Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! …Whatever That Means
Summary: Harry's sorted and is a bit dubious of Quirrell and Dumbledore.
Word Count: 2,055
Disclaimer: Still with the not owning and the being poor.
A/N: Yes, this chapter is a bit slow. Or ok, downright boring maybe, but it has to be done. And if you're wondering why Harry isn't as aware of the reaction to him being a Slytherin, remember he didn't have Ron telling him the Slytherins were bad, so he would have written off their reactions as them still being star-shocked. And NO this isn't a Dumbledore-bashing fic, but Harry isn't going to be as all-trusting as he was in the books. So, uh yeah. I'll let you get to the reading.
Sometime after the Malfoy incident, a short and pleasantly-plump woman came by asking if they'd like to buy any chocolate frogs or cauldron cakes. Harry's stomach rumbled. He hadn't eaten anything since dinner the night before. He looked over at Hermione who seemed engrossed in her book. He didn't want to disturb her over sweets, so he just asked for a bit of everything. The witch smiled at him and handed the stuff through. "11 sickles and 7 knuts," she told him.
Harry counted out the money from the bag of wizarding money that he'd gotten at Gringotts with Hagrid. Harry set everything on the seat next to him and looked it over. He'd never heard of any of it. Chocolate frogs? He wondered if they were anything like the crunchy frog chocolates in Monty Python sketch he'd once seen. He shuddered and decided to wait on those until later. He grabbed one of the cauldron cakes instead, as it looked the most familiar. Next he tried a pumpkin pasty, along with some iced pumpkin juice. Just as he was deciding between the chocolate frogs and licorice wands, Hermione finally came up from her book.
"You should try one of the chocolate frogs. They have cards inside of them with famous witches and wizards on them," she said.
Harry looked up at her. "Do you want one?"
Hermione smiled and shook her head. "I promised my mum and dad that I wouldn't eat any sweets until after dinner and that I would brush my teeth as soon as I had. They're dentists," she explained.
Harry grinned back as he opened the wrapper for the chocolate frog. He bit back a yelp as the frog leaped out of the package and onto the seat. He looked wide-eyed at Hermione, who was looking amused. "Are they supposed to do that?" he asked her. She nodded. Harry just shook his head and watched the frog hop about. He wondered if he'd ever get used to things like this happening.
He was brought out of his reverie by the sound of Hermione's voice. "What does the card say? Who's on it?" she asked him.
Harry pulled the card from the wrapper and looked at the picture for a moment before turning it over and reading it aloud.
Currently Head master of Hogwarts.
Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon's blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel.
Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling.
Hermione smiled. "I've read about him as well," she told Harry. She frowned a little. "I don't recall reading about Nicolas Flamel, though. Can I have that card?" she asked him. Harry shrugged and handed it to her. "I'm going to research him as soon the first chance I get. I wonder if the library will be opened tonight," she mused as she placed the card in her book.
Harry smiled to himself and began opening another chocolate frog and Hermione went back to her book. It felt nice, Harry thought, to just sit with someone who wasn't judging you. He hoped he and Hermione would be friends.
An hour later, Hermione stood. "We should get changed into our school things," she told him. Harry nodded and followed her out of the compartment.
After they had changed and returned to their compartment, Harry tidied up the small mess he'd made with the wrappers. He was about to leave the compartment again to throw it all away, when Hermione asked, "What house do you suppose you'll be in?"
"House?" Harry asked. He'd heard the blonde boy talking about houses in Madam Malkin's, but he hadn't understood why.
"There's four houses," Hermione started. "Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Gryffindor, and Hufflepuff. Students are sorted into a house based on their character and where they would best be placed. Ravenclaw is where the book smart and intellectual ones go, Slytherin is for those who are ambitious and quick-witted, the brave and chivalrous are for Gryffindor, and Hufflepuff houses the loyal and righteous. You get sorted by a hat that apparently speaks. How ridiculous is that? A speaking hat. Anyways, I hope I'm in Ravenclaw. How about you?"
Harry shrugged. "I'm not really sure. They all sound nice. I'm not particularly book smart though, so I most likely won't end up in Ravenclaw. Slytherin sounds okay, though I'm not sure I'd want to be a Gryffindor. Doesn't it seem odd that they separate kids into houses? Wouldn't it create divides and fighting?"
Hermione nodded. "It does. It's based upon the wishes of the founders of Hogwarts though. Helga Hufflepuff, Salazar Slytherin, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Godric Gryffindor. They fought about what type of students should be allowed into Hogwarts and eventually ended up with four houses. You should read Hogwarts: A History. It's very informative."
Harry smirked. Just as he was about to answer, the train stopped. He looked around questioningly. "Are we here already?"
Hermione looked out the window. "I believe we are," she said. "Harry look! That man is huge!"
