A/N: My apologies if you read this fic before I re-uploaded it. FF.net was going crazy
and dropped every single line break. It wasn't nice, and I have to re-upload about ten
different fics now.
/For I am the Hogwarts Sorting Hat, and I can cap them all…/
/I've never yet been wrong…/
Ha. How I wish that was true. Advertising, that's all it is.
I /am/ very good, the best. I pride myself on that. And some people are very easy to
Sort – most Malfoys, for example! But, I've made mistakes. Most of those were small
mistakes, people who seemed to fit in two Houses equally. It wouldn't have changed
anything if I'd put Catherine Vance into Ravenclaw – where she should've gone –
instead of Hufflepuff. I've made two big mistakes, though. Both in this century.
The first was Tom Riddle. Very cunning and sneaky. Not ambitious, but with many
Muggle-raised students that comes later – it did with him, oh yes. And with that
bloodline – eminently suited for Slytherin. He begged, though. Pleaded with me, not
to put him into Slytherin. He'd heard bad things about the House. If only I'd looked a
bit closer, if only I hadn't thought /Salazar's Heir, he has to be in Slytherin,/ I
would've seen a great intelligence – he was brilliant, really – and a thirst for
knowledge. He could've been a good Ravenclaw. I only realized this later, when it
was too late. And now Tom Marvolo Riddle terrorizes the whole wizarding
community as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and thousands live in fear – all because
of me, and my mistake.
My second mistake came some decades later. Peter Pettigrew. He was very insecure,
nervous. Not brave, but bravery often comes later. Very few eleven-year-olds are
obviously brave. I wanted to put him into Hufflepuff… I put all of the nervous,
insecure, self-hating ones into Hufflepuff. They blossom there, it's the perfect House
for the shy, the easily frightened. They'd get trampled on or pushed into the
background in any of the other Houses. Peter begged to go into Gryffindor. He'd
made friends on the train ride – James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin. Three true
Gryffindors… well, I would've normally put Remus into Ravenclaw. But you have to
have a lot of bravery to survive as a werewolf. Godric would've been proud of him.
I still would've put him into Hufflepuff. But then I remembered what had happened
the /last/ time I hadn't listened to a student. I didn't want to create a second Tom
Riddle. So I gave in, and put him with his friends. And you know what came of that –
actually, you don't. No one except for Sirius Black does. And me, of course… but
who listens to a raggedy old hat? He went over to You-Know-Who, betraying his
friends. He killed James and Lily Potter, framed Sirius and got him put into Azkaban.
And all because of me. If only I'd put him into Hufflepuff.
And now I have a third one on my hands. Neville Longbottom, you'll say. No. Neville
may be very much like Peter superficially – nervous, shy, insecure and all that – but
he has a bit of backbone and a streak of honor and bravery Peter never had. No, I
don't fear Neville Longbottom's going over to You-Know-Who.
Harry Potter. I would've put him into Slytherin. He has many Slytherin qualities –
he's quite cunning, has a strong thirst to prove himself, resourceful… much like Tom
Riddle, actually. He has Gryffindor qualities, as well, of course. Brave, determined,
although also insecure – dear me, I do get a lot of those, don't I? He's no Hufflepuff,
though. But, a Parselmouth, and all those Slytherin attributes – I was going to put him
into Slytherin. Then he asked to go into Gryffindor.
I was torn. Slytherin, or Gryffindor? Would he become another Tom Riddle if I put
him into Slytherin? Or another Peter Pettigrew, if I put him into Gryffindor? Finally, I
decided to listen to him. Another traitor is better than another Dark Lord. So, Harry
Potter is in Gryffindor. We'll see how he turns out… whether I can smile
(metaphorically speaking), and confidently sing my Sorting songs, or whether I can
mark him as my third great failure in this century.