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Chapter 2: The Sorting
The door swung open at once.
A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there.
She had a very stern face and my first thought was that this was not someone to cross.
"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," said Hagrid.
"Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here."
She pulled the door wide.
The entrance hall was so big you could have fit the whole of my house in it.
The stone walls were lit with flaming torches like the ones at Gringotts, the ceiling was too high to make out, and a magnificent marble staircase facing them led to the upper floors.
We followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor.
I could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right - the rest of the school must already be here - but Professor McGonagall showed us into a small, empty chamber off the hall.
We crowded in, standing rather closer together than we would usually have done, peering about nervously.
"Welcome to Hogwarts," said Professor McGonagall. "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room."
"Obviously." someone in the room said.
"The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours."
"I hope we win." James whispered to me.
"The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting."
Then she looked at James and I.
"Why are you all wet?" she asked.
"Fell in the lake." James said.
"Oh . . . well, here." she flickered her wand our clothes dried.
"Thanks." I said.
She nodded and turned back to the rest of the first years.
"I shall return when we are ready for you," said Professor McGonagall. "Please wait quietly."
She left the chamber.
"How exactly do they sort us into houses?" I asked Remus.
He seemed to know everything, so I asked him.
"Some sort of test, I think. I read it in Hogwarts, A History." Remus answered.
My heart gave a horrible jolt.
In front of the whole school?
But I didn't know any magic yet - what on earth would I have to do?
I hadn't expected something like this the moment they arrived.
I looked around anxiously and saw that everyone else looked terrified, too.
No one was talking much.
I never been more nervous, never.
I kept my eyes fixed on the door.
Any second now, Professor McGonagall would come back and lead me to my doom.
Then something happened that made me jump about a foot in the air - several people behind me screamed.
"What the - ?" Sirius gasped.
So did the people around him.
About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall.
Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to one another and hardly glancing at us, first years.
They seemed to be arguing.
What looked like a fat little monk was saying: "Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him a second chance-"
"My dear Friar, haven't we given Peeves all the chances he deserves? He gives us all a bad name and you know, he's not really even a ghost - I say, what are you all doing here?"
A ghost wearing a ruff and tights had suddenly noticed us, first years.
"We're going to be sorted!" shouted Sirius, quite bravely I might add.
A few people nodded mutely.
"Hope to see you in Hufflepuff!" said the Friar. "My old house, you know."
"Move along now," said a sharp voice. "The Sorting Ceremony's about to start."
Professor McGonagall had returned. One by one, the ghosts floated away through the opposite wall.
"Now, form a line," Professor McGonagall told us, "and follow me."
Feeling oddly as though my legs had turned to lead, I got into line behind Remus, with James and Sirius behind me, and we walked out of the chamber, back across the hall, and through a pair of double doors into the Great Hall.
I had never even imagined such a strange and splendid place.
It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in midair over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting.
These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets.
At the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting.
Professor McGonagall led us up there, so that they came to a halt in a line facing the other students, with the teachers behind them.
The hundreds of faces staring at us looked like pale lanterns in the flickering candlelight.
Dotted here and there among the students, the ghosts shone misty silver.
Mainly to avoid all the staring eyes, I looked upward and saw a velvety black ceiling dotted with stars.
I heard Remus whisper, "Its bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read about it in Hogwarts, A History."
"I think you're the only one who read that book." James whispered.
Remus blushed as Sirius and I snickered.
But, it was hard to believe there was a ceiling there at all, and that the Great Hall didn't simply open on to the heavens.
I quickly looked down again as Professor McGonagall silently placed a four-legged stool in front of us.
On top of the stool she put a pointed wizard's hat.
This hat was patched and frayed and extremely dirty.
My mom would have never let it in the house.
I could wait to be sorted.
I really hope I'm in Gryffindor, and not in Slytherin with Snivellous and my evil cousins/siblings.
I looked at the hat for a second.
What's with the hat? I thought, then I noticed that everyone in the hall was now staring at the hat, I stared at it, too.
For a few seconds, there was complete silence.
Then the hat twitched.
A rip near the brim opened wide like a mouth - and the hat began to sing:
(A/N: Go to YouTube and search Harry Potter Sorting Hat Song. It's the first one. A minute and 56 seconds. Not my song! I didn't create the song or video. So no flames!)
A thousand years or more ago when I was newly sewn,
There lived four wizards of renown,
Whose names are still well know:
Bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
Fair Ravenclaw, from glen,
Sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad,
Shrewd Slytherin, from fen,
They shared a wish, a hope, a dream
They hatched a daring plan,
To educate young sorcerers,
Thus Hogwarts school began.
