"Slytherin!" screamed that Hat.
There was dead silence in the Hall for about five minutes, and then –
Lily Luna Potter's mouth fell open. "WHAT?"
Professor McGonagall motioned for her to come down from the stool. However, Lily did not move. "No, no, no," she moaned. "No, no, NO!"
Professor McGonagall herself reached a hand towards Lily, but she wrenched away. "I – WILL – NOT – BE IN SLYTHERIN!" she screamed.
"The Hat's decision are final, Miss Potter," said McGonagall crisply, thinking how strange it was to say Miss Potter after three generations of Mister Potters. "Now if you will join the Slytherin table please."
Lily finally slid off the stool and made her way to the Slytherin table, wiping tears out of her eyes.
The next morning, after a long, cold night in the cold dungeons, Lily trudged downstairs, not knowing what was in store for her, whether her Dad would be angry and send a letter, or, worse, angry and not send a letter. Or if he even knew.
No, he definitely knew. All the parents got letters home about what House their child was in. Aunt Andromeda told her that.
Lily remembered something else Aunt Andromeda, as Teddy's guardian was referred to by the Potters, (that or some abbreviation of 'Andromeda') had told her. That when Uncle Sirius had gone to Hogwarts and gotten Sorted into Gryffindor, the very first thing his mother did was send him a Howler. Lily'd always enjoyed stories about her grandad and his friends, particularly Sirius, who, naturally, Aunt Meda knew the most about, but right now, all she could think of was how his family had flat out rejected him after he'd been Sorted into a different house than Slytherin.
All the Potters, except Great-Great Uncle Boris, had been in Gryffindor.
Just like all the Blacks, except Aunt Andromeda, had been in Slytherin until Uncle Sirius had been Sorted.
Was it possible, even possible that Lily should expect the same behavior?
Yes, she thought sadly. Slytherin is the Bad House. Of course I should expect the same behavior. If we had a Black Family Tree, I'd be blasted off it right now. I wonder if Dad has a Potter Family Tree.
Tears came to her eyes once more as she slid into a chair all alone at the Slytherin table. I will not like it here was what she'd decided when she'd finally stepped off the stool last night. She'd have a horrible, miserable time in Hogwarts until someone looked at her and said, You're having a horrible, miserable time so let me transfer you to Gryffindor. And if no one did that (which, admittedly, Lily knew they wouldn't) well, then, she'd carry on being miserable until she left Hogwarts. It was a bit of a shame, really, since everyone else loved it so much. But then, everyone else had been in Gryffindor. Only cousin Rose hadn't, she'd gone into Ravenclaw, and that was all right, because Ravenclaw wasn't Bad like Slytherin was.
She looked around miserably at the rest of the Hall. There were her brothers. Thirteen year old brother Albus, sitting at the Gryffindor table, eating pancakes and talking, to Lily's momentary interest, to Tamara Wilson, someone he spoke rather a lot of at home. A few seats down was her other brother, fourteen year old James, chatting animatedly to his friends. After a moment he leaned over and said something to Albus, who went dark red and scowled at James as Tamara began to laugh.
Lily wished and wished and wished she could be there, near her brothers – not sitting with Albus and James, of course, because they made it quite clear that third and fourth year boys did not fraternize with first year girls in the Great Hall at breakfast unless said first year girl was choking, had been poisoned, was dying, and/or was being tormented by a Slytherin, in which case they would gladly and heroically perform rescue maneuvers and/or hex said Slytherin 'harder than Grampa James could ever dream of doing to Al's namesake, no, not that one, the other one, because no one messes around with our sister.'
But I am a Slytherin now! Lily thought miserably. I'm the one who'd be tormenting me!
Her eyes drifted down the Gryffindor table to Hugo. He was Sorted too, of course, last night, but he had been Honorable and been put in Gryffindor. He was chewing something, and talking at the same time to another first year boy. Lily stared longingly, knowing that she'd be sitting there too if she'd only been put in Gryffindor..
Her eyes remained on the Gryffindor table for a few moments. She wished and wished that one of her brothers or her cousin would catch her eye and smile or nod or even scowl, anything would be better than the silence they were giving her..
