India’s Academy of Sorcery boasts an impressive display of flashy colours, from enchanted saris that shift colours sporadically throughout the day, to the lavishly painted exterior of the academy which is situated in a nondescript location along Ganges River. Due to the frightening rate at which the school’s ancient mango tree (jokingly nicknamed “Mammoth Mango Machine”) produces mangoes, students have to endure the perpetually evolving art of mango cuisine at least five days a week. Every year, to the students’ great enjoyment, classes are halted for Diwali to make time for various competitions that take place: firework flourishes and charms for upper-year students (bonus points if it doesn’t set any part of the school on fire), and lantern designing for lower-year students (use of animals, alive or dead, is forbidden).
I just don’t understand where this concept of ‘fake geek girls’ came from. Like, AT ALL.
Cus when I look for fandom related stuff like 90% of the fan art and the fanfiction and the meta, zines, comics, etc. Like 90% of the shit that I’ve seen is created by women & girls.
And all that stuff take’s a lot of work and research and critical analysis and staring at reference photos for hours.
We are literally the most well versed and invested group in the fandom. So, like, What the fuck boys? You mad you can’t keep up?
I saw an argument, and I can’t find it now, but it totally made sense, that there’s a gender split in fandom. Male fandom tends to be a curator fandom; male fandom collects, organizes, and memorizes facts and figures. Male fandom tends to be KEEPERS of the canon; the fandom places great weight on those who have the biggest collection, the deepest knowledge of obscure subjects, the first appearances, creators, character interactions.
Female fandom is creative. Females create fanart, cosplay, fanwritings. Female fandom ALTERS canon, for the simple reason that canon does not serve female fandom. In order for it to fit the ‘outsider’ (female, queer, POC), the canon must be attacked and rebuilt, and that takes creation.
"Male" fandom devalues this contribution to fandom, because it is not the ‘right’ kind of fandom. "Girls only cosplay for attention, they’re not REAL fans!" "Fanfiction is full of stupid Mary Sues, girls only do it so they can make out with the main character!" "I, a male artist, have done this pin-up work and can put it in my portfolio! You, a female artist, have drawn stupid fanart, and it’s not appropriate to use as a professional reference!"
In the mind of people who decry the ‘fake geek girl,’ this fandom is not as worthy. It damages, or in their mind, destroys the canon. What is the point of memorizing every possible romantic entanglement of heterosexual white Danny Rand if someone turns around and creates a fanwork depicting him as a bisexual female of Asian descent (thus subverting Rand’s creepy ‘white savior’ origins)? When Danny Rand becomes Dani Rand, their power is lessened. What is important to them ceases to be the focus of the discussion. Creation and curatorship can work in tandom, but typically, in fandom, they are on opposite poles.
This is not to say that there aren’t brilliant male cosplayers or smashing female trivia experts, this is to say that the need of the individual fan is met with opposing concepts: In order for me to find myself in comics, I need to make that space for myself, and that is a creative force. Het white cis males are more likely to do anything possible to defend and preserve the canon because the canon is built to cater to them.
EVERYONE STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW AND READ THIS BECAUSE HOLY SHIT MY WHOLE LIFE JUST CHANGED FOR THE BETTER.
So apparently in addition to running Archive of Our Own and providing legal advocacy to fans who run up against plagiarism accusations, the Organization for Transformative Works also publishes a peer-reviewed academic journal called Transformative Works and Cultures that is dedicated to promoting scholarship about fanworks and practices. This journal is 100% free to access and has been publishing 2-3 volumes (each containing 15-18 articles, essays, interviews, and book reviews) per year since 2008.
Why is this so fucking exciting? For one thing, academia has a terrible habit of being increeeedibly sloooow to discuss new ideas — partly due to the very long turnaround time necessary to get articles published. By contrast, Transformative Works and Cultures is super up-to-date and teaming with topics that are actually relevant to modern fandom.
