In my last Fandom Friday, while thinking of the perfect crossover, I became obsessed with the idea of the studets of Brakebills, the magical academy of Lev Grossman’s Magicians Trilogy, attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Before reading The Magicians, I had often heard it referred to as Harry Potter for grownups. There are two things wrong with that statement; 1) Uhh, what do you mean? Harry Potter is totally for grownups, 2) A school for magic is about the only thing they have in common. Regardless, wouldn’t it be great if the two mixed and mingled? If so, our favorite British witches and wizards would be cussing like sailors and having heated, sexy affairs, and the American magicians would probably just be puzzled that they have to use wands for all their magic, but would have a blast playing Quidditch!
This little fantasy had me sorting Grossman’s characters into houses (as I do with everyone I meet) and speculating what their years at Hogwarts would be like.
Quentin // Ravenclaw
Illustration by Cecilia Bohlin courtesy of levgrossman.com
Quentin had the Sorting Hat in a dizzy. Great potential surged through him. Incredible power and immense self-worth for sure, but with little respect for how his actions affected others. Would it be Sytherin? It was clear to the hat that this boy was among the smartest in the room and he was well aware of it. He had excelled in all his previous studies and would have been on his way to the Ivy League. Would it be Ravenclaw? Minutes seemed like an eternity as the hat bounced between its final decision, and the Great Hall held its breath. It then became clear that Quentin Coldwater was the laziest son of a b—- who had ever walked through these halls, and had the ambition of a housefly. Certainly not Slytherin material.
“RAVENCLAW” It shouted.
Alice // Ravenclaw
Alice wanted to disappear on the spot. Having everyone’s eyes upon her was her worst nightmare. “Make this quick,” she thought, and it was. The sorting hat could sense that she had a natural talent for magic, just like her parents, who it had sorted years ago. It would come as easy to her as breathing and she would be one of the greatest Hogwarts had ever see. “Ravenclaw!”
Alice gave a huge sigh of relief, not out fear of where she would be placed, but because she was finally out of the spotlight. She made her way to the Ravenclaw table and sat as close to the end as she could. Her excited housemates laughed around her, but she kept her head down. It was only when she felt the presence of someone’s eyes on her that she looked up. That Coldwater boy was staring at her. She shot him daggers, her expression screaming “What are you looking at?!” It seemed to work.
During the first few weeks, she flew through her classes with flying colors, but always on her heel was Quentin. What was his deal anyways?
Eliot // Gryffindor
A buzz rang in Eliot’s ear as he walked up to the hat. He probably shouldn’t have had that third glass or wine, or was it the fourth? Or that bottle of butterbeer… or that shot of fire whiskey he downed in the secrecy of the bathroom stall. It didn’t matter, he wasn’t nervous. In fact he was loving the throngs of people waiting on the edge of their seats to see where he ended up. The first thing the Sorting Hat picked up was that Eliot was a natural born leader, but quick to throw himself into risky situations. The obvious choice was… “Gryffindor!”
He smirked to himself as he went to find a seat at his house’s table. A rakish blond wizard caught his eye and gave him a wink. “This is going to be a good year,” Eliot thought as he unloaded a flask of vodka into his pumpkin juice.
Julia // Slytherin
At last. After all the anguish she had gone through, Julia was finally here at Hogwarts. How could she have lived in the Muggle world while all her friends had gone on to learn magic, their true calling? Julia would have done anything, even kill, to earn her spot here. Luckily it never came to that. Instead, she had ventured down Knockturn Alley to gain as much knowledge as she could, eventually proving that she had magic in her blood. There was only a slight side effect to that; she now was a bit too familiar with the dark arts.
“Sytherin!” the house announced without even touching her head.
Janet // Hufflepuff
Janet confidently strode up to the hat, but inside her mind was racing with insecurity. Eliot was her best friend and he had already been placed in Gryffindor. What if they didn’t end up together? What if she was all alone? What if she didn’t make any friends? They had already planned to throw wild parties in the Common Room with butterbeer flowing like a river, boys on both their arms. Within an instant, the Sorting Hat could tell that she was fiercely loyal to her friends and shouted “Hufflepuff!” Janet’s face fell and she glanced longingly over at Eliot.
However, the first night at Hogwarts, Janet broke into the kitchen’s store of mead, conveniently placed by the Hufflepuff common room, and gave her fellow house a night that would go down in history.
Penny // Slytherin
“This is another tough case,” the Sorting Hat thought, and it wasn’t just trying to fit over Penny’s mohawk. Now here was a young man who really knew how magic worked. So much so, that he would be able to create his own spells. Ravenclaw would truly help him tap into this skill. But he was also a loose cannon; a student who wouldn’t play well with others. He would strive to prove himself no matter what the cost, whether it be the feelings of others or their lives. There was only one place for someone as ambitious as him, “Sytherin!”
Penny turned as if he were walking back to his designated table, but instead went right past and straight out of the Great Hall. He had no time for this kumbaya shit.
Within no time, Penny find the Room of Requirements and spend much of his time locked away in there, his powers growing stronger and stronger.
Josh // Hufflepuff
Illustration by Trevor John Polcyn courtesy of Lev Grossman’s Pinterest page.
Josh had already made so many new friends that he didn’t even hear the Headmaster call his name. By the second time it was announced, he made a joke to excuse himself and walked confidently up to the hat. Would it be possible to charm the pants off the Sorting Hat? If so, Josh was determined to do it. The hat instantly sensed his good nature and the value he placed on friendship. It also could feel uncontrollable bursts of power surging beneath the boys skin. “Hufflepuff!”
He gave a touchdown dance, and quickly made his way back to the table to rejoin the conversation.
When Quidditch tryouts came around, Josh would earn his spot as one of the Hufflepuff team’s beaters. But no hard feelings when he knocked you off your broom.