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Minerva McGonagall

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Minerva McGonagall Empty Minerva McGonagall

Post  Lady Arabella Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:14 pm

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Last edited by Lady Arabella on Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
Lady Arabella
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

Post  Lady Arabella Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:16 pm

Minerva McGonagall
Haggis and Irn Bru - Aug 29, 2003 1:47 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Nov 17, 2005 2:44 am

I changed the title of this thread from "McGonagall" to "Minerva McGonagall" - Kip

Prof McGonagall was amazing throughout the book especially the way that she interacted with Umbridge. She seemed more three dimensional and human in the book and we saw her character being more fully developed. What are peoples thoughts about her? Where do you see her character developing in later books?


Pinky - Aug 29, 2003 1:45 pm (#1 of 980)
Edited Aug 29, 2003 2:46 pm

Prof. McGonagall truly is amazing. Ever since the first book, she has been shown as a somewhat stern, by the book teacher, but yet she knows how to unbend, like the time she pulled Oliver Wood out of class to introduce him to Harry. She is probably one of the most powerful witches in the magical world. I would love to know what more she has been doing to help the Order. I can't find it now, but somewhere in OoP, she is described as wearing muggle clothing. I wonder where she needed to be in disguise like that?


Dr.Filibuster - Aug 29, 2003 1:49 pm (#2 of 980)

Yes, she shone in OoP.

She's determined, loyal, strong and great at pithy comments.

As mentioned on previous sites, I await to see her steer Harry through to his auror application. Does he know what he's let himself in for?


Haggis and Irn Bru - Aug 29, 2003 1:53 pm (#3 of 980)

In PS/SS "People are being downright careless, out on the streets in broad daylight, not even dressed in Muggle clothes..." I think she was dressed as she was because she was strictly abiding by secrecy rules.

I to am wondering what exactly her role in the Order is?


megfox - Aug 29, 2003 2:21 pm (#4 of 980)

I loved the fact that she told Harry she would help him to become an Auror if it was the last thing she'd ever do. She is so fiesty, but we miss a lot of it because Harry sees her as "only a teacher". I hope that as he grows in the next two books we'll get to see her in a better light, because I LOVED her in OoP.


Dr.Filibuster - Aug 29, 2003 2:43 pm (#5 of 980)

There was an interview with somebody (David Heyman?) Who said something about McGonagall having very different feelings/memories of Lily and James.

Can somebody find it?

I had a feeling that she wouldn't have appreciated James' more rebellious streak so perhaps she was very close to Lily? Maybe even after they left school? i can see her at the wedding, and even as Harry's godmother (here I go again) this would also fit in with her buying the Nimbus 2000.


wormsé - Aug 29, 2003 2:57 pm (#6 of 980)
Edited Aug 29, 2003 3:59 pm

If she was Harry's Godmother, wouldn't she have been the best choice for him to live with after his parents deaths? Surely Dumbledore would have picked her over the Dursley's?? McGonagall has definitly become my all time favorite character! We really got some insight into her personality.


Hem Hem - Aug 29, 2003 3:30 pm (#7 of 980)

“'ll help you to be an Auror if it's the last thing I do!”

I sure hope that it isn't the last thing she does. Sad Should we consider this line to be one of those ironic JKR hints where the characters offhandedly predict their future, or is it simply the words of a fiercely determined woman?


Liz Mann - Aug 29, 2003 3:36 pm (#8 of 980)


I don't think he would have sent him to live with her for two reasons: 1) Doesn't whatever magic keeps Harry safe at the Dursleys reply on theem being his relatives? And 2) She's at Hogwarts most of the year.


Pinky - Aug 29, 2003 6:00 pm (#9 of 980)

Haggis, I just want to say, excellent observation! That makes so much sense. Good job on connecting things between books!


Carina - Aug 29, 2003 10:00 pm (#10 of 980)

Did she buy the broom for Harry? I had always figured she worked it all out and placed the actual order, but he paid for it.

Anyway, I think she is amazing!


megfox - Aug 30, 2003 6:47 am (#11 of 980)

Although I doubt that she is Harry's godmother, remember that one of the other reasons that Harry had to live with Muggles was that Dumbledore wanted him to live away from all the nonsense about him being the "Boy Who Lived."


azi - Aug 30, 2003 6:47 am (#12 of 980)

I was wondering:  Madam Pomfrey says in OoP something along the lines of 'no one would've dared attack Minerva McGonagall by daylight.' We have also heard things like this before, I'm sure about Minerva. What does this mean? It could just be backing up the evidence that she is a particularly powerful witch but I think it's something more. I just can't put my brain into gear to describe it though. My first day at college made me forget everything. Smile (what a waste of typing!)


Detail Seeker - Aug 30, 2003 7:01 am (#13 of 980)

The "McGonagall is Harry´s godmother"-theory has something for it. It would explain, why she turned up at the Dursleys, when she heard rumours of Harry being placed there. Her not telling Harry would be due to the fact, that she is his teacher and Head of the House- a situation bad enough for her at the moment, but bad for Harry, too, if he knew. So she gives hidden help and stern education, thus really replacing a mother.

Yes, I like this theory, but there are only hints, that may explained else and there is no knowledge about a connection between Lily / the Evans family and her. Let´s see....


Harold Pinta - Aug 30, 2003 10:43 am (#14 of 980)

I'm not sure that McGonagall is Harry's godmother. There has been no indication so far that she might be. I do think she holds Harry in high regards.


Maollelujah - Aug 31, 2003 5:47 pm (#15 of 980)

The only thing I can think of the McGonagall/Godmother idea is that it seems that she was behind Harry's first broom, the nimbus 2000.


Doris Crockford - Aug 31, 2003 5:53 pm (#16 of 980)

I always just thought that she bought Harry his broom because she was his Head of House. But she just may be his godmother too, which would help explain to me why we haven't heard of a godmother so far.


Marie E. - Aug 31, 2003 6:23 pm (#17 of 980)

I always thought she bought him the broom because she was tired of Snape rubbing all the Slytherin victories in her face. The whole making Harry a seeker and buying him a broom was self-serving, not godmotherly.


Sly Girl - Aug 31, 2003 11:09 pm (#18 of 980)

Maybe it had more to do with the fact that she felt bad for Harry because he'd lost his parents and saved the world from certain Voldemort domination (at least for a little while) and he had to live with those filthy muggles for most of his life.

That and she wanted Gryffindor to beat the pants off Slytherin.


megfox - Sep 1, 2003 6:47 am (#19 of 980)
Edited Sep 1, 2003 7:47 am

I think that is the best argument for the purchasing of that broom, Sly Girl.

I was wondering why a teacher would buy a present for a student of theirs and not worry about it being called favoritism, when I remembered that not only did I have a teacher in high school that bought me things when I needed them, but I have done the same thing for a few of my students. Sometimes it is just little things, like a binder or lunch (my high school music teacher bought me lunch everyday, because he knew I didn't hahve anything to eat), but I have purchased a jacket for one of my students when she told me she didn't have a winter coat. I think that this is the same kind of thing that McGonangall did for Harry. Although, a racing broom isn't the same as a winter jacket, I think for JKR's purposes, it fits the character - Sly Girl's right, Snape had it coming to him!


Marie E. - Sep 1, 2003 8:02 am (#20 of 980)

Good point. As a teacher, I should have thought of that too. She did sit on the wall outside Number Four for a whole day so she had a good idea of how he spent those ten years away from the WW.

I am usually good for supplying my female students with all the ponytail holders and barrettes that they want. The boys are easier, they just want Pokemon cards. Smile


J-D - Sep 1, 2003 8:12 am (#21 of 980)

Well sirius bought Harry a broom and he was his godfather and McGonagall bought Harry a broom... Anyway I think there definitely is more to McGonagall, I mean she is an anamangi which is supposedly really hard and She always struck me as the good counterpart for Bellatrix, maybe she'll be the one to take her out in the end?


Earo - Sep 1, 2003 8:25 am (#22 of 980)

Mc Gonagall is my favorite teacher at Hogwarts. She could be Harry's Godmother. She has to be stern to be fair. Doesn't she let Harry and Ron stay in school when they could have been expelled. Harry needs a stern loving adult in his life. She is totally dedicated to her students. I hope she recovers fully and gets some sweet revenge in the next to books.


rettoP yrraH - Sep 1, 2003 9:06 am (#23 of 980)

Harry's Grandmother? wouldent he have seen her in the photo album? or maybe the Mirror of Erised?


Professor Kosh - Sep 1, 2003 10:23 am (#24 of 980)

I think its Godmother, not Grandmother.

Also, I have a question. Where is it revealed that she bought the broom? I don't remember.


J-D - Sep 1, 2003 10:47 am (#25 of 980)

she sends him a letter saying dont open the broom now... And signs it


mischa fan - Sep 1, 2003 12:00 pm (#26 of 980)

I always thought that she just pulled a few strings with Dumbledore so Harry could have a broom in his first year, but that Harry really paid for it. I could be wrong though.


Dr Filibuster - Sep 1, 2003 12:25 pm (#27 of 980)

Now that would be mean if Harry thought he had a really great pressie, then got a huge bill.

It does seem extremely generous to buy a pupil a racing broom. It smacks of favouritism which doesn't sound like Minerva. But I do like Sly Girl's reasoning and we have recently seen that McGonagall can bend her own code of conduct in exceptional circumstances..."It unscrews the other way" and of course preparing to duel 2 aurors, the Minister of Magic and the Hogwarts High Inquisitor

I think she probably isn't Harry's godmother. But it's worth speculating just in case.


Sly Girl - Sep 1, 2003 12:33 pm (#28 of 980)
Edited Sep 1, 2003 1:34 pm

The key to this is to remember that when McGonagall gives the broom to Harry, Harry had probably never received a real gift, in his entire life. I'm fairly sure Minerva knows that the Dursely's wouldn't give Harry a piece of dirt. I think she saw Harry, remembered James and Lily- their sacrifice, saw a talent for flying in Harry (much like James) and wanted to nurture that talent. I think that's entirely within a teacher's realm to want to do that. True, a broom is extravagant, but compared to the nothing Harry had been brought up with, it actually looks small.

That said, she probably wrote it off as a school expensive and didn't have to pay a knut.


Dr Filibuster - Sep 1, 2003 12:39 pm (#29 of 980)
Edited Sep 1, 2003 1:41 pm

Incidentally, my last post just got me thinking about Minerva's thoughts on old Fudge.

At the end of Goblet of Fire she was absolutely furious with him for getting Crouch Jnr's soul sucked out. She would be aware how much he used to pester Albus for advice and has been directly affected by his knee jerk reactions to the warning of Voldemort returning...namely pretend it doesn't exist, discredit Dumbledore and send Umbridge to the school.

I never saw Minerva as a political player but I hope she was talking to influential ex-pupils during the summer holidays with a view to finding a suitable candidate for the next Minister of Magic.


Harold Pinta - Sep 2, 2003 6:57 am (#30 of 980)

What was she doing for the order? Does anyone have other idea's about that? I wondered about that myself. OotP made McGonagall a far more interseting character, and she has become one of my favourite Hogwarts teachers.


Marye Lupin - Sep 2, 2003 2:38 pm (#31 of 980)

The thing that struck me as suspicious wasn't so much that McGonagall bought Harry a broom but that she bought him a Nimbus 2000 (I mean that strikes me as a little extravagant seeing as it was better than even Malfoy's broom at that point).

As to what she was doing for the Order, I haven't got a clue.


Hem Hem - Sep 2, 2003 4:37 pm (#32 of 980)

She and Dumbledore have a very close relationship, it seems. Dumbledore trusts McGonagall to an extreme degree, so he probably shares more information with her. She may just be part of the brains behind the operation of the Order.

Eh, she probably does something more than that. She probably helped out with the guard duty, if her Hogwarts schedule allowed her to.


Patronus - Sep 6, 2003 12:37 am (#33 of 980)

You do all know that McGonagall is head of Gryffindor house, right? And of course she wants her house to win at Quidditch! So as she realizes Harry´s talent, she sees a chance to beat the other teams. And why would she buy him a cheap rubbish broom if she really wants them to win?


Denise S. - Sep 7, 2003 6:45 am (#34 of 980)

Just to raise a point--Sirius was (*sigh*) Harry's godfather. While I admit I am not an expert on such things, in my knowledge, the godfather and the godmother are husband and wife. What purpose would it be to make McGonagall a godmother and then have her and Sirius fight over who gets custody of Harry?


azi - Sep 7, 2003 7:18 am (#35 of 980)

I don't think that McGonagall was/is Harry's Godmother. I just think she's quite a nice person under that strict teacher exterior.


Olivia Wood - Sep 7, 2003 1:23 pm (#36 of 980)

While I agree that's it's probably nonessential to explain their relationship, all things considered, for McGonagall to be Harry's Godmother, but I don't think the Godfather and Godmother have to be spouses.. I don't think mine really even know each other...


Sly Girl - Sep 7, 2003 2:22 pm (#37 of 980)

I concur- Godfather and Godmothers do not have to be married. My mom's Godfather is a priest (hard for him to take a wife, really) and her Godmother was my grandmother's best friend.

I think, if you re-read the beginning of the first book, chapter one, you'll see that it's clear McGonagall isn't related to Harry. It's in her reactions to what's happened. She's upset about James and Lily, but she's not... UPSET you know? I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I'd think that if Minerva were close enough to be a godmother, she be really distraught at the confirmation that James and Lily were dead.


Hem Hem - Sep 7, 2003 5:38 pm (#38 of 980)

I agree, SG, if she were a godmother, her reaction would be more mourning than the shocked that it was.

A different question about McGonagall: I was rereading PoA, and I found that in the Marauder's Map chapter when she's in the Three Broomsticks, she orders a drink called a gillywater. Does anyone else think that gillywater is a really unusual drink for McGonagall to be drinking? It sounds just so much like gillyweed....

I'm probably looking into this too deeply....


Sly Girl - Sep 7, 2003 6:14 pm (#39 of 980)

And we've never heard mention of it again, either. Highly Suspcious, of course. (I'm joking, should anyone think I'm serious)

Since we don't know too much about it, in all honesty, we can't say if it's odd or not.


Ihavebothbuttocks - Sep 8, 2003 1:28 am (#40 of 980)
Edited Sep 8, 2003 2:28 am

Luna Lovegood is drinking gillywater with onion at the Hog's Head in the chapter 'The Beetle at Bay', so it has been heard of again.


Slytherin Prefect - Sep 8, 2003 1:46 am (#41 of 980)

I think that McGonagall's connection to Harry might be exactly what Dumbledore's connection to Harry is, albeit to a lesser degree. McGonagall, as Dumbledore's most trusted right-hand woman, has undoubtedly kept watch over Harry Potter quite a bit as well, and has fallen into the same 'trap' as Dumbledore...


azi - Sep 8, 2003 12:04 pm (#42 of 980)

I thought Gillywater could be compared to vodka or some other 'strong' alcohol at first, but then Luna drank it and I decided it couldn't be.


schoff - Sep 8, 2003 12:40 pm (#43 of 980)

I always thought gillyweed was the same as mineral water, or Perrier.


Professor Kosh - Sep 8, 2003 11:01 pm (#44 of 980)

I can't see prim and proper McGonagall drinking hard liquor. I always assumed (before OoP) that it was like tonic water (as schoff mentioned) or perhaps a light wine-like drink.

On another subject, who else can't wait for McGonagall to open up and fight? Based on what one of the professors said, I'll bet she has some MAJOR chops, magically. I'll bet she's the equal of any Auror!


schoff - Sep 8, 2003 11:06 pm (#45 of 980)

I'll bet she has some major chops, nonmagically as well. One stare from her, and I'd give up without a fight!


azi - Sep 9, 2003 10:27 am (#46 of 980)

I think I'd run away, knowing how I'm a wimp and all. Ok mineral water sounds good, though I wouldn't want to drink it with an onion!


Hem Hem - Sep 10, 2003 6:25 pm (#47 of 980)
Edited Sep 10, 2003 7:26 pm

We know that Minerva is a sprightly 70 years old from a pre-OoP interview, and from Umbridge's examination that she's been teaching at Hogwarts for 39 years. I wonder what McGonagall did during the first 30 years of her life or so before joining the Hogwarts staff? It probably related to her transfiguration and stuff. And she was about 20 years old at the time when DD defeated Grindelwald, so maybe she played a role in the fight.


S.E. Jones - Sep 10, 2003 8:25 pm (#48 of 980)

Okay, she's taught for 39 years but DD only became Headmaster just shortly before 1971 (24 years ago, as of OP), and we know he was the Transfiguration teacher when Riddle was at Hogwarts. So, if Minerva originally taught something else, what would it have been? Charms? (How long has Flitwick been there?) DADA? (Is this a clue to what she did before Hogwarts?)


Professor Kosh - Sep 10, 2003 9:45 pm (#49 of 980)

Interesting Point, Ms. Jones! She may have taught something else, or perhaps DD wasn't always at Hogwarts. DD may have left the position, McG took it up, and DD later returned as headmaster. DD does seem to have many varying interests (the Wizengott, International Confederation of Wizards, etc...).


S.E. Jones - Sep 10, 2003 9:51 pm (#50 of 980)

Yes, but you'd think to be considered for Headmaster he would've had to have had a continuing relationship with the school and Dippet. I see DD as a Head of House, deputy Headmaster, and Dippet's right hand man (basically in the same position as McGonagall is now). However, that doesn't mean that DD wasn't the one who changed the subject they were teaching.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

Post  Lady Arabella Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:17 pm


Professor Kosh - Sep 11, 2003 12:25 am (#51 of 980)

I don't think you'd have to stay at the school the entire time. DD may have taught at Hogwarts for many, many years, left for a while, and then asked to return. I'm not British, so I'm not sure how the British system works, but in America, one can become President of a university or director of a school district without having spent their whole time there, as long as they have training and experience in education.

As for deputy Headmaster, do we even know if such a position exists?

As for McGonagall's subject, I don't see her teaching anything else. She seems to have the exact mindset needed for it (analytical, disciplined). I don't see her teaching Potions or Charms or Herbology. However, DD seems to be more diverse, and perhaps he taught something else for a while (Charms? I can see that easily)


Sly Girl - Sep 11, 2003 1:01 am (#52 of 980)

Per the info from the books and the Lexicon Proper, Dumbledore was the Transfiguration teacher from 1940 until 1970 or thereabouts when he became Headmaster (as per JKR's approved timeline). It's easy to forget that Dumbledore's main study was Transfiguration, because we are only aware of McGonagall's superiority in it, but Dumbledore taught her and when he moved on to headmaster, the job became hers.

A good page to look at is located here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

As for McGonagall being Deputy Headmistress, it is indeed true and the position exists.

More information can be found here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Neville Longbottom - Sep 11, 2003 1:13 am (#53 of 980)

S.E. Jones: "Yes, but you'd think to be considered for Headmaster he would've had to have had a continuing relationship with the school and Dippet."

This is a bit off-topic, but actually: No. Dilys Derwent was a healer in St.Mungo's, right before she became headmistress at Hogwarts.


S.E. Jones - Sep 11, 2003 5:35 am (#54 of 980)

Ooh, good catch Neville....


Professor Kosh - Sep 12, 2003 1:27 am (#55 of 980)

Sly Girl: Where in the books does it say he was the Transfiguration teacher from 1940-70? The page you referred to only said that he was a professor in the 1940s. Is there evidence he stayed the entire time until made Headmaster? I know he was when Riddle was a student, but I don't remember any further reference.


Sly Girl - Sep 12, 2003 1:11 pm (#56 of 980)

You're right it doesn't say he stayed as teacher for that time period, and on the McGonagall page it does say she took over for Transfiguration in 1956. There's another discrepancy I found regarding Hagrid, but since this is the McGonagall thread, I'll keep that for another time.


S.E. Jones - Sep 12, 2003 7:24 pm (#57 of 980)

Yeah, but that 1956 thing assuming she didn't teach something else first... *sigh* I guess we'll never know. Well, at least not till book 6....


Haggis and Irn Bru - Sep 13, 2003 1:46 pm (#58 of 980)

People wanted Dumbly to be minister for magic but he would never leave the school. I can see Dumbly after his defeat of Grindlywade moving aside to do some teaching on DADA/or then equivalent. I could see him beginning to change the emphasis of the subject. I can only see McGonagall teaching transfiguration because she goes on about how its "complex and dangerous". She values rules and standards and seems to weigh Transfiguration above other classes.


Becky Palmer - Sep 14, 2003 3:15 am (#59 of 980)

Perhaps McGonagall, when she was doing her important work for the Order, was in Animagus form as the tabby cat? Would it be feasible for her to do this, after all there is a register, and I presume it's kept at the MOM and we know good old Lucius spends a lot of time there, so who knows maybe he could look it up and see if anyone loyal to Dumbledore was an Animagus...........................

As we have already seen (and will hopefully see more of) how useful cats are in the Harry Potter stories - look at Mrs Norris, Arabella Figg's cats, and of course Crookshanks. The cats featured in it are very intelligent and of course we all realise how smart Prof. McGonagall is, you can't become an Animagus if you stupid (except of course if your name is Peter Pettigrew) After all, Mrs Figg's cats are smart enough to keep a lookout on Harry, so maybe McGonagall is going under cover as a cat?


schoff - Sep 14, 2003 11:26 am (#60 of 980)

Like Dr. Evil or Dr. Claw?

Actually, I kinda like that idea, although I can't imagine McGonagall as a family pet. Maybe a stray who shows up occasionally.


Evadne Silverhorne - Sep 18, 2003 2:01 am (#61 of 980)
Edited Sep 18, 2003 3:01 am

McGonagall could have worked as an apprentice to Dumbledore for a couple of years. As a kind of student teacher.


azi - Sep 18, 2003 10:15 am (#62 of 980)

But it appears in the Harry Potter world you don't need to have any teaching qualifications to become a teacher. You don't even have to be competent at the subject! Maybe she worked at Durmstrang and that's why there's such rivalry there. Or of course she could have had an entirely different job in a different career. I don't think she worked for the ministry; she doesn't seem to know about the corrupt environment it is with the whole 'Malfoy's pay money thing' and the Widdershins (sp?) guy getting off the charges for information.


S.E. Jones - Sep 18, 2003 3:59 pm (#63 of 980)

Does anyone think it's possible that Minerva was ever married or has any children?


Bluenote1313 - Sep 18, 2003 5:06 pm (#64 of 980)

I think that in one of the interviews a while ago, JKR said that the wives/husbands of the professors will be an important key to the story. I expect somewhere along the lines that we will see that Harry is related to one of the teachers somehow....just not sure how.


Hem Hem - Sep 18, 2003 5:11 pm (#65 of 980)
Edited Sep 18, 2003 6:12 pm

Question: Have any of the Hogwarts professors had spouses?
Anwser: Good question, yes a few of them, but that information is sort of restricted-- you'll find out why.

I've always wondered what she meant by the word "restricted." Does she mean that the info is restricted to fans, or restricted to the rest of the wizarding world?


Bluenote1313 - Sep 18, 2003 5:16 pm (#66 of 980) Reply
Edited by Sep 18, 2003 6:20 pm

I think she meant restricted to us. I expect/hope book 6 will really get in to it.

Okay...I have no where to put this but I SS is on HBO today and they just showed the part where Harry sees the plaque with his father's name on it as a seeker...if you look at the plaque carefully the only other name you make out on it was McGonagall. We know she is too old to have been on the team with James....her son perhaps? Maybe he died at the hands of Voldy in Voldy War 1. Of course since this is the movie it might mean nothing.


S.E. Jones - Sep 18, 2003 7:26 pm (#67 of 980)

It could also have been a daughter. Or, it could be one of those things where the same trophy has plaques from different years on it....

I think the restricted thing might mean to the student body. Think about how badly a student might be teased if the other students knew they were Professor such and such's son. I find it interesting that every year the teachers become less the "mean grown-ups" and more human in Harry's eyes. I think the next logical step would be to show that the teachers have lives beyond Hogwarts, lives that include family.


Bluenote1313 - Sep 19, 2003 5:06 am (#68 of 980)

I think that the trophy was for winning the House Cup that year, and included a list of everyone on the team that year. Of course it is in the movie and not the book so does it really matter?


S.E. Jones - Sep 19, 2003 5:17 am (#69 of 980)

How could it be everyone on the team, I thought it only had four names......


Bluenote1313 - Sep 19, 2003 5:20 am (#70 of 980)

They only show the bottom part of the plaque in the movie with James Potter - Seeker at the bottom in the middle. Just from what I have seen of plaques in the past that would make sense. the seeker is considered the most important part of the team apparently. Also, since there are 7 people on the team the other six names would have been split to three a side...


Professor McGonagall - Sep 19, 2003 5:44 pm (#71 of 980)


You know, that's really odd — the other day, my friend and I were saying that McGonagall could possibly be Harry's godmother. She certainly seemed close enough to Lily and James...

Oh! Big idea! (These come along only once in awhile, so let me finish!) Okay, when McGonagall's part in the Order came forward, it reminded me of something I'd been thinking of since I read the book. When Moody shows Harry the photo, he points out everybody there, until he gets to Lily and James. Did he just stop there — or was there nobody else?

Because, McGonagall gave me the impression that she was in the Order the first time around, and Moody gave no mention of her. I mean, she went to the Dursley's to find out what seriously happened to Lily and James — and she'd said that Hagrid had told her. Well, Hagrid was in the Order, so why would he tell her if she hadn't been? Which makes it more confusing, because no one knows how Hagrid had time to tell her (maybe he stopped by the headquarters to get something or... something). So, why tell her? Why not another member?

Okay, next thing. I don't think we should trust what types of plaques or things that the movie has. Remember? J. K. said that James had been a Chaser (which is screwed up, because how could he have gotten the Snitch, then?) But, still. I trust J. K. more than I do a movie. (Or, we could just take a leaf out of Denise's book. Once, I had a post, asking about that night in Chamber of Secrets, when McGonagall and Dumbledore had carried Colin up to the infirmary. McGonagall had said something to the effect of "I shudder to think... if Albus hadn't been on the way downstairs for hot chocolate..." Yeah, something like that... well, I had wanted to know what she was doing down there, because we knew what Dumbledore was doing when they found him. Well, Denise said "Maybe there's more to McGonagall and Dumbledore than we know." — Yeah, I'm rambling, but I want to get this down! — So, maybe Denise started something completely new...)

Yeah, I agree with Professor Kosh and everyone else — McGonagall is so going to kick butt in the sixth book! *laughs* If this book is just a indication of how easily she snaps — I'd hate to see what happens to the poor Death Eater whom happens to cross her...

I don't think J. K. will hold her true to her word — "Potter, if it's the last thing I do, I will help you to become an Auror!" — Because Hermione said that about Rita Skeeter, and it wasn't the last thing she did, so maybe McGonagall will be lucky, too...

Oh! I've got something else in mind! Okay, Sly girl, I wanted to make a comment on how you said that McGonagall was more in shock than in mourning. Well, she did start crying when Dumbledore had told her that they were dead. It was in the Phiosopher's Stone. It said something like "Professor McGonagall dabbed at her eyes beneath her spectacles. Dumbledore gave a huge sniff..." Yeah, see? She did cry! She cried! The woman whom nobody thinks has human feelings — cried! (Sorry, I got caught up in the moment...)

Okay, I'm going to leave, so I can have enough time to get out of town before you people track me down and burn me at the stake or something... I'm just kidding! Sorry, I'm in one of those nutter moods as of now... just ignore me. ~*~Professor McGonagall~*~


S.E. Jones - Sep 19, 2003 7:21 pm (#72 of 980)

I shudder to think... if Albus hadn't been on the way downstairs for hot chocolate....... I had wanted to know what she was doing down there, because we knew what Dumbledore was doing when they found him.

Maybe DD went downstairs, found Colin, and sent word to McGonagall who was in her quarters. She didn't necessarily have to be downstairs too.... Or did I misunderstand you?


S.E. Jones - Sep 19, 2003 8:10 pm (#73 of 980)
Edited Sep 19, 2003 9:16 pm

If I may go back to the trophy for just a moment. Each of the visible shields on the plaque held a different name and year, the one on the left read "1969, R. J. H. King", the one in the middle read "Seeker, James Potter, 1973", and the one on the right read "1971, M. G. McGonagall". Now I asked before if anyone thought Prof. McGonagall had any children, could this be a son or daughter? (And before you say this is just the movie, keep in mind that JK did give some things to Columbus. You may also notice an award for special services next to the Quidditch Cup trophy, T. M. Riddles perhaps?)


Neville Longbottom - Sep 20, 2003 1:08 am (#74 of 980)

I wouldn't rule it out, that it was a son, or a daughter. Maybe her child was killed during the first Voldie-War. If the child was good in Quidditch, too, it would explain Minerva's enthusiasm for Quidditch, and maybe even her reaction, when she saw Harry catching Neville's Remembrall.


Professor McGonagall - Sep 20, 2003 9:22 am (#75 of 980)

I'm not saying any of you are wrong... but I find it harder to believe in the movie than if it's something J. K. writes (yes, I noticed Riddle's plaque, too -- very observant of you -- but I'm willing to give J. K. more leeway on the subject).

And to answer the first part -- about the Colin Creevey incident. Well, the way J. K. wrote it, it seems to me that they were both down there. Because they brought him up and Madam Pomfrey asks what had happened.

Another attack, said Dumbedore. "Minerva found him on the stairs." ..."Petrified?" whispered Madam Pomfrey, "Yes," said Professor McGonagall. "But I shudder to think... if Albus hadn't been on the way downstairs for hot chocolate -- who knows what might have --"

Yeah, so I don't know what to think about that. I hope it made my point of view somewhat clearer...


Wendelin the Weird - Sep 25, 2003 12:03 pm (#76 of 980)

Okay, I'm going to leave, so I can have enough time to get out of town before you people track me down and burn me at the stake or something... I'm just kidding! Sorry, I'm in one of those nutter moods as of now... just ignore me. ~*~Professor McGonagall~*~

And whats wrong with being burned at the stake, Professor? Minerva McGonagall 464751818

Actually, I was going to ask why in tarnation did JKR say that James was a chaser and then in Snapes pensieve have him acting cool catching the snitch? I mean, a chaser would be throwing the quaffle around with his buddies, or bopping Snivvelus on the head with it. *snicker* Just wondering.. ((Man, how I wish I had smilies here!))


Denise S. - Sep 27, 2003 9:29 am (#77 of 980) Reply
Edited by Sep 27, 2003 10:32 am

Maybe it's possible for people to change positions. I don't think we've had any evidence of that in the book yet, but I don't see why it couldn't happen--it happens in real life quite often.

Edit: should this last little bit be moved to the Quidditch thread or a James-related thread?


azi - Sep 27, 2003 1:05 pm (#78 of 980)

Isn't Ginny going to change position from seeker to chaser? That suggests it was possible for James to change. However, I don't think he did and that he was a chaser all along.


Wendelin the Weird - Sep 27, 2003 5:45 pm (#79 of 980)

Oh yes, right... a bit off-topic now.

As for McGonagall, that was a good point someone brought up about her not being in the picture Moody was showing Harry. And who was her husband if she had a son/daughter playing quidditch? Im guessing it was her playing (if it was even true and not just a cinematic add-on without being JKR approved)... I mean she is most likely Scottish from what we can tell and her name is Scottish. Perhaps she never married. But I wonder why if she had been at Hogwarts for 40 years she was not at that party where the picture was taken around the time Harry was born. I'm thinking she could have some connection to him more than student/professor as was being said. It all points to it really... Like she may have joined after Lily/James death. hmmm...

Could she have been an aunt to James possibly? She'd certainly have not approved of his reckless behavior when he was attending Hogwarts and likely is why she is strict with Harry as well. Just a thought.


Susurro Notities - Sep 27, 2003 6:10 pm (#80 of 980) Reply
Edited by Sep 27, 2003 7:11 pm

Was McGonagall away on a mission when the photo was taken?

The idea of the McGonagall on the cup being Minerva is groovy (as you said - if it is something more than cinematic invention). It would fit with her love of quiddich.


S.E. Jones - Sep 27, 2003 10:30 pm (#81 of 980)

Yes, but the date on that particular shield read 1971, so it couldn't have been her since she's 70+ and James (whose shield read 1973) and co. are around 35-36. I absolutely believe that she was on the Quidditch team when she was a student and I also think it quite possible that her kids, if she had any, would have been too. (Have we ever heard her called Minerva G. McGonagall, or Mrs. McGonagall?)

BTW, did we see everyone in the picture Moody was showing Harry, or just everyone until he found James and Lily? There seemed to be a lot of people so maybe he didn't get to all of them, which means Minerva may have been in the picture....


Grant the Great - Sep 28, 2003 8:20 pm (#82 of 980)
Edited Sep 28, 2003 9:21 pm

Umm . . . my opinion on the trophy is that the people who were making the props thought they were so funny ::whiping a tear sarcastically:: that they could put her on there. OR--it could be they just needed another name, and picked one that they knew existed in the wizarding world. Heck, after all the props they have to make, they probably run dry on creativity sometimes.

Now, onto the issue of the picture: there are a few options, most of which you've pointed out. 1) Prof. McG (say that, it sounds cool: Professor Mc-G!) may have not been in the Order the first time around; however, it seems that she is involved because of the first chapter in Book I, as well as her involvement with Dumbledore all of the rest, especially at the end of Book IV (I don't know, maybe it was just my opinion, but he seemed to treat her the same way he did Snape). 2) She may have been further to the edge (I know, I know, a million people have already suggested it). Now, on to number . . . 3!) I'm proud of this one, because I came up with it all by myself! Has anyone considered that *somebody* had to actually *take* the picture? Could this be the secret hobby of dear Minerva? She is actually an excellent photographer. In fact, I think that if you delve deeply into the symbolism of Book II, you will discover that she takes many of the pictures that appear in the Daily Prophet. She is quite the versitile woman, after all.

Sorry if that got too crazy. I wake up WAY early usually, so this is late for me (it's 10:21 in my time zone right now).


Romulus - Sep 29, 2003 6:47 am (#83 of 980)

I always assumed the McGonagall on the shield in the film was either (a) a joke, not to be considered canon (although I know JKR had a lot of input into the films, so maybe this is unlikely) or (b) a neice, nephew, cousin etc of Minerva. For some reason, I don't see her as the marrying/mother type. She's only 70 though, so she has a good century to find someone!


azi - Sep 29, 2003 7:56 am (#84 of 980)

I agree, I can't see McGonagall married.


Doris Crockford - Sep 29, 2003 12:14 pm (#85 of 980)

Grant the Great : "In fact, I think that if you delve deeply into the symbolism of Book II, you will discover that she takes many of the pictures that appear in the Daily Prophet." (post #82)

What did I miss in book 2? I thought Bozo was the Daily Prophet photographer. Please explain.

But that makes a ton of sense that someone in the Order took it. By that time, the Order was probably more hidden than it is now, and they couldn't take the risk of letting a stranger come into HQ and take a picture of them. It could be an Imperioed guy that would kill them two seconds later.


Caitlin McCoy - Sep 29, 2003 3:34 pm (#86 of 980)

I don't think McGonagall is married, either. She would drive her children nuts, for one thing. She seems more the sort to be the strict "Auntie" whom is interesting to visit during the summers but you wouldn't want to live with year-round. That's just my opinion.



Grant the Great - Sep 30, 2003 6:53 pm (#87 of 980)

Sorry Doris Crockford! I was just really crazy when I wrote that. I was trying (apparently unsuccessfully!) to make a joke! Heck, I thought it was funny!

And, on your comment about the Order, I would imagine that it would be less hidden the first time around, because the Ministry would have been on their side that time around. Anyway, going back to Professor Mc-G!

I can see her as married . . . maybe . . . I don't know, but she's one of my favorite characters (and definitely my favorite teacher), so I wouldn't mind having her as a mom (plus, I think we've seen that she's not always so strict and has an emotional side).


Susurro Notities - Sep 30, 2003 9:21 pm (#88 of 980) Reply
Edited by Sep 30, 2003 10:22 pm

Grant the Great, you are right, she was the photographer. I wish I would have thought of that.

She broke the rules to get Harry on the quidditch team (sporting, assertive, competitive), buys a broom for Harry (generous, thoughtful, giving), gives Ron and Harry detentions instead of expelling them (flexible, down to earth, kind), she stands up to Umbridge and bests her (humor, stubborn, intelligent), and she is downright sweet in her concern for Harry's having to live with the awful muggles (loving and warm). Wow! All that and she has perfected the STARE! Perfect mother material.

She may seem strict but her characteristics (in parentheses) illustrate what what makes her so lovable to all of us. She is the ultimate mother.


Rich - Oct 1, 2003 12:35 am (#89 of 980)

She's the ultimate mother? I see her as the ever reliable person in the book who is always there to help Harry out of a tight situation.

It is illustrated really well in the book when she has to go to St. Mungo's and then Harry needs help and because Mc-G's not their he suddenly feels so isolated.


Haggis and Irn Bru - Oct 1, 2003 9:59 am (#90 of 980)
Edited Oct 1, 2003 11:00 am

Just a comment about McG being married. Would her children not have the surname of her husband. I thought that we were supposed to take the shield as cannon as James was chaser. The shield was a seeker one. I agree that she is a helpful person for Dumbly and Harry to have around. She is described as very strict but when you interpret her actions shes much more of a person than taht like Sussoro describes.


Denise P. - Oct 1, 2003 10:08 am (#91 of 980)

It would stand to reason, if she is married, McGonagall would be her married name.


Haggis and Irn Bru - Oct 1, 2003 10:17 am (#92 of 980)

Didnt think of that


S.E. Jones - Oct 1, 2003 3:04 pm (#93 of 980)

I've always loved the way she reacted to finding Harry and Ron away from their class in CoS when they told her they were on their way to see her Hermione (who was petrified at the time). She nearly breaks out in tears! She's a little gruff around the edges but is, at heart, quite a softy...much like most mothers I know.......


Rich - Oct 1, 2003 6:13 pm (#94 of 980)

She is very sensitive when you think about.

You know how sometimes teachers will put on a strict face for the first few lessons to show they don't put up with nonsense but then they loosen up. I think she's like that. She wanted to show the new students that she's not to be messed with.

I've read in previous messages that Mc-G could've had a kid who died at the hands of Voldemort. This to me has a lot of merit. She could've joined the Order after her kid died wanting to get revenge on Voldemort. Or is that a little out of her character?


S.E. Jones - Oct 1, 2003 6:15 pm (#95 of 980)

Hehe...or, she could have a kid who'll show up as the next DADA teacher..... Minerva McGonagall 1003735042


Rich - Oct 1, 2003 6:24 pm (#96 of 980)

Could be so, but surely we would have heard something by now if he/she was a skilled wizard.


S.E. Jones - Oct 1, 2003 6:28 pm (#97 of 980)

Why would we? We haven't heard anything as yet about teachers' spouses but we know that some have them....


Rich - Oct 1, 2003 6:35 pm (#98 of 980)

It is inevitable that at least some are married. But they live apart for the majority of the year. Even during the holidays when Harry stays for X-mas Mc-G is still there on most occasions. Is the husband still alive?


Susurro Notities - Oct 1, 2003 7:02 pm (#99 of 980)

She may stay at Hogwarts because her husband is a professor there too or because he works on holidays. McGonagall may have remained at Hogwarts during VWI to give continuity and support to the students.


Rich - Oct 1, 2003 7:05 pm (#100 of 980)

That's true. Someone has to run the school if DD is leading the Order.

But I think that there is a history to her family that will be revealed in the books to come. Did she lose loved ones to Voldemort, or are they still around? This issue is bound to be explored in the next books.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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Grant the Great - Oct 1, 2003 7:17 pm (#101 of 980)

Have you ever wondered whether the families of the professors (or at least spouses) live in a certain "wing" of Hogwarts? Of course, I can just imagine the pour two-year-old who wanders off in *that* school. Even worse than getting lost in the grocery store!

However, I find it more likely that their families would live in Hogsmeade. I mean, then they can just take a quick jont (don't you love that word?) or a ride down to the village. Plus, we don't know ALL of the staff members live at the school, rather than the village. Given, it is more likely, but maybe the married ones live in the village. We know Mc-G lives in the castle, and I think Snape, too. Of course, Madam Pomphrey, Filch???, Dumbledore, and Prof. Trelawney (but who'd marry her anyway?). Oh, and I guess you might count Hagrid, but we already know all about him. OK, I'm done! You can add on to/hash away at this now!


Rich - Oct 1, 2003 7:19 pm (#102 of 980)

They could live in the castle and travel by Floo Powder to their jobs each day. But surely Fred and George would've mentioned something about this by now.

Getting a bit off topic now.


Grant the Great - Oct 1, 2003 7:27 pm (#103 of 980)

I don't see why they would have by now. I mean, maybe they didn't know. I think I'm going to start a spouses thread, for anyone who wants to join!


S.E. Jones - Oct 1, 2003 7:28 pm (#104 of 980)

I think it very likely that McGonagall's husband, assuming she had one, may have died at some point (maybe he was in the Order the first time around?). That and with any children grown up with families/lives of their own, there is little reason for her not to stay at Hogwarts for the Holidays. Anyway, she may see any relatives during the summer holiday at least, or during certain weekends (like maybe every other Hogsmeade weekend or something), and with the Floo network and such, it's not as if she could never speak with her relatives....


Susurro Notities - Oct 1, 2003 7:45 pm (#105 of 980) Reply
Edited by Oct 1, 2003 8:45 pm

Oh yes! The Floo network. Maybe the professors only spend part of the holiday at the school and travel to be at their family celebrations earlier or later the same day.


LilyP - Oct 2, 2003 1:52 pm (#106 of 980)

OK, this may be way off base, but why couldn't Dumbledore and McGonagall be married? There is nothing that I can think of to discount this idea, but I know that you good folks will help me with that. Just an idea. Have at it!


timrew - Oct 2, 2003 2:02 pm (#107 of 980)

But DD calls her Professor McGonagall. If they were married, wouldn't he call her Snuffle-Bunny or something like that?


Grant the Great - Oct 2, 2003 3:29 pm (#108 of 980)
Edited Oct 2, 2003 4:35 pm

Well, the most obvious one is the last names. If they were married, they'd be the same. OK, OK, I know you'll come up with some loophole ("I heard about this one couple that both kept their single names . . ."), but please just be realistic.


LilyP - Oct 2, 2003 5:35 pm (#109 of 980)

Can't you just hear it now. Oh, Snuffle-Bunny! Oh, Squiddy-kins!


Susurro Notities - Oct 2, 2003 5:51 pm (#110 of 980)

I kept my maiden name and I have been married 20 years with 3 kids.


Professor McGonagall - Oct 2, 2003 5:56 pm (#111 of 980)


You people crack me up every time! I realise some of it isn't meant to be funny, but they few that are, are side-splitting. Teachers don't live at the school. It may seem like it, but I think J. K. said in a Scholastic interview that only Filch lives there year-round — everyone else goes home during summer holiday.

Tim, although Dumbledore is odd enough to go out in the open with "pet names", they do often refer to each other in first-name terms...

I just can't see McGonagall married... I mean, here I am — I haven't even gone out on a date yet (I'm, about, 18... 20... I think... I lost count)... but, just because most people get married, doesn't mean everyone does. Maybe that's why she became a teacher, 'cause she didn't have/want children, so she just decided to teach them... I know, it sounds far- fetched, but that's pretty much my method of going about things. I don't want kids, so I teach (at a college, I can't stand the little people running around, hugging you, giving you their flu... ugh. It never fails).

Hee hee, Sorry about this to all of you whom have children...

~*~ Professor McGonagall~*~


Denise P. - Oct 2, 2003 6:14 pm (#112 of 980)

Professor McGonagall and Dumbledore being married is unlikely, I think. Using the fact that he calls her Professor McGonagall doesn't really seem a good point to me. I went to a boarding school where teachers lived in the dorms with us and the married ones consistently called each other "Mr White" or "Mrs White" if students were around. We also had other teachers who we called by their first name out of class but in class by their title.

I don't get a married vibe from the Squid and the Kitty though.


LilyP - Oct 2, 2003 6:21 pm (#113 of 980)

No offense taken. I have kids, and I'm not fond of the germs. My kids come home from preschool and/or play groups and we always end up with colds, etc. I was a teacher for 10 years before leaving to stay home w/ my kids and I got all the germs.

(Back on topic)I was also thinking about professors living in the Castle, etc. What if they actually used the floo network to get from their office to their homes. They could live anywhere and be back in the compound in seconds. I don't remember actually seeing a living quarters in/near their offices. It always seems to be implied, but never actually stated "...around the wash basin...and next to the bed...." Even if they did go home at night, if a student went running to their office for an emergency, there could be a way to inform the faculty member needed to return to the school immediately.


Neville Longbottom - Oct 2, 2003 11:39 pm (#114 of 980)

According to JKR, Dumbledore is 70 years older than McGonagall, so I doubt that they are married. Of course, you never know... *g*


Rich - Oct 3, 2003 2:47 am (#115 of 980)

It is possible for them to live at home and travel by Floo Powder, if they're needed DD can send a message with Fawkes. But living at home and being on call 24 hours a day for almost the whole year would be a bit inconvenient wouldn't it?


Sinister Kittens - Oct 3, 2003 8:21 am (#116 of 980)

I can't see it as being any more inconvenient than living at the School, that's a 24 hour a day job.


Haggis and Irn Bru - Oct 3, 2003 12:13 pm (#117 of 980)

When my parents had me my mum did not go back to teach until I was old enough to go to school. When she was younger when people had kids the women stayed at home and did not go back to teach at all or until the children had left home. The Wizarding world seems to be very traditional or at least appears to be. It says on the lexicon that McG became transfiguration teacher around 1956 around age 34. If the child was to be of age she would have had to be pregnant as soon as she left school. I am much more inclined to believe that she got married after her child bearing age was over-possibly during WW2. Either that or she was unmarried or married with no children.


Grant the Great - Oct 3, 2003 2:36 pm (#118 of 980)

I think it likely that at least the Heads of Houses, Dumbledore, and Filch live there during the school year at least. I mean, you always have to have the Heads on call (remember the times we've seen Mc-G coming in her nightgown?). I don't think they were called through the Floo Network. Rather, I think that they actually have quarters IN the castle. I mean, what if it was a first-year Muggle-born who needed Professor Flitwick (do we know he was a Head of House?) or some other Head to come, but he wouldn't know to throw this powder into the fireplace. Just a thought . . .

Oh, and I think we should continue this conversation on the Spouses of the Staff thread (or something like that; I forget the exact name).


Neville Longbottom - Oct 3, 2003 2:53 pm (#119 of 980)

I agree with Grant the Great. The heads of houses should live there, in case one of their students needs help. For the same reason, I think, Pomfrey also should sleep at Hogwarts. She was needed, for example, after McGonagall was attacked in OOTP.


Wendelin the Weird - Oct 3, 2003 9:23 pm (#120 of 980)
Edited Oct 3, 2003 10:24 pm

Yes, Id say the staff lives there during the year. Remember when Dumbledore happened to be out walking and ran across Colin Creevey the night he was petrified? Also the night DD needed to erm... use the little boys room and came across the Room of Requirement. *snicker*

And now back to McGonagall... I agree with the fact that DD might call her Professor even if they were married at least around the school, but when he sees her at Privet Dr when dropping Harry off he also calls her Professor rather than Minerva. That leads me to believe that they arent married. He would likely have said, "I should have known I'd see you here..." without adding her title etc... if they were husband & wife.

As for McGonagall being married, I have an active imagination and could see her as having lost her husband at an early age, like maybe before they had any children. I dont know why, I just get this impression of her as going to teach after having lost her true love and focusing on the children in the school instead. Maybe her husband could have helped DD in his defeat of Grindelwald!! *grins*


LilyP - Oct 3, 2003 11:44 pm (#121 of 980)

Ok, I just got this. If McG didn't start at Hogwarts until she was 34, what was she doing before that??


Madame Librarian - Oct 4, 2003 5:00 am (#122 of 980)

It's becoming more and more obvious to me that JKR has to write a book titled: The Lives of Wizards of the Modern Day Wizarding World, an anthology of the biographies of McG, DD, Snape, etc. Obviously, that's not practical until after the 7th book, because it could reveal the outcome. *sighs and shrugs*

Ciao. Barb


Rich - Oct 4, 2003 7:21 pm (#123 of 980) Reply
Edited by Oct 4, 2003 8:22 pm

To become a teacher at a prestigious school you need to be well trained at what you're teaching, don't you?

So do teachers have to undergo more training before being allowed to teach. Don't forget Mc-G is a legally recognised Animagus and that takes a while doesn't it? Do the Ministry only allow those who are competent to become Animagi? If so this would probably mean further training for Mc-G before she could teach.

She also had to wait for the position to come up didn't she?


Ricky Warner - Oct 4, 2003 10:08 pm (#124 of 980)

You don't nessecarily have to be well trained. I highly doubt either Hagrid or Trelawney was highly trained.


S.E. Jones - Oct 4, 2003 10:32 pm (#125 of 980)

Or Lockhart...

I don't think they're trained in teaching, though they probably do spend extra years after Hogwarts pursuing more knowledge in their chosen area of study....


Sly Girl - Oct 5, 2003 10:12 am (#126 of 980)

Yes, but Hagrd and Trelawny and even Lockhart are special cases. You could argue they were never teachers to begin with and therefore never received any training because of that fact. (Hagrid being kicked out, Trelawny being . . .well, Trelawny basically, and Lockhart off forging his books)

But I agree, knowing what I know about the English school system and how it appears that the Wizarding world does not have what we would consider 'college' they probably do not receive any special training.


Wendelin the Weird - Oct 5, 2003 9:08 pm (#127 of 980)

I think they are hired based on experience and the circumstances of needing to fill the position fast! hee hee


Lenka - Oct 6, 2003 3:29 am (#128 of 980)
Edited Oct 6, 2003 4:29 am

I really like the part n OoP where Harry noticed how off McGonagall looked in a muggle dress... hehe


Ricky Warner - Oct 6, 2003 5:00 am (#129 of 980)

Yeah, I can't either. I really can't. Robes suit her.


Rich - Oct 7, 2003 1:00 am (#130 of 980)

Trelawney, Hagrid and Lockhart are special cases because they were hired under special circumstances. Trelawney was hired because she made the prediction, Hagrid because he does know a lot about Magical Creatures (you have to give him that much) and Lockhart because their was no one else to fill the position (it says so in CoS somewhere).

So maybe competent teachers receive extra training.


Ricky Warner - Oct 7, 2003 6:14 am (#131 of 980)

Rich13, I think I remember that quote, hagrid said it I think.


S.E. Jones - Oct 7, 2003 6:23 am (#132 of 980)
Edited Oct 7, 2003 7:25 am

I think any extra training is in their respective areas and not in teaching itself. Hogwarts reminds me much more of a university than a highschool. So, if professors are picked for Hogwarts the way they are for universities, they don't actually have to have any teaching credentials, just experience in the area. I'v met plenty of professors who knew their subject inside out and upside down but couldn't teach their way out of a paper bag.... However, the majority, while having no actual formal education in teaching, are absolutely excellent, so it probably depends more on the person and their experience (keep in mind that most all of the professors we've met have been teaching for at least a decade or two)....


Ricky Warner - Oct 7, 2003 6:29 am (#133 of 980)

Thats not like Uni's here.


Professor McGonagall - Oct 8, 2003 6:47 am (#134 of 980)


Thanks for being so understanding! (I still feel badly about it...) But, who is going to say that any teacher had any training? J. K. said that there is no "University for Wizards" so, how could any of them had training? Maybe it's like being a student-teacher... you watch them for awhile, then you go off and teach them yourself.

We need to get Denise back here! Denise! Come on! We need your guidance! (Wait, what's her new username)? Dang!

Oh well, I've not a clue what else can be said on this, I'm lost...

(McGonagall in a Muggle dress - now that's a nutter idea)... ~*~Professor McGonagall~*~


Romulus - Oct 8, 2003 2:01 pm (#135 of 980)

Is McGonagall an Animagus? Or does she just transfigure herself into a cat? We know the latter is possible - for example, Krum transfigured himself (partially) into a shark during the second task in GoF. I think she isn't an Animagus - Hermione points out (I think in PoA?) there have only been 4 registered Animagi this century, and surely she would have mentioned it if one of them was their Head of House. And I can't see McGonagall ignoring the rules and being unregistered like James, Sirius and Peter.

Which, rather to one side, leads me to conclude that Peter is the only known Animagus alive. Quite impressive for someone who only used to "tag along" to James and Sirius, and who was "never quite in their league".


S.E. Jones - Oct 8, 2003 2:16 pm (#136 of 980)

Actually, "...I went and looked Professor McGonagall up on the register, and there have been only seven Animagi this century, and Pettigrew's name wasn't on the list--" (Hermione, PoA18). So McGonagall is an Animagus....


zeuspro - Oct 9, 2003 1:47 am (#137 of 980)

And its says in Quiddich through the ages that if you are completely transfigured into an animal you also have the brain of that animal. So transfiguring her self would leave her trapped as a cat until someone changed her back, with the mind of a cat.


Ricky Warner - Oct 9, 2003 7:39 am (#138 of 980)

Well I guess she never completely transfigures then does she?


fidelio - Oct 9, 2003 7:43 am (#139 of 980)

Apparently being an Animagus [which is what McGonagall is] is not exactly the same thing as being transfigured, or even being self-transfigured, going by what's written in Quidditch through the ages.

For one thing, the wand is not required to make the transformation. For another, the animagus retains their personality, memories, and sense of purpose, which the transfigured person does not, apparently [although, judging from Draco's experience, they may remember being transfigured once they are back in their own shape].


Ricky Warner - Oct 9, 2003 7:46 am (#140 of 980)

Also from the fact that McGonagall remembers facts about how bad the Dursleys are in PS1.


Doris Crockford - Oct 13, 2003 10:28 am (#141 of 980)
Edited Oct 13, 2003 11:29 am

So how did Krum know to hack the bindings off Hermione in GoF without biting her head off or attacking Harry? Is partial self-transfiguration the same as being an Animagus?


zixyer - Oct 13, 2003 1:51 pm (#142 of 980)

I guess it'd be sort of similar. I sort of view Krum's transfiguration as a half-human/half-shark one, so I think he'd have have a human brain and be able to override his shark instincts. But I think the upside of being an animagus is you get to transfigure totally into the animal and keep your entire human brain.


Rich - Oct 13, 2003 11:16 pm (#143 of 980)

I thought Krum stuffed up when he was doing the Transfiguration.

I don't think you keep your physical human brain when you're in animagus form. It would be physically impossible for the likes of Pettigrew as a rat and probably Mc-G. Maybe you can use the animals brain as you use your own.


Hem Hem - Oct 20, 2003 4:52 pm (#144 of 980)

Question: Does McGonagall's hair color change throughout the series? In P/SS, it was black, although I heard that someone noticed an OotP reference to her having gray hair. I searched the Lexicon, but it had no reference from OotP about her hair. Does anybody recall this reference, or did the person who told it to me make it up?

I would have posted this on the "hair" thread, but since the color change from black to gray is pretty natural, I thought it was more likely an oversight on JKR's part than some enigmatic hint.

Does anybody recall?


Grant the Great - Oct 20, 2003 5:37 pm (#145 of 980)

I don't know, but I also would think it might not be an oversight. After all, JKR does focus on growing up/old. She probably won't limit herself to just the school kids getting older.


Rich - Oct 20, 2003 7:22 pm (#146 of 980)

You're right about PS. In the first chapter when she is talking to DD it says she has black hair pulled back in a tight bun. I've had a quick look through OotP but I can't find anything.


schoff - Oct 20, 2003 7:25 pm (#147 of 980)

Nice to know I wasn't the only one, rich13! I looked through Career Advice, Harry's first DADA class (where he got detention), the snake dream (and the subsequent DD's office scene), Trelawney's eviction, and her mention at 12GP. Couldn't find any mention of hair.


Peregrine - Oct 21, 2003 8:24 am (#148 of 980)

Now that you mention it, it seems odd that her hair wasn’t gray from the start. She is 70ish, right? Although, I suppose she could be dying it black…but then there’d be no mention of gray in OoP…unless she’s too busy with the Order to get her hair done regularly. Hm, that wasn’t exactly helpful, was it?


Haggis and Irn Bru - Oct 21, 2003 12:25 pm (#149 of 980)

I think people are getting confused between movie and the book. I cant remember in the book her hair being any other colour than black. In the movie it is gingery/reddy/auburn.


