The Pottermore Experiment

As you might remember did I re-discover my wand core on Pottermore not long ago. By now I have played a bit again and started thinking that it might be interesting for my mum as well, simply because she likes point and click games.
From this thought another one started to form:

If my parents went through the sorting, which house would they get?

And thus started the Pottermore Experiment.

The Experiment Set-Up

To learn the answer to my question I had to register my parents to the site (see Link above).
When I made the account for my mum I had the slight fear they wouldn’t let me, as I already used the E-Mail address with mine. But I was able to create it and clicked through the tutorial pages while my mum read them. I tried letting her navigate by herself, but she’s awful at using the touch pad on my laptop ( I didn’t even bother to do either when it was my dad’s turn).
Therefore I navigated through the game and read the questions and answers out loud for her and later for my dad again (They by the way had different questions). While my mum knew what I was up to, my dad only realized it when we started the sorting, but neither of them were as curious as me.
Both times I tried to not influence them by stopping at certain answers I found most fitting, but I do believe some of their choices where more a „I have no idea what I’m supposed to answer so I’m just randomly picking one“ than „Yes, this sounds like me.“.
But I still got my results and that is what counts in the end (however weird they might be).

The Wands

The people familiar with the Harry Potter universe know that wands can be quite different even within the same family. Seemingly my family is even more different than that…
At Ollivanders you can get wands with Unicorn hair, Dragonheart strings or a Phoenix Feather.
Long story short: We managed to divide those three among us.
You already know that my wand is Laurel and Unicorn hair, my dad in turn got Larch and Dragonheart strings, while my mum got Dogwood and the Phoenix Feather. Both of their wands are supple, while mine is only slightly yielding. Seems like I am more stubborn than my dad after all. 😉
The attributes of these wands fit quite well for them (and for me too I guess) and even the lengths are according to their size differences (12 1/2 inch vs. 10 inch; mine is the odd one out with 10 3/4 and doesn’t fit the height pattern as I’m closer to my dad).
When the wands had chosen their wielder we finally got to the interesting part:


When I made the test back in 2012 I more or less anticipated to end up in Ravenclaw, but regardless of my interest in knowledge and reading, did the Sorting Hat put me into Slytherin.  Yeah, the one usually associated with the bad guys, but hey, even Merlin was in this house. 😉 I was surprised, but not unsatisfied with this decision, I’m probably far too lazy to be a Ravenclaw anyway…
Before my mum started answering the questions we speculated again and I would have put her into Hufflepuff. Afterwards we knew she is a Gryffindor. She was happy about it and I was confused. Though thinking about it, I guess she would be the Neville-kind of student. Always in the background, but there when you need her.
Now this got me thinking: If mum is a Gryffindor, than dad has to be in Slytherin, as we share quite a bunch of traits.
Thanks to my incredible sorting skills he wasn’t in the anticipated house either…
He is in Gryffindor as well…


With my parents in the house that has an ever lasting rivalry with my own I seem to be truly the Black Sheep in my family…
It is a bit confusing and somewhat shoking, but I don’t mind being with the snakes. 😀
It is a bit scary how well the Algorithm behind either question set work to determine your wand and house. During my Bachelors thesis I looked a bit into different mechanisms to do things like that and I can only say that I am highly impressed at how well they programmed it. I would really like to have a look at it one day…
Does anyone know how you can apply as programmer/employee for Pottermore? 😀
(Or at least tell them their German translations are awfully complicated and not without errors)
But I do believe that the house sorting could need a couple more questions, as I am pretty sure some decisions where a close call. You can’t argue with a program the way you can with the Hat and you wont know what the alternative would have been, so you are left with the results, questioning how the decision was made. Who knows maybe you’ll end up in a different house just because you had different questions than before (Happened to someone I know, first sorting Slytherin, second Ravenclaw)?
Anyway, have you tried sorting your family members into the different Hogwarts houses?
What were the results and do you agree with them/are you satisfied with them?
Let me know, maybe I’m not the only odd one out. 😀


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