Want to read an academic article about female fans being “fridged” in comic book culture? Done. Interested in learning about the societal implications of mpreg within fanfiction/fanart? Here you go. Want to learn more about race and ethnicity in fandom? Well, would you look at that. Feel a mighty need to read a specially-conducted interview with Orlando Jones about producer/fan interactions in “Sleepy Hollow”? Holy butts the show only came out in 2013 and they already have this what the hell.
And all of this — all of the knowledge, all of the analysis, all of the academic credibility being added to fannish ideas — is 100% free to access.
Transformative Works and Cultures is doing fandom an incredible service: by giving a voice to people within fandom, by preserving the discussions and ideas that were important to fannish culture at certain points in time, by emphasizing our significance as a subculture — and all the while doing it on our own terms.
These are fans working hard to give legitimacy to other fans, and if you don’t think that’s rad as hell then I don’t even know what to tell you.
SHUT THE FUCK UP
Help me prove a point
I have never reblogged anything faster.
Unfortunate for the books, but speaks loads about the quality of some fan fics
Our little fandom needs a boost and I am here to propose one, a new challenge!
- From September 22th to september 28th, you can post whatever you created for Darcyland and the theme is to do something where a cause is the heart of your subject.
Example : Writing a fic about Darcy and/or ship where disability due to a genetic disorder is in the main plot - you will also give the link to an association where donation can be made. Could be about ANYTHING, social justice, feminism, illness, anything that you want us to fight for or against.
- The goal is to highlight an association and educate ourselves. I took the example of a fic but you can do craft, draw, create a fanmix or anything your heart and your imagination tells you to do.
I hope this challenge will interest a lot of people, I wanted something different this time.
- Also, don’t forget triggers warnings in your posts to avoid any problems for others.
Most of all HAVE FUN !
Ah, fanart. Also known as the art that girls make.
Sad, immature girls no one takes seriously. Girls who are taught that it’s shameful to be excited or passionate about anything, that it’s pathetic to gush about what attracts them, that it’s wrong to be a geek, that they should feel embarrassed about having a crush, that they’re not allowed to gaze or stare or wish or desire. Girls who need to grow out of it.
That’s the art you mean, right?
Because in my experience, when grown men make it, nobody calls it fanart. They just call it art. And everyone takes it very seriously.
It’s interesting though — the culture of shame surrounding adult women and fandom. Even within fandom it’s heavily internalized: unsurprisingly, mind, given that fandom is largely comprised by young girls and, unfortunately, our culture runs on ensuring young girls internalize *all* messages no matter how toxic. But here’s another way of thinking about it.
Sports is a fandom. It requires zealous attention to “seasons,” knowledge of details considered obscure to those not involved in that fandom, unbelievable amounts of merchandise, and even “fanfic” in the form of fantasy teams. But this is a masculine-coded fandom. And as such, it’s encouraged - built into our economy! Have you *seen* Dish network’s “ultimate fan” advertisements, which literally base selling of a product around the normalization of all consuming (male) obsession? Or the very existence of sports bars, built around the link between fans and community enjoyment and analysis. Sport fandom is so ingrained in our culture that major events are treated like holidays (my gym closes for the Super Bowl) — and can you imagine being laughed at for admitting you didn’t know the difference between Supernatural and The X Files the way you might if you admit you don’t know the rules of football vs baseball, or basketball?
"Fandom" is not childish but we live in a culture that commodified women’s time in such away that their hobbies have to be "frivolous," because "mature" women’s interests are supposed to be caretaking, via marriage, children, and the lives of those within an imagined (generally nuclear) family unit: things that allow others to continue their own special interests, while leaving women without a space of their own.
So think about what you’re actually saying when you call someone “too old” for fandom. Because you’re suggesting they are “too old” for a consuming hobby, and I challenge you to answer — what do you think they should be doing instead?
