Minerva McGonagall
Biographical information

4 October, 1925
Scotland, Great Britain

Blood status

Pure-blood or half-blood[1]

Also known as

Old McGonagall (by Ronald Weasley)

Physical information






Hair colour


Eye colour


Skin colour


Family information
Family members
Magical characteristics

Cat[3] (registered[6])


Lord Voldemort[7]


16 ½ inches long, unknown core and wood materials






Clean templateEdit



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"I vowed to protect this school, and I meant it!"
—Minerva McGonagall during the Battle of Hogwarts.[src]

Madam Professor Minerva McGonagall (b. 4 October, 1925) was a witch who attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1937 and was sorted into Gryffindor house. After education, she worked at the Ministry of Magic and later returned to Hogwarts, where she became Head of Gryffindor House, Transfiguration professor and concurrently, at differing times, Deputy Headmistress and Headmistress of Hogwarts. She is also an Animagus, taking the form of a grey tabby cat with spectacle marks.

McGonagall was also a member of the First and Second Order of the Phoenix. In 1995, she opposed Dolores Umbridge, the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, and, in 1997, she attended the funeral of Albus Dumbledore. She also protected the students from the Carrows from 1997 until 1998, and as part of this resistance movement, fought in several battles of both wars, including the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and the Battle of Hogwarts(where she led the resistance against Lord Voldemort). She survived the Second Wizarding War and continued her job as Headmistress and Head of Gryffindor, although she had retired by 2017. During the Battle of Hogwarts she is less strict and seems more excited than usual.


Early lifeEdit

Minerva was born on 4 October, 1925 to Mr. McGonagall and his wife[5], at least one of whom was a wizard or witch, as their first child and their only daughter, as she had at least one brother.[5]

The siblings were raised in the Highlands of Scotland[5], which resulted in Minerva's Scottish accent and her fondness for tartan. Minerva only gradually came to realise something strange about her magical abilities, aswell as her parents' marriage[5]

Hogwarts yearsEdit


Minerva attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as a pupil from 1937 to 1944. This would mean that McGonagall was studying as a pupil in the year above Tom Riddle. She was Sorted into Gryffindor House, of which she would later serve as Head in her later life.

In her third year, Minerva chose her elective subjects. One of these may have been Study of Ancient Runes, as she could understand runes in later life. It is highly unlikely that she chose Divination as the other as she showed great contempt for the subject in her later life.

McGonagall is a survivor of the 1942 opening of the Chamber of Secrets, which took place in her sixth year, due to the fact that she was not Muggle-born.

McGonagall presumably achieved an Outstanding or Exceeds Expectations in Transfiguration, which was taught by Albus Dumbledore, as she would later go on to teach the subject.

It is unknown when, but Minerva trained also to become an Animagus, wanting to explore Transfiguration further.[11] It is also notable that Minerva is able to conjure a Patronus, which takes the form of a cat, something average students are not taught and considered a high level of practical magic.

It is unknown with whom or at what time, but sometime as a young witch Minerva had fallen in love with a Muggle, which ended in heartbreak. [12][citation needed]


"Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts. Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned."
—Minerva McGonagall lectures her first-year students.[src]
File:Fera verto.gif

It is unknown in what capacity or for how long, but Minerva worked at the Ministry of Magic after graduation.[13] In December 1956, Minerva returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this time not to learn but to teach Transfiguration, after Albus Dumbledore ascended to the position of Headmaster of the school. As a teacher, Minerva was a strict disciplinarian, maintaining control of her students with a stern hand that made her someone not to be crossed. Her lessons consisted of but were not limited to match to needle, animal to water goblet, Beetle to button, and mouse-to-snuffbox transformations, as well as Vanishing, Conjuring and Switching Spells.

Later on in her career, Minerva would also be appointed the position of Head of Gryffindor House, the house in which she used to reside whilst studying at Hogwarts. Albus Dumbledore would later on in his career also trust her enough to allow her to become Deputy Headmistress of the school and fill in for him on the occasions of his absence.

First Wizarding WarEdit

Minerva McGonagall: "Are the rumours true, Albus?"
Albus Dumbledore: " I'm afraid so, Professor. The good and the bad."
— Minerva McGonagall to Albus Dumbledore in 1981[src]

After the first rise of dark wizard Lord Voldemort ( with whom McGonagall was educated during her time as student at Hogwarts) Minerva took part in fighting back against the Dark Wizard and his followers. This rise of the dark lord is known as the First Wizarding War. McGonagall still taught at Hogwarts during the first war.

Order of the PhoenixEdit

In the early days of the First Wizarding War, McGonagall joined the movement against Voldemort, the Order of the Phoenix, led by Albus Dumbledore. Minerva played a vital role in the resistance against Voldemort and his army of followers (Death Eaters) and throughout the war McGonagall stayed loyal to the Order despite the rise in murders of members. McGonagall got through the war unscathed where others suffered loss of limb or other injuries.

Protection of Harry PotterEdit

"They're the worst kind of muggles, oh really Albus, must we?"
—McGonagall discussing Harry's relatives[src]

In 1981, baby Harry Potter defeated Lord Voldemort in his family home at Godric's Hollow, his parents James Potter and Lily Evans (both members of the Order of the Phoenix) were killed whilst protecting their son from harm. The defeat of Voldemort ultimately ended the war and his followers were arrested and those that escaped went into hiding. Minerva travelled to Surrey and there spent an entire day observing the Dursley family seeing whether or not they met the standards of looking after Harry as they were his only living relatives with his parents now dead. She was thus present, along with Rubeus Hagrid, when Dumbledore placed Harry on the Dursleys' doorstep, despite her objections to leaving him with these Muggles, whom she considered to be the "worst kind" of them. She kept a close eye on Harry from time to time during his early childhood, as did other members of the Order of the Phoenix.[3]

Between WarsEdit

After the First Wizarding War had ended Minerva continued on with her career at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry carrying on teaching the art of Transfiguration. She remained loyal to the Order of the Phoenix and kept watch over Harry Potter as he grew up to keep him from harm.

Protecting the Philosopher's StoneEdit

"Welcome to Hogwarts. Now, in a few moments you will pass through these doors, and join your classmates."
—Minerva McGonagall to the first-year students of 1991.[src]

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

Also in this year, Harry Potter, who Minerva had been watching over for many years would start his First year of education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, unknowingly to him as he was unaware of the fact he was a wizard. Once Harry eventually arrived at Hogwarts, after the delivery of many acceptance letters, Harry was sorted into the house of Gryffindor which Minerva was head of. Harry was therefore again placed under the watchful eye and care of McGonagall.

