Hermione Granger and the Philosopher's stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone written from the perspective of Hermione Granger.

Hermione Granger is an extraordinary little girl. Ever since she was a toddler she's been making things happen that would cause the other boys and girls in the playground turn their heads, not to mention the looks of horror from their parents. Not only is there something strange about Hermione, but she also happens to be the cleverest little girl her primary school has ever had.

A week into the summer holidays, Hermione receives a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
She's always known she was different, but now Hermione has found a place where she truly belongs.

Follow her along her journey, making new friends, learning new things and exceeding tremendously in her school work, but what will happen when she learns the secrets of the Wizarding world?

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12. The Sorting Hat

The door swings open at once and a tall, black-haired witch in emerald green robes stands in front of us. Her stern expression and positioned spectacles give the semblance that she is not someone to provoke.

"The firs'-years, Professor McGonagall," Hagrid announces.

"Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here." She says, pulling the door open wide, revealing a large entrance hall.

A grand, marble staircase faces us, leading to the many stories above. The stone walls are lit with flaming torches which shine on the house-point hourglasses. We follow Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor, pass a large set of wooden doors (behind which is a fair amount of mumbling) and into a small, empty chamber. We crowd in, nervously huddling together in a large clump and wait anxiously for the Professor to speak.

"Welcome to Hogwarts," She says in a rich Scottish accent. "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." I sigh, imagining what the common rooms are going to be like. "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 rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honour. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours." Professor McGonagall walks slowly back and for, subtly pacing in front of the small door and holding our attention like an enchantress.

"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 linger on Neville's messy cloak and the spot on Ron's nose - that he still hasn't cleaned off. Boys.

"I shall return when we are ready for you. Please wait quietly." She swiftly exits through the small door and the room bursts into a frenzy. I make sure that I go over some of the spells we practised on the train, just in case.

"Colloportus. Alohamora. Engorgio. Reducio. Lumos. Nox." I whisper to myself. Before I can list any more spells from the textbook that seem easy, I'm interrupted by the screams of my classmates. I glance around and a shiver goes through me as about twenty ghosts soar through the back wall. Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glide across the room, talking to each other, not even glancing at us. Some seem to be arguing, so I try to listen to what's going on.

"Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him a second chance-" A plump little monk says, interrupted by a ghost in a ruff and tights.

"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 in here?" He finishes, startled by the presence of us first-years. Nobody answers.

"New students!" The Fat Friar smiles. "About to be sorted, I suppose?"

A few people nod, silently.

"Hope to see you in Hufflepuff! My old house, you know." He says, rather fondly.

"Move along now," Professor McGonagall enters the room. "The Sorting Ceremony's about to start." I feel a rush of nerves as the ghosts float away through the wall and Professor McGonagall orders us into a line.

I follow a girl with short, mahogany hair out into the entrance hall, Neville trailing behind me. Reaching the set of wooden doors I hear gasps of awe ahead of me as we enter the Great Hall. I grin in delight when I see the enchanted ceiling, floating candles and the four long house tables, where the rest of the students are sat, waiting. Professor McGonagall leads us past the tables and up to a clearing, in front of a large table of professors.

The girl in front of me says, "Woah, look at the ceiling!" She points to the velvety black ceiling dotted with stars and I can't help but inform her of its magical powers.

When we reach the clearing, Professor McGonagall places a stool in the centre. She sits a pointed wizard's hat on top and I start to panic. None of the spells I can remember will do much to this hat. It looks quite beaten up, with its extremely dirty fabric and frayed edges, so I suppose that it has gone through its fair share of spells. Before I can rack my brains for an impressive charm, a rip in the brim opens up and everyone falls silent. The hat starts to sing a well-rehearsed song.

"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."

It starts, merrily. It then goes on to describe the four houses in its own words. Apparently in Gryffindor is "where dwell the brave at heart". Hufflepuffs are "just and loyal", while "those of wit and learning" resign in Ravenclaw. According to this 'Sorting Hat' Slytherins "use any means to achieve their ends" - insinuating dark prejudices about them, which are more than likely true.

"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 hall bursts into applause and I breath out a little - we won't be tested on our magic skills just yet. The hat bows to the four houses and returns to a stationary position. I'm not sure if I'm relieved that no magic is required from us, or disappointed. I do like the idea of this hat though - it's all rather comical.

"When I call your name," Professor McGonagall says, holding a long roll of parchment. "You will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted." She takes a breath. "Abbott, Hannah!"

