(AN: Please PM me something even if it is to tell me my story sucks)
As soon as Neville had his toad in hand the large man led them up a passageway in the rocks holding his lamp high so all could see. Soon they came out at last onto smooth, damp grass right into the shadow of the castle Hermione had love upon her tour earlier in the year.
They walked up a flight of stone steps and crowded around the huge ok front door. After making sure everyone made it up safe the man raised a gigantic fist and knocked three times on the castle door. It swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there with a very stern face.
“The firs’ years, Professor McGonagall,” said the large man.
“Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here.”
She pulled the door wide. The entrance hall was so big you could have fit Hermione’s house in it. The stone walls were lit with flaming torches like the ones at Gringotts, the ceiling was too high to make out, and a magnificent marble staircase facing them lead to the upper floors.
They followed the professor across the flagged stone floor. Hermione could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right. Hermione felt sure the rest of the school was already in that room, but they were shown into a small, empty chamber off the hall. As they all crowded in, standing a lot closer then they normally would have done, they all looked around nervously.
“Welcome to Hogwarts,” the professor said, the start of term feast will begin shortly, but before you take your seats you must be sorte4d into your houses. The sorting is a very important ceremony because; while you are here your house will be your family within Hogwarts. You will take classes with 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 has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, you triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule braking 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 your house.”
“The sorting 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 gaze swept across the room taking different individuals in.
“I shall return when we are ready for you please wait here,” said the professor before she left the chamber.
Everyone started talking at once wondering what they would need to know for the test. Hermione whispered to herself all the spells she’d learned and wondered which she might need for the sorting. As she was going over her mental list something happened that made that boy harry from the train jump, and several people scream. Then every gasped as twenty ghost had just streamed through the back wall. Pearly white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking amongst themselves and hardly glanced at the room full of students. From what Hermione could tell they were arguing and 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 all of us a bad name and you know, he’s not really even a ghost, “ a ghost wearing a ruff and tights said before noticing the first years,” I say, what are you all doing here?”
The room was quiet so the Fat Friar, smiled and said, “New students! About to be sorted I suppose?” a few people nodded. “Hope to see you in Hufflepuff! My old house, you know.”
“Move along now,” said a sharp voice, “the Sorting Ceremony’s about the start.” The professor had returned and one by one the ghost exited through the opposite wall. “Now form a ling and follow me,” said the professor. Feeling a sense of excitement Hermione fell in line behind Ron and they all walked out of the chamber and through a pair of double doors into the great hall.
It was just as it had been described in Hogwarts a History with the floating candles, the four long tables, full of students, which were laid with glittering golden dinnerware, and at the top of the hall was another long table where all he teachers were sitting. They all formed a line in front of the head table facing the rest of the students. All the faces started at them with a ghost dotted here and there amongst them shining misty silver. Hermione looked up at the black star dotted ceiling and whispered, “It is bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read about it in Hogwarts a History.” Suddenly the professor placed a four legged stool in front of the first years with a patched, frayed and extremely dirty, pointed wizard’s hat on top of it. Everyone in the room stared at it until the hat twitched. A rip near the brim opened wide ant the hat began to sing. Hermione tuned out most of the song but from what she heard it was a song about itself.
As soon as the song was finished the hall burst into applause and the hat bowed to the four tables and then became quite still again. Hermione heard a lot of sighs of relief and whispered conversations about the fact that they just put on the hat to be sorted.
Professor McGonagall 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. “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 short pause-
“HUFFLEPUFF!” shouted the hat.
The table on the right cheered and clapped as Hannah went to sit with them.
“HUFFLEPUFF!” shouted the hat again, and Susan ran over and joined Hannah.
The table second from the left clapped this time; several Ravenclaws stood to shake hands as terry joined them.
“Brocklehurst, Mandy” went to Ravenclaw as well, but “Brown Lavender” became the first new Gryffindor, and the table on the far left exploded with cheers.
“Bulstrode, Millicent” then became a Slytherin. Hermione though they look a little unpleasant at that table.
