What do you think of when you hear the words "Harry Potter"?
Does the image of Potter's jagged, lightning bolt scar pop into your head? How about flashes of red and gold, signifying the roar of Gryffindor? Maybe your thoughts glide right over the titular character and go toward his best pals, red-headed Ron Weasley and the brainy Hermione Granger?
What I bet your mind doesn't land on is the Hufflepuffs.
As one of the four central houses at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it's fair to say the "Puffs" have a bad rap for being, well... the losers.
Known for being inclusive, fit with all-encompassing qualities like obedience, tolerance and fairness, the Puffs weren't exactly set in the spotlight when it came to the world of "Harry Potter".
And that's exactly why playwright Matt Cox was eager to get their story told through "PUFFS or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic," the "Harry Potter" play taking New York by storm.
Haven't heard of it before? Well, let me tell ya, you're missing out.
"PUFFS" follows Wayne, your average New Mexico teen, who soon discovers he's a wizard (in a much less appealing fashion than our boy Harry did).
As he enrolls in Hogwarts and gets himself rightfully placed in Hufflepuff, he attempts to keep his grades up and his head down as he earns himself a wizard education -- all while trying to stay out harm's way, thanks to Potter and company's constant knack for adventures.
Cox told Elite Daily,
When the idea [for 'Puffs'] first popped into my head, it was just a thought of how life would have been kind of terrible for all of the other, mostly un-named, kids at the school at the school for those seven years. It was a pretty quick jump to realize that the heroes of a story like that would have to be The Puffs. Especially with how pop culture has treated them as the 'less-than' house. It was a chance to tell an underdog story and to highlight what truly makes them so great.
For Cox, the Hufflepuffs were "the largest blank slate to play with."
Aside from the fourth book's focus on Cedric Diggory (may he RIP), the attention is mainly kept on Potter and his immediate circle. If you're not one of the cool kids, your story time is kept to a serious minimum.
This played to Cox's advantage, allowing him to provide his very own backstory for the Puffs leading up to the seventh's book explosively violent final battle at Hogwarts.
Cox went on to explain,
I did a big re-read of the series and really combed through each of the moments [the Puffs] are mentioned. Anytime they were somewhere in the background, I tried to figure out how we could use that. Otherwise, I just looked at their traits of loyalty, hard work and patience. This lead me to make them as nice, fun, kind and a little bit awkward as possible. I also wanted it to emulate '90s sitcoms, so there's some of that, too.
Cox wanted to make sure this play was set apart from all the other existing "Harry Potter" lore in the world.
And by some extremely odd turn of events, he found the best way to get his message across would be with none other than everyone's favorite group of teenaged outcasts, the Hufflepuffs. Instead of having "Puffs" just be your run of the mill "Harry Potter" play, instead, it's now "a celebration of the fact that in the end, most people don't get to be the Harry of the world."
Cox concluded by telling Elite Daily,
Most of us don't save the universe. But that's great. There's plenty of ways to leave your mark on the world, through what you do, and through the impact, you leave on friends and those around you. Also that, man, it might have sucked being a wizard.
"Puffs" still manages to stay true to all of the existing source material, while providing a brand new POV through the eyes of these yellow-and-black styled pack of misfits. Rowling's work is most definitely honored but still spun around with a unique twist that will satisfy any true fan of the "Harry Potter" series.
So... Accio yourself a ticket!
Or, you know, just buy one like a normal person. Whatever works.
You definitely won't be disappointed.