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      How to get sorted   03/03/2018

      To find the Sorting Form, click on the "Sort Me!" tab at the top of the page.    Before you go to fill out the form, make sure that you have a username that follows our rules. If you don't, your form will be rejected. You can change your name once yourself, by going to Account Settings -> Display Name. If you've already used your one change, you can request a name change in this topic. Be sure to read the first post in the topic carefully so we can get you updated without any back and forth.   Please take your time and fill out the form thoughtfully, so the hat will have the information it needs to put your character in the right house.    Calendar: Sorting Form appears: Saturday, March 3rd Sorting Form closes: Friday, April 6th (No forms will be accepted after this date) The Sorting Ceremony closes: Sunday, April 8th, about 10am Central Time You find out your new house: Sunday, April 8th, 11 am Central Time First day of the new school year: Monday, April 9th   (For reference: Central Time Zone includes Chicago, Illinois)   How to get sorted:   1. Register with a name that follows our rules. The registration agreement explains the rules about names. You can also find them in the Rules.   2. Remember you may only send in one form total for this school year. If you send forms in from multiple accounts, we will not sort ANY of them. Then we have to feel bad about not sorting you. Don't make us feel bad, please.   3. Click on the Sort Me tab and fill out the sorting form as thoroughly as possible. The better we understand your character, the more likely we can put you in the right house. See "How to use the form" below if you're confused. For some in depth information on each house, please check out this topic on sorting. (Note: After you fill out the form, a copy will be PMed to you. Please save that because we delete them from our system after sorting.)   4. Wait for a PM from the Sorting Hat. Be patient, it could take a few days. If you don't receive a PM from the Sorting Hat within 4 or 5 days, contact one of the moderators.   5. If your form is: Accepted: Congratulations! You should now go post in the Sorting Ceremony topic in the New Member resources forum. This is very important. This post is where you'll go to find out what the Sorting Hat had to say about you. Don't skip this step! Rejected: Don't worry, you can still be sorted. Be sure to read the reasons for the rejection carefully, then edit your form (just click on the Get Sorted! link again) to fix the problem. Once you've done that, you can send the form in again. 6. That's it! Once you've gotten your acceptance letter AND posted in the Sorting Ceremony, you're all set. You'll find out where the Sorting Hat put you on Sorting day when you can check the Great Hall for the edited Sorting Ceremony.   How to use the form: The form is pretty straightforward and user friendly. Here are a couple tips: You don't need to fill the whole thing in at one sitting. You can finish one page at a time and save it. Then finish the rest later. Don't use your browser's Back or Forward buttons. Use the buttons in the form to Navigate.  If you don't fill out all the questions on a page, you can't save or move on. If you don't meet the word number requirements in the In Depth section, you can't submit the form. Use the "Check Word Count" buttons to see how many words you've used. If you fill in the wrong answers on the quiz page, you won't be able to submit the form. After you've submitted the form, you can't access it anymore. But if your form is rejected, you'll be able to see it again with your old answers still filled in. Still have questions? Ask here.    Note: Section I: Short Answer Please include a brief explanation with each answer. I'd like to remind you all to include an explanation with all the short answer questions. The answers to those questions aren't very useful for sorting unless you explain them.   Otherwise, we don't have enough information to sort you with. (Translation: we'll have to reject it.)     Many thanks as always to Arianna Wright for her hard work revising and updating the form and to Faraz Memon for initially coding it many years ago. <3
Stella Peabody

A Cakewalk in the Park...

11 posts in this topic

It had been rainy all weekend, and Stella had spent most of her time on one of her favorite indoor, rainy day activities:  baking.  She loved the exactitude baking required, especially all of the measuring and stirring and kneading.  Then the mystery and anticipation of letting her creation, not allowed to open the oven, not sure until the very last second if it was a good bake.  The smell of rising dough was one of Stella's favorites, because it reminded her of the satisfaction of watching her hard work pan out, quite literally. Stella had a collection of historic cookbooks dating back to the middle ages, and loved using old and strange recipes.  Figgy and Twinkle had helped her, and by the end of the day their faces were smeared with flour and their bellies ached from laughing. 


