After the Sorting feast, all of the prefects led the students of their respective houses. Harry found the Hufflepuff common room to be rather cozy. There were numerous areas where groups of friends could congregate to study or play. Along one wall there was a set of shelves that contained a number of games in various states of repair. There was a ring of of squashy yellow armchairs surrounding the fire, and a number of toasting forks rested against the brick of the fireplace. Branching off in two directions from the common room were the dormitories, boys to the left and girls to the right.

After the prefects gave a list of house rules, the students separated and made their way to their dormitories. For the foreseeable future, Harry would be sharing a dorm with Justin, a boy named Ernie Macmillan, a boy named Zacharias Smith, and a boy named Karl Limpley. Justin came from a rather wealthy family, and it showed. Limpley was a quiet boy from a small town called Leadworth. Zacharias Smith was a bit overbearing, and when they traded stories about their families, he made a point of informing them of his family connection to their house's founder. Macmillan was nice enough, and a friend of Smith's from before Hogwarts.

Being rather tired, the boys soon stopped talking after providing a few details about themselves and started drifting off one by one. As Harry fell asleep, he thought that he could very easily come to like his house and Hogwarts as a whole if it was even half as nice as Hufflepuff.

Up in the Gryffindor First Year's dorm, things weren't nearly as peaceful or quiet as they were downstairs. Of course they never were, but this time it was worse than normal. Two of the boys were about ready to murder a third and making good progress on their first attempt, one was trying to stay out of it, and another was hiding and hoping that nobody would notice him.

As far as Draco Malfoy was concerned, his placement in Gryffindor was the worst thing that could have happened to him, and there was a good reason why his mother's family had stayed away despite the number of times the hat had tried to place a Black in Gryffindor where it thought they belonged. As far as Ronald Weasley was concerned, Malfoy was an interloper who was taking a place that should rightfully belong to Harry Potter. Dean Thomas had no real opinion about Malfoy's sorting either way, but he rapidly found that he didn't like the blond brat with the pointed chin the instant after he'd called him a mudblood.

Ron and Dean had rounded on the Malfoy boy the instant after he'd called them a blood traitor and a mudblood to round out the insults he'd had for all of his dormmates, and said that he didn't want to share a dorm with any of them. Not being particularly proficient in magic, both Weasley and Thomas resorted to using their fists, and after throwing one of the blankets from one of the beds on the blond, they started wailing on him.

This was just the icing on the cake as far as Draco Malfoy was concerned. He had not wanted to be a Gryffindor in the first place, and in the hours since he'd become one he'd been forced to suffer through a great deal of pain and misery. Of course a good deal of it was of his making, but those who had decided to make him suffer had not needed to react in as extreme a manner as they had.

In the Slytherin dorms, two boys were looking at each-other.

"Crabbe," one of the boys asked "What are we going to do without Draco around?"

"I don't know." the other replied, not knowing of a time in his life when he'd been outside his family home without the Malfoy boy whose father was friends with his father.

"Me neither." the first said.

The both of them were supposed to look after Malfoy whom they'd known since they were in diapers, and he was supposed to look after them. None of them could do that however with them in Slytherin like their families had been for ages and Draco in Gryffindor like that renegade cousin of his who'd come to a very bad end.

As they went to sleep, both of them found themselves worrying about Draco, hoping that he wouldn't come to a bad end like his cousin. Draco may have been a stuck up snotty brat, but he was their stuck up snotty brat and they didn't want anything to happen to him.

In the teacher's breakroom, things were in a bit of an uproar. Every once in a while there was a surprise sorting, but there were rarely two in the same year, and very seldom were they from such prominent families as Potter or Malfoy. Sprout was looking like the cat that ate the canary, and McGonagall was looking decidedly unhappy over the fact that another brat from a Dark family had been sorted into her house where it didn't belong. None of the teachers knew what the fallout of that night's sorting would be, but they knew it would be spectacular, and they'd better brace themselves for it.

Preferably with several strong drinks.