So yeah, I've decided I feel like coming back to this story. I'm editing and reposting the chapters I've already written. There is no guarantee I'll be able to keep a constant pace after that, or whether I go on another hiatus. Enjoy Henry Fergus and the Powerup Stone!

Henry Fergus waited in line like all the other first years, nervously waiting for his turn to be sorted.

"Abercrombie, Sebastian!" was just sorted into Ravenclaw. The Sorting Helmet was removed from his head, and he went to sit down at a table in the Ravenclaw section.

"Fergus, Henry! It was his turn. With a nudge from someone behind him, Henry walked towards the decrepit wooden stool near the front of the hall, and sat down on it, realizing that (of course) it was not wood, but some kind of synthetic material that looked like wood, but in feel was closer to plastic. Mr. Nelson placed the Sorting Helmet over his head, obscuring his view of the room.

"T-helmet OS 3.2 starting up…" said a robotic voice that only Henry could hear. " "Commencing integration…"

Everything turned white. Henry found himself standing in a blank white expanse going in all directions. He turned and found himself face-to-face with a woman with curly reddish brown hair, bulky bright red-framed glasses that might have been considered stylish a few centuries ago, and wearing what seemed to be a stereotypical female secretary's outfit. It struck Henry as slightly sexist, and he knew at once that she wasn't real. She was holding a clipboard.

She must be an A.I. of some kind, thought Henry.

That is correct. I am the Artificial Intelligence of the Sorting Helmet.

Henry suddenly noticed a fainter voice in the background say, "Commencing primary analysis…"

What is your name?

The question brought to mind the answer.

Henry Fergus, Henry responded.

"Analyzing associations…"

Images flickered across the blank white dreamscape.

Henry Fergus, you are weak, stupid, and shouldn't be in this school, and you are fully expecting to be placed in Hufflepuff. Is that correct?

For a moment, Henry was shocked by the Sorting Helmet's rudeness, until he remembered that it wasn't a real person, and therefore didn't care about being polite. Henry sagged and answered the question. Yes. What was going to happen to him now? He had just got here, and now he was going to be sent back home, wasn't he? What a waste of time…

The Sorting Helmet continued as if it hadn't heard the complaint.

"Commencing secondary analysis (As in second stage of analysis, not to be confused with the research method that utilizes second-hand information)…" said the faint robotic voice in the background. If he were an anime character, Henry would have sweat-dropped as he suddenly felt several thoughts come to the forefront of his mind, one after another, as the distant voice echoed them.

"Potential major characteristics: Highly intelligent, notices things others don't… great capacity for friendship, at least a 68% chance of strong loyalty to friends if friendship were to occur, a probability that could be found to be higher with further observation. An honest worker, believes he does the best he can. May perform better with confidence. Suggest therapeutic intervention if necessary."

After a while of silently scribbling on her clipboard (which in the real world wouldn't be possible), the A.I. looked up.

Are you sure that your opinion of yourself is correct?

Huh?

I have detected that you have psychic powers. With mental abilities like yours, you would probably do best in Ravenclaw.

Don't I get a say in this? Henry asked.

Of course. Do you have any objections to being in Ravenclaw, or a house you would prefer?

Like you said earlier, I'm weak and stupid. I can't be in Ravenclaw!

But you have psychic powers. Ravenclaw is the best place to nurture psychic powers. If that is all, then it should be—

I want friends—friends who'll be there for me. Who won't leave me.

"High level of loneliness detected. Analyzing associations."

The A.I. scribbled for a moment longer, and then looked up and said,

"A student with too low an opinion of their potential might not do so well in Ravenclaw. When someone thinks they're stupid, they tend to act accordingly, making other people who don't know them as well agree with them. This creates an extreme social barrier that is very difficult to overcome. In extreme circumstances, it may be best to resort them." –Rowena Ravenclaw, 2025

"Deintegrating…"

Henry woke up.

"Sending self-esteem data to the Hospital Wing. Deleting all personal data…announcing house…"

"HUFFLEPUFF!"

"Shutting down…"