Hi! I know what you're thinking: She updated? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? But I'm trying to be better. For a short time, at least. I'm still on a Doctor Who hangover...if that's the right way to look at it. Also, lots of people asked me who my favorite Doctor was. I've gotta say 10. David is just the best. But Matt is also just insanely cute...especially in his fez! And Chris, well, he's just Chris. Fantastic!

Now here we have the Sorting! Hope y'all enjoy!

I OWN NUFFIN'

8. A Hat Questions My Life Choices

NICO

I slouched my shoulders as Professor McGonagall herded us into the huge main room. There were four long tables, where a bunch of kids in black robes sat. I could notice a slight difference between all of them; at each table, their scarves were two colors. One table had navy and yellow, another blue and purple, then silver and green, and red and gold. The talking went down to a murmur as we processed to the front.

We all stopped in front of a rickety old stool, fanning out so everyone could see. McGonagall went off to the side for a moment, and then returned with something old and dirty in her hands. She set it on the stool, where it sat for a moment. That gave me time to realize what it was: a hat. An old, dusty, pointed wizard's hat. I looked around the hall, and everyone was watching it expectantly, like it was going to do a flip or something.

What it really did was much more surprising than a flip.

The hat started to sing. And this is what it said:

Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,

But don't judge on what you see,

I'll eat myself if you can find

A smarter hat than me.

You can keep your bowlers black,

Your top hats sleek and tall,

For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat

And I can top them all.

There's nothing hidden in your head

The Sorting Hat can't see,

So try me on and I will tell you

Where you ought to be.

You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve and chivalry

Set Gryffindors apart;

You might belong in Hufflepuff,

Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true

And unafraid of toil;

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,

If you've a steady mind,

Where those of wit and learning,

Will always find their kind;

Or perhaps in Slytherin

You'll make your real friends,

Those cunning folk use any means

To achieve their ends.

So put me on! Don't be afraid!

And don't get in a flap!

You're in safe hands (though I have none)

For I'm a Thinking Cap!

Ooooooookay. Singing hat that sorts people into houses. Why not, right? After the hat finished it's little performance, Professor McGonagall held up a scroll and began announcing names. "Altman, Jack!" A First Year boy with curly brown hair broke apart from the crowd and scrambled onto the stool. McGonagall then placed the hat on his head. After about three seconds, the hat bellowed, "SLYTHERIN!"

'Altman, Jack' jumped off the stool and ran to the table that was cheering, who had scarves in the colors green and silver and logos of snakes on their robes. McGonagall rattled off a few more names. 'Bartlett, Natalie' went to Hufflepuff, 'Beakes, Celestina' went to Ravenclaw, 'Carpenter, Caroline' went to Gryffindor, and 'Corrigan, Jackson' went to Ravenclaw. I knew that the D's were next. My fist clenched and unclenched, and I bit my lip as Professor McGonagall raised the scroll once more. "Di Angelo, Nico!" she called.

Okay.

My turn.

I walked up to the stool as confidently as I could, and sat down in the seat. The hat was set onto my head, and it fell down so my eyes were partially covered. I could see Percy in the crowd giving me a thumbs-up. Then I heard the hat's voice in my head. A demigod, eh? I bit my lip. This hat was digging around in my head. What's going to keep it from shouting my identity out and forsaking the whole quest?

The hat must've heard my thoughts, because it responded, It's okay lad. I've seen your type before. Now, let's see, demigods have always been hard to place…Then, I got a feeling that was kind of like if someone dumped all your thoughts into an empty swimming pool, then dove right in and looked at every single one.

That is to say, not fun.

First were the memories of my mother, which were few and made my heart wrench with sadness. Then the hat sped up, going through the Lotus Casino, Westover Hall, meeting Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Thalia, losing Bianca to the Hunters, Camp Half-Blood, then the Labyrinth, seeing Percy at Geryon's ranch, banishing Minos, fighting in the Battle of the Labyrinth, the Underworld, Percy bathing in the Styx, the Battle of Manhattan. All my memories resurfaced. My head felt like it was going to explode.

