Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 8 страница. "Welcome to Hogwarts," said Professor McGonagall
"Welcome to Hogwarts," said Professor McGonagall. "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.
"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 rulebreaking will lose
house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is
awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a
credit to whichever house becomes yours.
"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 lingered for a moment on Neville's cloak, which was fastened
under his left ear, and on Ron's smudged nose. Harry nervously tried to
flatten his hair.
"I shall return when we are ready for you," said Professor McGonagall.
"Please wait quietly."
She left the chamber. Harry swallowed.
"How exactly do they sort us into houses?" he asked Ron.
"Some sort of test, I think. Fred said it hurts a lot, but I think he
Harry's heart gave a horrible jolt. A test? In front of the whole
school? But he didn't know any magic yet -- what on earth would he have
to do? He hadn't expected something like this the moment they arrived.
He looked around anxiously and saw that everyone else looked terrified,
too. No one was talking much except Hermione Granger, who was whispering
very fast about all the spells she'd learned and wondering which one
she'd need. Harry tried hard not to listen to her. He'd never been more
nervous, never, not even when he'd had to take a school report home to
the Dursleys saying that he'd somehow turned his teacher's wig blue. He
kept his eyes fixed on the door. Any second now, Professor McGonagall
would come back and lead him to his doom.
Then something happened that made him jump about a foot in the air --
several people behind him screamed.
"What the --?"
He gasped. So did the people around him. About twenty ghosts had just
streamed through the back wall. Pearly-white and slightly transparent,
they glided across the room talking to one another and hardly glancing
at the first years. They seemed to be arguing. What looked like a fat
little monk was saying: "Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him
a second chance --"
"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 here?"
A ghost wearing a ruff and tights had suddenly noticed the first years.
"New students!" said the Fat Friar, smiling around at them. "About to be
Sorted, I suppose?"
A few people nodded mutely.
"Hope to see you in Hufflepuff!" said the Friar. "My old house, you
"Move along now," said a sharp voice. "The Sorting Ceremony's about to
Professor McGonagall had returned. One by one, the ghosts floated away
through the opposite wall.
"Now, form a line," Professor McGonagall told the first years, "and
Feeling oddly as though his legs had turned to lead, Harry got into line
behind a boy with sandy hair, with Ron behind him, and they walked out
of the chamber, back across the hall, and through a pair of double doors
into the Great Hall.
Harry had never even imagined such a strange and splendid place. It was
lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in midair
over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting.
These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. At the
top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting.
Professor McGonagall led the first years up here, so that they came to a
halt in a line facing the other students, with the teachers behind them.
The hundreds of faces staring at them looked like pale lanterns in the
flickering candlelight. Dotted here and there among the students, the
ghosts shone misty silver. Mainly to avoid all the staring eyes, Harry
looked upward and saw a velvety black ceiling dotted with stars. He
Hermione whisper, "Its bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read
about it in Hogwarts, A History."
It was hard to believe there was a ceiling there at all, and that the
Great Hall didn't simply open on to the heavens.
Harry quickly looked down again as Professor McGonagall silently placed
a four-legged stool in front of the first years. On top of the stool she
put a pointed wizard's hat. This hat was patched and frayed and
extremely dirty. Aunt Petunia wouldn't have let it in the house.
Maybe they had to try and get a rabbit out of it, Harry thought wildly,
that seemed the sort of thing -- noticing that everyone in the hall was
now staring at the hat, he stared at it, too. For a few seconds, there
was complete silence. Then the hat twitched. A rip near the brim opened
wide like a mouth -- and the hat began to sing:
"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.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffis are true And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
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 whole hall burst into applause as the hat finished its song. It
bowed to each of the four tables and then became quite still again.
"So we've just got to try on the hat!" Ron whispered to Harry. "I'll
kill Fred, he was going on about wrestling a troll."
Harry. smiled weakly. Yes, trying on the hat was a lot better than
having to do a spell, but he did wish they could have tried it on
without everyone watching. The hat seemed to be asking rather alot;
Harry didn't feel brave or quick-witted or any of it at the moment. If
only the hat had mentioned a house for people who felt a bit queasy,
that would have been the one for him.
Professor McGonagall now stepped forward holding a long roll of
"When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to
be sorted," she said. "Abbott, Hannah!"
