Everyone’s tweeting and Facebook-posting and texting me, for some reason, about this new Patronus quiz. Now, I thought I took this quiz a long time ago, but it turns out that the one I tried to take was a “sorting hat quiz” that assigns the quiz-taker a Harry Potter “house.” I didn’t go to boarding school or anything, but to me that sounds pretty much like a cult, probably.
I half-assedly tried to sign up for Pottermore once, when the sorting hat quiz was a big deal. It was like a twelve step program to get an account. In my hazy recollection, I gave up after several tries. Signing up for a Nickelodeon account when I was 13 was easier than this. Children accomplish this, and I cannot.
I’m told by people who go to Harry Potter World for honeymoons that a patronus is NOT your house animal, like the big fancy bird or the honey badgers that belong to houses in the HP world. The patronus is your “spirit animal,” to put it in a culturally appropriative yet socially recognizable way. It’s what you are, deep down.
So here I am facing this freaking signup for Pottermore again, because my social feed has peer pressured me into finding out what kind of lame-ass animal I am. I know it will be lame, like a groundhog or some similar kind of chunky furry land-dweller, because the same friends have informed me I am House Hufflepuff. And I’m ok with that. Which is more evidence toward Team Hufflepuff, I think.
Somehow, I ended up completing enough steps in my first go at Pottermore years ago, because I successfully log in with the same password and email that I use for everything. I’m brought to a page where my cursor is glittery and trails fairy dust around the screen. I spend some time playing with that. It’s nice. I could do this for a while instead of taking the actual quiz.
After I hit Begin, it presents me with “Shine Glitter Glow,” so now we’re in a Claire’s, that’s cool. Next, I swoop over to “Blood, Bone” and I hesitate because it’s Hot Topic now and I am really conflicted. Blood or bone, indeed!? The words disappear before I can choose, because apparently something called a dementor could have “gotten me” while I hesitated. I’m not sure what a dementor is but I don’t want that.
Next are a bunch more adjectives and prepositions: Over Under Around, Warm Cold, and… that’s it? I’m suddenly faced with a blob of swirling sparklies that I assume will form into my patronus, but instead it just hangs out and swirls at me for a solid three minutes, taking a lot of joy out of eating through my MacBook Air’s meager CPU resources. My laptop is legitimately hot at this point.
It shows no sign of stopping after a full 10 minutes, which is way beyond my attention span and those of the children taking this quiz. So I refresh the page and start over. My patronus cannot be “confused glitter blob.” It’s really accurate but I need some answers.
This time around, it gives me a much less graphically intense version. It’s just a pretty background with words, and it all holds still instead of swooshing around. Excellent. I get much farther, this time. “Something’s trying to emerge from your wand, keep going!” it tells me. They let kids take this? “It’s forming! It’s forming!” Jesus, J.K. Rowling. Calm it.
Finally, the moment! My patronus is… a Pine Marten. I fucking knew it would be some furry ground dwelling punk-ass weasel looking slinky-cat. The kind of animal that sticks its face into wine glasses and then tips the whole thing over or makes homes in hats. Totally called it. I knew it in my heart of hearts.
But wait! A cursory Google of my newfound animal form tells me that Pine Martens are “adorable assassins.” Okay, I’ll take it. Maybe there is something to this quiz. I will own my Pine Marten-ness, because it is mine. Work with what you’ve got.