File:Transfiguration homework.jpg

Though Minerva often maintained her strict persona in regards to the boy, she was not above bending the rules for him on occasion, such as when she caught him flying on a broomstick without proper supervision. Instead of expelling him, which was Madam Hooch's stated punishment for anyone caught doing so, Minerva instead took him to see Oliver Wood, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, to comment on his prodigious skill with the broom.

Harry made the team, remarkable for a First year, and became the youngest Seeker in a century. McGonagall made arrangements for Harry to have a Nimbus 2000, the fastest broomstick of the time, for use during games and practices. Towards the end of the year McGonagall and the other teachers protective enchantments down in the Philosopher's Stone chambers would come to test when Quirrell attempted to steal the Philosopher's Stone. Also testing and facing the enchantments were Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. The trio was successful in stopping the stone being stolen and come the end of the school year, Gryffindor had won the house cup after receiving the most house points that year after getting bonus points for the trio's and Neville Longbottom's bravery. McGonagall's house the current house cup champions.[3]

Second opening of the Chamber of SecretsEdit

McGonagall: "What does it mean Albus?"
Dumbledore: "It means that the Chamber of Secrets has indeed been opened again."
— After finding Colin Creevey petrified.[src]

In the beginning of the 1992 school term, Minerva had to deal with Harry and Ron, who crashed Mr. Weasley's Flying Ford Anglia into the Whomping Willow, due to the barrier of the King's Cross Station that was sealed by Dobby so the two couldn't board the train. This nearly exposed the wizarding world to Muggles, but Minerva was more fair than Snape, the one who brought the matter up in the first place. Minerva ultimately let them off with a mere detention and a letter to their parents and guardians; she did not take any house points as Harry pointed out that term had not started yet when they took the car, and she almost smiled at this remark.

File:200px-Minerva cs.jpg

Later, Minerva was present for the re-opening of the Chamber of Secrets. She, along with the rest of the teaching staff, scoured the castle for the Chamber, but to no avail. She also had to deal with the less than helpful Gilderoy Lockhart, who had been hired for the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. McGonagall had little liking or use for the man, and by the end of the year was only one of the many staff who utterly despised him.[14]

In the final weeks of that school year, Minerva served as temporary Headmistress of Hogwarts after the Board of Governors, under Lucius Malfoy's influence, suspended Dumbledore for failing to stop the attacks against students. She was also quite shaken and softened up, as when Harry and Ron tried to sneak off to investigate on the matters but was caught by Professor McGonagall, she let them off under the belief that they were trying to visit a petrified Hermione; normally, she would punish them with detention. When Ginny Weasley was later taken into the Chamber of Secrets, where "her skeleton will lie in the chamber forever," Minerva despairingly believed that they were facing the end of Hogwarts. However, once the monster of the Chamber had been dealt with, Dumbledore returned to the school and Minerva returned to her normal duties.[14]


Escape of Sirius BlackEdit

"Well, Sirius Black is gone tonight, but I think you can all safely assume he will attempt to return at some time."
—McGonagall to her students[src]

The summer of 1993 also saw the escape of Sirius Black from Azkaban. When the school year began in September, Minerva had to deal with the effects that the Dementors had on her students, such as Harry Potter. She also authorised Hermione Granger to use a Time-Turner in order to take extra classes, a wise decision on her part that would prove more useful in future events that year. This year at Hogwarts would prove to be another difficult year with Dementors guarding the castle.

"The fact still remains, that Sirius Black was and is to this day... Harry Potter's Godfather!"
—McGonagall discussing Black.[src]
File:004HPA Julie Christie 001.jpg

Throughout the year, Minerva assisted in guarding the school, yet nonetheless Black was able to infiltrate the castle. After Black had attacked the Fat Lady, McGonagall tried to tell Harry that Black was after him, but was cut off by Harry, who told her that Mr. Weasley had told him, before she could explain, Later in the year Black managed to enter Gryffindor Tower when Hermione's cat Crookshanks, befriended by Sirius, gave him a discarded list of passwords. When Harry received a Firebolt following the destruction of his Nimbus 2000, McGonagall had it confiscated to be "examined" because she believed (correctly) it to have been sent by Black, and therefore lethally cursed (which was incorrect.) This incident caused Harry and Hermione to have a row, because Hermione had alerted Minerva about the Firebolt. It was returned to him later. During the Quidditch match against Ravenclaw, McGonagall caught Draco Malfoy, Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe and Marcus Flint attempting to pose as Dementors to catch Harry off guard. She deducted fifty points from Slytherin and put the quartet in detention. In the spring of 1994, she also witnessed the Gryffindor Quidditch team win the Quidditch Cup for the first time since Charlie Weasley had played for the team during his Hogwarts education. McGonagall was delighted by Gryffindor's victory, but upset to see its captain Oliver Wood leaving. Later on in the year, three students from her house — Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger — would run into trouble when Sirius Black returned to Hogwarts.[15]

Triwizard TournamentEdit

"The Yule Ball after all is first and foremost, a dance."
—McGonagall to her students.[src]

In the autumn of 1994, Hogwarts hosted the magical schools, the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and the Durmstrang Institute for the Triwizard Tournament. Harry Potter was selected as a Triwizard Champion despite being under age and McGonagall worried for his safety after having looked after him for so many years, Minerva protested with Dumbledore and Crouch to withdraw Harry Potter from the tournament but it was against rules of the tournament and Potter had to continue on, despite it being very dangerous for him to do so.

File:Severus spell.JPG

During the year Minerva more than once exhorted her students to provide a good appearance to their guests at the castle. She attended the Yule Ball with Albus Dumbledore and notably wore her hair down for the first time since Harry started his education at Hogwarts. At the end of the Tournament, however, Minerva accompanied Dumbledore and Severus Snape in the rescue of Harry Potter from the Death Eater that had spent the entire school year impersonating the Auror Alastor Moody, that year's Defence Against the Dark Arts professor.

Dumbledore: "Minerva, could I ask you to stand guard here while I take Harry upstairs?"
McGonagall: "Of course"
— Dumbledore instructs Minerva to stand guard.[src]

She was instructed to guard Crouch Jr. after he revealed his part in the rebirth of Voldemort, but was unable to prevent the Dementor brought by Minister Cornelius Fudge from giving the Death Eater the Dementor's Kiss. She was intensely furious at Fudge for this blunder, and screamed more than Harry had ever seen before. Thus, when the Minister refused to believe Dumbledore and Harry Potter about the return of Voldemort, Minerva nonetheless stood in support of her superior and her student.[16] In the return of the Dark Lord, Hufflepuff student Cedric Diggory was carelessly murdered and a Memorial feast to Cedric Diggory was held at the end of the school year. The Second Wizarding War had now begun, despite the Ministry trying to hush up any claims of this.