A pink-faced girl with blonde pigtails stumbled out of line, put on the
hat, which fell right down over her eyes, and sat down. A moments pause
"HUFFLEPUFF!" shouted the hat.
The table on the right cheered and clapped as Hannah went to sit down at
the Hufflepuff table. Harry saw the ghost of the Fat Friar waving
merrily at her.
"HUFFLEPUFF!" shouted the hat again, and Susan scuttled off to sit next
The table second from the left clapped this time; several Ravenclaws
stood up to shake hands with Terry as he joined them.
" Brocklehurst, Mandy" went to Ravenclaw too, but "Brown, Lavender"
became the first new Gryffindor, and the table on the far left exploded
with cheers; Harry could see Ron's twin brothers catcalling.
"Bulstrode, Millicent" then became a Slytherin. Perhaps it was Harry's
imagination, after all he'd heard about Slytherin, but he thought they
looked like an unpleasant lot. He was starting to feel definitely sick
now. He remembered being picked for teams during gym at his old school.
He had always been last to be chosen, not because he was no good, but
because no one wanted Dudley to think they liked him.
Sometimes, Harry noticed, the hat shouted out the house at once, but at
others it took a little while to decide. "Finnigan, Seamus," the
sandy-haired boy next to Harry in the line, sat on the stool for almost
a whole minute before the hat declared him a Gryffindor.
Hermione almost ran to the stool and jammed the hat eagerly on her head.
"GRYFFINDOR!" shouted the hat. Ron groaned.
A horrible thought struck Harry, as horrible thoughts always do when
you're very nervous. What if he wasn't chosen at all? What if he just
sat there with the hat over his eyes for ages, until Professor
McGonagall jerked it off his head and said there had obviously been a
mistake and he'd better get back on the train?
When Neville Longbottom, the boy who kept losing his toad, was called,
he fell over on his way to the stool. The hat took a long time to decide
with Neville. When it finally shouted, "GRYFFINDOR," Neville ran off
still wearing it, and had to jog back amid gales of laughter to give it
to "MacDougal, Morag."
Malfoy swaggered forward when his name was called and got his wish at
once: the hat had barely touched his head when it screamed, "SLYTHERIN!"
Malfoy went to join his friends Crabbe and Goyle, looking pleased with
There weren't many people left now. "Moon" "Nott" "Parkinson" then a
pair of twin girls, "Patil" and "Patil" then "Perks, Sally-Anne" and
then, at last -- "Potter, Harry!"
As Harry stepped forward, whispers suddenly broke out like little
hissing fires all over the hall.
"Potter, did she say?"
The Harry Potter?"
The last thing Harry saw before the hat dropped over his eyes was the
hall full of people craning to get a good look at him. Next second he
was looking at the black inside of the hat. He waited.
Hmm," said a small voice in his ear. "Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty
of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There's talent, A my goodness,
yes -- and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that's interesting....
So where shall I put you?"
Harry gripped the edges of the stool and thought, Not Slytherin, not
"Not Slytherin, eh?" said the small voice. "Are you sure? You could be
great, you know, it's all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you
on the way to greatness, no doubt about that -- no? Well, if you're sure
-- better be GRYFFINDOR!"
Harry heard the hat shout the last word to the whole hall. He took off
the hat and walked shakily toward the Gryffindor table. He was so
relieved to have been chosen and not put in Slytherin, he hardly noticed
that he was getting the loudest cheer yet. Percy the Prefect got up and
shook his hand vigorously, while the Weasley twins yelled, "We got
Potter! We got Potter!" Harry sat down opposite the ghost in the ruff
he'd seen earlier. The ghost patted his arm, giving Harry the sudden,
horrible feeling he'd just plunged it into a bucket of ice-cold water.
He could see the High Table properly now. At the end nearest him sat
Hagrid, who caught his eye and gave him the thumbs up. Harry grinned
back. And there, in the center of the High Table, in a large gold chair,
sat Albus Dumbledore. Harry recognized him at once from the card he'd
gotten out of the Chocolate Frog on the train. Dumbledore's silver hair
was the only thing in the whole hall that shone as brightly as the
ghosts. Harry spotted Professor Quirtell, too, the nervous young man
from the Leaky Cauldron. He was looking very peculiar in a large purple
And now there were only three people left to be sorted. "Thomas, Dean,"
a Black boy even taller than Ron, joined Harry at the Gryffindor table.
