Quotes by and about
Text, spelling & grammar conform to the UK editions
'Welcome to Hogwarts,' said Professor McGonagall. 'The start-of-term
banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great
Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important
ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something
like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest
of your house, sleep in your house dormitory and spend free time in
your house common room.
'The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honour. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours.
'The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarted yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting.' Her eyes lingered for a moment on Neville's cloak, which was fastened under his left ear, and on Ron's smudged nose. Harry nervously tried to flatten his hair.
'I will return when we are ready for you,' said Professor McGonagall. 'Please wait quietly.' (PS7)
'When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted,' she said. (PS7)
'Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts,' she said. 'Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned.' (PS8)
Harry and Ron jumped to their feet. They were half hoping for a reason to fight Malfoy, but Professor McGonagall, who could spot trouble quicker than any teacher in the school, was there in a flash. 'What's going on?' (PS9)
His heart sank faster than he'd just dived. Professor McGonagall was running towards them. He got to his feel, trembling.
'Never – in all my time at Hogwarts –' Professor McGonagall was almost speechless with shock, and her glasses flashed furiously, '– how dare you – might have broken your neck –'
'It wasn't his fault, Professor –'
'Be quiet, Miss Patil –'
'But Malfoy –'
'That's enough, Mr Weasley. Potter, follow me, now.' (PS9)
'Out Peeves!' she barked. (PS9)
'Potter, this is Oliver Wood. Wood – I've found you a Seeker.'
Wood's expression changed from puzzlement to delight.
'Are you serious, Professor?'
'Absolutely,' said Professor McGonagall crisply. 'The boy's a natural. I've never seen anything like it. Was that your first time on a broomstick, Potter?'
Harry nodded silently…
'He caught that thing in his hand after a fifty-foot dive… Didn't even scratch himself…' (PS9)
'I shall speak to Professor Dumbledore and see if we can't bend the
first-year rule. Heaven knows, we need a better team than last year. Flattened in
that last match by Slytherin, I couldn't look Severus Snape in the
face for weeks…'
Professor McGonagall peered sternly over her glasses at Harry.
'I want to hear you're training hard, Potter, or I may change my mind about punishing you.'
Then she suddenly smiled.
'Your father would have been proud,' she said. 'He as an excellent Quidditch player himself.' (PS9)
To Harry and Ron: 'What on earth were you thinking of? … You're lucky you weren't killed. Why aren't you in your dormitory?' (PS10)
'Well – in that case…' said Professor McGonagall, staring
at the three of them. 'Miss Granger, you foolish girl, how could you
think of tackling a mountain troll on your own?'
'Miss Granger, five points will be taken from Gryffindor for this,' said Professor McGonagall. 'I'm very disappointed in you. If you're not hurt at all, you'd better get off to Gryffindor Tower. Students are finishing the feast in their houses.'
Professor McGonagall turned to Harry and Ron. 'Well, I still say you were lucky, but not many first-years could have taken on a full-grown mountain troll. You each win Gryffindor five points. Professor Dumbledore will be informed of this. You may go.' (PS10)
'Sorry, Professor.' (PS11)
Professor McGonagall, in a tartan dressing-gown and hairnet, had Malfoy
by the ear.
'Detention!' she shouted. 'And twenty points from Slytherin! Wandering around in the middle of the night, how dare you –'
'You don't understand, Professor, Harry Potter's coming – he's got a dragon!'
'What utter rubbish! How dare you tell such lies! Come on – I shall see Professor Snape about you, Malfoy!' (PS14)
'I would never have believed it of any of you. Mr Filch says you were
up in the astronomy tower. It's one o'clock in the morning. Explain
It was the first time Hermione had ever failed to answer a teacher's question. She was staring at her slippers, as still as a statue.
'I think I've got a good idea of what's been going on,' said Professor McGonagall. 'It doesn't take a genius to work it out. You fed Draco Malfoy some cock-and-bull story about a dragon, trying to get him out of bed and into trouble. I've already caught him. I suppose you think it's funny that Longbottom here heard the story and believed it too?' (PS15)
'I'm disgusted,' said Professor McGonagall. 'Four students out of
bed in one night! I've never heard of such a thing before! You, Miss
Granger, I thought you had more sense. As for you, Mr Potter, I thought
Gryffindor meant more to you than this. All three of you will receive
detentions – yes, you too, Mr Longbottom, nothing gives
you the right to walk around school at night, especially these days,
it's very dangerous – and fifty points will be taken from Gryffindor.'
'Fifty?' Harry gasped – they would lose the lead, the lead he'd won in the last Quidditch match.
'Fifty points each,' said Professor McGonagall, breathing heavily through her long pointed nose.
'Professor – please –'
'You can't –'
'Don't tell me what I can and can't do, Potter. Now get back to bed, all of you. I've never been more ashamed of Gryffindor students.' (PS15)
'What are you three doing inside?'
It was Professor McGonagall, carrying a large pile of books.
'We want to see Professor Dumbledore,' said Hermione, rather bravely, Harry and Ron thought.
'See Professor Dumbledore?' Professor McGonagall repeated, as though this was a very fishing thing to want to do. 'Why?'
Harry swallowed – now what?
'It's sort of secret,' he said, but he wished at once he hadn't, because Professor McGonagall's nostrils flared.
'Professor Dumbledore left ten minutes ago,' she said coldly. 'He received an urgent owl from the Ministry of Magic and flew off for London at once.'
'He's gone?' said Harry frantically. 'Now?'
