Disclaimer: HP isn't mine.

"I don't belong anywhere."

No self-pity, just matter-of-fact in his thoughts. I remain silent, listening to their flow, searching for the truth behind and between them.

"I know I'm not smart or witty. I'm not cunning or sly. I don't have anything to be loyal to. And I'm so, so, terribly afraid."

He is. He's trembling like a leaf beneath me, so much so that I almost tilt off his head and tumble to the floor. That would have been humiliating.

He's right, though About all of it. He would be a rubbish Ravenclaw, a sub-par Slytherin, and an absolutely hopeless Hufflepuff. He's a conundrum, to be sure, but this boy is not without redeeming qualities.

He's honest. And perceptive. He sees his situation and, more importantly, himself clearly, which is more than most witches and wizards can say. It's not wisdom that gives this mousy boy clear eyes. It's something fiercer and franker.

I decide to be honest with him in turn, "You are afraid. That's undeniable. But if there's nothing to be afraid of, there is nothing to be brave for. Remember this: it takes a great deal of courage to defy your enemies. It takes even more courage to stand up to your friends. But, Peter Pettigrew, it takes the most courage of all to be honest with yourself about your shortcomings, and to allow yourself grow from them. You have do courage, courage enough to overcome anything. If you let it, Gryffindor can make you great."

He is flabbergasted. Something like pride begins to trickle up through him, and I call out his fate for the entire hall to hear.

But I'm still thinking about that mousy little boy as the Sorting ends, and McGonagall (She was a tricky decision, Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. But I was content with her choice – she has a lion's heart, through and through) carries me back to my bunk in Dumbledore's (another Gryffindor. Brave enough to stand up to enemies, friends, and his own self, he is) office. I am rarely this worried about a Sorting. The last time, I think, was sometime in the fifteenth century.

I mull over my thoughts. I know for sure that the Pettigrew boy is the bravest out of all the Gryffindors I sorted today. Honesty with oneself is the highest form of courage. But the strongest personality is not his; Black, or Potter, or perhaps Evans possesses that. I wonder if Peter will be able to tap into his store of courage, or if he will allow his seed of bravery to shrivel and die and choose the easy road of blindly following others.

But it's not for hats to see the future, only souls. I do not see choices, only potential.

And so, for an entire year of solitude, I worry, as only an enchanted hat charged with determining futures can worry.

A/N Peter is a pain in the rear to write for. This is me, trying to piece together how on earth he ended up in Gryffindor. Let me know how I did!