Though Lily had left, meaning that Remus had to eat lunch alone, nothing could shake his smile. He couldn’t remember the last time someone had chosen to sit near him or even talk with him, other than his mum. As he looked out the train window watching the green pastures darken into dense forests he cast his mind forward wondering which house would claim him. In the short conversations he had with his father on the subject they all seemed to have some merit.

As it turned out Lupin’s family had populated three of the four houses regularly. Tyrell had been in Hufflepuff, his father’s sister had made Ravenclaw, but perhaps most impressive were the wizards in the small oval frames that hung over the fireplace back home. Those pictures which had faded from black and white to grey and ivory were the most prized portraits in his house; because Giaus and Garret Lupin had been the last family members to carry Gryffindor badges. Remus recalled how his father’s eyes had shone with pride over his brave, twice removed, great uncles. So, while he wanted nothing more than to follow in his father’s footsteps, secretly he wished for Gryffindor.

*******

Remus could hardly believe it, he had traveled by steam engine and magical boat, events that had surpassed his wildest dreams by a far margin, and finally gained access to Hogwarts. However, doubt still plagued him so as if to remind himself that he truly did belong Remus kept touching his acceptance letter, which he had neatly folded to one-eighteenth its original size and hidden in his pocket. He tried his best not to gawk, but like all first years standing below the bewitched ceiling of the great hall facing the famous Headmaster, Albums Dumbledore, for the first time was quite overwhelming. In the time it took for his mouth to dry and his eyes to burn Remus was finally able to focus his attention on the sad old hat perched upon a three-legged stool. And not a second too soon as it immediately burst into life.

“Now I many not be the typical topper,

Your commonplace cap,

Or a pompadour proper,

But with a swish and a flick,

My fine Warty friends,

I learned quite a trick.

See the founding four, witty witches and wizards all,

Saw fit to make this loquacious lid

Much more than my appearance may suggest.

So set me upon the large and the small

And let me to do what the four did bid

And place the children where I deem best.

For Ravenclaw I claim the cunning and quick,

To Slytherin I commit the resourceful and slick,

Hard workers with high morals to Hufflepuff I send,

And I give to those with daring and nerve the name of Gryffindor to tend.

So give me a try,

We can have a little chat,

For there is only one way into Hogwarts,

And it’s through me, the Sorting Hat.”

Everyone broke into a well deserved round of applause as the Sorting Hat resumed its normal hat-like state. Remus who was watching the hat very closely, lest it should spark back to life, missed the instructions Professor McGonagall gave to the first years, and therefore waited anxiously as she gently lifted the hat and magicked an unrolled parchment, which hovered at eye level.

The name, “Patricia Abner,” rang through the hall and a very worried looking girl with blonde pigtails stepped forward and sat on the stool. Then Professor McGonagall lowered the hat on to her head, not even two seconds later the hat announced “Hufflepuff” with a dramatic flare, and the girl bounded off to the table clapping and celebrating the most. Relieved that sorting would occur alphabetically Remus relaxed and let his attention drift. He clapped when everyone clapped, but he was much more interested in the witches and wizards who populated the faculty table. In particular there was quite a round little man to Professor Dumbledore’s left who was watching the sorting with such a hungry expression that Remus found himself following the gaze of the walrus whiskered wizard to the boy currently on the stool.

Even without the large hat upon his head the boy would have stood out, with his dark wavy hair and deep grey eyes. However, much more interesting to Remus, and the unknown wizard, was the fact that he appeared to be having a conversation with the hat. Remus based this on the fact that the boy’s eyes screwed up and to the side every time the hat twitched and wrinkled its patched brow as if they were arguing with one another. Finally, after at least two minutes of intense discussion, the hat must have relented, as the boy broke into a smile just before he was allowed into Gryffindor. The only other person Remus actually watched was Lily Evans, who was quickly sorted into the house of brave Godric Gryffindor. Her smile was sad though as she looked back at a small boy with a long nose and lank black hair on her way to the table beneath the scarlet and gold banners.

Remus took a deep breath and opened his eyes when Professor McGonagall read his name. As he walked up to the stool he couldn’t help but notice the whispers which moved up and down the head table. They must all know he thought to himself as he sat down too nervous to meet the Headmaster’s steady look. He felt a slight pressure as the too large hat slumped over his eyes. Unbidden, memories of his father rose to the top of Remus’ mind. Me, I was in Hufflepuff. The house of the hard working, but I’m sure you’ll be in Sytherin. How could you not be with what you are now, even though your not pure-blood, what other house would have you? It was all Remus could do to hold back his tears.

Then out of nowhere a voice drifted through his mind He thought so, huh, if only he knew you like I do. How about…

“Gryffindor!”

Professor McGonagall removed the Sorting Hat and Remus finally met the Headmaster’s smiling eyes. Perhaps, a very small part of himself thought, this is where I’ll truly belong.

*******

Reader Note: Welcome to my second instalment of Witchcraft & Wizarding Wednesdays! I hope you enjoyed this part of my story you can find part one here. As stated before this is my take on part of JK Rowling’s story, to which I have no rights, but was always incredibly curious. Thanks for stopping by and any comments you might leave behind.

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