Wizarding School Adventure: The Train Ride to School (with Guest Posts!)

HP Event Banner

On July 27-Aug. 1, 2015, Pages Unbound is hosting a week-long celebration of Harry Potter! The event leads readers on an interactive journey through their time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and features a variety of activities, quizzes, reflections, and guest posts. You’ll want to read the posts in order, so if you missed the first post on “Shopping for School Supplies” or are otherwise here by mistake, you can head back to the event introduction post, where you will find a schedule and links to all the event activities.

Finally, Krysta and I would like to thank all the lovely guest posters who contributed to this part of the adventure! Once you’re finished reading, consider checking out some of their blogs!

It’s your first year at Hogwarts!  You don’t know many other students yet, so you find an empty compartment on the train and stow away your bag.  In a moment, the train starts filling up, and a few older girls come into your compartment.  When they realize you’re a first year, all of them want to convince you to join their House.

Blue ShieldThe first introduces herself and holds out her hand for you to shake. (Author M.J. Moores, Ravenclaw)

While I know that the Sorting Hat will ultimately “pick” the best House for you, if you had a choice I’m telling you Ravenclaw is the best House there is at Hogwarts!

1. We love diversity! No matter what, you will be accepted for who you are – quirks and all. Never in the history of the House has a bully come from Ravenclaw.

2. No idea is a bad idea. 🙂 We all have to start out somewhere and whether you prefer to work alone on a project or invite others to experiment with you, someone will always be there (even the House ghost The Grey Lady) to help you along the way.

3. Someone will always “get” you. Whether you prefer to have a lexicon as standard vocabulary or you happen to speak narwhal or see the world in terms of formulae there will always be someone who understands where you’re coming from (and going to).

4. You are bound to do great things! Wizards and witches from Ravenclaw have been a part of amazing inventions, new discoveries, cutting edge insights and miraculous happenings. We work with wonder and look beyond the expected… even if you don’t think it’ll happen – it will.

5. You’re not limited to a dress code. You can truly express yourself and enjoy the ability to make choices in all aspects of your school life. We believe in self-expression and some of our members can get quite creative!

Red ShieldMJ’s friend, a fellow Ravenclaw, agrees.  But being a Ravenclaw, she also wants to make sure you have all the information you need and that you’re aware of all your options! (Kaitlin @ Reading Is My Treasure, Ravenclaw)

First of all, poor Gryffindor. Everybody gets so EXCITED over Slytherin and Ravenclaw–and occasionally Hufflepuff–but I don’t see many people proudly declare themselves Gryffindors, And I don’t really understand why. I may identify more with Ravenclaw, but Gryffindor always has and always will be my favorite Hogwarts house! In no particular order, here’s why you should join this House:

1. You’ll Love the Common Room

It’s warm and inviting and circular. There are really comfy chairs as well as a big window. You get to be in a tower with big windows instead of in a dungeon or basement. And sure, Ravenclaw has a cool common room in a tower too, but it doesn’t have the Fat Lady guarding the entrance, does it?

2. There are Great Alumni

If you would like to be in a House where some pretty amazing wizards were in, look no further. I’m not talking about Harry Potter here (I feel like that wouldn’t sway you). I’m talking about Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Remus Lupin, Minerva McGonagall, and all the Weasleys. These are all great characters who a lot of Harry Potter fans love.

And all these great characters were in Gryffindor. If you join this House, maybe you’ll be as great as them…

3. The House Traits are Something to be Proud of

I don’t mean proud in the arrogant way, but the feeling-pride-in-yourself-because-you-are-Gryffindor-worthy way. Being Gryffindor worthy means you have courage and chivalry, and aren’t those fantastic traits to have?

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart

~ The Sorting Hat

4. The Quidditch Team Has a Great History

Gryffindor did such a good job in quidditch in the books! Great players included Oliver Wood, Harry Potter, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny Weasley, You wouldn’t get to play with them, but I bet the Gryffindor team is always determined to beat the other teams and live up to its history.

5. Lastly, The House Animal is a Lion

Lions are fierce and dangerous and really cool looking. Need I say more?

What do you say? Are those good reasons to join?

Thank you to Briana and Krysta for hosting his event and for letting me guest post for it!

