Our Reading Lives

How I Learned to Relax and Love Being A Hufflepuff

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemSo by now we’ve all visited our local theater to check out the adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them . Right? Like two or three times just to be sure it was actually really the fun and wonderful return to the world of Harry Potter we thought it was? Yes. Yes we have.Which means one thing: it’s time to talk about Hufflepuff, the Hogwarts house to which Newt Scamander belonged before getting himself expelled. Actually it means two things: it’s time to talk about Hufflepuff, and it means that there has never been a better time to talk about being one.

For years, when friends asked what house I’d be sorted into I’d get all smug and be like “Gryffindor, duh.” And I meant it. I believed it. I believed myself to be brave, loyal, a champion of what is good, and definitely one of the three main characters of the story I was living. Duh.

It wasn’t until a couple months ago that I sat down and created a Pottermore account. After answering the questions as truthfully, bravely, loyally, and Gryffindorally as I could I sat and stared at the page that popped up at the end welcoming me home to my place in…Hufflepuff.

My heart shrunk three sizes. I swear it did. My dreams of adventure, of heroism and of being the star disapparated in an instant and I felt insanely ripped off. I considered creating a new email address just so I could do the whole thing over.

Pottermore had more or less given me an identity crisis. I had to sort out if I’d been lying to myself all this time—clinging to a narrative I so badly wanted to be true. I didn’t open a new email account, but I did close my computer and have a good long think about life.

I imagined who else might be bumping into me in the common room just off from the Hogwarts kitchens. Ringo Starr, probably. He seemed like The Beatles’ resident Hufflepuff. My list also included the entire Flower Power movement of the 1960s, Heimlich the caterpillar from A Bug’s Life, and also the average package of marshmallow Peeps. I was grouchy, okay? We all have our Slytherin moments. Forgive me.

The more I thought about it, though, the more it seemed right. My Myers Briggs type is INFP to the max. I believe hugely in trying to bring out the best in people. I tend to be attracted to kindness and fairness over people who are conventionally impressive. Equality is the aspect of the American Dream that resonates most deeply with me. And I love food. Like, it’s my everything.

I’m Ringo—I’m a Peep. I’m a Hufflepuff.

Is it a mere coincidence that Ringo and Hufflepuff both seem to be enjoying a renaissance of sorts? I doubt it. I’m not, like, a social scientist so I can’t really explain it, but it feels like this is a rewarding time to be a kinder, gentler person.

And I do know completely that Hufflepuff has given us some great wizards like Cedric and Tonks, and of course Newt Scamander. And I know that if you were in our common room you might catch a whiff of what Dwayne Johnson—The Rock himself—is cooking since he’s among the celebrities who have recently revealed they too wear the yellow and black scarf.

I wear that scarf now. It fits, and it feels right. And I’m proud. Not, like, Gryffindor proud. A kinder, gentler sort of proud. I’m Hufflepuff proud.

Let’s eat already.

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