Second Wizarding WarEdit

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

High Inquisitor at HogwartsEdit

McGonagall: "He has achieved high marks in all of his Defence against the Dark Arts tests —"
Umbridge: "I'm terribly sorry to have to contradict you, Minerva, but as you will see from my note, Harry has been achieving very poor results in his classes with me —"
McGonagall: "I should have made my meaning plainer ... He has achieved high marks in all Defence Against the Dark Arts tests set by a competent teacher."
— McGonagall discussing Harry Potter with Dolores Umbridge[src]
File:Disloyalty Minerva Dolores.jpg

When Harry Potter crossed Umbridge, earning a detention in his first class with her, Minerva was sympathetic, but warned him that Umbridge was not to be trifled with and that he should keep his head down.[17] McGonagall did all she could to circumvent Umbridge's authority without risking her own security as Deputy Headmistress. Indeed, she treated Umbridge with as little credence and respect as possible while Hogwarts was under investigation by the Ministry of Magic, and even gave Peeves tips on how to unscrew a chandelier when he was trying to cause havoc for Umbridge. McGonagall also managed to put aside her dislike of Professor Trelawney for a time in the face of Umbridge's persecution of Hogwarts' inhabitants.[17]


After Umbridge's appointment as High Inquisitor, Minerva was forced to endure the other woman's presence during her evaluation of Minerva's teaching. Minerva kept her temper under control, maintaining an icy exterior and yet still unleashed a dry and pointed wit on Umbridge. The encounter did serve to cheer students like Ron Weasley who heartily disliked Umbridge.[17] Still, darker times lay ahead.

Despite Minerva's best efforts to thwart the Ministry's influence at Hogwarts, things continued to grow worse. After Dumbledore was ousted from the school, Umbridge was appointed Headmistress over Minerva. When Umbridge invaded the career advising of the 5th-year students, Minerva finally lost her temper. During Harry Potter's session, when Umbridge kept interrupting the conversation and declaring that Harry would never be an Auror at the Ministry, Minerva declared to Harry that she would help him in any way necessary to achieve his goal. The atmosphere at Hogwarts continued to devolve under Umbridge's leadership.[17]

St. Mungo's HospitalEdit

McGonagall: "How dare you! How dare you!"
Hermione: "It's McGonagall!"
McGonagall: "Leave him alone! Alone, I say! On what grounds are you attacking him? He has done nothing, nothing to warrant such —"
— McGonagall moments before Umbridge orders her attack[src]

During the O.W.L. examinations, events came to a head. When Dolores Umbridge and several Aurors attempted to evict Hagrid from the grounds of Hogwarts, Minerva sought to intervene on behalf of her colleague. However, before she could even draw her wand, Minerva was promptly hit with four Stunning Spells in the chest, which required that she be moved from Hogwarts to St Mungo's for treatment.[17]

Return to HogwartsEdit

Minerva did not return to Hogwarts until after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, when she promptly gave the six students involved in the Battle at the Ministry 50 House points each for "alerting the world to the return of You-Know-Who." when Snape was needling Harry about Gryffindor having 0 House points.[17] She also watched with some happiness when Peeves chased Umbridge from the school, commenting that she would've joined Peeves in chasing Dolores away, but Peeves had appropriated her walking stick. After her recovery at St. Mungo's, Minerva resumed her duties within the Order of the Phoenix as well as her teaching duties when the school year would begin again after summer.[17]


Assassination attempts on Albus DumbledoreEdit

"Will you, Severus, watch over my son, Draco, as he attempts to fulfill the Dark Lord's wishes? And will you, to the best of your ability, protect him from harm? And, should it prove necessary... if it seems Draco will fail... will you carry out the deed that the Dark Lord has ordered Draco to perform?"
—Snape agrees to finish the plot if Malfoy is unable to. When making an Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange[src]

During the 1996-1997 school year there were numerous assassination attempts on Headmaster Albus Dumbledore's life, but none were successful. Ron Weasley was accidentally poisoned when he drank a drink given to him by Horace Slughorn that had been poisoned and intended to be drank by Dumbledore. Katie Bell was cursed when she touched the Opal necklace intended to be given to Dumbledore and was sent to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.

Battle of the Astronomy TowerEdit


Later in the school year, she participated in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower in 1997 after Draco Malfoy sneaked Death Eaters into the school through the Room of Requirement. She was stuck on the level below Harry and Dumbledore and couldn't pass on the stairs to reach them, however Snape could and pushed past her. After the battle, she was devastated by Snape's murder of Dumbledore, the man whom she had known nearly her entire life as a teacher, mentor, and friend, and whose murderer she had let pass. After the murder was committed the Dark Mark was cast into the sky and shadowed over the school grounds, McGonagall led the respectful wand raising to rid the sky of the dark mark from the late Dumbledore's body. After the death of Dumbledore, McGonagall held the Funeral of Albus Dumbledore at Hogwarts and in the final days of the school year she took over Dumbledore's former position and became Headmistress of Hogwarts, though she was stripped of this position in favour of Snape once Voldemort took over. McGonagall tried to comfort Harry about the death of Dumbledore but her efforts fell short.[18]

Voldemort's control of HogwartsEdit

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

Battle of HogwartsEdit

File:Tumblr lodyp45a2F1qd8c06o1 500.gif
"You're acting on Dumbledore's orders? ...We shall secure the school against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named while you search for this — this object."
—Minerva McGonagall to Harry Potter after his return to Hogwarts.[src]

On 2 May, 1998, Minerva was present when Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley returned to Hogwarts in the middle of the night in search of Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem, becoming aware they were there after Harry defended her honour by successfully performing the Cruciatus Curse on Amycus Carrow. Minerva began a duel with Severus to defend Harry when he revealed himself to the Headmaster, using a powerful fire spell, which Severus successfully repeled, until he escaped through the window of the Great Hall.

Neville Longbottom: "Let me get this straight, you're giving us permission to blow it up? Boom?"
Minerva McGonagall: "BOOM!"
Neville Longbottom: "Wicked!"
— Neville and Professor McGonagall discussing the destuction of the Covered Bridge.

