Chapter 4: The Sorting of the Phoenix
In which our hero gets sorted and finds out some interesting information and there is a meeting of minds
Hogwarts in bold and italic
Professor McGonagall strode forth and spoke in a commanding voice that echoed across the room “May the Sorting Begin.........”
A chant arose from the assembled children as a elder boy and girl, marked by a badge on their robes as the head boy and girl walked in carrying a stool at shoulder height so everyone could see it, on top of which was an old, brown, battered, pointed wizards hat. “Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hogwarts” echoed throughout the great hall, slowly getting louder and louder before Professor McGonagall took one step forward and the hall was plunged into silence. The silence was deafening in its completeness, no one breathed, no one coughed or sneezed, it was as if in that one moment deafness prevailed. It was in this moment that Harry glanced up and saw the night sky, the roof was paved in stars and the view was incredible. Harry knew he would always remember this singular perfect moment.
Then to the shock of all the first years the brim of the hat opened to form a mouth and the sorting hat spoke. “I am the sorting hat, for more than 1000 years I have sorted the brightest and the best and now more come before me to be sorted and defined by the powers that the founders gifted to me. Those of you worthy of being Lions of Gryffindor may bravery and courage guide your actions. Those of you worthy of being a Badger of Hufflepuff may your loyalty and ability to work shine through. Those of you worthy of being a Raven of Ravenclaw may your logic and intelligence raise you to new heights. And finally to those you sorted to be the Snakes of Slytherin may your cunning and ambition guide your path. Its voice echoed through the silence before the hall erupted into cheers.
Professor McGonagall raised a hand and silence one again blossomed in the hall. “Abbott, Hannah” she called out, a girl with a pink face and blonde pigtails walked forward and placed the hat on her head, it resized and nestled on her ears, a moment went by, then the hat’s brim opened and its voice rang out to every corner of the great hall “HUFFLEPUFF”, the table underneath the badger symbol erupted in cheers. Yellow and black piping appeared on the girls’ robes and the badger symbol appeared on her right breast, marking her as a Hufflepuff.
“Bones, Susan” a cute but slightly cubby redhead came forward next, she too went to Hufflepuff. “Boot, Terry” was the first to join the Ravenclaw table, his robes bring piped in blue, the symbol of the raven adoring his chest, and he was joined a few seconds later by “Brocklehurst, Mandy”. A tall, slim blonde called Lavender Brown was the first to go to the Gryffindor table, cheers and catcalls accompanied her as the piping on her robes turned red and gold and a golden lion appeared on her chest.
“Bullstrode, Millicent” a huge brunette strode forth and became the first Slytherin, her robes gaining green and silver piping, the Slytherin table, Harry noticed, did not cheer like the others, merely politely applauded their newest arrival as she sat down. As the sorting continued Harry waited until one of the members of his carriage were sorted and a few minutes later “Granger, Hermione” was called. Harry watched his bushy haired friend restrain herself from running to the hat in her eagerness to be sorted, as she sat Harry waited nervously! “RAVENCLAW” the hat shouted and Hermione walked over the table beaming, she turned once she had greeted Mandy and looked at him as if to say that he better be in Ravenclaw with her, Harry merely smiled at her in return as “Greengrass, Daphne” joined the Slytherin table.
“Longbottom, Neville” was soon called and Harry eagerly watched his best friend stride to the hat. Neville’s confidence was the highest it had ever been and it was only a few moments before the hat shouted “HUFFLEPUFF” to the assembled hall. Neville turned and grinned at Harry as he walked over to the Badger table and sat down next to Hannah Abbott and engaged her in conversation. Harry was pleased for his friend; he knew that his grandmother had been putting pressure on Neville to go into Gryffindor like his parents. This ensured not only that Neville could forge his own path and get out from the shadow of his parent’s but the chance for Neville to be friends with Harry as he had heard that Gryffindor’s rarely made friends outside their own house.
“Malfoy, Draco” was called and the young man swaggered forward, the hat had hardly been on his head before it shouted “SLYTHERIN”, he flounced over to his goon’s Crabbe and Goyle who had been sorted earlier in the ceremony. Harry thought that the young Malfoy looked far too smug for himself, that thought was interrupted however by Harry’s stomach reminding him that he was hungry, he hoped that the rest of the ceremony would end quickly.
The last person Harry was keeping an eye on was Padma Patil; she was the first of the Patil Twins to be sorted and looked rather nervous as she made her way to the stool. Harry hoped that Padma would get her wish of being in Ravenclaw, and he was delighted when the sorting hat shouted out “RAVENCLAW” and he watched Padma run over to Hermione at the Ravenclaw table and sit next to her, the two of them exchanged a hug and excited conversation, only turning when Padma’s sister Parvati went to Gryffindor.
Then it was Harry’s turn. “Potter, Harry”, Professor McGonagall’s statement had murmurs throughout the hall as Harry strode purposely forward, he could have sworn he heard Lavender Brown sigh as he walked past and several of the older girls were eyeing him in a way that was more than a little bit uncomfortable. As soon as he sat on the chair and put the hat on his head the deep silence filled the hall as the students and staff awaited the sorting of Harry James Potter, Saviour of the Wizarding World.