A brief history of fandom, for the teenagers on here who somehow think tumblr invented fandom:
- 1960s: with the advent of Star Trek, fandom moves into the public sphere for the first time with a television in almost every home, creating a large group of people all excited about one thing. Beforehand, fans mostly had relationships with the author, not with each other. Obviously there were groups and conventions, but Star Trek was the beginning of an independent, interactive, saturated fandom culture.
- This means in the coming years: conventions, mailing groups (both public and private), fan magazines, and fanfiction presses.
- Yeah this pretty much remains the deal until the internet gets put into every home in the 90s.
- EXAMPLES OF BIG FUCKING DEAL FANDOMS, 90s EDITION: X-Files, Xena, Star Trek, Star Wars, ASoIaF, The West Wing, Buffy
- So with the internet, this really cool thing happened: Geocities. And then Yahoo groups. Early fanfiction archives. Back in the day, fandoms had to create their own private spaces. This made fandoms on the internet smaller and less accessible than fanzine operated ones. However, since fans on the internet didn’t have to pass through an editorial board to publish their fic, it was the beginning of the democratization of fandom.
- In 1998, fanfiction.net was launched to compete with the hundreds of independent, fandom-oriented fanfiction archives. More democratization, although fanfiction was marketed on how many reviews one had. You had to, like today, “break into the market.”
- In 1999, Livejournal was launched. Fans created communities and their own private journals which was like woah, we have our own places to store our own fic? And can cross-post them places? However, with Livejournal came the idea of the internet-based BNF: big name fan. Since communities had moderators and posts could be friend or community locked, people could easily gain social capital.
- See also: Cassie Claire and misscribe.
- On the other hand, authors like George RR Martin get Livejournals.
- Around this time was also the rise of forums. Again, moderators had a lot of power, as did certain users who would rise to the position of moderator. People rapidly gained and lost power, causing quick turnover in these parts of fandom.
- In 2002, due to legal concerns, fanfiction.net bans NC-17 fanfiction.
- Adultfanfiction.net is created to fill the void. For years, 13 year olds would pretend to be 18 to enter. Including myself.
- In 2005, fanfiction.net, again due to legal concerns, bans “choose your own adventure” and songfics.
- In 2007, Archive of Our Own is launched to further democratize fandom in response to fanfiction.net’s new stringent rules, offering writers a cleaner format, kudos, hit counters, and bookmarks. However, many older fandoms have not made the move.
- In 2007, tumblr is launched. It would take until 2010 for it to reach saturation on the internet, meaning that most fandoms which lived and died pre-2010 exist(ed) on Geocities, Yahoo Groups, independent archives, ff.net, etc.
- In 2009, Geocities is taken offline. Thousands mourn because they never backed up really old fic that they liked.
- In 2012, most major broadcasting companies have caught on to the fact that tumblr has democratized fandom to a degree of anarchy and mob mentality, and utilize it, since tumblr is unmoderated.
And that’s what you missed on FANDOM EXISTED BEFORE TUMBLR, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
The American Hogwarts Houses
Look at your school of witchcraft and wizardry. Now look at mine. Now yours. Now back to mine. Sadly, your school is not mine, but if you all got off your broomsticks and started using a real sorcerer’s deodorant, it could smell like mine. Abracadabra! I’m a horse.
Good. Night. I’m done.
I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING
I AM ALARMED. WHICH ONE IS THE HUFFLEPUFF ONE? THE YELLOW ONE HAS BIRDS AND THAT CONFUSES ME.
It is AMERICAN houses, Ebil. Why would one be hufflepuff? Maybe you are a fox. Cunning, smart, LOYAL. Foxes stay with one mate all their life, in loff. If that ain’t loyalty, i don’t know what is.
The bear, bird, and wolf ain’t got that. Be a fox. Be strong. Be cunning. Be loyal. Be you and never let anyone crush you because while people only see cute and sneaky. You know who you are, and will not break.