With help from Harry and Luna Lovegood, she incapacitated the Carrow siblings in the Ravenclaw Common Room. Realising that a battle was upon them, Minerva gathered Filius Flitwick and Pomona Sprout and together the three House Heads banished Severus from Hogwarts, Minerva even calling him a coward as he fled the school. Harry informed McGonagall of a quest that Dumbledore had left him, and she, in respect for Dumbledore's wishes, offered to hold Voldemort and his army back for whilst Harry fulfilled this quest. She then proceeded to animate the castles suits of armour and statues to help her defend the school.[19]

After ordering the evacuation of younger students through the Hog's Head, Minerva began to help fortify the castle against the coming attack, with the assistance of her fellow teachers, Order members, and even the older students who had stayed behind to fight. When Pansy Parkinson suggested they take the deal offered to them by Voldemort - that of their lives in exchange for Harry Potter — Minerva ordered the girl and all those not willing to fight to leave. [19]

File:Minerva and Molly Battle og Hogwart.jpg
"And now — Piertotum Locomotor! Hogwarts is threatened! Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!"
—Minerva McGonagall casts Piertotum Locomotor on the school's suits of armour, in preparation for the Battle of Hogwarts.[src]

Minerva fought skilfully in the first part of the battle, and stood defiant in the lull. She stood among many students in a crowd when Voldemort himself walked into the Hogwarts grounds. It was only when Minerva saw Harry Potter's body being carried by Rubeus Hagrid that she began to despair, letting out a scream terrible to anyone who heard it, equal to that of Ron, Hermione, and Ginny's together.

Nonetheless, Minerva continued to fight when the battle resumed after the attack by the Centaurs on Voldemort and the Death Eaters. In the final moments of the battle, she duelled with Voldemort alongside Horace Slughorn and Kingsley Shacklebolt, though they were blasted aside by his fury when Bellatrix Lestrange was killed in a duel with Molly Weasley.

They might have resumed the duel but for the fact that Harry revealed himself, insisting that he himself must duel Voldemort one final time. After Voldemort was finally killed by Harry, she, along with everyone else, hugged Harry in an uncharacteristic display of great emotion.[19]

Later lifeEdit

With the conclusion of the war, Minerva returned to the position of Headmistress of Hogwarts and remained there until at least 2008, as she gave permission for Dumbledore's notes for The Tales of Beedle the Bard to be published. [20] It is possible she was responsible for the employment of former Gryffindor student Neville Longbottom as the new teacher for Herbology. Minerva had retired by 2017, when Harry's second son began attending Hogwarts. [4]

Physical appearanceEdit

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

Minerva McGonagall was first described as a tall, rather severe-looking woman, and later as a "sprightly" seventy year old. She often wore emerald green robes or her favourite tartan pattern. She also wore a pointed hat cocked to one side, and always had a very prim expression. She rarely let her black hair down and the majority of the time had it combed back into a tight bun. Minerva was a fan of tartan print and would often wear it to Quidditch games along with a woolly hat covering her ears. Minerva wore square spectacles that matched the markings around the eyes of her Animagus and Patronus: a silver tabby cat.

Personality and traitsEdit


Minerva was usually very serious and stern, and was held in great respect (and some fear) by nearly all students. She tolerated neither talking nor silliness from her pupils. She turned cold towards people who said or did things in front of her that were stupid, or if she thought they were trying to be funny. She once told students that the Yule Ball would be a time for them to "let their hair down," pursing her lips disapprovingly as she said it.[16] She would even take house points away from her own house if her students misbehave.

Despite her stern demeanour, Minerva did have a fun side. She was an avid Quidditch fan, and had a great love for cats and tartan plaid (the latter being two objects of affection for Dolores Umbridge, ironically, given the contempt the two witches felt for one-another). She also exhibited a dry sense of humour which usually came out when times were tough. True to a Gryffindor, Minerva valued bravery and loyalty highly and when she and Dolores Umbridge were in a fight, Umbridge claimed she had not been showing her loyalty to the Minister for Magic; this was a deep blow on Minerva. Minerva was not afraid of speaking her mind and had quite a sharp tongue sometimes. However, she usually maintained great emotional composure.


However, from time to time Minerva could show a bit of a softer side, as seen during the return of Rubeus Hagrid in 1993 and when Dolores Umbridge sacked Sybill Trelawney in 1996.[14][17] She also showed that she was capable of having fun, such as during the Christmas Feast in 1991 when she giggled after Hagrid kissed her on the cheek.[3] Minerva, although she did not show it at times, was a huge supporter of Harry and trusted the likes of Dumbledore, Sprout, Flitwick, Pomfrey and Hagrid. She could be very warm, affectionate and supportive in times of great need. She had the nerve in 1998 to call Severus Snape a coward which could lead to her sacking or, perhaps, something worse. She was also deeply affected by Harry's supposed death, screaming out "No" when she saw his body, surprising Harry; as he never knew she could sound like that.

Magical abilities and skillsEdit

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

Minerva McGonagall is an extremely powerful and talented witch with a variety of magical abilities. Her powers and abilities enabled her to fend off many dark wizards, as seen during the Battle of Hogwarts. Minerva could even hold off Voldemort for a while.

  • Transfiguration: Throughout her teaching career, Minerva taught Transfiguration. She considered it to be amongst the most complex and dangerous magic taught at Hogwarts. During the Battle of Hogwarts Minerva demonstrated her astonishing mastery of this branch of magic by Transfiguring dozens of desks and suits of armour to help defend the school from Lord Voldemort. She also put her skills with Transfiguration to use during her duel with Severus Snape, a notably powerful wizard. As stated below, Minerva became an Animagus in order to further her research on the different branches of Transfiguration. She was taught by Albus Dumbledore and took his position as Transfiguration Teacher.
  • Duelling: Minerva was an incredibly skilled duellist, capable of holding her own against much younger and more agile Death Eaters, Severus Snape, and even Lord Voldemort himself. During the Battle of the Astronomy Tower she defeated Alecto Carrow and survived the battle unscathed. In 1998, during the Battle of Hogwarts she fiercely duelled Severus Snape and drove him out of the school, though it should be noted that in the book Snape only fled because of the arrival of Filius Flitwick and Pomona Sprout while in the film she defeated Snape alone. Later in that same battle she duelled the Dark Lord himself to a stalemate alongside Horace Slughorn and Kingsley Shacklebolt.
  • Animagus: Being an Animagus gave Minerva the ability to transform into the form of a tabby cat at will. She often used this ability when she did not wish to be recognised. An example of this usage was when she spied on the Dursley family before Albus Dumbledore brought Harry Potter to them. When Hermione Granger searched for Animagus references in her third year, she saw that McGonagall was one of the few registered Animagi in the 20th century. On his notes regarding The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Albus Dumbledore states that Minerva asked him to explain that, while Animagi are usually people who seek to avoid punishment when they have broken the law, she merely became one to further her research on all branches of Transfiguration.
  • Charms: McGonagall seemed to be skilled at charms. In 1992 when Harry and Ron had to eat in Snape's office, she conjured bewitched plate of sandwiches that would automatically refill itself (a charm which she - presumably - placed on the plate herself).
  • Patronus Charm: She had also mastered the Patronus Charm, being able to create a corporeal Patronus in the form of a cat - identical to her Animagus. In fact, she was the only person seen to cast three Patronuses at once (though admittedly not in the presence of a Dementor). Additionally, Minerva was able to use her Patronus as of means of communication, as taught to her by Albus Dumbledore.
  • Dark Arts: Whilst Professor McGonagall did not practice the Dark Arts she has been known to effectively cast the Imperius Curse successfully on Amycus Carrow, showing that Minerva has some knowledge in this field.
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts: McGonagall was also proficient in Defence Against the Dark Arts, given that she fought in two wars and survived. During the Battle of Hogwarts, McGonagall fought against the Death Eaters who are known to use the Dark Arts. She also fought Voldemort himself, alongside Kingsley and Slughorn, who was the Master of the Dark Arts and survived.
  • Study of Ancient Runes: Minerva was proficient with Ancient Runes and was capable of reading and understanding it.[21]
  • Non-verbal magic and Wandless Magic: Minerva has also been shown to be skilled at non-verbal magic. When Barty Crouch Jr. (disguised as Alastor Moody) transfigured Draco Malfoy into a ferret, McGonagall transfigured him back without saying a word. In 1998 when she tied up the Carrows, she conjured a silver rope and a net from her wand and later produced three Patronuses, all wordlessly. She also demonstrated proficiency with wandless magic when Neville accidentally transformed his legs completely invisible, and she transfigured his leg back with just a wave of her hand.
  • Leadership skills: McGonagall was a very strong leader, being able to take charge in a matter of minutes. When Dumbledore was gone, she stepped in to fill his shoes. In the upstart of the Battle of Hogwarts, McGonagall ousted the current headmaster Severus Snape then took charge of the school and secured it against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. She led the defenders of Hogwarts during the battle, and in the end they came out victorious when Harry defeated Voldemort once and for all. After everything turned to normal, Minerva became the permanent Headmistress of Hogwarts.
  • Logical Thinking and Intelligence: McGonagall was a very wise and intelligent witch. Her intelligence is shown in many ways throughout the series. She has always shown the ability to make wise choices. In 1998, McGonagall solved a riddle without hesitation to allow Amycus Carrow into the Ravenclaw Tower.


