Though it has been nine years since J.K. Rowling released Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, and five years since the release of the final film, the Harry Potter fan theories keep on coming, thanks in part to the very dedicated Harry Potter Tumblr community.
Tumblr user claudthecat has suggested another theory, this time regarding the Hogwarts Houses and the Sorting Hat:
If You Want To Be Sorted Into Gryffindor, All You Need To Do Is Ask
Sounds a little too simple, right? Claudthecat has some examples up her sleeve to back up her argument, although if you're a Harry Potter tragic, you might have already heard or had these same thoughts before.
We all know that Harry would have made a great Slytherin, thanks in part to the Sorting Hat sensing a part of Voldemort's soul within Harry. We also hear it from Dumbledore in The Chamber Of Secrets when he admits that Harry does in fact possess qualities found in Slytherins, including "Parseltongue — resourcefulness — determination — a certain disregard for rules."
However, it's Harry's choice that leads him to becoming a Gryffindor, as Dumbledore ever-so-wisely says:
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Just as Dumbledore comforts Harry by reminding him that he always has a choice, Harry later tells his son Albus Severus the same thing, only this time with less prejudice against Slytherin, thanks to Snape.
Moving on to other characters, claudthecat makes the point: "Ron was loyal to the extent that it led him back to his friends when his bravery failed him, so why isn’t he a true Hufflepuff?" Which is a legitimate question. While Ron desperately wants to be in Gryffindor and follow in the steps of his older siblings, he often shows his lack of courage in the face of danger, especially when spiders are involved.
Although he manages to stick it out, it is Ron's loyalty that keeps him around and fighting alongside Harry and his friends. Of all the Houses, Hufflepuff values loyalty, dedication and friendship the most, so claudthecat's placement of Ron in Hufflepuff makes sense. We could also say the same thing about Neville, who is brave, but above all, extremely loyal to his friends.
She makes the same assertion for Crabbe and Goyle (although they fit the "evil Slytherin" trope, they are undoubtedly loyal to Draco); Hagrid, who she describes as "brave, but more than anything he’s fair, loyal and unafraid to defend those he loves"; and Lupin, who she goes into a little more depth with, explaining her reasoning for placing him into Hufflepuff:
When Remus looks back on things he regrets they are moments of cowardice. Not stepping up as was expected of him. See; not telling James and Sirius to stop bullying Snape. Being too scared to lose that friendship than to stand up for what he knew was right. Not staying with Tonks and Teddy ... and then not telling Dumbledore that Sirius was an animagus for fear of losing Dumbledore’s trust despite possibly putting hundreds of children in danger, including his best friend’s son.
Claudthecat skips over Hermione, although most people can safely say that she would also make a great Ravenclaw, as well as a Gryffindor. She places Arthur Weasley in Ravenclaw due to his "fantastic, unhindered curiosity," and places Fred and George in Slytherin for their love of "a cunning plan - hatching and have huge ambition ... they’re more cunning and ambitious and resourceful than brave and I think above bravery, they seem to value loyalty." If we're sticking with the stereotype that Slytherin's value wealth, then Fred and George's desire to leave school in pursuit of a successful business would add to the Slytherin argument.
Finally, claudthecat makes the controversial decision to place Dumbledore in Slytherin, saying that "he is the single most cunning, resourceful man in the series, more so than Voldemort himself. He, perhaps in his later years, lacks the ambition but in his younger years her certainly didn’t!" But Dumbledore is a tricky character to place. It could be said that he belongs in any of the Houses, as he no doubt possesses qualities suited for each — knowledgeable, manipulative, loyal and courageous. However, it's his bravery that stands out the most: He founded the Order Of The Phoenix, spoke Voldemort's name freely before most people even dared to, encouraged the same level of bravery among his allies, fought his hardest to protect Hogwarts and the magical community, and sacrificed himself for the greater good.
While claudthecat presents decent points on some of our favorite characters, the assumption that all you need to do is ask to be in Gryffindor is a little flimsy and can be applied to any of the four Houses. Harry and co. wanted to be in Gryffindor and they got their wishes; however, the same can apply to loyal Slytherins like Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle.
It is our choices that truly define who we are, as Dumbledore puts it, which is great news for a Gryffindor stuck in Ravenclaw like myself.