Friday, June 26, 2015

Coming to terms with being a Hufflepuff



First off, let me come right out and say that yes, I know that Hogwarts is a fictional place. (Much to my deep sadness)  I know Harry Potter and the gang are fictional characters and that all of this created by the Supreme #BossWitch J.K. Rowling. BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT ANY LESS REAL. If that statement bothers you in any way, I suggest you stop reading now and save yourself the frustration and misunderstanding that will follow if you continue. But for those of you who are on the same page as me, let's real talk a bit.

When I was young, what seems like many many years ago, I tested into Gryffendor, which made me unbelievably happy. I was a female athlete who felt the most pride in my bravery and courage on the pitch (soccer field). It was part of my identity as a person and I very much related to the lion mascot and values that made up a Gryffendor. Not to mention the obvious reasons that one would love to be sorted into that House, like the fact that the whole series is centered around Harry, Ron and Hermoine (Gryffendors), who were lead by the greatest wizard of all time, Albus Dumbledore (Gryffendor) and mentored by the coolest #bosswitch around, Minerva Magonagoll (Gryffendor). WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO BE A GRYFFENDOR?! 

It's been a long time since then and I recently rejoined Pottermore (if you haven't, DO IT NOW!!) and had to retest into a House. I thought there was a good chance I wouldn't be a Gryffendor anymore because many things about me have changed since I was young. But honestly, I thought I'd be sorted into Ravenclaw. My focus in my life has been education for the last 7+ years, and I'm pursuing a career devoted to academia and higher education. The qualities I'm most proud of these days are no longer related to my athletic abilities but rather my intelligence, and it was because of this that I KNEW I'd test into Ravenclaw.



Until I tested into Hufflepuff. Suffice it to say that I was SHOCKED and utterly LET DOWN when I tested into Hufflepuff. HUFFLEPUFF!! 



I almost created a new email just so I could sign up again under a different one! (You can't be re-sorted, obviously.) I mean, Hufflepuff is like the House nobody knows or cares about, right? And a badger? Really? But then I thought that would be totally rude and disrespectful to JK Rowling (since she created the houses, Pottermore, and the sorting test), so instead I decided to do some research because, now that I had thought about it, I didn't actually know or remember that much about them. I'm sure my previously conceived notions about them were entirely based on what other people said about them (or rather didn't say about them). WHO ARE THE HUFFLEPUFFS? 



We know each house has major characteristic that make them them, so who really are they? I began researching and researching and what I've found has completely changed my mind about being a Hufflepuff! 

#1: VALUES

First of all, Hufflepuffs are the most loyal, kind, supportive, and true of all the houses. Their signature characteristics are loyal friendship, honesty, reliability, tolerance and patience. They value justice, compassion, fairness and loyalty above all else. Hufflepuffs are very hard working and willing to go to the end of the earth to achieve their goals and help their friends. They are relentless. "Their friendly demeanor means that they're super popular with everyone". Sure, Gryffendors may be the heroes, Ravenclaws the intellectuals, and Slytherin the tacticians, but "Hufflepuffs are the moral, the Healers and the reminder of the human impact- often undersold, but no less important".  



Why would any of these things be a bad thing?? Why WOULDN'T anyone want to be in Hufflepuff?! I had been blinded by the glory of Gryffendor and the awe-inspiring intelligence of Ravenclaw to see what Hufflepuff has been about this whole time! Hufflepuffs are brave and courageous, but not foolhardy or show-offy like Gryffendors, are smart but not elitists like Ravenclaw, can bend the rules if it is morally right to do so, but not power hungry like Slytherin. In many ways, Hufflepuff has many of the other Houses good qualities without most of the bad ones.     

In Harry's 5th year, the Sorting Hat gives us some history about the different houses at Hogwarts:

"Said Slytherin, "we'll teach just those whose ancestry's the purest." Said Ravenclaw, "we'll teach those whose intelligence is surest." Said Gryffindor, "we'll teach all those with brave deeds to their name." Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot and treat them just the same."

GOOD. That's what Hufflepuff is. "I'll teach the lot and treat them the same". Treating people just the same, isn't that a very very good thing?! Very democratic and fair. J.K. Rowling said Hufflepuffs are the "friendliest, most decent and most tenacious house of them all". 

#2: J.K. ROWLING

J.K. Rowling has said that Hufflepuff is her favorite House!


I'm sorry J.K. Rowling, I really am!! I'm not disappointed anymore!!

