The Forgotten Memory
Chapter 3: The Sorting
A small girl with short brunette hair ran up. She placed the hat on her head, and was sorted into, “Ravenclaw!”
Era passed the A’s, and went on to the B’s. “Blackberry, Riley.”
The boy from the boat with Albus and Scorpius walked up tremblingly. He had fair skin with scraggly black hair running down over his ears. The hat stared into his head. It took a while, but after almost a whole minute of staring into Riley’s head, it eventually yelled, “Slytherin.”
Albus could tell Hogwarts was crowded. The high table seemed full of teachers as well. How many subjects were there? He spotted Neville waving to Albus. Albus nodded back, and scanned the rest of the table. Hagird took his seat beside an empty one next to the big blonde one. There was another blonde man a little way along. But this one was small. Besides that, this particular man wasn’t exactly blonde. His hair was mousy-brown, but light enough to be blonde.
Albus turned to notice a very small girl with shoulder-length blonde hair and a clear face sit on the stool, and place the sorting hat on her own head. She was shaking so hard in fear, but the hat took no time to decide, “Gryffindor.”
There came wolf-whistling from the Gryffindor table as loud cheers erupted from them. Stamping their feet, they celebrated their newest member. Albus noticed the boy they ran into earlier on the train whisper something to his twin friends. Another boy took Laura tightly by the back when she sat down, squeezing her in happiness. The boy was easily noticeable. He was blonde like Laura, but had red flecks blended in. It looked like they were siblings. Albus turned to Scorpius, who was standing next to him, “What’s Ravenclaw?”
“Ok,” Scorpius said in an explanatory voice. “Gryffindor is for the brave. Slytherin is for the ambitious. Hufflepuff is for the loyal. Ravenclaw is for the clever. That’s the most neutral point of view you’ll get from me. Be honest with yourself, Al. Are you brave, or ambitious? And just so you know, ambition requires bravery, so you’re losing nothing.”
Albus sighed, and before he knew it, Era started the M’s. “Macmillan, Penelope.”
“Hufflepuff,” the hat yelled. Albus looked over at the Hufflepuff’s table. They seemed a modest lot, but one particular second year boy pat Penelope on the back as she sat down. They too must’ve been siblings.
If Scorpius was confident, he lost it all when he was called. He held his breath, and walked up. He tremblingly took the hat, and placed it on his own head. The hat took a while to decide. Scorpius had his mouth tightly shut, closing his eyes, shivering slghtly. Finally, the hat opened its mouth and announced, “Slytherin.”
The Slytherin table stamped their feet as Scorpius joined them. Now, just Rose stood beside him. Too nervous to speak, Albus fell into thought once more. What house? What house?
“Mold, Walter,” Era called. Albus looked up, and so did James at the Gryffindor table, sitting beside Samuel and the Creevey siblings. The boy with tufted brown hair who sat on the boat with them walked up. The blonde boy at the Slytherin table who greeted Albus with a cold way earlier fixed Walter with a stare, as if daring him to make another house. But no fear was necessary. Walter made Slytherin.
Albus was weighing all possibilities. A fierce internal battle was being fought inside. What house? Scorpius seemed genuinely convinced Albus belonged in Slytherin. So did James. But there was Malcolm too. He looked a bad sort, but James wanted Albus in Slytherin just to give inside information on him. If Albus made Slytherin, he’d be with Scorpius in a dormitory. At least that was one boy he knew. That other boy, Riley, also seemed cool. But any brother of Malcolm, like Walter, was bound to be trouble. Then again, Scorpius didn’t seem to like Malcolm too much either.
Albus didn’t know of anyone who made Gryffindor boys yet. But if he made Slytherin, he was guaranteed at least two friends, Riley and Scorpius. He could be adventurous and go into Gryffindor where he didn’t know anyone but an annoying big brother and his own cousin Rose if she made Slytherin; or he could go with what he knew, and stick with Scorpius in Slytherin. But rejecting adventurisms… that was a Slytherin trait. It all led to Slytherin, and it was thanks in part to Scorpius and James.
Albus wasn’t paying attention as Tommy Peakes made Ravenclaw. Where should he go? What would his father think? The first Potter in Slytherin. Despite his teasing, Albus started liking Scorpius. He seemed cool, and a laugh. But his family didn’t like the Malfoy’s. Well, Albus was never one for following the rules. Another Slytherin trait. But if Scorpius was a good sort and went into Slytherin, why was Albus so scared?
“Potter, Albus,” Era called.
Everything seemed to go in slow motion as Albus walked forward. It seemed his legs were moving for him, because he certainly didn’t want to be sitting on that deathly, ominous stool that sorted so many to their dooms… unless he made a good house. Gryffindor or Slytherin. Gryffindor or Slytherin. Albus wanted very much to disappear, and go back home, but he knew that was impossible. The hat was placed on his head, and the battle was taken to the hat.
“Hmm, difficult. Just like your father before you. But as a Potter, you belong in none other than Gryffindor.”
“What is it, Potter? Don’t you want to go to Gryffindor?”
‘I want to get away from my brother, and prove him wrong. He thinks I’ll go in Slytherin. Is that a good reason to choose Gryffindor?’
