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Career Advice

- Chapter 29

"The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve."
-- Ginny Weasley (OP29)

OP29: Careers Advice

Harry tells Ginny Weasley of his desire to talk to his godfather Sirius, and receives careers advice from Professor McGonagall. He breaks into Professor Umbridge’s office to use her fireplace on the Floo Network to talk to Sirius about his father, and Fred and George Weasley leave Hogwarts.

Calendar and Dates

This is one of the few chapters in the books for which it is rather difficult to determine any dates at all. We know it begins on the Friday preceeding the Easter holiday, continues through the holidays, and concludes on the Monday just following it. It's sometime in late March or early April, but it's impossible to determine more than that.

Interesting facts and notes

The chapter title differs between the UK and US editions, which is unusual - the latter have it as "Career Advice" instead of the more British "Careers Advice". It also contains the favourite scene of many fans: Fred and George escaping on their brooms from Dolores Umbridge, her rules and an education that they feel is no longer of any use to them.

"Chocolate in the library?"

Oh dear. No librarian likes food so close to precious books. We aren't sure exactly which non-verbal spell is cast by Madam Pince that causes Harry's belongings to follow him and Ginny out of the Library "whacking them repeatedly over the head as they ran".

"You'd need top grades for that," said Professor McGonagall, extracting a small, dark leaflet from under the mass on her desk and opening it. "They ask for a minimum of five N.E.W.T.s, and nothing under 'Exceeds Expectations' grade, I see. Then you would be required to undergo a stringent series of character and aptitude tests at the Auror office...."

The process for becoming an Auror is a long one, requiring further training over three years. The fact that Professors McGonagall and Umbridge continue to argue about Harry's future after his careers advice consultation has ended is another indication how important this discussion with fifth-year students is.

"And my mum was OK with that?"
"She didn’t know too much about it, to tell you the truth," said Sirius. "I mean, James didn't take Snape on dates with her and jinx him in front of her, did he?"

Remus Lupin and Sirius Black react to Harry's revelations with nostalgia; it brings back memories of their time at school as the Marauders. But Harry feels he can directly relate his father's behaviour to his own unhappy experiences - and at the age of fifteen it is hard for him to visualise how both his mother and father's behaviour and feelings will change as they mature.

"George," said Fred, "I think we've outgrown full-time education."

In keeping with their new careers running Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, they make an outrageously flamboyant exit. No one will be able to forget about them or their products.

Exceptional character moments

Professor McGonagall's steely determination to help Harry to succeed in qualifying as an Auror in the face of Dolores Umbridge's objections.

Hermione's continuous and persistent raising of objections to Harry breaking into Professor Umbridge's office, even though his mind is made up.

Argus Filch's glee that whipping of students is no longer unthinkable and will be returning to Hogwarts.

Fred and George, flying off into the sunset.

Memorable lines

"The thing about growing up with Fred and George," said Ginny thoughtfully, "is that you sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve."

"I should have made my meaning plainer," said Professor McGonagall, turning at last to look Umbridge directly in the eyes. "He has achieved high marks in all Defence Against the Dark Arts tests set by a competent teacher."

"Potter," she said in ringing tones, "I will assist you to become an Auror if it is the last thing I do! If I have to coach you nightly I will make sure you achieve the required results!"

Fred looked across the hall at the poltergeist bobbing on his level above the crowd. "Give her hell from us, Peeves." And Peeves, whom Harry had never seen take an order from a student before, swept his belled hat from his head and sprang to a salute as Fred and George wheeled about to tumultuous applause from the students below and sped out of the open front doors into the glorious sunset.

Words and phrases

OP 29 — Career Advice
Author
Publication
Abbreviation OP29: Careers Advice
Canonicity Primary Canon

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