Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry Potter Year 1: Slytherin

The Sorting of the Houses

by Cereal_junkie 0 reviews

Harry is sorted. Big surprise. Bet you couldn't guess by the chapter name. XD

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama - Characters: Draco,Dumbledore,Harry - Published: 2010-09-24 - Updated: 2010-09-24 - 4425 words

Ch. 2: The Sorting of the Houses

The door swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. She had a very stern face and Harry’s first thought was that this was not someone he wanted to cross.

“The firs’ years, Professor McGonagall.” Hagrid said, gesturing toward the eleven year-olds crowded around him.

“Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here.” Professor McGonagall said, pulling the door open wide. As Harry looked around, he noticed that the entrance hall was so big you could have fit the whole of the Dursleys’ house in it. The walls were lit with flaming torches like the ones at Gringotts, the ceiling was too high to make out, and the magnificent marble staircase facing them led to the upper floors.

They followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor. Harry could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right.

‘The rest of the school must already be here.’ he mused, following the Professor into a small, empty chamber off the hall with the rest of the first years. They crowded in, standing rather closer together than they usually would have, peering about nervously.

“Welcome to Hogwarts.” Professor McGonagall said with a smile. “The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your Houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony, because while you are here, your House will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your House, sleep in your House dormitory, and spend free time in your House common room.

“The four Houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each House has its own noble history and each had produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your House points, while any rule breaking will lose House points. At the end of the year, the House with the most points is awarded the House cup, which is a great honor. I hope each and every one of you will be a credit to whichever House becomes yours.

“The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all make sure you are presentable while you are waiting.” Professor McGonagall said, her eyes lingering for a moment on Neville’s cloak, which was fastened under his left ear, and Weasley, who had a smudge on his nose. Harry made a quick effort to try to flatten his hair, but to no avail. “I shall return when we are ready for you.” Said Professor McGonagall, “Please wait quietly.” And with that she left the chamber. Harry looked at Draco.

“How exactly do they sort us into Houses?” he asked, hoping it wasn’t any sort of magical test. He would surely fail if it were. He had no magical experience before this, as his relatives were scared of magic and wouldn’t let him touch his books beforehand.

“Father told me about this. It’s nothing to worry about.” Draco said, smirking. Harry felt a little better, but he still wanted to know.

“But what do we have to do?” Harry asked, wanting to know exactly what it was. After all, Draco had been raised by wizards, so of course it would be no problem for him, but Harry was raised by muggles. What might be nothing to worry about for Draco might be a huge problem for Harry.

“You’ll see.” Draco said with another smirk, enjoying how nervous Harry was.

“Draco-“ Harry whined, but he was cut off by a scream that made him jump about a foot in the air. Behind them, about twenty ghosts had just come through the back wall, and they seemed to be having an argument about someone named Peeves. They suddenly stopped and looked at the first years.

“I say, what are you all doing here?” a ghost wearing a ruff around his neck and tights asked. Nobody answered. The other ghost, called the Fat Friar by the ghost in tights in the earlier argument, spoke up.

“New students!” he said, looking around at them. “About to be sorted, I suppose?” he asked with a pleasant yet chilling smile. A few people nodded mutely. “Hope to see you in Hufflepuff! My old house, you know.” He said, nodding enthusiastically.

“Move along now!” said a sharp voice. “The Sorting Ceremony’s about to begin.” Professor McGonagall had returned, and was ushering the ghosts through the opposite wall out into the hall. “Now, form a line and follow me.” She told them, waiting until they lined up. Feeling oddly as though his legs had turned to lead, Harry got into line and ended up behind Granger, with Draco behind him and Crabbe and Goyle a few people back. They made their way back through the doors, across the entrance hall, and through the double doors that led into the Great Hall.

As they entered, Harry looked on in wonder at the thousands and thousands of candles floating in mid-air above four long tables, where the rest of the student body sat. At the head of the hall was another long table, at which the teachers were sitting. Every table was laden with hundreds of glittering golden plates and goblets. A quick glance upward made Harry wonder, oddly, if the hall were open to the elements. His unspoken question was quickly answered by the girl in front of him, who seemed to follow his gaze upward.

“It’s bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read about it in Hogwarts: A History.” Hermione whispered, receiving a small smile from Harry before his nerves returned. They were led up to the staff table, where they were lined up along it, facing the student body and the four long tables which Harry guessed were the house tables. The question of the ceremony was answered almost immediately as Professor McGonagall silently placed a four-legged stool in front of the first years. On top of the stool, she put an old pointed wizard’s hat. The hat was patched, frayed, and extremely dirty.

‘A hat? What would we possibly do with a ratty old hat? Do we have to pull a rabbit out of it or something?’ Harry thought, almost shaking his head in amusement. For a few seconds, silence reined, and then all of a sudden, something happened that almost gave Harry a heart attack. The hat twitched, a rip opened up near the brim, and the hat broke into song.

