The Sorting Hat was not dumb. Far from it in fact.
But when you spend most of your time on top of a bookshelf collecting dust you don’t get much experience in solving puzzles.
The Sorting Hat was sure that if Toriel was not there to solve the first few puzzles for him, he would have taken HOURS to figure things out.
Again not because of any sort of idiocy, but because he was never designed, or given the opportunity, to solve puzzles beyond sorting students into their proper houses.
He understood how to ACT and give MERCY after Toriel taught him using the Dummy. He understood what the FIGHT and ITEM buttons were after a few trial and error. He also learned how to SAVE, LOAD and RESET.
The Sorting Hat had also unconsciously registered the music that played all the time. He only realized it was there in the first place when things became dead quiet. And honestly after he was done with the ‘game’ much later, he could no longer stand that kind of silence, it put him on edge.
Now the Sorting Hat stared down at the small black box-like idiom in his hands. Apparently it was called a CELL PHONE.
Talking Flowers, he could understand.
Puzzles, he could get the hang of.
ENCOUNTERS, he would get used to.
But a CELL PHONE seemed beyond him.
He believed his only saving grace were the response option buttons that appeared in front of him when he had to ‘speak’ using the phone.
Using this the Sorting Hat got permission to call Toriel ‘Mom’. He wasn’t sure what to think of this development and decided to proceed to the next room from where Toriel had left him alone.
*Ring… “Hello This is Toriel. You have not left the room have you? There are a few puzzles ahead that I have yet to explain. It would be dangerous to try to solve them yourself. Be good alright?” Click* The call ended.
The Sorting Hat looked around him in paranoia. ‘ She isn’t watching me from somewhere right? She couldn’t possibly know I’ve left the room… is this how one of the student’s feel when they are about to get caught for breaking the rules?! ’
He continued on cautiously.
He got only one piece of candy just like the sign said (He didn’t want to feel any more guilt) before moving on and SAVING.
The next time Toriel called she asked if he would prefer cinnamon or butterscotch.
He contemplated his answer. ‘ How am I supposed to know!? I’m a HAT! I’ve NEVER eaten ANYTHING before… but now I’m curious if I can with this false human body. Will I be able to taste? I’ll figure it out later cause right now I need to answer her. ’
He picked butterscotch.
Only to get another call not thirty seconds later asking if he wouldn’t mind cinnamon.
‘ I wouldn’t know. Please stop asking me these things. ’
He was super proud of himself when he figured out that all he needed to do to solve his first puzzle on his own was to move a rock onto a platform.
After he got across his first solved puzzle he got ANOTHER call. This time asking if he had any allergies.
If he could he would have thrown the CELL PHONE in frustration. ‘ I’M A HAT! WHAT IN THE MULTIVERSE WOULD I BE ALLERGIC TO?! ’
The thatched floor puzzle soon came into play after that. The Hat believed he felt true terror the first time he fell on that puzzle. However he WAS getting the hang of puzzles. As such it only took him three tires to get it right.
‘ OH look another put the rock on the platform puzzle! Except this time there are three rocks! You know if I were an actuarial invader I would be increasingly frustrated with these puzzles in my way… good thing I’m doing this for fun then! ’
He got to pushing all the rocks onto their respective platforms when
“WHOA there partner! Who said you could push me around?”
‘ A talking rock? Sure hope there aren't any other talking hats around here. I might have to eat myself then …’
“Hmm? You’re asking me to move over? Okay, Just for you pumpkin.” The rock moved a few inches, bet not enough to get to the platform.
“Hmm? You want me to move some more? Allrighty, how’s this?” The rock moved the wrong way.
‘ I’d prefer if you just went to the platform you grating stone! ’
“Hmm? That was the wrong direction? Okay, think I got it.” The rock moved to the platform causing the spikes to vanish into the ground.
‘ FINALLY now we’re getting places! ’ Sort (short for Shorting Hat) started to leave, when the rock moved AGAIN!
Frustrated He went back to the rock.
“Hmm? You wanted me to STAY there? You’re giving me a real workout.”
‘ Like I care! ’
And off Sort went, to the next room that had a SAVE POINT and some cheese. ‘ I want to see the mouse now...but it looks like it won’t come out of the hole… oh well. ’
Next Sort met a ghost. At first he was confused.
‘ This doesn't look like any ghost I’ve seen… ’
“Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” The ghost kept repeating the letter z over and over.
‘ Is he supposed to be sleeping? I don’t think that’s how it works …’
Soon the Hat was in an ENCOUNTER with the ghost who he learned was named Napstablook.
So far in ENCOUNTERS Sort had been lucky enough to not be hit. That all changed when Napstablook started crying and the tear attacks overwhelmed him.
That was the first time in his existence the Sorting Hat felt pain. He didn’t like it.
He used one of his turns to gain HP through eating the candy.
That had been the first time he tasted anything. It was a strange sensation, but he didn’t mind it.
Eventually he was able to cheer up Napstablook, and hoped to be his friend, but the ghost left before he could ask.
He used the G he had collected to buy a spider doughnut. He couldn't wait to taste it, but kept it in his inventory for when he would need it.
Several more puzzles later and he arrived in a room with a large black tree with red leaves scattered around it’s base.
Toriel came into the room but didn’t immediately notice him.
“Oh dear. That took longer than I thought it would.” She came further into the room and was about to call him on the phone when she finally noticed him.
“How did you get here, my child? Are you hurt? There, there. I will heal you. I should not have left you alone for so long. It was irresponsible to try and surprise you like this. Err… Well I suppose I cannot hide it any longer. Come small one.”
‘ She is so kind… what was she trying to surprise me with? ’ Sort followed Toriel into a small house in the Ruins.
“Do you smell that? Surprise! It is a Butterscotch-Cinnamon Pie! I thought we might celebrate your arrival. I want you to have a nice time living here. So I will hold off on the escargot pie for now. Come I have another surprise for you!”
‘ Well I fingered she was making SOMETHING with Butterscotch and Cinnamon. But what did she say about snail pie? Are snails even edible? What do I know? I’m a HAT. Maybe Snails are where humans get their needed protein .’ He thought as he followed Toriel to a doorway.
“This is it… A room of your own! I hope you like it.” She rubbed the top of his head, effectively squishing his ‘real’ hat body.
“Is something burning...? Um… make yourself at home!” She ran off leaving Sort to settle in.
Sort went into the room and laid down in the bed thinking.
‘ Is this what it’s like to have a mom? I like it. But I feel like I’ve been missing out on my centuries worth of existence. Maybe I can stay here a little longer… ’ And he drifted off to sleep.