Chapter 2 -The sorting and the strange incidents around it
A stern looking woman swung open the door at once. She was a tall brunette, wearing green robes. Harry recognized her to be professor Mcgonagall; from his family's photo album, among his parents' graduation photos. She didn't look age a bit.
She took them from there, towards a chamber next to the Great hall. The entrance hall took the space of one fourth of the Potter manor, which was gigantic in Harry's eyes. As outside, the inside impressed the students more and more. Especially that marble stairway built in an ancient style stole Harry's heart. It might be the case that his manor had a look-a-like staircase; thus it gave Harry an impression of home.
After all students packed into the small antechamber next to Great hall, Professor Mcgonagall gave a piercing, yet same time admiring look at children.
"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. 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 honour. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours."
This seemed like a formal lecture to Harry, as a part of the Sorting ceremony. Professor Mcgonagall was the Deputy Headmistress after all, and it appeared that responsibility of welcoming new students vested upon her.
"The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting."
Her eyes roamed over students, observing each student. Her eyes stopped at Draco Malfoy, whose nose was gotten bigger and red as a long tomato. Well, it was turning blue and yellow. He suffered from a nose bleed, which he hid from others with a handkerchief. Harry felt kind of guilty, but the prat earned it himself and deserved it.
"You'll need medical attention, Mr. Malfoy." Professor Mcgonagall said firmly. "Come with me. I'll take you to Madam Pomfrey. And you'll have your sorting once she heals your nose."
Malfoy muttered something against it, but Professor had none of it. So, he had to go with Professor to the hospital wing.
Once the Professor left, Harry looked at Ron, who was staring at ground. Hermione was giving her looks of accusation and worry, which wasn't helping.
"Will he tell what happened in the train, Charlie?" Ron asked Harry in doubt.
"Nah," Harry said, "I don't think so. While he's a whiner, he doesn't like to appear like a whiner. Besides, he started whole thing, by calling derogatory names; so he would be in trouble as well as us when he tells whole thing. And it's not you who bit his nose; your rat."
Ron looked pleased. "I hope so. I don't want to be expelled on the first day. Mom would blast my ears away and kill me if I got expelled on the first day."
Hermione shook her head. "Would Malfoy be okay though?"
"Totally," Neville said. "From what I heard, Madam Pomfrey is a brilliant healer." He paused. "Here in wizarding world, almost all of deceases, injuries and accidents can be cured." He sounded somewhat bitter. "Except few of magical accidents. Also bitten werewolves or vampires can't be cured."
"Give me a break," a black boy asked. "Werewolves? Vampires? Are you for real?"
"Also ghosts!" A silver figure appeared behind him. The black boy shuddered and turned to see a fat little ghost, apparently a monk smiled at him. Some students screamed, but most of them didn't due to his peaceful attitude. 'Why couldn't he make peace with his death?' Harry wondered. Ghosts are beings between living world and afterlife, which were bound and stuck to the mortal world due to inability to accept their deaths.
"I'm the ghost of Hufflepuff house," he said, "also known as Friar among my peers. I'd hope to see you all in my old house, Hufflepuff."
"Now dear Friar; wouldn't it be unjust to have all students in your house, would it?" Another ghost appeared right next to the pudgy girl who seemed to be indifferent. He wore a tunic with a ruff, Harry immediately recognized him as Headless Nick, from his mom's diary. The Gryffindor ghost died a gruesome death, after 45 hits to neck with a blunt axe.
"One can keep hopes." The friar returned friendly banter with a chuckle. "Students, meet the resident ghost of Gryffindor tower; Sir Nicholas!"
"Nearly headless Nick," Harry heard Ron muttering. With several gasps, he turned to see more ghosts streaming through the walls into the room. They were the same colour as Friar or Nick, except they weren't acknowledging first year students. It appeared that they were in middle of a chat, apparently Peeves. His mother mentioned in her diary that the poltergeist was a nasty troublemaker.
