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15 August 2011 @ 08:32 pm
Pottermore House Descriptions  
Well, I'm still waiting to be let into Pottermore, but they let a whole lot of people in today, and Tumblr is abuzz. When you get sorted, you get a nice little welcome note from your imaginary prefect welcoming you to your house. These welcomes include all sorts of new information about the houses.

All sorts of Pottermore house spoilers under the cut. If you want to wait to learn more about your favorite house, don't click!

Hufflepuff

Congratulations! I’m Prefect Gabriel Truman, and I’m delighted to welcome you to HUFFLEPUFF HOUSE. Our emblem is the badger, an animal that is often underestimated, because it lives quietly until attacked, but which, when provoked, can fight off animals much larger than itself, including wolves. Our house colours are yellow and black, and our common room lies one floor below the ground, on the same corridor as the kitchens.

Now, there are a few things you should know about Hufflepuff house. First of all, let’s deal with a perennial myth about the place, which is that we’re the least clever house. WRONG. Hufflepuff is certainly the least boastful house, but we’ve produced just as many brilliant witches and wizards as any other. Want proof? Look up Grogan Stump, one of the most popular Ministers for Magic of all time. He was a Hufflepuff – as were the successful Ministers Artemesia Lufkin and Dugald McPhail. Then there’s the world authority on magical creatures, Newt Scamander; Bridget Wenlock, the famous thirteenth-century Arithmancer who first discovered the magical properties of the number seven, and Hengist of Woodcroft, who founded the all-wizarding village of Hogsmeade, which lies very near Hogwarts School. Hufflepuffs all.

So, as you can see, we’ve produced more than our fair share of powerful, brilliant and daring witches and wizards, but, just because we don’t shout about it, we don’t get the credit we deserve. Ravenclaws, in particular, assume that any outstanding achiever must have come from their house. I got into big trouble during my third year for duelling a Ravenclaw prefect who insisted that Bridget Wenlock had come from his house, not mine. I should have got a week of detentions, but Professor Sprout let me off with a warning and a box of coconut ice.

Hufflepuffs are trustworthy and loyal. We don’t shoot our mouths off, but cross us at your peril; like our emblem, the badger, we will protect ourselves, our friends and our families against all-comers. Nobody intimidates us.

However, it’s true that Hufflepuff is a bit lacking in one area. We’ve produced the fewest Dark wizards of any house in this school. Of course, you’d expect Slytherin to churn out evil-doers, seeing as they’ve never heard of fair play and prefer cheating over hard work any day, but even Gryffindor (the house we get on best with) has produced a few dodgy characters.

What else do you need to know? Oh yes, the entrance to the common room is concealed in a stack of large barrels in a nook on the right hand side of the kitchen corridor. Tap the barrel two from the bottom, middle of the second row, in the rhythm of ‘Helga Hufflepuff’, and the lid will swing open. We are the only house at Hogwarts that also has a repelling device for would-be intruders. If the wrong lid is tapped, or if the rhythm of the tapping is wrong, the illegal entrant is doused in vinegar.

You will hear other houses boast of their security arrangements, but it so happens that in more than a thousand years, the Hufflepuff common room and dormitories have never been seen by outsiders. Like badgers, we know exactly how to lie low – and how to defend ourselves.

Once you’ve opened the barrel, crawl inside and along the passageway behind it, and you will emerge into the cosiest common room of them all. It is round and earthy and low-ceilinged; it always feels sunny, and its circular windows have a view of rippling grass and dandelions.

There is a lot of burnished copper about the place, and many plants, which either hang from the ceiling or sit on the windowsills. Our Head of house, Professor Pomona Sprout, is Head of Herbology, and she brings the most interesting specimens (some of which dance and talk) to decorate our room – one reason why Hufflepuffs are often very good at Herbology. Our overstuffed sofas and chairs are upholstered in yellow and black, and our dormitories are reached through round doors in the walls of the common room. Copper lamps cast a warm light over our four-posters, all of which are covered in patchwork quilts, and copper bed warmers hang on the walls, should you have cold feet.

Our house ghost is the friendliest of them all: the Fat Friar. You’ll recognise him easily enough; he’s plump and wears monk’s robes, and he’s very helpful if you get lost or are in any kind of trouble.

I think that’s nearly everything. I must say, I hope some of you are good Quidditch players. Hufflepuff hasn’t done as well as I’d like in the Quidditch tournament lately.

You should sleep comfortably. We’re protected from storms and wind down in our dormitories; we never have the disturbed nights those in the towers sometimes experience.

And once again: congratulations on becoming a member of the friendliest, most decent and most tenacious house of them all.

