Hufflepuff got off to a rough start in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise. As soon as Hagrid opened that gigantic mouth of his (“everyone says Hufflepuff are a lot o’ duffers”), the badger clan of Hogwarts became the butt of every joke. While many readers considered landing in Hufflepuff to be some sort of insult or slight, they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, being sorted into House Puff is a tremendous honor, as it instantly marks that individual as a caring, loyal, and hardworking student.
Even in the real world, we worship countless Hufflepuffs on a daily basis. Tom Hanks? Hufflepuff. Jennifer Aniston? Total babe, total Hufflepuff. Chris Evans? HUFFLEPUFF FOR SURE. Not only are these people remarkably talented, but they radiate compassion, kindness, and joy. If you don’t know, now you know: Hufflepuffs are the crème de la crème, and the haters can’t hold us down.
Here’s everything you might’ve missed about the best house in Hogwarts history – Hufflepuff!
15. Fat Friar, Joker ‘Til The End
If you’re going to be haunted, hassled, and harassed by ghostly apparitions while you attend magic school, you might as well pray for a spirit that isn’t a total buzzkill. Enter: the Fat Friar, Hufflepuff’s official undead mascot and resident house ghost. Cheerful, mischievous, and continuously hammered (even in the afterlife), the Fat Friar doesn’t give a single hoot about school. In fact, all Double F cares about is crushing steins of butterbeer and raging his face off. This is an infinitely better option than, say, Bloody Baron, the eternally morose murderer of House Slytherin.
The Fat Friar was just as ridiculous in life as he has proven to be in undeath – maybe even more so. A sympathetic and compassionate man, he couldn’t stand to see anyone suffer. If he wasn’t terribly busy pulling rabbits out of communion cups, Friar could be found curing peasants of the pox. By poking them. With a stick. Sadly, Friar’s undying kindheartedness (and general lack of common sense) would be his downfall; he was executed by his senior churchmen before he could make the rank of Cardinal.
14. The Muggle With the Mouth
If you think wise-cracking, borderline invincible superheroes don’t love HP, think again. Everyone’s favorite Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool (Wade Wilson), is an avid Rowling supporter and an official member of House Hufflepuff. Best of all: as of 2015, it’s canon.
In Deadpool #7, readers are treated to a flashback scene unlike any other. We see Wade queued up outside a bookstore with a swarm of young fans, anxiously awaiting the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He’s added a bit of panache to his standard Deadpool attire for the occasion: a black and gold Hufflepuff cloak rests on his shoulders, proudly displayed for the world to see. Nick Filardi, the colorist for Deadpool #7, confirmed that Mr. Pool was intentionally shown in Hufflepuff garb. He had this to say:
I’m the colorist for that story and originally made him a Gryffindor. We went back and forth on a couple rounds of corrections and the editors insisted Hufflepuff. That isn’t a casual joke. That’s deliberate Deadpool cannon.
Yeah, that’s right! We’ve got DEADPOOL! In your face, nerds!
13. Like Diggory, But Darker
If nothing else, give props to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for being remarkably clever and totally twisted. By playing with timelines and introducing alternate versions of reality (Avengers much?), Cursed Child reveals aspects of certain characters that we may not have known about otherwise. Besides the whole Mini-Mort (Voldemort’s child with Bellatrix) thing, Cedric Diggory’s journey to the dark side is one of the most surprising events in the play.
Albus (Harry’s son) and Scorpius (Malfoy’s son) use the Time Turner (stolen from Hermoine, obviously) to alter the events of the Triwizard Tournament in a well-intentioned effort to save Cedric’s life. The boys humiliate Diggory during the second task, creating a vastly different version of reality. Constantly ridiculed and tormented by his former friends, Cedric joins Voldermort’s forces as a Death Eater. He murders Neville Longbottom at the Battle of Hogwarts (WHY?!), which means Neville doesn’t kill Nagini, which means – you guessed it – Voldemort wins and Harry Potter becomes The Boy Who Died.
12. You Gotta Fight
In the later half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, students and teachers alike battle against Voldermort’s Death Eaters and fell creatures to decide the fate of the wizarding world. Each house decides what to do once the battle begins; Ravenclaw students agree to stay and fight or abandon ship as individuals, Slytherin bails completely to “get reinforcements”, and the entirety of Gryffindor stands with Harry. For the record, Rowling claims that some Slytherin students came back. We’re not entirely sold on that little retcon.
But Gryffindor isn’t the only house to stay in full force – every single Hufflepuff leaps into the fray as well. They don’t fight for honor, or glory, or pride. They fight alongside Harry and the forces of good because they know deep down that it is the right thing to do. Professor Sprout (the head of Hufflepuff) rallies students to the battlements, raining devil’s snare upon the enemies below. FIFTY POINTS TO HUFFLEPUFF!
11. Monster Mash
The Hufflepuff handshake at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is far too legit to quit. If you ever plan on attending and want to fit in with your fellow Puffs, you’ll need to know how to complete the secret handshake. Mess it up and you’ll probably be ostracized and sent to Slytherin. Here’s a step by step breakdown of how it works:
Step One: Extend fist bump to fellow Hufflepuff, palm of your hand facing down.
