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And now — Piertotum Locomotor! Hogwarts is threatened! Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!
~ McGonagall animating suits of armour in preparation for the Battle of Hogwarts.

Minerva McGonagall was a Professor at Hogwarts. She was proud and loyal to Hogwarts, Dumbledore and Harry Potter. She was the head of the Gryffindor house. She was a stern, yet kind teacher for Transfiguration. Like pretty much everyone else, she hated Umbridge, and defended Hogwarts in the final battle against Voldemort.

She was portrayed by the English actress Dame Maggie Smith, who also portrayed the Reverend Mother in Sister Act and its sequel. A younger McGonagall appears in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, portrayed by Irish actress Fiona Glascott.

Powers and Abilities

  • Magical Mastery: Minerva McGonagall was an incredibly powerful and talented witch whom none should have ever underestimated, being the most outstanding student of her year with a particular talent for Transfiguration, a remarkably complex field of magic which she proved to be an expert in, her magical skills being brilliant enough to attract the attention of Albus Dumbledore himself, the greatest wizard of the time and perhaps in all of history. Under his tutelage, her abilities advanced and she not only improved and refined her transfiguration ability but also grew to master all areas of magic, to where Dumbledore openly admitted she had become a true master of magic. As an adult, Minerva displayed her tremendous skills and powers by successfully becoming the Head of Transfiguration, Deputy Headmistress, and Headmistress at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry along with surviving both Wizarding Wars and even going on to challenge Voldemort himself along with Horace Slughorn and Kingsley Shacklebolt at the very end of the second wizarding war. Her power and skills were such that even among her fellow highly brilliant faculty members, Minerva may very well have been the second most powerful and capable professor at Hogwarts, her command of magic surpassed only by Dumbledore himself, displayed not only by being the teacher who was chosen to represent the faculty in the Teacher Appreciation Celebration event and Jacob's sibling referring to McGonagall as the most powerful witch they ever knew despite having known the other female professors well themselves, suggesting she at least surpassed them, but also by having dominated Severus Snape, whose prowess was well-acknowledged by the other professors, in a fight.
    • Wandless and nonverbal magic: Minerva was shown to be extremely skillful at non-verbal magic for a wide variety of spells, especially transfiguration spells and charms which she could perform with just a wave of her wand. This is a testament to her formidable magical skills as both these branches of magic are difficult to begin with not to mention to do them non verbally which requires intense concentration and focus. She could even perform certain spells intentionally without her wand, such as the Avifors spell and often wandlessly conjured a textbook into her hands during Transfiguration class. She stalemated and gained the upper hand over Severus Snape in a fierce duel without uttering a single incantation which is further evidence of her extraordinary skills - lesser witches and wizards seemed to produce weaker magic when using non-verbal spells or under the influence of Silencing Charms, but she seemed unhindered. She was fully capable of disintegrating Snape's fiery serpent he sent at her with just a wave of her wand and instantly turning it into swarm of daggers without saying the incantation. They were so powerful even without the incantation that he was forced to hide behind a suit of armour. She non-verbally untransfigured Draco Malfoy when he was turned into a ferret by simply pointing her wand at him. When Neville Longbottom vanished one of the legs of his desk by accident during a lesson, she had it back very shortly after with just a wave of her wand. She also non-verbally conjured a length of shimmering silver rope to hang the Carrow siblings before the Battle of Hogwarts to incapacitate them.