'Professor Dumbledore is a very great wizard, Potter, he has many demands on his time –'
'But this is important.'
'Something you have to say is more important than the Ministry of Magic, Potter?'
'Look,' said Harry, throwing caution to the winds, 'Professor – it's about the Philosopher's Stone –'
Whatever Professor McGonagall had expected, it wasn't that. The books she was carrying tumbled out of her arms but she didn't pick them up.
'How do you know –?' she spluttered.
'Professor, I think – I know – that Sn – that someone's going to try and steal the Stone. I've got to talk to Professor Dumbledore.'
She eyed him with a mixture of shock and suspicion.
'Professor Dumbledore will be back tomorrow,' she said finally. 'I don't know how you found out about the Stone, but rest assured, no one can possible steal it, it's too well protected.'
'But Professor –'
'Potter, I know what I'm talking about,' she said shortly. (PS15)
Harry: '…McGonagall transfigured the chessmen to make them alive…' (PS16)
'Sit,' she said, and they [Harry and Ron] both backed into chairs by the fire. 'Explain,' she said, her glasses glinting ominously. (CS5)
'Why didn't you send us a letter by owl? I believe you have
an owl?' Professor McGonagall said coldly to Harry.
Harry gaped at her. Now she said it, that seemed the obvious thing to have done.
'I – I didn't think –'
'That,' said Professor McGonagall, 'is obvious.' (CS5)
'And speaking of Gryffindor –' Professor McGonagall said sharply,
but Harry cut in: 'Professor, when we took the car, term hadn't actually
started, so – so Gryffindor shouldn't really have points taken
from it, should it?' he finished, watching her anxiously.
Professor McGonagall gave him a piercing look, but he was sure she had almost smiled. Her mouth looked less thin, anyway.
'I will not take any points from Gryffindor,' she said, and Harry's heart lightened considerably. 'But you will both get a detention.' (CS5)
'There you are, Potter, Weasley.' Professor McGonagall was walking
towards them, looking stern. 'You will both do your detentions this
'What are we doing, Professor?' said Ron, nervously suppressing a burp.
'You will be polishing the silver in the trophy room with Mr Filch,' said Professor McGonagall. 'And no magic, Weasley – elbow grease.'
'And you, Potter, will be helping Professor Lockhart answer his fan mail,' said Professor McGonagall.
'Oh no – can't I go and do the trophy room, too?' said Harry desperately.
'Certainly not,' said Professor McGonagall, raising her eye-brows.
'Professor Lockhart requested you particularly. Eight o'clock sharp, both of you.' (CS6)
'Really, Severus,' said Professor McGonagall sharply. 'I see no reason to stop the boy playing Quidditch. This cat wasn't hit over the head with a broomstick. There is no evidence at all that Potter has done anything wrong.' (CS9)
'This match has been cancelled,' Professor McGonagall called through
the megaphone, addressing the packed stadium. There were boos and shouts.
Oliver Wood, looking devastated, landed and ran towards Professor McGonagall without getting off his broomstick.
'But Professor!' he shouted. 'We've got to play… the Cup… Gryffindor…'
'Professor McGonagall ignored him and continued to shout through her megaphone: 'All students are to make their way back to the house common rooms, where their Heads of Houses will give them further information. As quickly as you can, please.' (CS14)
'They were found near the library,' said Professor McGonagall. 'I
don't suppose either of you can explain this? It was on the floor next
She was holding up a small, circular mirror.
Harry and Ron shook their heads, both staring at Hermione.
'I will escort you back to Gryffindor Tower,' said Professor McGonagall heavily. 'I need to address the students in any case.' (CS14)
'All students will return to their house common rooms by six o'clock in the evening. No student is to leave the dormitories after that time. You will be escorted to each lesson by a teacher. No student is to use the bathroom unaccompanied by a teacher. All further Quidditch training and matches are to be postponed. There will be no more evening activities.' (CS14)
'I need hardly add that I have rarely been so distressed. It is likely that the school will be closed unless the culprit behind these attacks is caught. I would urge anyone who thinks they might know anything about them to come forward.' (CS14)
Draco: 'McGonagall won't last long, she's only filling in…' (CS15)
'The whole point of keeping the school open at this time is for you to receive your education,' she said sternly. 'The exams will therefore take place as usual, and I trust you are all revising hard.' (CS16)
'Professor Dumbledore's instructions were to keep the school running as normally as possible,' she said. 'And that, I need hardly point out, means finding out how much you have learned this year.' (CS16)
'Professor Sprout has informed me that the Mandrakes are ready for cutting at last. Tonight, we will be able to revive those people who have been Petrified. I need hardly remind you all that one of them may well be able to tell us who, or what, attacked the, I am hopeful that this dreadful year will end with our catching the culprit.' (CS16)
'Potter! Weasley! What are you doing?'
It was Professor McGonagall, and her mouth was the thinnest of thin lines.
'We were – we were –' Ron stammered, 'we were going to – to go and see –'
'Hermione,' said Harry. Ron and Professor McGonagall both looked at him.
'We haven't seen her for ages, Professor,' Harry went on hurriedly, treading on Ron's foot, 'and we thought we'd sneak into the hospital wing, you know, and tell her the Mandrakes are nearly ready and, er, not to worry.'
Professor McGonagall was still staring at him, and for a moment, Harry thought she was going to explode, but when she spoke, it was in a strangely croaky voice.
