Since we will have to wait until “Harry Potter and the Half-Breed Prince” comes out to discover how many O.W.L.s The Boy Who Lived received, I thought we could pass the time with some idle speculation.
Here are my guesses:
Harry flunked Astronomy, unless they grade on the curve. He didn’t complete his star chart, because he (and the others) were watching Hagrid fight off the attempt to carry him off to Azkaban, and the stunning of Professor McGonigle. (I wonder how well McGonigle will recover from this - it mentions that she was walking with a stick when she returned.)
I also think he flunked Divination, although it is hard to say how well anyone without “the Gift” would do on the exam. Maybe he will take some remedial work with Firenze, but I suspect he will abandon the subject without much regret.
He also flunked History of Magic, since he fell asleep and had the vision of Sirius and Voldemort before he could finish his test, and refused even the chance to go back and round off his last answer.
Obviously he got Outstanding on his Defense Against the Dark Arts. So did a lot of people who were in Dumbledore’s Army and benefitted from his tutelage. And I expect he got E or at least a Pass in Charms and Transfigurations. He will also get a Pass in Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures.
In Potions, I suspect he will get a Pass, and then there will be a big fight where Snape tries to prevent him from studying for his N.E.W.T. in the subject and Dumbledore and McGonigle push to get Harry admitted. The dynamic between Snape and Harry is too important to the series to be allowed to drop into the background without daily contact between Snape and Harry, so Harry will be allowed into the advanced class on probation and Snape will do his best to flunk Harry out.
So I expect Harry to get six O.W.L.s. He didn’t study Runes or Arithmancy as Hermione did, so that seems to me to be his upper limit.
It seems to me that six O.W.L.s is not an unusually high or low number. The push will be to get Harry trained as an Auror despite his rather ordinary academic record, and thus tension where it appears he is getting special treatment because of his background. FWIW, I expect Ron to outdo Harry somewhat, which would continue the trend where Ron both comes into his own as prefect and Keeper while Harry is neither prefect nor Seeker thru out most of Order of the Phoenix. This may set up a change in the Ron-Harry relationship, where Ron and Harry both play Quidditch where Harry does better, but Ron does better outside the Quidditch pitch.
Hermione will, of course, get all Outstandings except one E, which she will fret about.
If any Doper knows more about the British grading system and could explain the parallels to an American, I would be grateful so we could see what Rowling’s assumptions are about Harry’s further academic career.
Your thoughts, speculations, insights, disagreements?