When the new students and the Marauders entered the Great Hall, everything was in magnificent order. What was once a catastrophic hot mess was turned back to normal. The candles floated in the bewitched dark sky and everyone was sitting to their appropriate houses. Gryffindors sat to the table at the far right, then Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin to the far left. Dumbledore was standing in the front of the school holding a short scroll.
“Tonight, before we dismiss to our Common Rooms, I would like to take a good half-hour to introduce our new exchange students from America. They will be entering their seventh year, and I would expect that you will all house them to their comforts and well-being.” Dumbledore announced. The hall was silent and intent, eying the man with all attention.
“And now, may I ask for Mr. Bruce Banner to bring the hat and start our ceremony?” Dumbledore called out, eying Bruce with gentle encouragement. Bruce turned red and stared at his feet. Thor handed him the hat, and Bruce cast his comrades a fleeting look.
“Don’t worry; any where’s better than Slytherin.” Tony whispered, clapping him on the back. Remus nodded reassuringly and Bruce beamed with renewed confidence.
But what if I’m not sorted? He thought anxiously. His anxiety brought him to a low, once again.
As he made his way to the stool in front of the school, he heard a mixture of whispers around him. Great! He thought angrily, just what I needed! Bruce took a deep breath, trying to calm his worried nerves. He will not let staring students enrage him. Not now…
When he sat down on the stool, however, just as the hat was hovering an inch above his head, the hat cried out “RAVENCLAW!” Bruce flinched, thinking for the worst, but the eruption of claps and the greatest cheers from Ravenclaw table told him that he made it through just fine. As he stood up, he found Tony cheering at him, flashing him a two thumbs up.
Finding a seat beside two other seventh year Ravenclaws, he found himself being introduced to Barney Stable and Keenan Wright. Turning his head, he found that the Marauders have returned to their rightful table and Clint was looking edgy.
“Barton, Clint!” Dumbledore read off the scroll. Before he could take a step, Natasha pulled Clint into a haste hug and gave his hand a firm squeeze before watching him go. The whole school watched as Clint marched his way to the stool. There was a sharp, bright glint in his light brown eyes that became more pronounced with every step he took.
“I bet on my father’s money that he’s definitely a Slytherin!” Bruce heard one of the younger Ravenclaws whisper. Turning around, he saw a rather cunning looking young man of 15, his tongue flicking out of his mouth, licking his dry lips. He was a good looking boy, but there was a maniac fire that glinted in his brown eyes.
When the hat was placed on his head there was a silence and everyone watched as the hat began to mutter quietly to himself. Then with a loud shout, the hat cried, “HUFFLEPUFF!” Clint took off the hat and walked to Hufflepuff table, sitting down beside prefect Amos Diggory, who ushered Clint to sit beside him.
“Are you still sure he’s a Slytherin?” Bruce asked the young man, who scowled. Bruce smirked, not able to resist being right, and the boy’s tongue flicked out again. The boy fumbled in the pockets of one of his robes and drew out a fat, golden coin.
“I’m Barty Crouch Jr.” The boy introduced as he handed the coin over. Bruce took it, knowing it was some form of currency, but he would blow his cover if he was to ask. Instead, he shook Barty’s hand and returned his attention back to the front of the hall.
“Laufeyson, Loki!” Dumbledore called out. Loki silkily strode to the stool. There was no guessing where he was going to be put. Everyone could read it and see it radiating from his lanky figure.
The hat didn’t need to ‘read’ him either, because as soon as the hat hovered on top of Loki’s head, the hat choked out “SLYTHERIN!” Loki smirked as everyone reluctantly gave him applause. Slytherin table, however was roaring with cheers. Grinning cheekily, he sat beside a greasy haired seventh year by the name of Severus Snape, and Slytherin’s 5th year prefect, Regulus Black.
“Odinson, Thor!” Dumbledore shouted. At that, Loki swiveled around to find his older brother striding to the stool. He was smiling that big smile of his that revealed his white teeth and compelling personality. The girls began to swoon and giggle to themselves as he passed, his air of confidence surrounded him like a fragrant perfume. To Loki however, it was enough to make him sick.
“He’s like a second Sirius, bloody hell.” Regulus muttered in disgust.
