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"Hogwarts is threatened! Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!"
—McGonagall prepares for the Battle of Hogwarts[src]

Professor Minerva McGonagall, O.M. (First Class),[10] was a Scottish half-blood witch, the only daughter of Muggle Robert McGonagall and witch Isobel Ross. She also was the older sister of Malcolm and Robert Jr. Minerva attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was Sorted into Gryffindor House, but it took the Sorting Hat five and a half minutes to decide if she was Gryffindor or Ravenclaw, which made her a Hatstall. During her seventh year, she was appointed Head Girl.

After her education, Minerva worked for two years at the Ministry of Magic and later returned to Hogwarts, where she became Head of Gryffindor House and the Transfiguration professor. Though she wasn't a member of the Order of the Phoenix during the First Wizarding War, Minerva greatly helped the Ministry of Magic's resistance through spying Death Eaters and bringing the Aurors crucial information on their activities.

Eventually, Minerva became concurrently, at differing times, Deputy Headmistress and Headmistress of Hogwarts. In 1995, she opposed Dolores Umbridge, the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts. She also protected the students from Alecto and Amycus Carrow from 1997 until 1998. As part of the Order of Phoenix's new resistance movement, Minerva fought in several battles of both wars, including the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and the Battle of Hogwarts, where she led the resistance against Lord Voldemort.

Minerva survived the Second Wizarding War and continued her job as Headmistress, a title she still held as of Albus Potter's time at Hogwarts.[8]

Biography

Early life

Minerva McGonagall was born on 4 October, to Robert McGonagall, a Muggle Presbyterian minister, and his wife Isobel Ross, a witch. She was the couple's first child and was named after her mother's grandmother, a very powerful witch. By then, her parents lived on the outskirts of Caithness in the Scottish Highlands, in a village where mostly lived Muggles.

Her birth proved both a joy and a crisis: Isobel had given up the use of her magic for her love of Robert and never told him about her nature as she was afraid to mar the bliss of their wedding. However, the infant Minerva displayed small but noticeable signs of magic from her earliest hours. She had no control of her magic and thus inadvertently summoned toys that had been left on upper shelves to her cot, made the family cat do her bidding, and her father's bagpipes play themselves which would cause her to chuckle happily. Thus, Isobel often secluded herself with Minerva for days at a time. She knew she must confess to her husband about their daughter's wizarding abilities and so she finally did, explaining everything to Robert and telling him that they were bound by the International Statute of Secrecy and that they must conceal the truth about their magical abilities for their safety.

The two parents remained together despite the shocking revelation, but their trust never was the same, much to the sadness of their perceptive daughter. She later had two other brothers, Malcolm and Robert Jr, who revealed magical ability in due course. As a child, Minerva helped her mother conceal from her father the accidents and embarrassments the young witch's magic sometimes caused. She was very close to her Muggle father, whom in temperament she resembled more than her mother.

On Minerva's eleventh birthday, Minerva received her admittance letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, at the time headed by Professor Armando Dippet. Before coming to the school, she visited Diagon Alley and purchased her wand from Ollivander's Wand Shop. The wand she selected was an unusual specimen, 9 and a half inches, fir and dragon heartstring. Now free to be with her kind and to exercise her talents, Minerva saw how her mother sobbed that day, not only out of pride, but also out of envy.[1]

Hogwarts years

At the age of eleven, Minerva attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. During her Sorting, she proved to be a hatstall: the Sorting Hat spent five-and-a-half minutes wavering between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw before deciding to place her in the former. Minerva's school career overlapped by two years with that of Pomona Sprout, and the two students enjoyed an excellent relationship, both then and in later years.

Minerva was quickly recognised as the most outstanding student of her year with a particular talent for Transfiguration. By the end of her education at Hogwarts, she had achieved an impressive record: top grades in O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s, Prefect, Head Girl, and winner of the Transfiguration Today Most Promising Newcomer award.[11] Under the guidance of her inspirational Transfiguration teacher, Albus Dumbledore, Minerva had managed to become an Animagus; her animal form, with its distinctive markings (tabby cat, square spectacles markings around eyes) were duly logged in the Ministry of Magic's Animagus Registry.[12]

Minerva played for Gryffindor Quidditch team in her student years, in which she proved to be gifted. However, she suffered a nasty fall in her final year: a foul during the Gryffindor versus Slytherin match which would decide the Quidditch Cup winner. This event left her with a concussion, several broken ribs, and a lifelong desire to see Slytherin crushed on the Quidditch pitch.[1]

Early heartbreak

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A younger Minerva McGonagall

After graduating from Hogwarts, Minerva was offered a position at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement of the British Ministry of Magic. She returned to her family's manse to spend one last summer with her family before moving to London. During these months an eighteen-years old Minerva met Dougal McGregor, a local Muggle, who was the handsome, clever, and funny son of a local farmer. The two shared a sense of humour, argued fiercely, and suspected mysterious depths in each other. Minerva fell head-over-heels in love with McGregor, being the first and only time in her life that she might have been said to lose her head. Eventually, McGregor proposed to Minerva on a ploughed field and she accepted his offer.

That night, however, Minerva was unable to tell her parents of her engagement. Thinking about her future, she realised that wedding a Muggle who didn't know that she was a witch would mean Minerva would follow her mother's footsteps and live unhappily with her wand locked away, shredding all of her ambitions. Early next morning, Minerva went to tell McGregor she had changed her mind and could not marry him, aware that if she broke the International Statute of Secrecy and told him why, as she would lose the job at the Ministry for which she was giving him up. She could give him no good reason for her change of heart, leaving McGregor devastated and left for London three days later. These months were to prove some of the most difficult of Minerva’s life.[1]

Employment

"Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts. Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned."
—McGonagall introduces the art of Transfiguration[src]

Though her feelings for the Ministry of Magic were affected by the fact that she had recently suffered an emotional crisis, Minerva didn't much enjoy her home in London and workplace, where some of her co-workers had an ingrained anti-Muggle bias. Given her adoration of her Muggle father and continuing love for Dougal, she deplored these ideas. Despite this, Minerva was among the most efficient, gifted employees in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and became fond of her much older boss, Elphinstone Urquart. After two years at the Ministry, she was offered a prestigious promotion, yet found herself turning it down as she missed her home in Scotland.

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Minerva in her earlier years as a professor

Instead, Minerva sent an owl to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, asking whether she might be considered for a teaching post. The owl returned within hours, offering her a job in the Transfiguration department, under Head of Department, Albus Dumbledore. Through her efforts and work, Minerva proved to be a inspirational yet strict teacher, maintaining control of her students with a stern hand that made her someone not to be crossed.

By this time, Minerva was a shock to learn from her oblivious mother (in the middle of a chatty letter of local news) that Dougal had married the daughter of another farmer. Albus discovered his former student and colleague in tears in her classroom late that evening, and she confessed the whole story to him. He offered both comfort and told Minerva some of his own family history, previously unknown to her. The confidences exchanged that night between were to form the basis of a lasting friendship.

Amongst her first students were Newt Scamander and Leta Lestrange, the latter of whom was frequently in trouble with Minerva for retaliating to vicious gossip about her half-brother's death. A notable example of this is when Leta hexed a fellow student with the dark charm Oscausi during her third year, after the other girl had been speaking ill of Leta behind her back. Minerva was called upon to fix the situation, but Leta ran from her and Minerva was forced to chase her around the school, all the while docking points (Minerva ended up docking a total of 200 points). When she couldn't find Leta, Minerva removed the spell from the girl but promptly restored it with an irritated "Whisht!" when the girl continued to badmouth Leta.

During Gellert Grindelwald's rise, Minerva still taught at Hogwarts and was a close confidant to Dumbledore. She was quite critical of the Ministry of Magic's involvement at Hogwarts and was furious when Torquil Travers and a team of Aurors interrupted Dumbledore's Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson, protesting that this was "a school." However, her protests fell on deaf ears and she was forced to escort the students from the classroom.

Through her early years at Hogwarts, Minerva remained close friends with her former boss in the Ministry, Elphinstone. During one visit, he proposed marriage to Minerva at Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop. Surprised, embarrassed, and still in love with Dougal, she declined. However, the two still remained in contact for years.

Later on in her career, Minerva was Head of the Transfiguration Department. Her lessons consisted of but were not limited to match to needle, animal to water goblet, beetle to button, and mouse to snuffbox transformations, as well as Switching Spells, Vanishing, and Conjuring. Furthermore, Minerva was appointed the position of Head of Gryffindor House, the house in which she used to reside whilst studying at Hogwarts. After he became Headmaster, Dumbledore would later on in his career also trust her enough to allow her to become Deputy Headmistress of the school and fill in for him on the occasions of his absence.

First Wizarding War (1970-1981)

McGonagall: "Are the rumours true, Albus?"
Albus Dumbledore: "I'm afraid so, Professor. The good and the bad."
— Discussion of the Potter's death and Harry Potter's survival[src]

After the first rise of dark wizard Lord Voldemort, Minerva took part in fighting back against Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters, though she still taught at Hogwarts during the First Wizarding War. Previously, she was suspicious of Riddle despite she wasn't his teacher and thus shared her fears with Dumbledore in private. Even so, McGonagall chose to not join the Order of the Phoenix, which was seen as a renegade outfit by the Ministry at the time. Instead, unbeknownst to her students, she spent many nights spying for them in the guise of a tabby cat, bringing the Aurors crucial information on the activities of Voldemort's followers.[10]

Despite her involvement in the Ministry's efforts to contain the threat of the Dark Lord's rise to power, Minerva got through the war unscathed. However, she suffered personal bereavements: the loss of her brother Robert; of two of her favourite students, Lily Evans and James Potter; and of Dougal McGregor, who was murdered in a random anti-Muggle attack by the Death Eaters, along with his wife and children. This last news was a terrible blow to Minerva, who wondered if she would have been able to save him if she had married him.[10]

Concurrently, as the war raged outside the castle walls, the school was plagued by a series of curses inadvertently unleashed by one of the students, Jacob, who began to meddle with the five fabled Cursed Vaults. Like the rest of the faculty, Professor McGonagall did everything she could to protect the students, although they were ultimately unable to prevent the injury of several students and the death of a Slytherin student named Duncan Ashe; this all led to Jacob's expulsion.

Protection of Harry Potter

"These people will never understand him! He'll be famous -- a legend -- I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future -- there will be books written about Harry -- every child in our world will know his name!"
—Minerva discussing Harry Potter's future with his Muggle relatives[src]
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Minerva and Dumbledore delivering Harry to the Dursleys' home

In 1981, baby Harry Potter "defeated" Lord Voldemort in his family home at Godric's Hollow, his parents James and Lily Potter (both members of the Order of the Phoenix) were murdered whilst protecting their son from harm. The defeat of Voldemort ultimately ended the war and his followers were arrested and those that escaped went into hiding.

Minerva travelled to Surrey and there spent an entire day observing the Dursley family seeing whether or not they met the standards of looking after Harry as they were his only living relatives with his parents now dead. What she saw horrified her; the Dursleys couldn't have been any less like Lily and James if they had tried. She was thus present, along with Rubeus Hagrid, when Dumbledore placed Harry on the Dursleys' doorstep, despite her objections to leaving him with these Muggles, whom she considered to be the "worst kind" of them. She kept a close eye on Harry from time to time during his early childhood, as did the members of the Order of the Phoenix.[3]

Between the wars (1981-1995)

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McGonagall teaching a second year Transfiguration class

After the First Wizarding War had ended, Minerva continued on with her career at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, carrying on teaching the art of Transfiguration. Elphinstone, who had never ceased to love her, proposed every now and then until she finally accepted after Dougal's death. Their engagement happened during a summertime stroll around the lake in the Hogwarts grounds. The retired Elphinstone bought a small cottage for the two of them in Hogsmeade, whence Minerva could travel easily to work every day. Although the couple had no children, her nieces and nephews visited often. This was a period of great fulfilment for Minerva.

In 1985, three years into their marriage, Elphinstone died from a Venomous Tentacula bite.[1] Minerva, who couldn't bear to remain alone in their cottage, packed her things after her husband's funeral and returned to her first-floor study in Hogwarts Castle. It is unknown whether she still owns the cottage. Always a brave and private person, Minerva poured all her energies into her work and few people – excepting perhaps Albus – ever realised how much she suffered.

During the second year of the sibling of Jacob, when Ben Copper when missing, the individual asked Minerva about it as she was the Head of the Gryffindor House. She first asked if Jacob's sibling had seen him in the Hogwarts Express and if he had been acting strange and after learning that they didn't but Penny Haywood did and Ben seemed fine even though he was always a bit odd. She mentioned that the Cursed Ice may have changed Ben and slightly chastised Jacob's sibling for their attempt to enter the Cursed Vault, asking them if they had learnt anything that said of a threat beyond the door and appealed to them that this involved all of Hogwarts, not just Jacob. Learning that they had found and read a message about an Ice knight and vanished stairs, Minerva said she will discuss this with Dumbledore and accidentally revealed that she and the other teachers had once dealt with the Cursed Ice, which she quickly covered by telling Jacob's sibling that he is free to help in the search of Ben and ask for him to tell her personally should he succeed, promising to reward him.

Sometime later, Minerva asked for Jacob sibling's help to find Gryffindor Broom Wax which had been misplaced by the keeper should they be a Gryffindor. Accompanying Jacob's sibling to the Common Room, she congratulated them for their success and gave them twenty House Points for their effort. Later, impressed by their transfiguration talents, McGonagall offered to give them advanced transfiguration classes.

