Nature vs. Nurture

My daughter is a Slytherin.

For those of you who don’t live and breathe Harry Potter, Slytherin is one of the four houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  A few of the less savory characters in this series hailed from Slytherin – including the main villain, Lord Voldemort.  In other words, if Hitler had attended Hogwarts, it’s a pretty good bet that he would have been in Slytherin.

Dimples joined the virtual world of Harry Potter at last week, and worked her way through buying important school supplies like cauldrons and glass vials (Hogwarts does not have Trapper Keepers on their school supply list, either), getting a wand assigned to her, and, after much suspense, getting sorted into a House.

She eagerly called me into the room, so I could watch her carefully answer the questions that would lead to her final sorting.

When she got assigned to Slytherin, I got a hint of the disappointment to come if she ever gets hate mail from Harvard.

“It’s okay,” I said.  “Remember? We talked about how there were some good characters in Slytherin, and this is your opportunity to prove that not all Slytherins are out to destroy the world.”

She glared at me, a glimmer of tears in her eyes.  It was clear to both of us that this was all my fault.

The obvious solution to this problem was for me to get sorted too.

So, I logged in to the site, went through my school supply purchases, earned my unicorn wand, and made my way to the sorting.  Dimples raced to the computer when I announced that the moment was at hand.

The first question appeared, and Dimples almost dissolved.  “The questions aren’t the same,” she said, obviously having expected me to get the exact same set of questions – and to answer them the same.

I told her that I was going to answer them honestly anyway.  A few of the questions were identical to hers, and I answered 2 of them the same way she had.  As I answered each question, I tried to go with my first instinct, instead of trying to second-guess what House it would lead to.

At what I imagined to be the final question, I hesitated before sending my answer to cyberspace.

What would it mean to Dimples if I got sorted into Gryffindor, the House of Heroes?  What would it mean to me?

I finally clicked the mouse, and we both waited for the Determination of my Destiny.


Which makes perfect sense, given my snake-handling skills (Slytherin’s mascot is a serpent) and my unabashed attempts to become a legend in my own mind. (“Slytherin will help you on your way to greatness” is the house motto.)

After consulting the Slytherin Psychology tumblr, I realized that the Sorting Hat probably knew exactly what it was doing.

That explains a lot.

But, hey, at least I made it into Hogwarts, unlike poor Stephen Colbert (commiserating with a student who claims she was refused entrance to the University of Texas based on the fact that she is not a minority):

Posted on October 17, 2012, in Children, Depression, Dimples, Family, Humor, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. I hope she gets into it and revels in the extra access she’ll have to dark side stuff!
    And since you’re in Slytherin too, you’ll learn the same tricks (and hopefully defenses) to protect WB and Mrs PIB when they become her “learning assistants”.

  2. I am WolfsbaneNight8. I’m a Griffyndork.

  3. Dimples is not trap her, keep her, material. As much as Romney would like to file her elsewhere. This is her chance to work from within and use her snake oil for good, not evil. 🙂

  4. Well. Now I’ve just got to go to Pottermore. I can tell you that my son would probably be secretly thrilled to be in Slytherin. I would not.

  5. I loved that episode of Colbert. The Actor is a Slytherin, but I’m in Hufflepuff. His best man is in Slytherin, too. I wonder what my maid of honor is in…

    • I loved that episode, too! Yet another night when I planned to go to be early and The Colbert Report snagged me out of the clutches of sleep.
      I honestly thought I would be put in Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. Oh well. I’ve had worse labels affixed to my name.

  6. This is fascinating. I am so relieved you both both categorized the same way (well I think I am haha!)

  7. It’s nice to have an old friend in a new school. 🙂

  8. Like daughter, like mother? 🙂 You are quite the snake charmer…

    Wonderbutt should beware Dimples once she learns some spells. So long as he doesn’t chew up her wand.

    And that Colbert bit at the end had my howling, thanks!!

  9. I’ve found that family members often get into the same house. My sister and I are both Hufflepuffs, for instance!

    At first, I wanted to be in Ravenclaw because they’re supposed to be the smartest, but after I read what the site had to say about Hufflepuff (that we’re friendly, loyal, hardworking), I was happy to be there. I hope your daughter feels better about being in Slytherin eventually!

  10. I’ve never seen or read Harry Potter, which I realize is ridiculous, but I am now DYING to know which school I’d get in to!!

  11. Wow, now think about this….. you would go to Slytherin with with Wonderbutt and Ginger….. can you imagine what would happen to Hogwarts then? Come to think of it what would happen to you? Ginger says it would be fun hellfire missiles from her nuclear powered broom!

  12. That’s AWESOME that you both got the same school. And I know what you mean about thinking too hard about the questions to force the answer you want. I haven’t been sorted, but my kids have…though I know they didn’t get Slythern, I can’t remember what they did get! I love Harry Potter. I’ve been too scared to read her new book, though…afraid it might destroy some long-held sacred image I have of her…ha.

  13. We did the sorting with my 10-year-old. He was also assigned to Slytherin. He, too, was bummed about it. I tried to help out and ended up being sorted into Hufflepuff. Sigh. Off to Hogwarts!

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