To the editors, Hogwarts Today Alumni Magazine:
I am surprised at the indignation going around about how students from Slitherin managed to "break into" Ravenclaw without having someone tell them the answer to the Ravenclaw riddle ("Dark Magic in Ravenclaw, Slitherin students fess up" Daily Prophet, 19 September 2011). Every other house has a password--an arbitrary string that has no semantic relationship to the house, its history or characteristics. The Ravenclaw riddle, however, is a question with a single answer. Since the answer to the riddle is effectively a password, Ravenclaw is the only house that offers a clue to its password for those wishing to enter. We all know the Sorting Hat sometimes encounters a near toss-up with certain students, so those who would be well suited to Ravenclaw may be placed in one of the other houses.
Seriously, those of us who were sorted into Ravenclaw all know that the riddle had to strike a balance between being sufficiently challenging, yet not so difficult that the youngest students would be routinely forced to spend the night in the hall. To that end some have argued that the riddle for entry into Ravenclaw be adjusted based on the year of the student wishing to gain entry. If that were to be the case, then wouldn't it be just as easy to inform the guardians at each house of who is allowed in and do away with passwords and riddles entirely? I understand the sentimental reasons for keeping this ancient tradition. But we in the wizarding world have more than enough sentimentality to go round, sometimes a little logic might do us some good.
Ravenclaw class of '92
Ashby cum Fenby, Lincolnshire