When I was in college, some friends and I were discussing which Hogwarts House we would be sorted into (as you do). Kyle — outgoing, spirited, and bold — was a Gryffindor. Scheming, surly Garrett was a Slytherin. I put myself in Ravenclaw, because I fancy myself creative and witty, if a bit off-beat. When it came to sorting our pal Steve, he looked up at us with big, brown, questioning eyes: "Steve," Garrett said, "You're a Hufflepuff. In fact, the best description I can think of for you is "Steve, that guy from Hufflepuff.""
At the time, it was good-natured, but definitely a barb. There's been a lot written on the fact that "nobody wants to be a Hufflepuff." As a house, it's not the power of the witch or wizard that matters so much as an attitude of always trying their best and being cheerful, which can erroneously lead people to believe that Hufflepuff is a house of upbeat dimwits. But the House of the Badger has in fact produced some renowned, badass wizards including Cedric Diggory (RIP, Diggs) and Nymphadora Tonks-Lupin! Hufflepuff, in short, is awesome.
Also, my daughter is totally a Hufflepuff, so I'm biased. So's my mom, who is basically the real-life Helga Hufflepuff. Yes, these are things we discuss in my family, because Hogwarts is totally real. I'm just still waiting on my letter. It must have gotten lost in the chimney. I'll ask Santa to take a look for it next time he's in there.
How can you tell your little one "might belong in Hufflepuff?" Well I'll tell you.
They're Good-Natured And Friendly
They're like mini Winnie the Poohs: charming, pleasant, and sanguine. It's not that they never cry or have a tantrum, but on the whole they're just...happy. Hufflepuff kids have that innocent glimmer in their eye that melts even the iciest Slytherin's heart.
They Happily Accept And Welcome Other Children Into Their Games
Perhaps the defining characteristic of Hufflepuff is that the house was founded on the basis of inclusivity. Whereas the other houses wanted students with particular talents, dear old Helga happily extended her invitation to any witch or wizard willing to put in the work to hone their craft. Your little Hufflepuff is likely the one walking up to other kids on the playground to invite them to join in a game already in progress.
They Share Nicely
Hufflepuff kids are delighted to share their toys and even, perhaps, their food. Itty-bitty babypuffs are usually like, "Oh, this? This is puréed squash! Try it! It's totally delicious! Here! I'll feed it to you myself! Oops! Sorry, didn't mean to get 3/4 of it all over your face. There! Isn't that yummy? More?"
They Will Determinedly Stick To A Task
Hufflepuffs are hard-workers who aim toward self-improvement. Whether this is because many Hufflepuffs are not as naturally adept at magic or academics or simply because they have a killer work ethic (in fact Tom Felton, aka Draco Malfoy, once said that Kanye West is a Hufflepuff at heart), Hufflepuff kids don't need to be told to study hard or to practice every day if they want to make the varsity team next year. They know what it takes and they're willing to do it.
They Stand By Their Friends
Aside from Gryffindor, Hufflepuff saw more students stand to fight against Voldemort at the Battle of Hogwarts than any other house. This loyalty is what you come to expect from your Hufflepuff kid. They'll never turn their back on a friend to fit in with the crowd, and they may well continue to have friendships about as old as they are throughout their lives.
They're stand-up folks over at Hufflepuff. These kids don't have a deceitful bone in their little bodies. They'll always tell you the truth (even if that means incriminating themselves) because it just doesn't strike them to tell a lie.
They're Not Competitive
Hufflepuff tends to do pretty badly in the House Cup, and that's probably because they generally aren't all that interested in competition. Maybe that comes from their desire to be nice to everyone, or their desire to make everyone feel included. Or maybe it's because they aren't boastful. Whatever the reason, your little Hufflepuff is probably more interested in the fun pizza party after the softball game than in winning the game itself. Because everyone wins at a pizza party! Isn't that better?
They Don't Need Constant Attention To Be Happy
Hufflepuffs are very modest and likely to downplay their own achievements. Hufflepuff kids might blush or get embarrassed if they win an award or are thrust into the center of attention. Their folksy humility is endearing.
With other kids, with situations, with animals... A Hufflepuff kid is even patient and gentle with their toys. They're so kind-hearted, they know that everyone needs to come to things in their own time, and they are willing to patiently accommodate that to make sure everyone is living their best life.
They Have A Great Sense Of Right And Wrong
Of all the Hogwarts houses, Hufflepuff has produced the fewest dark wizards (yes, even your precious Gryffindor produced a bunch of baddies) because they have a finely tuned sense of right and wrong (without getting all self-righteous and preachy about it). Your child may wind up being the moral compass of their peers... or even your family (especially if they were born into a family of Slytherins).
Every house has its virtues, but ain't bebbehs like kind, gentle, determined, faithful Hufflepuff bebbehs to brighten your day.
Images: Bradley Stimke/Flickr; Giphy; Tumblr