Disclaimer: Ain't mine.


Vera eyed the Sorting Hat dubiously, wondering how wearing it could possibly be hygienic.

"Miss Potter, please sit down," Aunt Minerva said, lips pursing as Vera continued to hesitate.

"Lice," Vera said, frowning.

"Excuse me?"

"I'm not putting that thing on my head," Vera said primly, "unless I'm certain I won't get lice."

Aunt Minerva stared. So did the rest of the Great Hall, though several other first years were suddenly seen to be patting their heads worriedly.

"Potter," Aunt Minerva said slowly, "this is a magic hat. It repels anything unhealthy."

Vera snorted. "Repels anything unhealthy? I think it looks rather scruffy, personally. Dirty, even."

"Potter, I don't care what you think," Aunt Minerva snapped. "Sit down. Now."

Pouting, Vera did as ordered, sparing a glance for the Head Table as she did. Grandpa Albus was hiding a smile behind his hand, and Professor Snape was smirking at Aunt Minerva.

Then the sight was lost as the hat slipped over her eyes, blinding her.

"And what have we here?" a little voice whispered in her ear.

"I should think that's obvious," she replied tartly, her back ramrod straight.

"A Potter, eh?" the hat murmured, ignoring her. Vera scowled. "Hmm...brave, but sensible. Not a bad mind... And not at all lacking in power. You're certainly ambitious and cunning..."

"Get on with it," she ordered, resisting the urge to yank the stupid thing off.

"Very well. SLYTHERIN!"

Vera yelped, temporarily deafened by the Hat's bellow. She grabbed the shabby scrap of magic cloth off her head and thrust it at Aunt Minerva, who took it mostly due to reflex, as she and everyone else had been stunned into silence by the Hat's pronouncement.

Vera rolled her eyes. With a nickname like Snakelet, where else could she have gone? Some people were so stupid.