Ravenclaw

I’m Prefect Robert Hilliard, and I’m delighted to welcome you to RAVENCLAW HOUSE. Our emblem is the eagle, which soars where others cannot climb; our house colors are blue and bronze, and our common room is found at the top of Ravenclaw Tower, behind a door with an enchanted knocker. The arched windows set into the walls of our circular common room look down at the school grounds: the lake, the Forbidden Forest, the Quidditch pitch and the Herbology gardens. No other house in the school has such stunning views.

Without wishing to boast, this is the house where the cleverest witches and wizards live. Our founder, Rowena Ravenclaw, prized learning above all else – and so do we. Unlike the other houses, who all have concealed entrances to their common rooms, we don’t need one. The door to our common room lies at the top of a tall, winding staircase. It has no handle, but an enchanted bronze knocker in the shape of an eagle. When you rap on the door, this knocker will ask you a question, and if you can answer it correctly, you are allowed in. This simple barrier has kept out everyone but Ravenclaws for nearly a thousand years.

Some first-years are scared by having to answer the eagle’s questions, but don’t worry. Ravenclaws learn quickly, and you’ll soon enjoy the challenges the door sets. It’s not unusual to find twenty people standing outside the common room door, all trying to work out the answer to the day’s question together. This is a great way to meet fellow Ravenclaws from other years, and to learn from them – although it is a bit annoying if you’ve forgotten your Quidditch robes and need to get in and out in a hurry. In fact, I’d advise you to triple-check your bag for everything you need before leaving Ravenclaw Tower.

Another cool thing about Ravenclaw is that our people are the most individual – some might even call them eccentrics. But geniuses are often out of step with ordinary folk, and unlike some other houses we could mention, we think you’ve got the right to wear what you like, believe what you want, and say what you feel. We aren’t put off by people who march to a different tune; on the contrary, we value them!

Speaking of eccentrics, you’ll like our Head of house, Professor Filius Flitwick. People often underestimate him, because he’s really tiny (we think he’s part elf, but we’ve never been rude enough to ask) and he’s got a squeaky voice, but he’s the best and most knowledgeable Charms master alive in the world today. His office door is always open to any Ravenclaw with a problem, and if you’re in a real state he’ll get out these delicious little cupcakes he keeps in a tin in his desk drawer and make them do a little dance for you. In fact, it’s worth pretending you’re in a real state just to see them jive.

Ravenclaw house has an illustrious history. Most of the greatest wizarding inventors and innovators were in our house, including Perpetua Fancourt, the inventor of the lunascope, Laverne de Montmorency, a great pioneer of love potions, and Ignatia Wildsmith, the inventor of Floo powder. Famous Ravenclaw Ministers for Magic include Millicent Bagnold, who was in power on the night that Harry Potter survived the Dark Lord’s curse, and defended the wizarding celebrations all over Britain with the words, ‘I assert our inalienable right to party. There was also Minister Lorcan McLaird, who was a quite brilliant wizard, but preferred to communicate by puffing smoke out of the end of his wand. Well, I did say we produce eccentrics. In fact, we are also the house that gave the wizarding world Uric the Oddball, who used a jellyfish for a hat. He’s the punch line of a lot of wizarding jokes.

As for our relationship with the other three houses: well, you’ve probably heard about the Slytherins. They’re not all bad, but you’d do well to be on your guard until you know them well. They’ve got a long house tradition of doing whatever it takes to win – so watch out, especially in Quidditch matches and exams.

The Gryffindors are OK. If I had a criticism, I’d say Gryffindors tend to be show-offs. They’re also much less tolerant than we are of people who are different; in fact, they’ve been known to make jokes about Ravenclaws who have developed an interest in levitation, or the possible magical uses of troll bogies, or ovomancy, which (as you probably know) is a method of divination using eggs. Gryffindors haven’t got our intellectual curiosity, whereas we’ve got no problem if you want to spend your days and nights cracking eggs in a corner of the common room and writing down your predictions according to the way the yolks fall. In fact, you’ll probably find a few people to help you.

As for the Hufflepuffs, well, nobody could say they’re not nice people. In fact, they’re some of the nicest people in the school. Let’s just say you needn’t worry too much about them when it comes to competition at exam time.

I think that’s nearly everything. Oh yes, our house ghost is the Gray Lady. The rest of the school thinks she never speaks, but she’ll talk to Ravenclaws. She’s particularly useful if you’re lost, or you’ve mislaid something.

