Sorting Hat Sunday: Once Upon a Time – Regina Mills

So here’s the thing about Hogwarts houses: you’re sorted when you’re 11 years old. The Evil Queen looks, on the surface, very Slytherin. Not just because she’s a villain, but because she tries – keyword tries – to be cunning and manipulative, and sometimes she even, very briefly, succeeds at it. However, as a child, or even a young adult, she was just about the furthest thing from a Slytherin – and by the end of the series, that’s once again the case. Young Regina from “The Stable Boy” can only belong to one Hogwarts house, in my mind, and that’s Hufflepuff.

Slytherins are ambitious. Cora, for instance, is a textbook Slytherin, and it seems to be a great disappointment to her that her daughter is not. Young Regina didn’t care about power or status. She would have rather run away with the stable boy than married the king. Her greatest goal in life was to be happy and be with someone she loved. Even after Daniel’s death, she repeatedly insisted that she didn’t want power and didn’t want to be queen.

Regina was surrounded by Slytherins. Her father was probably a Hufflepuff, but her mother was definitely a Slytherin. Her mentor was a Slytherin. Most of the other people she worked closely with were either Slytherins (Jefferson, Maleficent, Facilier) or had learned to use Slytherin methods (Hook). It’s no surprise, then, that she learned from them and started acting more like a Slytherin. Her manipulation of the genie in “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” is classic Slytherin cunning, and she acts a lot like a Slytherin during the Dark Curse as well. However, she still seems more comfortable just throwing a fireball at her problems than trying to solve them with anything resembling subtlety. She’s learned a lot, probably most of it from Rumple, but he and Cora still use her as a pawn without her even realizing it throughout seasons 1 and 2. As the seasons go by, she gradually drops the Slytherin routine.

You could make an argument for Gryffindor or Ravenclaw as well. She’s certainly brave, and like I said, her preferred course of action usually tends to involve throwing fireballs at her problems. In season 2 and onward, she is willing to put herself in danger and even sacrifice her life to protect others. She is also one of the more intelligent characters, has a vault full of spell books, and while Rumple insists that magic is emotional rather than intellectual, Regina is often seen experimenting with potions or spells and trying to figure them out on an intellectual level. However, she’s also very dismissive of the Charmings’ heroic quests and Belle’s bookworm tendencies. She has some Gryffindor and Ravenclaw strengths, but they don’t seem to be what she values most, and again, they certainly weren’t what she valued most as a young woman, let alone when she was actually Hogwarts-age.

Her values are essentially those of a Hufflepuff, expressed in a straightforward way at first, then warped and twisted, and eventually turned back into something more benevolent again.

Hufflepuffs are hard-working and “unafraid of toil”. Regina, as a young woman, was willing to become the wife of a stable boy, accepting a future in which she would be a commoner and would have to work hard in order to survive. As the Evil Queen, she was relentless in her pursuit of Snow White. It was a horrible goal, and it led her to do horrible things to countless innocent people, but she was nothing if not hard-working and dedicated. Never at any point, from the earliest flashbacks to the end of season 7, has she been unwilling to do something because it was too difficult or too much work. Whether she’s doing something good or something evil, something for herself or for someone else, she puts everything she has into it.

Hufflepuffs are typically loyal. This is something Regina struggles with, but a big part of her happy ending is finding people she can trust/be loyal to/do right by, and earning their trust and loyalty in return. In the early seasons, she seems desperate for human connections and latches onto the worst people – namely, Cora in season 2 – because she feels isolated and rejected. She’s done nothing but hurt and antagonize the people of Storybrooke, but it still hurts that they don’t accept her, just as it hurt that they didn’t accept her as queen in the flashbacks. As time goes by, she ends up becoming very protective of Storybrooke and the people who live there, and by the time she takes on a leadership role again in seasons 5-6, her attitude has completely changed: instead of demanding that others be loyal to her, she’s determined to do right by them and to earn their respect. In season 7, she is completely willing to dedicate herself to a cause championed by a group of strangers in an unfamiliar realm out of loyalty to Henry, and her cursed persona is a sort of unofficial community leader who cares deeply about her neighbors and stands up to Victoria Belfry for their sake.

