Chapter 2 : The Sorting
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We rounded the corner and then we saw it, for the second time tonight, but it looked even better close up. Right in front of us was a big, black lake which led to a cliff that was right on the edge of the castle. To the right of the castle there were some sort of buildings that looked to be made of glass, and in the distance there was a weird tree that seemed to be moving. The castle itself had many towers, and windows that shone brightly against the evening sky. It was a most spectacular sight to behold. It was even better than I could have imagined.
As we got closer to the lake I noticed that there was a little dock with boats around it. I turned to look at Alice.
“We’re not going across that, in those,” I said, pointing first to the lake, and then to the boats, “are we?”
“Yep,” Alice replied, in a matter-of-fact tone. I stared at her.
“It’s ok,” she added, quickly, “they’re completely safe.”
“As long as you don’t jump over the edge.”
We turned and saw Sirius walking behind us, with James by his side.
“It would do us all a favour if he did,” muttered a voice to my right.
I turned again and saw Severus walking next to me.
“What makes you say that?” Alice asked, curiously.
James snorted and Severus looked ready to kill him and Sirius.
“What did you two do?” I ask, my anger rising.
“Nothing,” said Sirius, trying to act innocent. I glare at him. “Woah, scary face,” Sirius says, sarcastically.
“What did you two do?” I repeated, a little louder.
“Hmm…Let me think.” James pretended to try and remember something.
“They barged into my compartment,” interrupted Severus, “wands pointing at me and threatened to curse me into oblivion, which I knew they couldn’t do, so I ignored them. Next thing I know, I have been hit in the nose with two stinging hexes.”
“Ah, good times, good times,” said Sirius, trying to hide his laughter.
“And what did he do to you?” I practically shouted at James and Sirius.
“Like I said before,” said Sirius, still trying not to laugh, “he hasn’t done anything…he just looked like fun.”
I scoffed. “You two are pathetic. Picking on someone just because they look ‘fun’.”
Sirius was about to retort, but a voice boomed form the front of the group.
“Right then, no more’n four to a boat, an’ put yeh stuff in the boat on the back.”
We had arrived at the dock, and I noticed that all the boats had another one attached to the back of them. I gave James and Sirius one more glare, and then started to walk towards a boat, with Alice at my side. Severus went to follow us.
“Don’t even think about it,” I say, “just because I’m on your side for this, doesn’t mean that I’m talking to you.”
Severus gave me a confused look before turning to get into another boat. I can understand why he is confused. I would be if I were him. Twice today I have told him to go away and leave me alone. He doesn’t even know what he has done to make me do that.
When we got to the boat, Alice grabbed the other end of my trunk and helped me lift it into the boat at the back. We did the same with Alice’s. Just as we stood up from putting Alice’s trunk in, I was tapped on the shoulder. I turned and saw two girls stood behind me. The one that had tapped me had long, blonde hair that went halfway down her back, just like mine, except that mine was ginger. The other girl had shoulder-length, black hair and looked a little nervous.
“Can we come in the boat with you?” the first girl asked.
“Of course you can,” I say, “I’m Lily, and this is Alice.”
“Thanks, I’m Gemma, and this is Emma.”
“Gemma and Emma…Nice,” said Alice, stifling a laugh.
“Don’t worry, we found it funny too,” Gemma said, noticing our amused faces.
“This is going to be one fun boat ride,” I say with a smile.
“Yeah,” said Gemma, whilst we put their trunks into the boat.
We laughed as we climbed into the boat and got comfy, ready for the boat ride across the lake to Hogwarts.
Hagrid was in a boat on his own at the far end of the dock so that he was ahead of the rest of us. I guess that the boat couldn’t carry anyone else with him in it.
We sat in silence for a bit, staring up at the castle.
“So, Gemma Emma Emma Gemma Emma Gemma Gemma Emma, what houses are you two hoping to be in?” Alice asked, trying not to laugh as she said it.
Emma laughed. “I don’t really mind. Just as long as I’m not in Hufflepuff, they sound really boring.”
“Bet you will be now,” said Gemma, laughing.
“Don’t say that, it would be a nightmare.”
“They can’t be that bad,” I say.
