Harry left the locker room alone some time later, to take his Nimbus Two Thousand back to the broomshed.
He couldn't ever remember feeling happier.
He'd really done something to be proud of now—no one could say he was just a famous name any more.
The evening air had never smelled so sweet.
He walked over the damp grass, reliving the last hour in his head, which was a happy blur:
Gryffindors running to lift him onto their shoulders; Ron and Hermione in the distance, jumping up and down, Ron cheering through a heavy nosebleed.
Harry had reached the shed. He leaned against the wooden door and looked up at Hogwarts, with its windows glowing red in the setting sun.
Gryffindor in the lead. He'd done it, he'd shown Snape....
And speaking of Snape... A hooded figure came swiftly down the front steps of the castle.
Clearly not wanting to be seen, it walked as fast as possible toward the forbidden forest.
Harry's victory faded from his mind as he watched. He recognized the figure's prowling walk.
Snape, sneaking into the forest while everyone else was at dinner—what was going on?
Harry jumped back on his Nimbus Two Thousand and took off.
Gliding silently over the castle he saw Snape enter the forest at a run. He followed.