Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapter 31

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Chapter 31


  • Finally, after giving Ron a day to gloat over their Quidditch triumph, Hermione confesses, "As a matter of fact, the only bit of the match Harry and I saw was Davies's first goal" (31.9).
  • Ron is obviously disappointed – until he hears about Grawp, when he becomes horrified.
  • Things are also getting stressful, as the OWLs are just around the corner.
  • Hermione gets anxious when she overhears Draco boasting, "Of course, it's not what you know [...] it's who you know. Now, Father's been friendly with the head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority for years – old Griselda Marchbanks – we've had her round for dinner and everything" (31.38).
  • The fifth years are also doing heavy trade in memory enhancers and potions to keep you awake. Hermione starts confiscating them because (a) they don't work, and (b) they're sometimes dangerous.
  • Professor McGonagall announces their OWL schedules, which are spread over two weeks. They'll hear the results in July.
  • The first exam is Theory of Charms, administered by Professor Marchbanks.
  • They watch Professor Marchbanks arrive.
  • She announces to Professor Umbridge: "No idea where [Dumbledore] is, I suppose? [...] I doubt [you'll find him] [...] not if Dumbledore doesn't want to be found! I should know ... examined him personally in Transfiguration and Charms when he did NEWTs ... did things with a wand I'd never seen before" (31.33).
  • Finally, the Charms exam comes. The first question is about Wingardium Leviosa – the Levitation Charm.
  • Harry remembers Ron using that charm to levitate a troll's club in first year (see Book One). He smiles and starts writing.
  • After the exam, all Hermione wants to do is talk about it. Ron just wants her to be quiet.
  • They have their Charms practical exam after the written.
  • Next up, Herbology, then Defense Against the Dark Arts.
  • At the DADA exam, Harry's examiner leans in and asks, "I heard, from my dear friend Tiberius Ogden, that you can produce a Patronus? For a bonus point ...?" (31.98).
  • Harry does, and Professor Tofty congratulates him with, "Excellent! [...] Very well, Potter, you may go!" (31.102).
  • For most of the weekend, Hermione is in a bad mood because she mixed something up on her Ancient Runes OWL.
  • Harry's Potions exam on Monday goes surprisingly well – "With Snape absent from the proceedings, he found that he was much more relaxed than he usually was while making potions" (31.115).
  • The first really disastrous exam Harry has is Divination: "he lost his head during tea-leaf reading, saying it looked to him as though Professor Marchbanks would shortly be meeting a round, dark, soggy stranger, and rounded off the whole fiasco by mixing up the life and head lines on her palm and informing her that she ought to have died the previous Tuesday" (31.122).
  • Still, at least that's the end of Divination – they can give it up now that they've finished their OWL.
  • During their Astronomy OWL that evening, Harry points his telescope over to Venus.
  • But he gets distracted by movement near the Forbidden Forest.
  • He sees Professor Umbridge with about half a dozen other people.
  • He hears "a roar from the distant cabin that echoed through the darkness right to the top of the Astronomy tower" (31.137).
  • Suddenly, there is a loud "BANG" (31.143).
  • Everyone in the class looks over to Hagrid's hut, where there are jets of red light indicating that these wizards are trying to Stun him.
  • Hagrid shouts, "Reasonable be damned, yeh won' take me like this, Dawlish!" (31.147).
  • Professor McGonagall rushes over and shouts, "Leave him alone! Alone, I say! [...] On what grounds are you attacking him?" (31.155).
  • Then the wizards attacking Hagrid turn on Professor McGonagall!
  • The wizard administering their Astronomy exam seems to have forgotten about the test completely: "Galloping gargoyles! [...] Not so much as a warning! Outrageous behavior!" (31.157).
  • Seeing them turn on Professor McGonagall only makes Hagrid angrier.
  • He knocks out all of the wizards Professor Umbridge brought with her and runs out of the Hogwarts gates.
  • Everyone is shocked at this late-night attack on Hagrid.
  • Hermione explains that it's total prejudice on Professor Umbridge's part – she "hates part-humans [...] She was always going to try and get Hagrid out" (31.174).
  • They're also worried about Professor McGonagall, since she took four Stunning spells to the chest.
  • Harry is absolutely furious.
  • The next day is their final OWL: History of Magic.
  • As Harry starts the written test, he suddenly sees himself "walking along the cool, dark corridor to the Department of Mysteries again, walking with a firm and purposeful tread, breaking occasionally into a run, determined to reach his destination at last ... the black door swung open for him as usual, and here he was in the circular room with its many doors ..." (31.199).
  • This time, though, when he reaches two rows of glass spheres, he sees the shape of a man in black.
  • He hears a high voice shouting Crucio.
  • The man writhing on the floor in pain is Sirius Black.
  • Harry shouts and falls sideways onto the floor.

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