Albus DumbledoreEdit

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

Minerva knew Albus Dumbledore for the majority of her life. She attended Hogwarts as a student during Dumbledore's time as Transfiguration Professor and even replaced him when he took the position of Headmaster of the school. She served for many years as his Deputy Headmistress, standing in for him and even replacing him as Headmistress on several occasions.[14][18]

Minerva had great faith in Dumbledore, placing great stock in the differences between him and Voldemort.[3] However, she did not hesitate to disagree with him when she felt the need to do so. She greatly opposed his decision to place Harry Potter with Petunia Dursley and her family, calling them the "worst sort of Muggles imaginable."[22] She also served more than once to bring Dumbledore back on track when he became distracted from the matter currently at hand.[16]

Minerva never hesitated in displaying her loyalty to Dumbledore. When Cornelius Fudge brought Aurors to arrest Dumbledore in 1996, she boldly stepped forward and announced her intention to fight the Aurors on his behalf. She only stepped back at Dumbledore's insistence when he reminded her that Hogwarts and her students would need her in his absence.[17]

Minerva was devastated when Dumbledore was killed in 1997 during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, and attended his funeral.[18] A year later, when Harry was on a mission given to him by Dumbledore, she did not question the decision of the late headmaster, but immediately sought to provide whatever assistance she could.[19]

Harry PotterEdit

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

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

When Harry arrived at Hogwarts, Minerva was pleased that he was sorted into Gryffindor, her house. When she saw Harry on a broomstick and the natural flying abilities he displayed, rather than punishing or expelling him, she brought him to see Oliver Wood, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, announcing that she had found their new Seeker. In her gratitude for Harry accepting the position, McGonagall bought him a Nimbus 2000 for his first Quidditch game.[3]

File:Harry Potter HBPscreenshot 5-27-09.jpg

However, Minerva's concern for Harry did not blind her to his on-campus misdemeanours. Though she often let Harry off on breaking school rules, she only did so only under life-threatening circumstances. Minerva went out of her way to treat all students justly, and took no issue with giving even those of her own house severe punishments if she thought they deserved it. When Harry and his friends were caught sneaking around the tower in the dead of night during their first year at Hogwarts, Minerva did not hesitate to take 150 points away from Gryffindor despite her House's first-place standing at the time, and additionally to sending him off to serve detention in the Forbidden Forest. It's possible she would have levied an ever harsher punishment had she caught them in the act of smuggling Norbert itself.

Throughout Harry's studies at Hogwarts, Minerva kept a watchful eye on him and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and intervened in their affairs whenever necessary to keep them safe. In Harry's fifth year, she also promised Harry that she would do whatever she possibly could to see that he achieved his dream of becoming an Auror. When Minerva later found out about the sort of punishment Harry and various other students had been receiving from Dolores Umbridge, she openly expressed her disgust and disapproval, despite the power Umbridge wielded.[17]

When Harry secretly infiltrated Hogwarts shortly prior to the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry defended Minerva's honour against the Death Eaters who had been posted at the school by Voldemort. When Amycus Carrow spat at McGonagall, Harry was outraged to the point of attacking him with the Cruciatus Curse, and agreeing with Bellatrix Lestrange's assertion that one had to "really mean it" to perform it correctly. Although shocked by Harry's sudden appearance and his use of an Unforgivable Curse, Minerva was clearly touched. Though Minerva tried to convince Harry to flee out of concern for his safety, Minerva immediately joined Harry in retaking the castle and preparing for battle when he informed her that he was acting on Dumbledore's orders. Nearing the end of the Battle of Hogwarts, Minerva's devastation was clearly equal to that of Ron and Ginny Weasley and Hermione Granger, when she saw Rubeus Hagrid carrying Harry's seemingly dead body. She later duelled Voldemort head on in the final battle, to protect Harry and the other students. When the battle ended with Voldemort's death at Harry's hands, Minerva was among the first to embrace him.[19]

Severus SnapeEdit

"And Potter — do try and win, won't you? Or we'll be out of the running for the eighth year in a row, as Professor Snape was kind enough to remind me only last night..."
—Minerva McGonagall to Harry Potter in 1994[src]

Minerva McGonagall was Severus Snape's professor of Transfiguration during his time as a student at Hogwarts. After he had graduated and then returned as the Potions master, he and McGonagall became colleagues. As Head of Gryffindor House, McGonagall developed a rivalry with Snape, Head of Slytherin, and they commented to one another about House points and Quidditch standings. Like Snape, McGonagall was a strict disciplinarian, but appeared more fair to Harry Potter, who was a member of her House. McGonagall and Snape were both demanding and effective teachers, both were unusually talented at magic, and both were loyal to Albus Dumbledore, so over time Minerva grew to respect Severus despite their rivalry and Snape's dark past. McGonagall knew that Snape was a Death Eater in his youth, but she followed Albus Dumbledore in believing that he truly regretted his former alliance. In this she showed great faith in Dumbledore who, keeping his promise to Severus, never shared with her Snape's reasons for turning away from Voldemort.