Harry looked out the window too. "That's Hagrid. He's the grounds-keeper here. He's the one who brought me my letter and then took me to get my school supplies." Harry smiled fondly. "Would you like to meet him?"
Hermione looked like she wanted to ask questions, but just nodded instead.
They left the compartment to join the crowd of students getting off the train. He looked over at Hermione who looked a little overwhelmed and reached over and took her hand. She smiled at him and they continued on.
Once they were off the train they could hear and see that the large man was directing the first years one direction. Harry dragged Hermione over to the giant of a man. "Hello Hagrid," he said.
The tall, black-haired man looked down and smiled. "How ya doin' there, Harry?"
"I'm fine, thanks. This is Hermione Granger," Harry said, gesturing with his head.
"Nice t' meet ya, Miss Granger. Any friend of Harry's is a friend of mine," he said with a beaming grin.
Hermione blushed and nodded.
"You should get going that way." Hagrid pointed. "Find a boat and I'll be there shortly."
They got across the lake without incident, though Hermione didn't seem too fond of the boat ride. Their first view of the castle had taken Harry's breath away. He'd never seen something so massive. He wondered how it was hidden from the rest of the world. He grinned when Hermione started telling him about it. Of course she would know.
Now they were standing in a line in front of the rest of the school. Hermione had, of course, been right about the sorting. Professor McGonagall had (besides being incredibly intimidating) told all the first years much the same thing as Hermione had told him. The room they were in was magnificent. There were thousands of candles floating over five tables. Four filled with students and on filled with professors. All the tables were covered in glittering gold dishes, although there was no food to be seen. Harry looked up and was startled to see stars.
Hermione of course knew about it. "It's enchanted to look like the night sky," she told him. "I read about it in Hogwarts: A History."
Harry nodded and watched as the tall, intimidating Professor McGonagall set down a stool and placed a pointed witch's hat on it. He started as the grungy looking hat sitting on the stool opened its mouth (?) and started to sing.
you may not think me pretty, You might belong in
So put me on! Don't be
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!
You might belong inGryffindor,
So put me on! Don't be
Harry managed to shut his mouth as the whole school broke out into applause. It wouldn't do to be found gaping like a fool. What did he expect anyways? He was in a magic school.
Hannah Abbot and Susan Bones were quickly sorted into Hufflepuff, and then a boy named Terry Boot and a nervous looking girl, Mandy Brocklehurst, were sorted into Ravenclaw. Lavender Brown was the first to be sorted into Gryffindor and Millicent Bulstrode the first Slytherin. The names and faces started to blur. Then Hermione was called and sorted into Ravenclaw and Harry smiled. She would fit well there. He lost track again until Draco Malfoy was called. He was sorted into Slytherin just as quickly as the hat was placed on his head. Harry watched Draco seat himself at the Slytherin table and then turned his nervous eyes back to the sorting. It seemed to be going so slowly. Harry began to stare off into space and was startled when he heard his name.
As Harry walked towards the hat, whispers broke out around the large room.
"The Harry Potter?"
Harry sat on the stool and was relieved when all he could see was the black inside of the hat. He wasn't keen on being stared at, but at least this way he couldn't see them all staring at him.
Then a small voice said in his ear, "Not much for the spotlight, eh? More for the shadows then. But not a coward. No. Bit of a quick mind. Lots of ambition. You could be great one day. Let's see…where shall I put you?" Harry stiffened in anticipation. "SLYTHERIN!"
Harry sighed as he took the hat off and dashed towards the Slytherin table, glad that the whole ordeal was over. Once he was seated at the table between a small, black haired girl and an unpleasant looking behemoth, he looked up at the professors' table to find that many of them were staring at him with wide eyes, but none more than a pale, dark-haired man seemed to be. He looked like he was choking on something and Harry wondered if anyone was going to help him. Just then, Quirrell, a diminutive, sickly looking man in a ridiculous turban looked straight at Harry and Harry felt a sharp pain in his forehead. "Ouch!" Harry yelped.
The black-haired girl turned to look at him with an odd expression on her face.
"Uh, headache," Harry explained. He wished Hermione was there so he could tell her. She would believe him and might even know what was wrong. He watched the rest of the kids get sorted in silence. A tall, dark-skinned boy named Blaise Zabini was sorted last and then Professor McGonagall rolled up the scroll in her hands and took the sorting hat away.
Albus Dumbledore got to his feet then, and the look in his eye made Harry wonder if the man was all there. His large, senile-looking smile and his next words pretty much cemented his insanity in Harry's mind. He didn't care if the man was the most brilliant man in the world. He was positively barmy.
Suddenly the dishes in front of him were filled with food. Lots and lots of food. There were potatoes in every way imaginable, all different kinds of meats, vegetables, and for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs. He'd never been able to eat as much as he liked before. Harry smiled and put Quirrell and Dumbledore out of his mind for the time being. Things were starting to look up.