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Comrade
19 April 2012 @ 09:14 pm
Name: Aiffe

Age: 27

Location: That's a bit complicated...I'm a wandering vagrant in North America.

Websites or similar that have sorted you into Slytherin: Pottermore.

In your personal opinion, what makes a Slytherin: I think the books gave us a somewhat slanted view on Slytherins--just a little bit of spin can make a lot of difference. Like, the books say cunning, and Slytherins are certainly capable of cunning, but what it comes down to is creativity. Ravenclaws may be able to solve problems with brute force brains, but Slytherins have a more outside-the-box kind of intelligence--like the snake, we can get into (or out of) almost anything, and we don't always take the most obvious path. It's a subversive sort of genius.

That same creativity and willingness to take any path to meet our ends is probably what gets us the somewhat...dark reputation. I don't think it's that Slytherins are specifically drawn to evil, but more that we don't rule it out--we don't rule anything out.

Another thing that gets twisted around is that I think Slytherins value family, close bonds, and the history of Wizarding culture. That doesn't mean that we hate Muggle-borns, though I do think some members develop xenophobia because they see everything as a threat to that family. I think the tendency to value loyalty to our family over morality is another thing that's earned us our bad reputation. Death Eaters like Bellatrix Lestrange followed Voldemort to Azkaban and to death without a trace of fear or hesitation. We may not travel by the straightest path, but we don't do things halfway.

How much value we place on the people in our lives is evident in the Sorting Hat's introduction. It talks about the Ravenclaw wit and the Gryffindor bravery and the Hufflepuff loyalty and so forth, but when it gets to Slytherin, it says that you'll "meet your true friends." This is spun as somewhat sinister, but if you think about it, it's the only House that has a trait that's about other people rather than itself. In that sense, I think we can be the most selfless House. And really, what's so bad about wanting friends?

Choose one stereotype about Slytherins that you believe is unfair, and tell us why: That we're all classist. That we all have money. Even the Gaunts, which were about as pureblooded as you can get, and descended from Salazar Slytherin himself, were poor. Lord Voldemort grew up with nothing. The Malfoys may be Slytherins, but the Malfoys are not Slytherin House. If anything, the Slytherin trait of doing anything to win can serve a poor wizard or witch quite well. Slytherins are the ones who can lift ourselves up from nothing.

What personal traits make you well suited to being a Slytherin: I definitely have the creativity and cunning. I'm generally a good person, and I have my own kind of honor, but my moral compass doesn't always point the same way as society's. I've broken the law to help friends and family. I'm charismatic, but at the same time a bit of a divisive personality--someone some people will hate, but others will follow to the ends of the Earth. While I can take defeat gracefully, I always put everything into winning when I compete. I don't cheat in games, but I cheat in real life where the stakes are high, because I won't lose. Knowing I played fair doesn't help me find any honor in starving. And I have dignity, which I believe is an increasingly scarce trait in this day and age.

On a more superficial level, I'm pretty much in a dungeon right now. My current digs are an unfinished basement with the walls painted black. It's about as dungeon-like as you can get. I tend to be awake at night and sleep in the day and generally avoid sunlight, which other Slytherins have told me is a bit of a House quirk. ^^; I have a simple and elegant aesthetic, fine things without gaudiness.

Describe something you've done that you consider Slytherin-like: Well, once, to see a friend, I rode my bicycle several hundred miles, and then hitchhiked several thousand miles. I think this shows that I'll be creative in pursuit of what I want--most people would have just said it was impossible, that they couldn't afford a plane ticket or a passport or whatever, but I got off my ass and I did what I had to do, by hook or by crook. I won't go into the less legal details in a public forum, but I had to lie and steal to make that trip, and I did it without compunction, but I also did it for love.

I think Snape showed us there's nothing a Slytherin won't do for love.

What, in your personal opinion, is a Slytherin's code of conduct: Don't lose. And I mean, don't lose the fight, don't let them keep you down, don't lose your sense of who you are, finish what you start. Stick together, and look out for each other. This can mean going into the dark to save a friend, or it can mean saving a friend from the dark, but this is the house where you meet your true friends, the ones who will help you on your way to greatness, so if you can't win, make sure your friends do. A house divided will destroy itself, and then we all lose.

If you couldn't be in Slytherin, which other house would you be in, and why shouldn't you be in that house in the first place: Gryffindor. I love them, but they're a bit too simple and direct. Slytherins are, if nothing else, complicated. They say that Gryffindor and Slytherin are two sides of the same coin, and I used to think I was a Gryffindor, before I realized how well Slytherin fit me. There's a lot of duality there--the Gryffindors being direct while the Slytherins are more serpentine, a highway compared to a labyrinth, the visible and the hidden. The element of Gryffindor is fire, and the element of Slytherin is water, which are age-old opposites, cognate to the sun and the moon, masculine and feminine energies, the conscious and subconscious. Gryffindors may value truth and justice, but Slytherins know that truth goes deeper, that there is always more than meets the eye, and nothing is as it seems. So Slytherins are, if you will, mirror-imaged Gryffindors, which is probably why the hatred between the two Houses can get so heated--because we are in some ways so alike.

I don't always take the straightest path, and I search for the deeper truth beneath what is seen on the surface, and I have a great love of subtlety. Ergo, Slytherin.

Explain in less than 500 words why you wish to join slytherin: It's always nice to meet other snakes. :) I'd love to see what kind of conversations are going on.

A picture of me:



There's another one here, linked because it's slightly NSFW (though you can't really see anything)--I just couldn't resist because it has an actual snake in it.