I’m sure you’ll have a good night. Our dormitories are in turrets off the main tower; our four-poster beds are covered in sky blue silk eiderdowns and the sound of the wind whistling around the windows is very relaxing.

And once again: well done on becoming a member of the cleverest, quirkiest and most interesting house at Hogwarts.

Slytherin

Congratulations! I’m Prefect Gemma Farley, and I’m delighted to welcome you to SLYTHERIN HOUSE. Our emblem is the serpent, the wisest of creatures; our house colours are emerald green and silver, and our common room lies behind a concealed entrance down in the dungeons. As you’ll see, its windows look out into the depths of the Hogwarts lake. We often see the giant squid swooshing by – and sometimes more interesting creatures. We like to feel that our hangout has the aura of a mysterious, underwater shipwreck.

Now, there are a few things you should know about Slytherin – and a few you should forget.

Firstly, let’s dispel a few myths. You might have heard rumours about Slytherin house – that we’re all into the Dark Arts, and will only talk to you if your great-grandfather was a famous wizard, and rubbish like that. Well, you don’t want to believe everything you hear from competing houses. I’m not denying that we’ve produced our share of Dark wizards, but so have the other three houses – they just don’t like admitting it. And yes, we have traditionally tended to take students who come from long lines of witches and wizards, but nowadays you’ll find plenty of people in Slytherin house who have at least one Muggle parent.

Here’s a little-known fact that the other three houses don’t bring up much: Merlin was a Slytherin. Yes, Merlin himself, the most famous wizard in history! He learned all he knew in this very house! Do you want to follow in the footsteps of Merlin? Or would you rather sit at the old desk of that illustrious ex-Hufflepuff, Eglantine Puffett, inventor of the Self-Soaping Dishcloth?

I didn’t think so.

But that’s enough about what we’re not. Let’s talk about what we are, which is the coolest and edgiest house in this school. We play to win, because we care about the honour and traditions of Slytherin..

We also get respect from our fellow students. Yes, some of that respect might be tinged with fear, because of our Dark reputation, but you know what? It can be fun, having a reputation for walking on the wild side. Chuck out a few hints that you’ve got access to a whole library of curses, and see whether anyone feels like nicking your pencil case.

But we’re not bad people. We’re like our emblem, the snake: sleek, powerful, and frequently misunderstood.

For instance, we Slytherins look after our own – which is more than you can say for Ravenclaw. Apart from being the biggest bunch of swots you ever met, Ravenclaws are famous for clambering over each other to get good marks, whereas we Slytherins are brothers. The corridors of Hogwarts can throw up surprises for the unwary, and you’ll be glad you’ve got the Serpents on your side as you move around the school. As far as we’re concerned, once you’ve become a snake, you’re one of ours – one of the elite.

Because you know what Salazar Slytherin looked for in his chosen students? The seeds of greatness. You’ve been chosen by this house because you’ve got the potential to be great, in the true sense of the word. All right, you might see a couple of people hanging around the common room whom you might not think are destined for anything special. Well, keep that to yourself. If the Sorting Hat put them in here, there’s something great about them, and don’t you forget it.

Gryffindor

Congratulations! I’m Prefect Percy Weasley, and I’m delighted to welcome you to GRYFFINDOR HOUSE. Our emblem is the lion, the bravest of all creatures; our house colors are scarlet and gold, and our common room lies up in Gryffindor Tower.

This is, quite simply, the best house at Hogwarts. It’s where the bravest and boldest end up – for instance: Albus Dumbledore! Yes, Dumbledore himself, the greatest wizard of our time, was a Gryffindor! If that’s not enough for you, I don’t know what is.

I won’t keep you long, as all you need to do to find out more about your house is to follow Harry Potter and his friends as I lead them up to their dormitories. Enjoy your time at Hogwarts – but how could you fail to? You’ve become part of the best house in the school.







 
 
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
called_daughter: emma watson 2called_daughter on August 16th, 2011 06:42 am (UTC)
This is SO COOL. I think that reading all of this just re-iterates for me how much I am a Hufflepuff. I am totally all about getting along, and being friendly. Their dorm just sounds nice and cozy too.
What was most interesting to me was how similar Gryffindors and Slytherins are. I think of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff being a bit more introverted and Gryffindor and Slytherin being outgoing and boisterous. I think it's one of the reasons they don't get along with each other is because in a lot of ways they are very similar. I also see them both being very exclusive, both houses are described as only liking their own people. I have always seen the Gryffindors as being the "popular group" which is one of the reasons they annoy me. The only difference really between the two houses is one is brave and the other is self serving. I also thought it was so interesting that Merlin was a Slytherin. Very interesting. Also I think that Slytherins are the most fun. I just think they are just so sarcastically wonderful. Where as Gryffindors are pompous Slytherins are just entertaining. I also think that the Slytherins have the absolute coolest dorms with it being under water. So cool.
northangel27lilyevans_snape on August 16th, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
I loved this so much too, and agree with everything you've said. I'm actually completely convinced that I'm a Ravenclaw now, because I'm too much of a loner to be a Hufflepuff. I don't work well in groups, and I hate team sports, etc. I also saw a lot of myself in the Slytherin description too, actually. Though, I'm married to a Slytherin, and tend to love Slytherins in general, so that might just be a little transference happening there.

