When they arrived at their destination, they were fully dressed in their school robes and eager to get inside the castle. Night had fallen and lampposts were lit on the platform. As they were walking off of the train, Sirius spotted Lily and they caught each other’s eye. They exchanged smiles (Maybe she didn’t hate him after all). He walked up to her and handed her all of the Chocolate Frog cards James and he had collected for her and then felt something hit him hard in the shoulder. It was James. “Oh, Lily.” Sirius said, pointing out James, “This is James Potter.” Lily smiled politely at a blushing James. “First years!” They heard someone call from behind them, “Hello everyone, my name is Professor McGonagall; Transfiguration Professor and head of Gryffindor house. First years, follow me!” The three of them turned around to see a woman who was in emerald green robes gathering up the first years. Sirius, James, and Lily all eagerly walked up to her as she gathered all of the rest of the first years around. “Hey!” James whispered to Sirius, “It’s the grease ball!” Sirius whipped around and looked in the direction James was looking. It was Severus. James snorted and Sirius barked with laughter. “That’s not nice.” Lily said, frowning. “I know… but he’s the one who made fun of you at the train station.” Sirius explained, “Serves him right.” Lily gave him an ‘it’s-still-awfully-mean’ look as the lady led them down a narrow path. “He probably just doesn’t know any better.” She said. “Well he’s a jerk for ever making fun of you, Evans.” James said in an overly friendly tone. Lily smiled slightly, but only for a brief moment. She was about to say some thing else, but was cut off by the gasps of the first years; the castle had finally come into view. Sirius gaped at it; it was just like the picture he saw in the Daily Prophet, but better. Much better. “Okay children, four to a boat. No pushing.” McGonagall cried, stepping into the first boat herself. Sirius looked down and saw about a dozen boats with hanging lanterns inside them ready to make their way up to the castle. He, James, and Lily all climbed into a nearby boat, followed shortly by a shabby-looking boy in patched and frayed robes. “Hi.” he said brightly as he sat down next to Sirius; Lily and James were up in front. “Hi.” They all said back to him. “Forward!” McGonagall shouted, and the boats headed off to the castle. “Did you guys see all the Chocolate Frogs someone let loose on the train? It was nuts. I stepped on one by accident… got chocolate on my shoes.” Sirius and James said nothing. Sirius felt it’d be too much of a giveaway if he exchanged glances with James so he kept silent. James shrugged as a reply. “…So, what house do you guys favor?” The shabby boy asked, looking around at them all. “Gryffindor!” They all shouted in unison. “Ravenclaw!” They all shouted again. All of them started to giggle uncontrollably at their perfect timing. “Ha! Yeah, me too.” The boy said. “I’m Remus, by the way.” “Hey.” Sirius said, “I’m Sirius, and this is James.” He said, pointing out each person, “And this girl over here is Lily.” Lily blushed as she shook Remus’s hand. “You must get the ‘Where’s Romulus?’ bit pretty often then?” James asked. Shortly later, they finally got to the castle, and stepped out to face two large oak front doors. McGonagall knocked hard on the doors three times, and the doors swung open at once. There were more gasps; it was huge! “Holy…!” Sirius shouted as he filed in with the rest of the first years. McGonagall turned to face them, blocking two more large doors that blocked the muffled conversations of the people who were behind it. “Now, line up in two nice even lines. Make sure you are next to someone, because in a moment you will go through these doors into the great hall and be sorted into your houses.” Sirius and James exchanged smiles. “…The houses are Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and… Slytherin.” Someone from behind them coughed unnaturally high. James turned his head to the back and then quickly back to the front. He leaned sideways toward Sirius. “It was Mr. Grease.” He muttered under his breath. He and Sirius shook with silent laughter. “Now, everybody next to another person? Good. Let us all now go into the Great Hall for the sorting to begin.” She opened the doors to reveal several students sitting at one of the four long vertical tables. At the end of the hall was a horizontal table holding all of their teachers, and right in front of that was a patched and frayed hat (much worse than Remus’s robes) that sat on a small wooden stool. “Now, follow me.” McGonagall called over their heads. So they walked down the middle aisle in between the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff tables in two lines, side by side with their fellow first years. When they reached the front, McGonagall stepped up and walked towards the right side of the stool, then turning on her heel to face them all. “When I call your name, step up here, sit down on the stool, and place the sorting hat on your head. When the hat has announced your house, you will go to your house table and sit with your fellow house members.” She said, looking around at all of them as she pulled a long scroll out of her robes and began to unroll it. After scanning down the list, her eyes went back up to the beginning of the list of names and shouted “Daveigh Abbott!” Daviegh smiled widely and walked up to the stool, took