Monday, October 26, 2015

Why We Love (And Fear) Professor McGonagall

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okayyy, you asked. 2721 words of me fangirling listing the reasons i love her:
  • named after her badass witch gran (and the Roman goddess of wisdom, but no big)
  • displayed small but noticeable signs of magic from her earliest hours (normal magical babies might take days to do this but minerva did this within hours. She is all I AM A MAGICAL DARLING, DON’T YOU FORGET IT)
  • and one of those signs was making the family cat do her bidding. CATLADY4LIFE
  • my other fav baby accidental magic was making her father’s bagpipes play. How cute ?? ?
  • her brain was so layered and complex that she reduced the Sorting Hat to Wall-E deciding which beaten up cup to put the spork into (forks? Spoons? I DO NOT KNOW!). He finally decided Gryffindor, but 5.5 a minute Hatstall is pretty amazing.
  • most outstanding student in her year
  • square specs = hot af
  • head girl. Whoomp.
  • sixth/seventh year mcgonagall befriended 1st/2nd year pamona sprout. If that’s not some adorable shit I don’t know what is???
  • Outstandings in every OWL and NEWT ?? amazing
  • won transfiguration today’s most promising newcomer award which is p damn impressive
  • also, SHE’S A FUCKING cat ANIMAGUS, became one as a STUDENT
  • Quidditch! Minerva the badass quidditch player pls & thank
  • was offered an amazing job right out of school but was like, yes pls, but I want to spend one more summer with my family, can you hold the job?
  • And then she falls in love, right? and it’s all so great. Except she lays up all night examining whether or not she is making the right choice. She knows she does not want her mother’s life, wand away, hiding who she is. Even though it hurts, she doesn’t give in to societal conventions and is true to herself. She chooses a career rather than sacrifice who she is to be a farmer’s wife.
  • Excels in her ministry job, this thing she’s worked toward for seven years, but she’s not happy with it, right? So does she feel trapped by it? NO. She goes and find something else.
  • had zero tolerance for the Ministry’s underlying prejudice and engrained bias against Muggleborns and Muggles
  • she owls Hogwarts in the middle of the year like YO! Do you have a job for me? And they owled her back within hours. Um, yes, we basically made a position for you. Here you go. (Have you heard of any other teachers having protégés under them? No.)
  • Became head of her department approximately five months after taking the teaching position at Hogwarts
  • ‘if she kept letters from Douglas McGregor locked in a box under her bed, this was (she told herself firmly) better than keeping her wand locked under there. EXCUSE ME while I go weep. She’s suffering with this broken hear, but she does not let it destroy her. She carries on? ?? GRIT. This lady has grit.
  • Also she confides in one albus Dumbledore when he catches her weeping. Them having confidence-exchanging conversations late into the night is canon. 
  • Stop for a minute and picture with me: the death of the love of her life and the end of the war, and her old friend proposes and she says yes. They get married and live in this tiny cottage in Hogsmeade. And they are happy ? She opens herself up to love? And marriage? I LOVE HER.
  • her story is more than who she falls in love with
  • did not cut off Elphinstone as a friend after he turned down her proposal, but also didn’t give in and say yes when it didn’t feel right. Instead she was all I don’t feel that way, can we be mates?
  • approximately thirteen thousand ways to show her displeasure (has zero tolerance for bullshit)
  • Is only in her 30s when the marauders come to town
  • she survived the marauders
  • all four of them. In her house. For four years. She survived that.
  • She also survived the first Wizarding War. She fought in the Order of the Phoenix, working actively against Voldemort, to great personal risk.
  • figured out where the dursleys lived and stalked #4 for an entire day because she knew dumbledore best and knew that was where he would bring harry, if the rumors were true
  • stood up to albus dumbledore’s plan, aka, advocated for what she knew would be a shitty childhood
  • SHE IS ALSO A FUCKING FEMINIST IN THE 1980s. ‘I will keep my name, thanks’ and that’s perfect. ‘traditionalists sniffed’ which to me means the Prophet’s society column had a damn thing to say about it.
  • She was auntie M and her nieces and nephews visited her frequently and I am certain she had little beds for them and a biscuit tin and made them needlework and she is so great ????????
  • Her husband died and she just, carried on? She suffered but kept it private, and just moved forward with her life and threw herself into her children. Not the healthiest of coping mechanisms, but she did what she knew how to do to survive. GRIT.
  • Her fav color is green and she fucking owns that shit. Literally. Everything she wears is green.
  • Can spot trouble in the Great Hall in five seconds flat
  • can squelch said trouble with a stern look
  • Has the rare gift of commanding a class’s attention with very little effort
  • Becomes head of Gryffindor (LIONS FOR THE CUP)
  • Deputy Headmistress and Headmistress of Hogwarts
  • On a first name basis with Albus Dumbledore. (how many people in the books actually call him Albus?)
