Teddy Lupin leaned back on the bench as Professor Flitwick led in the line of first years for the sorting. He brushed his fringe, Gryffindor red today, out of his eyes as he scanned the line for his friend Victoire. He found her towards the back, her long blonde hair standing out amongst the sea of black robes, and waved energetically. Victoire caught the movement and rolled her eyes, but she smiled slightly. Leaning forward, satisfied, Teddy thought back to how intimidating it had been to stand in front of the whole school last year, especially because he hadn't known anyone. He didn't want Vic to have to go through the same experience.
A quiet filled the hall as every head turned toward the ragged, old hat that Flitwick had just placed on a stool at the front of the room. Straining his eyes, Teddy thought he could see traces of singe-marks from when Voldemort had set it (and Professor Longbottom) on fire during the Battle at Hogwarts.
Still, as the brim ripped open, and the hat began to sing, it seemed none the worse for wear.
Though I was sewn so long ago,
I've never lost my skill
To sort each student is my aim
So sort you all, I will.
There are four houses and from each
Great wizards have arisen
So try me on, and hold on tight
As you await my just decision.
First, Gryffindor, the mighty
Where the brave and bold do dwell
If courage is your strong point,
This house will suit you well.
Or Ravenclaw, the clever
Full of those with brains and wit.
If learning is your passion,
It is here that you will fit.
Or in hardworking Hufflepuff
You may just find your place
With the patient, just, and loyal
Who meet the world with grace.
Or finally, in Slytherin
Perhaps you shall reside
Filled with those of great ambition,
With resourcefulness and pride.
Each house has strengths within it
And I hope you do agree,
Not one above the others,
But equal to the other three.
But now my song is ending
And the sorting shall begin
Put me on your head and listen
I'll tell you which house you'll be in.
The end of the song was met with applause, then Professor Flitwick unraveled a long scroll of parchment, and the sorting began.
Teddy rested his elbows on the table with a sigh. Of course, Victoire would have to be a Weasley, and would therefore be one of the last students to be sorted.
"Aw, man, this is gonna take forever!" Teddy's best mate Cadmus whined from his seat to Teddy's right. "I don't understand why we can't have the sorting AFTER the feast."
"Because then the first years wouldn't know where to sit, genius. Besides, you had about twelve licorice wands on the train. You can't be that hungry."
"But licorice is a sweet! They aren't exactly filling!" Teddy merely rolled his eyes at his friend. "Besides," Cadmus continued, "I seem to remember you inhaling your body weight in chocolate frogs."
"True, but I'm not the one whinging about being hungry."
"Shh!" came a harsh whisper from a few seats down. Teddy looked up and saw that it was coming from one of the sixth year prefects. "If you aren't going to pay attention, at least keep it down," she scolded.
"Sorry," Teddy and Cadmus mumbled in unison, but as soon as she had turned her attention back to the sorting, they rolled their eyes at each other and continued their conversation.
"So, what are the odds that Victoire makes it into Gryffindor?" Cadmus asked.
"You've met Vic. I doubt she'll give the sorting hat a choice."
A muffled sniggering ran through the hall, causing Teddy to perk up. A tiny boy was sitting on the stool.
"RAVENCLAW!" the hat called out, and Teddy noticed two of his fellow second years, Stephen and Wesley, sitting across the table, laughing.
"What's so funny?" Teddy asked.
Stephen shook his head, "That kid's name was Harry!"
"Well, he's about the fourth one and we're only to the F's."
"Really?" Teddy replied, curious now. He waited while a pair of twin girls were both sorted into Hufflepuff, then a couple non-Harry boys were sorted (Ravenclaw and Slytherin respectively). Then: "Martin, Harry" was called forward and the sniggering re-commenced."
"Quiet!" Professor McGonagall's voice rang out over the Great Hall. "I will not have the sorting ceremony tarnished by such disrespectful and immature behavior."
The room fell silent and Professor Flitwick continued the sorting, with this Harry going to Hufflepuff. Teddy was paying close attention at this point. As the sorting went on, he counted another three students named Harry.
When "Sorpenson, Harry" was sorted into Gryffindor, (to a room full of muffled laughter) Teddy's curiosity got the better of him.
"Hey, budge up, will you?" he said to Stephen and Wesley, "I want to talk to him." The other boys did so grudgingly. Wesley even went so far as to wave the boy over. Teddy examined him as he seated himself next to Stephen.
"Hi there, my name's Teddy. Welcome to Gryffindor!" Teddy began, trying to rein in his desire to laugh. "So, erm, Harry, is it? Seems to be quite a popular name this year."
The boy nodded vigorously, his blonde hair falling into his eyes. "Of course it is! Mum named me after the great Harry Potter himself. I reckon lots of other people had the same idea."
Cadmus leaned in, "Did you say Harry Potter? Teddy here…ow!" he drifted off as Teddy elbowed him in the side.
