“Longbottom, Neville!” Came McGonagall’s stern voice.
Neville felt his already shaky legs become shakier. Ever since he had stepped foot off of the boat onto the legendary Hogwarts grounds he was the living embodiment of Jelly.
His legs carried him automatic steps towards the stool where the stern Scottish professor was holding the hat aloft, ready to put on his head. She was already annoyed at him for losing the toad, but surely putting on the hat couldn’t do any harm…
He could hear his pulse rushing through his ears like raging seas, he could feel the prickle of cold sweat pierce through his skin making his uniform feel clammy and tight, and he could feel the eyes of everyone in the hall on him.
Sitting down he nervously bit his lip, gazing around at the others.
The students still yet to be sorted, looking mesmerized at him. The students who had already been sorted still receiving welcoming pats on the back. The older students all whispering about him.
What if they didn’t want him at their table?
What if they didn’t want him in their house?
What if he got sorted and the house refused to take him?
What if there wasn’t enough magic in him and he couldn’t stay at Hogwarts.
Crikey, what would gran say??
The view was suddenly obscured by a musty smelling, rough, brown brim.
“…Ahhh, Longbottom is it.” Came a silky voice, aged and wise.
“I knew your father. He was a brave one. Ah, yes, but he was taken—not by death but by curse. I knew your mother too. Gifted student, adept at spells, charms and defensive magic. Aurors, I heard they became. Of course, I knew your Grandmother too, Augusta Longbottom, talented witch. Not magnificent at charms but a dab hand at hexes…So, Neville, where do we place you? I see courage, keen mind, talent…lots of talent.”
“You’ve got it all wrong.” Neville thought urgently. “I’m useless, me. I blew up gran’s kettle on the stove just by sitting near it!”
“I bet you did.” chuckled the hat encouragingly. “But I see your families bravery in you. Oh yes, I see great things for you my boy.”
“No, honest. I’m useless. I think I’m a squib to be honest.” Neville whimpered in his head.
“Neville, I don’t think I have ever had a child sit under my brim that has not wished to be here before.” began the hat seriously.
“I do. I want to be here!” Neville almost said.
“Then be quiet and let me think!” The hat chided. “Hmmm, strong of heart. Not a bad brain. You carry your bloodlines reputation of thirst for knowledge…I see you have a loyal heart. I say you belong in the house where those of daring nerve and chivalry—”
“Please don’t put me in Gryffindor. I couldn’t cope. I’d be much better in Hufflepuff.”
“Hufflepuff, my boy. What makes you think you belong there?” asked the hat.
“Well, I’m not that smart—so Ravenclaw won’t want me. I’m not sly, or cunning…so Slytherin isn’t right…And, well, I’d just let the family down in Gryffindor.”
“What makes you think you have the right qualities for Hufflepuff my boy?”
Neville strangled his brain that seemed to be slow and dull witted whilst the hat was on him for a reason why he was a Hufflepuff.
“Exactly. I stand by my word. You will do well in Gryffindor.”
“…Are you sure?” he asked, almost sadly.
“I bet my stitches on it. Believe me, Longbottom, a time will come when you and I will chat again, and you will thank me for this. Now hurry up, you’re a bit of a stall you know.”
“Off you trot…new GRYFFINDOR!”
The hall erupted in cheers as the table nearest to the stool all whooped the loudest. Two gingerhaired wizards were standing on their seats and catcalling. A stern looking wizard with glasses was telling them to sit down and that fuzzy haired witch was clapping austerely.
Neville was so relieved that the house wanted him that he ran off with the hat on his head, McGonagall walked over to him and took the hat back off him.
Looking up at her stern face, he found it’s expected scowl had curved into an indulgent smile as she whisked the hat away to the next student.
Gryffindor seemed to be alright, actually…
I get there are A LOT of ficlets like this out there so please don’t whine at me about copyright. It is a fairly explored theme and story and naturally more than one person will envision it. Plus—i don’t think you can call copyright on already copyrighted material…