If they were of another house and tried to infiltrate the Gryffindor Common Room, Minerva would catch them with Angelica but as they searched for Ben, she allowed them to get away unpunished. McGonagall and Snape eventually found the missing Ben Copper encased in Cursed ice and Jacob's Sibling and Rowan realised she knew more about the Cursed Ice than she revealed. Minerva was perplexed that the Knockback Jinx had no effect on the ice, noting on how they once could use it to shatter the ice, and even more so when Snape callously suggested they use Incendio to melt the ice while also burning him to death, as she realises from how the Cursed Ice had began to expand throughout the school that someone had been tampering with the Vaults. Ignoring Snape's frustrated questioning of Dumbledore's whereabouts, Minerva and Snape used Incendio to successfully free Ben from the Cursed Ice, taking care to target as further as possible from his body.

Knowing Minerva was the only one left in the school with Dumbledore gone that could possibly teach them the Revelio Charm, Jacob's Sibling turned to her to learn the spell. At first Minerva was baffled due to how advanced the charm was but ultimately agreed to teach them if they proved themselves sufficiently adept, impressed by their desire to help Hogwarts and study Transfiguration. Finding their abilities to have reached the level required in the class, Minerva called them to have their private lesson and after Jacob's sibling successfully learned Revelio, Minerva congratulated them and noted the usefulness of the spell.

After learning that Bill Weasley had taught Jacob's sibling Incendio, Minerva was furious and scolded him heavily.

Protecting the Philosopher's Stone

"Welcome to Hogwarts. The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be Sorted into your houses."
—Minerva McGonagall introducing the first-year students of 1991 to Hogwarts[src]
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McGonagall welcomes first year students to Hogwarts

In 1991 friend of Albus Dumbledore, Nicolas Flamel, had the Philosopher's Stone that was keeping him alive moved from his safe in Gringotts to Hogwarts for safe keeping. Minerva contributed to the defences set up around the magical artefact by transfiguring an enormous chess set and animating it to behave as a normal Wizard's chess set would. As part of its protection duty, it required that the person or persons seeking to get past would have to take the place of a piece on the board and play an actual game of wizard's chess, at great physical risk to themselves. This larger than life version of Wizard's chess is known to be brutally violent and sacrificial for wizards to have to take part in themselves.[3]

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Minerva directing students during the Sorting Ceremony

Also in this year, Harry Potter, who Minerva had been watching over for many years, would start his first year of education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, not knowing this, as he did not know that he was a wizard. Once Harry eventually arrived at Hogwarts, after the delivery of many acceptance letters, Harry was Sorted into the house of Gryffindor which Minerva was head of. Harry was therefore again placed under the watchful eye and care of McGonagall.

Though Minerva often maintained her strict persona in regards to the boy, she wasn't above bending the rules for him on occasion, such as when she caught him flying on a broomstick without proper supervision. Instead of expelling him, which was Madam Hooch's stated punishment for anyone caught doing so, Minerva instead took him to see Oliver Wood, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, to comment on his prodigious skill with the broom. Harry made the team, remarkable for a first year, and became the youngest Seeker in a century. She made arrangements for Harry to have a Nimbus 2000, the fastest broomstick of the time, for use during games and practises. However, several incidents marred the year.

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McGonagall chastising Harry and Ron for being late to class

At Hallowe'en, the festive feast was interrupted by the arrival of Professor Quirrell, who came charging in screaming about a troll loose in the dungeons before fainting dead away. After restoring calm, Dumbledore ordered all students to return to their dormitories while he and the teachers made their way to the dungeons. The troll was not there upon their entry, but a terrible racket from an upper floor provided a clue. Upon reaching the site, Minerva was shocked to discover a wrecked bathroom, an unconscious troll and three bedraggled first years, one of whom was her best student Hermione Granger. To her further shock, Hermione claimed that she had gone looking for the troll thinking she could handle it but would most assuredly have been killed had Harry and Ron not found her. Torn between anger and pride, Minerva took five points from Hermione but awarded five each to Harry and Ron for, as she put it, "sheer dumb luck." Over the Christmas period, she attended the Christmas feast and received a kiss on the cheek from a very drunk Hagrid; rather than admonish him, she instead giggled while blushing red in the face.

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McGonagall being informed of the trio's suspicions someone was going to steal the Stone

However, her serious side appeared one night when she caught Draco Malfoy roaming the school at night. Dragging him by the ear, she sentenced him to detention and deducted twenty points from Slytherin when he claimed that Harry was also out of bed with an illegal baby dragon. Though the dragon in question was successfully released, Harry, Hermione and Neville were all caught and brought before McGonagall by Filch. Mad and disappointed with them, she told them all off before punishing them severely; a loss of fifty points each, 150 in total, and detention with Malfoy. This caused Gryffindor to drop to last in the House Cup.

Towards the end of the year, McGonagall and the other teachers' protective enchantments down in the Philosopher's Stone chambers would come to test when Quirrell attempted to steal the Philosopher's Stone. Also testing and facing the enchantments were Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. The trio was successful in stopping the stone being stolen and at the end of the school year, Gryffindor had won the house cup after receiving the most house points that year after getting bonus points for the trio's and Neville Longbottom's bravery. Thus, for the first time in years, McGonagall's house was the current house cup champions. Her reaction wasn't documented, but it's assumed that she was pleased with their efforts as Professor Snape shook her hand with a very forced look of congratulations.[3]

The second opening of the Chamber of Secrets

McGonagall: "What does this mean, Albus?"
Albus Dumbledore: "It means that the Chamber of Secrets is indeed open again."
— The opening of the Chamber is confirmed after finding Colin Creevey petrified[src]

In the beginning of the 1992 school term, Minerva had to deal with Harry and Ron, who crashed Mr Weasley's Flying Ford Anglia into the Whomping Willow, due to the barrier to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters being sealed by Dobby so the two couldn't board the train. This nearly exposed the wizarding world to Muggles, but Minerva was fairer than Snape, the one who brought the matter up in the first place. Minerva ultimately let them off with a mere detention and letters to their families. Also she didn't take any house points as Harry pointed out that term had not started yet when they took the car, which she confirmed and almost smiled at this remark.

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McGonagall and other members of staff discover the declaration

Later, Minerva was present for the re-opening of the Chamber of Secrets. She, along with the rest of the teaching staff, scoured the castle for the Chamber, but to no avail. Minerva was worried over the messages left on the walls and was at a loss about what should be done. She also had to deal with the less than helpful Gilderoy Lockhart, who had been hired for the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. McGonagall had little liking or use for the man and by the end of the year was only one of the many staff members who utterly despised him. For example when he decorated the Great Hall in nauseatingly lurid pink hearts for Valentine's Day, she was observed to have a muscle twitching noticeably in her face.[13] Throughout the year, two of Minerva's students, Hermione Granger and Colin Creevey were Petrified along with the House ghost Nearly Headless Nick.

In the final weeks of that school year, Minerva served as temporary Headmistress of Hogwarts after the Board of Governors, under Lucius Malfoy's influence, suspended Dumbledore for failing to stop the attacks against the students. She was also quite shaken and softened up, as when Harry and Ron tried to sneak off to investigate the matter but were caught by herself. She let them off under the belief that they were trying to visit a petrified Hermione, though she normally would punish them with detention.

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The professors moments after Ginny Weasley was kidnapped by the monster

When Ginny Weasley was later taken into the Chamber of Secrets, where "her skeleton will lie in the chamber forever", Minerva despairingly believed that they were facing the end of Hogwarts. Her temperament was not improved by the arrival of the hated Gilderoy Lockhart, who was completely oblivious to the worry of his fellow staff members, and immediately joined Professors Snape, Flitwick and Sprout in forcing him into a corner by recalling all of his boasts that he could deal with the monster easily. With him dealt with, as they couldn't care less if he succeeded or failed, the staff turned their attention to the thing they never thought would happen; the permanent closure of Hogwarts.

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McGonagall at the End-of-Term Feast celebrating the end of the Chamber of Secrets

Thankfully, this terrible reality never came to pass. While McGonagall received Ginny's distraught parents in her office, along with a returned Albus Dumbledore, she was astonished to see Ginny herself walk in, accompanied by a slime-covered Harry, Ron and Lockhart, the ragged old Sorting Hat, Dumbledore's pet phoenix and the silver Sword of Godric Gryffindor. Harry then explained that he and Ron had gone into the Chamber to find Ginny, having realised the mystery, and had slain the monster within. Dumbledore then declared the crisis over and sent Minerva down to the kitchens to organise a celebratory feast, which she subsequently attended with great joy as the monster was dead and Lockhart banished.[13]

Escape of Sirius Black

"Well, Sirius Black is gone tonight, but I think you can all safely assume he will attempt to return at some time."
—McGonagall regarding Sirius Black's attempts to get inside the school[src]

The summer of 1993 also saw the escape of Sirius Black from Azkaban. When the school year began in September, Minerva had to deal with the effects that the Dementors had on her students, such as Harry Potter. She also authorised Hermione Granger to use a Time-Turner in order to take extra classes, a decision that would prove more useful in future events that year. This year at Hogwarts would prove to be another difficult year with Dementors guarding the castle, though they were forbidden from entering the grounds proper by Dumbledore. Minerva heartily approved of this, as she despised the creatures.

At the start of the year, when McGonagall demonstrated her Animagus form to her first class, she notes how quiet they were, as every class she demonstrated it to prior clapped. When Hermione explained about their first Divination, McGonagall understood and asked her class which of them would be dying this year. Harry Potter raised his hand. McGonagall assured him that Sybill Trelawney's predictions were a way of greeting her class and that no deaths of any students have occurred yet. To further put him at ease, she demonstrated one of her rare glimmerings of humour by stating that she still expected him to do his homework, but if he did die then she would excuse his not handing it in.

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Professor McGonagall and the residents of Gryffindor Tower in the common room after Sirius Black's break-in

Throughout the year, Minerva assisted in guarding the school, yet nonetheless Black was able to infiltrate the castle. After Black had attacked the Fat Lady, McGonagall tried to tell Harry that Black was after him, but was cut off by Harry, who told her that Mr Weasley had told him, before she could explain. Later in the year, Minerva was summoned to Gryffindor Tower when Ron Weasley claimed to have been attacked by Black. She initially dismissed him as Black could not have possibly got in without the password (unaware that Hermione's cat, Crookshanks, befriended by Sirius and gave him a discarded list of passwords) but was rendered speechless when the new guardian, Sir Cadogan, confirmed that he had indeed let him in because he had the passwords written down. When Neville Longbottom admitted to having written the passwords down, McGonagall gave him a detention and wrote to his grandmother. As a result, Neville received a Howler.

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Harry receives a Firebolt for Christmas that is soon confiscated by McGonagall

When Harry received a Firebolt following the destruction of his Nimbus 2000, McGonagall had it confiscated to be "examined" because she believed it to have been sent by Black (and correctly so), and therefore lethally cursed (which was incorrect). This incident caused Harry and Hermione to have a row, because Hermione had alerted Minerva about the Firebolt. It was returned to him later after having been declared safe. During the Quidditch match against Ravenclaw, Draco Malfoy, Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe, and Marcus Flint posed as Dementors to sabotage Harry's performance, only to get struck down when Harry reflexively cast a Patronus Charm at them. Utterly furious at this downright trickery, she deducted fifty points from Slytherin and put the quartet in detention.

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Gryffindor wins the Quidditch Cup in 1994

In the spring of 1994, though disgusted by the Slytherin Quidditch team's dirty tactics during the final Quidditch match after witnessing Draco Malfoy grab onto the end of Harry's Firebolt to stop him from catching the Golden Snitch (which infuriated her to the point where she stopped telling Lee Jordan off and actually joined him in firing furious comments at Malfoy), she witnessed the Gryffindor Quidditch team win the Quidditch Cup for the first time since Charlie Weasley had played for the team during his Hogwarts education. McGonagall was delighted by Gryffindor's victory, openly sobbing — even louder than the already sobbing Oliver Wood — into a Gryffindor Flag, but was upset to see Oliver Wood leaving. Later on in the year, three students from her house — Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger — would run into trouble when Sirius Black returned to Hogwarts.[5]

Triwizard Tournament

"The Yule Ball is of course a chance for us all to — er — let our hair down. But that does NOT mean that we will be relaxing the standards of behaviour we expect from Hogwarts students. I will be most seriously displeased if a Gryffindor student embarrasses the school in any way."
—McGonagall introducing the Yule Ball[src]

In the autumn of 1994, Hogwarts hosted the magical schools, the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and the Durmstrang Institute for the Triwizard Tournament. Harry Potter was selected as a Triwizard Champion, despite being under age and McGonagall worried for his safety after having looked after him for so many years. Minerva pleaded with Dumbledore and Crouch to withdraw Harry from the tournament, as the tournament was highly dangerous. But withdrawing would go against the rules of the tournament and Potter had to continue on, as there was a binding magical contract in place.

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McGonagall attending the Yule Ball and dancing with Dumbledore

During the year Minerva more than once exhorted her students to provide a good appearance to their guests at the castle. She attended the Yule Ball with Albus Dumbledore and notably wore her hair down for the first time since Harry started his education at Hogwarts. While at the Ball, Minerva danced with both Ludovic Bagman and Dumbledore, among others. In the case of the former, Harry Potter noticed Bagman kiss Minerva's hand once they had finished dancing.

Minerva loaned her classroom to Harry, Ron and Hermione so they could practise spells for Harry's preparation for the Third Task. She did this after having walked in on them practising so many times around the school. At the end of the Tournament, Minerva accompanied Dumbledore and Severus Snape in the rescue of Harry Potter from the Death Eater that had spent the entire school year impersonating the Auror Alastor Moody, that year's DADA professor.

