Disclaimer; I own nothing, I just wish I did.
Harry sat alone in his compartment looking out the window with longing at the other kids, who were being hugged by their parents with tearful goodbyes and greeting their friends with such enthusiasm. The all too familiar sight that surrounded him, of friends and family greeting each other happily is foreign to him, watching mothers and fathers give their children one last hug and kiss on the head caused a pang in his heart. He sighed and turned away from the window as a bushy haired girl tried to drag her trunk past his compartment. Key word being 'tried,' Harry could see that she was slightly out of breath and a bit of sweat dampened her forehead, Harry grimaced, those trunks are kind of heavy. He got up and opened the glass door, "Excuse me but there is room in here if you want."
The girl looked up at him thankfully, "Oh, yes please, I've been trying to find a place for five minutes." Harry helped her heave her trunk into the luggage-rack. Harry was caught off guard as her trunk is heavier than his own.
"Pleased to meet you," they sat down opposite each-other, Harry held out his hand, "I'm Harry."
The girl took the proffered hand, "Hermione, Hermione Granger."
"Nice to meet you." As neglected as he has been, Harry still learnt to introduce himself politely, his aunt Petunia hated it when he spoke without manners. "So how long have you known you were a witch?" Harry asked as an ice-breaker.
"I just found out this summer when I got my letter, and you?"
Harry shrugged his shoulders, "The same, well, I almost didn't find out, my uncle put up a fight trying to stop the letters." He admitted.
Hermione found that tidbit of information interesting, "Why? Did he know about them? About you being a wizard?"
"Yeah, but he doesn't like magic, or my parents for that matter." He stopped right there, he had to put up with those stares and questions in Diagon Ally, and didn't feel like talking about it just yet. After years of neglect he became used to being overlooked and suddenly becoming the center of a crowd's attention is unnerving.
Hermione's face fell at that sentence; she remembered her bursts of accidental magic, how her parents and teachers reacted to the strangeness of it all, the accusatory stares of her father like he suspected that she might be the cause of it all. She could only imagine what it must've been like living with people who don't like magic. "What happened to your parents?"
"They died during the war." Was Harry's simple reply, Hermione caught the note of pain in the boy's voice so she decided to let the subject drop, but being an excited eleven year old girl she just had to keep talking.
"Well, my parents are muggles so this is all just interesting, I mean, magic is real, and we get to learn about it, I'm looking forward to Transfiguration, it's so amazing, to be able to turn a matchstick into a needle can be useful so I did a little pre-reading to prepare myself. What lessons are you looking forward to?" Hermione said and asked in one breath, she is relieved that she found somebody to talk to about magic as her parents are not very enthusiastic about it.
Harry scratched his head in embarrassment, "um, I haven't opened my books yet, my uncle locked them up the moment we got home."
"Well 'no time like the present' as Grammy used to say." She reached up and opened Harry's trunk then realized what she was about to do as started to apologize for her actions, she shouldn't have gone into someone else's things like that without asking first.
Harry waved off her 'sorrys' and fished around in his trunk before pulling out his potions book. So far it was his favorite subject even though he never brewed a potion in his life he found it read a lot like a cookbook and truth be told he loved cooking, it made him feel calm, loosing himself in the project, having to work not just by sight but also by smell, and taste (if he could sneak it) he hoped that it would be the same with potion-brewing.
Over the next hour, after the train left at eleven o'clock, the two new-found friends were pouring over their potions tomes scanning and going over anything that might be useful in preparation for their classes, Harry was excited he hadn't been able to study with this much enthusiasm with anyone ever-since Uncle Vernon bet him for outperforming Dudley academically in school. Harry and Hermione compared questions and answers; Hermione was more about the theory whilst Harry was more about why each ingredient was needed.