“Everyone says that they are boring, and that the house is there for the people who don’t fit the bill for the other houses,” Emma said.
“Oh, I’m sure that it’s not.”
“I guess we will find out when we get there.”
We stared up at the castle again before Alice broke the silence again.
Gemma answered first. “Charms. It sounds like fun, and apparently you learn a lot of little handy spells. What about you, Em?”
“I’m not sure.” She stared up at the castle for a few seconds before continuing, “But Transfiguration sounds good. Imagine it, you wave a wand and you turn something into something else.”
“That does sound cool,” I say, imagining myself turning Petunia into a slug. No, I mustn’t think like that. She’s my sister. I should be nice. But she isn’t nice to me. She would deserve it. But that would be sinking to her level.
Alice’s voice brought me out of my thoughts.
“Lily, what about you?”
“I don’t know much about the subjects. I don’t even know what they all are.”
“Good point. Well I think Herbology sounds good. I love plants. We have a wonderful garden.”
I think I am even more excited than I was ten minutes ago. All these subjects sound wonderful. I can’t wait to find out just how wonderful they are.
“When do we start our classes?” I asked.
“Tomorrow I think,” Alice replied, “I’m sure my mum said that we start straight away.”
“Tomorrow? Wow, that’s soon. I thought we would be settling in first or something. You know, learning where everything is,” I say, astonished at how soon we start.
“We learn as we go to the lessons. But I don’t think the teachers will mind if we are late at the beginning. They can’t expect us to be able to find everything straight away.”
“That’s alright. I was getting worried then.”
Alice gave a small laugh before turning to look ahead. I followed her gaze to the cliff that we were nearing. There was a gap in the cliff that I guess we are going to go through.
“Where does that lead,” I ask, pointing towards it.
“Underneath the school I think,” said Gemma.
We went through the gap and ended up in a cave. There was another small dock ahead of us, just like the one on the other side of the lake.
Hagrid reached the dock first and climbed out. Everyone did the same, helping each other with the luggage, and went to stand by Hagrid, who was stood by some double doors.
“Right then, off we go,” he said, sounding as excited as everyone else.
We followed Hagrid through the double doors and into a wide corridor.
“Leave your stuff in here; it’ll be taken to yeh dorms later.”
I dragged my trunk to the side and placed Hootie on top of it.
“See you later, Hootie,” I whispered.
Alice, Gemma and Emma left their trunks and owls next to mine and then we followed Hagrid down the corridor and through another set of double doors. We found ourselves in a huge room, with a high ceiling and many doors. There was a marble staircase to our left. I could hear people’s voices from a room on the opposite wall. I think that is where everyone else is.
An old, stern looking woman came out of the door and walked towards us.
“Ah, Professor McGonagall, the firs’-years for yeh,” Hagrid said to the woman.
“Thank you Hagrid, I will take them from here,” the woman, whose name seemed to be Professor McGonagall, said to Hagrid. “Follow me,” she said to us.
She led us into a small room, which was right next to the doors we had just come through, as Hagrid went though the door that Professor McGonagall had come through,
“Welcome to Hogwarts. We will be going into the Great Hall shortly, once the rest of the students are settled. You will then be sorted into your houses. They are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Whilst here at Hogwarts you can earn points for your house, but you can also lose them. So I suggest, if you want your house to win the House Cup, that you behave whilst here. The start of term feast will begin once the sorting is over. I will return in a few minutes to take you into the Great Hall.”
And with that she left, closing the door behind her.
“How are we sorted?” I asked, nervously.
“Yes, a hat. Don’t worry, it confused me as much as it has confused you. But my mum refused to tell me anymore about it. She said it could be a surprise for me.”
“Tell her I said thanks,” I said, sarcastically.
Alice laughed. “At least we know it’s nothing dangerous.”
“True, but it still doesn’t make me feel any better.”
“Me neither. I’m so nervous.”
The door opened and I felt Alice jump beside me. Professor McGonagall walked in and looked around at us all.
“We are ready for you now, follow me.”
I gave a nervous look to Alice, and we followed everyone else across to the door where we presumed everyone else was. I took a deep breath, and entered the room. I stared around in amazement. It was an enormous room with 5 long tables in it, four filled with students and one with the staff. There were candles floating in mid-air, and suits of armour along the walls. Alice nudged me and indicated that I should look up. I did, and for a split second thought that there was no ceiling, but then I realised that there must be a ceiling because it was warm in here.
