A/N: Because when writer's block persists, you end up writing stuff like this. Based off of a Jily Headcanon and lengthened to become a drabble. So basically the last bit from the Sorting Hat isn't mine. Enjoy!
In all his years, James Potter had committed a fair amount of pranks that had deserved detentions. Like bewitching the blackboards so that every time a teacher attempted to write on it, it hopped out of reach. Or jinxing all the Slytherin robes so that they constricted the wearer so hard they were impossible to get off. And it was tough to forget that time the Marauders replaced all the pumpkin juice in the Great Hall with a Forgetfulness potion. Most the times it was worth all the weeks' worth of detention just to see the outcome of some long planned ploy. This time must've been among the worst.
It was apparently a bad idea to (after finding out Snivellus was in the Hospital Wing) convince Peeves to go in there and dump a whole bucket of leeches and slugs on the boy. Really, it hadn't even been James's idea, but he'd never been one to rat out a fellow Marauder like Sirius. So he'd taken the blame and stuck it through, however unsure he was the repercussions would be.
Usually it was McGonagall who was dishing out the punishment, but so fed up had she been that she'd sent him straight to Dumbledore's office. True, it was a little intimidating to be among all the pictures of dead Headmasters and Mistresses, standing besides tables of whirling, dainty silver instruments and old, antique artifacts. He was looking about wishing he had something to do when he spotted it. The Sorting Hat sitting on a stool a little ways away from the current Headmaster's desk.
Making sure he was quite alone, James walked over to it and hesitantly picked it up. It was just as shabby and grimy as it'd always been, and for a second he thought about giving it a nice Scourgify. Deciding against it, he instead put it over his head. Even in his fifth year it seemed to cover his entire face, and he wondered if it would automatically enlarge to make kids feel uncomfortable in the dark.
"Do you remember me?" James asked, and then, feeling rather foolish, he shut his mouth and decided to let the Hat do all the talking.
"Oh yes," the voice said, "how could I forget such a student? I've never met anyone who accented all the Gryffindor traits so fluently-except perhaps Godric himself."
Really, James thought, slightly thunderstruck. He knew it'd been a rather clean-cut sorting-the Hat had hardly even touched his head when it declared itself. That'd happened to loads of kids though, so he'd never thought anything of it.
And Lily? James wondered despite himself, heart thumping hard. Although Lily was in Gryffindor, it pained James to admit that the only aspect of it she ever emphasized was perhaps her stubbornness. He wasn't really sure if she was a true Gryffindor, and his curiosity got the best of him. At this age, she seemed much better equipped for say, Ravenclaw, even Hufflepuff.
"To be honest," said the Sorting Hat in his ear thoughtfully, "I had a long debate with myself on whether she was a Ravenclaw or a Gryffindor."
So? James prompted. What made up your mind?
"Well," it slowly recalled, "I had just about decided for myself on where she would be. But then I spied you in the corner repeatedly praying 'Gryffindor.' And I just knew."