It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that I am a pretty big fan of Harry Potter – world, series, characters, all of it. And, probably like many readers, I empathised with Harry, and also Hermione, and fancied myself a bit of a Gryffindor. So when Pottermore came out and I could finally get that One Definitive Answer about what house I was supposed to be in* (because we all know fan-made ones are only as right or as wrong as they confirm your own initial bias :D), I was SUPER excited.
* Yes, yes, I know the sorting hat takes your choices into consideration 😛
And then I was in Slytherin.
I was a little crushed initially, but when I told my family and friends (my sisters are both Potter fans too), without exception they were all, Yeah, of course you are, duh!!
It took me a while to really learn to love my house, but all the fan-created paraphernalia that supports the house, and the explanations – they helped a lot. To the point that when the new Pottermore was released and I had to set up a new account and retake the sorting test and OH MY GOSH IT PUT ME IN RAVENCLAW, I was Not Okay with this.**
** Like my original sorting, however, I have learned to live with this one, and I think it’s actually extremely accurate to call me a Slytherclaw.
Because, you see, Slytherins aren’t all evil. In fact, we’re actually quite adorably loveable, and I stand firmly by my twitter motto of ‘nicest Slytherin you’ll ever meet’ 😀 (And then I discovered this Tumblr, and oh my gosh, YES, like 98% of those observations-about-Slytherins are MEEEEEE.)
Yes, Slytherins are driven by ambition, but ambition in and of itself isn’t evil. It’s what you’re ambitious for that makes the difference.
Derek Murphy, YA author and professional cover designer, sent out a newsletter recently that said this: “Ambition is seeing something you want to change in the world and making it a reality through the strength of your own will … changing what is into what can be.” (original emphasis).
Heck yes, I am ambitious. Always have been. My grades at school reflect that, as does the fact that I currently work full time, am making significant in-roads into being a professional writing, am running my own mini-publishing company, have a burgeoning cake business, and run a baby-things small business with my husband. Oh yeah, and I parent occasionally in there too O:)
But I was never that kid who cried when I didn’t get an A. I never felt good when I beat my equally-high achieving friends. I was, dare I say it, really relieved when I didn’t get the highest university entrance score in our friendship group. Because I’ve never wanted to beat other people. I’ve never wanted to use others as a stepping stone to make myself feel better. I just want to be the best human being I can possibly be – and that includes being a decent, moral human being, too, and it comes tied with a sense of duty to make the world as good as it can possibly be.
Ambition, yo. If no one had it, we’d still be living in the dark ages.
So here’s to all my fellow Slythies: Be proud of your house affiliation, and let that ambition drive you onwards to great and wonderful things.
Here’s to Slytherin.
Here’s to ambition.
Here’s to making the world great.