    • Duelling: Minerva was an immensely skillful duelist. She was described as moving "faster than Harry Potter would have believed", displaying an incredible amount of speed and precision with her spell work. Though she was hit by four stunning spells without warning by a group of Aurors, Poppy Pomfrey furiously insisted that they wouldn't have stood a chance in an actual fight. During the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, Minerva easily overpowered Death Eater Alecto Carrow even when she had aid from her brother, sending them desperately escaping from her spells, and survived the battle unscathed. In 1998, shortly before the Battle of Hogwarts, she proved herself capable of not only matching Severus Snape in a fierce duel, quickly and easily countering all of his spells and responding with her own, but she also managed to begin to gain the upper hand sending daggers so powerful after him that he was forced to take refuge behind a shield of armour when he couldn't counter her spell. With aid from Pomona Sprout and Filius Flitwick, she swiftly forced Snape to flee from the school by jumping out of a classroom window and flying through the grounds. Even without them, her ability to make Snape unable to counter one of her spells showed Minerva alone could have probably eventually defeated Snape (although it must also be noted that Snape wasn't fighting to kill her). Minerva emerged as one of the survivors of the Battle of Hogwarts and most likely defeated many Death Eaters given her previous results in duels. Alongside Horace Slughorn and Kingsley Shacklebolt, she even dueled Voldemort himself to a stalemate and they were only overpowered when Voldemort's rage of Bellatrix's death caused his magic to explode, although it must be noted that Voldemort was wielding the Elder Wand at the time without having achieved mastery over it and Harry's loving sacrifice was weakening the power of Voldemort's spells. Her dueling knowledge remained even as she grew older, with her instructing members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force how to improve their sight and teamwork.
    • Transfiguration: Minerva was taught Transfiguration by Albus Dumbledore, showing a particular talent in the subject even at a young age despite coming to consider her subject to be among the most complex and dangerous magic taught at Hogwarts. With guidance from her teacher Albus Dumbledore, she was skilled enough to achieve the Animagus transformation at the young age of seventeen. Her record was so impressive that she earned the aforementioned Transfiguration Today Most Promising Newcomer Award. Her knowledge and mastery would grow to the point that she managed to do a good enough of a job as a member of that department that she effectively assumed the position of Head of Transfiguration after Dumbledore (who seemed to be her only superior around the time) became Headmaster. Minerva was therefore extremely accomplished in all branches of transfiguration, including Conjuration, Vanishment, Transformation and Untransfiguration. Due to her mastery of this magic, Minerva was one of the teachers trusted to protect the Philosopher's Stone, which she did magnificently by enlarging an entire set of chess to giant size and making them alive. Some of her spells included transforming her desk into a pig and then reversed this transformation in 1991. In 1992, when Harry and Ron had to eat in Snape's office, she transfigured a plate of sandwiches that would automatically refill itself and a fan to "waft" Nearly Headless Nick. She was the one to reverse the transfiguration spell Barty Crouch Jnr (disguised as Alastor Moody) used to turn Draco Malfoy into a ferret in 1994. In 1998, Minerva tied up the Carrows by conjuring a silver rope and a net as restraints. In her duel with Snape, she easily turned the snake that he had turned the rope she launched at him into into a cloud of smoke, which she subsequently transformed into a flurry of daggers which Snape was forced to avoid by hiding behind a suit of armour. Minerva learned how to become an Animagus under Dumbledore's tutelage during her time as a student at Hogwarts, transforming into a tabby cat at will. She often used this ability when she didn't wish to be recognized. An example of this usage was when she spied on the Dursley family before Dumbledore brought Harry to them. On his notes of The Tales of Beedle the Bard , Dumbledore stated that Minerva asked him to explain that she had never abused the ability for any surreptitious purposes, setting aside legitimate business for the Order of the Phoenix (and previously the Ministry of Magic) where secrecy and concealment were imperative to survive and get information from the enemy. Minerva demonstrated her transformation to the students in their third year, which usually got applause. When Hermione Granger searched for Animagus references in her third year, she saw that her Professor was one of the few registered Animagi in the 20th century.