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McGonagall is present while Snape presents his newly activated Dark Mark

She was instructed to guard Crouch Jr after he revealed his part in the rebirth of Voldemort but was unable to prevent the Dementor brought by Minister Cornelius Fudge from giving the Death Eater the Dementor's Kiss. She was intensely furious at Fudge for this blunder, and severely shaken from having witnessed the unspeakably horrible act, screaming more than Harry had ever seen before. Thus, when the Minister refused to believe Dumbledore and Harry Potter about the return of Voldemort, Minerva nonetheless stood in support of her superior and her student.[14] In the return of the Dark Lord, Hufflepuff student Cedric Diggory was carelessly murdered and a memorial feast was held at the end of the school year. The Second Wizarding War had now begun, despite the Ministry trying to hush up any claims of this.

Second Wizarding War (1995-1998)

"Well, I think Potter and his friends ought to have fifty points apiece for alerting the world to the return of You-Know-Who! What say you, Professor Snape?"
—McGongall openly addressing Voldemort's return to power[src]
Order of the Pheonix

Minerva joins the Order of the Phoenix

Once the Second Wizarding War had begun, Minerva joined the Order of the Phoenix and spent much of the summer of 1995 doing work for the Order. She would come and go from 12 Grimmauld Place wearing a Muggle dress rather than her robes, which Harry thought made her look odd. Though these duties took up much of her time, Minerva would face even greater challenges at Hogwarts. Because Dumbledore was unable to find a new professor for Defence Against the Dark Arts, the Ministry of Magic appointed Dolores Umbridge, a senior Ministry official and stout supporter of Fudge, to the Hogwarts staff. Minerva saw this appointment as an affront to the school itself and did little to hide her disgust.

High Inquisitor at Hogwarts

"I wonder how you expect to gain an idea of my usual teaching methods if you continue to interrupt me? You see, I do not generally permit people to talk when I am talking."
—Professor McGonagall to Dolores Umbridge during her inspection[src]
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Minerva argues with Dolores Umbridge over Umbridge's methods of punishment

When Harry Potter crossed Umbridge, earning a detention in his first class with her, Minerva was sympathetic but warned him that Umbridge was not to be trifled with and that he should keep his head down.[9] McGonagall did all she could to circumvent Umbridge's authority without risking her own security as Deputy Headmistress. Indeed, she treated Umbridge with as little credence and respect as possible while Hogwarts was under investigation by the Ministry of Magic and even gave Peeves tips on how to unscrew a chandelier when he was trying to cause havoc for Umbridge. McGonagall also managed to put aside her dislike of Professor Trelawney for a time in the face of Umbridge's persecution of Hogwarts' inhabitants. It is shown she brings Trelawney back to Hogwarts after Umbridge dismissed her.[9]

After Umbridge's appointment as High Inquisitor, Minerva was forced to endure the other woman's presence during her evaluation of Minerva's teaching. Minerva kept her temper under control, maintaining an icy exterior and yet still unleashed a dry and pointed wit on Umbridge. The encounter did serve to cheer students like Ron Weasley who heartily disliked Umbridge; Ron even expressed delight at the prospect of seeing Minerva's classes inspected, remarking that "Umbridge won't know what's hit her".[9] Still, darker times lay ahead.

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An anxious Minerva brings Harry to Dumbledore's Office following his vision of Arthur Weasley's attack

Despite Minerva's best efforts to thwart the Ministry's influence at Hogwarts, things continued to grow worse. After Harry's resistance group was discovered by Umbridge, Minerva was present in Dumbledore's office when Harry was brought in. When Umbridge revealed that anti-Muggle prankster Willy Widdershins had provided her with testimony that Harry was forming this rebel group, Minerva loudly voiced that she had wondered why he had managed to avoid prosecution for all his regurgitating toilet charges, joined in her vocal outrage by the portrait of Headmaster Dexter Fortescue.

Dumbledore managed to save Harry by taking credit for the student organisation, which led to Fudge announcing his intention to arrest him and actually attempted to have him taken by force, sneering at the idea of Dumbledore taking on him and the others single-handed. Minerva, loyal to her mentor and friend, loudly declared that he wouldn't be single-handed and actually made to draw her wand, fully prepared to duel the Minister for Magic himself. She only stood down on Dumbledore's direct orders, as Hogwarts would need her.

After Dumbledore escaped arrest, Umbridge was appointed Headmistress over Minerva, but had virtually no support. When Umbridge invaded the career advising of the 5th-year students, Minerva finally lost her temper. During Harry Potter's session, when Umbridge kept interrupting the conversation and declaring that Harry would never be an Auror at the Ministry, Minerva declared to Harry that she would help him in any way necessary to achieve his goal, even if it was the last thing she ever did. The atmosphere at Hogwarts continued to devolve under Umbridge's leadership.[9]

St Mungo's Hospital

McGonagall: "How dare you! How dare you!"
Hermione Granger : "It's McGonagall!"
McGonagall: "Leave him alone! Alone, I say! On what grounds are you attacking him? He has done nothing, nothing to warrant such —"
— McGonagall defending Hagrid moments before she's attacked[src]
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A wheelchair bound McGonagall reading about the Battle of the Department of Mysteries

During the O.W.L. examinations, events came to a head. When Dolores Umbridge and several Aurors attempted to evict Hagrid from the grounds of Hogwarts, Minerva sought to intervene on behalf of her colleague. Charging out of the castle, she shouted at the Aurors to leave Hagrid alone. However, before she could even draw her wand, Minerva was promptly hit with four Stunning Spells in the chest, which required that she be moved from Hogwarts Hospital Wing to St Mungo's for treatment.[9]

Hagrid was so disgusted by this attack that he attacked two of her attackers in an uncontrollable rage before fleeing, furiously denouncing them as cowards, while Madam Pomfrey said that it would be very difficult for Minerva to be hit in broad daylight. She would have resigned in protest because of this cowardly attack if the students' well-being was not placed as her priority. Many students were also outraged with this attack, to the point of ignoring their Astronomy exam and even the proctor Professor Tofty expressed aloud his fury.

Return to Hogwarts

"Well, I think Potter and his friends ought to have fifty points apiece for alerting the world to the return of You-Know-Who — that's fifty each for Potter, the two Weasleys, Longbottom and Miss Granger. Oh — and fifty for Miss Lovegood, I suppose."
—McGonagall rewards the participants of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries[src]
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Minerva going over schedules with the sixth years in 1996

Minerva didn't return to Hogwarts until after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. After being released from the hospital, she required the aid of a walking stick for several days. Upon her return to the school, she promptly gave the six students involved in the Battle at the Ministry 50 house points each for "alerting the world to the return of You-Know-Who", in response to Snape needling Harry about Gryffindor having 0 house points.[9] She also watched with some happiness when Peeves chased Umbridge from the school, commenting that she would've joined Peeves in chasing Dolores away in the school grounds, but Peeves had appropriated her walking stick.

After her recovery at St Mungo's, Minerva resumed her duties within the Order of the Phoenix as well as her teaching duties when the school year would begin again after summer.[9] Early in the year, she was responsible for the distribution of schedules among the the sixth year N.E.W.T. students.

Silver and Opals

Professors Snape and McGonagall examining a cursed necklace

Minerva was present after Katie Bell was cursed by the Opal Necklace. After Harry ran off to find someone to aid Katie, he bumped into Hagrid and led him back to the group. After learning the nature of the event Hagrid carried Katie to the castle, accompanied by Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Leanne. While in the castle Minerva appeared and asked Harry what he was holding in his hand, it was the necklace wrapped in his scarf. She then proceeded to hand over the necklace to Professor Snape, through the Caretaker Argus Filch and questioned the the trio and Leanne on what they witnessed. Harry told her his theory that it was Draco Malfoy that gave Katie the necklace, but she scorned the theory and dismissed them. Snape was able to stop the curse from spreading any further, but Katie was taken to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, where she spent much of that year recovering from the effects of the curse.

Battle of the Astronomy Tower

"Professor McGonagall had risen to her feet, the mournful hum in the Great Hall died away at once."
—McGonagall at Albus Dumbledore's funeral[src]

Later in the school year, Minerva participated in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower in 1997 after Draco sneaked Death Eaters into the school through the Room of Requirement. She was stuck on the level below Harry and Dumbledore and couldn't pass on the stairs to reach them, however, Snape could (as he had the Dark Mark) and pushed past her. During the battle, Minerva duelled and personally dispatched Death Eater Alecto Carrow, sending her foe running for cover.

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The funeral of Albus Dumbledore

After the battle, Minerva was devastated to learn of Snape's murder of Dumbledore, the man whom she had known nearly her entire life as a teacher, mentor and friend, and whose murderer she had let pass. After the murder was committed the Dark Mark, which was already cast into the sky, shadowed over the school grounds. After the death of Dumbledore, McGonagall held the Funeral of Albus Dumbledore at Hogwarts and in the final days of the school year, she took over Dumbledore's former position and became Headmistress of Hogwarts. She tried to comfort Harry about the death of Dumbledore but her efforts fell short, as she herself was devastated at the death of her beloved teacher.[15]

Voldemort's control of Hogwarts

As the war continued, Minerva remained at Hogwarts, even when it was taken over by Voldemort. This was most likely to make sure as little harm came to students, since she could act as an insider so that the Order of the Phoenix was informed on what was going on at Hogwarts. Even when Severus was appointed Headmaster and Alecto and Amycus Carrow were given free rein in the school, Minerva did as much as she could to protect the students. The rebel alliance Dumbledore's Army founded by the students reformed and McGonagall helped to keep their meetings a secret.

Battle of Hogwarts

"You're acting on Dumbledore's orders? ...We shall secure the school against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named while you search for this — this object."
—McGonagall prepares for the Battle of Hogwarts[src]

On 1 May 1998, Minerva was present when Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley returned to Hogwarts in the middle of the night in search of Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem. That night, she found Amycus at the door to Ravenclaw Tower, furiously assaulting it and demanding to be let in. Dryly pointing out that perhaps his sister, whom Professor Flitwick had admitted earlier at their urgent request, could open the door and prevent him from waking half the castle. Minerva then intervened on his behalf after he told her that Alecto wasn't responding.

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McGonagall protecting students during Snape's regime

When the door opened, they found Alecto unconscious on the floor, which Minerva surmised as the work of a Stunning Spell. Amycus then revealed that they had been warned that Harry might try to get into Ravenclaw Tower, to which Minerva responded with confusion as Harry was in her house, speaking of this with pride in her voice, before scanning the room. Amycus then horrified her by stating his plan to push the blame for Alecto summoning Voldemort on the children in the dormitories, without remorse or concern that they would likely be killed or horribly tortured. Minerva refused to allow it, prompting the Death Eater to spit in her face, only to be flung across the room with the Cruciatus Curse when Harry, who had witnessed the whole thing from under his Invisibility Cloak, revealed himself in sheer anger. With help from Harry and Luna Lovegood, she incapacitated the Carrow siblings in the Ravenclaw Common Room. Realising that a battle was upon them, Minerva gathered Filius Flitwick and Pomona Sprout and together the three Heads of House banished Severus from Hogwarts, Minerva even calling him a coward as he fled the school.

Harry informed McGonagall of a quest that Dumbledore had left him. In respect for Dumbledore's wishes, she offered to hold Voldemort and his army back for whilst Harry fulfilled this quest. She then proceeded to animate the castle's suits of armour and statues to help her defend the school.[7] Shortly before the battle, Minerva ordered Neville Longbottom with the aid of Seamus Finnigan and other students to destroy the Wooden Bridge so that the Snatchers could not sneak into school grounds. To ensure the advantage of chaos on their side, she also ordered Argus Filch to find Peeves and bring him to her, which he did in response to her agitation.

Minerva and Molly Battle og Hogwart

Minerva and Molly Weasley preparing for battle

After ordering the evacuation of younger students through the Hog's Head, Minerva began to help fortify the castle against the coming attack, with the assistance of her fellow teachers, Order members, and even the older students who had stayed behind to fight. When Pansy Parkinson suggested they take the deal offered to them by Voldemort — that of their lives in exchange for Harry Potter — Minerva ordered the girl and all those not willing to fight to leave.[7]

Minerva fought skilfully in the first part of the battle, standing defiant in the lull and among many students in a crowd when Voldemort himself walked into the Hogwarts grounds. It was only when she saw Harry Potter's body being carried by Hagrid that she began to despair, letting out a scream terrible to anyone who heard it, equal to that of Ron, Hermione, and Ginny's together. Nonetheless, Minerva continued to fight when the battle resumed after the attack by the Centaurs on Voldemort and the Death Eaters. In the final moments of the battle, she duelled Voldemort alongside Horace Slughorn and Kingsley Shacklebolt, though they were blasted aside by his fury when Bellatrix Lestrange was killed in a duel with Molly Weasley.

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Minerva and other onlookers watch as Harry Potter defeats Voldemort for the final time

McGonagall was present when Voldemort's Killing Curse connected with Harry's Disarming Charm and was rebounded, signalling his final defeat at Harry's hands. She, along with everyone else in the Great Hall, hugged Harry in an uncharacteristic display of great emotion.[7] She was one of the first to reach Harry, right behind Hermione, Ron, and Ginny. This event signalled the end of the Second Wizarding War.

As Headmistress of Hogwarts (1998-)

Early career

With the conclusion of the war, Professor McGonagall was awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class, by Minister for Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt for her unwavering allegiance to the Order of the Phoenix. Shortly afterwards she was featured on a card in the Chocolate Frog Famous Witches and Wizards series, an accolade she admitted she had never imagined receiving.[10]

Minerva returned to the position of Headmistress of Hogwarts and remained there until at least the 2020-2021 school year. She did not, however, return to her position as Transfiguration Teacher[16].