Hmm, been through a lot, I see? The hat said in my mind. Son of Hades as well. You're a tricky one. Not loyal enough for Hufflepuff, not smart enough for Ravenclaw. I rolled my eyes. I was having my intelligence assessed by a talking hat. I think…yes, I think one thing just slightly tips the balance. I think you would do well in…GRYFFINDOR!

The hat said the last bit out loud. The people with the gold and red scarves erupted into cheers. I got off the stool quickly and walked over. There were some free seats near Harry, Ron and Hermione, so I took one and made sure there was room for two other people. I looked back at the stool, silently willing the hat to put my friends in Gryffindor.

THALIA

I glanced back a Nico, sitting at the table with Harry, Ron and Hermione. I hoped that all three of us would get the same house.

I turned to Percy. "What do you think it's gonna be like?" I whispered to him. He shrugged.

"Dunno." His eyes flicked around the room nervously.

We looked back at McGonagall as she consulted the scroll again. "Grace, Thalia!" I immediately went stiff. Oh, no she didn't. I glared at the professor and marched straight up to her and whispered in her ear, "Use my last name again, and I swear to all the gods…" I let the threat hang in the air. She knew I was a demigod, so I assumed she knew who my father was. A flicker of something crossed McGonagall's face, I didn't know what, but otherwise her gaze was still the same.

I turned away from the professor and took my place on the stool. McGonagall placed the hat firmly on my head, and I waited for it to start digging around in my head. For a moment, nothing happened. Then the hat started to speak in my head. Another one, then? Daughter of Zeus? We've got some powerful ones…Then the hat proceeded to look into every nook and cranny there was in my brain. Let me give you the short version: Luke and Annabeth, dying and turning into a tree, waking up, Westover Hall, the Sun Chariot, Camp, the quest for Artemis, becoming a huntress, my adventures with Lady Artemis, the Battle for Manhattan, coming to Hogwarts. My mind was reeling once that was over. I swayed a little on the stool and gripped the edge tightly.

This is interesting, the hat blurted in my head. Died, became a tree, came back to life…I sighed. It always took so much work to explain the whole tree thing. But the hat didn't give me a chance. Well, from what I see here, I think the house best for you is…GRYFFINDOR!

After the hat shouted the same thing it had for Nico, I let out a breath I didn't know I had been holding. I jumped off the stool and sauntered over to the table with the gold and red people and took a seat next to Nico. "It's so weird, it getting into you mind like that," I told him once I had sat down. He nodded, and then gestured toward the front, where Percy remained among the rest of the First Years.

PERCY

Glancing back at Thalia and Nico, I silently prayed to the gods that I would get Gryffindor. And if not there, anywhere but Slytherin, the one with all the mean looking people. I looked up as 'Horn, Ella', a redheaded girl with very pale skin, was sorted into Hufflepuff.

My stomach clenched nervously. I wasn't the brightest bulb of the bunch, but I do know the alphabet. I knew that my name would be coming up soon. And, sure enough, just after 'Jackson, Benjamin' was sorted into Slytherin, my name was called.

"Jackson, Perseus!" I flinched. I hated when people used my real name. It made me feel like they already knew everything about me. Nevertheless, I stumbled forward and sat on the stool. McGonagall placed the hat on my head. I nearly jumped right off the little seat when I heard the hat speak in my mind, Son of Poseidon, eh? Good ones, those are. Not as arrogant or vengeful as Zeus, not as bitter as Hades. Just in between. I remember the first person with godly blood at Hogwarts, great-great grandson of Poseidon…

"Can you please just get to sorting me?" I said as quietly as I could, not wanted anyone but the hat to hear.

Right, right, yes, came its voice in my mind. Let's see, plenty of loyalty, oh that's your fatal flaw, might want to stay away from that, very, very brave, I see, not all too bright…

"Hey!" I breathed.

