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"Isobel could not bring herself to mar the bliss of the honeymoon by telling her smitten new husband that she had graduated top of her class in Charms at Hogwarts, nor that she had been Captain of the school Quidditch team."
— Isobel's talents and secrecy[src]

Isobel McGonagall (née Ross) (fl. 19171981) was a Scottish witch and daughter of Mr and Mrs Ross. She married Robert McGonagall and became the mother of Minerva, Malcolm, and Robert Jnr.[2]


Early life

Isobel was born to Mr and Mrs Ross, a wizard and witch, and grew up in a village in Scotland alongside many Muggles.

Hogwarts years

When she turned eleven, she started attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Her Muggle neighbours were under the impression that she had been sent off to an exclusive all-girls boarding school in England.

During her time at Hogwarts she excelled in Charms, graduating top of her class in the subject. She was also Captain of the school Quidditch team.[2]

At some point during her teens Isobel became romantically involved with Robert McGonagall, a Muggle who lived in the same village. However, since she knew her parents would disapprove of the relationship, she kept it a secret from them.[2]


Deeply in love, Isobel (then aged eighteen) and Robert decided to elope, angering both sets of parents. Mr and Mrs Ross were so upset that they completely severed ties with their daughter. On the honeymoon, Isobel could not bear to tell her new husband she was a witch, and so the fact remained a secret.[2]

Isobel moved with Robert to a manse on the edge of Caithness. She proved skilled at making the most of the small income he earned as a Presbyterian minister.[2]

Family life

The couple's first child, a daughter, arrived on 4 October. Isobel, missing her family and the magical world she left behind in the name of love, named the baby Minerva in honour of her own grandmother, a powerful witch. The residents of Caithness found this name extremely unusual and Reverend McGonagall found it very difficult to explain to the members of his congregation why Isobel had chosen it.[2]

After Minerva's birth, Isobel became moody, alarming her husband. When Robert consulted his friends, they told him that post-partum depression was not uncommon for new mothers to go through, and that it would soon pass. However, Isobel only grew more withdrawn, sometimes hiding away with Minerva for days on end.[2]

What Isobel was actually trying to do was keep Robert from catching sight of any of the subtle signs of being magic that Minerva had displayed from her very first hours of life. One night, she finally broke down under her husband's gentle questioning, and, in tears, retrieved her wand from where it was hidden and showed him she was a witch. Robert, while shocked by this revelation, did not love Isobel any less after it. Isobel also explained how she was bound to keep the existence of the wizarding world secret from Muggles by International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.[2]

While the couple still loved each other afterwards, they never regained the sense of trust they once shared, something which Minerva, a very bright, observant child, recognised.[2]

Isobel and her husband eventually welcomed two more children: Malcolm and Robert Jnr. In time, both proved to be magical, and Minerva readily helped her mother teach them that they could not go around showing off their magical powers, and helped her cover up the accidents their magic sometimes caused.[2]

Isobel wept when Minerva's Hogwarts acceptance letter came, not only from pride, but envy. While Minerva was closest to her father due to their similarities in temperament, she sympathised with the difficulty her mother faced. Her mother's difficulties steamed from having to blend into an all-Muggle village, and in being apart from other people like herself and having to restrain the use of her powers.[2]

Magical abilities and skills

  • Charms: Isobel had graduated top of her class in Charms at Hogwarts.[2] This meant that she must have achieved excellent results in this subject. She was highly proficient with this branch of magic.
  • Flying: Isobel played as a Quidditch Captain in her youth at Hogwarts,[2] meaning she would have been an excellent broomstick flyer and Quidditch player.


Notes and references

Quidditch positions at Hogwarts
Filemina Alchin · Astrix Alixan · Orion Amari · Angelina Appleby · Oona Ballington · Concepta Battista · Hugh Biggs · Richard Carter · Angelica Cole · Stuart Craggy · Winky Crockett · Roger Davies · Cedric Diggory · Marcus Flint · Hamish Frater · Stephen Gould · David Hamblin · Natalie Holkham · Jody Jacknife · Angelina Johnson · Jo King · Neil Lament · Steve Laughalot · Graham Montague · Mark Overcliff · Erika Rath · Andrew Snowy Owl · Harry Potter · Isobel Ross · Ashley Sanders · Lucinda Talkalot · Urquhart · Emma Vanity · Charlie Weasley · Rufus Winickus · Oliver Wood · Unidentified Quidditch Captain (I) · Unidentified Quidditch Captain (II)
Kevin Bletchley · Miles Bletchley · Brennan Doyle · Andre Egwu · Herbert Fleet · Geoffrey Hooper · Cormac McLaggen · Grant Page · Ron Weasley · Oliver Wood · Jacob's sibling · Unidentified Gryffindor Keeper · Unidentified Slytherin Keeper · Unidentified Keeper (I) · Unidentified Keeper (II) · Unidentified Keeper (III)
Orion Amari · Tamsin Applebee · Katie Bell · Bradley · Randolph Burrow · Cadwallader · Chambers · Roger Davies · Eekins · Marcus Flint · Rose Granger-Weasley · Jarrett · Angelina Johnson · Heidi Macavoy · Graham Montague · Ethan Parkin · Skye Parkin · James Potter · Malcolm Preece · Adrian Pucey · Demelza Robins · Zacharias Smith · Alicia Spinnet · Jeremy Stretton · Dean Thomas · Urquhart · Vaisey · Cassius Warrington · Ginny Weasley · Blaise Zabini · Jacob's sibling · Unidentified Chaser (I) · Unidentified Chaser (II) · Unidentified fourth year Chaser · Unidentified Gryffindor chaser (I) · Unidentified Gryffindor chaser (II) · Unidentified Gryffindor chaser (III) · Unidentified Gryffindor chaser (IV) · Erika Rath's friend (I) · Erika Rath's friend (II) · Unidentified Quidditch Captain (I)
Bean · Lucian Bole · Ritchie Coote · Vincent Crabbe · Peregrine Derrick · Dobbin · Gregory Goyle · Duncan Inglebee · Andrew Kirke · Michael McManus · Maxine O'Flaherty · Jimmy Peakes · Erika Rath · Anthony Rickett · Jason Samuels · Jack Sloper · Fred Weasley · George Weasley · Jacob's sibling · Unidentified Beater · Unidentified Gryffindor beater · Unidentified Slytherin Beater (I) · Unidentified Slytherin Beater (II) · Unidentified Quidditch Captain (II)
Regulus Black · Cho Chang · Cedric Diggory · Andre Egwu · Harper · Terence Higgs · Gilderoy Lockhart · Draco Malfoy · Harry Potter · Summerby · Charlie Weasley · Ginny Weasley · Unidentified Gryffindor seeker · Unidentified Hufflepuff Seeker · Unidentified Ravenclaw Seeker · Unidentified Ravenclaw Substitute Seeker · Unidentified Seeker · Unidentified Seeker (II)
Unknown positions
Vicky Bishopper · Robin Higgy · R. King · M. G. McGonagall · Katie Rayknolls
Possible players
Christian Alexander · Brandon Angel · Jada Angela · Owen Anthony · Tanner Van Burm · Haley Dakota · Jennifer Dawn · Fay Dunbar · Riley Frazer · Ethan Gerard · Ryan Henry · Erica J. · Ella Jo · Timothy Justin · Sage Kelleen · Luisa · Trinity Lynn · Trev Mallory · Alexis Marie · Gianna Grace Marie · Abigail Nicola · Amber Noel · Phelan Noel · Remy Olivier · Jackson Sheppard · Richard Sky · Emily Taylor · Alexander William