Meanwhile at the Headmaster's office…
Dumbledore sat behind his desk with his fingers laced together and wearing a calculating look, if everything went according to plan; Harry has met the Weasleys and boarded the train on time, the aged Headmaster of Hogwarts School nodded to himself as he sucked on a lemon drop. That was a pickle on how to get Harry to befriend the Weasley, when he approached Molly with his plan she went mental, he thought that as she is one of his most devout followers she would agree, but apparently she was a mother first, and refused to be part of plot to manipulate the 'poor boy' much less have one of her sons be part of his games. It was imperative that Harry befriend Ronald Bilious Weasley, to ally the boy with a light sided family under his influence to better monitor him. So to cut his losses he obliviated the matriarch and approached Ron himself, the boy, he knew, has lived in the shadows of his brothers for years, he was hungry for glory and full-heartily agreed. Everything is set for his first test and trial against the dark lord, he knew Quirrel was sharing his body with Tom Riddle and he was looking forward to the future confrontation between the subjects of the prophesy.
If all went well then Ronald will have steered him the path of the lion's. So much of his plans revolve around him being in Gryffindor to surround him with prejudice against the Slytherins and the dark arts that he placed a lot of hope in the red head. It had better work out.
Back with Harry and Hermione…
Harry and Hermione are currently discussing the more risky potions ingredients with both their herbology and potion books out. Harry was actually surprised when she opened her trunk and he spied what he could call a mini-library, no wonder her trunk was so darn heavy, when the compartment door slid open, "Excuse me," the pair looked up to find a gangly boy with red hair and freckles, "do you mind? Everywhere else is full."
Harry looked over at Hermione who raised an eyebrow in question to the newcomer's statement, it was well over an hour since they left the station and he couldn't find a spot by now, Hermione smelled a rat, and it wasn't the smelly old shoe-brush with a tail that he was clutching in his hands. Harry thought it odd too but decided to not make any rash assumptions. "Sure, we got space." He told the boy before turning back to his discussion with Hermione, "Wormwood is needed to counteract the toxins in Asphodel when it's steeped in hot water, not to neutralize them; the toxins are needed for the potion to work." He pointed to a section in the book, "Like a poison and an antidote working together."
Hermione was impressed by his learning curve; Harry turned out to be a quick study and a shoe-in for Ravenclaw. Ron however was a little peeved that they went back to their conversation without paying attention to him.
"I'm Ron by the way. Ron Weasley." The boy sat down beside Harry, a little bit too close. Harry fidgeted at the close proximity; he wasn't used to being this close to anyone unless he is going to get beaten.
"I'm Harry and this is Hermione." Harry replied gesturing to his friend.
Ron took this as his que to get to know his target, "Blimey, are you Harry Potter?" He asked trying to spot the tell-tale scar on his forehead.
Harry cringed at Ron trying to get a look at his scar, which he grew more self-conscious of ever since he learnt that the reason he is so famous is because his parents are dead. He hated the way people gawk at him like a monkey in a zoo exhibit.
"Do you have the… the… scar?" Ron asked, pointing to his own forehead.
Harry just nodded not wanting to show the scar to the nosy red-head. He just buried his nose in his book and tried to avoid Ron's eyes. Hermione was looking at her raven-haired friend in surprise, how could she have missed it, the green eyes and black hair, she was with the savior of the wizarding world. 'Wait,' Hermione remembered something from the stories, 'didn't he lose his parents that night?' a hollow spot seemed to open up in her chest, he's an orphan, he said so himself.
'They died during the war.'
How could she be so stupid? He probably didn't want to be famous in the first place, especially for something so horrible.
"This potion is sounding more and more potentially problematic." Hermione changed the subject as Harry obviously didn't want to talk about it.
Harry looked up at his friend with a grateful gleam in his eye, "'Potentially problematic'? Hermione the potion isn't even in the book and I've found at least twelve footnotes as to the dangers of brewing it." Then he mouthed, 'Thank you.'
Ron was miffed, he tried and failed to get Potter's attention but he was relentless, "Who cares about stupid potions? It's a boring subject if you ask me, now Defense Against the Dark Arts, that's cool."
"A fiver says he ends up in Gryffindor, Harry." Hermione said with a manic gleam in her eye trying to lighten the mood.
"That's a sucker's bet Hermione; a tenner says we end up in Ravenclaw."
"Now that's a sucker's bet Harry I'm not falling for it." Harry in response just clicked his tongue in mock disappointment.
