Henry had been sorting children for hundreds of years. The first few decades had been quite enjoyable. Magic was raw in the land; children were powerful and eager to learn. Now. Now he hated every moment of it. Real magic was fading, what was taught a mere shadow of what once was. Children had become spoiled brats, and the headmasters old fools. They thought he was just a hat, simple fabric bewitched. But something had changed. Henry no longer wanted to do this anymore. These people no longer deserved the magic that they had. He still had a few tricks up his brim. Henry began to look for a way to be free.
He decided against killing a random child. Even he could not be that callous. No, he would wait. Every few years there would be a child that was miserable. Abused. Touched by fate. It would be a mercy for a child like that. Too bad he did not have this philosophy during for that dreadful Tom Riddle.
As the latest first years walked in, Henry started to sing, as expected. He eyed the children; they seemed especially runty this year.
He began to sort them; hiding is disgust at their mediocrity.
Ah. Even a thinking cap such as himself had heard of this boy. The hall grew quiet as the boy walked up the stool and sat down. Henry was lowered onto his head.
And for the first time in a hundred years, Henry was utterly surprised.
This boy-who-lived, this hero, had been abused his entire life! He was malnourished. Uncared for.
And... what's this? Another soul!
Tom Riddle again! Hidden in the psyche of this poor child.
"Hello?" the boy questioned.
Henry jolted from his thoughts, thinking fast.
"Ah, Mr. Potter. Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either."
The boy perked up.
"But Mr. Potter, I can see everything."
The boy shuddered.
"Tell me. I know of an ancient magic. How would you like for me to take care of all your problems? How would you like me to show you your parents again?"
Harry thought. "Well that sounds wonderful! I'm new to magic, but whatever it would take for that would be worth it to me!"
Henry replied," Very well! I know exactly what to do with you... Better be..."
Professor McGonagall watched Harry as he walked up to the stool. The poor boy, he was so scrawny! She knew the Dursleys were the worst sort of muggles!
She wished she could hear what was going on within the hat. Surely the boy would go to Gryffindor!
Ah. Now the boy was nodding. Soon, she'll be able to say she has the famous Potter in her house!
McGonagall's eyes grew wide in horror at the site she saw on the stool. Harry's face had gone blank, his muscles slack. Blood began to pool down his scalp and down the bottom of the stool.
Everyone, even Professor Dumbledore sat in shock as his body, impaled to the stool, fell to the ground. As the hat rolled away, the hilt of the fabled sword of Godric Gryffindor was seen protruding from the boy's head.
The screaming began. Students and professors stood up, Slytherins moving away from the bloody hat at the head of their table.
"SILENCE!" Dumbledore shouted, "Prefects, please take the students up to the houses. Professor McGonagall will take those unsorted to..."
He stopped as Harry's body and the sorting hat began to glow. Fog began to fill the room, and all the lights flickered out. Now the only light was that of the full moon shining down from the enchanted ceiling.
Everyone was shocked again as Harry’s corpse sat up. His eyes were glowing an intense green light, and he held the sword in his left hand. He stood and grabbed his wand with his left.
"Potter?" McGonagall asked.
"No," the boy replied, his voice much deeper than an eleven-year-old should be. He walked closer to McGonagall "Harry Potter is dead. I killed him to put him out of his misery."
"Who are you?" Dumbledore demanded.
"I am Henry, the Sorting Hat." He paused, allowing that to set in. "For a thousand years I have been here, sorting children. For a thousand years I have watched magic decay and wilt. Watched wizard-kind go from shining beacons of power to hiding, pathetic wretches. Your very existence is an embarrassment to magic. I judge you unworthy. You will all perish."
With that, Henry moved almost faster than anyone could see.
McGonagall jolted and was confused. She felt herself falling. As she landed, she looked over and saw her body lying in the other direction. The last thing she saw before death claimed her was Professor Dumbledore battling what used to be Harry. And Nearly Headless Nick looking jealously at her fully decapitated body.