In 2008, Minerva gave permission for Dumbledore's notes on The Tales of Beedle the Bard to be published as part of Hermione Granger's new translation of the book.[17] She was also most likely responsible for the employment of former Gryffindor student Neville Longbottom as the new professor for Herbology.

The Calamity

In the 2010s, Minerva served as the leader of the efforts of the teachers of Hogwarts in instructing the Statute of Secrecy Task Force members who pursued a Professorship profession, expressing pleasure when a member joined but warning them of the difficulties along with expressing the fact that they could do things they never thought possible. She welcomed them by giving him the letters between Albus Dumbledore and Adalbert Waffling to help improve their skills in addressing the Calamity, specifically in fighting Impaired Foes.[18] In addition, Minerva would also teach them the Deterioration Hex for impairing purposes and instruct them on the proper stances to cast a far more powerful Protection Charm to the point of enchanting a teammate along with sessions to improve their attention for details as well as giving them a lesson on how to best use the strength of allies in battle and visiting to give a personal discourse on how to combat Curiosities.

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Minerva watching Rose Granger-Weasley's Sorting.

Minerva was also a staple in the Wizarding community and often attended Extraordinary General Meetings, most notably the meeting in 2020 where they discussed the concerning movement of Voldemort's allies. Furthermore, Minerva also revealed that someone had taken Boomslang skin and lacewing flies from the Potions stores during the summer break.

Assisting Albus Potter

In 2020, when Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy did not arrive at Hogwarts, Minerva sent owls to their parents and later met with Harry Potter, Ginny Potter and Draco Malfoy, along with Minister for Magic Hermione Granger and her husband Ron Weasley, to find them. Minerva even suggested having Professor Longbottom aid them, due to his expertise in Herbology being useful in the Forbidden Forest.

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Minerva and Harry arguing over Albus and Scorpius's friendship

After Albus and Scorpius meddled in time and made it so Ron and Hermione never married, Albus was Sorted into Gryffindor and Ron married Padma Patil, Minerva was still Headmistress of Hogwarts. She tried to advise Harry on interfering in Albus and Scorpius's friendship, but he insisted on keeping them separated and blackmailed Minerva into using the Marauder's Map to keep them apart.

Mcgonagall marauders map

Minerva examines the Marauder's Map with Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley

But, after using the map a few times, Minerva was again visited by Harry, Ginny and Draco and told him that she wanted no part in ruining friendships, to which he apologised and begged that she use the map to find Albus and Scorpius so that he can apologise to him too. Minerva used the map to discover that they were in the girls' bathroom on the first floor. Minerva and the parents tried to find them, but Moaning Myrtle reveals that they used a Time-Turner to save Cedric Diggory, much to Minerva's shock.

When Albus and Scorpius returned to the original timeline, Minerva found them and they confessed what they had done. Minerva invited Harry PotterHermione GrangerRonald Weasley and Draco Malfoy to meet with her and she reminded them that although Albus and Scorpius were being noble, their meddling had returned them to the darkest times of the wizarding war and to never forget that their current peaceful world had been created because of the sacrifices of those who lost their lives. She then ordered them to find the missing Time-Turner.

Physical appearance

"The door swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. She had a very stern face and Harry's first thought was that she was not someone to cross."
—Harry Potter's first impression of McGonagall[src]
PromoHP1 Minerva McGonagall 2

Minerva McGonagall

Minerva McGonagall was first described as a tall, rather severe-looking and "sprightly" seventy-year-old woman. She had light skin, green eyes, and black hair (gray in the films). Her was rarely down and the majority of the time was combed back into a tight bun. In her youth, Minerva was described to not be as beatiful as her mother, but she was still rather pretty according to her picture in that age.

Minerva always had a very prim expression. She also was known for her mouth to become very thin whenever she was angry. Harry Potter made analogies to McGonagall looking like she was going to explode, breathe fire and shoot sparks from her nose based on how transparent her anger could appear. When Minerva was happy or relaxed, she seemed like a different person entirely. She was capable of blending into Muggle crowds though Harry noted that the appearance didn't suit her.

Minerva often wore emerald green robes or her favourite tartan pattern. She wore square spectacles that matched the markings around the eyes of her Animagus and Patronus: a silver tabby cat. She also wore a pointed hat cocked to one side. As Minerva was a fan of tartan print and would often wear it to Quidditch games along with a woolly hat covering her ears.

Personality and traits

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Minerva smiling at the Yule Ball, a rare occurrence

Minerva almost constantly exuded magnanimity and sternness, being held in great respect (and some fear) by nearly all students and staff. Used to having her way, she tolerated neither audacity nor silliness from her pupils and was known to turn cold towards people who said or did things in front of her that were stupid, or if she thought they were trying to be funny.[14] She was a woman who rarely smiled or gave compliments freely. Despite her stern demeanour, Minerva did exhibit a dry sense of humour which usually came out when times were tough. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind and showed quite a sharp tongue, especially during arguments.  

True to Gryffindor, Minerva valued bravery and courage highly, believing cowardice be a heavy flaw. She fought the Death Eaters and protected her students, proving her bravery. Despite her loyalty to her house, Minerva was a fair-minded person who was known for docking points from students in her own House when she saw it must be done so. Although she permitted of-age students to choose whether they want to stay or evacuate for the Battle of Hogwarts as a respect for their valour and rights, she gave the strict orders for anyone underage to evacuate, prioritising their safety over their courage and refusing to let under-qualified children to die in battle despite their desires.

For the most part, though, Minerva usually maintained great emotional composure, without being indifferent. Although she wasn't always particularly personable, she could be very warm and supportive during times of trouble or loss and cared a great deal about her students, both personally and academically. She was known to be extremely caring in times of tragedy, being known for her kindness in her own reserved manner. Though it rarely happened, Minerva showed a temper that can reveal itself on occasions when she was angrily flustered[19] Apparently, she shared this temper with her father.

As the devoted instructor of Transfiguration classes, Minerva highly respected the specific branch of magic, which considered it to be more complex and sophisticated than all others, though she respected most others just as much. She become an Animagus - which requires a complicated, long process- to further her study in this subject and enjoyed correcting articles in Transfiguration Today. On the other hand, Minerva had very little patience with Divination, due to its impreciseness and rarity of true Seers.

Though she gave up Quidditch on leaving Hogwarts, the innately competitive Minerva later took a keen interest in the fortunes of her house team and retained a keen eye for Quidditch talent. She enjoyed watching Quidditch, and supported the Montrose Magpies.

Minerva inherited her cast-iron moral sense from her father. As a law-abiding citizen, she respected the particular law that all Animagi of Britain must register, insisting that Talbott Winger do so despite understanding his reason of secrecy. She wasn't inducted into the Order of the Phoenix during Voldemort’s first climb to power because the Order was held as a renegade outfit by the Ministry, who feared Dumbledore’s charisma and magical talent and were inclined to harbour fears that he wished to succeed them. Instead, she became their informant and bravely spied on Voldemort's followers in the guise of a cat.

However, by the time of the second wizarding war, Minerva was no longer prepared to act as a spy for a Ministry she believed had become corrupt and dangerous. She is known to have a very severe dislike and hatred of those who abuse power, such as her making an enemy of Dolores Umbridge for the latter's bigoted and sociopathic behaviour. This also displayed her own distaste for racial prejudice and sadism. Following the confrontation with the Death Eaters who had invaded Hogwarts at the time of Albus Dumbledore’s death, Minerva became a fully fledged member of the Order of the Phoenix, which was now, more than ever, seen as an outlaw organisation. Similarly, she stood up to Amycus Carrow, despite the Death Eater's higher authority at the time, refusing to let him blame the students for Alecto's blunder and looked down at him with pure disgust.

Magical abilities and skills

"As if one of them could have Stunned Minerva McGonagall face-on by daylight!"
Poppy Pomfrey on Minerva's outstanding magical abilities[src]
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Minerva McGonagall's Patronus, a cat

Minerva McGonagall was an extremely powerful and talented witch whom none should ever underestimate. Her magical prowess allowed her to be the teacher of Transfiguration, a remarkably complex field of magic which she proved to be an expert in. She was also highly capable in many areas of magic as well as Transfiguration, the proof of this being she survived both Wizarding Wars and a duel with Voldemort himself, as well as correctly brewing the extremely advanced Animagus potion at only seventeen years of age. She was also the only person ever seen to produce three Patronus charms at once, which she additionally did non-verbally. Many wizards and witches alike are unable to produce one Patronus whilst saying the incantation, so this is further evidence of Minerva's world class ability. 
  • Magical Mastery: Minerva was an incredibly powerful and talented witch, having inherited such talent from her mother and great-grandmother. She achieved top grades in her O.W.Ls and N.E.W.Ts when she was at Hogwarts, being quickly recognised as the most talented student of her year. She mastered magic at such a young age, becoming the recipient of several awards such as Transfiguration Today's Most Promising Newcomer Award at her graduation's time and even trained under Albus Dumbledore personally whilst at school. As an adult, Minerva continued to prove she was an inspirational and talented teacher, therefore successfully becoming the Head of Transfiguration and eventually Headmaster.
  • Non-verbal and Wandless magic: Minerva was shown to be skilful at both non-verbal and wandless magic for a wide variety of spells, especially transformation spells and Patronus charm. She also could perform them with just a wave of her wand. This is a testament to her formidable magical skills, as these magics are both incredibly difficult to perform.
    Fiery Offensive Spell

    McGonagall duelling Snape

  • Duelling: Minerva was an immensely skilful duellist. She was described as moving "faster than Harry Potter would have believed", displaying an incredible amount of speed and precision with her spell work. Though she was hit by four stunning spells without warning by a group of Aurors, Poppy Pomfrey furiously insisted that they wouldn't have stood a chance in a straight fight. During the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, Minerva defeated Death Eater Alecto Carrow and survived the battle unscathed. In 1998, shortly before the Battle of Hogwarts, she fiercely duelled Severus Snape, quickly and easily countering all of his spells and responding with her own. She sent daggers so powerful after him that he was forced to take refuge behind a shield of armour when he couldn't counter her spell. Filius Flitwick and Pomona Sprout then arrived and together, they were quickly able to overwhelm and force Snape to flee from the school. A further testament to Minerva's power and extreme duelling skill was that Snape was forced to take refuge before the other Heads of House arrived, thus showing she did not require aid to overpower Snape. Minerva emerged as one of the survivors of the Battle of Hogwarts and most likely defeated (or at least) held her own against many Death Eaters. Alongside Horace Slughorn and Kingsley Shacklebolt, she was even able to stalemate Voldemort himself and they were only overpowered when Voldemort's rage of Bellatrix's death caused his magic to explode, although it must be noted that Voldemort was wielding the Elder Wand at the time without having achieved mastery over it and Harry's loving sacrifice was weakening the power of Voldemort's spells. Her duelling knowledge remained even as she grew older, with her instructing members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force how to improve their sight and teamwork.
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    Minerva transforming a bird into a water goblet, using the spell Vera Verto

  • Transfiguration: Minerva was taught Transfiguration by Albus Dumbledore, showing a particular talent in the subject even at a young age despite she came to consider her subject to be among the most complex and dangerous magic taught at Hogwarts. With guidance from her teacher Albus Dumbledore, she was skilled enough to achieve the Animagus transformation at the young age of seventeen. Her record was so impressive that she earned the aforementioned Transfiguration Today Most Promising Newcomer Award. Her knowledge and mastery would grow to the point that she managed to do a good enough of a job as a member of that department that she effectively assumed the position of Head of Transfiguration after Dumbledore (who seemed to be her only superior around the time) became Headmaster. Due to her mastery of this magic, Minerva was one of the teachers trusted to protect the Philosopher's Stone, which she did magnificently by enlarging an entire set of chess to giant size and making them real. Some of her spells included transform her desk into a pig and then reversed this transformation in 1991. In 1992, she transformed an animal into a water goblet and conjured one of the legs of Naville's desk after he accidentally vanished it, plates and goblets for her students, and a fan to "waft" Nearly Headless Nick. She was the one to reverse the transfiguration spell Barty Crouch Jr (disguised as Alastor Moody) used to turn Draco Malfoy into a ferret in 1994. In 1998, Minerva tied up the Carrows by conjuring a silver rope and a net as restraints. In her duel with Snape, she conjured a fiery whirlwind similar to a fire rope in her duel with Snape, vanished the snake that he had transfigured, and easily turned the fiery serpent he sent at her into a flurry of daggers.
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    McGonagall Animagus transformation

  • Animagus: Minerva learned how to become an Animagus under Dumbledore's tutelage during her time as a student at Hogwarts, transforming into a tabby cat at will. She often used this ability when she didn't wish to be recognised. An example of this usage was when she spied on the Dursley family before Dumbledore brought Harry to them. On his notes of The Tales of Beedle the Bard , Dumbledore stated that Minerva asked him to explain that she had never abused the ability for any surreptitious purposes, setting aside legitimate business for the Order of the Phoenix (and previously the Ministry of Magic) where secrecy and concealment were imperative to survive and get information from the enemy. Minerva demonstrated her transformation to the students in their third year, which usually got applause.[5] When Hermione Granger searched for Animagus references in her third year, she saw that her Professor was one of the few registered Animagi in the 20th century.
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    McGonagall bringing the suits of armour to life

