Growing up, the Harry Potter series played an important role in my life. I fondly remember my mom reading Harry’s adventures to me before bedtime as a young girl. I was and continue to be captivated by the stories’ wonder, magic, and imagination. I love reading J.K. Rowling’s masterpieces, and my responsibilities are unashamedly put on pause whenever it’s Harry Potter weekend on FreeForm.
So, as any typical die-hard Harry Potter fanatic would do, I immediately completed Pottermore’s sorting hat test upon its viral release. I answered the various ambiguous, perplexing questions that would conclusively determine which house I truly belong to: a mystery I’d frequently pondered for over a decade.
Like most potterheads, I was praying for Gryffindor—the house that birthed the famous Golden Trio. The house that Hermione Granger was sorted into. Hermione Jean Granger, my fictional shero.
I crossed my fingers, closed my eyes, but alas: Hufflepuff. Home of the badgers.
I’m not going to lie. I was slightly disappointed. All the cool kids live in Gryffindor Tower! I thought. Hermione! Harry! Ron!
Throughout the series, Hufflepuff has been routinely disparaged. Even Draco Malfoy and Rubeus Hagrid agreed that Hufflepuff is the house to avoid.
Gryffindors are brave. They’re widely considered the true heroes of the Harry Potter saga since they never fail to save the day. But Hufflepuff isn’t Queen J.K. Rowling’s favorite house for no reason.
“The Gryffindors comprise a lot of foolhardy and show-offy people,” she said in an interview from 2012. “That’s just the way it is. There’s bravery, and there’s often showboating. And sometimes, the two go together. The Hufflepuffs stay for a different reason. They weren’t trying to show off. They weren’t being reckless. That’s the essence of Hufflepuff house.”
No house is perfect, of course. My intention is certainly not to hate on Gryffindors – they’re courageous and often willing to take necessary risks others are not. But while Gryffindors are revered, Hufflepuffs are often associated with eye rolls and groans –– deemed too nice and uncool. Gryffindors are great, but they can also be needlessly reckless and flashy.
Hufflepuff house, on the other hand, is grounded in a few central tenants. According to Pottermore, “Hufflepuffs value hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play.”
J.K. Rowling has repeatedly reiterated that Hufflepuff is the most inclusive, welcoming Hogwarts house. As an intersectional feminist committed to social justice, these traits strongly resonate with me. So why are they consistently looked down upon?
Besides, Hufflepuff has birthed some of the series most iconic, beloved, and selfless Harry Potter characters. In the Goblet of Fire, Cedric Diggory convinced his house to stop wearing “Potter Stinks” buttons and provided Harry with a coveted Triwizard Tournament clue. Tonks, Sirius Black’s cousin, was always kind to Harry and bravely sacrificed her life for the Wizarding War. She defied every inaccurate, unfair Hufflepuff stereotype. She was the fun, interesting, shape-shifting goddess you wanted to be best friends with. Newt Scamander, lover and protector of misunderstood and undervalued magical creatures, also called Hufflepuff home.
My reservations about Hufflepuff house were, ultimately, unfounded. Hufflepuffs are the Potter universe’s social justice warriors who proudly proclaim “you can sit with us.” Not a bad place to call home.
So, next time you want to hate on Hufflepuffs, remember:
“You might belong in Hufflepuff
Where they are just and loyal
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil.”