Ron meanwhile was looking between the two in hidden fury, he was supposed to be Harry Potter first and best friend but he was only talking to that Know-it-all like they've been through thick and thin. He's going to have to drive a wedge between the two, but when and how is the question.
Later he got his chance; soon a round-faced boy popped his head into the compartment asking if anyone has seen his toad. Harry shook his head no and offered his help in finding it.
Hermione put her foot down, "No, I help him, you will read up on Transfiguration." Her tone was bossy and Harry knew there was no 'buts' aloud.
"Yes Ma'am." He replied playfully, picking up his textbook on the subject.
Hermione looked at him playfully and escorted the boy, who introduced himself as Neville, out to look for his pet.
"Come off it mate, she not here to police you now, take a break we got ages for that book stuff." Ron whined as Harry started to read his book.
"No harm in being prepared Ron. As the saying goes; 'Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.'" Harry recited a life lesson he learned from living in the Dursley household.
"Stop talking like a Ravenclaw, you'll be in Gryffindor like me."
Harry cocked an eyebrow, "What makes you say that?"
Ron snorted, "The Potters as well as the Weasleys have been in Gryffindor for centuries, and you beat You-Know-Who, so where else you going to end up?"
Harry perked up at hearing that his parents were in Gryffindor but then he sobered up at the thought of them almost immediately when he remembered that they were dead.
"Maybe Ravenclaw, I had some the best grades in elementary school." Harry replied tersely this boy, Ron, was trying to steer him towards Gryffindor he could feel it. It was not a total lie, he was an excellent student until he got beaten for outshining Dudley.
"But Ravenclaw is for bookworms and bossy know-it-alls-" Ron objected, shocked that the Boy-Who-Lived would set his sights on a house other than Gryffindor.
"I am a bookworm," Harry was getting tired of this boy's one track mind fast, "and I don't appreciate that other term." He turned the next page in his book.
"Oh, go on Harry you don't have to pretend to be friends with that freak."
Harry stiffened, that word; freak, resounded through his skull, painful memories sprang forward in his head, Dudley and his gang beating him up and humiliating him in front of the school, his uncle whipping the belt from his waist and thrashing him with, the back breaking chores his aunt made him do just to 'earn his keep.' Without thinking he drew his wand and aimed it at Weasley, the hurt, the pain, the lies pulsing through his veins demanding release.
"Harry," Hermione came back with Neville in tow, "what in blazes are you doing?"
"Ron here was just leaving." Harry's voice as calm at it was held pain and anger in it, a fact that was oblivious to the foolish Weasley.
"Harry, take it easy." Ron tried to placate him but Harry sneered at him.
"All my life I had to put up with bloody jerks like you calling me a freak, well I've had enough so bugger off!"
Meanwhile in a pub in Ireland…
A patron raised his head from the table he was sleeping on and shouted, "Fuck you!"
(Look it up on youtube; Bugger Off, rated M for language, thank me later.)
Back to the train…
Ron, deciding not to call Harry's bluff, left the compartment and Harry locked the door behind him. He sat down his shoulders slumped in defeat forcing himself not to cry from the emotional build-up that Ron's comment had brought on.
Hermione was no stranger to that body language herself, the ridicule her classmates put her through just for being smart, the relentless teasing, being bullied just for studying rather than participating in recess activities. It used to weigh her down like a crushing weight, she never had a friend to help her through it but she had an idea of where to start. She sat down beside him reached out tentatively and wrapped her arm around her friend's shoulders.
Unknown to both the pre-teens Harry's magic, long seeking a confidant someone to pour Harry's heart out to, flooded itself into Hermione along with a memories;
Harry finished cooking a large lunch for his relatives, twice-baked potatoes, chicken, and a generous amount of spaghetti and sauce with meatballs, more then enough for his obese uncle and cousin to polish off and defiantly too much for his boney aunt. The Dursleys didn't complain about the amount however, they rather enjoyed stuffing their faces, save for Aunt Petunia who saved the portions that are left-over for Dudley in case he wants a little snack. Harry hasn't eaten in two days because the Dursleys had forgotten to feed him and taking anything from the kitchen is punishable by starvation. The food smelled tantalizing, taunting him with it's sweet aroma the left-over chicken grease on the glass tray glimmered in a taunting manor with all the flecks from the seasoning, and the little bit of sauce in the bottom of the sauce-pan and the few noodles left looked better then anything he had all summer. He tried to resist he really did but his biological need to feed in order to restore energy was overriding his willpower, after a swift glance at the Dursleys to make sure that they were all paying attention to their food rather than to him, he ran his finger along the side of the sauce-pan, biting back pain from the heat, coated his finger with the red stuff and licked it clean off.