'Of course,' she said, and Harry, amazed, saw a tear glistening in her beading eye. 'Of course, I realise 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, I will inform Professor Binns where you've gone. Tell Madam Pomfrey I have given you permission.' (CS16)
Instead, echoing through the corridors came Professor McGonagall's
voice, magically magnified.
'All students to return to their house dormitories at once. All teachers return to the staff room. Immediately, please.' (CS16)
'The heir of Slytherin,' said Professor McGonagall, who was very white,
'left another message. Right underneath the first one. Her skeleton
will lie in the Chamber for ever.'
'Who is it?' said Madam Hooch, who had sunk, weak-kneed into a chair. 'Which student?'
'Ginny Weasley,' said Professor McGonagall. (CS16)
'We shall have to send all the students home tomorrow,' said Professor McGonagall. 'This is the end of Hogwarts. Dumbledore always said…' (CS16)
'We'll leave it to you, then, Gilderoy,' said Professor McGonagall. 'Tonight will be an excellent time to do it. We'll make sure everyone's out of your way. You'll be able to tackle the monster all by yourself. A free reign at last.' (CS16)
'Right,' said Professor McGonagall, whose nostrils were flared, 'that's got him out from under our feet. The Heads of Houses should go and inform their students what has happened. Tell them the Hogwarts Express will take them home first thing tomorrow. Will the rest of you please make sure no students have been left outside their dormitories.' (CS16)
Professor McGonagall had a way of making him [Harry] feel he must
have done something wrong.
'There's no need to look so worried – I just want a word in my office,' she told them. 'Move along there Weasley.' (PA5)
'Are you sure you feel all right, Potter?' said Professor McGonagall.
'Yes,' said Harry.
'Very well. Kindly wait outside while I have a quick word with Miss Granger about her timetable, then we can go down to the feast together.' (PA5)
'Really, what has got into you all today?' said Professor McGonagall,
turning back into herself with a faint pop, and staring around
at them all. 'Not that it matters, but that's the first time my transformation's
not got applause from a class.'
Everybody's heads turned towards Harry again, but nobody spoke. Then Hermione raised her hand.
'Please, Professor, we've just had our first Divination class, and we were reading the tea leaves, and –'
'Ah, of course,' said Professor McGonagall, suddenly frowning. 'There is no need to say any more, Miss Granger. Tell me, which of your will be dying this year.'
Everyone stared at her.
'Me,' said Harry, finally.
'I see,' said Professor McGonagall, fixing Harry with her beady eyes. 'Then you should know, Potter, that Sybill Trelawney has predicted the death of one student a year since she arrived at this school. None of them has died yet. Seeing death omens is her favourite way of greeting a new class. If it were not for the fact that I never speak ill of my colleagues –' Professor McGonagall broke off, and they saw that her nostrils had gone white. She went on, more calmly, 'Divination is one of the most imprecise branches of magic. I shall not conceal from you that I have very little patience with it. True Seers are very rare, and Professor Trelawney…'
She stopped again, and then said, in a very matter-of-fact tone, 'You look in excellent health to me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I don't let you off homework today. I assure you that if you do die, you need not hand it in.' (PA5)
'I'm afraid not, Potter,' she [Professor McGonagall] said. 'You heard
what I said. No form, no visiting the village. That's the rule.'
'But – Professor, my aunt and uncle – you know, they're Muggles, they don't really understand about – about Hogwarts forms and stuff,' Harry said, while Ron egged him on with vigorous nods. 'If you said I could go –'
'But I don't say so,' said Professor McGonagall, standing up and piling her papers neatly into a drawer. 'The form clearly states that the parent or guardian must give permission.' She turned to look at him, with an odd expression on her face. Was it pity? 'I'm sorry, Potter, but that's final word. You had better hurry, or you'll be late for your next lesson.' (PA8)
'Precisely,' said Professor McGonagall. 'Black and Potter. Ringleaders of their little gang. Both very bright, of course – exceptionally bright, in fact – but I don't think we've ever had such a pair of troublemakers –' (PA10)
'So Black was the Potters' Secret Keeper?' whispered Madam Rosmerta.
'Naturally,' said Professor McGonagall. 'James Potter told Dumbledore that Black would die rather than tell where they were, that Black was planning to go into hiding himself… and yet, Dumbledore remained worried. I remember him offering to be the Potters' Secret Keeper himself.'
'He suspected Black?' gasped Madam Rosmerta.
'He was sure that somebody close to the Potters had been keeping You-Know-Who informed of their movements,' said Professor McGonagall darkly. 'Indeed, he had suspected for some time that someone on our side had turned traitor and was passing a lot of information to You-Know-Who.' (PA10)
On Pettigrew: 'Hero-worshipped Black and Potter,' said Professor McGonagall. 'Never quite in their league, talent-wise. I was often rather sharp with him. You can imagine how I – how I regret that now…' she sounded as though she had a sudden head cold. (PA10)
'I dare not, Headmaster! If I join the table, we shall be thirteen!
Nothing could be more unlucky! Never forget that when thirteen dine
together, the first to rise will be the first to die!'
'We'll risk it, Sybill,' said Professor McGonagall impatiently. 'Do sit down, the turkey's getting stone cold.' (PA11)
On Lupin's absence: 'But surely you already knew that, Sybill?'
said Professor McGonagall, her eyebrows raised.
Professor Trelawney gave Professor McGonagall a very cold look.
'Certainly I knew, Minerva,' she said quietly. '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.'
'That explains a great deal,' said Professor McGonagall tartly.
