Hufflepuff is one of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Its founder was the Medieval with Helga Hufflepuff. The Head of Hufflepuff is Ponoma Sprout. The Fat Friar is the House's patron ghost. Hufflepuff is the most inclusive among the four houses, valuing hard work, patience, friendship and fair play rather than a particular aptitude in its members. Its emblematic animal is the badger, and yellow and black are its colours.
Hufflepuff corresponds roughly to the element of earth.
Students belonging to this house are known to be hard-working, friendly, loyal, and non-judgemental. It may be that due to their values, Hufflepuffs are not as competitive as the other houses, or are more modest about their accomplishments. Gryffindor and Slytherin share an enormous rivalry, and thus are extremely competitive with one another, whereas Ravenclaw is defined by the intelligence and academic accomplishments of its members. Hufflepuff appears to have the least rivalry with the other houses, except in Quidditch, although the Triwizard Tournament did temporarily put a great deal of strain on the relationship between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, due to unusual circumstances of the selection of both Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory as Champions.
According to Minerva McGonagall, all four of the houses have produced exceptional witches and wizards in their time, but due to Helga Hufflepuff's policy of accepting any student and its usually poor performance in the House Cup, Hufflepuff is often thought of as the place where students are sorted when they don't have any of the qualities of the other three houses, which have more defined attributes. Perhaps as a consequence of the broad principles of acceptance upon which it is founded, Hufflepuff has been stereotyped as the house of the unexceptional (or, more unkindly, as "a lot o' duffers"). This also corresponds with the Sorting Hat's song where it states:
However, this does not mean that there are no talented students in Hufflepuff, or that there aren't students in other houses who perform poorly. Neville Longbottom was sorted into Gryffindor and is unremarkable in all subjects except, ironically, Herbology, which is Professor Sprout's class. Additionally, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle appeared to have been particularly poor performers in all subjects, and did not possess the cunning and ambition prized by Slytherin.
So, though the House is said to have forgone glory for centuries, it is not without its share of exceptional individuals. For example, Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory brought his house rare glory as its Quidditch captain and later as Hogwarts' Champion in the Triwizard Tournament. Also, Nymphadora Tonks was an exceptionally talented Auror who was sorted into Hufflepuff.
Hufflepuff firmly demonstrated its loyalty during the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998, when they were second only to Harry Potter's own house of Gryffindor in the number of students willing to stay and fight against Voldemort and his forces in the defence of their school.
The Hufflepuff Dormitories and Common room are accessed through a painting near the kitchens. It is a quite cosy and welcoming place; not at all like a dungeon. The room is filled with yellow hangings and fat armchairs, with little underground tunnels that lead up to the dormitories, which have round barrel-top like doors.