Hufflepuffs are also concerned with justice. Regina doesn’t really seem to understand the concept of justice and spends decades of her life seeking revenge against an innocent; however, she does seem to believe she’s delivering justice and even uses that word to describe what she’s doing. Over time, she ends up going just as far in the opposite direction, giving out second chances to anyone who wants one as well as several people who have no interest in changing their ways. However, this, too, comes from what seems to be a deeply ingrained need for fairness: she herself was given more than one second chance, so how can she deny the same to others? She frequently talks about what is and isn’t fair and at one point tells the Charmings that being a leader means doing what’s best for the greatest number of people. In the later seasons, once she is firmly on the side of the heroes, she frequently stands up to people whose actions she sees as unfair. For instance, she helped turn the trip to the Underworld into a mission to make things right and to help as many souls as possible resolve their unfinished business and move on. In season 7, she stands up to Victoria Belfry in large part because she is treating the people of Hyperion Heights (and her own stepfamily) unjustly.

Order of the Phoenix adds one final quality: “Said Hufflepuff, ‘I’ll teach the lot and treat them just the same.'” Rather than favoring only the students that shared her own strengths and values, Helga Hufflepuff also took the students rejected by the other three founders. Regina, in her earliest flashbacks, was willing to embrace Zelena as her sister even though she was a commoner and even though Cora warned her it would ruin their family’s reputation and her marriage prospects. In “The Stable Boy”, she wanted nothing more than to run away with Daniel, and her second love was an outlaw who lived in the forest and stole from the rich to give to the poor. She cared very little about people’s origins or status, and many of the people she cared about most were commoners. Likewise, unlike many of the show’s other magic-users, she’s never seemed to look down on those without magic, or to view them differently in any way. At one point in season 4, she tells Henry, “We are each given our own gifts. You have the heart of the truest believer. You brought us all together. Never think you’re ordinary just because you don’t have magic”.

Now, the original Pottermore welcome letter did say that Hufflepuff has produced the fewest dark wizards. However, few doesn’t necessarily mean none. I’ve put less-than-perfect characters in Hufflepuff before. Javert from Les Miserables takes hard work and obsession with justice to an unhealthy extreme, Edmund from Narnia grows to embody Hufflepuff virtues after making a very serious mistake as a child, and Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager is loyal above all else, but (in the beginning) to the Borg, who want nothing more than to assimilate everything in their path. Regina is probably the most outright evil character I’ve ever put in Hufflepuff, but then again, she wasn’t always like that and develops into a much better person again over the course of the show’s seven seasons.

Sorting Hat Monday: Once Upon a Time – Emma Swan

There’s a fine line between Slytherin and Hufflepuff, and Emma sometimes seems to fall on one side of it, sometimes on the other. But first, let me start by explaining why I don’t think she’s a Gryffindor or a Ravenclaw.

Emma is usually one of the more intelligent characters, but Ravenclaw is about more than just intelligence. In fact, Emma’s extreme reluctance to believe in anything she can’t see pretty much disqualifies her from Ravenclaw. Ravenclaws are intuitive, open-minded, and creative thinkers, and Emma takes a full season to believe in magic and two more to embrace what she already knows.

She’s definitely brave enough to be a Gryffindor, but again, her role as a hero is something she’s reluctant to accept and seems to see more as a duty than anything else. Although she does end up breaking the Dark Curse, saving many people over the course of the series, and winning the final battle in a very Gryffindor way, she takes a long time to accept that she’s the savior and often seems to see it as a burden. What really matters to her – and what usually prompts her to fight in the first place – is her family and her home, and her duty to protect them.

So let’s talk about that fine line between Slytherin and Hufflepuff.

  • Slytherins are ambitious. Hufflepuffs are hard-working. While it’s totally possible to work hard for the sake of working hard, without expecting a reward for it, hard work is often focused on reaching a specific goal or ambition. Slytherins are capable of working hard, too, but they’re far more likely to be aiming for a goal and less likely to value the work for its own sake.
  • Hufflepuffs are loyal. Slytherins can be loyal, too – the old version of Pottermore described them as “brothers” who “look after [their] own” – but they tend to prioritize and look after themselves first. Slytherins’ loyalties are complex and contradictory, whereas Hufflepuffs’ loyalties are usually straightforward and more generalized.
  • However, in one way, they’re very different: Slytheirns tend to be cunning and use any means to achieve their ends, while Hufflepuffs value fair play and care about what is fair or just.

