A/N: I've been playing with this idea for a while so we'll see how it goes. I don't own Harry Potter but I do have 17 Harry Potter posters on my wall, four stuffed dinosaurs that are Hogwarts House colors sitting in labeled cups (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw), a model of Hogwarts with a little unicorn, phoenix, griffin, chimera, dragon and Harry Potter.
When we arrived at the Hogsmeade station it was hailing. Most of the students groaned as they looked out the window. I didn't mind too much. It meant that no one would talk to me. They would be too busy dodging hailstones. I had put on the black robes that were to be my school uniform hours before we arrived.
Thankfully the platform was covered. The prefects told all the students to leave their luggage, that it would be transported separately. Then a tall bald guy with a huge hoop earring showed up. He looked like a gypsy. He wore a purple robe with gold stars on it. He pulled a purple bandana out of his pocket and tied it onto his head. Then he stood tall and hollered in a surprisingly deep rich voice "First years this way!"
He only needed to say it once and all the eleven year olds hurried over not wanting to be left behind. Once all of us were there the gypsy took off at a brisk walk into the hail. We all glanced at each other before following him. The hail had cleared up a bit in the rush to get everyone together but it was still pretty bad. We could barely see anything except the lamp the gypsy was carrying. I looked around me. It looked as though he was leading us through the woods. I shivered. I hated the woods. Bad things happened in the woods near the orphanage and I was always blamed.
Everyone gasped so I looked forward. I gasped too. I had never seen a castle before but I was pretty sure no Muggle castle was this big. It also seemed kind of crooked but that just might have been the minimal lighting and the hail. I stared in awe for several minutes as we sloped gently down to a large lake.
"No more than four to a boat!" Gypsy Joe called. I hopped in the nearest boat and Lizzy followed me in. Another girl and boy joined us. Gypsy Joe called out "Forward Ho!" and the boats took off on their own. I tried not to look too surprised. Lizzy smiled at the other two.
"Hello, I'm Lizzy Lutokas," she said holding her hand out. The boy frowned at her hand but the girl shook it.
"I'm Emily Harper," she said. I stared at her. There was something vaguely familiar about her. She had bright blue eyes, bouncing light brown curls and light freckles on her cheeks. She glanced at me. Her smile faltered.
"Tom Riddle?" she asked uncertainly. I nodded slowly then it dawned on me. Emily had been in the orphanage with me. She had been adopted three years previously. Emily didn't like me much at all. I had somehow managed to tie her obnoxious ponytails to a tree without touching her.
"Wow…I didn't expect to see you here," she said awkwardly.
"Likewise," I said.
"So…erm…you been adopted yet?" Emily asked.
"No," I said stiffly.
"Oh," she mumbled. "I'm sure it'll happen soon."
"I'm sure," I continued stiffly. There was an awkward silence.
"So, um, who are you?" Lizzy asked the boy.
"Ignatius Prewett," the boy said. He had vivid red hair and lots of freckles. He looked like a clown.
"Oh, I know the Prewett family," Lizzy said happily diffusing the tension. "You have an older brother, don't you?"
"Yeah, Antioch, he's a third year this year," Ignatius said.
"It must be nice to have siblings come before you. I'm the oldest," Lizzy said glumly.
"How many siblings do you have?' Emily asked.
"Seven," Lizzy said.
"Are you sure you aren't a Weasley?" Ignatius asked.
"Pretty sure," Lizzy laughed. I seemed to have missed the joke. So did Emily. Maybe it was a pureblood thing. The boat bumped gently into the bank. We climbed carefully out and followed Gypsy Joe up the front steps of the castle to the front doors. Standing in front of the doors was Professor Dumbledore. He still kind of frightened me. He had such piercing blue eyes that it was a bit unnerving.
"The first years Professor Dumbledore," Gypsy Joe said.
"Thank you Mr. Ogg," Professor Dumbledore said. Several others snickered at the gypsy's name. "First years, follow me."
We followed Professor Dumbledore inside to the massive entry hall. I stared in awe. I never stared but Hogwarts seemed to be cracking my shell.
