Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Chapter 5

By J.K. Rowling

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Chapter 5

An Excess of Phlegm

  • Mrs. Weasley rustles up some delicious food for Harry, and the two talk about the state of things at the Ministry.
  • Mrs. Weasley is very worried these days. She carries around a clock with lots of hands – one for every member in her family – which tells her what each person's status is. The hands all point to "mortal peril" and have for a while now.
  • Soon, Mr. Weasley comes home. Harry watches the complex and silly password system that the Ministry has put in place in order to protect Harry while he stays with the Weasleys.
  • The next morning, when Harry wakes up, he tells Hermione and Ron about the prophecy, about his encounter with Slughorn, and about the private lessons he will be having with Dumbledore this year.
  • Fleur Delacour is at the Burrow in the hopes of getting to know the Weasley family a bit better. She and Bill Weasley are engaged.
  • Mrs. Weasley, Ginny, and Hermione can't stand Fleur and her pushy, vain ways. But Ron and Harry can't help but be dazzled by her.
  • The O.W.L. results arrive (results from the big exams Harry, Ron, and Hermione took last year).
  • They all do well on their exams – especially Hermione.
  • However, Harry's less-than-perfect score in Potions reminds him that he won't be able to pursue Potions any longer at the N.E.W.T. level. (N.E.W.T.s are the Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests taken by seventh years. They help to determine a wizard or witch's career path.) Harry would need to take N.E.W.T. Potions in order to become an Auror, his life's dream.
  • On a happier note, Harry learns that he's now the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

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