"Puff & Stuff" By Hannah K.
I fully admit, I came into the world of Harry Potter a bit later than most. I was fully aware of it, of course. I tried to read the books when I was a kid, and didn't like them much. The movies were fun, but not my favorite thing. It was only when I met my now-wife, who is a huge Potterhead, that I jumped fully into the Potter world, learning more about it as my relationship with her grew.
I had taken a House quiz years ago, and knew I was a Hufflepuff by those standards. I also knew that being a Puff came with some downsides. People tended to laugh when you said you were a Hufflepuff, and to not take you very seriously. When my wife urged me to take the Pottermore quizzes, I was, however, not surprised at all to find I was still a Hufflepuff, with a great wand and a cat patronus. Very fitting. My wife (a HUGE Ravenclaw) was really happy I got into the house she pegged me as, and she's taught me so much about the different houses, their founders, and what they all stand for.
As I've learned more about the Potterverse, the characters in it, and the attributes of the houses, I gotta say… Everyone who discounts Hufflepuff as "the house of the leftovers" or "the loser house" or even just “the house where the awkward kids go”... is SO WRONG! Puffs are amazing, creative people, who attract and love all the other houses. We're open, a little silly, and can be just as brave as a Gryffindor - just look at Cedric & Tonks, for Puff's sake!
A lot of people think that Hufflepuff was actually created to be a catch-all for the kids who didn't fit into the other three houses. Helga Hufflepuff did indeed say "...and I'll take all the rest," which is where a lot of people get that opinion. But the truth may be that Puffs are simply people that don't solidly fit in another house. They have bravery, like a Griff, and questions, like a Claw, but not enough to tip the scale toward one or the other.
Thinking of it this way, it's easy to say that Hufflepuff may just be full of people that are pieces of all the other houses. That is probably why us Puffs work so well with the other houses, and why Hufflepuff is the least exclusionary of the houses. Let's be honest, all the other houses can be a bit clique-y, but very rarely will you meet a Puff who behaves that way.
I digress. I used to be a little wary of answering the question "So what house are you in?" for fear of being judged as being childish, a leftover, or not as good as someone in one of the others… but after learning more about what Hufflepuff stands for, and the great Hufflepuffs in the story, I'm very very proud to answer that I'm a badger! Our common room is by the kitchen. Come grab a snack, and sit in our comfy chairs - We don't bite. Just don't underestimate us… ‘cause we're braver, smarter, and more cunning than you would think.