"Mulciber! What do you see in him, Sev? He's creepy! D'you know what he tried to do to Mary Macdonald the other day?"
—Lily to Severus[src]

Mary Macdonald was a British witch of unknown parentage.[5]


She attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the 1970s with Lily Evans and Severus Snape.[5]

Sometime during her time at school, she was viciously assaulted by Mulciber, a pure-blood Slytherin and a future Death Eater, with Dark Magic.[5] Lily Evans heard about this incident and thought it proved that Mulciber was "creepy" with an "evil" sense of humour, but Lily's friend Severus Snape callously described the incident as "a laugh."[5]

Mary later told Lily that Snape was planning to spend the night outside the entrance to Gryffindor Tower to apologise to her after he called her a "Mudblood."[5]


The name "Mary" is the usual English form of Maria, which was the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριαμ (Mariam) and Μαρια (Maria) - the spellings are interchangeable - which were from the Hebrew name מִרְיָם (Miryam). The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness," "rebelliousness," and "wished for child." However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry ("beloved") or mr ("love").

Behind the scenes

  • It is unknown what Mulciber tried to do to Mary or why she was chosen as his target. She might have been a muggle-born or a blood traitor, or else she might have been a random target. Igor Karkaroff claimed during his trial that Mulciber specialised in the Imperius Curse,[6] which could suggest Mary was the victim of something along those lines, but Karkaroff might have meant Mulciber's father and not the Marauders' contemporary.
  • While it is not directly stated in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Mary must have been a Gryffindor. She was able to tell Lily Evans that Severus Snape was waiting outside Gryffindor Tower, which means Mary was inside the tower at the time; few students have managed to access another house's common room, and those who do keep it secret.
  • Fans have speculated that there may be a connection between Mary Macdonald and Mary Cattermole, a muggle-born witch who is known only by her married name, after both were introduced in Deathly Hallows. If they are the same person, Mary Macdonald would be a muggle-born and an obvious target for a future Death Eater; however, there is no evidence besides their shared first name and the chance that they share a blood status.


Notes and references

  1. To start for the 1969 school year and to still be at Hogwarts still in the 1975-1976 school year (her final) to be attacked by Mulciber, Mary must be no older than 17, unless she was in a repeat year.
  2. Mary is at Hogwarts in the later half of the 1975-1976 year, meaning that she is no younger than 11.
  3. Mary may have been a Muggle-born witch as she was targeted by a known future Death Eater, an organisation known to violently hate Muggle-borns, Muggles, blood traitors etc.
  4. "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
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