June 19th, 2004

A Pocket Full of Murder

House Bias? and an Icon Request

So I did the latest Hogwarts Sorting Quiz, and then my computer crashed, so I couldn't blog the exact results as I'd planned. However, it came out something like this:

Ravenclaw - 91
Gryffindor - 88
Hufflepuff - 82
Slytherin - 31

Now, I've always known I was a Ravenclaw. Not brave (or impulsive) enough to be a Gryffindor, not hard-working or clannish enough to be a Hufflepuff, and I lack the necessary ambition, ruthlessness and/or cunning to be a Slytherin. I'm an analytical, introverted kind of gal who likes to play with words -- Ravenclaw would suit me to a T.

That being said, I was really surprised the other day when a friend of mine seemed to think that I was anti-Gryffindor. Because in truth I really have no particular preference, or prejudice, when it comes to the Houses at all. I've been known to complain loudly about the behaviour and attitude of certain Gryffindors, particularly James and Sirius: but if I made a top ten list of my most beloved canonical characters, it would be composed almost exclusively of Gryffindors. There are three canonical characters that I absolutely adore, to the point that they can practically do no wrong in my eyes: Mad-Eye Moody, Dennis Creevey, and Neville Longbottom. All Gryffindors.*

As for Ravenclaw -- well, I might be one myself, but I was pretty unimpressed by Cho Chang in the last book. Sometimes you can think about things too much, and it seems to me that she's doing that over Cedric, to the point where she just can't let him go and move on. And then, of course, there's Luna -- whose character I really enjoy in a lot of ways, and who reminds me a lot of myself when I was in school (wacky outcasts, unite!) but she too has a tendency to let her analytical tendencies run away with her.

Then there's Hufflepuff, which appeals to me because I have a soft spot for the underdog, and I admire loyalty and hard work. But on the other hand, the Hufflepuffs we've met in canon seem a little too quick to believe whatever they're told, and when one of their own seems to be threatened they immediately close ranks without stopping to ask themselves whether the threat is real, or whether they might be acting unfairly to those they exclude -- as Harry found out in CoS.

And finally, Slytherin. I have to say that in spite of finding Snape fascinating as an individual, and in spite of having written him and a couple of Slytherin OCs in a sympathetic fashion, I really don't have a soft spot for Slytherin House at all. As I had Dumbledore tell Maud in TPMA, ambition can be a noble thing -- but what I seem to see more often among Slytherins is a desire for personal power and a willingness to manipulate and deceive (or even coerce) other people in order to achieve the desired end, which worries me. However, I see no reason to suppose that this is true of every member of the House -- we just see that kind of behaviour from the Slytherins with whom Harry comes into conflict.

On the whole, I'd say that every House has its strengths and weaknesses, and I would never be inclined to judge a character's worth or likeability on the basis of which House they come from -- only on the way they behave, and to what extent they represent the best or worst traits of the House into which they were Sorted. Just because certain Gryffindors strike me as insensitive and arrogant, or certain Hufflepuffs seem gossipy and cliquish, doesn't mean that I expect the next Gryffindor or Hufflepuff I come across is going to be the same way.

In short, I am not a Houseist.

* * *

On an unrelated note, I've been trying to make a certain icon for myself ever since I came across a highly amusing comment on fanfic_hate regarding my Remus and Snape fic "Cold Water". But alas, I just can't seem to make the icon work. I spent a couple of hours tinkering with a piece of D&Lish fan art, but even with a bunch of filters and brushes the icon ended up looking completely blah, so I gave up.

So, I'm throwing the challenge open to my graphically inclined friends. Make me an icon using the phrase "Gratuitous Het Writer", and win my undying gratitude and a drabble featuring the characters and fandom of your choice.

Whaddya say?

* Admittedly, we don't know for certain that Mad-Eye was a Gryffindor, but he certainly seems like one, and I'm assuming that he is until JKR tells us otherwise.