The Hogwarts Express has a lot of compartments. It has to take about 400 students back and forth between Scotland and London every year; that means a long train. This particular compartment contains a boy, looking like someone took a normal eleven-year-old and put a Stretching Jinx on his spine, staring out the window and twisting his long black wand in his fingers. He looks painfully bored.
Tintin blushes intensely. "Do not make me drop you."
"So I should wait until I'm sitting down before I flirt back is what you're saying."
"At the very least."
Professor Dumbledore pulls out a battered old hat and places it on a stool on a raised dais in the center of the room. It begins to sing a song explaining the merits of the various Hogwarts houses.
It's not a very good song, and the hat does not sing it well. Edmund can be seen wincing and trying not to cover his ears.
James can appreciate it. ...from a distance. In a more abstract sense.
The hat finishes its song eventually. Dumbledore consults a list of names.
A girl goes up to the stool. The hat is placed on her head. After a few seconds, it shouts "RAVENCLAW!" The trimming on Milicent's robes changes to blue and bronze; she puts the hat back on the stool and heads to the table dressed in those colors, whose inhabitants are clapping.
The process continues through the alphabet. Soon enough Dumbledore reaches "Fawkes, David Launcey Morgan!" The hat deliberates only for a few moments before sending him to Slytherin.
A while after that, Dumbledore calls "Orland, James Augustus!"
"That would be me," he sighs to Tintin.
James sporfles in surprise when he hears the Hat's voice in his head but he supposes it was pretty obvious wasn't it.
There is one particularly enthusiastic applauding third-year girl with a family resemblance to James over there.
Continuing through the names, Dumbledore comes to "Saint-Martin, Henri!" Tintin rolls his eyes and scampers up; the moment the hat touches his head, it roars "GRYFFINDOR!"
He nods decisively and scampers to the red-and-gold table.
He left a space next to him for Tintin, and when the smaller boy approaches Deborah tries to play the fact that she was quietly lecturing James about the scars she noticed cool.
He extends a hand. "Hello! My name is Tintin. I have befriended your brother."
Lots of emotions cross her face there and then but she settles for amused and pleased. She extends a hand as well. "Then you must know I'm Deborah. Nice to meet you. And perhaps reconsider whether you really want to be friends with this little imp."
"That is racist."
"I stand by it."
"He has been very nice to me," Tintin says. "And I do not mind carrying him when he does something that results in his being unable to walk."
"Yes, about that," she says, politely clapping for another person who has just been Sorted, "he said he hugged someone."
"Yes. He has - some kind of accidental magic that hurts people who touch him. It is very sad."
"And he didn't warn - no, of course he warned you, you just decided to do it anyway," she sighs.
"Right in one."
"Probably if James had not hugged him I would have," Tintin admits. "He is terribly sad."
Deborah facepalms, but she's smiling. "May the two of you find happiness in your wanton self-destruction."
Eventually "Winslow, Edna!" is sorted into "HUFFLEPUFF!" and Professor Dumbledore waves his wand, removing both stool and Hat from the dais, which sinks back into the floor. He then takes his seat at the teachers' table.
As Dumbledore sits, an old man rises. He introduces himself as Headmaster Armando Dippet, and gives a rather lengthy speech about Hogwarts and its values.