Now each of these four founders,
Formed their own house, for each,
Did value different virtues,
In the ones they had to teach.
By Gryffindor, the bravest were,
Prized far beyond the rest.
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest,
Would always be the best.
For Hufflepuff, hard workers were,
Most worthy of admission.
And power-hungry Slytherin,
Loved those of great ambition.
While still alive they did divide,
Their different things from the throng.
Yet how they picker the worthy ones,
While they were dead and gone?
'Twas Gryffindor who found the way,
He whipped me off of his head,
The founders put some brains in me,
So I could choose instead!
Now slip me snug around your ears,
I've never yet been wrong,
I'll have a look inside your mind,
And tell where you belong!
The whole hall burst into applause as the hat finished its song.
It bowed to each of the four tables and then became quite still again.
"That was awesome!" whispered James, in my ear.
"I know, right?" I said back.
Professor McGonagall now stepped forward holding a long roll of parchment.
"When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted," she said. "Abbott, Kevin!"
A pink-faced boy with blonde hair stumbled out of line, put on the hat, which fell right down over his eyes, and sat down.
A moments pause -
"HUFFLEPUFF!" shouted the hat.
The table on the right cheered and clapped as Kevin went to sit down at the Hufflepuff table.
I saw the ghost of the Fat Friar waving merrily at him.
This is it. I thought, as I walked over and put the hat on.
Yes it is it. The small voice said in my ear.
Can I be in Gryffindor? I thought.
Hmm. Let's see. A Black? Wanting to be in Gryffindor? That is pretty brave. The hat continued.
I thought of nodding, but then thought better of it.
Well. Brave equals . . . GRYFFINDOR!
The sorting hat yelled the last part.
The table on the far left stood up and cheered this time.
I was so happy that I was in Gryffindor, that I sat down with the hat still on my head.
I had to get up and give the Sorting Hat to Bones, Amelia.
But I was so happy, that I didn't even care.
Sirius got in Gryffindor.
The lucky guy.
I looked a the Slytherin table and saw some people who looked a little like Sirius in a way, glare at Sirius.
I saw Cissy huff and glare at Sirius also.
I looked back at Professor McGonagall as she went down the list.
I walked over to the stool.
I sat down and put the hat down, which fell over my eyes.
Ah. A small voice in my ear said. So this is the werewolf that Professor Dumbledore was talking about.
Yes. I thought, bitterly. What house am supposed to be in?
Well. You're not supposed to be in any house.
I know. I know. Because I'm a werewolf. I sighed in my head, still bitter.
Oh, no! I'm not like those prejudice gits at the Ministry. I just tell you the house which suits your personality the most! The Sorting Hat exclaimed.
It's weird hearing a hat saying 'git'. I thought, randomly.
And it's weird listening to your thoughts, for me. Anyway. We need to get back on track. You would do well in Ravenclaw, very smart. Or Hufflepuff, very loyal. Or maybe even Slytherin, very cunning.
A Slytherin werewolf?
I almost wanted to laugh.
But, The hat continued. You are very brave. So, GRYFFINDOR!
The hat shouted the last part.
I let out a breath.
The last thing I thought for the Sorting Hat to hear was,
I was at the same table as Sirius, and hopefully Peter and James too.
I took off the hat and went to the table with Sirius.
He high-fived me as I sat down.
I was so happy.
I was a Gryffindor.
The Sorting Hat:
I was shocked.
Never, in all my hatty life, have I met a polite werewolf.
He said thank you.
Never has anyone said that to me, since the founders lived.
I felt nice, like old memories coming back to me.
I am glad, for once, that I am the one who puts young sorcerers in the houses.
But, it's also nice to get a thank you once every hundred years or so.
Remus and Sirius got in Gryffindor!
I hope I'm in it too.
"Pettigrew, Peter!" Proffesor Mcgonagall said.
I scrambled up to the chair and put the hat on.
Hello. A little voice said.
Hi. I thought back, thinking it would be weird to say 'Hi' out loud.
Yes. It would be weird to say that out loud. An awkward for me . . . and you too, I suppose. The little voice said again.
What house am I going to be in? I want to be in Gryffindor like Remus and Sirius. I thought.
Well. In Gryffindor, you say. Gryffindor might not be known for loyalty like Hufflepuff, but they stick by their friends. Understand?
Yes. I thought.
Personally, I think you should be in Slytherin . . . The hat started.
Me? I was almost jinxed by the Slytherin Prefects today on the train. Imagine what would happen if I was in the same house as them. I thought, panicking slightly.
But, under the circumstances, you should be . . . GRYFFINDOR!
I sighed in relief.
Same as Remus and Sirius.
Hopefully James would be in Gryffindor too.
I took the hat of and ran to the Gryffindor table with Sirius and Remus.
"Good job!" whispered Sirius.
"Sirius, Peter didn't do anything. The Sorting Hat put him in Gryffindor." sighed Remus. "I don't think the hat gets enough recognition."
"Maybe, I can do something about it." Sirius said, smiling mischievously.
"Well . . . don't do anything too rash, or something that might get you a detention." Peter said, nervously.
Sirius just shrugged.
All my new friends were in Gryffindor.
I hope I was too.
I looked at the other kid in line.
It was Snivellous!
We were the last ones left!
I mentally groaned.
Great. Just great. I stuck with him. I thought.
"Mr. Potter? Did you hear me? It's your turn." Mcgonagall said.
"No. I didn't hear you. I was thinking." I answered truthfully.
"Well, it's your turn. Please step up."
"Yes, Ma'am." I said, blushing slightly.
I sat on the stool and put the hat on.
Oh. Another Potter? Well, as I said for you're father. Very loyal. Would do well in Hufflepuff. The Sorting Hat started.
I took an intake of breath.
But even more brave. So . . . Gryffindor!
I let out my breath.
Or actually, thank you Sorting Hat!
You're welcome. And tell you're friend Remus not to worry. He'll fit in just fine. The Sorting Hat said.
I took the hat off and sat it on the stool.
I ran to the Gryffindor table with my new friends.
"Sweet! Now we're all here!" Peter exclaimed.
"Right you are, Peter." Sirius said.
James was in Gryffindor!
Now we're all together, just like Peter said.
After Snivellous was sorted in Slytherin (obviously) Mcgonagall grabbed the tip of the hat, going to put it away.
But I stood up in my seat before she could put it away.
"Mr. Black," Mcgonagall started, taking her hand off the Sorting Hat. "Please sit down."
"I need to say something before I sit down, Ma'am." I said.
"What. Are. You. Doing?" Remus hissed.
I just ignored him.
"My friend, Remus, here said that the Sorting Hat doesn't get enough recognition."
I heard a thump, and my guess was that Remus hit his head on the table.
Some looks were given to me and Remus, but I just ignored them.
"So, I think we should give the Sorting Hat a big round of applause." I continued.
"Ya know." I sighed. "Clapping?"
I started clapping my hands slowly together, so that everyone could see.
Jame started clapping too.
Then even Remus joined.
So the four of us were clapping in the Great Hall.
Some people laughed, while others started clapping too.
Even Dumbledore started clapping.
After Dumbledore clapped, all the professors clapped too.
Then the rest of the Hall, minus the Slytherins, started clapping and whooping.
"To the Sorting Hat!" James shouted.
And everyone echoed, "To the Sorting Hat!"
When the clapping quieted down, the Sorting Hat shouted, "Thanks!" bowed to each of the four tables, then disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
When Dumbledore stood, it got even quieter.
"Never." he started. "In all my years of teaching at Hogwarts, have I ever seen anyone do such a thing."
Was it really a bad thing? I thought.
"Which is why. I am giving 5 points to Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. And 10 points to Gryffindor!" Dumbledore smiled.
The hall burst into applause and cheers again.
I sat down next to James again.
He patted me on the back.
"Nice one." he whispered.
"Nice touch with the, 'To the Sorting Hat' thing." I whispered back.
"Thanks." we said at the same time.
Then burst out laughing.
"Now!" exclaimed Dumbledore. "Let us all tuck in!"
Food appeared in front of everyone on the gold plates.
Several people got up and patted us four (Remus, Peter, James, and I) throughout dinner.
"Oh. Remus." James said, after swallowing his mashed potatoes.
"What?" Remus said.
"The Sorting Hat said, 'tell you're friend Remus not to worry. He'll fit in just fine.' His words exactly. At least I think it's a him. Hmmm."
"Er . . . thanks?" Remus said.
"No prob." James said, taking a bite of chicken.
After dinner, the prefects lead us, first-years, to the Common Room.
"The password is bubotuber pus." the prefect told us.
The portrait of the Fat Lady opened and we all climbed inside.
"The boys dormitories are on the left and girls on the right. Please wake up early enough for breakfast and to get your schedules."
We walked up the stairs and turned left.
I walked into the bathroom to change into my pajamas, not wanting James, Sirius, and Peter to see my scars from the full moons.
When I walked out, they were already in their PJ's.
"G'night." we said, and laid down in our beds.
Peter, Sirius, and James fell asleep instantly.
I lay awake on my bed.
And for once, I felt normal.
Second chapter in one night!
I didn't get 3 reviews, but I got 1.
So good enough.