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From the Diaries of Minerva McGonagall: September 13, 1947

Dear Diary,

This is the first chance I’ve gotten to write in you since arriving at Hogwarts. I wish there was a spell where I could whisper my thoughts to my quill and have them written down as I sleep, because there is too much to remember already and I can never get a moment alone.

You see, I am a hatstall. The longest hatstall the school has ever experienced, at exactly five minutes and thirty seconds. I think the hat took the last few seconds on purpose, because it likes even numbers.

I’m not sure if the hat liked me, though. I could tell, while I was wearing it, that it was the kind of hat that preferred people more easily sorted. I suppose that’s what hats are, though—they like perfect fits.

The hat could not decide whether to put me into Gryffindor or Ravenclaw, and as I sat there I felt like it was grabbing onto my brain, trying to find anything that would securely push me into one side or the other. Then it felt like it was searching further, into my heart.

I’ve always felt more like a brain person than a heart person. Everyone’s always said how clever I am. They never say how kind I am. Kindness is expected. Clever is a surprise.

But the hat told me that I was both kind and brave, as well as clever. It saw that I had helped my brothers learn how to control their magical powers and hide them from our Muggle neighbors. It saw how much I want to learn, and it also saw how much I want to make friends. I’ve never had real friends before.

Was the hat right, dear Diary? Am I really a Gryffindor? Or did the hat make a choice, and now I’ll grow up to be braver than I was otherwise, even though I could have just as easily become someone else in Ravenclaw?

I wish there were a way to see both versions of myself, and decide which one I wanted to become. But wizards can’t turn time forwards and backwards—I’m quite sure of it.

Yours faithfully,


Have you experience sorting hat problems? Do you demand MORE YOUNG MCGONAGALL?