Aside from her own natural inclination, Stella also knew that the way to people's hearts was also through their stomachs.  As she made her way to Crystal Fountain Park loaded with a picnic basket filled to the brim with baked goodies, she hoped she could hawk her wares and make some new friends in the process.  She still wasn't sure quite where she stood in the complex ecosystem of Pre-Hogwarts Primary.  She mostly kept to herself, but with 1 September approaching, she didn't want to be the only first year without a friend on the first day of Hogwarts.


Stella knew herself, and she knew that she wouldn't have the guts to approach her peers and just offer them baked treats.  Like always, she had come up with a plan: a cakewalk.  


Stella carefully laid out the baked goods on a blanket and also set up pieces of paper which she had numbered 1 through 5 in a circle.  She had even made a lovely little sign with "CAKE WALK!" written in fancy cursive and illustrations of cakes and pies.  


Now all she had to do was wait for the sweet wafting scent of baked goodness to attract some new friends!



OOC:  Stella has five baked goods to give away!  If you would like one, post a roleplay and join the fun!  Stella will interact with each person who approaches and ask them to walk in a circle until they end up on a number 1-5.  Roleplay your character performing the cake walk and landing on a number 1-5.  I'll reply and Stella will tell you which sweet treat you've won! 

Edited by Stella Peabody

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The sweet smell brought Juniper like a moth to a flame. A warm, delicious flame. She knew that smell. It was the same enticing smell that came wafting out of the kitchen when Auntie was baking pies or birthday cakes and Juniper was strictly forbidden from entering. She headed straight for it and only sped up once she caught sign of the sign. Her nose hadn't failed her yet; there was cake in the park.


She finally reached the blanket and gave the sweets a quick look over. Oh, yes, these looked good. Of course, you never really knew until the first bite, but judging by appearance and smell these would be delicious. She wanted in.


"Hi, I'm Juniper. Cakewalk, huh? Is it free to play? These look great, did you make them?" she quickly asked the girl standing by the blanket. She was clearly eager to get her hands on one of the baked treats.

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Stella bounced impatiently on her heels as she waited for the other children to approach her.  They'd have to be attracted by the delicious scent of sugar and dough wafting throughout the park, like moths drawn to a light.  Right?  


Several minutes passed and her peers went about their usual business, apparently without taking any notice of Stella or her cakes and pies and biscuits.  Were their noses broken?  Did the baked goods not look tantalizing enough? Twinkle (Stella's friends and one of the Peabody family's house elves) had assured her that if she wanted to make friends, she should share her talents.  And everyone loved delicious treats.  Right?  Stella had thought so. 


Eventually, another girl approached.  She walked nose-first, as if the scents had guided her like a dog.  Stella bit her lip to mask the enormous grin spreading across her face.  Twinkle had been right!  Of course, Twinkle usually was right. 


"Hi, Juniper.  I'm Stella.   Yeah, I made all of this stuff myself.  Well, I had help from our house elves, Figgy and Twinkle.  They're teaching me to bake.  Do you like to bake?"


"It's totally free to play!" It hadn't even occurred to Stella to charge her new friends for the cake walk, although she knew it was the sort of thing that raised money at charity events.  Was wanting brand new textbooks instead of hand-me-downs several years out of date enough of a charity case?


"Just walk around the ring until the music stops.  I should have brought a radio...I suppose I'll hum something.  When I stop humming, you'll be standing in front of a number, 1-5, and then you get that cake!" 


Stella hummed an old Celestina Warbeck tune Granny liked and tried not to peek at Juniper too much.  When she couldn't contain her excitement any longer, she stopped humming.

"STOP!" she cried, giggling, "Ooh, what number did you get?"

