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Hufflepuff: The Nearly-Forgotten House of Hogwarts</i>


    In the Harry Potter series, there are four separate houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, the house representing courage and justice. Ravenclaw, representing intelligence and wisdom. Slytherin, representing ambition and resourcefulness. Hufflepuff, representing loyalty and tolerance. Each of these houses embody important virtues. So why do many people assume that Hufflepuffs are useless?

    I recall the Sorting Hat song which mentions Helga Hufflepuff's statement "I'll take the lot" when the other founders revealed what virtues they would value in their students. I feel that this statement by Hufflepuff has been vastly misinterpreted by many fans of the series. As the importance of blood status has always been a major issue in the Wizarding World, to the point that that Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin (who were great friends before founding Hogwarts) came to resent each other over their opposing feelings about it. So it is my understanding that Helga Hufflepuff meant taking in any student regardless of blood status. Even if "take the lot" did not refer to blood status, think about this: She'll take the lot. That means she'll gladly accept the smart kids, the brave kids, and the ambitious kids. According to Rowling, Helga Hufflepuff was known for her kindness. So even if she didn't care how well her students do in academics, or even if they aren't always brave, or particularly cunning, the point is that they are, above all else, good people.

    It's stated frequently throughout the series that Hufflepuffs are hard-working, loyal and honest. So why are they considered the "useless" and the "throw-away" house? Are these qualities in a person that one would simply want to 'throw away'? Is a person who has a strong work ethic, unfaltering loyalty, and believes in doing the right thing "useless"? Who ever said that just because a Hufflepuff's most obvious qualities were loyalty and honesty, that these individuals could not be intelligent or courageous as well?

    Think about this when comparing Hufflepuff to the two most popular houses, Gryffindor and Slytherin. The primary Gryffindor quality is courage, but loyalty can inspire courage. If you never have anything or anyone to feel loyal to, be it a person you care for or an ideal you believe in, what would there be to fight for? Hufflepuffs also value tolerance of all people regardless of race or blood status. Having such tolerance for others is just, and justice is another Gryffindor quality. The primary Slytherin quality is ambition, and another Hufflepuff quality is hard work, but in many cases performing hard work, in itself, is a form of having a great deal of ambition. This shows that Hufflepuffs can be ambitious, but will only attain their success through hard work, as opposed to more dishonest means.

    Another factor which suggests that Hufflepuffs can have many other important qualities, is, believe it or not, Gryffindor's own Hermione Granger. She is certainly brave, as Gryffindors are meant to be, but she also displays a great deal of intellect, which is valued by Ravenclaw. In the fifth book of the series, Hermione says that the Sorting Hat had also considered placing her in Ravenclaw, but that her own personal preference was Gryffindor, so the Hat sorted her accordingly. As we also know from Harry's sorting in the first book, he asked the Hat to place him in Gryffindor, though it said he could also do well in Slytherin. This proves that students sorted into one house can still uphold qualities of other houses. Therefore, a particular Hufflepuff may be as brave as any Gryffindor or intelligent as any Ravenclaw, but their strong sense of loyalty or great belief in tolerance may be the strongest quality in that particular individual.

    Also consider this: (spoilers for the 4th book in this paragraph) During the fourth Harry Potter book, the Goblet of Fire would choose only the student most capable of the tasks in the TriWizard Tournament. Aside from Harry Potter (who was chosen only because of the interference of Crouch Jr.), the student chosen to represent all of Hogwarts was Cedric Diggory- a Hufflepuff. Therefore, out of the entire 7th year class, among all of the other houses, a Hufflepuff was the best suited for the tournament's dangerous, life-threatening tasks. And Cedric excels at each of these tasks. Had a cruel plot not intervened in the end, I think it's safe to say that Cedric would have taken home the TriWizard Cup: He certainly earned it.

