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Priori Incantatem: A history of Hufflepuff magic

When Hufflepuffs set their minds to a task, their diligence makes them unstoppable. They won’t rest till they’ve mastered that spell!

Cedric stands in the maze prepared to take on the horrors that lie within.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Hufflepuffs have a reputation of being a bit soft, but if we analyse the house judging by their members, and how they use magic, we realise that Hufflepuffs are just as hard-edged as Gryffindors. We’ve taken the most notable names from Hufflepuff house and analysed their wand histories. You can tell a lot about a wizard by the types of spells they use, but what can you learn about a whole house?

Cedric Diggory

Notable spells:

Transfiguration: used to distract the dragon in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament
Bubble-Head Charm: used to explore the Great Lake in the second task
Lumos: used to navigate the maze in the third task Stupefy: used against a giant spider

Cedric’s ash wand contained a hair from a ‘particularly fine male unicorn’. In the Triwizard Tournament, its owner proves more than worthy of the instrument.

Transfiguration is complicated magic at the best of times. Imagine trying to do it with all your schoolmates, your teachers and a dragon watching your every move. But Cedric successfully turned a rock into a labrador, tricking the Swedish Short-Snout into chasing it long enough to steal the golden egg (relax, dog-lovers – that pooch wasn’t real!).

For his next trick Cedric navigated the depths of the Great Lake thanks to the Bubble-Head Charm. In the final task, Cedric needed a sound knowledge of magical creatures and an array of charms and jinxes up his sleeve. He proved to be a real innovator as well as a talented wizard.

Cedric showed not just skill but also sportsmanship throughout the tournament. Victory would be meaningless if he didn’t play fair, which made Cedric an exemplary Hufflepuff.

Nymphadora Tonks

Notable spells:

Locomotor: moves Harry’s trunk in Order of the Phoenix
Episkey: heals Harry’s broken nose in Half-Blood Prince
The Patronus Charm: summons wolf Patronus in Half-Blood Prince
Protego: used to protect the area at Bill and Fleur’s wedding in Deathly Hallows

Tonks was a playful Metamorphmagus with a fondness for bubblegum-pink hair. But don’t let her looks deceive you – she was a highly-trained Auror who would do anything to protect those she loves.

As a protégée of Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody, Tonks’s training would’ve been tough indeed. Good thing too, as she’d need all her skills to survive the Department of Mysteries, the Astronomy Tower and the Battle of the Seven Potters, especially as mad auntie Bellatrix really had it in for her.

However, this was only half the story. Thanks to her caring nature, we were just as likely to see Tonks using protective charms or healing minor injuries – which, given her self-confessed clumsiness, was probably something she had a lot of practice in.

Tonks looking scared with Lupin at her side from the Half Blood Prince.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Perhaps the most impressive display of Tonks’s magic was the Patronus she summoned while escorting Harry. Not only was this a highly advanced spell, but she managed this non-verbally, used it as a method of communication and accomplished all of this during a dark period before she got together with Remus. But her silver wolf, a light in the darkness and a symbol of her love, told us that Tonks never gave up hope. A very Hufflepuff attitude.

Newt Scamander

Notable spells:

Accio (verbal and non-verbal)
Alohomora
Petrificus Totalus
Finestra
Revelio

When a Magizoologist’s critters go on the run, he’s got to think fast and know the right spells to bring them in. In New York City, Newt definitely had his work cut out for him.

Once a naughty Niffler spied treasure, there were few wizards who could put a stop to its scavenging. Fortunately one of them happened to be Newt, who used an array of simple charms to great effect during the chase.

Newt with his wand drawn in City Hall subway station,  New York
Newt with his wand drawn in New York's City Hall subway station.

Let’s take a moment to talk about Newt’s case, which boasted some serious Extension Charms along with a handy ‘Muggleworthy’ setting. What he did with the interior was truly remarkable: not only had he created a portable animal kingdom, he’d also got the herbs and potions at hand to whip up a remedy should someone suffer a nasty bite. We’d say Newt thought of everything… although he really should have looked at getting that lock fixed.

Though humble and awkward around people, Newt came alive in the company of his furrier and feathered friends. The care and patience he showed towards his creatures bore every hallmark of Hufflepuff.

The Hufflepuffs of Dumbledore’s Army

Ernie Macmillan, Hannah Abbott, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Susan Bones and Zacharias Smith.

Notable spells:

Expelliarmus
Stupefy
Reducto
Expecto Patronum

When Harry and his friends started a secret club many Hufflepuffs were eager to join the ranks, even if it meant going right under the nose of that horrible Dolores Umbridge. We’re sure they’d agree it was worth the risk after Harry taught them everything he knew about magical self defence.

The D.A. work overtime mastering spells to disarm, stun or disable attackers, all under Harry’s watchful eye. As we know, Hufflepuffs are no strangers to hard work, so these students were in their element. They learnt lots from Harry and got to return the favour at the end of the year by thwarting an ambush from Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle.

Harry and Dumbledore's Army in the Room of Requirement
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Apart from Zacharias letting the side down, the D.A. Hufflepuffs were out on form at the Battle of Hogwarts. We saw them risk life and limb battling dangerous creatures and Death Eaters throughout the castle. At least one member even conjured a corporeal Patronus – Ernie Macmillan, taking the form of a boar.

Once again, the Hufflepuff students showed us what they’re made of. Honest, loyal and always there when you need them, they embody all the great qualities of their house.