The first years follow the old witch up to the castle and through large front doors.
"Wait here," she smiles to them, and slips through another pair of large doors.
There's a moment of silence between the first years, then finally the smallest girl in the group speaks.
"What do you think we're waiting for."
"To be sorted," James answers.
"Sorted?" Lily asks.
"Into Hogwarts houses," Severus explains. This is what he's been dreading. He's destined for Slytherin house, despite being a halfblood, everything about him screams Slytherin. His interest, his upbringing, everything. And Lily, Lily isn't. Lily is a pleasant person, with kind heart and beautiful smile. No, even if she weren't a muggle born she'd never be in Slytherin. Severus knows that.
Sirius, much like Severus, knows he destined for Slytherin House. He's a Black, a long line a pureblood wizards, all of them (except for maybe Andromeda) are wicked, nasty, and down right evil. All sorted into Slytherin house for generations. Even Bellatrix at 17 years old is ready to kill anyone she deems unworthy. All of it, though it frightens and sickens Sirius, is something that at the young age of 8 he came to except was his fate. Now, at 11, he only hopes his new found friend, James Potter, pureblood, could keep him company during it all.
"Oh," Lily says, not wanting to sound silly she doesn't ask any more questions.
"I wonder how we are sorted," a blonde boy asks.
"Gotta fight something," Sirius says, "my family told me so."
"Fight something?" Remus, who, not really sure why, continued to tag along with James and Sirius.
"Yeah, like a werewolf," James says, throwing his arms up and curling his fingers like claws.
Remus goes both stark white and somehow red all at once.
"Just kidding!" James says, dropping his arms at Remus's petrified look. A couple kids laugh, but stop when a witch who is dressed in green robes and a matching hat, steps out into the corridor. She has brown hair and glasses.
"I'm Professor McGonagall, in just a few moments I will escort you into the Great Hall, where you will be sorted into either Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumph will earn you house points, while any rule breaking-" At this James swears she looks right at him. "-will lose you points. Your house will be like your family, you all work as one to earn the house cup, and hopefully, encourage the other houses to work just as hard. Now, if you will, follow me." She turns and opens the doors wide.
The first years are flooded with too many sights to take in at once. Lily points out the ceiling, which looks just like the night sky, to Severus. James takes in the tapestries hanging on the walls and over the tables. Sirius instantly spots the gang of Blacks and other purebloods alike at the table farthest to the left. Peter simply enjoys the floating candles that sink and rise slowly and rhythmically. Remus looks up at the table in front of them. In the middle, in a chair that rises higher than the rest and curves swiftly at the top, sits Professor Dumbledore, the only person, besides his parents and doctor, that knows his secret. He's also the only person, even beyond his parents, that treated Remus like he didn't know his secret. He didn't bring it up first, he acted like it wasn't anything out of the ordinary, he acted like he didn't even care. Which to some, may seem offensive, but to Remus it meant to world, because for once someone treated him like he was normal even knowing he wasn't.
Sitting on a small chair is a large brown hat, and it sings to the Great Hall a song, slightly out of tune, about the four founders of Hogwarts. This hat, the sorting hat, was giving the ability to know just what house to put the students of Hogwarts in.
McGonagall unrolls a scroll, and calls out the first name. "Abrams, Gregory." The blonde boy from earlier stepps forward and sits in the chair. McGonagall sits the hat upon his head, and a moment later the hat shouts out Ravenclaw. The Ravenclaw table clapps and cheers, honored to have the first sorting go to them.
"Ander, Daisy." She steps forward, it takes slightly longer than the first, but she's put into Hufflepuff.
"Black, Sirius." Sirius doesn't move for half a second, ready for his fate to be sealed. James playfully pushes his friend forward.
"Go on, mate," he says. Sirius steps up to the seat and sits down.
Ah! Another Black.
Sirius hears in his ear. He closes his eyes. Another Black, another Black in Slytherin.
Slytherin seems to be where the famous house of Black belongs, the hat says, however...
Sirius heart skips a beat. What did that mean?
I do not see the same ambitions in you as I do your relatives. No, you don't seek to change the world, you don't inspire to conquer. No, you simply wish to live an adventurous life, one you can be proud of.
In fact, Sirius did. He never was able to put it into words before.
Then, even with such clarity, Sirius doesn't know if what he was hearing was true.
"GRYFFINDOR!" The hat shouts. There's an awkward moment, as Gryffindors start to celebrate but then realize, 'No, not a Black.' and quickly start to question what has happened. Bellatrix is outraged, and shouts out to Sirius.
"Blood traitor!" She pounds her fist on the table. As Sirius stands he sees a worried McGonagall.
"Please, everyone calm down!" Dumbledore calls, standing. Everyone falls silent as Sirius takes a seat at the Gryffindor table. Partly releaved, partly scared. His mother will be downright furious. She'll disown him, he's sure of it.
McGonagall calls up the next student. Then another. Then "Evans, Lily." Lily steps forward and sits in the chair, the hat falling over her eyes obstructing her view.
