Caution: This post is extremely nerdy. If you will be offended by this nerd-dom, skip on to something else more substantive. Feel free to make fun of me. By simply writing this, I’ve earned it…
So we’re sitting in the living room a few days ago when my oldest, Sam, says I should take some Harry Potter quiz to find out which of the wizarding houses is most appropriate for me. Now, we’re really not huge Harry Potter fans. In fact, I think I only read three of the books, but have seen the movies several times. Still, Jan, Sam and Elysa had taken the quiz out of curiosity and figured out where they belonged.
I log into the stupid website (www.pottermore.com) and take the quiz. (It’s OK, I know some of you will do it too.) And I find myself aligned with Hufflepuff. (Incidentally, also where Elysa lands. No surprise as she and I think a lot alike.) Still, I think, are you kidding me? Reading through the list of characteristics it sounds like the sort of thing you say when you’re trying to fix up a friend with someone who isn’t that good looking but is SUPER nice! To quote Harry Potter Wiki: ‘Hufflepuff is the most inclusive among the four houses; valuing hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty and fair play rather than a particular aptitude in its members.’
Remember high school and college? ‘She’s so sweet and such a good student! And funny! You’ll really like her. She’s very likeable.’ Blech. Also, this is the founder: Helga Hufflepuff. Let that sink in. Helga…Hufflepuff.
So, Hufflepuff is where the post-modern multi-cultural studies kids hang out. ‘Doesn’t really matter what you’re good at, just be fair!’ House mascot/animal? The badger. OK then. A rat with sharp teeth, long claws, a bad attitude and racing stripes. OK.
Jan (who knows the lore better than I) tries to tell us that she thinks Gryffindor is the place for awkward but brave kids; she’s humble about how she landed in Gryffindor, along with our oldest, Sam. Of course, it’s the house Harry belonged to, right? The one that seems the most awesome of all in the books and movies? With Godric Gryffindor the founder? You know, the freaking viking to the frumpy haus-frau of Hufflepuff.
Let me list the traits: ‘Bravery, nerve, athletic, courage, chivalry, daring.’ Yep, they’re a bunch of nerds to be sure. Thanks honey. I feel better…
And by the way? Their animal? The Lion. Uh, yeah. It’s like rock, paper, scissors, except it’s Lion always eats Badger.
The thing is, I don’t care. But it was funny. It’s like when someone realizes your hobby is paint-by-numbers after they’ve told you they think it’s stupid compared to their art degree.
‘But hey, buddy, I’m sure it’s very cool!’ Yep.
But then it got worse.
I took the Patronus quiz. So in the wildly inventive and lucrative world of Harry Potter (hat tip to Ms. Rowling for a job financially well done), a Patronus is a sort of spirit weapon that fights off evil spirits. It comes up from inside you and goes out to defend you. Some Patronus (Patroni?) are cool, like a stag, a wolf, a lynx, a horse, even a phoenix! These things appear as ghostly images of said creatures in times of dire need.
Quize done. I get? Drum roll please…
Mole. A mole. Not a badger, not a rat with an attitude, not a regal steed or vicious predator. I get the thing that cats absolutely know they can count on for a meal because its nearly blind and utterly powerless except for some incisors that make it look like it just needed a better orthodontist. Allow me to elucidate:
Real mole. Whoah! Scary and powerful!
Patronus mole. My spirit creature. Defender, protector against the dark forces. Yikes! Watch out, I’m a ghost mole! With a scary, well, tooth and some glitter falling off of my fur. Or maybe dandruff. Who knows? Mole don’t know. Mole can’t see…
To cap it off, the next day after church, Jan and Elysa and I are sitting at Joe’s New York Pizza in Seneca, discussing it. And it couldn’t get any better than debriefing over pizza, under a giant TV showing Star Wars, A New Hope. That’s nerd raised to the 10th power, to be sure.
I may be a mole, in a house founded by an amply built witch, and I may carry around a banner with a big, striped rat on it.
But in my heart? I’ll always be a Jedi…
So that makes me cool, right?