Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapter 7 - The Sorting Hat
When the children enter Hogwarts, they are greeted initially by Professor McGonagall introducing them to the school. It is an enormous building with torches and miraculously high ceilings. They are about to have their start-of-year banquet, in which they must pass a test to sort them into one of the four houses. Harry is terrified of performing magic that he does not know - especially in front of the entire school. As he enters, a line of nostalgic wizard ghosts suddenly frightens him. They quickly leave when they discover the commencement of the opening banquet. The first years enter the banquet hall, lined with glittering goblets and golden table-settings and a ceiling that seems to stretch to the heavens.
The ceremony begins with the sorting hat, a large black, pointed, dirty hat that is laid in the front of the banquet hall on a chair. Each first year must place it on his or her head and it shouts out the name of the hall that suits the personality. The hat opens with a little song and proceeds through the list of new years. Harry is terrified of not being selected at all, but is eventually placed in Gryffindor with Neville, Ron, and Hermione. Draco is placed in Slytherin. When Harry's name is called, there is a loud hush of whispers among the students wondering if this is The Harry Potter.
When the sorting is complete, Dumbledore addresses the students as they begin to eat. Dumbledore says four silly, meaningless words, and the feast commences. Harry wonders if Dumbledore is mad. Ron claims that he is the most brilliant wizard, and yes, he is a bit mad. The food is miraculous and plentiful. At the meal, friendly ghosts from years past, including Nearly Headless Nick, join the students at the tables. They speak and reminisce and give advice. Harry looks around at the different professors, and sees Professor Quirrell, the stutterer in the turban. He also sees a new menacing-looking man named Professor Snape, who teaches Potions and glances morbidly at Harry. When he looks at Harry, Harry feels a striking pain in his scar. After the meal, Dumbledore leads the students in a rendition of the Hogwarts school song. Afterward, the children run off to their new respective houses and fall asleep. Harry dreams an unusual story in he sleep:
"He was wearing Professor Quirrell's turban, which kept talking to him, telling him he must transfer to Slytherin at once, because it was his destiny. Harry told the turban he didn't want to be in Slytherin; it got heavier and heavier; he tried to pull it off but it tightened painfully - an there was Malfoy, laughing at him as he struggled with it - then Malfoy turned into the hook-nosed teacher, Snape, whose laugh became high and cold - there was a burst of green light and Harry woke, sweating and shaking." Chapter 7, pg. 97
When Harry awakens, he remembers nothing from his dream.