Zacharias Smith (Not Your Usual Hufflepuff)
by Madam Pintsize
We first meet Zacharias Smith in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He joins the DA, despite the fact that he seems reluctant to do so. It always struck me as odd that he would be a Hufflepuff as he differed so much from Ernie, Hannah, Susan, Justin, and Cedric — the only other Hufflepuffs we have any character information on.
Let us look at the qualities that Helga Hufflepuff’s House contains, according to the Sorting Hat:
“Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil…” [SS, pg. 118]“For Hufflepuff, hard workers were
Most worthy of admission…” [GOF US, pg. 177]
I don’t know, he just never fit my idea of a Hufflepuff and it seems as if the Sorting Hat would agree with me. Compare him to the other Hufflepuffs we have met throughout the series and you’ll see how he stands out.
However, I was re-reading HBP for the fourth or fifth time when I got to the chapter about Voldemort visiting the “very old, very rich witch,” [HBP US, pg. 433] Hepzibah Smith. Now, I don’t want to blow this out of proportion (remember Mark Evans?) but it is possible that they are related. I am well aware that Smith is a VERY common name but it doesn’t seem to be as common in the wizarding world, as we have only come across it twice.
Slipped into this visit is a revelation from Ms Smith: “Didn’t I tell you I was distantly descended [from Helga Hufflepuff]?” [HBP US, pg. 436] Therefore, I believe it is possible to entertain the thought that the reason Zacharias Smith is in Hufflepuff is not only because he must possess the qualities that Hufflepuff valued, but also because he is distantly descended — something we have seen before in the Harry Potter universe. The reason I believe this is a possibility is purely because we have only came across the name Smith twice and because Zacharias Smith is in Hufflepuff, but is not “your usual Hufflepuff.”
I’d like to end by saying that I’m not even sure if I believe my theory; it’s just an idea.