Professor Trelawney's voice suddenly became a good deal less misty. 'If you must know, Minerva, I have seen that poor Professor Lupin will not be with us for very long. He seems aware, himself, that his time is short. He positively fled when I offered to crystal-gaze for him –'
'Imagine that,' said Professor McGonagall drily. (PA11)
Harry and Ron got up first from the table and she shrieked loudly.
'My dears! Which of you left his seat first? Which?'
'Dunno,' said Ron, looking uneasily at Harry.
'I doubt it will make much difference,' said Professor McGonagall coldly, 'unless a mad axe-man is waiting outside the doors to slaughter the first into the Entrance Hall.' (PA11)
'So that's it, is it?' said Professor McGonagall beadily, walking over to the fireside and staring at the Firebolt. 'Miss Granger has just informed me that you have been sent a broomstick, Potter.' (PA11)
'May I?' said Professor McGonagall, but she didn't wait for an answer
before pulling the Firebolt out of their hands. She examined it carefully
from handle to twig-ends. 'Hmm. And there was no note at all, Potter?
No card? No message of any kind?'
'No,' said Harry blankly.
'I see…' said Professor McGonagall. 'Well, I'm afraid I will have to take this, Potter.'
'W-what?' said Harry, scrambling to his feet. 'Why?'
'It will need to be checked for jinxes,' said Professor McGonagall.
'Of course, I'm no expert, but I daresay Madam Hooch and Professor Flitwick will strip it down –'
'Strip it down?' repeated Ron, as though Professor McGonagall was mad.
'It shouldn't take more than a few weeks,' said Professor McGonagall. 'You will have it back if we are sure it is jinx-free.'
'There's nothing wrong with it!' said Harry, his voice shaking slightly. 'honestly, Professor –'
'You can't know that, Potter,' said Professor McGonagall, quite kindly, 'not until you've flown it, at any rate, and I'm afraid that is out of the question until we are certain that it has not been tampered with. I shall keep you informed.' (PA11)
'I'll go and talk to her, Harry,' he [Wood] promised. 'I'll make her see reason… a Firebolt… a real Firebolt, on our team… she wants Gryffindor to win as much as we do… I'll make her see sense… a Firebolt…' (PA12)
'Do watch where you're going, Potter!'
'Sorry, Professor –'
'I've just been looking for you in the Gryffindor common room. Well, here it is, we've done everything we could think of, and there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it at all – you've got a very good friend somewhere, Potter…'
Harry's jaw dropped. She was holding out his Firebolt, and it looked as magnificent as ever.
'I can have it back?' Harry said weakly. 'Seriously?'
'Seriously,' said Professor McGonagall, and she was actually smiling. 'I daresay you'll need to get a feel of it before Saturday's match, won't you? 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…' (PA12)
'Jordan, would you mind telling us what's going on in the match? interrupted Professor McGonagall's voice.
'Right you are, Professor – just giving a bit of background information. The Firebolt, incidentally, has a built in auto-brake an
'An unworthy trick!' she [Professor McGonagall] was shouting. 'A low and cowardly attempt to sabotage the Gryffindor Seeker! Detention for all of you, and fifty points from Slytherin! I shall be speaking to Professor Dumbledore about this, make no mistake! Ah, here he comes now!' (PA13)
'No, really, enough's enough!'
Professor McGonagall was back. She slammed the portrait behind her as she entered the common room and stared furiously around. 'I am delighted that Gryffindor won the match, but this is getting ridiculous! Percy, I expected better of you!' (PA13)
'IT WASN'T A NIGHTMARE!' Ron yelled. 'PROFESSOR, I WOKE UP, AND SIRIUS
BLACK WAS STANDING OVER ME, HOLDING A KNIFE!'
Professor McGonagall stared at him.
'Don't be ridiculous, Weasley, how could he possibly have got through the portrait hole?' (PA13)
'Sir Cadogan, did you just let a man enter Gryffindor Tower?'
'Certainly, good lady!' cried Sir Cadogan.
There was a stunned silence, both inside and outside the common room.
'You – you did?' said Professor McGonagall. 'But – but the password!'
'He had 'em!' said Sir Cadogan proudly… (PA13)
'Which person,' she [Professor McGonagall] said, her voice shaking,
'which abysmally foolish person wrote down this week's passwords and
left them lying around?'
There was utter silence, broken by the smallest of terrified squeaks.
Neville Longbottom, trembling from head to fluffy-skippered toes, raised his hand slowly in the air. (PA13)
'THIRTY-ZERO! TAKE THAT, YOU DIRTY, CHEATING –'
'Jordan, if you can't commentate in an unbiased way –!'
'I'm telling it like it is, Professor!' [McGonagall] (PA15)
'YOU CHEATING SCUM!' Lee Jordan was howling into the megaphone, dancing
out of Professor McGonagall's reach. 'YOU FILTHY, CHEATING B–'
Professor McGonagall didn't even bother to tell him off. She was actually shaking her fist in Malfoy's direction… (PA15)
'It's called a Time-Turner,' Hermione whispered, 'and I got it from Professor McGonagall on our first day back. I've been using it all year to get to all my lessons. Professor McGonagall made me swear I wouldn't tell anyone. She had to write all sorts of letters to the Ministry of Magic so I could have one. She had to tell them I was a model student, and that I'd never, ever use it for anything except my studies…' (PA21)
'What – what are you doing?' said Professor McGonagall, her
eyes following the bouncing ferret's progress through the air.
'Teaching,' said Moody.