Professor Mcgonagall came back in the room, with Draco Malfoy. Malfoy's nose was fine, with no bite marks at all. He gave a nasty sneer at Harry and the co. Ghost started to leave the room.
After forming a line, Professor took them towards the Great hall. Harry stood between Neville and another boy with jet black hair who introduced himself as Terry Boot. Through a pair of double doors, they stepped into the Great hall first time in their life time.
The Great hall was a treat to eyes. It was lit by numerous candles floating in water bubbles, which were floating in mid-air, over four long tables, belonged to four houses. Professors sat by another table which was on the top of hall. Hermione muttering about something in Hogwarts: A History and the ceiling droved his attention to the ceiling, which was enchanted to look like the sky.
Within moments, they found themselves facing the entire students of Hogwarts. Well, except first year students. They had their backs towards Professors. If they had, Harry could have noticed a certain pair of twinkling eyes roaming over his back.
Albus Dumbledore sat in a throne made out of gold with green gemstones carved to it, in the middle of high table. He had long silver hair, silver beard and silver moustache. He was looking at the backside of Harry Potter, the boy who lived.
'Charlie Evans? Really Harry? You could have chosen a better name like Jim, Bob or something.' He stopped chuckling as Fillius brought him to the real world.
"Albus, you're missing out from fun!" He remembered, showing the sorting hat which was on the sorting stool, in front of first year students.
"Thank you Fillius. I was wondering if I would get something else other than books for this Christmas." Dumbledore said.
Fillius' reply was interrupted by the song of sorting hat.
'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 cap 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 ready 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!'
The hall burst into applauses, as the hat ended its song. The hat bowed at each four tables, which went quiet after the applause. Professor Mcgonagall came forward holding a long roll of parchment; she stood next to the stool.
Neville swallowed as many others. Even though uncle Albus said that if Neville sorted in Slytherin, he would be fine with that; Neville wanted to be in Gryffindor like the rest of his family. He gave a look at Ernie, who was suddenly interested in his own feet.
"When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted," Professor Mcgonagall said.
Albus shared looks with Fillius and Pomona, who had smiles on their face. Sylvia was uninterested as always, rolled her eyes. That lady needs to lighten up a little. Quirinus on the other hand, looked pretty nervous. Carrying Tom in the back of head do that to you.
"Ready?" Fillius smirked.
"Ready," Albus nodded.
"Abbott, Hannah!" Minerva called the first name. A pink-faced girl with blonde pigtails sat on the stool, put on the hat, which fell right down over her eyes. Albus and Fillius both agreed on Hufflepuff.
"Hufflepuff!" The hat claimed loudly.
"Hufflepuff!" Fillius smirked at Albus.
"Ravenclaw!" Albus gave Fillius a 'sweet revenge' smile.
Both of them didn't feel time's passing as they entered into D's. Albus send an amused look at Weasley twins who jumped up and wolf whistled at the first Gryffindor of the first years, Lavender Brown. Millicent Blustrode became first Slytherin of the year at the middle of the cheering of Slytherin house. Crabbe landed in Slytherin, which was what they all were expecting from him. Albus figured out him to be a hat stall, they lacked the qualities of Slytherin house despite they landed there.
"Slytherin!" Albus got a lead of one, as a Brunette girl stepped towards the Slytherin house. Fillius should have seen this girl is different from their head boy this year.
As all E's passed, Ron leaned towards Hermione and muttered something in her ear. Her name was coming up, so Hermione didn't pay much attention. Where did she want to sort? Ravenclaw or Gryffindor? Slytherin and Hufflepuff were out of question; since she knew their traits aren't prominent in her, so that left other two houses.
'Noooo!' She screamed in her mind, but almost ran up to the stool; took the hat and put on her head quickly.
'Are we in middle of two houses?' A voice muttered in her mind.
'Are you talking to me?' Hermione thought.