Emma straddles the line in all three ways. She definitely isn’t afraid of putting in some hard work, but almost always with some goal in mind, rather than simply for the sake of a job well done. She’s a very focused and goal-oriented person, and whether she’s trying to prove a friend’s innocence, save her son, or bring back her dead boyfriend, she tends to focus very intently on whatever she is trying to accomplish to the point that Snow at one point accuses her of having “tunnel vision”. However, her goals are not usually what one would normally think of as ambitions. She doesn’t want power, glory, or wealth. I sometimes put less traditional but highly ambitious goals, like Captain Janeway’s determination to get her ship and crew home faster than warp speed, in the category of Slytherin ambition as well, especially if the characters are especially cunning or ruthless in pursuit of them – but that’s not the case for Emma, either. She typically cares most about protecting people, especially her loved ones, and becomes her most focused and goal-oriented when someone she cares for is in danger. In other words, her goals are almost exclusively typical Hufflepuff ones.

Emma’s loyalties are complicated, but it’s clear that she wants what Hufflepuffs tend to want: a place to belong and people to be loyal to. She’s spent the majority of her life alone in the world. However, she quickly becomes attached to Henry and Storybrooke, as well as the other friends she makes there. She seems desperate in the early seasons for somewhere to belong and something to be a part of, although she doesn’t realize she’s found it at first. At the same time, just how Hufflepuff or Slytherin her loyalties are is … questionable, to say the least. She goes from caring only about Henry and Mary Margaret in season 1, to being very loyal to her entire family as well as the town as a whole later on. However, I sometimes like to say that Slytherin loyalty means being willing to burn down the world to save one person, and that’s pretty much Dark Swan in a nutshell. I don’t typically like to sort characters based on the mistakes they come to regret, but it’s also never made clear what Emma thinks of her actions as the Dark One, and afterwards, she seems to retain a little bit of that tendency. Season 5-6 Emma is much more likely to prioritize herself and certain people (especially Hook) over the greater good or even what’s best for other people she cares about. Her trip to the Underworld and her choice in “Awake” seem Slytherin to me, as does her willingness to kill Gideon in order to save herself – but then, she makes the opposite choice in the season finale, once she knows he’s not acting of his own free will, so … it’s complicated.

As far as methods go, she’s an interesting mix of the two. She’s always cared about what’s fair and just, and was willing to stand up for others, especially those who were being pushed around or treated unfairly. Her choice of career – small-town sheriff – seems like a Hufflepuff one. She stays in town to keep an eye on Henry even before she starts to see herself as his mother, makes a deal with Gold to let Ashley keep her baby, and does a great job of balancing duty and friendship when she has to investigate her best friend as a murder suspect. However, she’s always been a bit of an anti-hero willing to use unconventional methods to get what she wants. As a bail bondsperson, she seems to have used Slytherin strategies – tricking and outwitting her marks – to great effect. “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” is an early example of her willingness to break the law to get what she wants. In season 3, she makes it clear that she’s willing to use whatever methods are necessary to save Henry, including learning magic and allowing Regina to use her Evil Queen methods on the lost boys. At the same time, her ability to bring others together and get them to set aside their differences could be seen as a Hufflepuff thing. She sees herself as cunning and often comes up with what she thinks are clever plans, but when she goes up against a real Slytherin character, they often fall apart. Even against Regina, who … I will get to later, but she’s not a Slytherin, she’s a Hufflepuff/Gryffindor who has learned a lot of Slytherin strategies and behaviors … Emma’s brilliant schemes usually end up playing right into Regina’s hands. It’s when she stops trying to play the game and just does the right thing that she ends up winning, from “Desperate Souls” all the way to the season 6 finale. Even Dark Swan’s manipulations end up coming to nothing, and in the end she has to tell the truth and rely on her family for help.

I would say Emma leans more toward Hufflepuff but has a definite Slytherin streak. I would say that, had she been raised by her parents, she would definitely have leaned way more toward Hufflepuff. Her Slytherin tendencies seem more like a scar from her unpleasant childhood than anything else: she’s used to surviving on her own, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants because she can’t rely on others for help, she’s terrified of losing the people who love her because she was alone for so long, and it’s not so much that she’s naturally cunning as that she’s learned to play the game to some extent. Her goals remain, throughout the series, Hufflepuff ones, and her happy ending is relatively uncomplicated: a home, a big family, a happy marriage, and continuing to do her job as sheriff. Most importantly, I feel certain 11-year-old Emma would prefer Hufflepuff if she had the choice. At that point, and even a few years later when she met Lily and Ingrid, she hadn’t yet developed most of those Slytherin tendencies.

