All of Ron's siblings had described that first view of the castle, but none of them gave him the praise he deserved, it was the most magical thing the red-haired boy had ever seen.

"It's so beautiful," Hermione said in a dreamy voice, holding his right arm tightly.

"It's definitely the most enchanting thing I've ever seen in my life," Harry emphasized, clinging to his left arm.

Ron couldn't agree more, Hogwarts was worth every single one of the years he waited with envy for his turn to go and as weird as his new... Friends? Acquaintances? Well, whatever they were, they could also notice the beautiful scene...

"... And his blue eyes are like two windows to the sky"

"... And her freckles like a map that directs you to his full lips."

Ron didn't know why he expected anything else.

Before Ron questioned the sanity of the three of them (his own for still standing next to them) a giant, thickly bearded man was attracting the attention of all the first years.

"So that's the infamous Hagrid" thought Ron. His mum had a vendetta against him, being the main reason Charlie was barmy for the dragons and took off as soon as he left Hogwards to Romania to be with them, she warned him/threatened him that Dumbledore would one day let his guard down and she would have her revenge.

"Alright first years follow me" he said with an attempt at authority but he was too jovial to be able to boss anyone around, though anyway when you're about 10 feet tall there's something that makes people do what you say.

Hagrid seemed to know Harry... well everyone knew Harry, but he seemed to know him better as he gave smiles and curious glances at seeing him so attached to Ron's arm.

Ron wondered if Hagrid had been the cause of Harry's penchant for kidnapping pet rats.

Probably.

It turns out that the first years to enter the castle have to cross the river via small boats, although these move magically Ron thought they should have thought of a not so muggle way to start the tour, not that Ron had anything against boats but come on, some imagination and budget would be nice.

Each boat would fit four children. Except of course it seemed that most of them had better common sense than he did, because when they saw the looks that Harry and Hermione were giving to a pretty blonde girl they avoided the three of them as if they had dragon-plox.

So Ron found himself in front, with Harry to his left and Hermione behind him, Ron didn't know exactly why but if one of them should be behind him he didn't want them to go to Harry, his instincts closer to his buttocks warned him.

Of course that meant he had to deal with the massage Harry was giving to his thigh and the caresses Hermione was giving him with her shoeless foot on his back.

But Ron already knew he wasn't going to get away unscathed.

Trying to tune out the conversation Hermione and Harry were having (which was making a top ten list of the best freckles on his face, which made him shiver) Ron turned his attention away to the other boats. You could tell at a glance who the muggles were as they stared in amazement at the boats that were moving on their own thanks to the enchantments, the purebloods who had the expression as if they had a branch stuck up their ass, trying to discimulate nerves or excitement (Ron could no longer feel nerves after everything that happened on the way on the train) and the halfbloods who had a normal look for this situation.

He could notice that blonde girl who was trembling a bit as she talked to the brunette twins and "discimulately" pointed at the three of them.

There was also the boat carrying Malfoy and his bouncers while he was showing a bit more courage throwing fearful glances at them while a girl who looked too annoying was trying to comfort him (come on, to try to get along with a Malfoy you must not have a good head).

"... I don't know guys, I think the one above his nose should be in the top one" said a really serious Hagrid, who to Ron's horror had plunged right into the conversation of the other two.

"Come on Hagrid that's an obvious choice, the real beauty lies in the subtle, as represented by that majestic freckle near her left ear" Hermione said in a rather bossy manner.

"Don't get me wrong, both of his choices are beautiful, like all freckles, but the one in the center of his forehead is the best, it's as if it marks you as always being in his thoughts and at the same time invites you to join his forehead to yours" said Harry with a voice of complete confidence like someone who commands an army, while Hermione seemed ready to defend her point and Hagrid seemed close to being converted.

Seriously, next time he's going to the tarantula wagon, Ron felt his phobia being replaced in his mind.

Finally on dry land Ron tried in vain to distance himself from the duo without much success, once on the ground they clung to Ron's arms like shackles and to Ron's horror there was no one from the first years who wouldn't pay attention to them, they all watched, pointed, whispered and laughed at their situation, Ron really didn't want to know what would happen when Fred and George found out,

Like a prisoner marching to be kissed by a dementor, Ron marched the last stretch to get to Hogwarts, resigned but with his head held high, hoping to rescue some dignity (with little luck, considering that Harry and Hermione were very fondled with his arms).

