I could feel my knee bobbing up and down underneath my desk as I awaited my turn to present in History of Magic. Hogwarts hadn’t always had presentations included in their workload for its students; actually, it was rather new. Only ten years ago did this get incorporated into the classes, and I wished to be a student then so I wouldn’t have to face the humiliation of public speaking. The only reason they had added public speaking elements into the classes after Voldemort had been defeated was because most of Hogwarts students were found in a position they had not been trained for, speaking for an audience. So to make sure that all future classes were prepared if they ever needed to speak in front of large audiences, they made it mandatory that all classes have at least one presentation.
The presenter going before me was Camille from Gryffindor who was currently wrapping up her speech, meaning that my own ticked ever near. Her speech had been rather boring and I wasn’t sure what it was even about as I had tuned her out from the moment she began. I only hoped that people would tune me out as well so that they would not notice when I stammered or messed something up. My heart pounded in my chest as applause rang out across the classroom for Camille, indicating that it was now my turn. I stood up from my spot at the back of the room, where I always liked to sit in case I were to fall asleep during one of Professor Binns' boring lectures, then wiped my sweaty hands on my skirt before making my way to the front of the room.
This week in class, we were focusing on the history of Hogwarts so I decided to write my paper about past Hufflepuffs. I chose this particular topic because it seemed that no one knew what a Hufflepuff really was, myself included before this paper, and felt that now was the time for people to find out. There was a little bit of an idea floating around about what a Hufflepuff was but no one seemed to know for sure causing those of us in Hufflepuff to be unsure of ourselves.
As a Hufflepuff myself, I had rather enjoyed doing all the research on past Hufflepuffs and had not found the accompanying paper to our speech as annoying as my other classmates. I reached the front of the classroom and took a deep breath, trying to calm myself before I turned around to face them all. My heart hammered a little harder in my chest and I felt like I was going to get sick the moment that I opened my mouth, though thankfully, I did not.
“So, um, I decided to do my research on what exactly makes up a Hufflepuff,” I stammered out as I stared into the glazed over eyes of my classmates. “The most common thought about students placed in Hufflepuff is that they don’t really belong anywhere; rather we are a house full of misfits. We are the students that don’t meet the qualifications to be in brave Gryffindor, smart Ravenclaw, or sly Slytherin. Because Hufflepuff is seen as the house who will take anyone, the one where anyone can go when they don’t have a home, most of us Puffs feel out of place in our own home. We are the ones who are not sure where we really belong.”
I could feel myself get stronger as I continued on with my speech, not stammering nearly as much as I thought I would have.
“The question that I have come to answer today is, what the hell is a Hufflepuff,” some of the previously glazed over eyes came to life at that, intrigued with what I would have to say. “To determine this, I looked at different books written about previous Hufflepuffs and even scored a couple interviews with some. Now it would only make sense to start with Helga Hufflepuff.”
An: Thank you to NaidatheRavenclaw for being my beta for this chapter! I hope you all enjoyed this chapter! Thank you for reading and please leave a review, no matter the length it is appreciated!