Just like Loki, the hat didn’t need to dig within Thor’s mind to sort him. It just came natural with the snap of a finger, because the second the hat was above Thor’s head, it screamed a deafening “GRYFFINDOR!” Thor had the loudest applause yet, and he grinned at everyone before settling down beside Sirius and the rest of the Marauders.
“Romanoff, Natasha!” Dumbledore read out loud. Natasha gulped and looked back to find Steve nod his head encouragingly and Tony give her a wink. Usually she would’ve scowled at Tony’s winks and gestures, but this one she needed; because as crazy as it sounds, she felt nervous out of her wits.
Walking to the stool was the longest, most drawn out moment of her life. Everyone was gawking at her and she felt desperate to turn the other direction and run.
“She’s pretty,” Barty muttered, watching hungrily. “But she’s too old for me, she looks like a Ravenclaw.”
When Natasha sat on the stool, she nibbled a bit on her lip. She didn’t even know what house she wanted to be in! She could walk into an embassy, undercover. She could face a thousand aliens. She could even try to calm the angry Hulk, and fail, running for her life, but this? This she wasn’t ready for.
“SLYTHERIN!” The hat cried out at last. There was a silence. Did they hear correctly? Did the hat just say ‘Slytherin’? Natasha shot a pleading look at Dumbledore, who seemed surprised, versus confused. Scanning the tables, she found that Clint looked just as muddled as everyone else. Tony had a rather surprised look on his face, and Steve’s eyebrows furrowed. Bruce looked deep in thought while Thor and the Marauders just frowned. Loki however, was sharing the identical smirks of the Slytherins.
If only Andromenda was still around! Andromenda seemed to be the only person who was good in Slytherin house. Taking a deep breath, she walked over to the Slytherins who sniggered, and she felt her legs collapse below her. Natasha found herself sitting next to a blonde who was perhaps in her year. Natasha tried to smile, but the blonde just stuck up her nose and looked away. She had a haughty air about her, and it was perfectly clear that she wasn’t at all that bright either.
“I seemed to have messed up on the roll a bit.” Dumbledore chuckled before calling out “Rogers, Steve!” Steve, who was still dwelling on how Natasha was placed in Slytherin, looked up. He had forgotten that he too still needed to be sorted.
“Go get’em tiger. Show ‘em who’s Captain.” Tony said as he prep-talked into Steve’s ear, thumping him hard on the back. Steve only grinned before striding forward, soldier like almost. He could hear the girls whisper quietly amongst themselves behind him, shooting him hopeful looks, while the guys pointed out how athletic he must be. He didn’t receive as much attention as Thor, but it didn’t bother him much. He wasn’t there for the attention. He was there to be sorted.
After the hat mumbled to itself for a minute, considering Steve for a Hufflepuff, it cried “GRYFFINDOR!” and the Great Hall erupted in applause and cheers. Sitting beside Thor, he was rewarded by a number of thumps on the back and hair ruffling, mostly by the Marauders and Thor himself.
“And last but not least,” Dumbledore called out. “Mr. Tony Stark!” The many students’ eyes of the Great Hall fell upon Tony, who swaggered up to the stool, grinning with pure confidence. On his way up to the stool, he managed to wink at a number of girls, and some of them would giggle and wink back, while others would just wrinkle their nose.
“He’s a bloody Gryffindor, I know it.” Barty mindlessly muttered again, thoughtlessly jutting out his tongue.
Upon sitting on the rickety stool, Tony placed the hat on top of his head and declared, “Now sort me.” with relish. There was the sound of snickering and the hat sighed. This time however, the hat did not mutter to itself, but instead, began to think aloud for everyone to hear.
“You are very daring indeed. I see that boldness and bravery runs thick into your blood.” The hat began, and Tony rolled his eyes.
“I told you he’ll be in Gryffindor!” Tongue-Flicker-Barty whispered triumphantly. But Bruce rolled his eyes. Bruce knew better. Anyone who knew Tony would know that Tony did not make things easy. He liked a challenge. Tony liked things complicated.
“Well, obviously. I didn’t lay down my life for the world just to be put into Hufflepuff.” Tony snorted sarcastically. The Great Hall burst into laughter, and even the Hufflepuffs were laughing, their faces flushed with embarrassment. But Tony caught Bruce’s eye, and could read what he was telepathically saying to him very well. One more silly slip out like that, and their cover was blown good. It wouldn’t just be blown. It would totally be fucked.
