1 September 1991 - Slytherin common room
The situation in the Slytherin common room was... interesting. Not tense, exactly. Definitely not chaotic, as none of the Slytherins had the least bit of patience with that. But interesting. Very few of those who had thought they were Slytherins going into the dining hall still did coming out of it. In fact, as you look around the common room at the energetically gesturing groups of students, you might get the idea that the first criterion for being sorted into Slytherin was not, in fact, being the child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or sibling of a Deatheater.
The first years, for the most part, were the least confused. They had arrived at Hogwarts, been sorted, been told they'd been sorted differently and moved to different tables, and then realized that they were at the wrong tables and moved back. A little disconcerting, certainly, but at least they hadn't had years to settle into the wrong house. Eight out of nine of them sat at one table, cheerfully comparing notes on what the hat had actually said to them now that they could remember it.
The ninth, one Ronald Bilius Weasley, was more than making up for the other first years' serenity all on his own. The four Weasley boys were having a family conference off in a corner. Ron was trying to pay attention to what the others were saying, but his combination of panic over what his parents would say and fascination with the view of the lake bottom and little glowing fishes swimming in and out of the waving lakeweed was playing havoc with his powers of concentration. And the little fish were really a lot more interesting and relevant than his brothers' discussion anyway. Seriously, if Percy, Fred, and George could find a way to agree on anything (or rather if Fredandgeorge could agree with Percy and vice versa), they certainly weren't going to listen to any argument from him. And if his mother were to send a howler, it would probably be to Percy, or the twins, or even Dumbledore, not him. Maybe he should just leave them to it and go meet his housemates.
"Repeating 'Slytherin, Slytherin, Slytherin' over and over again doesn't make you a Slytherin, you know."
"You won't be happy there."
"They won't be kind to you there. You'd really be much better off in Hufflepuff, where loyalty like yours is appreciated."
"No, thank you. Slytherin, please."
"Would you consider perhaps Gryffindor?"
"Hmm... Oh no you don't - Slytherin!"
"Very well, Mr. Snape, since you insist, better be... SLYTHERIN!"
As Ron walked off with his new housemates to the first year boys' dorm, he decided that maybe he'd done pretty well. Cornfoot was as big a Quiddich fan as he was, even if his favorite team wasn't the Cannons. Smith and Patil were both enthusiastic about chess, and Patil definitely understood about wanting to be nothing like your siblings. Turpin was just as much of a bookworm as Granger, so the two of them ought to keep each other busy. Goyle, he wasn't too sure of. The false memories and the real ones were just too tangled up, he'd just have to talk to the boy and figure him out later. Corner looked like a bit of a pretty boy, but hopefully there would turn out to be more to him, and Greengrass was just too quiet to get a reading on.
They'd said goodnight to Granger, Greengrass, Patil and Turpin on the landing and taken the right staircase down to their dorm. Their room was quite stunning. Each boy had their own alcove, with a cupboard bed with silver and green hangings and four deep drawers underneath to put their clothes in. On one wall of the alcove was a rolltop desk, and on the other was a bookshelf, built right into the wall. The entire alcove had heavy green velvet curtains as well, so one could shut out the world and read or whatever in private. The center of the room had a domed glass ceiling that looked right into the bottom of the lake, with a verdigris chandelier hanging from the center that looked like it was made of snakes, fish, dolphins, and shells, with strings of pearls and crystals hanging from it to reflect the light about the room. The alcoves were all wood paneling, rather like one might imagine a ship's cabin might be, and even had pewter oil lamps instead of torches or candles. The central area was all verdigris, wrought iron, and pewter, with an intricately tiled mosaic floor that was strangely warm to the touch, or, well, not warm, precisely, but not cold either, just a nice comfortable temperature for bare feet. Ron thought it looked very peaceful and relaxing and couldn't wait to see if the bed was as comfortable as it looked.
Percy looked around the room quite interestedly as well. Introducing a bunch of first years to a dorm that he'd never seen before either was quite a novel experience. "All right, you lot, everyone pick a bed. I'm told there's a door above each of the beds where you can stow your trunks once you've unpacked them, ah, yes, there it is. If you could all be so good as to unpack now, I can help you stow your trunks. Each of these desks locks, and the beds have locking shutters as well. Professor Snape will come by tomorrow morning to inspect your dorm and to key each of you into your locks so that your desks and beds are private. The bathroom is off here, and you are all expected to maintain an acceptable standard of cleanliness. I'll wait here for you to finish unpacking, unless some of you would like some help?"
Unpacking and settling in went quickly and Percy got everyone's trunks put away, bade everyone goodnight, and left them to their own devices. All of the boys showered and brushed their teeth and shuffled off to bed, and Ron was happy to find that the bed really was as welcoming and warm as it looked. Within ten minutes of heads hitting pillows, the entire first year boys' dorm was asleep.
How much broken glass does it take to assuage the temper of an aggrieved Dark Lord?
Don't ask us, he's still at it.