5 Sorting Ha
A few minutes later, voice echoed through the train: "We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes' time. Please leave your luggage on the train, it will be taken to the school separately."
The train slowed right down and finally stopped. People pushed their way toward the door and out on to a tiny, dark platform. Arth managed to get out unscathed from the crowd.
Suddenly, a lamp came bobbing over the heads of the students, and a familiar bear like man came over to the students.
"Firs' years! Firs' years over here! All right there, Harry?"
The man's big hairy face beamed over the sea of heads.
"C'mon, follow me -- any more firs' years? Mind yer step, now! Firs' years follow me!"
Arth turned to face Harry.
"Is he a relative?"
"Nope," said Harry with a grin, "Thats Hagrid. He's more of a friend."
"Figures, I wouldn't believe you had the same genes even if you let me put you in the Imperius curse."
Arth frowned, "It's a mind controlling spell that can make you do anything. The Dark Lord used it along with his followers to control people and for entertainment."
"How is it used for entertainment?" Harry asked puzzled."
Arth darkly stared at Harry.
"When I say anything, I mean anything. Forcing suicide was only one of the easiest ways to control someone. I'll leave it at that."
Seeing Ron and Harry shudder, Arth sighed.
"Nothing to worry though, it's banned to use it. Anyone caught will be sentenced to capital punishment."
They followed Hagrid down what seemed to be a steep, narrow path. Nobody spoke much. Neville, the boy who kept losing his toad, sniffed once or twice. Arth on the other hand was thrilled.
"Dude, look at the scene! The air is fresh, forest is gloomy, the fog looks amazing. Straight out of a horror scene."
"I think you should stop. Neville looks like he's about to puke."
Arth turned back, he did seem a bit pale.
"Ye' all get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec," Hagrid called over his shoulder, "jus' round this bend here."
There was a loud "Oooooh!"
The narrow path had opened suddenly onto the edge of a great black take. Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, its windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.
"No more'n four to a boat!" Hagrid called, pointing to a fleet of little boats sitting in the water by the shore. Arth, Harry, and Ron were followed into their boat by l Hermione.
"Everyone in?" shouted Hagrid, who had a boat to himself. "Right then -- FORWARD!"
The fleet of little boats moved off all at once, gliding across the lake, which was as smooth as glass. Everyone stared up at the great castle overhead. It towered over them as they sailed nearer and nearer to the cliff on which it stood.
"Heads down!" yelled Hagrid as the first boats reached the cliff. They all bent their heads and the little boats carried them through a curtain of ivy that hid a wide opening in the cliff face. They were carried
along a dark tunnel, which seemed to be taking them right underneath the castle, until they reached a kind of underground harbor, where they clambered out onto rocks and pebbles.
"Oy, you there! Is this your toad?" said Hagrid, who was checking the boats as people climbed out of them.
"Trevor!" cried Neville blissfully, holding out his hands.
Arth chuckled and turned towards Hermione.
"See? Didn't I tell you? All thing that go to Hogwarts will get there eventually."
Hermione gave him an annoyed eye roll.
They clambered up a passageway after Hagrid's lamp, coming out right into the shadow of the castle.
Hagrid raised a gigantic fist and knocked three times on the castle door.
The door swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. She had a very stern face
"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," said Hagrid.
"Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here."
She pulled the door wide. The entrance hall was so big you could have fit a basketball court inside it. The stone walls were lit
with flaming torches with magnificent marble staircase that led to the upper floors.
They followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor. They could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right, probably originating from the older students who had gone a different way, but Professor McGonagall showed the first years into a small, empty chamber off the hall. They crowded in, standing rather closer together than they would usually have done, peering about nervously.
"Welcome to Hogwarts," said Professor McGonagall. "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."
She paused to make sure everyone was following along before continuing.
"The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rulebreaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours."
She seemed to wait for everyone to fully understand what this meant. That messing up wouldn't harm only you but your whole house.
Arth sighed while glancing at the two seemingly natural troublemakers next to him. Ron and Harry gave him questioning looks and Arth responded with another weary sigh.