Crest Animal- Timber Wolf
Colors- Blue and Silver.
Qualities- Selflessness, Responsibility, Teamwork
Those of the Wolfthorn house value Teamwork and Selflessness over any of the other houses. Like the wolf members of this house learn to attack problems as a singular unit towards a common goal. Each member works to understand each other equally and play to each other’s strengths. In order to do so each house member must remember to serve each other and not themselves, selflessness in teamwork to keep others at the forefront of their mind is the basic key element to any collective strategy.
House Ghost- Patient Pamuy.
The house ghost of Wolfthorn is a Hopi woman in her late teens, once the highly revered medicine woman of her village. When the soldiers from the east came in being both Native American and a pracitioner of ‘black magic’ as the soldier, she was the first to die in her village. After a series of gruesome acts commited on her. Now she roams the halls, patiently assisting the members of her house in herbology as it was always a love of her people to be in touch with nature to heal those around her.
Crest Animal- Ferruginous Hawk
Colors- Gold and Black
Qualities- Honesty, Intelligence, Patience
Like the hawk members of this house are patient and intelligent, always waiting for an opportunity to prove their intelligence with their brilliant plans and tactics. Like the hawk this house is sharp and quick with their wit. However, you will never have to know what these house members are thinking as they will let you know, they believe that honesty and intelligence go hand in hand since evidence and truth go hand in hand. The members of this house are very black and white and treat justice with openness. Lying and false information will get you on this house’s bad side quickly.
House Ghost- Confident Cruz
Once a proud Mestizo man in the Mexican Army, he now spends his days confidently recalling the events leading up to his death. Never failing to include each and every individual detail up until the moment of his death. He is proud that he fought for Mexico and for the land of his ancestors against white invaders. When talked to he will talk about Mexico as his proud homeland with nothing but glory and love for his home. Anytime a student has their history incorrect or twisted with the glorification of ‘settlers’ he will quickly and sternly correct them on who the invaders were, and who’s land belonged to who. He will not tolerate lies and false information of the accounts of his people and the basis for the fighting of his territory. However if asked about his military days he will more than likely start rattling off from childhood of admiring his strong father to his days as a soldier. He also enjoys teaching those who are interested in his culture and tries to get as many students interested in Dia de les Muertos.
Crest Animal- Red Fox
Colors- Red and White
Qualities- Loyalty, Cunning, Resourcefulness
The cunning trickster, is what most think of when they hear of the fox. The trickster who deceives men and dogs in order to live. However, what you might not think of is loyalty a fox has one mate for their entire life and remains loyal every season even though they are apart. Like the fox members of this house pride themselves on the loyalty to their friends and family. Willing to go to any and all lengths to protect their loved ones and ensure their happiness. Members of this house are also cunning and resourceful, they will find as many ways as they can to keep their head above the water with their loved ones. Because, no one can look after their significants quite like they can. A Foxcrest will do all that they can to succeed in the name of their loved ones, and in their honor.
House Ghost- One-Eyed Jacqueline Thibodeaux.
Once a proud voodoo queen in Louisiana this woman lived with pride and loyalty to her home of Zimbabwe. After being forcibly removed from her lands, brought to Haiti, and then to Mississippi as a slave. She used not only her skill in voodoo magick to escape, but her loyalty with the other slaves on her plantation. To escape the cruelty of the plantation, her and many other slaves escaped on the underground railroad. Using both her magic and cunning she was able to escape with her friends and what remained of her family from the horrors of plantation life to Louisiana where she made a name for herself with her voodoo. Becoming a highly regarded voodoo queen she then helped those with an inclination to magick to help free her brothers and sisters trapped on plantations and then giving them refugee in her home. Soon though, news of her operation spread. Using her divination skills she found of the plot to kill her and the escaped slaves, though she could only save herself and not the newly freed men and women, or save them and not herself. She made the quick choice to save them over herself, and stood her ground where she fought tooth and nail with her magick to ensure the survival of her brothers and sisters. She however lost the fight when a white man pulled a gun and ultimate shot her in the eye by sheer dumb luck. She is both a gentle, and helpful ghost who also ensures that students are well aware of the dishonor and torture she went through in the Americas. When asked for help she always seems to know that you were going to ask for help and appears to you before you have to go and find her.
