Interesting. Sharks said he’d give it to me only if I asked, and I did, so let’s take a look at this.

I did skim the top of it when he sent it to me, and I have to say, I wasn’t expecting the format.

“Well,” Hagrid said. He seemed a bit put out, but he wasn’t in a position to say so. “Well. I’ve never seen anything take to, well, anything quite so fast as Fluffy there’s taken to you.”

Welcome to the official Worm Hogwarts AU, it seems!

I love the idea of Rachel and Hagrid bonding over their appreciation of monstrous dogs, and Fluffy taking to Rachel.

Even with her stocky build, which was closer to Hagrid’s body type than the average eleven year old’s,

Hehe. Reminds me of that one Tumblr post that tried to make sense of how Hagrid was described… hang on, let me see if I can find it.

Ah yes, here it is.

(Bear in mind the smaller figure is Harry, who’s small for his age.)

Rachel struggled to keep her feet as three massive heads fought for her attention. A tongue licked the side of her head, and her hair, which had already been sticking up in virtually every direction, was left even messier.

D’aw.

“Uh huh,” Rachel said. “Good boy. Boys. Whatever. You can stop now. Gotta- Unf. Gotta get to my room, or the stupid painting won’t let me back in. Stupid older kids yell at me if I sleep on the stairs.”

This was written before Deathly Hallows came out, right? The Ravenclaw common room doesn’t have a painting on the door, it has a knocker that asks you a riddle.

I imagine that would infuriate Rachel so much.

Hagrid eyed the girl’s house colors dubiously.

…or maybe this was actually taken into account and Rachel is trying to pretend she’s a Gryffindor?

She reached up, scratching the beast’s jowl, rubbing it against its teeth. The other heads knocked her this way and that, fighting for the same treatment. “He needs bones.”

“What?” Hagrid asked, surprised.

Ahh, Hagrid’s being out-dogownered.

Yeah, sure, that’s a word.

“He needs bones!” Rachel said, very loud.

“No, lass. I’m not deaf, though I might be if you keep that up. Why are you saying he needs them?”

“His teeth are bothering him.”

Chew toy!

He gave her an appreciating look, which was just about the only thing he could do, without either giving up the secret to handling Fluffy or making the girl’s situation worse.

Honestly, I feel like Rachel might figure out the secret on her own.

I mean, not by accidentally playing music nearby Fluffy (not really a Rachel thing to do, it seems), just by her innate understanding of dogs.

“Aye, girl, you’re right. I’m just surprised you figured it out. Hard to get anything big and strong enough for a creature like him.”

“Whatever. Oof. I need to go now. Help me make him stop?”

Hagrid sighed.

Maybe the girl wouldn’t figure it out.

Nah, if you actually do it in front of her she’ll notice it immediately, I think.

“Cover yer ears,” he said.

She managed.

He did the usual, humming the same song he’d used to lull Fluffy to sleep when Fluffy had been just a pup. 

He expected to have to explain, curious looks, or something of the sort. 

Instead, the girl just collected her scattered things, wiped her spit-slick hair down, and opened the door to go.

Hah! She doesn’t care.

(Doesn’t mean she hasn’t figured it out, though.)

“Don’t get so turned around again, y’hear?” Hagrid said.

Kinda sounds like this happened as she accidentally wound up in the Fluffy room and Hagrid happened to be there. Or arrive there later to find his pet being affectionate with one of the first-year students.

“Uh huh,” the girl replied. “Bye Fluffy. See you soon.”

Hagrid blinked a few times. By the time he processed the idea, the girl was already gone, feet clumping on stairs.

Hehe, of course she can’t stay away.

He poked his head out the door, ready to tell her not to, but his heart wasn’t in it. He had his fondness for animals, and as Dumbledore had mused, the only thing that might hold an equal space in Hagrid’s heart might be his desire to pass on that fondness.

Yeah, it’s absolutely something Hagrid can relate to.

He’d been a little caught off guard, seeing the girl, but talents were talents, and the House prized individuality. Little Rachel Clegane was definitely an individual.

Rachel Clegane? That’s interesting. Why would she have a different surname in this AU? Hm…

He saw her stop at a fork in the hallway.

She turned around, clearly irritated.

“I know my way around a city, or outdoors, but this stupid place is a stupid maze,” she said, her voice too loud, carrying all the way to him.

Hehe, yeah, Hogwarts is kind of a terrible place for people like Rachel, who get easily annoyed by unnecessary complication. It’s not even just a stupid maze, it’s a stupid ever-changing maze.

“You want to go right, lassie,” he said.

At least today.

She looked one way, then the other. 

She raised one hand, counting on her fingers. 

“Point,” he said. 

She pointed down one hallway.

Does she not know her right and left? Or are there too many ways to the right?

“Yeh,” he said. “You’ll find house Ravenclaw that way. Don’t get turned around now.”

Easier said than done.

And there’s the Ravenclaw bit. At this point, the text seems to switch to more direct commentary by Wildbow:

House Ravenclaw is defined by the element of air. Rachel is itinerant, free ranging, definitely an individual. The house favors individuality, and tends to take good care of eccentrics, of which Rachel is one, even if she’s less a mad scientist eccentric and more an oddly shaped peg demanding an oddly shaped hole to fit into. She’s dedicated and deeply interested when it comes to her particular pursuits.

Hm, yeah, I can get behind this. It’s a different approach to house sorting than what I was working with, but equally valid. Honestly makes more sense, really.

Houses tend to get pigeonholed, but just like Neville and Ron weren’t really archetypically brave (though they came into their own with the right company), the Ravenclaws don’t have to fit a bookworm archetype.

True that.

They don’t all get top grades in every class, but rather, each finds their individual areas of expertise – for Luna Lovegood, it was the esoteric stuff. For Rachel, it’s the care of certain magical creatures. Given a chance to grow, and the right group, she can relate the care of dogs to the care of other magical creatures, she can find her niche in the group, when the Ravenclaws gather in study groups to learn, and they gather the best students in each given area, Rachel is an automatic invite.

I’m very much liking this take on Ravenclaw House and Rachel.

How does the hat sort? It looks to the student’s wishes. What does the student really need? Neville needed the right people to grow as a person and get over his deeper traumas (the loss of his parents foremost among them), while Rachel needs acceptance, with Acceptance being one of Ravenclaw’s chief virtues.

Honestly, Acceptance also seems to be a Hufflepuff thing, at least if you go back to the founders. According to the Hat, each founder wanted children with specific virtues, and while Hufflepuff also had core values, she was willing to take anyone who didn’t fit in the other houses too. And while the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs sort of blend together for me in my memory of the books sometimes, I seem to recall background Ravenclaws often being more judgmental? I don’t know, maybe it was the other way around.

Still, Acceptance being a Hufflepuff thing doesn’t prevent it from also being a Ravenclaw thing, and maybe it’s more in the forefront for sorting into Ravenclaw.

Anyway, yeah, I do really appreciate Wildbow’s take on it. I’ll have to keep this kind of thinking in mind for future house assignments I do.

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