    Never, in any book or interview, has J.K. Rowling said: "Hufflepuff is the house you go to if you aren't good at anything else." Aside from the talented, kind Cedric Diggory and the fiercely loyal, courageous Nymphadora Tonks, Hufflepuffs are not prominent characters in the series. However, Rowling has spoken well of them. In a web chat following the final book, Rowling has stated that Hufflepuffs have the most comfortable (and in my opinion, interesting) of the common rooms and dormitories, having a warm, inviting common room, big, comfortable furniture, tunnels that lead from the common room to the dormitories, and circular doors that resemble "barrel tops" (and Hobbit homes, anyone?). Rowling also had several Hufflepuff characters join Dumbledore's army, such as Hannah Abbot, who, although not a particularly well-known character, has been a friend to Harry throughout many of his years at Hogwarts.  Hannah's friends and fellow Hufflepuffs, Ernie MacMillan and Justin Finch-Fletchley, are two other members of Dumbledore's Army, and are both very well-spoken, bright young students whose intelligence and courage have been displayed throughout the course of the series. To be fair, I will not pretend that all Hufflepuffs are equally just and loyal, however, as a Hufflepuff boy named Zacharias Smith had been shown as being judgemental and a poor sport. However, in any group, there will be a few less-than-honorables, even in Gryffindor, as in the case of Romilda Vane, and Marietta Edgecomb in Ravenclaw.  

In the Final book (more spoilers, obviously) Hufflepuffs undoubtedly prove their worth: second only to Gryffindor, Hufflepuff is the house which had the most students willing to stay at Hogwarts and risk their lives to fight in the final battle. This gives concrete evidence to my prior statement: loyalty can inspire courage.

So when you think of Hufflepuff, remember that they are more than just one extra house in addition to Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. They are the most loyal of friends, they are the ones willing to work hard to make the world a better place, and the ones who are willing to fight to keep it that way.

Never underestimate a Hufflepuff.
I wrote this because I've gotten really tired of some Harry Potter fans wrongly assuming that Hufflepuffs were "useless". It's long, but please bear with me.

If you like it, feel free to post this on any Harry Potter forum, site, etc., just please link back here or give me credit for writing it. I've posted it on my livejournal as well. And if you read this thing in it's entirety, oh my gosh thank you! You win the internet- all of it!

(Obviously) Harry Potter, Hogwarts, all it's great houses, and all characters mentioned in this essay, belong to J.K. Rowling.
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:iconcbowdidge:
CBowdidge Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013
Very well said. Slight nitpick: Cedric was a sixth year, his birthday was in the fall.

Hufflepuffs are the best to me because they are the most inclusive. You will never find a Hufflepuff who is an outcast. They accept everyone. Their traits are loyalty, fairness and hard work. Which one of those are considered negative traits?

Cedric was awesome. He did have traits of the other houses: He was intelligent, he was brave, he was ambitious. Why was he a Hufflepuff? He was loyal, hard working and valued fair play. He was willing to sacrifice a victory in the name of fair play, not just at Quidditch but at the Triwizard Tournament. It's not about winning to them, it's about how the game is played.

Here's an analogy I use: Think of the Olympics. How many silver medallists look disappointed? If a Hufflepuff gave it their all and still won silver, they'd still be happy.

Tonks didn't care if Lupin was a werewolf. Hufflepuffs don't judge. I expect her dad was a Hufflepuff, too. And he marries a Slytherin.