  • Charms: Minerva was shown to be extremely proficient with charm-work. She often used the Summoning Charm to bring multiple books to her hand with a simple wave of her wand. In 1992, when Harry and Ron had to eat in Snape's office, she bewitched a plate of sandwiches that would automatically refill itself. Minerva had mastered the Patronus Charm, being able to create a powerful corporeal Patronus in the form of a cat — identical to her Animagus — , being the only person seen to cast three Patronuses at once (albeit not in the presence of a Dementor). She also was able to use her Patronus as of means of communication, as taught to her by Dumbledore. Minerva was proficient in the use of the Piertotum Locomotor charm, using it to such a great effect that with a single use, she animated virtually all of the thousands of desks and suits of armour in order to defend Hogwarts during the final battle with Voldemort.
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts: Minerva was highly proficient in Defence Against the Dark Arts, as she fought in the two wizarding wars and survived, having defeated powerful dark wizards and witches in process. During her early years in teaching, Minerva swiftly undid the effects of the dark charm Oscausi Leta Lestrange placed on a Gryffindor girl. During her time as Headmaster, it is implied that Minerva, like all her predecessors, was charged with handling the protective enchantments of Hogwarts, which considering her own abilities, she likely still did so magnificently although she wasn't quite as capable as Dumbledore in the field. She was able to teach how to greatly increase the strength of the Protection Charm of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force.
  • Dark Arts: Whilst she didn't practise the Dark Arts, Minerva at least possessed adequate proficiency in the field. She was able to successfully cast an effective Imperius Curse on Amycus Carrow, a remarkable feat as the Unforgivable Curses require both heartfelt intent and power in order to be effectively cast. She seemed to have no trouble performing standard dark charms, casting the spell Oscausi on the girl who had had it cast previously on her by Leta and the Knockback Jinx in a failed attempt to free Ben Copper from the Cursed ice (openly noting she used it when it was previously unleashed upon the school successfully). She was at least particularly proficient in the use of Deterioration Hex, enough so to teach them to the members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force.
  • Flying: During her school years at Hogwarts, Minerva was a skilful player of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. However, while playing, she suffered a number of serious injuries — such as a concussion and broken bones— that forced her to give up playing. It is highly possible that the Slytherin Quidditch team had cheated in the process.
  • Potions: Minerva had very advanced abilities in brewing potions, as she was capable of brewing the Animagus potion, which was known to be immensely difficult, complex and time-consuming with great consequences if brewed incorrectly,[10] showing her superior talent in potion-making.
  • Study of Ancient Runes: Minerva was highly proficient and well versed in the study of Ancient Runes or Runology, being able to understand and translate complex runic scriptures, alphabets and symbols correctly, often using the help of a highly useful and practical rune dictionary.[6][20]
  • Control of Underage magic: As an infant, Minerva had early signs of magic. She inadvertently summoned toys that had been left on upper shelves to her cot, made the family cat do her bidding, and her father's bagpipes play themselves.
  • Logical thinking and intelligence: McGonagall was an incredibly wise, observant, and intelligent witch. She was once given the option to become a Ravenclaw by the Sorting Hat, though she turned it down in preference for Gryffindor, with her officially becoming a known Hatstall. In 1998, she effortlessly solved the riddle to allow Amycus Carrow into the Ravenclaw Tower. Minerva's strategical-sense and deduction skills, along with her cautious nature, were shown several times: She confiscated Harry's Firebolt to be "examined" because she correctly guessed it to have been sent by Sirius Black (though she did this because she incorrectly believed it was lethally cursed), did all she could to circumvent Dolores Umbridge's authority without risking her own security as Deputy Headmistress for certain time and gave Peeves tips when he was trying to cause havoc for Umbridge; and helped to keep the meetings of the reformed Dumbledore's Army a secret. Shortly before the final battle, Minerva ordered her students, with the aid of explosive magic, to destroy the main access to Hogwarts so the Snatchers couldn't sneak into school grounds and ordered the caretaker to find Peeves to ensure the advantage of chaos on their side.
  • Leadership skills: Minerva was an exceptionally effective leader, being able to take charge in any situation within minutes. During the long absences of Dumbledore, she was the one to step in to fill his shoes. In the upstart of the Battle of Hogwarts, Minerva took charge of the school and secure it against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. She led the defenders of Hogwarts during the battle, and in the end they came out victorious when Harry defeated Voldemort once and for all. After everything returned to normal, Minerva became the permanent Headmistress of Hogwarts. Her leadership skills would help her when she became the leader of the members of the newly created Statute of Secrecy Task Force who desired to become a Professor, being able to lead both those under her charge and her fellow instructors into fighting the Calamity while remaining hidden from Muggles.
  • Physical condition: It should be noted that Minerva was in excellent physical condition, despite her old age. She had great physical endurance as she notably fully recovered from four Stunning Spells aimed at her by Dolores Umbridge and some Aurors. Although she was hospitalised due to the severity of her injuries, many noted that the four spells straight to the chest could have been fatal, another testament to her overall strength.

Possessions

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Minerva's wand

  • Hornbill: This hornbill was owned by Professor McGonagall from 1992 or earlier. In that year, she used the bird to demonstrate the spell Vera Verto, in front of her second-years' class.[21]
  • Walking stick: Minerva used this walking stick after leaving St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, after being hit with four Stunners. It was once borrowed, with her permission, by Peeves to chase and whack Dolores Umbridge with.
  • Office: Minerva's office is a small study located off of the first-floor corridor,[22][23] to the right of a staircase to the Serpentine Corridor.[24] It has a large fire,[22] windows overlooking the Training Grounds[25] and the Quidditch pitch,[26] and a sparse stone-floored bedroom behind a concealed door"[1]
  • Headmistress's Office: Upon assuming the headship of Hogwarts following the legendary Battle of Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall presided henceforth over the school from the office of her predecessors. It is unknown what, if any changes she did to the decor, or what the passwords were.
  • Cottage: During their marriage in the 1980s, Minerva and Elphinstone Urquart lived in a small cottage, which the latter purchased after he proposed to her in the summer of 1982. The cottage was located in Hogsmeade, from where Minerva could go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry every day to teach.[1]
  • Dress robes: Minerva wore a set of dress robes to the Yule Ball, which was held on Christmas Day, 1994, together with a hat on which she arranged a rather ugly wreath of thistles. The robes were made of a red tartan fabric.[27]

Relationships

Albus Dumbledore

McGonagall: "Professor Dumbledore is a very great wizard, Potter, he has many demands on his time —"
Harry Potter: "But this is important."
— Minerva McGonagall and Harry Potter in 1992[src]
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Albus Dumbledore, her dear friend and colleague

Minerva knew Albus Dumbledore for the majority of her life. She attended Hogwarts as a student during Dumbledore's time as Transfiguration Professor and even replaced him as Head of Transfiguration when he took the position of Headmaster of the school. Albus discovered Minerva in tears in her classroom late one evening after she found out about Dougal McGregor's marriage with another woman. She confessed the whole story to him, and he offered both comfort and wisdom; telling her some of his own family history, previously unknown to her.

The confidences exchanged between the two intensely private and reserved characters were to form the basis of a lasting mutual esteem and friendship. Despite this fact, she had never been fully in his or Dumbledore's confidence. Minerva was one of only a handful of people who knew how dreadful a moment it was for Dumbledore when he made the decision to confront and defeat the Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in 1945.[10]

Minerva served for many years as his Deputy Headmistress, standing in for him in dangerous situations and even replacing him as Headmistress on several occasions.[13][15] She also served more than once to bring Dumbledore back on track when he became distracted from the matter currently at hand.[14] Minerva had great faith in Dumbledore, placing great stock in the differences between him and Voldemort.[3] However, she didn't hesitate to disagree with him when she felt the need to do so, greatly opposing his decision to place Harry Potter with Petunia Dursley's family[25] and his policy of allowing Harry to run extreme risks.

Minerva never hesitated in displaying her loyalty to Dumbledore. When Cornelius Fudge brought Aurors to arrest Dumbledore in 1996, she boldly stepped forward and announced her intention to fight the Aurors on his behalf. She only stepped back at Dumbledore's insistence when he reminded her that Hogwarts and her students would need her in his absence.[9] Minerva was devastated when Dumbledore was killed in 1997 during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and arranged his funeral.[15] A year later, when Harry was on a mission given to him by Dumbledore, she didn't question the decision of the late headmaster, but immediately sought to provide whatever assistance she could.[7]

Harry Potter

"You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son — I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter come and live here?"
—McGonagall discussing the Dursley family as Harry's guardians[src]
PromoHP7 Harry Potter

Harry Potter, student, protege, and ally

Minerva showed her care for Harry ever since she, Dumbledore and Hagrid left him in the care of the Dursleys, in part because she had been quite fond of Harry's late parents. She was sort of a loving grandmother to him and expressed concern with both Dumbledore's choice trusting Hagrid to safely transport Harry to Little Whinging, and of the choice of family with whom Harry would stay. She spent hours on end spying on the Dursleys to get an insight to what life for Harry growing up would be like,[3] calling them "the worst sort of Muggles imaginable".[25] It is unlikely, however, that she kept watch over Harry, as she would never go against Dumbledore's actions, no matter how much she disagreed with them.

When Harry arrived at Hogwarts, Minerva was naturally pleased that he was sorted into Gryffindor, her house and as he studied in Hogwarts. Although her relationship with him remained mostly normal, she kept a watchful eye on him and his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger to ensure his safety. She also (along with the other professors) reported that he was likeable, humble and talented.[28] Although she was fully willing to punish him for his misdeeds, Minerva would not hesitate to intervene in their affairs whenever necessary to keep them safe and ensured that Harry would not be punished too severely. This was shown when Harry and his friends were caught sneaking around the tower in the dead of night during their first year at Hogwarts and she sent him off to serve detention in the Forbidden Forest.

However, rather than punishing or expelling him for having broken Madam Hooch's order that no student would ride on their broomsticks and the risk he took, Minerva brought him to see Oliver Wood, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, announcing that she had found their new Seeker. In her gratitude for Harry accepting the position, she bought him a Nimbus 2000 for his first Quidditch game.[3] Her affection for him even allowed her to forgive him and Ron's use of the Weasleys's flying car to reach Hogwarts, which risked exposure of the wizarding world and broke several of the international laws, a far more serious deed than smuggling Norbert out of Hogwarts, without even taking House Points from Gryffindor and only punishing him and Ron by giving him detention. She nearly smiled when Harry pointed out how she couldn't take House Points for Gryffindor as it was only the beginning of the year.
McGonagallWithHandOnHarrysShoulder

McGonagall comforting Harry after refusing to allow him to go to Hogsmeade

This particularly strong concern for Harry, clearly above what Minerva felt for most other individual students, was later shown in his third year: She proved she cared far more for Harry than winning the Quidditch Cup for Gryffindor, ensuring he was kept in maximum security and limiting his time to practise and even not hesitating to confiscate the Firebolt he was given to out of concern it was sent by Sirius Black and instantly lost her temper when Oliver Wood suggested Harry be allowed to fall off his broom as long as he caught the Snitch, intimidating Wood into submission. She also pitied him for being unable to go to Hogsmeade due to not having a signed note and appeared to indicate she would be willing to allow him to go had it not been for the danger of Sirius.

When Harry became the fourth Triwizard Champion, Minerva adamantly defended Harry from the accusation of Olympe Maxime that Harry had been willing to die for the gold rewarded and even went as far as to try to convince Albus into not letting Harry compete, being utterly mortified by the fact that Snape and Dumbledore were willing to use Harry as a bait and often showed herself to be more protective of Harry than the then Headmaster. She also wanted to keep Harry out of the explanation the imposter was about to give, believing Harry had had enough, but reluctantly conceded to Dumbledore's wish that Harry stay. However, she was quick to praise his performance and assure he was tended to in the First Task and helped him train for the Third Task by lending her room.

In Harry's fifth year, Minerva promised Harry that she would do whatever she possibly could to see that he achieved his dream of becoming an Auror. She supported him unequivocally even though she had never been fully in his confidence. When she later found out about the sort of punishment Harry and various other students had been receiving from Dolores Umbridge, Minerva expressed nothing but absolute disgust and disapproval, despite the power Umbridge wielded.[9] In return, although Harry disliked her strictness regarding his opposition of Umbridge, he was still grateful for her care towards him and was utterly infuriated when Mcgonagall was attacked so severely by the Aurors sent to capture Hagrid she had to be sent to St Mungo to the point where he even believed Umbridge being murdered brutally (fed to a Blast-Ended Skrewt) was not a punishment good enough and immediately felt such anger that he coldly defied Umbridge when she gloated over Mcgonagall's current state despite being cornered.

"Why would Harry Potter try to get inside Ravenclaw Tower? Potter belongs in my House!"
—McGonagall's pride that Harry belongs in her house[src]

Shortly prior to the Battle of Hogwarts, Amycus Carrow - who, along with his sister Alecto, had been posted at the school by Voldemort - demanded to know where Harry was in the Tower and McGonagall asked why he would be there as he belonged in her house, with clear pride in her voice. When Amycus spat at McGonagall, Harry was outraged to the point of attacking him with the Cruciatus Curse, even agreeing with Bellatrix Lestrange's assertion that one had to "really mean it" to perform the curse correctly. Although shocked by Harry's sudden appearance and his use of an Unforgivable Curse, she was clearly touched by the gesture. Though Minerva initially tried to convince Harry to flee out of concern for his safety, she immediately joined Harry in retaking the castle and preparing for battle. She did this when he informed her that he was acting on Dumbledore's orders. Nearing the end of the Battle of Hogwarts, Minerva's devastation was great when she saw Rubeus Hagrid carrying Harry's seemingly dead body. This grief was enough to make her duel Voldemort head on in the final battle, alongside Horace Slughorn and Kingsley Shacklebolt, in order to protect the rest of her students. When the battle ended with Voldemort's death at Harry's hands, she was among the first to embrace him.[7]

The two continued to have a very positive relationship over the following years. Harry acted as a frequent guest lecturer on Defence Against The Dark Arts, under Minerva's jurisdiction. She would serve as Headmistress over Harry's three children, and in turn she learned to expect them to get into the same kinds of trouble as their father. This was to be expected, after having now taught and served over three generations of Potters. Minerva's relationship with Harry experienced a brief strain when he blackmailed her into using the Marauder's Map to ensure Albus and Scorpius remains apart, which she felt great discontent at doing, but it was reconciled when Harry apologised and she wasn't shown to hold any ill-will afterwards.