Seeing my amazement and confusion, Alice mouthed, “It’s bewitched,” to me.
I may look old and worn to you,
But don’t underestimate my skill.
My secret is known to all but few,
So put me on your head if you will.
I will sort you into the house you belong,
Where you will stay for seven years.
I know that it might seem very long,
But it will help you with your careers.
You might not believe what I say,
But what I say is true.
Even though I am starting to fray,
I know which house is for you.
I might put you in Gryffindor,
If you have nerve, or are daring and brave.
Or maybe into Ravenclaw,
If you are wise and witty.
Maybe Hufflepuff is the one for you,
If you are patient and loyal,
Or you might belong in Slytherin,
If you are cunning and sneaky.
So try me on,
You’ll be surprised.
I’ll find your house,
And drop down over your eyes.
Everyone laughed at the last line, whilst bursting into applause. That had to be one of the strangest things I have ever seen. A singing hat! But I have a feeling that it will seem normal after being here for a while. Magic truly is beautiful.
Professor McGonagall stood up and started to unravel a roll of parchment.
“I will now call you up one by one. When I do, come and sit on the stool, I will place the sorting hat on your head and you will be sorted into the house you belong.”
“Ah,” I whispered to Alice, “it’s not that bad. We just have to do it in front of the whole school.”
“That’s the bit that I’m dreading,” Alice whispered back.
“Avery, John,” Professor McGonagall called.
A tall, black haired boy walked forward. He showed no sign of fear. I wish I could be like that. I would give anything to have a bit of confidence right now. He sat on the stool and Professor McGonagall placed the sorting hat on his head. It wasn’t on his head long when the hat shouted –
The boy walked over to the table on the right, where all the students were cheering.
Sirius walked up to the stool, with similar confidence to John. He sat down and Professor McGonagall placed the hat on his head. This time it took longer for the hat to decide. After a while it called –
He scuttled off to the table on the left. As he went, I saw Alice follow him with her eyes. I smirked and elbowed her.
“What?” she asked, turning back to face me.
“Stop staring,” I half-laughed.
“I wasn’t staring.”
Four more people had been sorted when –
I jumped. I have been too concentrated on watching everybody else that I had forgotten that I had to be sorted too.
Alice gave me a nudge and I walked forward very slowly, making sure I didn’t trip over my own feet. I reached the stool and sat down. I looked down at Alice who gave me a reassuring smile and then the hat was placed on my head. It went down over my eyes and then a voice spoke.
“Ah, Lily, young Lily … hmm … muggle-born … fiery temper … knows her limits and morals … sticks up for herself. I think that means one thing. Gryffindor!”
The last word was shouted to the whole hall and the hat was lifted off my head. I stood up, shaking and walked over to the table on the right where Sirius was, and sat down opposite him.
“Nice one,” Sirius said with a smile.
“Ford, Jack,” Professor McGonagall called.
Alice walked forward and closed her eyes as she sat down on the stool. The hat was placed on her head. A few minutes passed. I had my fingers crossed. She felt like my best friend already. She had to be a Gryffindor. What felt like a lifetime later, the hat opened its mouth and called –
My heart skipped a beat and I started clapping so hard that my hands were hurting. Alice nearly ran over to me and sat down next to me.
“Hi-five,” I said, smiling.
She hi-fived me before turning back to see the next few people being sorted. A blonde boy was now sat on the stool.
He went to join the table on the right. I noticed that the Gryffindors were clapping less enthusiastically for the Slytherins.
A few more people were sorted, and then –
I crossed my fingers once more and I saw Alice do the same as Emma walked up to the stool. I leant forward to whisper to Alice.
“Wouldn’t it be funny if she ended up in Hufflepuff.”
Alice giggled silently. “Yeah it would. I wouldn’t let her live it down.”
“Don’t be cruel. It won’t be her fault if –“
“Hufflepuff,” the hat shouted before I could finish my sentence.