#3: TONKS



Tonks has always been one of my favorite characters. She is a total BA. She is always there to back Harry up and to fight for what's right, whatever the cost (her life). Plus, she is perhaps the COOLEST person in the series (Luna Lovegood is my *favorite* girl and Hermoine is a really close second, but they aren't as COOL as Tonks. No one is.)



#4: BADGERS



Badgers are actually awesome. Rowling said that at first Hufflepuffs were going to be bears, and maybe she should've kept it that way so that people respected the House more. But she had a good reason for changing it to badgers. Rowling says that badgers are "often underestimated because it lives quietly until attacked, but which, when provoked, can fight off animals much larger than itself, including wolves". Underestimated but tenacious, relentless and ferocious. 

  #5: The Common room rules of Hufflepuff should be our rules in general....



#6: Hufflepuffs are INclusive not EXclusive.


Sure, we may not have the most famous names in Wizard history, but we love, befriend, help, and embrace everyone, gladly. When you're not welcome anywhere else, you're always welcome with the Hufflepuffs. 

#7: True Friendship and Adventure:



Is there anything better than being a good friend and having good friends? Not to me. Hufflepuffs are ALWAYS loyal, supportive and fierce friends who will support and stand up for their friends until the end. "They're the type of people who will wait at the end of a marathon to watch their friend finish, even though it's 4 a.m. and still hug you when you're sick."



And boy, do they LOVE adventure!! Hufflepuffs are always down for fun!

#8: Hufflepuffs always forgive.



They don't hold grudges, they forgive and forget and don't hold your past or mistakes against you. They BELIEVE in the GOOD in people but they are not naive.  They know not everyone chooses to be good people and will morally stand up against those individuals.

#9: BECAUSE OF THIS.



#10: We're happy and not afraid to show it.



Hufflepuffs are fun, happy, bubbly, warm and affectionate. What's not to love??




#11: They are GROSSLY UNDERRATED. 



Hufflepuffs are seriously underrated; they are the MOST underrated House and they're okay with it. It's better to be underrated than overrated, and they use that successfully as a tactic. Rowling wrote that they are "trust worthy and loyal. They don't shoot their mouths off but cross them at your peril; like their emblem, the badger, they will protect themselves, their friends and their families against all-comers. Nobody intimidates them". 



HUFFLEPUFFS ARE FEARLESS BADASS FIGHTERS




#12: Hufflepuffs are optimists and that's extremely valuable. 



Hufflepuffs BELIEVE in GOOD. They believe is justice, fairness, and doing what's right. They believe that good will always conquer evil in the end and they bring that eternal hope and brightness to the game that no other House does. Hufflepuffs hope even when all hope is lost. Need a silver lining?? Go to a Hufflepuff, they will always have at least one positive thing to say and believe. Some people (ehm, Slytherin) think this is a weakness, but it is indeed our strength and one of the reasons that ALL the Hufflepuffs stayed and fought the final battle. (where were you Slytherin??) Hufflepuffs are people you want on your side!!

#13: Hufflepuffs are humble and valiant. 



Hufflepuffs know how to win and they know how to lose. They are relentless, but they are good sports and win gracefully.  They are humble, valiant, and hold great integrity. 

#14: Cedric Diggory was a total BA. AND a Hufflepuff. 


Who doesn't like Cedric Diggory?? He is brave, smart, cunning, and courageous. He was amazing in the Tri-Wizard Tournament and was such a humble, hardworking, nice guy! Such a Hufflepuff! When Slytherin passed around support Diggory, Potter stinks buttons, Cedric told everyone not to wear them and to be nice to Harry. He befriended Harry and even helped him solve the riddle in the second challenge of the tournament. GOOD. GUY.

#15: Helga Hufflepuff




The founder of the Hufflepuf house, Helga Hufflepuff is a total #bosswitch, known for her charm and loyalty, not to mention her "food charms". In fact, most of the recipes used for the End of Term Feast are hers! So she's an awesome cook and and awesome witch! Not to mention brave, fearless and clearly an awesome fighter. No one should want to cross her. 

#16: Our Common Room is the BEST.
















Their common room is light, earthy, and cozy, with beautiful views of the sunny greenness outside and sits right next to the kitchen...where you can get all the midnight snacks you want. The way to gain entrance into their commons is through a secret barrel, where you have to tap a specific tune in order to gain entry. Unlike the other houses, there are security measure in place if you don't do it correctly...being doused with vinegar! Hufflepuff is the ONLY house Commons to not be infiltrated by non House members in more than a thousand years! The bedrooms are ground level as well, with far better sleeping quarters when it comes to storms...seeing as though the other houses are kept awake from all lightening and thunder! Being burrowed sure has it's privileges. There's even secret tunnels from the common room to the dormitories! Super cool. Rowling wrote that "like badgers, they know exactly ow to lie low and how to defend themselves". 


