Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Just a Hufflepuff
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

Lily Luna Potter had been dreading coming home for the holidays. She had absolutely hated her first term away at Hogwarts, but she honestly thought that things would get far worse once she got home.

Lily had been looking forward to going to Hogwarts for years, ever since she was old enough to understand that that was where Teddy disappeared off to for months at a time, but the school had so far failed to live up to her expectations. She had been completely convinced that she and Hugo would both be Gryffindors, and that they would go off and have all sorts of adventures just like their parents had had at the school. She couldn't have been more wrong.

She had acted all happy when she met her parents at the station, telling them that she loved Charms, had missed them all and had made lots of friends. The first part was true, as was the second, but the third part was a complete and utter lie. Lily had been at Hogwarts for an entire term already but she had yet to make a single friend. Not like Hugo; Hugo had practically half the year obeying his every whim, but then again Hugo had always been like that.

It was only late in the evening, after they had had dinner and she, Albus and James had gone to bed, that Lily allowed herself to cry. She should have been having a wonderful time, but of course she couldn't let her parents know that she wasn't. She knew that they were already disappointed in her, and letting them know that she absolutely hated their beloved school would just upset them even more.

"Lily? Are you going to tell me what's wrong?"

Lily started, her facing flushing with annoyance as she saw that her father had come into her room without her noticing. Now he was going to think that she was a silly little girl, that she was completely overreacting – but then her dad sat down on the bed next to her and Lily felt that she had to tell him. It would make things even worse if she didn't.

"Daddy, I don't want to go back to Hogwarts," Lily sniffed. "I miss you and Mummy and being at home."

"It's like that for everyone," her father assured her. "You'll get used to it soon. Don't believe anything James says, for goodness sake; you know he just wants to wind you up. He was writing home to us three or four times a week in his first year."

Lily couldn't believe that her loud, confident fourth year brother had ever been homesick in his life. She shrugged.

"Is there anything else that's worrying you?" her dad asked. He had that stern but concerned look that he always used when he wanted them to tell him something. She just couldn't lie to him when he looked at her like that.

"I wish I wasn't a Hufflepuff," Lily choked out at last. "I really, really wish I wasn't. Teddy, Vicky, Molly, Freddie, Roxie and James were all Gryffindors because they're brave. Domi, Louis, Lucy and Rose were all Ravenclaws because they're smart. And Albus and Hugo are both in Slytherin – Albus says that's because they're brilliant, but I think it's just because almost everyone seems to love them. And I'm obviously not smart or brave or likeable at all!"

"Now you know that's not true," dad said, shaking his head. "You're smart and brave and you've always had lots of friends."

"I don't know," Lily muttered. "Everyone thinks I'm useless because I'm not funny like James or smart like Albus. None of the girls will talk to me because they don't think I'm good enough to be your daughter."

Her dad frowned. "Lily, these girls are just being mean. Girls can be like that sometimes, trust me. Aunt Hermione didn't have a lot of friends when she started Hogwarts, you know, and that was only because everyone else was jealous of her."

Lily snorted. "I don't believe you, dad. Anyway, Aunt Hermione's smart and brave, which I'm obviously not."

"Lily, for goodness sake, I don't know why you think this," her father sighed.

"So why am I the only one whose ended up in Hufflepuff?" Lily asked. "Everyone knows that the only people who end up in Hufflepuff are the ones who aren't good enough to go anywhere else."

Her father shook his head. "Have you ever heard of someone called Cedric Diggory?"

Lily frowned. "I think so. I remember you saying that name before."

"Well Cedric Diggory was very brave. He was a Triwizard Champion, and he was kind and brave and honest."

"I don't see why you're telling me this," Lily muttered. "He was obviously a Gryffindor, unlike me."

"Actually you're wrong," her dad replied. "Cedric Diggory was a Hufflepuff just like you, and he was one of the bravest people I've ever met."

"You're lying."

"No, Lily, I'm not lying," her dad sighed. "I just wanted to tell you that just because you're a Hufflepuff, it doesn't mean you've failed. You're brave and you're clever, you're kind and you're hard-working. So I think you could be just like Cedric was – you could do Hufflepuff house proud." He hugged Lily then left the room. "Goodnight."

"Night, dad," Lily replied. For the first time in months she thought that maybe being in Hufflepuff didn't have to be such a bad thing after all.