- "Personally I think this is really important, possibly more important than anything else we'll do this year, even with our O.W.L.s coming up. I, personally, am at a loss to see why the Ministry has foisted such a useless teacher on us at this critical period. Obviously, they are in denial about the return of You-Know-Who..."
- —Ernie Macmillan regarding Dumbledore's Army[src]
Ernie was an academically strong student and good friends with Hannah Abbott and Justin Finch-Fletchley. In 1992, Ernie initially suspected that Harry Potter was the Heir of Slytherin during the opening of the Chamber of Secrets in his Second year, but when Hermione was petrified he told Harry that he knew he (Harry) wouldn't do that to her. After he apologized to Harry for his suspensions and accusations the two became good friends. In his fourth year their friendship wavered after Harry's name came out of the cup after Hufflepuff's Cedric Diggory. In his fifth year, Ernie became a member of Dumbledore's Army, an organisation taught and led by Harry for the purposes of learning practical defensive magic. He joined the D.A. again when it was re-instated during his seventh year, opposing Death Eater control of Hogwarts and fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts on the 2 May, 1998.
Early life (1980-1991)
Ernie was born into a pure-blood family that can trace its lineage back nine generations; he may be related to Melania Black née Macmillan, Sirius Black's paternal grandmother, a pure-blood family, which references to both his surname and blood heritage. Although he was proud of his blood status, Ernie was not prejudiced against those of other blood statuses, befriending and looking out for Justin Finch-Fletchley, a Muggle-born.
Hogwarts years (1991-1998)
Ernie began attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on 1 September, 1991. He was sorted into the House of Hufflepuff, which valued characteristics such as loyalty and friendship, and readiness to work, during the Welcoming feast, and soon became friends with fellow Hufflepuff students Hannah Abbott, Susan Bones and Justin Finch-Fletchley.
During his second year, Ernie came to believe that Harry Potter was the Heir of Slytherin after he spoke Parseltongue in front of the Duelling Club. Harry was trying to stop the snake conjured by Draco Malfoy from attacking Justin, but Ernie perceived it differently, believing that Harry was in fact urging the snake to attack. He stepped in to protect his friend, suggesting that he hide in their common room. He went into discussion with the other Hufflepuffs regarding if Harry was the heir of Slytherin, considering the coincidences with the victims. He voiced that being a Parselmouth was the very symbol of a dark wizard and was probably the reason why Voldemort wanted to kill Harry; he did not want to have another Dark Lord competing against him. All the while, Harry, who was attempting to explain to Justin what really happened, was eavesdropping on their conversation and attempted to convince Ernie that the altercation at the Duelling Club was not what it seemed. When it seemed that their argument was going nowhere, as Ernie cited that Harry hated his Muggle relatives, the latter left the library.
Soon enough, Ernie's fears worsened when Justin was petrified. He discussed the matter with their mutual friend Hannah, who was initially sceptical because she thought Harry was nice, but was eventually persuaded to Ernie's point of view.
However, Hermione Granger, one of Harry's best friends, was later petrified as well. This made Ernie realise that Harry could not be the Heir of Slytherin, as he knew Harry would never harm Hermione, and he gave Harry a public apology. He believed that Malfoy could be the culprit, but Harry gave an emotionless no, making Ernie and Hannah stare.
In his third year, Ernie took many subjects similar to Hermione. He once told Ron Weasley that she had never missed a Muggle Studies lesson, despite having another class at exactly the same time that she also attended. This was due to Hermione's use of a Time-Turner to attend all her lessons.
Ernie's fourth year held place to the Triwizard Tournament, which was hosted at Hogwarts that year. He supported fellow Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory when he qualified and again stopped speaking to Harry Potter, who also qualified, but underage, as he was one of many students who initially believed that Harry had entered himself into the tournament in a bid for further glory. He tried to convince friends in Hufflepuff to agree with him, but they needed not much convincing.
He also wore a Support Cedric Diggory/Potter stinks badge After the tournament came to a close, Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldemort, coming as a shock to all students and staff members. Cedric Diggory was a member of Hufflepuff and since Harry was with him when he died, Ernie appeared to have forgotten any ill wishes he thought of Harry and believed his claims to Voldemort returning whilst the Ministry did not.
In 1995, Ernie became a Hufflepuff prefect, alongside Hannah Abbott. Unlike previous years, during which he had thought ill of Harry for certain acts he believed him to have committed, Ernie was one of the few Hogwarts students who believed Harry's story that Lord Voldemort had returned. He even went as far as to make an openly public declaration of support on Harry's behalf.
