The young wizard gripped his father's wand, and made ready his other provisions. He'd already packed his potions kit, his father's old sixth-year spell book, and his mother's promise ring on a chain around his neck. So you'll always remember that we love you, and that we're watching over you.
Unbidden, the memory of his mother's last breath surfaced in his mind. How he'd held her, as his Godfather had been forced to kill his father in front of their eyes. The look on the old man's face, as he cut down his protégé. The sound of the boy's own voice, as his father was bathed in green light.
Choking back tears at the memory, the young boy stepped into the Headmaster's office.
"Are you ready, son?" the Headmaster asked gently.
"Yes, sir," the younger wizard replied.
"Your mother and father would have been very proud of the man you've become. I think they can see you, you know," the Headmaster told the young student.
"Thank you, Headmaster Scarborough."
"I want you to know that I am very proud of you myself. What you are about to do may yet save us all," the Headmaster said.
The old man cast a complex spell, taking some of his own blood and some of the young wizard's blood, and weaving it into a complex pattern while chanting in an old forgotten language. Thunder rolled. Lightning crashed. A blinding grey light filled the air. With that, the boy was gone.
After what seemed like several minutes, the boy landed in front of the doors he'd seen in the old books. They were just as beautiful, just as majestic as he'd always imagined they would be.
"So, this is the legendary Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," he muttered to himself. Conjuring up an old Hogwarts uniform out of the clothing he wore, the young boy stepped into the school, walking straight toward the Headmaster's office. He'd studied the maps well, and had no trouble finding the place. He spoke something under his breath, and the stone gargoyle moved aside. He walked up to the door, and knocked.
"Come in, come in," called the voice of Albus Dumbledore. "I've been expecting you. You come from America, I believe. Your letter?" the old wizard asked, holding out his hand. After a few moments reading over the parchment the boy handed him, Albus looked up.
"Well, if you'll write your first and last name, middle initial on this parchment, so that you'll be added to the sixth-year registry, we'll get you sorted," Dumbledore said.
The younger wizard did so. The headmaster nodded.
"Dean Oglethorpe speaks highly of you. It will be a pleasure adding you to our student populace. Sit there for a moment, while I go fetch the Sorting Hat"
Wow. The Sorting Hat? Just like Mum told me!" the boy thought, just before the tattered hat was placed on his head.
Well. What have we here? There's courage I see, and not a bad mind, either. I see darkness in you, young one, and great pain. You're a brave one, if I don't miss my guess. I don't often misjudge a young lad such as yourself. It's all inside your mind!
"Gryffindor!" the old hat finally proclaimed.
The young wizard let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding. Dumbledore chuckled, and handed the boy a piece of parchment.
"This is the password to Gryffindor Tower. Would you like someone to escort you?"
"No, sir. I think I can find my way well enough," the boy responded.
"Very well. Welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," Dumbledore responded.
Moments after the boy left, the tattered old Sorting Hat began to speak.
"Something very odd about that one sir. Not all that he seems."
"Oh?" Dumbledore asked.
"I cannot really explain it. I get the feeling he has been sorted before. A certain familiarity permeates him, if you understand."
"That is intriguing. Perhaps in time, we shall learn more," was all Dumbledore said.