Anyway, I also read all the details about Minerva McGonagall on some blog last night. She has such a sweet and sad story!
called_daughtercalled_daughter on August 16th, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oooo! I can't wait to read about Minerva. I'm getting more and more excited about this site!

Hmmm... I've been thinking of it more and I am beginning to reconsider what house I would be put in. I feel like a part of me could be in any one of them. I'm harmonious and like hanging out with a good group of friends, I also love my alone time reading good books, I think I am pretty courageous and I enjoy dark humor and sarcasm.
Well no matter what I can't wait to find out what house I get in. :)
some kind of snark faeryshyfoxling on August 16th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't have thought Percy would be so short-winded ;)

It's interesting that they chose to have him be Prefect. I mean, it sets the time period of Pottermore pretty firmly during PS and CoS, doesn't it, since after that he'd be Head Boy and then gone.

"Oh, are you a Prefect, Percy?" said one of the twins, with an air of great surprise. "You should have said something, we had no idea."
northangel27lilyevans_snape on August 16th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
Well, you do start off your adventure with PS and follow Harry's adventures through all the books, so since you are getting sorted in Harry's first year, I suppose that would make sense.
some kind of snark faeryshyfoxling on August 16th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Percy's speech, perhaps she thought we'd got enough in the books and wanted to expand on the other three (especially Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw). Although I guess it's good to see specific confirmation that Dumbledore was Gryffindor, although I expect debate will rage in certain circles about whether to accept any of this as "actually canon". ;)

I like how the Ravenclaw has a more fair-minded view of Slytherin than the Hufflepuff. 'Course it makes sense, since Hufflepuff is probably the most opposite in temperament to Slytherin (all for one rather than looking out for numero uno, kind of thing; Gryffindor and Slytherin have more in common, I think).

Here’s a little-known fact that the other three houses don’t bring up much: Merlin was a Slytherin.

How can that even be possible? Merlin is practically a mythical figure for them and would have lived hundreds of years before Hogwarts even existed. Do you think this is JKR having a history problem, or maybe this is a deliberate in-character lie?

p.s. Can you recommend some tumblrs I should follow if I want to be thoroughly spoiled?
northangel27lilyevans_snape on August 16th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
I can't recommend any Tumblrs specifically. I just trawl the Pottermore tag daily.

And yeah, I was thinking about the time frame involved in that whole 'Merlin' thing last night. As effing cool as it would be to think that Merlin was a Slytherin, if he existed it probably would have been in the early 500s, would it not? And the founders were supposed to have founded Hogwarts around 1000 AD, I think, so there's like a few hundred years difference there...
some kind of snark faeryshyfoxling on August 17th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
I can't recommend any Tumblrs specifically. I just trawl the Pottermore tag daily.

Bah, too much noise of people crying about not having gotten their emails or asking other people if they've gotten their emails or crowing about having gotten their emails. I've scrolled through I don't know how many posts in that tag and haven't come across any spoilery goodness yet. I guess I'll just wait for posts like this one that distill it for me.
northangel27lilyevans_snape on August 17th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
There was a lot of spoilery goodness on Monday, but you're right. Now it's just whinging.
Peggy Barattopetalla on September 25th, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
FYI: In the Arthurian (in some tellings anyway) Merlin was timeless, and uniquely so. He actually aged backward, and much slower than all of humanity. It is "possible" that he did attend Hogwarts--but he'd start at the last year and finish at the age of eleven?

HMMM. Well, that doesn't work either, since he ages slower. But, it's a thought?
rowlingitdeep on August 28th, 2011 04:12 am (UTC)
When i read the thing about Merlin, my first thought was that it was mainly for the people who would normally loathe the thought of being in Slytherin. Like they would be all upset and then read that Merlin was a Slytherin and be more psyched, you know?
(Deleted comment)
some kind of snark faeryshyfoxling on August 31st, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)
Possibly, but it should be so easy to verify as untrue that I don't know how it would have survived...
Kay PerkinsKay Perkins on September 20th, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Merlin = Slytherin?
I can definitely see why that could be an urban legend- Hogwarts is full of them! Plus it must be hard for any Slytherin to have cranked out so many Dark wizards, you'd want to make up some myth about how the greatest wizard ever was a Slytherin.