As Harry sat there the voice of the sorting hat echoed in his mind “Mr Potter, I have never seen a mindscape this extraordinary, my goodness, what is this, there are people in your mindscape, extraordinary, don’t worry I will keep those connections a secret! Now then Mr Potter onto your sorting, you have a sharp mind with a thirst for Knowledge, you are loyal and hardworking, you have cunning but not much ambition so that rules out the house of snakes, likewise you have bravery and courage but not the lack of self preservation that many lions have so that will rule of Gryffindor, that leaves us with Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, any preference?” “Not really, I have friends in either house, but I think I will suit Ravenclaw better”. “Okay then Mr Potter, I sort you into RAVENCLAW” the last word was shouted to the hall
The Ravenclaw table erupted into cheers, screaming “Potter, Potter, Potter” until their voices were horse, Hermione and Padma beamed at him as he shunned the offer of a space next to an older Chinese girl to sit in-between them. Harry’s sorting had the Gryffindor table stunned as they had been sure that the Boy-Who-Lived would join them, likewise on the Slytherin table many were re-evaluating their opinion as the B-W-L joined someone other than their arch rivals. Professor McGonagall was pleased for Harry, but a little bit sad at the same time, she had wished him to be a Lion like his parents had been before him. Professor Flitwick, head of Ravenclaw house was bouncing up and down in his chair and Professor Quirrel and the Headmaster had an interested look on their faces.
Professor Albus Dumbledore was seething inside although he made it his mission to show the world the wise grandfather figure that the wizarding world adored. He loved the power and glory his position held as the Light Lord of the wizarding world. He thought to himself how badly things had gone and that he may have to reign in his deputy headmistress as she was the start of his problems, could no-one see the boy needed to be weak, be malleable, and be clay to his touch. How else would harry die to defeat Voldemort once he had returned. And now he had to re-think everything. He wondered what influence the school would have if any on the boys remaining childhood, he shrugged it off as minimal, ‘I mean’ he thought to himself with a chuckle ‘what could a castle do?’
Harry Potter, newly joined Ravenclaw Class of 1992, sat with his friends and year mates and watched as Ronald Weasley joined Gryffindor and Blaise Zabini, a pale black haired girl, joined Slytherin. She was the last person to be sorted. Harry took in the sight of Headmaster Albus Dumbledore as he rose; he shone with power and wisdom, but at the same time looked like your grandfather. This made Harry a little bit suspicious, he had always been wary of figures of authority, ever since the teachers had believed Dudley’s lies over his truths, in fact Professor McGonagall had been the first adult in a while he had trusted.
The Headmaster spoke “Welcome, children to another year at Hogwarts, a few notices before we start the feast, Firstly there is a list pinned to the caretaker Mr Filch’s office of banned items which if you are caught with one will result in detention, he also asks me to remind you that there will be no magic in the corridors. Secondly, the Forbidden Forest is just that, forbidden, there are more terror’s in there than you could possibly imagine. Thirdly, the third floor corridor on the east wing is out of bounds under pain of death (Gasps filled the hall at this statement). And finally, a few words to begin the feast, Nitwit, Blubber Oddment, Tweak! Let the Feast begin”.
The last part spoken loudly as food sprung up from the tables; there was more food than Harry had ever seen, Piles of potatoes in every style, burgers, sausages, steak, pies, vegetables galore. Harry sighed in delight and piled his plate high with food. He hadn’t eaten since lunchtime and he was starving. Between mouthfuls of food Harry listened to the people around him talking, he noticed that several of the boys in his year, sat opposite him, were giving him glances, so he introduced himself to Terry Boot and Anthony Goldstein; he had also tried to introduce himself to a Michael Corner, but was shunned. The boys chatted about several topics of magical conversation, laughing and joking as dinner cleared into desert and then as the deserts plates vanished the Headmaster rose “Prefects, take your new charges to their dorms, classes start tomorrow at 10, breakfast starts at 7, timetables are issued at 8:30, sleep well children.”
2 of the Ravenclaw prefects, a Penelope Clearwater and a Roger Davis, guided the new Ravenclaw’s towards the West side of the castle on the second floor, until they turned towards the south-western tower, coming to a halt by a large wooden door with a large knocker, shaped like a raven perched on a branch, as they approached the raven’s head swivelled towards the group and it croaked out a rhyme “No legs have I to dance, No lungs have I to breathe, No life have I to live or die, And yet I do all three. What am I?” Rodger Davis turned and spoke to the assembled children, to enter our common room you have to answer the riddle and then giver our password, does anyone want to give it a try, no one moved until Harry stuck his hand in the air “Yes Harry?”, “I think its Fire, as fire dances when it moves, it needs air to stay alight, therefore you could say it breathes, and we call fire a living element and when we put it out we say it dies, so I say its fire” Roger Davis smiled as he watched the young Claw answer ‘not good enough for Ravenclaw indeed’ he snorted to himself. The Raven grinned and asked for the password “Perfidious Newton”, said the male prefect as the door swung open to show them the Ravenclaw common room for the first time.