“Yes, yes. You’re too prideful to be in Hufflepuff, but when it comes to a losing fight, you seem to demand for fairness.” The hat continued. Again, Tony snorted.
“Yes, that all makes sense, but why play fair in a winning fight, when you can pawn your enemy with a few shortcuts and tricks they don’t know?” Tony wondered out loud.
“Oh, so now you’re also cunning, eh? I sense a strong desire for ambition as well…And not to mention, your family name holds in high status.” The hat sly added, but Tony belted out laughing.
“Oh, God, you can’t seriously be thinking about putting me in Slytherin! I’m sorry wise hat, but I am not a dark, soulless animal. I am a philanthropist for Christ’s sake!” Tony cried out cheekily. At that, the Great Hall roared with laughter and the hat fumed to itself. The Slytherins however were not laughing; instead, they were scowling at the haughty Tony.
“Oh alright, very well, very well. I know the perfect house for you. And by perfect, I mean the perfect match. You shan’t whine, for you truly belong in RAVENCLAW!”
Tony, pleased with the hat’s final resolution, handed the hat to Dumbledore and jogged merrily over to Ravenclaw table, where he was welcomed with friendly, delighted handshakes and a pleased grin from Bruce. Tongue-Flicker shrugged and said, “He could’ve gone either way.”
“And now,” Dumbledore began. The Great Hall fell attentively silent. “Before we go to our dormitories and shut our eyes for sleep, I would like to take the remaining of this half-hour to converge with one another, and perhaps make a new bondage with one another.” Dumbledore concluded, and went to sit at his headmaster’s chair, smiling down upon his students. Some looked bewildered. Others watched the headmaster with respect.
“He’s mad.” Sirius whispered. “I will not bond with ickle Reggie if that’s what he means.” James wrinkled his nose in return while Peter nodded violently.
“Nor will I ever bond with our dearest Snivellus.”
“So, Thor. How does it feel to be a Gryffindor?” James asked his new housemate the second the Headmaster sat down. Thor grinned happily.
“It feels very much wonderful, James. Very much indeed! I feel as if I should be sorted nowhere else.”
There was a then a sudden, collective, sound of giggling, and the Marauders, Thor, and Steve looked a few seats down the table. Huddled in a group was a pack of seventh and sixth year Gryffindor girls, sending Thor winks and flirtatiously swinging their hair back. A few of the fifth year lassies were doing the same.
“Looks like someone stole Padfoot’s thunder.” James smirked, and Sirius only laughed.
“Because he is the god of thunder. Besides, I could do with a little competion. A little challenge .” Sirius looked at Thor with mischievous eyes. “What do you say, Thor? Ready to compete with me for some ladies?” But Thor gently smiled and shook his head.
“Terribly, I cannot. You have my apologies, but back home I am already in a relationship with a woman named Jane. And correction, its demigod.” Thor said his eyes misting into both sadness and a dream-like luminosity. “I do not know when I can return to her. I do hope soon though, I yearn to see the face of my love, for I haven’t seen her in a year.” He whispered. Sirius and James nodded in understanding while Lupin’s gaze was fixed on something else.
“Back so soon? Why aren’t you both at your table?” Lupin asked, raising an eyebrow. Everyone, except for Steve, turned to find a scowling Tony followed by a content looking Bruce.
“I can’t stand it!” Tony cried exasperatedly, squeezing himself between Steve and Thor. Bruce sat to an empty seat beside Lupin.
“I just can’t! I crack a joke and they laugh, but then I crack another, and no one’s laughing. Then they start talking about all this crap that I don’t even comprehend! What’s N.E.W.T.? And what in the world is inferi? I’m stuck in a house of effing zombies!” Tony cried out. Lupin chuckled and Peter just smugly sniggered while Sirius and James exchanged simpers.
“It serves you right for smart mouthing with the hat.” Sirius piped up smugly. “He was so close to placing you in Gryffindor with us. And by the way, inferi are dead bodies reanimated by a dark wizard. ”
“So they are like zombies?” Tony asked intently. Remus shrugged.