Sorry, but it's true. You're smart in other situations, sometimes. Just not book smart enough for Ravenclaw. Now, let's have a look at your memories…

I'll spare you the run-through. Let's just say it involved a lot of pain. Then, the hat did something unexpected.

No more Curse of Achilles? It asked out of the blue.

"Uh, no," I whispered back. "I gave it up."

I'll be the judge of that, It began, and before I could do anything, one of the pieces of old fabric the hat was made of slashed across my arm, giving me a cut that began to bleed immediately, though no one could see the blood because of my robes. So it is true, the hat mumbled.

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah! Now could you please just sort me?"

Fine, the Sorting Hat consented. Well, it takes a lot of bravery to do something like give up the Curse of Achilles, or get it, for that matter. There is only one house at Hogwarts fit for you, young demigod. I say, GRYFFINDOR!

The Gryffindor table burst out cheering, and I stumbled off the stool, wanting to get as far away from the hat as possible. My arm stung, but I barely felt it as I slid into a seat next to Thalia. Nico sat on the other side of her, and we all did a three-way fist bump. "The hat felt weird, right?" Thalia whispered.

"Yeah," I responded. "It gave me a cut just to make sure I didn't have the Achilles Curse any more." Thalia nodded, smiling slightly. Then I pointed to one of the heads that was higher than the rest in the First Year group that was still waiting to be sorted, eager to change the subject. "She's tall," I said. Thalia nodded sarcastically.

"I noticed, thank you," She whispered back.

"Kilgallon, Mairead!" McGonagall called, and the tall girl stepped forward and sat on the stool.

"Cool name," I said to Thalia. "Sounds kind of Irish." She gave me a weird look, but said nothing. Mairead was sorted into Gryffindor, and she stepped off the stool to go over our table, taking her brown hair out of its ponytail as she went. I joined in on the cheering as Mairead sat down at the end of our table smiling at some people who were in the First Year as well.

Some of the other new Gryffindors were 'Spain, Mahaylie', 'Shorr, Anika', and 'Wesland, Finn'. They all sat with the other First Years. I meanwhile sat staring at my plate, waiting for food to magically appear. I looked up, however, when an old man stepped up to the front of the hall. "Welcome, welcome, to another year at Hogwarts! And now, with a few words, before we become too befuddled by our excellent feast." I shot a glance at Thalia, who smiled. I knew what she was thinking. Befuddled? Really? The man continued, "You may have noticed, that among the First Year students, we have three other newcomers. They are part of a new Hogwarts Exchange program with Delphi School of Magic in America, and I hope you will all join me in welcoming them."

There was a bunch of cheering and people craning their heads to get a better look at us. After raising his hand to stop the murmuring, the old man (who I was beginning to assume was Dumbledore) continued. "Can you also join me in welcoming our newest Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor R.J. Lupin!" He swept his hand backward, and he man who had made that cloaked figure get away from Harry on the train stood up and waved modestly. "I am also pleased to inform you that the post of Care of Magical Creatures shall now be taken up by none other than our very own Rubeus Hagrid!" He gestured to the enormous man who had led us (along with the First Years) to the boats that we took to get to Hogwarts. He stood up, bumping the table with his legs, and waved. Dumbledore quieted down the cheering with a wave of his hand.

"I also must inform you that this year Hogwarts will be playing host to the dementors of Azkaban, who will be searching the grounds for Sirius Black. But be warned, give them no reason to harm you. It is not in the nature of a dementor to be forgiving." A chill ran through the room as every single student shuddered. "But remember: happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times. When one only remembers, to turn on the light."

And with that, one of Dumbledore's candles ignited and the food magically appeared like I'd been waiting for. But, all of a sudden, I didn't feel quite as hungry.

OKAYYY

Just something to let you guys know, Mairead or any of the other names I put in there aren't major characters. They may or may not come back into the story, but try not to give them any regard.

Doctor Who question: Who's your favorite companion? (Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, Rory, River, or Clara?) Least favorite?

Until next time,

-HorseHat out