The Room was large and circular with bookcases on all the walls, stopped only by large bay windows from which you could see out over the grounds towards a stadium which Harry assumed that the wizarding sport of Quidditch was played and two doors, each with a stylized man and woman on. On half of the room had large comfy chairs and sofas, each had a table next to them to put books on. The Other half of the room had circular tables with 4 chairs around them so that students could sit and work on their homework. It was a stunning room, the walls and book cases were a deep blue, the floor was wooden oak planks, giving the room a classic look and the room was as quiet as any library Harry had been in.
“A few points of merit before we send you upstairs to bed” said Penelope Clearwater. “There will be a meeting tomorrow evening in the common room for your first years in which our head of house will explain what he expects from his Ravenclaws. Also do not try and enter the opposite sex’s dorms, they are charmed against it and will alert the prefects to your presence, finally I would get a good night’s sleep as tomorrow will be a busy day, your year is clearly marked on the door, goodnight”. With that she ushered the Ravenclaw first years towards the doors.
As Harry walked through the door and was astonished to see that instead of the spiral staircase he expected there was a long corridor. The First door on the left hand side had ‘Class of 92 – 1st Years’ written in golden ink onto the wood, there was a note pinned to the door ‘Please put your wand into the lock, this will key you into the dorm’ each boy did so and watched as a silvery blue glow surrounded the door each time. Harry opened the door and lead the 3 other boys into the room.
Harry was expecting it to be a dorm room but was surprised to see that it lead into a smaller version of the common room, there were four bookcases, each with their name on the top and another note pinned to each one. Harry walked over and read the note attached to his bookcase ‘This is your private bookcase; once you have inserted your wand into the keyhole on the right hand side no-one will be able to take books but you.’ Thinking that this was a very useful idea, Harry wasted no time in keying himself into the book shelf. The rest of the room had 4 comfy seats next to each bookcase and a single circular table with four chairs around it. There were also four doors, each with a student’s name on it, Harry’s was the 1st door on the right, followed by Terry Boot, then Michael Corner, with Anthony Goldstein 1st on the left hand side. There was also a door to a bathroom which when Harry entered he saw had four small cupboards a shower with wooden walls and door, and a toilet and bidet, Harry was relieved to see that the door locked from the inside. “Night guys” Harry said as he entered his room for the first time, receiving “Night’s” from Terry and Anthony and a grunt from Michael.
Harry’s room was a light blue, with a large four poster bed with dark blue curtains around it, it was lit by a ‘Lumos Lamp’, to work it you had to put your wand in the base and say Lumos and the bulb would light, from then on you could control the brightness with a dial on the base of the lamp, there was also a number of bookshelves on the wall, a small cupboard and a chest of drawers. Harry was delighted to see that his trunk had made it to the base of the bed ‘tomorrow I will unpack’ he said to himself, before undressing into his PJ’s which were placed on the pillow, and wandering out to clean his teeth. He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
Harry awoke for the first time deep inside his mindscape, the library, where for so long it had looked like it would fall apart due to disrepair was now new and gleaming, the windows shone and the area outside was now grass with a stone cobbled pathway leading up to the library door, entering, Harry saw that the shelves were spotless and the whole area was clean, in one corner, Harry was stunned to see a sleeping bird, it was as large as a vulture, but looked like a hawk, its feathers where red and gold and fire flickered over the tips of its wings, it was a humbling sight. “That my dearest ward is a Phoenix, I believe you have met, his name is Flamefire” The soft sultry voice of Hogwarts spoke behind him.
Harry spun and gazed upon Hogwarts, she appeared as a woman aged around 30 years old, with long black hair and shining green eyes, she was thin and beautiful, looking for the entire world like a supermodel, worthy of any catwalk. “My Ward” she spoke again and Harry felt something break inside him as he ran and hugged her, taking the visualisation of the school by surprise, she could feel her ward crying into her chest mumbling about the first time he felt that he belonged to a family and deep in her stones she felt that she was complete again, a feeling not felt since the last of the founders disappeared.
After a while they parted and Harry sat down the floor of the library in his mind and watched as his (He was unsure of what word to describe the visualisation of the castle) pulled out a chair from nowhere and sat down. “Listen closely my ward, my child, I have important news, firstly there are a few in this castle who would do you harm for what you have achieved in your short life, do not trust the Defence or Potions Professors as darkness taints their souls. Be wary of the Headmaster, he was a great man but he has fallen, maybe it will be you who will redeem him as he no longer listens to me! Secondly my young child never doubt that I will protect you, I will always walk in your mind, you will be a guiding light in this school during times of darkness, I can feel it, tread the line between light and dark carefully my child as both sides temptations are great but it is only combined that you can triumph. Lastly my ward, if you ever need a person to listen to you, just think my name, you can call me ‘Noticia’, from the Latin meaning knowledge. I will leave you now to dream my ward, sleep well, I will watch over you”. And with that statement the mindscape faded from view and Harry slept.
Shorter than my other chapters but i only wanted to convey these scenes, the next chapter will be longer
Thank you for reading, any reviews are appreciated
Many Thanks, Seeds