Shortly after the beginning of term, Ernie joined Dumbledore's Army because of his belief in Harry and because of his dismay with Dolores Umbridge, a Ministry of Magic employee who became Defence Against the Dark Arts professor but refused to teach students any practical defence. Ernie believed Dumbledore's Army to be one of the most important things they would be doing that year—apart from O.W.L.s. In the run-up to his examinations, he would study between eight and ten hours a day. He developed the irritating habit of boasting about this fact, then inquiring about other students' study habits.
- Ernie: "Harry! We heard a noise and someone said something about the Dark Mark —"
- Harry: "Out of the way!"
- — Ernie witnessing Harry chase Snape and Draco[src]
Ernie's hard work and determination from the previous year paid off, as he was the only Hufflepuff student in his year who reached the required level to advance to N.E.W.T Potions. Ernie earned at least an 'Exceeds Expectations' on his O.W.L. exam, something Severus Snape claimed was very hard to achieve. Ernie had also qualified for N.E.W.T-level Defence Against the Dark Arts, even with Dolores Umbridge as his teacher.
Later in the year, Death Eaters invaded Hogwarts, Dumbledore's Army was called to battle and the Battle of the Astronomy Tower broke out. It was likely Ernie never received his D.A. signal, as he had left the Hufflepuff Common Room to investigate a disturbance he had heard when he saw Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, and Harry Potter running down a corridor. He asked Harry what was going on, but got no response. He would later discover that Albus Dumbledore had been killed that night by Snape, and then presumably attended his funeral several days later to pay his respects.
As a pure-blood, Ernie was able to return to Hogwarts for the 1997–1998 school year after the Ministry of Magic fell under Lord Voldemort's control; indeed, Hogwarts attendance became mandatory. Presumably, Ernie's Muggle-born friend Justin Finch-Fletchley was not able to come back to school, though Hannah Abbott returned.
Ernie and Hannah joined the revived Dumbledore's Army, which was led by Neville Longbottom, Ginny Weasley, and Luna Lovegood in the absence of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, who were off hunting down Voldemort's Horcruxes. The D.A. members opposed the anti-Muggle propaganda and Dark Arts taught by Death Eater professors Alecto and Amycus Carrow. They painted rebellious phrases on the walls and freed students from detention, where they faced beatings and even the Cruciatus Curse.
Battle of Hogwarts
- "And what if we want to stay and fight?"
- —Ernie before the Battle [src]
On 2 May, 1998, Harry, Ron and Hermione returned to Hogwarts as Voldemort approached with his army. A meeting was held in the Great Hall, and when Professor McGonagall laid out the plans to evacuate the younger students from the school, Ernie indicated his willingness to fight against the Death Eaters by directly asking McGonagall about those who wished to remain behind. His question was applauded by a number of students who held similar feelings.
During the subsequent battle, Ernie, along with Luna Lovegood and Seamus Finnigan, came to the aid of Harry, Hermione, and Ron by using their Patronuses to drive off a group of Dementors. Ernie's took the form of a boar.
Ernie Macmillan was described to be a stout-looking boy with blondish hair. When concentrating, such as during Apparition lessons, his face would go a deep shade of pink. Being stout implied that he was on the chubbier side, or was, at least, heavier than the average student.
Personality and traits
Despite being somewhat pompous, Ernie was loyal to his friends and always honest, traits of a true Hufflepuff. He would usually shake Harry's hand in a portentous manner and speak in a somewhat ostentatious and presumptuous manner. He was never afraid to speak his mind, and could readily admit when he was wrong. As a student, he was hard-working and strived to get good marks, which was particularly evident in his fifth year, when he claimed to be revising for his O.W.Ls around nine hours a day. He also displayed great bravery and loyalty in his participation in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Ernie did however seem to have a habit of jumping to conclusions regarding Harry Potter; in his second year, he believed and ultimately spread a rumour that Harry was the Heir of Slytherin. During his fourth year, Ernie made his disapproval of Harry's participation in the Triwizard Tournament as an illegal fourth champion clear, claiming Harry had done it to steal the spotlight from Hufflepuff.