Hermione Granger

"Ah, of course. There is no need to tell me any more, Miss Granger. Which one of you will be dying this year?"
—McGonagall discussing a previous Divination lesson[src]
HermioneGranger

Hermione Granger, her student

Minerva took a shine to Hermione Granger since the younger witch successfully transfigured a match into a needle early on in her first Transfiguration lesson, before any other student. She gave Hermione one of her "rare smiles". Hence, Minerva was extremely shocked and disappointed in Hermione when she said she had gone looking for the Troll that invaded Hogwarts, under the impression that she could stop it. The claim wasn't true, but Minerva was none the wiser.[3] When Hermione was attacked by the Basilisk in 1992, Minerva was greatly moved and would often take time to visit her Petrified student in the hospital wing.[13]

In Hermione's third year, Minerva went to the effort to arrange for Hermione to be given permission to use a Time-Turner to take additional classes. Teachers didn't often seek permission for a student to use one of the devices, but she saw something special in Hermione and went out of her way to make sure the younger witch wasn't under-achieving.[5] Hermione further showed her high regard of Hermione, by appointing her a Gryffindor prefect in her fifth year at Hogwarts. When Minerva was attacked by several Ministry employees outside of Hagrid's Hut, Hermione showed deep emotion towards the event, like Minerva did a few years before. She and McGonagall were allies during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and the Battle of Hogwarts, surviving the Second Wizarding War.

Minerva was a role model for Hermione and both had much in common. They both believed that Divination was a very "woolly" subject and that Professor Trelawney was a fraud,[5] Furthermore, both were considered for Ravenclaw, but in the end were both Sorted into Gryffindor House.

Ron Weasley

Ron Weasley : "That was bloody brilliant!"
McGonagall: "Well, thank you for that assessment, Mr Weasley. Perhaps it would be more useful if I were to transfigure Mr Potter or yourself into a pocket watch? That way, one of you might be on time."
— McGonagall's first interaction with Ron[src]
Ron Weasley

Ron Weasley, her student

Ron Weasley was a student at the time McGonagall was a professor at Hogwarts. He was sorted into Gryffindor, McGonagall's house. Ron thought she was very strict, however, he did see her good side on a number of occasions. The two clashed when he and Harry flew Arthur Weasley's flying car to Hogwarts. However, she didn't wish to see them expelled. During the Yule Ball, Minerva showed the other students how to dance by dancing with Ron in front of the whole class, a move which prompted laughter from the class and Fred and George agreeing to always tease him about it.

Ron is appointed prefect by McGonagall in his fifth year after most likely being persuaded by Dumbledore, as he felt that Harry had enough responsibilities to deal with. He and McGonagall were allies during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and the Battle of Hogwarts, surviving the Second Wizarding War.

Neville Longbottom

"It's high time your grandmother learned to be proud of the grandson she's got, rather than the one she thinks she ought to have — particularly after what happened at the Ministry."
—McGonagall complimenting Neville for the first time[src]
Neville-longbottom

Neville Longbottom, her student

Minerva had a long history with the Longbottom family, being allies with the Order of the Phoenix, in which Neville's parents were members. They were eventually tortured into insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange. She also had a personal relationship with Neville's grandmother, who raised him.

McGonagall frequently seemed to expect more from Neville than he produced, starting with Neville's first day at Hogwarts when he ran out of a crowd after his toad.[3] When Neville "lost" his scrap of parchment (which was actually stolen by Crookshanks) with Gryffindor's passwords on them, allowing Sirius Black to enter the common room, Minerva was furious with him.[5] She voiced pride in Neville's courage in participating in the fight with the Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries.

Minerva couldn't help but feel pity for Neville after the loss of both his parents, whom she knew and fought alongside earlier on in her career. She also sought to encourage Neville to take Charms, in his sixth year, despite his grandmother's dismissal of the subject as "soft;" Minerva wanted to see Neville pursue his own talents rather than the skills his grandmother appeared to value.[15] After the Second Wizarding War, Minerva may have been the one to employ Neville as the school's new Herbology professor.

Draco Malfoy

"What utter rubbish! How dare you tell such lies! Come on — I shall see Professor Snape about you, Malfoy!"
—McGonagall after catching an 11-year-old Draco out of bed[src]
Draco-Malfoy-promo-draco-and-slytherin-22383941-1920-2560

Draco Malfoy, her student

While Professor Snape favoured students of his own house and often overlooked any misbehaviour from students like Draco Malfoy, McGonagall had little tolerance for nonsense from any student, regardless of their house, and took no notice of the Malfoy family's status within the wizarding community. As she wasn't a Slytherin, Malfoy didn't respect her at all but was never foolish enough to make this clear in front of her.

Despite her clear disapproval of Malfoy's pure-blood supremacist leanings, McGonagall sought to protect him as much as every other student, being completely appalled when Alastor Moody (Barty Crouch Jr in disguise) transformed Draco into a ferret in 1994. She transformed Malfoy back into his human form and reminded Moody that they never use transfiguration as a punishment. In addition, Minerva wouldn't accept Harry's accusations of Malfoy mailing a cursed necklace without sufficient evidence, nor condone any attacks Harry made on Malfoy such as when the former used the Sectumsempra curse (not knowing exactly what it did) on Malfoy, in 1997.

However, when Draco was proven to have led a group of Death Eaters into the castle, Minerva came to see him as much an enemy as any Death Eater, until after the war, where Draco was pardoned. At which point. Minerva and Draco established a cordial relationship, as she accepted Draco's son into Hogwarts and treated him just as she would every student despite whatever dark feelings she may had towards Draco for his misdeeds, being utterly appealed at Harry's request that she help Albus and Scorpius stay apart. Draco also trusted her into using the Marauder's Map to find his son and Albus and fully accepted whatever punishment would be given to Scorpius, acknowledging he believed her decision would be fair.

Weasley family

Weasleys

The Weasley family

McGonagall and the Weasleys get along well, considering they were all in Gryffindor House and fellow members of the Order of the Phoenix. However, Minerva disapproved of Fred and George Weasley's behaviour at school, although she still seemed impressed by their magical skills. When Dolores Umbridge was appointed as High Inquisitor for Hogwarts, she allied with the twins and attempted to oppose Umbridge.

Minerva was fond of all the Weasley children, including Ginny. She was glad that Ginny was sorted into Gryffindor, and, although Ginny thought McGonagall was a little strict, she believed that the Transfiguration professor was also fair. Both witches tried to oppose Umbridge (in 1995) and the Carrows (in 1998). Furthermore, Minerva had high regard and expectations of Percy Weasley, who was a Gryffindor prefect and Head Boy in his last year at Hogwarts.

The Marauders and Lily Evans

"Is it true, Albus? Lily and James... are dead?"
—McGonagall's devastation regarding the Potter's murders[src]
The Marauders

The Marauders, her former students

McGonagall had long been the Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts by the time Lily Evans and the Marauders attended as students, all being sorted into the Gryffindor house. After they left Hogwarts, both McGonagall became allies with her former students, who became members of the first Order of the Phoenix.

The Marauders were four great friends: Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black and James Potter. Despite their boisterous ways, at odds with Minerva's no-nonsense reputation, they seemed to have a good relationship with her. Coincidentally, both McGonagall and the Marauders had the accomplishment of becoming Animagi. This information most likely not privy to her.

Lily Potter1

Minerva liked James Potter (an intelligent and talented wizard), despite the fact that he could sometimes be a bit of a bully and was not above bending the rules. McGonagall seems to have had a good relationship with his future wife, Lily Evans. The couple would later become Head Boy and Head Girl; neither appointment would have happened if their Head of House had not approved, which means she trusted them. McGonagall was devastated at the murder in 1981 of Lily and James, both whom she considered her all-time favourites. She later became friendly with the Potters' son, Harry, who was also her student and a member of her House, though she did not show favouritism and was more than willing to take many points even from her own House for misbehaviour.

A little over a decade after he left Hogwarts, Remus Lupin (a former Prefect of her House) returned to the school in order to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts, becoming Minerva's professional colleaguein 1993. She didn't care about the fact Remus was a werewolf, because Dumbledore trusted him, and respected his efficient teaching skills, as she referenced him during Harry's Careers Advice. The two were members of the Order of the Phoenix in the Second Wizarding War. After Dumbledore's death, McGonagall, Lupin and several other individuals were devastated; they all discussed about the way Snape killed Dumbledore. Saldy, Lupin himself died in the Battle of Hogwarts.

Minerva had a good relationship with Sirius Black. But after James' death, she, the rest of the wizarding community, assumed it was Sirius who betrayed the Potters since he was expected to be their Secret-Keeper. Only in 1995 did she learn that the Secret-Keeper at the time of the Potters' deaths was actually Peter Pettigrew, who took the title after Sirius turned it down. Sirius was murdered by his own cousin Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in 1996. Minerva's reaction to Sirius's death is unreported.

"Hero-worshipped Black and Potter. Never quite in their league, talent-wise. I was often rather sharp with him... Stupid boy... Foolish boy..."
—McGonagall's low opinion of Peter Pettigrew[src]
Minerva had a pretty poor relationship with Peter Pettigrew, describing him as a "stupid" and "foolish" boy. She confessed that she was harsher than necessary with him during their time together as student and teacher, even when "hero-worshipped" James Potter and Sirius Black for the mischief. Peter faked his own death standing up to Sirius, who was a suspect in the Potters' betrayal, leading McGonagall to regret that she had been harsh towards him and to acknowledge him as a brave Gryffindor.

Rubeus Hagrid

"I'm not saying his heart isn't in the right place, but you can't pretend he's not careless."
—McGonagall's opinion of Hagrid in delicate situations[src]
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Rubeus Hagrid, her friend and colleague

Rubeus Hagrid respected McGonagall. Hagrid was the gamekeeper, and later Care of Magical Creatures professor of Hogwarts. McGonagall was one of the most serious professors at Hogwarts, and sometimes disapproved of Hagrid's behaviour, especially during the Sorting ceremony. However, they were still close friends, were both members of the Order of the Phoenix, and admired Albus Dumbledore.

Hagrid once kissed McGonagall on her cheek when he had drunk very much and she was noted giving a flushed giggle in the event's festivities. When Dolores Umbridge and several Aurors from the Ministry sought to sack and exile Hagrid from the school grounds by force, Minerva quickly flew to his aid, in turn taking four stunners simultaneously to the chest. Hagrid was disgusted when the Aurors stunned and injured her to the point that he attacked them in an uncontrollable rage before fleeing, furiously denouncing them as cowards.

In 1997, after Albus Dumbledore's death, Minerva stated that she appreciated Hagrid's opinion very much, as did Dumbledore. McGonagall and Hagrid fought against Death Eaters during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and the Battle of Hogwarts. They were among the first ones to run to congratulate Harry after he defeated Voldemort. They both survived the war and still taught at Hogwarts.

Severus Snape

"And Potter — do try and win, won't you? Or we'll be out of the running for the eighth year in a row, as Professor Snape was kind enough to remind me only last night..."
—McGonagall after enduring taunting from Snape[src]
Severus Snape Profile

Severus Snape, her colleague and former student

Minerva McGonagall was Severus Snape's professor of Transfiguration during his time as a student at Hogwarts. After he had graduated and then returned as the Potions master, he and McGonagall became colleagues. As Head of Gryffindor House, McGonagall and Snape teased one another about House points and Quidditch standings, acting like friendly rivals to one another. Like Snape, McGonagall was a strict disciplinarian, but was fairer to Harry Potter, who was a member of her House.

Both were demanding and effective teachers, unusually talented at magic, and loyal to Albus Dumbledore, so over time, Minerva grew to respect Severus despite his dark past. McGonagall knew that Snape was a Death Eater in his youth, but she followed Albus Dumbledore in believing that he truly regretted his former allegiance. She did, however, admit to being suspicious of Snape's true allegiance though she trusted him simply because Albus did. Unusually for Snape, he was on first name terms with McGonagall, showing a certain level of personal friendship.

After Snape killed Dumbledore, McGonagall was shocked and perhaps personally hurt to find her formerly-respected colleague a murderer and apparent traitor. When Snape became Headmaster of Hogwarts, she opposed him and his supposed minions the Carrows, without knowing Snape was secretly helping her protect the students from his fellow Death Eaters. At the onset of the Battle of Hogwarts, McGonagall and Snape duelled inconclusively; with Professor Flitwick's later help, and Snape fled the school rather than continue the fight. McGonagall, believing his retreat was motivated by fear, called out "Coward!", an insult he particularly detested. Snape was killed by Voldemort during the battle, but she learnt that Snape had killed Dumbledore in a painful act of loyalty to the Headmaster's own orders too late. Following a private conversation with Harry, Minerva later took the controversial decision to add a portrait of Severus Snape to the gallery of old headmasters and headmistresses in her tower office. There is no report that she objected this, which shows that she has forgiven him and likely came to admire his marvellous bravery.