Edited by Stella Peabody

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House elves? Hmm, that was pretty fancy. She didn't think she'd actually met a kid that had house elves before. She didn't seem like the kind of stuck-up rich kid she imagined when she thought of families with house elves, though. She was even learning to bake. Juniper was pretty sure that if she had magical servants to wait on her, she wouldn't learn how to do anything. Why bother when they could do it for her? Then again, it was probably smart. After all, she wouldn't be able to bring her own personal house elves to Hogwarts with her.


"No, I don't bake. Auntie says I'm not patient enough for it. I just like eating what other people bake." Which she would hopefully be doing soon. She smiled at the news that it was free; free cake was the best kind. The rules sounded easy enough too. Juniper began walking in a circle as Stella hummed, matching the rhythm of the song without noticing and eyeing the treats hungrily. Would she win that one? That one? No, the song kept going. 


"STOP!" She froze in place, one leg still raised in the air. She put it down slowly with a grin. "I got..." she quickly glanced down, "number two! Which one is that?" She ran over to Stella, bouncing in place a little as she waited excitedly for her prize.

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Stella wondered whether she saw something change slightly in Juniper's face at the mention of Figgy and Twinkle.  She knew that most families didn't have house elves, but it hadn't occurred to her that mentioning her friends might change other people's perception of her. She wondered whether she should mention that Figgy and Twinkle did technically receive a salary from the Peabodys.  It wasn't much, but the house elves wouldn't accept more and they weren't technically slaves.  


She opened her mouth and then closed it again, biting her lip self-consciously.  She didn't want to make excuses for herself or her family.  And maybe she had been imagining the flicker of judgment or...something in Juniper's face.  For all she knew, Juniper's family was fabulously wealthy and the other girl was judging her for only having two house elves.  Stella didn't want to dig herself into a deeper hole, so she let the conversation flow past her.  But she felt her muscles tensing up and goosebumps raising on her arms, like an animal with its hackles raised, hyper aware of her every move, and Juniper's.  


"Baking doesn't take that much patience.  There's not much sitting around and waiting, if that's what you mean.  A lot of people assume that about baking." She heard the curtness in her own voice.  She wanted to mention Figgy and Twinkle again, but decided not to.  


"You can always find something to do while you're waiting around, I mean.  Sometimes I'll do the washing up while the dough is proving, or start another dough while the first one is in the oven, or talk...," again, she wanted to mention her friends the house elves, but she corrected herself, "talk to myself or write in my journal.  Then the timer dings and it's like magic that everything's risen and crusted nicely and smells lovely and tastes good!" Stella softened a bit as she talked about baking.  

The sweet smell of the baked goodies on the picnic blanket at her feet put a smile on her face as she hummed the Celestina Warbeck song until almost all of the tension had evaporated from her body.


Juniper got number 2, which was a lovely Battenberg divided into four crisp squares on the outside, one red, one blue, one green, and one yellow.  In the center was a slightly clumsy rendering of the Hogwarts crest that she had done with a pipette. 


"Ooh, you get the Hogwarts Battenberg!  The inside has the colors of the four houses as well.  It was really fun to do all of the food dye." Stella held out the cake to Juniper.


"I decided to make some of them Hogwarts-themed where I could.  I don't know very much about the four houses, actually, but a Battenberg just seemed to be begging for a four-house theme.  What house do you think you'll be in?"

This was Stella's way of asking if Juniper knew anything about the housing system at Hogwarts.  She didn't want to outright admit how much she didn't know, and she figured it was a safe enough question.  She had heard some of the other children asking each other about their house ambitions.  She was curious what Juniper thought.  So far all she knew about Juniper was that she liked sweets and was impatient, but maybe she could gauge the other girl's answer to figure out her own house expectations.

Edited by Stella Peabody

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It seemed like something she'd said or done had upset Stella. She didn't sound quite as warm and friendly as before. She really liked baking; maybe she was offended that Juniper didn't bake and wasn't interested in learning? She couldn't think of anything else she'd said, but it was always hard to tell what would upset somebody. No point thinking more about it. "I don't know, that's just what Auntie said," she replied with a shrug, "And it seems pretty complicated too. All those measurements and stuff."


