrong! Something had to be amiss! I am not a SLYTHERIN! I’m a GRYFFINDOR! I am COURAGEOUS!Except when it comes to bugs that can fly and the dark, but that isn’t the point. I am BRAVE! Again, except when it comes to bugs that can fly and the dark. I wasn’t a SLYTHERIN! I’m not a MALFOY! Gross! Wrong!

So I tried again.

And again I got Slytherin.

I felt like Ms. Rowling had personally come to my home and said, “Well, Jess, it’s because I hate you.”

I felt like a traitor. What would my family think of their Slytherin daughter? What would my boyfriend think? What would my friends think? How would I share this news? How could I let them all down like this? My life was over. I was a Slytherin. I felt gross and dirty, like after you ride in the really gross subway car. I was an abomination.

When I told my friends every single one of them went, “Yeah, I could have told you that.” Excuse me? What? You KNEW? You didn’t tell me?! You let me live my life not knowing I was a Slytherin?!

When I tried to argue that I wasn’t a Slytherin, that I was a Gryffindor, most of them laughed. Some looked concerned, like I had told them I could see pixies flying above their head. This was it. The end of my life.

I was going to end up like Bellatrix. Killing Sirius and crying because god dammit Sirius is my favorite character. This notion was not helped when I told my boyfriend frantically of this linkage and his response was, “Well yeah, you are like a not-as-crazy-or-evil Bellatrix.” I wanted to leave him. How dare he. I am not Bellatrix! I would not kill Sirius.

I took some time to myself after discovering this person inside me that I had never known. Did I not know myself? Did I not understand who I was as a person? Do I have no morals? I always thought I was a decent person, but maybe I’m not.

Maybe I am a Bellatrix. Maybe I do kill Sirius. Maybe I do have an obsession with a psychopathic wizard murderer who tries to kill babies. That would explain my odd love for villains. Maybe I would end up insane but with amazing hair, and I don’t really think I would have a problem with it. Sanity might be a payoff for great hair. That is a real trade I would happily make.

And maybe because I would happily make this trade, it is a sign that I couldn’t because I don’t have much sanity to offer if I’m willing to give it away for hair. So maybe I am a Slytherin. Maybe I can relate to one of the most horrible Slytherins there was. Not the most horrible Slytherin though, because no one liked that bitch and we all know it. Maybe this was it, I was a Slytherin. A horrible, no good Slytherin.

I had come into acceptance, and I didn’t have to throw away all of my morals to do it. I was a Slytherin, but Snape was too and hey he was a decent guy!

Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe I could find the balance of being a badass, get-what-I-want Slytherin, and still find compassion in my heart for others. Maybe I didn’t have to be snobby or a Pureblood; maybe being a Slytherin was more than we all think it is.

Maybe being a Slytherin is actually just being powerful and having the ability to choose what you do with your power, and wasn’t actually about being evil. And while Slytherin does produce a LOT of dark wizards, maybe it just has a bad rep and is really just about producing powerful wizards.

While Slytherin is full of terrible wizards and witches, it also has some decent ones. Snape was a good-hearted guy, and Slytherin was home to Merlin. Merlin was very powerful, and totally famous in the wizarding world, so it can’t all be bad.

After I made these realizations I felt really great about being a Slytherin. It didn’t mean I was evil or lacking morals, just that I was powerful, the same way that Ron showed us that not every Gryffindor is brave (boy was terrified of spiders), and the way Hermoine showed us that it isn’t just Ravenclaws who are intelligent.

I had come to the conclusion that I had been reduced to labeling people based off of their houses, even though the books taught that you shouldn’t do that. I learned that being a Slytherin wasn’t a death sentence, and that I wasn’t going to go around murdering random people and babies. I was a part of a very powerful house, and that’s really great. So go on, be your badass Slytherin self.