Chapter 31 Summary
When Ron finally learns that both Harry and Hermione missed his big Quidditch match, he is quite upset with them. However, Ron feels even worse when he finds out the reason why: Hagrid’s half-brother, Grawp. Ron is absolutely convinced that a giant living that close to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is very dangerous.
Everyone feels a great deal of stress about O.W.L. tests approaching. Hermione is particularly worried when she hears Malfoy talking about how important it is to know the right people as well as to wine and dine the examiners.
The two weeks of O.W.L. testing begin. Even the examiners of the O.W.L. testing admit that Dumbledore was quite clever to escape from Hogwarts. Their discussion on the subject ruffles the feathers of Dolores Umbridge.
Harry becomes consumed with his O.W.L. tests. He takes the written Charms exam (where Harry is tested on Wingardium Leviosa) and then the practical Charms exam.
Next Harry has Herbology and Defense Against the Dark Arts, where Harry’s examiner asks Harry to produce a Patronus for a bonus point. Next comes Harry’s Potions exam, which goes much better than Harry expected. Snape, of course, is Harry’s only real problem with the subject of Potions. Unfortunately, Harry’s Divination exam does not go well, with Harry making some outright strange predictions in tea leaves.
It is during the students’ Astronomy O.W.L. exam that Harry notices something strange going on in Hagrid’s hut. People are attempting to stun Hagrid, who is being fired and not taking the news well. In the fray, multiple wizards stun Professor McGonagall, who now lies motionless on the ground.
This attack against McGonagall makes Hagrid even angrier. He incapacitates the wizards trying to capture him and runs away from Hogwarts. Everyone at Hogwarts is shocked that Hagrid would be attacked in this way. The students determine that the attack on Hagrid was quite covert as it was held in the dead of night and during the Astronomy exam.
It is during Harry’s last O.W.L. exam (History of Magic) that he falls asleep and has one of his strange Voldemort dreams. This time Harry dreams about the strange, dark hall again and goes into the room with the glass orbs. In one of the rows of glass balls, Harry sees his godfather, Sirius Black, being tortured with the infamous Cruciatus Curse. Harry awakens from the dream and makes a frightened exclamation right in the middle of the O.W.L. exam.