"The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting."
Her eyes lingered for a moment on Neville's cloak, which was fastened under his left ear, and on Ron's smudged nose.
"I shall return when we are ready for you," said Professor McGonagall. "Please wait quietly."
After she left the chamber, Harry swallowed nervously.
"How exactly do they sort us into houses?" he asked Ron.
"Some sort of test, I think. Fred said it hurts a lot, but I think he was joking."
"What would they test you with? If the four houses represent bravery, pride, intelligence, and Loyalty, they would have to make us do a test for each an every one. This isn't possible as we are sorted one by one and would take a lot of time."
"So what do you reckon it is?"
"Probably something like a crystal ball that tells you your house or a statue that changes color when you touch it. Since every house has its own color it wouldn't be hard and be fairly quick as you only need to place your hand on it."
Everyone who has been listening to the conversation seemed to visibly relax.
Then suddenly, several people behind him screamed.
"What the --?"
About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall. Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to one another and hardly glancing at the first years. They seemed to be arguing.
What looked like a fat little monk was saying: "Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him a second chance -"
"My dear Friar, haven't we given Peeves all the chances he deserves? He gives us all a bad name and you know, he's not really even a ghost -- I say, what are you all doing here?"
A ghost wearing a ruff and tights had suddenly noticed the first years. Nobody answered.
"New students!" said the Fat Friar, smiling around at them. "About to be Sorted, I suppose?"
A few people nodded mutely.
"Hope to see you in Hufflepuff!" said the Friar. "My old house, you know."
"Move along now," said a sharp voice. "The Sorting Ceremony's about to start."
Professor McGonagall had returned. One by one, the ghosts floated away through the opposite wall.
"Now, form a line," Professor McGonagall told the first years, "and follow me."
Feeling oddly nervous yet excited at the same time, and they walked out of the chamber, back across the hall, and through a pair of double doors into the Great Hall.
Arthur let our a gasp of admiration, even though he had read about it in a book, it was still a sight to remember.
The room was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in midair over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. The ceiling was a velvety black dotted with stars.
"Its bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read about it in-"
"Hogwarts, A History," said Arth who couldn't resist in intervening.
Hermione raised her eyebrows as if surprised before turning away.
"Why am I so hated?" Sighed Arth before glancing back to the ceiling.
It was hard to believe there was a ceiling there at all, and that the Great Hall didn't simply open on to the heavens. An excellent use of magic, thought Ark. He wondered when he would be able to learn it.
Arth quickly looked down again as Professor McGonagall silently placed a four-legged stool in front of the first years. On top of the stool she put a old pointed wizard's hat.
For a few seconds, there was complete silence. Then the hat twitched. A rip near the brim opened wide like a mouth and the hat began to sing.
"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 Hufflepuffis 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!"
The whole hall burst into applause as the hat finished its song. It bowed to each of the four tables and then became quite still again.
"Wow, you really were right, instead of a crystal ball, it's a hat!" Said Ron delightfully. "I'm going to kill Fred, he was going on about wrestling a troll."
Arth snorted at the incredibly stupid answer.
Harry just wryly smiled.
Professor McGonagall now stepped forward holding a long roll of parchment.
"When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted," she said. "Abbott, 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.
A moments pause.
"HUFFLEPUFF!" shouted the hat.
The table on the right cheered and clapped as Hannah went to sit down at the Hufflepuff table.
"HUFFLEPUFF!" shouted the hat again, and Susan scuttled off to sit next to Hannah.
"Boot, Terry!" "RAVENCLAW!"
The table second from the left clapped this time; several Ravenclaws stood up to shake hands with Terry as he joined them.
" Brocklehurst, Mandy" went to Ravenclaw too, but "Brown, Lavender" became the first new Gryffindor, and the table on the far left exploded with cheers.
"Bulstrode, Millicent" then became a Slytherin.
"Finch-Fletchley, Justin!" "HUFFLEPUFF!"
Arth noticed that the hat shouted out the house at once, but at others it took a little while to decide.
