A Stitch in Time Saves Nine
So, here's the next chapter of this fic. Thank you to all of you that have favorited and followed it.
Note: this fic will incorporate elements from the moves along with the books. I'll be picking and choosing which bits to use from both sources in order to not make it like you're just reading a pdf or a transcript.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
The Hogwarts Express soon arrived at the Hogsmeade Station and the students all disembarked, with the First Years separating from their upperclassmen as said students boarded carriages that would take them to the castle. As for the First Years, they were met by an enthusiastic Hagrid as he led them to the Black Lake where a small armada of rowboats were waiting for them.
"No more'n four to a boat!" called out Hagrid as the new students grouped together to board the small watercrafts, "Everyone in? Right then, Forward!"
With that call, the boats disembarked from the shore and began their journey across the waters. As the boats cleared a bend, the students got their first look at the majesty of the Hogwarts Castle, its lit windows illuminating it against the starry backdrop behind it.
"I forgot how amazing this was," whispered Hermione to Ron from where they shared a boat with Harry and another student.
"It's the little things," said Ron as he took in a sight that he hadn't thought he'd see again. Not like this.
Once the boats made berth at the far shore, the half-giant Keeper of the Keys led them to the impressive doors of the castle, and when they swung open, a tall black-haired witch with emerald robes and a stern face that warned others not to cross her was there to greet them.
"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," said Hagrid.
"Thank you, Hagrid," said the now named Professor McGonagall, "I shall take them from here."
The elderly witch led the group into the halls of the school and into an empty chamber where she addressed them, "Welcome to Hogwarts," said Professor McGonagall. "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room."
"The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin," continued McGonagall, "Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours. I shall return for you shortly."
"How do you think they're going to sort us?" asked one student.
"I heard it was some kind of test," said another.
"Actually," said Ron, drawing attention to him, "all my older brothers have attended, and from the mixed accounts that they've given me, it seems like it's a sort of personality assessment using an ancient magical artefact."
"That does fit what my father told me," piped up Draco, causing some of the tension to abate.
"Students," said McGonagall as she returned, "please form a line and follow me. The Sorting Ceremony is about to begin."
The professor led the students into the Great Hall and past the tables before coming to a stop at the front of the room where an old pointed hat sat on a stool, "When I call your name, please sit upon the stool and the Sorting Hat shall decide the House you shall be in," she said as she pulled out a scroll, "Abbott, Hannah."
Harry eagerly waited as McGonagall called the names of the other students, tuning out most of the sorting until the Deputy Headmistress came across a name that caught his attention.
The bushy haired witch took a steadying breath as she walked to the front of the room and took a seat upon the stool, allowing McGonagall to place the Sorting Har upon her head.
"Ah, finally a tricky one," said the Hat's voice in her head, "and what a surprise indeed. This isn't even your first time around."
'Does that change anything?' Hermione asked mentally.
"Oh, and you realize we can communicate too," said the Hat in an impressed tone, "that along with the Occlumency training shows that you have quite the formidable mind. Ravenclaw would be a wonderful fit for you, but you also have a powerful loyalty to your friends that would serve you well in Hufflepuff. Oh, what fun you'd have in either House."
'I'm not so sure about that,' thought Hermione, 'I feel I can be of more help to our goals if I remain in our original House.'
"Perhaps," said the Hat, "but you would indeed do well in either house. Ravenclaw could nurture your pursuit of knowledge and Hufflepuff could help you find support and friends. You would be welcome in both."
"However," said the Hat as Hermione was about to respond, "you have faced dangers that many your age should never have to deal with, yet still you pushed forward. Continue to be brave and these traits shall support you in your future efforts. So, better be: GRYFFINDOR!"
The last part was said aloud and caused the Gryffindor Table to erupt with cheers. Next called, was Neville Longbottom, another friend of theirs who had abstained from their last memorial dinner due to family obligations, and thus was not brought back in time like the rest of them. The hat took a long time to decide with Neville. When it finally shouted, "GRYFFINDOR," Neville ran off still wearing it, and had to jog back amid gales of laughter to give it to McGonagall, who proceeded to sort the next student.
A few more students were sorted before they came to the second person on the list that had traveled back with them, "Malfoy, Draco."
