When it comes to the sorting hat, everyone usually has a favorite house they’d prefer to sit with (that is, assuming you’re a Harry Potter fan. If not, why are you here?). The pompous, clever, and too-good-for-you kids typically prefer Ravenclaw; they’d be the kids in your high school cafeteria sporting Uggs and North Face coats that you’d hate for ruining the curve on your last geometry test. People with a penchant for bullying and throwing shade would proudly find themselves in Slytherin, just waiting to make a friend for the satisfaction of stabbing them in the back. The kids that grew up with their parents telling them they were special and important and could be anything they wanted would find themselves in Gryffindor, knowing full well that they were better than you and that needed no proving. So that just leaves Hufflepuff.
Hufflepuff is often the butt of the joke. As Hagrid said in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, “everyone says Hufflepuff are a lot o’ duffers.” Well, that’s not very nice Rubeus. While Harry thought it might have been some kind of insult or punishment to be a Hufflepuff, he would have been mistaken. In fact, there are some incredibly honorable and amazing things about being a Hufflepuff. While not many of the main characters from the series came from Hufflepuff, that has more to do with the Gryffindor-Slytherin contention more than anything. There are a barrage of reasons to want to be a Hufflepuff above any other house. Even if you’re certain you belong elsewhere, there is a lot to be known about Hufflepuffs that is frequently, like the house, overlooked. Here are fifteen need-to-know facts about Hufflepuff.
15. It’s J. K. Rowling’s Favorite House
That’s right. Step aside Gryffindor, you’re not everyone’s favorite.
After the creation of Pottermore, when disgruntled users would complain about being sorted into Hufflepuff, J.K. Rowling herself, a self-proclaimed Gryffindor in fact, admitted in interviews that Hufflepuff is indeed her favorite house. “This may surprise people but it is the truth… Gryffindors comprise a lot of foolhardy, show-offy people, that’s just the way it is. There’s bravery and there’s also show-boating. The Hufflepuffs weren’t trying to show off, they weren’t being reckless. That’s the essence of Hufflepuff house.” For reasons we’ll delve into more throughout the article, Hufflepuff became the embodiment of many admirable qualities as J.K. created the series. While Slytherin was always intended as the malicious, evil house, Gryffindor the bold and brave, and Ravenclaw the wise and clever, Hufflepuff held more promise as a quiet and calm leader with subtle qualities that could only be discovered through careful reading.
14. The Hufflepuff Common Room Entrance is Not Voice Activated
If you go back and watch through the movies or read through the books, you’ll remember that all of the common rooms seemed to have a password that had to be vocalized to gain entrance. For Gryffindor, students had to speak a Latin phrase (that changed frequently) to a painting of a fat lady. Slytherin students likewise have a password that must be spoken to gain access to their long dungeon of a common room. However, Hufflepuff doesn’t conform to these standards. Firstly, Hufflepuff’s common room entrance isn’t hidden behind a painting or in a discreet corner, but is a large round door reminiscent of Tolkein’s hobbit homes that is concealed behind a stack of enchanted barrels. Students must tap rhythmically the correct pattern on the correct barrel to gain access (specifically the rhythm of ‘Helga Hufflepuff’). Some say that the complexity of gaining access to specific common rooms speaks to the intelligence of each house, and that the simplicity and regularity of this entryway speaks to base intelligence levels, but isn’t it just as likely that Hufflepuffs don’t want to have to work hard to get home at the end of the day?
13. If You Get the Password Wrong, the Common Room Will Punish You
Don’t look so offended, Cedric! With it being so simple to gain access to your common room, there has to be some catch or trick that you ought to be wary of.
It seems like just about anyone should be able to gain access to the Hufflepuff common room, right? Seems simple enough, anyways. Well perhaps you’re right… but you better have done your homework. If you tap on the wrong barrel that disguises the Hufflepuff entrance, you’ll find yourself in a bit of trouble! Tapping on the wrong barrel, or tapping the incorrect number of times, will result in a lid popping off of another barrel and dousing the intruder in vinegar. Perhaps it’s not the worst punishment in the world, but it certainly won’t be fun marching back to your quarters reeking to the high heavens. If you’re a Hufflepuff, you’ll want to make sure you’re just a little conscientious when trying to get home.
12. Also, the Common Room is AMAAAAZING
Once you finally get into the common room, prepare to drop your jaw and lose your mind. While Slytherin’s common room is a cold, dank dungeon, Ravenclaw’s is a glitzy, glamorous loft, and Gryffindor’s lies in a tall, towering turret, Hufflepuff’s is the best. It’s basically a hobbit hole straight out of Lord of the Rings. With low ceilings, earthy floors and passages, rounded passage ways and walls, and cozy furnishings, you’ll want to spend all of your free time lounging about here. There’s also an abundance of plants and flora all over the common room, which may just seem like a pretty decoration, but actually oxygenates and refreshes the room. Patchwork quilts and black and yellow blankets lie all around the sun soaked dormitories and common room. While you may think that Hufflepuff is without glory and excitement, there is no common room you’d be more comfortable in than theirs.