Rich - Oct 22, 2003 12:03 am (#150 of 980)

Haggis and Irn Bru, I have to agree with you. I had images of the characters in my mind. But now after seeing the movies they're different. Mc-G always looks like Maggie Smith now. It confuses me.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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Fawkesy Lady - Oct 23, 2003 8:17 am (#151 of 980)

I am re-reading OoP and at the end of Chapter 12 where Harry is sent to Prof. McGonagall, some odd things occur that I can't quite understand.

1. Why does McG. push Harry into having a biscuit, not once, but twice? When she offers him the biscuits it is rather impatiently, she didn't have to. It is awfully suspicious.

2. Just before McG. forces Harry to have the second biscuit, JKR writes, "She stood up, nostrils wide and mouth very thin, and he stood too." The second to last paragraph JKR writes, "Professor McGonagall eye him closely for a moment, then sniffed, walked around her desk, and held open the door for him.

My question is, What is up with the sniffing thing? Her animagus form is a cat, so does she have extra sensory sense of smell? No where does it say that she has a cold which would explain the sniff.

Thoughts, ideas?


Madame Librarian - Oct 23, 2003 8:37 am (#152 of 980)

Fawkesy Lady, I wouldn't read too much into that sniff business. It's an audible representation of someone expressing displeasure or holding back on saying something. It could be McG's way of sneering at the whole idea of Umbridge's detention plans.

I'm currently listening to the Jim Dale version of the CD of OoP and I just heard that particular scene. It comes across as benign. McG wants to be extremely angry at Harry, but his attitude towards Umbridge is so much like hers, she can't quite pull off the irate housemistress pose she planned. Giving him a cookie is a subtle symbol of nurturing (like a loving parent or favorite teacher--she's feeding him).

I do like the idea of the cat animagus in McG sort of rising to the surface because she's very upset (i.e., emotional magic peeping out?).

Ciao. Barb


Fawkesy Lady - Oct 23, 2003 8:52 am (#153 of 980)

Thanks Barb. I am always on the lookout for something odd.


Rich - Oct 23, 2003 11:54 pm (#154 of 980)

You know how after an encounter with a Dementor you should eat chocloate. Could the biscuits (Ginger Newts) calm a person? (Mc-G certainly needs a lot of calming if Umbridge is at the school, a tin of bicuits on the desk could be handy) But I must say I like your idea Madame Librarian about her trying to be nurturing. It is when she's speaking to Harry that she speaks to him like adult to adult not teacher to student and Harry realises this.

She sniffs after she realizes that Hermione interpreted what Umbridge said at the start of the term. A sniff to signal her respect for Hermione at having understood such a load of rubbish?


Haggis and Irn Bru - Oct 24, 2003 10:33 am (#155 of 980)

Isnt ginger supposed to settle the stomach particularly during pregnancy? I agree she is described as being more human than normal and speaks to him more as an equal.


Catherine - Oct 24, 2003 1:03 pm (#156 of 980)

I think the episode with Harry in McGonagall's office, where she is getting him to eat the ginger cookies, is to show two ideas.

One is that McGonagall, despite her stern exterior, is just an old softie at heart. Food is associated with nurturing; notice the difference between the food at Privet Drive and the feasting plenty of Hogwarts.

The other is to contrast Harry being in a teacher's office, being offered refreshment. McGonagall is doing it from a sincere desire to help Harry and to get him to act in a more careful manner. Umbridge, on the other hand, is offering Harry tea that she (and he) believes to be laced with Veritaserum. This is such a dishonorable act. Think back to the Greek epics and the importance of hospitality. Punishment always befell those who tried to serve foul food or poison. Even one's enemies had to be treated honorably as a guest.

So you have two instances of teachers pushing refreshment on Harry for very different reasons, showing very different kinds of character.


Shacklebolt - Oct 27, 2003 8:07 pm (#157 of 980)

Did anyone else notice that McGonagall started in December, not in September like one would expect? This seems like an important detail added in when the trio hung back to hear Umbridge question McGonagall. Did something come up that led to Dumbledore leaving the school at this point?


Hem Hem - Oct 27, 2003 11:09 pm (#158 of 980)

Perhaps that was when Armando Dippet died, leaving Dumbledore to take the headmaster's position, and to find a new Transfiguration teacher?

Hey, it could work...but as for why the year of Dippet's death would be significant, I don't know....:shrug:

Edit: I noticed your intro post in the "Tell About Yourself" thread, Shacklebolt, and I'd like to personally welcome you to the forum...hope all the time you spend here is insightful and entertaining.

Welcome to you too, Catherine. I have very much enjoyed reading your posts so far, and it hardly feels like you're new member!


Professor McGonagall - Oct 28, 2003 8:30 am (#159 of 980)

So, are we presuming that McGonagall is pregnant now? Because she offers cookies with ginger in them? *laughs* I'm just kidding.

Maggie Smith is a great actress, but I think they could have at least dyed her hair black or something. I didn't find any mention of grey hair in any of the books... what could that mean? We know Dumbledore's quite old, but to have completely grey hair takes only a few years, right? I can't see her dyeing her hair, she'd be the type of person whom happens to let it all go out...

Oh! You've just reminded me! As we're on the subject of McGonagall and everything she's done in the school year, it had to be asked: Why would four Stunning Spells be considered very dangerous for someone (especially her age) when, on average, the average wizard can get hit quite a few times more than that and be fine? (Example: Ginny gets hit in the face and when they were dueling one can be hit, revived, and hit again without any obvious damage)?

Also, how did she know so much about the events at the Ministry? When she comes back from "St. Mungos" (I'm putting that in quotes for a reason, you'll find out soon) she says that they should be given House points for "alerting our world to the return of You-Know-Who." And she gave points accordingly. How did she know whom all it was that had helped? I mean, it would have been obvious to her that Harry had done something to start this, and maybe figure Ron and Hermione into the equation, but why Luna, Neville, and Ginny? Dumbledore couldn't have told her, he was still in hiding and/or talking to Fudge, which he immediately went back to Hogwarts afterwards... So, how did she find out about all of this?


Catherine - Oct 28, 2003 8:52 am (#160 of 980)

McGonagall could have found out what happened when Nymphadora Tonks was admitted to St. Mungo's. Any wizards who accompanied Tonks to the hospital could have spread the word, especially if they were members of the Order. Also, there is a network of portraits! We've seen how fast news travels. In addition, Dumbledore tells Harry that Order members have ways of communicating.


Fawkes8U - Oct 28, 2003 3:54 pm (#161 of 980)

I can't wait for McGonagall to help Harry become an Auror if its the last thing she does! How's Snape gonna handle McGonagall as he tries to flunk Harry in potions? McGonagall looks like she can hold her own.


S.E. Jones - Oct 28, 2003 6:39 pm (#162 of 980)

As for how McGonagall could help Harry becoming an Auror, there was an idea back on the EZboards (can't remember if we brought it up here too) that basically stated that maybe Draco didn't do too well on his Potions OWL and so Snape will have to lower his standards to allow Draco into his class and thus McGonagall will point out that if he lowers his standards for one student, he'll have to lower them for all students, thus allowing Harry to take NEWT level Potions.... Whew, out of breath! Anyhow, that was the idea. This could also potentially allow Ron and Neville to take Potions along with Harry....


Weeny Owl - Oct 28, 2003 8:10 pm (#163 of 980)

That sounds reasonable, Sarah.

I was thinking that maybe Draco didn't do too well in his Transfiguration O.W.L., so McGonagall would take him in her Transfiguration N.E.W.T. if Snape would do the same for Harry with Potions. I do like the idea of Snape having to lower his standards to allow Ferret Boy into Potions, though.

Either way, I think McGonagall is a force to be reckoned with as regards her promises.


Professor McGonagall - Oct 29, 2003 7:55 am (#164 of 980)

Not necessarily.

We never knew if Tonks and McGonagall shared the same room, and it seems to me that the portraits were outside the rooms, not inside. I can accept Dumbledore telling her some how, but the other members of the Order... I didn't think they went with Tonks - they wouldn't want all of the wizarding community to know whom all happened to be in the Order, they still want to keep a low profile so they can't be betrayed as easily.


Catherine - Oct 29, 2003 10:37 am (#165 of 980)

Well, it is possible that they were on the same ward or floor if Tonks had a spell induced injury. It would also not be strange for Moody or Shacklebolt to accompany Tonks to St. Mungo's, as they are all past or present aurors. I imagine that aurors could be frequent visitors to St. Mungo's! As to the pictures being outside the rooms, McGonagall could have gotten the info on her way out. Naturally, it's all speculation. And of course Professor McGonagall is correct in saying in her post that the Order wouldn't be advertising themselves. I am sure that they way that the Order members communicate among themselves is very discreet. So far it's so discreet we don't know how they do it!


fidelio - Oct 29, 2003 11:42 am (#166 of 980)

It's also possible that Dumbledore updated her as soon as possible after the fight. She is, after all, Assistant Headmistress, and would need to know--plus needing to know as Head of Gryffindor House. By the time Dumbledore was reinstated at Hogwarts, there probably wasn't any interference in communications from the Ministry.


Rich - Nov 3, 2003 1:10 am (#167 of 980)

fidelio, you're right. Mc-G is pretty much DD's right-hand woman, she'd have been told right away. Also, it's not as though people would think it strange if Mc-G was informed of one of the biggest events of the year.


Professor McGonagall - Nov 6, 2003 12:00 pm (#168 of 980)

Maybe they can use telepathy! That would be a very indiscreet way to communicate amongst each other and no one could find out if they... what do I want to say... searched you. (I guess that's what I want to use). I agree with the idea of Dumbledore informing her about the events, but after the attack at the Ministry, Dumbledore had to explain everything to Fudge, then he went to Hogwarts to talk with Harry. So, unless you can also communicate using Occlumency... she wouldn't have known. Because, I think it was made clear that Dumbledore hadn't left since he came back (if that made any sense). He would've been wary to another... preemptive attack to be made against Harry somehow, even if he was at Hogwarts... I need help! (Literally and metaphorically) Can you seriously be obsessed with a fictional character? That's what everyone says about me... What do you think? (Oh, my gracious friend has justified this for me... she said, "Yes, you can be obsessed. You make up the definition for being obsessed.") Isn't she sweet? Don't I have great friends?

Yeah... the telepathy thing is entirely possible - I get in trouble for it all the time. My friends hate it... I probably shouldn't have told you that (Don't worry Wendelin the Weird, I'll ask not to be burned... we'll refer you). I'll be burned with a stake! That sounds odd, but that's how I'm going to be killed... somebody will mistake me for a vampire, then they lop off my head and burn what's left of me... Aren't I optimistic? ~*~Professor McGonagall~*~


Rich - Nov 7, 2003 12:51 am (#169 of 980)

...sit down before you hurt yourself mate.



Chance McMahon - Nov 9, 2003 1:01 pm (#170 of 980)

I think that McGonagall is one of the best teachers in Hogwarts. She reminds me of Hermione, who I also respect and like too, on so many levels. She treats all of her students fairly, meaning that she thinks that they all have the ability to do transfiguration and doesn't treat students nicer because they are in her house. She hates divination like in PoA., when she makes all of those comments at Christmas. I see her as that teacher that is unappreciated while you are in school but you realize that she has done so much when you leave the school.


Wendelin the Weird - Nov 11, 2003 11:33 pm (#171 of 980)

Don't worry Wendelin the Weird, I'll ask not to be burned... we'll refer you[

WHOOOOOO HOOOO!!! I can hardly wait! Im being referred for burnings now, I dont even have to go out of my way to get caught as a witch by those flame-happy Muggles! Life is good. *passes out personal business cards* (they read: In a bind? Being burned at the stake? Owl Wendelin the Weird!)

Perhaps I have a deep hidden desire to be a phoenix? Ill have to ask my psychotherapist about that.. hahahaaa

{Ha hahahahaaa Sorry all.. Im giddy - my sweetheart told me he's going to ask me to marry him as soon as he comes here from England!! YAY!!!!!!! And to top it off - we met at Hogwarts! (my RP site) *dreamy sigh* Ok, sorry to share that with you all but life is sooooo good! }

Ummm and to put this back on topic... erm... I teach Transfiguration. hee hee... okay, its true but lame.

SO what does everyone think about McGonagall and Trelawney hating each other so much? Is it just a mirror of how Hermione feels towards her, or is there more to it? I was thinking it’s interesting to compare McGonagall/Hermione to Trelawney/Luna.


Denise P. - Nov 12, 2003 6:51 am (#172 of 980)

I don't think McGonagall hates Trelawney. McGonagall is a very strict woman, she has very firm ideas about things...I would almost say she scientific in her approach. She dislikes Trelawney because she really doesn't believe all the Diviniation nonsense. It is a bunch of hooey and it probably really annoys her to see Sybil in her scarves, beads and personal cloud of mist.


Lenka - Nov 12, 2003 7:01 am (#173 of 980)

I think the part in OoP when she tells Trelawney she doesn't have to leave Hogwarts truly shows what McGonagall feels. She might not like Trelawney, but she doesn't get any pleasure from making her miserable, and is in fact still ready to help Trelawney, despite their less-than-friendly relationship.


Weeny Owl - Nov 12, 2003 9:47 am (#174 of 980)

I think McGonagall has a no-nonsense approach to most things and gets exasperated at Trelawney's predictions, but while McGonagall might get annoyed, she is a very warm-hearted and compassionate person who would be truly upset at what Umbridge did.

The comparisons between McGonagall/Trelawney and Herminoe/Luna are good. I can see McGonagall and Hermione rolling their eyes at Trelawney and Luna, but deep down feeling affection.

Hermione's attitude toward "The Quibbler" might be the same, but at the end of OotP, she tried not to make it quite so obvious. McGonagall's attitude toward Trelawney's predictions might be the same, but she would still defend her from actual harm.


Rich - Nov 12, 2003 10:56 pm (#175 of 980)

If, as you are saying, Mc-G dislikes Trelawney, how would she feel about the prophecies Trelawney has said and all the others that have been predicted?

Does she have respect for true seers, but no time for old phonies like Trelawney?


fidelio - Nov 13, 2003 5:54 am (#176 of 980)

I think Minerva recognizes and respects true prophecies, but simply doesn't have time for the act that Trelawney puts on--she doesn't have a lot of time for pretentiousness from anyone. But then, consider what Firenze says about Trelawney and her abilities in OotP--I suspect that a lot of people find her routine a little annoying, even though they acknowledge there are true prophetic gifts out there. I think Minerva McGonagall would be much happier with Trelawney if the poor woman would just take the tack "I've studied this subject; this is how it's supposed to work, but it's not entirely reliable, and actual prophetic gifts are rare and unpredictable in their behavior." The veils and shawls and beads and incense and the 'act' that goes with them just rub her the wrong way--they're not necessary to the process. It's rather like a bad writer or artist going on at great length about their dedication to their art, without really trying to do good work--they're more concerned with impressing people than with the quality of their work.


Leprechaun Jack! - Nov 13, 2003 8:49 am (#177 of 980)

Someone said a long time ago, I forget who...

That Prof. McGonagall and Trelawney are sisters, I think it had to do with the scene at Christmas dinner, it seemed very sibling like bickering.



Madame Librarian - Nov 13, 2003 3:06 pm (#178 of 980)

If Dumbledore shared any information with McGonagall about Trelawney's true ability as a seeress, and the general nature of the prediction he heard, McGonagall will have certainly set aside her personal opinion of Trelawney in order to keep the woman safe on the Hogwarts grounds to protect her from the DEs. Trelawney could at any moment give out with another trance-state prophecy. It could be crucial to the Order and the Wizarding World as a whole. McGonagall's sympathy for Trelawney after Umbridge's unspeakably cruel dismissal is not at all unexpected--we know she's a softie at heart.

Ciao. Barb


shepherdess - Nov 13, 2003 11:52 pm (#179 of 980)


You're right-that was brought up a long time ago. But it was along the line of "because they acted that way, could they be sisters?". It was never a statement of fact that they are sisters.


Wendelin the Weird - Nov 14, 2003 11:15 pm (#180 of 980)

McGonagall is 70 though, I took Trelawne to be considerably younger - like in her 40's or so. I could be wrong though


Choices - Nov 20, 2003 10:43 am (#181 of 980)

I am re-reading book 2 right now and each time I read it I notice new things. Forgive me for not remembering exactly where, but in one place McGonagall uses a megaphone to communicate with the students and in another place she makes an announcement (I think when they find that Ginny has been taken) with her voice magically enhanced. I just wonder why she didn't just touch her throat (like the announcer at the Quidditch World Cup) and amplify her voice instead of using a megaphone?? She surely is an accomplished enough witch to know how to do that. Why bother with a megaphone?


Professor McGonagall - Nov 20, 2003 12:55 pm (#182 of 980)

(Okay, this could be just because I'm obsessed with the show), but Professor McGonagall could be like a Charmed One. Just because she can do the magic, doesn't mean that she'll always resort to it, it draws less attention to use different ways. (Besides, she hadn't magically amplified her voice, she had called them all into the main room of the dormitory and told them everything from there).

Yes, sorry about that one post, I was in a nutter mood... and I haven't a clue why. Hey! Wendelin's my buddy! Of course I'd recommend you before I, myself, were to be burned. What are friends for? "...those flame-happy Muggles"... I was giggling about that for quite awhile, everyone here thinks I've gone mad... Oh well, when they ask me about one thing; it's six of one, half a dozen of the other, I suppose.

Okay, I luv you all! ~*~Professor McGonagall~*~


Choices - Nov 20, 2003 5:20 pm (#183 of 980)

Where she uses the megaphone is in chapter 14 when she calls off the quidditch match - "This match has been cancelled, Professor McGonagall called through the megaphone, addressing the packed stadium" and "Professor McGonagall ignored him and continued to shout through her megaphone." The other instance is in chapter 16 when she calls for the students to return to their dormitories and the teachers to the staff room - "Instead, echoing through the corridors came Professor McGonagall's voice, magically magnified."

I still wonder why she bothered with a megaphone?


Hem Hem - Nov 20, 2003 8:36 pm (#184 of 980)

The megaphone is always around at the Quidditch Pitch, because Lee Jordan uses it to commentate on the games. I expect that the "Sonorus" spell is a bit too complicated for a student to do, and that the megaphone is merely a programmed version of the spell, that anyone may use.

Anyways, when McGonagall was out in the stands above the Quidditch Pitch, she had the spell available to her in the megaphone without any extra effort; whereas in the common room she had no other choice but to use the spell.

It's all speculation, but I hope it makes sense.


Sly Girl - Nov 20, 2003 8:41 pm (#185 of 980)

Doesn't using the Sonorous spell sort of tax your vocal cords? I always got the sense that Ludo Bagman (the only other person we've seen who has used it) had a sore throat afterwards... of course that was after using it for a few hours, but... eh... I had a point somewhere in this, but it's gone missing. Sorry!


S.E. Jones - Nov 21, 2003 3:30 pm (#186 of 980)

I have a question. When asked how long McGonagall had been teaching at Hogwarts, she answered, "Thirty-nine years this December." (OotP15 p321 US) Now is that 39 consecutive years or 39 years overall? The reason I ask is we were wondering if she could have any children and where they would be now. We had figured that they would've been before she started teaching at Hogwarts and may have died during VWI. What if she met a husband while teaching at Hogwarts (a Mr. McGonagall, who may have died in VWI), married, took time off to raise a kid (who may still be around, i.e. possible Book 6 DADA teacher?) or at least while the kid is really young, and then returned to work? She's in her seventies so I think it's possible.... Thoughts?


virgoddess1313 - Nov 22, 2003 9:15 am (#187 of 980)

Oh, I would love to see her with a family! I think she would be a great mom.. strict, but fun at the same time, like my mom. I would be very interested in meeting one of her children in a future book in any role, for good or bad.


Choices - Nov 22, 2003 9:50 am (#188 of 980)

I hate to be an odd sock here, but I think part of McGonagall's appeal is her devotion to Dumbledore and Hogwarts. She is the epitome of the spinster school teacher, prim, proper, strict - with heart of gold and love for her profession and students. She keeps that love somewhat hidden, but we get glimpses of it at times and that strict demeanor crumbles a bit and we see her humanity. She is one heck of a good witch and not someone to be messed with, yet she can be tender and kind when it is called for. I don't think she would be the same if she were married with a family. I like to think that Hogwarts is her family and her life.


Rich - Nov 22, 2003 4:14 pm (#189 of 980)

I think the way we view Mc-G is starting to change because HRH are starting to see her not as a teacher but as a friend and a peer. And she is also starting to see them as friends and peers rather than students.


HP Fan - Nov 23, 2003 1:43 pm (#190 of 980)

Rich - I think you are spot on in that assessment. I know from my own experience at Secondary school we had a music teacher who everyone in years 7-9 feared (ages 11 - 14). And I mean feared. I took GCSE music and then we found out that it was his turn (out of the three music staff)to take on the GCSE group (age 14 - 16)- so we weren't very happy. But he was totally different to how he had been when we were lower down the school. When I was in sixth form (age 16 - 18) and doing A Levels I asked him about this and he said it was partly because he knew we were all serious about music and partly because we were growing up and he was beginning to see us more as young adults. By the time I was in Sixth form he was treating us as mature adults and saw us more as friends than pupils and we saw him more as a friend than teacher. Harry, Ron and Hermione are growing up over the course of this series - something I feel is important to keep in mind, I know I am at times guilty of forgetting this. So we shouldn't be surprised that the teachers seem to change, the books are written from Harry's viewpoint and as he matures so does his view of the teachers.

I can see McGonagall as a mother, I think her motherly instincts are mostly hidden from the pupils but occasionally pop up e.g., when she catches Ron and Harry on the corridor in CoS, and Harry thinks she's going to cry then they hear her blow her nose. Also I think it comes across in the Careers interview with Harry in OoP - most mother's I know are quick to jump to the defence of their children. McGonagall reminded me forcefully of a very indignant mother especially with her declaration to help Harry become an Aurar 'if its the last thing I do' [or words to that effect]. I think that it's possible that her family was killed by Voldemort or his DE's in VW1, or that they may crop up in the later books. But based in the books I just feel that it is more likely that she either is married and has a family or was married and had a family rather than not at all. Just my two knuts worth.


Wendelin the Weird - Nov 24, 2003 9:50 pm (#191 of 980)

Professor McGonagall wrote:

   Hey! Wendelin's my buddy! Of course I'd recommend you before I, myself, were to be burned. What are friends for? "...those flame-happy Muggles"... I was giggling about that for quite awhile, everyone here thinks I've gone mad...

HA HAA!! Well, Im glad I managed to make another soul look questionably mad! bwaahahaaa! Mission accomplished! hee heee Just kidding.

If Minerva had children, do you think we would have heard some name-dropping by now in the series? It would be interesting if one of those odd female names turned out to be a married daughter - like Gladys Gudgeon or some such thing. HAH! I would love to see McG as a mam... dunno if we'll see it, but it would be sweet. Awww...

And very good points made about the kids growing up and their relationship with her changing - I think she will be a major ally for them throughout the rest of the books and we will look back andsee that really she was all along just that Harry was too young to realize it at the time.


virgoddess1313 - Nov 26, 2003 8:34 am (#192 of 980)

I know from my own experience at Secondary school we had a music teacher who everyone in years 7-9 feared (ages 11 - 14). And I mean feared. I took GCSE music and then we found out that it was his turn (out of the three music staff)to take on the GCSE group (age 14 - 16)- so we weren't very happy. But he was totally different to how he had been when we were lower down the school. When I was in sixth form (age 16 - 18) and doing A Levels I asked him about this and he said it was partly because he knew we were all serious about music and partly because we were growing up and he was beginning to see us more as young adults. By the time I was in Sixth form he was treating us as mature adults and saw us more as friends than pupils and we saw him more as a friend than teacher.

I had a music teacher exactly like this! I was terrified of her until I got into high school and by then I loved her... and she always reminded me of McGonagall. She was single and had no children, and that seemed like the way it should be, we were her children. And as much as part of me wants to see McG with a family, she just seems complete without them.


Choices - Nov 28, 2003 9:33 am (#193 of 980)

McGonagall (IMO) is married to her profession and Hogwarts and the students are her children.


Kainoa - Dec 5, 2003 1:22 pm (#194 of 980)

McGonagall (IMO) is married to her profession and Hogwarts and the students are her children.

I think that sums things up CHOICES. Wonderful!

Just a few ideas from reading the 190+ postings just now...

-Dumbledore sent Harry to live with his Muggle family to be out of the limelight of the Wizarding World. Perhaps he still has family on his father's Wizarding side. Maybe James' mother's maiden name was McGonagall. What if Minerva is just lying low for now for some unknown reason (hopefully explained in Books 6 & 7)? Afterall, she does take quite a shining to him.

-As for the Nimbus 2000 in Book 1. I assumed Professor McGonagall used some sort of 'Hogwarts Operating Fund.' Afterall, she had gotten Dumbledore's approval. And I would think she was using her teacher's intuition to nurture a student's talent. That's what teachers do. And she definitely (as has been stated) wanted Gryffindor to bring home the Quidditch House Cup.

-Her not being in Moody's photo of the original Order may not be something that important. I'm sure many in the Order were out 'working' and defending their way of life. They may not have all had the luxury to be present for the photo shoot.

Just some ideas...


virgoddess1313 - Dec 5, 2003 1:32 pm (#195 of 980)

But if indeed she was a part of Harry's family, would we not have seen her in the Mirror of Erised?


Kainoa - Dec 5, 2003 1:36 pm (#196 of 980)

Weren't all of the people in the Mirror dead? I wasn't clear on that, but I think they were. And if some of those individuals are indeed alive, where are they now?


HP Fan - Dec 5, 2003 2:13 pm (#197 of 980)

I don't think she would have appeared in the mirror because Harry was seeing the family he'd never seen/met/spoken to. If she's related to him he has seen her. Even without knowledge of the relationship he would have met her so there would be no need for the mirror to show her standing round him.


virgoddess1313 - Dec 6, 2003 1:33 pm (#198 of 980)

Whatever, you can all think what you like. I haven't read anything that even remotely convinces me that she is somehow a relation of Harry. And if she was, I see no reason why the mirror would not show her... sure, it didn't show him the Dursley's, but they aren't the sort of family Harry wants, so its understandable. I think she and Harry just get along on the friend level, as well as the teacher-student level.


Choices - Dec 6, 2003 6:27 pm (#199 of 980)

I think McGonagall feels sorry for Harry, and as any decent woman and teacher would, she can't help but feel somewhat "motherly" towards Harry. McGonagall knows what happened to Lily and James and Harry and how Harry has had to endure the Dursleys all these years - mistreated and unloved and deprived of all but the worst human emotions from them. She also knows the difficult road he has to travel to his final destiny with Voldemort. She wants to protect him and help him to become all that he must be to defeat Voldemort and I think she tries to give him every break she can because he's had enough tough breaks in life. But related to Harry....no I don't think so.


virgoddess1313 - Dec 7, 2003 9:45 am (#200 of 980)

Choices, brilliantly put. Those are exactly the thoughts I had on her, you just put them to words better than I could have. :-)
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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HP Fan - Dec 7, 2003 12:48 pm (#201 of 980)

Choices I have to agree with you on that one - I've never really seriously considered her as a relative of Harry's I was just pointing out that if she was the possible reason why she didn't appear. I think you've put it in a nutshell. Her motherly instincts kick in around Harry because of what he's been through.

Something I'm wondering about do you think McGonagall and by extension the OoP know the exact prophecy - I'm not so sure. I think that all DD might have told her [and them] that the prophecy is about Harry and Voldemort but not exactly what it says. He doesn't strike me as the type of person who'd tell even someone as close as McGonagall something that impacts so much on another person's life before he's told that person. I know this sounds like it should be on the DD thread (and if the moderators think it'd do better there by all means move it) It's just in response to part of Choices last post about - She (McGonagall) knowing the "harsh road he has to travel to his final destiny with Voldemort." Nice phrasing by the way Choices.

I think though, even if all she knows is that the prophecy is about both Harry and Voldemort, she is smart enough to have worked it out. Any thoughts anyone?


Taylor Buetts - Dec 7, 2003 8:20 pm (#202 of 980)

I think that she is smart enough to work out a general idea of what the prophecy contained. Though she was at the hospital and when Harry saw her next it was after he had found out. So maybe Dumbledore hasn't told McGonagall yet, though I really think he may not. If it took him fifteen years to tell Harry what the prophecy was about and that it existed, I find it hard to believe he'd tell anyone. Even someone as close as McGonagall.


Choices - Dec 8, 2003 8:42 am (#203 of 980)

I tend to think Dumbledore did confide in someone else and it could have been McGonagall. What if something had happened to Dumbledore (death or memory gone) and the knowledge of the prophecy had died with him or been lost forever? I think the prophecy is too important not to make sure it isn't lost - so Dumbledore would have entrusted the knowledge to someone else so the preparation of Harry could be carried on in the event he (Dumbledore) wasn't around. Maybe Dumbledore has a secret keeper and maybe it's Hagrid or McGonagall?


Taylor Buetts - Dec 8, 2003 8:55 am (#204 of 980)

You have a point about Hagrid, one of the first things Dumbledore said about Hagrid was that he trusted him with his life. So maybe Hagrid knows, but I am not sure about that one either, because of him talking to Harry after he had found out about the prophecy. It suggests that he may not know, but maybe he will find out. In the event of Dumbledore's death it would be safe to say that McGonagall would take over from there, but its still unclear as to whether or not he would tell her certain pieces of information. Remember back in SS, she didn't know all of what happened the night Harry's parents died, and Dumbledore really didn't tell her much.


Peregrine - Dec 8, 2003 9:51 am (#205 of 980)

Maybe it wasn’t the right time to tell her. She just found out her friends (I guess we could call the Potters “friends”) died and now she was going to watch as Harry was left with those awful Muggles. He may have waited until things had settled down to give McGonagall the full story.

That being said, I don’t know if McGonagall is that much in the loop. It seems that Dumbledore has a tendency to only tell people what they “need to know”. Maybe he has a Pensieve type contraption that stores all the useful information in case of death—otherwise if McGonagall were to get killed too, the info would still be lost.


Rich - Dec 8, 2003 7:17 pm (#206 of 980)

My idea was that he told the whole Order. When DD turns up at the Dursleys, and Mc-G is waiting outside she doesn't say anything like, "Why were they hiding anyway? Why did Voldemort want to kill them and Harry?".

Also when Hagrid delivers Harry to the Dursleys he doesn't say anything along the lines of, "Why did Voldemort want to kill them?"

What I'm trying to say is, these two members of the Order didn't ask any questions as to why Voldemort wanted to kill James, Lily and Harry. So does it then suggest that they knew the reason, so they knew about the prophecy?

They might not know the whole prophecy, but it's unlikely that DD said, "OK everyone, Voldemort wants to kill Harry or Neville, we've got to hide them. That's all I'm telling you."


Mrs. Black - Dec 8, 2003 7:32 pm (#207 of 980)

When Hagrid first told Harry about his parents he brought up the fact that he didn't know why Voldemort had tried to kill Harry. If he knew about the prophecy it seems he would have avoided the topic all together. So, while I think Hagrid is or will be protecting Dumbledore in some way, I don't think he knows about the prophecy. I think at this point most of the key players in the Order know about the prophecy. The lengths they go to to protect Harry and the guard at the Department of Mysteries would have to be explained somehow. Maybe not the full extent of the prophecy, but at least they know something. Then again, all the talk about the "weapon" could indicate that they didn't know exactly what they were protecting, but they were following orders more or less blindly. Somehow I just don't see the Order working that way though, it seems to be a pretty open group. Sirius at least know enough about it to tell Harry to take Neville and the prophecy and get out of the death chamber.


Fawkes Forever - Dec 9, 2003 6:59 am (#208 of 980)

Is it possible that Prof Mc Gonagall was present at the interview with Prof Trelawney & heard the prophecy for herself? She is vice principal of Hogwarts... so it would make sense that she attended the interview too.


Choices - Dec 9, 2003 9:27 am (#209 of 980)

That certainly sounds logical Fawkes, but I think if she was there it would have been mentioned and also, had she heard the prediction, she might has a wee bit more respect for Trelawney.


Peregrine - Dec 9, 2003 9:58 am (#210 of 980)

Using that theory (which makes sense) she would also have some respect for Trelawney if she knew the full details of the Prophecy (i.e. who gave the prophecy).


Emily - Dec 9, 2003 5:52 pm (#211 of 980)

But, according to Dumbledore, only two people know the full contents of the prophecy: himself and Harry. I think that even if he wanted to, Dumbledore would not give out that information to anyone. Bits and pieces, yes, but the whole thing? I don't see him taking that chance. I'm sure he trusts McG, but everyone has weaknesses. Who knows if the Imperius Curse could overcome her, or Occlumensy. As for respect for Trewlaney, I think she respects her, but I don't think she respects the fake stuff she does in classes.


nmnjr - Dec 9, 2003 7:02 pm (#212 of 980)

Do we know when McGonagall became deputy headmistress?


HP Fan - Dec 19, 2003 6:42 am (#213 of 980)

Good point Marauder5 - though from what I've seen of McG I think she has enough force of character to withstand the Imperious Curse. Though Occlumancy could be another matter. I think her attitude towards Trewlaney comes from the way Trewlaney behaves in her classes etc. I mean imagine every year being face with a student who thinks they're going to die because one of your colleagues has told them so. It must get annoying to say the very least. I mean it's a pretty disturbing thing to be told isn't it. Some students would just freak completely. The heads of houses and the deputy head would be the main ones having to pick up the pieces and reassure the student etc. I think one of the best lines McG has ever come out with is in PoA it cracks me up every time I read it - I just get a mental image of the class' faces in answer to it - "You look in perfectly good health to me Potter so you won't mind if I set you homework tonight.  I assure you that if you die you needn't hand it in." not sure what page it is my books at my Nan and Grandad's house at the moment and I'm at home.


Susurro Notities - Dec 19, 2003 3:44 pm (#214 of 980)

That quote belongs in the favorite quotes thread HP Fan - it's hilarious!


Czarina - Jan 8, 2004 3:54 pm (#215 of 980)

There's a "Favourite Quotes" thread? Where?


fidelio - Jan 13, 2004 7:50 am (#216 of 980)

Try here:

timrew "Favourite Quotes" 10/25/03 12:32am

For some reason, a lot of the ones we've listed are from Minerva McG! The guid professor is unco pawky.

And yes, that is English--Scots English, anyway--Robert Burns would know what I mean! And so would Minerva herself.


Choices - Jan 13, 2004 8:48 am (#217 of 980)

I began rereading OotP last night and noticed something interesting. McGonagall has been seen wearing a tartan dressing gown at various times in the books and when Harry and Dudley are attacked by the dementors at the beginning of OotP, Mrs. Figg comes on the scene and is wearing tartan slippers. Could this mean that there is some sort of relationship between McGonagall and Mrs. Figg? Perhaps they belong to the same Clan?


Rich - Jan 13, 2004 10:50 pm (#218 of 980)

Or they just like tartan?


Neville Longbottom - Jan 14, 2004 5:32 am (#219 of 980)

I wouldn't rule it out. McGonagall was surprised, that Dumbledore wanted to give Harry to the Dursleys. Nonetheless, she was in Little Whinging. Maybe she was visiting her cousin Arabella or something like this.


azi - Jan 14, 2004 11:40 am (#220 of 980)

Surely if Arabella was living in Little Whinging at the time Harry was dropped off at the Dursleys and her and McGonagall were related or just friends, Minerva would have gone to the house instead of sitting on a wall all day?

Of course, it's possible that Minerva did not know what time Dumbledore would turn up to drop Harry off, but surely she would have guessed it would not be in daylight?


Rich - Jan 14, 2004 8:33 pm (#221 of 980)

A lot of people wear tartan, you know?


Choices - Jan 15, 2004 9:18 am (#222 of 980)

Yes, and a lot of people have green eyes (me for instance) and blond/black/ or ginger colored hair, crooked noses, etc. but we have made connections based on these things in the past. I was merely noting that both wore something "tartan" and wondering if there was a connection between them.


HP Fan - Jan 16, 2004 8:04 am (#223 of 980)

I think the tartan in McGonagall's case is just a further emphasis of her Scottish roots and nothing more.


Choices - Jan 16, 2004 9:00 am (#224 of 980)

Maybe Mrs. Figg also has Scottish roots?


Choices - Jan 17, 2004 9:43 am (#225 of 980)

I am still bound and determined to connect McGonagall and Mrs. Figg. It came to me last night that in addition to both wearing tartan, they are both into cats (McGonagall literally turns into a cat). I also thought of how Mrs. Figg says she has never so much as transfigured a teabag - not charmed a chicken, or jinxed jello or hexed a hog or accio'ed an apple - but, transfigured - the very subject McGonagall teaches. I really think she could be an aunt or a cousin of McGonagall. Perhaps that is how she is known to Dumbledore and thus, works for the Order. Unless Mr. Figg was a wizard and Dumbledore knew him, I think a squib would be sort of on the fringe of the wizarding world and would have to be related to a witch or wizard to be known and asked to work for the Order.


azi - Jan 18, 2004 8:04 am (#226 of 980)

I got the impression at Harry's trial that generally squibs are cast from the wizarding world and separated from the wizarding population - hence there being no record of their existence. I'm not entirely sure that McGonagall would know Arabella and that she is only a friend of Dumbledore's. I don't think they would know each other if it wasn't for Dumbledore if they do know each other.

However, I won't deny there are similarities. I would argue both of them are around the same age - 70. If Arabella and McGonagall are both pure or half blood then the possibility is that they are related because most people are in the wizarding world. I guess McGonagall was born into a wizarding family because she doesn't seem to understand muggle life like someone whose parents are muggle would.


Madame Librarian - Jan 18, 2004 5:16 pm (#227 of 980)

A few days ago on the vote thread, the question was what was your favorite McGonagall quote. A lot of people voted for the one where she confronts Umbridge during the career advice session with Harry (ch. 29). On the Harry thread people have been discussing whether Harry will become an Auror, and --bingo!-- I had a sudden and ominous recall of McGonagall's comment:
Potter, she said in ringing tones, "I will assist you to become an Auror if it is the last thing I do...!"

I certainly hope it is not the last thing she does! Am I reading too much into this and needlessly worrying? Gosh, it's getting to the point that JKR can't use ordinary language without someone getting all exercised about the dire meanings. But--that is how things often work out in HP. Oi.

Ciao. Barb


Devika - Jan 19, 2004 6:29 am (#228 of 980)

Barb, that was exactly what I had though of too! Scary thought!! But this is the Dumbledore kind of thing. Gut feeling... The only reason she will survive is to head Hogwarts (assuming the ultimate assumption - DD will die), but it is just as likely that Snape will be the final headmaster. So yes... she might just, but how...?? (nooo... what am I saying. I like McG!!)


Shacklebolt - Jan 20, 2004 7:05 pm (#229 of 980)

I thought of something the other day and I'm not sure if it has ever been mentioned before. If Tom Riddle was 16 years old in the diary then that would make him 66 in CoS. If McGonagall is around 70 that means they could have been at Hogwarts together for a few years. Granted they were in different houses, but maybe McGonagall knows something about him that could be useful to Harry.


scully jones - Jan 20, 2004 7:09 pm (#230 of 980)

I wonder if Rowling will make anything of that... Or maybe she never sat down and did the math, and she doesn't realize it herself??


Devika - Jan 21, 2004 1:49 am (#231 of 980)

That's quite an interesting observation Shacklebolt. I'm not sure if it would mean much finally, but if it does, maybe that's how she'll help Harry become an auror.


Brandon Christopher - Jan 21, 2004 12:15 pm (#232 of 980)

Chiao, I think if McGonagall went to school with Voldy then she would know it. And I think that whatever McGonagall knows about Voldy she would have Dumbledore by now.

Devika, how would information about Voldy help Harry become an auror. (Sorry that's off topic but I don't know what you're talking about here.) It's just that being an auror and info about Voldemort seem kind of separate.

p.s. Chiao I'm going to Barnes and Noble today to pick up the books.


Devika - Jan 22, 2004 7:01 am (#233 of 980)

Brandon, I don't really know, but I think I got auror and defeating Voldemort mixed up! I think the whole idea of 'honorary aurorship' is too deep in my head!! Thanks for pointing that out.


Hem Hem - Jan 22, 2004 7:37 pm (#234 of 980)

McGonagall could have been at school with Tom Riddle and never thought twice about it. After all, very few people knew that Riddle ended up becoming Lord Voldemort. The whole "capturing the monster of slytherin" was pretty hushed up-- he got the merit award and was asked to keep his mouth shut. The thing is, I doubt McGonagall was at the school during the year that the Chamber was opened for the first time...wouldn't she ask Moaning Myrtle about what happened if she knew that Myrtle was the first victim?

Come to think of it, why didn't Dumbledore think of asking Myrtle about the Chamber of Secrets? It must not be a secret that she's still around haunting the place. And Dumbledore must be aware that she was the girl who was killed.


Devika - Jan 23, 2004 12:34 am (#235 of 980)

Hem Hem, that's a really interesting point you make. I guess it must be a 'flint'. But it's more likely that JKR didn't put that in, so that the plot could be pushed forward and Harry could be the 'hero'!


fidelio - Jan 23, 2004 8:57 am (#236 of 980)

Myrtle seems to have been pretty unhappy at Hogwarts while she was alive--she may have refused to tell either Dumbledore, or anyone else, like McGonagall, anything, just out of spite. She seems to have taken quite a shine to Harry, though--maybe that's why she was willing to 'share' with him.

Tom Riddle may have been fairly uninteresting to McGonagall when they were both at Hogwarts--especially if he didn't play Quidditch! It sounds like the whole Chamber of Secrets thing took place after she'd finished her seventh year, so she may have, like a lot of other people in the Wizarding World, simply heard bits and pieces of rumors, along with "Yes, the Chamber of Secrets was opened, and a student died as a result," when she started working there. It's simply amazing what sort of information can get buried by the old-timers on a job when they don't want to share the full details with new people!


S.E. Jones - Jan 23, 2004 9:16 pm (#237 of 980)

Shacklebolt: If Tom Riddle was 16 years old in the diary then that would make him 66 in CoS. If McGonagall is around 70 that means they could have been at Hogwarts together for a few years.

Well, if Voldie is 66 and Minerva is 70 at the time of CoS, then there are 4 years between them, respectively. Harry doesn't have much to do with any of the first years running around the common room, let alone the common rooms of other houses. I doubt she even noticed him while at school....


Devika - Jan 24, 2004 6:33 am (#238 of 980)

Well... Fidelio, I'm not too sure. It seems that Myrtle is one who is quite fascinated by her own death. I mean she spends her time thinking about death! Plus Dumbledore is the sort of character who one trusts and doesn't mind telling stuff too. So I guess it is unusual that no teachers knew about how she died. But I think it's somewhat irrelevant... and I've gone off topic!


azi - Feb 2, 2004 12:01 pm (#239 of 980)

Riddle was an exceptional student so it's more likely that McGonagall knew him. Plus he was popular wasn't he? Popular people are better known than shy people like Myrtle, who no one noticed had disappeared. I think it's likely she knew him in passing, his name and what he looked like. Nothing more.


Luanee - Feb 4, 2004 12:22 am (#240 of 980)

McGonagall has always been my favourite character besides Harry.


S.E. Jones - Feb 13, 2004 10:26 pm (#241 of 980)

Okay, I noticed that the only teachers for whom we are given the number of years they've taught are Trewlaney, Snape, and McGonagall. We know why Trewlaney and Snape's time at Hogwarts is significant (Trewlaney started teaching 16 years ago, just after prophesying Harry's birth and Voldemort's possible downfall; Snape started teaching 14 years ago, around the time Voldemort was banished by the rebounding AK), so what could be the significance of McGonagall's 39 years of teaching? Why bother to mention it at all?


Devika - Feb 13, 2004 11:51 pm (#242 of 980)

Wouldn't 39 years ago be around the time the Marauders generation was born? Maybe it could be related to the fall of Grindelwald. Okay.... this is a totally Dark territory! Just wild guesses... but that's an interesting point SE


Czarina - Feb 22, 2004 8:04 pm (#243 of 980)

If McGonagall is 70 years old (approximately) and she has been teaching at Hogwarts for thirty-nine years, she was around 31 years old when she started teaching. That's rather late, isn't it, for a world where people choose their careers around 17-20? What was she doing beforehand? Could that be significant later in the series? Maybe she worked for a pre-Voldemort Order of some sort? Maybe she was married and was a housewitch? Was she an Auror? (After all, she does say that she will do everything to ensure that Harry becomes one. Could she maybe have connections?) Was she teaching somewhere else?


Rich - Feb 23, 2004 5:17 pm (#244 of 980)

Well, it took James, Sirius and Pettigrew a few years (3 or 4, maybe 5 was it?) to become Animagi. So if Mc-G became an Animagus she would have had to devote a fair bit of time to that.

It's probably likely she went somewhere to gain further knowledge of Transfiguration (Wizard University?). I don't think you can teach NEWT level Tranfiguration without some extra study.


Choices - Feb 26, 2004 5:11 pm (#245 of 980)

I still believe that there is a difference between being a born animagus and a self-taught animagus. I have always thought of Prof. McGonagall as a born animagus and therefore came by her ability naturally. James, Sirius and Pettigrew were self-taught animagi and did spend a number of years learning how to change their forms.


Chris. - Feb 28, 2004 9:40 pm (#246 of 980)

Is McGonagall's favourite drink Gillywater as it comes from same plant as the gillyweed? I know this is a McGonagall thing but her gillywater would certainly help when visiting Albus in his other form, deep down in the lake... Minerva McGonagall 1003735042


Devika - Mar 2, 2004 9:01 am (#247 of 980)

I'm not sure there is anything like a born animagus. Somehow it doesn't sound to me like being a metamorphmagus. This is just a gut feeling kind of thing. The picture I've got is that it's a really difficult thing to become. Different from say Parseltongues who are rare


Choices - Mar 2, 2004 9:11 am (#248 of 980)

I'm assuming (dangerous practice I admit) that parseltongues are born. We aren't really told how Voldemort and Slytherin became parseltongues, but we do know that Voldemort transfered the ability to Harry. Anyway, assuming parseltongues can be born, then why not amimagi?


Denise P. - Mar 2, 2004 8:21 pm (#249 of 980)

Actually, we DON'T know that Voldy transferred it to Harry. Dumbledore assumes that is the case but that doesn't make it fact.

I think Animagi have to work to become so, not that they are born.

To get this back to McGonagall, since she teaches Transfiguration and Animagus is a form of that, I would think that she would be able to spot those students who have the ability to become Animagi. It must be a fairly rare talent since there are not that many of them...what was it, 7 in the past century (and 4 unregistered ones that we know of)


shepherdess - Mar 5, 2004 6:22 pm (#250 of 980)

But if she could spot the ability-wouldn't she have kept a closer eye on the marauders?
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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fidelio - Mar 9, 2004 10:25 am (#251 of 980)

Maybe she was, and they just made faster progress than she thought they could.


Dr Filibuster - Mar 9, 2004 1:08 pm (#252 of 980)

I am currently up to Chapter 17 of my first re-read of OoP. I don't know why it's taken me this long, I guess I'm pacing myself

Anyway...I just caught a nice little swipe at Umbridge that I haven't seen mentioned on here before. My apologies if it has appeared previously.

Umbridge has just inspected Prof. McGonagall's lesson. The students had to vanish mice. Is it any wonder that Minerva has Hermione vanishing kittens next? Ok, so I know it's a really subtle swipe...but I hope that my wry smile was well placed.

Minerva has such a wonderfully dry sense of humour. I really hope Harry sees her outside the Hogwarts environment during the next 2 books. I want to see her off duty.


Bash - Mar 9, 2004 1:30 pm (#253 of 980)

I liked the way Minerva handled Umbridge's interruptions during the Careers Advice session!


Prefect Marcus - Mar 9, 2004 1:32 pm (#254 of 980)

Two words, "Tripe, Sybill?"

Five words, "It unscrews the other way."

McGonagall gets all the best lines!! :-)


The giant squid - Mar 9, 2004 11:43 pm (#255 of 980)

Fidelio, another thought: Maybe McGonagall knew about the Marauders' plans all along? In PS/SS, rather than punish Harry for flying without supervision, she makes him Seeker--she's not above bending a rule or two if it serves a good purpose. I could see her finding out what they were doing, then finding out why and giving her approval by way of not doing anything about it.

Prefect Marcus: I agree, she's got that subtle humor that I love, and that counters the outrageous antics of F&G.



Leviosa - Mar 10, 2004 6:58 am (#256 of 980)

I don't think McGonagall knew about the Marauders becoming animagi because she certainly would have told Dumbledore about it. But DD didn't know until his short talk with Sirius at the end of PoA:

“Sirius told me all about how they became Animagi last night,” said Dumbledore, smiling. "An extraordinary achievement - not least, keeping it quiet from me." PoA, last chapter, p. 460, UK

This states clearly that Dumbledore didn't know and I think neither did McGonagall. Why should she keep such a secret from Dumbledore?


The giant squid - Mar 10, 2004 10:57 pm (#257 of 980)

That's one way of looking at it; another could be that the only way they were able to keep it from DD was with McGonagall's help (whether they knew about it or not).

Albus doesn't tell Minerva everything; the reverse could also be true. Smile


scully jones - Mar 11, 2004 12:53 pm (#258 of 980)

Maybe, and I'm stressing the MAYBE.

However, Minerva definitely would of told Dumbledore after Sirius went missing... Definitely!


katayoun - Mar 14, 2004 7:54 am (#259 of 980)

I have a question.I always ask myself why did Minerva M.cried when she let Harry and Ron off the hook? Why did she felt sympathy towards them?If anyone has any idea I would really thank that.


HP Fan - Mar 14, 2004 9:42 am (#260 of 980)

Katayoun - do you mean in Chamber of Secret's when she's caught them trying to sneak into Moaning Myrtles Bathroom and tell her they're going to see Hermione? If so - I think it's because the events of the school year have been pretty horrific and as she says it's 'harder on the friends of those who have been attacked' or something along those lines. I think she cried because it affected her to see how close Ron and Harry are to Hermione. I think she's a softie at heart and so would be deeply affected by their show of feeling for Hermione. Especially as Harry has just expressed their wish to reassure her that the Mandrakes are nearly ready and not to worry.

She may also have been affected by their innocence in that they don't realise that "there's no point talking to a petrified person."

I know that would probably crack me up - especially combined with the stress she must be under with DD gone and her being temporary headmistress!


Chemyst - Apr 23, 2004 5:16 am (#261 of 980)
Edited Apr 23, 2004 6:20 am

HP Fan, you may be on to something. The exact the quote is, "Of course, I realize this has all been hardest on the friends of those who have been... I quite understand. Yes Potter, of course you may visit Miss Granger..." Our Minerva history has a blank lasting a little over a decade between the time she'd have left Hogwarts as a student and returned as a teacher. I'd always - and without proof, except that JKR became a teacher as a single mom with a daughter to raise - sort of imagined her as a young widow single mom who made Hogwarts her surrogate family as she tried to restart her life. But since you pointed out she realizes this has all been hardest on the friends of those who have been..., this could well be a clue to those missing years. Young adulthood and the years right out of school are the years people are heavily dependent upon friendships. Now I am altering my imagination to think perhaps Minerva was engaged when something happened to her "friend" and fiance. That would explain Katayoun's question about why she might cry. (Strictly speaking, the "crying" was assumed, the text refers only to a strange croaky/choking voice and a blown nose.)


Choices - May 10, 2004 8:42 am (#262 of 980)

This may have been discussed before and if so please feel free to direct me to the discussion - In reading the part in the first book last night where Dumbledore and McGonagall are waiting for Hagrid to bring Harry to Privet Drive - "Do you think it wise to trust Hagrid with something so important?" asks McGonagall - and of course Dumbledore replies that he would trust Hagrid with his life. I had always just thought about trusting Hagrid and how McGonagall perhaps doesn't quite trust Hagrid as much as Dumbledore does. But, last night, the words "with something so important" jumped out at me and I realized that McGonagall meant something far more than just the responsibility of handling a baby. Using those words must mean that she knows about the prophecy and the role that Harry is to play one day in defeating Voldemort. She knows that the fate of the wizarding world rests on Harry's young shoulders. Dumbledore's statement that Harry must stay there "until he is ready" is full of portent and I firmly believe that McGonagall knows full well what Dumbledore means by that statement.


Padfoot - May 10, 2004 11:05 am (#263 of 980)

Does McGonagall know the wording of the prophesy? How about the rest of the Order? They know Voldemort is out to get Harry still, but do they know more specifics?


prof sprout - May 10, 2004 12:19 pm (#264 of 980)

I think she meant because Hagrid is a little bit clumsy. Maybe she thought he might let Fluffy "sniff" Harry, or stop off at the pub afterwards. I don't think that she meant she didn't trust him, but I don't think she knew the full wording of the prophecy. Just my two knuts


Chemyst - May 10, 2004 2:31 pm (#265 of 980)
Edited May 10, 2004 3:46 pm

Using those words must mean that she knows about the prophecy and the role that Harry is to play one day in defeating Voldemort. ~ Choices

This is pretty speculative, but if McGonagall does know both that a prophecy exists and the role Harry is to play, and if knowing Harry's role is her main reason for questioning DD, and since DD expresses complete confidence in Hagrid, I would guess that at that point in time, Hagrid did not know about the prophecy. (Could you follow that?) There have been sufficient clues scattered throughout the books, but primarily in the Norbert story, that Hagrid has some trouble keeping secrets. Yet as big as he is, he's very tender and gentle with little critters. One would expect him to be even more careful with an orphan whose parents he respected and with whom he himself identifies. The trust DD and Hagrid have for each other is the sort where Hagrid does not need to question DD, and DD has confidence that when Hagrid says he'll do something, he does it. Minerva's questioning at that point in time could go either way, either she questioned because she didn't have enough information, or as Choices suggests, she questioned because she does indeed know the big picture and wonders why DD has chosen for Harry to be "deprived" of the magical community during his formative years.

My best guess is that DD has kept the prophecy highly secretive. Knowledge is power. Being the exclusive holder of this kind of information is one of the reasons Voldemort would fear him. He probably confided to Minerva, the Longbottoms, and the Potters that a prophecy exists, but he may have withheld the specifics of the second half for many of the same reasons that he took so long to tell Harry. He may have wanted both Harry and Neville to have as nearly normal and happy a childhood as possible for as long as possible. I don't think DD ever told any other members of the Order until it was reformed the summer after GF. Even then, I doubt that all of them know the whole thing. DD knows what a tough time Harry has had living with "The Boy Who Lived" label. It would be too weird to have all the key adults in Harry's life thinking of him as the "Ordained Defender Against the Dark Lord."


Padfoot - May 10, 2004 2:42 pm (#266 of 980)

Ordained Defender Against the Dark Lord. –Chemyst

What a lot to live up to, especially for a kid!


[Dumbly-dorr]Dumbly-dorr - May 10, 2004 4:45 pm (#267 of 980)
Edited May 10, 2004 5:55 pm

Yes, knowledge is power, and this kind of power is one that DD wouldn't want Voldemort to acquire. DD would have been extremely foolish to not let someone know. If he, DD, were the only one to know of Harry's role in the prophecy and then DD died, unforseeably of course, then no one else would be able to school Harry in what the prophecy said and Harry's role in fulfilling it.

No, certain members of the Order aren't protecting Harry just to protect Harry, they are protecting him above all others for specific reasons. Now, I'm not saying that they all know the details, but I would think that at least one other person or probably a few other very trusted people would know why Harry needs to survive. Another thing is that DD went to great lengths to protect Sibyl Trelawney. Isn't it curious how he refused to let such a pathetic teacher not only remain at Hogwarts, but refused to let her even leave the grounds when she had been sacked. Dear old Sibyl gave that prophecy and could have easily been manipulated into 'remembering' what she had said. Not knowing that she had even given the prophecy she wouldn't have realized its significance, giving away that crucial information to whomever wanted to probe into her brain.

So, while DD is protecting the secret of the prophecy with the utmost of his power, he would have been completely foolish to not make sure that enough people knew to bring the prophecy to pass. Not only is Harry in need of protection, but everyone who knows about it is in need of protection.

Also, at the rate with which the old Order were being eliminated by the DE, DD would also have wanted to ensure that someone would have been around to help Harry fulfill the prophecy. McGonagall would have been a very good choice. It's somewhat off the path, but Flitwick is very powerful but never in the action. He may be one of the ones who is knows the prophecy and is being protected.

