I was not feeling terribly well last night and picked up my well-worn copy of LWW just to let myself dip into a few of its friendly and familiar pages. And right there, on page three, we have this exchange among the four children who have just landed at the Professors' house:
"It's an owl," said Peter. "This is going to be a wonderful place for birds. I shall go to bed now. I say, let's go and explore to-morrow. You might find anything in a place like this. Did you see those mountains as we came along? And the woods? There might be eagles. There might be stags. There'll be hawks."
"Badgers!" said Lucy.
"Snakes!" said Edmund.
"Foxes!" said Susan.
Laying aside the fun possibility that the owl they hear hooting outside is delivering mail, don't you find their animal choices somewhat fascinating? In the world of Harry Potter, the animals associated with people are always "telling" about someone's character -- whether they are the animals associated with their Hogwarts house, or with their patronuses or an animagus form.
Peter's enthusiasm gives us a lot of animals to choose from, but I find it interesting that he ends with stags and hawks. The reference to stags here at the beginning of the story could be a pre-echo of the end of the tale, but as I think of it in connection to Harry Potter, I think of course of Prongs. Hawks are birds associated with heraldry -- not to mention hawks rhymes with Fawkes. Put that all together with Peter's kingly courage and the gift of the sword from Father Christmas, and I'm going to say the Sorting Hat would put him in Gryffindor.
Lucy's badger puts her firmly in Hufflepuff, which I find delightful and just right. Her loyalty to the truth, her faithfulness to Aslan, and her perseverance in the face of trials all seem to make this Hogwarts house just the right place for her.
"Snakes!" said Edmund...which is where I almost started laughing. Slytherin, anyone? Edmund, pre-Narnia and especially pre-encounter-with-Aslan, seems to fit the scheming, ambitious, smart-yet-insecure portrait of many a Slytherin. Post-Aslan, of course, he's a different sort of boy, and one can imagine him having more trouble fitting into Slytherin after that (one thinks of Jill Pole noting how much Eustace has changed when he goes back to school after his adventures in Narnia) but perhaps he could bring qualities that house sorely needs.
Susan's mention of foxes is a little more ambiguous, though I do think that foxes, as very smart animals, make her a potentially good fit for Ravenclaw. It's too bad that she didn't say eagle instead of Peter, or this whole scheme would feel almost tailor-made for the four houses.
It would be interesting to see a whole family sorted into different houses, unlike the Weasleys who are just Gryffindors through and through.
I feel half-way certain that I must've read something about this somewhere at some point, or it wouldn't have jumped off the page and bitten me like it did last night. So forgive me if the thoughts aren't entirely original. I just found it fun to contemplate story worlds colliding. I've written about that in other ways before, both here (where I find preludes to Rowling in E.M. Forster) and here (where I find them in Elizabeth Goudge). Hmm. And I've found bits of Tolkien in Rowling too. Once again, we realize just what a wonderful story soup Rowling has stirred up in Harry Potter.