“Oh, you may not think I’m pretty,
But don’t judge on what you see,
I’ll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There’s nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can’t see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends,
So put me on! Don’t be afraid!
And don’t get in a flap!
You’re in safe hands (though I have none)
For I’m a thinking cap!”

With the end of the song, the whole hall burst into applause. It bowed to each of the four tables and then became quite still again.

‘Oh, good. We just have to put on the ratty thing.’ Harry thought, glaring at Draco for not telling him. He did wish they could try it on without everyone watching. He didn’t want any more attention than he was already getting. It made him uncomfortable. He wanted to be able to hide; to be as obscure as possible. As it stood, they would be called one at a time, and he knew, to his own chagrin, that his name would garner attention whether he wanted it to or not. He sighed. He was ready, and he wanted to get this over with. Professor McGonagall now stepped forward holding a long scroll of parchment.

“When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted.” She said, and with that she started to call names.

“Abbot, Hannah!”

A pink-faced girl with blonde pigtails stumbled out of line, put on the hat, which fell right down over her eyes, and sat down. After a moment’s pause, the hat shouted its decision.


The table on the right cheered and clapped as Hannah went to sit down there. Harry noticed the Fat Friar, the Ghost of Hufflepuff, waving merrily at the girl as she sat down.

“Bones, Susan!”

She too went up to the stool, put the hat on, and sat down.

“HUFFLEPUFF!” the hat shouted again, and again the girl went to join her table with much applause.

“Boot, Terry!”


The table second from the left clapped this time; several Ravenclaws stood up to shake hands with Terry as he joined them.

“Brocklehurst, Mandy!”


Her reception was the same as the first, and she sat down with her housemates.

“Brown, Lavender!”


The table on the far left exploded with cheers.

“Bulstrode, Millicent!”


To the sound of applause she went and sat down at the table second to the right.

“Crabbe, Vincent!”


Crabbe, following Millicent’s example, went to sit down at the Slytherin table to a polite amount of applause.

“Finch-Fletchley, Justin!”


More applause and Justin went to sit with his House mates. Harry fleetingly noticed that sometimes, the hat shouted out the House at once, but sometimes it took a little while to decide. The next one took almost a minute to decide before the House was called.

“Finnigan, Seamus!”


He went to sit with his year mates, the Gryffindors being loud as usual.

“Goyle, Gregory!”


Goyle, getting little more applause than Crabbe, went to sit beside his hulking friend at his House table.

“Granger, Hermione!”

Granger almost ran to the stool and jammed the hat eagerly on her head. The hat seemed to hesitate for half a minute, before it shouted out the name of her new House.


Harry heard a groan from somewhere to his right as Hermione went to sit with her cheering table, and he had to fight the urge to look.

“Longbottom, Neville!”

The boy who kept losing his toad hurried up to the stool and put the hat on, sitting down like the rest on the stool. After a whole minute, the hat finally shouted its answer.


Neville ran toward his cheering table to sit down, forgetting in his haste to take the hat off and hurrying back, his face red, handing it to the next person that was called.

“MacDougal, Morag.”


He went to sit with his peers, the usual applause ringing.

“Malfoy, Draco!”

Draco smirked at Harry as he swaggered toward the stool. He barely put the hat on when he got his wish.


With a smirk, and louder than usual applause, he went to sit beside Vincent and Gregory, pointedly saving a spot as he looked at Harry.

“Moon, Helena!”


Smiling, she went to sit with her year mates to much applause.

“Nott, Theodore!”


He went to sit at his table, getting more applause than Vince or Greg, but not quite as much as Draco.

“Parkinson, Pansy!”


With applause she too went to sit with the other Slytherins.

“Patil, Padma!”


She got up to enthusiastic applause and joined her year mates.

“Patil, Parvati!”


Parvati looked a little disappointed to be separated from her sister, but went to sit with the cheering Gryffindors.

“Perks, Sally-Anne!”


Her House mates clapping, too went to sit.

“Potter, Harry!”

Harry’s heart gave a lurch. He could hear whispering breaking out all over the Great Hall.

“Potter, did she say?”

“The Harry Potter?”

‘How did I know?’ he silently asked himself, almost shaking his head. He sighed inwardly and strode to the stool, sitting on the stool and placing the hat on his head like everyone else. The last thing he saw before the hat slipped over his eyes was the hall full of people craning their necks to get a good look at him.

“Hmmm…” said a small voice in his ear. “Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of talent, I see. Not a bad mind either. You prefer anonymity over your fame…interesting. Yet, you have an odd thirst to prove yourself. Yes. So, where shall I put you? Ravenclaw? Or perhaps you would do better in Slytherin. They could certainly help you in your endeavor to hide yourself, and you would make real friends.”

