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No, but has anyone actually visualized what the Hufflepuff common room would be like? I mean, really thought about it?
The common room is larger than the other houses’, with furniture in haphazard groupings because it’s a rare evening indeed that the majority of the house doesn’t congregate here. Not because it’ll be some sort of massive party (though when was the last time a solid fortnight went by without some Weird Sisters blasting and an impromptu dance off?), but because Puffs prefer to be around each other.
Though it’s not a tower, the room is rounded and domed. No corners for hiding. There are no windows either, but the west wall has cozy nooks burrowed into the stone so a student can curl up and relax. Despite the fact that Hufflepuffs are stereotyped as the hippie-dippie extroverts, the nooks are rarely empty - filled with students doing homework, writing letters, or just curled up in the cushions, observing their fellow students without needing to interact.
(I omit the more obvious usages of these nooks by various couples or simply friends in need of a good cuddle. The fact of the matter is that most Puffs enjoy physical contact and aren’t shy about sharing it.)
There are several round tables under a solid wrought-iron chandelier where study groups meet at all hours of the day and night (remember the year Amos Platt was in sixth year and carrying a NEWT courseload but ran arithmancy studygroup every Sunday and Wednesday? Remember how he sat up with Francis Flockington four nights in a row until Francis could recite his numerology chart from memory?). People think of the ‘Claws as being the academic house, and ask any ‘Puff and they’ll gladly cede the honor. But if you check with Flitwick, he’ll grudgingly tell you that when it comes right down to it, the most exemplary students he has don’t usually come from his own house. In fact, while his students are often the ones who come up with a new theory or spell concept, it is just as likely that the ones who refine the idea, create the spell, or submit the proposal to the ministry for review are the badgers. In fact, of the new spells introduced to textbooks in the last two decades, at least 5/7 of them have a Hufflepuff listed as a contributor in its creation. It usually only takes about a week for one of the common room tables to become the “experimenting table” and a stockpile of scribbled notes to accumulate for other students to stop by, try, adjust, and leave their own feedback. Parchments scribbled on over and over until there’s no space left, with the final incantation circled and underlined till its nearly unreadable in the margins - and usually at least one curious students squinting at them to find the new spell and give it a quick “swish and flick” to see what they’ve helped create.
(This can lead to as much, if not more damage to property and students than you ever see in Gryffindor. Madam Sprout has given up asking about various scorch marks and sudden hairstyle changes when she visits the dormitories. She just smiles and asks to see what they’ve come up with.)
Unlike the other dormitories, the Hufflepuffs have seen to it that their fireplace is kept stocked with various cooking utensils, and the house elves, rather than being bribed to bring treats from the kitchens, bear ingredients for the students to make the snacks themselves. A Hufflepuff’s dearest joy is the act of creation - whether it’s a spell, a painting, or a perfect pan of scones. Some centuries back, a student stumbled upon an old sheaf of parchment under a loose stone in the hearth and discovered Helga Hufflepuff’s recipes - not the fancy ones the elves use in the kitchens for feast days, but the simple ones she must have fed to her own children - miniature treacle sponge cakes shaped like phoenixes, Chinese Chomping Cabbage stew, porridge with so much honey it tastes like pudding. No one outside of the Hufflepuff dormitories knows of its existence, but many are the wizarding homes that have benefited from this discovery, and don’t the students have fun pouring over those pages year after year?
(It’s traditional for the seventh years to cook up the entire collection on their last night at Hogwarts. Someone usually sneaks in some firewhiskey, and the night is spent - not unlike most others in their last seven years - feet stretched toward the fire, laughter loud and voices soft, enjoying good food and each other’s company. It leads to not a few bleary-eyed badgers scampering into line to process to the Great Hall for the ceremony, but not seventh year in living memory has passed up the tradition.)
Creativity flourishes in Hufflepuff. The common room walls are overcrowded with pieces of art students have left behind. There is a rather battered old piano that holds its tune only by the stubbornest of tuning spells to the right of the fireplace, and a random assortment of instruments collected over hundreds of years. and of an afternoon you’re likely to have some sort of amalgam of instruments that weren’t meant to be thrown together making an unlikely, yet pleasing cacophony in that corner. A couple of decades ago a Muggleborn bewitched a couple of the guitars to *sound* electric despite the castle’s deficiencies in regards to the lack of electronics, and since then, Hufflepuff has been the place to keep up with pop music from wizards and muggles alike.
(Incidentally, more students from other houses have been to Hufflepuff than any other dormitory. It’s true that they’re supposed to be kept secret, and the badgers do their best to keep the actual entrance and password a mystery, but where’s the fun in a rock concert in the dormitories if your lion, snake, and eagle friends can’t be a part? It’s not an uncommon sight to have a few robes trimmed in colors other than yellow mixed in of an evening.)
This house isn’t the house of the losers, the leftovers, and the saps. Or if it is, they stop caring about those labels after a few weeks. It’s the house of community where the artists and the politicians and the theorists and the healers all come together to share in some food, music, and work. Because the one true thing that defines Hufflepuff is this: regardless of your skill or passion, people are always the most important thing.
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