Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stop sippin' the Hogsmeade Haterade

I have been a fan of Harry Potter since 2000 when I was in the eighth grade.  My grandmother had purchased Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for me because she thought that I would like it. When she presented it to me, I hadn't actually read any of the books. Going with the recommendation of a close friend, I checked books one through three out of my school library and read them quickly. I was drawn into Hogwarts and immersed myself in this fantastic world. The movies began coming out the next year and that was a whole other dimension added to my experience of reading Harry Potter. I anxiously awaited each movie premiere and saw the last five movies at midnight.

When I read through the books for the first time, I instantly identified myself as Gryffindor. Who wouldn't? They're supposed to be the "heroes" of the story after all. Harry Potter is one and those in the story we most care about are all members of the prestigious house, with the exception of Luna Lovegood, a Ravenclaw. As I've gotten older, though, I find myself identifying more with the ideals of Hufflepuff. Though I'm smart, like Ravenclaw, I am a nice person. I believe in standing up for what is just and I am loyal to those I care about, even if they themselves are Ravenclaw and Slytherin. I decided that for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, I would participate in the ceremonies and put together a cosplay outfit. As I did some research, I discovered that there is massive hate against Hufflepuff and I demanded to know why.

Most people, it turns out, think of Hufflepuffs as useless. They're not particularly good at Quidditch and apparently the house doesn't churn out the best wizards. Hufflepuff is the least discussed house in the Harry Potter series and the only thing we really know is the fact that Helga Hufflepuff accepted pretty much anyone. They're stereotyped as being "a lot o' duffers" but really, they're just very misunderstood. We do not know enough about them to know if they're not all that exceptional. Is it because they're not the most ambitious or the bravest? They're the most accepting house and yet they are the least accepted. Though Hagrid tells Harry that Hufflepuff is better than Slytherin, some people still choose to be in that house. No one ever seems to want to be in Hufflepuff. This, my friends, is a travesty.

I was among five that I saw at the theater for the HP7 part 2 premiere who had donned the yellow and black. People looked at me strangely (even more so than normal) and I had one girl apologize to me for my house choice. It just so happened that she was a Slytherin and very vocal about that fact. Some of her friends stuck up for me and my house, but she was unrelenting. I smiled at her and turned the other cheek, as I believe that Helga Hufflepuff would have wanted. I'm okay with being nice. It's who I am. I think that it is important for people to realize that there are positives and negatives with all of the houses. Rivalry exists to a certain extent, but if you look at a lot of the Harry Potter fan fiction and message boards, people just seem to detest Hufflepuff and can't give a good reason other than "they're useless."

Let's take a look at some of the more famous and influential Hufflepuffs:

  • Nymphadora Tonks - Tonks was sorted into Hufflepuff and went on to be a member of the Ministry of Magic. She was a talented Auror who worked with Mad Eye Moody and was a member of the New Order of the Phoenix. She fought bravely at the Battle for Hogwarts.
  • Cedric Diggory - This Hufflepuff was a participant in the Tri-Wizard Tournament alongside Harry. He was a fair competitor, house prefect and seeker for the house Quidditch team. He was, as most can attest, the quintessential Hufflepuff.
  • Susan Bones - Susan was a member of Dumbledore's Army and a loyal supporter of Harry Potter. She comes from a long line of great wizards and her Aunt was Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
Even if Helga Hufflepuff took all "the rest." Nowhere does it say that the rest implies mediocrity. I believe that a Hufflepuff would rather lose than cheat. They would rather help a friend achieve greatness than be great themselves. I believe that Helga Hufflepuff had high morals and she accepted "the rest" because it was the right thing to do. No one house is inferior to another and though both the movie and book series are over, it is time that people put this prejudice behind them. With the release of Pottermore, maybe we will see a whole new side of Hufflepuff, non?

Oh, and according to canon, Neville Longbottom marries Hannah Abbott, who is a Hufflepuff and fellow member of Dumbledore's Army.

People, don't hate, appreciate! And if you still have doubts, just watch this:

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