Hermione: "I’d thought Cormac’d annoy Ron most. I debated for a while about Zacharias Smith, but I thought, on the whole-"
Harry: "You considered Smith?"
Hermione: "Yes, I did, and I’m starting to wish I’d chosen him, McLaggen makes Grawp look a gentleman."
— Hermione speaking to Harry and Luna at the Christmas Party[src]

Cormac McLaggen was a Gryffindor student who left Hogwarts in 1997. Arrogant and self-assured, Cormac illustrates the most negative aspects of the stereotypic Gryffindor characteristics. Though brave, he is more foolhardy than self-sacrificing, and he engaged in childish pranks (like eating a pound of poisonous Doxy eggs on a bet) to prove his bravery.

Ironically enough, the same dare that led him to eat the doxie eggs also kept Cormac from joining the Gryffindor Quidditch team (something he cared a great deal about) in his sixth year at Hogwarts. With Oliver Wood's graduation at the end of the 1993-1994 school year and the Triwizard Tournament canceling all Quidditch matches the following year, the Gryffindor team was in need of a Keeper at the beginning of the 1995-1996 school year. Unfortunately for Cormac, he was in the hospital wing being treated for doxy egg poisoning at the time of tryouts and Ron Weasley was made Keeper instead. Then after that the next year Ron beat him in saves.

When Ron was hospitalized before Gryffindor's second game against Hufflepuff, Harry was forced to play McLaggen as his reserve keeper. In the week leading up to the match Harry has his doubts about his new keeper as McLaggen was bossy and a know-it-all who Harry couldn't wait to be rid of. The match was a no-holds-barred disaster as McLaggen spent more time trying to tell the rest of the team how to play rather than watching the rings, resulting in several goals. This culminated in him wrestling the beater's bat away from Peakes and attempting to show him how to hit a bludger, only to knock Harry off his broomstick and crack his skull. The fiasco was possibly Gryffindor's worst and most embarassing loss ever and Ron told Harry in the hospital wing that he thought "the rest of the team might've dealt with him before you get out of here, they're not happy..."

Harry: "Brilliant. Really brilliant! When I get hold of McLaggen - "
Ron: "You don't want to get hold of him, he's the size of a troll. "
Harry: "Harry speaking to Ron about McLaggen in the Hospital Wing"
— Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

He was also a member of the Slug Club in his seventh year. He attended Horace Slughorn's Christmas party with Hermione Granger, another member of the Slug Club. However, Hermione only agreed to go in an attempt to make Ron Weasley jealous. Instead, McLaggen ended up driving her crazy, though Ron later seems "slightly more cheerful" when Harry tells him that their date at the party didn't go well.

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