EDIT: Actually, I forgot that this was the Minerva thread, so if this post needs to go elsewhere, please feel free to move it.


Eloise returned - May 11, 2004 2:38 pm (#268 of 980)
Edited May 11, 2004 3:46 pm

Dumbly-dorr, I agree with your theory of DD protecting Trelawney. Although this is quite different than a memory charm, it seems logical that there would be ways for someone to extract the info from her, since Voldie said Memory charms could be broken.

I'm a bit skeptical about the Flitwick idea, though. If he consciously knew about the prophecy he would probably be in the Order. And if I remember right the story of Sirius betraying the Potters was new news to him in the Three Broomsticks in PoA. If DD had told him about the prophecy he would have told him everything else too. Perhaps you are referring to an unconscious knowledge? That's a possibility, although it does seem a bit off-the-wall. Now that I think of it, why isn't Flitwick in the Order? Like you say, he's got skills. Maybe he didn't want to be... hmm.

I definitely think that everyone in the Order knows the basic idea of the prophecy, if not it's entirety. They would have had to know what they were protecting. As said before, knowledge is power. DD would want members fully equipped with that power. McGonagall, being a prominent member of the OoP, would most likely have a thorough understanding of the prophecy and Harry's role in defeating Voldie.


Rich - May 14, 2004 8:48 pm (#269 of 980)

The members of the Order would at least have a vivid idea of the prophecy because that's the reason they were guarding the DoM. I don't think DD can say, "Sit next to this door for the night, and don't let anyone enter."

He could have told McG and other members that there's a prophecy regarding Harry that needs to be protected, but not let on as to what it's about. But they'd still know about it, don't they?


Neville Longbottom - May 15, 2004 12:15 am (#270 of 980)

I agree that's the most likely scenario. Dumbledore told them that the prophecy existed, something Voldemort knew anyway, but he didn't tell them the exact content.


Tomoé - May 27, 2004 7:39 pm (#271 of 980)

Dumbledore likely told them "the prophecy tells Harry is the one who can vanquish Voldemort" nothing that Voldemort doesn't know, but enough for the other members to know why it's so important to guard the prophecy and not tell Harry what's going on.

I mean who want to be the one who tell a 15 years old boy he must fight the worst wizard of the century.


Padfoot - May 28, 2004 11:57 am (#272 of 980)

Certainly Dumbledore didn't want to tell Harry.


Dumbledore - May 29, 2004 5:57 am (#273 of 980)

My question about McGonogall is (and I'm sure that it's been discussed on this thread before) is what she does for the Order? I don't think that she could've guarded the door to the Department of Mysteries because working at Hogwarts (to the best of my knowledge) is a full time job.


Choices - May 29, 2004 4:55 pm (#274 of 980)

Maybe her job with the Order lies solely in helping to keep an eye on Harry while he is at Hogwarts and helping to prepare him for his future confrontation with Voldemort.


haymoni - May 29, 2004 5:33 pm (#275 of 980)

She made an appearance at Grimmauld Place during the summer in some sort of attire - can't remember what it was or why it was worth commenting on. I'm guessing she can find out a lot as a cat.


Dumbledore - May 30, 2004 5:54 am (#276 of 980)

But McGonagall is a registered animagus so Voldemort and the DE's must know of her disguise. So I don't know how much "cat-spying" she would be doing. She did appear at Grimmauld Place, but like you said, haymoni, what she was doing and why she was there was a mystery. And Choices, that theory would make sense, but I just can't help but think that maybe she would do more for the Order. Or maybe I'm just hoping that because I really like McGonagall!!!! :-)


Choices - May 30, 2004 7:19 am (#277 of 980)

I love McGonagall too - she is quite an accomplished witch. When she showed up at Grimmauld Place she was wearing muggle clothes so as not to draw attention to herself out on the street. Perhaps since she is getting older, she doesn't take quite as active a role in the Order as she once did. In her cat form however, she would be pretty unnoticeable as there are large numbers of cats around and she might not be that visible among them and would be an effective spy.


Dumbledore - May 30, 2004 7:22 am (#278 of 980)

Good point about the cats, Choices! I don't know about her getting older though. JK Rowling has said on a Scholastic interview (sorry I don't know the exact website offhand) that she is about 70, which is relatively young by wizarding world standards. So I guess we really have no idea what McGonagall is doing for the Order or how much of a role she is taking!! [This is the point where I sigh and wonder how long until book 6 is released]


megfox - May 30, 2004 5:13 pm (#279 of 980)

And remember, just because we don't know what her job is, doesn't mean it isn't important, either. With all of her experience as a teacher, as Deputy Headmistress, and as a witch in general, she could be responsible for planning and management of the Order in general. Brainstorming and coordinating plans are two things that I could see Minerva doing very well!


Emily - May 31, 2004 8:38 am (#280 of 980)

Could she help with recruitment of seventh years as they leave Hogwarts? Harry wouldn't of heard of it, because the Order doesn't take underage wizards and they wouldn't be talking about it in front of younger kids.

She might also be able to watch some of the DE's houses on weekends or over break.


Lady Nagini - Jun 7, 2004 12:37 am (#281 of 980)

I can't imagine either DD or McGonagall wanting to recruit straight out of seventh year. Yes, Fred and George may become an exception, but other than that...I would think that they would want people with more experience, who are sure that this is what they want to do.


Casey - Jun 23, 2004 5:39 am (#282 of 980)

There is so much of a McGonagall personality streak in Hermione. There are several similarities between the two. I wonder if her character was anything like Hermione as a child.


Constance Vigilantia - Jun 25, 2004 12:09 am (#283 of 980)
Edited Jun 25, 2004 1:09 am

  I can't imagine either DD or McGonagall wanting to recruit straight out of seventh year. Yes, Fred and George may become an exception, but other than that...I would think that they would want people with more experience, who are sure that this is what they want to do.

They may not have a choice, especially if the DE outnumber the OOTP 20-1. I would think that another advantage would be that a Hogwarts' student is less likely to be under the influence of the Imperius curse, making them less likely to be spies/saboteurs.

Mind you, I don't think that the scenario is likely at all, but for the sake of argument, it's not impossible.



Accio Book Six - Jun 25, 2004 4:29 am (#284 of 980)

I expect that McGonagall was similar to Hermione when she was young... except she liked quiddich a little more, I'd say. I sort of see McGonagall letting herself have more fun than Hermione does. And if our guesses that McGonagall played quiddich are right, then we can probably assume that she was more popular than Hermione, too.

As for the students at Hogwarts, I'm sure they will help in some way, but I just can't see Dumbledore or McGonagall using kids in the order no matter HOW much they are outnumbered. They will, though, accept any 'of age' wizard who wants to join, I'm sure.


Chris. - Jul 6, 2004 1:42 am (#285 of 980)
Edited Jul 6, 2004 2:43 am

I agree. Hermione and McGonagall are very alike though I would still say Hermione does like Quidditch. She enquires about who would take over from Wood as Keeper, although this may have been because Ron confided in her that he was going to try out to get in the team.

I think this has been brought up before, but does anyone think McGongall was married or still is? My theory was that Minerva had a husband in the first war but he got killed in action by DEs and that's why Minerva is so protective of children in Hogwarts.


Anna Osipova - Jul 8, 2004 2:14 pm (#286 of 980)

I'm sure that they will recruit from the graduates, especially because of DA.

I think Minerva's over-protectiveness is just a part of her behavior, much like Hermione (again, the resemblance). But, I do think that she was married at least once. Unfortunately, since I can't see this affecting Harry in any way, I doubt we will ever find out if we're right, unless we ask JKR.


Ricky - Jul 18, 2004 3:31 pm (#287 of 980)

That sounds likely, Prongs. She probably has a reason for being the way she is now. She might have been changed by an event through the war. Do we know anything about her before the war?


Solitaire - Jul 27, 2004 6:59 pm (#288 of 980)

Given the fact that we know Harry is going to be in the thick of things in the coming war--whether Dumbledore wants him there or not--I think recruiting some of the graduates of Harry's year into the order is almost going to have to happen. After all, six of them (well, four plus 4th years Ginny & Luna) have already shown their mettle in direct combat with the DEs, something that may not even be true of some older members of the Order (Molly, perhaps?). These kids clearly outshine their Hogwarts peers in some ways.

The biggest problem I see with the kids at this point is that they need to develop cooler heads and use a bit more caution and common sense. They certainly do not lack fortitude. Even Neville--whose injury rendered him unable to continue fighting in the battle at the MoM--managed to keep his wits about him. And once he gets that new wand, look out!

Given her close relationship with Dumbledore, I can see McGonagall taking over the sponsorship of the D.A. group. This would give her a 2-year opportunity for some very strong input into what it takes to be an Auror. It would also put her in the catbird seat as far as monitoring the various students' gifts and talents that could be used to the fullest in the order. Add Professor Flitwick as a co-advisor for the charm work and you have a "dream team."

McGonagall's level-headedness, talent, and position at Hogwarts--coupled with the students' respect and esteem for her--really seem to point to her as the perfect person for this job. What do you say to that?



Solitaire - Jul 27, 2004 7:17 pm (#289 of 980)

Choices ... going back to your post #217 of this thread ... I agree with you about a connection between Mrs. Figg and McGonagall. Mrs. Figg is obviously from a wizarding family somewhere in her background, even if she herself has no magical abilities. Otherwise, how would she know Dumbledore, and why would she be a member of the Order of the Phoenix ... because she obviously is and has been.

I feel certain there is some connection between McGonagall's animagus being a cat and Mrs. Figg having Mr. Tibbles the cat watching Harry. Remember she said that Mr. Tibbles came to warn her about Mundungus leaving the scene ... so we know he is not an ordinary cat. Is he part Kneazle like Crookshanks, perhaps? We already know Mrs. Norris is a busy-body and a tattletale ... and possibly can see through invisibility cloaks. I don't know, but I would bet a bundle that there is something to all this cat business.

Along those lines, have you noticed that Arabella Figg and Argus Filch have the same initials, are both squibs, and have a great affinity with cats? Is this a mere coincidence? I think not. Could Filch and Figg be brother and sister? Could Minerva be their sister or perhaps a cousin? They all seem to be relatively close in age. I can't help feeling there is a significant connection among these three people ... and their cats.


Perhaps this belongs on a different thread, but I couldn't find an appropriate place to post it ... and it does pertain to Minerva McG.


Susurro Notities - Jul 27, 2004 7:35 pm (#290 of 980)

I like the McGonagall - DA - Auror connection.


Chris. - Jul 28, 2004 6:56 am (#291 of 980)
Edited Jul 28, 2004 7:57 am

Solitaire, don't forget McG and Figg both wear tartan. And doesn't Filch wear a tartan scarf or is that movie contamination? Interesting....


Solitaire - Jul 28, 2004 12:39 pm (#292 of 980)

I'm just SURE that McGonagall, Mrs. Figg, and Mr. Filch are connected in some way ... although I honestly do not remember reading/seeing that Filch wore Tartan. But perhaps I was not paying attention. Assuming he does, we need to learn if they all wear the same Tartan. If they do, that would surely indicate some family (Clan) connection.

Prongs, you are in Scotland, and you are just the age I teach (12-14). Hm ... too bad you aren't in my class. I'd make you research the Tartans worn by various Hogwarts characters. ;-) Just kidding! But at least that way I could find out if my suspicions are true. By the way, exactly how many Clan Tartans are there?

Hopefully, we will get better shots of the Tartans in upcoming movies. I think it's only fair.



Good Evans - Aug 2, 2004 10:45 am (#293 of 980)

Isn't the scarf round filch's neck tartan - when he has a cold in CoS ?


Chris. - Aug 2, 2004 10:46 am (#294 of 980)
Edited Aug 2, 2004 11:51 am

Good Evans, that's what I was thinking. Though, I didn't know if it was in the book or just movie contamination.

Found a quote!

“Right,” said Harry, backing away from the accusing stare of Mrs Norris, but not quickly enough. Drawn to the spot by the mysterious power that seemed to connect him with his foul cat, Argus filch burst suddenly through a tapestry to Harry's right, wheezing and looking wildly about for the rule-breaker. There was a thick tartan scarf bound around his head, and his nose was unusually purple."
(CS, Ch8, P96, UK Edition)


Good Evans - Aug 2, 2004 10:48 am (#295 of 980)

I'm pretty sure it is in the book - I dont watch the movies that much and it rang a bell with me straight away


RowanRising - Aug 2, 2004 11:56 am (#296 of 980) Reply
Edited by Aug 2, 2004 12:58 pm

It would be my estimate (using a clan research website) that there are well over 300 clans you can currently find tartans for - not including the lost and now defunct clans. Oy! My Clan alone ( Sinclair) has 32 variations currently used!

I would think JRK's dropping the tartan thing around to let us know Hogwarts is in Scotland Smile


Richard !!!Reid - Aug 2, 2004 2:00 pm (#297 of 980)

I think Ron actually said in CoS that Hogwarts was in Scotland. I’m not sure about MM, but I don't doubt a connection between Filch and Figg. However, wouldn't they have the same first name? Plus, Figg seems more student friendly than a Filch.


Solitaire - Aug 2, 2004 4:29 pm (#298 of 980)

Richard, I think you mean wouldn't they have the same LAST name, right? But if Figgy had been married, then not necessarily. Perhaps we need to find out if her maiden name was Filch. But she and McGonagall could well be related. I still want to put my money there, since she seems to have such a close relationship with DD.

RowanRising ... I knew there were a lot of clan tartans, because we have a Highland day at our local university. I attended it once and saw plaid for days! I think the tartans would probably be important only if any two or more characters wore the same tartan.



Richard !!!Reid - Aug 3, 2004 1:15 pm (#299 of 980)

Oops sorry about that. I'm Scottish and you’re right. If the tartans were of the same pattern, then that would suggest that they are off the same clan and possibly in the same family (I think it is a strong possibility). Tartans are based on the Last Name, but there are thousands of different styles. Mind you, that could be exactly the type of hint JKR might drop about their family. With that in mind, I'm not sure if that would become a major factor in the story.


Liz Mann - Aug 10, 2004 6:52 am (#300 of 980)
Edited Aug 10, 2004 7:53 am

I have a question. I don't know if it's been discussed or not, or whether this is the right place for it. It's really about the day Harry was delivered to the Dursleys, but it involves McGonagall.

How come McGonagall sat on the wall outside the Dursleys all day so that she could talk to Dumbledore? It was the beginning of November so it would have been term time. Why didn't she just speak to him during the day at school? It is possible that he was at the Ministry all day, what with Voldemort suddenly disappearing, but then why didn't she just go down there and talk to him? Why leave the school to sit in one place all day?
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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McSnurp - Aug 10, 2004 8:25 am (#301 of 980)

There might just be something up McGonagall's sleeve. (Or she just wanted to see what Daniel looked like in another movie Wink... David Copperfield)


Padfoot - Aug 10, 2004 8:39 am (#302 of 980)

Maybe school was cancelled that day? DD was obviously busy running around all over the place. Perhaps McGonagall figured the Dursleys' home was the best place to meet him.


Kasse - Aug 10, 2004 8:42 am (#303 of 980)

I thought she was there on her own accord observing the Dursleys and seeing if they would be suitable to look after Harry.


Padfoot - Aug 10, 2004 8:47 am (#304 of 980)

Well if that was the case, why was Harry left there? She thought they were not suitable.


Kasse - Aug 10, 2004 8:48 am (#305 of 980)

She did and probably still does think they are not suitable but she does not know about the protection Harry gets from being there. She does not approve of it but she has no control over it. Am I making sense?


TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 10, 2004 10:21 am (#306 of 980)

Because in spite of what she thought, it was still Dumbledore's decision?


Kasse - Aug 10, 2004 10:35 am (#307 of 980)

Yes Twinkling because it was not her decision to make no matter how much she did not agree with Harry staying at the Dursleys. It was Dumbledores decision to make.


Solitaire - Aug 10, 2004 11:35 am (#308 of 980)

I can think of a number of logical reasons for McGonagall to be at Privet Drive. As far as school being in session, I'm willing to bet that with all of the uproar, classes were cancelled at Hogwarts, until Dumbledore & Co. got things sorted out. Also, since Lily and Petunia were related, it would be NORMAL to assume that some news of things might find its way to Petunia, even though she WAS a Muggle.

Of course, we all know that Petunia and Lily were and had been estranged for a number of years. But maybe McGonagall didn't know that beforehand. She might also have suspected (since she didn't appear to know for certain that Lily & James were dead) that DEs could show up at Privet Drive and wanted to be there just in case. Those all seem to be logical reasons for her being there, IMO.



Liz Mann - Aug 10, 2004 2:50 pm (#309 of 980)
Edited Aug 10, 2004 3:51 pm

I thought she was there on her own accord observing the Dursleys and seeing if they would be suitable to look after Harry. – Kasse

I don't think so, because when Dumbledore told her that that's what he was going do she was shocked ("You don't mean - you can't mean the people who live here?" cried Professor McGonagall, jumping to her feet and pointing at number four.), which seems to say that she knew nothing of it before. Also, that quote suggests that she didn't even know the woman living there was Harry's aunt.

Also, since Lily and Petunia were related, it would be NORMAL to assume that some news of things might find its way to Petunia, even though she WAS a Muggle. Of course, we all know that Petunia and Lily were and had been estranged for a number of years. But maybe McGonagall didn't know that beforehand. She might also have suspected (since she didn't appear to know for certain that Lily & James were dead) that DEs could show up at Privet Drive and wanted to be there just in case.

I think we can be certain that the reason she was there was to talk to Dumbledore ('It seemed that Professor McGonagall had reached the point she was most anxious to discuss, the real reason she had been waiting on a cold hard wall all day...'). What I was asking was why go there and wait all day instead of go wherever Dumbledore was. Or even wait for him to get back. Or contact him by Floo or something.


Kasse - Aug 10, 2004 2:59 pm (#310 of 980)

You are right Liz it just occurred to me that I confused the movie with the book. That is why I thought she was there on her own accord. I must go and iron my hands now


McSnurp - Aug 10, 2004 3:07 pm (#311 of 980)

I was talking to Silje and the norwegian form of McGonagall is McSnurp! But I'm still Meriwether so never fear!


Kelly Kapaoski - Sep 4, 2004 11:31 am (#312 of 980)

with Professor McGonagall being harry's grand mother it is still possible that she could be his grandmother on his fathers side. the magic that was protecting harry while he is at privet drive is basicly enhancing the protection that harry already has from when Lily sacrificed herself for him. It can also explain why she took 150 points from gryffindor house when she caught harry, neville and Ron out of bed at night.


Lady Black99 - Sep 4, 2004 6:53 pm (#313 of 980)

If she were a relative of Harry's she would have taken him in instead of the Dursleys', don't you think?


Gemini Wolfie - Sep 4, 2004 7:09 pm (#314 of 980)
Edited Sep 4, 2004 8:11 pm

. . .with Professor McGonagall being harry's grand mother it is still possible that she could be his grandmother on his fathers side. the magic that was protecting harry while he is at privet drive is basicly enhancing the protection that harry already has from when Lily sacrificed herself for him. It can also explain why she took 150 points from gryffindor house when she caught harry, neville and Ron out of bed at night.

Kelly. Are you really suggesting that Professor McGonagall is Harry's grandmother/ James Potter's Mother? Wouldn't she be Professor Potter? Okay so she keeps her maiden name, wouldn't Sirius or Remus have mentioned something? Wouldn't she be even more emotional at the talk of Sirius betraying James? Wouldn't others have the sensitivity to look her way for assurance before talking openly about James? Couldn't she have given Harry permission to go to Hogsmeade (I'm sure it would be good enough for Dumbledore)? But as Harry's grandmother, wouldn't it be like DD to at least consult with McGonagall as to where to place Harry and gain her permission in the process? There really isn't a hint or suggestion that McGonagall had something special for Harry beyond what other adults would normally feel for him.

It's been made a point that McGonagall doesn't play favourites so it is very much like her to stick with the rules and take points off gryffindor house when her students broke school rules; in fact, it is mentioned that she gets particularly upset when it is one of her students who breaks the rules.

If all this isn't enough, DD said that Pentunia was the last surviving relative of Harry in front of McGonagall's face!


Chris. - Sep 5, 2004 5:22 am (#315 of 980)

I don't believe McGonagall is Harry's grandmother, as JKR said they were dead and would not come into the story.

World Book Day chat, 2003.
Rita: What happend to Harry's grandparents? Will we ever learn about them?
JK Rowling replies -> They're all dead and not particularly important to the story, although you will find out a little bit more.


Solitaire - Sep 5, 2004 7:05 am (#316 of 980)

Given the fact that Sirius spent a lot of time with James and his family during school--and his and Lily's parents were all dead by the time Voldemort fell--I would not be at all surprised to find out that both the Evanses and Potters were casualties of Voldemort or his DEs in the last Wizarding War.



Professor McGonagall - Sep 11, 2004 7:25 am (#317 of 980)

Hey! I'm back! *huggles old friends* Erm... sorry if I sound a bit harsh or rude, but doesn't anyone remember a rather key term in "the Philosopher's Stone"? Minerva McGonagall cannot be Harry's grandmother (no matter how many supporters wish it so... me included!) because when Harry was looking in the Mirror of Erised, don't you think he would've mentioned something, like, "Gee, why does that woman standing behind Dad look so much like Professor McGonagall?" Argh! *stricken look on face* Giving Harry to the Dursleys when McGonagall is standing right there?! Oh, the inhumanity! Dumbles would've supported her taking Harry, had that been the case. If memory serves (and it doesn't. My memory makes me pay for the information first.) old Dumbles doesn't like the Dursleys much, anyway... Well, I'm finished with my rant, now.

Oh, Kip and Steve! Congratulations on being voted in J. K.'s website! Everyone! GO check it out! [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] It's great and you'll get to see our wonderful website-creators mentioned!


Steve Newton - Sep 13, 2004 10:33 am (#318 of 980)


The Mirror of Erised does not show the truth. It shows what you desire. If you truly desire to see a large, happy family you will see one. Whether one exists or ever did exist would not seem to have any meaning to the mirror. That Harry saw a large family does not mean that it ever existed.


Potions Mistress - Sep 13, 2004 11:05 am (#319 of 980)

But in the book, it shows Harry's parents and other relatives who share a lot of distinct physical features: Lily and her eyes, James and his untidy hair, noses, knees, etc. (SS, ch. 12, 208-9, Am. ed.). So yes, Harry did want to see his family and while the Mirror does not give Harry the real ("true") thing, it does show him a real ("true") family portrait, if you will. Well, that's my take on it anyway.



rambkowalczyk - Sep 24, 2004 8:22 am (#320 of 980)

I've been a little confused that Minerva gets little "press time" in comparison to some of the other characters. She's one of the first characters we meet. We know she is strict but fair. She wears her hair in a bun somewhat implying she has never had any fun in her life (at least that is what the kids think).

We know very little of her prejudices. She doesn't think too much of Trelawney (she thinks she's a fraud) although she was kind to her when Umbridge tried to throw her out.

We know she despises Umbridge and there is some conflict in her that wishes to beat Umbridge with her walking stick and yet still be a proper witch who does not use muggle tactics (think of the words she used to Harry and George after the Quidditch game)against her enemies.

Is JKR holding back on a significant event in McGonagall's life that will be very relevant in book 6 or 7. My original impressions was that she had no character flaws (unlike Snape, Sirius, Lupin or even Dumbledore), but as I wrote this her flaw just might be controlling her temper and it is something she has to continually work on.


Phoenix song - Sep 25, 2004 10:36 am (#321 of 980)
Edited Sep 25, 2004 11:38 am

She wears her hair in a bun somewhat implying she has never had any fun in her life (at least that is what the kids think).-ramblowalczyk

Her hair being in a "bun" may have more significance than just to show us that she is "No-nonsense" in her approach to life. A "bun" style hairdo is a tightly woven circle of hair. In the books, circles seem to represent secrets and hair seems to be a homonym of Harry. (Hair=Harry; Circles=secrets). Perhaps her hair being into a tightly woven circlet is a symbol that she is keeping a closely guarded secret regarding Harry. What do you think?

Round Pink Spider: Have you discussed this possibility before?



El Cronista de Salem - Oct 1, 2004 12:32 pm (#322 of 980)

It is said in some book that McGonagall is Scottish?

Ok, I know what are you thinking: this boy is really STUPID.

Yes, I know that she had scottish objects and robes, but I want to know if the books said EXACTLY that she is Scottish (not that she likes Scotland).

Of course, it is a detail that we can assume, but I would want preffer to have a fact detail... Manias that a boy has Wink


Prefect Marcus - Oct 1, 2004 1:48 pm (#323 of 980)

Good catch, El. No, it says nowhere that she is a Scot, at least nowhere that I am aware of. The most that can be said definitively about her is she loves things Scottish.

But I ask you, who in their right minds would wear a hat decorated with thistles to a formal ball, unless they were a Scot? :-)


Phoenix song - Oct 1, 2004 8:51 pm (#324 of 980)
Edited Oct 1, 2004 9:57 pm

I believe that the information that we have about McGonagall being "Scottish" may have been from JKR. I think that in an interview regarding the audio versions of her books, that she said that she wanted Stephen Fry to read McGonagall with a Scottish accent.


EDIT: I've done a search on the interviews with JKR. It seems that Stephen Fry did not give McGonagall a Scottish accent, but was supposed to and had forgotten.

His one regret relates to the stern Professor McGonagall: 'I regret not giving [her] a Scottish accent. It's all the fault of her first scene in [Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone]where she's a cat, and I started the cat with one voice having forgotten that she was going to transform back.' Apart from this he seems to know instinctively how the characters should sound. Jo Rowling agrees enthusiastically.


T Brightwater - Oct 1, 2004 10:03 pm (#325 of 980)

For some reason I imagine Minerva sounding like an older version of Fiona Ritchie.


El Cronista de Salem - Oct 2, 2004 12:07 am (#326 of 980)

Thanks, Phoenix Song (Canción de Fénix in Spanish).

Yes, I am sure that she is Scottish, but I never assume nothing with JKRowling. Of course, in this case, I think that is an exception, and we can assume, no? ;-) thanks a lot for the extract.


Solitaire - Oct 2, 2004 1:10 am (#327 of 980)

I think the general belief that McGonagall is Scottish is probably due to a combination of different factors. First, many feel that Hogwarts is IN Scotland. Second, there is her name. I must admit that I had always thought Mc was Irish and Mac was Scottish; I was, however, corrected by a someone who is a Scot and he assured me that Mc and Mac can be either Irish or Scottish ... or perhaps Welsh. (I didn't know that.)

McGonagall has been mentioned as wearing a green Tartan a few times in different novels. I don't suppose it is a stoning offense to wear Tartan if one isn't Scottish ... but wouldn't it be considered rather poor taste? I've always thought of wearing a Tartan in Scotland to be rather like declaring one's heritage.

Finally, Harry's dream about Neville and Professor Sprout waltzing around the room of requirement while Professor McGonagall played the bagpipes is just one more clue. Most people, I believe, tend to associate bagpipes with Scotland.

Does any of this make any sense?



Hermy-own - Oct 2, 2004 4:24 am (#328 of 980)
Edited Oct 2, 2004 5:24 am

Solitaire, you make perfect sense. All the clues tend to suggest McGonagall is of Scottish Heritage.

Perhaps Rowling will give us something concrete in the following books or in a future interview/chat.



Solitaire - Oct 2, 2004 7:49 am (#329 of 980)

Thanks, Hermy. I suppose it could also go the other way and mean absolutely nothing. (This often happens when one makes posts at 2 a.m. LOL)

I keep thinking that there is a connection between Minerva and Figgy ... and maybe even Filch. Both McGonagall and Figgy--and someone suggested Filch, as well--have been mentioned more than once as wearing Tartan. I'd be interested to know if it is the same Tartan. If so, this could indicate that they are both (all?) of the same clan or family (I know ... not necessarily).

McGonagall's animagus is a cat, and both Filch and Figgy are strongly connected to highly intelligent cats. I realize this could mean absolutely nothing, since cats are commonly "familiars" to witches. All the same, I will be watching closely to see if there is some sort of familial connection there.

The fact that the only two Squibs we've met thus far (that we know of) are so closely connected with Dumbledore seems more than a coincidence. Mrs. Figg is actually considered a member of the Order, even though she is a Squib. Filch WORKS in a school for witchcraft and wizardry, even though he has no powers. There seems to be more than meets the eye to these two. I wonder if a connection to McGonagall is the common thing.

I know, I sound as batty as Figgy myself! LOL I haven't had my coffee yet! I'll read this later, and maybe I'll decide to delete it! heee



Kelly Kapaoski - Oct 2, 2004 11:02 am (#330 of 980)

I was reading OotP the other day and I was noticing that Minerva was Teaching before Dumbledore became headmaster. I wonder which Subject she taught if dumbledore was still teaching Transfigurations at the time. I also wonder if people want to become teachers (with DADA and care of magical creatures being the exception) they have to go through some sort of student teacher program. Because all of the teachers seem to be know what they are doing (except for Umbridge and lockhart)


rambkowalczyk - Oct 2, 2004 4:34 pm (#331 of 980)

I think we can rule out divination. Minerva McGonagall 1003735042


Marie E. - Oct 2, 2004 6:40 pm (#332 of 980)

That's a very good assumption. Does it really say that she was teaching while DD was? Maybe she was the Quidditch coach since she has a keen interest in the sport and the Gryffindor team.


Solitaire - Oct 2, 2004 7:10 pm (#333 of 980)
Edited Oct 2, 2004 8:17 pm

I think Minerva would make an awesome Quidditch coach. (I wonder if she played when she was a student?) I also expect that she would be good at history, charms, and potions. She is a disciplined, detail-oriented person, and that would seem to be a good trait for a potions mistress.

She may have been hired to fill the transfiguration vacancy when Dumbledore vacated that spot. Was there anyone in the position between the time he left and she was hired? If not, perhaps he stuck around until someone qualified was hired--which turned out to be Minerva. He might then have left to pursue other interests for a time. Perhaps that is when he came up with his twelve uses for Dragon's blood. He might also have worked on alchemy during the interim between leaving Hogwarts and returning as Headmaster. Has anyone worked out just what he did during the years between defeating Grindelwald and returning to Hogwarts to be Head?


Edited for clarity


Kelly Kapaoski - Oct 3, 2004 11:15 am (#334 of 980)

She could have been teaching Arithmancy or Ancient Runes as well. I bet she is good in herbology as well.


Eponine - Oct 3, 2004 5:22 pm (#335 of 980)

Happy Birthday, Professor McGonagall!


El Cronista de Salem - Oct 3, 2004 10:04 pm (#336 of 980)

Yes! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MINERVA! Today, 4th of October, JKRowling.com has showed her birthday. ;-)


Czarina II - Oct 4, 2004 7:49 am (#337 of 980)

Happy Birthday, Prof. McGonagall!


Julia. - Oct 4, 2004 5:14 pm (#338 of 980)
Edited Oct 4, 2004 6:14 pm



Ginevra-Weasley - Oct 6, 2004 6:16 am (#339 of 980)

Two days late,but HAPPY BIRTHDAY PROFESSOR!!!!!!!!!!!!


Nathan Zimmermann - Oct 14, 2004 6:11 pm (#340 of 980)

Is it possible that Minerva taught DADA? I find her commentary on having a competent teacher when referring to Lupin makes me wonder if Perhaps she knows what is necessary to be a competent DADA teacher because, he has first hand experience with the subject.


Chemyst - Nov 6, 2004 7:03 am (#341 of 980)

Is it possible that Minerva taught DADA?

It may be possible, but I doubt that's it. It is more likely she knows what is necessary to be a competent DADA teacher because of her combined past experiences.

She'd know about the mechanics and art of being a good teacher because she herself is one. She has been around long enough to see the effectiveness of her teaching; she remembers teaching Harry's parents. It's likely she has cases where she has taught three generations.

And she'd know what determines competence in DADA from her life experiences during VWI. Before movie contamination, (names in trophy case,) I'd imagined her to be either widowed or that she'd lost a love while still engaged. After movie contamination, I think possibly she lost a son. But either way, the compassion she showed by letting Harry & Ron visit Hermione in the hospital wing in CS indicates she has a good grasp on the realities of what is at stake.

Her reference to Lupin draws on both her teaching and her past personal experiences. So, the statement about what constitutes a good DADA teacher is more about her being able to put two and two together to come up with four than is is from teaching that class personally.


Steve Newton - Nov 14, 2004 5:34 am (#342 of 980)

Minerva is in her 70s. Dumbledore is in his 150. Minerva is relatively frail and Albus is relatively hale and hearty. Is there something about Minerva that is making her age more quickly? Is Dumbledore aging slowly? Is she just not as frail as she looks?

Sorry if this has been asked before.


azi - Nov 14, 2004 6:06 am (#343 of 980)

I don't think she is ageing more quickly compared to Dumbledore. Until she was attacked by Dolores etc. in OoTP, there was no mention made to her looking aged or frail. Even after the event she's only described as leaning heavily on a walking stick, a remarkable recovery really. I wondered whether being a pure blood or half blood would affect your longevity. If you come from a pure blood family there's maybe a gene or magical reason you live longer than half bloods etc. JKR said wizards live longer than muggles, as I'm sure you know. Smile

Dumbledores probably aging slower than most wizards. Maybe how powerful you are could affect how long you live?


Elanor - Nov 14, 2004 6:58 am (#344 of 980)

It can be, but don't forget that DD is described on the chocolate frogs cards as being "famous for [...] his work on alchemy with his partner Nicolas Flamel" (PS/SS p.77). The Philosopher's stone gives the Elixir of Life and we know that Flamel and his wife used it for centuries. We don't know if DD used it too but, simply by working on it, it could have given him some "extra" life.


Kelly Kapaoski - Nov 14, 2004 10:14 am (#345 of 980)

she seemed to have recovered pretty well for a 70 year old woman who took 4 stunners to the chest from a group of Aurors.


Solitaire - Nov 14, 2004 10:26 am (#346 of 980)

I'm with those who do not see her as frail. She took a quadruple dose of whatever was supposed to stop one person in his tracks ... and SURVIVED! I think she must be pretty hale and hearty herself!

As for Dumbledore, I agree with Elanor ... isn't it remotely possible that he has a store of the Elixir of Life stashed away? I do not believe he would use it except under the most extraordinary circumstances ... but perhaps he is finding out that living long enough to keep Harry alive to reach his destiny IS becoming a more extraordinary circumstance than he originally bargained for and one which just might require a few extra years from him. Mere speculation, I realize, and not at all in keeping with what we know of his philosophy about death. Still ...

BTW, isn't Dumbledore described by Harry several times in OotP as looking either old or frail or tired?



timrew - Nov 14, 2004 5:52 pm (#347 of 980)

Minerva seems to be pretty agile as a cat; so I assume that she's pretty agile as a witch.

She took four stunners and survived - which is more than I'd do!


Steve Newton - Nov 14, 2004 6:22 pm (#348 of 980)

Solitaire, I recall several mentions of tired but don't recall frail. But don't trust my memory.


Ann - Nov 15, 2004 11:10 am (#349 of 980)

timrew: "She took four stunners and survived - which is more than I'd do!"

Well, she's a cat--presumably she's got another five lives!


Tomoé - Nov 17, 2004 8:06 am (#350 of 980)

In PoA, the witch of Magical Menagerie say : "An ordinary, common or garden rat like this can't be expected to live longer than three years or so [...] Now if you were looking for something a bit more hard wearing, you might like one of these [fancy magical black rats]"

Jo -> wizards have a longer life expectancy than us Muggles (Comic Relief, March 2001)

It does sound like magic itself make the lifespan longer, so no need of philosopher stone to keep Dumbledore up to 150 or allow McGonagall to be full of life at the age of 70.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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John Bumbledore - Nov 22, 2004 2:35 pm (#351 of 980)

Hasn't McGonagall promised to Tutor Harry for N.e.w.t.s. so he can be an Auror?


Kelly Kapaoski - Nov 22, 2004 2:54 pm (#352 of 980)

Madame Marchbanks is definitely somewhere around 200 years old if she was around to test Dumbledore back in the days of his N.E.W.Ts but I am expecting that wizards and witches usually live to about 175 years or so


Ann - Nov 22, 2004 8:09 pm (#353 of 980)

Bumbledore: "Hasn't McGonagall promised to Tutor Harry for N.e.w.t.s. so he can be an Auror?"

Yes, well not to tutor him, but she said she'd help if she had to coach him nightly to make sure that he became one. She said she'd do that "if it is the last thing I do," which of course has many of us terribly worried.


constant vigilance - Nov 28, 2004 6:27 pm (#354 of 980)

Sorry to change the subject, but I brought this up on the Dumbledore thread and wondered if it might fit in here as well. If it's been discussed already, I apologise...I've been off the Forum for awhile and haven't had the time to catch up on all the reading.

How much do you suppose Minerva knows about Trelawney's back-story? She clearly believes Trelawney's a fraud, yet she defended her when Umbridge tried to send Sybil away. Is that just because McGonagall detests Umbridge, and challenges whatever decisions Dolores makes, or does Minerva know that Trelawney is at Hogwarts for a reason that goes beyond being the Divination professor?


Solitaire - Nov 28, 2004 6:40 pm (#355 of 980)

As the Deputy Headmistress, McGonagall would probably be privy to all essential information, in case she had to make crucial decisions in Dumbledore's absence. I'd say that the issue of Trelawney's protection and safety--regardless of McGonagall's personal feelings about her--is probably paramount among Dumbledore's concerns.

While I do not doubt that McGonagall's ill will toward Umbridge benefitted Trelawney, I think McGonagall is capable of putting her own personal "issues" aside to fulfill the job Dumbledore has asked her to do. That may well be why she is his choice for Deputy Head rather than some of the other equally able professors.



hellocello3200 - Nov 28, 2004 6:43 pm (#356 of 980)

Even if she didn't know, I think she would have acted the same. While McGonagall might think Trelawney is out to lunch, she would never publicly and cruelly humiliate someone like Umbridge did. She might be a no-nonsense type of person, but she is kind at heart.

She also appears to me to be fiercely loyal to DD. She might not know why exactly Trelawney is kept around, but DD wants her there, and that's good enough for her and no toad from the ministry is going to question DD's authority.

Edit: cross posted with Solitare, I don't know if DD tells her everything, but I think that she would be the most likely person for DD to confide in.


Solitaire - Nov 28, 2004 7:05 pm (#357 of 980)

At the end of PoA (Ch. 22, page 426, US ed.), Dumbledore was pretty honest with Harry when he commented on Trelawney's prediction to Harry: "Who'd have thought it? That brings her total of real predictions up to two. I should offer her a pay raise ..."

While McGonagall may not know the minute particulars of Trelawney's tenure at Hogwarts, she knows Dumbledore wants Trelawney there (despite his obvious lack of confidence in her "powers") and probably trusts that it is for a darn good reason. She may even know that it involves Trelawney's safety. I also think countermanding Umbridge was just a little extra benefit! :-D



Ann - Nov 29, 2004 8:46 am (#358 of 980)

Although she reassures her that she won't be thrown out, McGonagall doesn't actually countermand Umbridge's dismissal of Trelawney. She doesn't have the authority to do so. And Dumbledore doesn't either; he just says that Umbridge doesn't have the power to throw her out of her rooms at the school. McGonagall merely comforts her and helps take her back to her rooms at Dumbledore's request, helped by Flitwick and Sprout. That McGonagall steps forward to comfort her is significant, though. I wonder if Sibyll might be a former student?


mooncalf - Nov 29, 2004 9:28 am (#359 of 980) Reply
Edited by Nov 29, 2004 9:29 am

I'm not sure that it is significant, except as an illustration that McGonagall is more human than Umbridge. If you had seen a co-worker, even someone you neither liked nor respected, treated in the sadistic way that Umbridge treated Trelawney, wouldn't you make some effort to comfort her? McGonagall didn't stick her neck out for Trelawney, just helped her upstairs in a sympathetic way. I think that all it really shows is that she has a basic respect for human dignity and was revolted by Umbridge's behavior.


Ann - Nov 29, 2004 11:18 am (#360 of 980)

Mooncalf, of course you are right--any decent person would have helped her as McGonagall did and Flitwick and Sprout did too. But what I meant was that McGonagall was the first to step up to Sibyll's defense, before Dumbledore showed up and when she was still being taunted by Umbridge. That is just what you'd expect a decent person to do, too; but there were a lot of teachers there, and I would have expected that one of the others would step up first, given how much animosity McGonagall showed towards her in PoA.


Solitaire - Nov 29, 2004 11:22 pm (#361 of 980)

I didn't say that McGonagall countermanded Umbridge's dismissal of Trelawney. She did tell Trelawney, however, that she didn't have to leave Hogwarts, even though Umbridge had told her she had to pack her things and get out. Perhaps countermanding is the wrong word, but she did tell Trelawney she didn't have to leave hogwarts.


Kelly Kapaoski - Nov 30, 2004 10:07 am (#362 of 980)

I thought it was Dumbledore who didn't want Trelawney to leave the castle?


Julia. - Nov 30, 2004 11:48 am (#363 of 980)

Let's go to the book, shall we?

Professor McGonagall had broken away from the spectators, marched straight up to Professor Trewlawney and was patting her firmly on the back while withdrawing a large handkerchief from within her robes.
“There there Sibyll...Calm down... Blow your nose on this...It's not as bad as you think...You are not going to have to leave Hogwarts.”
“Oh really, Professor McGonagall?” said Umbridge in a deadly voice, taking a few steps forward. "And your authority for that statement is...?"
“That would be mine,” said a deep voice.
..."Yours, Professor Dumbledore?" said Umbridge with a singularly unpleasant laugh. "I'm afraid you do not understand the position I have here."
...[Dumbledore says] "You are quite right, of course, Professor Umbridge. As High Inquisitor you have every right to dismiss my teachers. You do not however, have the authority to send them away from the castle, I am afraid," he went on with a courteous little bow, "that the power to do that still resides with the headmaster, and it is my wish the Professor Trelawney continue to live at Hogwarts." (OoP Ch. 26, Pg. 595-596, US)


azi - Nov 30, 2004 11:55 am (#364 of 980)

I think McGonagall acted like she would have done in any situation. I suppose that as she was the most senior of the teachers there she was naturally the first one to step in, although I thought when she came out of the crowd Dumbledore might've said something, told her to intervene, given his timely arrival at the doors. That's just how I read it the first time. I don't think it's right, I just thought it was weird how it took so long for her to do anything in the first place.


mooncalf - Nov 30, 2004 12:13 pm (#365 of 980) Reply
Edited by Nov 30, 2004 12:14 pm

Maybe they were all numb with shock; it was a pretty disturbing scene. Maybe McGonagall was just the first to recover, or maybe she just has more nerve than the others. She is a Gryffindor, after all. :-)


TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 30, 2004 12:22 pm (#366 of 980)

I think she was the first to recover. Also she is Deputy Head Mistress so it would have been her place to step forward in Dumbledore's absence,(he hadn't arrived in the Great Hall yet).

I think all the staff would stick together like siblings, regardless of their feelings toward each other especially when it came to Umbridge. That point really stuck out on Umbridge's first day as head mistress didn't it?


Julia. - Nov 30, 2004 2:10 pm (#367 of 980)

I think all the staff would stick together like siblings, regardless of their feelings toward each other—TBE

Exactly! The staff of Hogwarts is like a family. Family members can insult each other until the cows come home, but the moment an outsider insults someone, it's wands at the ready! McGonagall always struck me as someone who is very proud of her positions on the Hogwarts staff. It's no shock that she was the first to jump up and defend her colleague when an outsider came in and insulted her. It also can be that Mooncalf is correct and it's the Gryffindor in her.


John Bumbledore - Nov 30, 2004 2:22 pm (#368 of 980)

(Minerva) "It's not as bad as you think...You are not going to have to leave Hogwarts." (Thank you Julia. for the cannon reference.)

Dumbledore must have known of Umbridge's plan to sack Trewlawney. Base on how he handled other similar issues, it would appear he sent Minerva to watch over Trewlawney with some indication that she would not have to leave the Castle. How long do you think it took DD to find, talk with, and convince Firenze? A delicate recruitment to say the least and needing his direct attention, and it would be very uncharacteristic of DD not to have given McGonagall information about where he was or what he intended.

So one can infer that Minerva knew from DD that Trewlawney would be sacked, that he would not let her be removed from the castle, and to stall until his return. Since he would have to be there to announce his choice for Divination teacher before Umbridge had a chance to fill the position.

-- Bumbledore

Edit: Cross post with Julia. All those characteristics are why Minerva McGonagall was chosen by Dumbledore as his Deputy Head.

I even imagine that they may have conversations like "an old married couple." Saying and understanding more than what is held by the mere meaning of the words used, because a familiar phrase (to them) evokes a shared experience. Like a picture being worth a thousand words, a single word or expression can communicate volumes of information between these two.

B^D -- Bumbledore


Kelly Kapaoski - Dec 1, 2004 5:30 am (#369 of 980)

I wonder if Madame Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall are old friends. the 2 of them seem to be about the same age and they also seem like they have alot in common personality wise as well.


Nathan Zimmermann - Dec 30, 2004 8:14 pm (#370 of 980)

I wonder if McGonagall played quidditch in her days at Hogwarts.


Solitaire - Dec 30, 2004 10:14 pm (#371 of 980)

I've wondered that, too, Nathan. First, she bent the rules to put Harry on the team--as Seeker, no less (she knows her positions)! And she didn't just give Harry his own broomstick ... she bought him a Nimbus 2000, which can't have been cheap! The woman knows her broomsticks, doesn't she? I think it's more than just a case of plain old Gryffindor House loyalty. She really knows and CARES about Quidditch and her team.



dizzy lizzy - Dec 31, 2004 12:57 am (#372 of 980)

I've always wondered who paid for Harry's first broomstick. I've always thought it was a dead heat between Professor McGonagall and Dumbledore.



Kelly Kapaoski - Dec 31, 2004 3:54 am (#373 of 980)

I bet McGonagall was at the world cup even though none of the trio saw her.


T Brightwater - Dec 31, 2004 11:04 am (#374 of 980)

If she wasn't actually there she was glued to the radio the whole time...


John Bumbledore - Jan 3, 2005 1:47 pm (#375 of 980)

Minerva McGonagall, Mia Hamm of Quidditch.

I'm sure Maggie Smith would love this discussion.

<)B^D= (John) Bumbledore.


Maiden - Feb 1, 2005 2:00 am (#376 of 980)

I would love for McGonagall to get a larger role in Harry's life in the coming book. She would be perfect for teaching him some of the skills and determination he needs to fight Voldemort. He respects and trusts her, yet she doesn't allow him to feel sorry for himself and misunderstood as Dumbledore will. In the Career Advice Harry could have had a talk with McGonagall about his worries and hopes for the future, if it wasn't for the presence of Umbridge, that made it all into a show down between the two teachers. I think Harry should grow out of always feeling accused of something when McGonagall adresses him (start of PoA) and start to have a more mature and personal relationship to her.


Ann - Feb 1, 2005 6:40 am (#377 of 980)

And, of course, she can tell him more about his parents, both of whom were her students for seven years.


Solitaire - Feb 1, 2005 12:27 pm (#378 of 980)

Yes, and from her response to the news of their deaths, she obviously loved them--or at least cared very deeply for them.



Wand Maker - Feb 1, 2005 6:29 pm (#379 of 980)

It would be interesting for Harry to visit Mrs Figg, to find McGonagall there to talk with him or tutor him. It is close to 4 PD, so he could remain under the protection it affords, learn from McGonagall without the Dursley's getting upset about a witch that came to visit.


Maiden - Feb 3, 2005 3:44 am (#380 of 980)

And, of course, she can tell him more about his parents, both of whom were her students for seven years.

I think I read a speculation that Lily might have been close to McGonagall. Perhaps McGonagall will be the source for more information about Lily, that we are supposed to get.

I imagine Lily to have been somewhat like Hermione: clever and eager to prove herself, Muggleborn as she is. Herminone sure seems to be on good terms with McGonagall, so Lily might have been, too.


Solitaire - Feb 3, 2005 7:04 am (#381 of 980)

It makes one wonder if McGonagall herself might have been Muggle-born. Or perhaps she may have Squib relatives (Filch or Figgy?), so she is able to understand the insecurities experienced by those who do not fit the pure-blood mold. At any rate, she respects effort, attitude, and ability when they are combined, and she does her best to help her students--all of them.



Ann - Feb 3, 2005 7:18 am (#382 of 980)

I also have always suspected that McGonagall was Muggle-born.

She's a really interesting character. I've been reading some fan fiction lately, and one of the things that many of them seem to have in common is the assumption that she is an extremely passionate woman. I don't mean in the R-rated sense (although some, of course, make that assumption, too), but that she feels very strongly about her students and her colleagues/friends, and is fiercely loyal to them. I see her this way as well, though I must admit that the hints of this in the book are pretty minimal (though they are there). Most of the time she seems extremely calm and controlled. But it's odd that there should be such unanimity on this point.

Incidentally, Jo has said that Hermione is a bit like herself as a young girl. I wonder if McGonagall may not be a bit like her now. I wonder what Jo was like as a teacher. I can see her as strict but fair, and occasionally a lot of fun.


dizzy lizzy - Feb 3, 2005 3:09 pm (#383 of 980)

McGonagall is my favourite teacher of the series in that she reminds me of a good teacher I had at University. Strict and fair and very easy to get along with outside of class. She (the teacher) had the ability to earn your respect very quickly because she was good at what she did, was passionate about transferring knowledge, and was nice about it. This seems to be a good description of Minerva as well.

I like the ideas that Ann, Solitaire Wand maker and Maiden present about McGonagall. I've always felt there was a lot more to her ever since her comment to Dumbledore on the night Harry was left with the Dursleys. The way how she has treated Harry and his friends since has only served to increase my respect of her teaching and communication skills.

She appears to be on the side of doing what is right and not what is easy. Dumbledore and Harry are lucky to have a great backup person with such loyalty to them.



hellocello3200 - Feb 5, 2005 9:30 am (#384 of 980)

Ann, I do think that JKR might see some of herself in McGonagall. I think that alot of times, authors create characters that are reflections of what they aspire to be, what they secretly would like to be, or parts of themselves the don't find so attractive. i think McGonagall is portrayed as the closet to perfect teacher that Harry has, so it is reasonable to assume that JKR would have tried to teach in a similar way, but who knows, she may have had some days when she was closer in style to Snape.


Solitaire - Feb 5, 2005 11:05 am (#385 of 980)

Perhaps Snape was created to embody all of the qualities and characteristics that she hated in a teacher. McGonagall and Flitwick are certainly the best teachers, IMO.



Kelly Kapaoski - Feb 9, 2005 1:55 am (#386 of 980)

Professor McGonagall is definitely one of those teachers you don't want to make mad but she is also one of those teachers you can learn alot from as well. But what I want to know is what subject she taught before becoming the transfiguration teacher?


dizzy lizzy - Feb 9, 2005 10:29 pm (#387 of 980)

I'm think it might have been potions. That is Snape got the position she vacated. I have no basis for that idea though. Just instinct. Which is what I'm running on about now!



Ydnam96 - Feb 10, 2005 11:14 pm (#388 of 980)

Does it say anywhere that MM has taught anything but transfiguration? I don't remember.

My guess would be whatever Flitwick teaches, sorry can't remember the name.


Choices - Feb 11, 2005 1:29 pm (#389 of 980)

I think McGonagall has always taught Transfiguration. I believe she took over from Dumbledore when he became Headmaster. Flitwick teaches Charms.


Ydnam96 - Feb 11, 2005 11:04 pm (#390 of 980)

Thanks! I agree with you, but if she ever taught anything else I think it would be charms. Smile


Choices - Feb 12, 2005 9:09 am (#391 of 980)

Ydnam96 - I think there's nothing like a well placed comma - keep up the good work. Comma's are lovely and very necessary. :-)


Wand Maker - Feb 12, 2005 5:51 pm (#392 of 980)

It is quite possible that McGonagall has always taught Transfiguration. Dumbledore was the Transfiguration teacher 53 three years ago (as of OOP). McGonagall said she had been teaching for 39 years.

We don't know when Dumbledore became Headmaster do we? Was it 39 years earlier?


Choices - Feb 12, 2005 6:59 pm (#393 of 980)

We know that Dippet was headmaster 50 years ago and Dumbledore was teaching Transfiguration. How long after that Dumbledore became headmaster I don't know. Maybe someone else has an idea....


Solitaire - Feb 12, 2005 7:31 pm (#394 of 980)

According to the timeline entry in the Lexicon entry on Dumbledore, it must have been sometime during the late 1960s: Remus Lupin's parents assumed he wouldn't be able to go to Hogwarts because of his condition, but all that changed when Dumbledore became Headmaster. Since they were concerned, there must have been another Head until no more than a few years previous to Lupin's coming to school, which would have been approximately 1970. Maybe ...?



The giant squid - Feb 13, 2005 1:58 am (#395 of 980)

Comma's are lovely and very necessary—Choices

Yes, as are apostrophes.

I don't recall any reference to Minerva teaching any other subject than Transfiguration. In fact, the only "change" we know of is Dumbledore going from Transfiguration teacher to headmaster. Yes, Snape wants DADA but he's always been Potions teacher.

Of course, if I am in error you are all free to pelt me with rotten bubotubers...



Ann - Feb 13, 2005 6:20 am (#396 of 980)

We now that DD was teaching transfiguration in the 1940s, and probably became headmaster sometime in the 1960s. McGonagall began teaching at Hogwarts in about 1956. So if Dumbledore taught Transfiguration until he became Headmaster, she can't have been hired as a Transfiguration Mistress. This means that either she taught something else (or was initially an assistant to Dumbledore); or perhaps Dumbledore left Hogwarts during the Grindelwald business and only came back to be headmaster.

Or of course there's also the possibility that Jo wasn't thinking....


Ydnam96 - Feb 13, 2005 8:00 am (#397 of 980)


No, I don't think that will be necessary. I believe you are quite right.

opps, except Ogg (is that his name?), who went to be with his remaining limbs then Hagrid got the job.


Choices - Feb 13, 2005 10:07 am (#398 of 980)

Ydnam96 - It was Professor Kettleburn who retired to spend more time with his remaining limbs. Hagrid replaced him as Care of Magical Creatures teacher.


Solitaire - Feb 13, 2005 11:15 am (#399 of 980)

Is it possible that Dumbledore was not at Hogwarts during the 50s? Might he have left after Tom left and returned shortly before the Marauders entered?



Wand Maker - Feb 13, 2005 6:51 pm (#400 of 980)

Ann, I hadn't thought of Dumbledore leaving, then coming back as Headmaster. That can tie dates together. Dumbledore could have also been away when he discovered the 12 uses of dragon's blood.

Do UK faculty take sabbaticals?
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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Ydnam96 - Feb 13, 2005 10:44 pm (#401 of 980)

Thanks Choices, where did I come up with Ogg? Hmmmm...was he the gamekeeper when Hagrid and Molly were in school?

Anyway. Minerva, isn't she the goddess of war? I looked her up on Wikipedia and it says she is the Greek goddess off war, sprung fully ready for battle from her father's head.

Roman mythology has her as the goddess of crafts and wisdom.

Someone I would most definitely want on my side during a fight.

a little trivia: the Planet Uranus was almost named Minerva Smile

Didn't Ron once say "I want to see Uranus?" in Divination or was that just in the movie?


dizzy lizzy - Feb 13, 2005 10:47 pm (#402 of 980)

Sabbaticals are mostly called "leave without pay" (up to 12 months depending on employer and employment conditions) in the non-academic working world in Australia. Sabbaticals are still taken by University lecturers etc and teachers, but I'm not sure if they are called sabbaticals anymore.

EDIT: They are pretty rare though and generally in government positions. I was offered one once so as to try out a different job etc, but the conditions were too onerous so I quit instead. Perhaps that's why they are on the way out.

PS: Regarding next post...You've not been dreaming Solitaire...I'm sure Ron said something about it in one of the books.

I wonder if JKR will tell us if McGonagall ever taught a different subject?


Solitaire - Feb 13, 2005 10:55 pm (#403 of 980)

Lizzy, I don't know anyone who takes sabbaticals anymore--except the occasional professor who may be working on a book, studying abroad, or completing another Ph.D.

For some reason, I keep wanting to think Ron said something in one of the books about Dumbledore having been offered the Minister of Magic job, but he became Headmaster at Hogwarts instead. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? If not, perhaps I've been dreaming about Potterland.



