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  1. Asa clambered up the stairs in response to the severe looking witch's call of "Pond, Asa!". Sitting heavily on the rickety stool facing the Great Hall, she had an idea of what was to come next thanks to the stories her siblings had told her when she was young. It didn't help her nerves much though. Being in the P's, Asa had the opportunity to watch several other students get sorted into their houses before her and she was desperately hoping she wasn't one of the ones that took too long. "Hmmm..." She jumped as the old, ratty hat murmured in her ear. "Ratty old hat am I?" It chortled. "I suppose I am getting a bit up there in years." Asa didn't quite know how to respond. "...I'm sorry?" "No, you're not and that is perfectly fine with me. Now let's see. You might as well get comfortable, this isn't going to be easy, I can already tell you that." Asa groaned internally. Of course it wouldn't be. "Definitely not a Hufflepuff, that much I can say." "Why not?!" Asa had no specific desire to be sorted into Hufflepuff but something in the way the hat made it sound like it was so obvious was unnerving to her. "Well, where I put you depends on where you'll grow the most as a witch and as a person. I can already tell that your loyalty and friendship must be earned and are not freely given, and while you do not hate hard work, it is not your first inclination." Asa responded with a mental shrug. She really couldn't argue with that. "I see intelligence in you and a desire to learn. Perhaps a Ravenclaw? No, not quite. I see your value lies more strongly in areas beyond your pure education. Ahhhh, yes. Ambitious. Very ambitious and willing to bend a few rules, maybe, to get where you want to be?" "Only in the most necessary of circumstances!" Asa thought. "Only when it's really needed." "Mmmm." She wasn't quite sure the hat believed her, but she was pretty sure she believed herself. "What is it you want in life, Ms. Pond? Where do your dreams lead you?" Immediately, towering mountains and clear cold lakes filled her mind. Next came a flash of flying though the air, then dancing in the square of a city among its native citizens. Climbing, jumping, racing, exploring. But there was also the office with the view from the top and the important title outside her door. Her future employees came to her asking for advice and handing in assignments that she had ordered. The two dreams warred in her mind. "I see." Whispered the hat. "Even you are not sure where you belong. A life full of adventure or a life with power. So where to put you? Where indeed." She thought hard, trying to picture what she wanted the most, what scared her the most. "Ah!" Gasped the hat. "So that is what is holding you back. You are afraid, yes? Afraid of where you might be lead if you follow your heart? Then that is what you must discover, Ms. Pond. You must face what scares you. And in order to do that, you must go in GRYFFINDOR!" Of course the last word was yelled out to the room and the expectant sea of faces on her left roared with applause. She hopped off the stool and handed the hat back to Headmistress McGonagall with a quick smile. She didn't feel as confident in the choice as the hat seemed to be, but she would do her best to live up to the sorting.
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