Crest Animal- Grizzly Bear
Colors- Green and Tan
Qualities- Bravery, Curiosity, Leadership
Last but certainly not least the home of the bears. Bears are not the naturally aggressive creature but however are curious and have a hierarchy amongst their species. Just like the bear members of this house are known for their fighting skills and bravery, but are also extremely curious. Members of this house exhibit leadership characterstics and always fight for the top of the chain in any event or subject they’re in. Their competitve drive can sometimes lead to hotheadedness and aggressive outbursts with the other students giving them their bear qualities. Loud, boisterous, and certainly commanding students of Bearglove do not have a hard time making a name for themselves in someway shape or form.
House Ghost- ‘Doc’ Thomas Benton
Among the house ghosts he is the most resented, due to his megalomaniac attitude and his past as a serial killer. While in medschool in the 1920’s he sought any and all information to eternal youth as the drive to be the best in his field and to never die to pass on his superior knowledge. No one knows the true nature of his evil some say it was trauma others say it lied in wait. If you ask the other house ghost they will tell you that he was evil from the start and to his very core. While he was alive he under strange circumstances became a hermit, and soon dead animals were found on his land with strange markings carved into them. And then the farmer’s daughter went missing in his town. When townspeople found him he had carved strange markings on her and was mumbling in an incorherent language before tossing her off a cliff. Everytime he’s asked about his death he gives a new story each time, about the scars on his face. The other ghosts say it was one of his evil experiments done onto himself after the town found him killing the farmer’s daughter, in an attempt to save his own life.
Location of Lavaeudeen ,the Waverly Hills Sanitarium.
Built in 1910 and expanded to the enormous abandoned hulk it is today in 1924, Waverly Hills Sanitarium was opened to house tuberculosis patients as an isolation hospital. Doctors at the hospital carried out painful experimental surgeries to treat the disease, often with bloody results. One surgery of last resort involved opening the chest cavity to insert balloons into the lungs and another involved removing ribs to allow the lungs to expand. As many as 64,000 people who were admitted to the hospital died there over the years, and at least one employee is reputed to have hung herself in the laundry room on the fourth floor in the 1930s. Those who passed away at Waverly Hills were moved through the morgue and out of the hospital through the body chute that led cadavers out the back out of sight of the patients. Most of the hospital, including the morgue and body chute, remain intact today.
Or so the muggles think, with this story and the appearance by use of charms to give this school an abandoned look it becomes the hot topic of muggle ghost hunters. Allowing students to use the charms they learned in school and a bit of leg room for the ghosts. Strange occurances that are reported by ghost hunters are just your magical children having a bit of fun. When the hospital was abandoned, magical folk sought out a place to teach and form the magical youth of America. Under the guise of ‘helping mental patients’ they sent letters to families with ‘peculiar’ children to save them from the horrors of the muggle insane aslyums. As these asylums phased out the school kept up with appearances and altered the charms to make the muggles see a more and more decrepit abandoned building.
Behind the Name of the School- As a tribute to America’s very own famous voodoo queen and a desire to pass on magick the school was named for Marie Lavaeu
HOW DID THIS COME OUT OF A DEODORANT AD
I think that it’s because of an unfortunate canon portrayal and not enough named, developed Hufflepuffs. (While Ravenclaws have Luna, Tonks was only revealed as a Hufflepuff by Word of God and not via the books, and Cedric appears for one book.)