The giant squid - Feb 14, 2005 1:41 am (#404 of 980)

I don't have any page numbers or anything, but Ron did say "Can I see Uranus too?" in PoA (the book, not the movie), and it was also mentioned that DD was offered the position of Minister of (for) Magic but turned it down. I don't remember who said it, but Ron is a likely culprit.

Another possible explanation to the 1956/1960 overlap: JKR's professed poor math skills.



TwinklingBlueEyes - Feb 14, 2005 3:49 am (#405 of 980)

Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender? said Ron." Chap 13 GoF.

He thinks Dumbledore wants to be Minister for Magic. "But Dumbledore doesn't want -" "Of course he doesn't," said Mr Weasley. "He's never wanted the Minister's job, even though a lot of people wanted him to take it when Millicent Bagnold retired. Fudge came to power instead, but - he's never quite forgotten how much popular support Dumbledore had, even though Dumbledore never applied for the job." Chap 1 OoP


Solitaire - Feb 14, 2005 7:21 am (#406 of 980)

Thanks, Twinkles. Also, Mike, didn't the Uranus business from Ron come up again in the brain room in the DoM? No book handy to check!



Ann - Feb 14, 2005 8:15 am (#407 of 980)

And I think Hagrid also said something about DD turning down the job. In PS/SS, as they are travelling to London from the hut on the rock, Hagrid tells Harry that everyone thought that DD would be the next Minister for Magic, but that he didn't want the job and now Fudge sends him owls every day for advice. But Dumbledore clearly was already at Hogwarts when that question arose.

Sabbaticals are quite common in American academia, but they are usually only for a year. Dumbledore would have had to be away for a lot longer than that to make the dates work.


pottermom34 - Feb 14, 2005 8:46 am (#408 of 980)

Solitaire, it was actually little before the brain room on p 795 they had come out of a room full of planets "Harry we saw Uranus up close!" said Ron still giggling feebly. "Get it Harry? We saw Uranus-ha ha ha-"

I just looked in my dictionary for Minerva, it says ancient mythical goddess of war, wisdom, arts and sciences.

Sabbaticals are also sometimes taken by ministers but they are usually to get more education.


Solitaire - Feb 14, 2005 11:17 am (#409 of 980)

Thanks, Pottermom. I knew it was there in the DoM ... I should have remembered the planet room. Also, I've always heard the same about Minerva/Athena ... goddess of war, wisdom, handicrafts, the arts ...

I'll respond to the Dumbledore stuff over on his thread. I don't want to get spanked. Smile



The giant squid - Feb 14, 2005 3:23 pm (#410 of 980)

Thanks, TBE. As I was typing I knew someone would come along & correct me.


Mrs Brisbee - Feb 15, 2005 6:56 am (#411 of 980)

a little trivia: the Planet Uranus was almost named Minerva Smile

It must have run through several possible names before settling on Uranus. I was reading last night that the discoverer wanted to name it George, after George III, who was king of England at the time.

Anyway. Minerva, isn't she the goddess of war? I looked her up on Wikipedia and it says she is the Greek goddess off war, sprung fully ready for battle from her father's head.

Zeus often gets full credit for the birth of Athena (Roman Minerva), but she sprang out of his forehead only after he had swallowed the pregnant goddess Metis whole. I have no idea why he did this, so if anybody knows, pleeeeease clue me in.


Solitaire - Feb 15, 2005 7:32 am (#412 of 980)

I believe Zeus heard a prophecy that he would have a child who would be greater even than he. In order to prevent it, he swallowed his then-pregnant wife Metis whole. Then Metis gave birth to Athena inside Zeus.

Somewhere down the line, Zeus developed a terrible headache. It got so bad he finally sought out Hephaestus to split his head open with an axe to see what was going on inside. When he did, out popped Athena, fully grown and wearing armor, I believe.

Minerva is usually said to be Athena's Roman counterpart, but I'm not sure if this myth applies to her or not. I've never heard the story using Jupiter and Minerva. If I've made mistakes, someone please correct me. This is from a very old memory. LOL



Mrs Brisbee - Feb 15, 2005 4:19 pm (#413 of 980)

Ah, thank you, Solitaire. My knowledge of Hellenistic mythology is a bit spotty. I've always wondered why Zeus did that, but never saw any detailed explanation about it.


Solitaire - Feb 15, 2005 9:48 pm (#414 of 980)

Mrs. Brisbee, if I remember correctly, Zeus was the child who grew up to be greater than and overthrow his own father, Cronus ... hence his apprehension! He possibly feared what was in store after his own history.



ex-FAHgeek - Feb 16, 2005 8:42 am (#415 of 980) Reply
Edited by Feb 16, 2005 8:43 am

Zeus was the child who grew up to be greater than and overthrow his own father, Cronus ... hence his apprehension! He possibly feared what was in store after his own history.

That's correct. For more specifics...

Gaea, the Earth, married Uranus, the Sky, and had three sets of children: the one-eyed Cyclopes, a set of hundred-handed giants, and the Titans. Uranus, disgusted by the aberrational appearance of the first two groups of children, locked them in the pit of Tartarus so that he wouldn't have to look upon them. In revenge, Gaea gave her Titan son Cronus a magical sickle, which he then used to castrate and slay his father, thus becoming lord of the Universe...

However, Cronus and the other Titans did not free their brethren from Tartarus, and Gaea's anger was turned on them when she realized this. Cronus realized his mother was plotting against him in the same manner in which they worked against his father: one of his children would one day overthrow him. To prevent this, each time his wife Rhea gave birth, he would swallow the infant. However, after this happened five times, Rhea successfully spirited away the sixth child as Cronus swallowed a dummy. This child was Zeus, who was raised in secret by a magic goat.

When he was full grown, Zeus returned to confront his father. With his mother's help, Cronus was fed a regurgitant that caused him to expel the five swallowed children (at this point the fully grown deities of Hestia, Poseidon, Hades, Demeter, and Hera) who quickly sided with Zeus. Together, they freed the cyclopes and the hundred-armed giants and battled against the Titans, coming out victorious and casting down Cronus.

The defeated Titans were thrown into Tartarus, and Gaea once again became angry at the travesty against her children. The same prophecy was once again made: that Zeus would have a son by his first wife, Metis, who would be powerful enough to overthrow him. When Metis became pregnant, Zeus suggested that they play a shapeshifting game in which each of them would assume the form of different animals for the other's amusement. When Metis assumed the form of a fly, Zeus swallowed her. While inside his skull, she gave birth to Athena, with the accompanying headache as mentioned by Solitare before Hephaestus (a son of Zeus and his queen, Hera) split open his skull to ease the pain (and, as a result, release the fully-grown goddess of Wisdom and Strategy.)

I've never actually heard what happened to Metis after that - whether she remained in Zeus' skull or if she was released along with Athena. Strangely enough, as the goddess of prudence, her presence inside Zeus' head granted him unusual clarity of mind during the pregnancy. Why she would continue to offer good advice to someone who had swallowed her is beyond me, but go figure.

At any rate, the short version: Uranus was overthrown by Cronus who was overthrown by Zeus who feared being overthrown by a son of his own.


Mrs Brisbee - Feb 16, 2005 12:21 pm (#416 of 980)

Thank you for the detailed account, ex-FAHgeek. The books I've been checking after Solitaire's post don't go into much detail, the best account I could find was in Bullfinch's Mythology, but it has nothing on yours. Also, none of them seem to feel the need to differentiate between greek Athena and roman Minerva.

I suppose the most significant part of the tale is that Minerva is the goddess of the skill of craft, including warfare, and she is the daughter of Prudence.

The tales of Minerva in Bullfinch's Mythology present her as a fair, stern, and thoughtful goddess. I've heard the story of Arachne and Athena many times, but they always cast the goddess in a poor light. In this book the writer emphasizes that Minerva gives the arrogant (Bullfinch's portrays the girl as arrogant) Arachne many chances to admit the error of her ways and withdraw her weaving challenge to the goddess. When she doesn't, and weaves her tapestry depicting the gods cruelty and trickery to humans, Minerva instills the girl with guilt for insulting the goddess, and Arachne kills herself. Minerva takes pity on the girl, and restores her to life, but transforms her into a spider forevermore by sprinkling her with aconite.


Solitaire - Feb 16, 2005 7:51 pm (#417 of 980)

I wonder ... do you suppose McGonagall is going to have an encounter with a spider?



Mrs Brisbee - Feb 17, 2005 9:16 am (#418 of 980)

I think the most important part about Minerva's name is that it fits her personality...But Athena and Arachne is such a well-known myth, and Aragog is still out there, and it wouldn't be the first time a name presaged something about a person in the books (Sirius Black, Lupin, Bode, etc.). It wouldn't surprise me if McGonagall had a run in with a spider, but on the other hand there is no guarantee she will just because of her name.


Solitaire - Feb 17, 2005 9:48 pm (#419 of 980)

No, Mrs. B ... I was just connecting dots through McGonagall and came up with a far-fetched idea.


pottermom34 - Feb 17, 2005 9:55 pm (#420 of 980)

Actually Solitaire, that isn't so far fetched, maybe she'll run into Aragog in HBP. Possibly a connection between CoS and HBP, (this may be far fetched though -- maybe Aragog is an animagus)


T Brightwater - Feb 18, 2005 5:45 am (#421 of 980)

Hagrid raised Aragog from an egg and has kept in contact with him, so I doubt very much that he's a wizard in disguise. However, I rather like the idea of Minerva encountering Aragog. I don't think Jo would go out of her way to make it happen, but if it were necessary to the plot, it's the sort of sly joke she'd enjoy.


ex-FAHgeek - Feb 20, 2005 10:32 am (#422 of 980)

I've heard the story of Arachne and Athena many times, but they always cast the goddess in a poor light.

That's very interesting. In practically every version I've heard, Arachne is by far portrayed to be the thoroughly unsympathetic character - arrogant and a horrible loser. Admittedly, Athena is never portrayed as in a good mood throughout the affair (of course), but she's not shown to be cruel or heartless either.

By the way, my account about the lineage of Athena above comes (mostly) from the d'Aulaire's Book of Myths, which I find to be an excellent introduction to Greek mythology for young readers, with some details culled from other resources (for example, the d'Aulaire version doesn't mention the castration of Uranus when Cronus overthrows him...)


Julie Aronson - Mar 8, 2005 7:05 am (#423 of 980)

I don't know, but I think it's significant (or at least interesting) that Minerva sprang forth from her father's head. Who knows what could pop out of Harry's scar? It's burst at least once, and I think we've established that it's some kind of conduit.



Mrs Brisbee - Mar 15, 2005 5:32 pm (#424 of 980)

Has anyone else been waiting for Minerva McGonagall to do something spectacular ever since the first book? As the cat reading the map, she was the first magical being we the readers encounter. I've always expected her to play a bigger role in the books than she has up to this point. I'm hoping she will shine at some pivotal moment in book six or seven.

So far the importance of her role lies with her personality, not with her power as a witch (Dumbledore was transfiguration teacher before her, and the most powerful wizard of this age, so that will always overshadow her powers). I suppose that in a story about choices defining you rather than power it is fitting that the character's importance is determined by her personality and not her powers.

As head of Gryffindor House she is strict but the rules exist for a reason. When she needs to meet out punishments they fit the crime. When she gives out praise it is to be valued because it has been earned. Contrasting her with the Dursley's, the heads of house for Harry when he is away from Hogwarts, we can see that their rules are draconian, their punishments for infractions completely overboard, and the same rules don't apply to golden boy Dudley as to Harry.

I think McGonagall provides a model for a strict authority figure that is to admired instead of disdained. Without her I don't think Harry would ever consider that rules might actually exist for a reason, and all authority figures should not just be ignored out of hand.


Solitaire - Mar 15, 2005 7:03 pm (#425 of 980)

the same rules don't apply to golden boy Dudley as to Harry.

Well, that's also true as far as Snape goes. He is blatantly unfair to Harry and Neville in particular and to Gryffindors (Harry's year, at least) in general, while showing partiality to his Slytherins.

As for McGonagall doing something spectacular ... I was really hoping for a face-off between her and Umbridge. However, it would sort of be like dueling with an unarmed witch. Before Umbridge ever pulled her wand from her robe, McGonagall would have transformed her into the toad she is. McG seems to Umbridge rather like Dumbledore might be to ... Lockhart. NO CONTEST! JM2K, of course ...



Mrs Brisbee - Mar 15, 2005 7:43 pm (#426 of 980)

the same rules don't apply to golden boy Dudley as to Harry.

Well, that's also true as far as Snape goes.

If Harry had been put in Slytherin, with Snape as his head of house, I can imagine that Harry would have come consider all authority figures as completely arbitrary, and not bother with following any rules at all.

I have to agree that a wizarding duel between McGonagall and Umbridge would have been a bit dull (but satisfying).


Tomoé - Mar 16, 2005 8:42 am (#427 of 980)

But if Voldemort invade Hogwarts (possiblely after Dumbledore's death) we should see her in action (Snape, Fitwick and Sprout as well).


azi - Mar 16, 2005 8:47 am (#428 of 980)

I don't think it is particularly in McGonagall's character to pull out her wand and duel during an argument. She's more a war of words person in my opinion. I agree that we'll probably see her in action if Voldie invades Hogwarts.


T Brightwater - Mar 17, 2005 4:57 am (#429 of 980)

Actually, we saw two duels between McGonagall and Umbridge - when McG's lesson was "inspected" and during Harry's career counselling. Minerva won both, hands down.


Ydnam96 - Mar 17, 2005 7:16 am (#430 of 980)

Ture Brightwater, but she doesn't use magic, just sheer force of will!


MickeyCee3948 - Mar 23, 2005 8:45 pm (#431 of 980)

I think that before the end of book 7 we will see alot more of McGonagall's magical ability. If a battle at Hogwart's materializes as has been suggested then I think she will definitely be in the middle of it. Attacking her home might just make her a little mad don't you think?



karebear811 - Mar 28, 2005 10:57 am (#432 of 980)

Transfiguration is necessary for auror training right? In that case, assuming Harry passes all his OWL's and goes on to NEWT potions for OWL's, we will also see him in advanced transfiguration classes. I think that in the advanced classes McG would be able to truly show more of her powers and form closer relationships with her students, which would let us see another side of her. I still do think she would maintain her discipline procedures and teaching style, but these are upper level students, not your average student can be in these classes. Just like in college, when you get to upper level classes with a professor you know, the professor shows another side to their students. I think we will see that of McG in books 6 and 7


Mrs Brisbee - Mar 28, 2005 12:32 pm (#433 of 980)

I hope we do get to that aspect of McGonagall. The more I think about it, the less I feel the need to see her in a magical firefight. I think it's good that many of the characters show their strength through their personality, rather than their ability with a wand.


Ann - Apr 5, 2005 6:11 am (#434 of 980)

I think Minerva McGonagall is as strong magically as she is mentally. There's a hint in what Poppy Pomfrey says after she is attacked during the ousting of Hagrid that none of the people who attacked her could have bested her in a fair fight.

I think it's interesting that it was pointed out that McGonagall is sparing with praise. That is pointed out in GoF after Harry gets the dragon egg. Like her strictness, this is yet another way in which Snape's way of teaching and relating to students is a distorted version of McGonagall's, as if he's misunderstood what she's doing and why it works.


Nathan Zimmermann - Apr 19, 2005 10:55 am (#435 of 980)

Ann, I agree with your comparison of Severus and Minerva, it seems to me that Minerva and Severus are the opposite sides of the same coin.


Ms Amanda - May 9, 2005 3:55 pm (#436 of 980)

I feel that Minerva McGonagall has had chances to show her magical prowess. She helped protect the stone (in a way that connects her in my mind to Ron). She is an animagus, which is very special. (yeah, yeah, I know, everyone is an animagus.) I think that part of her power is her restraint - she does not feel the need to show off.


Nathan Zimmermann - May 31, 2005 7:20 pm (#437 of 980)

Ms. Amanda the idea of a connection between the weasley's especially Ron and McGonagall is interesting could expand on the idea bit farther.


ellebell86 - Jun 1, 2005 6:44 pm (#438 of 980)

Does anyone who if there were any references to MM being in the Order? I don't remember any. It seems strange to me that someone so close to Dumbledore, being Deputy Headmistress and all, would not be involved in his order against Voldermort.

It also seems odd that Ron is the one of HRH to be connected to McGonogall. This could mean that one of them is different than they portray themselves. Either Ron is more like MM or vice versa. I think that MM is the one that is different because we know so much more about Ron and his life that can lead us to be assured in Ron's personality.


dizzy lizzy - Jun 1, 2005 7:00 pm (#439 of 980)

McGonagall is in the Order. However like Lupin and Snape, she appears to spend most of her order time "away" from 12 Grimmauld Place.

Pay close attention to the chapters on 12 Grimmauld at the beginning of the book and to the descriptions of people walking in or out of the house.

I don't remember the exact references in the book (OoP), but I hope this will be enough for you to search for the references.



Ydnam96 - Jun 2, 2005 8:47 am (#440 of 980)

Yes, she definitely is part of the order, she comes in the house and Harry has a hard time seeing her because she is dressed as a Muggle. It's quite funny actually.


Solitaire - Jun 4, 2005 12:10 pm (#441 of 980)

During the year, it would seem obvious that neither she nor Snape could leave Hogwarts for "outside" Order business. Then again, perhaps their "business" for the Order involves helping to keep Hogwarts safe from incursions by Dark forces.



Netherlandic - Jun 5, 2005 11:45 am (#442 of 980)

We certainly know that Snape is spying for the order, so maybe he does go away from Hogwarts for short times and so there is no reason why McGonagall would not "go out" from time to time. I am really wondering what she is doing for the order by the way.


Miriam Huber - Jun 6, 2005 10:51 am (#443 of 980)

Especially as Harry saw her in Muggle clothes! Trying to build DAM (Dumbledore´s Army of Muggles)?

If she were only to disguise herself in muggle clothes, we know she had far better methods to do this. So the only reason I can think of why she would be in a muggle dress is that she actually was going to talk to muggles. But it doesn´t make sense, does it?


Chemyst - Jun 6, 2005 2:01 pm (#444 of 980)

...the only reason I can think of why she would be in a muggle dress is that she actually was going to talk to muggles. But it doesn't make sense, does it?

Your question made me stop and consider which Order members would fit in unobtrusively in muggle society? Bill or Tonks might fit in well with a younger crowd, but most of the older members are either sorely unknowledgeable or a little peculiar. I'd imagine that Minerva could pull off masquerading as an elderly muggle better than anyone else, including the squib, Mrs. Figg.


GryffEndora - Jun 6, 2005 2:24 pm (#445 of 980)

Miriam Huber - I can see your point. If she just wanted to spy on muggles she could do it in cat form, but if she needed to actually interact with them, or with someone else around them, she would have to do so as a human being. I wonder if Order members meet in muggle places because it is less likely they will be seen by DEs? For example, I bet Bellatrix would never think to look for Harry in McDonalds. But the thought of Minerva in McDonalds quite amuses me!


Solitaire - Jun 6, 2005 6:02 pm (#446 of 980)
Edited Jun 6, 2005 7:02 pm

McGonagall is savvy. She would certainly know she can't go roaming about London (or any other Muggle metropolis) even in her best Wizarding robes without causing comment. In fact, I can just imagine her reading the riot act to some poor Daedalus Diggle type dressed in what he imagines to be the height of sartorial Muggle splendor. After all, we "saw" some pretty weird get-ups at the QWC, you must admit!



The giant squid - Jun 7, 2005 1:11 am (#447 of 980)

Minerva understands quite well the necessity of appearing Muggle in front of the Muggles...

“People are being downright careless, out on the streets in broad daylight, not even dressed in muggle clothes, swapping rumors.” (PS/SS paperback pg. 10)

The "tone" of the statement makes it clear she doesn't approve, so I see nothing wrong with her putting on muggle clothes if she's heading to a residence in London. She's clearly more informed about muggles & their ways than old Archie from the QWC, but then she sees their children year after year. I would think that Hogwarts teachers would know more about muggles in general than most wizards.



Netherlandic - Jun 7, 2005 2:33 am (#448 of 980)

McGonagall can't spy as a cat-animagus because she is registered as being able to change into a cat. The DE's will be prepared for her in cat form.


Miriam Huber - Jun 7, 2005 3:57 am (#449 of 980)

But the DE´s would recognize her even faster in muggle clothes, they wouldn´t be deceived by that!

I still think, just "spying" on muggles could best be done by her in cat-form.

Anyway, cat- or muggle-form, why would she go into the muggle world at all? What has the Order to do with muggles?

For me, the most interesting question is if JKR just wrote that phrase about McG in muggle clothes as a detail without further significance or if McG really did do something important we will learn more about.

Like Lupin who staid (stayed? someone help me, please ) at Grimmauld place but was absent at times to do "mysterious work for the order".

And, of course, at "the other side" we have the very suspicious absence of Wormtail throughout the whole of OoP.

Perhaps I should look for more suspicious absences.


Netherlandic - Jun 7, 2005 4:15 am (#450 of 980)

We would recognize her sooner in muggle clothes because we know how muggles. dress, but the DE's won't. Being purebloods, (most of them?), they have little to do with muggles. and therefore are not aware if McG would dress funny in our eyes. What's more, as DE's are not interested in muggles it is the trick to spy on them. It is their weak spot. I think that is the answer as to why McG would enter the muggle world. I don't have any other clues as to why the order would be interested in muggles that much. JM2K.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

Post  Lady Arabella Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:42 pm


Miriam Huber - Jun 7, 2005 4:21 am (#451 of 980)

But, Netherlandic, my point weren´t funny clothes, my point was that muggle clothes don´t hide your face (and change your voice). Can you imagine the DEs not recognizing Prof. McGonagalls prominent face? Many of them even had her as a teacher, she is at Hogwarts well over twenty years now.


Netherlandic - Jun 7, 2005 4:34 am (#452 of 980)

True, Miriam. But as I really like her to spy on the DE's as "muggle" (laughter) I'd say she would leave her glasses behind or put on others, do her hair in another style, walk as an old lady rather than as a stiff teacher, and I am not so sure she would be recognized.

As to her voice, do you really need that while spying?

But that is just my two knuts. Of course, I thought of her cat form as well and you're probably right: it is one of the best disguises possible. But then again, her former (DE-)pupils will have seen her in cat form as well, including the spectacles form on her cat face mentioned in one of the early books.

Miriam, I hope we will find out soon. Maybe she does both. Maybe her task is something completely different. Can't wait till the next book comes out.


Choices - Jun 7, 2005 8:01 am (#453 of 980)

I always just thought Minerva was traveling to Grimmauld Place on Muggle transportation, since arriving on a broomstick would cause attention, so she dressed to be inconspicuous and blend in with the other commuters.


Solitaire - Jun 7, 2005 8:34 am (#454 of 980)
Edited Jun 7, 2005 9:38 am

Not everyone who works for the Order is necessarily a spy. Also, unless there is a picture of her cat animagus, it would probably be hard to distinguish her from any other "regular" cat.

I tend to agree with Choices. If it was necessary to use public streets to get to 12GP, then she would not have wanted to call attention to herself. Even if she had apparated to some inconspicuous place, she would probably have had to walk a few blocks to reach the house. Arriving in a robe would certainly have signaled to any unwelcome watchers that she was a Witch. McGonagall is far too smart for that.

As far as McGonagall being conspicuous in Muggle clothing, I disagree. She would certainly have looked odd to Harry, since he'd never seen her in anything but robes before. If she had to go out into the Muggle world to spy--something I do not concede just yet--she would be smart enough to change her hair color and/or style (Witches are surely capable of doing that) and dress in the normal Muggle style to avoid attention. She is hardly one of the clueless ones we saw at the QWC.



Choices - Jun 7, 2005 8:38 am (#455 of 980)

Solitaire - "Not everyone who works for the Order is necessarily a spy. Also, unless there is a picture of her cat animagus, it would probably be hard to distinguish her from any other "regular" cat."

I agree Solitaire - many cats look alike and could easily pass unnoticed.


Michelle Taylor - Jun 7, 2005 2:59 pm (#456 of 980) Reply
Edited by Denise P. Jun 7, 2005 4:05 pm

Where Was Harry??? Nov. 1st Y1

Edit I moved this from the new thread area to here since it is basically a question about Professor McGonagall, not Harry. Denise P.

What happened on November 1, Y1, to keep Harry and Hagrid busy until evening? Where were they? Where did Hagrid see McGonagall to tell her that Dumbledore would turn up on Privet Drive?

I have contemplated this question since I spotted it on your website only a few months ago and have come to a very likely conclusion.

Since Hagrid’s time frame is a bit of a mystery, let’s start with what’s positive. Minerva McGonagall arrives at the Dursley’s on Tuesday morning, the 1st of November, a little after half past 8 am. We know this because “on the dull, gray Tuesday” and “At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked Mrs. Dursley on the cheek . . . It was on the corner of the street that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar – a cat reading a map,” are stated on page 2 in SS. This puts Professor McGonagall at number Four Privet Drive on Tuesday, November 1st at slightly after 8:30am.

What we know about Hagrid is that he rescued Harry from the ruined house, has an encounter with Sirius and leaves. This is either very early on Tuesday November 1st or very late Monday October 31st. Where he goes from there we don’t know, but I have a good guess. To me it’s the only reasonable one.

Dumbledore and Hagrid (most surely with Harry), were at Hogwarts. We all know that, of course, it’s Tuesday and that it’s after September 1st, which is when all Hogwarts school years begin, which means that all the students were still having classes. Therefore, the logical reasoning is that they were all dealing with their duties at school. Some may say, “If Hagrid is working who’s taking care of Harry?” But that’s simple, we also know that Hogwarts employs a school nurse and we also know the best place to hide something is in Hogwarts. So, the reasonable thing to do would be to protect Harry at Hogwarts until they can take him to the Dursley’s. McGonagall and Hagrid had most undoubtly had their discussion about Dumbledore being at Privet Dr. at Hogwart's.

My question is not where Harry, Hagrid or Dumbledore was, but why wasn’t Professor McGonagall at Hogwarts as well? We know she’s been working there almost 40 years in Harry’s 5th year, which would put her as the Transfiguration teacher at this time. Maybe it was her day off.


GryffEndora - Jun 7, 2005 3:33 pm (#457 of 980)
Edited Jun 7, 2005 4:34 pm

November 1st, 1981 was a Sunday. There were no classes, so Minerva could be wherever she needed to be, she just had to leave the prefect or head boy/girl in charge.


Choices - Jun 7, 2005 4:56 pm (#458 of 980)

Michelle - on Tuesday morning, the 1st of November, a little after half past 8 am. We know this because “on the dull, gray Tuesday” and “At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked Mrs. Dursley on the cheek . . ."

I don't have a 1981 calendar handy, but if it is a Sunday as GryffEndora says, why is Mr. Dursley going to work? We know it was Tuesday, but was it actually November 1st? The Dursley's didn't find Harry on their doorstep until the next morning - Wednesday. Something doesn't jive.


Finn BV - Jun 7, 2005 6:13 pm (#459 of 980)

We know JKR has not been perfect in her timeline of years. Therefore, if she says it's Tuesday, November 1, 1981, then November 1 of that year was a Tuesday in the JKR world.

Michelle, Hagrid wasn't "working." Remember, he didn't teach CoMC until Y13. As gamekeeper, he didn't have quite as many responsibilities, so I could imagine he could easily take time off. Dumbledore, as we know, is called away from Hogwarts quite frequently, so it should not be unusual he takes off this extremely important day in the Wizarding World (at least at the time). I should think also that McGonagall could easily cancel her classes for the day, or get at least a substitute, to aid the work of – what could be argued as – the Order.

I highly doubt that Harry was taken to Hogwarts. Hagrid mentions that they flew over Bristol, and DD is with McGonagall before Hagrid arrives, not at the same time. You would think that Hagrid and Harry would arrive in a more fashionable manner if they were coming from Hogwarts. It sounds to me though like they didn't have the time to stop off and make the necessary accommodations. Hagrid mentions something about "just grabbing" Harry out of the rubble (not exact quote, sorry) and it sounds like they would get him to Petunia as quickly as possible, just to make sure that the Protection at Privet Drive would work if Voldemort (even though he was already in a disfigured sort, but just in case) were to go after Harry immediately.

So, sorry for the lengthy explanation but I think that the faculty members could – if duty for the Order of the Phoenix or other highly important matters such as this called – take time off.


GryffEndora - Jun 7, 2005 6:53 pm (#460 of 980)
Edited Jun 7, 2005 7:56 pm

I've found 2 different calendars of 1981 online. They both list November 1st as a Sunday. Is it possible that the Tuesday in question is actually the 3rd? Does it actually say that it is the 1st of November? Is it possible that it took 2 days for to determine that the Potters had died, for DD to send Hagrid to fetch Harry, for DD to figure out about the Dursleys' & locate them? Another option is that she got the day of the week wrong.

*edit: the day in question was also quite chaotic in the Wizarding world. Owls everywhere, fireworks during the day, Wizards out in wizard clothes. Possibly the day was an impromptu holiday for everyone.


Denise P. - Jun 7, 2005 6:57 pm (#461 of 980)

I think this is not the first time JKR has tweaked days to suit her purposes. Term at Hogwarts always starts on September 1st, doesn't seem to matter what day of the week it actually is here in the muggle world. If she says November 1st was a Tuesday, who are we to argue?


GryffEndora - Jun 7, 2005 7:00 pm (#462 of 980)

Ok, works for me. Sorry for being over analytical.


Denise P. - Jun 7, 2005 7:01 pm (#463 of 980)

Oh, argue away! LOL That is what this site is here for, to discuss these things. For me, I don't sweat minor details that can be explained away by "it's a kinda magic" rule. I enjoy reading how people reconcile the muggle world with JKR's world.


Elanor - Jun 7, 2005 9:24 pm (#464 of 980)
Edited Jun 7, 2005 10:37 pm

My theory about the "Tuesday" mystery is that Tuesday is "Mars day" traditionally, and Mars is the god of war. Harry receives his first Hogwarts letter and turns 11 on Tuesdays, the First Task happens on a Tuesday... For me, it has the same meaning than the centaurs saying "Mars is bright tonight" in PS or Sybill talking about Mars before the First and Third tasks: it is the symbol of the fight, of the war that comes for Harry inevitably.

As for term always starting on September 1rst, I see it as a symbol too, the symbol of the circle, the ouroboros: each year is a circle, a cycle in Harry's life during which he learns and becomes stronger. But it is only my theory!


Tomoé - Jun 8, 2005 7:19 am (#465 of 980)

No only do they always start on September 1st, but it's always Sunday September 1st. ^_~


Ms Amanda - Jun 8, 2005 1:59 pm (#466 of 980)

Just to harken back to a topic a while back, about Minerva McGonagall showing up in muggle dress...

While it might seem strange to Harry, there is nothing to suggest it is strange to HER. We know nothing about her background and she could possibly be quite used to wearing Muggle clothes in her childhood.

I equate it with the first time I saw a teacher outside of school. It didn't occur to me that they ever left the place, or dressed in jeans, or hung out with friends.


Solitaire - Jun 10, 2005 6:23 am (#467 of 980)
Edited Jun 10, 2005 7:24 am

As to why McGonagall was not in class ... it sounds to me as though most of the Wizarding World--with the likely exceptions of his followers--were celebrating the demise of Voldemort. Given the state of upheaval that was probably pervading the WW that particular day, I would not be a bit surprised to learn that classes had been cancelled--for that day, at least, and possibly for a few more! Hey, I know schools that have cancelled for a lot less!


Edit: Ms Amanda ... please do not tell me you were one of those kids who thought we teachers lived in the coat closets in the back of our rooms! heheeeee


applepie - Jun 10, 2005 6:30 am (#468 of 980)
Edited Jun 10, 2005 7:30 am

Solitaire - What!? You dont? Well, where do you live? I mean... do you mean to tell me you actually have a life? Just kidding. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity!


Ms Amanda - Jun 10, 2005 2:38 pm (#469 of 980)

Well, I thought that was what the "lounge" was for - anytime the teachers were not in the room, they were in the "lounge." It was quite the mysterious place. I imagined Harry was somewhat the same way in PS/SS; when he wanted a teacher he looked in the staff room. He never imagined that DD would leave the school. And he hasn't exactly outgrown it, either. He always looks for DD in his office.

And today, I patiently explained to a recently graduated high school student that in any job she might take, she should expect to see some of the annoying dramas that she saw among her friends in high school... her teachers at school, while in the lounge, had their own cliques, their own gossip, and even their own "dramas."


Solitaire - Jun 12, 2005 9:25 am (#470 of 980)
Edited Jun 12, 2005 10:26 am

LOL Amanda! I am safely at home for the summer ... NO SUMMER SCHOOL FOR THIS TEACHER! I turned in my keys on Friday, and now I can post on the forum all day, if I like!

If I were Professor McGonagall, I would be off to the family fortress by the seaside for the rest of the summer, and I would not want to be tutoring students.



Ydnam96 - Jun 12, 2005 9:28 pm (#471 of 980)

You know, I have a *really* hard time seeing McGonagall taking a break/not working. Can you imagine her with her "hair down"? I wonder what she does for fun?


Solitaire - Jun 12, 2005 9:35 pm (#472 of 980)

Hm ... perhaps she transforms into a cat and chases mice? Just kidding. Surely McGonagall has family and friends somewhere whom she might visit. Most of the hard-working teachers I know look forward to and luxuriate in their time off. Why should McGonagall be any different, just because she is a witch?



Miriam Huber - Jun 13, 2005 1:32 am (#473 of 980)

I can´t see anyone of the Order go on vacation in THIS summer, whatever they would do normally. I think they will all be "quite busy" again - and Prof McG either in muggle clothes or in cat fur, I expect.


Netherlandic - Jun 14, 2005 4:12 am (#474 of 980)

Perhaps governing an army? General McGonagall sounds cool.


Ludicrous Patents Office - Jun 15, 2005 4:00 pm (#475 of 980)

LOL Netherlandic, I think McGonagall would make an excellent General. Somehow I see her hanging out on an isolated island in the Orkneys. I'm sure she needs some "down" time to fully recover from her injuries. The exhaustion that follows the end of term for students holds true for teachers. She is probably getting lots of rest to get ready for the fall. LPO


Solitaire - Jun 15, 2005 5:59 pm (#476 of 980)

The exhaustion that follows the end of term for students holds true for teachers

As I tell my students, if they are ready for the year to be over, consider how their teachers feel. Kids must learn to cope with the idiosyncrasies of about 6-8 teachers. We have anywhere from 30 to 180 (some have more!) kids per day--depending on grade level and class load--each with his or her own set of idiosyncrasies. Some days, all 180 are in a different place emotionally, especially when one is dealing with adolescents.

Even without injuries to heal, McGonagall and the others need some down time to renew and refresh their spirits ... well, that's my opinion, anyway.



Ludicrous Patents Office - Jun 15, 2005 7:37 pm (#477 of 980)

Idiosyncrasies, nice way of putting it Solitaire! Those wonderful cherubs sure can suck the energy away from teachers. I hope McGonagall is well rested and ready to go for HBP. I would love to find out where the teachers go and what they do during summer. LPO


Solitaire - Jun 15, 2005 9:30 pm (#478 of 980)
Edited Jun 15, 2005 10:31 pm

Same here, LPO. Because I am a teacher, things that concern the Hogwarts professors really do grab my interest. BTW, I thought idiosyncrasies sounded nicer than personality disorders and maniacal tendencies. LOL Just kidding ... If I didn't love kids, I would not be teaching!



Ludicrous Patents Office - Jun 16, 2005 1:19 pm (#479 of 980)
Edited Jun 16, 2005 2:19 pm

That is why I'm in the same business Solitaire. I'm sure the teachers flee Hogwarts just like we flee our schools when the end of the school year arrives. They probably don't see much of each other over the summer either. Except members of the Order. I expect once Minerva gets to feeling better she will be helping the Order out. LPO


ellebell86 - Jun 18, 2005 1:50 pm (#480 of 980)

Although it would be nice to see the teachers on vacation. They will all probably be fighting against Voldie and the Death Eater. Minerva is a stiff person. While others were celebrating the end of Voldermort in power, she sat outside the Dursley's all day. But this could just be because she is a skeptical person and she needed to hear the rumors from Dumbledore before celebrating.


Choices - Jun 18, 2005 5:08 pm (#481 of 980)

Also, she knew James and Lily personally and she perhaps felt that to celebrate Voldemort's downfall might be too frivolous considering that she just lost two good friends and fellow Order members.


Solitaire - Jun 18, 2005 9:41 pm (#482 of 980)

Well, McGonagall did shed tears that night, when Dumbledore confirmed the rumors that James and Lily had been murdered. I think she is strong and very disciplined, because she must be in control around the students. Sometimes those qualities probably do come off as "stiff," ellebell.

Underneath, however, I believe McGonagall is probably an old softie. We certainly saw her fly to Harry's defense in OotP, when Harry had his career counseling appointment. She was also very gentle with Sibyll when Umbridge sacked her, even though we know McGonagall doesn't really buy into divination as a "reputable" branch of magic. She certainly rushed to Hagrid's aid when she felt he was getting a raw deal.

I think McGonagall is a people person and a true teacher at heart. I think she loves and is fiercely loyal to her friends, and she cares deeply for her students. In short, she is a REAL teacher. As such, she probably looks forward to a bit of R&R each summer. This year, she may still need a bit of time to convalesce ... although it is possible that she may have to spend some of her time on Order business. But she will want to be 100% for the battles to come.



Ludicrous Patents Office - Jun 19, 2005 7:52 am (#483 of 980)

In PoA she felt bad about giving Peter a hard time. She must have know Dumbledore would turn up at the Dursleys' when Lily and James died. She cared enough to observe them all day. She tried to get Dumbledore to put Harry in a better place. She cares and as Solitaire says she is a REAL teacher. She does not need to spend much time on class discipline and she has very high expectations. She is brusque but encouraging to Neville. LPO


HP Fan - Jun 21, 2005 12:49 pm (#484 of 980)

I certainly agree with the idea of down time at the end of the school year. I've just finished my teacher training and I am absolutely worn out!

McGonagall is a real teacher in that it is obvious that she really cares, she's strict but fair - I know from my own school experiences that the majority of my class' favorite teacher was one who was very strict, we knew how far we could go with him. But he was also really fair and he would go the extra mile for anyone of us even if it was the person who the lesson before he'd been blasting through the wall because they'd been so obnoxious. Plus one of my mentors on my teaching placement was really strict and fair and she was one of the best loved teachers in the school. To me McGonagall falls into that category.

I bet while she probably needs the down time she won't get much with the Voldemort situation - she strikes me as someone who pushes herself so hard helping/looking out for others that she neglects herself. The only way I see her getting any R & R is if Dumbledore and the rest of the Order gang up on her to make her rest. I don't think she's as healed when she returns to Hogwarts as she leads the students to believe! Just my two knuts worth!


Solitaire - Jun 21, 2005 7:22 pm (#485 of 980)

I agree that McGonagall is not 100% when she returns to Hogwarts. She is still limping and using a walking stick. I guess it is lucky she is using it, though, because it gives Peeves something with which to whack Umbridge over the head as she departs Hogwarts.



T Brightwater - Jun 22, 2005 9:13 am (#486 of 980)

I wonder if the alliance, or at least temporary truce, between Peeves and McGonagall will continue.


Solitaire - Jun 22, 2005 9:31 am (#487 of 980)

hehe Brightwater! I remember she also tried to tell him how to unscrew the chandelier, so that it would fall on Umbridge ... didn't she? Of course, with Umbridge gone, the alliance may no longer be needed.



Tomoé - Jun 22, 2005 7:42 pm (#488 of 980)

I don't think the chandelier was meant to fall on Umbridge, but just to disturb her by causing mayhem. I could be wrong, I have been before.


frogface - Jun 23, 2005 1:22 am (#489 of 980)

I don't think that there will be any kind of a continued alliance between Peeves and any of the teachers now that Umbridge has gone. However what OotP did show is that for all the arguing and competition that goes on within the castle, when there is a common enemy to fight, even characters like McGonagall and Peeves will team up. The school did feel alot more united even though not everyone was fighting Umbridge - she had Filch and some of the Slytherin students on her side. But of the school seemed to be all for giving Umbridge as much trouble as possible, and came together to do so. I think thats quite an encouraging thought given what the school may be facing in the next two years.


Steve Newton - Jun 24, 2005 6:28 am (#490 of 980)
Edited Jun 24, 2005 7:29 am

Just an idle thought. It occurred to me that if there is a hidden DE at Hogwarts, then our beloved Minerva could do the most damage. I don't think that she is but I can't unequivocally rule her out.

This is sort a follow up to my doubts that Barty, Jr. was the most faithful servant.


applepie - Jun 24, 2005 8:26 am (#491 of 980)

Oh, Steve. That would definitely be a shocking turn of events for me. I love McGonagall's character and sincerely hope she is not involved. She seems so faithful to Dumbledore that I have trouble seeing this, but I guess until we read it for sure in the pages of a book, anything is possible.


Solitaire - Jun 24, 2005 11:51 am (#492 of 980)

No, NO, NOOOOO!!! That's all I have to say on THAT subject!!


pottermom34 - Jun 24, 2005 11:52 am (#493 of 980)

I'm right behind you Solitaire


TwinklingBlueEyes - Jun 24, 2005 11:57 am (#494 of 980)

Am right ahead of you Soli...

...toddles off to St Mungos for 21 more days...


Ludicrous Patents Office - Jun 24, 2005 1:32 pm (#495 of 980)

Hogwarts is like a very large sometimes dysfunctional family. You can fight each other but unite against a common enemy. Minerva and Peeves have known each other for a very long time.

Steve, I think Voldemort has many faithful servants. Bella considers herself right up there. I believe that Crouch was the most faithful at that time. It fits with the Prophecy in POA. Minerva would do a lot of damage. Dumbledore has worked very closely with her for many years. I do not think he can be so deceived for such a long period of time. LPO


Steve Newton - Jun 24, 2005 5:19 pm (#496 of 980)

As I said, I don't think that she is a DE but if she is she could do more damage than just about anyone. After all, I certainly trusted Moody in GOF.


Doris Crockford - Jun 24, 2005 6:10 pm (#497 of 980)

Steve, I have to say, I have never thought about that. I hope it's not true. I really hope it's not true. McGonagall has been a good role model for the students- for Harry keeping his temper in OoP, for everyone because of her loyalty to Dumbledore- that I hope she is who she seems to us.


Mrs Brisbee - Jun 24, 2005 6:15 pm (#498 of 980)

There were little clues in GoF that there was something not quite right with Moody though. Like during the DADA class when he Crucio'ed the spider and didn't stop until Hermione said something. I think if there is another DE at Hogwarts that Rowling will lay little clues that at least in hindsight will make sense.

I can't see McGonagall being a spy for Voldemort. I can't think of anything that might be construed as a clue that she is other than she seems.


Steve Newton - Jun 24, 2005 6:47 pm (#499 of 980)

Mrs. B, me neither, but, I haven't looked since I trust her. I've just started my preHBP read and I'll keep an eye out.


Solitaire - Jun 24, 2005 10:46 pm (#500 of 980)

I for one would find it unconscionable for Jo to make McGonagall a traitor. Doing so would, in my opinion, serve as a warning that children cannot trust anyone, no matter who it is. I cannot see Jo doing this at all.

Quite honestly, I think each teacher represents a different kind of adult they may encounter in their lives. The fake Moody business taught the kids that they need to go slowly about trusting people. Umbridge showed them that just because someone wields political clout does not mean the person is good, trustworthy, or even capable. Hagrid is an example of someone who has blind, unswerving faith in those he loves and trusts. Snape is the person who is ambiguous ... who bears watching, IMO; I do not trust him. Sprout and Flitwick seem honest, open, and accepting. McGonagall ... well, to me she represents the adults who are steady, consistent, and fair. Kids know they can count on her when the chips are down. I really do not see her being a sellout. No, no, a thousand times no!


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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

Post  Lady Arabella Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:46 pm


frogface - Jun 25, 2005 1:23 am (#501 of 980)

I agree with Solitaire that I think that if there is a traitor it almost certainly isn't the traitor. But I will say this: who would have suspected Scabbers of being an animagus of a man who was actually responsible for the deaths of James and Lily Potter before reading PoA? Basically what I'm trying to say is that you should look for the person you least suspect if JKR is building up for another massive plot twist. But that is just my opinion.


Mrs Brisbee - Jun 25, 2005 4:49 am (#502 of 980)

I think Rowling could use Scabbers as she did and have us believe the transformation from pet rat to traitorous animagus because he didn't have a fleshed out personality before PoA. With McGonagall we know her personality, she's been with us since the beginning.

I think Solitaire is right about the ill effects of turning McGonagall into a traitor.


Steve Newton - Jul 3, 2005 10:11 am (#503 of 980)

A week or so ago I suggested that if there is a hidden DE at Hogwarts than the person who could do the most damage was McGonagall. (Many outraged responses.)


Ludicrous Patents Office - Jul 3, 2005 10:53 am (#504 of 980)

Steve I think that is because Minerva has heart problems. That was from relief that Ginny had been found. LPO


Steve Newton - Jul 3, 2005 10:56 am (#505 of 980)

Minerva has heart problems?


Solitaire - Jul 3, 2005 12:59 pm (#506 of 980)

I tend to believe that Minerva's response was one of a person who was weak from relief. Remember that Dumbledore had been dismissed by the Board of Governors. As acting head, it was Minerva's job to keep the school going and keep everyone from falling apart.

Often, when one is in the position of not being able to go to pieces in a crisis--because one must hold the family together, or something like that--there is a complete breakdown after the crisis is happily resolved ... because the stress holding one together has been removed. JM2K ...



Ydnam96 - Jul 3, 2005 8:55 pm (#507 of 980)

I quite agree Solitaire! I believe that Minerva was probably just exhausted and totally relieved and astonished.


Ludicrous Patents Office - Jul 4, 2005 6:57 am (#508 of 980)

Steve, I've been looking over the quotes about McGonagall and I interpreted her feeling "weakly" and getting the stunners to the heart as her having a weak heart. There is no direct evidence to support my belief. LPO


HP Fan - Jul 6, 2005 5:32 am (#509 of 980)

I think if she'd had a weak heart in CoS the stunners would have killed her! Just my two knuts worth.

As for Minerva as hidden DE NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I can't see that, won't see that and really don't want to see that! I think it would be not so much as a plot twist but a plot rip!


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 6, 2005 6:04 am (#510 of 980)

I think the "weak" thing was from relief, too.

I don't think she has a bad heart, but she is starting to show her age. Madam Pomfrey says something about that in OotP, about four Stunners to the heart at McGonagall's age not being good, implying someone more youthful would have resisted the damage better.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 8, 2005 2:05 am (#511 of 980)

Am not so sure about an "age" thing. To a 15 year old, anyone over 30 is over the hill. 75? 150? 200? Especially to Harry, whose view it is we are seeing. We have seen the effects of stunners on others, one at the time. I would think four at once would be tough on a body at any age!

...toddles off elsewhere...


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 8, 2005 4:28 am (#512 of 980)

Well, it is Madam Pomfrey who makes the "at her age" comment, not Harry. Since she is a nurse I figure she is a good judge on whether age is a factor in resisting spell damage.

Also, according to the Lexicon, McGonagall was born in 1925. So in OotP she is over 70.


Fawkes-The-Phoenix - Jul 9, 2005 7:25 pm (#513 of 980)
Edited Jul 9, 2005 8:26 pm

Does anyone besides me think McGonagall is Hogwarts/Dumbledore's secret keeper? I mean, the letter to harry telling Harry about Hogwarts was from McGonagall after all.


MickeyCee3948 - Jul 9, 2005 8:16 pm (#514 of 980)
Edited Jul 9, 2005 9:17 pm

It is part of McGonagall's job to send letters to all students qualified for admission to Hogwarts. She gets the names from a book which records the date of birth of all wizarding world children. Can't remember where I read that but I believe my facts are correct. If not feel free to correct my thinking.



Herm-own-ninny Weezly - Jul 9, 2005 8:42 pm (#515 of 980)

I thought Dumbledore wasn't that worried about keeping Hogwarts's location a secret. Well, of course from muggles, but in GoF, he mentions something to Karkaroff about him not wanting visitors because of the secrecy at Durmstrang. That leads me to believe that Hogwarts's location is available to all wizards...


Solitaire - Jul 10, 2005 5:24 pm (#516 of 980)

I think Hagrid is the secret-keeper, Fawkes. I'm not sure why I think that ... but I do.



Astragynia Winifred Posy Miranda Yseult Cawdor - Jul 11, 2005 2:43 pm (#517 of 980)

Solitaire - that would make quite a bit of sense, considering Hagrid's always the one to take the first-years across the lake (from which they get their first view of Hogwarts). The only problem is, when Hagrid was off on his big top-secret mission (emphasis on "big") Professor Grubbly-Plank took over the task of herding first-years, and they all managed to find the castle just fine. A substitute teacher seems an unlikely choice for secret-keeper - even interim-secret-keeper - so if Hogwarts has one, I'm willing to bet the secret-keeper is McGonagall, via those Hogwarts letters.


pottermom34 - Jul 13, 2005 6:53 am (#518 of 980)

I think Hagrid is the secret-keeper, Fawkes. I'm not sure why I think that ... but I do.


Maybe your thinking comes from Hagrid being keeper of gates and keys(something like that). Which actually makes sense. His coat has lots of "pockets" after all.


Solitaire - Jul 13, 2005 10:50 am (#519 of 980)

Could be, pottermom ... I am also reminded of Dumbledore's comment in PS/SS that he would trust Hagrid with his life.



Choices - Jul 14, 2005 3:46 pm (#520 of 980)

Even thinking about Hagrid being Secret-Keeper makes me sort of nervous. I shouldn't have said that.....I shouldn't have said that.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 15, 2005 2:16 am (#521 of 980)
Edited Jul 15, 2005 3:16 am

Makes me nervous too Choices, but...

Maybe like Peter, the least possible reason that no one would think of... (think Peter). It does make sense. Sorta.

...toddles off to finish last minute details (for hours) for release party...

Thread closed down for comments following the release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”  


The Sword and the Lion - Aug 3, 2005 8:20 pm (#522 of 980)

Now that Minerva McGonagall is head-mistress, do you believe she will sack Professor Trelawney? Do you believe that Dumbledore ever informed her of the "prophecy"?


Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 3, 2005 8:28 pm (#523 of 980)

I would think that Dumbledore left instructions with Minerva regarding Sybill, Severus, and Firenze. As to whether he told the other professors I am not certain whether he would. I tend toward the possibility that information was classified on a need to know basis only.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 3, 2005 8:29 pm (#524 of 980)

I don't think she will sack Professor Trelawney. She has been well aware of Dumbledore's wish that she remain in the castle. He has kept her on as a teacher even though neither he or Minerva has much faith in it as a branch of magic. He did put a stop to Trelawney and Minerva's snipping at the Christmas dinner, "Tripe Sybill?". He was also insistent that she remained in the castle when Umbridge sacked her. So even though Minerva may not know the reasoning behind it I think she will continue to honor Dumblerdore's wishes in this matter.


Neville Longbottom - Aug 4, 2005 4:21 am (#525 of 980)

And I can't imagine Minerva to be that cruel to sack Sybill the minute she has the opportunity to. Especially not after what happened in OotP.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 4, 2005 4:39 am (#526 of 980)
Edited Aug 4, 2005 5:43 am

So even though Minerva may not know the reasoning behind it I think she will continue to honor Dumblerdore's wishes in this matter. –TwinklingBlueEyes

If McGonagall becomes Headmistress, I think it reasonable for her to expect an explanation of why Trelawney needs to stay on. I don't think she will rush to fire her, but it would then be her decision, not Dumbledore's. I would be highly disappointed if Dumbledore expected he could micro-manage things from beyond the grave, and highly disappointed in McGonagall if she let him. She's a grown woman, she'll probably get the job, and hopefully she'll prove capable. She should be allowed to do it.

Edit: S.E.Jones has made an interesting point on the Ginny Weasley thread about Dumbledore being a lot of people's protector. Maybe Dumbledore needed to be removed not just so the hero, Harry, could go on alone, but so everyone else could too.


J Hood - Aug 4, 2005 6:07 am (#527 of 980)

Of course I believe that Minerva should be able to run her own show, but whenever you follow a legend there are a certain amount of things that should be kept in place. One of DD legacies is that he used Hogwarts to help the downtrotten, the outcasts, and those wrongly accused. (I put Trelawney in the outcast category) She already recognizes that Hagrid was a great hire by Dumbeldore and it would be ashame if she didn't trust his other hire. That being said although she might not agree with the subject, would she really get rid of it? She'd be just like Neville's grandma who thought charms was a "soft option." Also, although Trelawney goes over the top quite a bit, but isn't she usually correct? I just think that Trelawney will be safe and that Minerva will realize the importance of keeping her.


Finn BV - Aug 4, 2005 5:03 pm (#528 of 980)

Don't forget, McGonagall did say, "There, there, Sibyll, you will not have to leave Hogwarts." She's not one to simply say that as comfort and turn her back once the powers that be… are her.


Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 5, 2005 1:09 pm (#529 of 980)

In the Neville thread the was talk of Minerva and Augusta Longbottom playing quidditch together while at Hogwarts. The question I have is what position could they play? I tend toward the possibility that Minerva was a chaser and that Augusta was a beater?


T Brightwater - Aug 5, 2005 1:43 pm (#530 of 980)

LOL! Good thing I didn't have a mouthful of tea, Nathan!


Ludicrous Patents Office - Aug 5, 2005 7:21 pm (#531 of 980)

I think Minerva did an excellent job of taking control when Dumbledore died. I am afraid Trelawney will give her an ultimatum "Me or Dubbens" I hope Harry can let Minerva know that Trelawney must be protected at all cost.

I think you are right on the positions Nathan. Minerva was probably one good player. LPO


haymoni - Aug 6, 2005 4:46 pm (#532 of 980)

What is the canon evidence for Minerva's age?

Is she older than Gran, same age or younger?

I'm thinking she's older - not as old as Dumbledore, but older.


Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 6, 2005 5:04 pm (#533 of 980)
Edited Aug 6, 2005 6:05 pm

Haymoni, an estimation of Minerva's age was given by J.K. Rowling in an interview on Scholastic.com in October of 2000.


haymoni - Aug 6, 2005 5:05 pm (#534 of 980)

What did JKR say, Nathan?


Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 6, 2005 5:08 pm (#535 of 980)
Edited Aug 6, 2005 6:09 pm

Q How old is old in the wizarding world, and how old are Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall?

J.K. Rowling: Dumbledore is a hundred and fifty, and Professor McGonagall is a sprightly seventy. Wizards have a much longer life expectancy than Muggles. (Harry hasn't found out about that yet.)


haymoni - Aug 6, 2005 5:19 pm (#536 of 980)


I wonder how Minerva knew what Gran had gotten on her exam???


Solitaire - Aug 8, 2005 11:24 am (#537 of 980)
Edited Aug 8, 2005 12:25 pm

Well, Neville did say that Gran was friends with Griselda Marchbanks, the witch who examined Dumbledore. That could make her quite old. If she and Griselda were schoolmates, there is no telling how old she is! However, I have friends who are 20 years younger AND some who are 20 years older than me. Gran might be like me.

I suppose it is possible that Frank and Alice Longbottom were older when they had Neville (mid-30s or older, perhaps). If she had also been an older mom, this could put her in her 80s. I would think she must be within a decade or so of McGonagall's age. Then again, perhaps McGonagall and Augusta were schoolmates and friends. That could account for McGonagall knowing her exam scores ... maybe?



Soul Mate for Sirius - Sep 1, 2005 11:22 am (#538 of 980)

I think it's possible that McGonagall and Augusta were in school together. I think that McGonagall's comment to Neville to remind his grandmother about failing her Charms OWL would be quite rude if they hadn't been friends. I think she was showing frustration at her friend's inability to accept Neville for who he is, rather than wishing he were more like his parents. I dunno, it's just my opinion, but it seems like the way she handles the whole situation with Neville here makes it seem like she was at least friends with Augusta at some point.



T Brightwater - Sep 1, 2005 11:58 am (#539 of 980)

Sounds good to me, Soul Mate. And she's in her seventies, so it's quite possible. Wonder what the two of them got up to when they were students...


Soul Mate for Sirius - Sep 1, 2005 12:08 pm (#540 of 980)

I can only imagine what those two ladies could have gotten into as students! I feel like we know so much about Augusta even though we've only seen her that one time in OotP jsut from everything Neville has said about her. She seems like she may be quite a bit like McGonagall.