JKR herself has said Hufflepuffs in many ways is her favourite house and that she wouldn't be disappointed to be a Hufflepuff. And her daughter said we should all want to be Hufflepuffs.
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:iconkurotsutamurasaki:
KurotsutaMurasaki Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013
I absolutely agree that Hufflepuff is GROSSLY underrated. This bugs me a lot too, because I myself am a Hufflepuff (And have WANTED to be one ever since the first movie came out.)
It seems to me that Hufflepuffs aren't nearly as fluff-brained as people like to think. The Hufflepuff common room is the only one in Hogwarts that has never been breached since the school opened. NEVER in a thousand years. If Helga Hufflepuff had the forethought and insight to be able to come up with such a tight security system, the people in her house surely can't ALL have the common sense of a spoon. I think "Trustworthy, but not too trusting" would be the ideal description of a good Hufflepuff.
The only thing in this post that I would contest is that, I don't think "bright" is a good description for Ernie MacMillan.
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:iconjonnytoboe:
Jonnytoboe Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
Firstly, I agree with you about Hufflepuffs. I think they are a greatly undervalued group of people. Those qualities that define them are extremely valuable qualities, some that other houses value highly (like Gryffindors and loyalty). The only thing I take issue in your article is what you said about Hufflepuffs and Slytherins and ambition. You posited that Hufflepuffs have ambition by working hard. Awesome. But then you compared them to Slytherins, by saying that one can have ambition without dishonest means. In an effort to dispel prejudices from one house, you've exacerbated another prejudice of another house. I'd be interested to see if you have anything to say about Slytherins. To their very core, Slytherin qualities of ambition, resourcefulness, and cunning are not inherently wrong, bad, or evil.
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:icongeijvontaen:
GeijvonTaen Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013
Everyone should aspire to be a Hufflepuff.
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:iconmoonilover:
Moonilover Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
On pottermore.com I was selected to be a Hufflepuff
Rowling stated that many of other houses think HUfflepuffs are not as good as them because they are never outstanding in smarts or bravery etc.
But, the truth is, they just don't brag. They know when to keep their mouth shut and that's probably one of the reasons everyone thinks they're worthless

Proud to be a Hufflepuff ^^
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:iconthealwaysangel:
TheAlwaysAngel Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I honestly believe that the Hufflepuffs are slighty evil. Not in a bad way, but in a secret-plans-to-rule-the-world-and-create-peace sort of way.
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:icononcelerluver:
oncelerluver Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012  Student Artist
I absolutely LOVE what you have written! I HATE it when people say Hufflepuff is useless! Another thing is Hufflepuff is lacking in ONE area.............. We have the least amount of death eaters! Isn't THAT something to be proud of besides the fact that we are FREAKING AWESOME!!!!! Ever since I have red the Harry Potter series I have considered myself a Hufflepuff and guess what? I have NEVER been ashamed of it!!! Anyway!!!! I just wanted to say............. WELL SAID!!!
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:iconthemistresskiki:
TheMistressKiKi Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2010
Very well written, yes... but I cannot resist the urge to say this:
Hufflepuffs are particularly good finders.
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:iconrjpugh:
rjpugh Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2010
Hufflepuffs always struck me as a bunch who work hard, and play hard. :)

And, as Harry and the rest of the Gryffindors discovered during book 7, having some steadfast Hufflepuffs watching your back is a good thing indeed.

They also struck me as the "party" house, believe it or not. In so much as they always know how to find the good in a situation, and they run with it. They also live near the kitchens and larder; lots of food and drink available. I can just picture students from the other houses heading down there on a dull evening because someone yelled: "Party in the badger warren!"
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:iconbubbletea-coyote:
Bubbletea-Coyote Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010   General Artist
I love this thanks for writing it!
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:iconfreedom14:
freedom14 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
OMG Love that! Gave me chills. So great I don't have these thoughts alone. I am hufflepuff and proud of it, yt it's so togh when people put them down, it fires me up. Is that sad? Cedric was amazing, even after the Hufflepuffs won against the Gryffindors, Cedric wated a rematch to make things fair. I can see Hufflepuffs cheering for both teams, and celebratig no matter what, just glad to have fu and leared something or gained a friend. Hufflepuff's rule!!! <3

Man, I feel like a nerd after that... Lol.
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:iconquafflelicious:
quafflelicious Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2010
Sniffles. You put it perfectly.

HUFFLEPUFF HUG!!!!!!!!! :hug:
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:iconstjarnia:
stjarnia Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009
When I first found this, a(n un)famous quote fro AVPM (awesome stuff) ran through my head;
Cedric D: "Hufflepuffs are particularly good finders!"
Dumbledore: "What the HELL is a Hufflepuff?"