  • she sending out hogwarts letters to all the first years
  • is in charge of wrangling first years, introducing them to school, etc etc
  • catches harry flying and is all, yep, you’re our new seeker. Suck it, Slytherin. I’m going to give you probably the first compliment you’ve had in your life. here’s the bestest, fastest broomstick money can buy. I’ve made arrangements with Dumbledore for you to have it.
  • Professor McGonagall peered sternly over her glasses at Harry. ‘I want to hear your 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 was an excellent Quidditch player himself.’
  • Minerva’s love for Quidditch and her desire to see Slytherin eviscerated is one of my fav things about her, tbh. (Severus has had that cup for six years and I want it back”) (“that cup looks good in my office, Potter, I’d like to keep it there”)
  • this woman has self-control. Amazing self-control. You take her interactions with Umbridge, for instance (I will get there, no worries), and see the shade she can deliver. You know 99.99% of the disdainful insults in her head stay there.
  • Giving points to harry and ron after they defeated the troll
  • god damn she had to take over hogwarts when shit got tough because albus never left for a jaunty vacation or anything. it was more like: lolz i’m leaving, have fun, k? and she’s allgodfuckingdamnitalbus
  • that motherfucking sentient chess set was amazing
  • needlepoint is one of her canon hobbies. Ha.
  • oh shit so these motherfucking children of hers fly a car into the whomping willow, but she does not lose her shit. She doesn’t expelthem. She delivers her lecture, but then her mouth twitches when they ask her not to take points. of course they are in trouble but she conjures food for them because she knows they must be famished.
  • ‘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.’
  • when she pulls harry and ron to the hospital wing to tell them about Hermione in person, rather than letting them hear about it secondhand
  • her absolute impatience for Lockhart tho, and the way she voluntells him to go find the Chamber to get him out of the way
  • she has to listen to albus Dumbledore at the end of every one of harry potter’s school years explain what happened and she’s just slack-jawed because potter tried to tell her, but she didn’t listen, and albus, the bastard, knew what was going to happen, and she just rolls with it. I mean I think she probably gives him stern lectures, but she deals with it all the same
  • the werewolf Remus lupin comes to Hogwarts and she doesn’t make him feel ostracized. She chats with him genially at the table his first day.
  • went to bat for Hermione, vouched for her, and provided her with a time-turner so she can take all the classes she wants
  • being genuinely put out when she doesn’t get a standing ovation for turning into an Animagus
  • reassures harry that he isn’t going to die, but if he does die, he needn’t hand in his homework
  • she’s prepared to tell Harry the reason Sirius Black is chasing after him
  • she concedes to his reasoning about Quidditch practice, because it would be nice to win and who knows what she had to bribe Madame Hooch with to supervise Harry’s practice
  • the genuine apology she gives harry when she tells him he cannot go to Hogsmeade
  • She definitely wept as she had that Firebolt stripped down, but she did it anyway because she loves harry and protecting him is Number One Priority
  • Mcgonagall’s flaring nostrils when she wants to lose her shit, but doesn’t
  • She has no respect for Trelawney’s line of work but she tries to be respectful of Trelawney herself and not say anything against her in front of their students. She doesn’t always succeed in hiding her impatience, but she does try.
  • she is on Lee Jordan’s case at every Quidditch match but she never makes him stop because she knows he’s funny as hell
  • mcgonagall getting riled up at the Quidditch match and shaking her fist furiously is the best
  • shouting with peeves at the beginning of Goblet of Fire and she is one of the few teachers who will actually deal with him
  • 0% intimidated by alastor moody. Bawls him out for turning draco into a ferret when most people wouldn’t dare
  • in GoF she is so tense when the other schools are arriving that harry takes notice. she is strict, but she rarely loses her composure and snaps at students if it’s not warranted. It’s a rare occurrence.
  • she believes Dumbledore, and also harry, that he didn’t put his name in the goblet
  • the pep talk he gives her before the first task makes me weep every time, ok? Just do your best, let me squeeze your shoulder because I’m a concerned mum. GOOD LUCK, HARRY, she says with a shaking voice. Mum mcgonagall being concerned for her babe.
  • telling he doesn’t have a choice about getting a date for the Yule ball (lmao every single time)
  • Her nearly crying when harry recounts his attack from barty jr
  • Also she is cheering and waving afterwards and tells him he did an excellent job. Praise from McGonagall was rare, but she gave it when it was warranted.