    • Charms: Minerva was shown to be incredibly skilled in charm-work. She was effortlessly capable of performing many simple everyday charms non-verbally without fail, such as the Fire-Making Spell, Mending Charm, Wand-Lighting Charm, Freezing Spell, Disarming Charm, and Levitation Charm. She was also able to successfully teach her students various charms related to transfiguration such as the Colour Change Charm, Mending Charm, Hardening Charm, Bird-Conjuring Charm, Softening Charm and Revelio Charm in her classes. Minerva had mastered the Patronus Charm, being able to create a powerful corporeal Patronus in the form of a cat — identical to her Animagus — , being the only person seen to cast three Patronuses at once. She also was able to use her Patronus as a means of communication, as taught to her by Dumbledore. Minerva was also proficient in the use of the Piertotum Locomotor charm, describing it as one of the spells she best excelled in and favoured, using it to such a great effect that with a single use, she animated virtually all of the thousands of desks and suits of armour in order to defend Hogwarts during the final battle with Voldemort. She was also able to perform a powerful Amplifying Charm, which was capable of being heard across the castle, using it to summon the other Professors to the second-floor corridor when the Heir of Slytherin took a student into the Chamber of Secrets.
    • Defense Against the Dark Arts: Minerva was exceptionally experienced and accomplished in defensive magic as she fought in the two wizarding wars and survived, having defeated powerful dark wizards and witches in process and even surviving a duel with Voldemort himself. During her early years in teaching, Minerva effortlessly undid the effects of the dark charm Oscausi Leta Lestrange placed on a Gryffindor girl. While not as powerful as her predecessor, it was nevertheless the case that Minerva, upon being appointed Headmistress of Hogwarts by the Board of Governors, as all those that had held the post before her, was charged with handling the protective enchantments surrounding the school, which, considering her still considerable abilities, she likely still did so very well. She was able to teach how to greatly increase the strength of the Protection Charm of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force.
    • Dark Arts: Whilst she did not practice the Dark Arts, Minerva was surprisingly capable in the field. She was able to successfully cast an effective Imperius Curse on Amycus Carrow, a remarkable feat as the Unforgivable Curses require both heartfelt intent and power in order to be effectively cast. She seemed to have no trouble performing standard dark charms, casting the spell Oscausi on the girl who had had it cast previously on her by Leta and the Knockback Jinx in a failed attempt to free Ben Copper from the Cursed ice (openly noting she used it when it was previously unleashed upon the school successfully). She was particularly proficient in the use of Deterioration Hex, enough so to teach them to the members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force.
    • Elemental magic aptitude: Much like her mentor, Dumbledore, Minerva seemed to be exceptionally capable with manipulating fire. When freeing Ben Copper from the Cursed ice, she along with Snape were able to free him with the Fire-Making Spell while avoiding burning his flesh. When dueling the extremely powerful Severus Snape, she easily manipulated the fire from the torches into a fiery whirlwind first and easily blasted to smoke the fiery serpent he transformed her attack into.
    • Flying: During her school years at Hogwarts, Minerva was a skillful player of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, to where the Slytherin Quidditch Team had cheated while playing so she suffered a number of serious injuries — such as a concussion and broken bones— that forced her to give up playing.
    • Potions: Minerva had very advanced abilities in brewing potions, as she was capable of brewing the Animagus potion, which was known to be immensely difficult, complex and time-consuming with great consequences if brewed incorrectly, showing her superior talent in potion-making.
    • Study of Ancient Runes: Minerva was highly proficient and well versed in the study of Ancient Runes or Runology, being able to understand and translate complex runic scriptures, alphabets and symbols correctly, often using the help of a highly useful and practical Rune Dictionary.
    • Control of Underage magic: As an infant, Minerva had early signs of magic. She inadvertently summoned toys that had been left on upper shelves to her cot, made the family cat do her bidding, and her father's bagpipes play themselves. Further evidence of her staggering magical ability was that the only other person known to be able to control animals as a child was none other than Voldemort himself.
  • Intellectual giftedness: McGonagall was an incredibly wise, observant, and intelligent witch. She was once given the option to become a Ravenclaw by the Sorting Hat, though she turned it down in preference for Gryffindor, with her officially becoming a known Hatstall. In 1998, she effortlessly solved the riddle to allow Amycus Carrow into the Ravenclaw Tower. Minerva's strategical-sense and deduction skills, along with her cautious nature, were shown several times: She confiscated Harry's Firebolt to be "examined" because she correctly guessed it to have been sent by Sirius Black (though she did this because she incorrectly believed it was lethally cursed), did all she could to circumvent Dolores Umbridge's authority without risking her own security as Deputy Headmistress for certain time and gave Peeves tips when he was trying to cause havoc for Umbridge; and helped to keep the meetings of the reformed Dumbledore's Army a secret. Shortly before the final battle, Minerva ordered her students, with the aid of explosive magic, to destroy the main access to Hogwarts so the Snatchers could not sneak into school grounds and ordered the caretaker to find Peeves to ensure the advantage of chaos on their side.