“Well, if you want to categorize them in that way, than I suppose.”
“And Ravenclaws are like inferi. If you ever see them the night before exams, you’d understand.” James smirked. Tony then turned to look at Steve.
“What’s with him?” He asked, and tried to look over at whom or what Steve was staring at. Angling himself a bit, Tony then mouthed a small “Oh.” before allowing his face to turn smug and sly.
“Seems like Stevie’s been struck by lightning a little too early.” Tony grinned cheekily before turning to Sirius who was grinning slyly back. In fact, they were all eyeing Steve quite smugly. Feeling watched, Steve turned to find his friends grinning wide, identical, crafty smiles.
“What?” Steve demanded, feeling his face go a bit warm.
“So you’ve spotted Ms. McKay Patterson?” Sirius asked playfully, his face glowing with delight. “I dated her for a month. She dumped me because she claims I have no clue to what’s in a woman’s mind. She’s right of course, but good luck with her. You’re lucky if you manage to even have her go out with you as a friend.” Sirius advised, cocking his head to the direction of McKay.
She had dark, luscious, brown locks of curly brown hair and bright, dark brown eyes. Tony automatically can see why Steve was gawking at her. He saw a black and white photo of a somewhat similar looking, yet older woman in Steve’s wallet.
Yes, Steve’s wallet. It was just lying there on a coffee table, open for the world to see. People in the 40’s must’ve been too trusting.
“She reminds you of Peggy, doesn’t she?” Tony asked quietly. Steve only shrugged half-heartedly, and started to focus on his hands.
“Peggy? Who’s she?” Sirius asked interestedly, but James nudged hem at the ribs while Remus shot him a glare.
“Peggy’s his girlfriend from the 40’s. When he woke up from the ice after 70 years of being asleep, he woke up to find that she’s dead. Long gone. Friends gone. Girlfriend gone. Everything he knew and loved was just, gone.” Tony said simply, and draped an arm over Steve’s shoulder. Steve looked up, and shrugged the draping arm off his shoulders. What happened to the arrogant, annoying twerp Tony was?
“It’s no big deal really. And no, she doesn’t remind me of her at all! She’s nowhere close.” He said partially lying to himself, but before Sirius could open his mouth to speak, Natasha collapsed in a seat across from Steve.
“I swear that hat must’ve incorrectly misread something!” Natasha began scornfully. Everyone turned to look at her sudden appearance in alarm, before realizing it was Natasha sitting there seething. “I mean, I was nervous! The hat must’ve made a mistake!” She cried out exasperatedly and full of disdain.
“That makes you and me both.” Tony replied, crossing his arms, Bruce sending him a meaningful glare. Natasha ignored him. Instead, she looked at Sirius with disgust.
“And I met your little brother. Regulus, am I correct? Well, he comes up to me and starts talking all this cryptic stuff that I cannot understand. I can understand hundreds of languages, but I cannot understand him!” She spat out angrily. Sirius however, let out a bark of laughter.
“Cryptic you say? Well then, Tasha that is my brother’s way of trying to flirt with you. He tries it all the time with all the other Slytherin lassies. If it’s not Parsletongue, then he’s flirting.” At this, Natasha’s eyes bulged, and Sirius let out another bark of laughter.
“Parsletongue, whatever is that?” Thor asked, looking completely bemused.
“It’s the language of snakes. It is said Salazar Slytherin’s decedents are the only ones who can speak it.” Remus explained.
“So when one can speak Parsletongue, one can communicate with…snakes?” Bruce said, clearly taken back. How much did the wizarding world have to offer? Remus nodded and Sirius grinned.
“So unless baby Reggie was hissing to Tasha like a snake, he most likely was flirting with her in cryptic, coded messages.”
Natasha looked like she was going to be sick. Her eyes went huge, and her face was pale and tinged red.
“It isn’t funny Black! They torment her, the poor thing!” piped a girl a few seats down the table. All eyes bound on her, and Sirius’ eyes widened in surprise.
“Lily Evans? Nosing into our conversation aren’t you? Since when has Lily-kins taken interest in our businesses? ” He teased. James sniggered, while Remus forced himself to look away. Peter looked between Lily and Sirius, fully entertained.