#17: Hufflepuffs are easy to get along with.



Hufflepuffs genuinely like people. All of them. They're the ones most likely to share their Netflix password with you, always show up to the party with goodies to share, like all your Instagram photos just to make you feel good, offer to split the bill evenly, even if theirs was less, won't judge you for your guilty pleasures, keep your secrets, are always up for games, eat breakfast for every meal of the day, share their food with you (and send you home with leftovers), remember your parents' names and break out into song and dance, whether it's appropriate or not. Basically, Hufflepuffs are the most fun and pleasant people to be around. What's not to love??

#18: Hufflepuffs are calm under pressure



Need someone you can count on when the pressure's on? A Hufflepuff will always be cool as a cucumber and perform well under pressure. They can always be counted on and will always give 100%, every time. They are not slackers and not only hold their own, but help to shoulder the weight of those you can't. 

#19: Other Famous (Fictional) Characters that are most definitely Hufflepuffs:


Captain America, Jess Day/Winston Bishop (New Girl), Batman, Clark Kent/Superman, Phil Dunphy/Cameron Tucker (Modern Family), Weevil (Veronica Mars), Huck/Quinn (Scandal), Morgan Tookers (Mindy Project), Thresh (Hunger Games), Sookie St. James (Gilmore Girls), Lanie Parish/Kevin Ryan (Castle),Pam Beesly Halpert/Michael Scott (Office), Ann Perkins (Parks & Rec), Emily Fields (Pretty Little Liars), Lizzie McGuire (Lizzie McGuire), Miranda Bailey (Grey's Anatomy), Joan Watson (Elementary), Kenneth Parcell (30 Rock). 

#20: Best House Ghost; Fat Friar



Hufflepuffs definitely have the best House Ghost! He's friendly, helpful, always ready to have a good time, fun and energetic. Not at all needy or depressing or dramatic like the other ghosts. 

#21: Hufflepuffs are BRAVE.




They are motivated not by heroism, but instead are pulled by a force of pure love and compassion. They tirelessly work toward their goals and don't stop until they make it. And they are BRAVE. Rowling talked in an interview about them and how at the final battle, all the Hufflepuffs stayed to fight, along with the Gryffendors. She said that:

"The Hufflepuffs virtually to a person stay, as do the Gryffendors. Now, the Gryffendors comprise a lot of foolhardy and show-offy people. That's jusy the way it is. You know, there's bravery and there's also showboating, and sometimes the two go together. The Hufflepuffs stayed for a different reason. They weren't trying to show off, they weren't being reckless. That's the essence of Hufflepuff house." 

#22: They will always make you feel good about yourself.



Hufflepuffs are constantly building people up instead of tearing them down. That's why they're so likable! And with a Hufflepuff, it's NEVER fake, even if you want to believe that they couldn't possibly be that nice or that complementary without an agenda or being two-faced. They CAN. And they ARE.  

#23: Hufflepuffs ARE smart!



Smarty pants! But they aren't like Ravenclaw that will tell you they're smart. Rowling wrote that a myth about the Hufflepuffs is that they aren't cleaver, but it's not true. They are "certainly the least boastful house, but they've produced just as many brilliant witches and wizards as any other".  


So now that I've gotten to know them, the Hufflepuffs are AMAZING. They sound like the type of people I'd want to be friends with and want to be around! The most important thing to learn from this was that being a Hufflepuff doesn't mean you're not as brave, intelligent, or cunning as the other houses. But your motivations are different and the way you feel and carry yourself are different than the other houses. And that's not a bad thing! We need all types of people to fill all the different roles in our society and so it's SUPER IMPORTANT that we're different and that we celebrate our differences instead of comparing ourselves to each other. 



So needless to say, I am so happy that I've been sorted into their House. It is actually an honor and I am happy to be amongst good company! I'll get excellent training in potions and Herbology and I'll be able to fulfill my destiny as a healer, which is what I've always wanted to be anyways! ;) We can't ALL be Gryffindors or Ravenclaws, but what we can be is ourselves, and that's the best thing we can be. Whether you're Hufflepuff, Gryffendor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin, your House does not define you, you're heart does. Love who you are and don't try to be anyone else! 



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