Despite being a pure-blood and proud of it, Ernie never displayed any prejudice towards those of different blood status, as many other pure-bloods did. In fact, his two closest friends at Hogwarts were a Muggle-born, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and a half-blood, Hannah Abbott, and he looked out for both of them throughout his studies. His friendship with both of them technically made him a blood traitor by association, which may contradict on how proud he was of his wizarding lineage, or he may simply not care who he associated with. Ernie was also one of the first to openly express his support of Harry and Albus Dumbledore during the Ministry's smear campaign against them.
Magical abilities and skills
- Potions: Ernie was proficient at potion-making. He achieved either an 'Outstanding' or an 'Exceeds Expectations' on his O.W.L. exam. Ernie was only one of twelve students able to advance to N.E.W.T.-level in 1996 and was the only Hufflepuff.
- Charms: Whilst Ernie's true ability in this department is not known, during the Battle of Hogwarts in his seventh year he was able to conjure a corporeal Patronus (in the form of a boar), which is a very advanced piece of magic, and proof that he possessed superior magical ability.
- Defence Against the Dark Arts: Ernie earned an O.W.L. in this subject because of his association with Dumbledore's Army. He was able to advance to N.E.W.T.-level in this subject.
Ernie and Hannah Abbott were close friends during their time at Hogwarts, they both had been sorted into the house of Hufflepuff. They discussed the possibility of Harry being the Heir of Slytherin together during their second year, and Hannah appeared easily influenced by Ernie's opinion. Both Hannah and Ernie shared the hobby of collecting Chocolate Frog Cards, like most of the students at Hogwarts. They both also strongly supported Cedric Diggory as the School Champion during the Triwizard Tournament, and in 1995 they both became the Hufflepuff prefects in their fifth year.
Ernie's other closest friend was Justin Finch-Fletchley. During the Duelling Club in 1992, he moved to protect his friend when it seemed that Harry Potter was encouraging a snake to attack him. Believing Harry to be the Heir of Slytherin, and that Justin was his next target, he told Justin to hide in the dormitories. When Justin later turned up petrified, Ernie was very upset and angry with Harry until convinced that he was not the culprit behind the attack on his friend.
During the Chamber of Secrets affair, Ernie held the suspicion that Harry Potter was the Heir of Slytherin when he saw him speak Parseltongue to a snake during the Duelling Club, and believed he was encouraging it to attack Justin Finch-Fletchley. His suspicions were raised when Justin became the next victim of "Slytherin's Monster". However, when Hermione Granger suffered the same fate, Ernie realised that it could not be Harry since he would never harm one of his best friends. To make amends, Ernie gave Harry a public apology.
Despite generally getting along well, Ernie did follow the lead of his fellow Hufflepuff housemates and give Harry the cold shoulder when he was selected as the fourth Triwizard Champion in 1994. Since Cedric Diggory had been the chosen Hogwarts Champion, he felt, like many others in the school, that Harry was taking away Hufflepuff's chance for honour and glory. However, with the tragic events surrounding the Third Task, Ernie believed Harry's story that Lord Voldemort had returned and publicly proclaimed his support despite the Ministry of Magic and the Daily Prophet calling him a liar. Ernie's support of Harry was so strong that he was a staunch supporter of Dumbledore's Army, and led the call to arms during the meeting of students in the Great Hall prior to the Battle of Hogwarts,
Behind the scenes
- Ernie was born between April 21st and September 1st, as like Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, he was unable to take the Apparition test with the rest of his sixth year class due to not yet being of-age.
- Ernie was played by Louis Doyle in the 2002's film adaption of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and returned three years later for 2005's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Louis Doyle also provided the voice for the character in the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, he is portrayed by Jamie Marks.
- Ernie's last name was misspelt in the closing credits for Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets as "MacMillan", but was corrected for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- Ernie Macmillan once borrowed Quidditch Through the Ages from the Hogwarts Library, and was due to return the book on 12 August.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Ernie's last name is misspelt as "McMillan".
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ernie's role is diminished to a non-speaking part. The part where he and Hannah Abbott talk in the library about their theory of Harry wanting to attack Justin Finch-Fletchley was cut, but appears on the deleted scenes.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ernie is omitted. However, one of his lines is spoken instead by Katie Bell.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game) (Appears on the collectible card)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Name appears on parchment)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Quidditch Through the Ages
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince — based on Ernie's attendance in Potions on April 21st, 1997, with Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy when all students currently of age were taking their Apparition tests.
- ↑ World Exclusive Interview with J K RowlingThe Macmillans are known British.
- ↑ LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Pottermore - New From J. K. Rowling - Patronus Charm