Saturday, 1 September 2018

Harry Potter Reread #1: Accepting my Hufflepuff Identity



After deciding to finally start rereading Harry Potter this summer, I figured it would be the perfect time to write a series of blog posts on my relationship with the books over the years, and how things have changed since first discovering the series. For this post, I wanted to discuss an important part of Hogwarts life for any student: their house.

When Pottermore first opened in 2011, I was beyond excited. Finally, I was going to get the Hogwarts letter I deserved and be sorted into my own house. Up until that point, I simply considered myself a Gryffindor because generally we were brainwashed into thinking Gryffindor was the superior house because that’s where all our main heroes came from, right?

Regardless, when I finally managed to find the magical quill that took me to the Pottermore site, I was ready to embrace my actual house. Taking the sorting quiz was the most exciting thing that 18yo me had done on the internet. When I’d answered all the questions as honestly as I could because I wanted my true house, I was finally sorted into Ravenclaw. It suited me perfectly, Blue is one of my favourite colours. Ravens are one of my favourite birds. I even had a nickname in high school based on a Ravenclaw (my friends ended up calling me Cho because the actress’ name is Katie. I don’t understand the logic of my 13yo classmates either, but still). Also, Ravenclaw was closely associated with a love of books and knowledge and history, and generally all the things I was an absolute nerd for. I was thrilled with my house. 

 
Over the next few years, I was a happy Ravenclaw. I bought badges, keyrings, and I even had my mum knit me a Ravenclaw scarf. Every time I came across a Hogwarts sorting test online, (Buzzfeed, I’m looking @ you), I’d always get sorted into Ravenclaw. It was my house, and I loved it.

And then, two years ago, someone *glares at the team behind Pottermore* decided it would be a good idea to let us retake the test. Amazing, I thought. I get to do the test again! Relive that special moment from my teens when I finally got to virtually wear the Sorting Hat. My na├»ve-self had no worries. I was forever getting Ravenclaw, after all. I hadn’t really changed in the few years since taking the test the first time, so my answers would probably stay the same. My house wasn’t going to dramatically change, right?

Haha. 

The look on my face when the Pottermore page turned yellow at the end of the test, announcing that I was a Hufflepuff. It was goodbye to ravens and blue, and hello to badgers and yellow. Pottermore had given me a new house and an identity crisis. WHO EVEN AM I ANYMORE? It didn’t help that my best friend, a Slytherin who has never not been sorted into Slytherin, did the most typically Slytherin thing she could and teased me over it with as many AVPM references as possible. And never really stopped.


͛ (@KatieBookQueen) 31 January 2016

I wasn’t the only one to be thrown into a completely different house. My sister, who was also a Ravenclaw, ended up a Slytherin. We went from being same-house siblings, to apposing-house rivals.

Whilst my bookish, nerd-self fitted right in with the description of what a Ravenclaw should be, the Hufflepuff traits didn’t exactly scream me. Patience, me? Not one ounce of it. Least rivalry with others? I wish I had that trait. Hufflepuffs are just generally nice, friendly people. I avoid interaction as much as I can, complain over literally anything, and am generally scared of everything that this world has to throw at me. DID I REALLY BELONG IN HUFFLEPUFF?

 
On the road to accepting my Hufflepuff identity, having a Slytherin best friend and sister has helped me to realise that maybe I do fit into my new house more than I originally thought. Both of them are quick to point out that we have very different ways of dealing with things. They both manipulate situations to get their way whilst I’m too worried about other people and potential consequences to everything. I'm fiercly loyal to the people and things that I like, and I did have some of that dedication trait that Hufflepuffs are suppose to have. So maybe I did belong in my new house, but it wasn’t easy to accept.

The adjustment period was a difficult one. I tried to throw myself into my new, Hufflepuff lifestyle. The first thing I wanted to do? Get some merch to show off my new house. Being the exceptionally broke young adult that I am, unable to afford literally anything, I thought Primark would be my saviour in this situation. Wrong. Their blatant favouritism towards Gryffindor and Slytherin meant that I couldn’t find one single piece of Hufflepuff merch in my two local stores. It also didn’t help that I found Ravenclaw stuff whilst I was there. It was like seeing an ex in public (not that I know what that’s like, but you get the picture). Eventually, after trawling through stores for affordable Harry Potter merch that actually included my house, I came home with a Hufflepuff tea coaster from Forbidden Planet, which I still use today. My second Hufflepuff item came from my wonderful friend Jasmine, who sent me a postcard from her trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. It was starting, I was becoming a Hufflepuff.  


Then my best friend got me the Hufflepuff anniversary edition of the first book for my birthday, and I enjoyed getting to read about my new house, its founder and its students. The biggest bonus about becoming a Hufflepuff was, by far, Newt Scamander. After years of being known through the books as the house from which Cedric Diggory came from, we finally had another amazing Hufflepuff to look up to. The more time went on, the more I grew to love being a Hufflepuff. 

Some of my favourite people are Hufflepuffs. Yes, Taeyong from NCT, I'm looking at you.
Whilst rereading the books, maybe I am taking offense at Hufflepuff’s reputation just a little bit. The first time I read the series, I’ll admit I didn’t really think twice about Hufflepuff. But now? The chapter on the Hogwarts Express when the characters end up discussing potential houses? Mentions of Gryffindor and Ravenclaw get thrown around as good options, meanwhile Hufflepuff doesn’t get a look in. Poor Harry being gloomy, thinking he’ll be put in Hufflepuff because it’s seen as the lesser house? RUDE. Considering I originally didn’t want to be a Hufflepuff myself, I’d defend my house with my life now. I’m still only rereading the first book at the moment, but I’m looking forward to taking more note of Hufflepuff as I read, along with giving extra love and appreciation to my favourite Hufflepuff, Tonks.


After two years, I’ve fully accepted my Hufflepuff identity and have thrown myself head-first into my house. Ironically, yellow has also become my new favourite colour, especially to wear. Considering I was never a huge fan of mustard yellow in the past, I’m definitely putting it down to the Hufflepuff Effect. My time as a Ravenclaw was great, but these days I’m a happy and exceptionally loyal Hufflepuff. 

Now I just need to convince my mum to knit a new scarf. 

2 comments:

  1. I also started as a ravenclaw. retook the test and got sorted into hufflepuff. it's kinda been hard to transition because I feel that's the least intense house in the HP world but id love to learn more to see if i will identify with the hufflepuff world and maybe it's time to reread HP

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    Replies
    1. I know exactly what you mean! At the time, Hufflepuff just didn't seem as exciting as the other houses?? Rereading is helping me to appreciate it more though!

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