'Teach– Moody, is that a student?' shrieked Professor McGonagall, the books spilling out of her arms.
'Yep,' said Moody.
'No!' cried Professor McGonagall, running down the stairs and pulling out her wand; a moment later, with a loud snapping noise, Draco Malfoy had reappeared, lying in a heap on the floor…
'Moody, we never use Transfiguration as a punishment!' said Professor McGonagall weakly. 'Surely Professor Dumbledore told you that?'
'He might've mentioned it, yeah,' said Moody, scratching his chin unconcernedly, 'but I thought a good sharp shock –'
'We give detentions, Moody! Or speak to the offender's Head of house!' (GF13)
'You are now entering a most important phase of your magical education!'
she [Professor McGonagall] told them, her eyes glinting dangerously
behind her square spectacles. 'Your Ordinary Wizarding Levels are drawing
'We don't take O.W.Ls 'til fifth year!' said Dean Thomas indignantly.
'Maybe not, Thomas, but believe me, you need all the preparation you can get! Miss Granger remains the only person in this class who has managed to turn a hedgehog into a satisfactory pincushion. I might remind you that your pincushion, Thomas, still curls up in fright if anyone approaches it with a pun!' (GF15)
'Longbottom, kindly do not reveal that you can't even perform a simple Switching Spell in front of anyone from Durmstrang!' Professor McGonagall barked at the end of one particularly difficult lesson, during which Neville had accidentally transplanted his own ears onto a cactus. (GF15)
'Dumbledore, you know perfectly well you did not make a mistake!' said Professor McGonagall angrily. 'Really, what nonsense! Harry could not have crossed the line himself, and as Professor Dumbledore believes that he did not persuade an older student to do it for him, I'm sure that should be good enough for everybody else!' She shot a very angry look at Professor Snape. (GF17)
'Now Potter and Weasley have been kind enough to act their age,' said Professor McGonagall, with an angry look at the pair of them as the
head of Harry's haddock drooped and fell silently to the floor – Ron's
parrot's beak had severed in moments before – 'I have something
to say to you all.
'The Yule Ball is approaching – a traditional part of the Triwizard Tournament and an opportunity for us to socialise with our foreign guests. Now, the ball will be open only to fourth-years and above – although you may invite a younger student if you wish –' (GF22)
'Dress robes will be worn,' Professor McGonagall continued, 'and the
ball will start at eight o'clock on Christmas Day, finishing at midnight,
in the Great Hall. Now then –' Professor McGonagall stared deliberately
around the class. 'The Yule Ball is of course a chance for us all to – er – let
our hair down,' she said, in a disapproving voice.
'But that does NOT mean,' Professor McGonagall went on, 'that we will be relaxing the standards of behaviour we expect from Hogwarts students. I will be most seriously displeased if a Gryffindor student embarrasses the school in any way.' (GF22)
'Potter, the champions and their partners –'
'What partners?' said Harry?
Professor McGonagall looked suspiciously at him, as though she thought he was trying to be funny.
'Your partners for the Yule Ball, Potter,' she said coldly. 'Your dance partners.'
Harry's insides seemed to curl up and shrivel. 'Dance partners?' He felt himself going red. 'I don't dance,' he said quickly.
'Oh, yes, you do,' said Professor McGonagall irritably. 'That's what I'm telling you. Traditionally, the champions and their partners open the ball.'
'I'm not dancing,' he said.
'It is traditional,' said Professor McGonagall firmly. 'You are a Hogwarts champion, and you will do what is expected of you as a representative of the school. So make sure you get yourself a partner, Potter.'
'But – I don't –'
'You heard me, Potter,' said Professor McGonagall, in a very final sort of way. (GF22)
'Potter, the champions are congregating in the chamber off the Hall
after breakfast,' she [Professor McGonagall] said.
'But the task's not 'til tonight!' said Harry, accidentally spilling scrambled eggs down his front, afraid he had mistaken time.
'I'm aware of that potter,' she said. 'The champions' families are invited to watch the final task, you know. This is simple a chance for you to greet them.' (GF31)
'We are going to be patrolling the outside of the maze,' said Professor McGonagall to the champions. 'If you get into difficulty, and wish to be rescued, send red sparks into the air, and one of us will come and get you, do you understand?' (GF31)
Professor McGonagall went straight to Harry.
'Come along, Potter,' she whispered. The think line of her mouth was twitching as though she was about to cry. 'Come along… hospital wing.'
'No,' said Dumbledore sharply.
'Dumbledore, he ought to – look at him – he's been through enough tonight –' (GF35)
'What happened?' said Dumbledore sharply, looking from Fudge to Professor McGonagall. 'Why are you disturbing these people? Minerva, I'm surprised
at you – I asked you to stand guard over Barty Crouch –'
'There is no need to stand guard over him any more, Dumbledore!' she shrieked. 'The Minister has seen to that!' (GF36)
'The moment that – that thing entered the room,' she screamed, pointing at Fudge, trembling all over, 'it swooped down on Crouch and – and –' (GF36)
'What on earth are you shouting about, Potter?' she [Professor
McGonagall] snapped, as Peeves cackled gleefully and zoomed out of
sight. 'Why aren't you in class?'
'I've been sent to see you,' said Harry stiffly.
'Sent? What do you mean, sent?' (OP12)
'Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge?'
'Yes,' said Harry.
'You called her a liar?'
'You told her He Who Must Not Be Named is back?'
Professor McGonagall sat down behind her desk, frowning at Harry. Then she said, 'Have a biscuit, Potter.'
