The Sugar Quill
Author: Sarah  Story: Fitting Out  Chapter: Chapter 2. The Hat
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Fitting Out
2. The Hat

"This hall is very big."

The boy standing behind her gave her a prod to hurry her up. "Yeah, I think we might know that. Now quit gawping and move."

Luna did as she was told. She followed the people in front of her, and found herself facing a large, battered black hat. It looked rather unremarkable, so Luna wasn't all at surprised when it started singing.

"Oh, you may think I'm just a hat
But I'll show you I'm more than that...
I'll now tell you of four heroes
See if that's enough
There was Slytherin and Gryffindor
Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff.
Slytherin was cunning
Ambitious and quite clever
Gryffindor was very brave
Turned from a challenge never
Ravenclaw was very wise
The meaning she would seek:
Hufflepuff was always true
Was loyal, kind, and meek.
Those who get, those who find
Those who seek and those who care
I'll now put you in your House
And you'll find your true self there!

The Hall applauded. Luna clapped too. Professor McGonagall stepped forward with a roll of parchment.

"When I call your name, come to the seat," she announced. "Adrason, Michelle!"

A girl with short black hair came to the seat. She placed the hat on her head, and a few seconds later the house announced "HUFFLEPUFF!"

"Brookes, Peter!"

"RAVENCLAW!"

Luna wondered where she would go. She had heard many people hoping for Gryffindor, so she supposed that must generally be considered the best.

"SLYTHERIN!"

She noticed there was slightly less clapping when someone was placed there. The new Slytherin, a boy with spiky hair and freckles, looked slightly nervous.

"GRYFFINDOR!"

More and more people were Sorted. Finally...

"Lovegood, Luna!"

She wandered up to the seat, sat down and placed the hat on her head.

"Hmmm," said the hat, and it sounded somewhat amazed. "You're going to be difficult to place, I can see."

"Oh, I'm sorry."

"Yes..." the hat murmured, awed. "Tell me, child...no, never mind." It continued to mutter to itself. "No...not a Gryffindor. And I don't imagine you'd be happy in Slytherin. Hufflepuff...or Ravenclaw...yes....RAVENCLAW!"

Luna took off the hat. People were clapping. She gave a small bow...the clapping died down a little...and went to sit down at the Ravenclaw table. A couple of people shook hands with her and then she sat back to watch the others.

"Weasley, Ginny!" was one of the last. Luna leaned forward.

"GRYFFINDOR!" With a look of great relief, Ginny hurried to the Gryffindor table, taking a place between one of her brothers and a girl with bushy brown hair.

After the last few had gone to their respective tables, Dumbledore stepped onto the stage and the hall went quiet.

"Welcome, all!"

There was more applause.

"Before we eat -and I can promise we will eat very soon, as I am sure we are all hungry- I would like to introduce..."

"Me!" came a proud voice from behind him. The person the voice belonged to stepped in front of Dumbledore, obscuring him. The person was a man with blonde hair, lilac robes and a very self-assured smile. Luna wondered if she would like him and decided she wouldn't. Dumbledore calmly stepped away.

"Lockhart," Luna heard someone say.

"Yes!" Lockhart announced. "It is I. Gilderoy Lockhart. I..." -he spread his arms wide and put on a ridiculously cheesy grin- "...am your new Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher!"

There was a lot of clapping and even some cheering. Luna decided that this time she would not join in.

"I have prepared a short speech..." Lockhart produced something that might have been a scroll of parchment, but was the length of a whole roll of toilet paper. "...to explain to you all how I plan to use my gifts this year to educate you all in the..."

"Yes, yes, Professor Lockhart," Dumbledore spoke up. Somehow this silenced him. "I am sure that right now, everyone is very hungry, and should they listen to your speech they will not be concentrating hard enough to understand how very talented you are." He glanced out at them, eyes twinkling. Luna imagined those eyes were looking right at her. Maybe they were. "Perhaps, Professor, you ought to save your speech for the actual classes."

"Oh yes," Lockhart said cheerfully, "excellent idea. Don't know why I didn't think of it." He bowed. There was considerably more applause than there had been when Luna had taken her bow.

"Now," Dumbledore said, before Lockhart had even returned to his seat, "let's feast!"

//
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