Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Gen, Mood Piece
Archive: Ask me first, please.
Disclaimer: The Harry Potter universe obviously does not belong to me.
Summary: An unnamed Slytherin muses on the other things the House does.
Author's Notes: I don't tend to write long things these days, do I? Nope. Also, thanks to betas amberfox and hlynna for elbowing me in the ribs to make it better.
"Power," the Sorting Hat sang triumphantly, "Ambition." Funny how the rest of the room looked at the Hat with lowered brows just then. As if the only sort of ambition were political, the only sort of power were lives squished directly under the thumb. To be sure, there were the political ones amongst us, but they kept to themselves. They plotted, as naturally as stars burn and rain falls, and caught us up in their plots (we had no choice; they'd use us with our cooperation or without), but the rest of us could have done without that as easily as not.
The Muggles have many things wrong with their conception of the world, but they are wise enough to say "The pen is mightier than the sword". What lure is there in having control of the body, when your words can wrap around the spirit, and uplift it or dash it at your whim? What glory can there be in the political arena when you can have your name on everyone's lips, your tome in their hands? Even the attentions of the critics have value, to draw the attention of those who might have never heard otherwise, the critics' flames serving to forge the craft ever finer. The Ravenclaws write learned things: dry recitations of fact, technically perfect and uninspired poetry. Hufflepuffs write the common, catchy things: fifteen minutes in the sun, and then forgotten. Gryffindors write their memoirs after their heroing days are over (dicti-quill, often; there are some things that even modern Wizarding medicine can't fix) or explore new avenues of art, alternately praised and scorned. We Slytherins are the only ones with the passion, the brilliance, the ambition, to write the truly universal. We constantly hone our pens ever finer: practice, comparison, competition. The man the Muggles know as the Bard did not sort Ravenclaw, my friends.
We have the painters, and the playwrights, the actors, the singers, the dancers. We have artists whose canvas is flesh. Spellcrafters, potion masters, all of those to whom their science is an art, they who should be immortal artists. They are ours.
Why should we wish to be Muggle? There is no power there. The Muggles have no great artists of their own. Even the great artists who believed themselves Muggles knew themselves set apart by a spark even they could not explain. Without the proper training or some innate control, it can burn you out from the inside. We can always spot our own kind. We mark them, and if the line holds true, they are ours. So many of them are sports -- one-off combinations of genes and some sudden wild magic -- not blood that breeds true, talent in bone and body from birth.
A generation of our finest has been taken over by that Muggleseed scum Riddle. All that talent, wasted. Burned out, hijacked, reviled forever. Your day is coming soon, Voldemort. True art razed by the barbarian strikes back.