"Well now," said the Hat in Draco's mind, "here we have another one back to change the before. A soul seeking redemption for the sins of his family. Where to put you, I wonder? You have a brave heart that would suit you well in Gryffindor, and you've learned the value of hard work, as opposed to riding the reputation of your family."
"I see your intentions though," continued the Hat, "you wish to gather allies for your friends' cause from the House that would prove to be the biggest opposition. It is an ambitious goal, and will not be easy, but I can see that you are determined. It will require all of your cunning, but if you're sure, there is only one place for you, SLITHERIN!"
As Draco made his way to the Slytherin table, McGonagall continued to call up other students to be sorted. They all were sorted rather quickly without much deliberation needed on the Hat's side, but then a name was called that made the hall go quiet.
As Harry stepped forward, whispers suddenly broke out like little hissing fires all over the hall. "Potter, did she say?" "The Harry Potter?" It was as if the whole hall was abuzz simply because they heard his name. As the Sorting Hat was placed on his head, he could see the students of all four Houses eagerly waiting to see how he would be sorted.
"Harry Potter," said the Sorting Hat in Harry's mind, "I've seen a lot about you in the minds of your friends. The Master of Death, the Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One to vanquish the Dark Lord, you have quite the reputation. But that was in the then that has now never happened, wasn't it?"
Harry was a bit surprised that the Sorting Hat could see that deep into their minds, but he figured it helped to Sort students into the proper Houses…though putting Pettigrew in Gryffindor was a mistake in his opinion.
"Indeed, mister Potter," said the Sorting Hat, "it is useful in ensuring that students go where they need to go. And as for mister Pettigrew, I maintain that I made the right choice and Sorted him because of the spark of potential I saw, though based on your memories, I am saddened that he wasted that potential. But in any case, where to put you Harry Potter?"
"Hmm," said the Hat as it mulled things over, "I must say that you've shown remarkable loyalty to those close to you in your journey, sticking by them even when others, including the government itself, tried to force you down, and though you tried to do things on your own several times, Hufflepuff would be a decent fit."
Harry wasn't so sure about that, as he felt that his history of pushing others away when his problems got bad, wouldn't be ideal.
"However," continued the Hat, "I do see your point. Hufflepuff not quite the ideal fit for you."
Harry was surprised. It was like the Hat could read his thoughts.
"Well of course I can," scoffed the Hat into Harry's mind, "you should know, we spoke when you requested not to be Sorted into Slytherin the last time around."
Huh, thought Harry. How did that not occur to him?
"In any case," said the Hat, "where exactly to sort someone like you? I stand by my statement that Slytherin could help you become great, despite the reputations of many that have come from that House."
Harry frowned, while he was on good terms with Draco now, and after meeting his wife and family a few times, he found the Greengrasses to be likeable people as well, he wasn't too keen on being in the same House as the children of the Death Eaters that escaped via Imperius claims for the next seven years.
"A good point," said the Hat, "so let us put that aside for now. Let's see, as I said earlier, you have a remarkable sense of loyalty and hard work, traits that would serve you well in Hufflepuff, gaining you many allies and friends."
Harry saw the logic in this, but Cedric was in that house, and his death in their previous time around was still a wound that needed to heal, and he felt he couldn't do so in such close proximity to the older teen.
"Hmm," agreed the Hat, "it wouldn't help things if you were dealing with unresolved trauma every year, and Ravenclaw wouldn't be a good fit either…my apologies, but that leaves us with one choice, which, as it turns out, is possibly the best choice for you: GRYFFINDOR!"
Harry made his way to the familiar table in the Great Hall, smiling as he saw a certain pair of Weasleys dancing a jig in celebration, before taking a seat next to Neville.
The rest of the Sorting proceeded quickly, ending with Ron promptly being sorted into the House of the Lions once more and the Feast beginning. As they ate surrounded by friends they had once lost to the war, the four that had traveled back to reset the clock felt that they could do anything.
So, I wanted to flush out the Sorting Hat's decision on the group, as they aren't the same people any more, but as for Ron, where else could he go? He isn't the brightest, he works hard, but still takes shortcuts (like with his driving test), and isn't cunning or ambitious (plus he'd never stand for being with the snakes.)
In any case, this is Trace Carter signing off.