A tiny breath caught in Sirius' throat. First? The distance between himself and the hat looked so far. He took his first step toward the hat and the chair and heard a murmur from across the room. It was then he noticed the four long tables. The murmur had come from the table with the green hangings. He received an approving nod from Lucius and felt something cold sink into his stomach.
Marshaling his courage, he walked the rest of the way. James was so lucky. He was going Gryffindor and would play great pranks on the hall and Sirius would be stuck in stuffy, uptight Slytherin.
McGonagall lifted the hat off the chair and Sirius sat, miserable. She placed the hat on his head and it immediately began to talk to him.
"Hmmm, yes, a keen and curious mind, not much ambition but plenty of bravery. Where to put you, though. Not a hard worker; Hufflepuff's right out. Hmm, hmm, you're bright enough for Ravenclaw but not studious enough."
Sirius sighed. Slytherin was a cert. How horrid.
"No, no, no, aren't you listening boy? You've not enough ambition. There's only one place for you!"
Sirius couldn't help the glance he swept over to the Slytherin table. Lucius' face was red with anger. Sirius looked away and practically skipped to the welcoming arms of his new home.