After Snape killed Dumbledore, McGonagall was shocked and perhaps personally hurt to find her formerly-respected colleague a murderer and apparent traitor. When Snape became Headmaster of Hogwarts, McGonagall opposed him and his supposed minions the Carrows, without knowing Snape was secretly her ally in protecting the students from his fellow Death Eaters. At the onset of the Battle of Hogwarts, McGonagall and Snape duelled inconclusively; Professor Flitwick interrupted them and Snape fled the school rather than continue the fight. McGonagall, believing his retreat was motivated by fear, called out "Coward!" an insult he particularly detested. Snape was killed by Voldemort during the battle. Only after it was too late did McGonagall learn that Snape had killed Dumbledore in a painful act of loyalty to the Headmaster's own orders, and that Dumbledore's trust in him derived from Severus's life-long love of Lily Evans. It is unknown how she reacted to these revelations, but if her reputation for fairness was valid, she must have regained her respect for him, and perhaps regretted that last unjust insult. There is no report that she objected to Headmaster Snape's portrait being hung in her office by Harry Potter's arrangement, nor do we know when, if ever, teasing over Quidditch standings was resumed.

Hermione GrangerEdit

"Ah, of course. There is no need to tell me any more, Miss Granger. Which one of you will be dying this year?"
—McGonagall and Hermione talking about the latter's previous Divination lesson.[src]

Minerva took a shine to Hermione Granger, a student in her house, right from her first Transfiguration lesson. During the lesson, Minerva gave Hermione one of her "rare smiles" when Hermione successfully Transfigured a match into a needle early on in the lesson and before any other students. Minerva was also disappointed in Hermione when she claimed to have gone looking for the Troll that invaded Hogwarts under the impression that she could stop it. The claim was not true, but Minerva was none the wiser.[3]

When Hermione was attacked by the Basilisk in 1992, Minerva was greatly moved and would often take time to visit the Petrified Hermione in the hospital wing.[14]

In Hermione's third year, Minerva also went to the effort to arrange for Hermione to be given permission to use a Time-Turner to take additional classes. Teachers did not often seek permission for a student to use one of the devices, but Minerva saw something special in Hermione and went out of her way to make sure she wasn't under-achieving.[15] She further showed her high regard of Hermione by appointing her a Gryffindor prefect in her fifth year at Hogwarts.

During the Second Wizarding War when Minerva was attacked by several Ministry employees outside of Hagrid's Hut, Hermione showed deep emotion towards the event, like Minerva did a few years before when Hermione was attacked. Minerva was a role model for Hermione and both had much in common, such as both believing that Divination was a very "woolly" subject, and that Professor Trelawney was a fraud.[15] Furthermore, both had a liking for cats and both were sorted into Gryffindor house.


Ron WeasleyEdit

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

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

Neville LongbottomEdit

"Which abysmal, foolish person wrote down the passwords and then proceeded to lose them? ... Is it always going to be you, Longbottom?"
—Minerva McGonagall on who gave Sirius Black the password to Gryffindor Common Room.[src]

Minerva had a long history with the Longbottom family, having served in the Order of the Phoenix with Neville's parents (who were eventually tortured into insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange). She also had a personal relationship with Neville's grandmother, who raised him. McGonagall frequently seemed to expect more from Neville than he produced, starting with Neville's first day at Hogwarts when he ran out of a crowd after his toad.[3] When Neville "lost" his scrap of parchment (which was actually stolen by Crookshanks) with Gryffindor's passwords on them, allowing Sirius Black to enter the common room, Minerva was furious with him.[15]

Minerva couldn't help but feel pity for Neville after the loss of both his parents, whom she knew from the First Wizarding War and fought alongside earlier on in her career. She voiced pride in Neville's courage in participating in the fight with the Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries. She also sought to encourage Neville to take Charms in his sixth year, despite his grandmother's dismissal of the subject. She told him, "It is high time your grandmother appreciated the grandson she has, rather than the one she thinks she ought to have." She also advised Neville that his grandmother had failed to earn her Charms OWL.[18]

After the Second Wizarding War, Minerva may have been the one to employ Neville as the school's new Herbology professor.

Draco MalfoyEdit

"What utter rubbish! How dare you tell such lies! Come on – I shall see Professor Snape about you, Malfoy!"
—McGonagall after catching an 11-year-old Draco out of bed.[src]
File:-Draco Malfoy.jpg

While Professor Snape favoured students of his own house, and often overlooked any misbehaviour from students like Draco Malfoy, McGonagall had little tolerance for nonsense from any student, regardless of their house, and took no notice of the Malfoy family's status within the wizarding community. Despite her clear disapproval of Malfoy's pure-blood supremacist leanings, McGonagall sought to protect him as much as every other student, and was completely appalled when Alastor Moody (Barty Crouch Jr in disguise) transformed Malfoy into a ferret in 1994. She transformed Malfoy back into his human form and reminded "Moody" that they never use transfiguration as a punishment. In addition, she would not accept Harry's accusations of Malfoy mailing a cursed necklace without sufficient evidence, nor condone any attacks Harry made on Malfoy such as when the former used the Sectumsempra curse (not knowing exactly what it did) on Malfoy, in 1997.

Rubeus HagridEdit

Hagrid: "The firs'-years, Professor McGonagall"
McGonagall: "Thank-you, Hagrid. I will take them from here"
— McGonagall to Hagrid after he drops off the first years[src]
File:Rubeus Hagrid OOTP.jpg

Rubeus Hagrid respected McGonagall. Hagrid was the gamekeeper, and later Care of Magical Creatures professor of Hogwarts. They attended Hogwarts at the same time, and they later became members of the Hogwarts staff. While McGonagall was one of the most serious professors at Hogwarts, she sometimes disapproved Hagrid's behaviour, especially during the Sorting ceremony. However, they were close friends. They were both members of the Order of the Phoenix in both wars, and they both admired Albus Dumbledore. Hagrid once kissed McGonagall on her cheek, when he had drunk very much and she was noted giving a flushed giggle in the event's festivities. When Dolores Umbridge and several Aurors from the Ministry sought to sack and exile Hagrid from the school grounds by force, Minerva quickly flew to his aid, in turn taking four stunners simultaneously to the chest. In 1997, after Albus Dumbledore's death, Minerva stated that she appreciated Hagrid's opinion very much, as did Dumbledore. McGonagall and Hagrid fought against Death Eaters during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and the Battle of Hogwarts. They were among the first ones to run to congratulate Harry after he defeated Voldemort. They both survived the war and still taught at Hogwarts.

