The lights have gone out, and something is moving through the darkness.

At first, it looks as if the darkness itself is shifting, but you soon realize that what moves is darker than dark, and blacker than the night, its tattered edges flowing, moved by a will rather than a wind.

The room grows suddenly cold, and a skein of frost spiders across the windowpanes. Your breath becomes cloud as it hits the frigid air.

The thing moves into a beam of moonlight, and is revealed to be a hovering mass of black hood and cloak and rattling breath.

It is a Dementor, and it’s here for your soul. What do you do?

You raise your wand. Expecto Patronum!

Something blindingly silver-bright—an animal of some sort—bursts from the end of the wand and hurls itself against the Dementor, which flees in terror, its darkness unable to withstand the light before it.

Congratulations. You’ve just summoned your Patronus! And if you’ve taken the Discover Your Patronus quiz, you know exactly what sort of creature you’ve brought forth.

For those Muggles out there, a Patronus is a guardian, and, as Professor Lupin tells Harry Potter, “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.”

It is a great feat for any wizard in the Harry Potter universe to be able to produce a Patronus—it is one of the most difficult spells in existence, and requires not only the magic words, but intense concentration on a single happy memory.

A Patronus can take on myriad forms, depending on the caster’s personality, history, and, most of all, from the beloved memories from which it springs. For example, Harry Potter’s Patronus is a stag, which is the same shape as his father’s. And Severus Snape’s Patronus is a doe—the same as someone with whom he was deeply in love. Many other characters produce Patronuses which are reflections of their essential natures.

But what of yours? Have you taken the quiz yet? If not, go do it!

And what of those of you who have? If you’re like many others, you’re probably a bit puzzled by the results. There have been great rumblings felt across the internet since the debut of the Patronus quiz from people who are none too happy about being a rat or a mole or a west highland terrier. Worse, once the quiz determines your particular creature, that’s it. You can never change it, at least not without going through the process of creating a new Pottermore account.

Some Potterheads, of course, are well-pleased with their results—those owls and stags and dragons and unicorns among us. The allure with these Patronuses is obvious.

But what of the others? What of the aforementioned rats and moles? Are they really so bad?

Of course not! Let’s take a brief look at how you can find the good qualities in even the most mundane Patronus.

The root of this idea is not a new one. It comes from ancient animistic beliefs about the world and of humankind’s connection to it. These beliefs come not solely from Native American spiritualism—a common misconception—but from a huge number of early belief systems, Eastern and Western alike. The idea is simply based on mankind’s universal, complex and symbiotic relationship with the animal world, and the creative ways we interpreted that relationship in our early days.

In our contemporary world, however, this idea has changed. A spirit animal is now an expression of the deep-seated desire to express the self, and to tell others who we are through the things with which we surround ourselves. We claim something because it says something about us, and whether our spirit animal is a stag, a Big Mac, or Samuel L. Jackson, we want it to speak accurately.

And, unfortunately, some readers just aren’t feeling very mole-like.

But just as every animal has its place, mythological or practical, in its relationship to man, every Patronus has its own unique strengths that may not be outwardly apparent. To give you an example of how you can interpret your Pottermore Patronus Quiz result, let’s examine the humble mole.

Despite being sightless, the mole has incredible senses, and like this cute little creature, those of you who are able to produce a mole Patronus are likely to be sensitive to the world around them, able to discern truth from falsehood with a simple touch.

Like the mole, you’re a guide in dark places, able to find the mysteries and dig up the treasures of life where few others would be able to look for them. You’re a creature of great faith, having given away the sight that the rest of the world relies on in lieu of trusting your keen and accurate perceptions. You are, because of this, able to teach others these same skills, balancing out the skepticism taught by other types of people.

Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? When you consider your Patronus in metaphor, as a symbol of a certain set of strengths, you’ll see so much more than a mole. The questions of the quiz are designed to be answered quickly, tapping more into the subconscious than the waking mind, and although it’s not known how much psychology actually went into these questions, the results don’t seem to be too far from the mark. This author, after all, has a russian blue cat for a Patronus—a perfect fit.

So when you get your mole—or rat or terrier or other humble creature—embrace its little, wriggly self. Be not ashamed. It’s just as good as any dragon or unicorn.

Everyone knows unicorns are flighty and dragons, temperamental, anyway.

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