Aaron's Heroic Qualities, Part One

I've finished reading the first three books of the Harry Potter series, and today I'll start book four. I'm enthralled with Rowling's fantasy world. Pending the quality of the remaining four books, I'd put the Potter series on par with C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia (J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings also comes to mind, but I only ever read The Hobbit, so I can't comment).

Anyway, a component of the marketing blitz surrounding the Harry Potter commercial pop culture sensation is finding out what Hogwarts House you belong to. For the uninitiated, Hogwarts is a magical school to trains young witches and wizards. It is divided into four houses, each with a distinct personality. Hufflepuff house is for the strong and loyal. Ravenclaw is for the smart and witty. Gryffindor, Harry Potter's house, is for the wise and just. It has the most noble and heroic tradition. Slytherin, the archrival of Gryffindor, is for the powerful and cunning. While Slytherin students are not necessarily evil, the house has a reputation of producing the most infamous and dangerous wizards and witches.

On the first day of school, while the magical Sorting Hat ritualistically sorted first-years into houses, Harry feared he would be put in Slytherin. The Sorting Hat told him he would make a very successful Slytherin, but after begging not to be put there, the hat put him in Gryffindor. Harry's experience symbolizes the often thin line between good and evil.

So, the other day I put on the virtual Sorting Hat, answered a few questions about the books, and was sorted into Slytherin. Slytherin! I was hurt. I'm not evil! I'm not cunning and manipulative (usually). I don't believe the ends justify the means (most of the time). I told my family the upsetting news. They had an evil son.

My sister, with whom I'm often competitive and a Gryffindor, completely agreed with the virtual Sorting Hat. She seemed almost pleased with my misfortune. Dave, a Hufflepuff, also agreed that Slytherin was the appropriate house for my personality. I felt slightly betrayed.

Then, while I was talking with Dave, I realized that I answered one of the questions incorrectly. In the magical sport of Quidditch, Harry Potter has the position of the seeker, who scores most of the points. To the question of which Quidditch position I would most like to play, I answered chaser, momentarily confusing it with seeker. I intended to choose Harry Potter's position.

I put the virtual Sorting hat on again, giving the same answers except for the question about Quidditch. That question made all the difference! I was a Gryffindor. Like Harry, I have strong tendencies towards Slytherin, but beneath the surface, my true direction is towards Gryffindor.

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