Yellow ShieldGryffindor is starting to sound pretty good. You love Quidditch, and it would be great if you’re House had a winning team.  Maybe you can even try out!  You still have two other Houses to consider, though. (Simoa @ The Ellie Badge, Hufflepuff)

I’m guessing Hufflepuff wouldn’t be your first choice for Hogwarts House. It’s mysteriously acquired a negative reputation. I suppose it’s because our house is for everyone who isn’t clever, brave, or cunning enough. Or so everyone else thinks. Want to know why you should join Hufflepuff? I’ve got five wonderful reasons.

1. Our common room is located right next to the kitchens. Late study night? Need some nourishment? You’re just a skip away! The house elves are always so helpful and generous. Even if you’re not studying, a midnight snack is always a good idea. The Slytherins down by those cold, drafty dungeons? Oh no, you need a warm, cozy spot, and our common room and dormitories just happen to be it!

2. Our Head of House is none other than Professor Pomona Sprout, Herbology professor. Does a sweeter woman exist within Hogwarts’ walls? I should think not! Professor Sprout is tough when she needs to be, and she teaches what may be the best subject in the school. You’d be surprised to learn about how exciting plants are. (And dangerous too).

3. Hogwarts is filled with all sorts of ghosts, and which House has the friendliest of them all? Hufflepuff! The Fat Friar is his name, and never was there a more gracious, cheerful, and kind fellow. The Fat Friar is always eager to help and often has the best stories about Hogwarts and Hufflepuff history.

4. Hufflepuffs are hardworking. Truly everyone should be, yet we Hufflepuffs are committed to working hard because that’s what gets you ahead in this world. Do you honestly expect to coast by on natural talent alone? You’ve got to put the work in. If you get sorted into this house, you’re someone who isn’t afraid to get your hands a little dirty, someone who isn’t going to cut corners. “Good results stand or fall depending on how you achieved them.” At Hufflepuff, we stand tall.

5. But being hardworking isn’t the only prized trait at Hufflepuff. What else are we? Just, loyal, and patient. Those are the qualities I look for in a friend, and the most important ones I strive to cultivate in being a friend to everyone else. You see, Hufflepuffs don’t judge. We’re fair, and we stick by our friends no matter what. Our mighty founder Helga Hufflepuff (who had a flair for yummy food spells) knew just what she was doing when she said she would teach “all the rest.” She didn’t mean she was going to take in all the rest who had been rejected by the other founders, who weren’t brave or smart, but all the rest who were, and still held something far greater in esteem. Being a good person. Helga Hufflepuff wanted to include everyone. She knew and I know, no witch or wizard is better than anybody else, whether based on intelligence, Quidditch playing ability, or blood status. We’ll welcome you with open arms at Hufflepuff.

So at the Sorting Ceremony, remember: black and gold!

Blue Shield“It’s true Hufflepuff is near the kitchens,” a third girl dressed in blue robes observes, “but if you plan ahead that isn’t too much of a problem.  I think you should still consider Ravenclaw! (Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts, Ravenclaw)

1. There’s no memorization skills needed to get into the common room. That is, until you have a brain fart and just want to sleep. Problem: Isn’t sleeping the last thing we do?

2. In a tight snitch, you have an excuse for taking your time. Meanwhile, a Gryffindor is expected to take the blow or buy time. “Well… I’m just thinking about the best way to get us out of this…” Meanwhile…

3. There’s a reason to carry a bunch of books around, even if it’s just for fun and pleasure. Maybe Hogwarts should start allowing tablets.

4. You don’t have Harry Potter in your house. It might be really cool to have Harry Potter in your House, but it can get annoying…

You also don’t have Draco Malfoy, so you don’t have to hear about him threatening to complain to his father.

5. Nerds can have fun, too.  If a pun comes out, we apologize.

Green ShieldNow all three Houses sound really fun! But a girl in Slytherin robes sweeps into the corridor at that moment, interrupting the conversation and insisting you really ought to join her House (Wren @ Books in My Suitcase, Slytherin):

1. You’re a pure-blood. Why dirty yourself with those half-breeds? *scoffs* The other Houses have mudbloods and half-breeds. You’re too pure to frolic with dirty bloodlines.

2. You are cunning and clever. And the other Slytherins are cunning and clever. You can surround yourself with people like you.

