I'm a Slytherin
James grinned as he pulled his heavy trunk behind him. "So all I have to do is run through and the Hogwarts express will be there?" he asked, motioning to the brick wall ahead of him.
Euphemia Potter smiled and nodded. "That's right."
As James neared the wall, he sped up and forced his eyes wide open. This was his chance to finally go to Hogwarts, and he wasn't going to miss a second.
Fleamont and Euphemia exchanged a bemused glance and followed their son to the platform.
"Bye, mum! Bye, dad!" James said once they'd passed through.
"Good-bye, James! Have fun!" Fleamont responded.
Euphemia hugged James tightly. "Promise you'll write?"
James rolled his eyes but smiled. "Of course!"
He looked all around the platform, where families were saying their good-byes. There were still ten minutes before the train left.
A family near the Potters caught James' eyes especially. There were two boys there, one looking to be about his age and the other slightly younger.
The parents were both scowling down at the older one, who had hair as dark as James' and a graceful build. He was already wearing robes, James noted.
"Who are they?" James quietly asked his parents.
Fleamont looked over at the family and his expression hardened. "Those are the Blacks. I suppose their son Sirius is starting this year as well."
"Be careful around them," Euphemia added.
James nodded obediently.
Just then, Sirius Black began gathering his trunk and preparing to board the train.
James surreptitiously listened in on Sirius' good-byes.
"Don't shame us," said Mrs. Black.
"Yes, mother," Sirius responded.
"Bellatrix will report to us," Sirius' father said.
"Yes, father," Sirius responded.
Euphemia and Fleamont exchanged a look. Sirius was certainly going to be a Black at Hogwarts.
James was curious about the other boy, so when Sirius went to find a seat on the train, James followed, waving good-bye to his parents.
Sirius found an empty compartment, and after a few seconds of hesitation, James followed.
Sirius was in the middle of stowing his trunk when James entered, and he quickly finished the task and sat down. "Who are you?"
James sat down. "James Potter. What about you?"
"Sirius Black. Why are you here?"
James blinked at the rude question. "…All the other compartments were full."
Sirius nodded, not taking his gray eyes off of James' hazel ones.
James shifted uncomfortably. "What house do you think you'll be in?"
"Slytherin." Sirius responded mechanically, as though he'd rehearsed the response.
"Oh," James said, realizing they weren't going to end up in the same house. "I'm going to be Gryffindor."
Sirius narrowed his eyes, but luckily, two other boys entered the compartment, lessening the tension.
"I'm Remus," one of the boys offered. Remus sat down, and James tried to keep his eyes off of Remus' scars, but it was a losing battle.
"I'm Peter," the other boy squeaked. Peter was chubby, and had watery blue eyes that shone with kindness.
James liked both of them immediately.
Sirius, however, did not. "Why is it that you are all in this compartment?"
Peter sqeaked, but Remus turned his head over to the angry boy. Sirius seemed to have struck a nerve. "I could ask you the same question."
Sirius looked taken aback, as if he had expected them to back down or leave.
James ruffled his hair and grinned. "So, that's settled. Hey, Remus, how'd you get those cool scars?"
Remus averted his eyes. "A dog. I was three."
James visibly deflated. "What? No evil murderers came for you? You're not wanted or anything? You didn't get on the bad side of a unicorn?"
Remus smiled slightly and shook his head.
"Well," James turned his tone confiding. "If I were you, I'd tell people a story about a dog the size of a house that went for a town, and would have succeeded if you hadn't fought it. That'll get the ladies!"
"Get the ladies?" responded someone who was definitely not Remus. "Is that all women are? Objects you want to get?"
James turned to the door of the compartment and saw an angel. She had red hair, sparkling green eyes, and beautiful pale skin. "That's my wife right there," he murmured in awe.
The girl did not agree. "C'mon, Sev," she said, motioning to her greasy companion. "Let's find somewhere else to sit."
And they left.
James stared at the door to the compartment long after the girl had left.
The train ride after that was quiet, each of the boys finding something that kept them occupied. Finally, after the train had slowed to a stop and the first years had taken a boat ride, it was time for the Sorting.
James was thrilled.
"What house do you think you'll be in?" he asked Remus and Peter (Sirius had disappeared once they got off the train).
Peter frowned. "I don't know. Maybe Hufflepuff."
"I hear Hufflepuffs are really kind," Remus reassured. "As for me, I'm probably a Ravenclaw." He narrowed his eyes at James in thought. "Let me guess…you'll be Gryffindor?"
James smiled. "Is it that obvious?"
Professor McGonagall called the first years to follow her, and then they were in the Great Hall.
"It's beautiful!" Peter exclaimed in awe, looking up at the ceiling.
Remus' eyes lit up. "I wonder what it will look like when it snows. What about in a hurricane?"
James turned his focus to the hat. It was shabby, but looked wise as it sang about the four houses. James mostly tuned the song out as he tried to master his nerves.
When the Sorting began, the first name James focused on was Sirius'.
"Black, Sirius!" the hat called, and James watched the dark-haired boy ascend.
Sirius was terrified as he climbed up to the hat. As he put it on his head, he thought Slytherin, Slytherin, Slytherin.
The hat chuckled. "I'm afraid you can't be in Slytherin."
Sirius tensed. This was his biggest nightmare. "Why not?"
"You don't really believe what your family tells you."
Sirius glared. "Yes, I do."
The hat sighed. "Very well. But, unfortunately, Slytherin is not the house for you. You belong in…GRYFFINDOR!"
As the word rang out around the hall, everyone went silent. A Black in Gryffindor?
Sirius numbly took the hat off. He couldn't remember how to use his legs.
McGonagall looked over with pity. "Mr. Black," she called out. "I think you belong over here."
Sirius slowly nodded and stood up. He walked over to the Gryffindor table, fighting back tears. What were his parents going to do to him? His father had used the Cruciatus curse on him for smaller infractions…
He'd talk to Dumbledore. There had been a mistake.
James was delighted at seeing Sirius in Gryffindor. He fantasized about all kinds of fun activities they could do together.
"Evans, Lily!" was soon called out, and James watched the beautiful redhead walk up. When the hat called out, "GRYFFINDOR!" James did not know how his day could get any better.
The next few students called were irrelevant as James saw himself on the altar with Evans, right about to say, "I do"…
The shout "Lupin, Remus!" jolted James out of his reverie, and he watched Remus walk up to the hat.
After what seemed like forever, the hat shouted out, "GRYFFINDOR!"
James couldn't believe it.
Some more first years got sorted, and then it was Peter's turn. He, too, became a Gryffindor, and James felt his heart pounding.
What if he was the only one from the train compartment not sorted into Gryffindor? What if he was a Hufflepuff?
He didn't have to wonder for long.
James ran a hand through his messy hair and straightened his glasses. Now or never.
Reaching the hat, James thrust it on his head. The shout came immediately.