'Why yes! I am!' The hat replied. 'What do you think you want? I think you'd do well in Ravenclaw with your intelligence. You seek to learn, yet you lack the wit a Ravenclaw should possess. On the other hand, I sense your Gryffindor-ish mindset. Very talented soul you have, indeed!'
As the bushy haired girl put on the sorting hat, Fillius called for Ravenclaw. Albus called Gryffindor. This muggleborn girl amused him to very end. A story needs a hero, and hero needs friends. Minerva told the girl was intelligent yet narrow minded and afraid of rule breaking. In a slight brush of her mindscape, Dumbledore came to understanding this witch. She may be smart, but she's also gullible, easy to manipulate by people in the power, if you don't make the wrong impression. She definitely has a place in this story. Let's wait and watch.
"Ravenclaw!" The hat announced.
The bushy haired girl gave a guilty look at Professor Mcgonagall, and then stepped towards the table second from the left.
"Greengrass, Daphne!" Mcgonagall called. Daphne stepped towards the stool, then her world went dark due to the sorting hat.
'Fed up hearing praises of Slytherin aren't you? Growing up to standards of pureblood culture sounds boring indeed! Want to please your pureblood parents?'
'Stop mocking me, you stupid prat!' Daphne thought.
'Am I now? What a vile language for such a pretty heiress? You shouldn't make me angry if you want me to sort you,' the sorting hat whispered in her mind.
Daphne gulped. Apparently, the hat can contact her mind telepathically. 'Sorry, Mr. Hat; I didn't mean to.'
Sorting hat cackled evilly, before it announced its judgment.
Daphne left a breath of relief as she stepped towards Slytherin table. She sat next to Tracey, who took her into a hug. She shrugged off it, and paid her attention back to the sorting ceremony.
When the sorting came towards L's, Neville wished he could phase, so he can get rid of the odd feeling came from his gut. If only they can do a re-sort if he was sorted in Slytherin?
He let out a long sigh and looked at his uncle, who nodded and gave an encouraging smile. Then he walked up to the stool, Professor Mcgonagall put the hat on his head.
The hat cried once as it touched Neville's head. Satisfied with himself, Neville went towards the Gryffindor table, who were cheering like mad. He sat next to a sandy haired Irish boy, and then began to watch the ceremony.
Albus was proud with himself when he sneered at Fillius for being wrong again. His deleted path was with Achilles and Patroclus, but now; it is Athena and Poseidon. They have to be different, fight for the same thing, despise each other and yet, one has to win.
When it came down to M's, Ernie was on his nerves. Although he wanted to be in Hufflepuff like his family, he also wanted to be in Gryffindor with his friend Neville.
"He's a Gryffindor,"; "He's so Hufflepuff, Albus!"
"Gryffindor!" The hat claimed, after taking few minutes.
Neville welcomed his friend to the table, scooting a little bit away to give Ernie some room. The friends began to talk as the sorting continued.
Draco knew he was a Slytherin even before he knew. He proudly walked up to the chair and let Mcgonagall put the hat over his head.
'I guess you just want to go to-'
Draco was pleased with him. He was a worthy Slytherin after all! He gave a haughty look towards his godmother who just nodded, then walked towards Slytherin table gracefully.
On the other hand, while it was a draw between Albus and Fillius, Albus gave a smile at the back of Draco's blonde head. The boy would have been a candidate for the prophecy, if Lucius and Narcissa had fought for light, or against Tom. Nevertheless, he will be a great card in the whole game.
Professor Mcgonagall kept on calling names. 'Moon, Lily', 'Nott, Theodore' and 'Parkinson, Pansy went to Slytherin. 'Patil, Padma' made her way to Ravenclaw while her twin sister 'Patil, Parvati' went to Gryffindor. 'Perks, Sally Anne' followed her immediately, and then…
"Potter, Harry!" Professor Mcgonagall called.
