Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Three downtown businesses claimed the ability to separate the "brave of heart" of Hogwarts' Gryffindor house from the "cunning folk" who live in Slytherin with the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.
Are three hats better than one? We decided to sort things out for ourselves.
Lauren Sutherland is sorted into Slytherin at Anamags Alley/Two Bostons. (Emily McFarlan/Staff writer)
Our first stop was Animagis Alley, formerly known aas Two Bostons, where two hat handlers conferred with the Sorting Hat to ask us each one revealing question.
To Lauren: "What's the last magical creature you killed?" Her answer -- a blast-ended skrewt -- merited her a spot in Slytherin.
Emily was asked her favorite color. Orange landed her in Gryffindor.
Now mortal enemies, we decided to get a second opinion from the Sorting Hat at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, cleverly disguised as Nichols Library.
This hat left things to chance, and we were asked to blindly draw the shield of our houses from it. We both drew Hufflepuff and were rewarded with a badger, Hufflepuff's mascot, stamped on our hands in black ink. Lest we forget.
Maybe the Sorting Hat at Madame Malkin's Curtain Magic, or Country Curtains, could sort things out once and for all.
At Madam Malkin's we were asked to draw a piece of parchment from an ancient, hollowed-out spell book after the Sorting Hat was placed on our heads. Again, we both drew Hufflepuff.
Despite her Ravenclaw tie, Emily McFarlan finds out, once and for all, she belongs in Hufflepuff. (Lauren Sutherland/Staff writer)
The Sorting Hat does not lie: We truly belong among the "true and unfraid of toil." Or, as the cashier at Anderson's Bookshop told Emily when she pre-ordered her copy of the book, "the few, the proud, the Huffles."
Still, just as Harry once questioned his place in Gryffindor, Lauren wonders if her single Slytherin vote raises her Hufflepuff status to Ravenclaw, where "those of wit and learning will always find their kind."
The Hogwarts Sorting Hat will "tell you where you ought to be" at Madam Malkin's Curtain Magic/Country Curtains from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 233 S. Main St. Sorting will also take place from noon to 8 p.m. Friday at Anamagis Alley/Two Bostons, 232 S. Washington St., and from noon to midnight at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry/Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson.