All eyes were turned to the squirming boy on the stool. The hat was partially covering his face but they could see his worried frown. The seconds seemed to crawl by.
Sirius Black was especially interested in this student. He could barely see over the cluster of heads. He half-rose from his seat, only to be stopped by a comforting hand on his shoulder. James gave him a sympathetic look and Sirius sank back down, realizing that there was nothing he could do.
By now, a good minute had passed. A smile slowly spread across Sirius’ face, as if the verdict had already been announced.
Finally, the hat came to life and a single word echoed though the hall:
He sadly nodded and James squeezed his shoulder. And yet, despite his sorrow, Sirius continued to smile as Regulus toook the hat off and raced over to the table clad in green and grey.
"Sorry, mate," Remus murmured.
Sirius waved his hand and remarked, “Ah, I knew that he was going to get sorted into Slytherin.”
His friends stared at him, unable to hide their confusion.
"Then," Peter whispered, "Why are you smiling?"
"Because," Sirius proudly said, "The hat hesitated."