Mrs Brisbee - Sep 21, 2005 5:00 am (#541 of 980)

There is something that has been bothering me for a long time about the relationship between McGonagall and Dumbledore.

In PS/SS, McGonagall shows up at Privet Drive to wait for Dumbledore so she can question him about what is going on. She immediately struck me as both intelligent and tenacious. But it is clear that Dumbledore neither included her in this operation, nor trusted her with the reasons why he was doing what he was doing.

In HBP after Dumbledore has died, McGonagall seems still not to know what Dumbledore was up to.

Dumbledore didn't trust Minerva McGonagall. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of his deputy headmistress.


Esther Rose - Sep 21, 2005 5:48 am (#542 of 980)

Was trusting her the issue or could it have possibly been her safety?

Harry does not tell Ginny everything he is doing either. Yet he still trusts her. Harry's first instinct is to protect her the best way he knows how. Even if it means withholding information. I suspect that some knowledge can be dangerous, even deadly. The fewer people that know the better. Especially if Voldemort is extremely skilled in Legilimency.

I am not shipping McGonagall and Dumbledore. I am just saying that perhaps Dumbledore cared enough about McGonagall to protect her from harm. Even if it means withholding information from her.


Madam Pince - Sep 21, 2005 11:11 am (#543 of 980)

I know exactly what you mean, Mrs. Brisbee! At the end of HBP, I thought it was very curious that McGonagall was as uninformed as she seemed to be. It made me feel very ... uneasy, I guess is the best word, but I didn't want to say anything because I couldn't stand the thought that perhaps Minerva would be "the big surprise / twist / betrayer" in Book 7 -- Oh, that would be just terrible! I like her so much! But it sure would be a kicker on JKR's part, wouldn't it?

I hope Esther Rose's explanation is the right one. It makes sense -- Dumbledore sure isn't one for doling out information, it seems... look how he's only given Harry dribs and drabs here and there...


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 21, 2005 3:40 pm (#544 of 980)

I think Steve Newton had a “McGonagall Might Be A Traitor” hypothesis going there for a while. I'd be highly disappointed if she does end up being cast as a Betrayer in the end. I've always expected a bit more from McGonagall than we have gotten, ever since her very interesting introduction in chapter one of the first book.

I can see where Dumbledore's silence might protect his plan, but not how it could protect McGonagall.

Now that he is gone, she will need to rely on her own ability anyway. I would have liked to see him have more trust in her ability while he still lived. It just doesn't seem like that was the case though.


Steve Newton - Sep 21, 2005 4:09 pm (#545 of 980)

It wasn't actually that she was a traitor. I was just speculating that if she were that she could do more damage than anyone else.


Chemyst - Sep 21, 2005 7:34 pm (#546 of 980)
Edited Sep 21, 2005 8:39 pm

Dumbledore cared enough about McGonagall to protect her from harm. Even if it means withholding information from her.

If that is true, I just might be forced into believing DD was replaced by a pod person after the Battle at the MOM!  
I'd rather think he withheld information from her to protect Harry. If he withholds it to protect her, then he is not respecting her as a capable witch and colleague; he's treating her like either a childish daughter who wouldn't understand, or like a nagging mother who would be on his case to rein him in if she knew. (She could damage DD's plan without being a traitor that way.)

Whatever the explanation, there are several aspects of DD's statements & actions in HBP that don't seem to line up with the DD of the first five books. He seemed to be a bigger risk-taker, almost to the point of having a death wish.

It could be that the reason McGonagall did not to know what Dumbledore was up to had more to do with his preoccupation with "mortalizing" Voldemort while his headmaster position was relegated to second or third place. He must have missed a few teachers meetings. And I suppose having one's hand char-broiled might spur such a sorting of one's priorities.


Ana Cis - Sep 21, 2005 8:15 pm (#547 of 980) Reply
Edited by Sep 21, 2005 9:17 pm

I see DD as one who lives by his own philosophy which presented to Harry in first book (SS17), "The truth." Dumbledore sighed. "It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution." In one of her interviews, JKR states that DD is very detached because his intellect/knowledge is so much greater than anyone else's; and that he doesn't have anyone his equal to share it with. There's a lot we still don't know about DD we(JKR hasn't told us), so we don't know the reason why he doesn't share things w/McGonagall. I think that it's for everyone's protection, Harry, McGonagall, the OotP. Plus I also think he doesn't want to provide an opportunity for LV to accidentally realize how much DD truly knows about him.


Solitaire - Sep 21, 2005 8:45 pm (#548 of 980)

I do not for a moment think McGonagall is a traitor. Dumbledore would never have made her his Deputy Headmistress if he did not trust her implicitly. I simply think he plays his cards very close to the vest. I believe he gives out information on a "need to know" basis. Even Harry had to go along on faith in a lot of their escapades. Things were only gradually revealed.

Perhaps Dumbledore felt McGonagall did not need to know what he was doing with Harry--then again, since we have not been privy to his conversations with McGonagall, we do not know exactly what he has told her. He certainly told Harry that the Horcrux business was not to go any farther than Ron and Hermione. Remember ... the more people who know a secret, the greater the risk that it will be compromised. This makes me wonder ... will Ginny be included in this particular secret?



RoseMorninStar - Sep 21, 2005 8:49 pm (#549 of 980)

I thought that the absence of Minerva in HBP was noticeable too. There could be a couple of reasons for this. One could be simply from a literary standpoint that in order to keep the book at a reasonable size JKR cut out any unnecessary plot developments...in order to make book 7 a bit more cohesive. Or, as some others have said, it was to protect Minerva for the headmistress job should anything happen to him. McGonagall did say that Dumbledore had predicted the end of Hogwarts. Maybe she knows more than has been let on. Perhaps Dumbledore 'compartmentalized' his tasks and knowledge so as to not put people in unnecessary danger. It seemed that often members of the OotP did not know precisely what other members were doing.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 23, 2005 5:16 am (#550 of 980)

Dumbledore would never have made her his Deputy Headmistress if he did not trust her implicitly. –Solitaire

I don't think her a traitor either. But wouldn't it be the board of governors, not the headmaster, who chooses who will be deputy headmistress? I'm not sure how British school systems usually work.

In OotP, however, I must concede that Dumbledore at least trusted her to look after Hogwarts in his absence. He does trust her that far.

McGonagall did say that Dumbledore had predicted the end of Hogwarts. Maybe she knows more than has been let on. Perhaps Dumbledore 'compartmentalized' his tasks and knowledge so as to not put people in unnecessary danger. It seemed that often members of the OotP did not know precisely what other members were doing. –RoseMorninStar

I thought McGonagall was referring to Dumbledore having considered closing the school in CoS, not any recent plan.

I think you are right and the information everyone had was "compartmentalized" for safety reasons. That makes a lot of sense. How well the school and Order hold up with the transition of power in the wake of Dumbledore's death will be telling. Dumbledore not only had his fingers in lots of pies, sometimes he seemed to be controlling half the bakery. Immediately after his death, McGonagall didn't seem to have a lot of knowledge about what was going on. I think she fumbles her first major decision by passing the buck about the future of Hogwarts to the Board of Governors. In the days that follow it is possible that she is brought up to speed, but I guess we won't find out about that until Book 7.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

Post  Lady Arabella Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:49 pm


Solitaire - Sep 23, 2005 10:33 am (#551 of 980)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 12:18 pm

If the Board of Governors are the ones to determine who becomes the Deputy Headmaster/Headmistress, then more than likely they are the ones who decide whether or not Hogwarts remains open. Weren't they the ones considering closing Hogwarts back when the Basilisk was terrorizing the school? (I don't have my book handy to check.)



James Greenfield - Sep 23, 2005 11:22 pm (#552 of 980)

Mrs. Brisbee: "Immediately after his death, McGonagall didn't seem to have a lot of knowledge about what was going on. I think she fumbles her first major decision by passing the buck about the future of Hogwarts to the Board of Governors. In the days that follow it is possible that she is brought up to speed, but I guess we won't find out about that until Book 7."

Consider that at the end of Book 6, McGonagall has just finished fighting Death Eaters in Hogwarts, learning that Dumbledore is dead, meeting with the Weasleys about Bill, and trying to get information from Harry, before having to meet with the Minister of Magic. That's a lot for anyone to handle. She seems to do fairly well, getting the students calmed down, checking with the heads of the four school Houses, and starting arrangements for Dumbledore's funeral.

I rather suspect that when the Board of Governors meet, she will be a lot more calm and collected, and probably strongly recommend that Hogwarts remain open despite the ongoing war. Remember that she is a highly accomplished witch, having been at Hogwarts for over 20 years, and we don't know what else she may have done before that. I also think she may make Slughorn officially Head of Slytherin House, appoint Hagrid Head of Gryffindor House, and hire both a new DADA teacher and a new Transfiguration teacher. If Hermione does not run off to help Harry, McGonagall would probably make her Head Girl, and Ernie MacMillan Head Boy.

(Ooops, I'm getting off-subject, into Predictions for Book Seven.)


Ydnam96 - Sep 24, 2005 10:17 am (#553 of 980)

I agree James, given the circumstances Minerva did quite well. Besides, I'm sure she realizes that ultimately the decision does not lay in her lap. The Governors have been the ones to make decisions (at least these type- big ones) throughout the books. It makes sense that this decision would be up to the Board.


jose043 - Oct 4, 2005 6:09 am (#554 of 980)

Happy birthday Minerva McGonagall & many more to come.


Rare Welsh Red - Oct 7, 2005 2:15 am (#555 of 980)

Hi everyone,

My very first post, after coming across the Lexicon site recently and finding it really stimulating!

I love the debate you've been having about whether McGonagall could be Harry's godmother - it's a very appealing thought and there's a lot in the relationship between them that could point that way. She'd make a great godmother and I'd love that to be the case. However, it hit me last night while re-re-reading one of the Hogsmeade scenes in OotP that I don't think she can be. Remember that Harry can go to Hogsmeade because Sirius wrote a note giving him permission as his godfather? And earlier in PoA Harry asks McGonagall to sign his permission form but she says she can't. So...

Then again, of course, it might be that she -feels- she can't because for some reason she considers it's best that Harry doesn't become aware she's his godmother...

Not ground-breaking, I'm sure, but there's my two Knuts-worth!



haymoni - Oct 7, 2005 4:19 am (#556 of 980)

JKR said in an interview/chat that Harry had no godmother.


Finn BV - Oct 16, 2005 2:05 pm (#557 of 980)

Exact quote from J.K. Rowling Official Site:

Does Harry have a godmother? If so, will she make an appearance in future books?

No, he doesn’t. I have thought this through. If Sirius had married… Sirius was too busy being a big rebel to get married. When Harry was born, it was at the very height of Voldemort fever last time so his christening was a very hurried, quiet affair with just Sirius, just the best friend. At that point it looked as if the Potters would have to go into hiding so obviously they could not do the big christening thing and invite lots of people. Sirius is the only one, unfortunately. I have got to be careful what I say there, haven’t I?


Solitaire - Oct 16, 2005 10:12 pm (#558 of 980)
Edited Oct 16, 2005 11:13 pm

Off topic, I realize, but ... being the romantic I am, I've often wondered if all (or at least two more) of the Marauders were just a little a bit in love with Lily, rather like the Fusiliers in The Last Convertible all seemed to be in love with Chris Farris at some point in their lives. That could be why none save James seemed to have had a great love ... it was hard to find someone who could measure up beside Lily.

Reality, though, says that Finn is probably correct. The times were difficult, and it is likely that the christening was done quietly, with those who were immediately on the spot at the time.



MzWhizz123 - Jan 16, 2006 7:55 am (#559 of 980)

Hello, there, old cyberfriends! It has been quite a while since I have been able to get on the Lexicon and see what's buzzing.

Having re-read book seven about a gizillion times, one word found it's way into my dreams last night and caused me to go back and dig a bit.

Remember when Minerva took Harry into the Headmaster's office and grilled him about where he and Dumbledore had been? The words are: "After glancing once at this portrait, Professor McGonagall made an odd movement as though steeling herself, then rounded the desk to look at Harry, her face taut and lined."

Not unusual, except of the word "odd". Why an "odd" movement? We would expect Minerva to have to steel herself in the face of all this tragedy. I would understand, "...made a movement as though steeling herself...". I would not for a moment believe that to be "odd".

Then I went back a bit to the fight between the Death Eaters and the OotP. Here are the quotes:

“His jinx hit Amycus in the chest: He gave a pig-like squeal of pain, was lifted off his feet and slammed into the opposite wall, slid down it, and fell out of sight behind Ron, Professor McGonagall, and Lupin, each of whom was battling a separate Death Eater.”  Nothing strange there.

..."He, (Harry), put his head down and sprinted forward, narrowly avoiding a blast that erupted over his head, showering them all in bits of wall..." Where did this hex come from? Remember, Harry's head was down.

“ ‘Take that!’ shouted Professor McGonagall, and Harry glimpsed the female Death Eater, Alecto, sprinting away down the corridor with her arms over her head, her brother right behind her."

Two things: First, I have trouble believing that Minerva would shout, "Take that!". It's just not her style. ; and how was the brother able to take such a beating, then be running away with his sister in a matter of seconds?

Later, in the hospital wing: Prof. McGonagall's entrance into the ward ended the group's silent empathy with the phoenix song. She seemed unaffected.

There is more, go back and read pages, 615-616.

She is understandably upset at the news that Snape killed Dumbledore. (She swoons.)

Then, she admits that it was she who sent Professor Flitwick to get Snape. Hmm...

Also, once Harry questions her about the fight, she becomes curiously confused, (pg. 617).

A couple other questions:

If the Order was supposed to be on patrol, why was Snape in his office?

And why bother Stupifying Professor Flitwick?

Why was Minerva so insistent that Harry divuldge his and Dumbledore's whereabouts?

Here is my theory:

Either Professor McGonagall is under the Imperius Curse, or (and this is my gut reaction), one of the Death Eaters that Draco lead into the castle got hold of Minerva and, using Polyjuice Potion, took her place. (I think that there is one more, too, but that is a subject for later discussion, if anyone else thinks this is plausible.)

My choice for the usurper: Either Bellatrix or Narcissa. Considering "Professor McGanagall's reation in the hospital ward, I would lean towards Bellatrix.

Conspiracy Theories Abound! What do you think?


MzWhizz123 - Jan 16, 2006 9:41 am (#560 of 980)

Another possibility occured to me to explain the "odd" movement...

We know that those portraits are capable of moving and speaking, right? Perhaps Dumbledore's portrait requested that Minerva, (being a highly-trusted OotP member), try to wrest information out of Harry, just to be certain that he would not tell anyone but Ron and Hermione. You know, sort of a test of confidence.

Of course, if this is the case, it would rather shoot my previous theory out of the water...where is my penseive?


Solitaire - Jan 16, 2006 11:06 am (#561 of 980)

Then again, perhaps she had no idea what Dumbledore and Harry had been up to, and she knew Harry would put up an argument about telling her if asked, because she knew that Harry knew if Dumbledore had wanted her to know, he would have told her. Whew! Sorry for that run-on sentence! LOL



azi - Jan 16, 2006 1:40 pm (#562 of 980)

He was old. He was bound to die sometime. This is morbid, I know, but it must have been quite obvious Dumbledore was weaker than he once was.

I think finding out someone you trusted because Dumbledore trusted them and then killed him would have been quite a shock. Then there's the guilt that you did not pick up on this in the first place.


Madame Pomfrey - Jan 16, 2006 1:49 pm (#563 of 980)

McGonagall's reaction to Dumbledore's death was fishy to me. She didn't appear at all surprised or shocked by his death until it is mentioned that Snape did it then she falls to pieces. I just found this odd. I must admit that I once tried to link her to being a DE-Volde's most loyal servant. It was she who tried to get Dumbledore to not leave Harry with the Dursley's, his strongest protection, and also she is the one that suggested he was talented enough to get on the Quidditch team in his 1st year making him more accessible to danger. There was a few more things that I can't think of now,but I started to feel guilty and quit looking. Did anyone else think she might be a traitor?


MzWhizz123 - Jan 16, 2006 2:56 pm (#564 of 980)

I certainly hope that, if any of these suspicions were true, Minerva did not turn out to be a traitor! That would just break my heart!


Madame Pomfrey - Jan 16, 2006 4:47 pm (#565 of 980)

Me too, Mz Whizz! Its just little things keep nagging at me like in OoP when Harry has his vision of Mr. Weasley getting attacked and McGonagall takes him to Dumbledore saying she believes him. Shortly afterward, Isn't Voldemort suddenly aware of this connection and uses occlumency against Harry? I thought it odd she chose to believe a dream but turned a deaf ear about someone trying to steal the Sorcerer’s stone. Its been awhile since I've read OoP and I could be wrong about the occlumens thing.


MickeyCee3948 - Jan 16, 2006 5:31 pm (#566 of 980)

Quite a bit transpired between Harry telling McGonagall about the SS and him seeing the vision of Mr. Weasley. I would be terribly upset if the traitor turns out to be the Professor.



Honour - Jan 16, 2006 6:12 pm (#567 of 980)

Let's just say in HBP I found Minerva a wee bit suspicious too! I couldn't believe (and I think I put this on another thread twice!) that she would send Flitwick a past duelling champion, to collect Severus, when, if she were wearing her 2IC hat, would have thought to keep the students safe by sending two to Severus, and the others to raise the alarm? I also found it quite strange that Dumbledore has left her out of the loop regarding where he went ... Why would Dumbledore insist that Harry only trust Ron and Hermione with this valuable information and not his second?

I found the parallel between Bella and Minerva quite interesting here, it seems both ladies thought that they were closer to their leader wizard than they actually were, did that make sense?


Choices - Jan 16, 2006 6:42 pm (#568 of 980)

Ya'll are making me doubt McGonagall and I DON"T WANT TO!!! Stop it.


Esther Rose - Jan 16, 2006 7:02 pm (#569 of 980)

I think the reason why Dumbledore told Harry not to tell anything to McGonagall was in case she were to get herself Imperioused. If McGonagall were to be imperioused it would take Harry a long time to tell the difference. We saw that with Rosemerta, neither Harry or Dumbledore noticed that she was under the imperious curse. If this should happen to either Ron or Hermione, Harry would notice quicker.

I still think that Dumbledore kept McGonagall in the dark about many things as a way of protecting her.

Although she was the first one to arrive at #4 Privet Drive the night Harry was delivered to the Dursleys. Does this make her look a bit suspect?


Mrs Brisbee - Jan 16, 2006 7:04 pm (#570 of 980)

I found the parallel between Bella and Minerva quite interesting here, it seems both ladies thought that they were closer to their leader wizard than they actually were, did that make sense? –Honour

Dear me, yes, that did make sense. That is a very interesting observation you've made, comparing the two ladies --and a bit saddening. I hope McGonagall rallies in Book 7 and redeems herself.


I still think that Dumbledore kept McGonagall in the dark about many things as a way of protecting her. --Esther Rose

I question the wisdom of Dumbledore being able to "protect" people by keeping them ignorant. I know he does it --he tried to with Harry up until the end of OotP-- but sometimes ignorance is more dangerous than the dangers you would face from knowing what the real situation is. I think Dumbledore was trying to protect his plan, and not McGonagall. I just don't think it a good idea to put all his eggs in one basket. Dumbledore is dead, and the people who are left alive who are now in a position to lead really do need to know the score. It really looks as if Dumbledore doesn't have faith in McGonagall's abilities in this regard.


Solitaire - Jan 16, 2006 9:47 pm (#571 of 980)

I question the wisdom of Dumbledore being able to "protect" people by keeping them ignorant.

It was not wise in many cases ... but it happened. Dumbledore kept Harry in the dark for far too long, IMO. He certainly kept things from him in OotP that would have been better for Harry to have known. But as Dumbledore himself said, when he makes a mistake, it's a big one!

It was she who tried to get Dumbledore to not leave Harry with the Dursley's, his strongest protection

I don't think Minerva had a clue to the kind of protections Dumbledore put on 4PD, so I will go on record as saying I do not think this is any kind of proof of anything. JM2K, of course ... Everyone else is certainly free to consider her guilty. I am still in her corner.



Honour - Jan 17, 2006 1:31 am (#572 of 980)

I think that it has been suggested that maybe Minerva could be under the imperious curse? Bear with me, if she had been imperioed whilst during her stay at St Mungos - if someone could access the ward to drop off a devil's snare plant to kill Bode - then I am sure that getting access to Minerva would be easy. It would be well within Voldermorts interests to have someone imperio Minerva so that he could have inside information as to what is happening at Hogwarts, as well as someone being able to check up on Draco's progress and to keep a general eye on Severus. So, Minerva, if she has been imperioed would not be "guilty" of any crime ... and as we have another year to wait for book 7, airing and talking about different theories is about all we can do, and if we can disprove these theories and in turn create and encourage discussion ... otherwise the threads would stop altogether?


azi - Jan 17, 2006 4:56 am (#573 of 980)

I will never, ever believe that Minerva is under the Imperious curse. Ever.

I don't think DD would have told more people than Harry about the Horcruxes because the more people who know, the more likely it is to reach Voldemort's ears that they are being traced down. Therefore, DD is preventing Voldie from feeling the need to create more.

I think Minerva just accepted that DD didn't want to tell her things when he was alive. JKR says that there was no one really on the level of DD, power and intelligence wise, and therefore he didn't have anyone to talk to, Minerva included.


Madame Pomfrey - Jan 17, 2006 5:04 am (#574 of 980)

Please understand, I hope I'm wrong. I'm writing these suspicions hoping they will be discredited. I dressed up as McGonagall on Halloween for goodness sake! I just think Jo will spring something on us in the final book. Her books carry a strong message about not judging a book by its cover. We have Snape who appears evil but is possibly good, Umbridge appears evil but is with the Ministry, Lockhart appeared smart by his books then we find out he's almost sqib. So.. where is the person who appears to be good who is actually a DE?

That's good Honour. They could have got to her at St.Mungo's. Malfoy puts as much gold there as he does the Ministry, Does he not?


mike miller - Jan 17, 2006 7:27 am (#575 of 980)

The only snag in the St. Mungo's part of the theory is that Lucius has been captured in the MoM by the time Minerva is transferred there. Someone other than Lucius would have to have given orders to imperio Minerva. That's not say it isn't possible, but Lucius doesn't seem to me to be the kind of person who willing shares power (Lord Voldemort excluded) so I'm not sure there's anyone who could have tapped into his inside connection at St. Mungo's.

By the way - I'm with Azi, Minerva's "clean". She is not an emotional person and the circumstances at the end of HBP are completely overwhelming.


Mrs Brisbee - Jan 17, 2006 7:35 am (#576 of 980)

I would like to think that McGonagall is one of the few people strong-willed enough to shake off the Imperius Curse. I could be wrong, of course, but most of the people we've seen Imperioed have acted with striking oddity --except Rosmerta. Maybe Rosmerta is just really weak-willed, I don't know. I just can't see McGonagall being Imperioed without her putting up a constant fight.


azi - Jan 17, 2006 7:45 am (#577 of 980)

I agree, Mrs Brisbee. McGonagall is a pretty powerful witch and has a stong will to go with it. She should be able to defend herself against the Imperius curse. She did survive 4 Stunners at the age of 70.


Esther Rose - Jan 17, 2006 10:27 am (#578 of 980)

By Mike Miller: The only snag in the St. Mungo's part of the theory is that Lucius has been captured in the MoM by the time Minerva is transfered there. Someone other than Lucius would have to have given orders to imperio Minerva. That's not say it isn't possible, but Lucius doesn't seem to me to be the kind of person who willing shares power (Lord Voldemort excluded) so I'm not sure there's anyone who could have tapped into his inside connection at St. Mungo's.

Are you sure about that Mike? I don't have my book with me but I thought that Minerva was sent to St. Mungo's soon after Harry saw the woman get stunned during his Astronomy exam. At least a day before Dumbledore's Army sent them on a mission to MOM. Would she have been able to bounce back from 4 stunning spells and an imperious curse? Snape was the only Order member available when Kreatcher planted the idea that Sirius was captured by Voldemort into Harry's mind.


Steve Newton - Jan 17, 2006 10:31 am (#579 of 980)

Last year, I think, I figured that the person whose treason would do the most damage was McGonagall. I reread the first 5 books and only found one spot which seemed even the tiniest bit suspicious (and, no, I don't remember which part it was.). It would be on the Forum somewhere. I haven't reread HBP looking for suspicious activity on her part.


mike miller - Jan 17, 2006 11:38 am (#580 of 980)

Esther - I think you're right in that there may have been a brief window of opportunity. I'll have to reread but I thought Minerva was initially taken up to Madame Pomfrey and then transfered a day or so later; but, to your point, she was probably at St. Mungo's prior to Lucius's arrest.

I would still question whether there was time for Lucius to provide that direction as I'm guessing that Lucius may have been preparing his little escapade. I'm not sure the idea was even thought of since Minerva's injuries were not anticipated; and, would she have been in a condition to be imperio'd? Does a person have to be conscious to be imperio'd?


Esther Rose - Jan 17, 2006 11:56 am (#581 of 980)

Perhaps they don't need to be completely conscious or conscious but in a weakened state. (Like trying to recover from 4 stunning spells.) I am neither denying or supporting the McGonagall's been imperio'd but I would think that it would be a possibility that is running through Dumbledore's mind. McGonagall was taken care of outside of Hogwarts grounds and not under Dumbledore's supervision. This might have put her on top of Dumbledore's suspicion. Maybe she gave him a slice of toast with Pumpkin Jelly on it. Or even worse Goober Grape. (A spread that has Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly swirled in the same jar.)


Honour - Jan 17, 2006 1:26 pm (#582 of 980)

Mike Miller, Lucius doesn't need to have voiced the order himself, Narcissa has been becoming more and more active lately, who would suspect her? We also see at the beginning of HBP that Peter Pettigrew is on the loose again, an order from the top perhaps? Then there's always the delightful Bella, if she can get inside the MOM, a hospital would be a breeze, then there is always who ever it was that delivered the 'devils snare' could be there is a DE Orderly, Doctor or Nurse on the loose?

Mrs Brisbee bought up a valid point, I agree that Minerva would be strong enough to break this curse, so, we are left with two options here, 1. my whole Minerva is imperioed theory melts into a puddle on the floor or, 2. there is a spy at Hogwarts who is imperio-ing her to keep her cursed, Severus? too easy?

I too like Minerva and I would like nothing better than to have someone just shoot this theory out of the water! But somthing is not right here ... Smile


azi - Jan 17, 2006 1:56 pm (#583 of 980)

Hmm, maybe we should recap some of the things we know about Minerva?

She is pretty emotionless in front of the students (although not when it comes to anger) but is really quite a softy and cares about people. You see her as strict, ordered etc. - she has control over her emotions for most of the time. Is this similar to Snape? I think McGonagall is too quick to show anger to be an Occlumens, or at least a proficient one.

A member of the Order? We didn't see her at meetings, but she did appear once in OotP at Grimmauld Place. Harry thought she seemed quite busy as she didn't stay long. This could either mean that she was doing undercover work of some kind or just was very busy with normal schoolwork. Or maybe she was involved with the Order, but not to the extent she needed to attend meetings?

She didn't believe Voldemort was gone and James and Lily were dead until Dumbledore confirmed it. This tells us she has absolute trust in him. To hear Dumbledore was actually wrong would have been a great shock.

She's a cat animagus, but apparently unusual in that she is registered. This would make it harder for her to spy on magical people in that form as it could be looked up and her identified.

It would appear at the end of OotP that Minerva and Snape have a take-the-mick out of each other relationship, a sort of happy contest to see who can do better. Surely this would mean that to learn Snape is 'evil' and that he killed Dumbledore would be of greater shock than just a normal collegue relationship?

Minerva is not afraid to go against the authority of the Ministry and ally with Dumbledore in OotP. Once again, she supports his judgement, and actively works against the Ministry.

That's all I can think of right now. Feel free to add.


Rea - Jan 17, 2006 2:32 pm (#584 of 980)

About Minerva loyalty and her odd movement: I read it as the sign of her deep attachment to DD. Someone she really cares about had just died, and she has to sit on his own chair, in a place that is no more his office, but is suddenly –and unwillingly-hers, in the same place where she met him, where he worked for such a long time…I think she was steeling herself to a life without DD, and rounding the desk would represent a point of no return… Her movement brought back to my mind how I felt when I had stay for the first time in my granma’s home, after her death.


azi - Jan 17, 2006 2:41 pm (#585 of 980)

I agree Rea. It also represents a sudden increase in responsibility. To suddenly be in charge of a school after so long being second-in-command is a big change I think. The realisation that you don't have the widely respected Dumbledore to fight to keep the school open, that you will have to be the influential one and attempt to follow in such a great headmaster's footsteps...I would not be able to do it, for one!


Choices - Jan 17, 2006 6:17 pm (#586 of 980)

I always remember McGonagall for her efforts against Umbridge and how she bravely ran out to help Hagrid when they tried to take him that night the kids were up on the tower taking their astronomy exam.


Solitaire - Jan 17, 2006 11:51 pm (#587 of 980)

Perhaps McGonagall's odd movement is akin to Remus's odd look or whatever it was in PoA when Harry mentioned hearing James when the Dementors came near him.

She has a tender side, as we have seen in how she responded to the deaths of James and Lily ... and how gentle she was with Trelawney, even though we know she did not particularly value her as a colleague. I'm McGonagall's supporter, through and through, until I see some more compelling evidence against her.



mike miller - Jan 18, 2006 12:17 pm (#588 of 980)

Honour - It is certainly possible that someone could have placed Minerva under the Imperius curse while at St. Mungo's. I just don'e think it's probable for the reasons I've already stated. We'll have to wait and see how JKR weighs in on the subject.

The odd movement could be explained as simply as the finality of seeing Dumbledore's portrait, a bit of a shock if you are still holding out hope that he's alive.


MichaelmasGal - Jan 28, 2006 6:29 pm (#589 of 980)

Is Professor McGonagall married? It doesn't seem like any of the Hogwarts teachers are married.


Solitaire - Jan 28, 2006 8:17 pm (#590 of 980)

I've often wondered if she were married and possibly widowed at a young age.


MichaelmasGal - Jan 28, 2006 10:50 pm (#591 of 980)

This may belong in the Dumbledore thread as well, but as DD considers love to be the strongest force, magical or non magical, there is, it is strange that neither he, nor any of the other Hogwarts teachers seem to be married.


haymoni - Jan 29, 2006 5:45 am (#592 of 980)

They are dedicated instructors that can live a very long time.

Who'd want to be stuck with the same guy all that time???


Honour - Jan 29, 2006 3:05 pm (#593 of 980)

Someone who is in love with that "same guy", forever isn't long enough for those of us who are blessed with love...


Snuffles - Jan 30, 2006 4:27 am (#594 of 980)

That's true Honour, but if you live for 150years and get married at 20, that's still a very looooooooooong time! Lol


MichaelmasGal - Jan 30, 2006 5:12 am (#595 of 980)

It wasn't too long for Nicolas Flamel and his wife lol.


haymoni - Jan 30, 2006 6:30 am (#596 of 980)

There is just something about Minerva that makes me think that she enjoys her life as it is and doesn't want to be bothered with such nonsense.

She has a good time when she wants and then it is back to business.


K Stahl - Jan 30, 2006 6:52 am (#597 of 980)

Oh, come now. What is so unusual about having an elderly female teacher who is a spinster?

An interesting point. Given Minerva's age, she may have been a student at Hogwarts in the same year as Tom Riddle.


haymoni - Jan 30, 2006 6:54 am (#598 of 980)

Exactly. It isn't uncommon in literature, but Minerva is so cool - I just can't see her gushing over someone.

I guess Tonks doesn't exactly gush about Remus, though.



Honour - Jan 30, 2006 1:50 pm (#599 of 980)

Another character we would love to have JKR flesh out ... We know less about Minerva than we do about Dumbledore ...


Soul Search - Jan 30, 2006 2:09 pm (#600 of 980)

Good point Honour. We haven't learned much about Minerva McGonagall. I have thought that strange since she was the first witch or wizard we were introduced to, as the cat sitting outside #4 Privet Drive. Vernon saw some "wierdly dressed" people in the first chapter, but we didn't know they were witches and wizards at the time.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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Mrs Brisbee - Jan 30, 2006 2:55 pm (#601 of 980)

I think we almost learnt more about Horace Slughorn in one book than we have about Minerva McGonagall in six. I too have been expecting her to do something really significant since her appearance in PS/SS. Here's hoping that Book 7 delivers!


Honour - Jan 30, 2006 8:11 pm (#602 of 980)

Plus, I think Minerva is from another era. I had a grandaunt who was born in 1898, she was very correct, dressed and spoke very well, and could be very disapproving of these scantily clad youngsters, widowed at a very young age, she ran a farm, bought up 5 children single handedly in an era where women had limited rights and continued to be a role model to my mum and me, she was wonderful, and this is how I view Minerva, as being a lady - a real lady - in the whole sense of the word, who knew how to conduct herself and still be brave and courageous and fun Smile


rambkowalczyk - Jun 22, 2006 7:32 pm (#603 of 980)

On the Snape thread is the discussion of Harry using Sectumsempera and the teacher's reaction to it. I wonder if Dumbledore told her that Draco was ordered by Dumbledore to kill him. Being the second in command it would seem natural that she should know if only to provide deniability to Harry when he accuses Draco of trying to kill someone. On the other hand she doesn't know about the Unbreakable Vow that Snape made, for if she did she might suspect there was more going on than what Harry saw.


geauxtigers - Jun 22, 2006 7:43 pm (#604 of 980)

Yeah I've wondered too if any other teachers knew about Draco. Dumbledore appears to know in my opinion, I wonder if he told McGonagall about Draco and his entire plan (only if you think it was planned I know some people don't think this but for this hypothetically speaking) because she is in fact his successor. I dunno need to think this over some. But I think if a teacher other than Snape were to know, it would be McGonagall.


virginiaelizabeth - Jun 22, 2006 7:46 pm (#605 of 980)
Edited Jun 22, 2006 8:56 pm

I agree, I think that McGonagall knew the details of what would happen that night. I think a lot of it was planned, and I also think that she knew just as much as Snape. I mean after all, she would sotra need to as she's the one "replacing" him.

EDIT: Tori, isn't that the same thing you just posted???


geauxtigers - Jun 23, 2006 10:10 pm (#606 of 980)

Sorry about the duplicate post! Modoem/internet problems I didn't even notice it posted twice... Sheperdess (I think) deleted it for me.


Tom Marvolo Riddleton - Jun 28, 2006 7:01 pm (#607 of 980)
Edited Jun 28, 2006 8:02 pm

I don't think McGonagall could have known about Draco's plan to kill DD, unless it was just really unexpected that Draco would succeed. She was having a lot of trouble even speaking of Dumbledore's death. "According to Hagrid you were with Professor Dumbledore when he - when it happened." (The Phoenix Lament chapter) Of course, she may have just been attempting sensitivity in the interest of all of the others in the hospital wing with her when she avoided outright saying DD had died.

“I don't know exactly how it happened,” said Professor McGonagall distractedly. "It's all so confusing... Dumbledore had told us that he would be leaving the school for a few hours and that we were to patrol the corridors just in case... Remus, Bill, and Nymphadora were to join us... and so we patrolled. All seemed quiet. Every secret passageway out of the school was covered. We knew nobody could fly in. There were powerful enchantments on every entrance into the castle. I still don't know how the Death Eaters can possibly have entered...." (Pg. 617, HBP, U.S. edition)

She may have been one heck of an actress, but even if she was I can't see the need to pretend she didn't know about Malfoy's attempt to kill DD. It just seems so improbable that McGonagall knew that Draco was attempting to murder DD considering her shock and inability to comprehend how it had all happened, based on this quote. I suppose it is possible that she was still reflecting on how Snape was the culprit and how Death Eaters could have gotten into Hogwarts and that this thought process overshadowed her knowledge that Draco was seeking to finish off DD, but I always just assumed that she didn't really know anything about Draco Malfoy's homicidal attempts.


virginiaelizabeth - Jun 28, 2006 7:52 pm (#608 of 980)

Well Tom, I think this is a case of two people reading the same passage in two completely different ways. You read it as her not likely to have known, whereas, I read it as a huge red flag. Some of my reasons:

1. Dumbledore tells then to patrol the corridors, just incase.
2. Most of the Order was there that night.
3. Did Dumbledore have them there every time he left the school? (I wouldn't think so simply because surely when he was gone for days and days, someone would have noticed this "extra protection" of all these Order members at school.) I think that this night in particular he knew that something was going to happen, and he needed even more protection in the form of Order members. I think that the protection he left on other nights was more in the form of enchantments and Order members outside the gates/in Hogsmeade.
4. McGonagall also states the every secret passage way was covered. Well what would be the need have a person standing at each passageway, if they didn't think someone would try to break in? I realize it was a precaution, but was it necessary for them to do so if they did not suspect someone would try to enter?

JM2K! I'm almost positive that I'm completely over thinking this and that this post probably won't make a lick of sense because I'm so tired, but hopefully you'll get the idea!


Weeny Owl- Jun 28, 2006 9:21 pm (#609 of 980)

Most of the Order wasn't there, though. Remus, Bill, and Nymphadora were there as well as McG, Hagrid, and Snape. There are more members of the Order who were not there... Molly, Arthur, Sturgis Podmore, Kingsley, Hestia Jones, and a few more.

As for whether or not Hogwarts was covered that much each time Dumbledore left no one can say for sure, but he did chide Harry when Harry questioned them leaving that night. Dumbledore said he had never left Hogwarts unprotected.

McG didn't really seem to have known a great deal. Dumbledore definitely did not tell her about the Prophecy since he told no one else but Harry, and as for his excursions, it didn't seem as if she knew about those either. She certainly wanted Harry to tell her where they were that night.


Tom Marvolo Riddleton - Jun 29, 2006 8:07 pm (#610 of 980)

I think you have a lot of good evidence to support that DD wanted to be prepared in case something happened, virginiaelizabeth, but I don't know that any of that really suggests that McGonagall really knew about Malfoy's attempt to do away with the Headmaster. I also think that you make a good point when you say that nobody seemed to notice any extra protection when he was gone, for I can't think of any specific moment in HBP when there where Order members running around. While they might have been hiding in some way as they patrolled the corridors, perhaps this simply suggests that they really only patrolled during the night? The students would already be in bed and unlikely to notice anything, so there presence would not draw any special attention. During the day, all of the other teachers would be up and about and thus I don't think that the school would need any obvious extra protection.

While I'm not sure that any one can say for certain if this same extra protection was always put in effect when DD left the school, at least that might provide a reason for it to have gone unnoticed; either way, I still don't think McGonagall's attitude towards DD's death suggests that she was informed of a plot to kill DD. (Although, I doubt she really didn't think there would be at least some sort of plot to kill the Headmaster at some point in time, as I'm sure she would know that Voldemort wanted him out of the picture.)


haymoni - Jun 30, 2006 4:40 am (#611 of 980)

Well, Tonks certainly shows up out of the blue.

Harry isn't exactly quick when it comes to noticing things. He's pretty much wrapped up in whatever he is doing.

I don't think Minerva knew anything. She may not be surprised at what happened knowing that Draco is Lucius's son, but I don't think she knew.

She was more appalled at Snape.


Chemyst - Jun 30, 2006 10:05 am (#612 of 980)
Edited Jun 30, 2006 11:10 am

Tonks also showed up to check the arrival of the train back in September; which we would not have known if Harry had behaved. There had been sightings of Order members in Hogsmeade, with Aberforth as a consistent presence. So it tends to support the idea that the Order was keeping a low profile and it was not obvious until something went wrong.

The BIG difference about DD leaving the school that night was that Harry left too. From a death-eater point-of-view, if you believe Harry is the Chosen One who could do in your leader, then you would also want to get your people into position at a time Harry is not around.

Harry did not ask his head-of-house for permission to leave; she would not have known much, but probably suspected quite a lot.


Tom Marvolo Riddleton - Jun 30, 2006 3:40 pm (#613 of 980)

The BIG difference about DD leaving the school that night was that Harry left too. From a death-eater point-of-view, if you believe Harry is the Chosen One who could do in your leader, then you would also want to get your people into position at a time Harry is not around. – Chemyst

Very good point. I'm almost ashamed I hadn't noticed that. What I'm having a little trouble with, however, is figuring out how the DEs could have caught on to that. While I still think it's very strange that Dumbledore told Harry to go and get his Invisibility Cloak when he was supposed to have had it anyway, the only thing I could ever think of was that DD thought it was only right to give Harry an opportunity to tell his friends he was leaving. While I don't know if that suggests that DD suspected that something was going to happen in the castle or not, or that he might have even thought that he should tell his friends good-bye in case something terrible happened (all right, I don't really think would have let Harry get into such danger), nevertheless it might provide some explanation as to DD's unlikely temporary forgetfullness.

I don't see any way of Draco having found out about DD's leaving with Harry. He certainly wouldn't have figured it out from Snape, if he even perhaps knew, as we can see that he wants nothing to do with Voldemort's Golden Boy and didn't let Snape know what he was going to do.

And you're absolutely right, McGonagall wasn't personally informed by Harry that he was leaving, and I'm guessing didn't know from DD, either, based on her saying "According to Hagrid you were with Professor Dumbledore when he - when it happened."

And she certainly wasn't informed in the least as to what the mission was based on her attempt to needle information out of Harry in her newly acquired office.

The reason I bring all of this up is, why, of all people, would DD decide to tell the loyal McGonagall to patrol the halls just in case and not Snape? Why is it that Snape, who DD trusts for some ironclad reason, who he looks to for help when he is injured by Dark Magic, is not called on to protect the school when the very uninformed Minerva McGonagall is? She is the one had to call on him; is there anything to that? IMO, Snape is on DD's side, so I look for explanations that make Snape look good.

Perhaps one of the reasons that McGonagall was told to patrol the corridors and not Snape was that DD knew that when the moment came, Snape would have to join in on the side of the DEs, and thus didn't think he would be of any use until they showed up; perhaps he was just supposed to lay low so that McGonagall nor any of the other Order members would have suspected anything of him, and it all comes down to some sacrificial plot involving the Unbreakable Vow?

That might explain why DD told Harry to go and get his Invisibility Cloak; he knew that Harry probably had it, but would not object because it was an opportunity to quickly talk to his friends; in the meantime, DD could tell Snape to be alert but lay low. This might not necessarily belong on this thread; it just seems so odd that DD apparently trusts Severus Snape so well, but can't tell anybody why, and chooses to keep him away from the Order members on that fateful night. I think Snape must know more of DD's missions than anyone else, personally, as it is Snape who must do the magic that undoes the Dark Magic that DD encounters when he is out and about; perhaps Snape knows a lot and McGonagall knows little about DD's missions because DD has a greater purpose for Snape later on, while his only purpose for McGonagall is to take over the school?


Solitaire - Jun 30, 2006 9:28 pm (#614 of 980)

Actually, if Snape did know Dumbledore was going to be away that night--and he knew that Draco had repaired the cabinet--he could very well have given Draco the information that this was a good night to infiltrate the castle.

Since Dumbledore was not on the premises, however, the reason might have been something other than killing Dumbledore. Perhaps it was the original plan to conceal the DEs in the castle until they were needed, not having counted on the DA to on the watch. Or maybe it was their intent to take out the Order members who were on the premises.

If Snape knew where DD was going, what he was going to do, and how it would affect him, he might have told Draco that this would be the night for action, as DD would be in a weakened state and his defenses would be low when he returned. All of these scenarios, however, assume Snape is evil ... so I am wearing my Bubblehead Charm.



Regan of Gong - Jul 1, 2006 12:56 am (#615 of 980)
Edited Jul 1, 2006 1:56 am

Seconded Choices, based solely on the fact that I'm leaning towards Snape being evil. At the moment I'm going throught the series again, noting everything about Snape, especially with Quirell.


wynnleaf - Jul 1, 2006 6:19 am (#616 of 980)


A problem to that would be that Draco is very insistent about not telling Snape anything -- so it's highly doubtful that, even in an Evil Snape scenario, Draco would have told him about the cabinets.


Choices - Jul 1, 2006 11:25 am (#617 of 980)

"Seconded Choices, based solely on the fact that I'm leaning towards Snape being evil."

I am not sure what you are "seconding" - I hope I have not said anything that would lead you to believe that Snape is evil, because I certainly think he is NOT.


Chemyst - Jul 1, 2006 2:52 pm (#618 of 980)
Edited Jul 1, 2006 3:53 pm

...perhaps Snape knows a lot and McGonagall knows little about DD's missions because DD has a greater purpose for Snape later on, while his only purpose for McGonagall is to take over the school? – TMR

Since this is Minerva's thread, I'll stick mainly to her half of that statement, but yes, DD was never one to tell people more than he believed they needed to know, especially about Voldemort-related stuff. In the early scenes of PS/SS we see Minerva changing to her animagnus and lurking around a muggle neighborhood all day waiting to get a little more information. DD never took the time to go to her and fill her in, did he? I'm sure some things would have intensified in the last six years Harry has been at Hogwarts, but even in the brief glimpse of her Order work when she showed up at 12 Grimmauld Place in OP she seemed to fill a very narrow role. Probably her age and sex kept her out of some of the feats of derring-do as well, (for which she would not need to know all the details.) Then too, DD may have figured it was safer for her to not know too much.


haymoni - Jul 2, 2006 4:31 am (#619 of 980)

I think your last statement is correct.

Dumbledore knew that if anything happened to him, Minerva would step up to the plate, just as she has done.

She can't know too much because that makes her a target and that makes things unsafe for students.


Steve Newton - Jul 2, 2006 4:51 am (#620 of 980)

Minerva has been one of Dumbledore's strongest supporters. Whether or not Dumbledore told her anything about his activities she is a target.


haymoni - Jul 2, 2006 5:07 am (#621 of 980)

Yes, just like all the other Order Members, but if she knew about the Horcruxes, she would go off to try and find them.

Dumbledore wouldn't want her to take that risk.


Solitaire - Jul 2, 2006 6:21 am (#622 of 980)

I don't really see McGonagall as a Horcrux-hunter, just as I did not see her as one who would step in and do battle with the Basilisk, had she known it was what lurked in the Chamber. I do not think she would hesitate to take on a DE or several, if they intruded on her life. Still, I do not see her seeking out such "adventure." JM2K, of course ...



Mrs Brisbee - Jul 2, 2006 6:29 am (#623 of 980)

Yes, unfortunately. Although McGonagall looked like a promising character when she was first introduced, I'm a bit disappointed with the character now. Dumbledore seems not to have thought much of her abilities in the end. **sigh**


Solitaire - Jul 2, 2006 6:35 am (#624 of 980)

I'm not sure that's true, Mrs. B. I think he respects her enormously. He knows she is steady, capable, and will protect the students with her life, if necessary. I believe he made a great choice for his Deputy Headmistress. I would not want to mess with McGonagall. I suspect she is a formidable Witch. A thrillseeker would have been a terrible choice for her post.



Soul Search - Jul 2, 2006 7:14 am (#625 of 980)

I think McGonagall is more "Ravenclaw" than "Gryffindor." She even has a bit of "Mrs. Weasley," that is overprotective, regarding Harry and students.

The only time I can recall her acting like a Gryffindor was when she went out to chastise Umbridge for attacking Hagrid. Then, she merely voiced an objection, rather than taking on Unbridge, wand drawn.

She was in the HBP tower fight, but we didn't learn of any masterful fighting ability. More defense than charge ahead.


Solitaire - Jul 2, 2006 8:11 am (#626 of 980)
Edited Jul 2, 2006 9:15 am

I agree ... she does seem more like a Ravenclaw. As Head of House, though, perhaps she has to sit on any natural Gryffindor-like tendency to impulsively charge off on some adventure. I'd be interested to know if she was the McGonagall who played Quidditch ... or is that movie contamination? Sometimes it's hard to remember!



Weeny Owl- Jul 2, 2006 9:10 am (#627 of 980)

I think it's movie contamination, Solitaire.

Gryffindors are brave, and I believe that fits McG perfectly, but she's already lived through the first Voldemort war, and her taking off chasing down Horcruxes wouldn't seem to be where she would be most needed.

I could easily picture her fighting to save her students, other people in the Wizarding World, or even the school. I see her as a true Gryffindor, though... more like a mother cat defending her kittens.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 2, 2006 10:55 am (#628 of 980)

“He will not be single-handed!” said Professor McGonagall loudly, plunging her hand inside her robes. "Oh yes he will, Minerva!" said Dumbledore sharply. "Hogwarts needs you!" OoP

I think she is a true Gyffindor and Dumbledore has chosen his deputy wisely.


Choices - Jul 2, 2006 12:03 pm (#629 of 980)

Wonderfully put, TBE - I totally agree.


Ludicrous Patents Office - Jul 2, 2006 2:17 pm (#630 of 980)

I agree TBE! LPO


Mediwitch - Jul 2, 2006 6:21 pm (#631 of 980)
Edited Jul 2, 2006 7:21 pm

I also agree that McGonagall is a true Gryffindor - sometimes it takes as much courage to wait at home on the defensive than to go out and look for the action.


Solitaire - Jul 2, 2006 6:52 pm (#632 of 980)

Yeah ... just think if Snape had been the Deputy Head!

she went out to chastise Umbridge for attacking Hagrid. Then, she merely voiced an objection, rather than taking on Unbridge, wand drawn.

After considering this, I think it is typical McGonagall. Yeah, she knew she was dealing with a megalomaniacal Toad, but perhaps she had not realized the extent of Umbridge's hysteria. McGonagall is brave and honorable and fair. I figure she thought her presence would probably inject a note of rational thought back into what was happening. She surely did not realize that Umbridge's goons would turn on her. If she had, she'd probably have had her wand at the ready--and she may have taken Snape or some other staff along, perhaps for a show of strength and solidarity among them.



haymoni - Jul 3, 2006 3:29 am (#633 of 980)

Um - I seem to recall her running out of the castle to defend Hagrid.

Just because Dumbledore chose not to reveal something to her, that doesn't change Minerva's abilities. She was the HEAD of Gryffindor House, after all.

Ah, how quickly they turn!!


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 3, 2006 6:39 am (#634 of 980)
Edited Jul 3, 2006 7:40 am

Just because Dumbledore chose not to reveal something to her, that doesn't change Minerva's abilities. She was the HEAD of Gryffindor House, after all.

Well, I do think it shows he doesn't really trust in her capabilities. She is brave, loyal, talented, powerful, and intelligent, but when was the last time she was a driving force in any of the books' plots? I don't think she's done anything pivotal in a long time. I really want her to be more significant, because she was an interesting character with a lot of potential. I'm still holding out hope that she'll do something remarkable in book 7.

At the end of HBP it appears she was out of the loop, just like she was at the beginning of PS/SS. Did she know that Draco was a danger? Harry told her his suspicions after Katie Bell was injured, yes, but did Dumbledore ever speak to her? Dumbledore made it clear he knew about Draco's attempted murders at the end of HBP. If he didn't bring McGonagall up to speed on the dangers they were facing at Hogwarts, then that seriously undermined her ability to protect the school and its students in his absence. She's supposed to be the Deputy Headmistress, after all, and a member of the Order. So was she or wasn't she trustworthy enough to be given the information she needed to protect the school? I didn't get the impression she knew what was going on.


Ludicrous Patents Office - Jul 3, 2006 8:21 am (#635 of 980)
Edited Jul 3, 2006 9:21 am

I think DD kept many things to himself. He trusts Minerva as much as anyone. But he learned from the last war not to give out very much information. It is too easy for the other side to use foul means to gain information. In some ways he is leading like Voldemort. Keeping things to himself. DDs motivation was to protect the person and the future. The exception being Harry. It took him 5 books to let Harry in on what was going on. I hope we see a lot more of Minerva and Flitwick. I think they are very good characters. Jo has said Minerva is quite capable, but she is no DD. I believe Minerva stepped up the plate at the end of HBP. She will continue. LPO


Solitaire - Jul 3, 2006 4:52 pm (#636 of 980)

Well, I do think it shows he doesn't really trust in her capabilities

Oh, I do not agree with this at all! We have seen enough of how Dumbledore operates from the first five books to know that he reveals information only on a "needs to know" basis. The more people who know a secret, the less chance there is of its remaining a secret--and the Horcrux business really must remain a secret, if Harry is going to destroy them without Voldemort finding out.

We have seen attempts by Fudge, Malfoy, Umbridge, and the Board of Governors to unseat Dumbledore over the years. He relies on McGonagall to be there to pinch-hit for him when he is absent. He said as much that day (OotP) in front of Umbridge, Fudge, and the Aurors. I can't believe he does not trust her implicitly.



Choices - Jul 3, 2006 6:09 pm (#637 of 980)

I totally agree, Solitaire. McGonagall may not be an action character (although she has her moments), I believe she is a strong supporting character and Dumbledore values her tremendously - not only as a dear friend, but as his good right arm.


Solitaire - Jul 3, 2006 8:37 pm (#638 of 980)

To continue with my above comment, I think Dumbledore also has a tendency to hold back information when he feels it might compromise the safety of those he cares about. I believe this applies not only to Harry but to everyone else in his orbit.



Regan of Gong - Jul 4, 2006 1:06 am (#639 of 980)

Sorry Choices...I meant Solitaire

Feel proud though, I must have been thinking of you


haymoni - Jul 4, 2006 3:49 am (#640 of 980)

Dumbledore left Hogwarts often this year and left it in the capable hands of Minerva.

I could see her being more involved in the day-to-day goings on at Hogwarts than Dumbledore.

She "had enough to be getting on with".


Mediwitch - Jul 4, 2006 4:48 pm (#641 of 980)

Well said, haymoni!


Ludicrous Patents Office - Jul 4, 2006 6:15 pm (#642 of 980)

Running Hogwarts is pretty darn important. Well said Haymoni. LPO


Potter Ace - Jul 21, 2006 8:44 am (#643 of 980)

Doesn't anybody else find it odd that a second in command knows so little? As LPO pointed out, as far as leadership qualities go, LV and DD have much in common, very compartmentalized. McG seems such a stronger character but she had little interactions with the students in Gryffindor (Snape, it would seem, is much more involved). Most of the Vice Principals that I encounter during my school days were more involved with the students and other teachers than she seems to be. Like most of you, I sure hope the hint of strong leadership we have seen in the previous books, comes out in book 7.


haymoni - Jul 21, 2006 9:01 am (#644 of 980)

I don't know. She seems very involved when it comes to Quidditch. Neville knows to go get her when Harry has his Arthur dream. She gets Hermione the Time-Turner. She tells Harry to do the best he can and nobody will think the less of him when he has to compete in the Tournament.

She's no Sluggy, that's for sure, but I think she also has the responsibility of the students in the other houses as well, so I'm guessing she is kept fairly busy.


Solitaire - Jul 21, 2006 9:22 am (#645 of 980)
Edited Jul 21, 2006 10:23 am

She also pulled Harry into her office on more than one occasion and told him to "tread carefully around Dolores Umbridge." When he protested that he was telling the truth, she gave him some very pointed advice:

“For heaven's sake, Potter!”  said Professor McGonagall, straightening her glasses angrily (she had winced horribly when he had used Voldemort's name). "Do you really think this is about truth or lies? It's about keeping your head down and your temper under control!"

It sounds to me like she is keeping pretty close tabs on Harry and trying to keep him safe and make sure he is not railroaded out of Hogwarts. She also met with him (and presumably her other students) and talked about possible career choices and the classes he would need to take. How can anyone forget how she jumped to Harry's defense when Umbridge was saying he could never be an Auror:

“Potter,” she said in ringing tones, "I will assist you to become an Auror if it is the last thing I do! If I have to coach you nightly, I will make sure you achieve the required results!"

As Haymoni said, I think she is probably responsible for all of the students in a general way, as well as those in her own house.



Choices - Jul 21, 2006 9:45 am (#646 of 980)

Well, it's also like someone said on another thread, we see things from Harry's point of view. Maybe she is more involved with other students, but we just don't hear about any involvement except where it concerns Harry or Ron or Hermione.


Laura W - Jul 23, 2006 2:47 am (#647 of 980)
Edited Jul 23, 2006 4:21 am

She also takes a personal interest in Neville's NEWT subjects, telling him that she will write a letter to his grandmother explaining that, just because she (gran) failed Charms, "the subject is not necessarily worthless." HPB, Chapter Nine. And after she says, "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 -", how could anyone doubt the care and concern - under her strict exterior - that she feels for her students?