11. Hufflepuff Dorms are Closest to the Kitchens
If you’re not sold on being a Hufflepuff just by the common room and dormitories alone, you’re insane. They obviously have the best set-up. They have the coziest digs, easiest password, and they are closest to the kitchen, which means they can just roll out of bed and mosey to breakfast every morning. It also means they can probably sneak some late night snacks in case they get some munchies. While every other house has to adhere to a strict meal schedule as posed by the school, Hufflepuffs get to tiptoe around the rules and snack whenever they want! First to arrive to every meal, first to leave, and first to get on with their lives. They were also the first ones to get safely back to their common rooms after scary events like the troll intruding in Hogwarts. Needless to say, there is something to be said for the convenience of such a well-located common room.
10. The House Ghost Really Couldn’t Care Less
Gryffindor’s house ghost is Nearly Headless Nick and, true to Gryffindor form, he’s overwhelmingly ambitious even in the afterlife. Slytherin’s ghost, the Bloody Baron, is constantly covered in silver bloodstains, which would lead someone to think he’d been killing unicorns (which makes no sense because he ought to somehow have achieved immortality in doing so). Ravenclaw’s ghost is the Grey-Lady, known for her beauty, long hair, and quiet demeanor. Hufflepuff’s ghost is the Fat Friar, a jovial, drunk, genial man who was executed for his crack-pot work in attempting to cure the pox by poking people with sticks and for pulling rabbits out of communion cups. The ghost really doesn’t care about anyone’s personal business and all he wants is to eat food, drink wine, and have a good time. Compared to the meddlesome, malevolent, and creepy behaviors of the other ghosts, the Fat Friar is infinitely preferable to other options.
9. Neither Could the House Mascot
Gryffindor’s got a lion- yeah, that’s pretty awesome. Slytherin’s got their snake, which seems befitting of such a malicious and creepy house. Ravenclaw has an eagle (not a raven, despite popular assumptions), which fits their regal and lofty demure. Finally, Hufflepuff is represented by a badger. What.
J.K. Rowling originally considered making the Hufflepuff mascot a bear, but decided against it. She notes in the annotated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, “perhaps Hufflepuff house would have the respect it deserves if I’d stayed with my original idea of a bear to represent it.” She opted for the badger which, honestly, suits Hufflepuff better. Badgers look sweet and cute, kind of like non-stinky skunks with short legs! But they will mess you up. They’re vicious hunters and resilient little suckers. They eat venomous snakes whole. Slytherin doesn’t have shit on Hufflepuff. Also, they attack larger predators by targeting their genitalia and ripping it off with their teeth. Badgers are tough as hell and don’t care about you at all, and that is awesome.
8. Hufflepuff Beats Gryffindor While Harry is Their Quidditch Seeker
Okay, yes: Harry Potter did a lot of good in his time at Hogwarts. He defeated Voldemort (several times); he saved Sirius Black from a wrongful execution; he won the triwizard cup; he, in short, accomplished a lot! But one of his greatest achievements while he was at Hogwarts was his winning streak with Gryffindor’s quidditch team. Harry was a remarkable seeker and few teams were able to defeat Gryffindor while he was on the team. Hufflepuff was one such team that was able to conquer the Boy Who Lived!
Twice Hufflepuff beat Gryffindor on the quidditch pitch. The first occassion happened to be Cedric Diggory’s first game as team captain and seeker- it also happened to be the game in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where dementors threw Harry from his broom, giving Cedric the uncontested ability to pursue and catch the snitch. Given the circumstances, Hufflepuff actually offered to replay the match when Harry had recovered, but Gryffindor captain Oliver Wood declined the opportunity. The second occassion was in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when Gryffindor seeker Ginny Weasley caught the snitch but they were too far behind to make up the points, thus conceding the match to Hufflepuff.
7. The Gemstones in Their Hour Glass Are Diamonds
As the series traipsed on, we forgot about some of the little parts of Hogwarts that made us fall in love with the series as mere children. The series became about life and death, good and evil, genocide, eugenics, and the uprising of a revolution that would change the wizarding world forever. In that mounting drama, we lost some of the adorable quirks of Hogwarts, like the school dances, grand feasts, quidditch tournaments, and, most importantly, the competition for the house cup. Students would win points for good and clever behavior and lose points for poor and dangerous behavior, and each students contributions would lead to a house winning or losing the cup at the end of the school year. Points were tallied in these beautiful vials mounted in the Great Hall.
Each houses’ vial contains a different precious gem according to the color of the house. Gryffindor had rubies, Ravenclaw had sapphires, Slytherin had emeralds, and Hufflepuff had diamonds. Out of those options, Hufflepuff sure does sound like the best house!