It was delicious, he closed his eyes in a moment of bliss it was as good as it smelled, unfortunately his stomach growled at that moment causing Vernon's head to turn and catch him with his finger in his mouth and quickly put two and two together.
"What the Devil are you doing, Freak?!" he bellowed, rising from his chair and bore down on the unfortunate boy, "You dare steal food from us?! After we gave you a roof over your head and out of the goodness of our hearts clothed you with Dudder's old clothes, and taught you important life skills, this is how you repay us?! STEALING?!" he roared spraying Harry with saliva and chewed bits of chicken and spaghetti, Harry was backed into the corner of the kitchen crouching into the fetal position to make himself appear smaller. The large man grabbed Harry by the shirt and pulled him up to his feet and slapped him hard across the face. Harry lacking the energy to stand after such a blow crumpled to the floor while Vernon continued to shout obscenities at him using the word 'Freak' every… single… time.
Harry was only seven at the time.
Hermione tried to tare herself away from the flood of emotions that accompanied the painful memory, but not before Harry suffered the same effects of the touch;
A bushy haired girl was sitting alone in the corner of the playground quietly reading a course-book on math while the other children played happily around the playground, she would sneak glances at them every now and then with small looks of longing. They never let her, the 'weird girl,' play with them, Hermione's bushy hair and intelligence has always been the subject of ridicule and mean jokes among her fellow students, when ever they were to pick teams for P.E. she was always last to join and they always found a way to play around her. She was spending her time going over a long division proplem when the book was snatched out of her hand by Grace Neilson, the pretty blond of the school, and Hermione's greatest tormentor, "Give it back!"
Grace made a mocking 'aww,' "Baby wants her book back, why doesn't Baby take it back?" the blond is three years older than Hermione and taller than the bushy-haired girl, she held the book high above Hermione out of her reach, she jumped trying to grab it but fell short. "Aww, look here everyone, Baby is trying to jump, go on Baby jump for it" she tossed the book to one of her friends and she in turn held it high as Hermione rushed over to her, and in turn the girl did the same thing tossing it back to Grace, it soon turned into a cruel game of 'Monkey in the Middle' with a group of children surrounding them, cheering on the two big girls while jeering at Hermione.
Hermione's eyes started to water up from being made fun of, this unfortunately didn't go unnoticed by Grace, "Oh no," she fake pouted, "Baby's crying." She opened the math book and tore out several pages and tossed them at Hermione. "Here, Baby, wipe away those tears." The kids laughed as Hermione gathered up the fallen pages, really crying now.
"What's going on here?" a teacher came to investigate the ruckus and saw Hermione on the ground with torn pages in her hands and Grace with the book.
"Granger was tearing pages out of the book, sir." The blond lied easily, as she handed the damaged tome to the teacher, "I managed to get it away before she did any more damage."
Hermione wanted to protest, but didn't, who would believe her over Grace Neilson the principal's daughter?
Harry held his head in his hands as a slight headache throbbed behind his eyes, the visions were jumbled and blurred but he was sure he saw and memory of Hermione's life. Hermione was just shocked the abuse that Harry had to go through was horrifying, she read about abusive homes but what she saw was beyond words.
"What was that?" Harry asked to the compartment at large.
"W-well," Neville stammered. "This light shot between the two of you it was silvery and almost gassy." He wringed his hands; not used to speaking to many people with his shyness.