Just thought of something else. I think she takes her role as vice-principle very seriously as is evidenced by the "amazing bouncing ferret" incident. "Moody, we never use Transfiguration as a punishment. ... We give detentions, Moody! Or speak to the offender's Head of house!"


Lina - Jul 27, 2006 7:56 am (#648 of 980)

“Potter,” she said in ringing tones, "I will assist you to become an Auror if it is the last thing I do! If I have to coach you nightly, I will make sure you achieve the required results!"

The fact is that Harry could have used some help in potions in his fifth year and he didn't get it.

I would have expected her to talk to him about the importance of the Occlumency lessons, to let him know and feel that Dumbledore cares about him even though he can't give him his time, but she didn't.

Are you suggesting that it was her idea to give Snape the DADA position so that the Potions would be taught by a teacher who accepts students with E in his class?

Is that what Snape was talking about when he said that DD takes too much for granted - that all teachers should sacrifice everything that is needed for Harry to graduate Hogwarts?


Potter Ace - Jul 31, 2006 8:11 am (#649 of 980)

I don't think McG knew about the Occlumency lessons, only DD, Snape and R&H. I think that Harry's training was "compartmentalized" by DD, so no one person could put all the piece of his training together and expose DD's plan on how to defeat LV.

I think that Snape getting the DADA position was another plot plan by DD to allow for the event of HBP to unfold so Snape could leave Hogwarts without a hint of loyalty to DD thus giving him greater access to LV.


Pamzter - Aug 3, 2006 4:30 pm (#650 of 980)

I think Miss Minerva has been working on her own little side project(s) that will come to light. She'll have a key piece for Harry somewhere along the line. In fact I think DD was sharing little bits and pieces with a number of people that will start to come together.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

Post  Lady Arabella Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:55 pm


Solitaire - Aug 3, 2006 8:41 pm (#651 of 980)

I don't think McG knew about the Occlumency lessons, only DD, Snape and R&H.

... and Remus and Sirius. After all, Snape told Harry right in front of Sirius. Harry also told the two of them, in Umbrige's fire, that Snape had stopped giving him the lessons. I wonder if McG might not have known, as well ...



haymoni - Aug 4, 2006 5:32 am (#652 of 980)

I could see Minerva being a bit angered by a student practicing Occlumency.


Soul Search - Aug 4, 2006 8:48 am (#653 of 980)
Edited Aug 4, 2006 9:51 am

I have always been a bit puzzled by Minerva McGonagall's role.

She is Dumbledore's deputy, but doesn't seem to do much. Her name is on the letters, she brings out the sorting hat, etc., but what else?

She certainly knows transfiguration, but we haven't seen her do much magic outside the classroom. Sandwiches for Ron and Harry in CoS, restore ferret Draco and stormed fake Moody, with Dumbledore and Snape, in GoF, ... what else?

She is in the Order (OotP,) but we don't know what she might have done.

In OotP she left the castle to help Hagrid, but wasn't able to (or just didn't) defend herself against stunning spells.

In HBP, she didn't know anything about what Dumbledore was doing. She became acting Headmaster, but didn't seem to want to make a decision.

For all that she has been in six books, we don't know much about her. My thought is that she is not, and will not, have any more role in book seven than she has had in the previous six books. Particularly, she will not have any kind of a significant part in book seven.


Pamzter - Aug 4, 2006 3:43 pm (#654 of 980)

Soul Search - All of your reasons are what make me suspect that she just may be one of the significant twists of Book 7.


Solitaire - Aug 4, 2006 4:15 pm (#655 of 980)
Edited Aug 4, 2006 5:15 pm

Really, haymoni? I do not see that at all.

but wasn't able to (or just didn't) defend herself against stunning spells.

She probably felt she could at least calm down Hagrid until she was able to speak to Fudge and Dumbledore. I don't think she was expecting Mininstry wizards to attack her ... certainly not four on one!!



azi - Aug 5, 2006 3:26 am (#656 of 980)

I agree with Solitare. Who would expect the Ministry to attack an innocent person, unprovoked? Yes she was intervening in their sneaky way of chucking Hagrid out, but she has to protect other staff members. There was no need for them to attack her. I don't think she had her wand out to be able to defend herself, to be honest.

Which is possibly a silly thing to do, admittedly, but maybe she was so busy trying to stop the injustice she merely forgot, or didn't have time. Gryffindor bravery? Act before you think...Harry does it quite a lot!


Soul Search - Aug 5, 2006 5:03 am (#657 of 980)

Let me take a view of Minerva McGonagall that is a bit counter to that expressed in my earlier post.

Minerva McGonagall is the first representative of the wizarding world we were introduced to; in SS, first as a cat (reading a map) and then as herself after Dumbledore arrived. Throughout that scene she seemed concerned for Harry, even questioning Dumbledore about leaving him with the Dursleys.

In OotP, the Career Advise session with Umbridge butting in, she made the strongest statement we have heard from her: she would help Harry become an auror "if it is the last thing I do." The key part of that statement may be "help Harry."

Now, Harry doesn't really need to become an auror; he will have defeated Voldemort before the end of his seventh year at Hogwarts, but he really could use some help with the tasks ahead. We don't know exactly how much she knows; Dumbledore didn't tell her much about Harry. But she has to know that Harry is important, and she may know that he is destined to defeat Voldemort.

McGonagall is really the only adult wizard at Hogwarts he can ask for, and expect, help. She would help him even if he doesn't tell her exactly why he needs it.

That may be McGonagall's continuing role: helping Harry.


haymoni - Aug 5, 2006 5:07 pm (#658 of 980)

Solitare - Minerva strikes me as someone who is a stickler for the rules. I don't think she would appreciate a student learning how to - well, basically lie.

I mean this in general - not with a full-fledged war going on.

She'd probably be OK with older students learning it with all that is going on, but I'm guessing she'd be concerned about a younger student learning how.


Solitaire - Aug 5, 2006 5:18 pm (#659 of 980)

McGonagall was also standing in Dumbledore's office when Harry told him about the dream and she watched him consult the little instrument that produced the smoky snakes. I believe that, as Harry's head of house and the Deputy Headmistress, she knew exactly what Harry was doing. JM2K, of course, but I haven't read anything to make me feel otherwise.



haymoni - Aug 5, 2006 5:43 pm (#660 of 980)

Dumbledore HAD to tell her that he was taking Harry out of the castle.

Harry is a student in her House and she's in charge of his well-being as Deputy Headmistress as well.

I'm sure she knew Harry was going off with Dumbledore but she didn't know why.


Solitaire - Aug 5, 2006 7:14 pm (#661 of 980)

I still think she knew about his Occlumency training.


Choices - Aug 6, 2006 10:35 am (#662 of 980)
Edited Aug 6, 2006 11:36 am

Dumbledore could have simply said, "Harry is going to be with me." He did not have to tell her where they were going to be or what they were doing.


Fawkes Egg - Aug 6, 2006 12:26 pm (#663 of 980)

I agree, Solitaire, the Occlumency seems to have been reasonably well known about amongst key members of the Order.

I am actually just re-reading PS and the scene with McGonagall at the start is pretty enlightening, as well as touching. She is clearly concerned about Harry's welfare but defers to Dumbledore's decision to leave Harry with the Dursleys even though she doesn't much like the idea. I suspect that she's followed much the same pattern all along - look out for Harry but defer to Dumbledore, who is the most powerful of Harry's protectors and also the only one Voldemort fears (which fact she points out herself in PS). In the PS scene she shows an implicit trust in Dumbledore's ability to make things right, which is pretty telling.

In turn, that leads me to think that she knew and accepted that Harry was having private lessons with Dumbledore in HBP, although clearly she doesn't know the content of said lessons. I think she accepts this set-up as long as Dumbledore is around to protect Harry. As soon as Dumbledore's dead, however, she almost immediately takes on the role of 'chief protector', and tries to get as much information as possible form Harry. This is partly because she too wants to help destroy Voldemort, but also because she wants to help Harry - and she can no longer defer to Dumbledore's wisdom.


Solitaire - Aug 6, 2006 12:39 pm (#664 of 980)

I agree that McGonagall did not know what Harry and Dumbledore were up to in HBP. If she had known, she would not have had to ask Harry at the end of the book. But she also accepts Harry's response that it was between Dumbledore and himself, and doesn't attempt to browbeat the info out of him. I think she respects that Dumbledore has been readying Harry for the moment when he must go out on his own. I have no doubt she will consult The Portrait.



Potter Ace - Aug 8, 2006 9:00 am (#665 of 980)


Just got to the part in OToP about the lessons with Snape in my re-read. Others know outside of those that I mentioned but I still don't see where or how she would have known.

For a deputy, she seems to be in the dark on many things that are happening around Hogwarts. My take on her not browbeating Harry at the end of HBP is merely a well seasoned deputy, remember in GOF where DD gave her the task of getting Sirius (as a dog) and taking him to his office, following orders, as well as there was little time to get things in order before the minister arrived, time was too short to further question Harry.

She gives off such a strong persona in both the books and the movies, I hope that we see her character develop more in book 7.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 8, 2006 9:27 am (#666 of 980)

She gives off such a strong persona in both the books and the movies, I hope that we see her character develop more in book 7.

I agree. McGonagall's character has a strong presence, and I really hope book 7 will have for her a strong role to match.


Solitaire - Aug 8, 2006 1:25 pm (#667 of 980)

Unless I read in the books--or hear from an interview with Jo--that McGonagall did not know about the Occlumency training, I will probably continue to believe that she did. Thus far, I have not seen any reason not to believe it.



Soul Search - Aug 8, 2006 2:02 pm (#668 of 980)

Did we see much of McGonagall after Harry started Occlumency lessons?

McGonagall wouldn't have believed the "remedial potions" excuse. From the career advice session, we know that she knew Harry's potions work was "acceptable."

I would say she knew Snape was giving Harry some special (not potions) lessons, but not necessarily that it was for Occlumency. On the other hand, after the Arthur/Nagini incident, she could probably figure it out.


haymoni - Aug 9, 2006 4:59 am (#669 of 980)

I'm guessing she was busy running the school, with Dumbledore going away all the time.

Details, details, details...such is the life of a Deputy Headmistress!


Madame Pomfrey - Aug 16, 2006 5:32 am (#670 of 980)

While doing a reread on GoF I noticed that there was 6-7 wizards per dragon using stunning spells, which is almost the same Number of stunning spells used on McGonagall. She took a blow strong enough to stun a dragon--poor lady!


Choices - Aug 16, 2006 10:02 am (#671 of 980)
Edited Aug 16, 2006 11:05 am

“ . . .At least 30 wizards, seven or eight to each dragon, were attempting to control them....’

“ . . . No fewer than four stunners had shot from the figures around the cabin towards Professor McGonagall. . . “

“ . . . But poor Professor McGonagall....Four stunners to the chest, and she's not exactly young, is she? “


Chemyst - Aug 16, 2006 10:36 am (#672 of 980)
Edited Aug 16, 2006 11:40 am

1/2 to 4/7 of a dragon-strength stun then. Still impressive.


journeymom - Aug 16, 2006 7:20 pm (#673 of 980)

Minnie rocks.


Mediwitch - Aug 17, 2006 6:55 am (#674 of 980)
Edited Aug 17, 2006 7:56 am

*SPEW* "Minnie" hehe. Good thing I had just swallowed my lemonade!


Ludicrous Patents Office - Aug 17, 2006 7:39 pm (#675 of 980)

Minnie Hee hee.

Her colleagues respect her. Snape treats her with courtesy and respect. They have their little competition over the Quidditch cup but it is very civil. Even though we do not see her do a lot of magic she is competent at what she does. She is also a very fair teacher. She is not mean to the students. Compliments from her are very precious. She is not the caliber of Dumbledore but I think she will make a very able Headmistress. Even though there is no evidence I agree with Soli. I think Minerva knew about the Occlumency. Dumbledore learned the hard way last time. I think he believes by not keeping people informed he is protecting them. He trust Minerva as much as anyone. LPO


Meoshimo - Oct 10, 2006 7:13 pm (#676 of 980)

He trusts her, but she was obviously kept in the dark about some or all of the horcrux hunt. She didn't know where Dumbledore and Harry went the night Dumbledore died. If she couldn't figure out for herself from past experience with Dumbledore's leavings that they went on a horcrux hunt, then I don't think that she knew much about them.

Or, perhaps she suspected it and wanted to have it confirmed from Harry firsthand.


Solitaire - Oct 15, 2006 7:26 am (#677 of 980)

While I believe McGonagall knew about Harry's Occlumency training, I don't know if I believe she knew about the Horcrux business. It's possible, I suppose. If she did, however, I think it would have to be because she was in Dumbledore's confidence. I doubt she would have just "suspected it."

Lucius Malfoy did not seem to know or suspect that the Diary was a Horcrux. This--coupled with Slughorn's memory of his conversation with young Riddle--makes me think that Horcruxes are not something given much thought in the Wizarding mainstream. I can't see McGonagall trying to figure out where Harry and Dumbledore had gone and having an "aha!" revelation that they'd gone out Horcrux-hunting. If she knows, I believe it's because she was told by Dumbledore. JM2K, of course ...



Meoshimo - Oct 15, 2006 11:15 am (#678 of 980)

Well, what I meant was that Dumbledore may have told her that he has hunted a few Horcruxes, and that's where he goes sometimes. She could have deduced that Dumbledore was gone, Harry (being so important to everything Voldemort) went with him, maybe they're on a Horcrux hunt.


S.E. Jones - Oct 15, 2006 3:21 pm (#679 of 980)
Edited Oct 15, 2006 4:23 pm

I doubt Dumbledore would've told her about the Horcruxes for the same reason he wouldn't have told anyone the entire Prophecy, because if Voldemort did ever get ahold of that person, he'd know what Dumbledore knew. I think he's very guared about what he tells others, even those in the Order and who he respects greatly, because he feels they will be in less danger by not knowing.


Susan Bones - Oct 15, 2006 10:06 pm (#680 of 980)

The family has been re-listening to the OP audio-book. We just listened to Chapter 12, Professor Umbridge. I was wondering if anyone has discussed a question we had. Umbridge sends Harry to Professor McGonagall's office. During their discussion she insists twice that he take and eat a biscuit. It strikes us that it seems likely that these biscuits are charmed or laced with a potion, perhaps to calm whomever eats them. (My son suggested the Draught of Peace they had just made earlier that day in Potions.) Is there any other evidence for this idea? Are we reading too much into it?


juliebug - Oct 16, 2006 4:02 am (#681 of 980)

I agree. I have always thought there was more to those cookies. A Draught of Peace sounds like a very good guess. I also wondered if it could be an antidote, perhaps to something like a truth potion. I think it has something to do with keeping Harry from saying or doing too much in Umbridge's presence.


haymoni - Oct 16, 2006 5:19 am (#682 of 980)

Or...if he's eating the biscuit, he'll shut up long enough for Minerva to make her point.


juliebug - Oct 16, 2006 5:31 am (#683 of 980)

But...she insists he eat another immediately before asking him if he listened to Umbridge's speech. She wasn't trying to get him to shut-up then. Almost immediately after that, he left her office.


haymoni - Oct 16, 2006 5:38 am (#684 of 980)

I wonder how many of those biscuits Minerva had to eat herself to keep calm???


juliebug - Oct 16, 2006 5:59 am (#685 of 980)

I think she may have needed something to keep her own pot from boiling over.


Susan Bones - Oct 16, 2006 7:41 am (#686 of 980)

I like the idea that McGonagall may be inoculating Harry to reduce his susceptibility to truth serum or something!

But why is there no further reference to this cookie thing? Usually JKR would show us something like this, it's not obvious at first, then later in the book there is a re-use or some reference to it, and then it is clear what must have happened.


juliebug - Oct 16, 2006 7:44 am (#687 of 980)

That bothers me too. I wonder if there was more that had been edited out, to cut down the book's length.


Choices - Oct 16, 2006 11:26 am (#688 of 980)

I think the cookies/biscuits are just that ..... cookies/biscuits. McGonagall is just trying to pacify Harry, much like a Mother sometimes uses a cookie to settle her child down. She needs to get across to Harry that Umbridge is not to be messed with - keep his mouth shut and don't stir her up. She is dangerous. Here have another cookie and think about what I just said to you.


juliebug - Oct 16, 2006 11:47 am (#689 of 980)

I would call Professor McGonagall many things. All of them good, but motherly would not make the list. She's irritated throughout the whole conversation. She's not trying to pacify Harry, she's letting him know that his actions were foolish. The way in she "offers" the cookies is suspicious as well. She does this twice. The first time goes

“Have a biscuit, Potter.”

“Have - what?”

“A biscuit,” she repeated impatiently...

The second goes

“Have another,” she said irritably thrusting the tin at him.

“No thanks,” said Harry coolly.

“Don't be ridiculous,” she snapped.

None of this sounds very motherly or pacifying to me.


journeymom - Oct 16, 2006 11:53 am (#690 of 980)

No, but it's pretty darn funny. I snickered out loud when I read that passage the first time.


Thom Matheson - Oct 16, 2006 12:47 pm (#691 of 980)

Juliebug dear, settle down and have a cookie. That's a good girl. Yeah you're right, sounds like anyone but Minerva.


Chemyst - Oct 16, 2006 12:56 pm (#692 of 980)

But why is there no further reference to this cookie thing? Usually JKR would show us something like this, it's not obvious at first, then later in the book there is a re-use or some reference to it... – Susan Bones

No cookies or biscuits, but there is "Tripe, Sibyll?" and "Can I offer you a cough drop, Dolores?"


juliebug - Oct 16, 2006 1:50 pm (#693 of 980)

I'm just sayin'


nthdavid - Oct 16, 2006 2:13 pm (#694 of 980)

She is a teacher. It is clear to me that the lesson here is "pick your battles".


S.E. Jones - Oct 16, 2006 3:16 pm (#695 of 980)

juliebug --I would call Professor McGonagall many things. All of them good, but motherly would not make the list.—

Yeah, but McGonagall sometimes does things that seem out of character and more in line with a mother figure. When she catches Ron and Harry trying to sneak out in CoS and they tell her they're just trying to see Hermione, she starts to tear up and takes them to the hospital wing, which isn't what either of them expected her to do. I think the biscuit thing is similar, in that she's trying to pacify him, calm him, show her support for him in some way without directly saying "you're right, that Umbridge is a big pain and I'd like to give her a swift kick for you". That's the way I read it anyway.


juliebug - Oct 16, 2006 3:58 pm (#696 of 980)

I'll admit, McGonagall has a softer side that does pop out every once in a blue moon, but I don't think that was the case here. She's not acting in a calming or supportive way at all. We know she can be supportive, we've seen it before. In this case, she's acting a bit gruffly. If she were really just offering the cookies as a way to be pleasant or pacify him, she wouldn't thrust them upon Harry. She wouldn't demand that he eat them. At the very least she could have said something like, eat this it will make you feel better. They're are plenty of warm supportive things ahe could have said to Harry with out directly stating that Umbridge is the Wicked Witch of the Hogwarts staff, yet she did not.


S.E. Jones - Oct 16, 2006 4:09 pm (#697 of 980)
Edited Oct 16, 2006 5:13 pm

I didn't say that she was being warm and supportive, I was saying that she was trying to show she supported him while being mad at Umbridge. Look at the way she barely bit down her anger at the woman during the "Career Advise" chapter. She tried to keep calm while talking to Harry, but didn't call him "sweety-kins" or anything like that to show she supported him. In fact, she rather bellowed that she'd help him become an Auror it it was the last thing she ever did. She was being supportive, while being angry at Umbridge, without being "warm and fuzzy" toward Harry. I see it as the same thing as with the biscuits, she's trying to tell him "yeah, I agree with you" without actually saying it because what she really wants to do is storm down to the DADA classroom and curse Umbridge into a million pieces.

I agree that, if the cookies had contained some sort of pacifying draught, we'd have seen them everywhere in OP. They would've been on the house tables every day, being slipped into Harry's food, being left at the foot of his bed over Christmas. McGonagall and Dumbledore knew what Harry was like, knew he hadn't handled the summer very well, and, if they really wanted to taint his food so he'd calm down, they would have, and we would've seen the affects, which we didn't.


juliebug - Oct 16, 2006 4:16 pm (#698 of 980)

I still don't see it. Why demand that he eat her cookies unless there was something more to the cookies? As she didn't have Umbridge there at the time to push her buttons, I don't see any reason for her to get all worked up and snappish. It was just too weird how she insisted that he eat them.


S.E. Jones - Oct 16, 2006 4:29 pm (#699 of 980)
Edited Oct 16, 2006 5:31 pm

Her getting worked up and snappish may be an early clue as to her feelings about Umbridge and the Ministry's presence at the school. We certainly get to see it clearer later on after Dumbledore's left.

Like I said, if there was something in the cookies, why weren't people trying to shove them down Harry's throat every time he turned around? The only thing the Order really asked him to do was stay out of trouble and keep his head.


juliebug - Oct 16, 2006 4:42 pm (#700 of 980)

I don't why it didn't come up later in the book, but in the potions class immediately before DADA, Snape was teaching the 5th years to brew a Draught of Peace. Forcing an overly upset boy to eat unwanted cookies after such a class seemed suspicious. Later in the book, Umbridge tries to slip Harry some Veritaserum. We know there are antidotes to Veritaserum, maybe there is something Harry could ingest beforehand to proactively protective himself from the potions effects.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

Post  Lady Arabella Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:58 pm


Chemyst - Oct 17, 2006 6:17 pm (#701 of 980)
Edited Oct 17, 2006 7:37 pm

Why demand that he eat her cookies unless there was something more to the cookies? – juliebug

As I pointed out a couple pages back, McGonagall has also offered tripe to Sibyll and cough drops to Dolores. The cookies were just common cookies. What the scene shows is a bit of the mechanics of human sociology: Giving/offering food establishes a societal stance, it is a kind of power play where the other person then either accepts or rejects the offer. It would be rude to say no.*  When Dolores rejected the cough drop, she was symbolically rejecting the "old order Hogwarts" that Minerva McGonagall represented. Similarly, when McGonagall is adamant that Harry eat a biscuit, she is insisting – in anthropological symbolism – that Harry needs to accept her advice, and needs a double portion at that!

* We also saw this when the Dursleys rejected DD's offer of mead in HBP.


juliebug - Oct 18, 2006 4:41 am (#702 of 980)

The tripe that McGonagall offered to Trelawnly was a sly insult. Tripe is a food, but it also means something poor or useless (The Merriam-Webster Dictionary.) McGonagall was very cleverly asserting her feelings on Trelawnly's talent's. I don't think she cared one way or another if Trelawnly ate the tripe.

The cough drop example was merely McGonagall trying to get Umbridge to be quiet. Every time McGonagall tried to speak, she was interrupted by that stupid fake cough. McGonagall knew it was a fake cough, but chose to pretend that the only reason the rude woman observing her consultation with a student didn't observe quietly was a sore throat. We all know this is not the case. As we don't see McGonagall brandishing a tin of cough drops, I think it's safe to say she didn't really care if Umbridge had one or not. She may not have even had a cough drop to give. What McGonagall really wanted was to not be interrupted.

The Dursley's were first offered the mead by Professor Dumbledore, but after that, the glasses were just trying to do their jobs. Yes, Dumbledore saw the three people getting beaned in the heads, but I think he just wanted to see how long they'd go without saying anything. In the end, when they directly told Dumbledore they didn't like being hit by the glasses, he made it stop. He told them that drinking from the glasses would have been the smart thing to do, but it was of great importance to him that the Dursley's drink. Dumbledore wanted a drink. It would have been rude to just pour himself something and not offer to share with anybody else.

None of these situations are the same as the one Harry was in.


Choices - Oct 18, 2006 9:02 am (#703 of 980)

Chemyst, I totally agree with you.

Juliebug, in your example of the wine and the Dursleys, it is symbolic of the Dursley's rejecting the wizarding world and magic. Dumbledore is trying to give them some insight into that world and they are refusing to even notice, and then they actually ask him to stop. They want no part of it. If you want to think that the cookies McGonagall offers Harry are laced with calming potion, that is certainly your prerogative, but I tend to think they are just cookies.


Chemyst - Oct 18, 2006 9:16 am (#704 of 980)

None of these situations are the same as the one Harry was in.

Right. They are all situations McGonagall was in.   ...and your rebuttal arguments, while well-researched, are far too literal for the symbolism I'm suggesting. Of course, the "tripe" was a pun. Of course, Dolores didn't have a sore throat. It is not about what was offered, it is about the fact that anything was offered. It is the act of offering that is relevant.

The point I'm making isn't about cookie ingredients; it is about boundaries. In each occasion where Professor McGonagall made an offering to another person, she was defining her social status and claiming her territory just as surely as a dog marking a hydrant. In a professor-student relationship, she could be more insistent than in the professor-professor relationships.


juliebug - Oct 18, 2006 10:05 am (#705 of 980)

We certainly can agree to disagree on this point. It just seems like JKR was really trying to make those cookies stand out in that scene. I can understand your "marking her territory" metaphor in the cases of Trelawney and Umbridge, but not so much with Harry. While he was in McGonagall's presence, he was being very careful not to overstep his boundaries. Despite having just been made to leave Umbridge's classroom (something which had him terribly angry) he made a point of speaking respectfully to McGonagall. I don't think she felt she needed to keep Harry in place at that moment, he was doing just fine on his own. She was reminding Harry to respect (and keep quiet) around Umbridge. As Harry tends not to cross McGonagall, I don't see a point in this boundaries lesson.


legolas returns - Oct 18, 2006 10:55 am (#706 of 980)

I thought that she was offering him a Ginger Biscuit. Isn’t ginger supposed to settle your stomach? It might have calming properties.

It might have been a device to distract Harry from his anger and calm down a little so that he would listen.


juliebug - Oct 18, 2006 11:05 am (#707 of 980)
Edited Oct 18, 2006 12:05 pm

The cookies in question are Ginger Newts. I could see that being the case if she just offered the cookies, but she is literally shoving them in Harry's face. I think if she were really trying to settle Harry down, she would be less aggressive.


legolas returns - Oct 18, 2006 11:06 am (#708 of 980)

Its just that she behaved in an unexpected manner. She might have cooked them herself


juliebug - Oct 18, 2006 11:14 am (#709 of 980)

Cute, but I don't think so.


S.E. Jones - Oct 18, 2006 2:16 pm (#710 of 980)

--It might have been a device to distract Harry from his anger and calm down a little so that he would listen.—

Yeah, I can agree with that. If he's got something in his mouth, he can't interrupt, right?

Again, if they were laced with a pacifying draught of some sort, why wasn't she shoving them down his throat every time she saw him? She pointed out in that encounter that she knows he's a hothead and that he needs to calm down or bad things will happen. She knows he's not going to behave himself, so why not be drugging his food to keep him from acting out, the one thing the teachers, the school, the Order, don't want him to do? No, if anyone was seriously going to drug his food to calm him down, they would have.


legolas returns - Oct 18, 2006 2:31 pm (#711 of 980)

I cant imagine Snape during Occulemency lessons stuffing Biscuit into Harrys mouth to distract him.

She seemed much more human in this section of the book.


juliebug - Oct 18, 2006 3:03 pm (#712 of 980)

--It might have been a device to distract Harry from his anger and calm down a little so that he would listen.--

Yeah, I can agree with that. If he's got something in his mouth, he can't interrupt, right? - SE Jones

See post 683.

Again, if they were laced with a pacifying draught of some sort, why wasn't she shoving them down his throat every time she saw him?- SE Jones

We know too much of some potions cause adverse effects, like Felix Felicis. I wouldn't be surprised if the peace potion is similar. I also wondered if the cookies hadn't been laced with something to counter act a truth potion. McGonagall knew he had detention with Umbrigde that night and knew she was sniffing out info for the order. Later in book, Umbridge actually does try to sneak truth potion in Harry's drink.


Madame Pomfrey - Oct 18, 2006 7:29 pm (#713 of 980)

Harry ate some cookies, right? I don't recall that he acted or felt any different afterwards. Maybe I missed something.


Thom Matheson - Oct 18, 2006 7:56 pm (#714 of 980)

Never, never, never, would Minerva dope Harry for any reason.


juliebug - Oct 18, 2006 8:09 pm (#715 of 980)

Harry got through his detention without snapping. Harry had information about the Order that could get a lot of people into a lot of trouble. I don't think under those circumstances McGonagall would find giving Harry a Draught of Peace would be such a crime.


S.E. Jones - Oct 18, 2006 9:19 pm (#716 of 980)
Edited Oct 18, 2006 10:21 pm

--We know too much of some potions cause adverse effects, like Felix Felicis. I wouldn't be surprised if the peace potion is similar. I also wondered if the cookies hadn't been laced with something to counter act a truth potion. McGonagall knew he had detention with Umbrigde that night and knew she was sniffing out info for the order. Later in book, Umbridge actually does try to sneak truth potion in Harry's drink.—

Yes, but again, she also knew that he was going to have a detention every night that week, so why not make him come in for cookies every night? If she were worried that he'd either lose his patience or drink some Veritaserum the first night, why would that fear be any different for any other night that week? Even if she were afraid of overdosing him with the potion, she'd still at least be making him eat a cookie every other day, or at least before the week was over. I just don't see it happening.

However, I did notice something else. Each time he takes a cookie, she goes off about something that he would want to rebuke, so I definitely think that points to her just wanting something to shut him up to get her point in, no matter what. She knows he needs to hear this, so that may have been the easiest way to get him to listen. As for Minerva being out of character to show that she was siding with him even a little by giving him a cookie, there's also this line to consider: “Her tone was not at all what he was used to; it was not brisk, crisp, and stern; it was low and anxious and somehow much more human than usual.”

I don't think it's as out of the question as some to suggest that she was trying to force feed him a draught of peace, I just don't think there's any proof that she did and plenty of proof that she was just trying to get him to be quiet and listen and was trying to show even a remote amount of support.


Susan Bones - Oct 18, 2006 10:06 pm (#717 of 980)
Edited Oct 18, 2006 11:53 pm

I didn't know this question would generate so much discussion! (I think y'all just like to argue/discuss. Minerva McGonagall 1003735042) You have certainly given us (my family) lots of "food" for thought!

Although I still think it's possible that they are laced, perhaps the cookies are more a literary device than a magical one.


Laura W - Oct 19, 2006 12:56 am (#718 of 980)
Edited Oct 19, 2006 2:00 am

I agree with you, Susan. Imagine us all making such a big deal about such a minor incident in one of six books! Well, I guess that is what we do. (grin)

I'm on the side that says the cookies were just cookies. And I also agree that Minerva would not surreptitiously give a student a drug (potion, spell). That would undoubtedly be against Hogwarts rules and I cannot see her breaking a Hogwarts rule. Look how she reprimanded the fake Moody for turning Draco into a ferret ("Moody, we never use Transfiguration as a punishment. Surely Professor Dumbledore told you that?").

No, I think the whole cookie incident was put in OoP because Jo was giving us further insight into McGonagall's personality. The softer, more hidden side. Because she does have one. Especially towards Harry. Remember how horrified she was in the first chapter of PS that DD would leave the baby Harry with the Dursleys, whom she had observed - in her cat form - acting terribly?

Although Minerva didn't actually know that Dolores would make Harry cut his hand open repeatedly as a detention, she knew the DADA teacher was a bad piece of work. Minerva offering the biscuits to Harry was her way of showing human sympathy to him, while still observing the rules of the school ("She is your teacher and has every right to give you detention.").

And the reason she forced them on him was because she had to. Stubborn, independent Harry often doesn't take well to kindnesses shown him. (Of course, he never had them when a child and therefore never learned how to accept loving gestures or to be gracious when they are offered. So I certainly don't blame him.)

Along with the ginger newts, she also gave him some good advice about keeping his head down and his mouth shut around Umbridge. Advice which he didn't take, of course. We *are* talking about Harry Potter, after all.

I know some of you might not like the term, but I think Minerva offering the 15-year-old comfort food like cookies - just two months after he had been through that horror in the graveyard and was now confronted with a teacher who said it was all a lie and that he was seeking attention - was a "mothering" act in its own way.



S.E. Jones - Oct 19, 2006 2:04 am (#719 of 980)
Edited Oct 19, 2006 3:04 am

--I know some of you might not like the term, but I think Minerva offering the 15-year-old comfort food like cookies - just two months after he had been through that horror in the graveyard and was now confronted with a teacher who said it was all a lie and that he was seeking attention - was a "mothering" act in its own way.—

Very well put, Laura!


Laura W - Oct 19, 2006 2:21 am (#720 of 980)

Thank you.


juliebug - Oct 19, 2006 4:05 am (#721 of 980)

I'm done arguing with you all, think what you want.


haymoni - Oct 19, 2006 4:32 am (#722 of 980)

We shall agree to disagree!

So...how will Minerva be spending her summer holiday???


juliebug - Oct 19, 2006 4:45 am (#723 of 980)

About doing anything but baking cookies


Laura W - Oct 19, 2006 5:18 am (#724 of 980)
Edited Oct 19, 2006 6:22 am

   "So...how will Minerva be spending her summer holiday???"

(I've seen you do this before, haymoni. And I love it. Ever think of getting a job in the diplomatic service? (wink, wink))

Ok, so Minerva is still a member of the Order of the Phoenix, right? And The Order will still be continuing on their work without DD, I'm assuming. Harry will be out hunting Horcruxes and the rest of the Order - including McGonagall - will be doing the tasks assigned to them by DD when he was alive. Maybe she will be among the contingent going after known DEs or maybe she will be recruiting witches and wizards over to the good side. She is, and always has been, unswervingly loyal to DD and the principles he represented.

Or *maybe* she will spend the summer preparing for the next year of Hogwarts (assuming it's going to reopen). Being a Headmistress is a very big job and requires a lot of organization and preparation over the summer holidays, I assume. Particularly this year when she will have to convince a lot of parents to send their children back after what happened, perhaps to convince a teacher or two to stay and, obviously, hire a new DADA teacher (grin). Again, assuming the governors vote to keep Hogwarts open.

If not, she could just concentrate on fighting in the war and doing whatever she can to defeat Voldemort and his followers.

Despite the fact that she plays a prominent role in all six books, there still is a heck of a lot we don't know about McGonagall (ie - her past, her life outside of Hogwarts during the last six years, etc.). Maybe some of this will be revealed in - wait for it - BOOK SEVEN. I'd like that.



haymoni - Oct 19, 2006 5:53 am (#725 of 980)

She may need to hire a new Transfiguration teacher as well.

She also has to prepare some sort of letter telling parents about the death of Dumbledore. Certainly the wizarding families will know, but for the Dean Thomases of the world who don't tell their families anything, she has to let the parents of the Muggle-borns know.


S.E. Jones - Oct 19, 2006 1:32 pm (#726 of 980)

If the school does reopen, she'll also have to appoint a new Head of House for Gryffindor (Hagrid?) and make arrangements with the Ministry and Order to provide better security, and clean out the vanishing cabinet (I really hope they don't forget that one) from the RoR. If the Ministry allows the school to remain open with some condition of Harry attending (which would indirectly show support for them), then she'd have to find a way to convince him, and make arrangements for him to leave as needed to go Horcrux hunting (once he explains that part to her).

If the school doesn't reopen, I could definitely see her taking over Dumbledore's place in the Order (or maybe sharing it with Moody), but she doesn't really seem like the military general sort, so that might be interesting to see how things turn out.


Meoshimo - Oct 21, 2006 2:24 pm (#727 of 980)

Yea, if anyone takes over the Order it would be someone like Minerva or Moody (it most certainly wouldn't be Harry ).


Solitaire - Oct 22, 2006 9:13 am (#728 of 980)

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar ... and a biscuit is just a biscuit! I agree with whoever said that, with a cookie in his mouth, Harry would be chewing and not talking or interrupting ... long enough, perhaps, that he might actually listen to what McGonagall was trying to tell him.

Perhaps, too, this particular cookie was McGonagall's favorite, and she happened to have a jar of them on her desk. My principal has a HUGE jar of little Peanut Butter cups, Snickers Bites, Hershey Kisses, etc., on his desk. He keeps them for the teachers. We only wish they were laced with a calming draught ... Minerva McGonagall 1003735042



legolas returns - Oct 22, 2006 11:13 am (#729 of 980)

Keeps you sweet, Solitaire


Robert Dierken - Nov 15, 2006 10:05 pm (#730 of 980)

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Solitaire #728.

And the harmonica was only a harmonica!


Laura W - Nov 16, 2006 3:52 am (#731 of 980)

Huh? Am completely Confunded by that, Robert. Please explain reference. Thanks.



wynnleaf - Nov 16, 2006 5:51 am (#732 of 980)


I think he means the harmonica that was among the various items in Tom Riddle's possession -- which he had stolen -- at the orphanage. Harry asked DD about it and DD said it was just a harmonica.


Laura W - Nov 16, 2006 6:21 am (#733 of 980)

Rats! Of course! How could I have forgotten about that? (hits self on forehead) Thanks.


Jo probably put that in the book to stop a "Harmonica is a Horcrux" thread before it got started. (heh, heh)


Solitaire - Nov 16, 2006 7:00 am (#734 of 980)

LOL Laura! Do you suppose, when she can't sleep, she toddles over here to the forum to check on some of the latest debates? I know I do!



Kip Carter - Nov 16, 2006 9:57 pm (#735 of 980)

Chemyst posted the following message on the Questions for the Host(s) thread:

Eric Bailey posted a wonderful comparison of the Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass and Minerva McGonagall — except I almost missed it because it's on the Luna Lovegood thread. Could the pertinent part be duplicated and reposted on the McGonagall thread?

What is the pertinent part? I'll just copy the entire Nov 16, 2006 1:32 pm post to this thread to avoid any misunderstanding.

Well, a different perspective is very Luna. And very Alice, for that matter. Smile

There's major spoilers for Through The Looking Glass next, though I'd guess that's a book we're all familiar with. And if we're not, we SHOULD. Smile

To add to the Alice connection, Luna has a rather tense relationship with McGonagall. Minerva didn't seem too enthusiastic about awarding Ravenclaw points for Luna's heroic actions in OotP, though she was quite happy to give her Gryffindors points for it. She added points for Luna with "I suppose..." And, of course, we have the Quiddich commentary scene. It's safe to say Carroll's an influence on Jo, so I can't help but wonder if she took one of Minerva's catch phrases from the Red Queen in Through The Looking Glass...

'I know what YOU'D like!' the Queen said good-naturedly, taking a little box out of her pocket. 'Have a biscuit?'

Alice thought it would not be civil to say 'No,' though it wasn't at all what she wanted. So she took it, and ate it as well as she could: and it was VERY dry; and she thought she had never been so nearly choked in all her life.

'While you're refreshing yourself,' said the Queen, 'I'll just take the measurements.' And she took a ribbon out of her pocket, marked in inches, and began measuring the ground, and sticking little pegs in here and there.

'At the end of two yards,' she said, putting in a peg to mark the distance, 'I shall give you your directions--have another biscuit?'

'No, thank you,' said Alice: 'one's QUITE enough!'

'Thirst quenched, I hope?' said the Queen.

Curiouser and curiouser...

Minerva's head of Gryffindor House, who's main color is red.

Fans have come up with some elaborate chess theories regarding the 7th book, suggesting that a lot was outlined during the chess scene in the first one. I doubt that, but that was true about Through The Looking Glass, the entire novel following the chess game at the beginning. Alice eventually becomes a Queen, herself, rather than the Pawn she started the game as. She has her final confrontation with the Red Queen...

`Take care of yourself!' screamed the White Queen, seizing Alice's hair with both her hands. `Something's going to happen!'

And then (as Alice afterwards described it) all sorts of things happened in a moment. The candles all grew up to the ceiling, looking something like a bed of rushes with fireworks at the top. As to the bottles, they each took a pair of plates, which they hastily fitted on as wings, and so, with forks for legs, went fluttering about in all directions: `and very like birds they look,' Alice thought to herself, as well as she could in the dreadful confusion that was beginning.

At this moment she heard a hoarse laugh at her side, and turned to see what was the matter with the White Queen; but, instead of the Queen, there was the leg of mutton sitting in the chair. `Here I am!' cried a voice from the souptureen, and Alice turned again, just in time to see the Queen's broad good-natured face grinning at her for a moment over the edge of the tureen, before she disappeared into the soup.

There was not a moment to be lost. Already several of the guests were lying down in the dishes, and the soup-ladle was walking up the table towards Alice's chair, and beckoning to her impatiently to get out of its way.

`I can't stand this any longer!' she cried, as she jumped up and seized the tablecloth with both hands: one good pull, and plates, dishes, guests and candles came crashing down together in a heap on the floor.

`And as for you,' she went on, turning fiercely upon the Red Queen, whom she considered as the cause of all the mischief--but the Queen was no longer at her side--she had suddenly dwindled down to the size of a little doll, and was now on the table, merrily running round and round after her own shawl, which was trailing behind her.

At any other time, Alice would have felt surprised at this, but she was far too much excited to be surprised at anything now. `As for you,' she repeated, catching hold of the little creature in the very act of jumping over a bottle which had just lighted upon the table, `I'll shake you into a kitten, that I will!'

She took her off the table as she spoke, and shook her backwards and forwards with all her might.

The Red Queen made no resistance whatever: only her face grew very small, and her eyes got large and green: and still, as Alice went on shaking her, she kept on growing shorter--and fatter--and softer--and rounder--and--

--and it really was a kitten, after all.


John Bumbledore - Nov 17, 2006 9:50 am (#736 of 980)

Someone suggested that Minerva McGonagall would not only be Head of Hogwarts but also take over as leader of The Order.

Excuse me, did I miss a reference that shows that Minerva McGonagall is a member of the Order? I didn't think she was in The Order. In the Slughorn chapter, Harry assures Horace that staff members don't need to be members of The Order. We have not seen Minerva at any Order meeting. True enough that she was there to defend Hogwarts while Dumbledore was away, but that was as the ranking staff member and does not confer membership in The Order.

Other than that, it does seem that Minerva will be Head of Hogwarts should the board of governors decide to keep the school open. We know the staff has voted to keep the school open. And yes she will need to appoint a assistant head, head of house for Gryffindor, and perhaps a head of house for Slytherin (if Sluggy doesn't stay on), hire a new DADA teacher, arrange for improved security which may include cleaning out more than just the vanishing cabinet from the room of requirement, and even eliminate the duel Divination post.

So will Minerva keep Trelawney or Firenze? Eek! I think she may send Trelawney packing unless DD had made other arrangements in a will or final instructions. Now only Harry knows why DD though it so important to provide Trelawney with "lodging" at Hogwarts after she was dismissed by Umbridge.

As for the comparison of Minerva to the Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass? Though I never read the story and only saw the Disney animated movie, I saw the Red Queen as more like Umbridge than McGonagall.

Well, if I have revisited any topics previously addressed by this thread, please forgive me. I did not review the entire thread, only the recent post as I landed here following the Red Queen comparison. I will gladly follow any direction to previous post that address any of these topics.

<)B^D˜ John Bumbledore


haymoni - Nov 17, 2006 10:06 am (#737 of 980)

I thought she came to #12 once in HBP.


Steve Newton - Nov 17, 2006 10:37 am (#738 of 980)

She does. Harry comments that she looks odd in Muggle clothes. I don't have a chapter reference handy.


S.E. Jones - Nov 17, 2006 11:41 am (#739 of 980)

Haymoni, it's OotP, not HBP. It's in chapter 6, p118 for those with the US/Scholastic editions: “...he also caught sight of his Transfiguration teacher, Professor McGonagall, looking very odd in a Muggle dress and coat, though she also seemed too busy to linger.... “

I'm quite sure there are other references in the book, but I'll have to look for them.


Steve Newton - Nov 17, 2006 11:57 am (#740 of 980)

S.E., thanks for the correction.


journeymom - Nov 17, 2006 1:55 pm (#741 of 980)

Also, in OotP Harry is with McGonagall, Umbridge is present (maybe during career counseling?) and Harry almost mentions the Order in front of Umbridge. McGonagall looks at him pointedly and just barely shakes her head.


kingdolohov - Nov 17, 2006 2:14 pm (#742 of 980)

Harry says in "Out of the Fire":

“Hermione, it doesn't matter if he's done it to get me there or not - they've taken McGonagall to St. Mungo's, there isn't anyone left from the Order at Hogwarts who we can tell...”

Just another example.


rambkowalczyk - Nov 18, 2006 7:43 am (#743 of 980)

I doubt if Minerva will be head of the Order since she didnt know what Dumbledoe and Harry were doing. She does have a far better chance of being Headmistress, but I think politics will interfere and Scrimgeour will try to put in an outsider.


Solitaire - Nov 18, 2006 11:34 am (#744 of 980)

I don't know if that should be a condition, ramb ... How many other Order members do you suppose knew what DD and Harry were doing? My guess is none ... with the possible exception of Snape or Aberforth (seeing how he was DD's brother). Even those two are iffy. And who is going to want Snape to be head of the Order under current conditions?



journeymom - Nov 18, 2006 1:21 pm (#745 of 980)

So, is the Order going to disband, perhaps? Could Arthur head it up? Maybe Harry witll finally tell McGonagall about the Horcruxes in order to gain her help?


Choices - Nov 18, 2006 6:16 pm (#746 of 980)

With Dumbledore alive, the Order was run by one person. With Dumbledore gone, I can see the Order being run by a "committee" of the most senior members.


Solitaire - Nov 18, 2006 6:48 pm (#747 of 980)

Who knows? Maybe it will be ... Harry! What do you think?


haymoni - Nov 18, 2006 8:17 pm (#748 of 980)

I think it will be Moody.

Minerva has enough on her plate.


rambkowalczyk - Nov 19, 2006 8:16 am (#749 of 980)

Solitaire, I happen to agree.( post 747.)  I always thought that Dumbledore formed the Order to protect whoever the chosen one might be and to later assist him in his quest.


Detail Seeker - Nov 19, 2006 10:31 am (#750 of 980)

Choices wrote: "... I can see the order run by a "committee" of the most senior members"

I hope not. Collective leadership is no leadership, so there must be someone, who finally decides, what is to be done. This "committee" may - and certainly will serve as some sort of staff, preparing decisions. That is, what we were shown looking at the remnants of the meetings in OoP. But the final decision and responsibility should be taken by a single person. Decisions, where the responsibility can be hidden in a majority vote of a committee, tend to represent more the wish for security of the deciders ("Look, we have done something...") than the effectivity.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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Choices - Nov 19, 2006 10:42 am (#751 of 980)

I said that about being run by a "committee" because I see no obvious, standout sort of leader. It could be Moody, Lupin, Shacklebolt, McGonagall, Weasley, etc., but no one person stands out as the potential leader - at least to me. I agree that one main leader would be best, but I just don't know who it will be.


kingdolohov - Nov 19, 2006 5:47 pm (#752 of 980)

If it's a committee, there's a good chance that the Order will become divided and less effective. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this happens at some point.


Thom Matheson - Nov 20, 2006 8:19 am (#753 of 980)

I wouldn't be surprised if the Order wasn't a part of the book, per se. Without Dumbledore I don't see any real successor. I can see Harry getting help from his Order friends but that is about it.


TomProffitt - Nov 29, 2006 1:23 pm (#754 of 980)

As near as I can figure the Order of the Phoenix had an almost cell structure like a revolutionary group. The reason we don't know who is next in line to lead is because Harry was a cell leader himself (the D.A.) while not being part of the "governing council." He was intentionally kept ignorant of what the other cells were doing. We've seen several of the "cell leaders" in action already, most notably Moody & McGonagall. I expect Moody to take over the Order's leadership.

Minerva will remain at Hogwarts, but it is far to soon with far too little information to know who will be Headmaster of Hogwarts. I think we can be certain Hogwarts will reopen, there is too much information in chats, interviews, & such to make us think it won't reopen at all.


Chemyst - Nov 29, 2006 2:33 pm (#755 of 980)

...but it is far to soon with far too little information to know who will be Headmaster of Hogwarts.

As I was reading that, I was thinking 'No way, McGonagall's the obvious choice;' but by the time I finished the next sentence, I'd changed my mind!

Having given it all of two minutes thought now, I think you are right. A new Headmaster would be just the twist needed for the board to approve the re-opening. The problem is that the most experienced person we know for that job, having briefly filled the position before, is the unthinkable Dolores Umbridge.


Thom Matheson - Nov 29, 2006 9:10 pm (#756 of 980)

If we are looking only at the running of the school Minerva is the obvious choice. It is hard for me to not compare her to Dumbledore regarding what is a qualified Headmaster, or Mistress. Dumbledore was the Wizarding World. "Where he spat, no grass grows". Chief warlock, head of the Wizengamot, man oh man the list just goes on and on. Ther just isn't a replacement for Dumbledore, that we have been introduced to as yet.

Minerva has been the perfect right hand for so long, I don’t know that she has my idea of the right stuff. She hasn't shown me much under stress, and when it has come up she gets unnerved easily. Even little things like Quidditch matches. She is a better order taker then an order giver.


Meoshimo - Dec 1, 2006 9:11 am (#757 of 980)

Thom, I disagree (with part of your post). When she comes under stress, she takes sides and starts fighting. When something unsportsmanlike happens in Quidditch, she doesn't stand for it. She fought Death Eaters bravely at Hogwarts. She's never had problems that we've seen with running Hogwarts. The only person I remember her following rather than leading was Dumbledore. But then tha's Dumbledore, innit?

(I just woke up, so these thoughts may not be very well formed)


Thom Matheson - Dec 1, 2006 9:11 pm (#758 of 980)

Meoshimo, your Quidditch example is what I was talking about. She became very angry, and very vocal. A fan mentality. I see the Headmistress as very even tempered, just as with any manager or good management person. Dumbledore most always maintains a certain decorum that Minerva does not. That part of her that becomes excitable and very emotional make her not management material to me. Another example of this is the career counseling with Harry in her argument with Umbridge. She gets so made she does the predictable. She says that she will make Harry an Auror, no matter what, just to spite Umbridge. It was almost as if Harry was no longer in the room.

Please do not take this the wrong way. Minerva is a great character, a great second in command, but I don't think that her Leadership qualities are quite up to snuff. Please understand also that I am personally biased in this department as this is what I do for a living. It in no way reflects what we know from the books other then how I formed my opinion from my background teaching and coaching management personell.


Chemyst - Dec 2, 2006 5:27 am (#759 of 980)

In Minerva's case, her effectiveness as a leader would depend a lot upon how well and how consistently she is able to compartmentalize her emotions. She certainly has the knowledge to run Hogwarts. While her temperament is her weakness, the only times she hasn't been in control of it are the times her sense of justice for others is greater; a strong sense of right/wrong is a good thing for a leader. She is pretty adept at controlling her sense of justice about any personal insults– OK, so sarcasm doesn't qualify as a trait of fine leadership, but she didn't allow Umbridge to unhinge her personally or to derail her lesson plans.

If she can suck it up for the personal attacks, then I find Thom's point about excitability, while valid, to be not quite as worrisome as some of the stuff we saw in the meeting at the end of HBP. DD was dead. She consults with a cross-section of advisors. So far, so good. But then she really disappointed me– I really wanted her to submit a recommendation to the board, not just defer to it.

But I suppose that is where story-telling takes precedence over reality. The scene is wholly crafted to set up a cliff hanger; so if they had made a decision, it would have ruined the "Will/Won't Hogwarts stay open?" uncertainty. I know everyone was still in shock from DD's death and it wasn't a good time to make hasty decisions, but I think a strong leader would have said, "We will give our recommendation to the board in a week," and not simply pass with, "We'll see what the board decides."


Thom Matheson - Dec 2, 2006 5:47 am (#760 of 980)

I would have, as you say, wanted to see Minerva, "tell them", "We will, of course, be keeping the school open, as that is what Dumbledore would want". As there is no other school for Wizarding Families, where do they go if not Hogwarts? You just don't stop education. Even Columbine reopened. Minerva should not even be entertaining such an idea, and as the leader, it is her place to confirm that and restore stability as quickly as possible. I would have thought that she would have been speaking at Dumbledore's funeral, but perhaps that is a JKR plot thing for later.

Getting input from advisors is of course important, but a leader has to lead. It's just that when she has had the couple of opportunities, she has not. The other example, in PoA was discussing what happened with the Potters with Rosemerta. The conversation seemed so "water coolerish" type gossip, with Hagrid and Fudge. Kind of a ....and then guess what happened next? conversation. Also not very leader like. There is the letter of the law, and the intent of the law and whereas Dumbledore was quite able to make that distinction, Minerva seems to be more of the letter of the law type. Unfortunately life isn't quite that black and white.

Perhaps, if she gets the nod, her star will shine. I do like her sense of fair play. She does believe in dishing out punishment evenly regardless of house. She will, assuming she gets the position, have a very big job ahead of her. She will have to replace nearly half of the core class teachers in the summer.

Let us also not discount the fact that Rufus and his gang could jump right in and try to take the school over as well. As you stated Chemyst, "storytelling for the big cliffhanger ending".


Meoshimo - Dec 2, 2006 8:43 am (#761 of 980)

After hearing your more in-depth explaination, I do have to agree with you about McGonagall.


Ludicrous Patents Office - Dec 2, 2006 7:09 pm (#762 of 980)

She is a better order taker then an order giver. Thom

She has always worked for Dumbledore. He chose wisely in her. Without him she may be able to grow into the leadership role. She had an excellent mentor. I imagine she will be a more traditional Headmistress. Dumbledore was noted for his eccentric choices. The office accepted her and the portraits gave her information.

I hate the idea of Umbridge coming back! I'd rather the school closed. LPO


Thom Matheson - Dec 2, 2006 9:11 pm (#763 of 980)

That's a good point about the portraits. I would believe that their acceptance is a great clue. My concerns were based on real world experience not Potterverse. You are right that she could grow well into that kind of Head. Real world is broken down into 4 types, and my vision doesn't make her's wrong. Like you though I am very concerned that JKR could turn the school over to a more stringent Ministry control, and I absolutely do not trust Rufus. I can see him using the school as a bargaining chip held over Harry's head quite easily.


Solitaire - Dec 9, 2006 1:20 pm (#764 of 980)

McGonagall certainly has a less "relaxed," more reserved demeanor with the kids than Dumbledore had. However, she esteemed and trusted Dumbledore so much (I believe) that--if she lives to head Hogwarts in less dangerous times--she might well relax a bit herself. She already seems to be a bit more "personable" with our trio, and possibly Neville, than with other students. But that is JM2K ... Perhaps I'm seeing something that isn't really there.



Laura W - Dec 10, 2006 3:55 am (#765 of 980)

Thom , in your considered post 760, I almost hear you saying that Minerva would not be a good Headmistress because she is no Dumbledore. Well, who is?

I agree that she did get a bit carried away during that conversation with Umbridge concerning Harry becoming an Auror, but nobody said that one has to do the right thing all the time to be head of a school. If that were the case, nobody would qualify. I think she has shown excellent qualities for the job in the first six books.

(And I see nothing wrong with her calling the Heads of the houses in to get their input re whether Hogwarts should stay open in HBP. Surely, a good leader - while making the ultimate decision on important issues - *is* inclusive and respects the views of those who he/she appointed as heads of departments in a corporation.)

McGonagall is tough but fair. She cares deeply about the students but does not get inappropriately emotionally involved with them. (There are several examples of how much she loves Harry - beginning with her discussion with Dumbledore on Privet Drive in PS but, as his Head of house, she gives him lectures and detentions when he deserves them.) She is courageous, as we saw when she stormed out to confront the Aurors in Hagrid's hut. And she has a good memory, as we can see when she recalled that Augusta Longbottom failed to receive an OWL in Charms.

I am not saying that McGonagall will not make mistakes but I still believe that, in times of peace or wartime, she would be an excellent successor to Dumbledore.



Thom Matheson - Dec 10, 2006 7:28 am (#766 of 980)

Laura, that is not what I meant, or at least, that is not what I was trying to convey. Actually I am sure that Minerva will be the first choice.

No one will be a Dumbledore, any more than can be a Laura W.

I tend to look at such things as to the qualities of good management personnel. Dumbledore had all of the qualities that are important to management. Even temper, reserved, friendly to all yet distanced from all, able to dissect the big picture from fragments. Just having a bit of knowledge isn't enough.

Minerva on the other hand is very emotional, and sometimes makes decisions based on that. Throughout the books she has shown the compassion needed to be a great teacher, just not a good leader. Calling the Heads of Houses was the right thing to do, a good leader gets input from their staff before making a final decision that big. Having Harry there was not. Great for the story, so plese don't all of you get me for that. It's just that he is a student, and didn't belong in the "board room". Just a matter of principle.