Hufflepuff’s unfortunate portrayal starts early on, when Draco’s talking - “I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?” While Draco himself is unpleasant and we can tell that his opinions are not meant to be ours, it sets the stage for other unflattering comments about Hufflepuffs from other people: Hagrid has the “duffers” comment (although it’s attached to “everyone says” and not what Hagrid thinks, it establishes it as a large opinion.) And then, on the train, while Hermione and Ron both think Gryffindor would clearly be the best, Ravenclaw is mentioned as the second-place - Hermione says “I suppose Ravenclaw wouldn’t be too bad” and Ron echoes her “I don’t suppose Ravenclaw would be too bad…” but Hufflepuff isn’t mentioned, indirectly reinforcing the reputation.
Then, there’s the idea that Gryffindors our Our Heroes, Ravenclaws are intelligent (which is viewed more as a heritable thing and not as something you can develop - I mentioned this a bit in Slytherin and the Pursuit of Power, read the asterisked part at the bottom.) Meanwhile, Hufflepuffs are hard-working - and some people seem prone to equating “hard-working” to “you tried” instead of an actual strong work ethic and determination - they see Hufflepuff as the House that gets an A for effort, which isn’t fair, but is part of the reason Puffs get denigrated.
The OotP Sorting Song doesn’t help any - that’s the one with the infamous “I’ll take the lot.” The way it’s phrased is pretty bad - while tolerance and the willingness to educate everyone is clearly an admirable quality in Helga Hufflepuff, it casts Hufflepuffs as the ones without any special trait - the ones who aren’t brave enough for Gryffindor, ambitious enough for Slytherin, or intelligent enough for Ravenclaw. So at this point, Hufflepuffs got cast in the fandom as the House for leftovers - the people who weren’t good enough to be anywhere else. (GoF doesn’t help in this respect, with mentioning how Hufflepuff House rarely gets to have any kind of glory and how Cedric’s selection as Triwizard Champion is somehow exceptional - by making glory a rare thing, it doesn’t so much show Hufflepuff’s typical humility as carry Unfortunate Implications that Hufflepuff doesn’t get glory a lot because they’re the least of the four Houses.)
Obviously, this isn’t true - none of it is. Alone, Draco is someone we shouldn’t be agreeing with and Hagrid is notoriously unreliable - but their remarks are our first two impressions of Hufflepuff House, and when Hagrid and Draco are saying the same thing, the impression is that it’s true - when it isn’t! (Add to this that we’re early in the books and don’t know Hagrid’s not entirely reliable as a narrator and that Draco is a magical racist with a superiority complex, and the comments seem even more condemning.) These are the first comments we get in the book, our first exposure to Hufflepuff House - and there’s nothing to explicitly refute the portrayal until three books later, in GoF. That’s a lot of time for a bad opinion to sink in.
Add to that the way Hufflepuff’s qualities get portrayed, and people start to take it the wrong way. Instead of saying “take the lot,” there should be other ways to emphasize that Hufflepuff is the House of tolerance and inclusiveness, and the House traits could have been better-portrayed - notably by giving us more and better-developed Hufflepuff characters!
That’s the third and final reason people tend to underestimate Puffs. Ravenclaw has Luna, Slytherin has Snape, the Malfoys, and a slew of characters, Gryffindor has virtually everyone - but Hufflepuff has only Cedric, Tonks, and Sprout. Sprout isn’t all that developed; Cedric is a one-book character; and Tonks’s House isn’t actually mentioned in the books! Also, JKR’s decision to kill Tonks doesn’t help: the two most prominent Puff characters end up dead. (Add to this that Tonks ends up hospitalized post-OotP and then is killed in battle in DH, and some people even use this to argue that Puffs are duffers/not skilled in combat, which is horrible!) I think killing Tonks was a mistake (mostly for other thematic reasons, and also because she’s one of my favorite characters), but in part I think killing her was a mistake because of that - when our prominent Hufflepuffs end up as cannon fodder to illustrate the costs of war and the sacrifice of innocents, it doesn’t help bolster the idea of Hufflepuffs as independent, strong, vital individuals who are competent. Even Pottermore’s revelation of Kettleburn the Hufflepuff isn’t entirely wonderful - his loss of limbs while teaching could contribute to the “incompetent duffer” image - although any canon Puffs on Pottermore (or even Tonks-in-chat) are ultimately not as important as Puffs in the books - after all, the books matter most, as that’s what the majority of the readers take their opinions from.