'Have – what?'
'Have a biscuit,' she repeated impatiently, indicating a tartan tin lying on top of one of the piles of papers on her desk. 'And sit down.' (OP12)
'Misbehaving in Dolores Umbridge's class could cost you much more
than house points and a detention.'
'What do you –?'
'Potter, use your common sense,' snapped Professor McGonagall, with an abrupt return to her usual manner. 'You know where she comes from, you must know to whom she is reporting.'
'It says here she's given you detention every evening this week, starting tomorrow,' Professor McGonagall said, looking down at Umbridge's note again.
'Every evening this week!' Harry repeated, horrified. 'But, Professor, couldn't you –?'
'No, I couldn't,' said Professor McGonagall flatly.
'She is your teacher and has every right to give you detention. You will go to her room at five o'clock tomorrow for the first one. Just remember: tread very carefully around Dolores Umbridge.'
'But I was telling the truth!' said Harry, outraged. 'Voldemort is back, you know he his; Professor Dumbledore knows he is –'
'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!' She stood up, nostrils wide and mouth very thin, and Harry stood up, too.
'Have another biscuit,' she said irritably, thrusting the tin at him.
'No, thanks,' said Harry coldly.
'Don't be ridiculous,' she snapped.
He took one.
'Thanks,' he said grudgingly.
'Didn't you listen to Dolores Umbridge's speech at the start of term feast, Potter?'
'Yeah,' said Harry. 'Yeah… she said… progress will be prohibited or… well, it meant that… that the Ministry of Magic is trying to interfere at Hogwarts.'
'Well, I'm glad you listen to Hermione Granger at any rate,' she said, pointing him out of her office. (OP12)
'You cannot pass an OWL,' said Professor McGonagall grimly, 'without serious application, practice and study. I see no reasons why everybody in this class should not achieve an OWL in Transfiguration as long as they put in the work.' Neville made a sad little disbelieving noise. 'Yes, you too, Longbottom,' said Professor McGonagall. 'There's nothing wrong with your work except lack of confidence. So… today we are starting Vanishing Spells. These are easier than Conjuring Spells, which you would not usually attempt until NEWT level, but they are still among the most difficult magic you will be tested on in your OWL.' (OP13)
'Oh I can't wait to see McGonagall inspected,' said Ron happily. 'Umbridge won't know what's hit her.' (OP15)
'Miss Johnson, how dare you make such a racket in the Great
Hall! Five points from Gryffindor!'
'But Professor – he's gone and landed himself in detention again –'
'What's this, Potter?' said Professor McGonagall sharply, rounding on Harry. 'Detention? From whom?'
'From Professor Umbridge,' muttered Harry, not meeting Professor McGonagall's beady, square-framed eyes.
'Are you telling me,' she said, lowering her voice so that the groups of curious Ravenclaws behind them could not hear, 'that after the warning I gave you last Monday you lost your temper in Professor Umbridge's class again?'
'Yes,' Harry muttered, speaking to the floor.
'Potter, you must get a grip on yourself! You are heading for serious trouble! Another five points from Gryffindor!'
'But – what –? Professor, no!' Harry said, furious at this injustice, 'I'm already being punished by her, why do you have to take points as well?'
'Because detentions do not appear to have any effect on you whatsoever!' said Professor McGonagall tartly. 'No, not another word of complaint, Potter! And as for you, Miss Johnson, you will confine your shouting matches to the Quidditch pitch in future or risk losing the team captaincy!' (OP15)
Harry on Professor McGonagall: 'She's taken points off Gryffindor
because I'm having my hand sliced open every night! How is that fair, how?'
'I know, mate,' said Ron sympathetically, tipping bacon on to Harry's plate, 'she's bang out of order.' (OP15)
'That will do,' she [Professor McGonagall] said and silence fell immediately.
'Mr Finnegan, kindly come here and hand back the homework – Miss
Brown, please take this box of mice – don't be silly, girl, they
won't hurt you – and hand one to each student –'
'Hem, hem,' said Professor Umbridge…
'Right the, everyone, listen closely – Dean Thomas, if you do that to the mouse again I shall put you in detention – most of you have now successfully Vanished your snails and even those who were left with a certain amount of shell have got the gist of the spell. Today, we shall be –'
'Hem, hem,' said Professor Umbridge.
'Yes?' said Professor McGonagall, turning round, her eyebrows so close together they seemed to form one long, severe line.
'I was just wondering, Professor, whether you received my note telling you of the date and time of your inspec–'
'Obviously I received it, or I would have asked you what you are going in my classroom,' said Professor McGonagall, turning her back firmly on Professor Umbridge. Many of the students exchanged looks of glee. 'As I was saying, today, we shall be practising the altogether more difficult Vanishment of mice. Now, the Vanishing Spell –'
'I wonder,' said Professor McGonagall in cold fury, turning on Professor Umbridge, 'how you expect to gain an idea of my usual teaching methods if you continue to interrupt me? You see, I do not generally permit people to talk when I am talking.'
'As I was saying: the Vanishing Spell becomes more difficult with the complexity of the animal to be Vanished. The snail, as an invertebrate, does not present much of a challenge; the mouse, as a mammal, offers a much greater one. This is not, therefore, magic you can accomplish with your mind on your dinner. So – you know the incantation, let me see what you can do…' (OP15)
'How long have you been teaching at Hogwarts?' Professor Umbridge
'Thirty-nine years this December,' said Professor McGonagall brusquely, snapping her bag shut.