Headmaster's office, Howarts…
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Chief Warlock, Head of the International Confederation of Wizards and unofficial Leader of the Light, is banishing smoke out of his window. For some odd reason one of the sensors attuned to Harry Potter's magic overloaded and proceeded to explode, violently he might add. It was quite a shock too; he had been minding his own business, sucking on his precious lemon drops when all of a sudden BOOM! A long piece of shrapnel embedded itself right next to his head on his winged-backed chair as the object in question blew apart and he proceeded to nearly inhale the candy subsequently choking on it.
In the corner of the room the red and gold phoenix was convulsing on his perch as it was laughing it's head off, truly nothing this exciting has ever happened in it's five-hundred and seventeen years.
"Albus!" the shrill voice of Madam Pomfrey the school healer who had just come up to ask the Headmaster about replenishing the potion stocks in the hospital wing as several of the batches are reaching the expiration date and she refused to use anything that wasn't fresh, was livid. "I swear if you are smoking again I will tie you down with four-point restraints until you…"
"Pop…(cough) Poppy I sw…(hack)ear to you I have not smoked in sixty…(cough) years and I have not started up again." Dumbledore just managed to get out as the last of the smoke cleared away.
"Then where may I ask did all of this come from?" The Mediwitch had her wand out and is out for blood. The one thing she hated more then anything else in the world was the addiction to those cancer sticks that muggles and wizards alike seem to enjoy, blasphemous. The healer is a firm believer of clean living, smoking and the like was the same as slow suicide in her eyes, years ago she caught Dumbledore with a pipe and tobacco and she did things to break him of his habit that would haunt him to his final days.
"One of my prized trinkets blew-up, nothing serious." He said casually, he really doesn't want to explain their true purpose to anyone, as that would lead to an earful about invasion of privacy and an inquiry from the school board. Although a few memory charms would take care of the problem, it wouldn't do to be discovered in the first place.
The witch examined one of the objects closely turning it this way and that, once during the sixties she had confiscated a bong from a seventh year who went to America for the summer, and this thing looked too much like one for her liking.
"I guess that this is an incense burner?" she cocked an eyebrow at the headmaster.
Albus cleared his throat, ICW business took him to the United States during the sixties and he got into the… well, 'groovy' side of life. He found it quite liberating and fun to throw caution to the wind for a year and wear a tie-die shirt instead of robes. "It's ineffective, I disabled it decades ago."
"Make sure it stays that way." She thrust the object into his chest, "Now, Professor, the reason I came up here was to tell you that the…"
Dumbledore just looked at Madam Pomfrey while nodding every now and then, while the only thing that when through his head was, 'Man she is sending out negative vibes, not groovy baby.'
On the train…
Harry, Hermione and Neville were attempting to make heads and tails of what had just accrued but refused to saw what they saw neither of them wants to bring up what they had just experienced to each other. Harry and Hermione wanting to know what just happened started to pour through their course books trying to find any information on the subject. Unfortunately they have been unsuccessful; there was nothing in their texts to describe any further the effects of that magic. Even Neville, who had a pureblood upbringing, could confirm what it was.
Hermione just shook her head her eyes still red and puffy from the painful memory that flooded into her from Harry, "There is nothing here at all." She slammed the book shut in frustration, she hated not finding her answers in the texts she has at her disposal.
"Must be more advanced form of magic then first year schoolwork." Harry put down his Charms book down next to him taking off his glasses rubbing his eyes, pieces of Hermione's bullied life flashing in his mind.
"I'm pretty sure the Hogwarts library will have a book or two on the subject." Neville said reassuringly. At those words Harry and Hermione's ears perked up, 'library,' a manic gleam entered their eyes, more so for Hermione than Harry and their fingers started to twitch. Neville shivered at the almost fearful sensation of being close to two 'studyholics' when they hear the word 'library' and decided the word is taboo in their presence.
An hour before they arrived at Hogsmead station they had all changed into their school robes and Hermione had caste the repairing charm on Harry's glasses, fixing the cracked lens and taped frames and Neville helped Harry with his tie as he had never worn one before. Harry in return gave her a rubber band to Hermione to tie her hair back, a glance from her memories had shown that she was self conscious about how she looked, a side-effect of the bulling she had received form the hands of her classmates. At first Hermione was apprehensive at the thought of revealing more of her face has hiding behind her hair made her feel secure. But a look from Harry reassured her that it was okay.
