Disclaimer: Its Rowling's playground, I just enjoy it. I own none of the characters, locations, and other such things that make up Harry Potter's universe.
A/N: I know not much else for certain at this point, but there WILL be Ron bashing, probably some Draco bashing, and it will be intelligent!pragmatic!Harry, with no BLOODY clue as to what ship it will be, if there even will BE one. But the basis of this is a plot bunny that has been rampaging through my head for a few days, stemming from DrgnMstr's Sorting Abuse Challenge:
What if the Founders had their own ideas on how to protect students? What if the Sorting Hat was the "spokesperson" for Hogwarts herself? What if all students were scanned by the hat for any problems as they came in and were sorted? This might wake some people up, or cause problems for plans people may or may not have made. Conditions:
1.) At Harry's sorting, the Sorting hat notices the abuse Harry had gone through at home. Abuse can be canon (neglect and emotional at the very least) or fanon (varying degrees of physical and/or even sexual). It immediately calls a halt to the sorting, calling for Madam Pomfrey and the head of the DMLE and will not sort anyone else until they arrive.
2.) There is no way to get around contacting these people (I leave it up to you to figure out how).
3.) Only when Harry is in the hands of Law Enforcement and the Healers will sorting continue.
4.) Dumbledore can be blind good guy or Dark Lord or anything in between.
5.) Harry must get free of the Dursleys for this, they cannot escape punishment.
6.) Ships can be any, but 3-some with Hermione and another person or Multi preferable (helping to show him love). Ships can be very slow to begin with.
7.) Harry should get other help from Hogwarts/Sorting Hat throughout his schooling.
8.) Horcruxes okay, but NO HARRY HORCRCUX. Mother's protection will not allow it.
9.) Please, no Deathly Hollows.
10.) No evil!Harry, Grey!Harry or Light!Harry preferable, so long as good sided.
And so, with that said, we shall begin... (8/14/10)
Chapter 1: The Curtain Rises
Being the Events in Parallel of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book I
Harry Potter was sitting in the last compartment in the last car of the Hogwarts Express still trying to piece together just how in the bloody hell his life had gotten so turned on its head. From the very large man telling him he was a wizard on his birthday, to where he was now sitting a month and a day later, he had to admit that maybe his life was finally turning around.
He had been in the care of the Dursley's for just under a decade and had been subject to just about every form of abuse one could commit against a child, save sexual. And at that thought he shivered and felt more than a little nauseous.
He was joined by a red-haired boy, obviously from the family from outside the platform. He introduced himself as Ron Weasley. He said something about everywhere else being filled up, which Harry found hard to believe. But not being one to turn away company due to Dudley's constant bullying, he made no objecting. When he asked to Harry's scar however, Harry made the mental note that this particular fellow probably had the least amount of tact on the train, nor given the way he went on cluelessly, did have an overabundance of intelligence.
The twins from before, Fred and George, checked in on the two of them before heading off to parts unknown.
Harry may never have gotten very good marks at school, but he did so for a very good reason. If he did anything other than cooking, cleaning, and gardening (of which Dudley did none) better than his pig of a cousin he would be beaten and then locked in his cupboard. It actually took more intelligence to pass with deliberately bad marks than it did with perfect ones. Who would of thought?
So Harry had always read ahead, and spent as much possible time in libraries, which actually served a secondary purpose, given the fact that Duddykins avoided them like the plague. So when he had gotten his school books, he had read them all, multiple times.
So when a round-faced boy came in asking if either of them had seen a toad, Harry knew of something that might help, even if neither he nor the boy could actually use it.
In a level tone, Harry asked, "You might want to ask one of the upper years if they could just use a summoning spell on your toad, you know?"
The boy stood there gobsmacked for a moment, before hitting himself in the forehead with the palm of his hand, and stalked off muttering to himself, "So THAT'S how Gran is always finding Trevor..."
A while thereafter, a rather bushy haired girl interrupted Harry's musings, which had long since stopped being interrupted by the Ron's incessant prattling about Quidditch, chess, or sweets, but when he was about to cast some sort of spell on his rat, he started paying attention, if only to know when to duck for cover, only to thankfully be interrupted by the aforementioned girl. She too was asking about a toad.
Harry rather boredly queried, "Toad? Belongs to a boy with a round face, toad possibly goes by the name of Trevor?"