A girl with blonde pigtails shuffles to the stool. McGonagall places the sorting hat on her head and it almost immediately shouts, "HUFFLEPUFF!" Hannah beams, blushing due to the enormous applause emanating from the Hufflepuff table.

"Bones, Susan!" McGonagall calls. Another girl steps up to the stool and the hat calls out "HUFFLEPUFF!" again.

"Boot, Terry!" "RAVENCLAW!" The hat booms. The table nearest to me erupts into applause, the students already dressed in blue and silver striped ties, with grey jumpers and long, black cloaks draped over each and every one's shoulders. A few of the students jump up to shake Terry's hand, and a minute later, Mandy Brocklehurst's too.

"Brown, Lavender!" shuffles up to the stool and perches the hat on her head. She almost immediately becomes the first new Gryffindor and the table to my far left bursts into the biggest applause yet.

As the list carries on, my stomach begins to churn - I've no idea where I'll be placed, and what if it's Slytherin? What if I'm forced to become...a dark wizard? I shake my head at the thought - No. I shall not be in Slytherin. I shall not be in Slytherin. I shall not be in Sly-

"Goyle, Gregory!" A plump boy steps up to the stool and smirks as he pulls on the hat. "SLYTHERIN!" shouts the hat. I start to shake. G - for Goyle...G - for Gr-

"Granger, Hermione!" I find myself frozen to the spot. It feels as though every eye in the room is staring at me. I take a quick, shaky breath and put one foot in front of the other. 'It's okay,' I tell myself. 'All you have to do is put this hat on your head. It's fine.'

I find myself almost running to the stool - I hate to think this will last any longer, and jam the hat on my head.

"Hmm," says a small voice inside my ear, once the hat has draped over my eyes. "Intelligence, wit, a conscientious mind. A clear choice for Ravenclaw...but what's this? Ah-ha! Interesting - you've clear focus and determination, courage, a need for something more...then it'll have to be - GRYFFINDOR!"

I breathe a sigh of relief and a wondrous applause exudes from my new house table as I rush to sit down. I'm embraced by many as I take a seat next to a boy about my age.

"Seamus Finnigan," He whispers, once the noise has died down. "Nice to meet you." I notice he has an accent and smile, "You too!"

We turn our attention back to the sorting ceremony, and I feel my body relax. I take a moment to gaze up at the ceiling and the flickering candles. A grin forms on my face and a rush of something warm goes through my body. I belong here. We watch and applaud as Neville and Parvati become Gryffindors and take their seats, but after Sally-Anne is sorted into Hufflepuff, the room goes quiet.

"Potter, Harry!" McGonagall shouts. The room bubbles with interest as he takes his seat.

"Potter, did she say?"

"The Harry Potter!?"

Everyone around me shifts to get a better look at him, but I stay put - I've already met the boy, and it doesn't seem as though he's something extraordinary. He seemed rather...incompetent to me!

Whispers around the room carry on, as everyone waits for the Sorting Hat's verdict. I hear a Hufflepuff boy remark, "Imagine if he's put in Slytherin! What'll happen then!?" Another excited ripple of voices talk about this until finally the hat shouts, "GRYFFINDOR!"

Every single student on our table jumps up in applause, and so I join them, not wanting to seem rude or feel left out, and cheer for Harry - If the textbooks are right, then he shall live up to his name, and I guess an element of me wants to be a part of the excitement.

Harry shakes a ginger-haired prefect's hair and another two identical ginger-haired boys shout, "We got Potter! We got Potter!" in unison. The ghost in the ruff floats down and sits next to me, waiting expectantly for Harry to sit opposite him, and pats him on the arm.

The excitement dies down on our table, and the rest of the names are called. Four more Gryffindors join our table, Ronald being the last. He takes a seat next to Harry as the ginger prefect kindly says, "Well done, Ron, excellent!"

Professor McGonagall rolls up her scroll and takes the sorting hat away. I look up at the large table of professors and see a vast variety of witches and wizards - Hagrid is sat at the far end of the table, almost taking up two seats, while a tiny wizard is perched on the seat next to him. At the centre of the table a slim, tall man with a long white beard stands; his pale blue robes trailing behind him as he walks to the centre of the now empty clearing.

He beams at us all, throwing his arms open wide, as if he couldn't be more pleased to see us. "Welcome!" He says. "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!" Dumbledore makes his way back to his seat as everyone applauds. There's no way to tell if this man is in his entirety, but I clap along anyway. I suppose that you'd have to be a bit mad to be the headmaster of a school full of ghosts, magicians and talking portraits.

 

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