His hands were shaking. They had been for a few minutes now, since the list of new intakes had gotten down to the ‘H’s. It wasn’t that noticeable though, unless you were staring at him. And people were staring. At him and at Rose and at-
They stopped staring for a moment, all attention diverted to the Malfoy heir. The blonde made his way towards the professor who held the hat passing Albus as he did. He looked so bloody confident. Was it in his blood or something? Albus drew in a deep breath, not as quiet as he would have liked because Rose threw him a reassuring smile. But that was okay because Rose was Rose.
What didn’t seem to be okay was the pause following the Sorting Hat’s placement on Scorpius’ head. A few murmurs had broken out but the blonde seemed unconcerned, running a lazy gaze across the four tables. Did nothing faze this boy? A frown threatened the Professor’s face but then-
“Slytherin!” The tension disappeared, chased away by the uproar from the Slytherin Table. Of course they were happy. They’d gotten a Malfoy. With the hat removed Scorpius made his way over to said table where he was received with grins and claps on the back.
The next name was called but Albus could hardly hear it over the blood rushing in his ears. The stares were back and now his leg was starting to twitch. He glanced at the tables and Dominique caught his glance from where she was sat at the Hufflepuff table. She grinned at him, mouthing a quick “You’ll be fine” before the hat called out HUFFLEPUFF and she got caught up in the cheering.
Albus relaxed a bit, gaining a small measure of calm from his cousin’s words. She had always had a way with calming people down. His father’s words came back to him then-The Sorting Hat takes your choices into account-and he felt the rest of his tension drain away. He could do this. He could so-
“Potter, Albus.” He couldn’t do this.
Rose gave his hand a quick squeeze for luck and he flashed her a tight smile as he made his way towards the stool he’d have to sit on to have his house judged. Oh Merlin. In front of all these people? All of these judgemental eyes who would expect so much of him no matter where he was put?
And then he was sat on the stool and the hat was being placed on his head and he saw was his brother grinning at him and then the hat was covering his eyes and his mind went blank.
“Well what do we have here? Another Potter? My, my, whatever shall I do with you?” The voice was soft, almost like a whisper. It calmed Albus somewhat but then he remembered what this voice was meant to do and all he could think was Not Slytherin, Not Slytherin.
“Not Slytherin, eh? Are you sure? So much like your father, he chanted the same as you. Your mother was easier to house. As was your brother. Such spirit. And the same spirit is within you, if I’m not mistaken; and I rarely am. Buried underneath the fear of failure, yes, but what would be the point of growth if not to shake that fear?
“Oh, Slytherin could suit you, but not fully. And now I'm quite sure-better be GRYFFINDOR!”
Before the yell had even ended an eruption of noise burst from the Gryffindor table. Albus felt a smile cross his face and he pulled the hat of his head, handing it to the professor before moving towards the Gryffindor table. People were grinning at him and calling out welcomes and then his brother tugged on his arm, pulling him down between him and one of his friends.
“Knew you’d make it into Gryffindor, you little bugger! There’s more than a fair bit of lion in you! This year’s gonna be so awesome with you here! What’d you think Al?” Albus laughed, ducking his head away from James when he ruffled his hair. James’ grin was infectious, even though he’d been near sick with nerves beforehand. The fact that his brother had thought he’d be a Gryffindor even when he was teasing and being a git made him happier than he’d probably ever admit.
“Yeah, the year’s gonna be awesome.”