The Gothic Hufflepuff in an Off-Broadway Harry Potter Parody [Featured Site Content]
Oct 02, 2017, 06:42am
Goths and Harry Potter fan creations don't always mix well, as showcased in the notoriously bad fanfiction, My Immortal. But that doesn't mean it can't be done right! In fact, I recently watched a play that presents a very nuanced story about the complex emotional journey of an edgy alternative girl who is sorted into Hufflepuff. What play was that? It's called Puffs: Or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic and it's currently playing at the New World Stages theater in New York City. Puffs parodies the Harry Potter books and reimagines Harry's seven years at Hogwarts as told from the perspective of a bunch of background characters in Hufflepuff, while cleverly avoiding any copyright issues.

It's a common stereotype in the Harry Potter fandom that Slytherin is the Hogwarts House for goths. It is, after all, the house that gave rise to the Death Eaters—a group of villains who run around in black cloaks and skull tattoos. The common room is in the dark and dismal dungeons and house mascot is a serpent. Slytherin is even host to the only truly scary ghost in Hogwarts, the Bloody Baron. (While all this is true, I think there's also a compelling argument to be made that Slytherin is actually the preppiest of the houses, but I digress.) In contrast, Hufflepuff is stereotyped as the warm, friendly, happy-go-lucky house. That is, when it's not being disparaged as the lame, forgettable, reject house. It's probably the place you'd least expect to find a goth.

Enter Megan. One of the main characters in Puffs, Megan is a rough-around-the-edges alternative girl whose style evolves from goth to more punk or grunge over the course of the show. Her life goal is to be as badass as her Death Eater mother, and she's got no interest in friends or warm, fuzzy feelings. Yet somehow, she gets sorted in with the Puffs. Each of the characters in this play struggles against the stereotypes of their house, determined not to be viewed as lame, weak, or losers. But none of them struggle quite as much as Megan, who didn't even want to be a Puff in the first place. Reluctantly, Megan is roped into friendship with fellow Puffs, Wayne and Oliver, forming a sort of anti-trio which parallels Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Over the course of their seven years together, the boys help teach Megan that friendship is more important than maintaining an impressive and intimidating image. More importantly, Megan learns that being Slytherin or evil isn't the only way to be badass. You can be a badass by sticking up for your friends and by fighting for what's right. And even goths can be a little warm and fuzzy.

If you're a member of the alternative scene who is struggling with the fact that you might just be a bit of a Hufflepuff—or even if you've already embraced your Hufflepuff tendencies—this is the play for you. Even if you're not a Hufflepuff, this show's themes of combating stereotypes while learning to be true to yourself are fairly universal. If you're in New York City or get the chance to visit, I highly recommend going to see Puffs while it's still playing. You won't regret it! You can find tickets online from the Puffs website.

Do we have any Hufflepuffs in the house? Do you ever feel like there's a conflict between your Hogwarts house and being a member of the alternative scene? Tell me your stories in the comments!

Written By: TheGothicLibrarian
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Oct 02, 2017, 02:28pm
Proud Hufflepuff right here, never had an issue being true to myself as a goth. I feel like Hufflepuffs aren't very common to begin with tho, it's not often I meet another.
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Oct 02, 2017, 06:10pm
I always love Ravenclaw.
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