After a few moments she switched her gaze to the Ravenclaw table. There was cousin Rose, talking cheerfully with some friends. Her eyes occasionally drifted across the hall and glared at Scorpious Malfoy, sitting only a few feet away from Lily. True to her father, Rose and Scorpious had struck up a heated rivalry from the moment they'd both stepped into Hogwarts. To Uncle Ron's absolute and utter relief, (and several fanfiction writers' severe disappointment) (you know I had to) she did retain any romantic feelings whatsoever to him.
There was a great swooooooosh and owls began raining into the hall. Lily's stomach buckled. She glued her eyes once more on the Gryffindor table.
Hugo got a letter..
Albus got a letter..
James got a letter..
There was a slight fwump and Lily realized she too had gotten a letter.
Thank God it's not a Howler, she thought wildly. For a few moments, she simply stared at the blue envelope. Finally, she collected her nerves and tore it open.
Dear Lily, the letter went.
I heard what House you were put in.
Well. I can't really say I'm not disappointed. Slytherin has a long reputation of horrible people. Albeit Severus Snape, one of the greatest wizards of all kind, being in it, other rather ungreat wizards – Lord Voldemort amongst others – was also in this house.
I end this letter with a quote told to me by the greatest sorcerer of all times – who was, in fact, a Gryffindor. "It is our choices, over our actions, who makes us who we are." (Albus Dumbledore.)
And as we all know, the Hat gives us a choice.
Lily took a deep, unsteady breath.
She couldn't believe it. She just couldn't believe it..
He hated her. He hated her. He hated her.
Her father hated her.
Lily grabbed her books and the schedule that had been set in front of her and ran out of the Hall before anyone could see her begin to sob.
She didn't get far.
"C'mon, Al, I'll walk with you to History of Magic," said James briskly, standing up.
Albus looked at James suspiciously. His brother never volunteered to take him anywhere. It just Wasn't Done within the halls of Hogwarts. True, James's Divination class was just a staircase away from his History of Magic, but still.
James read Albus's thoughts. He leaned towards his younger brother and said in a low voice, "Lily was a right state last night and I just saw her run away crying. We've got to find her.. I hope Dad didn't get too mad. I for one don't care a drop about what did house she's in.."
"Definitely," agreed Albus, somewhat relieved that James wasn't going to be leading him into some prank or the other. "Er – see you around," he bade his friends. They returned his goodbyes.
"See you in a bit," said James to his friends. He gathered his books and a suspicious looking bag that Albus decided best not to ask the contents of.
They left the Hall and set off down the corridor.
"Y'know, we have no idea where she is," pointed out Albus after a moment.
"No problem," said James, beaming slightly, to Albus's slight confusion. "Little bro, I have been waiting years for a real legitimate chance to use this..I nicked it out of Dad's desk once when he wasn't looking."
He pulled out a seemingly blank piece of parchment of the bag.
"Er – what?" said Albus, completely bewildered.
"My sentiments exactly when I first found this little beauty," beamed James. "See, I knew Dad wouldn't just keep a spare piece of parchment so carefully folded up. He uses paper. And so, I did a bit of a snooping, interrogated – ah, talked to Uncle Ron and Uncle George, and finally, I have discovered all of this map's secrets."
He tapped it with his long, thin wand and proudly recited, "I solemnly swear I am up to no good."
Albus stared in wonder as the words:
Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs present..
spindled across the page.
"Whoa," he uttered as more words announcing the Marauders' Map appeared. "Whoa.." he said, in a voice of complete and utter shock, as the entire school of Hogwarts unfolded before his eyes.
"Dya..did you..how..who?" Albus finally stammered out.
"I nicked it, yes, I knew, I don't know how, and Moony is Teddy's dad – his real name was Remus Lupin. Wormtail was the traitor dude Dad told us about once – Peter Pettigrew. Padfoot was Uncle Sirius, and Prongs was actually Grandpa James!"
"Oh yeah," said Albus, recalling some old memories, "Aunt Meda told us..they were best friends, right?"
"Obviously," said James.
"Does Teddy know about this?"
"I've no idea. But anyways. See, this map shows where everyone in Hogwarts and the grounds is. I rather doubt Lily's gotten to class. One doesn't generally run into class sobbing because she was put into Slytherin and her Dad wrote her who knows what...all right, look for her."
After a few moments, Al spotted the label Lily Luna Potter.
"There..she's on the third stairwell..see her?"
James followed his brother's finger. "Oh, I see her. And there are..we.."
The two brothers slowly looked at each other, then spun around at the noise of a soft sniffle and a short giggle.