As Harry left the line, all the hell began to loose. Whispers began to occur everywhere in the Great hall, like 'Potter, did she say?' or 'The Harry Potter?' or 'Where is his scar?'
Ron shook her head. "I knew he was faking his name when E's passed, but I didn't see that coming." She mumbled.
Neville and Ernie watched with their mouths hanging out. They couldn't believe they spent the whole time with 'The Boy Who Lived'!
Fred and George just grinned madly, while Hermione watched him just like Ernie and Neville did, for a few moments. Then she narrowed her eyes on him. This is why he was good at spell casting. But where is his scar? Why he hid his identity? Why?
Draco Malfoy looked at Harry Potter with utter surprise. Why would Potter fake his identity at all? Where is his fabled scar or glasses, mentioned in those Harry Potter books?
Daphne Greengrass and Tracey Davis just exchanged looks with each other's. They couldn't believe that Charlie turned out to be Harry freaking Potter. It's just… no way it's possible.
Harry calmly walked up to the stool. Professor Mcgonagall put the hat on his head. Harry braised himself to take whatever hat would throw at him.
The hat called loudly as its brim just touched Harry's head;
The hall went into a deep silence, only to break with the applause of Headmaster himself. Then Professor Snape and the Slytherins followed the suit. There were murmurs of soon to be dark lord stuff, but Harry ignored them as he sat next to the bulky girl, Blustrode; who gave him a nod.
Meanwhile, Neville looked a bit hurt. He expected Harry to be sorted in Gryffindor, just like Ernie. He shook his head at Harry.
Hermione raised her eyebrows. Charlie… no, Harry didn't sound cruel, like those Parkinsons she met when Professor Mcgonagall took her and her parents into Diagon alley, or Draco Malfoy. Will Slytherin change him?
Her eyes met Ron's, who was apparently thinking the same thing.
But Charlie… or Harry appeared to be a decent folk. If someone can pull off what Slytherin throws at him, it's going to be him.
Ron threw Hermione an encouraging look.
As an attempt to ignore all the attention he was getting from students, Harry turned his attention towards the sorting ceremony. It was kind of awkward. His goblin acquaintances warned about things like this, but he had to admit, he wasn't ready for situations like this.
There were only three to be sorted. Being a Weasley, Ron was among those last three. Harry gave Ron a thumbs up as 'Turpin, Lisa' sorted into Ravenclaw. Ron gave him a nervous smile in return.
Ron nervously stepped towards the stool.
'Oh my! You have potential to shine up in every house, my dear. Why you should go to Gryffindor?' As Professor Mcgonagall put the hat on her head, someone whispered in her mind.
'Everyone in my family is sorted in there?' Ron thought.
'Are you sure? Both your grandmothers sorted in Slytherin. Why not go there?' The hat spoke in her mind.
'Wait a minute. How do you talk in my mind?' Ron asked.
'Good question, let's just say I'm made of the conscience of a powerful wizard, who's brilliant in mind magic. To understand this, you're required to have simple knowledge of Occlumency, which you don't possess now.' The hat whispered in her mind. 'You will shine up in-'
Hermione jumped up and cheered for her friend, who just sorted in her own house with her. Ron stumbled towards Ravenclaw table and sat next to Hermione, looking a bit upset. She gave a sad look at Percy, Fred and George.
Albus got an unbeatable lead with Fillius, but elder Weasley girl sorting in Ravenclaw was necessary. With her in Ravenclaw and him in Slytherin shall ease up their relationship which lady Prewett would be satisfied with. Her political support was extremely valuable, after all.
He got up to his feet, feeling satisfied.
"Welcome!" he said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!"
"Thank you!" He sat down.
Harry joined the clapping with the other students, but he avoided looking Dumbledore in the eye. His ancestor, Henry Potter advised against looking someone in the eye because it gives an enemy to read his mind.
"So, you lied about your name, huh?" Tracey asked Harry. "Why?"
