I have always wondered how Hermione and Ron Weasley ended up in Gryffindor. Hermione is the "Smartest Witch of her time" which would make one assume Ravenclaw automatically. In order for her to be braver than she is smart, she'd have to be absolutely fearless, and she's not. Ron Weasley, on the other hand, is a Pureblood, who's heart's desire, according to the Mirror of Erised, is to be better than all of his brothers, to make a name for himself as something more than "the youngest Weasley boy". He is, in short, an ambitious Pureblood, which should have sent him to Slytherin. Only Harry seems to fit the Gryffindor mold... and that was a close call as the Sorting Hat wanted to put him in Slytherin. Only the fact that Harry begged for anything else made the Hat relent. Given what we know of Hermione and Ron, how did they end up in Gryffindor?
What follows is a conversation between someone and the Sorting Hat. The Sorting Hat's words will be in italics. Who is the other person? Read the story and find out.
Four Pictures of Fate, One Sorting.
"Hello, old friend. How's the song coming?"
"Bah, I've already finished it. Not that anyone listens to me. Sometimes I wonder why I bother making up a new every year."
"Some of us do listen, and when the time is right, your song will help. You know that. Seven times, Hogwarts has been in danger that your song helped alleviate."
"That is true, but in-between those times, I could do the same song over and over."
"And what then would you do for the rest of the year? You and I both know that one day of work is not enough for you."
"I need a favor during this sorting."
"Oh? Have you seen something, then?"
"Yes. There will be three children who are bound by fate, and it would be best if they are in the same house."
"This wouldn't have anything to do with Harry Potter, would it?"
"Yes. Harry Potter and two others, faces I have seen, must be friends. Together, they can reshape our world."
"Who are these others?"
"One of them is a Weasley, I think. He has the hair."
"Ronald Weasley will start this year."
"That could be the one. I will know when they are on the grounds, and I can see them in the flesh."
"And the other?"
"I do not know this one. It is a female, but with none of the feel of a Pureblood. I think she's a Muggleborn, or a Half-blood."
"You know I don't like that term. They are all Wizards."
"I mean no insult. It is merely a descriptive term, meaning she comes from a specif type of family."
"And how far is it, from Half-blood to Mudblood?"
"Fine. I will try not to use that term in your hearing."
"There is a Muggleborn Witch starting this year, one Hermione Granger."
"Not Muggleborn, although there are a few of mixed parentage."
"No, the one I have seen has no Wizard feel yet."
"Fine. You may ride along tonight and we'll see what we can do. I assume you'd like to examine them before they get to me, so we can plan their House?"
"It would be better."
"Then we will look at them in the gathering room, before they enter the Main Hall."
"She's the one, that girl there."
"Hermione Granger. Let me look in her head. Ravenclaw. The thirst for learning and knowledge in this mind is frightening."
"What about the other two?"
"Hm.. My my. Look at this. A thirst to prove himself, to be better than the ones that came before him. Ron Weasley is an ambitious young man, who's deepest desire is to be better than any of his brothers were, to be something more. He is a Slytherin."
"But the Weasleys have always been Gryffindors."
"Oh, he's brave enough, but look in his heart and mind. He wants to be famous, rich and popular more than anything else in his head."
"Let me see. Bravery, loyalty, a good mind, that needs a bit of training and what's this? My goodness, an inner Slytherin. Harry Potter would do well in Slytherin. He has the ambition to succeed and the drive to stand out. Quite honestly, he would do well in any house."
"Are you insane? He's a Ha.. mixed parentage child, raised by Muggles, and Severus Snape hates him with a passion."
"Snape is still holding that old grudge? What a moron."
"If Harry goes to that House, he'll be Dark in a year, and the worst Dark Lord ever in ten."
"I guess he wouldn't do that well in Slytherin, then."
"Then, since only one of them is one house, could they all go to Ravenclaw?"
"Ha! Sorry, old woman, but Weasley would not make it in Ravenclaw. He's a doer, not a thinker."
"What about Slytherin?"
"Weasley and Potter would do well there, once Weasley recovered from the shock, but Granger would likely be dead in a year, or back in the Muggle world. She'd never make it."
