The Best (And Worst) Hufflepuff Traits
There's more than meets the eye when it comes to this underrated Hogwarts house.
If you're a Harry Potter fan, chances are you know which Hogwarts house you belong to. The particularly loyal are usually sorted into Hufflepuff, which is recognized by its black and white house colors and symbolized by the badger. But while loyalty is probably the most recognizable of all the Hufflepuff traits, it's not the only characteristic of this often underrated house. In fact, there are several other admirable qualities Hufflepuffs have—as well some less desirable ones. Read on for an explanation of the best and worst Hufflepuff traits.
What Does It Mean to Be a Hufflepuff?
Hufflepuff is one of the four houses at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, alongside Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Gryffindor. It was founded by Helga Hufflepuff, who was talented in Charms, using these skills to create delicious meals, according to the official Wizarding World website.
While it's sometimes dismissed as a less desirable house—Draco Malfoy says he would "leave" if he were sorted into Hufflepuff in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone—there's more to this house than meets the eye. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has even said it's her "favorite house in some ways."
If you want to know what it really means to be a Hufflepuff, the Hogwarts Sorting Hat perhaps explains it best. In its welcome song to new Hogwarts students, the hat sings, "You might belong in Hufflepuff where they are just and loyal. Those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil."
The Best Hufflepuff Traits
Hufflepuffs are patient.
Of course, patience is one of the best known and most admirable Hufflepuff traits. It's mentioned by the Sorting Hart and somewhat definitive of the house in general.
Just take Cedric Diggory, a Hufflepuff and one of the four Triwizard Tournament champions in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. During the first task, which has the champions facing off against dragons, Diggory transfigures a rock into a dog, hoping to distract his dragon in order to retrieve the golden egg and complete the task. Rather than go straight for the attack, Diggory is patient in waiting for his plan to work and ends up securing the egg, albeit getting burned in the process.
Hufflepuffs are super loyal.
Another contributor to Hufflepuff house pride is loyalty. There's no short supply of this quality among Hufflepuffs, but Nymphadora Tonks in particular is a prime example.
Not only is she a devoted and loyal member of the Order of the Phoenix, Tonks is also unfailingly loyal to Harry. When riding the Knight Bus, she warns the conductor she will curse him "into oblivion" if he gives away Harry's location—and on a grander scale, she also gives up her life for the cause at the Battle of Hogwarts.
Pomona Sprout, Herbology professor and Head of Hufflepuff house, also displays her faithfulness throughout the books. She is unfailingly loyal to Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, especially following his death and its implications for the school's future. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Sprout says, "If a single pupil wants to come, then the school out to remain open for that pupil."
Hufflepuffs are good with animals.
Their good-natured and caring personalities also mean that Hufflepuffs are excellent at caring for animals. Newt Scamander, the focus of the prequel series Fantastic Beasts is representative of this, as he's a Magizoologist. During his travels across the globe, the animal lover researches magical creatures for what will become the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He's also unfailingly loyal to his animals, stressing the need to protect them at all costs.
"I'm writing a book about magical creatures… to help people understand why we should be protecting these creatures instead of killing them," Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) says in the first film.
Hufflepuffs don't pick fights.
While Hufflepuffs stand by their friends, they don't actively pick fights. This is something Rowling has said they exemplify during the Battle of Hogwarts when Lord Voldemort asks students to join his cause.
Gryffindors stay on the side of Hogwarts, but they can be "foolhardy and showoff-y," Rowling said. Hufflepuffs, on the other hand, opt not to cross over for a different reason.
"They weren't trying to show off, they weren't being reckless," the author explained of the Hufflepuffs' decision not to join forces with the Dark Lord. "That's the essence of Hufflepuff house."
Hufflepuffs work hard.
A strong work ethic is another key Hufflepuff trait. In addition to Cedric Diggory, who fights to win the Triwizard Tournament for Hogwarts and his house, Professor Sprout is also diligent. This habit extends beyond the confines of a typical classroom, according to the Wizarding World website. She looks after hundreds of plants—some of which are dangerous—in the school's greenhouses. Perhaps the defining moment of her hardworking persona is when she develops the antidote (a potion made from Mandrakes) for those who had been petrified and taken to the Chamber of Secrets.
Hufflepuffs are humble.
Being humble is certainly an admirable quality, and Hufflepuffs have no shortage of it. Cedric displays his humble quality when he and his father, Amos Diggory, meet Harry for the first time. In The Goblet of Fire, Amos brags about Cedric's win against Harry in a Quidditch match the year prior. While Harry isn't sure how to respond, he notes that Cedric looks "slightly embarrassed."
Professor Sprout, who ends up saving the lives of the petrified people, is also applauded by Dumbledore and Hogwarts students in the film adaptation of The Chamber of Secrets. During the scene, rather than gloating, she looks honored to be recognized in such a way and simply tips her hat to say thank you.
Hufflepuffs are kind.
Kindness is representative of the Hufflepuff house as a whole. When most of Hogwarts is backing Cedric after assuming that Harry cheated to enter the Triwizard Tournament, donning badges that say "Potter Stinks," Cedric doesn't take part. In addition, after Harry shares a tip about the first task, Cedric makes sure he repays the favor, giving Harry information he's learned about the second task.
Professor Sprout's kindness abounds too, as she is fair in awarding house points and exceedingly kind to Neville Longbottom. Neville is somewhat ostracized as a member of Gryffindor house and bullied by Professor Snape, but Professor Sprout recognizes Neville's affinity for herbology and continues to encourage him. As a result, Neville eventually goes on to take over her position as Professor of Herbology.
Hufflepuffs appreciate food.