"That's for me to know, and you to figure out." Harry gave a friendly smile. "Shall we?" He said, showing the silver dishes full with food; roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, chips, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, mint humbugs.
Harry and Tracey had a small talk while taking meals. Crabbe and Goyle were making themselves pigs. Daphne and Millicent girl didn't join their conversation, but listening for the entire time. For Harry's amusement, Malfoy was stuck next to the Slytherin ghost, who appeared to be creepy with his silver blood stained robes.
Harry gave a look at high table. He recognized many professors, who were in his mom's graduation photos. And the old coot Albus Dumbledore himself was in the golden throne. Currently, he was talking to a hooked nosed woman who looked like a vampire with her pale skin and the black robes. She looked familiar to Harry.
"Who's that?" He asked Tracey.
Instead of Tracey, the Slytherin prefect replied, "Professor Snape. You should know her very well; she is the head of our house. She is also the potions mistress. I warn you, read the text book before the class. She likes to question her students beforehand."
"Professor Snape? Like Sylvia Snape?" Harry asked before he knew it.
"Right in one, Potter. I'm Gemma Farley, one of Slytherin prefects." She said.
"Pleasure to meet you. I'm Harry Potter." Harry said.
"Not that you need to introduce yourself," Gemma said. "You're already a celebrity."
"Yeah, thanks." Harry said. Even if it was his mother that should have been the celebrity, Harry didn't say it out loud.
Dumbledore rose to his feet again as the students ended their meals. The hall went full silent.
'Ahem – just a few more words now we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you."
"First-years should note that the forest in the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. And a few of our older students would do well to remember that as well." Dumbledore's blue eyes winked at Weasley twins. Percy looked displeased at the duo who was smiling wickedly.
Dumbledore went on some notices like banned objects of Mr. Filch and Quidditch trials, and then went silent for a bit, before announcing his last announcement.
"And Finally, I must inform you about something important. You shall not pass the door of third-floor corridor on the right hand side. If you dare to do that, you'll find yourself in afterlife." Dumbledore's eyes lingered over Harry's face; Harry looked away smartly.
"Now let us sing the Hogwarts anthem before we end the feast." Dumbledore said.
Harry could clearly see Professor Snape frowning. Professor Mcgonagall rolled her eyes. Professor Flitwick slightly chuckled; Professor Sprout held an uneasy smile. Other professors too smiled, yet those appeared to be forced ones.
After singing the school anthem, the feast ended. Students left to each of their respective houses with their bid his colleagues good night, and then took the sorting hat in his hands. Traditionally, the deputy principle should bring the hat to sorting ceremony, and Headmaster should bring it back to its rightful place, the Headmaster's office.
With a clever wave of his wand, Dumbledore appeared in his office. The portraits were pretending that they were sleeping, but Dumbledore knew he was being watched by those meddlesome individuals. Fawkes was asleep on his perch.
Dumbledore put the sorting hat on his head, and sat on his throne in middle of the circular room.
'Greetings for the dashing leader of the light.' The hat whispered in his mind.
'You did a great job today. I appreciate good work when I see it.' Dumbledore thought, 'And Good night for you too, Wulfric!'
'Good night for you too, Albus; may our enemies be damned.' The hat replied, 'For the greater good!'
"For the greater good," Dumbledore muttered. His eyes gleamed mischievously.
Hello again! I don't know if you people saw that! You see; people forget who Dumbledore is, and what this man can do. In canon, the same man read muggle newspapers unlike ministry officers; also he ordered around Fudge while he's still a fugitive running away. This Dumbledore created and creates wizarding world in his own imagination, which is what Harry will fight against. And it would be uneasy for this orphan young boy to face two main enemies in two fronts.
Who should be Harry's first love? and who should be the final pairing ( I know it is too early to ask, but I'm asking just for fun)
Any one who can tell what Dumbledore did wins a Loral crown.