It is possible, though, and probable, that he would have attended Hogwarts. Let's look at the facts:

1. Merlin exists in the Harry Potter universe. There is a chocolate frog card for him and it is recognized that, according to the books, he once lived.
2. According to our version of the King Arthur tale, Camelot operated during the Dark Ages (around 400-600 AD). However, the Harry Potter universe describes these events as having taken place in Medieval Ages (around 900-1500). Even in the real world there is much dispute about Camelot, but if the wizarding world accepts this version of history, so it shall be in the wizarding world.
3. Hogwarts was founded around the ninth or tenth century, at least one year before Merlin was born. Being a child in Britain, he would have attended Hogwarts.

So it depends upon whether or not you think J.K. Rowling accepted a slightly different view on history. That could be a clever Hogwarts legend, or it could be true.

(All of this, is of course assuming that in the Harry Potter universe, Merlin was a real wizard. It appears as though he is considered to have truly existed.)
Arethinnarethinn on September 21st, 2011 07:53 am (UTC)
Re: Merlin = Slytherin?
However, the Harry Potter universe describes these events as having taken place in Medieval Ages (around 900-1500).

Eh? What's your cite on this?
janellereizan on August 28th, 2011 08:36 am (UTC)
The Slytherin message goes on for longer:

And talking of people who aren’t destined for greatness, I haven’t mentioned the Gryffindors. Now, a lot of people say that Slytherins and Gryffindors represent two sides of the same coin. Personally, I think Gryffindors are nothing more than wannabe Slytherins. Mind you, some people say that Salazar Slytherin and Godric Gryffindor prized the same kinds of students, so perhaps we are more similar than we like to think. But that doesn’t mean that we cosy up with Gryffindors. They like beating us only slightly less than we like beating them.

A few more things you might need to know: our house ghost is the Bloody Baron. If you get on the right side of him he’ll sometimes agree to frighten people for you. Just don’t ask him how he got bloodstained; he doesn’t like it.

The password to the common room changes every fortnight. Keep an eye on the noticeboard. Never bring anyone from another house into our common room or tell them our password. No outsider has entered it for more than seven centuries.

Well, I think that’s all for now. I’m sure you’ll like our dormitories. We sleep in ancient four-posters with green silk hangings, and bedspreads embroidered with silver thread. Medieval tapestries depicting the adventures of famous Slytherins cover the walls, and silver lanterns hang from the ceilings. You’ll sleep well; it’s very soothing, listening to the lake water lapping against the windows at night.
northangel27lilyevans_snape on August 28th, 2011 01:02 pm (UTC)
Cool. Thanks for the extras. I was just pulling these descriptions off of Tumblr, as I STILL haven't gotten my welcome email. :-(
some kind of snark faeryshyfoxling on August 31st, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
Never bring anyone from another house into our common room or tell them our password. No outsider has entered it for more than seven centuries.

So much for tons of fanfic.
northangel27lilyevans_snape on August 31st, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
And, of course, Harry and Ron manage to get in during "Chamber of Secrets".
some kind of snark faeryshyfoxling on August 31st, 2011 05:13 pm (UTC)
Very true, although the time setting of this prefect speech would be during SS, it seems, so that won't have happened yet. And perhaps others in the past have used similar ruses, unbeknownst to this prefect (none of the Slytherins ever found out Harry and Ron had done that, did they?).
northangel27lilyevans_snape on August 31st, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
That's what I was thinking. If someone was polyjuiced up, how would anyone ever know?
Kay PerkinsKay Perkins on September 20th, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
Not to mention that this prefect, even years later, might have never known about Harry and Ron's little stunt. It doesn't seem like anyone else found out about it, except the trio.
Lemiinfairy_gany on August 30th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting those, i've been looking for them everywhere ! Reading all the descriptions, I really feel like I'm perfect for Hufflepuff, so it's nice (though I have some Ravenclaw in me). Oh pottermore feels my heart with awesomeness. Hope you get your email soon !
northangel27lilyevans_snape on August 30th, 2011 10:42 am (UTC)
Thanks; me too!
razeasharazeasha on September 9th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
This was really cool to read. Thanks so much for posting it. I can't wait to read all the info on the site, but I have to wait 'til October. I'm waiting to get sorted before buying a house scarf for the winter.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )