I am Gryffindor, and I don’t like it.
In my late experience with the Harry Potter series, I have been pleasantly surprised. When I was a small, naive child, I was was taught that such books were from the pits of Hell. I was also taught that it was cool to make fun of them. Wizards and witches, they haven’t got anything on an Istari (Gandalf beats Dumbledore any day).
And although that may be true, I have never regretted passively hating a series so much.
My misled childhood aside, I dived into the series and was very excited to see which house I was to be divided into. Ravenclaw? I was quite the book worm, after all. Slytherin? I figured them misunderstood and I could go for it. Hufflepuff? I wanted to be Hufflepuff so badly. I can’t even describe the way I was wishing for that badger to show on the results. They were loyal and kind! I considered myself a loyal and kind person.
What I got? Well, by the title you already know. I got Gryffindor. In denial, and knowing no one else had seen the results, I took the test again. And again. And again.
Gryffindor. Every time.
At first, I began to think the reason I wasn’t happy with my result was that Gryffindor was a little overrated. In fact, if it was up to Dumbledore, the lion sporting house would get “ten points…” every time someone sneezed.
But one word stuck out to me in the description. Pride.
It struck home, and it struck hard.
Pride is a writer’s companion, as well as their worst enemy. I remember my Writing Professor saying in one of my first writing classes;
“Do you think you struggle with pride?”
“Of course not.” I thought to myself. “I’m a humble person.”
“Well, if you don’t think so,” the Professor continued. “Then have you ever had trouble sharing your work? Have you ever been offended at constructive criticism?”
I was speechless. I never thought I struggled with pride, but then I looked more closely and saw it everywhere in my life. A writer’s companion indeed. I still see it rise its ugly head. Even Harry Potter thinks I have a problem with it.
But never fear, for with an unfortunate pride comes courage, and bravery. That is essential to writing.
Moral of the story? Be proud of being Gryffindor, Nathanael. If nothing else, you are at least recognizing your life’s antagonist. And it’s not all bad. I can see the courageous part of me rise up every now and then. I’m sometimes brave, and ready to take on great challenges. I like to think myself chivalrous and daring, even though it’s probably more subtle than I think it is.
Own up to who you are. It makes an essential impact on your writing. Be Gryffindor, be proud, then be humbled by all those who would see you rise even higher.
“You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;”
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling, pp 118).