6. All Hufflepuffs Joined All Gryffindors in the Final Battle Against Voldemort
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the students of Hogwarts are asked to rise to the occassion and repel the forces of Voldemort and his army in a last stand to save Hogwarts and the safety of the wizarding world. The houses chose as groups what they would do. Slytherin opted not to fight, which makes sense seeing as many of Voldemort’s death eaters and supporters were parents and future employers of Slytherin students. Ravenclaw decided they would leave the decision to each individual student, since it was such a weighty choice and should not be made lightly; approximately half of the Ravenclaw house stayed to fight. Gryffindor decided unanimously that they would fight, barely checking to see if they had their wands before charging into battle. Hufflepuff was the only other house to decide almost whole-heartedly that they’d stay, and they didn’t do so for pride or glory; they stayed because they knew it was right and because they knew someone had to fight- it may as well be them.
5. Hufflepuff is Kind of the Party House
Let’s review the stereotypes of the houses, shall we? Ravenclaw is full of a bunch of nerds, preparing from age eleven for lucrative careers in wizard accounting or some boring but successful career like that. Slytherin is full of treacherous snakes, always plotting and likely to turn evil at the drop of a hat. Gryffindor is filled with bold, rash, impulsive, and typically well-intentioned people that are always looking for a chance to outshine their peers. Hufflepuff? They’re the chill people you actually want to hang out with.
Hufflepuff’s common room is likely consistently stocked with butter beer. It may also have a slightly herbal stench to it, if you catch our drift (they huff and puff, alright). They go crazy for their quidditch team, even when they don’t win, and celebrate with great ferocity each and every one of their housemates’ successes. Just look at how they rallied around Cedric Diggory!
4. Some of the COOLEST Witches & Wizards are Hufflepuffs
Like we’ve mentioned many times, Cedric Diggory was a Hufflepuff. While he didn’t win the Tri-Wizard Tournament for highly unfortunate reasons, he was a damn good competitor. He handily defeated his dragon, was the first to bring Cho Chang up from the nymph infested lake, and would have received first place in the cup if he’d survived. He was also a damn good quidditch player, lest you forgot.
But Cedric Diggory wasn’t the only amazing Hufflepuff to be proud of. Nymphadora Tonks, of the Order of the Phoenix, also spent her time at Hogwarts in Hufflepuff- and she’s one of the coolest chicks in the series! Newt Scamander of the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is also a Hufflepuff and we’ve still got a lot of movies to learn just how fantastic he is. We haven’t even mentioned Helga Hufflepuff, the founder of the house, nor Professor Pomona Sprout!
3. The Fewest Dark Wizards Have Come From Hufflepuff
Say what you want about Hufflepuff. Say that they’re boring duffers, or stupid, or that they have no prospects- whatever you want. At least they’re not evil. In fact, of all the houses, Hufflepuffs are the least likely to turn to the dark side. If you weren’t paying attention to some of the intricacies of the books, you might think that dark wizards only came from Slytherin. As Ron said in the first book, “there’s not a witch or wizard that went bad who wasn’t in Slytherin.” If that were true, anyone ever sorted into that house would automatically be put on some Ministry of Magic ‘terrorist watch list.’ There are dark wizards from other houses! Professor Quirell, who served Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was a Ravenclaw student and Peter ‘Wormtail’ Pettigrew from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was actually a Gryffindor student. But there are no dark wizards from Hufflepuff! They’re too busy being awesome people to turn evil.
2. Hufflepuffs Are Who We Should All Try to Be
J.K. Rowling’s daughter herself, who is not a Hufflepuff, has said that she believes we should all want to be like Hufflepuffs. Sure, Hufflepuffs can be weird and awkward, but they’re truly good people.
Hufflepuffs are known for their hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty, and fairness. Best of all, they demonstrate these qualities at every turn. Newt Scamander is one of the hardest working individuals in wizarding history. Professor Sprout worked tirelessly to produce a remedy for the petrified state victims of the basilisk of the Chamber of Secrets faced. Tonks waited so long for Lupin to propose to her. Cedric Diggory died in defense of Harry Potter, his competitor, after offering him the Tri-Wizard cup for first place because “it was only fair.” Hufflepuffs are amazing people and you should consider yourself genuinely lucky to have them in your life. If you yourself are a Hufflepuff, you should be proud- but then, Hufflepuffs are also known for their humility, so you’ll probably just blush and shrug it off.
1. Hufflepuffs Run the World
In the wizarding world, Hufflepuffs likely grow up to hold the jobs that must be done though no one wants them. While the glamorous jobs are snagged up by Gryffindors, the corrupt ones by Slytherins, the complicated ones by Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs are back here making sure the world is still running. Without Hufflepuffs, everyone would be in big trouble.
Even in our real world, we don’t realize how many Hufflepuffs we idolize every day. Some of the most famous people we love that turned out to be Badgers are Jennifer Aniston, Kate Middleton, Lady Gaga, and Tom Hanks. All these celebrities are amazingly talented, but would rather have a nice conversation with you than be praised or sign autographs. They’re the kind of people that will remember who you are when you tag them on twitter. Hufflepuffs are secretly running this game, and they are the best sort of people to be doing it.