Summary: A sorting!fic, yay! Remus gets sorted – but not into the house he wanted! Slytherins are too sneaky, Ravenclaws are too intelligent, and Gryffindors are just too darn lucky. If he wants to keep his secret the only choice is Hufflepuff. If only the Sorting Hat agreed.
Contains: cute!Remus, The Cat Lady, The One In The Funny Purple Robes, a Hat, and three Quickly-Loyal Dormmates.
Word Count: 1264
The shaking boy made it up to stool and placed the Hat on his head. The Cat Lady and The One In The Funny Purple Robes said that he could come to school, that the Hat couldn't make him go home, that only The One In The Funny Purple Robes could, that no one would find out, but he was so scared! What if people did find out? What if the Hat said he had to go home, because werewolves couldn't become wizards? What if the Hat shouted it to the Hall! What if-
Well, well, well, what do we have here?
Remus had to stifle a scream.
An intriguing young mind! Intelligent, with a great talent for practical application, and an amazing imagination!
Hope flared through the young boy. Maybe he wasn't going home!
Home? Why would we send you home? You have so much potential!
I'm a werewolf!
And I'm a hat. Now, a fantastic mind, but not studious enough to go into Ravenclaw, and nowhere near manipulative enough to go into Slytherin.
Remus relaxed, Hufflepuff it was then. He tried to squash the feeling of disappointment; after all, he was going to become a wizard! He should be happy!
Hufflepuff? Of all the houses you are least suited to Hufflepuff!
But I have to be in Hufflepuff!
I make that choice, please don't try to take my job away from me! Now, Hufflepuff is definitely not an option, but I believe you are a perfect candidate for Gryffindor.
WHAT! But I'm not brave!
They'll figure me out!
You'll just have to be careful then, won't you?
And as the hat was pulled off his head, and as he was pushed toward the Gryffindor table, there was one thought running through his mind,
But I'm not brave.
Remus made his way towards the teachers table, walking along until he reached The Cat Lady. He could feel the accusation and distrust from some (most) of the other professors, but ignored it. He was used to it by now, you had to be when you were a monster.
"Professor McGonagall." The Cat Lady peered over her glasses at him.
"Yes Remus?" He swallowed. He wasn't used to asking for things, especially not from strangers, but she and The One In The Funny Purple Robes and The Bossy Lady Who Smelled Like A Hospital had said that if he needed anything he only had to ask, and this was important.
"I, erm, I was wondering if you could arrange another meeting with the, um, the Sorting Hat for me. Please?" She blinked. Definitely a cat.
"What on Earth for?" Remus was shaking with the suppressed need to run.
"I- you see- I- it put me in Gryffindor." He could feel the stares of the students burning into his head.
The Cat Lady cocked her head to the side.
"Do you have a problem with being in my house?" Remus jumped, startled.
"No! That's not it! It's just… I- I'm not- not b-b-brave." Great, he was starting to stutter. Just fabulous.
Now she looked serious.
"You're not brave?" Remus shook his head.
"What makes you say that?" Remus shook his head again, then realised he should answer. They'd done so much for him, the least he could do was answer their questions.
"I'm- I'm always afraid. I'm never b-brave." The Cat Lady looked down, it looked like she was trying to hide a smile. Remus felt awful, he hated when people laughed at him.
"Were you scared last night, in the dorm?" He nodded, still shaking.
"When you came to school, were you afraid?" Another nod.
"What about when you were meeting new people?" Remus didn't understand where this was going. She was just pointing out what a sook he was, but he nodded anyway.
"Are you scared now?" The Cat Lady was looking at him kindly.
"Yes ma'am. Now you see why I can't be in Gryffindor?" She smiled at him.
"You're here aren't you?" He looked at her in astonishment.
"I- what?" She smiled more and leaned forward, somehow not knocking over her goblet or getting food on her robes. Remus would have done that.
"You're scared to be up in front of all these people, you're scared to talk to me, you were scared to talk to anybody, and yet it seems as if you've made friends." She nodded to a spot behind him. He turned to see two of the boys in his dormitory watching him avidly, and the third trying to get up, gaze fixed on Remus. It seemed the only reason he wasn't moving was because one of the others was holding him down.
"You were scared to come to Hogwarts, you were scared of being sorted, you were scared of getting out of bed, yesterday and today, you're scared of people finding out about your secret. You're afraid of all that, aren't you?" Remus looked towards her again, feeling desperate.
"Yes ma'am. Absolutely terrified." She smiled, the previous one having slipped off her face sometime during her speech.
"And yet you're here. You're doing it. You came to school, got out of bed, you're talking to me, and you're absolutely terrified. But you're doing it." He looked at her, stunned.
"Let me tell you something." Her smile was gone again. She looked more like a professor, and less like a Cat Lady.
"I could never do what you do. I would never be able to go through that pain, the ostracism. Every day of your life you are subject to the repercussions of your father's pride, and I wouldn't be able to do it. But you do, and you do it excellently. You are a sweet, polite, lovely little boy, when you could have easily become a jaded monster. If it were me, I don't think I would have lasted as long as you have, and if I had it certainly wouldn't be living."
"But I don't! I am a monster! I don't live! You can't live when you're scared, and I am! All of the time!" The Cat Lady smiled again.
"Tell me Remus, when was the last time your fear stopped you from doing something?" He blinked again.
"I- um- don't know-" Remus
"And that is why you are brave. I have barely met you and already I know that you are one of the bravest people I have ever met. And that is why I will not organize another meeting with the Sorting Hat. I believe you will thrive in Gryffindor." Remus swallowed and nodded. He didn't think he believed The Cat Lady, but she believed herself and he trusted her judgement. He turned to the rest of the Great Hall and started to make his way to the Gryffindor table.
"Oh, mister Lupin!" Remus started and looked around, wide-eyed.
"There is pewter tableware on the half of Gryffindor table closest to the door." And then she winked and turned back to her breakfast.
Remus resumed walking. One of the boys from his dormitory caught his eye and made waving motions, but Remus shook his head, feeling slightly disappointed. He was hungry and they were sitting at the wrong end of the table. Remus seated himself near the door, and had barely filled his plate when a boy dropped beside him, and two others dropped opposite.
"Hi, feeling a bit hungry are you?"
"So what'd ol' Minnie tell you, the kippers better on this side of the table?" Remus stared, before registering the jibe against The Cat Lady.
"You've got terrible grammar."