Pomona Sprout

Flitwick: "Nothing we do will be able to keep out You-Know-Who indefinitely."
Sprout: "But we can hold him up."
McGonagall: "Thank you Pomona"
Filius Flitwick, Pomona Sprout, and Minerva just before the Battle of Hogwarts.[src]
Professor Sprout

Pomona Sprout, her longtime friend and colleague

The relationship between Professor McGonagall and Professor Sprout dates back to when both attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[10] The two students maintained an excellent relationship, which was kept well into their adulthood.

When Dolores Umbridge stood to speak during the 1995 Welcoming Feast after her introduction by Headmaster Dumbledore, the two professors were both taken aback at this, and even exchange glances of disapproval.[9] During the Battle of Hogwarts on 2 May1998, Minerva and Pomona had the same views on protecting the Castle against Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters.[29]

Sybill Trelawney

Sybill Trelawney: "Certainly I knew, Minerva. But one does not parade the fact that one is All-Knowing. I frequently act as though I am not possessed of the Inner Eye, so as not to make others nervous."
McGonagall: "That explains a great deal."
— Professor McGonagall's obvious disdain for Divination[src]
Trelawney

Sybill Trelawney, her colleague

Minerva and Sybill Trelawney weren't the best of friends, barely maintaining civility between them. Minerva had no use for Sybill's subject, Divination, believing that Trelawney was a fraud. The only reason Minerva has never spoken ill of Sybill directly was due to her refusal to insult her colleagues.[5]

Despite her dislike for Trelawney and her teachings, Minerva was still disgusted when Umbridge unceremoniously and cruelly sacked Sybill. They would grow to understand one another through their shared hatred of Dolores Umbridge during the woman's tenure as Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. Minerva was there as a literal shoulder for Sybill to cry on, speaking out against Dolores and told her what she thought after the events.[9]

Hogwarts staff

Filius Flitwick: "I suppose you are aware that nothing we do can indefinitely prevent You-Know-Who to enter the school, right? —"
Pomona Sprout: "But we can delay it. —"
McGonagall: "Thank you, Pomona."
— McGonagall's interaction with other members of staff[src]
Harry Potter Movie Pictures-Professors

Minerva with some of her colleagues

McGonagall seemed to have a good relationship with most of her co-workers at Hogwarts. Among them was Filius Flitwick. Their fellow Hatstall status was a subject of gentle humour between them, with the two Heads of house being amused to think that they might, but for those crucial moments in their youths, have exchanged positions. Flitwick fought alongside McGonagall in the the upstart of the Battle of Hogwarts.

20100111183429!Flitwick HBPoster Lighter

Filius Flitwick, her friend and colleague

McGonagall was friendly with Poppy Pomfrey, the nurse. Pomfrey seemed to admire McGonagall's magical abilities and strength. This was shown when McGonagall was hit by four Stunners on the chest, as Maadam Pomfrey said that it would have killed most witches of her age.

McGonagall was friendly with Argus Filch, the caretaker, although they argued many times. During the Battle of Hogwarts, she shouted at Filch, and called him a blithering idiot. Then she sternly ordered him to call Peeves. It is possible that, after the war, McGonagall and Filch were still co-workers.

Minerva was on amicable terms with Horace Slughorn, her former Potions professor. However, she commented on his seemingly cowardly behaviour when he realised the castle was under attack, noting he should take his students and do so if he wished to leave. She said that the two would duel to kill if he attempted to hinder their efforts against Voldemort from inside the castle, stating that it was time for Slytherin to finally choose their alliances. He was taken aback at this and he fled, but later returned with reinforcements of students' parents and residents of Hogsmeade to help with the battle efforts. Both Minerva and Horace battled together against Voldemort alongside Kingsley Shacklebolt in the Battle of Hogwarts.
COS-promo1

Gilderoy Lockhart

On the other hand, Minerva had no liking for Gilderoy Lockhart whatsoever, the D.A.D.A professor before Lupin. This was due to him being obnoxious, incompetent and insensitive, annoying her with nonsensical advices while being ignorant and unhelpful around the second opening of the Chamber of Secrets. Even as a student, Lockhart was already a vain, annoying attention-seeking troublemaker, to which she held in contempt. Minerva was positively hateful towards Lockhart when he walked in late and oblivious when everyone else was greatly saddened at Ginny Weasley's impending doom. She full-heartedly supported Snape sending Lockhart to deal with the monster within in the hopes of scaring her incompetent colleague away. When Lockhart resigned due to his self-induced amnesia, McGonagall was cheerful along with the rest of the staff and students at the news.

After Voldemort infiltrated Hogwarts, two new professors took the post of Muggle Studies and Defence Against the Dark Arts: Alecto and Amycus Carrow respectively. They were loyal Death Eaters, and befitting their status, they taught Dark Arts rather than Defence Against the Dark Arts, devoted Muggle Studies to explaining how Muggles were filthy animals, and often took delight in punishing students with the Cruciatus Curse. When Amycus spat on McGonagall's face, Harry Potter got very angry and hit him with the Cruciatus Curse. After the war, McGonagall sent the Carrows to Azkaban.

Order of the Phoenix members

Ootp

The original Order of the Phoenix

McGonagall had a good relationship with most members of the Order of the Phoenix. Some of them included Nymphadora Tonks and Kingsley Shacklebolt, whom she appeared to be friendly with Kingsley. They fought Voldemort, along with Horace Slughorn, and all of them survived the war.

Other fellow member was Alastor Moody, who was appointed as DADA professor in 1994. However, he was captured by Barty Crouch Jr and Peter Pettigrew; Barty Crouch was disguised as Moody and became the professor, as he wanted to send Harry Potter to Voldemort. McGonagall was very angry by Crouch's teaching methods and shouted at him. It is possible that she had the same opinion of the real Moody, but Moody might have been friendly with McGonagall afterwards. He was killed by Voldemort during the Battle of the Seven Potters.

Lord Voldemort

VoldemortHeadshot DHP1

Lord Voldemort, a hated and feared enemy

Having taught Tom Riddle during his time at Hogwarts, Minerva had her suspicions about him and shared them with Dumbledore, who also was cautious about the younger wizard. During the First Wizarding War, Minerva joined the fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters, using her skill as an Animagi to spy on the Dark Lord's followers and report her findings to the Auror Office.

During his second rise to power, Minerva joined the Order of the Phoenix and stayed in Hogwarts during the tenure of Severus Snape as Headmaster and the Carrows to protect her students. She is one of the few people that isn't afraid of standing against the Carrows, as she did defy them many times during the 1997-1998 school year. In spite of her well-known loyalty to Professor Dumbledore, Voldemort and his followers believed that Minerva was both too gifted to lose, and too sensible not to join them fully once their victory was assured. However, she proved him wrong when she defended the school against his army and, along with Kingsley Shacklebolt and Horace Slughorn, bravely duelled Voldemort himself during the second part of the Battle of Hogwarts. She watched as Voldemort is defeated by Harry Potter once and for all finally ending the War.

Like most in the Wizarding world, Minerva was initially wary of speaking Voldemort's name. Noticeably, however, she became unafraid of saying Voldemort's name sometime during the second wizarding war, as she told Filius Flitwick before the Battle of Hogwarts to not to be afraid of it because Voldemort would try to kill him anyway (though in the book she still referred to him as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named).

Dolores Umbridge

Dolores Umbridge: "It sounds as if you're questioning my authority in my own classroom, Minerva."
McGonagall: "Not at all, Dolores. Merely your medieval methods!"
Dolores Umbridge: "I am sorry, dear, but to question my practises is to question the Ministry, and by extension, the Minister himself! I am a tolerant woman, but the one thing I will not stand for is disloyalty!"
— McGonagall's disapproval of Umbridge's horrendous teaching practises[src]
Dolores Umbridge Deathly Hallows promotional image

Dolores Umbridge, her enemy and former colleague

Minerva disliked Dolores Umbridge right from the beginning when the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher began to invade Hogwarts with her Hogwarts High Inquisitor position and did everything she could in her power to circumvent Umbridge's authority without risking the loss of her job. She was the colleague whom she had more violently clashed than with any other colleague in her long and varied career. During Umbridge's inspections of McGonagall's class, Minerva tried for the most part to ignore Umbridge. This was difficult due to Umbridge's constant interruptions by means Umbridge's soft, girlish cough of "Hem hem". When forced to acknowledge Umbridge's presence, McGonagall treated her with a cold and harsh demeanour.

Despite Umbridge having the power to put Minerva on probation or even sack her, Minerva was not afraid to show her disgust and hatred of Umbridge to the woman's face. Despite this, she understood that Umbridge had a lot of power and that she was reporting directly to Cornelius Fudge, and so Minerva once warned Harry Potter to tread carefully around Umbridge.[9] Even so, Minerva vehemently vouched for Harry during their Career Advice session, claiming that she would coach him nightly if she had to in order to realise his dream of becoming an Auror, after Umbridge's furious protests that Harry would never become one. After Umbridge fired Sybill Trelawney from her post as Divination teacher, Minerva even put aside her mild dislike of Sybill to focus even more on her hatred of Umbridge, indirectly stating that the latter's evaluation is incompetent and will not be taken into consideration.

Disloyalty Minerva Dolores

Dolores Umbridge arguing with Minerva McGonagall

Even when Dolores took over Hogwarts, replacing Albus Dumbledore as Head of the school, Minerva continued to help undermine Umbridge's reign, preferring to watch her struggle with the chaos that was being caused by the students and Peeves (and sometimes even helping with it). When Minerva was attacked and sent to St Mungo's, Dolores was pleased that she at last had complete control of Hogwarts. After she returned to Hogwarts, Minerva did nothing to curb the students' enthusiasm when Peeves chased Dolores from Hogwarts, only lamenting that she could not watch with them because the poltergeist had taken her walking stick to hit Dolores with as he followed her from the school.[9] Umbridge returned to the Ministry in a high-ranking position and interrogated Muggle-borns, capturing them and imprisoning them to Azkaban. However, after the Second Wizarding War, Umbridge was captured by Aurors and sent to Azkaban herself, for the rest of her life.

Despite their hatred for each other, both McGonagall and Umbridge share the same patronus: a cat, although McGonagall's resembled her Animagus form.

Media

Etymology

  • The name Minerva means "wise." Minerva is the Roman name of Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom, strategy, war, courage, and justice (among other things), which is a name suitable for Minerva's personality. Also, Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, schools, art and commerce, which could connect to her being one of the heads of Hogwarts.
  • McGonagall comes from the Scotsman William Topaz McGonagall, who is considered to be one of the worst poets in the English language, although Rowling stated that this has nothing to do with Minerva, she only liked the surname. The Scottish name McGonagall (or McGonigle, McGonegal) is from the Celtic name Conegal, meaning "the bravest," plus Mc, or "son of."

Behind the scenes

MinervaMcGonagall WB F1 MinervaMcGonagallRobeIllustration Illust 080615 Port

McGonagall as she appears on Pottermore

McGonagallWU

McGonagall as she appears in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Minerva DHP2