I strongly disagree that Puffs are duffers, but the way canon mentioned them and described them, the fate of Hufflepuff characters, and the lack of developed Puff characters all contributes to the poor fandom image. I think that the fandom image is distinctly wrong and that Hufflepuff is a fabulous House, but I don’t think that the books always did the best job of portraying that. I don’t believe it was intentional - more like a failure to try to make Hufflepuff shine combined with a bunch of statements, plot developments, and various factors that end up creating a perception of Hufflepuff that’s much less flattering to the House than it should be.
We need a badass, female knight-like character who is from Hufflepuff…..
…in which case you’d have a huge fandom contingent arguing that they should have been Gryffindor. (Tonks is the closest we see in canon - she’s badass, Auror seems to be to be like a modern-day knight, fighting and righting wrongs, and she’s badass - an active Order member fighting in battles, opposing the government while working inside of it to feed the Order information, successfully doing her job despite struggling with depression - I’m not sure what else you’d like from a badass Hufflepuff, but Tonks feels to me like the description of what you’re looking for. And, pre-JKR’s website revelation that Tonks was Hufflepuff, I’ll tell you that fandom was pretty much utterly convinced that Tonks was Gryffindor - the Puff Sorting was a surprise and there were arguments about whether or not Tonks should have been Puff or Gryff. Of course, it would really have helped if JKR had explicitly mentioned in the books that Tonks was a ‘Puff - her House was only ever provided on JKR’s website and is nowhere in the text.)
But yeah, JKR definitely created another issue when Gryffindor was explicitly delineated to be the big hero House but Hufflepuff is the House of good people - it meant that any Hufflepuff who shows sufficient bravery, is sufficiently badass, or is up-front and central as a character is automatically going to provoke arguments over why they weren’t in Gryffindor.
(I really strongly believe that making Hufflepuff a House not for the good, but a morally neutral House for people who value loyalty, patience, hard work, etc., would have helped it greatly - I knew Umbridge would canonically be Slytherin but Umbridge as a Hufflepuff villain will always have a place in my AU heart, because Umbridge would show full spectrum of Puffs - Puffs who can be hard-working for bad causes, Puffs who can be loyal to the wrong people, Puffs who can be fierce as a badger defending the wrong things. I also think a Puff character who could fill Luna’s place for Ravenclaw would’ve helped them - while Neville’s story is lovely as a different kind of Gryffindor/finding his courage and proving himself, Neville-in-Hufflepuff could have been a story about showing how people are capable of great bravery even if they have other values they put first, that proving yourself isn’t necessarily proving yourself as a Gryffindor, giving Hufflepuff a hero covered in glory when canonically they have them so infrequently, Neville’s Gran acknowledging that while Neville’s parents were Gryffs that he could be a hero and worthy of being their son while also being a Hufflepuff…and we could’ve had a Ravenclaw and a Hufflepuff as 2/3 of the leaders of the DA while the Trio was gone. (Make Ginny a Slytherin and you have a really intriguing AU - or have the hypothetical Good Slytherin DA member who doesn’t exist as the third leader in DH - and it would also be nice, because having a Puff, Claw, and Slyth lead the DA in the absence of our Gryffindor heroes would have been fantastic.)
All of this. Let’s also talk about how people also tend to forget that the house you are assigned not only has to do with the qualities you HAVE, but what you VALUE. Perhaps more that than anything else, and that can change a lot of how you look at it.