Care of Magical Creatures O.W.L.

Hagrid heeds advice and sets his students a monster-free examination

Extract from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by J.K. Rowling

‘Only four exams left,’ said Parvati Patil wearily as they headed back to Gryffindor common room.

‘Only!’ said Hermione snappishly. ‘I’ve got Arithmancy and it’s probably the toughest subject there is!’

Nobody was foolish enough to snap back, so she was unable to vent her spleen on any of them and was reduced to telling off some first-years for giggling too loudly in the common room.

Harry was determined to perform well in Tuesday’s Care of Magical Creatures exam so as not to let Hagrid down. The practical examination took place in the afternoon on the lawn on the edge of the Forbidden Forest, where students were required to correctly identify the Knarl hidden among a dozen hedgehogs (the trick was to offer them all milk in turn: Knarls, highly suspicious creatures whose quills had many magical properties, generally went berserk at what they saw as an attempt to poison them); then demonstrate correct handling of a Bowtruckle; feed and clean out a Fire Crab without sustaining serious burns; and choose, from a wide selection of food, the diet they would give a sick unicorn.

Harry could see Hagrid watching anxiously out of his cabin window. When Harry’s examiner, a plump little witch this time, smiled at him and told him he could leave, Harry gave Hagrid a fleeting thumbs-up before heading back to the castle.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By J.K. Rowling