“Put me with Draco.” Harry muttered, wanting to be in Slytherin with his first wizarding friend.

“Very well then…SLYTHERIN!”

As Harry pulled off the hat, there was a polite amount of applause for him at the Slytherin table, but most of the older years looked scandalized. Draco motioned to the seat next to him, and with a shrug he went to sit next to him, ignoring the looks he got and the whispers he heard along the way. He finally got a decent look at the high table as he turned around. At the nearest end sat Hagrid, looking for all the world, confused, and even slightly hurt. In the center of the table sat an older looking wizard with glasses, long silver hair, and a beard to match. He was clothed in robes of violet-blue, and he was frowning. Draco nudged him and started to speak.

“That’s Albus Dumbledore. I don’t know what to make of him myself, but father says he’s a prat and a muggle lover.” Draco said scornfully, sniffing in disdain. Harry looked a little further down the table, and he noticed the young Professor Quirell, the one he’d met in the Leaky Cauldron, sitting next to a dark looking man in black robes. As the two professors looked at him, frowning as well, he felt a sudden sharp pain in his scar. He rubbed it away quickly, looking away from the two of them and hoping no one noticed his discomfort. Now, it appeared, there were only four left to be sorted.

“Thomas, Dean!”


The Gryffindors still cheered, but Harry swore it sounded somewhat more subdued than before.

“Turpin, Lisa!”


This applause too, was subdued as she went to sit. It seemed everyone was still preoccupied with Harry’s odd sorting, and he wished he could just sink into the seat even with Draco sitting beside him and whispering words of encouragement, which Harry was sure was odd for him.

“Weasley, Ronald!”

Ah, so that was the Weasley’s first name. Harry was sure he heard Draco mutter “Blood traitor.” And Harry almost snickered. Draco had told him what it meant, and he had told him what a nutter the Weasleys’ father was. From what Draco had heard, Mr. Weasley liked to collect plugs from various muggle electrical devices. Sounded like a nutter if he’d ever saw one.


The redhead visibly relaxed and went to his table, his twin brother’s clapping him on the back as he reached the table and sitting him down.

‘Well, there’s a surprise.’ Harry thought sarcastically, having noticed the twin redheads at the Gryffindor table before Weasley had been sorted. They had helped him get his luggage on the train at platform 9 ¾. He knew they were Weasleys, because they had introduced themselves as such, and they had seemed cool, but with a nutter father like that, he was sure they were people Draco would hate to see him around. Draco had also made a crack about the family being poor, but Harry wouldn’t have minded that fact so much.

He himself had been poor too until he found out on his eleventh birthday that not only was he a wizard, but he had a small fortune in wizarding gold in Gringotts, the wizard bank. Of course, he would never have admitted to Draco how poor he used to be. He didn’t want to be ridiculed by the blonde because of those stupid muggles that were supposed to be his relatives. He wanted to be friends with Draco and they weren’t going to stand in the way of that.

“Zabini, Blaise!”


Harry applauded loudly with the rest of his table, eager to have this sorting done with. He knew it was over because McGonagall was rolling up the scroll. Harry scooted to make room for Blaise, and when the seat was taken, the hall, particularly the Slytherin table, quieted down again. He looked hungrily down at his plate, hoping to be fed soon. As luck would have it though, Albus Dumbledore didn’t want to seem to feed them yet. He stood and looked like he was about to make a speech. Harry reluctantly gave the man his attention. He was beaming at the students, his arms opened wide, as if nothing could have pleased him more than to see them all there.

Harry noticed that the smile didn’t reach his eyes, and as he looked around the hall, his eyes lingering on Harry for a moment longer than the rest, Harry could swear he saw disappointment and possibly something else flash in his eyes. He couldn’t name what else it might be. He would have said fear, but what did an old man and the headmaster of a school of magic have to fear from an eleven year old? Nothing, right? So it couldn’t be fear. He suddenly opened his mouth to speak, trying to sound as sincere as possible.

“Welcome!” He said. “Welcome to another year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

“Thank you!”

He sat back down and everyone clapped except most of the Slytherin table, Harry and Draco included. Harry was snickering madly into his hand.

“Is he…a bit mad?” Harry asked, still snickering.

“Well yeah. I told you he was a muggle lover, didn’t I? This just proves that he should be in St. Mungo’s and not the head of a school.” Draco said, snickering as well.

“St. Mungo’s?” Harry asked, his snickering almost dead, though he was still smirking.

“Blimey. I keep forgetting you’re still new to this. It’s where wizards go when they’re severly injured or they need mental help. Albus Dumbledore is in serious denial.” Draco said, his own laughter dying down as well.

