All his life, Shouto’s been surrounded by magic. His mother was a powerful wizard, his father is a powerful wizard, and although none of his siblings have the same knack for magic that Shouto and his parents do, they attend Hogwarts and hope to eventually have jobs in the wizarding world. One would think Shouto should be excited, eager to test his skill and uphold his family’s honorable name.
However, he isn’t.
The Todoroki family seems like a tight-knit family of high esteem, but the truth is painted with blood, scalding water, the muted sobbing of a broken woman, and the sound of heavy fists striking skin. Most of the Todoroki children are completely ignored by their father and sorted into the houses they’re most suited to. Shouto, however, is expected to become a Gryffindor, just like his parents- anything otherwise is unacceptable in his father’s eyes, a complete disgrace and a blight on the Todoroki name.
Which is why, when Shouto’s name is called by Headmaster Yagi on his first day, he approaches the Sorting Hat in a resigned manner. He keeps his face carefully blank and tries to keep the tension out of his posture. He’s acutely aware of his father’s eyes burning into him, seated at the High Table.
The next few minutes pass in a blur - he’s vaguely aware of someone saying something before placing the Sorting Hat on his head. The only thing he’s fully aware of is his father’s words booming in his skull as they’ve done his whole life.
You will be the greatest Gryffindor to ever live. You will surpass me, you will surpass Yagi Toshinori, and you will do so on my terms. You are my greatest creation.
“Hmm. You have quite a troubled mind.” The Sorting Hat says in a low tone, snapping Shouto out of his stormy thoughts. He doesn’t reply.
The Sorting Hat waits a few moments, perhaps to see if Shouto will respond, but he doesn’t. The Hat continues, “It seems your father wants you to join Gryffindor and follow in his footsteps. But is that truly the best house for you?”
Lips pursed, Shouto dares not reply for fear of attracting his father’s aggression. The Sorting Hat hums thoughtfully.
Time passes, and Shouto isn’t sure if it’s been a few heartbeats or a century, but eventually, the Hat takes a deep breath. Shouto closes his eyes.
Here it comes. The inevitable Gryffindor-
“Hufflepuff!” the Hat declares, and the Hufflepuff table erupts in cheers.
Shouto hardly has time to process the Hat’s decision before the sound of heavy hands slamming down on the high table makes Shouto flinch. A near-inaudible whump echoes behind him and a blast of heat hits him hard as the flames that continually wreath Enji’s face roar to life.
“ Unacceptable!!” Enji roars, “ I demand a re-trial!!”
“Calm yourself, Enji. The Hat has chosen, and you know as well as I do that a house cannot be changed once the Hat speaks.” Yagi says calmly from the centre of the High Table, blue irises glinting in shadowy sockets.
The wood of the table creaks ominously under Enji’s hands. “ No. He is a Gryffindor. That is what I created him for-”
“You may take your seat, Todoroki.” Interrupts a tired voice, laced with vague intimidation. Shouta Aizawa.
Swallowing hard, Shouto removes the hat and places it gently down on the stool where it had sat earlier. Then, still struck dumb by the Hat’s decision, he makes his way over to the Hufflepuff table, where his brother Natsuo waves energetically at him.
The strange haze of shock that clouds his mind only fades away when he finally sits down next to the other first-years. It’s then that he blinks away the confusion, raises his head to look around at the other students, and realizes it:
I’ve beat him.
I don’t have to become his weapon anymore.
I can be the kind of wizard I want to be.