Finally arriving at the entrance of that portentous castle they were greeted by an elderly witch, whom Ron quickly recognized as Professor Mcgonagall: head of Griffindor house, who his older brothers describe as a fair person who does not show favoritism towards her house.

Except when it comes to Quidditch

If you're a valuable member of the team she treats you as if you were her own flesh and blood.

Ron understood that well, there is nothing more important than Quidditch.

"Thank you very much, Hagrid. I'll take them from here," said the teacher who had her priorities straight.

Welcome to Hogwarts! said Professor McGonagall as she looked around at the new students, when her gaze finally turned to the trio she just stared at them while arching an eyebrow at Ron, who was definitely the recipient of so much attention,

Ron for his part hoped to convey his desire to be saved from his fate to the teacher with his gaze, while the two beside him increased the strength of their grip, as if daring the teacher to separate them from the red-haired boy.

Mcgonagall quickly decided to ignore the trio, after all they were still not her responsibility (although she knew that at least the Weasley was going to be).

"The beginning of the year banquet will start soon, but before that you will be sortung for one of the four Hogwarts houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin" Ron thought she could have better hidden her pride to Gryffindor and her dislike to Slytherin in her tone of voice.

But hey Gryffindor is just great.

And eww... Slytherin.

"I recommend that while you're waiting you get dressed up as best you can."

No sooner had Ron said this than he felt Hermione adjust the collar of his shirt, while Harry tried to fade the wrinkles in Ron's robes with his hand.

He appreciated the gestures, but felt that the double slap on his bottom and the whistles were overdone.

The other students began to talk among themselves, some animatedly and some nervously, some wondering what the assignment ceremony would be like and others wondering what the hell was going on with the red-headed boy and his fans. Ron hoped that if any of them found out he would let them know,

"You know my older brothers tell me that we have to fight a troll in the selection" Ron finally decided to speak again, after all it didn't matter how mellow and scary the duo were, they were entertaining to talk to.

"Well there could definitely be a troll this year" Harry said as he and Hermione tried to hide their laughter.

Either it was a private joke or the two of them were easy to entertain as Ron didn't see what was so funny (and hoped it wasn't some inuendo from one of his body parts).

Finally in the great hall he could see how the older students were waiting carefully for the new ones for the sorting, unfortunately the red hair color was easy to notice so without even trying he could see how the twins arched an eyebrow at the people who had declared his arms as theirs, he could notice how his brothers plotted all the jokes they would make at his expense, while Hermione and Harry took advantage of his guard being down to get more affectionate with his legs, so to speak.

In the middle of the hall what Ron had thought was a dirty rag began to move, thanks to Merlin he wouldn't have to fight a troll on his first day (which thinking about it was too stupid to believe them) but according to the hat song (which Ron thought was a solid 3.5 of 5 and was sure Ginny would give it a lower rating) they would pass in front of everyone and put on the hat who would choose which house they belonged to.

Ron would be more nervous if it weren't for the question of whether that would count as putting the hat's butt on his head left him with a dilemma.

"Hanna Abbout" said Mcgonagall in a loud, authoritative voice, as she gave a little cry of surprise and moved quickly to where the hat was.

"Do you remember which house she belonged to?" mentioned Harry to Ron's confusion.

"Mmm... I don't remember her honestly I think she was someone with little notoriety and relevance" Hermione replied.

"Hufflepuff!" the hat's voice boomed throughout the hall.

"Yup... like I said not very relevant" Hermione said confidently as Harry nodded.

Ron knew that was a cruel... but true

"Lavander Brown."

This time Ron noticed that they hadn't asked each other the question and just stared at the blonde they had previously bullied.

Between her and Malfoy, Ron wondered if the duo had something against blondes.

Ron decided at that moment to learn as quickly as possible some transfiguration spell to change the color of his hair.

"Griffindor!"

That girl seemed to be really happy with her selection (Ron didn't blame her) until she had the bad idea to look in the direction of the three of them.