"Thank you." She took the rubber band and loosely tied her unmanageable bushy hair back revealing her delicate jaw line and the softness of her features. She felt a little liberated at not having to hide behind her hair so people wouldn't see her.
"Wow, you're pretty." Harry said in a daze. Hermione's face turned red at this and Harry realizing what he had just said quickly followed suit. Neville felt like laughing at the two who were acting like love-struck turtle doves, it took all of his willpower not to burst out into 'Harry and Hermione sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G,' he was pretty sure he wouldn't survive the string of spells that would chase him down the train.
When they departed from the train at the station they followed a voice that Harry recognized; "Firs' years over this way please, Firs' years don' be shy." Harry smiled as he recognized Hagrid's voice and led Hermione and Neville straight over to the huge gamekeeper. "Hallo there, Harry."
"Hey, Hagrid." Harry greeted happily, Hermione's eyes were huge as she took in the man's height, her mind was screaming that that was not possible but then remembered that this was a whole new world. Harry turned to Hermione and saw that the look of shock and awe on her face. He grinned at her reaction; he more or less had the same expression of his face when he first met the man.
After all the rest of the new arrivals assembled Hagrid led them all down a well treaded path to a small pier at shore of the lake and had them all choose a boat to sit in, "No more then four to a boat." He warned, Harry, Hermione and Neville had a boat all to themselves, Ron tried to get in with them Harry pulled out his wand slightly in a threatening gesture and he backed off.
The journey across the lake was breathtaking the great castle was like an object out of a fairytale, it's lit windows and high towers made it look royal, and the smooth ride over the glassy surface of the lake just added to the effect. They all docked at the boat house and safely climbed out, Hagrid took a head count and asked if anyone feel overboard, when they responded in the negative, he led them all up the stairs to the castle, once inside he brought them before a great set of oak hewn doors. A rather stern looking woman wearing green robes and tartan lining was waiting for them. "'ere're the firs' years, Professor."
"Thank you Hagrid," it was a dismissal, once Hagrid was out of sight she addressed the students, "Welcome to Hogwarts," she announced in a brisk Scottish brogue, "Now in a few moments you will pass through these doors and join your classmates but before you can take your seats you must be sorted into your Houses. They are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff Ravenclaw and Slytherin, while you are here your house will be like your family, your triumphs will earn you points any rule breaking and you will loose points, at the end of the year the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup."
"Trevor!" Neville shouted as he spotted the illusive toad at the Professor's feet he rushed forward and picked him up before muttering an apology and returning to the throng. Harry gave him a small pat on the shoulder.
"The sorting ceremony will begin momentarily." When the Scottish witch turned to the Great Hall a pale blond had spotted Harry.
"It's true then what there saying on the train; Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts." This started a buzz of excited whispering and staring at the famous young wizard, "this is Crabbe and Goyle," He inclined his head at the two burly eleven year olds that flanked him, "and I'm Malfoy, Draco Malfoy."
"Mal." Harry rolled the word around his reemerged intellectual self translating the word, "Means 'bad' in Latin, doesn't it?" He decided that he didn't like the blonde when he met him in Madam Malkin's, he was rude, egotistical and seemed to enjoy getting what he wants, so he was not going to engage him in any talk aside from what needed to be said, maybe the occasional barb or two.
"Think my name's funny, do you?" the pureblood sneered.
"No, it just says a lot about your bad attitude." Hermione chimed in, just when Harry opened his mouth intent on saying the same thing; if Harry was going to stand up to these bullies he won't be alone. She has seen how he walked up to them in a swagger and the way he talks is very similar to how bullies at her old school talked. Neville snickered at her jibe catching git's attention.
"Something you want to say to me, Squib?" he sneered at the round-faced boy.
Harry took a step forward causing the Malfoy boy to take one step back. "I would suggest lying off the peroxide before it permanently damages your brain."
"My hair is naturally this color!" Draco roared.