A Personal Update

I’ve talked about this some on my book blog, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here yet. I’m officially back in school this semester, starting work on a master’s degree in library science and working part-time in a library. I’m super excited and loving every bit of it so far!

About two years ago, I wrote about my Hogwarts house on this blog. [link]. I said that I’m primarily a Ravenclaw, with some Hufflepuff tendencies. I would still very much agree with that, and after going back and reading it, I’m kind of astonished that I knew myself so well but at the same time had no idea where my life or career was going to go. Because really, in hindsight, becoming a librarian seems like the obvious choice.

Back then, I said that I was “a Hufflepuff on the surface and a Ravenclaw deep down” – someone who cares about other people, values fairness and equality, tries to get along with or at least tolerate everyone, works hard even when I’m not enthusiastic about what I’m doing – but ultimately, I’m a lifelong learner who values knowledge and understanding first and foremost.

If Hogwarts houses are based on what you value most, the passion that drives you in life, then I absolutely am a Ravenclaw. I am constantly curious, constantly questioning and looking for answers. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be done learning, because there will always be something I don’t know and want to. When I have a passion for something, whether it’s Harry Potter or a foreign language or a time in history or whatever, I want to learn absolutely everything about it. I devour books, fiction or nonfiction, classics or new releases, anything and everything that intrigues me enough to want to pick it up.

At the time when I wrote that post, I thought I wanted to be a teacher, and I talked about how both my Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tendencies drew me to that and made it a good fit. The interesting thing is, the same is true of being a librarian. As a Ravenclaw with strong Hufflepuff tendencies, I feel sure I’ll be happy in a field where helping people and managing large amounts of information are both big parts of the job. I still believe that education is my calling, but not in a classroom setting. Libraries are places of learning, too.

The Sorting of Neville Longbottom

The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account, but it doesn’t always give you what you want. Harry was able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin, but Neville was put in Gryffindor despite his preference for Hufflepuff.

In Neville’s case, the Hat was determined to place him in Gryffindor: Neville, intimidated by that house’s reputation for bravery, requested a placing in Hufflepuff. Their silent wrangling resulted in triumph for the Hat. – Pottermore

It’s easy to imagine Neville as a Hufflepuff. Even aside from the fact that Helga Hufflepuff took all the students the other founders rejected, and would have accepted him regardless, he’s a pretty good embodiment of Hufflepuff traits. He is down-to-earth, humble, and generous. He’s hard-working and always seems to try his best despite not doing very well in his classes. He certainly values fairness and justice, and he’s less-inclined to break the rules than some of his Gryffindor peers. Meanwhile, he spends the first six books as a timid, awkward, easily-overlooked kid who seems utterly out-of-place in Gryffindor. While he does show some signs of bravery, such as standing up to the trio in Sorcerer’s Stone and joining Dumbledore’s Army in Order of the Phoenix, it’s hard to say at that point that Neville is defined by his bravery. It’s not until Deathly Hallows, a full seven years after the sorting ceremony, that his true heroism begins to show.

So why, then, did the hat refuse to put him in Hufflepuff when it’s honored similar requests before? His preference was different from Harry’s in one very important way. While Harry asked not to be a Slytherin because he knew of their reputation for dark magic and evil, Neville was just intimidated by Gryffindor, not repulsed by it. He didn’t think he was good enough for Gryffindor and thought he would have to settle for Hufflepuff in order to avoid embarrassing himself. Putting Harry in Slytherin would have meant dismissing his values and denying him a choice. Putting Neville in Gryffindor, on the other hand, was a vote of confidence.

In many cases where a character doesn’t quite live up to what their house is supposed to stand for, I think we can assume the hat was trying to give them a chance for growth. For instance, Peter Pettigrew is a cowardly Gryffindor, but he was almost certainly placed there because the hat saw his admiration of his more heroic friends and hoped he could become more like them. Gilderoy Lockhart is an incompetent Ravenclaw, but his skill as a writer indicates intelligence and creativity that could have been put to better use. On a more positive note, Hermione grows from a stuck-up know-it-all to a courageous young woman as a result of her time in Gryffindor. It’s as if the sorting hat can see not just a person’s potential but where they’ll have the best chance of reaching their full potential as well.