Sybill TrelawneyEdit

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

Minerva and Sybill Trelawney were not the best of friends, and barely maintained civility between them. Minerva had no use for Sybill's subject, Divination, and she believed that Trelawney was a fraud. The only reason Minerva has never spoke ill of Sybill directly was due to her refusal to insult her colleagues.[15]

Despite her dislike for Trelawney and her teachings, however, Minerva and Sybill would grow to understand one another through their shared hatred of Dolores Umbridge during the woman's tenure as Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. When Dolores used her powers to sack Sybill, Minerva was there as a literal shoulder for Sybill to cry on, and she spoke out against Dolores and told her what she thought after the events.[17] In many ways, Minerva's relationship with Sybill was similar to Hermione Granger's relationship with Luna Lovegood.

It is unknown whether Minerva kept Sybill as Divination Professor after the war and during Minerva's time as Headmistress of Hogwarts, but, seeing as Minerva always valued Dumbledore's views of kindness, Firenze and Trelawney most likely continued to co-teach Divination.

Hogwarts StaffEdit

File:Slughorn HBP UK promo.jpg
Filius Flitwick: "I suppose you are aware that nothing we do can indefinitely prevent You-Know-Who to enter the school, right? —"
Pomona Sprout: "But we can delay it. —"
Minerva McGonagall: "Thank you, Pomona."
— Filius Flitwick, Pomona Sprout and Minerva McGonagall in 1998.[src]

McGonagall seemed to have a good relationship with the most of her co-workers at Hogwarts. Some of them were Pomona Sprout and Filius Flitwick. The relationship between Professor McGonagall and Professor Sprout is unknown, although both are professors at Hogwarts and Heads of House. However, in the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998, Pomona supported the decision to protect the castle, to Minerva's gratitude. Sprout and Flitwick fought with McGonagall in the Battle of Hogwarts and survived the Second Wizarding War.

Minerva was on amicable terms with Horace Slughorn, both of them having battled against Voldemort alongside Kingsley Shacklebolt in the Battle of Hogwarts. Prior to this, Minerva commented on his seemingly cowardly behaviour when he realized the castle was under attack. She noted that if he wished to leave, he should take his students and do so and if he attempted to hinder their efforts against Voldemort from inside the castle, they would duel to kill. She stated that it was time for Slytherin to finally choose their alliances. He was taken aback at this and he fled, but later returned with reinforcements of students' parents and residents of Hogsmeade to help with the battle efforts.

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


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


McGonagall seemed to have a quite close relationship with Remus Lupin, the D.A.D.A. professor in 1993. She didn't care about the fact Remus was a werewolf, because Dumbledore trusted him, too. During the Second Wizarding War, they appear to be friendly; after Dumbledore's death, McGonagall, Lupin and several other individuals were devastated; they all discussed about the way Snape killed Dumbledore.

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

After the war, most professors and other staff returned to their posts.

Lord VoldemortEdit

Lord Voldemort and Minerva McGonagall were classmates at some point in their education at Hogwarts , she was a year older than him. Their relationship was a bad one as Minerva was a Gryffindor and Voldemort was a Slytherin . During the First Wizarding War Minerva joined the Order of the Phoenix to fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters , she participated in many battles against him and survived the war, although many of her friends were killed. During his second rise to power , Minerva rejoined the new Order and stayed in Hogwarts during the tenure of Severus Snape as Headmaster and the Carrows to protect her students. She is one of the few people that isn't afraid of standing against the Carrows, as she did defy them many times during the 1997-1998 school year. Also to note is that Minerva McGonagall isn't afraid of saying Voldemort's name as she told Filius Flitwick before the Battle of Hogwarts to not to be afraid of it because Voldemort would try to kill him any way. Minerva, along with Kingsley Shacklebolt and Horace Slughorn, bravelly duells Voldemort himself during the second part of the Battle, then she watches as her former classmate is defeated by Harry Potter once and for all finally ending the War.

Dolores UmbridgeEdit

Umbridge: "Is there something you'd like to say, Minerva?"
McGonagall: "Oh, there are several things I would like to say, Dolores!"
— Minerva speaking to Umbridge as she comforts the newly sacked Sybill Trelawney[src]

Minerva disliked Dolores Umbridge right from the beginning when she invaded Hogwarts with her High Inquisitor position. She stood up to Dolores when no one else seemed to do anything, not even Dumbledore. Minerva did not approve of her methods of punishment and made sure that Umbridge knew about it.[17] When Dolores took over Hogwarts, replacing Dumbledore, Minerva even put aside her dislike of Sybill and advised Peeves on how to cause trouble for the interloper. Dolores was pleased with the attack on Minerva, which provided Umbridge with full control over Hogwarts. After Minerva's return to Hogwarts, Minerva did nothing to curb the students' enthusiasm when Peeves chased Dolores from Hogwarts, only lamenting that she could not watch with them because the poltergeist had taken her walking stick to hit Dolores with as he followed her from the school.[17]

Umbridge returned at the Ministry in a high-ranking position and interrogated Muggle-borns, capturing them and imprisoning them to Azkaban. After the Second Wizarding War, Umbridge was captured by Aurors and sent to Azkaban herself, for the rest of her life.

File:The Weasley Family at Egypt.jpg

Weasley familyEdit

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

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

The Marauders and Lily EvansEdit

File:Lily potter deathly hallows.jpg

McGonagall had long been the Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts by the time Lily Evans and the Marauders attended as students. The Marauders were four friends: James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. They were all sorted into Gryffindor, and despite their boisterous ways, at odds with Minerva's no-nonsense reputation, they seemed to have a good relationship with her.

"Is it true, Albus? Lily and James... are dead?"
—Minerva to Albus Dumbledore[src]

She liked James Potter, an intelligent and talented wizard, despite the fact that he could sometimes be a bit of a bully and wasn't above bending the rules. James became Minerva's fellow-member of the Order of the Phoenix after he left Hogwarts. She later became friendly with James's son, Harry, who was also her student and a member of her House, though she did not show favouritism and was more than willing to take many points even from her own House for misbehaviour.


Minerva had a good relationship with Sirius Black. After James' death, McGonagall believed it was Sirius who betrayed the Potters; only in 1994 did she learn the traitor was Peter Pettigrew. Sirius was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in 1996. Minerva's reaction to Sirius' death is unreported.

A little over a decade after he left Hogwarts, Remus Lupin returned to the school in order to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts, becoming Minerva's professional colleague for one year. He and McGonagall were members of the Order of the Phoenix in both halves of the Wizarding Wars. Remus was eventually killed during the Battle of Hogwarts.