My face dropped. She was in Hufflepuff, not Gryffindor. Alice turned and looked at me. I thought she would be laughing, but she wasn’t. Alice, as much as she would have wanted to laugh at Emma for being in Hufflepuff after everything she said in the boat, seemed to be as disappointed as me. Emma glanced over at us as she walked over to the Hufflepuff table. I gave her a small smile, which she didn’t return.
“At least we can have a laugh about it now. We can remind her of what she said in the boat. I bet she takes it all back now. She will be saying that Hufflepuff is the best house by the end of the week.”
“Yeah,” Alice sighed. It didn’t seem as funny now that it had happened. Suddenly everyone was clapping again and another girl walked over to the Hufflepuff table.
Two more people were sorted. The first into Hufflepuff, and the second into Ravenclaw. Then –
For the third time, I crossed my fingers. A part of me wanted her to be in Gryffindor, but another part of me wanted her to go into Hufflepuff so that Emma had a friend in the same house. That way it was fair. I had Alice, and Emma had Gemma. We would all be happy. But would we? Wouldn’t it be so much better if all four of us were together in one house? But it can’t be like that. Emma is already in Hufflepuff, so it is only fair that Gemma is too. But it’s the sorting hat that decides, whether it is fair or not. I stared at the hat, waiting for it to make its decision. Finally, after a few minutes, it opened its mouth and shouted, “Hufflepuff.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. Gemma and Emma were together. Alice turned and gave me a small smile.
“They are together,” I said to Alice, “even if they aren’t with us. And, anyway, we have only just met them. We might end up hating them.”
“It’s just … Oh I don’t know … I guess, after the boat ride it seemed like us four were meant to be together. We just seemed to fit together. But now …” Alice trailed off into deep thought.
“Alice.” I placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “We can still talk to them and hang around with them. We just can’t sleep in the same place.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
I sighed. The truth is that I am feeling exactly the same, and I don’t believe what I am saying, even if I know it is true. It is as though now that they are in a different house, they are in a different place to us and will be separate a lot. I know that they will when we are with our houses, but it feels like, in a way, we have lost them. Oh shut up Lily, we haven’t lost them, they are still here, just in a different house; it isn’t the end of the world.
Two more Gryffindor’s had been sorted; Peter Pettigrew and Ellie Porter. Then –
James swaggered up to the stool with a smirk on his face. He sat down and Professor McGonagall placed the hat on his head. Barely thirty seconds had passed before the sorting hat opened its mouth, and announced, “Gryffindor.”
I clapped along with everyone else, and Alice turned and gave me a smile.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing,” she replied, trying to act innocent, “I just think I’m not the only one someone has taken a liking to.”
“What do you mean?”
“I just mean that I think James may have taken a liking to you. You know, because he helped you with your trunk and stuff.”
“Don’t be stupid. He was just being nice.”
“I know. It was just a thought.”
“Well don’t think then,” I said with a smile, “it might get you in trouble one day.”"
I look forward to it,” she replied, also smiling.
“Snape, Severus,” Professor McGonagall called.
Whilst we had been having our conversation, some more people had been sorted. Severus walked up to the stool and, as soon as the hat touched his head, he was placed into Slytherin.
I don’t know whether this is a good or a bad thing. I am still angry with him, but, at the same time, I still want him as a friend. He introduced me to this world, was the first real friend I had, and I liked him. But I still blame him for Petunia hating me. But, at least, I could keep my distance from him and calm down without him being there.
At last everyone was sorted. I’m getting a bit hungry now. Alice said there was a feast, so I’m guessing that it comes next. I can’t wait. A man with a long, white beard stood up.
“That’s Professor Dumbledore,” Alice whispered, “you know, the head teacher.”
Professor Dumbledore spread his arms out wide and greeted the whole hall.
“Welcome to another year at Hogwarts. I would like to welcome the new students to our school, and welcome back the old ones. I know that you are probably all hungry and would like to get on with the feast. So, I think you should all tuck in like little ducklings, thank you.”
A N: Sorry this took so long. Hopefully I will be faster with future chapters. I would like to credit my brother for the 'Gemma, Emma, Emma, Gemma, Emma, Gemma, Gemma, Emma' thing =D Ohh and just so that you know... I have nothing against Hufflepuffs, Emma does =P