Despite his obvious magical heroism, Harry Potter is sometimes a snobbish jerk, particularly when it comes to his snubbing of Hufflepuffs. And the various reasons why Harry Potter never once set foot in the Hufflepuff common room are super dark.
It would have been easy for Harry to visit the Hufflepuff common room during his time at Hogwarts, but he never did. J.K. Rowling’s recently released Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide sheds a small amount of light on why that is.
In the new short book — which is more informational than anything, and the dream of every Harry Potter nerd worldwide — Rowling writes, “When I first planned the series, I expected Harry to visit all four house common rooms during his time at Hogwarts. There came a point when I realised that there was never going to be a valid reason to enter the Hufflepuff room. Nevertheless, it is quite as real to me as the other three, and I always knew exactly where those Hufflepuffs were going when they headed off towards the kitchens after lessons.”
Though this is all very clearly a plot detail that Rowling simply couldn’t solve, woe be us to let sleeping badgers lie. We pose that there were specific, rather dark reasons why Harry never visited the Hufflepuff common room “where the kind at heart rest their hard-working heads.”
The Hufflepuffs had it pretty good as far as their common room went. Rowling has described the space as warm and inviting, “a cosy, round, low-ceilinged room … reminiscent of a badger’s set.” Harry could have definitely used a break from the regality of the Gryffindor common room from time to time and more Hufflepuff friends — always known as being levelheaded and cheerful — could have been amazing for him.
They could have helped Harry get over his survivor’s guilt. Poor Harry certainly had his fair share of it over the years, and no one inspired more survivor’s guilt in him than Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory. We pose that Cedric’s death is the main reason Harry never wanted to visit Hufflepuff. He wouldn’t have wanted to relive the moment when Peter Pettigrew killed “the spare.” It probably would have been too painful as he set eyes on the warmth and light of the Hufflepuff common room, the place where Cedric would have spent so many days and nights studying, laughing, and living amongst his friends.
In that same vein, there was some pretty bad blood in The Goblet of Fire between Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors after Harry was chosen alongside Cedric to represent Hogwarts in the Triwizard Tournament. After Cedric’s death, could enough Hufflepuffs have held a grudge against Harry that he was too frightened to tread on their territory?
On a completely different, less depressing but kind of insulting note: Harry might have thought it just not worth his time to break into the Hufflepuff common room. Rowling has said that the Hufflepuff common room is the simplest to enter. Whereas the Gryffindor and Slytherin common rooms require an ever-changing password and Ravenclaw’s guardian demands the answer to a difficult riddle or problem, Hufflepuff’s common room is hidden behind some barrels that you have to knock on in a specific pattern. The pattern doesn’t change, making it easy to get in but if you get the pattern wrong you’ll be doused in vinegar, adding insult to injury. It’s simple, and Harry might not have seen it as a worthy challenge.
Let’s keep in mind, though, that Rowling has always been pro-Hufflepuff, and is always quick to defend the house from haters. Hufflepuff is the house to have produced the least number of dark wizards throughout Hogwarts’s history and boasts past members such as Nymphadora Tonks and renowned magizoologist Newt Scamander. Honestly, Harry should have been honored at the thought of entering the Hufflepuff common room. Come on, Harry!