Sorting Hat Saturday: Fantastic Beasts

Usually, on Saturdays, I sort characters from other stories into Hogwarts Houses. But today, I’m going to look at the Fantastic Beasts characters instead. Since they come from America rather than Britain, none of the new characters except Newt Scamander have Hogwarts houses. Here are my thoughts on where they’d be sorted if they’d gone to Hogwarts instead of Ilvermorny:

I tried not to give away the biggest plot twist, but Fantastic Beasts spoilers ahead!

Tina Goldstein: Gryffindor. Tina struggles to be brave, but only because trying to play hero has left her scarred in the past. At heart, she’s someone who follows her gut and stands up for what’s right, and she finds that part of herself again over the course of the movie.

Queenie Goldstein: Slytherin. If it’s even possible for a Slytherin to have such a big heart and warm personality – which I think it is. Queenie is quite capable of using what she learns via legilimency to manipulate others, especially to protect her loved ones. She’s skilled at coming up with believable lies and gets the others out of a near-death situation by being cunning rather than by rushing in to fight. The only part I’d hesitate on is ambition, because Tina is the career-minded sister. But like most Slytherins, Queenie will do anything to achieve her goals. It’s just that her goals aren’t power, money, or other things we normally associate with ambition.

Jacob Kowalski: Hufflepuff. Jacob is the most “normal” character in the movie, and his down-to-earth personality is reflected in his goal: to start a bakery and make a living doing something he loves. He quickly becomes loyal to Newt and is eager to see himself as part of the group, reminding Queenie at a key moment that she herself said he was one of them. While Newt – unusually for a Hufflepuff – struggles at dealing with people and gets along better with his magical creatures, Jacob is a natural people person.

Seraphina Picquery: Slytherin. As President of MACUSA, Seraphina is willing to do whatever it takes to maintain the International Statute of Secrecy – whether that means standing up to Grindelwald, arresting Newt, or ordering the death of an emotionally broken young man. While the other houses might debate what can be justified “for the greater good”, Slytherins are more pragmatic and tend to believe that the ends justifies the means.

Modesty Barebone: Gryffindor. I’m basing this mostly on the moment when she admits the wand is hers instead of letting Credence take the blame. That’s a very brave thing to do, especially since she’s seen firsthand their mother’s cruelty and hatred of witchcraft.

Credence Barebone: Hufflepuff. Credence was probably the hardest character to sort because his internal conflict overshadows anything else we might see of his character. He’s repressed not only his magic but much of his individuality. However, he is in search of a place to belong and someone to be loyal to, and goes to great lengths to try to conform to the group he’s part of. He is desperate for human connection despite the lack of love in his family, as seen in his relationships with Percival Graves and Modesty. Emotional isolation is hard for almost anyone, but especially for Hufflepuffs, who thrive as part of a group.

Mary Lou Barebone: Gryffindor. As the leader of an anti-witchcraft movement, Mary Lou would no doubt be horrified to know I’d sorted her into a Hogwarts house, but all the more reason to do it. Gryffindors often fight for a cause they believe in, and that’s exactly what Mary Lou is doing, in a very twisted way. Her cause is based in hatred, but she stands up for it as boldly as any Gryffindor. I hesitated to put her there, however, because she’s not just a well-intentioned crusader doing awful things “for the greater good”. Her cruelty towards her children is absolutely horrific and not something that can be justified by her belief that she’s fighting evil. But as seen with Peter Pettigrew, Gryffindors can be capable of evil. Mary Lou is not cunning or ambitious, not loyal or fair, and certainly not intelligent or wise. She fits Gryffindor by far the best out of the four houses.

Grindelwald: Slytherin. Isn’t this obvious?

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Modesty

Warning: Fantastic Beasts spoilers

One thing I would like to see in the Fantastic Beasts sequels? Newt and Tina adopting Modesty Barebone. I know, you’re probably wondering where that came from, but just hear me out:

After what happened in the first movie, Modesty is now on her own. Somewhere in that obliviated city, she’s waking up with no memory of what just happened, in an empty house, with her mother and Credence nowhere to be found. Maybe she wanders out into the city, looking towards a brighter future but still vulnerable and haunted by everything that’s happened to her. Maybe she wanders right into a familiar face, someone who had been kind to her and her siblings before: Tina Goldstein.

She doesn’t remember, but Tina does. She tried so hard to protect the Barebone children before, so she takes Modesty under her wing, ignoring Rappaport’s Law for what she knows is right. Not just for Modesty: she starts trying to help the other New Salem kids as well, getting the ones in the worst situations out, finding them new families, watching for any signs of young witches or wizards so that she can protect them from what happened to Credence. And if we do see Credence again (I think he’s dead, but it’s hard to say for sure), what would be more heartwarming than for him to find his little sister happy and safe?

But Modesty is still haunted by memories of an abusive mother, and maybe calling someone else “mom” hits a little too close to home for her. So Tina and Queenie become her aunts.

Maybe Modesty, who hid a wand under her bed and threw away Second Salem flyers, turns out to have magic in her after all. Maybe with Aunt Tina and Aunt Queenie’s guidance, she learns to accept it instead of letting it destroy her, and once she’s eleven they send her off to Ilvermorny to learn how to use it. Or maybe she never develops powers of her own, but finds the love and warmth her old family lacked in the magical world.

By the time Newt comes to see Tina again, Modesty is barely recognizable. She skips across the sidewalk, singing an ordinary song instead of a creepy chant, bright-eyed and smiling. She still sometimes has nightmares, still sometimes panics when something reminds her of her old life, but she’s learning to be a kid again. He’s immediately won over. She doesn’t know much about magical creatures, so he decides to teach her, because it’s always better to understand something than to be ignorant and scared. Maybe he even gives her a pet kneazle, Tina having put her foot down when he suggested a niffler. And a few months later, or maybe a few years later, he takes her aside and asks her how she’d feel about having a new uncle.

“Only if it’s you,” she tells him. So Modesty Barebone becomes Modesty Goldstein-Scamander. Just like Harry, she leaves behind a miserable childhood and finds a new family in the wizarding world.

Unlikely, I know, but wouldn’t it be sweet?