I've been M.I.A. on my blog recently, because I decided I'd rather read/cross-stitch/play video games/hang out with parents/and friends than spend lots of time on the Internet this summer. Sorry for the prolonged absence, but I thought I'd pop in for a hello, today!
Recently I've come to realize that I'm a Disney fangirl during the school year, but a Potterhead during the summer. Don't ask me why. *shrug* I do not know why this is, but it's true.
And lately, I'm FINDING that many hold misconceptions/misunderstandings about Hufflepuff House. You know, when I was about 11, I took the official Sorting Hat quiz on the WB website, and I manipulated every answer so that I'd get Gryffindor. You probably did that too at some point, don't lie, because it was so cool to be in the same House as our favorite trio. But then I realized, as I started to grow up, that I'm just not a Gryffindor. I'm not particularly brave, that's just the way it is. For a while I considered myself a Ravenclaw - Slytherin was definitely out of the question - until I read the 7th books, where Luna and McGonagall answer the Ravenclaw common room's questions to gain entrance. I couldn't for the life of me figure out the answers.
I took some more Sorting Hat quizzes out of sheer boredom, and I kept getting Hufflepuff. I kinda panicked, knowing their reputation for being "duffers" (thaaanks for that, Hagrid). But then I started to see the awesomespiceness in the House of Badgers, and started to realize that having Puff pride was just another way of expressing myself. So lemme clear some things up.
There's this general misconception that Hufflepuff is somehow the least important House at Hogwarts, because as the rhyme goes,
"Said Hufflepuff, 'I'll take the lot, and treat them all the same.'"
I guess some people think this means, Helga took the kids who weren't brave, smart, or ambitious. Actually, we are given examples of brave and/or smart and/or ambitious Hufflepuffs throughout the series (Sprout, Diggory, Tonks, Bones, Abbot, McMillan, Finch-Fletchley), just as we are given examples of Gryffindors who are not brave (Pettigrew), Ravenclaws who aren't as bright as we'd expect (Chang), and Slytherins who are not ambitious (Goyle) or evil (Snape).
What Helga actually meant, was that every magical child should be given the opportunity to hone their magic skills and learn; every person has value inside them; anyone can achieve anything they put their mind to if they just work hard enough; and loyalty is one of the most important traits in a person. JKR emphasizes throughout the series that a person's choices matter more than their abilities, and has suggested that a student has some control over which House they will be Sorted into; I don't think that Hufflepuff students lack guts or brains, but simply value friendship and fair play more (or maybe they possess all these qualities in equal measure, as opposed to one trait overpowering the rest). I think Hufflepuff students accept that they're considered to be misfits by the rest of the school, but don't really care, which is what sets them apart.
Some of my Puff friends on the Leaky Cauldron have suggested that Hufflepuffs tend to be a bit more moral than the other Houses, since Gryffindors, as much as we love them, can be prone to arrogance/pride; Ravenclaws tend to think anyone who doesn't score 10 O.W.L.s are worthless; and Slytherins are just little stinkers. Hufflepuffs seem very cheery and unwilling to lie or cheat anyone for any reason, and don't tend to show off or brag. They are most willing to give others a chance, like when the Fat Friar wanted to let Peeves attend the Triwizard feast in year 4. They believe everyone should be treated with equality and tolerance.
I'm not saying the House of Badgers is perfect. They definitely showed their nasty sides when they thought Harry was the heir of Slytherin in year 2, and when they were, um, overzealous in their support of Cedric in year 4 - so much so that they stooped to those unattractive "Potter Stinks" buttons. Quite unHufflepuffly, I think. So yeah, they're human. Also, where in the Sorting Hat song does it say we're NICE? We can be just as sarcastic as any Slytherin, thanks very much (for further proof of that, spend 2 hours with yours truly).
Anyway, my point is, outside of the Gryffindors, the Hufflepuffs seemed - for the most part - the most willing to support Harry throughout the series. Many members of Dumbledore's Army were Puffs. I quote from book 7:
"Then a figure rose from the Slytherin table and he recognized Pansy Parkinson as she raised a shaking arm and screamed, 'But he's there! Potter's there! Someone grab him!'
Before Harry could speak, there was a massive movement. The Gryffindors in front of him has risen and stood facing, not Harry, but the Slytherins. Then the Hufflepuffs stood, and almost at the same moment, the Ravenclaws, all of them with their backs to Harry, all of them looking toward Pansy instead, and Harry, awestruck and overwhelmed, saw wands emerging everywhere, pulled from beneath cloaks and from under sleeves'" (DH 610).
The Hufflepuffs stood up a split second before the Ravenclaws. They were the fiercest and most loyal after Harry's own House.
Oh, and those little comments about HufflePUFF being the pothead House, because of our connection to the greenhouses? Not even close. Just because people are laid-back doesn't mean they're druggies, lamespice people.
(If that ^ didn't make you laugh, or you didn't get it, you need to click here. And keep watching.)
Our Head of House is Professor Sprout, a good-natured but sensible witch with a gifted green thumb. She awards points generously in her classes, rather than focusing on her own House, and she even tells Moody (well, Crouch, but whatever) that Neville has a gift for Herbology in year 4. She's pretty darn awesome.
The Hufflepuff Ghost is the Fat Friar, who's known for his always-positive demeanor.
JKR did an interview with some really cool people on the Leaky Cauldron a while back, and she commented on the Puffs' common room:
"J.K. Rowling: The Hufflepuff common room is accessed through a portrait near the kitchens, as I am sure you have deduced.
J.K. Rowling: Sorry - I should say `painting' rather than portrait, because it is a still-life.
J.K. Rowling: It is a very cosy and welcoming place, as dissimilar as possible from Snape's dungeon. Lots of yellow hangings, and fat armchairs, and little underground tunnels leading to the dormitories, all of which have perfectly round doors, like barrel tops."
Woot! My room used to be yellow. And my iPod case is yellow. Yellow is an awesomely awesome color. And dude. Duuuude. Our common room is by the kitchens! Excellent!
If you want further proof of Hufflepuff's awesomeness, consider this: our mascot is a badger. Badgers can eat snakes, do just as much damage as a lion, and defend themselves against birds of prey (like say, eagles?). Badgers are awesome little critters.
So yeah. If you identify with the phrase, "You might belong in Hufflepuff, where they are just and loyal; those patient Hufflepuffs are true, and unafraid of toil" then 50 POINTS TO YOU.
If you still don't get it, that's cool. We don't need your pity, and we're above your scorn and petty comments. (I'm talking to you, Malfoys of the world.) We're just happy to be Puffs. But in the end, "we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided" (GoF).
Finally, I leave you with this:
I know I already said it, but isn't it great? Holla! Hey, Harry Potter, maybe if you were a Hufflepuff you'd have found those Horcruxes faster, eh?
Peace, love, pixie dust, & Puff pride,