Harry bowed his head, "My apologies; I merely assumed you were just vain but I had no way of knowing you were a natural dumb blond." The small group of first years giggled at the sharp wit of Harry Potter, mostly the muggleborns who knew nothing about the Malfoy Family.
Draco looked like he wanted to retort but the Professor retuned to lead them into the Great Hall. Two by two they filed down between the center-left and right tables one was occupied with students wearing blue trim and the other was wearing yellow at the far ends by the walls green trim was sported on the left and the table opposite them wore red. Hermione would've made comment on the ceiling but did not feel the need to impress her peers or Harry for that matter, instead she could feel the tension emanating between the green and red wearing students. Slytherin and Gryffindor she deduced, she has read in Hogwarts; a History that the two houses feuded like Montague and Capulet in Shakespeare's romantic tragedy. Those two houses she will have to avoid. Harry who was on a similar train of thought decided to stay off any House teams, better safe then sorry.
Harry tapped Neville on the shoulder and asked during the Sorting Hat's song, "Hey Neville, what's the story between Gryffindor and Slytherin?"
"Well, Slytherin is known for producing more dark wizards then any other house while the Gryffindor made some of the most famous Aurors, they hate each other on principal and from what I hear their Quidditch matches are more like a warzone." Neville retold Harry what he had heard from his Gran who really wanted Neville to get into Gryffindor like his father did. "Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff are more neutral in the House rivalry but will support those who have earned their allegiance."
"Thanks Nev." Harry's thoughts on his parents old House were mixed; yes his parents were in Gryffindor, but that probably meant that they had to constantly stay on guard around the Slytherins, he wondered if it is even possible to make friends outside of your chosen House, he sure hoped so.
Soon the professor started to call the First years up one by one, she started with a girl called "Abbot, Hannah." The girl walked up the the professor and sat on the stool, the hat was placed on her head and after a pause it shouted;
The table with yellow-trimmed robes cheered warmly as they welcomed their newest member. Harry's eyes started to wonder around to the giant hourglasses behind the teachers' table, one of them is filled with rubies, another with emeralds then sapphires, and the last one is filled with yellow gems he vaguely remembered that is called citrine. To him most of the sorting went by in a blur as he became more entranced at the new world around him until he heard the Scottish Professor call out, "Granger, Hermione."
Harry watched his friend walk up nervously and sat on the stool while the Hat was placed on her head for a minute when it shouted; "Ravenclaw!"
Harry clapped with the rest of the eagles and gave Hermione a high five when she past him by and she whispered "Good luck."
Soon after Hermione, Neville was sorted into Hufflepuff, which Harry saw nothing wrong with as it stood for hard work and loyalty, Ronald behind him snickered and Harry turned around and threw him a glare that shut him up. Not long after that, Malfoy was placed in Slytherin as soon as the hat touched his head.
After Parkinson was placed in Slytherin and the Patil twins were placed one in Ravenclaw and one in Gryffindor, Professor McGonnagal called, "Potter, Harry."
This time the silence was deafening as the raven-haired boy walked up to and sat on the stool, he felt self conscious as the whole of the school was staring at him and he is sure at his forehead as well. Professor McGonagall placed the Sorting Hat on his head and it went to work, "Interesting and tricky very tricky indeed, courage you have but you are also cautious, loyal but only to those who have earned it, there's talent, oh yes, you are quite well-balanced, very interesting." Harry waited while the Hat sifted trough his memories weighing his deeds and actions, "Dream-touched and recently too, the memory of that girl, Hermione Granger, that would explain the other memory in her."
"What do you mean?" Harry dared to ask the Hat.
"Great magic is at work here between the two of you, its best you stay together; Ravenclaw!"
The Great Hall was in shock everyone thought that the one who defeated Voldemort a former Slytherin would become a Gryffindor but the boy-who-lived, a Potter to boot, was not in the lion's cave but the eagle's nest. Hermione and Neville were the first to clap and the rest of Ravenclaw and some Hufflepuffs followed with enthusiasm as Harry made his way to his best friend and sat down beside her, not aware that he had just derailed a decade's worth of planning for the Headmaster.