"Shh, it's nearly Victoire's turn!" Teddy shot Cadmus a warning glare, before turning his attention back to the front of the room, where only three students remained waiting for their turn to be sorted.
"Weasley? Did he just call Weasley? I wonder if she's related to Ronald and Ginny Weasley? I have a brother named after Ronald!" Harry whispered excitedly.
Teddy shushed him with an amused glance. He would have to talk to this kid some more after Victoire's sorting.
"Come on, Vic," he mumbled under his breath, crossing his fingers tightly.
"YES!" Teddy shouted, pumping his fist in the air. Victoire sent him an amused glance as she strolled happily across the hall to sit next to him.
"All right, Vic!" Teddy said, slightly louder than was necessary. "Welcome to Gryffindor! Best house of them all! I knew you had it in you!"
Victoire rolled her eyes. "Weren't you listening to the sorting hat? All the houses are equal," she broke into a grin as she continued, "but far be it for me to be the first Weasley in generations to not be sorted into Gryffindor."
Teddy glanced across the table to see Harry staring at the new arrival wide eyed, but as the younger boy opened his mouth to speak, Professor McGonagall rose to her feet. "Welcome to all of our new students, and welcome back to those of you returning. It should be noted that such blatant disrespectful behavior as was demonstrated during the sorting will not be tolerated here at Hogwarts. However, since it is the start of term, I am willing to blame your behavior on severe hunger, so I will not keep you waiting any longer."
As soon as the food appeared on the table, Cadmus practically lunged for the nearest tray. Victoire stared at him in disgust, so she didn't immediately realize that she wasn't the only one staring.
"Can I help you?" she asked, noticing the blonde boy staring at her from across the table.
Teddy quickly swallowed the bite of chicken he had taken. "That's Harry, named after Harry Potter apparently. Harry, meet Victoire."
"A-are you really a Weasley?" Harry asked, wide-eyed. "Do you know Ronald Weasley? And Hermione Weasley?"
Victoire cast a slightly amused glance at Teddy before answering. "Yeah, Ron and Hermione are my aunt and uncle. My dad is Ron's oldest brother." Harry continued to stare at her, his jaw slack. "It's not really that big of a deal…" she muttered, uncomfortably.
Teddy cleared his throat. "So, uh, Harry, weren't you saying something about your brother earlier?"
That did the trick. Harry shook his head briefly and turned his attention back to Teddy. "Um, yeah, I have two brothers actually, Ronald and Neville. And a baby sister named Hermione."
Teddy nearly choked on his pumpkin juice. "Wow, Hermione, huh? That's quite a mouthful for a baby."
"Yeah, we usually call her 'Hermy'."
This time, Teddy really did choke. A glance at Victoire, showed that she was fighting a losing battle with containing her own laughter. They'd have to flip for it later to figure out which of them would get to share that news with Aunt Hermione.
"Wow, so you know Harry Potter, huh?" Harry continued, turning his attention back to Victoire.
"Well, yeah," she replied, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear self-consciously, "he's my uncle. I don't know him half as well as Teddy though. He practically grew up at Uncle Harry's house."
Harry's eyes seemed to be in danger of popping out of his head.
"Thanks,Vic," Teddy mumbled, ducking his head, "Er, Harry's my godfather." He tended to avoid letting that fact out. It often led to awkward questions about his parents.
"Wow! You're so lucky! My mum wrote to Harry when I was born and asked him if he would be my godfather, but he said no. He was really nice about it though. Mum kept the letter he wrote back. She showed it to me once."
"You're joking." Teddy gaped at him.
"Nevermind…" Teddy had a basic understanding of how famous his godfather was, but to him, he was always just "Uncle Harry," equal parts cool uncle, older brother, and father-figure. Until situations like this arose, it was easy to forget entirely that his godfather was anything more than that.
"So, how did you get so lucky as to have Harry Potter as your godfather?"
"Well, it's kind of a long story," Teddy began, hoping that Harry would lose interest. The boy just leaned in closer, so with a sigh, Teddy continued. "Um, my dad and Harry's dad were actually good friends when they were at Hogwarts. Then, when Harry was a third year, my dad was his Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. After that, my dad was in the Order of the Phoenix. That's where he met my mum. She was an Auror and Dad was a bit of a special agent." He couldn't help but feel a surge of pride as he finished, but it vanished quickly as he awaited the questions that usually followed.
"Wicked," Harry replied with a grin, reaching out to scoop himself a helping of Shepherd's Pie.
Letting out a relieved sigh, Teddy too turned his attention back to the important matter of food. While munching on a Cornish Pasty, he began to compose a letter in his head.
Dear Uncle Harry,
You will never believe what happened at the sorting tonight…
A/N: The title was inspired by one of my favorite books, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (copyright 2006, Dutton). It's an awesome book, you should read it.