“Ah.” Was all Harry could say. He supposed he should have realized, but somehow he didn’t think about wizards having their own hospitals. As it turned out, he didn’t have to say much. The food had just appeared and he was famished. He filled his plate a bit with almost everything on the table and began to eat. As the evening went on, a horribly blood stained ghost came to hover right next to Draco, who looked none too pleased about it. Draco explained that this was the Bloody Baron. The Slytherin ghost.

‘So, each house has a ghost. Odd, but I guess they’re effective as mascots.’ Harry thought, snickering to himself. Just when he felt as if he were full to the bursting point, the food disappeared, leaving the plates and goblets as sparkling clean as before the food was served. A moment later the desserts appeared. Harry, though he was full, took one treacle tart, and he thought it was just about the best thing he had ever tasted. He idly listened to the talk at the Slytherin table, smirking as Draco started bragging about his home life and his parents. Harry, barely paying attention, glanced back up at the head table. Most of the teachers were in conversation, but the dark haired man he had noticed earlier that Professor Quirell was talking to was studying him, and Professor Quirell was still trying to make polite conversation, as it turned out. He decided to ask Draco about him, to see if he could find out anything about the man. He waited until there was a pause in the conversation and he spoke up.

“Draco, who is that man up there that Professor Quirell is trying to talk to?” Harry asked, absently rubbing his scar again as he was reminded of the sharp pain that had shot through it earlier.

“You already know Quirell? Idiot, that one. Anyway, the man next to him is Professor Snape. He’s our head of House. He teaches potions here.” Draco said, looking from Professor Snape to Harry and back again. “Seems he’s taken some kind of interest in you. I’d watch out. Professor Snape can be a nasty one if you get on his bad side.” Draco said, snickering.

“How do you know so much about him?” Harry asked, turning back to Draco.

“He’s my godfather. He used to come around every summer, but he hasn’t been around at all this year. I wrote him to find out what was wrong, but when he wrote back he avoided the question. I’m going to ask him when I get the chance though. He can’t ignore me face to face.” Draco said confidently, turning back to his desert and conversation. Harry glanced at the man once more before he decided to at least pretend to eat desert and listen to the Slytherin conversations until the feast was over with. After about twenty more minutes of waiting, the desserts finally disappeared as well, and Harry noticed some Slytherins looking around so he did as well. He saw that Professor Dumbledore had gotten to his feet. The hall, which had been previously filled with conversation, fell silent.

“Ahem. Just a few more words now that we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you. First years should note that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. And a few of our older students would do well to remember this as well.” Dumbledore’s eyes turned for a fraction of a second toward the twin redheads at the Gryffindor table.

‘Ah, so they’re trouble makers.’ Harry thought, looking at the twins for a second too before turning back to face Dumbledore.

“I have also been asked by Mr. Filch, the caretaker, to remind you all that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors.”

“Yeah, like we’d listen. Some of these idiots deserve to be hexed.” Draco muttered, and Harry snickered. Dumbledore continued on, not hearing the muttering.

“Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for their House teams should contact Madam Hooch. And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death.”

Harry snickered with Draco, looking over at the twin redheads whose heads were together conspiratorially. Harry hoped that they tried to go up there and got caught so the Gryffindorks would be behind in points before the term really began. Not that they needed help with that, from what Draco had told Harry.

“And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!” cried Dumbledore. Harry noticed that the other teachers had forced smiles, and Professor Snape had altogether abandoned the attempt when the best he could manage was a grimace. Dumbledore gave his wand a little flick, as if he was trying to get a fly off the end, and a long golden ribbon flew out of it, which rose high above the tables and twisted itself, snakelike, into words.

“Everyone pick their favorite tune,” said Dumbledore, “and off we go!”

The school bellowed together:

“Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now they’re bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we’ve forgot,
Just do your best, we’ll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot.”

Everyone finished the song at different times, most of the Slytherins, including Professor Snape, refusing to sing at all. At last, much to Harry’s amusement, only the Weasley twins were left singing along to a very slow funeral march. Dumbledore conducted their last few lines with his wand, and when they had finished, he was one of those who clapped loudest.

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!” Dumbledore said, waving toward the doors leading out of the Great Hall. Most of the Great Hall was chaos, but the Slytherins organized themselves and the prefects led them down to the dungeons. When they reached what appeared to be a dead end, a prefect whispered something to the wall, and it slid away, revealing a hole through which they climbed. When they were all inside, Harry looked around. The common room was huge. It was decorated by a few fireplaces, in front of which were comfortable looking chairs and couches. All in Slytherin green and accented with silver, of course.

The prefects gathered everyone quickly and gave them the password, which was ‘Salazar’s children’ and explained the rules. After that, they were sent to bed. Most were too tired to speak, and Harry realized that he too was extremely tired. The trip must have taken more out of him than he had realized. With a yawn and a muttered goodnight to Draco who had bunked right next to him, he fell asleep.

Ch. End
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