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Rhetoretician -- Fiction etc.

Sorting Hat Song for Snape

Sorting Hat Song for Snape

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Believe it or not, I'm still working on Returning Were As Tedious.  Mostly I've been wrestling with the chapter in which Severus first comes to Hogwarts, is sorted, meets everyone, etc.  The chapter is tentatively called "Honest Trifles."  Anyway, I've had to work on the Sorting Hat's song in pieces over a long time period.  Today I finished a draft of it, so I thought I'd post it here.

In this context it's helpful to remember that all my readers will know what eventually becomes of Snape.

“Each step you take begins a path
Whose end you cannot see.
And on the next, important step,
Your only guide is me!
I’ll sort you into Houses all;
I’m sure to fit you right.
So on the path to destiny
Your steps begin tonight!
While it’s my job to find the House
That fits you like a glove,
Selection will depend upon
The sort of thing you love.
“The Slytherins love purity
Of background, life and art,
Eschewing self-deception
And a sentimental heart.
The Gryffindors love passion,
Whether love, or will, or deed;
To conquer fear with glory
Is the lion’s deepest need.
The Hufflepuffs love loyalty
And friendship deep and long;
Their fruits of patient diligence
Are honest, just and strong.
The Ravenclaws love complex lore
And knowledge that is true.
Solutions to life’s mysteries
They’ll endlessly pursue.
“These loves become complex and strong
As others help you grow.
The man or woman leaves these halls
Won’t be the child you know.
And who knows where this choice may lead,
What your strong love will do?
Worlds are saved and empires wrecked
By such as start like you.
Historians of ages hence
May wonder how your deeds
Began with such a little thing:
A hat, a song, a seed!
“So mount the step and grasp your choice
(It’s your choice more than mine).
Search your heart and mind and soul
For the revealing sign!
Be brave, be smart, be loyal, pure!
Be crafty, clever, strong!
Together we will find the place
Where you will best belong.
And when you’ve found your dearest friends,
And seen your future bright,
You’ll thank me, yes you surely will,
And know I’m always right!”

Incidentally, I've been thinking of what to do about RWAT in the context of the publication of DH.  Others (stmargaretsand antosha_c, for example) seem to be trying to finish their multi-chapter fics before DH comes out.  Since I have only drafts of three chapters, none of which are completed, and since I calculate about 22 chapters altogether in RWAT, that means I'd have to complete chapter every four or five days, which would be impossible for me even if I were working on nothing else.  (And I have to work on something else or go crazy; today, for example, I split my time between RWAT and another story called "The Schoolmistress" which is a bit less morose.  So I don't think I'll be completing it by then.  (There's an advantage to this -- I can tailor the last chapters to match DH; the downside, of course, is that the backstory revealed in DH might contradict what I've already written...in which case I might just declare it an AU.)
  • I like it - very much in line with the tone of canon sorting hat songs.

    As for finishing my fic before DH comes out, I don't know - I can't see continuing it after DH because the main reason I wrote it was as an exercise to see if I could write a viable book seven and keep it in like with canon. I'm already wondering how I'm going to fit the new book covers into it! It likely will end up abandoned once DH comes out, as I can't see writing an AU. I do have a Hogwarts Founders story lurking in the back of my mind, which, if it's not proven completely wrong by the information contained in DH, I'll likely write after I abandon HPatCL.
    • Er, in line with canon.
      • Thanks, Val.

        I did try to get the Hat's smugness in there, but I had other fish to fry so I needed it to be a bit more cosmic and apocalyptic in its metaphors.

        I hear you loud and clear about CL and DH; I don't know that I'd be able to finish it in your position. But if you do give it up, you must show me what you had planned, because I'm dying to know. And if you don't write it then you simply must write something else.
  • I love love love the sorting song!! It's perfect!

    Worlds are saved and empires wrecked
    By such as start like you.

  • Good song! Like bandcandy said, nicely in line with canon in its timbre.

    Curious about this:

    (It’s your choice more than mine).

    Up until now - in canon, anyway - I thought that Harry's discovery that the hat was amenable to persuasion from the candidate - that the subject had some degree of freedom to choose - was highly unusual and unknown to most or all; that it was Harry's little secret. Yet here you've got the hat telling everyone in the Grand Hall that they can choose their house?
    • This is an interesting point, and I did think about it before I wrote the song.

      But while Harry's discovery was surprising to him, a casual observer can't have helped noticing that everyone in his year got into the House he or she wanted. Ron got Gryffindor, Draco got Slytherin, Hermione got Gryffindor, etc. So I think it's probably common knowledge among the staff and it's only a fluke that Harry didn't understand it at the start.

      But more to the point, in this particular story it's important that the freedom of choice be foregrounded, because so much will turn on the choice and this story turns on Severus's mistakes. I need Severus to know that he has responsibility for his choices at the very start.
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