Title: Professor Potter's Sorting Hat Song

Author: TardisIsTheOnlyWaytoTravel

Pairings: None.

Story Summary: Every year a member of the Hogwarts staff has to write a Sorting Song for the Sorting Hat. Perhaps they shouldn't have chosen Harry to do it for this year.

Setting: AU. Year after Harry graduates from Hogwarts. Set in the Prank Lord Potter universe.

Author notes:

Probably the best Sorting Song out there is textualsphinx's A Sorting Song by Severus, purportedly written by Severus Snape to the tune of Modern Major General. Mine is nowhere near as good, but I hope you'll read it anyway.




Unbeknownst to most of the wizarding world, the Hogwarts Sorting Hat's annual serenade to staff and students is rarely written by the Hat itself. While the Hat occasionally composes a piece when it has some specific message to impart, this duty has usually been delegated to whichever member of staff is both musically and linguistically inclined, and cannot find some excuse to get out of doing it.

Several months before the Dark Lord Veridans Luxlucis began his second campaign of chaos, Harry Potter joined the Hogwarts staff as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. This meant that it wasn't Severus's turn to write a Sorting Hat song, and since the two offerings he'd written in the years he'd been there had been rather unkind pieces that were particularly nasty towards Gryffindors – 'sadly they never seem to have a clear head, and if it requires some thinking they wind up dead,' one memorable line had gone, to the unspeakably irritating tune of 1970s country hit 'You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille' (Severus doesn't enjoy writing Sorting Hat songs, and doesn't feel that anyone else should enjoy his efforts, either) – everyone was rather relieved about this.

Unfortunately, Harry had been irritated by the Gryffindors, betrayed by the Hufflepuffs, and tormented by Slytherins. Really the only House that hadn't particularly bothered him was Ravenclaw, as they were always off doing something important in the library, but even they had a habit of annoying him by regarding him as a figure of historical importance rather than someone who simply wished to be left alone. Thus Harry was delighted at this opportunity for mild revenge against them all, and so while the Hat's song that year wasn't especially brilliant either musically or lyrics-wise, it nonetheless succeeded in having a bit of a dig at all of the Hogwarts Houses. It also conferred upon the word hat the honorary status of a proper noun, something that gratified the Sorting Hat immensely.

oo o0o oo


Good evening boys and girls, all the ladies and the gents,

I am the Hogwarts Sorting Hat, the Hat that's eloquent.

I decide which Hogwarts House you really do belong in

As when you come and try me on I go looking through your noggin.


Mayhap you'll be in Gryffindor, and have fine escapades,

Or end up in Ravenclaw and receive academic accolades.

You could be a Hufflepuff, and wracked by indecision

Or perhaps you'll be in Slytherin, and so end up in prison.

I decide where you ought to be, so sit down and close your eyes:

You have never met a Hat like me, so come and try me on for size.


Gryffindors are brave but rash, and think that Quidditch is divine,

But they have such a narrow outlook and in class they come behind.

For the average noble Gryffindor, all things are black and white

And also tend to be out of mind as soon as they're out of sight.


Ravenclaws are intelligent and brilliantly academic

And feel that outside of their House stupidity is endemic.

They tend to be averse to action – instead they are all vision,

And have yet to learn there is a difference between cleverness and wisdom.


Hufflepuff, poor Hufflepuff, so steady and so loyal

Whose most distinctive characteristic is that they're unafraid of toil.

(Mind you, they have to be, they're such mediocre students –

Although this can be said for them, they always act with prudence.)


Last but not least there's Slytherin, unscrupulous and political,

Where intelligence and cunning are absolutely critical.

Never turn your back on them, for they're infinitely ambitious,

And if there's Dark things happening, their mere existence is suspicious.


So now you know a little about the Houses where you'll go;

Just come along! Be Sorted! – it's inevitable, you know.

And don't think that you can help decide in which House your life you'll spend;

Only Professor Potter managed that, and he was sorry in the end!

So just relax, don't worry, I swear it won't take long:

It will also be less painful than this endless, pointless song.

oo o0o oo

Later that evening Professor Dumbledore congratulated Harry on his composing efforts but suggested that perhaps he ought to have focused more on the Houses virtues rather than their faults, to which Harry replied unanswerably,

"Perhaps, but what would they have learnt from that?"

Several teachers were rather put out over the less-than-complimentary lyrics, particularly Professor Snape, who asserted that Slytherin students do not all end up in prison. Harry nodded brightly and said yes, quite often they bribed the Minister and got off instead. Professor Snape stalked off to hastily-muffled laughter from his colleagues.

There was also some curiosity about which House Harry had originally supposed to have been Sorted into, but Harry simply smirked and refused to comment on the matter. Minerva McGonagall, Head of Gryffindor House had been quite upset at the idea that Harry had regretted his placement in Gryffindor, and for several days afterwards addressed pointed remarks to him on the subject of House loyalty.

As for the Hat, well, he told Albus later that the only song he'd more enjoyed singing was the one written by Snape back in 1982, in his first year of teaching.



"You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille" is a famously bad country song that became inexplicably popular in the 1970s. It's about a woman who takes off so she can get a life, and she's in a bar when her husband walks in and begins singing

"You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille
With four hungry children and a crop in the field…"

I've never actually heard this song, you understand; I had the privilege of watching both my parents melodramatically act out (or rather, over-act out) the chorus of this song while singing it in warbling, sobbing voices at one another as they tried very hard not to laugh.