How my Ilvermorny House gives me a sense of belonging

When the news broke about the Ilvermorny sorting being available on Pottermore, I freaked out. Not out loud, but in an excited, I-need-to-know-where-I-belong-right-now kind of way. So, I sent the link to my fellow Potter-heads and then got to sorting myself. And then shared the results all over social media like the true fangirl that I am.

The closer I get to 30, the more I should be outgrowing my obsession with Harry Potter. I shouldn’t be re-reading the series, watching the movies, writing about characters that could belong in the Harry Potter universe. I should be focused on serious adult things – right? Apparently, drinking wine while reading or watching Harry Potter doesn’t count as a super serious adult thing.

What I think I should be as an adult and the way being an adult is ending up are two very different things. Sure, I make my life look super “adult” on Twitter and Instagram. I throw dinner parties and grow plants. But the closer I do get the 30, the more I miss feeling like I’m part of something bigger than myself. I’m constantly searching for that close community of peers that I felt in high school. I commuted for undergrad and couldn’t afford to join a sorority when I was still taking classes on campus. I entered the adult world looking for that close group of people that would make my life feel complete, the way books and movies and television shows told me I would.

In the Harry Potter world, your house is everything. They’re your family, your team, the people you’re in competition with and the people who are supposed to have your back no matter what. You eat and sleep with these people. You spend more time with them than your actual family. Your house makes sure that you’re taken care of and that you’re never alone. You don’t have to go through things by yourself if you don’t want to.

Isn’t that what we’re all looking for in the end, a way to combat the human condition?

For many of us, Harry Potter is a way to combat loneliness. The stories are comforting. They’re a blanket, a warm meal, and a chance at a nightmare-free night. Reading the books or watching the movies are the way we tune out the rest of the world just for a little while. They’re a beacon of hope that good does triumph over evil in the end. They’re a message that our scars, too, won’t pain us again. That all is well.

The fact that I got sorted into Horned Serpent house, for me, is amazing. A little background: instead of representing a specific trait (wisdom, bravery, ambition, loyalty)  like with the Hogwarts houses, the houses of Ilvermorny represent a part of the wizard: mind, soul, body, and heart. The Horned Serpent represents the mind. For me, this makes sense: I’m on a never-ending quest to better myself, to learn as much as possible about everything I find interesting. Many draw a comparison between both Slytherin and Ravenclaw to the Horned Serpent (given the founder’s relation to Slytherin) and I can see those same traits within myself. I’m driven, ambitious, and I won’t stop until I reach my goals. Thankfully, my goals are more education-oriented, rather than, you know, being dark and bigoted.

This new addition to the Harry Potter universe has renewed my excitement about reading, about Harry Potter, and about writing. More importantly, it’s renewed my sense of belonging. It’s not real, this ‘house’ that I belong to, but the community is real. My generation, maybe it’s lazy, but we read and continue to read everything Harry Potter.

As the world around us continues to fragment, Harry Potter is the thing that holds us together.

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