It was a mistake.
And a bloody big one at that.
James Potter sat up higher on the rickety stool, hands clenched around the wood as he waited for the other shoe to drop, for the Sorting Hat to let out a fabric muffled chuckle and tell him that it was a mistake and that his world would be righted once again.
When no such sound occurred, he then told himself that he was dreaming. He had made the mistake of going to bed after drinking a spot of tea the night before, anxious for what would come the next day, and was surely vividly living out the nightmare currently unfolding in front of him.
The students in front of him shifted in their spots, perhaps waiting for him to move, to smile, to do anything other than sit there with a gawpy expression on his face.
The reality settled in painfully slow.
He turned his head towards the long table at the edge of the room, vision blurring slightly as he was greeted with a wall of green and black. His legs wobbled when he stood up, his stomach turned to mush and his mouth filled with cotton, and he imagined that nothing in his life would ever be as awful as this.
The Hat was lifted off his head and another student's name was called, but James paid very little attention.
He was going to have to tell his parents.
The very idea burned him with even more shame.
The other first years parted to let him pass and not a single one clapped him on the back in congratulations. A few gave him looks of pity, as if knowing how upset he was, but most avoided looking at him. All, except, for the greasy kid from the train.
He watched, dark eyes smug and mocking and everything James never wanted to see staring right back at him.
James Potter was a Slytherin.
He didn't think it was dramatic to say that this was truly the worst thing that would ever happen to him, but he had been wrong before.
This is going to be a pretty serious AU that explores how the story would change if James Potter were sorted into Slytherin instead of Gryffindor. All the Mauraders will be heavily featured, as well as Snape and Lily, and a few key characters of my own, so I hope this piques your interest!