By the time the song was done and she'd announced her number, Stella seemed in a better mood again. Maybe the brief change hadn't had anything to do with her after all. "Battenberg?" she repeated and bounced a little quicker as Stella explained and handed the treat over; she didn't think she'd heard of one of those before. Oh, it was the colorful cake. Excellent! That one looked good.


"Thanks!" she said as she took the plate with the cake on it. She took a fork and cut out a small piece of cake. "Oh, nice!" she said as she examined the inside. Just as Stella had said, the inside had a square pattern with the four colors of the Hogwarts houses. She held the fork up to her face and peered at the cake. "How do you even do that?" This certainly seemed complicated.


She was about to take a bite, but paused at Stella's question. "Well..." she began slowly. She'd hadn't really thought much about it. "Well, they say it tends to run in families. My dad and auntie were both in Hufflepuff, so I guess there's a good chance I'll end up there. I'm not sure I'd make a good Hufflepuff though. Their symbol's the badger because they're so hard-working, right? Dad and Auntie are typical Hufflepuffs. Nice enough, but all work and no play. I can't do that. I'd go mad, you know?"


"Mum was a Ravenclaw, but I don't really want that either. They say the smartest students end up in Ravenclaw, but they mostly just think they're the smartest. Mum's always going on about this book she's been writing forever and using big words just to sound smart. It's a bit annoying, but she's not home much anyway. None of the family's been in Slytherin that I can think of, so I don't think I'll end up there. They're a bit creepy anyway, what with all the snakes."


"Really, I guess I'd like to get Gryffindor. My Uncle Barnaby was in Gryffindor. He's real nice and lots of fun. He gets too excited about stuff sometimes, but I'd rather be stuck with a bunch of people like Uncle Barnaby than a bunch like Mum or Dad. Plus their color's red. Red's my favorite."


Red, like that yummy-looking square of cake. Juniper couldn't wait any more and popped the whole forkful in her mouth. "Mmm," she mumbled, nodding in approval.

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Stella beamed when Juniper seemed pleased with the Battenberg.  It had been one of the more complex dishes she had tried on her own, and she hadn't been able to cut into the cake to make sure all the colors had turned out properly on the inside.  She was so pleased that she almost forgot the unpleasant feeling in the pit of her stomach that had come with her mention of the house elves.


"You basically just make the batter four times and bake them like separate cakes, then cut them and bind bits of them together.  It meant that there was a lot of leftover cakes that had big chunks cut out of them!  It took ages to eat the bits of leftover cake."


Stella battled the urge to pull out her journal and start taking notes when Juniper started describing the Hogwarts houses.  The other girl rambled a bit, so Stella got an incomplete picture.  But she committed what she could decipher to memory.


Okay, so Hufflepuffs were hardworking.  She was hardworking. Maybe she'd go to Hufflepuff.  She didn't want to be in a house with a bunch of lazy daisies anyway.


Smart students go to Ravenclaw, but Juniper seemed to think Ravenclaws were a bit snobbish.  Stella valued learning, but she didn't want other people to think she was a snob.  Now that she had seen other children's reactions to her shabby lifestyle of former grandeur, she wondered whether she was resigned to being viewed as a snob anyway.  Maybe Ravenclaw was her fate after all. 


Juniper barely gave any descriptions of Slytherin, just that the house symbol was a snake, which Juniper thought was creepy.  Stella agreed that snakes weren't the most pleasant animals, but she also doubted that there was a house solely for deceitful and poisonous people.  There had to be more to Slytherin.  


Juniper seemed partial to Gryffindor.  She described her Gryffindor uncle as fun and sometimes overexcitable.  That was all well and good, but Stella knew the house symbol of Gryffindor was a lion.  Lions didn't strike Stella as particularly fun or excitable animals.  That had to be more than Juniper was letting on.  Besides, choosing your favorite house based on your favorite color struck Stella as silly.  She probably couldn't trust everything Juniper said.  Maybe she'd have to do her own research.


