I should be writing a year-end reflection post. That might still happen later today or tomorrow. But right now, I need to rant about something that’s really bugging me in this moment.
Earlier this year, I posted on Facebook about how people generally overlook how hard it is to be a Hufflepuff in this world. Lots of people were curious as to why. Well, now I’m going to tell you.
- Hufflepuffs get crap done. Hufflepuffs are the people in your workplace that just put their heads down and get to work. You see that list of Hufflepuff traits above? Patient. Loyal. Freaking hard working. These are the people who keep calm and carry on. They push themselves through every kind of quagmire, simply because they know: a) people are counting on them, b) it’s more effective to get to work than to try to weasel your way out of it, and c) somebody’s got to do it, so it might as well be them. If you want a job done, give it to a Hufflepuff.
- Despite their obviously excellent work ethic, Hufflepuffs are generally ignored. Why? Because they aren’t boastful Gryffindors or ambitious Slytherins or condescending Ravenclaws (yes, those are generalizations. I am ranting here). You see that word “just” in the list of Hufflepuff traits? That means that we don’t believe we are better than anybody else. Everyone is just a person, trying to do their best (presumably). So we’re not going to stand around touting off our many accomplishments. We’re going to keep calm, and carry on, and get more crap done.
- People think it’s fine to make fun of Hufflepuffs. I think this is primarily because they don’t spend much time in the spotlight in any of the books (Goblet of Fire almost had a good Hufflepuff spotlight). As such, people don’t know much about us, and since Hufflepuffs tend to be extremely open-minded compared to the other houses, it naturally follows that if close-minded people come against something they don’t understand, they are going to try to tear it down.
- Hufflepuffs aren’t in it for themselves. I recently finished rereading The Goblet of Fire and I was moved to tears in the final scene of the Triwizard Tournament when Cedric Diggory refuses to take the Triwizard cup because it’s not fair for him to do so: “Cedric took a deep breath. ‘You take it. You should win.’…Cedric was serious. He was walking away from the sort of glory Hufflepuff house hadn’t had in centuries.” Cedric gave up that glory because he felt like he owed Harry – that just-mindedness, that grand Hufflepuff loyalty was coming through and not allowing him to take something away from someone who had helped him. Hufflepuffs want to help as many people up as possible, regardless of where that leaves them. Which was dead in Cedric’s case, if, by chance, you forgot.
- Hufflepuffs do what needs to be done, regardless of the price. Every single Hufflepuff student stayed to fight in The Battle of Hogwarts. Gryffindor and Hufflepuff are the only houses who did that. J.K. herself has explained that the Gryffindors stayed not just because their primary trait is bravery, but because they are also “fool-hardy,” whereas the Hufflepuffs stayed because they believed it was the right thing to do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smu0RneksxI
- Hufflepuffs are so loyal it’s almost not a virtue anymore. At least this is my personal biggest Hufflepuff problem. Just like Cedric, if someone does something important for me, I will spend the rest of my life trying to find a way to repay that person. If someone gets me a gift I wasn’t prepared for, I will shower that person with affection, other gifts, love, help, whatever they need until I feel my debt is repaid. If I have to cancel plans with someone, I will rack myself with guilt for weeks about it. If someone asks me to do something, especially if they iterate that I am best person for the job, I will do that job 1000% for them. Otherwise I feel like I have failed as a human being. You can’t just go around making friends at the drop of a sorting hat when this is the kind of effort you put into your friendship. Over the years, I have trained myself to separate my loyalty and affection into tiers so that I don’t have to divide my heart into so many pieces. And forget about cheating on a significant other: I can’t even date if I have close guys friends because I feel like I’m betraying them (for this reason, I have stopped allowing myself to have guys that I regularly hang out with. If you are a guy that I hang out with and I suddenly stop talking to you for a few weeks, it’s because I like hanging out with you but I have to put boundaries on my loyalty when I’ve been “friend-zoned”).
- Hufflepuffs = compassion. In case you didn’t remember the Sorting Hat’s song in Order of the Phoenix, when he was explaining the differences between the four founders of Hogwarts: “Said Hufflepuff ‘I’ll take the lot, and treat them just the same.'” The other three founders all had preferences for who should and should not be allowed to study magic. Helga Hufflepuff, that noble witch, didn’t say “I’ll take the rest” she said “I’ll take the lot,” which means anyone showing propensity towards magic. Anyone should be able to come to Hogwarts because everyone has a gift to offer: everyone is worthwhile. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t one of the essential, abiding themes of Harry Potter that everyone deserves a chance and has the ability to contribute good into the world? Isn’t that what Voldemort was trying to take away from everyone except pure-blood wizards, and isn’t that why the world needed to fight him so badly, because the idea that one group of people is better than another is so inherently wrong?
Okay, end rant. Being a Hufflepuff is awesome. From the first moment I read the Sorting Hat’s song in The Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone I knew that I was a Hufflepuff, and I’ve never looked back in ~16 years. We just have some traits that make life pretty intense, but I suppose you could say that of all the houses. We’re just morally and emotionally intense as opposed to intellectually, adrenalin-ally, or socially. It’s fine. We’ll keep on keepin’ on.