Neville didn’t truly want to be a Hufflepuff or value Hufflepuff work ethic and fairness over Gryffindor bravery. He simply wasn’t ready yet to accept his own potential, and as a Hufflepuff, might never have embraced it. Being placed there would only have confirmed his fears of inadequacy, while being sorted into Gryffindor gave him a chance to grow in confidence and courage.

Or, in other words, the Sorting Hat takes your choice into account if you want it for the right reasons. It takes your choice into account if your value system doesn’t match up to a house you’re suited for, if you have a deep personal reason for what you want, or if your choice will give you a chance to grow into a better person. It doesn’t take your choice into account if your choice would limit you. Neville did value bravery and heroism and was simply afraid he’d never be capable of them, so by putting him in Gryffindor, the hat made sure that he would.

Taylor Swift Playlist: Hufflepuff

If the Gryffindor songs are bold and fearless, and the Slytherin ones are venomous revenge anthems, the Hufflepuff songs would have to be the softest and simplest, the ones that veer away from fanciful dreams or delusions of grandeur and embrace the everyday.

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw was the first Taylor Swift song I fell in love with. It’s quiet, sincere, and paints a simple yet romantic picture of a love that is over, but not regretted: “When you think happiness / I hope you think that little black dress / think of my head on your chest / and my old faded blue jeans”.

Mary’s Song

This song tells the story of an elderly couple and their journey from childhood friends to high school sweethearts to newlyweds to parents and then grandparents. It’s all about stability and long-lasting loyalty in love of the type that Hufflepuffs exemplify, right up to the ending, where “I’ll be eighty-seven, you’ll be eighty-nine / I still look at you like the stars that shine in the sky / oh, my, my, my”.

Fifteen

I almost called this song Ravenclaw, but I think it’s more Hufflepuff in the end. The song explores – and respects – the high-strung emotions and raging hormones that young teenagers experience, but it also encourages young girls that “In your life, you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team / but I didn’t know it at fifteen”. The song is very grounded and aimed at guiding younger girls through that phase of life “before you know who you’re gonna be”.

You Belong With Me

This song is totally about a dorky Hufflepuff pining after her best friend who’s dating a Slytherin, right?

The Best Day

“The Best Day” is about appreciating a parent’s love. It starts off with a child narrator (“Don’t know if Snow White’s house is near or far away / but I know I had the best day with you today”), but she quickly grows into a young woman who is wiser and more mature but still thankful for her family. This expression of love and gratitude just seems so Hufflepuff.

Mine

The early Taylor Swift albums are more about looking for love than really experiencing it. Some of the songs are whimsical and dreamy, others are bold and passionate, but they all tell of something that’s overwhelming and new. And then there’s this one, which seems somehow more grounded. Here, she’s not singing about fairy tales or daydreams or dancing in a storm together; she wants someone who will stay when things get tough and be “the best thing that’s ever been mine”.

Stay Stay Stay

That same train of thought – faithful love, and staying when things aren’t easy – runs through most of Taylor Swift’s more Hufflepuff type love songs. In this one, she has fallen head over heels with someone who “took the time to memorize” her and who – even when she thinks they’re on the verge of breaking up – will stay with her. She comes to the conclusion that “I’d like to hang out with you for my whole life”, which is just such a straightforward Hufflepuff way of saying you’re in love.

Girl at Home

Hufflepuffs are loyal, honest, and fair, traits exemplified in this song about a woman turning down a man’s advances because she knows he has a girlfriend. “I don’t even know her, but I feel a responsibility to do what’s upstanding and right”.

This Love

Another song about enduring love, “This Love” tells the story of a romance “back from the dead”. Unlike earlier songs, it embraces the conflicts and ambiguities of love, and the singer doesn’t seem quite sure whether it’s good or bad. But in the end, “you come back to what you need”.

New Year’s Day

There is almost nothing Hufflepuff at all about reputation, until this very last song. That person who will stay after the party to help you clean up? That’s a Hufflepuff. “Don’t read the last page / but I stay / when you’re lost and I’m scared / and you’re turning away / I want your midnights / but I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day”.