The few crumbs of information Juniper gave her just made Stella hungry for more.  The Tenterden library barely had any books about Hogwarts, because it had been years since a Peabody had set foot in the Scottish school.  Maybe she could convince her parents to let her buy a few books.  


The specifics of the houses aside, Stella was crestfallen to hear that house affiliation often ran in families.  Regardless of which house it was, she would have felt proud to have such a long-standing traditional association in her family.  She wondered how many of the first years would have an ancestral house.  Probably most of her fellow purebloods.


"My family hasn't been to Hogwarts in a really long time.  I don't think we're particularly associated with any house.  So I guess it means I really have no idea where I'm going.  I bet if I did a bit of research, I could dig up which house the last Peabody to go to Hogwarts was in.  I'll have to look at the family tree when I get home!' 


Stella made a mental note to herself, enjoying the idea of another genealogical challenge.  She had conquered a four-colored Battenberg, what couldn't she do? 

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"Oh, that makes sense." So it was just four strips of cake stuck together. Not quite as complicated as she'd been imagining, but it seemed like it would take a while. "Do the house elves help with magic or did you guys do it all by hand? That sounds like a lot of work."


Juniper dug into the cake enthusiastically once she'd finished musing out loud about which house she might be in. "Mmm, this is pretty good. Maybe next time you could make the different parts different flavors too instead of just different colors? That sounds good." The more flavors the better, in her opinion.


She was a little surprised to hear that no members of Stella's family had been to Hogwarts recently. She clearly came from a wizarding family; muggles didn't have house elves teaching them to bake. "Did your family not live in Britain for a while?" She certainly sounded British though. Everyone in Britain went to Hogwarts. At least, everyone in Hogsmeade did. She had no reason to think things might be different elsewhere.


"My family's always gone to Hogwarts. Well, as long as I can remember. They probably always have, don't know where else they'd go. I think we've always lived in Britain. We've lived in Hogsmeade since... I think it was my great-grandfather that moved there. That's the village near Hogwarts," she added, remembering that Stella didn't have family who were Hogwarts alumni and could tell her that, "Students get to visit it sometimes, but it's not that big a deal. Just some shops and pubs."


"It'd be neat if we had a family tree I could look at, but all I've got to go on is Dad and Uncle Barnaby's memories, and they're not the best anyway. They can't even remember why the family moved to Hogsmeade in the first place or where we moved from. How far back does your family tree go?"

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"Oh, no, I don't use magic to help with my baking.  That would feel like cheating. Although a lot of my early outbursts of magic happened in the kitchen.  One time I got really upset about something and all of the eggs in the kitchen cracked all at once!"


Stella smiled at the memory.


"How did you first find out you were magical?  If your family's gone to Hogwarts for a long time I guess you knew to look for the signs.  My brother and sister are a lot older than me so at first I didn't know what was happening, I hadn't seen uncontrolled magic before."  


Stella watched Juniper tuck into the cake and felt her stomach growl.  She looked around furtively to see if any other people were queuing for the cake walk.  She didn't see anyone, so she grabbed a bit of Bakewell tart and nibbled. 


"Ooh, I love the idea of doing different flavors!" she exclaimed "you could even combine some of the other things I've made." She gestured to the pile of treats in the picnic basket.


"Part Victoria sponge, part Bakewell....I'll have to try it at Hogwarts!  Maybe you could help me.  I could teach you to bake!" The words escaped Stella's mouth without her thinking, and she blushed a little.  She'd like to be friends with Juniper, and she supposed in order to do that she had to invite her to things, and accept invitations.


But what if Juniper didn't want to be friends with her?


It didn't bear thinking about.  Stella quickly changed the subject, pouncing on Juniper's questions about her family.


"Oh, we're very British.  We've been British for ages, going back to the Middle Ages.  My family just had governesses for a really long time, so I'm the first.  I could teach you how to do genealogy too, if you wanted."  


There she went again.  Maybe she could make a friend after all, if she didn't let herself overthink things too much.

