Written as a pinch hit for the sshg_exchange)
Nineteen Years and One Day
by Beth H.
(c) July 26, 2007
There's a brief pause while the Hat decides, but everybody who's familiar with the boy's family knows only too well how much effort his father has made to distance himself from his old House. Rumour has it that even Draco's marriage contract (the girl poor and plain, although nice enough, everyone hastens to add) was entered into based on the fact that the home-schooled bride had no House affiliation at all. Draco would prefer his son be sorted into Ravenclaw, but Hufflepuff or even Gryffindor would do in a pinch.
Scorpius swallows hard, but slides off the stool and walks as confidently as any eleven year can towards the cheering Slytherin table where his new Head of House, Forsythia Flint, nods in greeting. Scorpius takes a seat between two girls, both first years like himself. One of the girls is wearing a Muggle t-shirt under her robes, and the other is staring at Professor Haima as if she'd never seen a vampire before. Scorpius is pretty sure that neither of the girls is a pureblood.
By the time one of the Slytherin prefects has given Scorpius a glass of pumpkin juice and a plate of biscuits, the Sorting Hat is up to the P's.
"Albus Severus Potter!"
Scorpius remembers seeing the thin-faced boy standing with his family on the platform at King's Cross. He looked nervous then, and he looks even more nervous now, muttering something under his breath as if he were talking to the Sorting Hat. Scorpius shakes his head, then takes another biscuit. There's no question where the son of Harry Potter will be sor . . .
For a moment, not a sound can be heard in the Great Hall and Potter's eyes widen in surprise, but when Headmistress McGonagall begins to clap politely, the unnatural silence comes to an end and Potter races over to the Slytherin table, then sits down across from Scorpius.
"You're Malfoy, aren't you?" he asks, a little breathlessly.
Scorpius nods, then - because he's been taught manners - he offers his hand to Potter. After only the briefest pause, the other boy extends his own arm and they shake hands.
Why bother? Scorpius thinks, as he releases Potter's hand. His father told him the Weasleys had been Gryffindor through and through for seventeen generations now, and...
Scorpius stares as the girl with the strawberry-blonde hair glances over her shoulder and grins cheekily at the head table. One of the teachers, a scarred man with long, dark red hair and an earring, grins back at her, then shoos her off the sorting stool to join her new House-mates.
Three in the morning.
The castle is silent, all its inhabitants long since gone to sleep - all, that is, except for a single portrait whose twinkling blue eyes peer over half-moon glasses, and a shadowy figure who has just materialized in the locked and warded Office of the Headmistress.
The new Ghost of Slytherin will always be welcome here.
"Well, Severus," the portrait of Albus Dumbledore says. "I take it you're pleased with the Sorting?"
Severus' ghost smiles thinly.
"Reasonably so," he says. "I would have liked to have seen Wood's niece sorted into Slytherin as well. Our Quidditch team needs all the help it can get."
"Don't be greedy," Albus says. "You have no idea what I had to promise that damned Hat just to get those three for your House."
"Yes, well....don't think you've paid your debt to me yet, old man. You still owe me."
Albus sighs, but doesn't argue. "What's next on your list, Severus?"
"There's that little matter of the House Cup you stole from Slytherin in 1992. After that...well, we'll just have to see, won't we?"
Comments, critiques, chit chat: bethbethbeth [at] gmail
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