Disclaimer: The Potterverse does not belong to me.


Ravenclaw House was stereotypically known as the 'Smart House'. None of its members necessarily disagreed – who protests at being labelled smart? – but most of them felt that something was lacking. Something about being labelled 'smart' felt wrong. They were so much more than that, after all. They weren't just the Smart House. They were the different house, the house prized for its individuality and its general quirkiness, the house made up of people who had an obsession over something and would go through hell to get that book from the restricted section that was sure to give them that extra interesting fact that no one else knew.

As an example, most first year Ravenclaws were dreadfully surprised at being sorted into the Ravenclaw house. Little Tilda Stevens, upon being sorted into Ravenclaw, turned to a fifth year Ravenclaw and said, "I didn't realise that I was so smart!"

The almighty fifth year, it must be confessed, let out a little snort. "Just 'cause you're in Ravenclaw, doesn't mean you're smart."

The first year's self-esteem was sadly put down. However, she slowly grew to love her house and appreciate it for more than its stereotypes.

Later that night, after the feast, she and the other Ravenclaw first years stood outside the Ravenclaw door with the prefect. The door seemed to be considering, before it finally said, "Here is the riddle. Answer it, and you will enter. You can always find me in the past. I can be created in the present, but the future can never taint me. What am I?"

The entire group looked at the prefect expectantly. He seemed to be thinking, then shook his head. "Sorry, I got nothing," he said. "What do you lot think?"

There was a confused silence. Then a small boy said, "So you're not going to tell us?"

"No, we're going to work it out together." The prefect sat down, and a hesitation hung over the group before they too followed him, sitting down on the cold stone floor. "So. What do you lot think it is? Any ideas?"

"You can always find me in the past," said a small girl. "So, like… like…"

"Black and white films," shouted a muggleborn, meeting both confusion and laughter.

"I can be created in the present," said the girl.

"But anything can be created in the present!" said someone.

"But the future can never taint me."

"So like something to do with a time machine?" said a muggleborn. This, of course, resulted in an explanation surrounding Albert Einstein, Time Turners, and Doctor Who. The prefect (who was a muggleborn himself, and was as a result enjoying the whole thing immensely), eventually called for order.

"You lot need to think outside the box," he said. "That's part of being a Ravenclaw. You can't just stay inside the lines. You have to think big!"

There was a silence as they racked their brains. Tilda was a tad confused, but tried to calm her mind, just as her mother had taught her. Clear your brain. Come on, think. What can be found in the past, made in the present, and is not tainted by the future?

And just like that, she had it. She opened her eyes, her whole face shining with delight. "I have it," she said, at exactly the same time as another girl and a small boy.

The prefect looked immensely proud. "Well, why don't you all say it at the same time?"

"History," the three of them chirped.

There was a chorus of "Ohhh!" With a click, the door opened and revealed the Ravenclaw Common Room. They all surged in – followed by a group of older Ravenclaws who had been interestedly watching their attempt at opening the door – while the prefect kept talking about how they had to 'clear their mind' and 'think about it logically' otherwise 'you could be there all night'. No one really paid attention, for everyone was far too excited at finally making it inside.

Five years later, Tilda stood outside with the group of twelve first years and, slowly but surely, worked out the door's riddle together. "We'll do it together," she said, and so they did.

The tradition was carried on, and continues to this very day.