    • Leadership skills: Minerva was an exceptionally effective leader, being able to take charge in any situation within minutes. During the long absences of Dumbledore, she was the one to step in to fill his shoes. In the upstart of the Battle of Hogwarts, Minerva took charge of the school and secure it against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. She led the defenders of Hogwarts during the battle with great efficiency, persisting against the forces of darkness even at the face of so many casualties in the first round of battle before turning the tides with additional help and ultimately coming out victorious when Harry defeated Voldemort once and for all. After everything returned to normal, Minerva became the permanent Headmistress of Hogwarts. Her leadership skills would help her when she became the leader of the members of the newly created Statute of Secrecy Task Force who desired to become a Professor, being able to lead both those under her charge and her fellow instructors into fighting the Calamity while remaining hidden from Muggles.
    • Teaching skills: Being the Head of Transfiguration at Hogwarts, Minerva was an extremely skilled and efficient teacher during her time in this position and was one of the few professors at Hogwarts who could keep a class quiet with minimal effort as a result of her strict nature, making her one of the most respected teachers at Hogwarts. Her effective teaching methods were enough for her to pass Dolores Umbridge's inspection of her despite Umbridge's attempts to discredit many Hogwarts teachers along with making her the Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts and later the Headmistress after Voldemort's final defeat.
  • Physical aptitude: It should be noted that Minerva was in excellent physical condition, despite her old age. She had great physical endurance as she notably fully recovered from four Stunning Spells aimed at her by Dolores Umbridge and some Aurors. Although she was hospitalized due to the severity of her injuries, many noted that the four spells straight to the chest could have been fatal, another testament to her overall strength.
  • Indomitable willpower: Minerva, true to being a Gryffindor, had an extremely strong willpower and moral compass. She was able to muster the strength to refuse to marry McGregor, whom she was very much in love with, to avoid having to stop using magic, and after the death of her husband Elphinstone, Minerva remained dedicated to serving Hogwarts as the Transfiguration Professor, her strong will masking the grief and suffering she felt from all except Dumbledore. Indeed, she was held in high regard by the many denizens of Hogwarts during her time as a teacher there, due to how strict, firm and uncompromising she was when dealing with others, which made her one of the most respected (and to some degree feared) Professors in Hogwarts. When being personally inspected by the high-ranking Ministry of Magic official Dolores Umbridge during the latter's reign as High Inquisitor, Minerva refused to be intimidated and went so far as to stand up to the latter and mock her in defiance. Even when outnumbered in her confrontations with the Ministry officials who attempted to arrest Dumbledore in the latter's office, and the Aurors who attempted to evict Hagrid from his hut, Minera was quick to intervene on her friends' behalf, only standing down upon Dumbledore's orders on the first occasion and being incapacitated by an egregious attack on the second. During both Wizarding Wars, Minerva remained staunch in opposing Voldemort even if she did fear speaking his name, which she soon overcame, despite the losses of many of her friends and even when all hope seemed lost with Dumbledore dying and Snape taking over, Minerva continued to oppose Voldemort and help protect the students from the Carrows. She defiantly led the defenders during the Battle of Hogwarts and even faced Voldemort himself despite Harry's apparent death seemingly rendering the Dark Lord unbeatable. Minerva's moral compass also remained steadfast even in the face of great victories as she did not hesitate to take 150 House points from Gryffindor to punish Harry, Hermione and Neville despite how close Gryffindor was to winning the House Cup and she remained adamant in confiscating Harry's Firebolt even though it would greatly benefit the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

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