"Most likely people who share some personality traits."
"Finnigan, Seamus," the sandy-haired boy next to Harry in the line, sat on the stool for almost a whole minute before the hat declared him a Gryffindor.
Hermione almost ran to the stool and jammed the hat eagerly on her head. "GRYFFINDOR!" shouted the hat. Ron groaned.
When Neville Longbottom, the boy who kept losing his toad, was called, he fell over on his way to the stool. The hat took a long time to decide with Neville. When it finally shouted, "GRYFFINDOR," Neville ran off still wearing it, and had to jog back amid gales of laughter to give it to "MacDougal, Morag."
Malfoy swaggered forward when his name was called and got his wish at once: the hat had barely touched his head when it screamed, "SLYTHERIN!"
Malfoy went to join his friends Crabbe and Goyle, looking pleased with himself.
There weren't many people left now.
As Harry stepped forward, whispers suddenly broke out like little hissing fires all over the hall.
"Potter, did she say? The Harry Potter?"
Arth sighed when the hall full of people craning their necks to get a good look at Harry. The pressure that Harry would be feeling right now was something he couldn't imagine.
It took quite a long time before the hat responded.
Harry took the hat off and walked shakily toward the Gryffindor table while receiving the loudest cheer yet. Percy the Prefect got up and shook his hand vigorously, while the Weasley twins yelled, "We got Potter! We got Potter!"
Harry sat down opposite the ghost in the ruff he'd seen earlier and waved at Arth and Ron to hurry up. Arth sighed.
And now there were only four people left to be sorted.
"Thomas, Dean," a Black boy even taller than Ron, joined Harry at the Gryffindor table.
"Turpin, Lisa," became a Ravenclaw and then it was Ron's turn. He was pale green by now.
Right after he put the hat on, it shouted, "GRYFFINDOR!"
Arth clapped lazily with the rest as Ron collapsed into the chair next to Harry.
"Zabini, Blaise," was made a Slytherin.
Why was he always unlucky.
Professor McGonagall cleated her throat before yelling out his name.
Arth walked up to the hat and pout it on gracefully before sitting on the chair.
Albus Dumbledore, A man with a hooked nose, and McGonagall all watched on with a raised eyebrow. It was probably because he was too calm. Arth shrugged.
Arth felt a probing voice in his head.
"Who do we have here? A boy who's blood I don't recognize, muggleborn?"
"Yes," replied Arth calmly.
"Hmmm," said the hat. "You have a great mind, you would rise in Ravenclaw, however your sense of loyalty would also place you in Hufflepuff. Yet there is ambition inside of your heart, one that is well hidden yet still exists. But your thrill for adventure cannot be overlooked as well. Which house do you think you belong?"
Arth let out a cheeky grin.
"If you have read my mind. Then you already no the answer. Stop playing mind tricks and give me the answer."
The hat froze.
"Interesting, I guess you have a point. What a shame for the other houses, you would have done equally good in all of them. However, I know exactly which house you would flourish in the best. GRYFFINDOR!"
Arth took off the hat and saw that out of the entire Gryffindor table, Ron and Harry were clapping their hands off, while Hermione grudgingly did a small clap.
Professor McGonagall rolled up her scroll and took the Sorting Hat away.
Albus Dumbledore had gotten to his feet. He was beaming at the students, his arms opened wide, as if nothing could have pleased him more than to see them all there.
"Welcome," he said. "Welcome to a new 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. Everybody clapped and cheered. Arth didn't know whether to laugh or not.
"Is he -- a bit mad?" Harry asked Percy uncertainly.
"Mad?" said Percy airily. "He's a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes. Potatoes, Harry?"
"Mad often does describe geniuses, and Harry, you are a lot earlier so why are you looking as if you were starved for years?"
Harry's mouth was drooling and honestly, no matter what he said, Arth Didn't blame him.
The dishes in front of them were now piled with food. He had never seen so many things he liked to eat on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, and, for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs.
Absolutely delectable looking. With no more words, they feasted.