I want a new Patronus.
I know that’s not how it works (as in I can’t take the quiz again) but what I’m saying is, that’s not how it works either (as in this is no way to decide a person’s Patronus!)! Listen, I’ve been on board with pretty much everything else on Pottermore, and this from a guy who’s usually very much against anything resembling a sequel (I still refuse to believe there is more than one Pirates of the Carribean movie). The extra stories are great, the history is great, even the new school sounds kind of awesome. It’s just, like, you know how when you order onion rings with your burger, but then the waiter brings fries (chips) and so you know you’ve got to say something even though you kind of don’t want to because the burger is really good and there’s nothing really wrong with the fries– but you really really want onion rings– but then there’s your mom’s (mum’s) voice in the back of your head all, “be grateful for what you have because there are starving kids in Africa who would love fries (chips)” and then you have to wonder how there’s that voice in the back of your head because you’re pretty sure your mother (muther?) has never said those words ever (also is your back-conscious conjuration of you mother slightly racist?) but– what was I saying? Oh right: Point is, Pottermore is so freaking good, I almost don’t want to say anything at all. But I really want those onion rings.
Before I go further, I just want it known that I’m a Gryffindor/Thunderbird with a snowy owl Patronus, which is one of the coolest combinations ever so this isn’t just some “I don’t like it” kind of tantrum. I’ve got nothing against the snowy owl (read: #neverforget #hedwigforever). The problem is, I’ve got nothing for the snowy owl either. It just really means nothing to me (unless you actually count Hedwig but that’s far too meta), and in this I think you can see my problem.
The first thing we ever learned about the Patronus Charm was taught by Professor Lupin in Prisoner of Azkaban, when he tells Harry that “the Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon – hope, happiness, the desire to survive – but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can’t hurt it.” Throughout the rest of the original series we see a multiplicity of uses for the charm, such as delivering messages and carrying out simple tasks for the conjurer. From extended canon we learn that a Patronus can be described as a “secret self” and that it “generally takes the shape of the animal with whom they [the witch/wizard] share the deepest affinity.” That’s from Miranda Goshawk, who goes on, “You may suspect, but you will never truly know what form your Patronus will take until you succeed in conjuring it.” Basically it can be anything from your inner otter to your dead dad’s spirit animal.
The more implied conclusion in all this, though, seen not precisely from the text but in the patterns emerging from those on record who have successfully conjured one, is that for anyone who finds out what form their Patronus takes, it just fits. It just seems right. It’s perfect for whoever conjured it. It’s a significant figure that embodies whatever inner force inside is pure and great enough to fight off “fear itself”. Unfortunately, as much as I hate to say it (read: #sorrynotsorryHedwig), my snowy owl Patronus is just not that for me. I’m not saying I don’t like it; in fact, I nothing it. I feel nothing for it. And, from what I’ve gathered in the highly representative sample of “people I’ve casually talked to about this”, there are a lot of others who feel (or rather don’t) the same way towards theirs.
I haven’t come up with my own solution, I’m sorry to say. Maybe there is some form of a quiz that can more accurately unlock my secret inner-animal guardian. But, I mean, the whole timed-click, word-association, journey-through-the-woods thingy? Didn’t cut it. Anyway, Ms. Rowling, I trust you’ll put your best people on the case. At least I hope you will, because if it’s all the same to you, I really want a new Patronus.