One-shot. Why Hermione isn't a Ravenclaw.
She was smart. All through growing up, that was all anyone ever really knew about Hermione Granger. All they ever bothered to find out. You see people have this way of pigeon-holing people, according to most defining trait. But that never made any sense to Hermione, after all, people are more complex then that. They're made up of all sorts of thoughts and feelings and impulses and beliefs and principals and likes and dislikes. But to everyone that she'd ever met, Hermione was smart.
It was like the school house system. You were sorted into four houses: Brave, Smart, Cunning, Kind. But what if a person's all four, what then? What if they're none? And what about Hermione, smart Hermione the Gryffindor? It should almost be a contradiction in terms. No one had ever looked past smart-Hermione to see rest of her, they had all just seen that she read books and did well in class and they couldn't be bothered looking any closer because what could possibly be interesting about this little know-it-all schoolgirl, and after a while Hermione grew into the role they gave her and defined herself by what they told her she was, a clever little girl. So when she got to Hogwarts and the sorting hat whispered into her ear "I know dear, I know you want to be Ravenclaw but I must protest. You're not a Ravenclaw Hermione, you're a Gryffindor." She argued "No, they said Ravenclaws are smart, I must be a Ravenclaw."
"Trust me Hermione."
And she had no choice but to agree. But she still didn't know why she was Gryffindor, all her life that was the one thing she couldn't understand. What is bravery, how do you define what is brave? Is bravery not being afraid? Or ignoring your fear? Is it speaking when you're told to be silent, or being silent when you're told to speak? And cowardice, what about that?
Until this one moment Hermione had never known why she was a Gryffindor. Until this one moment, with the Dark Lord before her and she at her knees beside Ron's dead body in the living room of their supposedly hidden home.
"Where is he?" the serpentine man before her demanded once more "Did you think I make idle threats, mudblood? Or did you think your dear fiancÃ© could beat me in a dual?" He laughed cruelly "You can cry for his pathetic soul later, mudblood, I don't have time for your ridiculous weeping now"
"I'm not crying" Hermione raised her face, to show him cold and tearless eyes. She stood before him "You think yourself brave that you can kill without a thought. How can you be brave when you fear death so passionately?"
"So you Hermione, brave Gryffindor, you do not fear death?"
"Kill me and find out. I'm not telling you where Harry is."
"As you wish."
And in the green flash of light, Hermione finally understood what bravery was, and why she was a Gryffindor.