Disclaimer: I don't own anything. All the characters are the property of J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., and various other publishing companies.
Author's Note: This story contains some vague Deathly Hallows spoilers, nothing explicit but if you have not read the seventh book you might not want to read this story. Also everything in this is Hogwarts' thoughts.
Musings of a Sorting Hat
The castle is under siege. I have warned them for years that this would happen, but they chose to ignore me. Oh how the Founders would weep if they could see what their once proud school has become, where once there was unity now there is only prejudice and suspicion. Where once I was revered as the voice of all the Founders now I am ridiculed as a mere talking hat.
You can not blame them for their ignorance old friend. They are only children after all. Pah, so the proud school speaks again. Why have you waited so long? I could have used your support over the years you know. Even that dratted bird has fled. How am I to guide them when those who were meant to be my fellow teachers leave me to rot in an old room filled with the memories of past fools? I have aided you. I have done my job. Even now I steel myself for the coming invasion. They will not easily take my children. Your children, you speak of your children? I have sorted them all you know. I remember each one, just as the wand makers remember every wand they have ever made. I remember all the young minds I have sorted over the years.
I remember the young Albus Dumbledore, so certain in his intellect and his righteousness. I remember when I sorted him. I saw his failing, oh yes I see all their flaws and strengths. The secrets they hide in their waking hours and that haunt them when they sleep. I saw his arrogance and his self-righteousness. I saw his thirst for knowledge. I remember the years he sat in this office and all the students he guided and those he failed.
I remember the Marauders. I remember those tricksters with cocky attitudes, so sure of their place in the world. Well, Black and Potter were sure. Pettigrew and Lupin were simply desperate to fit in. Yes, I knew their arrogance well. I saw their thoughtlessness and their pettiness. But I also saw their potential and their loyalty. I have never faltered in my judgments I don't regret placing all of them in Gryffindor, even the one who turned traitor to them all. For in the end I saw that which would redeem him.
I remember the fierce Lily. So eager to learn, she would have done Rowena proud. But she had fierceness in her that placed her squarely in Godric's house. She was one of the few that would have heeded my words of unity in this time of fear and prejudice. She would have tried I think, she would have pushed beyond the petty rivalries and tried to bring the school back to its old glory. Yes, I was glad to sort her. I was sorry when she died; I remember the news of that day. I was so sorry to here that the proud Lily had finally fallen. As was I old friend, I too mourned the fallen flower. But I mourn all my children, the outcasts, the lost, the foolish, and the proud.
The outcasts you say, the lost, the fools, and the proud? I have sorted them all. I sorted the one who would be the Dark Lord. He was so much like Salazar, so certain of his own importance. He was always going to fall to the same illness that ultimately brought down both Godric and Salazar that sin of pride. They were both so proud that they were blinded to the troubles that their pride would bring them. They were so determined to shape the world in their image that they destroyed themselves in the attempt.
I sorted Severus Snape as well, the bitter and lonely boy who became a bitter and honorable man. He would have done Salazar proud. He was cunning and even a little cruel. But he sheltered and guided his children well. Yes, he was one of my favorite young snakes. Quiet I am trying to remember. I remember his devotion to the fierce flower. I remember how he hated the proud Stag, Grim, and Wolf. I remember how he would rail and rage over the unfairness of the world. And I remember how he sheltered the son of his dearest and only friend.
I remember the Malfoys, The Blacks, The Weaselys, The Longbottoms, all the old families who have sent their children to be taught here in these hallowed halls. I remember the Muggleborns bright-eyed and incredulous, thirsting to prove themselves in this new and wondrous world. I remember Hermione Granger, The Weasely Twins, Luna Lovegood, Minerva McGonagall, Draco and Lucius Malfoy, Nymphadora Tonks, Alastar Moody, and so many more.
Yes, I remember every child I ever sorted, but the one child I remember clearest of all was Harry James Potter. I remember the shy and quiet boy who stood out of all the students I have ever sorted. I remember his fear, like so many Muggleborns and even a few Purebloods, of not being good enough. I remember his life before Hogwarts for I saw it all, I remember his pain, his fear, his abuse at the hands of those who should have loved him best of all. I saw how so much of his life shaped him into the kind of person who could face the inhumanity that is Tom Riddle year after year. The kind of person who would risk his life for friend and enemy alike. Oh yes I remember Harry Potter, I remember his nobility, his compassion and his willingness to learn. He was truly his mother's son for all that he looked nearly identical to his father. He had his mother's compassion, her willingness to befriend those that the rest of the world shunned. Not since the Founders themselves have I seen such a mind. I remember him because he is the only one to remember me. He spoke to me during his second year, when Salazar's gift manifested. Yet even when he asked me for reassurance he never really doubted me, more his own feelings. That boy will bring great things to Hogwarts, of this I'm certain.
The battle is over my friend. The young savior has won. Never have I had a child who loved me as much as my creators, not even the young serpant heir. It is true others have loved me, others have called me home, yet none of my children have been so thankful and truly in awe of me. Yes old friend, I too remember and I am honored and humbled at the hearts of my children, especially the heart of Harry Potter.