Step Two: Bump fists, say “Potato!”
Step Three: Maintaining fist contact with fellow Hufflepuff, rotate fist one-quarter position, as if you’re about to begin a thumb war.
Step Four: Do not begin thumb war. Instead, yell “Mashed Potatoes!”
Step Five: ‘Blow up’ the fist bump, wiggling your fingers as you move your hand away from fellow Hufflepuff’s hand. Now yell “French fries!”
Step Six: Go get snacks
10. Diamonds Are a (Puff’s) Best Friend
Remember that little thing called the House Cup? Remember that it was actually important, and that young students at Hogwarts were actually vying to win said cup by earning as many points as possible? Remember how often Snape just casually docked Gryffindor ten points? While many of us have forgotten little details (like these) that made us all fall in love with the series in the first place, it’s time to revisit the most uncelebrated competition in all of Harry Potter history: The House Cup.
During the course of any given school year, students from each of the four houses would compete to earn points from Hogwarts faculty. Students were rewarded for intelligence and hard work, and penalized for poor behavior (or being named Harry/Ron). Each house had a large container mounted in the Great Hall to track their points, and each house used a different precious gem; rubies for Gryffindor, sapphires for Ravenclaw, emeralds for Slytherin, and diamonds for Hufflepuff! It’s strange to think that Hufflepuff, the house that values glory the least, would use the glitziest stone of all.
9. Best Badgers
Hufflepuff alumni don’t get nearly enough credit. The house has quietly produced some very talented witches and wizards over the years, though these individuals are often overlooked or underappreciated. Before his untimely demise, Cedric Diggory was the Seeker and Captain of Hufflepuff’s Quidditch team, a Triwizard champion, and a remarkable student. He was clever and fair – heck, he even helped Harry solve the riddle of the second task!
Ever hear the name Newt Scamander? You know, the hero of Fantastic Beasts? Newt, one of the wizarding world’s most renowned Magizoologists and a respected author, is a Hufflepuff. So is Nymphadora Tonks, the fierce auror and proud member of the Order of the Phoenix. Former Herbology professor Pomona Sprout fought bravely against Voldermort’s forces, leading students into the fray without hesitation.
8. Resident: Not Evil
Each of the four houses at Hogwarts has a definitive set of values; Slytherins preach ambition and cunning, Gryffindors embrace bravery and fearlessness, Ravenclaws prefer wit and wisdom, and Hufflepuffs favors those who are unwaveringly loyal and tremendously hardworking. Individuals sorted into Hufflepuff are often dedicated to self-improvement, though they are largely disinterested in public glory. This combination often pushes House Hufflepuff out of the limelight (and into the kitchens) over the course of Rowling’s beloved series. While these values represent the founding ideals of the house, the Hufflepuffs we know and love are a bit more, erm, Hobbit-y.
A true Puff possesses a deep love for their family, friends, and all living things. They are selfless and gentle, tolerant and kind. Subjects involving plants or animals (like Care of Magical Creatures or Herbology) appeal to Hufflepuff students, and these students tend to have an affinity for Earthy, elemental magic. With Pomona Sprout as their Head of House, you just know Hufflepuff is growing the dankest … mandrakes.
7. Playing Favorites
Oooooooh, plot twist! Although Rowling, a self-proclaimed Gryffindor, identifies with the characteristics of her house, she has a special place in her heart for Hufflepuff – 1st place, that is. After Pottermore was introduced in 2012, there seemed to be an unsettling amount of complaints from individuals sorted into Hufflepuff. In an interview, Rowling went to bat for the badgers and shut down the haters.
This may surprise people, but it is the truth…In many, many ways, Hufflepuff is my favourite House. 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. I can only say to you, that I would not be at all disappointed to be sorted into Hufflepuff House.
Since those dark days, Hufflepuff has become the hottest house of all. They embody the most admirable qualities and never seek praise, practicing humility at every turn. Patient, compassionate, and loyal, Hufflepuffs make great leaders and even better friends.
6. Midnight Munchies
The Common Room isn’t exactly an accurate name for Hufflepuff’s living space. We’d venture as far as to call it a rather uncommon room, considering it’s basically the most epic dorm ever created mixed with Frodo Baggins’ Hobbit hole. Equipped with countless cozy couches, earthy floors and hallways, and an amazing collection of plants, this sun-soaked space is exactly where you’d want to spend all of your free time. While Hufflepuff students fly under the radar, their crash pad goes above and beyond the call of duty.
Did we mention it was right next to the kitchens? No? Well, Hufflepuff’s common room is closest to the kitchens, because of course they are. We’re pretty sure the term ‘midnight munchies’ was actually coined by a Hufflepuff. First to breakfast, first to lunch, first to dinner – sounds about right for your average badger. Strangely enough, this is the only common room that Harry didn’t venture inside during his time at Hogwarts. We assume he would’ve headed here first if he had any idea how amazing it really was.
