Author's Note: I started this little series almost four years ago, thus it now feels like the earlier sections were written by someone else entirely. It began as a short writing exercise when I tried to imagine why Seamus spent 'almost a whole minute' under the Sorting Hat. Then it grew as I decided to continue by writing about a minute-long episode in Seamus's life from each book. I originally tried to keep the main action of each episode to one minute of real time but as I've progressed I have taken some rather big liberties in that regard. As each book since OotP has been released, I've been delighted to find Seamus the subject of some very interesting moments. With Deathly Hallows finally in our hands, I am now able to complete my series of Seamus minutes. So come on a trip down memory lane and spend a minute in each book with everyone's favourite Irish wizard.
'Finnigan, Seamus,' the sandy-haired boy next to Harry in the line, sat on the stool for almost a whole minute before the hat declared him a Gryffindor.
(Ch. 7 The Sorting Hat, Philosopher's Stone)
'Finnigan, Seamus,' calls the very strict looking professor with the roll – McGonagall, I think. I hope I'm not in her house – she looks like a bit of a curmudgeon. (I don't really know what that is, but it's what Uncle Mick calls stuffy old people who don't like to drink – sure she looks like one of those.)
This isn't so bad. Some of the stories I heard on the train had me a bit worried, but now I realise they were just trying to scare us. It looks like a cinch. Just put the hat on and it calls out your house. Easy.
I wonder which house I'll be in. How did the hat's song go, again? Perhaps in Slytherin you'll make your real friends … Maybe Slytherin would be good. I don't know anyone here yet – Fergus left last year – so I could do with some friends. And Uncle Mick has always called me 'a cunning little bugger'. I can't remember now what the other houses were like. Oh, yeah, there was one for the brainy kids – well, I know I won't get into that one.
I sit on the stool and as I take a deep breath the hat comes down onto my head. It sits low, right over my eyes, so I can't actually see anything except the inside of the hat. Funny, I thought the mouth would be about here, so I should be able to see through it. Oh, well. It'll be over in a second, so it's nothing to worry about.
'Well, well, well,' says a quiet voice in my ear, and I give a small jump in my seat. 'A challenge, you are,' the voice continues and I realise the hat is actually talking to me. Wow! I couldn't hear it talk to anyone else – I wonder if it's just me, or if it talks to everyone? 'Now which house is the one for you?' it asks me.
I wonder whether I'm supposed to answer. As I'm thinking that the house for brainy kids wouldn't be the one for me, the hat actually chuckles and then it says, 'Yes, you're quite right, Ravenclaw would not suit you at all. But you could fit into any of the other houses. I see lots of pride; family pride and loyalty. Good for Hufflepuff, that, or Slytherin. Desire for friends and acceptance. Sense of fairness. Yes, all good Hufflepuff traits. But are you patient, unafraid of toil? Can't see that in you. Perhaps Hufflepuff's not the best choice.
'What about Slytherin?' I latch onto the house that I remember from the song.
'Slytherin? Hmm. Yes, you have a tendency to disrespect the rules. Like to make your own way, hmm? Use your cunning to give yourself the advantage, I see. But does Slytherin want you? I'm afraid you might not have the … connections … to do well in Slytherin.'
'What do you mean, connections?' I ask with trepidation. 'Your song said that we'll make real friends in Slytherin. That's what I want, to make some real friends.'
'Ah, friends. So that's what's important to you, eh? Like to have fun with friends, have adventures?'
'Yeah, that's what I want; loads of adventures and heaps of friends and lots of fun,' I tell the hat. That's what makes school great, having all those.
'Not afraid of a bit of rough and tumble? Of getting hurt, getting into trouble?' the hat checks with me. Funny, I thought the hat made the decision, but it seems like it's asking me which house I want to be in.
'Nah! I've broken bones heaps of times, and been in trouble more times than I can count. That doesn't mean anything. You've got to expect that when you have adventures,' I reassure the hat.
'Stick up for your friends, would you?' says the hat. 'Protect them, stand by them in danger and difficult times?'
'Of course!' I answer eagerly, trying to prove myself. I've always believed you should stick by friends like family. Family first, friends next, the world after that.
'Well, if you're sure,' says the hat, 'the house for you is GRYFFINDOR!' My ears ring from the hat's shout, but before I know it the hat is lifted off my head and I bound down towards the tables – oh yeah, I have to go to the Gryffindor one. I hurry over, excitement and relief bubbling in my stomach. I scan the cheering faces around me, glad to know that these happy people are going to be my friends. And we'll have heaps of adventures together. And loads of fun.