The first other girl to get up is Sue Li, but the others are not too far behind.
The cat levels a stare at Sarah when she says that, and Mandy shudders. "Maybe."
Sarah smiles back at the cat. "Did you do anything interesting during the break?"
"I read some things about magical creatures. Apparently, nobody knows where they came from."
"Like all non-magical creatures evolved from microbes that existed billions of years ago. Nobody knows how magical creatures fit into that picture."
But then it's 2:30 and the doors slam shut. The cat jumps from the table, turning into Professor McGonagall in a fluid motion that makes several students gasp in surprise.
(Her gaze may linger on Sarah for a second or two.)
"Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts," she says without preamble. "Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned."
Then she wordlessly waves her wand and changes her desk into a pig and back again.
That was impressive. Sarah pays close attention.
She starts explaining a lot of complicated stuff on which they're supposed to take notes, and then she gives each of them a match and tasks them with trying to turn it into a needle.
Sarah takes diligent notes and then tries to transfigure the match. After a bunch of attempts she tries something a little different and ends up with a wooden needle near the end of class.
Which is an interesting way to fail and earns her an actual smile.
She smiles back and then keeps trying. She doesn't make any visible progress by the end of class.
She gets five points for being the only one to go as far as that and class is dismissed. With homework.
She writes down the homework then packs up and makes her way to the library. She might as well get a start on her homework.
She'll look up anything she needs to for the Charms homework and start writing. Practicing Transfiguration can wait a bit, she'll go back to the common room if there's still time before dinner.
She'll put her bag away in her room. Is there anyone she knows in the common room? Or anyone she ought to know like the boys in her year?
She walks a bit closer and tries to hear.
That doesn't sound like a conversation she can contribute to. She browses the shelves to see if there's a transfiguration book at her level.
Sarah finds a seat and reads while keeping half an eye on the door.