The Forgotten House
Why is Hufflepuff so Underrated?
by Rachelle Eldar
It seems to be common knowledge among so many Harry Potter fans: no one wants to be in Hufflepuff. One of the first things Draco Malfoy even says in the series is: “Imagine being in Hufflepuff…I’d think I’d leave!” How did it get such a bad rep? It’s been stereotyped as the house of the unexceptional, even though the contents of the series have proved that to be anything but true.
To understand how this has happened, let’s look at the principles on which the houses were founded. In yet another sorting song, the Hat talks about how the friendships between the founders were ripped apart. Slytherin only wanted to teach students with pure ancestry, Ravenclaw would only accept the most intelligent students, and to be in Gryffindor, a student would have to have brave deeds to their name. But Hufflepuff said: “I’ll teach the lot, and treat them all the same.”
Helga Hufflepuff was the only one with enough decency and common sense to see that every young witch and wizard deserves the right to their magical education. This lack of discrimination is so important; it’s rampant in the rest of the series and J.K Rowling tries to show us again and again how harmful it is. Think of the discrimination against muggle-borns, which plays a major part in the war and is akin to racism in reality. Or the way house elves are treated, and werewolves shunned from society.
Hufflepuff knew not to shun students just because they didn’t fall into incredibly specific categories. Instead, the house prioritizes qualities like loyalty, which make for amazing friends, and hard work, which means these are motivated people willing to work for their goals.
For anyone who thinks these qualities aren’t important, and that the house is full of overly sweet pushovers, then look at Peter Pettigrew. The man was a Gryffindor, for God’s sake. People say that because of his spinelessness and lack of bravery he ought to have been in Hufflepuff, but they couldn’t be more wrong. His betrayal of the Potters shows that he had no loyalty, an important Hufflepuff quality. Perhaps if he’d been more like a true Hufflepuff, it wouldn’t have cost the Potters their lives. The house is not synonymous with being weak. There are many different types of courage.
Hufflepuff has had some badasses over the years, too. Ignoring the fact that Harry’s name was forced into the Goblet of Fire, Cedric Diggory was Hogwarts’ legitimate champion. He was popular, intelligent and athletic, but he wasn’t a Gryffindor. Another of Hufflepuff’s finest is Nymphadora Tonks, an extremely underrated character. Besides being hilarious and kind, she was unbelievably brave. She became an auror after leaving school, was part of the Order of the Phoenix and eventually sacrificed her life in the final battle.
Overall, I hope this has left you with a better sense of what being a Hufflepuff really means, and will maybe cause you to think twice about a house you’re insulting simply because a few of the series’ bigoted characters bash it once or twice.