¡°What was that? Who did that?¡±
Harry walked across the dark room, past Hedwig's large, empty cage, to the open window. He leaned on the sill, the cool night air pleasant on his face after a long time under the blankets. Hedwig had been absent for two nights now. Harry wasn't worried about her: she'd been gone this long before. But he hoped she'd be back soon ¡ª she was the only living creature in this house who didn't flinch at the sight of him.
The yelping stopped abruptly. As they reached the lakeshore, they saw why ¡ª Sirius had turned back into a man. He was crouched on all fours, his hands over his head.
Harry pushed open the closet door. The entrance hall was deserted. As quietly and quickly as they could, they darted out of the closet and down the stone steps. The shadows were already lengthening, the tops of the trees in the Forbidden Forest gilded once more with gold.