3. You would look wonderful in Slytherin’s silver and green. The silver accentuates your smile, and the green highlights your eye color. The red of Gryffindor, blue of Ravenclaw, and yellow of Hufflepuff would look disastrous on you.

4. You may be able to speak Parseltongue (aka you can speak to snakes). They are some of the best conversationalists. And such juicy gossipers! (Who knew about Cho and Harry? Crazy!)

5. You’re allowed to make jokes like “Let me Slytherin your bed with you” because you’re in Slytherin, and it would be awkward if anyone else said it.

Green ShieldYou frown.  You’re not sure you’re ready to give up associating with Muggleborns, but the girl has a point; you do look great in green!  And the girl sitting next to her seems to agree.  “That’s right,” she says, “Slytherins are the best.” (Alexia @ Adventures in Reading, Slytherin):

1. They are ambitious.

2. They are determined.

3. They are resourceful.

4. They are strong leaders.

5. The house colors are green & silver.

Red ShieldBut another girl sees you’re wavering.  She quickly rushes into the train compartment. (Stephanie @ Chasm of Books, Gryffindor)

So you’re still debating where you should go? I don’t totally understand why but let me help clarify the matter. If you want the simple answer, then here it is: join Gryffindor. If you don’t believe me now then you may never but let’s just go over a few things before you pass us over.

1.     We have an excellent reputation.

We’re known for our bravery and courage. Sure, some people might thing we’re a little arrogant. Perhaps we are, but only when necessary. We respect the rules but sometimes they have to be broken and Gryffindor always knows when the rules need to be broken. Dumbledore is known as one of the greatest wizards to have ever lived; he was in Gryffindor.

2.     We aren’t easily deterred.

Reputation aside, we have nerve. Don’t worry about what we think because we’ll either tell you to your face or show you. Does that make us mortal enemies sometimes? Sure. But every witch and wizard needs rival. Personally, I would recommend Slytherin if you’re shopping around for one.

3.     We’re symbolized by a Lion.

Lions don’t let anyone hunt on their turf; anyone who does finds themselves in a great deal of trouble. And just like the lion, we don’t take crap from anyone. Not to mention, the lion is much more interesting than snakes (ick) or badgers.

4.     Harry Potter was Sorted into our House.

Perhaps the most famous wizard of our time, Harry Potter has practically immortalized Gryffindor house. While I may not agree with everything he ever did or said, a lot of it perfectly depicts what it is to be a member of the house of Gryffindor. He faced the most evil wizard of our time and won. He outsmarted the great Voldemort and is the reason we no longer fear the name.

5.     Our common room is in a tower.

If none of that is good enough for you then you have reduced me to our common room location. We get to stay in a tower; if that isn’t everyone’s dream then pinch me. Yeah, Ravenclaw does too but they have to answer a riddle every time they want to get in. No one wants to have to think that hard in the morning. All Gryffindors have to do is remember a single word and we’re good to go! We prefer things to be convenient.

If none of this is enough to convince you, then I’m afraid you’re lost my dear friend and there is nothing we can do to help you. Enjoy Slytherin.

Finally, with all these suggestions swirling in your mind, you reach your destination, Hogwarts!  Be sure to come back to Pages Unbound tomorrow, July 28, to enter the school and get Sorted.  Just a brief window of time left to think about what House you hope to join!  Let us know which student was most convincing in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and Hogwarts belong to J. K. Rowling. This event is a fan-created adventure meant to celebrate Rowling’s wizarding world and is in no way endorsed by her.

9 thoughts on “Wizarding School Adventure: The Train Ride to School (with Guest Posts!)

  1. Krysta says:

    I enjoyed these all so much! And while I do identify as a Ravenclaw, I have to admit that I’m jealous Hufflepuffs get to live next to the kitchen.


  2. Dani W says:

    I can never commit to a single house! I feel like I have aspects of Ravenclaw and Slytherin, though Pottermore put me in Hufflepuff. I have to say, this post did sell me a bit more on Hufflepuff…. 🙂


    • Briana says:

      I was so afraid Pottermore would sort me into a House I didn’t want, but I ended up in Ravenclaw like I wanted! It’s pretty funny it had a fifty/fifty chance with you and stilled picked the wrong House!


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