This pretty much explains it :3
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:iconsyjackamo:
syjackamo Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2008   Writer
Thank you.
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:iconmissanj:
MissAnj Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2008
Thank you. :heart:
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:iconjules8908:
Jules8908 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2008
That was wonderful. My heart almost ached with pride when I read in the book that almost as many Hufflepuffs stayed to fight as Gryffindor. It just made me want to say "Put that in your pipe and smoke it," to everyone who said we're just left overs. Great job!
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:iconmissanj:
MissAnj Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2008
Thank you!!
I was so proud of the Hufflepuffs too, since they finally got their chance as a group to prove their bravery along with Gryffindor. I was, however, disappointed that there were no Slytherins who stayed in the Great Hall (and only a few who returned with Slughorn). It would have been great for house unity, which the Sorting Hat stresses is important to Hogwarts' survival.
You know, I've heard people argue that Hufflepuff is potentially the best house, since when Helga says she'll "Take the lot" that also means she'll take the smart kids and the brave kids, as long as they are also very loyal and honest. Considering how brave Tonks was, and how smart Justin and Ernie were, I'm inclined to agree with that theory (even though I think all houses are great for their own reasons).
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:iconazurealight:
AzureAlight Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2008
really well said! i've always loved hufflepuff, mostly because of the brotherly love associated with it. kind of camraderie? it's nice.
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:iconmissanj:
MissAnj Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2008
I'm so glad that you think so! I've always liked them too, they're sort of like the underdogs of Hogwarts.
Thanks very much! :heart:
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:iconatomicfiction:
atomicfiction Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2008
I actually had a long conversation with someone about Harry Potter a while back, which factors into this- the houses aren't divided by innate traits as much as they're divided by motivation. For a quick breakdown-

Gryffindor is motivated by strong conviction and belief. George Bush, Adolph Hitler and Darth Vader would all fit this archetype.

Ravenclaw is motivated by knowledge for the sake of knowledge's sake. Albert Einstein, Nikolas Tesla, and Tony Stark/Iron Man fit this type.

Hufflepuff is motivated by the sake of the greater good. Communism would be an example of this mentality. John Lennon, Superman, and Luke Skywalker fit this archetype.

Slytherin is motivated by personal growth and betterment- every action is done for personal vindication. Batman fits this type as an example of a 'good' Slytherin-type.

To break it down really simply :p
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:iconmissanj:
MissAnj Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2008
That's a really interesting explanation. I hadn't thought of it like that, but it makes sense.
Heh, I liked the examples you used. Hitler and Darth Vader as Gryffindors... priceless.
I've heard someone else say they thought Batman would be a Gryffindor, but I see him as being more of a Ravenclaw. Based on what you've said though, I think I could also see him as a Slytherin. (I wonder if the Scarecrow would be more Slytherin or Ravenclaw... )
Thanks for posting this!
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:iconatomicfiction:
atomicfiction Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2008
And yes! Hitler, George W. Bush, Darth Vader and any person/character who strongly believes what they are doing is right and thinks from their heart due to strong personal conviction is a Gryffindor. It has nothing to do with what they believe in, just that they believe in it. Look at Hermione- she's the smartest character, but not because she's pursuing knowledge for the sake of knowledge- she's pursuing it because of what she can do with this knowledge.
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:iconatomicfiction:
atomicfiction Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2008
Scarecrow would definitely be a Ravenclaw. Poison Ivy would be a Gryffindor- she's like a crazed animal rights activist. Batman would be a Slytherin because think about it- he's a good character and acts in a heroic manner, but he does so because of his parents and because of 'revenge'- if it wasn't for the edification obtained through fighting crime, he wouldn't do it.
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:iconsyjackamo:
syjackamo Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2008   Writer
Harley Quinn would be Hufflepuff, most definetly
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:iconmissanj:
MissAnj Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2008
Haha, she would. Such unfaltering loyalty to her dear "Mr. J" :D
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