The voice doesn't startle her, which the hat likes.
Such a smart young girl. Very bright, yes, maybe Ravenclaw, however, your kindness and love shows you'd sacrifice yourself for those you love, yes, you're young, but very brave.
"GRYFFINDOR!" The Gryffindor table cheers loudly for Lily. Severus, despite being disappointed, cheers with them. Maybe, just maybe he could be a Gryffindor too, if a Black was sorted into Gryffindor, certainly he could be!
Students are sent to all four houses, and once half are gone McGonagall calls "Lupin, Remus." Remus steps forward. Curious as to where he belongs. The hat is sat on his head.
Oh, I'm honored, my first werewolf.
"You know!?" Remus thinks.
Why yes, it's all right here. It's clear to me. Why, this is such a simple sorting. You are so brave, so noble, no honorable. Why, I'd say it's being a werewolf that made you this way.
"GRYFFINDOR!" Remus walks down to the cheering Gryffindor table and sits beside Sirius and across from the red head girl, Lily Evans.
The sorting continues, and "Pettigrew, Peter" is called. Peter steps nervously forward and takes a seat.
My my, you are a complicated one. Pureblood, but, sadly, lacking the pure ambition that'd make you a Slytherin. And, not as an insult, no, just an observation, you aren't clever enough for Ravenclaw, no you're almost too simple for that. Loyalty, that's tricky, no, you try to be to your friends, but sometimes you're inspired to take other routes. Gryffindor, maybe, just maybe, it can help you discover the bravery buried inside you.
And Peter is sent to sit beside Remus.
Right after Peter, "Potter, James," is called. James, cool and confident, strides forward, certain he'll be sent to Gryffindor. The hat barley falls onto his head, barley utters the words "Pure Gryffindor" before shouting the word out. James has been the quickest sorting all evening, and he slides himself into a spot across from Sirius and beside the red head girl. She smiles to him.
"I'm Lily," she says, holding out her hand.
James takes it and shakes firmly. "I'm James."
Severus watches Lily as she shakes hands with the Potter boy. He doesn't even notice the next couple sorting, a Slytherin and Hufflepuff, and only realizes the sorting is continuing when he hears "Snape, Severus." He steps forward, trying to look and feel confident, hoping to land in Gryffindor so he can be with his friend, Lily. The hat falls over his head it speaks to him instantly.
Curious about the dark arts, are we? Half-blood, not bad. Determined to mark yourself in history, to do something grand. Greatness is defiantly in your reach, sharp mind, cunning skills, better be...
The hat yells out "SLYTHERIN!" Severus is happy to see Lily clapping for him, but sad because from what he understands Slytherins and Gryffindors don't make good friends.
After the largest feast any of them had seen, the 10 new Gryffindor first-years follow Jay Jones, a Prefect, up to the Gryffindor Common Room. Down a corridor they come across several large paintings, and one is of a lady in a pink dress. She smiles down at them.
"Welcome, first years, to your common room!" She says to them. Jones greets The Fat Lady, then gives her the password.
"Norwegian Dragon." The whole picture frame swings slowly inwards, showing a doorway into a very maroon colored room. All the first years gather inside the room, and it's James that speaks up first.
"We're in a tower, aren't we!"
"Right you are, Potter. The Gryffindor Tower. This is the Common Room. Up and down to the left are the girls dormitories, to the right, the boys. You will be up two levels, you'll find all your things are already there for you."
The four boys open the door into their bedroom. There is a furnace in the middle, and four beds, all with maroon curtains drawn to their four posters, in a semi circle around it. Their trunks are at the foots of the beds, there is a desk up against the wall beside the door, two large wardrobes, and a mirror. A couple chairs sit against the walls, simply stashed out of the way, and lanterns sit scattered about on the nightstands.
"Spacious," Sirius says, finding his bed the furthest to the left, "sucks for the girls, 6 of them squished in a room like this."
"Maybe theirs is bigger?" Remus suggest. Finding his bed between James and Peter's and slipping off his school robe and folding it neatly.
"Doubt it," James says. He tosses his robe onto the end of his bed, which is between Sirius and Remus's. "How lucky were we though, all being sorted into Gryffindor together. It was fate, I'll swear by it."
"I'm surprised you were sorted into Gryffindor, Black," Peter says, sitting on his bed, the furthest to the right.
"I think it shocked loads of people," Sirius says, sighing deeply, "I suspect I'll get a howler in the morning from my mum saying she's disowned me. She'll scorch my face off the family tree and I'll be a bigger disappointment than Andromeda." Sirius didn't know why he was telling three boys he only meet just a few hours all of this, but he had already began to except James as a good mate, and Remus too. Maybe Pettigrew in the long run.
"Your family expected you to be Slytherin, like them?" James asks. "I'm sorry, mate."
Sirius smiles at the word mate, it confirms James feels the same. The four boys chat a little while longer, discussing the feast and then the Common Room. Remus wasn't sure what time it was he fell asleep, but the last thing he remembered was looking out the window and having a perfect view of the moon.