"Took you two long enough.."
"Lily!" the two brothers cried in unison. Abandoning all pretense, Albus went over and hugged his little sister.
James had a bit too much shame to perform such an act, but when he saw the tears on his sister's face, he did go over and pat her red braids.
"That's a neat map," said Lily after a moment. "How come I was never told about it?"
"Never came up," said James dismissively. "Lil..why were you crying?"
Promptly she began to cry again. "D-d-d-d-dad hates me," she sobbed. "He hates me, James, he hates me and he'll never love me. I went in the bad house! He sent me a letter and he said he hates me!"
Anger suddenly bubbled through James. Apparently the feeling was mutual with Albus. His fists closed.
"Do you have the letter?" asked Albus, teeth clenched as he spoke. James didn't blame him..hadn't Dad told him that he'd love him no matter what house he was in?
Still weeping, Lily nodded. She retrieved a small of folded paper ("See, he uses paper," James muttered in Albus's ear) and passed it to her brothers.
For a few moments, the two boys pored over the letter. Finally, Albus looked up, mouthing wildly to himself, no words bothering to escape.
James had a different reaction. He looked up, swore, and declared, "WAIT till Mum finds out."
"Do you hate me too?" wept Lily.
James and Albus exchanged glances. "No," they said simultaneously. "Lily.." James began, but Albus cut him off.
"I'm sorry, and I honestly don't want to disrespect Dad at all, but HE is a PRAT."
James silently applauded as a fire ignited in Al's normally calm green eyes. Apparently, however, the younger boy wasn't finished. He began to speak very quickly.
James applauded again, not so silently this time. The bell rang. All three of them were officially late.
Lily wiped a stray tear from her eyes. "Thanks," she said quietly. "Will you write Mum?"
"As soon as I get break," promised Al. "What class do you have now?"
"Transfiguration with..the Gryffindors," replied Lily.
"Great," said James eagerly. "You can drive McGonagall crazy!"
"I don't plan to," said Lily in the dry voice that Aunt Meda swore she inherited from Uncle Remus, who cared if he wasn't related to her? "She'll already kill me for being late."
"That's just across the hall from History of Magic and a staircase away from Divination," said Al briskly. "McGonagall won't kill you, it's the first day and I think, seeing as you're the first Potter in Slytherin for fifty generations, she'll work out what's going on. I'll come with you."
"Remember, though," warned James, rising to his feet, "this is the last time I will permit myself to be seen with a first year." He half winked.
"And a Slytherin," muttered Lily. James caught her arm as she stood up.
"No," he said firmly. "As soon as you get a bit older and maybe do something brilliant like get on the Quidditch team, I will admit that I'm related to you." He winked.
"C'mon, James, Professor Trelawney will probably predict your death if you're late, and make it come true," said Al firmly.
As the three sibling stood up, Lily had one more query.
"Do you still love me?"
The brother looked at each other.
"Of course," said James dismissively.
And later that evening, Ginny Weasley would receive a letter and Harry Potter would get yelled at it like he'd never been yelled at before. Harry Potter would come to his senses, of course, and send Lily a letter of thorough apology, that Slytherins, of course, weren't all bad. But even if he hadn't, to Lily, it wouldn't matter. Because her brothers understood her. They still loved her. And that was all that mattered.
..Yes, the 'the end' was what you think it is.
I can't believe I'm writing this, but I think it's necessary.
I am ending 'What the Sorting Hat Said.'
Oh come on, just go with me here. I've been working on it for six months and twenty six days. I had an absolutely FABULOUS time writing it, even the chapters that I kinda hated (THE TONKS ONE) and I'll definitely miss writing it but.. But I kind of have to, you know? I've Sorted everyone I wanted to. There's pretty much no one left. And I think my writing is just about diminishing. Also, I have some more projects I wanna spend some time on! I LOVED writing this story, and every time I got a review, I was so happy! Seriously (Siriusly?), you guys? Over a hundred reviews! Special thanks to DecepticonDefenestrater and awesomerthanuhp, both of you who gave me real honest advice and sometimes concrit, and always had something good to say! Also to Siveler, who always had something nice for me, and for ValFish, my very first reviewer, and for all you other WONDERFUL reviewers. I read every one of your reviews and they made my day. :) So, this is it. Goodbye, goodbye! Look out for my other stuff.