"Sent him off to look for someone in a higher year to beg a summoning spell."
She stood there with her mouth open for a minute as if it wasn't the most obvious solution in the work, and then got side tracked by the fact that Ron appeared about to do some magic, which she absolutely had to see.
Said magic turned out to be a poem. A rather horrid poem at that. The red just went from being of questionable intelligence to removing all doubt. All ties would have to be severed, and all bridges burned, at the earliest opportunity. A gormless buffoon like this would be a danger to himself and others when wielding magic, or god forbid, making potions.
When Harry introduced himself, and she called herself Hermione Granger, she started citing books and chattering on, in such a way that led Harry to a couple of conclusions. Firstly, she absolutely adored books. Adored them in a way in which it seemed she believed they could do no wrong. If her company was ever going to be worthwhile, she would have to be introduced to the series of concepts: humans are innately biased, and are incapable of completely withholding it; that books, no matter how well researched, are written by people; ergo all books have some form of bias in one way or another. Secondly, and as a correlation to her obsession with books, it would probably run a high end probably that she probably had few friends. Thirdly, and as an extension of all the aforementioned, she would probably hold any and all authority figures as unassailable. This could be fixed along with the bias by teaching her that no one is infallible.
One might wonder why an eleven year would think things out in such away. To which Harry would point out that abuse and isolation would most likely tend to make anyone older than their actual, physical age.
After the girl left, Harry went back to his thoughts, until they were again derailed... By none other than the rather insufferable boy that he had met at the robe store. Draco Malfoy. And he had brought muscle with him, in the form of a pair of boys named Crabbe and Goyle. He went on a bit about the right sort and the wrong sort in the wizarding world. Harry had already come to the conclusion that he was a bully, and Harry hated bullies with a rather unholy passion. He would delay this rather... ferret-y character for as long as possible. He would then avoid him, and then if he could not take a hint, he would have to be destroyed.
So, in the interest of buying as much time as possible, Harry carefully said, "I really will have to think about this Malfoy. This is all so new to me. I think I'll need a couple of days to settle into Hogwarts, maybe a fortnight at most, before I can get back to you..."
With a rather smug look on his ferret face, Draco replied, "Good thinking, Potter. I hope you make the right decision." And with that he turned and left.
This of course sent Ron, who on the thought animals, made Harry think of a weasel, though the really strange thing was that he was the only member of the Weasley family that made him think it, off the deep end. Ranting about dark wizards and how Harry would turn evil if he associated with wrong sort faster than you could say pumpkin.
When they finally got off the train, Harry put as much distance between himself and Ron as he could. Though he probably would never say it to face of either, Ron and Draco seemed to be cut from similar cloth. And Harry would do his damnedest to stay the hell away from either of them. Seeing Hagrid and greeting the gentle giant among men, Harry though of how the word biased seemed to permeate the Wizarding World. Most of the people who he had met and talked to seemed to see things in such a clearly black and white manner that he was starting to wonder if magic somehow managed to polarize the way people seemed to think. His thoughts thus distracted he climbed into a boat with Granger and the toad-boy, who at this point introduced himself as Neville Longbottom, Harry was only really paying half of his attention to the sights.
When Hagrid handed them over to a rather stern looking woman, who introduced herself as the Deputy Headmistress, she then explained they would be sorted into one of the four houses before the opening feast, and that their house would be like their family for the next seven years. Harry prayed that it wouldn't be like his surviving family.
When finally led into the great for the sorting it turned out a hat would do it. A sodding hat. These people were crazy... of course then the piece of headwear just HAD to start singing.
(Just go read the song from the book)
Harry just stood there, looking rather gobsmacked at the hat, up until the first name was called. He watched wondering just how the hell some imbued a rather ratty looking hat with intelligence only paying attention as Granger and Longbottom were sorted into Gryffindor and Malfoy was sorted into Slytherin.
As his own name was called and the hat came down over his eyes, he heard a voice saying, 'Ah, hello Mr. Potter... Let's just take a quick peek into your thoughts and memories, so we can get you sorted.'
He felt a slight rustling in his head, and then silence, a rather angry and upset silence that seemed to stem from the hat.
The voice then said, in a manner that brooked no misunderstand as to how truly upset it was, 'What in the bloody hell happened to your childhood!'