5. The Original S.P.E.W.
Hermoine Granger founded S.P.E.W. (the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) during her fourth year at Hogwarts, immediately after seeing just how dismally most house-elves were treated by other members of the wizarding community. While we never got to see this particular story arc in HP film adaptations, it was one that truly emphasized Hermoine’s compassion, ferocity, and willingness to protect those in need. She lobbied courageously to increase the rights of all house-elves and improve their quality of life, embodying the Gryffindor core values as she did so often. Surprisingly, Hermoine wasn’t the first wizard or witch to go to bat for Dobby’s kind.
A thousand years before the events of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Helga Hufflepuff welcomed hundreds of house-elves into the kitchens of Hogwarts. She provided a safe work environment, far from the abuse and persecution house-elves faced on a daily basis. Helga’s kindness made it possible for Winky (the second-best house-elf in the series) to wind up at Hogwarts all those years later.
4. Hogsmeade Happy Hour
Picture, if you will, a world without Hogsmeade. A world without Butterbeer, without Zonko’s, and without fun. A world where Hogwarts students are stuck at school during winter break. Sounds bleak, doesn’t it, like a Dementor just sucked all the joy right out of your life? Thanks to Hufflepuff alum Hengist of Woodcroft, Harry Potter and his friends don’t exist in that world, and we never had to read about it. If there’s a more Hufflepuff move than founding a village known for drinking, partying, and epic joke shops, we don’t know what it is.
A medieval wizard, Hengist founded the village of Hogsmeade after being driven from his family home by suspicious muggles. He resided in the Three Broomsticks during those early days, working tirelessly to transform Hogsmeade into a popular destination for students and travelers alike. Hengist’s reputation as a party monster lived on for generations and generations, eventually granting him immortality on the back on a Chocolate Frog.
3. Bad Blood
Some would call Hufflepuffs lame. Others would call them boring, or unintelligent, or unambitious. But no one, and we mean no one, would ever call them evil. Except someone from Slytherin, but that’s just because they’re haters. If you dig through Harry Potter lore, you’ll never find a single specific reference to a dark wizard from Hufflepuff. There may be murmurs or rumors, but you’ll never identify an actual name or instance of a Hufflepuff gone bad. It just hasn’t happened.
If you didn’t soak up every little detail of Rowling’s series, you might assume that every dark wizard has come from Slytherin. While we’d love to bash them forever and a day, they aren’t alone; Professor Quirell was a Ravenclaw before he went rogue, and Peter Pettigrew lived side by side with James Potter in Gryffindor. Try as we may and try as we might, the most dastardly deed we can recall a Hufflepuff ever committing is rocking a Potter Stinks sticker. Ernie Macmillan: Hufflepuff Gone Wild.
2. The Hufflecrux
Avid fans of the Harry Potter series are familiar with Horcruxes – items considered so unspeakably evil that their existence was kept secret from most of the wizarding community for generations. In HP canon, only two individuals have been able to successfully create a Horcrux; Herpo the Foul and Tom Riddle, aka He Who Must Not Be Named aka The Dark Lord aka VOLDERMORT. Flat Nose even pulled the ultimate power move, splitting his soul six times and creating six different Horcruxes (seven if you count Harry, but that was inadvertent). Helga Hufflepuff’s beautiful golden chalice wound up as crux numero cuatro, rotting away in Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault at Gringotts.
We can understand why Voldermort would go overboard when it comes to protecting his evil empire. We can understand why he would imbue Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring, Salazar Slytherin’s Locket, and the sneaky snake Nagini with fragments of his soul. What we cannot understand is why in the bloody hell he would ruin the beloved Helga Hufflepuff’s favorite cup just to achieve ever-lasting life. Poor Hepzibah Smith. What does she get for trying to impress a young Tom Riddle with her fancy family heirlooms? Dead, that’s what. She gets dead.
1. Lions, Badgers, and Bears
We’ve dedicated years of our lives to exploring Rowling’s franchise. Every book, movie, play, and Pottermore quiz feels perfect the way it is, and there isn’t much that any sane fan would change if given the chance. That feeling of contentment, of pure satisfaction, was officially RUINED in 2013. Before donating a rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to charity, Rowling revealed hand-written notes and sketches that lamented her last-minute change of Hufflepuff’s sigil from Bear to Badger. She wrote, “Perhaps Hufflepuff would have the respect it deserves from fans if I’d stuck to my original idea of a bear to represent it.” Rowling even drew the Hogwarts shield with a bear instead of a badger alongside the notes.
Take a moment to process this information. Everything you believe is a lie. Hufflepuffs were almost BEARS?! These snack-loving, hippy-dippy hobbit people were almost associated with giant, furry powerhouses? It’s just not right. A badger is the perfect sigil for Hufflepuff; they eat poisonous snakes whole without even batting an eye and will destroy your entire life if you step to their family. But you’d never know it from looking at them.
Do you know of any other fun facts about the best Hogwarts house ever? Let us know in the comments.