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Cheating? It wasn't like it was a test or anything though; magic would just make something difficult a little easier. She shrugged. Some people just wanted to do things the hard way. "Mine mostly happened while I was playing outside. I think the first time was when my kite that got stuck floated back down to me. Another time I tripped a kid that I was racing. Not on purpose, you know. I just really wanted to win and he kind of fell over. Scraped his knee on a rock. Auntie scolded me and made me stay inside the rest of the day, but it wasn't really fair. I didn't mean to make him fall. Like you didn't mean to crack the eggs."


"I knew it was my magic. My brother and sisters are all younger, but I'd seen other kids in the village use magic accidentally before. I like yours though, it's more dramatic. Makes for a better story than kites," she said with a smile. Her smile only grew when Stella approved of her idea. Yes, this meant she had a chance of getting to eat it. She eagerly copied the other girl, grabbing a tart from the basket and taking a big bite. She added a forkful of cake before chewing. "Mmm, yeah. This is even better!"


She'd been about to offer to be Stella's taste-tester when she got an offer instead. "I still don't think I'd be good at baking. Maybe you don't need to be patient," she still wasn't convinced that Auntie had been wrong on that point, "but it still seems pretty complicated. If I messed it up, there'd be nothing to eat, and the eating's the best part. I'll help you though. I'd get to help eat the leftovers, right?" Getting first crack at the treats was more than enough incentive for Juniper to help out. She was starting to think that Stella would be good to stick close to. She was nice without being annoying, liked her ideas, and she could bake. A friend who could bake and would let her help (both with the baking and the eating) sounded great.


Governesses? That sounded even fancier than house elves. "Nice. That sounds easier than Hogwarts," she paused a moment and thought, "I guess it would be more boring though. You'd be stuck at your house all the time." Governesses had sounded great at first, but Juniper had quickly decided that Hogwarts was better. "It's good you're going to Hogwarts. There's more people and more stuff to do there. I'd get bored if I had to stay at home for seven more years. I've already done everything there is to do in Hogsmeade, you know?" She wasn't sure Hogwarts would be much better, but there had to something new.


"What's genealogy? Family trees and ancestors and stuff? Is there some way to find out that stuff, even if your family doesn't know about it?" She wrinkled her nose a little at the unfamiliar word, but the feeling of distaste passed quickly. She was used to Mum using big words on purpose to show off that she knew more than everyone else, but it didn't seem like that was what Stella was doing. Not everyone was as annoying as her Mum. "It would be cool to know more. My ancestors are probably all boring though."

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Juniper seemed to enjoy Stella's other baked goods, which was good because none of the other students seemed interested in her cake walk.  Stella looked around one last time.  Play period was coming to an end; she'd need to start packing up soon.


"Even if you don't want to learn to bake, maybe you could help me run a cake walk or bake sale or something at Hogwarts.  I could use some help marketing, clearly, since you're my only participant."  She gave out a self-deprecating chuckle.


"Do you want to take any of this home with you?" Stella gestured to the stacks of goodies.  "I have magical wax wrappings for them so they won't go stale for the rest of the day."


Stella bristled a bit at the implication that governesses were easier than Hogwarts.  


"Well...I know our governesses in the past had a very strict curriculum.  My grandmother claims it was harder than the one at Hogwarts.  You'd be amazed some of the things they don't teach at Hogwarts anymore."  She didn't want to be pedantic, but she also didn't want Juniper to get the wrong impression about her or her family.


"But I'm really glad to be going to Hogwarts, of course," she added hastily, after a beat.  


"Yeah, my family goes way back.  Archival and genealogical research is one of the things they don't teach at Hogwarts anymore.   Magic can help research in so many ways, I'm really looking forward to being allowed to do magic so my grandma can teach me some good research spells.  Illuminating dark pages, deciphering difficult handwriting, magically identifying which page a person or name appears in a big long register.  I could show you sometime if you want!"


Stella finished packing up the rest of the pies and smiled at her new friend. 

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