"Hero-worshipped Black and Potter. Never quite in their league, talent-wise. I was often rather sharp with him... Stupid boy... Foolish boy..."
—McGonagall about Peter Pettigrew.[src]

Peter Pettigrew was the fourth member of the Marauders, and seemed to serve primarily as audience, as comic relief, and as spy in his Animagus form as a rat. McGonagall said Pettigrew "hero-worshipped" James Potter and Sirius Black; she also called him a "stupid" and "foolish" boy, and confessed that she was harsher than necessary with him during their time together as student and teacher. After his graduation, Peter, like the other Marauders, was Minerva's comrade in the Order of the Phoenix. Peter faked his own death standing up to Sirius Black, supposed Death Eater and betrayer of the Potters, leading McGonagall to regret that she had been harsh towards him, and to acknowledge him as a brave Gryffindor. We are not told her exact reaction when she learned that Peter, who was thought to be a hero, had in fact joined the Order's enemies and betrayed Lily and James, but it was sure to have been worse than merely harsh.

McGonagall also seems to have had a good relationship with Lily Evans, who was a Gryffindor at the time McGonagall taught Transfiguration. Lily was made a Prefect and later Head Girl; neither appointment would have happened if Lily's Head of House had not approved. McGonagall was devastated at the murder in 1981 of Lily and her husband James, both former members of her House and thus under her special care.


Order of the Phoenix membersEdit

McGonagall had a good relationship with the most members of the Order of the Phoenix. Some of them included Nymphadora Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt and Alastor Moody. McGonagall and Tonks, like most people, were both devastated after Dumbledore's death. Tonks fought in several battles for the Order, but was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle of Hogwarts.

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

She appeared to be friendly with Kingsley; she and Kingsley fought Voldemort, along with Horace Slughorn, and all of them survived the war.


  • Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, a name suitable for Minerva's personality. The name Minerva also means "wise."
  • McGonagall comes from the Scotsman William Topaz McGonagall, who is to be considered one of the worst poets in the English language, although Rowling stated that this has nothing to do with Minerva, she only liked the surname. The Scottish name McGonagall (or McGonigle, McGonegal) is from the Celtic name Conegal, meaning "the bravest," plus Mc, or "son of."

Behind the scenesEdit



File:Maggie Smith HP interview 01.jpg

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. She wasn't sent away from Hogwarts while it had been taken over by Death Eaters, so she wasn't Muggle-born.
  2. HP lexicon transcript of JKR's notes.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 MSNBC Interview with J.K. Rowling
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 ">Live Coverage of Pottermore talk at Leakycon
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named .5B.5BHarry_Potter_and_the_Prisoner_of_Azkaban.5D.5D
  7. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named .5B.5BHarry_Potter_and_the_Deathly_Hallows.5D.5D
  9. During this year, McGonagall left Hogwarts, so she must have joined the Ministry after that year.
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named .5B.5BHarry_Potter_and_the_Order_of_the_Phoenix.5D.5D
  11. The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real).
  12. <a href="">Pottermore Leaked Information</a>
  13. <a href="">Pottermore Announcement: Details on J. K. Rowling's Next Harry Potter Project; Video, Pictures, Press Conference Quotes</a>
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  20. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, page xi, xiv.
  21. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  22. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
  23. JK Rowling One-On-One: Part One. Today Show (NBC), 26 July 2007

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogwarts Houses:
50px 50px 50px 50px
Namesake Founders:
Godric Gryffindor · Helga Hufflepuff · Rowena Ravenclaw · Salazar Slytherin
Heads of House:
Minerva McGonagall · Pomona Sprout · Filius Flitwick · Horace Slughorn
House Ghosts:
Nearly Headless Nick · Fat Friar · Grey Lady · Bloody Baron

Ministry of Magic Personnel
Unknown Departments
Bernie · Bletchley · Pamphlet maker · Cho Chang's mother · Stamford Jorkins · Official No. 39423 · Meeting assigner · Lucius Malfoy · Minerva McGonagall · Wakanda · Overweight wizard · Selwyn · Albert Runcorn · Wizard at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup · Balding wizard

Transfiguration (class)
Professors: Albus Dumbledore · Minerva McGonagall
Textbooks: A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration · Intermediate Transfiguration · Guide to Advanced Transfiguration
Known Practioners: Emeric Switch · Circe · Falco Aesalon · Mirabella Plunkett · Thaddeus Thurkell ·
Transfiguration spells studied at Hogwarts: Match to needle · Snail to Teapot · Switching Spell · Avifors · Mice to Snuffboxes · Beetle Buttons · Rabbit Slippers · Teapot to tortoise · Draconifors · Lapifors · Vanishing Spell · Fera Verto · Owl to opera glasses · Guinea fowl to guinea pig · Hedgehog to pincushion · Protean Charm
Branches of Transfiguration: Conjuration · Animagus · Animate to inanimate Transfiguration · Cross-Species Transfiguration · Human Transfiguration · Inanimate to animate Transfiguration · Untransfiguration
Order of the Phoenix
Albus Dumbledore
Original Order of of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Alice Longbottom | Arabella Figg | Benjy Fenwick | Caradoc Dearborn | Dedalus Diggle | Dorcas Meadowes | Edgar Bones | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fabian Prewett | Frank Longbottom | Gideon Prewett | Hestia Jones (possibly) | James Potter | Lily Potter | Marlene McKinnon | Minerva McGonagall | Mundungus Fletcher | Peter Pettigrew (defected) | Remus Lupin | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Reconstituted Order of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Arabella Figg | Arthur Weasley | Bill Weasley | Charlie Weasley | Dedalus Diggle | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fleur Delacour | Fred Weasley | George Weasley | Harry Potter | Hermione Granger | Hestia Jones | Kingsley Shacklebolt | Minerva McGonagall | Molly Weasley | Mundungus Fletcher | Nymphadora Tonks | Remus Lupin | Ron Weasley | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Order of the Phoenix allies:
Andromeda Tonks | Augusta Longbottom | Dobby | Filius Flitwick | Ginny Weasley | Grawp | Horace Slughorn | Kreacher | Lee Jordan | Luna Lovegood | Muriel |
Neville Longbottom | Oliver Wood | Olympe Maxime | Percy Weasley | Pomona Sprout | Ted Tonks | Westinburgh family | Winky | Karkus | Karkus's wife
Other affiliations:
Dumbledore's Army | Forbidden Forest Centaur colony | Headless Hunt | Hogwarts Hippogriff herd | Hogwarts house-elves | Hogwarts Ghosts | Hogwarts Staff |
Hogwarts students | Hogwarts Thestral herd | Ministry of Magic | Giant colony (Karkus's control)

de:Minerva McGonagall es:Minerva McGonagall fr:Minerva McGonagall pl:Minerwa McGonagall ru:Минерва Макгонагалл nl:Minerva Anderling fi:Minerva McGarmiwa