Next Finch-Fletchley, Justin became a Hufflepuff, and Finnigan, Seamus became a Gryffindor. The nit was Hermione’s turn. She almost ran to the stool and jammed the hat on her head. “Mm, Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. A great mind as well. There’s talent, oh my goodness, yes and a thirst to prove yourself, interesting so where to put you. You would do great with the witty Ravenclaws of the brave Gryffindors but which is the better fit. Better be GRYFFINDOR!”
She jumped off the seat and rushed to her new table. She was joined by Neville who had run off with the hat still on his head and he had to jog back amid the gales of laughter to give it to “MacDougal, Morage.”
Next swaggered up a blond boy who could have been Anna’s twin. The hat had barely touché this boy called Draco Malfoy’s head when it screamed, “SLYTHERIN!” he went and joined his friends looking quite pleased with himself.
The Gryffindors were also joined by Harry Potter, who sent an explosion through the hall, Dean Thomas a tall black boy, and Ron Weasley whose whole family seemed to already be at the table. McGonagall rolled up her scroll and took the sorting hat away after “Zabini, Blaise” became a Slytherin. Hermione looked up at headmaster Dumbledore who had gotten to his feet. He was beaming at the students, his arms opened wide, as if nothing could have please him more that 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 down as the dishes filled with food. Hermione took some roast beef, boiled potatoes, and some carrots and started to each.
“That does look good,” said the ghost in the ruff sadly watching the students eats.
“Can’t you-?” started Harry
“I haven’t eaten for nearly four hundred years,” said the ghost. “I don’t need to, of course, but once does miss it. I don’t think I’ve introduced myself? Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington at your service. Resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower.”
“I know who you are! Shouted Ron. “My brothers told me about you, you’re Nearly Headless Nick!”
“I would prefer you call me Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-“the ghost began stiffly before being interrupted by Seamus Finnigan.
“Nearly Headless? How can you be nearly headless?”
“Like this.” Said the irritated Ghost who seized his left ear and pulled. His whole head swung off his neck and fell onto his shoulder as if on a hinge. Looking pleased with the looks he got the ghost continued,
“So new Gryffindors! I hope you’re going to help us win the house cup this year. Slytherin has gotten it six years in a row! The Bloody Baron’s becoming almost unbearable, he’s the Slytherin ghost. After popping his head back into its spot the ghost floated away and the deserts appeared. Hermione took a large slice of Apple Pie with vanilla bean ice cream and had just started eating when the talk turned to families.
“I’m half and half,” said the sandy haired Seamus. “Me dad’s a Muggle. Mom didn’t tell him she was a witch till after they were married. Bit of a nasty shock for him.”
The others laughed.
“What about you Neville?” Ron asked.
“Well my gran brought me up and she’s a witch,” said Neville, “but the family thought I was a squib for ages. My Great Uncle Algie kept trying to catch me off guard and force some magic out of me, he pushed me off the end of Blackpool pier once, I nearly drowned, but nothing happened until I was eight. Great Uncle Algie came round for dinner, and he was hanging me out of an upstairs window by the ankles when my Great Auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he accidentally let go. But I bounced, all the way down the garden and into the road. They were all really please, Gran was crying, she was so happy. And you should have seen their faces when I got in here- they thought I might not have enough magic to come, you see. Great Uncle Algie was so please he bought me my toad.”
On his other side Hermione was talking to Ron’s brother Percy, “I do hope they start lessons right away, there’s so much to learn, I’m particularly interested in Transfiguration, you know, turning something into something else, of course, it’s supposed to be very difficult.”
“You’ll be starting small, just matches into needles and that sort of thing.” suddenly herry clapped a hand to his head with an ouch. “What is it?” asked Percy
Soon the deserts too disappeared and professor Dumbledore got to his feet again. The hall fell silent as he gave a few start of term notices, some reminders from the caretaker Mr. Filch, an announcement about quidicth try outs, and a special announcement about the third floor corridor on the right side being out of bounds to everyone who didn’t want to die. There were some laughs but Hermione felt he was serious. Then he led them in the Hogwarts song. Then they were all sent off to their beds. It was a long walk up to the tower with the portrait of the fat lady in the pink dress. After the password, Caput Draconis, was given everyone climbed up to their rooms and fell fast asleep.