“Oh shut up Black! You and Potter ought to be in Slytherin with the personae of both of you. And besides, this conversation isn’t about you! This is about her!” The girl named Lily fired back. Tony let out a low wolf-whistle, casting Lily a wink, but did not notice James scowl threateningly at him. She stood up and made her way briskly to Natasha and stuck out her hand.
“I’m Lily Evans, the Head Girl. I’m in my 7th year as well. And don’t mind the Slytherins very much. If there’s anyone with a bit of decency, it’s Severus Snape.” Lily advised, but everyone could hear the bitterness in her voice.
“Snivellus, as in Snivellus Snape, is…decent?” James cried out in outrage. Sirius was looking at Lily with his mouth agape, while Thor, Steve, Bruce, and Tony exchanged confused looks. Lily blushed an angry crimson.
“Well, I’ve been friends with him until 5th year!” She cried out defensively.
“Until he called you a Mudblood,” James hissed, slamming a fist onto the table.
“Yes, but it was you lot who forced him to! If you didn’t degrade him so much, we would’ve been friends still!” Lily cried. She looked like she was almost in desperate tears, as if she touched a fragile subject. She missed the presence of her friend—she really did. But he was a part of the darkness that wanted to consume them all. No friendship was worth blood and suffering.
“Oh, would you?” James asked quietly. He had risen an eyebrow and watched as Lily’s eyes widened. “Would you really still be friends with him, even if he’s a Death Eater in the making? Could you Evans, honestly say you would still be friends, even if he believed in the killing of other muggles, such as your parents and sis—”
“HOW COULD YOU?!” Lily shouted angrily, causing a few heads to swivel around and stare. “HOW COULD YOU DARE SAY A THING LIKE THAT? POTTER, YOU AND YOUR ARROGANCE!” She bellowed, but it was the truth of it that stung the most. Turning to the new students, she forced herself to smile through her clenched jaws.
“I’m sorry to be angry like this. Truly I am. If you need anything, just let me know.” Lily said, and with that, she stood up, and fled back to her little group of friends, which included the staring McKay, her prefect badge glowing under the light. James looked crestfallen and Sirius just clapped him on the back.
“You really shouldn’t have pushed it, mate.” He said quietly, and James merely shrugged, an awkward silence following. When the coast cleared however, Thor cleared his throat and unabashedly boomed;
“Snivellus, that’s a rather amusing name!” Thor chuckled heartily, but Tony shook his head, part in amusement and part in disagreement.
“It beats Michael Jackson’s kid. He named him Blanket!”
“Blanket…? But that’s travesty!” Thor gaped, blinking.
“Whoa, someone named their kid…Blanket?” Sirius cried out gleefully, obviously distracted, and when Tony nodded earnestly, Sirius threw his head back and laughed.
“Bloody hell…and I thought my mother’s name was bad. That’s just humiliating!”
Clint, who was looking apprehensive, took a seat next to Natasha and Peter joyously grinned at him.
“Well, it looks like the crew’s all here.” Sirius said happily, blinking as if he saw stars. Upon seeing Thor’s disappointed face, Sirius sobered up. “Oh right, your brother…”
“Oh, never mind him. He’s adopted.” Thor said hastily, before plastering a smile on his face. “He seems to be enjoying his company actually, which is a good thing.”
Sirius’ brows furrowed as he looked over to Slytherin table. “You know, Loki seems to be getting too comfortable. Blimey, he made friends with my own brother!”
“And Snivellus too! He’s such a greasy haired git.” James remarked. He shook his head in disapproval. “No offence Thor, but your brother kind of gave me the creeps when I met him.” Thor shrugged.
“None has been taken.” Thor said before sighing, “Brother dearest always gives people the creeps. And I must say, he’s bloody good at it.”
They all turned to look once more at Slytherin table to find Regulus Black hovering a scroll with a flick of his wand while Loki stared at it mesmerized. Snape however, caught them staring, and before they could all look away, there was a pronounced smirk on his face. One that read no good.
Author’s Notes: Chapter four revamped. And I figured I might just go ahead and introduce Barty Crouch Jr. And no hate was intended towards Michael Jackson and his son. I just thought I had to break the awkward silence after Lily’s departure, and for some reason, I found it fit. I have one more chapter to revamp, and again, kudos to those who are patient with me.
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