"Turpin, Lisa," became a Ravenclaw and then it was Ron's turn. He was
pale green by now. Harry crossed his fingers under the table and a
second later the hat had shouted, "GRYFFINDOR!"
Harry clapped loudly with the rest as Ron collapsed into the chair next
"Well done, Ron, excellent," said Percy Weasley Pompously across Harry
as "Zabini, Blaise," was made a Slytherin. Professor McGonagall rolled
up her scroll and took the Sorting Hat away.
Harry looked down at his empty gold plate. He had only just realized how
hungry he was. The pumpkin pasties seemed ages ago.
Albus Dumbledore had gotten to his feet. He was beaming at the students,
his arms opened wide, as if nothing could have pleased him more than to
see them all there.
"Welcome," he said. "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!
He sat back down. Everybody clapped and cheered. Harry didn't know
whether to laugh or not.
"Is he -- a bit mad?" he asked Percy uncertainly.
"Mad?" said Percy airily. "He's a genius! Best wizard in the world! But
he is a bit mad, yes. Potatoes, Harry?"
Harry's mouth fell open. The dishes in front of him were now piled with
food. He had never seen so many things he liked to eat on one table:
roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon
and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding,
peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, and, for some strange reason, peppermint
The Dursleys had never exactly starved Harry, but he'd never been
allowed to eat as much as he liked. Dudley had always taken anything
that Harry really wanted, even if It made him sick. Harry piled his
plate with a bit of everything except the peppermints and began to eat.
It was all delicious.
"That does look good," said the ghost in the ruff sadly, watching Harry
cut up his steak,
"Can't you --?"
I haven't eaten for nearly four hundred years," said the ghost. "I don't
need to, of course, but one does miss it. I don't think I've in troduced
myself? Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington at your service. Resident ghost
of Gryffindor Tower."
"I know who you are!" said Ron suddenly. "My brothers told me about you
-- you're Nearly Headless Nick!"
"I would prefer you to call me Sir Nicholas de Mimsy --" the ghost began
stiffly, but sandy-haired Seamus Finnigan interrupted.
"Nearly Headless? How can you be nearly headless?"
Sir Nicholas looked extremely miffed, as if their little chat wasn't
going at all the way he wanted.
"Like this," he said irritably. He seized his left ear and pulled. His
whole head swung off his neck and fell onto his shoulder as if it was on
a hinge. Someone had obviously tried to behead him, but not done it
properly. Looking pleased at the stunned looks on their faces, Nearly
Headless Nick flipped his head back onto his neck, coughed, and said,
"So -- new Gryffindors! I hope you're going to help us win the house
championship this year? Gryffindors have never gone so long without
winning. Slytherins have got the cup six years in a row! The Bloody
Baron's becoming almost unbearable -- he's the Slytherin ghost."
Harry looked over at the Slytherin table and saw a horrible ghost
sitting there, with blank staring eyes, a gaunt face, and robes stained
with silver blood. He was right next to Malfoy who, Harry was pleased to
see, didn't look too pleased with the seating arrangements.
"How did he get covered in blood?" asked Seamus with great interest.
"I've never asked," said Nearly Headless Nick delicately.
When everyone had eaten as much as they could, the remains of the food
faded from the plates, leaving them sparkling clean as before. A moment
later the desserts appeared. Blocks of ice cream in every flavor you
could think of, apple pies, treacle tarts, chocolate eclairs and jam
doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, Jell-O, rice pudding -- "
As Harry helped himself to a treacle tart, the talk turned to their
"I'm half-and-half," said Seamus. "Me dad's a Muggle. Mom didn't tell
him she was a witch 'til after they were married. Bit of a nasty shock
The others laughed.
"What about you, Neville?" said Ron.
"Well, my gran brought me up and she's a witch," said Neville, "but the
family thought I was all- Muggle for ages. My Great Uncle Algie kept
trying to catch me off my guard and force some magic out of me -- he
pushed me off the end of Blackpool pier once, I nearly drowned -- but
nothing happened until I was eight. Great Uncle Algie came round for
dinner, and he was hanging me out of an upstairs window by the ankles
when my Great Auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he accidentally let
go. But I bounced -- all the way down the garden and into the road. They
were all really pleased, Gran was crying, she was so happy. And you
should have seen their faces when I got in here -- they thought I might
not be magic enough to come, you see. Great Uncle Algie was so pleased
he bought me my toad."
