Long Live Hufflepuff: Students should respect Hufflepuff House, appreciate qualities it represents


Emily Dexter

Today, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” the sequel to the first “Fantastic Beasts” film, premieres across the nation, and so the silver screen will be graced again by the face of wizard Newt Scamander, caretaker of magical creatures and proud Hufflepuff.

For those still unfamiliar with the wizarding world in which “Fantastic Beasts” takes place, all first-year students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are sorted into houses based on the qualities they most value or possess. There is the more well-known Gryffindor, home to Harry Potter and other especially brave witches and wizards. There is Ravenclaw, which favors intelligence and knowledge, and Slytherin, which values cunning and ambition.

Then there is Hufflepuff, Newt’s house and mine, which values admirable qualities such as hard work, loyalty and fairness, and which, sadly, is often forgotten or misunderstood. It’s true, of course, that Hufflepuff isn’t the most glamorous house, or one to demand the spotlight. But Hufflepuff has produced many amazing witches and wizards, including Newt, and even J.K. Rowling, the wizarding world’s creator, has called Hufflepuff her favorite house.

So why the lack of respect for Hufflepuff?

Even as I pose this question, I have to admit that I wasn’t always this passionate about my house. When I was sorted into my Hogwarts house on the website Pottermore, my initial reaction was disappointment. I had wanted to be a Ravenclaw, to join a community of scholars, of people who value wit and knowledge. After all, I see myself as a lifelong learner and explorer, and I had hoped for my house to reflect that.

But instead, I was a Hufflepuff—doomed to wear a yellow scarf instead of Ravenclaw blue and cursed to trudge down the stairs to Hufflepuff’s basement dormitories instead of ascending to lofty Ravenclaw Tower.

Since that initial reaction, my feelings have changed drastically. I still give my full support to all you Ravenclaws, but I’m a proud Hufflepuff, and there’s no house I’d rather call home. Still, I find myself wondering why my first reaction was so dismal. I also wonder if Hogwarts isn’t the only school whose students overlook the values Hufflepuff represents.

At CHS, I see such an emphasis on Ravenclaw-esque knowledge and academics, as well as a priority among students on Slytherin’s ambition and Gryffindor’s nerve. While I admire all of these qualities, I have to ask: do we sometimes forget about other important characteristics? Do we forget to value hard work as much as we do intelligence, patience as much as ambition, or loyalty as much as courage?

I’m advocating here not only for greater respect for Hufflepuffs, but also, even more importantly, for the qualities the house stands for. Whichever of the four houses you belong to, be proud. Seek to embody the very best of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. Just don’t forget the importance of Hufflepuff’s softer traits of working hard, remaining loyal and always treating others with kindness and fairness.