Professor Umbridge made a note.
'Very well,' she said, 'you will receive the results of your inspection in ten days' time.'
'I can hardly wait,' said Professor McGonagall, in a coldly indifferent voice, and she strode off towards the door. (OP15)
'You haven't been given another detention!' she [Professor McGonagall]
said at once, her square spectacles flashing alarmingly.
'No, Professor!' said Harry hastily.
'Well then, why are you out of class?' (OP17)
'Yes, Professor [McGonagall]?'
She glanced up and down the corridor; there were students coming from both directions. 'Bear in mind,' she said quickly and quietly, her eyes on the scroll in his hand, 'that channels of communication in and out of Hogwarts may be being watched, won't you?' (OP17)
'Well?' she [Professor McGonagall] said. 'I have never seen
such a disgraceful exhibition. Two on one! Explain yourselves!'
'Malfoy provoked us,' said Harry stiffly.
'Provoked you?' shouted Professor McGonagall, slamming a fist on to her desk so that her tartan tin slid sideways off it and burst open, littering the floor with Ginger Newts. 'He'd just lost, hadn't he? Of course he wanted to provoke you! But what on earth he can have said that justified what you two –'
'He insulted my parents,' snarled George. 'And Harry's mother.'
'But instead of leaving it to Madam Hooch to sort out, you two decided to give an exhibition of Muggle duelling, did you?' bellowed Professor McGonagall. 'Have you any idea what you've –?'
'May I help, Professor McGonagall?' asked Professor Umbridge in her most poisonously sweet voice.
Blood rushed into Professor McGonagall's face.
'Help?' she repeated, in a constricted voice. 'What do you mean, help?'
'Why, I thought you might be grateful for a little extra authority.'
Harry would not have been surprised to see sparks fly from Professor McGonagall's nostrils.
'You thought wrong,' she said, turning her back on Umbridge. 'Now, you two had better listen closely. I do not care what provocation Malfoy offered you, I do not care if he insulted every family member you possess, your behaviour was disgusting and I am giving each of you a week's worth of detentions! Do not look at me like that, Potter, you deserve it! And if either of you ever –'
Professor McGonagall closed her eyes as though praying for patience as she turned her face towards Professor Umbridge again.
'I think they deserve rather more than detentions,' said Umbridge, smiling still more broadly.
Professor McGonagall's eyes flew open.
'But unfortunately,' she said, with an attempt at a reciprocal smile that made her look as though she had lockjaw, 'it is what I think that counts, as they are in my House, Dolores.'
'Well, actually, Minerva,' simpered Professor Umbridge. 'I think you'll find that what I think does count…' (OP19)
'What do you mean, you saw it happen?' said Professor McGonagall,
her dark eyebrows contracting.
'I don't know… I was asleep and then I was there…'
'You mean you dreamed this?'
'I'm not lying and I'm not mad!' Harry told her, his voice rising to a shout. 'I tell you, I saw it happen!'
'I believe you, Potter,' said Professor McGonagall curtly. 'Put on your dressing gown – we're going to see the Headmaster.' (OP21)
On Willy Widdershins: 'Oh, so that's why he wasn't prosecuted for setting up all those regurgitating toilets!' said Professor McGonagall, raising her eyebrows. 'What an interesting insight into our justice system!' (OP27)
'What do you mean by shaking your head, dear?' said Umbridge in a testy voice. 'I would have thought her meaning was quite clear,' said Professor McGonagall harshly, 'there have been no secret meetings for the past six months. Is that correct, Miss Edgecombe?' (OP27)
'Well, usually when a person shakes their head,' said McGonagall coldly, 'they mean "no". So unless Miss Edgecombe is using a form of sign-language as yet unknown to humans –' (OP27)
'Dear, dear,' said Professor McGonagall sardonically, as one of the dragons soared around her classroom, emitting loud bangs and exhaling flame. 'Miss Brown, would you mind running along to the Headmistress and informing her that we have an escape firework in our classroom?' (OP28)
'Well, I thought of, maybe, being an Auror,' Harry mumbled.
'You'd need top grades for that,' said Professor McGonagall, extracting a small, dark leaflet from under the mass on her desk and opening it. 'They ask for a minimum of five NEWTs, and nothing under "Exceeds Expectations" grade, I see. Then you would be required to undergo a stringent series of character and aptitude tests at the Auror office. It's a difficult career path, Potter, they only take the best. In fact, I don't think anybody has been taken on in the last three years.' (OP29)
'I would also advise Transfiguration, because Aurors frequently need
to Transfigure or Untransfigure on their work. And I ought to tell
you now, Potter, that I do not accept students into my NEWT classes
unless they have achieved "Exceeds Expectations" or higher
at Ordinary Wizarding Level. I'd say you're averaging "Acceptable" at
the moment, so you'll need to put in some good hard work before the
exams to stand a chance of continuing. Then you ought to do Charms,
always useful, and Potions. Yes, Potter, Potions,' she added, with
the merest flicker of a smile. 'Potions and antidotes are essential
study for Aurors. And I must tell you that Professor Snape absolutely
refuses to take students who get anything other than "Outstanding" in
their OWLs, so
Professor Umbridge gave her most pronounced cough yet.
'May I offer you a cough drop, Dolores?' Professor McGonagall asked curtly, without looking at Professor Umbridge.
'Oh, no, thank you very much,' said Umbridge, with that simpering laugh Harry hated so much. 'I just wondered whether I could make the teensiest interruption, Minerva?'