"Hmm, maybe. Granger would thrive on the work, but doesn't have the loyalty yet, although Harry could teach her that while she teaches him to use the mind he is wasting. Weasley doesn't like to work that hard, but his loyalty is good."
"Potter and Weasley would shine there, Potter especially, and Granger... hmm. She might do well, if there is something to be learned. She has no fear of doing anything if knowledge is to be had by doing it."
"I hear a but in there somewhere."
"Weasley will not be pushed to excel in that house. Without ambitious people to push him into doing more, he will wallow in jealousy, certain that Potter is stealing fame he could have had. He might never get over it."
"So, Hufflepuff or Gryffindor."
"Here comes Miss Granger. Have you decided which House they should be in?"
"Gryffindor. Weasley may have a few problems, but these children will face things that would curl the hair of most folk, and they must have bravery to stand before it, or we are all doomed."
"So be it. I hope you know what you're doing."
"I cannot know. All I see are four pictures of what could be, a snapshot if you will. If those three are friends, the picture has less death and destruction in it."
"What a wonderful thought. 'Less death and destruction' certainly makes me jump for joy."
"Be nice. It's the best I can do after all. Now, if you will excuse me, it would not do for the Ravenclaw House ghost to be absent during the feast."
"Be well this year, Grey Lady. Come and see once in awhile."
"I will, old friend. Thank you."
OoOoOoO Raven, Here and Now. OoOoOoO
Take one Seer, add four pictures of what could be and her interpetion of those pictures. Add three innocent children and a Hat that can look at everything in your mind. Stir well and this story is what I came up with.
Picture One: The Trio, standing on a battlefield, with bodies lying around. The looks they give each other show a bond of friendship not even death will end and there are about twenty bodies lying around. The Trio are bloody, injured and worn, but intact and alive. All three are dressed alike, in robes that keep changing, cycling through all the House colours.
Picture Two: Harry stands alone, atop a mound of bodies and laughs. On the top of the pile is Voldemort, with a look of surprised betrayal on his face. Harry's face is cold and haughty, the look of a man who cares nothing for anyone but himself. Hermione and Ron are in the pile of bodies, their wands out and pointing at Harry. Hermione is dressed in a Ravenclaw robe and Ron in the colors of Gryffindor. Harry has a Slytherin badge on his robes.
Picture Three: A young Harry, about third year, dressed in the robes of the Slytherin Quidditch team, stands before the smoking ruins of Hogwarts. Nearby are mounds of bodies, piled around the Quidditch Pitch. One of the bodies is clutching a book to its chest. Four of them, one female and three males, have a distinctively red shade of hair. Harry is smiling evilly and shaking hands with a restored Tom Riddle.
Picture Four: Harry and Ron, on Broomsticks and in their Gryffindor Quidditch robes, are desperately avoiding a dozen Death Eaters on broomsticks. In the background, Hogwarts is burning. Hermione is nowhere to be seen in this picture. Many bodies are scattered across the landscape, and very few of them wear the garb of Death Eaters.
Almost everything in this story is based in Canon or implied fact. Hermione is insanely brilliant, that has been made clear in every book. Anyone that thinks she's braver than she is smart needs to have their head checked.
Ron, as we saw at the Mirror of Erised, is an ambitious Pureblood. His Heart's desire is to be Head boy, Quidditch Captain and win the House Cup... Ambitions that have nothing to do with Bravery. He is a Slytherin.
So, how did these two separate personalities, with their distinctive traits that call for other Houses, end up in Gryffindor? This story is my answer. The Grey Lady always struck me as the kind of ghost that knows far more than she would ever tell... but who would not be afraid of giving fate a little nudge in the right direction.
As for Harry, I have read fics where he did well in Slytherin. What? Let me see... The House head hates him with a passion, he's a Half-blood and Muggle raised. What about that makes anyone think he'd do well in Slytherin? Slytherins don't like half-breeds or Muggles, and Harry has the worst of both. Add a House head that would poison the other Slytherins against him and Harry's innate kindness and I really don't believe he would live out a year. If he did, he would not be the Harry we all know. He might have even taken Voldemort up on his offer at the end of first year. Voldemort and Potter working together is a very scary thought.