How I learned to stop worrying and love being a Slytherin

Contributed by
Jun 26, 2017

There’s a good chunk of Harry Potter-obsessed '90s and 2000s kids who waited with shaky-handed trepidation as we let the official Sorting Hat on Pottermore stick us into our respective wizarding houses. The more old-school of us had to wade through a long in-character process of getting usernames and our wands and animal companions and all that jazz, while newer witches and wizards get to cut right to the chase, but the end results are the same. It was at the end of such an ordeal that I finally learned which house I’d be in. I thought maybe Gryffindor, but most likely Ravenclaw. I’m not a particularly good finder, so I assumed Hufflepuff was out. But I never expected Slytherin.

There were stages, of course. Denial ... it must have been a glitch. Bargaining ... maybe I could just make a new username and re-do the test. Acceptance ... oh, that last one feels like a really Slytherin thing to do, and I do look really good in greens and greys. Sure, there’s that whole downside of being the house whose members are most likely to be magical fascists, and that’s not the best. But it’s all about what you do with it, right? A few years and a couple pairs of robes, a Head Girl pin, a collection of wands, ties, scarves and headbands later, and I’m a loud and proud Slytherin.

In a movie and book series whose one notable gay character is only known to us because the author said so in a Q&A after it was all published, a girl like me is starved for some queer metaphors. Beyond Harry Potter being the kid who literally grew up in a closet, House Slytherin is about as close as I've ever come. The original Pottermore "Welcome" message that was sent to me when I first got sorted told a tale of a frequently misunderstood group that was often unjustifiably feared, but who looked out for their own. A group that occasionally let people believe the scary stuff about them or played into the stereotypes that might convince others not to mess with them too much. Huh. Sounds familiar.

Y’all ever actually see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Remember how the whole entire plot revolves around this concept that young wizards, forced to hide who they are and bury their power deep inside them, results in creating an Obscurus, a destructive beast who will destroy that young wizard and everyone who loves them? And how the "evil" wizard, Grindelwald, wants to unleash that monster to make the world aware of their power? Certainly no metaphor there.

Also, metaphors aside, let’s just get into how many awesome Slytherins there are. Remember Snape? I think you do, you have that "Always" tattoo. You know Tonks? Okay, she wasn’t a Slytherin, but her mama was, and she defied her family to marry a Muggle, and that’s why we have Tonks. Merlin, y’all. Merlin was an OG Slytherin. He's the reason most of us even think about what a wizard is in the first place. Oh, did I mention Harry Potter’s son Albus? And his best friend, Scorpius Malfoy, who has the worst name but the best lines in the entire Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play?

And why does Albus get sorted into Slytherin? Cause he’s all nice to Scorpius on the train when the rest of the kids, the bullying Gryffindors, pick on him. Hey you know what that sounds like? When Harry Potter got sorted into Gryffindor to be with his friend Ron Weasley, who was alone on the train. Nobility isn’t limited to one house, y’all.

Here’s some real-life celebrities who claim to be or are reported to be Slytherins.

Ariana Grande licks donuts right into the dungeon.

Rihanna's under our umbrella.

The internet says David Schwimmer gets sorted to Slytherin, yeah, that’s right, we get Ross. Which ... well ...

That same internet says that Michael Cera fought seven evil exes and now we get him.

The Celebrity Sorting Hat says that Craig, Daniel Craig is double oh seven horcruxes.

Tom Hiddleston has been sorted whether he knows it or not, I mean he already has the cosplay:

But the most important one of all, the one who positively relishes in the fact that he's a Slytherin, of course, the one, the only:

We got Lin-Manuel Miranda, y'all! What else do you need? Look how much he loves the snakey stuff. Here he is rocking his house scarf next to the queen (and Minister of Magic) of all Gryffindors herself, Emma Watson, aka Hermione. But Hamilton DGAF, he rocks his house with pride.

And let's not act like this wasn't his onstage look all along for a reason:

If Lin-Manuel can love his serpent nature as much as he does, there's no excuse for the rest of us not to as well.