A/N: Written for watching stiricide's Sorting Hat challenge at HPFC. Please don't favorite without reviewing!


"Granger, Hermione!"

Hermione excitedly walked up and plopped herself down on the stool. She smiled as Professor McGonagall placed the hat on her head. Hermione liked McGonagall already. She irradiated wisdom and respect, and wasn't coolly frightening like Quirrell or Snape. She was probably a brilliant witch who expected nothing but the best from her students. Hermione hoped that she would grow up to be like her.

"Taken a liking to Minerva, haven't you?" the Hat said. "She's the head of Gryffindor house, you know."

Oh, this tickles! Hogwarts, a History never said that getting Sorted tickles! she thought.

The hat laughed, if it could do such a thing. "My, look at you! A first year—Muggle-born, no less—has already studied the vast history of this fine institution!"

I got up to Chapter 24 before I arrived. I would love to read the rest tonight now that I'm finally here!

"Merlin! With a studious mind like yours, you surely belong in Ravenclaw! Not even half of their first-years can say they know as much about Hogwarts as you do."

They don't? Hermione was genuinely shocked.

The Hat ignored her. "I detect a desire within you to take any means—search every corner, unearth every stone—to find the teensiest bit of information."

I suppose that's true. One time, I snuck into the adult section of the library because someone at my school was talking about—

"The library!" Hermione actually felt the hat laugh this time. "Spoken like a true Ravenclaw. Where else would a bright young witch like you go for answers?"

I suppose you are going to put me in Ravenclaw, then?

"No."

But—

"Underneath this hunger for knowledge, Hermione, lies a recess of incredible strength and a fierce wont to solve trouble. Yes, you will do whatever it takes to find an answer, but you will push yourself to your limit, bend the rules, and fight tooth-and-nail for what you know is right. Make your fellow Muggle-borns proud in GRYFFINDOR!"

The uproarious celebration from the red-clad table was enough to drown out the confusion in Hermione's head. Her hair was being tousled and her shoulders patted by a number of elder Gryffindors, and she was pulled into a rough hug by a blonde girl named Lavender. As someone jammed a pointy felt hat over her bushy hair, Hermione could only smile at the overwhelming relief of being Sorted. She would have plenty of time to ponder that night—and possibly the rest of her life—upon why the Sorting Hat suddenly changed its mind, where in her body this supposed recess of strength was, and when, in her right mind, would she ever be inclined to break the rules.