A true Gryffindor

Dumbledore reassures Harry that he is in the right house at Hogwarts

Extract from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling

‘So I should be in Slytherin,’ Harry said, looking desperately into Dumbledore’s face. ‘The Sorting Hat could see Slytherin’s power in me, and it –’

‘Put you in Gryffindor,’ said Dumbledore calmly. ‘Listen to me, Harry. You happen to have many qualities Salazar Slytherin prized in his hand-picked students. His own very rare gift, Parseltongue ... resourcefulness ... determination ... a certain disregard for rules,’ he added, his moustache quivering again. ‘Yet the Sorting Hat placed you in Gryffindor. You know why that was. Think.’

‘It only put me in Gryffindor,’ said Harry in a defeated voice, ‘because I asked not to go in Slytherin ...’

‘Exactly,’ said Dumbledore, beaming once more. ‘Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’ Harry sat motionless in his chair, stunned. ‘If you want proof, Harry, that you belong in Gryffindor, I suggest you look more closely at this.’

Dumbledore reached across to Professor McGonagall’s desk, picked up the blood-stained silver sword and handed it to Harry.

Dully, Harry turned it over, the rubies blazing in the firelight. And then he saw the name engraved just below the hilt.

Godric Gryffindor.

‘Only a true Gryffindor could have pulled that out of the Hat, Harry,’ said Dumbledore simply.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling