Author: Thirteenth Hour PM
The time-old question remains: what if the Sorting Hat put Harry in Slytherin? How would things be different? Would things stay the same or would the Wizarding World reek of repercussions unforseen, unexpected, and unspeakable...? AU.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Harry P. - Words: 1,230 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 25 - Published: 08-22-09 - id: 5323491
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AN: I am rather a newbie in the fanfiction world and I would appreciate any criticism or comments you might have. I have tried out some things in the past but they haven't worked out so well. This is my second real attempt to take a story somewhere and any feedback is appreciated.
The Great Hall was empty, nothing more than a shell that used to hold throngs of students chatting amiably to one another. Mounted torches flickered on the walls and Dumbledore still sat in his chair as if waiting for something. He cracked his long bony fingers and sighed. So much had happened in one simple seating; another year's introduction come and gone.
There was also the matter of Harry Potter.
It was not that he hadn't expected it, he admitted to himself. Surprised was the word for the whole scenario, he guessed. He even wondered how Harry felt about the situation. If the boy had wanted to go into Slytherin then that was that. No more to be said, no more to be done. If the Hat had made a mistake…
"Something on your mind Albus?" asked a voice from far away.
"No Minerva, I was just thinking," he said, "about the Boy who Lived."
"You are surprised at what house he was given?"
"I can't say I'm not."
Dumbledore remained at the head of the Great Hall and sighed. Lifting himself up, he used his wand to push the chair back into place. Stepping down from the teachers' table, he walked over to where the teacher of Transfiguration was standing. "Had you hoped he would land in your house?"
"Naturally," McGonagall said briskly. "As would the other heads of houses."
Dumbledore chortled. "I can't imagine Severus being too happy with the arrangements."
"He will just have to deal with it," McGonagall replied. "What the Sorting Hat chooses is what the Sorting Hat wills."
"Indeed," Dumbledore assured. "But I had hoped for something a little less…dramatic you might say."
McGonagall smiled sadly. She too remembered the hush which had fallen around the Great Hall. The Slytherin table had cheered of course but the other tables remained silent, hopeful even. Whispers of his name echoed when the Sorting Hat said it.
"Are you implying the Hat needs to be adjusted? I can talk to Flitwick about possible-"
"No, there is no need for that. Forgive an old man's musings Minerva. I was merely thinking as everyone left."
McGonagall raised her eyebrows. They had stopped in the middle of the Great Hall. Dumbledore's hands clasped behind his back, she held the feeling he was hiding something. "Severus was concerned," she said. "He talked to me after he spoke with you."
"Yes, I have smoothed things out with him. You needn't worry this semester at least. We will see how things go for now."
"Are you sure Albus?"
"Quite certain, I'm afraid."
They walked past the empty tables and marched through the entrance, shifting slowly through the corridors at a casual pace. Already a darkened night, Dumbledore assumed Harry was being introduced to the Slytherin common room. Then he would go to his bed, slide inside, pull up the covers, and the rest would be history. The calmness of the moonlight did nothing to help soothe his fears.
"Albus, do you think he will be alright?" McGonagall asked hurriedly. "I feel the exact same way I did when we dropped him off at his aunt and uncles' doorstep. I don't think-"
"For now, we will wait," Dumbledore ordered. His moon-rim spectacles reflected moonlight as they past a large series of windows and he meditated on the quiver of fear he had heard in McGonagall's voice. "We will simply see what happens."
"But Albus, the boy-!"
"Yes, I am well aware of who he is Minerva. Who knows, perhaps the Sorting Hat made the right decision after all. It is us who may be left in the dark."
"Should we ask it?"
"No, not now. Later if I have the chance I may converse with it."
They had reached the Grand Staircase. Rumblings of shifting stone echoed through the room and Dumbledore stopped at the base. He gazed upward to see the cases moving about and closed his eyes. What if he was wrong? Such consequences he did not want to have to think about. Not this time.
"Albus?" McGonagall asked.
"It's nothing," he said. "I am in need of my office. That is all."
"Phineas, don't make me call you a second time."
The portrait of the age-old Hogwarts headmaster stuttered in his sleep, head rolled off to one side. Dumbledore frowned and shook his head. Whenever he needed Phineas Nigellus most, it was always the least opportune time for both of them. Least was when Phineas popped up regularly to offer his snide comments.
"No, don't feed me to the dragons!" Phineas yelled. He awoke with a start and nearly fell out of the chair he was sitting in. Looking through his frame, he rubbed his eyes and coughed. "Of course, it has to be you…"
"Not now Phineas, I need advice."
Phineas scratched his chin and looked thoroughly puzzled for a simple moving portrait. "Advice? The great Albus Dumbledore needs advice from poor Phineas? I wish I could write to the Prophet about this, imagine the editorials…"
"Were there ever students who didn't live up to your expectations?" Dumbledore questioned. "Any major issues that concerned you as headmaster?"
Phineas frowned. "What ever caused you to ask such a question so late at night? Isn't this the first day?"
"Yes, but it concerns Harry Potter."
"Harry Potter!" Phineas yelled. Several of the other portraits demanded him to quiet down. Others yelled insults and went back to sleep. "I've heard stories from other portraits! Is it true he-"
"Oh yes, right, sorry." Phineas stretched and yawned. "Well, I can't say I did. Sure there was the incident where the Norvold twins set the Astronomy tower on fire. After their older brother got all of those N.E., I thought they might do the same. Turns out no-one taught them the Augamenti spell!"
"Any issue with housing?" said Dumbledore patiently.
"Housing? I can't think of anything like that, not that I ever really bothered. Is Harry Potter unhappy where he's been placed?"
"No, not that I know of."
"He probably wasn't placed in the house you wanted him to be in. If that's the case, you're old-hat Dumbledore. The Sorting Hat always knows."
Dumbledore turned to the mechanisms on his desk. They twinkled in the light of his office and he wondered if he was blowing things out of proportion. Was it really a big deal if Harry Potter had been placed in Slytherin? Perhaps there was more to Harry than he realized. No doubt ten years with the Durselys played some role into things. More anger than anticipated? More lust for power? Both were likely.
"Well don't look like the world's gone to the Puffskins, Dumbledore. It's not like the boy's dead or anything."
"The thing is Phineas," Dumbledore said with gravity. "He just might be."