The hat knew the moment it touched the boy's head. His mind was guarded by prejudice, and, buried deep underneath it, insecurity. Somewhere in his mind, he realized that his father truly controlled very little, that eventually all the façade of power would dissolve before the boy's eyes, and he knew it too. But as of now, he would continue to live in the self-important world he thrived in as a pure-blood. Believing himself to be of some entitlement because of some long established stature.
Oh yes, the hat knew where he belonged. Not stupid, but not an Eagle either; certainly not a loyal badger or a courageous lion. He was an ambitious snake, waiting for the kill, a target already picked, the hat decided. The boy he was waiting to meet in fact, the legend, was destined to combat this blonde boy he was sorting. The hat for second was sad, but no comment came from it, and seconds after the boy had sat down, it made its decision. "SLYTHERIN!"
A boy came up; the hat would feel him breathing shakily under the hat. One glance into his mind and he saw the dark fervor that haunted the boy's family. He was pure-blood, form a long line of proud ones, and yet he seemed to realize that their maniacal thoughts were wrong. The hat saw a family of Slytherins, all of which he distinctly remembered, for they had been one of the rare ones where no real consideration was needed. Muggle-hating, narcissistic, entitled; they all joined Slytherin immediately.
But this boy was different, the hat could tell. Much smarter than the others, adept at magic, loyal to his own heart above his warped family views. A strong boy for age eleven, ready to face he world and the choice the hat made now would determine that. He saw fear from the boy, but only in the context that he would end up like one of his relatives, many of whom were well on the path to being Death Eaters. His determination to be his own person decided it for the hat, who was eager to see how a choice like this would turn out. "GRYFFINDOR!"
The hat knew instantly that the boy now wearing him had a severe ineptitude at magic. His mind was not suited for spell memorization, albeit one kind. Charms, he realized, would be the boy's specialty. But Charms did not merit a house; they were not a quality that could be measured. Memory charms were an excellent skill to have, but not one that hat could base its decision on.
He was clever, the ability to act idiotic in most situations had led some to underestimate him, the hat saw; but the boy was clearly capable of fooling those he saw fit to. But he did not have a mean spirit, no real ambition other than that of the childish dream of being famous, of having his name and face spread all over the wizard world. The hat saw a dark, blurring event ahead for the boy, one that he really couldn't place, but that was not for him to comment on. "RAVENCLAW!"
This girl was a different sort of witch. Her aunt was a ministry official, widely respected, he could see form her thoughts, but the girl did not match herself with that woman. She thought of herself as ordinary, simple, plain, with just the chance that she would be born with magical ability. She was the first he would sort this year, and as much as the girl thought otherwise, she was not ordinary.
The hat caught a hint of rebellious spirit in her, one that would make her new friends in her school years. But also a drive to work hard, study what she needed to know, a goal to make good of herself; eliminate the lower standing image she had built for herself. Whether the girl would ever realize it or not, she was important to those people in her family, especially when tragedy would hit them in the years to come. "HUFFLEPUFF!"