the hat, and sat down, placing the hat eagerly on her head. “HUFFLEPUFF!” It cried after about a minute. The Hufflepuff table roared with cheers and applause as Daveigh stepped down from the stool, beaming. “Sirius Black!” McGonagall cried. Sirius’s stomach did a somersault as he walked as casually as he could up to the stool, taking the hat Daviegh had held out for him as she made her way past him to the Hufflepuff table. Sirius sat down on the stool and let out a breath of air, trying to keep calm as he lowered the hat slowly onto his head. Instantly, a voice began to talk to him as if he had just slipped on a pair of headphones. “Ah, another Black… hmmm… interesting… you do not possess the same characteristics generations of ancestors before you have held, do you now? No, no… I sense a rebellious boy… loads of courage… lots of bravery… and compassion for others… well, I can only think of one place to put you; this’ll be a first in your family, yes it will… GRYFFINDOR!” it shouted. Sirius became instantly overwhelmed with happiness and relief as he smiled widely. The Gryffindor table was applauding and whooping loudly, he noticed, as he got off of the stool and saw Lily and Remus clapping enthusiastically; James was giving him the thumbs up. “Fabian Prewett!” McGonagall continued. Sirius handed the hat off to Fabian as he walked quickly over to sit with his fellow Gryffindors. They all stood up to shake his hand and pat him on the back as he took his seat. “GRYFFINDOR!” “Lily Evans!” Lily walked shyly up to the stool and gently placed the hat on her head. Sirius was staring at her admiringly, and, he saw, so was James. Remus had his hands together as he watched. About five long minutes passed, and then finally “GRYFFINDOR!” Sirius started; his mind had been elsewhere. He stood up immediately and began cheering along with the other Gryffindors. “Gloria Clearwater!” Lily handed the hat happily to Gloria as she went over to sit next to Sirius. “RAVENCLAW!” “I think we all knew that one.” Sirius whispered to Lily as Gloria leapt off of the stool in triumph. “Bellatrix Black!” “Is she related you?” Lily asked Sirius curiously. “Unfortunately I am… All pure bloods are related in some way. She’s my cousin—and Andromeda’s sister.” “SLYTHERIN!” Lily and Sirius watched as Rudolphus Lestrange, Vincent Crabbe, and Gregory Goyle were all sorted into Slytherin in a row. “Gosh…” Lily whispered. “Yeah, I know.” Sirius said, in awe. “Remus Lupin!” “GRYFFINDOR!” (Sirius whooped.) “Good, finally a change in pace… Edgar Bones!” “HUFFLEPUFF!” “Peter Pettigrew!” A small, mousey-haired boy sat down at the stool. “GRYFFINDOR!” “James Potter!” James walked excitedly up to the stool and jammed the hat on his head. “GRYFFINDOR!” Sirius slapped James’s hand when he reached the table. “Severus Snape.” James and Sirius exchanged dark looks. “SLYTHERIN!” Snape sneered as he hopped of the stool, placed the hat on it, and ran to his table; not even bothering to hand the hat off to the next person. “What a lousy git.” James whispered to Sirius so Lily wouldn’t hear as a boy named “Shacklebot Kingsley” was sorted into Ravenclaw. “Andromeda Black!” “GRYFFINDOR!” Several people laughed as she accidentally brought that hat with her to Gryffindor table before realizing she had forgotten to hand it to the next person. She hurried back to hand it to ‘Amos Diggory,’ and walked back, beat red, to Gryffindor. “I’m gonna be hearing that one for a while.” She sighed miserably, sitting down next to James. “Don’t worry about it.” Remus reassured her, “You got into Gryffindor.” Andromeda smiled. “Well, yeah. I almost was ready to bet my wand I’d be in Hufflepuff.” Finally, after more Ravenclaws, Gryffindors, Slytherins, and Hufflepuffs, a boy called “Arthur Weasley” was the last one to be sorted. “HUFFLEPUFF!” The hat shouted. McGonagall rolled up her scroll as Weasley took his seat, grinning broadly. She took her seat up at the staff table, on the left hand side of the headmasters’ chair. There in the chair sat “Now, headmaster Dumbledore would like to say a few words.” McGonagall announced. Sirius peered up at him, recognizing him from one of his Chocolate Frogs. Dumbledore stood up and spread his arms out wide, beaming at all of his students. “Welcome to yet another year at Hogwarts.” He said, “The dark forest is forbidden, obey all rules, prefects will lead the first years to their dormitories after the feast, Quiddich tryouts are on Friday, and let the feast begin.” He said, all in one breath. The hall roared with laughter as the tables magically filled with tons of food. Sirius dug right in, as he was starving. “That guy’s a genius!” James exclaimed as he took a couple drumsticks from a nearby plate. Sirius chuckled, “Yeah, he is!” he said, as he ripped a piece of chicken off of his own drumstick with his teeth. About five minutes into the feast, what looked like a great sea of silvery white came in through the walls of the Great Hall from all angles. They were ghosts. They swooped over tables and some even came up out of the floor. “Whoa!” Remus yelled, shuddering and accidentally knocking his pumpkin juice all over the table in front of him; a ghost had just floated right through him. “Man, it feels like I just jumped into a freezing cold lake!” He said with chills. Sirius looked from Remus to James, who apparently was thinking the same thing he was; never walk into a ghost.
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