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A Simple Twist Of Fate

This article concerns the A Simple Twist Of Fate version of Minerva McGonagall; you may be looking for other canon and fanon versions.

Madam Professor Minerva McGonagall (born 4 October 1935) was a witch and Animagus who attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1947 to 1954 and was sorted into Gryffindor. After her education, she worked for two years at the British Ministry of Magic and later returned to Hogwarts, where she became Head of Gryffindor House, Transfiguration Professor and Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts.



Minerva McGonagall was born on the outskirts of Caithness in the Scottish Highlands, on 4 October 1935 to Robert McGonagall, a Muggle Presbyterian minister, and his wife, Isobel Ross, a witch. She was the couple's first child, and was named after her mother's grandmother, an immensely talented witch.

Her birth proved both a joy and a crisis: Isobel had given up the use of her magic for her love of Robert, and never told him about her magical abilities as she was afraid to mar the bliss of their wedding. Minerva, however, displayed small but noticeable signs of magic from her earliest hours. As an infant, Minerva had no control of her magic, and thus she inadvertently Summoned toys that had been left on upper shelves to her cot, made the family cat do her bidding, and made her father's bagpipes play themselves which would cause baby Minerva to chuckle happily. Isobel knew she must confess her and their daughter's wizarding abilities and so she did, explaining everything to Robert and telling him that they were bound by the International Statute of Secrecy, and that they must conceal the truth about their magical abilities.

The two parents remained together despite the shocking revelation, and had two other sons, Malcolm and Robert Jr. Both revealed magical ability in due course. Minerva then, as a child, helped her mother conceal from her father the accidents and embarrassments the young wizards' magic sometimes caused.

On Minerva's eleventh birthday on 4 October 1946, she received her admittance letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, at the time Headed by Professor Armando Dippet. Now free to be with her kind, and to exercise her considerable talents, Minerva saw how her mother sobbed that day; not only out of pride, but also out of envy.

Hogwarts Years

Minerva attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as a pupil from 1947 to 1954. During her Sorting, she proved to be a hatstall: the Sorting Hat spent five-and-a-half minutes wavering between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw before deciding to place her in the former.

Minerva was quickly recognized as the most outstanding student of her year with a particular talent for Transfiguration. Minerva's school career overlapped by two years with that of Pomona Sprout, and the two students enjoyed an excellent relationship both then, and in later years.

By the end of the 1953-1954 school year, her seventh and last year at the school, Minerva had achieved an impressive record: she achieved top grades in her O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. examinations, she had been both a Prefect and a Head Girl, and won the Transfiguration Today Most Promising Newcomer award. She, like Dumbledore, received "Outstanding" in all her O.W.L's and N.E.W.T's. Having learned Transfiguration from Professor Albus Dumbledore, Minerva became, under his guidance, an Animagus, an ability that was duly recorded in the Animagus Registry at the Ministry of Magic; in later years, Minerva would ask Albus Dumbledore to write in The Tales of the Beedle of the Bard that she became an Animagus not to escape the law but to study all branches of Transfiguration. Minerva also played for Gryffindor Quidditch team in her student years; a nasty fall in her final year (a foul during the Gryffindor versus Slytherin match which would decide the Quidditch Cup winner) left her with a concussion, several broken ribs and a lifelong desire to see Slytherin crushed on the Quidditch pitch.

Early Heartbreak

After graduating from Hogwarts, Minerva was offered a position at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement of the British Ministry of Magic. She returned to her family's manse to spend one last summer with her family before moving to London.

During these months Minerva, aged eighteen, met Dougal McGregor, a local Muggle, who was the handsome, clever and funny son of a local farmer. Minerva fell head-over-heels in love with McGregor. The two got to know each other, and eventually McGregor proposed to Minerva on a ploughed field and she accepted his offer. That night, she was unable to tell her parents of her engagement. Thinking about her future, Minerva realised that wedding a Muggle who was oblivious to the fact that she was a witch would mean she would follow her mother's footsteps and live unhappily with her wand locked away, shredding all of her ambitions. Early next morning, Minerva went to tell McGregor she had changed her mind, and could not marry him. Aware that if she broke the International Statute of Secrecy she would lose the job at the Ministry for which she was giving him up, she could give him no good reason for her change of heart. She left McGregor devastated and left for London three days later.


Minerva worked in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Magic for two years after graduation.

Dissatisfied with her job at the Ministry, in December 1956, Minerva returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this time not to learn but to teach Transfiguration, under the head of department, Albus Dumbledore and later replaced him as Head of Department after he 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 and would, later on in her career, 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.

Her lessons as Transfiguraion Teacher 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.

Through her early years at Hogwarts, Minerva remained close friends with her former boss, Elphinstone Urquart. During one visit, he proposed marriage to Minerva at Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop. Surprised and embarrassed, and still in love with Dougal, she declined. Elphinstone, however, had never ceased to love her, nor to propose every now and then, even though she continued to refuse him.

Later Life

After the first rise of dark wizard Lord Voldemort, 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.

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

After the First Wizarding War had ended Minerva continued on with her career at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, still teaching the art of Transfiguration and remaining loyal to Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix.

In the summer of 1982, Elphinstone proposed to Minerva again during a stroll around the Black Lake. Minerva, who had felt freed by the earlier death of Dougal McGregor, finally accepted. Always something of a feminist, she kept her maiden name upon their marriage, to the dismay of pure-blood supremacists who disapproved of her keeping her Muggle father's name. Together the incredibly happy couple lived in a small cottage in Hogsmeade, where Minerva traveled easily to work every day and often hosted her nieces and nephews for visits; Elphinestone and Minerva remained happily married after many years.

As well as this, Minerva, a good friend of the Potters, kept in touch with James and Lily - two of her former Gryffindor students at Hogwarts; Lily and James sent a Christmas Card to Minerva every year and it inhabited sole position on her desk at Hogwarts. Despite a brief meeting when they were babies, Minerva never met any of the Potter Children; this meant that neither recognised her when they started Hogwarts.

In 1991, Minerva became head of House to Lancelot Potter, who was just starting his first year of education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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