Minerva in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

McGonagallCatPOP

Minerva McGonagall (in her Animagus cat form) as a POP! Vinyl

  • McGonagall's tabby cat Animagus appearance is portrayed in the first instalment by Mrs P. Head.
  • A younger Minerva McGonagall is portrayed by Fiona Glascott in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
    • Previously, on Harry Potter Wiki and Harry Potter Lexicon, McGonagall's year of birth was calculated to be 1935 from her Pottermore biography and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor), which reveals she began Hogwarts in December 1956 after working for the Ministry for two years immediately after graduation. This places her graduation in 1954, her first year in 1947, and her birth in 1935, because of her October birthday, she was almost 12 when starting at Hogwarts. Furthermore, her Pottermore piece states that she was a student of Dumbledore when he taught Transfiguration ("under the guidance of her inspirational Transfiguration teacher, Albus Dumbledore. It also states that Dumbledore employed her when he was still Head of the Transfiguration department and that she worked under him when he was Head of the department ("offering her a job in the Transfiguration department, under Head of Department, Albus Dumbledore").
      • However, in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Albus and Minerva were presented as basically being a contemporary and Dumbledore taught Defence Against the Dark Arts first, meaning he couldn't have taught her Transfiguration. Hence, McGonagall's appearance in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald greatly upset certain fans and generated debates on the matter. In order to force it to work, she (and Dumbledore) have to switch back and forth implausibly in too short of a timeframe in their career, and it extensively ages Pomona Sprout (who had two overlapping school years with McGonagall) too. Theories have included:
        • McGonagall's comments to Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where she says she had been working at the school for "thirty-nine years" never specified that she taught those thirty-nine years consecutively, which was the assumption for the calculation to work. This could mean Minerva had been teaching as Head of the Transfiguration Department for 39 years and not Hogwarts in general. In this case, it only contradicts Minerva's second statement that she had started as transfiguration professor "after working for the Ministry for two years immediately after graduation."[9]
          • It is also possible that she took a break in her career at some point in her life like Horace Slughorn or she was in fact outright lying to Dolores Umbridge about her real length of employment at Hogwarts.
        • There is also the possibility that there was another, older Scottish witch of the same name who also taught at Hogwarts before the birth of the Minerva who appears in the Harry Potter books and films, although it would be unlikely that the two are related as the latter inherited her surname from her Muggle father.[10]
        • Another possible theory is the idea of time travel as this concept has been explored in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, where Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy get stranded in the 1981 timeline but were successfully able to summon their parents back from the present to save them. Similarly, there is a possibility that McGonagall travelled back to the early 1910s to fill in Albus Dumbledore's previous (or intended) position in Transfiguration, so Dumbledore could instead teach Defence against the Dark Arts thus better preparing his students for the war to come. If so, it is likely that Dumbledore was able to summon a professor back from the future (which happened to be McGonagall) to fill in the post by sending a out message to her future self in a similar manner like what was used by Albus Severus to summon Harry. Also, in the Cursed Child, she later expresses her disgust about time turners and their consequences towards Albus Severus and Scorpius due to their reckless use of one and towards Hermione Granger due to not destroying that. This may also be attributed to a bad experience she had back in those days when using it.
  • J. K. Rowling stated that she always pictured Maggie Smith, who portrays her in the films, as Professor McGonagall.
  • Professor McGonagall has the distinction of being the first magical character introduced in the series, when Vernon Dursley sees her reading a map in her Animagus form on the morning after the Potters' deaths. Only the three Dursleys are introduced before her. However in the films, McGonagall is the second magical character introduced as Albus Dumbledore appears before her. She is the second overall character introduced in the film series, as well as the first female character introduced.
  • In the films, McGonagall appears to be older than she is described in the books. The timeline suggests that the character was forty-six when she and Dumbledore left Harry with the Dursleys, was fifty-five when Harry started Hogwarts, and sixty-two by the Battle of Hogwarts. By contrast, Maggie Smith was already in her late sixties at the time that she first played McGonagall.
  • In the film adaptations, it seems to be a recurring gag to have Minerva delivering alliterative lines; for instance, in Goblet of Fire, she says "behaving like a babbling, bumbling band of baboons", and in Deathly Hallows: Part 2, she says "particular proclivity for pyrotechnics".
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban there is a painting of a young Minerva McGonagall on the Gryffindor common room wall. The same painting, although in a different frame, can be seen hung at the Grand Staircase interacting with Sir Cadogan.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, she led the respectful wand raising to rid the sky of the dark mark from the late Dumbledore's body.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, after casting Piertotum Locomotor, Minerva excitedly says to Molly Weasley, "I've always wanted to use that spell!"
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, before the Battle of Hogwarts, she tells Filius Flitwick not be afraid to say Voldemort's name, because he will try to kill him either way. Also before the Battle of Hogwarts, she duels Snape with what appears to be the Blasting Curse, defeating Amycus and Alecto Carrow before Snape Disapparates.
  • Minerva is partly inspired by J. K. Rowling's inspirational English teacher Lucy Shepherd, who taught her what a good book looks like.
  • In an early draft of the first book, she was called "Madam McGonagle".
  • Minerva was the first Animagus introduced in canon.
  • She was the first female character confirmed to have kept her maiden when she married. Later, it was revealed that Hermione Granger also did.
  • She enjoyed needlework.[1]
  • In an interview after the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling had stated that Hogwarts had a different Head by the time Harry Potter's children arrived in 2017, saying that Minerva was "getting on a bit".[32] Her stance was eventually changed, as with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Minerva is shown to still be active as of Albus Potter's time at Hogwarts.[8]
  • Minerva McGonagall and Dolores Umbridge share the same Patronus, a cat.
  • McGonagall is a playable character in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game).
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Professor McGonagall can't enter the Gryffindor Common Room despite the fact she is the head of the house and she was in Gryffindor House while student at Hogwarts.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, she didn't bring the suits of armour to life to help in the Battle of Hogwarts.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, before casting the protective enchantments around the castle, she asked Harry for flowers.

Appearances

Wiki
The Harry Potter Wiki has 336 images related to Minerva McGonagall.
McGonagall

Minerva as a LEGO minifigure (old edition)

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Minerva as a LEGO minifigure (2010 edition)

LEGOMcGonagall

Minerva as a LEGO minifigure (2018 edition)

Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Professor McGonagall" at Pottermore
  2. HP lexicon transcript of JKR's notes.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  4. MSNBC Interview with J.K. Rowling
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  6. 6.0 6.1 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Four, Scene One
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 Pottermore Presents - Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Chapter 1 (Minerva McGonagall)
  11. Pottermore
  12. Pottermore
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  16. Chapter 2 of Wizards Unite: Minerva McGonagall: Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, formerly Professor of Transfiguration. An old friend and mentor to Harry Potter.
  17. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, page xi, xiv.
  18. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (see video)
  19. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Professor McGonagall is described as having "balled fists" and being "red faced" when yelling at Fudge and Dumbledore.
  20. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  21. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
  22. 22.0 22.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 5 (The Dementor) - "Ron stared as Professor McGonagall ushered Harry and Hermione away from the chattering crowd; they accompanied her across the entrance hall, up the marble staircase, and along a corridor. Once they were in her office, a small room with a large, welcoming fire, Professor McGonagall motioned Harry and Hermione to sit down"
  23. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest) - "Filch took them down to Professor McGonagall's study on the first floor, where they sat and waited without saying a word to each other"
  24. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament)
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
  26. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 9 (Grim Defeat) - "Professor McGonagall stood up and stared out of the window at the Quidditch field, just visible through the rain"
  27. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)
  28. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  29. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)
  30. Maggie Smith on IMBD
  31. https://twitter.com/HogwartsMystery/status/981864182957166597
  32. JK Rowling One-On-One: Part One. Today Show (NBC), 26 July 2007
  33. https://www.pottermore.com/news/watch-the-new-trailer-for-new-mobile-game-harry-potter-hogwarts-mystery


Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogwarts Houses
Gryffindor ClearBG
Hufflepuff ClearBG
RavenclawCrest
Slytherin ClearBG
Namesake Founders
Godric Gryffindor · Helga Hufflepuff · Rowena Ravenclaw · Salazar Slytherin
Heads of House
Minerva McGonagall · Pomona Sprout · Filius Flitwick · Horace Slughorn
House Ghosts
Nearly Headless Nick · Fat Friar · Grey Lady · Bloody Baron
Hogwarts Faculty
Hogwartscrest
Founders Godric Gryffindor | Helga Hufflepuff | Rowena Ravenclaw | Salazar Slytherin
Headteachers Eupraxia Mole | Vulpus | Phyllida Spore | Dexter Fortescue | Eoessa Sakndenberg | Ambrose Swott | Everard | Vindictus Veridian | Dilys Derwent | Quintin Trimble | Limebert | Phineas Nigellus Black | Walter Aragon | Basil Fronsac | Armando Dippet | Albus Dumbledore | Dolores Umbridge | Severus Snape | Minerva McGonagall | Brian Gagwilde | Elizabeth Burke
Deputy Heads Minerva McGonagall | Amycus Carrow | Alecto Carrow
Heads of House Filius Flitwick | Minerva McGonagall | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout
Teaching Staff Bartholomew | Bathsheda Babbling | Herbert Beery | Cuthbert Binns | Charity Burbage | Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Albus Dumbledore | Firenze | Filius Flitwick | Fortinbras | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Arsenius Jigger | Silvanus Kettleburn | Gilderoy Lockhart | Neville Longbottom | Remus Lupin | Minerva McGonagall | Galatea Merrythought | Quirinus Quirrell | Patricia Rakepick | Aurora Sinistra | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout | Swoopstikes | Sybill Trelawney | Septima Vector | Unidentified witch | Unnamed Potions Professor (16th century) | Unnamed Potions Professor (2021)
Support Staff Boil-ridden house-elf | Rancorous Carpe | Dobby | Argus Filch | Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Hankerton Humble | Kreacher | Ogg | Irma Pince | Pitts | Poppy Pomfrey | Apollyon Pringle | Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus | Winky


Transfiguration (class)
COS Vera Verto demo
Branches of Transfiguration Transformation · Vanishment · Conjuration · Untransfiguration
Known practitioners Circe · Emeric Switch · Falco Aesalon · Mirabella Plunkett · Thaddeus Thurkell
Professors Albus Dumbledore · Minerva McGonagall
Textbooks A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration · Intermediate Transfiguration · A Guide to Advanced Transfiguration
Transfiguration spells studied at Hogwarts
Colour Change Charm (Colovaria) · Change of hair colour and style (Crinus Muto) · Hardening Charm (Duro) · Mending Charm (Reparo) · Reparifarge · Switching Spell · Vanishing Spell (Evanesco)
Conjuring Spells Bird-Conjuring Charm (Avis) · Inanimatus Conjurus Spell · Orchideous · Snake Summons Spell (Serpentsortia)
Transforming Spells Animal to Water Goblet (Vera Verto) · Beetle Buttons · Cat to Cauldron (Felifors) · Cauldron Cakes to Cabbages · Chair to cat · Cross-Species Switches · Desk Into Pig · Dinner plate to mushroom · Guinea fowl to guinea pig · Hedgehog to pincushion · Match to needle · Meddling Man to Monkey · Mice to Snuffboxes · Owl to Opera Glasses (Strigiforma) · Porcupine to Pin Cushion (Hystrifors) · Small Child to Rat · Small Object to Dragon (Draconifors) · Snail to Teapot · Target to Bird (Avifors) · Target to matchbox (Flintifors) · Target to Rabbit (Lapifors) · Teacup to gerbil · Teacup to Rat · Teapot to tortoise · White Rabbits to Slippers
Order of the Phoenix
Fawkes WB F2 FawkesIllustration V2 Illust
Founder:
Albus Dumbledore
Original Order of of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Alice Longbottom | Arabella Figg | Benjy Fenwick | Caradoc Dearborn | Dedalus Diggle | Dorcas Meadowes | Edgar Bones | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fabian Prewett | Frank Longbottom | Gideon Prewett | James Potter | Lily Potter | Marlene McKinnon | Mundungus Fletcher | Peter Pettigrew (defected) | Remus Lupin | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Reconstituted Order of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Arabella Figg | Arthur Weasley | Bill Weasley | Charlie Weasley | Dedalus Diggle | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fleur Delacour | Fred Weasley | George Weasley | Harry Potter | Hermione Granger | Hestia Jones | Kingsley Shacklebolt | Minerva McGonagall | Molly Weasley | Mundungus Fletcher | Nymphadora Tonks | Remus Lupin | Ron Weasley | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Order of the Phoenix allies:
Andromeda Tonks | Augusta Longbottom | Buckbeak | Dobby | Fawkes | Filius Flitwick | Firenze | Garrick Ollivander | Ginny Weasley | Grawp | Helena Ravenclaw | Horace Slughorn | Karkus | Karkus's wife | Kreacher | Lee Jordan | Luna Lovegood | McKinnon family | Mr. Westenberg | Mrs. Westenberg | Muriel | Nearly-Headless Nick | Neville Longbottom | Oliver Wood | Olympe Maxime | Rita Skeeter | Peeves | Percy Weasley | Pomona Sprout | Poppy Pomfrey | Sybill Trelawney | Ted Tonks | The Fallen Fifty | Westenberg family | Winky | Xenophilius Lovegood
Other affiliations:
Dumbledore's Army | Forbidden Forest Centaur colony | Headless Hunt | Hogwarts Hippogriff herd | Hogwarts house-elves | Hogwarts Ghosts | Hogwarts Staff |
Hogwarts students | Hogwarts Thestral herd | Ministry of Magic | Giant colony (Karkus's control)



Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogwartscrest
Head Boys and Girls
Albus Dumbledore · Tom Riddle · Minerva McGonagall · James Potter · Lily Evans · Bill Weasley · Percy Weasley · Teddy Lupin
Prefects
Hannah Abbott · Penelope Clearwater · Angelica Cole · Jane Court · Chester Davies · Cedric Diggory · Albus Dumbledore · Gemma Farley · Jake Flinton · Anthony Goldstein · Hermione Granger · Nicolas Grimmett · Robert Hawking · Robert Hilliard · Remus Lupin · Ernie Macmillan · Draco Malfoy · Lucius Malfoy · Minerva McGonagall · Cyril Meakin · Eric Murley · Pansy Parkinson · Padma Patil · Damian Perriss · Tom Riddle · Felix Rosier · Edmund Spiers · Jonathan Spratt · Kevin Sterndale · Terry Strickland · Marcus Turner · Gabriel Truman · Bill Weasley · Charlie Weasley · Percy Weasley · Ron Weasley · Ryan Westrup · Mervyn Wynch · Unidentified Gryffindor Prefect (I) · Unidentified Gryffindor Prefect (II) · Unidentified Ravenclaw Prefect (I) · Unidentified Ravenclaw Prefect (II) · Unidentified Slytherin Prefect (I) · Unidentified Slytherin Prefect (II) · Unidentified Slytherin Prefect (III)


Department of Magical Law Enforcement employees
Department of Magical Law Enforcement logo
Heads of Department
Justus Pilliwickle · Torquil Travers · Bartemius Crouch Sr. · Amelia Bones · Pius Thicknesse · Corban Yaxley · Harry Potter
Auror Office
Heads: Theseus Scamander · Rufus Scrimgeour · Gawain Robards · Harry Potter
Mordecai Berrycloth · John Dawlish · Dorian Fungbury · Alice Longbottom · Frank Longbottom · Neville Longbottom · Alastor Moody · Proudfoot · Savage · Kingsley Shacklebolt · Nymphadora Tonks · Ronald Weasley · Williamson · Unidentified Aurors · Unidentified male Auror at Hogwarts · 3 Unidentified Aurors at Hogwarts · Director of the Investigation Department No. 61042
Improper Use of Magic Office
Heads: Travers · Dolores Umbridge
Mafalda Hopkirk · Honoria's fiancé · Mafalda Hopkirk's Ministerial Superior · Rufus Fudge · Orabella Nuttley
Other Personnel
Leta Lestrange · Minerva McGonagall · Elphinstone Urquart · Alastor Gumboil · Arnold Peasegood · Arthur Weasley · Perkins · Cerberus Langarm · Hermione Granger · Bob Ogden · Tulip Karasu's mother · Tulip Karasu's father · Dempster Wiggleswade · Arthur Weasley's ten subordinates

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