I was giving my opinion based on real world, but all the same, leadership is not an easy task to master even in the Wizarding World. For the same reasons Fudge does not have very strong leadership qualities either. Madame Bones does. The way she handled the court scene, inspite of Fudge in OoP was very strong.

There are many other examples in the books, but I just don't believe that Minerva is one of them. She could become an ok Head, but I just don't think that she has leadership skills of consequence.


Choices - Dec 10, 2006 9:26 am (#767 of 980)

Good post Laura - I have to agree with you!


Thom Matheson - Dec 10, 2006 10:45 am (#768 of 980)

I think that some of you are missing my point here. In no way am I trying to bash Minerva. I was only bringing up her leadership skills. She is a great #2 for Dumbledore and the students, I just don't know about being a great #1.

I would refer you to a book titled "The Peter Principle". The basic premise here is that just because a person does a good job, doesn't necessarily mean that they will do the same if given a promotion.

As an example; A bricklayer goes on a jobsite and does a great job laying bricks. They continue to perform the skill well, always being ahead of schedule, little waste etc. The boss, then promotes that person to head of the job site, where they perform fairly well again. That person is then promoted again to supervisor where then then fall down and fail. Work orders get messed up, etc. If the boss had realized that that person would have remained an asset to the company had they left them alone to be a really great bricklayer or job site leader. The person, rather then being fired for failing is then put into a position that can cause no more harm to the business, aka latereal arabesque.

For all the reasons you, and I, think that she is a valuable asset to the WW and the school, just doesn't necessarily make her a great leader.


Laura W - Dec 10, 2006 11:23 am (#769 of 980)

Thanks, Choices. (friendly wink)

Nobody thinks you are saying you hate Minerva or anything, Thom. We just disagree with your evaluation of how she will perform as Headmistress.

Am very familiar with The Peter Principle (doesn't have anything to do with Wormtail, does it? smirk) and I agree with it. There is no question some people find their niche at a certain level and should stay there because that is where their best performance lies: because of their temperament or level of ability or the amount of time they are willing to put into their job, or for whatever reason. Flitwick, for example, is apparently an excellent Charms professor - not to mention champion dueler - but, from what I have seen of his behavior in the first six books, I think he would make a lousy Headmaster. I think quite the opposite about McGonagall for the reasons I outlined in my previous post.

Unlike you, I do not deal with HR on a professional basis and never have. I am just going by what I have read about her in the series and how I see it. Guess this is an agree-to-disagree moment.


TomProffitt - Dec 10, 2006 2:12 pm (#770 of 980)

After some thought on the current topic, I would have to say that I think Minerva is perfectly capable of running Hogwarts. Essentially she has been running it since Tom Riddle's return. Minerva has run the school while Dumbledore worked on the Tom Riddle problem.

That said, I don't think that Minerva is prepared to run the Order of the Phoenix.


Thom Matheson - Dec 10, 2006 3:06 pm (#771 of 980)

Yep, I agree to disagree. Probable a Maple Leaf fan as well. Let see, last night Red Wings 5 Maple Leafs 1. OOPS.

All in good fun, our first disagree?


S.E. Jones - Dec 10, 2006 8:05 pm (#772 of 980)

I think Dumbledore was so very perfect as management because, well, he's old. It is easy to be fair and to view the bigger picture when you have the advantage of wisdom brought on by 150 years worth of hindsight. It is easy to be even tempered and friendly yet reserved when you've reached an age where society no longer has a pressure on you to conform and when your hindsight makes you realize, "what will it hurt to take the extra five minutes to give a friendly greeting, I've already taken 150 years". I'm not saying that all aged people are fair, even tempered, etc., but I am saying that it is easier to be of that mind set when you have the experience of an entire lifetime (or a few lifetimes in Dumbledore's case) to see how your actions affect others and how they're actions affect you. I think that, with time, Minerva (while never being quite the "zen fool" that Dumbledore was) may fit the profile of good management material more and more. I think she has what is needed to be truly good at the job, even if she doesn't make a routine practice of following the necessary steps.


Laura W - Dec 11, 2006 3:00 am (#773 of 980)

All in good fun, our first disagree? (Thom Matheson)

Thom, you wag! Not quite our first. You and I do not exactly see Snape the same way either. (wink) (And, by the way, being a native Torontonian, growing up I was a live-or-die-by-the-Leafs fan. But that was many, many moons ago.)

TomProffitt, I do agree with you on this. (gasp!) I, too feel Minerva is well-suited to head Hogwarts School but would not be the right candidate to take charge of the Order. Two completely different organizations, requiring different qualities and qualifications. I don't think she would even want that position.

(Gosh, what's going to happen to the Order of the Phoenix as a cohesive body mandated to defeat Lord Voldemort and his followers now that DD is gone? This is starting to worry me. I wonder if DD already picked his successor before his death. He pretty well thinks of everything, so I can see that being the case. Ok, I feel better now.)



Chemyst - Dec 11, 2006 4:57 am (#774 of 980)

Since the membership of the Order who have 'passed over' has been steadily increasing, it's possible that DD will continue to oversee it from his 'branch office.' All he needs is a good courier service.

However, since this is Minerva's thread, we have seen two things she cares about more than she cares about Hogwarts; one is the students as persons, and the other is justice/fairness. While these are both very honorable character traits, they tend to make a person focus on the "little picture" details. And although it seems both personally wrong and unfair, those two traits would probably become the fly in Minerva's management oil. DD never got too involved with individual students (Harry & Tom Riddle being rare exceptions) and DD never did much in the way of being pro-active when it came to managing/controlling Umbridge.

DD seems to get a pass on not dealing with Umbridge more forcefully. If McGonagall were to become headmistress, I doubt she would be afforded the same grace. Folks would probably have been all over her case for letting that Umbridge woman get away with so much. My point is that I think people would put management demands on McGonagall that they did not place on DD.


Thom Matheson - Dec 11, 2006 6:50 am (#775 of 980)

Laura and Tom, (Oh that poor dead horse), regarding the Order, you are assuming that Dumbledore died by choice so as to pick a successor?


TomProffitt - Dec 11, 2006 7:12 am (#776 of 980)

Thom, no I'm not. I'm just saying I think Minerva will do fine with the school and is not the best leader for the Order. I'm not commenting on the circumstances of Dumbledore's death at all.


Laura W - Dec 11, 2006 7:48 am (#777 of 980)


I suggest you reread my post 773 carefully. First I agreed with Tom that McGonagall will make a good Headmistress. Then I agreed with Tom that she would not make a good leader of the Order. Then I started to worry, all on my own, about *who* would be a good leader. And comforted myself by speculating DD would possibly have picked a successor (*not* Minerva). The Tower incident aside, he knows he has to die sometime - he's 150 years old, for Merlin's sake! -, and probably prepared for that contingency.

That was *all* I said! So don't go bringing the Dumbledore's Death thread in here. I didn't. You are making imaginary connections, Thom, and putting words into my mouth (well, into my fingers, to be strictly accurate).



Thom Matheson - Dec 11, 2006 8:09 am (#778 of 980)

Whoa whoa. That wasn't what I meant at all. You said I hope that he picked his successor before he died. My fragmented mind thought that if he wasn't planning to die, would he pick a successor? I didn't bring the DD thread into play, or if I did didn't mean it that way.


Laura W - Dec 11, 2006 8:24 am (#779 of 980)

My fragmented mind thought that if he wasn't planning to die, would he pick a successor?

You mean, he thought he would live forever?

He knows he is 150 years old, he knows the second war has begun, he doesn't know how long it will last and that the Order will need somebody to be their general throughout it, he is the wisest wizard in the world. Without any canon to prove it, when I gave it some thought as I was typing post 773, logic told me he would have planned who would take over at Hogwarts (McGonagall) and as leader of the Order of the Phoenix (not her, I am saying) long before now. It would be very irresponsible for him not to have done so. And I don't think DD is irresponsible.


Thom Matheson - Dec 11, 2006 8:27 am (#780 of 980)

Ok. No issues.


Regan of Gong - Dec 11, 2006 2:55 pm (#781 of 980)

I agree with Thom.

McGonagall could become Headmistress, but I don't think she'd be terribly good at it. She could manage issues such as punishments, paperwork and such, but as for making big decisions about the school, I'm not so sure. I think if you took away his hate and bias towards students, Snape could do that sort of thing...


journeymom - Dec 11, 2006 3:53 pm (#782 of 980)

I think Minerva will be excellent.

Think about what was required of Dumbledore to run Hogwarts, without getting that job mixed up with his efforts to defeat Voldemort. They're not the same thing. Minerva hasn't done anything yet to indicate she'd be a stirring leader of the Order. She's very competent and righteous and has compassion, all things required of a good Headmistress.

What Dumbledore was doing to defeat LV can't be compared to running Hogwarts.

Much as I like the idea of Redeemed!Snape eventually becoming Headmaster, canon Snape would be horrible. He'd be right up there with Phineas Black, least popular headmaster ever. Even with his bad attitude about children aside, he could never diplomatically deal with the Board or the Ministry. We might speculate about his abilities, but we've only ever seen him in the role of employee, never in the role of executive decision maker. Nonetheless, I do like the idea.


Regan of Gong - Dec 11, 2006 6:27 pm (#783 of 980)

I speculate about his abilities.


Honour - Dec 12, 2006 2:26 am (#784 of 980)

... And since Severus is on the lamb so to speak, and the office has accepted Minerva then ...

I too, question Minerva's managerial abilities. Besides the points that Thom brought up, little instances come to mind, like in the thick of battle Minerva sent a past 'duelling' champion i.e. Flitwick, to go fetch Severus, when the Professor's skills would have come in handy, and, she should have really sent the students to perform this task and away from harm. Yes I know I have bought this up in the past but it still annoys me. The fact that Dumbledore doesn't tell her where he and Harry are going also annoys me. Dumbledore habitually keeps Minerva, his second, out of the loop, what's that all about? And right from the beginning, how did Minerva know that Dumbledore was going to deliver Harry to 4 Privet Drive? When she knew little else about that nights' happenings, other than the circulating rumours?

OK now I've got that lot off my chest, I feel better now ... please continue ...Smile


TomProffitt - Dec 12, 2006 4:27 am (#785 of 980)

Flitwick, to go fetch Severus, when the Professor's skills would have come in handy ...  --- Honour

Flitwick is not in the Order of the Phoenix. I've always been under the impression that there is a reason that he stays out of the fray. I don't know what that reason is, but I assume that's why Flitwick was sent for Snape instead of into battle.


Choices - Dec 12, 2006 10:44 am (#786 of 980)

... And since Severus is on the lamb so to speak, and the office has accepted Minerva then ...

I hope everyone can appreciate what great effort and restraint it takes for me to make no comment about Severus being on the lamb. Thank you. :-)


Chemyst - Dec 12, 2006 12:33 pm (#787 of 980)

Choices, I do appreciate it ;  however, I would have neither lamb basted   nor lambasted you if you had.


Choices - Dec 12, 2006 12:48 pm (#788 of 980)

LOL Good one, Chemyst. :-)


Honour - Dec 12, 2006 2:49 pm (#789 of 980)

Oh choices teehee! and yes, good one Chemyst:)

A good headmaster or teacher would have put her students first. The students should have been sent either to a safe place or to have rallied the Prefects to up date them and make sure the rest of the school were made safe.

For goodness sakes there was a Werewolf with a penchant for biting children, on the premesis, oh, and the Death Eaters and the full scale battle that was going on!

No, Minerva would not make a good enough leader for the Order, not even sure about her being a good (enough) Headmistress, but Dumbledore was the same, he allowed his students i.e. Harry, Ron and Hermione to get into risky situations ... so on reflection Minerva as Headmistress sure, why not?


S.E. Jones - Dec 15, 2006 2:33 pm (#790 of 980)

Honour --and, she should have really sent the students to perform this task and away from harm.—

She didn't know the students were there then, did she? At that point (when she sends Flitwick to fetch Snape), Ron, Ginny and Neville are guarding the Room of Requirement and Hermione and Luna are standing outside Snape's office (remember they see Flitwick run in to fetch Snape). When she finally does run into them, isn't she with the rest of the Order members and shortly there after (Lupin makes it sound like very shortly after) they run into Draco and the DEs. Fighting then broke out between the two groups. When would she really have had time to send them away? She may have told them to get back to their common room, but she certainly wouldn't have had the time to make sure they did, she would've had to worry about the safety of the school at large and go chasing after the DEs before they hurt anyone.


Steve Newton - Mar 6, 2007 7:23 pm (#791 of 980)

Mugglenet has an essay suggesting that McGonagall is the traitor in the OOTP. Of course, the evidence is implicative.

For a good while I was looking for evidence that Minerva was a traitor. I figured that she was the person who could do the most damage as a traitor and so I scouted around. I only found 2 things suspicious. One I can't remember and the other is in HBP when she seems not to know Dumbledore's plans. I wonder why she was out of the loop.

I would suggest that you all scout out the essay. Not convincing by any means but interesting.

Edit: I checked and this is what I wrote in post 513 (I think, I am already not sure.)

In chapter 18 of COS, the last chapter, when Fawkes brings the kids, and Lockhart, out of the Chamber, there is this conversation:

Molly leads off:

'You saved her! You saved her! How did you do it?"

“I think we'd all like to know that,” said Professor McGonagall weakly.'

Its the 'weakly' that I focused on. While it is probably the response of a person who is worn out from worry and stress for quite a while, it could also be the response of a disappointed person.


frogface - Mar 7, 2007 3:13 am (#792 of 980)

I also read that editorial Steve. An interesting idea, but I wasn't convinced.

I have every confidence in Minerva as a headmistress. She's clearly competent enough to be a head of house, and Dumbledore made her deputy head, demonstrating that he has confidence in her. She's strict but fair, and can even be a soft touch in her own way. Will she be good as Albus? No. But will she be good? Definitely yes in my opinion.

I can't see her as head of the Order though. That job I'd give to Moody, Kingsley or both. They could form a council and run it that way I suppose, with McGonagall being one of the Council members. She's certainly powerful and shrewd enough to be useful to them.


sstabeler - Mar 7, 2007 9:36 am (#793 of 980)

in COS, notice McGonagall is clutching her chest, roughly where her heart is. I have a sneaking suspicion that she had just finished saying that Ginny was doomed, when who should walk through the door with little warning, but Ginny, Harry and Ron. I think likely she nearly had a heart attack. ( not least because she probably thought Harry and Ron were in their Common Room.)


Lina - Mar 7, 2007 3:04 pm (#794 of 980)

Well, it is interesting that she was so concerned about Harry's welfare, at the beginning of the PS/SS when he definitely wasn't a student of her house yet, she knew where would DD bring Harry. But then, later, there were so many things that she didn't know?


wynnleaf - Mar 8, 2007 7:45 am (#795 of 980)

On the other hand, Lily and James were both students in her house and they'd just been murdered. It would be natural if she were concerned about their baby.


Soul Search - Mar 8, 2007 11:34 am (#796 of 980)

Most everyone in the wizarding world under fifty had been her student. Voldemort was killing a lot of wizards.

Why did Minerva McGonagall go to #4 Privet Drive and stay there for most of a day?

She hadn't been there before, she needed a map and to consult street signs. Dumbledore was surprised to see her, so she wasn't watching for him. Hagrid told her about #4, but when? She would have had to have seen Hagrid just as he was leaving Dumbledore's office to pick up Harry, or something like that.

She might have been there just for literary effect. That is, to create a little mystery as Vernon is leaving for work and so Dumbledore has someone to talk to when he arrives. That way, the reader learns a bit about what is going on. Still ... I am suspicious.


wynnleaf - Mar 8, 2007 11:49 am (#797 of 980)

Minerva's being there does help with the literary effect, as you say. It gives us a character through whose eyes we can observe the Dursley's home. Not that it's 1st person, of course, but it does help give us the sense that as we see the Dursleys, someone else is watching them also.

As far as McGonagall's interest in her students -- Lily and James would have only graduated a few years previously. Since so many people supposedly liked them, it would make sense if McGonagall had a special affection for them as well.

On the other hand, I don't really get the impression that McGonagall has a great deal of particular affection for Harry -- any more so than for many other members of Gryffindor.

In any case, I just don't think Minerva has been set up to be a traitor. We haven't been shown anything that could be construed as motive for her. We haven't been shown any particular clues as to how she could be a spy -- no links that we know of back to DEs or LV. We've been given no suspicious clues or comments about her past.

What I'm getting at is that if JKR has set up a traitor in Book 7 who will be shown to have been a hidden traitor throughout the series, it wouldn't be very strong from a literary perspective to just spring that on the reader without the reader being able to look back and "connect the dots" and see the clues throughout the book. I see a very, very few extremely tiny -- mostly not memorable -- scenes or comments (except for the opening chapter), that could possibly be construed as revealing anything suspicious. I think that JKR would have planted a few more things if Minerva was going to be her traitor.

It's not that I think the traitor should be obvious -- absolutely not! But once the traitor is revealed, the reader shouldn't feel a sort of "What?? Where did that come from?" Instead the reader should feel a sort of, "Wow, yeah! That's right! He/she was acting suspicious! I just didn't see it." Otherwise the big surprise comes across more like a kind of who-dunnit deus ex machina, which is not particularly satisfying.


Chemyst - Mar 8, 2007 2:04 pm (#798 of 980)

Dumbledore was surprised to see her, so she wasn't watching for him. – Soul Search

Dumbledore's surprise does not preclude Minerva's desire to speak to Dumbleore directly. I thought Minerva was trying to find Dumbledore, not find Harry. She'd asked Hagrid in the hope that he might know DD's whereabouts, and that is how she learned that sooner or later, DD would be showing up at 4PD. I think Hagrid was watching/babysitting Harry and was waiting for DD to tell him when it was safe to bring Harry. So Hagrid would not have known what time DD would be sending the "all clear" when Minerva was asking. Based on the information from Hagrid, she decided to wait for DD at 4PD.
I guess that is just one more thing to check for on the read-through before DH.


Soul Search - Mar 8, 2007 3:08 pm (#799 of 980)


My mistake. The line meant McGonagall wasn't watching at Dumbledore's behest. He hadn't sent her there.

I agree, McGonagall did want to talk to Dumbledore, but would she have waited from morning to after midnight just for that? Had to have been more to it.


Mediwitch - Mar 8, 2007 8:01 pm (#800 of 980)

Actually, I think McGonagall would have waited all day just to talk with Dumbledore. She obviously didn't know where he was, but she did find out where he was going to be, so that's where she went. Dumbledore is the ultimate authority in the wizarding world, so it does seem feasible that she would wait around all day in the place she knew he would eventually show up in order to get the information she wanted.
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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TheSaint - Mar 8, 2007 8:05 pm (#801 of 980)

I am with Mediwitch.

I think McG was not going to believe anything until she heard it from DD, and if that took all day, so be it.


Chemyst - Mar 9, 2007 4:16 am (#802 of 980)

...but would she have waited from morning to after midnight just for that?

Yes, I think so. This was Voldemort, the darkest wizard of all time of whom the rumors were flying. While lesser witches were out partying, Minerva is smart enough to be skeptical. She just did not have the temperament that could take a rebounding AK at face value until it was confirmed by Dumbledore.


Thom Matheson - Mar 9, 2007 6:18 am (#803 of 980)

If this was a week day on Nov. 1 who took over her classes in order to be gone all day?


journeymom - Mar 9, 2007 10:35 am (#804 of 980)

Maybe classes were canceled in celebration.


rambkowalczyk - Mar 9, 2007 1:19 pm (#805 of 980)

Regarding McGonagall being a spy

It is something I have considered and put on the back burner, kind of like what I did when the Lupin thread asked the same question of Lupin. It's possible but alot of things are possible. Doesn't mean it will happen.

What made me question her loyalty were three things: As a literary plot it would work well. No one suspects her, the way she wouldn't listen to Harry in the first book when he wanted to tell Dumbledore about the stone, and the fact that she has no idea what Dumbledore is doing. Not proof but facts consistant with both possibilities.

If she is a spy it's most likely that she is deep cover because like Snape I don't think she went to Voldemort's rebirthing ceremony in GOF. Like Snape she went afterwards in private.

If she is a spy she doesn't have to be particularly nasty. Most of us thought Barty Jr was just fine until the end. All that matters to Voldemort is that her information is reliable and that she does what she is asked.


wynnleaf - Mar 9, 2007 2:51 pm (#806 of 980)

The only real literary value I see to have McGonagall as the spy (other than a surprise), is that she's a Gryffindor, and it would be a shock that a spy wasn't a Slytherin. However, at this point (considering there will be no new major characters) practically all of the possibilities for a traitor are not Slytherins -- Order members, Percy, some of Harry's friends in Gryffindor, other teachers... The only other possible Slytherin traitor would be Slughorn, but that is highly unlikely since he only just came into the series in the last book, and really doesn't have any contacts that he can spy on, not being part of the Order or the MOM. It seems unlikely also since he'd been hiding for so long.

Anyway, my biggest problem with McGonagall as spy is that I don't think JKR has really set a stage to that kind of reversal.

A writer can surprise her readers in a good way -- the "wow, yeah! I should have seen it coming!" even if really the reader would practically never have figured it out prior to the revelation. The other reaction, "Wow, where did that come from?" isn't nearly as satisfying. If the reader can't connect the dots, the surprise just seems arbitrary and done solely for the shock value. But if the reader can look back and connect the dots, then the surprise seems like the perfect piece to complete an intricate puzzle.

I noted that when the Lupin-as-traitor theories were brought up, people seemed to almost treat them as spoilers that they didn't want to hear, didn't want to read, and didn't want to think about. My impression was that for many readers, it did "fit" although people found it distressing because they like the character so much.


Luna Logic - Mar 9, 2007 3:14 pm (#807 of 980)

wynnleaf : If the reader can't connect the dots, the surprise just seems arbitrary and done solely for the shock value. But if the reader can look back and connect the dots, then the surprise seems like the perfect piece to complete an intricate puzzle.

I agree with you. But, as I look back and connect the theory with the details, it seems to me as if a puzzle was solving itself.
And it does seems that some readers were not at ease with the character , or, with some situations concerning the character. I just happen to try on a young person of my entourage, great reader of HP and at the moment re reading book one (but not forum member or reader.
I asked the question, if there was a spy in the Order... who ?
After a question: Is he an obvious one like Ding? (there I said, no) - the first answer was : McGonagall, because of the end of book 6, because of the fist chapter and the way Dumbledore is talking to her in Privet Drive, and because Dumbledore doesn't trust her all books long.
I was very surprised... I didn't have for myself any doubts before Steve Newton's post above... Now they are growing and growing.


Steve Newton - Mar 9, 2007 3:37 pm (#808 of 980)

Wow, I hate to be the one to make you lose your faith.


Solitaire - Mar 10, 2007 11:03 am (#809 of 980)

Dumbledore was surprised to see her, so she wasn't watching for him.   I don't know ... I don't think he seemed particularly surprised to see her.

“For some reason, the sight of the cat seemed to amuse him. He chuckled and muttered, "I should have known." ...
... he sat down on the wall next to the cat. He didn't look at it, but after a moment he spoke to it.
Fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall. (PS/SS Ch. 1)”

I realize that movies aren't canon, but in the movie, he looked at McGonagall the cat and said, "I should have known that you'd be here, Professor McGonagall."

I guess that remark, even though the words are different from those in the book, didn't really make me think, Hm, that's a lot different than the reaction he had in the book.

Concerning Minerva as traitor ... I'm with Mediwitch, Chemyst, and the Saint. I think Minerva is exactly the kind of person who wants her information firsthand, not contaminated with the gossip and "junk" it collects going from mouth-to-mouth. This would have been more important than ever, considering the critical nature of the reports coming from GH. I simply cannot believe Minerva would ever have betrayed Dumbledore, and I will feel shocked and probably very disappointed if she turns out to have been the traitor in the Order. JM2K, however ...


Edited by me ... Ouch! Sorry, Laura! I see you quoted something I said, and I changed how I phrased it in my edit.


Laura W - Mar 10, 2007 11:07 am (#810 of 980)

I think Minerva is exactly the kind of person who wants her information firsthand, not contaminated with the gossip and junk" it collects going from mouth-to-mouth. This would have been more important than ever, considering the critical nature of the events."

How I see it too.



Laura W - Mar 10, 2007 11:59 am (#811 of 980)

  "Edited by me ... Ouch! Sorry, Laura! I see you quoted something I said, and I changed how I phrased it in my edit." (solitaire)

Blasted cross-posting!! (Hee, Hee)

Ok, so you wrote *both* "This would have been more important than ever, considering the critical nature of the events" - honestly she did, folks! - *and* "This would have been more important than ever, considering the critical nature of the reports coming from GH."

I still agree with both these statements. (smile)


  "I realize that movies aren't canon, but in the movie, he looked at McGonagall the cat and said, 'I should have known that you'd be here, Professor McGonagall.'" (solitaire)

Well, in my view he also said that same thing in the book with the passage, "For some reason, the sight of the cat seemed to amuse him. He chuckled and muttered, 'I should have known.' " (bold type mine)

He's known Minerva for about 59 years at this point, girl and woman, and he would not be surprised that she would have the need to find out for herself - immediately, and from the source - exactly what happened at GH. That's certainly her style. (Although there is no canon for it, somehow I 'siriusly' doubt if Professor McGonagall reads The Quibbler. We do know how fond she is of the subject of Divination. ("Tripe, Sybill?") - snort!)



Solitaire - Mar 10, 2007 3:24 pm (#812 of 980)

The whole of the conversation between Dumbledore and Minerva at 4PD makes me believe that they have always been very close. Her comments and his responses to her in OotP--immediately before he leaves the castle with Fawkes--reinforce that feeling. I've always believed that McGonagall would do anything to support Dumbledore, and I do not think his death will deter her from following anything she knows to have been his wishes.



wynnleaf - Mar 10, 2007 5:21 pm (#813 of 980)

While I don't think McGonagall will turn out to be the traitor, try this... Suppose JKR had used the fake-Moody/Barty Jr. character for several books. All the while, we'd see how supportive he seemed of Harry, nice to Neville, great teacher, etc. Think how shocked and disappointed readers would be when he turned out to be evil Barty Jr. who murdered his dad, helped the Lestranges torture the Longbottoms into insanity, and sent Harry and Cedric to Voldemort.

I would expect readers to be shocked, and perhaps even disappointed, at whoever the traitor turns out to be -- otherwise, JKR hasn't done her job well.


haymoni - Mar 10, 2007 7:38 pm (#814 of 980)

I still don't understand what made Minerva sit outside that house all day and into the night just because Hagrid told her that Dumbledore would be there later.

It's just weird.


Thom Matheson - Mar 10, 2007 9:31 pm (#815 of 980)

Why not just a set up to show the reader about the magical world? Nothing clandestine, just a bit of hocus pocus. What I mean is that the books first chapters used to get the reader into the WW mearly as a set up for the future. Too easy I know but....


Choices - Mar 11, 2007 9:32 am (#816 of 980)

Thom, I definitely think that is at least part of the reason, if not all.


Solitaire - Mar 11, 2007 4:13 pm (#817 of 980)

Haymoni, I think it helps to establish her character and personality. Dumbledore was not particularly surprised to see her, so the behavior seems to be in accordance with what he knows of her. As I stated previously, I think it shows that she is someone who wants the truth. She is not willing to accept something as fact until it has been corroborated by someone she trusts ... unlike those who accept anything they read in the Prophet or hear in the mouths of people in the street.



haymoni - Mar 12, 2007 4:56 am (#818 of 980)

But that's a long time to be sitting there.

The Potters get killed at night and she is there the next morning. It is definitely not in her personality to be out partying when there are questions to be answered.

Did Hagrid tell her that night that Dumbledore would be there later? She doesn't seem to know of the plan to leave Harry with the Dursleys - unless she doesn't realize that #4 was the actual home of Harry's relatives.

We are led to believe that she sits there all day. It is possible that she could have Apparated out of there several times during the day, but it doesn't seem that way.

Did she actually speak to Hagrid or did he send her a message via Order Post???

Just lots of questions about that first 24-48 hours that I hope Jo clarifies later on.


Luna Logic - Mar 13, 2007 12:14 am (#819 of 980)

Today, my argument in favour of an innocent scene:
Could the Order have decided to send someone to watch 4 Privet Drive in case of Death Eater having a link to the Potter/Dursley connection?
Dumbledore could have been busy elsewhere and would not know who the watcher was. Or maybe the Order organised watch's turns?


haymoni - Mar 13, 2007 5:26 am (#820 of 980)

There could very well have been someone always stationed at #4.

I think my curiosity at Minerva staying there all day is linked to my questions about what Hagrid did with Harry all day.


Solitaire - Mar 13, 2007 6:19 am (#821 of 980)

McGonagall did seem to be a bit shocked that Dumbledore would choose Hagrid to bring Harry to 4PD. This suggests that she has not been in contact with Hagrid since Harry was taken from GH ... doesn't it? I do hope we learn where he and Harry were during those "missing hours."

I honestly would not think it unusual if Dumbledore or someone from the Order had set a watch upon 4PD. After all, the Order certainly would have known that Petunia was Lily's next of kin. They might have assumed that the DEs would know it, as well, making it the first place they would look for Harry following what happened at GH.

McGonagall obviously knows about Dumbledore's plan to leave Harry with the Dursleys, and she is not too keen on it. Perhaps that's another reason why she was there ... checking them out.

When I read DD's comment, "Fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall," I don't see surprise. I see expectation. I've used that very phrase on friends I've met when I knew they were going to be exactly where they were. In other words, it's just an expression. I think DD knew well enough that McGonagall would be checking out the territory before he arrived. Would he have expected less from his "right arm"?




Soul Search - Mar 13, 2007 7:37 am (#822 of 980)


McGonagall did seem to be a bit shocked that Dumbledore would choose Hagrid to bring Harry to 4PD. This suggests that she has not been in contact with Hagrid since Harry was taken from GH ... doesn't it?

Puzzling pickup. She confirms to Dumbledore that she learned of #4 Privet Drive from Hagrid, yet didn't seem to know that Hagrid was to bring Harry there.

I wonder if owls can help with the mystery of events in "The Boy Who Lived?" There are numerous mentions of owls in the chapter. The first is when the Dursleys are in the kitchen: "None of them noticed a large, tawny owl flutter past the window." This statement got a whole paragraph, all by itself.

The next mention of "owls" is when Vernon is in his office: "He didn't see the owls swooping past in broad daylight, ..." Then, after Vernon has returned home, the newscaster says: "... bird watchers everywhere have reported that the nation's owls have been behaving very unusually today." Vernon then ponders the unusual events of the day including "Owls flying by daylight." He opens his questioning of Petunia with "Funny stuff on the news ... Owls ... shooting stars ..."

McGonagall learns a little of what's going on from the Muggle news, but she also says: "The owls are nothing next to the rumors that are flying around." How did she learn of "rumors?" She has been sitting on a brick wall all day. As a cat.

Owls have received a lot of mention not to be significant to the chapter. What about the owl that flew by the window? Who was it looking for? Petunia or McGonagall? If McGonagall received an owl while she was on Privett Drive who sent it? Not Dumbledore, he didn't acknowledge he knew she was there.

The opening chapter of the whole Harry Potter series seems more puzzling the more we have learned about the events it introduced.


haymoni - Mar 13, 2007 7:40 am (#823 of 980)

But she commented something like, "How did you know it was me?" so she didn't seem to think that Dumbledore should know that she was there.

Dumbledore is all-knowing, however.

Maybe Minerva is only half-knowing.

Edit: Yes! That first owl is so vexing!!

Is it coming to Petunia from Dumbledore? If so, she seems pretty shocked the next morning seeing Harry on the doorstep. Unless the letter was just about the death of Lily and not, oh, by the way, you now have to take care of your nephew that has an evil wizard after him.

Is it coming to Minerva from Hagrid? Maybe.

Is it coming to Mrs. Figg from someone and it just happens to fly by the Dursleys' window? That one is a stretch, but anything is possible.


Soul Search - Mar 13, 2007 8:34 am (#824 of 980)

Just some thoughts.

I can't escape the conclusion that McGonagall was on Privet Drive for a purpose. I can see a couple of possibilities.

McGonagall took it upon herself to inform Petunia, in person, that her sister had been killed. Not unreasonable. You wouldn't want to send that kind of news by owl post. To a Muggle who had never received a post owl before.

I can even develop a scenario where Dumbledore tasked McGonagall to inform Petunia, that still fits what we know of the scene, without too much stretching. Something like this:

   Just after the he learns of the events of Godric's Hollow Dumbledore moves to act quickly. In his usual fashion, he only tells people what they absolutely need to know.

   He tasks McGonagall with informing Petunia that Lily and James are dead.

   He tasks Hagrid with getting Harry and taking him to #4 Privet Drive.

   McGonagall sees Hagrid before they leave for their separate tasks. Hagrid drops the information that he will be meeting Dumbledore at Privet Drive, but not that he will have Harry.

   McGonagall goes to Privet Drive, but has never been there so needs the map and to check street signs to find the place.

   Dumbledore sends an owl to McGonagall updating her on events or confirming that Lily and James are dead and that Harry is alive and safe. The owl expects McGonagall to be in the house talking to Petunia, so looks in the kitchen window, but finds her outside the house, just arriving.

   She watches #4 for a while, as a cat. Later, she transforms back into herself and tells Petunia about Lily. Petunia is not particularly upset that her "freak" sister is dead.

   McGonagall does not know about Dumbledore's plan to leave Harry there, but wonders why Hagrid and Dumbledore are meeting in that Muggle neighborhood. She is, however, suspicious, so decides to wait around and find out what is going on.

   When Dumbledore arrives, a lot later than she thought it would be, he is surprised to see her still there. He thought she would tell Petunia then leave, but is not unusually surprised that she hung around, hence the "fancy seeing you here" comment.

I am a little surprised that Petunia didn't show much emotion at the news of her sister's death, or maybe she has gotten over it by the time Vernon returns and we see her again. I wonder that she didn't mention it, since Vernon brought up her "sister's crowd." Petunia and Vernon do seem to have an agreement that Petunia's sister is not to be discussed. Vernon is very hesitant about bringing up the unusual events and never actually says he heard the Potters' name and anything about Harry.


haymoni - Mar 13, 2007 9:11 am (#825 of 980)

Minerva says something like "Not with these people! I've watched them all day!"

She doesn't say anything about actually speaking to Petunia. I'm guessing if Minerva McGonagall EVER had a conversation with Petunia Dursley, it would be quite a memorable one! She'd offer more than a cough drop to Pet!


Soul Search - Mar 13, 2007 9:16 am (#826 of 980)


I agree that McGonagall should have confirmed to Dumbledore she had talked to Petunia. And, especially, that she didn't mention Petunia as a reason not to leave Harry there.


Choices - Mar 13, 2007 9:51 am (#827 of 980)

I get no impression that McGonagall has spoken with Petunia. I don't think she would dare do that without first speaking with Dumbledore. I think he explains in the note that he leaves with Harry what has happened to James and Lily and why Harry is there to stay.

Mcgonagall says to Dumbledore...."And I don't suppose you're going to tell me why you're here, of all places?"

It does not appear from that question that she knows Harry is being brought there to stay with his aunt and uncle.


Soul Search - Mar 13, 2007 10:32 am (#828 of 980)

haymoni, Choices,

I have to agree. Too much doesn't quite fit.

Yet, I can't accept that McGonagall just went to Privet Drive on her own whim. True, her presence does help move the early storyline along, but it would be better if she had a reason for being there. JKR is quite good at making things like that seem reasonable.


Choices - Mar 13, 2007 10:39 am (#829 of 980)

I think she did go there on her own, but I think it was because she was disturbed by the celebrating and the rumors flying around. She wanted to hear the truth from Dumbledore's own lips and she refused to believe it until she did.


Soul Search - Mar 13, 2007 10:48 am (#830 of 980)


Why wait all day, as a cat, on an uncomfortable wall? Surely, Dumbledore was at Hogwarts sometime, if not most, of that day. It would be more productive to wait outside his office door. Surely, she was needed at Hogwarts.

Hearing that Dumbledore would be at Privet Drive, she might want to see what was there. She didn't seem to know that the residents of #4 were related to Harry.

Why didn't she leave after a while?


haymoni - Mar 13, 2007 10:57 am (#831 of 980)

She certainly wasn't there on Dumbledore's order.

Hagrid told her that Dumbledore was going to be there, but he probably didn't say when.

I could see Minerva being stubborn enough to keep on waiting until he showed up.

Who took Minerva's classes that day? It wasn't a weekend if Vernon was at work. Students would have been at the Halloween feast the night before. I can't imagine her leaving the school the day after that.

I suppose with Voldy terrorizing everyone, maybe things were in lock-down mode - no celebration, nothing to celebrate.

Odd...very odd.


Choices - Mar 13, 2007 10:59 am (#832 of 980)

I don't have those answers - maybe she did not know when Dumbledore would be there and didn't want to miss him. Maybe he wasn't at Hogwarts that day. Maybe he was out gathering facts about what happened and planning what to do with Harry. Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe her being there all day just worked best for getting the story started.


haymoni - Mar 13, 2007 11:04 am (#833 of 980)

Yes, Choices, I'm sure you are right - I just want a clearer timeline of that day.

I want, I want, I want...sheesh!


Thom Matheson - Mar 13, 2007 11:17 am (#834 of 980)

I asked the same questions about her classes. All we could come up with is that Nov 1 was a Saturday that year. The fact that she was there all day I think, was to just not miss Dumbledore not knowing when he would arrive. She did seem cranky after waiting all day for him.


haymoni - Mar 13, 2007 11:56 am (#835 of 980)

I just don't see Vernon going to work on a Saturday.


TheSaint - Mar 13, 2007 1:00 pm (#836 of 980)

If you notice...McG asks DD how it is that Harry survived Volde's attack:

'It's - it's true?' faltered Professor McGonagall. 'After all he's done... all the people he's killed... he couldn't kill a little boy? It's just astounding... of all the things to stop him... but how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?'

'We can only guess,' said Dumbledore. 'We may never know.'

Now... I thought the whole reason Harry was going to the Dursley's was because DD had invoked some spell that would keep him safe 'where his mother's blood lives.' The spell was to work because his mother sacrificed her life to save his thus causing the AK to bounce, at Dumbledore knows it.

So... why is he not telling McG, and has he told anyone but Harry?


rambkowalczyk - Mar 13, 2007 1:47 pm (#837 of 980)

There's a timeline on the lexicon regarding the events at Godric's Hollow. For starters in SS, it says the story starts on a Tuesday. This is the day we follow Vernon to work and McGonagall sits on the stone wall.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I like the idea that McGonagall told Petunia that her sister died but she didn't know that Harry would be brought here. It could fit in.


Laura W - Mar 13, 2007 2:02 pm (#838 of 980)

Now... I thought the whole reason Harry was going to the Dursley's was because DD had invoked some spell that would keep him safe 'where his mother's blood lives.' The spell was to work because his mother sacrificed her life to save his thus causing the AK to bounce, at Dumbledore knows it. So... why is he not telling McG[

Oh, Saint! He is not telling Minerva that in the first chapter of PS because Jo does not want *us* to know that at this point in the book. I am not being flip or sarcastic here.

Jo has said many times that, throughout this whole series, she has had to be very careful how much information she gave out and when she revealed each piece. Obviously, she wanted her readers to find out about the magic that saved Harry and the magic DD put on 4PD at exactly the same times as Harry did. (He was told about the first in chapter 17 of PS and about the second in chapter 37 of OoP.)

In real life (real life?) I am guessing Dumbledore would have given McGonagall a lot more information when they met outside 4PD in The Boy Who Lived chapter. But he couldn't ... because Jo knew we were listening in. (wink)



MickeyCee3948 - Mar 13, 2007 4:09 pm (#839 of 980)

Yeah, We're nothing but a bunch of nosey, meddling, busy bodies who can't keep our noses out of Harry's affairs. Trying to give him advise on how to live his life from the backseat of his broom. Tsk..Tsk..Tsk. LOL everybody.



TomProffitt - Mar 14, 2007 4:53 am (#840 of 980)

Laura W's quite right. Jo was trying to tell us just enough information to move the story.

At the risk of heresy I should also like to point out that PS/SS was Jo's first novel and she wasn't as good at this disguising of information as she is the later books.

I think we can credit Minerva's unusual behavior in the first chapter of the series more to Jo's inexperience than to any ulterior motive on the part of our beloved Transfiguration Teacher.


Solitaire - Mar 14, 2007 6:15 am (#841 of 980)

I don't think it is too surprising that McGonagall would have heard about Harry's having survived, even though she spent most of her day in a Muggle neighborhood. After all, even Vernon heard snippets of comments ...

“The Potters, that's right, that's what I heard—“
“--yes, their son, Harry—“

... and he wasn't even listening for them. McGonagall would have had her sharp ears tuned to pick up anything. She even commented to Dumbledore about how careless people were being, talking openly about everything. As to Hagrid informing her that he would be at Privet, I suppose it's possible that he didn't reveal anything other than that he would be meeting him there--unlikely, given Hagrid's frequent slips, but possible.

I do not think it is unreasonable to expect that classes at Hogwarts were cancelled on the day in question. The entire Wizarding World was certainly in a state of upheaval ... even though for most people it was positive. I certainly do not believe Dumbledore was at Hogwarts all day, as someone suggested. I suspect he was making arrangements for Harry all day--putting spells in place, setting up Mrs. Figg in the neighborhood, etc. JM2K, though ...



TheSaint - Mar 14, 2007 6:35 am (#842 of 980)

I guess I can accept that answer, sad as it seems. Have we had any clue that McG has gained the knowledge of how Harry survived since then?

I also guess that Volde just figured it out and that is how he knew in GOF.


haymoni - Mar 14, 2007 7:28 am (#843 of 980)

If Dumbledore was out making plans, I find it very odd that the Deputy Headmistress was away from the school as well.

It is entirely possible that parents were as jittery then as they are now and were keeping their children at home, so the school could have been shut down for security reasons.


Choices - Mar 14, 2007 9:03 am (#844 of 980)

It seems that when McGonagall and Dumbledore are away, Snape is in charge. I'm sure there are any number of capable teachers who could oversee things at Hogwarts. Since the whole wizarding world seemed to be celebrating the disappearance of Voldemort, I would venture a guess that the students were celebrating also and classes had been suspended for the day. Magical kids seem to be a bit more independent than Muggle kids anyway.


Laura W - Mar 14, 2007 1:56 pm (#845 of 980)

I guess I can accept that answer, sad as it seems. Have we had any clue that McG has gained the knowledge of how Harry survived since then? (TheSaint)

You know, it seems to me that throughout the whole first six books we don't know (ie - are not told) exactly what McGonagall *does* know. By that, I mean we do not know what Dumbledore has told her. We never hear any private conversations between her and DD - except for that first one in front of 4PD. Yet, it appears that Dumbledore obviously values her as his second in command at the school. Her courage and intelligence and loyalty are made evident on several occasions. I wonder if Jo deliberately did not tell us how much or how little Dumbledore has told Minerva - perhaps to be revealed in DH -, or if she didn't think that is as important an issue as *we* think it is.

It seems that when McGonagall and Dumbledore are away, Snape is in charge.

Choices, could you please give me canon examples for this? I cannot think why Severus would be made third in command at Hogwarts. He is not in a more senior position than, say, Flitwick or any of the other professors as far as I can tell.



Choices - Mar 14, 2007 5:22 pm (#846 of 980)

Once again I have slipped up and let movie contamination get me. I was picturing him as we see him in the movies more than anything. He always seems to be in on things with Dumbledore and McGonagall on the big screen. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is the fact that he was with Dumbledore and McGonagall when they burst in on Barty Crouch, Jr. (fake Moody) to save Harry. I just always think of them as the Big Three at Hogwarts, and he is a Head of House along with McGonagall.


Mediwitch - Mar 14, 2007 6:21 pm (#847 of 980)

McGonagall did not know for sure that Lily and James had been killed, so she couldn't have been assigned by Dumbledore to deliver the message of Lily's death to Petunia.

It was plain that regardless of what "everyone" was saying, she was not going to believe it until Dumbledore told her it was true. [emphasis added] Dumbledore, however, was choosing another lemon drop and did not answer.

“What they're saying,” she pressed on, "is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric's Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumor is that Lily and James Potter are - are - that they're - dead."

Dumbledore bowed his head. Professor McGonagall gasped.

“Lily and James...I can't believe it...I didn't want to believe it...Oh, Albus...” SS, Chapter 1, Scholastic Hardbound.

To me, this is the entire reason she waited all day on that hard wall - for Dumbledore to confirm the wild rumors that were flying. She wasn't believing anything 'til Dumbledore said so. So she waited for him in the one place she knew (thanks to Hagrid) he would show up.


Soul Search - Mar 14, 2007 7:10 pm (#848 of 980)


I agree. Good pickup.

What it may also mean is that neither McGonagall, nor likely anyone else, knew where Dumbledore might be until he arrived at #4 Privet Drive. Also, Dumbledore must have left Hogwarts before Hagrid told her Dumbledore would be at Privet Drive, otherwise she would have asked him about the rumors then.

We have a scenario something like this:

   Dumbledore learns, by means unknown, that Lily and James are dead, but that Harry is alive.

   He sends Hagrid to fetch Harry, hold on to him for a while, then take him to #4 Privet Drive.

   Dumbledore leaves Hogwarts for parts unknown.

   McGonagall hears rumors and goes to see Dumbledore. He is gone, but she encounters Hagrid. She asks about Dumbledore and gets the, somewhat limited, information that he will be at #4 Privet Drive.

   McGonagall goes to Privet Drive and waits most of the day.

   Shortly before midnight Dumbledore arrives and confirms the rumors.

   Hagrid arrives with Harry.

Still doesn't explain why McGonagall is so interested, but it helps a bit.


Solitaire - Mar 14, 2007 9:11 pm (#849 of 980)

If Dumbledore was out making plans, I find it very odd that the Deputy Headmistress was away from the school as well.

Was she the Deputy Headmistress back then? Just wondering ...



Nathan Zimmermann - Mar 14, 2007 10:51 pm (#850 of 980)

Solitaire, I used to think Minerva was Deputy Headmistress at that point but, now considering Slughorn's age and the fact that he and Dumbledore started teaching about the same time .Perhaps he was Deputy Headmaster as well as Potions Master and that he retired unexpectedly during the 1981-1982 term.

This appointment of Severus Snape as the Potions Master raised several possibilities

  1. Severus Snape and Horace Slughorn, the Deputy Headmaster divided the duties of Potions Master between themselves, while, Minerva continued to teach Transfigutration

  2. Severus Snape became Potions Master because, Horace Slughorn, Deputy Headmaster replaced the departing D.A.D.A. professor and was forced out of Hogwarts by the end of the term due to the curse, thereby allowing Minerva to take his position as Deputy Headmistress.

  3. Slughorn retired and Snape succeeded him as Potions Master while, Minerva became Deputy Headmistress in his place.

Horace's reference to Hogwarts as pestilential makes me lean toward the second option. If Horace were Deputy Headmaster, then it is possible that in Dumbledore's absence he administered the school, while Minerva spent the day at number Four Privet Drive
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Soul Search - Mar 15, 2007 1:02 pm (#851 of 980)

I think the scenario presented in post #848 is viable, however, a review of "The Boy Who Lived" suggests Hagrid first took Harry to Hogwarts where McGonagall saw him. The revised scenario goes something like this:

   1) Dumbledore learns, by means unknown, that Lily and James are dead, but that Harry is alive.

   2) He sends Hagrid to fetch Harry, take him to Hogwarts, then bring him for a meeting with Dumbledore at #4 Privet Drive. He cautions Hagrid not to tell anyone anything.

   3) Dumbledore leaves Hogwarts for parts unknown.

   4) Hagrid goes to Godric's Hollow, gets Harry, meets Sirius, and returns to Hogwarts on the motorcycle.

   5) Harry is at Hogwarts for at least a few hours. McGonagall sees him ... and the cut on his forehead. She wonders what has happened, what happened to Lily and James, why Harry is there, and what is to be done with him.

   6) McGonagall tries to see Dumbledore, but he isn't at Hogwarts.

   7) She settles for questioning Hagrid, but all he says is Dumbledore will be at Privet Drive.

   8 ) McGonagall goes to Privet Drive and waits most of the day.

   9) Hagrid leaves (a bit late) with Harry for Privet Drive.

   10) Shortly before midnight Dumbledore arrives and confirms that Lily and James are dead.

   11) Hagrid arrives with Harry.

There are a few supporting hints in "The Boy Who Lived".

2) Dumbledore says "Hagrid is late," implying a specific time had been arranged. There is too much time between the events of Godric's Hollow and Hagrid arriving on Privet Drive for Hagrid to have just been transporting Harry. Safest place would have been Hogwarts.

3) Dumbledore wasn't at Hogwarts or McGonagall would have just gone to him with her concerns and questions.

5) When McGonagall looks at Harry on Privet Drive, she isn't particularly horrified by his scar. All she asks is "Is that where --". She has already seen Harry's scar ... at Hogwarts.

7) We have seen that Hagrid isn't good at keeping secrets.

8 )With this scenario McGonagall has already seen Harry and developed some concern for him. She wonders what Dumbledore has in mind for him. Her concern for Harry causes her to wait all day at Privet Drive to be there when Dumbledore arrives.

11) McGonagall knows that Hagrid fetched Harry from Privet Drive. Her statements: "you think it -- wise -- to trust Hagrid with something as important as this" and " ... but you can't pretend he's not careless" express her concern for Hagrid coming to a muggle neighborhood. Hagrid does stand out.

I do wonder if we will ever find out these details. Why McGonagall was at Privet Drive doesn't seem that important to the future storyline. She or Hagrid could mention it in passing, but I don't quite see appropriate circumstances.


Luna Logic - Mar 15, 2007 2:02 pm (#852 of 980)

Good scenario, Soul Search, specially for the Hagrid and Hogwarts parts. But I can't take this last one:
Her concern for Harry causes her to wait all day at Privet Drive to be there when Dumbledore arrives.
I prefer to think that the Order was worried about Death Eater who might come to Privet Drive, and that McGonagall proposed herself for the watch, not having her heart to the feast, and been concerned for Harry also.
IMO the Order had to decide about the watch in Dumbledore absence. Dumbledore was mysteriously busy elsewhere all day (and night before?). That could important for the plot, maybe.


TomProffitt - Mar 15, 2007 3:04 pm (#853 of 980)

Hagrid comments that Harry fell asleep over Bristol. Bristol is not between Scotland (where we know Hogwarts is) and Surrey. Therefor it is unlikely that Hagrid went to Hogwarts with Harry after fetching him from Godric's Hollow.

EDIT: Using this reasoning (Hagrid's Bristol comment) Godric's Hollow is either in South Wales or South Ireland.


Soul Search - Mar 15, 2007 3:35 pm (#854 of 980)


Hagrid got lost, took a round-about way, doesn't know where Bristol is, or whatever. Actually, with this scenario the Bristol comment should apply to the Hogwarts-to-Privet Drive leg.

There are so many timing and whereabouts issues for the Godric's Hollow-to-Privet Drive time period that I think I can allow a, seemingly, inconsistant Bristol comment.

The timeframe for Dumbledore to learn of the Godric's Hollow events, summon Hagrid, instruct him, and for Hagrid to travel to Godric's Hollow "before the muggles started to swarm around" is so short that I suspect Dumbledore and Hagrid must have been together somewhere near, but not necessarily at Godric's Hollow. Dumbledore tasked Hagrid with Harry because he had to do something important like call out the order, etc. But, I will accept they were at Hogwarts since we have absolutely no canon for any alternative.


Luna Logic - Mar 27, 2007 10:40 pm (#855 of 980)

I am permitting myself to add here an idea (new for me) coming from the Eileen Prince's thread
Choices: I have always thought Mrs. Figg might somehow be related to McGonagall because they both wear Tartan plaid. For that matter, so does Filch, so maybe he is related to McGonagall, too. It could have been McGonagall who got Mrs. Figg into the Order and perhaps she got Filch his job at Hogwarts.
Speaking of a possible connexion between McGonagall and Mrs Figg, is there a connexion between the names Minerva and Arabella? (or Arabella Doreen)
Or maybe they wouldn't be family related, but from the same place in Scotland.


haymoni - Mar 28, 2007 4:04 pm (#856 of 980)

If Minerva is related to Arabella, it makes me feel better about her sitting around Privet Drive as a cat all day. She may have been in the neighborhood to watch over her sister/cousin/whatever.


journeymom - Mar 30, 2007 8:38 am (#857 of 980)

Arabella = Latin, literally means beautiful altar, some take it to mean 'prayerful'. Kind of fits. Our Miss Figg lives a contemplative life by herself, like a nun.

Minerva = Roman goddess of wisdom and war, parallel to Greek Athena.


Luna Logic - Mar 31, 2007 12:44 am (#858 of 980)

Thanks Journeymom. Minerva and war, yes.... Mmmm
A last question : is Doreen a Scottish surname?


journeymom - Mar 31, 2007 9:44 am (#859 of 980)

Hm. Well, two sources say it is Gaelic, one says it means "Gift", other says it means "Sullen" (!). One source says it's French, means "Golden". None of the three imply it's a surname. Is there a HP character whose surname is Doreen?


Luna Logic - Mar 31, 2007 9:38 pm (#860 of 980)

For me (French), having reading some (a lot of maybe?) English books, I would have said that Doreen was Scottish or Irish... but I don't know why! In French there are Doris or Dorine (Latin origin?), very old surnames, mostly not used nowadays.


Choices - Apr 1, 2007 9:12 am (#861 of 980)

I thought surnames were last names, and given names were first names. Am I confused.....again? My mother's name is Doris and that is her given name.


Solitaire - Apr 1, 2007 9:20 am (#862 of 980)

I Googled name+origin+doreen and guess what came up as the number 2 response?

Arabella Figg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Her forename is of Scottish Origin, derived from 'Annabella'; however, ...
Her middle name, 'Doreen', is derived from 'Dora', and means 'Little Gift' (which ...

I thought that was pretty interesting! And yes, surnames are our last names. Christian name or given name refers to the first name, I believe.



Choices - Apr 1, 2007 9:35 am (#863 of 980)

Thanks for that information, Soli. I wondered if Doreen might be a variation of Maureen?


Solitaire - Apr 1, 2007 10:09 am (#864 of 980)

I looked at a couple of sites for baby names, and they all list Doreen as French. Somehow, it seems like it should be Irish ... probably because it reminds me of Maureen, too!


Luna Logic - Apr 3, 2007 2:31 am (#865 of 980)

Sorry Choices, error is mine, Doreen is a first name (or a second name, in that case ?).
Doreen is definitely not French, we haven't any "ee". It would be spelled Dorine (XVI century...)
Thanks for your research, Solitaire. Arabella could be Scottish, a link McGonagall/Mrs Figg could then exist...


Solitaire - Apr 3, 2007 8:53 am (#866 of 980)

You know, I was trying to think of other -een names and I happened to think of Aberdeen, which is a city in Scotland ... yet another reason for thinking the name seems to have Celtic origins. Americanbaby.com and babynames.com list the origin of Doreen as Irish Gaelic and Celtic/Gaelic respectively. Babynameworld.com is one that does list Doreen as French origin meaning golden.

Go figure!


Luna Logic - Apr 3, 2007 9:40 am (#867 of 980) Reply
Edited by Apr 3, 2007 10:44 am

Dora, Dorine, could refer to French "doré" = golden...
a golden object would be in French : "un objet doré".
Gold = "Or"


totyle - May 24, 2007 5:42 am (#868 of 980)

I was rereading the first book, and in light of some of the points that had been made on Professor McGonagall might being a traitor, I read her parts with EXTRA interest. The part that really struck me as odd is where she catches Harry and Hermione after they send off Norbert, and she tells them off together with Neville for wandering after hours as these are dangerous times. WHAT does she mean by this? Why are these dangerous times? They don’t know Voldemort’s in Quirrel's turban. AND, their punishment is to wander in the Forbidden Forest which is even more dangerous than the corridors at Hogwarts at night with only Hagrid and Fang as company. That is REALLY odd. Why does she say and do this? Has it been discussed on this thread before?


Choices - May 24, 2007 11:13 am (#869 of 980)
Edited May 24, 2007 12:14 pm

I think it is always dangerous to wander the corridors at night, especially for first years who may not yet know where danger lurks. The castle is full of magic, enchantments, ghosts, changing staircases, hidden passages, not to mention FLUFFY, etc. There is also added danger because the Sorcerer's Stone is hidden there in year one. Yes, the forest is dangerous, but the kids are to be with Hagrid and it's pretty certain they will be safe.