Harry seemed to be trying to throw her the unforgivables from his eyes while Hermione passed her wand to the side of his neck as if in a cutting gesture.

Ron decided at that moment not to learn any transfiguration spells to make himself blond

One by one they made their way to the sorting hat, until at last they reached the letter G

"Hermione Jean Granger!"

Hearing her name, she gave Ron a big hug as she breathed deeply into his chest, then turned her gaze to Harry, Ron could tell a conversation held only by glances just by looking at it thanks to his twin brothers (conversations that got all the other brothers out of their minds).

Hermione gave Ron a flirtatious wink and walked with her eyes straight ahead and a perfect posture, like an auror at war, Malfoy and Lavender looked at her as if she were a dementor, finally knowing the name of the person who would be the protagonist of their nightmares tonight.

As soon as Mcgonagall put the hat on Hermione's head, the hat spoke.

Not to say any of the houses, though.

"Holy fuck!" said the hat in surprise.

"My girl, I don't know what to say, I've never been touched by someone who has traveled so far" he continued "I'm so sorry for everything you had to go through my girl, no one deserves to be in the middle of all that mess and much less your last months in that place".

Everyone showed complete attention to their draw, even the teachers were now attentive to the two of them.

"Well my child in the house of Salazar you will find the political power you need to be at the top and so..." everyone was wide eyed knowing that a muggleborn would be in the house of snakes "What? But it's perfect for you! You could rule her and mold her to your will" Snape's eyes seemed to pop out of his head as he listened to the hat.

"Well, well, Ravenclaw also fits you like a glove, you could very well be the incarnation of Rowena, your knowledge will open the doors of... Neither?" no one dared to make any noise now, Ron wondered why the hat was talking about something like that in such a loud voice but he guessed that hats thought differently than people.

Ron didn't believe in the friendship between man and clothes.

"Griffindor!? You're not the same shy little girl you were then and while you have plenty of courage other houses would suit you better... don't base your decisions on a man who is still a child" Hermione looked annoyed with the hat and apparently she was the only one between the two of them who remembered that they could speak in her mind.

"I know this whole trip is about him, but it's not healthy what you want to do with him? he's still just a kid and I'm sure the poses you want are not humanly possible... yes I know magic exists... I'm a damn magic hat... no... I don't know how 'gifted' he'll be... no... don't think about it! I don't want to see him... aaagh... well yes he is but still..."

The more Ron listened, the more nervous he got, although a lot had to do with Harry taking advantage of Hermione's absence to get more mellow.

"Okay you win! May Merlin take pity on this place... "Griffindor!"

No one applauded except Harry, when a very smug Hermione sat down at the table everyone else moved as far away as possible.

Fred and George looked a little uncomfortable.

The ceremony went on with less cheer than before, Malfoy and his not so loyal henchmen went to Slyterin to no one's surprise, The first brunette twin was put in Ravenclaw house while the second to her horror in Griffindor house, partly because she was separated from her twin (Fred and George looked at them with pity, being separated for them was worse than death) and partly because she would be in the same house as Hermione and probably in the same dormitory as her.

The poor thing was shaking like a chihuahua.

"Harry James Potter!"

Again the room fell silent, not only because it was the boy who lived but also because he belonged to the same group as Hermione.

With a tight hug for Ron and a not so subtle hand to his backside (Really, why so much interest to his butt!?) Harry walked with determined steps like a leader, on the way he only looked away from the hat to nod in Hermione's direction while she nodded back to him.

Mcgonagall saw where all this was going and could not have been more frightened for and of her lions.

When Harry finally reached the chair the hat was quick to speak again.

"Another one!"

Any hope that it would only be Hermione who was "like that" was gone.

Kid you could basically make Salazar himself green with envy with your skills... got it? Green? Salazar?" The hat laughed at his own "joke".

Ron gave him a 3 for his effort

Snape looked pale and greasy, but Ron thought that was normal.

"I guess you're not going to want to be in the one that suits you best either, are you, you little red chaser?"

Harry just looked rolled his eyes as if he had been told the most obvious thing in the world.