"Welcome to Hogwarts. In a few short moments you will be Sorted into your Houses. They are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. While you are here your Houses will be like your families. Each House has its own common room and dormitories. "
Professor Dumbledore scanned us all before turning around and opening the doors to the Great Hall. I gasped…again. It was really getting old but I couldn't help it. The Great Hall was magnificent. There were four long tables with colored banners over each. The far table had blue banners over it with an eagle insignia on them. The table beside it had yellow banners with badgers. The one beside that one had red banners with lions and the final table had green banners with snakes. The tables were cool but nothing compared to the ceiling. At least, I think it was the ceiling. Where the ceiling should have been there was a perfect replica of the night sky. Right now it was churning clouds with hailstones falling toward the tables.
I bumped into Ignatius. I apologized quickly and then looked forward. Professor Dumbledore had led us to a spindle-legged stool with a dirty old hat sitting on it. I stared uncomprehendingly. Did we have to pull a rabbit out of it or something? The whole hall was silent and staring at it. Then quite suddenly a tear near the rim opened wide and the hat began to sing. Yes it began to sing no matter how crazy that sounds. When the hat had finished its bit Professor Dumbledore pulled out a long sheet of parchment.
"When I call your name you will come forward and place the Hat on your head to be Sorted," he said. I was a bit disappointed. It would have been cool to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Oh well, life is never as cool as that.
"Slytherin!" the Hat shouted. I lost interest quickly and began observing the teachers. One teacher on the very end was very fat. His large stomach kept him a good foot from the table. He had a bushy wheat colored mustache that matched what little hair he had left on his head. Beside him was Mr. Ogg the Gypsy Joe.
A small girl with lanky brown hair and massive glasses stepped forward. She looked terrified. I wondered if she was Muggleborn. The hat fell over her eyes. There was a long pause and then the Hat shouted "Ravenclaw!" I clapped with the rest.
The boy I had sat next to on the train strutted forward. I use strut lightly. It was more like he danced up there. He was extremely cocky. The Hat had barely touched his head when it shouted "Slytherin!" It might have just been me but the Slytherins looked like an unpleasant lot. I kind of hoped I wouldn't be in Slytherin.
For a minute it seemed that little Filius was too shy to come forward. Then I felt a hand shove on my thigh pushing me into Lizzy. The shortest person I had ever seen was making his way to the front. He was easily a head and a half shorter than all the rest of us. He couldn't possibly climb up onto the stool so he grabbed the Hat and put it on while he stood on the ground.
The small boy, Filius, pulled the Hat off, placed it back on the stool then ran…well, I think he was running …to the blue table. I watched his House mates pull him up onto the bench. One of the older students even made a booster seat appear out of nowhere for him. They seemed nice; maybe Ravenclaw was the place for me…
I drew my attention away from the Ravenclaws and focused on Emily. Which was meant for annoying little girls in pigtails? Gryffindor perhaps?
Ok Hufflepuff apparently. What kind of name is Hufflepuff anyway? It kind of sounds like Dufflepuds from the Chronicles of Narnia series that was recently published. What the hell was a Hufflepuff anyway?
A girl with lanky blonde hair and badly done highlights came forward. Her nose was severely upturned making her resemble a very haughty pig. She walked up to the front and put the hat on. In a matter of seconds she was placed in Slytherin. I couldn't help but notice that everyone in Slytherin seemed to know each other.
The other boy from the train walked up to the stool now. There was no need for me to watch him be Sorted. It was obvious he would be in Slytherin. Then it was Lizzy's turn. I really liked her. She was the first person to talk to me without contempt. It was quite refreshing.
"Slytherin!" the Hat shouted. My heart sank. She was going to the creepy House. He had been hoping they would be together. Did he think he could make it in Slytherin? Could he do it so he could finally have a friend? I missed most of the rest of the Sorting worrying over this. I could try and befriend other people, but I was terrible at talking to other people. I could stay a loner, not worry about anyone else, but it had felt nice to have someone other than an animal to talk to.
I jumped. Suddenly I was shaking uncontrollably. I stumbled forward. I climbed onto the stool and put the Hat on. I waited nervously. How did the Hat choose where I belong anyway?
"I read your thoughts," a voice spoke in my ear. I nearly jumped. "Jumpy are we? Guilty conscience?"
No I thought defiantly.
"Not one to admit to any kind of weakness…hmm…very bright…and powerful…"
"Oh yes, and a thirst to prove yourself…friends are important…but so is finding your family…hmm…better be…SLYTHERIN!"
I frowned at the Hat but said nothing. I joined the Slytherin table and sat beside Lizzy. I didn't even notice the strange looks from my new House mates or hear the whispers.
"A Mudblood in Slytherin?"