What is your Sorting for the Animorphs?
Tobias gets transferred into Hogwarts during his third year after Ilvermorny discovers that not only is his aunt months behind on tuition, she is also not taking care of him. Three days after showing up at the house of some distant British uncle, he boards a train in London with dozens of other teenagers and gets shipped off to a castle up north somewhere. Once he gets there, Professor Robbinette gives him a private sorting ceremony in a back room. The Sorting Hat spends quite a while telling Tobias that he has a lot of the qualities of a good Ravenclaw before admitting that he would probably fit best in Hufflepuff, and Tobias thinks whatever you want. In response to that answer, the Hat of course puts him in Hufflepuff.
Cassie is already on the short track to becoming a prefect for Hufflepuff, so she’s the one that Professor Chapman sends to show the transfer student around. She chats with Tobias about how her favorite subject is Care of Magical Creatures and his is Astronomy, and assures him that there are more students like the two of them—raised as muggles—than there are purebloods like Rachel and Jake and their siblings. After leaving his things on a bed off the Hufflepuff common room and stopping in the kitchens to introduce him to the house-elves, she brings him upstairs to introduce him to her friends. And to Jake, who might just think of her as more than a friend, if Rachel is to be believed.
Jake is distracted while meeting the new student, less concerned with some American transfer than he is with the fact that he didn’t make Gryffindor’s Quidditch team. It’s not just that he got cut. It’s that when he admitted to Tom that he didn’t make the team, Tom just shrugged and said there were more important things than Quidditch, which was why he’d quit being captain himself. Tom has been acting strangely for weeks now, ever since he made Head Boy, and it’s just bizarre that he would quit the team when their entire family lives for Quidditch. Still, Jake makes an effort to be nice to Tobias, even if he doesn’t know what to make of the way that Rachel is looking at the new kid.
Rachel spends the first five minutes with Tobias coaxing one of those shy, dreamy smiles out of him, and grins so broadly in return she thinks she startles him. It’s a shame that Tobias is not in Gryffindor, she thinks, because not only did a certain cousin of hers—she glares at Tom down the table and debates the merits of hexing him—decide to quit the team, but Tobias also shyly admits when asked that he’s pretty good at flying himself. Proud Gryffindor or no, Rachel is also not about to try out for the team herself. She barely has enough balance to stay on a broom, much less fly around swatting at bludgers the way Tom does. The team is going to get slaughtered this year without him, though, so she gets as far as pulling out her wand before Jake grabs her arm and whispers “If you get detention for jinxing the Head Boy two days before a full moon…” and she reluctantly sits back down. When she glances over at Tobias, he’s watching them both with clear curiosity.
Marco is, as always, reluctant to be seen hanging around with the Berensons since they’re the most Gryffindor family in the history of Hogwarts and his own position in Slytherin tends to be precarious at best. Sure, Marco knows how to make the whole common room laugh, and he can talk circles around most of their professors enough to impress the younger students, but everyone knows about his family history. His mother might have been a pureblood witch famous for her beauty as well as her skill with potions, but she married a muggle man who stumbled upon magic accidentally by way of science and then she died ten years later. Marco’s dad has been Obliviated so many times that nowadays he barely functions, and some of the more meatheaded older students in Slytherin think that that makes Marco no better than a muggle-born. Jake doesn’t really get it—not only is he as pureblooded as they come, but he also got sorted into Gryffindor in ten seconds flat with no questions asked—but he’s also been there for Marco since before they even started at Hogwarts, so Marco lets himself get dragged over to meet the new Hufflepuff since he’s such a good friend and all.
Ax floats across the Great Hall from the Ravenclaw table, oblivious to all the heads he turns with his casual beauty, to ask Cassie if she’s finished with the bouillabaisse. He introduces himself to Tobias and explains he’s a transfer student as well, “From the Ivory Coast” [Cassie coughs loudly] “…of Canada.” Tobias frowns at this explanation like maybe Ax said something wrong, but then Marco distracts them all by teasing Ax for being able to say “bouillabaisse” without hesitation and yet giggling every time someone says the word “potato.” Ax cringes in remembered sympathy when Professor Chapman (who as the Deputy Headmaster gets stuck with these responsibilities a lot) stands Tobias up in front of the whole school to introduce him, before going into the usual announcements about how students are not allowed to enter the Forbidden Forest even though the rumors of werewolves and strangely intelligent animals hiding in its depths are unfounded gossip. (Rachel and Marco grin knowingly at each other at this last one, and Jake shoots Ax a sympathetic look as the first years all start whispering about werewolves.)
Jake and Rachel are having a whispered argument in their usual spot above the Owlery where Cassie’s dad works—Rachel thinks they should tell Tobias everything and make him an Animagus, whereas Jake is firmly against it out of fear of repeating the David Incident—when Marco comes stalking in, so quickly that Ax looks up from his spell practice and Cassie sets aside the owl treat she’s holding. Marco slams an enormous book on Imperius Curses down on the table between them, and says, “Loop him in, I say, because it looks like we have one hell of a problem on our hands.”