Long ago, when Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was first built, the four founders chose to divide the students accepted to the school into four individual houses, each named for the founder who served as its head. These houses serve as the living and learning communities of the students, as we share a common room, dormitories, and at times, classes. Thus these houses became a sort of fraternity among the students within them, a fellowship of students who share similar traits and values. Naturally, over time however, these houses began to develop stereotypes. And it is those stereotypes which I write of today.
Hufflepuff, the house of Helga. It is this house and its stereotypes I intend to discuss today. Dedication, hard work, fairness, patience, kindness, tolerance, loyalty. These are the traits for which Hufflepuff is known, and though each of them are positive, this house still suffers from negative stereotypes.
Today, we will start with the founder of Hufflepuff and exactly how her reputation affects those who enter her house each year. Helga Hufflepuff was one of the four founders of Hogwarts, known as one of the brightest witches and wizards of their time. She was a Welsh witch, renowned for her compassionate nature. It was Helga who took in House-elves to work in the castle kitchens for their peace and safety, a decision which at that time was considered the best option. Helga was said to be kind and caring, a woman of tolerance. She was also known to be particularly gifted at food-related charms and to wear a wide smile at all times. Helga was different from her co-founders as Helga was more egalitarian, neglecting to apply strict standards of selection to her house. She was known to bring people from different backgrounds together to help in the building of the school and she was known for her charming ways.
Hufflepuff House thus is the most inclusive among the four houses and they value hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty, and fair play as opposed to a particular aptitude in its members. Stereotypically, students in this house tend to be all of those as well as friendly, honest, and rather impartial. It’s said that because of this, Hufflepuffs are not as competitive and are more modest than the other houses (Except when it comes to Quidditch, of course!). They’re known to have a strong moral code and a sense of right and wrong. They are accepting of everyone and are known to treat each person to cross their paths as equal.
Despite this, negative stereotypes for the house still exist. It is theorised that Hufflepuffs are the leftovers-they aren’t brave or smart or cunning and thus are simply shoved in the house of Badgers. Unlike the other houses, they don’t /particularly/ have a specific trait which sets them apart like others. People assume they are stupid or easily manipulated. They’re assumed to be losers and idiots, who cannot even tie their shoe laces, let alone fight. And let’s not get started on the rumour that Hufflepuffs are all try-hard mom friend wannabes.
Cedric Diggory, Nymphadora Tonks, and Newton Scamander. Like the other houses, Hufflepuff too has their fair share of admirable wixen who are stunning examples of just what it means to be a Hufflepuff, each in their own unique way. Cedric Diggory was the chosen Hogwarts champion of the 1994 Triwizard Tournament. He was said to be the embodiment of the qualities of Hufflepuff House with his sense of fair play, his ability to accept there were those who were better than him, and his distinct strength of character. He was modest, polite, and sensible enough to only speak when necessary. For Hufflepuffs though, Cedric shows the clever side as demonstrated when he figured out a tough clue in the tournament. He shows the kind side, as he was reported to have helped Harry Potter with the clue as well. And while it got him killed, he showed that he knew in order to get ahead, sometimes a tie is better than a win. Nymphadora Tonks was a member of the Ministry of Magic, an auror trained under Alastor Moody. She was fierce, strong, and ready to die for those she loved. For Hufflepuff house, she shows the brave side as Nymphadora Tonks was brave enough to do what needed to be done. And Newton Scamander is a Hufflepuff who needs no explanation, his name as familiar to any student taking Care of Magical Creatures as a niffler or hippogryph. I could spend pages waxing poetic on the famous magizoologist so heavily involved in the Global Wizarding War, but I will stick to this. Newt shows a smart side. It takes an intelligent person to learn about all the creatures he’s written about, as well as hardwork and patience to care for them. Any Hufflepuff should be proud to share a house with such wixen.
So is there any truth to the rude assumptions made of Hufflepuff? Of course, not. Hufflepuffs are more than just these rumours. Hufflepuffs are tolerant, able to lift one another up with overflowing acceptance and love. They are passionate, making use of that hardworking trait to indulge in said passions. Hufflepuffs desire to bond with others, to be part of a family, and that is what they are. A family. Hufflepuff is the house of the fewest dark wizards. It is a house of fiercely loyal wixen who would never betray those they love. They believe in justice and fairness and they attract many people with their kind personalities. Hufflepuffs do not take flack from /anyone/ and are the first to call someone out on their nonsense. Hufflepuffs may be the most comforting friends you have but when they’re done, they’ll go right out to face down whoever it was to hurt you.
Being sorted into Hufflepuff doesn’t mean you’re a loser or a potato. It doesn’t dictate who you must be or how you must act. Being sorted into Hufflepuff means you value dedication, hard work, fairness, patience, kindness, tolerance, loyalty. You don’t have to be a gaudy ray of sunshine. You can be a bright spark of fire and life, you can be the protection your friends need. You don’t have to enjoy Homemaking Magic. You can enjoy dueling or Quidditch. You’re not obligated to smile.
Being Hufflepuff means so much more than any list of attributes could ever reveal and this house is so much more diverse than you could possibly imagine. Like all houses, they are misunderstood and stereotyped.
Hufflepuff, this is your year to break the stereotypes.