Ron hoped it was because of the comment about not wanting to be in Slytherin and not the red chaser thing.

"No boy or man should have to endure what you went through young Harry, it's a shame what happened throughout your life and I really regret the circumstances of how you found out who your heart belonged to..." the hat said solemnly, Ron could see Harry watching him with a melancholy look on his face while Hermione simply ducked her head becoming as small as possible.

Ron hoped that person would be alright and get Harry off his back.

"I know I can't change your mind but at least do things in moderation young one... some of the things I unfortunately now know about you and Granger make me think that I should avoid the 3 of you being together... come on what you want is not even biologically possible Harry... yes yes I know that potion but do you really think you can last 9 months in each dose transformed like that? And come on so many would overwhelm him...yes I know he's a Weasley and it's in his instinct to have so many but..."

Ron really hoped they were talking about Percy.

"Come on it's not even certain that he's even in the house of valor... yes, I know he's a bloody Weasley... yes I know about his ancestors, do you think I don't know about the best friend of one of my parents!?"

So it wasn't just a story that his ancestor was Godric's best friend... blimey

"But if I feel he might be in trouble (and boy, are you and Granger a trouble) I may decide to put him in another house..."

Suddenly the hat fell silent and opened his eyes (which is impressive since he has no eyes at all).

"No, you would never dare... I am a relic from the era of the founders themselves... yes I know the old goat is an enabler... yes I know he has blatant favoritism (there is no one here among us who doesn't) but... or Merlin are you serious... but come on boy that's a bit extreme."

All Harry did was look at where Hermione was sitting as everyone in the room turned their gaze to her as well.

Hermione pulled out her hat that was part of her uniform and gave it a hard whack, then pointed at the hat.

The hat went silent and Ron thought it had lost some color.

"Griffinfor!" he only said this as he tried to get away from Harry's head.

"Yaaay... we got... Potter" Fred and George said without any real hint of happiness.

Harry quickly sat down next to Hermione but leaving enough space between them to fit another person.

Ron had a bad feeling.

The room felt as if the dark lord himself was present, no one was in a good mood anymore.

"Ronald Bilius Weasley."

If any consolation Ron had it was that he was sure that no other Weasley had ever had as much attention in his sorting as he had.

Too bad it wasn't for good reasons.

Ron hoped he would be the first Weasley not to get into Griffindor.

Who knew he might be in Slytherin and discover that he had an ability to see the future and with the help of the fellow snakes rise in the ranks of the purebloods and change the future for the better.

But Ron knew that these were just fantasies that were nothing like the not-so-magnificent reality.

So accepting this reality he put on his head the talking thousand year old mind-reading magic hat that sang.

Why should reality be so dull and scary?

Still hoping for the best, the hat finally deigned to speak to him.

"Young Ronald... you know what sacrifice is, don't you?"

Ron didn't like the way this conversation started.

"Can you send me to another house?"

"Sacrifice Ronald is when a person knows that his life does not compare to others (especially that of a beautiful wizard hat as I am) and risks his life, or in your case his dignity so that two wizards do not destroy the school for not having the person they want..."

"I seriously think I would make an excellent Hufflepuff..." Ron almost threw up saying that "you know with all that stuff about loyalty and being the left out."

"People look with great respect on wizards who sacrifice their self to the greater good..."

"I know if I try hard enough I can be someone who brings Ravenclaw pride, you know street smarts and all that..."

"And Godric would be sad that his best friend's offspring wouldn't go to his house" The hat omitted that his father would also be sad that his creation would sacrifice said friend's offspring but what anyone donĀ“t knew wouldn't hurt anyone...except Ron of course.

Ron looked at the duo who with their arms were forming a giant heart in his direction, he couldn't help the shiver that ran through his body.

"Come on, I can be cunning and evil if I want to, even if I am a pureb..."

"Griffindor!"

"Most people looked at him with the pity of someone who had been given a sentence in Azkaban."

Harry and Hermione were whistling as with their wands they created large fireworks that created Ron's name in orange letters of fire.

At least it was a nice touch.

As he was forced to sit in the middle of the two Ron had only one thought:

Ron definitely didn't believe in the friendship between man and clothes.