Nothing Short of Fate

Marauder's Era; Lily Evans is starting school at Hogwarts with her best friend Severus Snape. Then James Potter and his Marauder gang come into the picture, and they just might change a few things. Follow Lily through the ups and downs of Hogwarts, friends and love...

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7. The Sorting Ceremony

The rest of the train ride was reasonable uneventful. Severus, who was dressed rather fancily in a button-up and loafers, found my compartment shortly after the James Potter and Sirius Black run-in. I told Sev the whole thing, using my hands dramatically as I talked.

"It's absolutely crazy!" I exclaimed, pacing the compartment.

"I agree," Sev said, "and we don't need to associate ourselves with that sort of crowd."

"You're right," I replied, sitting down onto the plush velvet seat. Despite my conversation with Severus, I couldn't get James Potter out of my mind. His personality was so refreshing compared to the male I spend most of my time with - Sev. He had an addicting smile, that made me feel as if the world was on fire, but I was immortal to the flames. James was different, he was... new... and I wanted to see more of him. That was all I thought about as I changed into my robes, got off the train, boarded the boats, and floated toward the castle.

James was whisked away from my mind though, when Sev tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up and saw Hogwarts, in all its glory, looming above me. The windows of the castle were merrily lit with thousands of candles. There were so many turrets and wings of the building that I lost count after 80-something. I gasped in awe as we floated toward a vine wall that parted so the boats could pass through. We exited the boats, were lead up 3 flights of stairs, took a left and walked through a tunnel that deposited us in a enormous hallway that made the echos of our shoes bounce around.

A very tight lipped women wearing flowing emerald green robes and an extremely pointed wizard's hat stood in front of a pair of oak doors that were 3 times Hagrid's height (keep in mind Hagrid is a very large fellow). Voices seeped out from underneath the cracks in the doors, making the hallway fill with a soft buzzing. We all stopped about 4 feet away from the women, who began to speak.

"Hello new students, and welcome to Hogwarts. My name is Professor McGonagall. That is the only name you shall call me. Nothing else." She spoke in a sharp tone that commanded respect. "When we enter these doors," McGonagall points behind her, "you will be sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses. They are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. While you are here, your house will be like your family. Triumphs will earn you house points. Any rule breaking, and you will lose points. The house with the most points at the end of the year wins the house cup, a great achievement for any house," we were all leaning forward, hanging onto her every word, "There are also numerous extracurricular activities you may join such as Quidditch and the frog choir. I will lead you into the Great Hall where you will be sorted. You better prepare yourselves as best you can in these few minutes until the ceremony."

Everyone looked around frantically. Prepare ourselves? There was going to be a test before we even began to learn. I glanced over the crowd of my peers. My eyes scanned over a small group in the way back that was chuckling quietly. A small grin crept onto my face.

In the middle of the group of four was James Potter, who seemed to be telling the other three boys a story. Sirius Black was standing next to James and adding to the story occasionally, laughing between breaths. A short, chubby boy stood on the other side of James. He had small watery eyes and a little mop of brown hair on his round head. This boy looked in admiration at James and Sirius, as if he thought they were heaven on earth. The other boy stood next to Sirius. He was obviously the tallest of the lot, and, along with his height, he had a small wiry frame, scars all along his face, neck and arms, and a distant, sad look as he listened to James and Sirius talk.

I tore my eyes away from the boys, who I noticed didn't seem worried at all about being sorted into a house. I started to think about what I was going to do when I walked into that hall. Apparently I had no time to think because Professor McGonagall chose that moment to fling open the giant doors and lead us into the room beyond.

A great roar erupted as I trotted to my doom along with the rest of the first years. At least two thousand people were seated along four long tables. All the teachers sat at a table in the front of the room that was faced toward the students. I leaned around the girl in front of me to look toward the front where I didn't see a torture device or even a desk to take a test at. What I did see was a 3 legged stool that had a very old and patched-up wizards hat. All we had to do was try on a hat? A let out a breath I didn't realize I had been holding. Try on a hat... I could do that.

When we got to the front of the room, McGonagall started to read off names. I ignored the first few until they got to...

"Sirius Black."

Sirius sauntered up to the stool and stood still as the hat was placed on his head. His face scrunched up and he shook his head, mumbling something that no one could hear. The brim of the hat opened and shouted, "Gryffindor!" Sirius's shoulders visibly relaxed as he walked over to a table that was cheering loudly, high-fiving James on the way. More names were called. Then my heart stopped...

"Lily Evans."

I tottered up to the stool and the hat was set on my head. It started to whisper in my ear.

Ahhhh, a Muggleborn yes? A very smart Muggleborn. We don't get many of those. Courage is there too, underneath all the self doubt. Don't worry child, you'll do just fine if you stay true to yourself . Which is why, I believe you belong in GRYFFINDOR!!!

I felt the hat being pulled off my head as I skipped to my seat, stopping to hug Sev on the way. I plopped onto the bench next to Sirius.

"Hello," I greeted, "I'm Lily Evans."

"I know," Sirius replied, "You shouted it down the train. Half the school knows who you are."

I felt my cheeks tinge pink as I faced forward to watch the others. Again, more people were called.

"Remus Lupin." The tall, scarred boy from James's group walked up to the front. After a minute, the hat declared him a Gryffindor too. Remus sat across from Sirius, shaking my hand and politely introducing himself. The next person I recognized to be sorted was the watery-eyed boy - Peter Pettigrew - who became a Gryffindor, taking his seat beside Remus and giving me a small wave.

"James should be soon." Sirius said. And he was right. James swaggered up to the stool shortly after, plopping himself onto the stool as if he had all the time in the world.

"Come on James..." Sirius whispered, crossing his fingers.

I inwardly crossed my fingers as well. He may be a trouble maker, but he interested me.

"GRYFFINDOR!!" The hat shouted. Remus and Sirius slumped there shoulders and clapped as James came down the hall and slid into the spot next to me, throwing an arm over my shoulder.

"Hey, it's my hiding buddy. How are you Lily?" James smirked.

"I'm doing fine, thank you," I reply, blushing as he slides his arm from around me to high five Sirius.

"Congrats mate." Sirius said.

"You too man."

The first years slowly got less and less. When there was about 15 people left, Sev was called.

"Who's this guy?" Sirius gaffed.

"He's my best friend." I shoot back, aware of how Sirius is judging Severus'a greased hair and hooked nose.

I watched as he slouched onto the stool, the hat covering his eyes as it did most people's. I crossed my fingers as the hat shouted, "SLYTHERIN!!" I gasped. Sev gave me a sad look as he went to sit on the table at the other side of the room.

"So sorry to hear that." Remus said, patting my hand.

"Well you have new friends now!" James replied, putting his arm back around my shoulder.

"Yeah, thanks." I mumbled, giving the boys a small smile. Even though some of these boys are arrogant (James and Sirius) and awkward (Peter and Remus), they are kind enough to offer to be my friends. Which shows me a lot about their personalities. I tried to cheer up as I nibbled on the feast that appeared, but my eyes wandered to Sev, as I watched him eat in silence, because I'm not there to talk to him.

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