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Chapter 6 Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone Chapter 8

The Sorting HatEdit

SynopsisEdit

The front door swings open, and Professor McGonagall appears to take the first-years in charge. She leads them through the entrance hall into an empty room, where she tells them about the Sorting into houses. Harry and Hermione are a bit nervous about the Sorting, wondering whether it's some sort of test, and Ron has heard all sorts of tales from his brothers. Just then, a group of ghosts float through the wall and wish them luck.

McGonagall returns and leads them into the Great Hall, where the rest of the Hogwarts students are waiting. She sets down a stool with an old wizard's hat on it, and it sings a song about itself, the Sorting Hat, the four houses and what characteristics are required for each. The first-year's are much relieved when they find that all the will need to do is try on the hat and it will decide which house they go into.

McGonagall begins reading off the names in alphabetical order. Sometimes it decides quickly, and sometimes slowly. Hermione is assigned to Gryffindor, as is Neville Longbottom, though only after long deliberation. Draco Malfoy is instantly Sorted into Slytherin with Crabbe and Goyle. When Harry puts on the hat, it tells him it is a difficult choice, but he would do well in Slytherin. He wishes desperately not to go into Slytherin, though, and the hat puts him into Gryffindor instead.

Harry goes to sit at the Gryffindor table, where he is roundly cheered. He gets his first look at Dumbledore, and sees Quirrell at the High Table as well. Ron is also Sorted into Gryffindor. Dumbledore gets up and makes a short but very odd speech, and then food appears on their plates and they eat their fill. The Gryffindor ghost, Nearly Headless Nick, introduces himself and demonstrates how he got his name. He exhorts the new Gryffindors to help their house win the championship that year, because the Slytherins have won it for six years running.

After the dessert appears, the students talk about their families. Neville tells the story of how his magic first appeared. Harry sees Professor Quirrell turned away and talking to another teacher; when Harry meets the other teacher's eyes, he feels a sudden burning pain from his scar. Percy tells him that the other teacher is Professor Snape.

Dumbledore gets up again after the dessert. He makes a few announcements--that the Forbidden Forest is off-limits to students, that no magic is to be used in the corridors, when Quidditch trials will take place, and that one corridor on the third floor is also off-limits, at risk of painful death. They sing the school song--each with their own melody--and then they are sent up to bed.

Their Prefects lead them to their respective towers, each of which is guarded by a painting which will not open unless given the password. On their way to their tower, the Gryffindors encounter Peeves, the Poltergeist, and only Percy threatening him with the Bloody Baron, the Slytherin ghost, convinces him to relent. They go up to their dormitories and go to bed. Harry has a dream where he is wearing Quirrell's turban and it is trying to convince him to transfer to Slytherin.


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Plot PointsEdit

  1. The Hogwarts ghosts are concerned about some recent activity of Peeves, and in disagreement whether some action should be taken.
  2. The Sorting Hat thought that Harry would do well in Slytherin.
  3. The Sorting Hat also deliberated over Seamus Finnigan and Neville Longbottom.
  4. Neville was late manifesting his wizardly powers, and lives with his grandmother; at this point his parents' location is unknown.
  5. Susan Bones is from one of the families many of whose members were killed by Voldemort.
  6. Harry's scar flames into agony while he watches Quirrell talking to Snape.