To put it simply, Hufflepuffs are foodies. Helga Hufflepuff herself was a bit of a culinary wiz—and she had this in mind when deciding where to put the Hufflepuff common room. The Hufflepuff dormitories and common room are accessed from the same corridor as the kitchens, making way to a round, low-ceiling hangout. The comfy-cozy vibe doesn't feel too different from a badger's burrow and offers the perfect ambiance to snuggle up with a book and a snack.
The Worst Hufflepuff Traits
Hufflepuffs can be pushovers.
With the good comes the bad, and because Hufflepuffs are kind and giving, they can also be pushovers in certain situations. While Cedric may not have participated in bullying Harry, he didn't do anything to stop it or defend Harry, becoming somewhat of a bystander.
Another Hufflepuff, Hannah Abbott, is also somewhat meek, as she decides not to join Dumbledore's Army (the resistance group led by Harry) out of fear of punishment. While other students actively rebel against Professor Dolores Umbridge, who has unfairly banned clubs at the school, Hannah doesn't join because she's afraid will fail her exams or get expelled.
Hufflepuffs can be naive.
Hufflepuff students are known to be a bit naive, displaying this clearly in The Chamber of Secrets. Justin Finch-Fletchley openly admires Gilderoy Lockhart, who he deems both "brave" and "fantastic." Other Hogwarts students find Professor Lockhart charming—including Hufflepuff student Susan Bones and even Gryffindor student Hermione Granger—while others see him as vain and arrogant. The naïveté is eventually exposed when Lockhart is revealed as a fraud.
Hannah Abbott also shows that she's a bit gullible, letting her fellow Hufflepuff Ernie Macmillan convince her that Harry is the true Heir of Slytherin.
Hufflepuffs try too hard to avoid conflict.
Fear of causing a rift is also among the less positive Hufflepuff traits. Because they are kind and not interested in picking fights, they will diffuse or avoid a situation if possible rather than getting directly involved. Instead of allowing Harry to speak his piece after an unfortunate incident during Professor Lockhart's Dueling Club, Justin Finch-Fletchley storms out of the library when Harry approaches.
Hufflepuffs need a little more confidence.
Hufflepuffs sometimes lack confidence in themselves. This happens to Hannah Abbott in The Order of the Phoenix when she breaks down during Herbology. Hannah's lack of confidence is evidenced by her statement that she is "too stupid" to take her exams. As a result, the school nurse, Madam Pomfrey, gives Hannah a Calming draught.
Hufflepuffs aren't always nice.
While they're recognized for their kindness, not every Hufflepuff is nice at all times. A prime example of this is Zacharias Smith, who is critical of Harry and his friends throughout the book series and is described at one point as "a wart." In The Order of the Phoenix, he joins Dumbledore's Army and criticizes Harry openly, all while digging for information about Cedric's death the year before. During the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry also observes Zacharias "bowling over first years"—some of whom are in tears—to get to the front of the line while the school is evacuating.
Ernie is no angel either: He spreads rumors about Harry being the Heir of Slytherin in The Chamber of Secrets and later calls him an illegal champion during the Triwizard Tournament in The Goblet of Fire.
Hufflepuffs can be stubborn.
Those in Hufflepuff house can also be particularly stubborn, which isn't always an admirable trait. Tonks, for example, is adamant in no one calling her by her full name, Nymphadora. She is also steadfast in her pursuit of Remus Lupin, even when he turns her down at first for fear that he's too old, poor, and dangerous (because he is a werewolf) for her. After several refusals, Tonks becomes depressed and it's not until Remus finally gives in to their relationship that her emotional state improves.
Hufflepuffs can be too trusting.
Again due to their affable personalities, Hufflepuffs can also be a little bit too trusting in some situations. Hepzibah Smith—an alleged descendant of Helga Hufflepuff and supposed member of Hufflepuff house—certainly put her trust in the wrong person. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we learn that the elderly witch befriended a young Tom Riddle and told him about her collection of secret, valuable possessions. Looking to make the items into Horcruxes, Tom (who later becomes Lord Voldemort), steals her golden cup (once owned by Helga Hufflepuff) and a locket (owned by Salazar Slytherin), killing Hepzibah in the process.
Hufflepuffs don't always stand out.
When it comes to memorable Hogwarts houses, Gryffindor and Slytherin are probably the first two that come to mind. Similar to Ravenclaws, there are fewer notable series characters in Hufflepuff, aside from Cedric, Tonks, and Professor Sprout.
Ernie Macmillan gets props for fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts and Hannah Abbott is notable for marrying Neville Longbottom later on. But aside from that, the big names and deeds in Hufflepuff house are few and far between compared to other houses.
- Cedric Diggory: A popular Hufflepuff student selected as one of the Triwizard Tournament champions in The Goblet of Fire.
- Nymphadora Tonks: A key member of the Order of the Phoenix, Tonks is a Metamorphmagus, allowing her to change her physical appearance at will.
- Professor Pomona Sprout: The Professor of Herbology at Hogwarts. She is described as a squat with flyaway hair and a patched hat.
- Newt Scamander: The author of the magical textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Scamander is also the main character in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise.
- Helga Hufflepuff: The founder of Hufflepuff House well known for her skills in Charms and her excellent recipes.
Even though Hagrid says that Hufflepuffs "are a lot o' duffers," that's not the case. Hufflepuffs have far more admirable traits than they regularly get credit for—and if you're sorted into this house, rep it proudly!
Even Hufflepuff's less positive traits aren't representative of the whole, and when you need them, they'll be there. Hufflepuffs are the friends you want in your corner when you need moral support—and chances are they'll know just the spot to take you for a meal to cheer you up.