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McGonagall was prompt. Katie wasn’t too surprised, but she’d been hoping McGonagall would be late. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to leave; she was more than ready to be released. In fact, if anyone ever said that they’d love to lie around doing nothing all day, she’d give them a peace of her mind. It wasn’t nearly as fun as one might imagine. She’d been bored on day one.

It was mostly that she was going back to school. If she was going home instead, she’d have been waiting at the door, ready to go. She wasn’t, though. The Healers had released her to return to Hogwarts, which meant having to go back after being gone for months, having to try to fit back in as if she hadn’t been away, and she didn’t know if she’d be able to do it. Leanne had sent her owls with all the latest gossip, at least, but it was just weird to be going back now.

McGonagall didn’t seem too happy that she wasn’t ready yet. She’d already packed, but she hadn’t put on her trainers or school robe. Procrastination, thy name is Bell. She wasn’t worried about going back because she was afraid of being cursed again or anything. She couldn’t really remember the incident, as the Healers called it, so it wasn’t frightening in that way.

It was just trying to fit in again, to find her place, and that made her feel like a selfish cow because that was nothing compared to what Harry and others had dealt with at the end of last year. Students younger than her faced much worse. And here she was scared about going back to school after being in hospital for a few months. She was such a bloody coward.

“Miss Bell, if you’re ready?”

She finished tying the laces on her trainer and looked up at McGonagall. “I guess so,” she muttered as she picked up her bag.

“Miss Bell, there are many types of bravery in the world,” McGonagall said in a serious sort of voice that made Katie stop and actually listen. Her Head of House smiled slightly before she nodded as if in approval and opened the door.

It was funny how something as simple as a smile could make Katie feel better. McGonagall was right. She wasn’t going home or giving up, so maybe that did make her brave in some way. She followed McGonagall into the corridor and smiled. She was ready to go back. After all, she hadn’t been sorted into Gryffindor for no reason.