'I daresay you'll find you can,' said Professor McGonagall through tightly gritted teeth. (OP29)
'… are you quite sure you wouldn't like a cough drop, Dolores?' (OP29)
'False hope?' repeated Professor McGonagall, still refusing to look
round at Professor Umbridge. 'He has achieved high marks in all his
Defence Against the Dark Arts tests –'
'I'm terribly sorry to have to contradict you, Minerva, but as you will see from my not, Harry has been achieving very poor results in his classes with me –'
'I should have made my meaning plainer,' said Professor McGonagall, turning at last to look at Umbridge directly in the eyes. 'He has achieved high marks in all Defence Against the Dark Arts tests set by a competent teacher.' (OP29)
'Well, you will need to demonstrate the ability to react well to pressure
and so forth,' said OM, 'perseverance and dedication, because Auror
training takes a further three years, not to mention very high skills
in practical Defence. It will mean a lot more study even after you've
left school, so unless you're prepared to –'
'I think you'll also find,' said Umbridge, her voice very cold now, 'that the Ministry looks into the records of those applying to be Aurors. Their criminal records.' '– unless you're prepared to take even more exams after Hogwarts, you should really look at another –' 'Which means that this boy has as much chance of becoming an Auror as Dumbledore has of ever returning to this school.'
'A very good chance, then,' said Professor McGonagall.
'Potter has a criminal record.'
'Potter has been cleared of all charges,' said McGonagall, even more loudly. (OP29)
'Potter,' she [Professor McGonagall] 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 Minister for Magic will never employ Harry Potter!' said Umbridge, her voice rising furiously.
'There may well be a new Minister for Magic by the time Potter is ready to join!' shouted Professor McGonagall.
'Aha!' shrieked Professor Umbridge, pointing a stubby finger at McGonagall. 'Yes! Yes, yes, yes! Of course! That's what you want, isn't it, Minerva McGonagall? You want Cornelius Fudge replace by Albus Dumbledore! You think you'll be where I am, don't you: Senior Undersecretary to the Minister and Headmistress to boot!'
'You are raving,' said Professor McGonagall, superbly disdainful. (OP29)
… Harry witnessed Professor McGonagall walking right past Peeves, who was determinedly loosening a crystal chandelier, and could have sworn he heard her tell the poltergeist out of the corner of her mouth, 'It unscrews the other way.' (OP30)
'Now, I must warn you that the most stringent anti-cheating charms
have been applied to your examination papers. Auto-Answer Quills are
banned from the examination hall, as are Remembralls, Detachable Cribbing
Cuffs and Self-Correcting Ink. Every year, I am afraid to say, seems
to harbour at least one student who thinks that he or she can get around
the Wizarding Examinations Authority's rules. I can only hope that
it is nobody in Gryffindor. Our new – Headmistress –' Professor
McGonagall pronounced the word with the same look on her face that
Aunt Petunia had whenever she was contemplating a particularly stubborn
bit of dirt '– has asked the Heads of House to tell their students
that cheating will be punished most severely – because, of course,
your examination results will reflect upon the new Headmistress's regime
at the school –' Professor McGonagall gave a tiny sigh; Harry
saw the nostrils of her sharp nose flare.
'– however, that is no reason not to do your very best. You have your own futures to think about.' (OP31)
'How dare you!' the figure shouted as she ran. 'How dare you!'
'It's McGonagall!' whispered Hermione.
'Leave him alone! Alone, I say!' said Professor McGonagall's voice through the darkness. 'On what grounds are you attacking him? He has done nothing, nothing to warrant such –'
Hermione, Parvati and Lavender all screamed. The figures around the cabin had shot no fewer than four Stunners at Professor McGonagall. (OP31)
'Professor McGonagall!' said Snape, striding forwards. 'Out of St
Mungo's, I see!'
'Yes, Professor Snape,' said Professor McGonagall, shrugging off her travelling cloak. 'I'm quite as good as new. You two – Crabbe – Goyle –'
'Here,' said Professor McGonagall, thrusting her carpetbag into Crabbe's chest and her cloak into Goyle's, 'take these up to my office for me.' (OP38)
'Right then,' said Professor McGonagall, looking up at the hourglasses
on the wall. 'Well, I think Potter and his friends ought to have fifty
points apiece for alerting the world to the return of You-Know-Who!
What say you, Professor Snape?'
'What?' snapped Snape, though Harry knew he had heard perfectly well.
'Oh – well – I suppose…'
'So that's fifty each for Potter, the two Weasleys, Longbottom and Miss Granger,' said Professor McGonagall, and a shower of rubies fell down into the bottom bulb of Gryffindor's hour-glass as she spoke. 'Oh – and fifty for Miss Lovegood, I suppose,' she added, and a number of sapphires fell into Ravenclaw's glass. 'Now, you wanted to take ten from Mr Potter, I think, Professor Snape – so there we are…' (OP38)
To Neville: "It's high time your grandmother learned to be proud of the grandson she's got, rather than the one she thinks she ought to have - particularly after what happened at the Ministry." (HBP9)
"My grandmother thinks Charms is a
soft option," mumbled Neville.
"Take Charms," said Professor McGonagall, "and I shall drop Augusta a line reminding her that just because she failed her Charms O.W.L., the subject is not necessarily worthless." (HBP9)
Primary editor: Lisa Waite Bunker.
Compiled by: Lori Damerell
and Lisa Waite Bunker
Original page date 23 January, 2005; Last page update 25 January, 2008.