Head of Gryffindor
Professor Minerva Mary McGonagall (b. 4 October, 1935) was a Scottish half-blood witch, the Head of Gryffindor House and the Professor of Transfiguration at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Minerva McGonagall was born to a pure-blood witch, Isobel Ross, and a Muggle Presbyterian minister Robert McGonagall. She was their eldest child, and the only daughter of the young couple. Even from the eariest hours, Minerva displayed small but obvious signs of magic, such as causing toys to fly towards her from far away, the cat to do her bidding and her father's bagpipes to play themselves. As a youth, Minerva was clever and observant, and these characteristics only became more defined as the years passed; she noticed with sadness that trust had been broken between her two parents.
Minerva received her Hogwarts letter one evening in late July, and her mother wept with pride and envy. The young girl drew attention to herself on her very first night by being a Hatstall, spending five and a half minutes deciding between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw before being placed in the former. As she progressed throughout her education, she proved to be as gifted as her mother before her, with her father's cast-iron moral sense.
In her fifth year, Minerva was made a Prefect and achieved top grades on all of her O.W.L.s, and in her seventh year was made Head Girl and achieved top grades on all of her N.E.W.T.s. She was also a very good Quidditch player, although in her final year she ended up with a concussion and several broken ribs due to a foul in a Gryffindor-Slytherin match, leading to a lifelong desire to see the Slytherin team crushed on the pitch.
Sometime throughout her education, she requested, out of mere curiosity, for her inspirational Transfiguration teacher Albus Dumbledore to teach her how to become an Animagus, and he complied. Minerva could, thereafter, transform into a tabby cat with square spectacle markings around its eyes.
Early heartbreak and employmentEdit
Upon graduating from Hogwarts, Minerva returned to her family's manse to enjoy one last summer with her family before heading off to London, where she had been invited to join the Department of Magical Law Enforcement in the Ministry of Magic. It was in these difficult months that she proved herself truly her mother's daughter by falling in love with a Muggle boy.
Dougal McGregor was the son of a local farmer; Minerva found him attractive, witty and humorous. The two argued fiercely yet shared a sense of humour and suspected hidden depths in one another; before either of them knew it Dougal was on one knee in a ploughed field proposing, and Minerva was accepting.
She went home hoping to tell her parents of the marriage, but somehow couldn't; she had seen by her parents' marriage what her life would look like if she married Dougal; she couldn't kid herself that he would leave the farm he would be inheriting to go live in London while she worked at the Ministry, but she knew she would not lock her wand in a box under her bed the way her mother had. It was thus that she slipped out of the house early next morning and informed Dougal that she could not marry him, though she could not give him any reason due to the International Statute of Secrecy.
Minerva departed three days later for London where, despite her fondness for her much elder boss Elphinstone Urquart and her efficiency at work, she found herself hating her job and, indeed, her life. Her coworkers hated Muggles, which she despised due to her lingering affection for her father and for Dougal McGregor, and she found herself missing Scotland more and more by the day. Finally after two years at the Ministry, she was offered a prestigious promotion, but turned it down and sent an owl to Hogwarts asking if there was a position available; a letter returned within hours, offering her a spot within the Transfiguration Department under Department Head Albus Dumbledore.
The school was overjoyed to have Minerva back among them, where she threw herself into her work, proving to be a strict yet inspirational teacher; she told herself that it was better for her to keep letters from Dougal McGregor locked in a box under her bed than her wand, but it was nevertheless a shock for her to learn that Dougal had married the daughter of another farmer.
Dumbledore found her crying in her classroom late that evening and she described the entire affair to him amidst her sobs; he, in turn, revealed to her his own troubled family life, and the confidences exchanged that night formed the basis for a long-lasting mutual friendship.
Marriage and widowed lifeEdit
Through her early years on the job, Minerva retained a friendship with her former employer Elphinstone Urquart, who proposed to her every now and then in Madam Puddifoot's teashop, which she almost constantly rejected. With Dougal's death shortly after Voldemort's first downfall, however, Minerva felt free and accepted Urquart's last proposal. He was overjoyed and bought a cottage in Hogsmeade for the two of them, so that she could get to and from work easily; Minerva, always something of a feminist, kept her maiden name, to the disdain of traditionalists, who felt she should replace the name of her Muggle father with a pure-blood name. Her nephews and nieces, children of Malcolm and Robert Junior, occasionally came to visit.
Three years into their marriage, Elphinstone died from a Venomous Tentacula bite, an enormous sorrow to all who knew the couple. Minerva sold the cottage and moved back into the sparse stone bedroom concealed behind her first-floor study, and poured all of her energies into her work. Albus Dumbledore was the only one who ever realised just how much she suffered.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 Pottermore - New From J. K. Rowling: Professor McGonagall
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Chapter 7 (The Sorting Hat)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 6 (Talons and Tea Leaves)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
- ↑ Wizards Challenge at the Scholastic Site