On Harry's other side, Percy Weasley and Hermione were talking about
lessons ("I do hope they start right away, there's so much to learn, I'm
particularly interested in Transfiguration, you know, turning something
into something else, of course, it's supposed to be very difficult-";
"You'll be starting small, just matches into needles and that sort of
thing -- ").
Harry, who was starting to feel warm and sleepy, looked up at
the High Table again. Hagrid was drinking deeply from his goblet.
Professor McGonagall was talking to Professor Dumbledore. Professor
Quirrell, in his absurd turban, was talking to a teacher with greasy
black hair, a hooked nose, and sallow skin.
It happened very suddenly. The hook-nosed teacher looked past Quirrell's
turban straight into Harry's eyes -- and a sharp, hot pain shot across
the scar on Harry's forehead.
"Ouch!" Harry clapped a hand to his head.
"What is it?" asked Percy.
The pain had gone as quickly as it had come. Harder to shake off was the
feeling Harry had gotten from the teacher's look -- a feeling that he
didn't like Harry at all.
"Who's that teacher talking to Professor Quirrell?" he asked Percy.
"Oh, you know Quirrell already, do you? No wonder he's looking so
nervous, that's Professor Snape. He teaches Potions, but he doesn't want
to -- everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful lot about
the Dark Arts, Snape."
Harry watched Snape for a while, but Snape didn't look at him again.
At last, the desserts too disappeared, and Professor Dumbledore got to
his feet again. The hall fell silent.
"Ahern -- just a few more words now that we are all fed and watered. I
have a few start-of-term notices to give you.
"First years should note that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to
all pupils. And a few of our older students would do well to remember
that as well."
Dumbledore's twinkling eyes flashed in the direction of the Weasley
"I have also been asked by Mr. Filch, the caretaker, to remind you all
that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors.
"Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone
interested in playing for their house teams should contact Madam Hooch.
"And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor
on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to
die a very painful death."
Harry laughed, but he was one of the few who did.
"He's not serious?" he muttered to Percy.
"Must be," said Percy, frowning at Dumbledore. "It's odd, because he
usually gives us a reason why we're not allowed to go somewhere -- the
forest's full of dangerous beasts, everyone knows that. I do think he
might have told us prefects, at least."
"And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!" cried
Dumbledore. Harry noticed that the other teachers' smiles had become
Dumbledore gave his wand a little flick, as if he was trying to get a
fly off the end, and a long golden ribbon flew out of it, which rose
high above the tables and twisted itself, snakelike, into words.
"Everyone pick their favorite tune," said Dumbledore, "and off we go!"
And the school bellowed:
"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we've forgot,
just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot.
Everybody finished the song at different times. At last, only the
Weasley twins were left singing along to a very slow funeral march.
Dumbledore conducted their last few lines with his wand and when they
had finished, he was one of those who clapped loudest.
"Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!
And now, bedtime. Off you trot!"
The Gryffindor first years followed Percy through the chattering crowds,
out of the Great Hall, and up the marble staircase. Harry's legs were
like lead again, but only because he was so tired and full of food. He
was too sleepy even to be surprised that the people in the portraits
along the corridors whispered and pointed as they passed, or that twice
Percy led them through doorways hidden behind sliding panels and hanging
tapestries. They climbed more staircases, yawning and dragging their
feet, and Harry was just wondering how much farther they had to go when
they came to a sudden halt.
A bundle of walking sticks was floating in midair ahead of them, and as
Percy took a step toward them they started throwing themselves at him.
"Peeves," Percy whispered to the first years. "A poltergeist." He raised
his voice, "Peeves -- show yourself"
A loud, rude sound, like the air being let out of a balloon, answered.
"Do you want me to go to the Bloody Baron?"
There was a pop, and a little man with wicked, dark eyes and a wide
mouth appeared, floating cross- legged in the air, clutching the walking
"Oooooooh!" he said, with an evil cackle. "Ickle Firsties! What fun!"
He swooped suddenly at them. They all ducked.
"Go away, Peeves, or the Baron'll hear about this, I mean it!" barked
Peeves stuck out his tongue and vanished, dropping the walking sticks on
Neville's head. They heard him zooming away, rattling coats of armor as
"You want to watch out for Peeves," said Percy, as they set off again.
"The Bloody Baron's the only one who can control him, he won't even
listen to us prefects. Here we are."