Jenniffler - May 25, 2007 4:44 am (#870 of 980)

Adding to Choices, McGonagall probably got more inside info about the initial unicorn attacks.

She trusted Dumbledore knew what he was doing when he asked her to conjure a big old chess set.

But my question is, were those teacher placed enchantments placed all at once or intermittantly established? McGonagall is rarely told the whole story about the things she is most curious about.

However, I think she is a good gal no matter what.


Choices - May 25, 2007 2:53 pm (#871 of 980)
Edited May 25, 2007 3:54 pm

Jenniffler - "...were those teacher placed enchantments placed all at once or intermittantly established?"

If I were setting up such a series of trials designed to protect an object, I think I would start with my own puzzle and go from there outward. So, I think Dumbledore would have placed his puzzle first and then had Snape do his, then Quirrell, McGonagall, Flitwick, Sprout and finally Hagrid. That way, no one would see any of the others puzzles. I think they were probably done one at a time and only Dumbledore knew them all.


Chemyst - May 26, 2007 8:20 am (#872 of 980)
Edited May 26, 2007 9:47 am

...were those teacher placed enchantments placed all at once or intermittantly established?

A warning was given about the third floor corridor at the opening feast as early as September 1st, but we get our first confirmation that Fluffy, the first obstacle, was on guard duty when Draco tried to get Harry in trouble by challenging him to a midnight duel two weeks later.

Harry discovered the Mirror of Erised on Christmas night, right after he got the invisibility cloak, and visited it three times until DD said it would be moved "tomorrow." So the final obstacle, the Mirror was probably put in place about December 28th.

We can only speculate if Quirrell re-used the Halloween troll or if he used a different one. If it is the same troll, that protection (5th in a series of 7) was probably added shortly after November 1st.


Choices - May 26, 2007 9:10 am (#873 of 980)
Edited May 26, 2007 10:13 am

I guess that blew my idea. LOL I still think perhaps everyone created his/her own puzzle and then Dumbledore placed them as he saw fit. No one (but Dumbledore) should know what puzzle any of the others had made - this would be part of the protection. Obviously, Fluffy was put in place early on to protect the entrance to all the other puzzles.


Mrs Brisbee - May 27, 2007 1:25 pm (#874 of 980)
Edited May 27, 2007 2:26 pm

Choices, I think your explanation is perfect. I'm pretty sure it was specifically stated that Quirrell's troll was different from the one at Halloween (wasn't it bigger?). Dumbledore simply could have added the Mirror of Erised later, after all the other rooms had been established, to strengthen the protections. Since Dumbledore would know all the other protections, and since he is Dumbledore. he would have no problem getting through to add the Mirror to the final room.


Soul Search - May 28, 2007 6:00 am (#875 of 980)

I still wonder at the whole puzzle thing.

It wasn't very effective. Quirrell got through, no problem. And three first year students got through. It wasn't much of a protection for something as important as the stone.

At the end, Ron suggests Harry was meant to try; that the whole puzzle was meant as an exercise for Harry.

Yet, I don't think someone like McGonagall would have gone along with something like that.


Steve Newton - May 28, 2007 7:06 am (#876 of 980)

Quirrell took months figuring it out and even had one task in the bag. Since he seemed to have pumped Hagrid for information on how to beat one of the tasks I am guessing that he did the same with the other professors He did not beat Dumbledore's problem.


Choices - May 28, 2007 9:34 am (#877 of 980)

Also, Quirrell probably had a bit of help from his resident "friend".


Joanna Lupin - Sep 6, 2007 11:29 am (#878 of 980)

Minerva McGonagall simply rocks!

I always liked her as a character, but in this book she surpassed herself, didn't she? How come the discussion isn't flourishing here?



Choices - Sep 6, 2007 2:31 pm (#879 of 980)

I agree about Minerva, Joanna. She is an awesome witch, an excellent teacher and a caring person. What more could we ask for! She definitely rocks!


Chemyst - Sep 6, 2007 6:34 pm (#880 of 980)
Edited Sep 6, 2007 7:57 pm

Minerva McGonagall simply rocks! - Joanna Lupin

During the Battle of Hogwarts, Minerva was the rock. She proved herself boulder than Snape and was the main thrust behind holding the structure. With impeccable managerial skills, she left no stone unturned; she even had her desks organized. She assembled a conglomerate of resources. Taking nothing for granite, she also reminded Harry he was supposed to be looking for something.

I was very disappointed in her folding at the end of HBP. She revealed her fault when she allowed the Board of Governors to decide the fate of Hogwarts– whether it should remain open or whether it should close. Quite obviously, Voldemort had permeated the Board and by the time the ministry fell on August 1st, there was no one in position to resist the appointments of the Carrows. This led to discontinuity of seismic proportion.

Fortunately she more than redeems herself by the end of DH, and she was even able to keep her dry wit about her. She proved to be a true gem and an all-round gneiss person.

Can you find at least 15 rock-related words? Minerva McGonagall 1003735042


Snuffles - Sep 7, 2007 4:27 am (#881 of 980)

Lol Chemyst Superb *claps*


Choices - Sep 7, 2007 10:35 am (#882 of 980)

Excellent post, Chemyst - I think I find 10 words. I guess I'm not up to speed on my rock words.


Luna Logic - Sep 7, 2007 10:59 am (#883 of 980)

I found only seven or perhaps eight words... And I wanted to put "milestones" in an answer "on topic" (about Minerva and Harry) but I failed!


Ludicrous Patents Office - Sep 8, 2007 5:43 am (#884 of 980)

Nice post Chemyst. I think I got all the words. My favorite is gneiss person.

I like competition between Minerva and Snape with the Quidditch cup. They carried on the hereditary animosity between Gryffindor and Slytherin in a very polite way. Even Snape treated Minerva with respect. LPO


wynnleaf - Sep 8, 2007 6:10 am (#885 of 980)
Edited Sep 8, 2007 7:15 am

My impression was that Dumbledore and Snape had thought even before Dumbledore's death that the school would end up in Voldemort's hands fairly quickly after Dumbledore's death. I assume that the Board had too many people on it that would cave in to people on Voldemort's side. That might not be true, but it read that way to me. McGonagall wasn't in Dumbledore's confidence about his death, but she may have realized that she wouldn't have any power to stop whatever the Board wanted to do.

By the way, Snape had to leave Hogwarts when he did, or find himself in the position of either blowing his cover or firing on his own side, neither of which he wanted to do. It's too bad that the last McGonagall saw of him, she assumed he was a loyal Death Eater and called him a coward. Interesting that she never seemed to register the fact that Snape knew she and Hagrid were Order members and did nothing to harm them, remove them from Hogwarts, etc. One would think she'd wonder about that.


azi - Sep 8, 2007 7:10 am (#886 of 980)
Edited Sep 8, 2007 8:11 am

Hagrid was removed from Hogwarts. He ended up hiding out in the caves. Minerva could well have assumed it was Snape who ordered this.

McGonagall herself is magical blood (or so we assume). Voldemort wanted to avoid destroying magical blood, like when he offered Neville the chance to switch sides. I think McGonagall kept her head down and didn't perform any obvious rebellion during the year, so she was left alone.

Another possible reason - keep your friend's close, but your enemies closer. If McGonagall is holed up in the high-security castle, she can't be elsewhere fighting as part of the Order.


legolas returns - Sep 8, 2007 11:12 am (#887 of 980)

Any rebellion that McGonagall would have carried out would be behind the scenes and would have been for the sole protection of the students.

Would McGonagall be counted as a fully paid up member of the OOP by the Death Eaters or would she be seen as just a traitor? She appeared once at Grimauld Place and defended the school at the end of HBP. By having Death Eaters at the school they could keep an eye on her.


Choices - Sep 8, 2007 3:01 pm (#888 of 980)

Legolas, are you saying that McGonagall is a traitor to the DE's? Since she was never a DE that we know of, how can she betray them? Or are you implying that she is a traitor to the Order? I'm confunded here. I see her as a member in good standing of the Order of the Phoenix and she has been loyal to them and to Hogwarts, doing all she could to protect it and Harry.


legolas returns - Sep 8, 2007 3:07 pm (#889 of 980)

No I don’t mean any of that. I agree with what you are saying. I was meaning do the death eaters think she is a blood traitor-the snatchers went round rounding them up. Do they see her as a member of the Order? We know that she is but how do they view her? Why did they not try and imprison her when she was so loyal to Dumbledore. Do they just think that she was there to protect the school. That kind of thing.


Choices - Sep 8, 2007 3:09 pm (#890 of 980)

Ok, now I see what you meant. I misunderstood and confunded myself. :-)


legolas returns - Sep 8, 2007 3:10 pm (#891 of 980)

I was not clear .


NFla Barbara - Sep 8, 2007 4:40 pm (#892 of 980)

This is completely without basis, except that it makes sense to me -- that Snape would probably downplay her connections with the Order when talking with LV and his DE pals, so that she would be seen as a daffy old fan of DD rather than a member of the rebellion. Once DD was gone, she probably kept a very low profile, and then when Snape got to Hogwarts she was about as safe as she could be -- without realizing it, of course.

I also think Minerva regrets her last words to him.

I think we don't see character "development" with her so much as we see more of her character being revealed. We don't get any backstory on her, and we don't really see any conflict within her -- I think she acts very consistently from start to finish. But it's in DH and the Battle of Hogwarts that we really see her core of steel.

Even at the end, when she cries out after she thinks Harry is dead, what seemed surprising to me at first seemed very consistent when I thought about it. She has watched him closely, protected him, and guided him -- the depth of feeling was there, but she would not show it except in the most hopeless circumstances.


Luna Logic - Sep 8, 2007 10:57 pm (#893 of 980)

I agree, NFla Barbara, Minerva is a very consistent character in the whole series. For example, she was also crying when Hermione was petrified in CoS, which really surprised me at the time.


legolas returns - Sep 9, 2007 12:44 am (#894 of 980)

I think that she was probably incredibly fond and proud of the members of her house but did not normally show it.

“Why would Harry Potter try and get inside Ravenclaw Tower? Potter belongs in my house!” 'Beneath the disbelief and anger, Harry heard a little strain of pride in her voice'

In HBP-When she talks to Neville about the Owls he will take.

“Its 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.”


Solitaire - Sep 29, 2007 7:39 am (#895 of 980)
Edited Sep 29, 2007 8:54 am

The fact that McGonagall falls into step with Harry and his plans--with nary a question or quibble--has always made me wonder whether we are selling her short. Is it possible that she does have a clue about what is going on? Surely she was aware that Snape had not sold out those professors who were undermining Voldy's attempted "regime" in Hogwarts. She had to realize, too, that the "punishments" he meted out to Ginny & Co. were hardly real punishments.

Isn't it possible that Snape had briefed her in private to assume command if he had to flee to maintain his cover? I mean, if Snape was expecting something similar to what ultimately happened, I can see him attempting to "get his ducks in a row," so to speak. If he did confide in anyone, it could only have been McGonagall, IMO. Even when he cut out, she would have been unable to blow his cover and would have had to keep it to herself. She had been Dumbledore's second-in-command long enough for Snape to have known he could trust and depend on her. Just something to think about ...



Chemyst - Sep 29, 2007 8:58 am (#896 of 980)
Edited Sep 29, 2007 10:05 am

I don't think Snape ever went so far as to confide in her. My main reason for that is that the Pensieve scenes showed him as very frank and blunt in discussions with DD. Snape liked his secrets and was a little jealous of the secrets DD shared with Harry. So I doubt he was inclined to share.
BUT. . .   your post has given me a rich fantasy of Severus and Minerva in the faculty lounge, each one trying to surreptitiously use legilimency on the other– taking turns trying to stare through the back of each other's head when the other is not looking; pretending to be grading essays but actually sneaking peeks and then quickly averting their eyes when the other looks up!

I think she did have a clue about what was going on; I think she had several clues. If she did not know outright, I think she must have at least suspected that Snape was spying for DD. But after Book 7's showing us how DD worked, I also think DD left her with several key pieces missing. So I am left to rationalize that her falling into step with Harry and his plans was probably because she realized Harry must hold the missing pieces. She trusted DD that much.


Solitaire - Sep 29, 2007 10:53 am (#897 of 980)

You're probably right.


PeskyPixie - Sep 29, 2007 12:18 pm (#898 of 980)

Well, Lupin says in DH that the Order has reason to believe that DD has left Harry a mission. As McGonagall is also an Order member perhaps she too knows at least this much?

I was wondering what Severus and McGonagall's relationship would be had DD not met his death in Harry's presence. No one would know Snape had killed him. Would he and Minerva be on better terms during their final year together had she not known him to be DD's killer?


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 30, 2007 8:00 am (#899 of 980)
Edited Sep 30, 2007 9:01 am

I've been listening to the audiobook of order of the Phoenix with my daughter, and I am struck by the number of times Dumbledore is seen in deep conversation with McGonagall. At this point, she is still important, but by HBP she will be set aside by Dumbledore in favor of Snape, who seems to be the one to get all of Dumbledore's trust from then on. It's sad to see McGonagall's downgrade.

We know McGonagall is intelligent from the get-go, because in PS/SS she waits all day at Privet Drive to get answers to questions she has. But I think Dumbledore left her too much in the dark to piece together completely what was going on. I'd say her attempt to kill Snape was genuine. How would the plot had gone if she had succeeded? Dumbledore doesn't seem to have considered into his plan that people might think independently, and Snape might have been killed by teachers. Perhaps one reason Dumbledore trusted Snape and not McGonagall was because Snape was more magically powerful than McGonagall, and he didn't see her as worthy because of that.

I'm thinking of Dumbledore's plan. McGonagall was supposed to be Headmistress, and the office let her in at the end of HBP. We know that before this Dumbledore was planning on Snape becoming Headmaster, and by her cluelessness at the end she was being shut in the dark. The floundering McGonagall fails to take charge, instead passing the buck to the governors. Perhaps this is why Hogwarts failed to treat her as Headmistress afterwards, instead letting Snape into the office even though he would have no official standing (not sure it makes sense anyway. That part just really bugs me). Did Dumbledore plan for McGonagall to fail as Headmistress? By keeping her in the dark about what was happening at the school, and leading her to believe that closing the school might be the best option? Or was it just in her personality to fail, and her being so woefully misinformed something that should not have mattered in her decision making (Sprout was ready to open the school; What made McGonagall waffle?).


Solitaire - Sep 30, 2007 8:20 am (#900 of 980)
Edited Sep 30, 2007 9:21 am

The floundering McGonagall fails to take charge, instead passing the buck to the governors.

Even Dumbledore had to bow to the governors back in CoS, didn't he? Perhaps she wasn't so much "passing the buck" as following protocol.

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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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Hoot Owl - Sep 30, 2007 8:39 am (#901 of 980)

Dumbledore only planned for Snape to become Headmaster if LV's Deatheaters took over. It did not matter relative qualifications, a Deatheater would be put in charge of Hogwarts. DD preferred Snape to the Carrows. Snape had enough influence with LV to keep them somewhat in check. McGonagall would have been gotten rid of, Azkaban or AK.

The Governors had the power, before the takeover, to shut down the school no matter what the teacher recommended. So she was correct to contact them. A consensus of the staff also was a good thing.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 30, 2007 8:48 am (#902 of 980)
Edited Sep 30, 2007 9:49 am

Oh, I think she was correct to contact them, but she didn't offer up her opinion that the school should remain open, and that's what I meant by her waffling. She could support the school opening but still put it to the governors. I was just wondering if it was a bit like when Snape abandoned his post at the end of DH. Did the school stop recognizing McGonagall as the rightful Headmistress right then? Because we see in DH that the office and portraits are aiding Snape even though he is not yet appointed Headmaster-- the Ministry still stands at this point. The portraits never seemed to have done the same courtesy for McGonagall, even though her position as Headmistress-to-be should have put her in a stronger position to get information than Snape. Who appoints the Deputy Headmasters? I would think the governors would have some say in that, but could Dumbledore have revoked her position without telling her and secretly given it to Snape? I'm just trying to figure out how this was supposed to work.


PeskyPixie - Sep 30, 2007 9:13 am (#903 of 980)

Perhaps Dumbledore does not want to involve McGonagall in the details of the war, but rather wants her to protect her students to the best of her ability. Each staff member lost could be replaced with a Death Eater.

I feel that DD's plan goes wrong in HBP where Harry witnesses DD's death and the Order regards Snape as a true Death Eater. Had Harry not witnessed Snape's AK, McGonagall (and other members of the Order) would probably not know who had killed DD and would continue to have faith in DD's trust in Snape.


rambkowalczyk - Sep 30, 2007 2:14 pm (#904 of 980)

Isn't it possible that Snape had briefed her in private to assume command if he had to flee to maintain his cover? Solitaire

a nice thought, but I have to say no. Snape and McGonagall were alone in the corridor when he asked her where Harry was. If she knew she would have told Snape. I mean why would he tell her to assume command without her knowing the full story.


Mrs Brisbee - Oct 2, 2007 10:19 am (#905 of 980)
Edited Oct 2, 2007 11:20 am

Had Harry not witnessed Snape's AK, McGonagall (and other members of the Order) would probably not know who had killed DD and would continue to have faith in DD's trust in Snape.—PeskyPixie

Good point, although the Order certainly would have questioned him. But Snape is a good liar, he might have pulled it off (he'd have to do something with his wand though; one Priori Incantatum and it's over).

But there's still the problem of the portraits aiding Snape, but not McGonagall. Did Dumbledore as Headmaster have the power to revoke her position as Deputy Headmistress, and secretly give it to Snape? Or can the Headmaster portraits just decide to aid or not aid whomever they want?


PeskyPixie - Oct 2, 2007 12:55 pm (#906 of 980)

Mrs. Brisbee, the theory my best friend and I share (which I've posted on the 'Life of Portraits' thread) explains all complications regarding portraits of deceased head masters/mistresses for us. I'm not imposing it on anybody, but I'll certainly stick to it even if JKR says it's inaccurate.

As for Snape, had Harry not witnessed DD's murder, there would be no reason to suspect Snape. He could have been questioned but would probably have been able to wriggle his way out of it. The 'priori incantatem' is a risk, but one that would have to be taken.

I believe DD leaves McGonagall 'out in the cold' about many things because they lead to him being forced to inform her of his imminent death, and that Hogwarts is likely to be regulated by the Dark Lord within a year's time. Keeping McGonagall ignorant of such details keeps her safe and while she is safe so are her students.


Mrs Brisbee - Oct 2, 2007 3:54 pm (#907 of 980)

I'll agree that Dumbledore wanted McGonagall kept in the dark. Therefore, I'd say Dumbledore had a vested interest in preventing her from becoming Headmistress, because the portraits, including his own, could have told her much. So, did he actually do anything to prevent her from becoming Headmistress? The office was letting Snape in and Portrait Dumbledore giving Snape direction long before the Ministry fell, which seems to show that Hogwarts was recognizing Snape's authority over McGonagall's. Did Dumbledore while alive have the power, as far as Hogwarts was concerned, to secretly remove McGonagall from her post and replace her with Snape as Deputy Headmaster?


PeskyPixie - Oct 2, 2007 4:27 pm (#908 of 980)

So, as DD knows that LV will soon be operating Hogwarts he removes Minnie from her post of Deputy Headmistress and transfers the position on to Snape so he will have full support of the portraits upon entering the study?


Mrs Brisbee - Oct 2, 2007 6:19 pm (#909 of 980)

Yup, that's my question, if anyone thinks that that is what happened. I'm trying to figure out exactly what did happen.


mona amon - Oct 2, 2007 7:28 pm (#910 of 980)
Edited Oct 2, 2007 8:32 pm

I think Dumbledore knew that quite soon after his death, Voldemort would take control of the ministry and Hogwarts. He knew that some death eater would then be appointed as Headmaster, and he wanted it to be Snape. But I'm sure he didn't make any plans to prevent Minerva from becoming Headmistress. He just allowed events to take their natural course. Once Voldemort had taken over, there was no way that Minerva could have retained her post, whatever information she may have had.


Hoot Owl - Oct 2, 2007 9:36 pm (#911 of 980)

I missed where in the books it says that the portraits refuse to help McGonagall. I also missed where the office seals itself against her. Actually we do not know if she was still nominally the Deputy Headmistress during Snape's rule! The governors may or may not have name an official Head before they were force to name Snape.

Snape talking to DD's portrait does not mean they refuse to speak to McGonagall. They talk to alot of people, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Fudge among others. As far as Snape getting into the office in July,there are several possible scenarios. One Snape may have flown in the window like LV did at Nurmengard or DD left a backdoor password so the office would admit him. This worked for Harry to get in and use the pensive.


mona amon - Oct 3, 2007 2:23 am (#912 of 980)

Lol, the image of Snape flying into the headmaster's office is almost as funny as the Snape shaped hole in the window!


Mrs Brisbee - Oct 3, 2007 5:26 am (#913 of 980)
Edited Oct 3, 2007 6:32 am

I missed where in the books it says that the portraits refuse to help McGonagall. I also missed where the office seals itself against her.-- Hoot Owl

We know that the office let McGonagall in at the end of HBP, as if she were the one in charge. Although we had seen through OotP that Dumbledore was still consulting her, by HBP this seems to have stopped. In the office at the end of HBP, McGonagall doesn't seem to know what is going on or what to do about it. We know that Dumbledore sat in that very office and discussed with Snape, in front of the Portraits, many sensitive secrets, including Dumbledore's plan that Snape would be the next Headmaster. We know that Snape got in the office and Portrait Dumbledore was giving him aid. We know that McGonagall didn't appear to be filled in on Dumbledore's and Snape's plans by the end of DH, so it seems she never got any information from the Portraits.

But I'm sure he didn't make any plans to prevent Minerva from becoming Headmistress.-- mona amon

If the Portraits are duty-bound to help the Headmaster, then if McGonagall had been made Headmistress, the Portraits could have told her many interesting things. As far as we know, she never got that title, but it was possible that the Governors could have made her Headmistress before the Ministry fell. If Dumbledore had been keeping her in the dark about what was going on in HBP, how would that fit into his plans?


mona amon - Oct 3, 2007 6:51 am (#914 of 980)
Edited Oct 3, 2007 7:52 am

I don't think the portraits are supposed to divulge all the previous headmaster's secrets to the new headmaster. And I also think they have to be asked for help. They do not volunteer information on their own. So during the short time that Minerva was headmistress, (yes, she did become headmistress immediately after Dumbledore's death), the portraits would have given her any aid she required for the proper running of the school, but they would not have told her anything about Dumbledore's plans with Snape.

Of course, this may not be the correct explanation at all, but it works for me!


Mrs Brisbee - Oct 3, 2007 7:30 am (#915 of 980)
Edited Oct 3, 2007 9:12 am

Minerva was Acting Headmistress, but was never formally named Headmistress by the Governors that we know of. I'm not sure if this would make a difference, but I think it would. I don't think the Portraits would be obligated to aid her until she was formally appointed, but then the office is shown helping Snape before he was appointed.

Dumbledore's plans with Snape did have to do with running the school. It was those plans which helped lead to McGonagall considering the closing of the school. Dumbledore and Snape had plotted to make it appear that the Hogwarts Potion Master had murdered the Hogwarts Headmaster on school grounds, and they had plotted to have Snape take over the school as Headmaster, and they had allowed a student to create terror in the school through his attempt to murder the Headmaster.

I think McGonagall knew enough to ask the Portraits questions. She had seen them in action over the years, after all. I'm not sure I'd swallow it if Rowling were to say that McGonagall never bothered to ask. But, it is also true that I have no proof that McGonagall did ask. I think she would have to be incredibly stupid to overlook such a thing, but it's true that is only my opinion.


mona amon - Oct 3, 2007 9:17 am (#916 of 980)

Dumbledore would not have minded McGonagall being headmistress. It was the Carrows or people like them that he didn't want in that post. So I'm working backwards from there.

Dumbledore's plans with Snape did have everything to do with running the school, but not with how Minerva runs the school. I mean, it would not have helped her manage Hogwarts any better if she had known that Dumbledore had planned for Snape to take over in case she lost the job to the Death Eaters.

I'm sure she asked Dumbledore's portrait a lot of questions. I just think the portrait was not duty-bound to answer.


Chemyst - Oct 3, 2007 9:45 am (#917 of 980)
Edited Oct 3, 2007 10:51 am

I think the portraits would have answered her, but I agree with the rest of mona amon's earlier assessment– that DD did nothing to prevent Minerva's appointment as Headmistress, but that he knew Hogwarts would fall quickly after his death, that LV would appoint his own people, and that when that happened DD wanted that appointment to be Snape. I also think DD's portrait was powerful enough to allow Snape into the office for a chat even before Snape was an official headmaster. And in all probability, DD talked to the other portraits about Snape's "privileges" while he was still alive. (That is the chief reason, but since this is McGonagall's thread, I should probably save the minor reasons for elsewhere.)

When Minerva handed over the decision about keeping Hogwarts open to a heavily infiltrated board of governors without so much as sending them a recommendation from the staff, she probably hastened the takeover by the length of about one board meeting. ('Cause I'm thinking that if she had sent a recommendation, they probably would have discussed it in committee once – just to look fair.)


wynnleaf - Oct 3, 2007 10:12 am (#918 of 980)

I think the idea that the portraits wouldn't have divulged Dumbledore's plans even if McGonagall had been made Headmistress is probably correct. I think the portraits are duty bound to serve the Headmaster or Headmistress, but not necessarily to tell the secrets of earlier headmasters. And Dumbledore's portrait was there as well to object to the other portraits doing this.

I agree with mona amon that Dumbledore was fairly sure, along with Snape, that once DD was dead, LV would almost certainly take over and gain control of Hogwarts. Therefore, DD's plan was for Snape to be the person made Headmaster. That's not planning for McGonagall to fail, simply taking into consideration the way events would most likely pan out.

I agree that Minerva did some waffling about Hogwarts remaining open or not, but I don't see that as failure.

As regards DD's trust in Minerva, I think DD trusted several people to do the things that he had entrusted them with. He didn't tell Harry secrets about Snape's job, or Snape secrets about Harry's tasks. And he may have left instructions for Minerva without telling her about his secrets with Snape and Harry. But just as Minerva worked out that DD had probably left assignments for Harry, she may also have worked out that Snape could be still serving DD. Her actions toward Snape look quite real, but it's possible she could have been acting in order to keep his cover.


rambkowalczyk - Oct 8, 2007 12:05 pm (#919 of 980)

Her actions toward Snape look quite real, but it's possible she could have been acting in order to keep his cover.

I don't think she was acting. When Snape confronted her in the corridor there was no one else except for Harry in his invisibility cloak. If she had any inkling Snape was still Dumbledore's man she would have said something to Harry after he flew out the window.


Orion - Oct 21, 2007 11:48 am (#920 of 980)

JKR would have told us later in DH if she had acted. IMO, she was indeed clueless. It's such a sad scene it's hard to think about it.


legolas returns - Oct 21, 2007 11:56 am (#921 of 980)

If she had known then Dumbledore would have broken his promise to Snape. She would not have called him a coward when he flew out of the window or raised her wand to him in the corridor.


PeskyPixie - Oct 25, 2007 9:14 am (#922 of 980)

I love her presence of mind to tie up the Carrows before leaving Ravenclaw Tower. Honestly, I was getting annoyed at the Death Eaters who kept getting knocked out, then returned to join the battle as nobody thought of locking them up. Meanwhile, the good guys are dropping like flies!

Good one, Minnie McG!


Luna Logic - Oct 28, 2007 12:08 am (#923 of 980)

Yes, she seems to be the only one to do that properly...
She should have been more employed as strategist by the Order or Dumbledore!


PeskyPixie - Nov 23, 2007 8:24 am (#924 of 980)

Now, I love McGonagall - definitely one of my favourite characters - however, I find her one flaw to be her inability to really listen to her young charges (yes, she listens to Harry near the end of DH, but at this time they are interacting with one another as members of the Order of the Phoenix, not as student and teacher).


Chemyst - Nov 23, 2007 8:38 pm (#925 of 980)

I don't see the "flaw" as an inability. I imagine she is perfectly able. And has listened in the past, and listened, and listened, yada, yada, yada, until she has heard it so much that the so-called flaw is more of a comment on how long she had been listening to the same thing time and again than it is an indication of inability.


Choices - Nov 24, 2007 9:10 am (#926 of 980)

Chemyst - I agree with you. I'm sure McGonagall has listened to kids until she can tell you what they are going to say before they open their mouths. But then Harry comes along and he does have something new to say and he knows things that he isn't supposed to know, so she realizes that she does need to listen to him (although it takes her a while).


Luna Logic - Nov 24, 2007 12:44 pm (#927 of 980)

Choices: "But then Harry comes along and he does have something new to say and he knows things that he isn't supposed to know, so she realizes that she does need to listen to him (although it takes her a while)."

LOL ! And she displays a lot of curiosity, then! (in Book 6.)


PeskyPixie - Nov 29, 2007 11:46 pm (#928 of 980)

Example: 'Umbridge' came to do Ministry checks at my mom's school. She took to my mom and hung out with her during yard duty when one of the school's chief 'trouble-makers' came running up to the pair of them, rambling on desperately about something that had happened in a part of the field where no one was supposed to be. Umbridge immediately shushed the kid with, "No tattling. You know very well that no one is supposed to be on that field; we've got monitors making sure no accidents occur. Try to get along with your little friends." Mom took one look at the kid and knew he was distressed. She followed him to the field where sure enough a couple of children were engaging in extremely dangerous activities in the absence of monitors.

Now, I realize that this isn't a completely accurate analogy, but during Harry's first couple of years at Hogwarts McGonagall reminds me a bit of this Ministry official who felt that just because she was a capable adult kids couldn't get through her safety measures. The moment when McGonagall learns that HRH are aware of the Philosopher's Stone she ought to take their actions and claims more seriously and try to keep an eye on them ... at least listen to them thoroughly before jumping to conclusions. She is more open in the later books, but this part of her character bothers me in PS.


PeskyPixie - Apr 16, 2008 8:20 am (#929 of 980)

Harry thinks Minnie McG (on one of her Muggle missions for the OotP) looks 'odd' in Muggle attire. Is this merely his perception of his strict, witch teacher as a 'normal' Muggle lady, or does McG indeed look 'odd' in the outfit?

I'm just wondering as it would give us some insight into her blood status.


Orion - Apr 16, 2008 8:25 am (#930 of 980)

Wizards and witches have no sense of fashion.


Julia H. - Apr 16, 2008 8:29 am (#931 of 980)
Edited Apr 16, 2008 9:30 am

I don't know. When I was at high-school, once a class-mate told me that in her opinion a good teacher was someone she could not imagine doing the shopping or cooking. I was surprised because both my parents were teachers and I knew a lot of teachers outside school and I knew teachers could cook (etc.). Maybe this is something like that. Harry cannot imagine his teachers as Muggles.


Orion - Apr 16, 2008 12:56 pm (#932 of 980)

I know what you mean! But in PS/SS we're told that wizards and witches who try to dress up as muggles mess up badly. (It implies that they are blind, because most people get their fashion sense from watching other people. And wizards and witches certainly walk around among muggles. It is almost impossible to move among people and not to notice at least generally how they dress.)


Solitaire - Apr 16, 2008 8:38 pm (#933 of 980)
Edited Apr 16, 2008 9:39 pm

Is this merely his perception of his strict, witch teacher as a 'normal' Muggle lady, or does McG indeed look 'odd' in the outfit?

Growing up I had two friends who never wore dresses throughout their childhood or in high school. I remember the first time I ever saw either of them in a skirt. They looked so weird! Well, they didn't really look weird. I just had never imagined them in anything but jeans or sweats! Likewise, for four years Harry has never seen McGonagall in anything but robes or a Tartan housecoat. Seeing her in a suit, rather unexpectedly, would probably be a bit of a shock, even if she had just left Clinton and Stacey (What Not to Wear) and was perfectly coiffed and coordinated!



Dryleaves - Apr 17, 2008 5:40 am (#934 of 980)

I also think it is more a question of a person looking different from what you are used to, but maybe wizards don't understand muggle clothes? I saw a lady at the bus stop today, who had matched her clothes in a very strange way. Maybe she was a witch?


Solitaire - Apr 17, 2008 5:48 am (#935 of 980)

Dryleaves, I believe that most Wizards are clueless about most things concerning Muggles. Somehow, though, I tend to think McGonagall is a bit more savvy than the average Wizard. If she is indeed the person who meets with the Muggle parents of young Witches and Wizards who will be attending Hogwarts, she would have to be able to approach them without looking too conspicuous. She seems to have a great deal of common sense, and she strikes me as someone who would take the time to check out appropriate Muggle gear before appearing in it. JM2K ...



PeskyPixie - Apr 17, 2008 6:30 am (#936 of 980)

I've always wondered about McGonagall's background. I thought that maybe if she pulled off the Muggle disguise perfectly it might indicate that she is Muggleborn or Half-Blood, and that if her outfit is 'odd' she may be Pure-Blood. However, I completely agree that this is about a kid's perception of his teacher. My mom's students often freak out when they run into her at the mall or grocery store with us, as they've never considered the idea that she has a life apart from them.

Also, McGonagall is the type to fully research a spying job and do it well. Even if she is not accustomed to Muggle dress she will make the effort to learn it before her mission.

I just can't wait for 'The Scottish Book' to find out about Minnie's backstory ... there just has to be one!


Orion - Apr 17, 2008 6:53 am (#937 of 980)

Minerva is a pureblood witch or a halfblood witch because of her unusual and mythological sounding first name.


PeskyPixie - Apr 17, 2008 6:56 am (#938 of 980)

Hermione (Muggleborn), Harry (Half-Blood), Arthur (Pure-Blood)


Solitaire - Apr 17, 2008 7:10 pm (#939 of 980)

Minerva is a pureblood witch or a halfblood witch because of her unusual and mythological sounding first name.

Has Jo told us this for certain? I still wonder if there is a connection between McGonagall and Mrs. Figg. I can't help it. Mrs. Figg's affinity for cats and the fact that she and McGonagall are the only two I remember being mentioned as wearing Tartan makes me wonder ...



Dryleaves - Apr 18, 2008 2:04 am (#940 of 980)
Edited Apr 18, 2008 3:05 am

In the first chapter of PS/SS, when DD and McGonagall are discussing Harry Potter and the downfall of Voldemort, I think it seems as if McGonagall is unfamiliar with muggles, not that she doesn't know anything about them, but it seems as if she thinks of them as "others" in a way she maybe wouldn't had she been muggleborn or half-blood and raised in a muggle environment. For example DD offers her a sherbet lemon and she answers:

'"A what?

A sherbet lemon. They're a kind of Muggle sweet I'm rather fond of'

To me DD's way of explaining this to her indicates that she is of wizard ancestry and not familiar with the phenomena of the muggle world. But maybe she for some reason has estranged herself from the world of muggles, even if she was born into it. After all, her parents might just have been very interested in Roman mythology.

Solitaire, I don't think McGonagall being of wizard ancestry would prevent her from being closely related to Mrs Figg, as Mrs Figg is a squib, and therefore must be from a wizard family.


Julia H. - Apr 18, 2008 3:02 am (#941 of 980)

Hermione (Muggleborn), Harry (Half-Blood), Arthur (Pure-Blood) (Pesky)

Your point is absolutely clear to me but let me nitpick a bit:

The name Arthur may sound commonplace enough in itself but taken together with Percy and Ginny, it has mythological reference. These are names referring to the Arthur-legends. I think in the Weasley family there must be a tradition to name the children after these legendary characters but Mr Weasley's fascination with Muggles results in giving muggle names to some of his children - though even these tend to be names of royal heroes, too. Fred, Bill, Charles : Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror, Charles the Great? And now I can't help being reminded of "Weasley is our King". According to Arthurian legend, King Arthur once fought - and won - against a certain (Roman?) emperor named Lucius.

Sorry for going off-thread but I could not resist...


Orion - Apr 18, 2008 7:49 am (#942 of 980)

That is a very interesting observation. Arthur, muggle-fanatic, gives his children good old british muggle names and ends up with one king after another - intentional or not? And your "Weasley is our king"-observation is worthy of the alchemy thread.


Julia H. - Apr 18, 2008 8:04 am (#943 of 980)

George: St. George, a knight to overcome the dragon (Draco)? Ronald: Perhaps Roland (the knight of Charles the Great)?


wynnleaf - Apr 19, 2008 6:30 am (#944 of 980)

That's an interesting point about the Weasley's names, Julia.

Dryleaves, I agree that the PS/SS comment to Minerva explaining sherbet lemons does seem to indicate that she wasn't raised among muggles.


Solitaire - Jun 16, 2008 3:00 pm (#945 of 980)

I don't know ... I'm a Muggle and I've never heard of Sherbet Lemons ... other than a poster here whose name was Sherbie Lemon. BTW, I haven't seen her in eons.


wynnleaf - Jun 16, 2008 7:58 pm (#946 of 980)

I believe a sherbert lemon is a British treat and not sold, or at least common, in the US.


journeymom - Jun 17, 2008 8:39 am (#947 of 980)

From Wikipedia's Sherbet entry:

The Sherbet Lemon is a hard lemon-flavoured boiled sweet with a centre of powdered sherbet. It is a popular sweet in the UK and other countries. It is mainly produced by Cadbury Schweppes.

Sounds a little like a lemon head. Sounds like I'd like them!


Solitaire - Jun 17, 2008 9:15 am (#948 of 980)

Lemonhead ... isn't that a rock band? LOL


Orion - Jun 17, 2008 12:02 pm (#949 of 980)

What? A Lemonhead is a sweet? LOL


journeymom - Jun 17, 2008 12:11 pm (#950 of 980)

Sigh. Lol!

ferrarapan.com/html/lemonhead.html Add the www dot.

I love them!
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Minerva McGonagall Empty Re: Minerva McGonagall

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PeskyPixie - Jun 18, 2008 6:23 am (#951 of 980)
Edited Jun 18, 2008 7:27 am

Ooh, I guess I have had sherbet lemons when I was a kid (fits the description anyway). They were my favourite! Sadly, haven't seen any for the longest time.

ETA: Just checked online and yeah, that's what I had. They're unbelievably good! There were red and orange ones as well, but the yellow (lemon) ones were by far the best.


Dryleaves - Jun 18, 2008 7:06 am (#952 of 980)

If I were Headmaster of Hogwarts and had the same password policy as DD, anyone could get into the Headmaster's office any time. I only like chocolate... Not that this has anything to do with McGonagall, though...


PeskyPixie - Jun 18, 2008 7:11 am (#953 of 980)
Edited Jun 18, 2008 8:12 am

She loves Ginger Newts. There, back on topic!


PeskyPixie - Jun 29, 2008 8:40 pm (#954 of 980)
Edited Jun 29, 2008 9:40 pm

McGonagall's patronus seems to be the same as her animagus. I think this indicates her independence and self-sufficiency.

She should be a role model for all young witches! (cough, cough, Lily and Tonks, cough, cough )


Choices - Jun 30, 2008 8:45 am (#955 of 980)
Edited Jun 30, 2008 10:02 am

She probably was, but unfortunately Lily and Tonks no longer need role models. We can only hope that a new generation of young witches will see McGonagall as the wise, talented witch that she is and endeavor to learn from her.


Orion - Jun 30, 2008 11:34 am (#956 of 980)

Well yes, only wimps change their Patronuses. It always bothers me, too, because it's not only like assuming another last name, but it's a bit like giving up a part of your personality.

On the other hand, maybe McGonagall would have changed hers fast as lightning if she had fallen in love. Do we know that? Having the same animal for Patronus and Animagus shape doesn't show "independence and self-suffiency", IMO, it's just normal, because they represent your mind animal. You'd have to be seriously disturbed to have two of the things. Just imagine you have a cat and a dog - do you expect your Patronus to sit on trees half of the time?


rambkowalczyk - Jun 30, 2008 11:55 am (#957 of 980)

Does it show in the books that McGonagall's patronus is a cat? I just don't remember.


azi - Jun 30, 2008 12:41 pm (#958 of 980)
Edited Jun 30, 2008 1:41 pm

We see McGonagall's patronus in DH when she sends messages to the heads of house after Harry arrives at Hogwarts.

What happened to people thinking that people's patronuses and animagi are the same? I thought we'd got that info from an interview. Did it turn out to not exist/be fake or something?


PeskyPixie - Jun 30, 2008 3:12 pm (#959 of 980)
Edited Jun 30, 2008 4:13 pm

According to DH, McGonagall's patronus is a cat with spectacle markings around its eyes. I think that implies that it is the same as her animagus form.

Having the same animal for Patronus and Animagus shape doesn't show independence and self-suffiency", IMO, it's just normal, because they represent your mind animal." –Orion

A patronus is one's guardian. I feel that having identical patronus and animagus indicates that McGonagall is, even abstractly, her own defender. She finds strength in herself.

Hmm, it's true we know nothing of her romantic life. Still, she seems to be the type whose mate's patronus would change to a tomcat with spectacle markings rather than the other way around!


rambkowalczyk - Jun 30, 2008 8:10 pm (#960 of 980)

Ok now that I am convinced that her patronus and animagus are the same what does this say about her.

The animagus shows her 'true' characteristics. James as a stag with antlers shows a somewhat prideful male with a certain nobility. Sirius as a dog shows his loyalty to James. Peter as a rat shows not only being a 'rat' but that he is crafty. The cat shows that McGonagall has a tender heart.

A Patronus shows who ones' protector is. For Snape it was Lily and what she represented. For Harry it is his father. I have to agree with Peskypixie that the cat shows that she has confidence in herself.


Chemyst - Jul 1, 2008 6:17 pm (#961 of 980)

I thought the same as you, azi, so I spent a few minutes looking:

I think we are still allowed to put in links to members of the Floo Network because the Lex is part of that. Accio Quote ~ What Jo says about... Patronuses & Animagi Unfortunately, the most promising link was broken. But I did find in the AOL interview from 2000 that JKR revealed that animagi reflect your personality; and there was another link/source for Pesky's point about a patronus being one's guardian. We know of two cases, McGonagall & James Potter, where the patronus & the animagi matched.

If there were to be another book, I'm sure we'd have conjured a great theory about the white peacocks at Malfoy Manor...  alas.


Solitaire - Jul 1, 2008 9:18 pm (#962 of 980) Reply
Edited by megfox* Jul 2, 2008 6:16 am

We know of two cases, McGonagall & James Potter, where the patronus & the animagi matched.

What about Dumbledore? We know his Patronus is a Phoenix. Was he also an Animagus who could transform into a Phoenix? I have always wondered about that, and I really became curious when I noticed that he had written a paper on Trans-Species Transformation. Since Hermione does not seem to have looked at Animagi from previous centuries, she has not told us.


Edit -I closed an open html tag so the rest of the post wasn't italicized.


Vulture - Jul 18, 2009 5:19 am (#963 of 980)
Edited Jul 18, 2009 6:28 am

Hi, All: I notice that there hasn't been a post here for a fortnight, so hopefully I'm not interrupting anything. The snippet below came up in the (7th) Snape thread, in the context of "Snape's Worst Memory" in Book 5. It was being suggested that nothing the teachers did could stop the Marauders. Whether you agree with that or not, it led to me writing a lot about what I think would have happened if McGonagall had found out about the "Worst Memory" incident, based on my assessment of her character. I decided to copy it over here.

I think that McGonagall would have been even angrier about the "Worst Memory", if that was possible, if she had caught the Marauders red-handed in the act. As we know, in Book 5, Harry never saw the conclusion of the incident, and I used to speculate that a teacher did catch them, and that this led to a chain of events which could explain why Lupin was the one who became Prefect, but James was the one who became Head Boy, with Lily as Head Girl.

But anyway, have a read if you're interested. Comments are welcome ...


I just don't think that McGonagall going ballistic and giving out detentions would stop the Marauders from continuing the way they had done before. (Julia H. - Jul 17, 2009 4:32 am (#2389, 7th Snape thread))

I totally agree _ which is why I'm quite sure she wouldn't have done detentions. I have to totally use my imagination here, and my only excuse is my best guess based on McGonagall's character. I think she would have been utterly sickened that a Gryffindor _ and not just any Gryffindor, but the Quidditch and academic star of his year _ would so totally befoul the very things which Gryffindors are supposed to live by. Remember, chivalry means, among other things, defending the defenceless. And ganging up on one helpless individual is about as far from bravery as it's possible to get.

She would have gone berserk. Firstly, she'd have wiped all Gryffindor's points to zero _ and she'd have done it in front of the whole school with the four Marauders pointed up as The Reason. She'd have ripped Lupin's Prefect badge off with her own hand. Detentions ?!! _ she'd have them out doing the filthiest and most dangerous jobs Hagrid could come up with: or cleaning and doing all the house-elf jobs required by Slytherin House _ especially Snape's room. It goes without saying that all four of them would have been forced to make an abject apology to Snape in front of the whole school. If she didn't break their wands, she'd take them away for two months, and make sure that the father of whom James is so proud got a Howler to say that his son had befouled everything Gryffindor ever stood for.

And by the way, this is if she was being nice. By the time she had finished, they'd be wishing they had been expelled.

And I haven't even gone near how they'd feel facing Dumbledore.

A point which seems too easily ignored is that James did have a better side, and a conscience (stirred most often, I think, by Lily) _ I think it would have been torture to him to be slated to the whole school and to his family as unchivalrous and a coward, and to feel that he had betrayed Gryffindor.


Solitaire - Jul 18, 2009 12:53 pm (#964 of 980)
Edited Jul 18, 2009 1:53 pm

I notice that there hasn't been a post here for a fortnight .. . .

LOL Vulture! It's been a bit longer than that. Check the date of my previous post more closely ...


Chemyst - Jul 18, 2009 1:16 pm (#965 of 980)
Edited Jul 18, 2009 2:23 pm

Back in the day, Vulture, such a post as yours probably would have been kicked out by the mods for being fiction, but now that the 7 books are complete, I guess we can count this as "theorizing."

I do NOT think that she have gone berserk. Yes, she would have been outraged, but she can also be very controlled under pressure. I base that on how she dealt with Harry in the "Have a biscuit" scene of book 5.
• She may have stripped Gryffindor points, I can see that as being in keeping with her character.
• I do not think she would have ripped off Lupin's prefect badge. Several reasons here: Prefects were chosen by DD, it would have been his call to rescind the position. And the ripping is too much of a grand gesture; her theatrics will not solve anything, she knows this, and the injustice of publically humiliating a bystander for James's act is too likely to make James defend Lupin even more fiercely.
• She would never let them anyplace close to Slytherin House; allowing the marauders have access to Snape's "safe place" for any reason would be unconscionable.
•I agree about requiring the apology to Snape, but not in front of the whole school. I think a public apology would be more humiliating for Snape to have to re-live it than it would embarrass the marauders. I think the apologies would occur in Dumbledore's office with the head of Slytherin house involved.
•Loss of wands is a good one. I like that.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 19, 2009 6:36 pm (#966 of 980)

What I find odd (if Vulture's hypothesis is valid) is her reaction to Harry after Sectumsempera. She let Harry know in no uncertain terms that what he did was wrong. But Harry's punishment was detentions. In one sense she abdicated letting Snape decide the punishment instead of her.

I know a big deal (by some posters) was made about the loss of 50 points in book 1 because Harry and Hermione were out of bed. I wonder if she was overreacting to comments made by Snape that Harry is just like his father. Is it possible that Harry and Hermione's punishment was to nip in the bud any possibility that Harry might behave like his father?


Soul Search - Jul 20, 2009 6:04 am (#967 of 980)

Is it possible that Harry and Hermione's punishment was to nip in the bud any possibility that Harry might behave like his father?(rambkowalczyk)

Good pickup.

Interesting that much of the same Hogwarts staff that taught James was around to teach Harry, and some (Hagrid, Binns, maybe Flitwick) were still around to teach his kids. (Was McGonagall still at Hogwarts? I don't think we have a canon reference. How about Slughorn? He would have loved to have the heroes' kids at his parties.) A lot of continuity at Hogwarts.

Strange that Harry did not get a lot of comparison comments from Hogwarts staff (except the numerous "looks like his father, has his mother's eyes" first meeting statements.)


Hieronymus Graubart - Jul 20, 2009 9:31 am (#968 of 980)
Edited Jul 20, 2009 10:32 am

I know a big deal (by some posters) was made about the loss of 50 points in book 1 because Harry and Hermione were out of bed.(rambkowalczyk)
They were not only out of bed. In McGonagall's eyes they were playing dirty tricks on Draco (making him believe that they had a dragon), while Draco was playing dirty tricks on them (trying to catch them with the supposed dragon). This really enraged her.

Compare this to the loss of 5 points when Hermione said that she had hunted the troll (risking not only her own life but also the lives of everybody who had to come to the rescue, while nobody seemed to have been in danger with the non-existing dragon). Obviously McGonagall didn't really want to punish the hero.


Vulture - Jul 21, 2009 5:38 am (#969 of 980)

Compare this to the loss of 5 points when Hermione said that she had hunted the troll ... (Hieronymus Graubart[/B] - Jul 20, 2009 10:31 am (#968))

Well, strictly speaking, Hermione wasn't deliberately breaking a rule _ if only because no-one would probably think of drawing up a rule saying "First-years, don't go hunting trolls on your own" _ whereas with Norbert (which of course, McGonagall didn't know about), Harry, Hermione, Draco and Neville had all deliberately broken the "out of bed rule".

I guess this isn't for this thread, but Hagrid let the side down there. Instead of letting Harry, Hermione and Neville endure the misery of losing Gryffindor all those points, he should have confessed to Dumbledore or McGonagall.


Solitaire - Jul 21, 2009 9:27 am (#970 of 980)

Hagrid is a bit like the kids, in that he often acts before thinking. I think Hagrid is sometimes fearful that he could do something to damage the acceptance that he has found at Hogwarts. No, I don't really think Dumbledore or McGonagall ever would abandon him ... but he may not really comprehend that. After all, his own mother abandoned him. Some hurts never really go away ...


Hieronymus Graubart - Jul 24, 2009 10:27 am (#971 of 980)
Edited Jul 24, 2009 11:27 am

The choice of words was not adequate in my last post (note to myself: never post before you finished thinking). Of course Hermione wasn’t heroic in the troll incident, Harry and Ron were the heroes. The point I tried to make is, that Minerva McGonagall (who is a Griffindor after all) secretly admired the nerve of any first year who dared to hunt the troll, and this was the reason why Hermione came away with only a mild punishment.

On the other hand, McGonagall didn’t see anything brave in the actions of the dragon’s night. Not believing in the existence of the dragon, she could only see a prank to lure Draco into breaking the "out of bed rule" (in McGonagalls eyes much worse than Harry and Hermione being out of bed themselves).

And she could see Draco, happily believing the lies he supposedly had overheard, and Neville not so happily believing what he really had overheard, but both playing their own games instead of warning the teachers about the presence of a dangerous beast (didn’t these boys remember which precautions the teachers had felt to be necessary when the troll had entered the school?).

Vulture, I don’t know if there is a rule saying "First-years, don't go hunting trolls on your own", but all students had been ordered to go to a safe place immediately and to stay there under the supervision of their prefects while the teachers hunted the troll. The truth is that Hermione could not know this and was not even aware of the troll until the troll found her. But this is not what she told McGonagall.

What McGonagall heard was, that Hermione deliberately ignored the headmaster’s order, breaking off the group of students walking to their dormitories to go on a troll hunt just for the fun of the adventure, risking not only her own life but also the lives of Harry and Ron, who tried to follow and stop her.

Only weeks previous to this event, Hermione had believed (if we take her seriously) that she could be expelled for entering the forbidden corridor unintentionally, not looking for a monster supposedly living there. So what should we expect for somebody who goes on a troll hunt against all security orders?

But wait, if we take Hermione seriously, being expelled would be "worse than death"! I have to correct myself. It was heroic to risk everything to protect these nasty rulebreakers who always picked on Hermione, but had just accidentally saved her life.


Julia H. - Aug 6, 2009 5:09 am (#972 of 980)

On the other hand, McGonagall didn’t see anything brave in the actions of the dragon’s night. Not believing in the existence of the dragon, she could only see a prank to lure Draco into breaking the "out of bed rule" (in McGonagalls eyes much worse than Harry and Hermione beeing out of bed themselves). (HG)

I wonder if McGonagall could really put it past Hagrid (having known him for a while) to keep a dragon at Hogwarts, and she must have known about the friendship between Hagrid and the Trio. Hagrid may not be mentioned between McGonagall and HRH, but Draco saw the dragon in Hagrid's house, so he may have let it slip to her (earlier) that Hagrid was involved. In this case, strictly punishing the kids for a stupid joke and for being out of bed may be in defence of Hagrid, who would be in a much bigger trouble if the truth about the dragon became known. It is possible that McGonagall investigated the case later on, that Dumbledore talked to Hagrid privately, but they covered up Hagrid's law-breaking behaviour because they did not want him to be arrested (as Hagrid already had a "history" of law-breaking involving a dangerous creature). The kids got the detention (and with Hagrid) but Hagrid may have been ordered not to try and (publicly) take responsibility for what had happened.


Hieronymus Graubart - Aug 7, 2009 8:43 am (#973 of 980)
Edited Aug 7, 2009 9:45 am

Alas, Draco saw the dragon in Hagrid's house is movie contamination. In the book, Draco read Charlie's letter to Ron.

We were never told the details, but I hope that Charlie did not mention any names and generally tried to write in a way nobody could really understand if he had not also read Ron's previous letter to Charlie.

Obviously Charlie couldn't avoid to use the word "dragon", but Draco knew only that there was a connection between Ron and a dragon and that "something" would happen at a specific date. Since Ron couldn't do anything (he was in bed in the hospital wing) and Harry was Ron's friend, Draco supposed that "Harry would do something with a dragon" during this night.

Draco didn't try to present the letter to McGonagall, because it was no real evidence. He may even have feared that presenting the letter would make his situation worse.

MacGonagall would still believe in a prank rather than a real dragon, and assume that this letter was faked as a part of the prank. But whose prank against whom? And how had Hermione been involved if Harry had not needed her for a faked conversation to make Draco believe there was a dragon? In the end McGonagall may have concluded that this was really Draco's prank against Harry?


Julia H. - Aug 7, 2009 9:11 am (#974 of 980)
Edited Aug 7, 2009 10:13 am

“Hagrid,” said Hermione, "how fast do Norwegian Ridgebacks grow, exactly?"

Hagrid was about to answer when the color suddenly drained from his face -- he leapt to his feet and ran to the window.

“What's the matter?”

“Someone was lookin' through the gap in the curtains -- it's a kid -- he's runnin' back up ter the school.”

Harry bolted to the door and looked out. Even at a distance there was no mistaking him.

Malfoy had seen the dragon.

(SS/PS Ch14 Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback)


Hieronymus Graubart - Aug 11, 2009 3:26 am (#975 of 980)

When I watched the movie I was sure that I had never read this. I have to check if it is missing in the german edition.


jose043 - Oct 4, 2009 4:24 am (#976 of 980)

Happy Birthday Minerva McGonagall and many more to come


Solitaire - Oct 4, 2009 8:20 am (#977 of 980)

Happy Birthday, Professor McGonagall! A big gillywater to you!


Choices - Oct 4, 2009 2:11 pm (#978 of 980)

Minerva - may I say you are one of my very favorite characters! A very Happy Birthday to you and many more to come. May you live long and teach many more generations of young wizards at Hogwarts. :-)


Ludicrous Patents Office - Oct 5, 2009 7:15 pm (#979 of 980)

I love Minerva! One of my favorite characters. happy birthday. LPO


PeskyPixie - Oct 6, 2009 12:03 pm (#980 of 980)

Happy belated Birthday, Minnie McG! Here's to many more to come!

Interesting considering Minerva's animagus form.

As I said then, I don't think this is true and I have seen no evidence of it.

I am rereading the series getting ready for HBP. Having just finished COS I have found my first, remote, hint that Minerva may not be as she seems.

In chapter 18 of COS, the last chapter, when Fawkes brings the kids, and Lockhart, out of the Chamber, there is this conversation:

Molly leads off:

'You saved her! You saved her! How did you do it?"

“I think we'd all like to know that,” said Professor McGonagall weakly.'

Its the 'weakly' that I focused on. While it is probably the response of a person who is worn out from worry and stress for quite a while, it could also be the response of a disappointed person.
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