  • Bawls out the minister of magic for letting a damn dementor into the castle
  • believes harry immediately about Voldemort returning. Does not question his version of events even a tiny little bit. Jumps right back into the Order of the Phoenix.
  • She rode a tiger into the great hall fifth year year (at least in the Australian version.)
  • In 5th year when she tells harry to fucking keep his head down around people like umbridge. She’s genuinely telling him I KNOW, RIGHT? But also STFU, son. AND HAVE A BISCUIT.
  • No one has ever been owned as badly as mcgonagall mcbadass owned d j umbridge during her inspection and during harry’s career conference and during the entirety of the book, actually
  • The way she defended harry, and encouraged, him. ‘I will make sure you’re an auror if I personally have to tutor you, harry’
  • Her telling the kids that their OWL results will be a reflection of the new regime, but that shouldn’t stop them from doing their best
  • went to bat for harry when umbridge was being umbridge about harry being an auror
  • believed Harry about his dream about Arthur, even when it made no sense, and ensured the weasleys got to dumbledore’s office so they could gtfo the castle safely
  • the way she went out of the castle to defend hagrid. HOW DARE YOU! It took four people STUNNING HER IN THE BACK to bring her down (as if they could have gotten her in broad daylight)
  • ‘it unscrews the other way, peeves’
  • Immediately jumps to Trelawney’s defense, even if she thinks the woman is a fraud
  • Um hello making Harry captain of the team
  • Arranging all her 3rd & 6th year students’ schedules on the first day of school (in addition to teaching her own damn classes)
  • The entire way she dealt with Neville including 1. Apologize for not being able to let him into her NEWT class 2. Finding an alternative for him 3. Telling him she’d handle his gran
  • Remembering that harry wanted to be an Auror and ensuring he had the proper classes to pursue that career, and then ‘Potter, take Weasley with you. He looks far too happy over there.’
  • she is bellatrix’s mirror, in some ways, generals on opposing sides of the war.
  • She didn’t immediately dismiss Harry when he accused Malfoy of cursing the necklace that incapacitated Katie. She patiently waited for his explanation and then told him why it wasn’t possible.
  • 10/10 gift for shutting down people’s bullshit
  • Gave up her Saturday mornings for months every spring to watch incompetent sixth years learn how to Apparate
  • THE FIFTEEN HIGHLY UNPLEASANT MINUTES harry spends in her company, telling him he’s lucky not to have been expelled and that she supports his punishment. She loves Quidditch but she will never, ever support her boys hurting another student.
  • After Dumbledore died, Hogwarts had been attacked, but she leapt into action, taking command of the situation, sending people to the Hospital Wing, summoning Molly and Arthur
  • called him harry after dumbledore died, and it was short lived, but still
  • the way she asked Hagrid what he thought, about whether to close Hogwarts. ‘professor Dumbledore always valued our views,’ said Professor McGonagall kindly, ‘and so do i.’
  • she ushered harry out of her office so scrimgeour couldn’t interrogate him
  • she stays at Hogwarts after Dumbledore dies. It’s voldemort’s regime, but she stays here, the only home she’s ever loved, to try and keep her students as safe as she can, as best as she can.
  • “Why would Harry Potter try to get inside Ravenclaw Tower! Potter belongs in my House!”
  • she means so much to harry that he successfully cast a CRUCIATUS CURSE BECAUSE SOMEONE SPIT ON HER.
  • Biggest hypocrite for lecturing anyone about being idiotically honorable because she is the noblest of noble babies: “Only the difference between truth and lies, courage and cowardice,” said Professor McGonagall, who had turned pale, “a difference, in short, which you and your sister seem unable to appreciate. But let me make one thing very clear. You are not going to pass off your many ineptitudes on the students of Hogwarts. I shall not permit it.”
  • Basically the entire chapter on THE SACKING OF SEVERUS SNAPE.  Including:
  • Finally learns her lesson and believes harry james potter (finally!) when he warns of eminent danger
  • agrees to stall Voldemort so Harry can look for an object because he’s on a mission and cannot tell her about it.
  • Confronts snape. Sacks snape. With style.
  • “I shall expect you and the Slytherins in the Great Hall in twenty minutes, also,” said Professor McGonagall. “If you wish to leave with your students, we shall not stop you. But if any of you attempt to sabotage our resistance or take up arms against us within this castle, then, Horace, we duel to kill.”
  • Gets the entire castle in gear, calls up the school’s defenses, gets the students to safety.
  • calls filch what every other teacher has wanted to call filch for 25 years: ‘a blithering idiot’
  • sets peeve off to wreak havoc and mayhem during the battle
  • mcgonagall in her tartan dressing gown and her undone bun commanding a troop of galloping desks






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