Foil Houses

It occurred to me a while back that, as much as Gryffindor and Slytherin are sometimes portrayed as two sides of the same coin, Slytherin is just as much a foil to Hufflepuff as it is to Gryffindor. After all, ambition and work ethic go hand-in-hand. Both houses are more practical and focused on the real world, whereas Gryffindors and Ravenclaws tend to be more abstract and idealistic. And while Slytherins tend to be ruthless and harsh, whereas Hufflepuffs are kind and selfless, that’s certainly not universal. Zacharias Smith is far from selfless, and there’s nothing harsh or ruthless about Professor Slughorn. Both houses are even defined by their loyalties – or, rather, Hufflepuffs are defined by their loyalty, while Slytherins are the opposite: not necessarily disloyal, but very selectively loyal, fighting amongst themselves to prove themselves to Voldemort or betraying their side for a single person.

Couldn’t we also say, though, that Slytherin is a foil to Ravenclaw? Both houses value intelligence. However, with Ravenclaws it’s creativity, wisdom, and the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake that is valued. Slytherins, on the other hand, are sly and cunning, using their minds as weapons and their knowledge as a tool to help them get what they want. When I did my Divergent Sorting Hat Saturday posts, I found that most Erudite characters fit into Slytherin, even though their Faction aligns more closely with Ravenclaw at first glance. Even the mascots each reflect the other house’s traits if you know your heraldry: the snake was a symbol of wisdom, while the eagle represented power.

Is it fair to say that Ravenclaw and Slytherin represent two ways of valuing intelligence, that Hufflepuff and Slytherin represent two types of hard work and loyalty, and that Gryffindor and Slytherin represent two ways of taking action for what you think is important?

I talk a lot on this blog about how Slytherin doesn’t have to mean evil. I’ve sorted a lot of positive characters there (and a lot of negative ones into other houses). But within the series itself, looking at the contrast between the different houses, does it make sense to say that Slytherin is the “dark side” to all three “good” houses? I would say so.

The Sorting of Newt Scamander

I’ve talked about the Hogwarts houses I would sort the Fantastic Beasts characters into, but there’s one we know for sure: Newt Scamander is a Hufflepuff. Except … he doesn’t quite fit the stereotype, does he? The stereotypical Hufflepuff is a “people person”, someone who gets along easily with others and enjoys being part of a group, perhaps to the point of being a conformist. Newt, on the other hand, admits, “People tend to find me annoying”. I would also say that Hufflepuffs are thought of as not being very smart, while Newt is a highly intelligent wizard best known for having written a textbook. He seems more like a Ravenclaw at first glance, doesn’t he?

But no, I’m not going to argue that Newt should have been a Ravenclaw. He actually fits the Hufflepuff traits very well, in a bit of a non-traditional way. We’ve only seen a few well-developed Hufflepuff characters, but it stands to reason that there would be as many ways to be a Hufflepuff as there are to be a Gryffindor or Slytherin, and Newt provides a glimpse of what an introverted, intellectual Hufflepuff might look like. Let’s take a look at the Hufflepuff traits as they’re introduced in Sorcerer’s Stone:

You might belong in Hufflepuff
Where they are just and loyal
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil

Newt is not a strict rule-follower, but in the movie’s themes of justice and injustice, he always falls on the side of doing right by others, both humans and magical creatures. The whole point of his trip to America was to release a thunderbird into its natural habitat after finding it, chained and mistreated, on the other side of the world. He attempts to help his fellow wizards understand magical creatures rather than simply being afraid of them, and along with Tina, he is one of the only characters to show compassion for Credence once his obscurial nature is revealed. Furthermore, he views the harsh American laws against interacting with muggles as “backwards” and therefore unjust.

He has few people to be loyal to in the traditional sense, but he’s fiercely loyal to his magical creatures. He genuinely cares for them and goes to great lengths to keep them safe, even seeming to care more about them than himself when he’s arrested by MACUSA officials. He’s patient enough to spend months and even years studying the creatures with few immediate rewards, and “unafraid of toil” certainly applies; collecting and caring for all those creatures can’t possibly be easy. Finally, “true” is difficult to define: if it means “honest”, he’s not always. However, if it means “genuine”, he definitely is. Everything he does is done with good intentions and to the best of his abilities.

Later Harry Potter books emphasize further Helga Hufflepuff’s willingness to teach all young wizards, not just those with the extraordinary qualities the other three founders valued. Newt certainly isn’t a “process of elimination” Hufflepuff; while he has few Slytherin traits, he’s both intelligent and courageous. However, his own attitudes line up well with Hufflepuff’s. Although he claims to struggle to relate to people, he shows genuine kindness to everyone he meets, whether they are witches and wizards, no-majs, obscurials, or fantastic creatures.