"Abberly, Roland!" McGonagall called.

"Ravenclaw!"

Ginny watched with interest as her fellow yearmates were sorted into their houses. She waved at Luna Lovegood, Bhavna Patel, Vicky Frobisher, and Demzela Robbins as they joined their respective tables (Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor). Glancing at the Gryffindor table, where Fred and George were waving at her, Ginny briefly wondered where her brother Ron was. Shrugging, she turned back to the Sorting. And much too fast -

"Weasley, Ginevra!"

Ginny grimanced at the name, but approached the stool anyway, placing the Hat over her head.

My, my. What a conundrum we have here. Raised in the home of lions, yet you exemplify traits better suited to their rival house, Ginny Weasley.

Ginny stiffened. Just as Tom had said, the Hat had already picked apart her mind in mere seconds.

Courage and nerve yes, and a large amount of one of Gryffindor and Slytherin's sole shared traits, determination. Oh, you have that in spades Miss Weasley. Ambition… an unquenched thirst to rise up from your House's ruins and restore the Weasley's rightful place on the Wizengamot. Very interesting, I haven't seen that come from a Weasley since maybe three generations before you were born. Hmm...we can find subtlety and resourcefulness clearly looking at your nighttime escapades to your family's broom shed…

Despite herself, Ginny raised her eyebrows. The Hat really could see everything.

Yes Miss Weasley, I do 'see everything' as you so put it. Now, my final thoughts. You exemplify self preservation combined with flattery, seeing yourself prance your way out of difficult situations. Your determination will bring fruit to your ambition, and your resourcefulness will help spur the process. You possess a variant of the Weasley loyalty, I suppose, yet I cannot see you in Hufflepuff. Ravenclaw would work, perhaps, but you would not receive the more… hands on learning and opportunity to thrive that other situations would provide. You are Gryffindor enough, I suppose, for me to sort you into the House of the Brave where you could be with your brothers. But you could be great in Slytherin. You would have the opportunity to do much you desire. The decision is yours, Miss Weasley. Where would you like me to sort you?

Ginny took a deep breath. This was it. You could be great in Slytherin, the voice resounded in her head. She could, though. And Ginny knew it, beyond anything Tom had told her. She could be great in Slytherin. She could make her dreams come true. And yet, despite all that, Ginny felt a very humane desire entangle itself in the depths of her thoughts. As the youngest of seven and only girl in a sea of slightly jealous boys, Ginny was and had always been alone, just as much so as Percy and Ron. Power and greatness were important, but so were the other parts of life. After all, she thought wryly, it would do no good for her to sit through Wizengamot meetings with no friends by her side, neither for herself as a person nor for her later political goals.

"Sort me wherever I will be great," Ginny whispered, not only to the Hat but also to herself, "but also sort me wherever I'll be… happy. I want both. Neither are good without the other. I want friends."

Ginny felt the Hat… beam? Oh, very good Miss Weasley. I was hoping you would go down this path. You are very correct, neither option is appealing nor satisfactory without the other. And your House will provide you with both, be certain of that. … You know, the Hat mused, with the exception of your last answer you remind me quite a bit of two boys. The last one was the opposite of you in some ways, borne of the snakes but found himself in the Lion's den. The one before… a Slytherin. I bet you recognize him, Ginny Weasley. Tom Marvolo Riddle.

Before a stunned Ginny could respond though, the Hat quickly shouted out "Slytherin!"

And all was silent.

Ginny slowly got up from the stool, and made her way over to the Slytherin table. As she glanced around the hall, she saw Fred and George frozen in their seats. Percy was too, but there was a glint of… something in his eyes. Shaking her head, she privately wondered what Ron would think. Looking at everyone else in the hall, Ginny nearly burst out in laughter at everyone's expressions. The Hufflepuffs had broken out into furious whispers over a Weasley being sorted into Slytherin, while the Ravenclaws were all staring at her, trying to dissect her as if she was a specimen they had never seen before. Gryffindor was a mixed bunch, some of them were poking at Fred and George, a few were just as frozen as the Twins, a portion of them looked torn between supporting the sister of their friends, who was also a Slytherin, and yet another portion of them seemed amused. Slytherin themselves were very blatantly torn between open disgust, curiosity, and calculating expressions.

Ginny was torn out of her observing when she heard a slow, resounding clap coming from Luna Lovegood, who was smiling dreamily but held a glint in her eyes. Percy joined along with her, and so did a few at the Slytherin table. Soon, the Great Hall was filled with slow claps coming from all the Houses. Smirking unnoticeably but triumphantly, she sat down at the Slytherin table.