“No, decide based on you.”
‘I don’t want to see his gloating.’
“Has it ever occurred to you that he may be right? Has it ever occurred to you that you possess many traits Slytherin holds dear? You have a lot of ambition; too much to be ignored.”
‘Then why would I go in Gryffindor. I- I DO belong in Slytherin.’
“Your father too belonged in Slytherin, but he made Gryffindor. Choices decide the man, Potter. There’s nothing in you I can’t see.”
‘Well, if it’s up to me, I’ll go to Gryffindor. Put me in Gryffindor and I’ll prove everyone wrong… my brother, my father, all of them.’
“Ah, hah! Desire to prove yourself. A certain thirst. Lust for greater things. Very Slytherin. Oh, this is interesting. Let’s see. A lack of mindfulness. Certainly clever, witty… thoughtful. Acts wisely and not rashly. Pragmatism. All Slytherin. Ah, but wisdom points to Ravenclaw too. Ah, but what is this? Tremendous bravery, unwavering loyalty. I’d put you in Ravenclaw, but I can’t see you as the type who likes to solve riddles. No, you wouldn’t live to your full potential in Ravenclaw. Your loyalty is there, but there are bounds and limits and Hufflepuff would seem too mediocre for you. I can eliminate Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. The true choice here is Gryffindor or Slytherin. Take your pick.”
‘Gryffindor!’ Albus thought quickly, narrowing his eyes tensely. He could tell almost as he thought this that the sorting hat was not convinced. This was not over, whether Albus declared his choice or not.
“Are you sure? Don’t act rashly, Potter. I sense a lot of uncertainty.”
‘I have to do what’s good for me. Proving James and Scorpius wrong is part of it. I have to make Gryffindor.’
“More Slytherin by the minute. I told you to decide based on you. Tell me, Potter, if your brother and Scorpius were nonexistent and you came to be sorted, where would you want to be?”
‘I don’t know. Where would you put me?’
“I’d put you in Slytherin, like I should’ve done with your father. You know you belong there.”
Albus could not argue this any further. The sorting hat was too smart. The hat gave him the choice, yes but it also swayed Albus’ mind into the right direction too by exploiting his arguments with James and Scorpius. There was no way he could make Gryffindor now and not feel regret.
“Potter, you may want to prove everyone wrong, but is something as important as sorting really worth sacrificing? All based on what others think. If you still desire, I will put you in Gryffindor, but the sorting, something you know is based entirely on your own personality is simply not worth it to be based only on what Malfoy and Potter said.”
‘Mr. Hat? What kind of mind did Malfoy have?’
“What’s this? Prying into business. You may be a Gryffindor yet. I don’t betray confidentiality, Potter.”
‘How can I decide if I don’t know what kind of people are in any house? It’s general and doesn’t betray anything. Just tell me. I need to know my friend. Does he have a good mind?’
“Nosy aren’t you? All of a sudden, you decide to talk back. Well, I can tell you that he likes you. He is absolutely fascinated to have a Potter as a friend.”
Albus sighed. He was vaguely aware of all eyes on him. The hat was on his head for over a minute now. He gritted his teeth. ‘I give up. There’s no doubt then. Put me with Scorpius.’
“You’re brave, Potter. Very well, you asked for it. “SLYTHERIN!””
The cheers that erupted from the Slytherin table were enormous. Many of them made catcalls and even rude hand gestures at the Gryffindors who sat shocked at the announcement. Scorpius moved over to make room for Albus, patting his back as Albus sat down. On Albus’ other side was a tall, muscular fifth year who wore a badge.
“Potter, finally a Potter!” he said jovially. “Joel. Joel Herbert. Glad to see you sitting here.”
“Well, more friendly than I expected,” Albus whispered to Scorpius as more P’s went by.
It was over. It had to end sometime. Albus didn’t dare look at James as he took his seat beside Scorpius. He could sense the triumph anyway. He didn’t need to see it on James’ smirk nor did he have to see Louis shockingly paying James the money the bet was worth. The decision was final and there was most definitely no going back.
Few looked surprised. Albus didn’t know why, but the applause was out of respect, not surprise. She took her seat beside Samuel.
“Wallaby, Alex,” Era called.
One of the red headed twins with that blonde kid on the train rushed forward. “Gryffindor.”
The blonde boy who Albus earlier met on the train was called up. His hair was flat on his head. Light blonde and straight, he sat down on the stool. Was it just him, or was he also confident enough in his sorting?
The twins that were just sorted didn’t take a seat. They waited in the middle of the hall for Mark, who hugged them both, and they made their way to the Gryffindor table together as Rose was called up.
The hat took a while, but it called Gryffindor in the end. Scorpius looked down, “Ah, well, it’d have been nice to have the both of you. Well, you seem to have your priorities right, huh, Al?”
Scorpius stared at Albus, and opened his mouth in conceit, but Albus interrupted, “Shut it. Things are bad enough, already.”
Then, to Albus’ surprise, Scorpius put a hand on Albus’ back, and grinned. Not a conceited grin, or a self-satisfied grin, but a friendly one, and he said what Albus had a feeling he’d never soon forget, “You won’t regret this, Al. I promise you.”