Wizards, Witches and Beings: M
Magnus = Latin for "great."
According to an early list of Harry's classmates that Rowling displayed during an interview (HPM) and later discussed on Pottermore, Morag's name was originally listed as Katrina MacDougal, then Katrina was changed to Isobel. According to this "semi-canon" document, she is a Ravenclaw student from a pure-blood family (HPM).
(b. circa 1980)
Hufflepuff 1991 - 1998 (PS7); Prefect 1995
- 96 (OP10).
Though sort of a pompous fellow, Ernie's heart and loyalties are in the right place. Joined Dumbledore's Army (OP16), where he learned a lot of practical magic. (More...)
"Earnest" = English for "serious;" also used to refer to something put up as a pledge of one's faith, such as 'earnest money.' Related information: Ernie Rowling.
Wife of Arcturus Black (1901-1991). She is Sirius' paternal grandmother (BFT).
A Death Eater who sports a black moustache. In the years between the first and second wars against Voldemort, Macnair worked as an executioner of dangerous creatures for the Ministry of Magic (PA16, PA21, GF33). MacNair was sent by Voldemort to liaise with the giants; his attempts went somewhat better than Hagrid’s (OP20).
According to a (non-canon) planning chart for Order of the Phoenix, Macnair was the one visiting Bode at St. Mungo's on Christmas Eve (JKR). It is very likely that Macnair was the "friend" who brought Bode the Devil's Snare that killed him (OP25).
Macnair participated in both the Battle of the Department of Mysteries (OP38) and the Battle of Hogwarts (DH36). He didn’t seem particularly successful in either case, ending up with a wand jabbed into the eyehole of his mask (OP38) and crumpled on the ground of the Great Hall, having been thrown into a wall by Hagrid (DH36).
Chaser for the Montrose Magpies who gets a bit over-interested in Muggle sports. Following attempts to dribble the Quaffle like a basketball and hit the Quaffle with his head like afootball player, he was discharged from the team (DP).
(b. circa 1983)
Medieval witch from Ireland who trained young witches and wizards there before the establishment of Hogwarts (fw).
A character who never appeared in the books, though Rowling originally wrote her to be in Goblet of Fire. In this unused storyline, Mafalda was a Weasley cousin, a Slytherin, who came to stay with the Weasleys for a summer. She was quite annoying, though an intellectual match for Hermione (JKR).
Playwright who wrote "Hélas, Je me suis Transfiguré mes Pieds" ("Alas, I have Transfigured my Feet") (QA8)
"malécrit" = French for "badly written" (thanks to Anne-Claire Soussan).
"mal" = Latin for bad + "foy" = French for faith
Draco's grandfather who died of dragon pox (HBP9).
- Astoria (Greengrass) (her name may also be Asteria)
Wife of Draco Malfoy (YL).
- Draco (More...)
- Lucius (More...)
- Narcissa (Black) (More...)
- Scorpius Hyperion
Son of Draco and Astoria Malfoy (DH/e, YL).
Proprietor of a robe shop in Diagon Alley called Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. She is a squat witch who is generally very friendly (PS5), though she becomes alarmed when wands are drawn in her shop (HBP6).
"Malkin" = the sense most familiar to most readers would probably be that of "cat", with Dark Magic overtones, thanks to Shakespeare's Macbeth ("grimalkin"). However, other senses of the word are "a bundle of rags used for cleaning" and "an untidy woman" [NSOED], very ironic for a woman running an outfitter's doing well enough to maintain a shop in Diagon Alley.
A much-tried wizard who takes the brunt of teachers' selection of required textbooks for their classes that turn out to be somewhat exotic. Harry first saw him 'on camera,' as it were, trying to keep Lockhart's book signing under control (CS4). The manager once lost a lot of money on The Invisible Book of Invisibility ("cost a fortune, and we never found them"). Hagrid, who thought that the trick of soothing The Monster Book of Monsters was obvious, didn't drop a hint to the manager, who had to cope with the new additions to his booklist attacking both each other and him; the manager spent much of that summer vowing never to stock that book again (PA4).
He comes across as a kindly sort, since far from trying to sell Harry a copy of Death Omens: What to Do When You Know the Worst Is Coming, he instead recommended against it, saying it's enough to frighten anyone to death, and in general doesn't recommend reading books about death omens because one would start seeing them everywhere (PA4).
When J.K. Rowling published the W.O.M.B.A.T. (Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude test) on her website in April 0f 2006, she gave Marchbanks' name and titles as "Professor Griselda Marchbanks, CDMG, APMO, fdBB" (JKR). The meaning of the initials following her name is unclear; however, they are usually indictors of special recognition, education, or professional license.
Wizard bearing a Probity Probe in front of Gringotts who utterly failed to stop the break-in of the Lestrange vault or the break-out of the dragon (DH24).
Marjoribanks was a pioneer in the field of Herbology. He collected and classified many rare and magical plants. Marjoribanks is credited with discovering Gillyweed, although Elladora Ketteridge had discovered it about a century earlier (fw/54).
"Marjoram" = a species of herb used in cooking.
An elderly witch who seems prone to motion sickness, but nevertheless braves the Knight Bus. During Harry's first trip on the Knight Bus, Madam Marsh disembarked at Abergavenny and seemed queasy (PA3). On Harry's second trip (during his fifth year), Madam Marsh became ill and vomited; she was let off first, before anyone else, which suited the other passengers just fine (OP24).
Author of Merpeople: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Language and Customs. Marwood carried an applewood wand, as do many witches and wizards who have a natural talent for non-human languages (Pm).
Olympe = French word for Mt. Olympus, the home of the Greek Gods and
Maxime = Latin "maxima" meaning greatest or largest, which is appropriate for a woman who is half-giant.
Seeker for the Pride of Portree, who lost a match to the Appleby Arrows when (according to McBride) Arrows seeker Gregory Cotton placed a Jelly-Fingers curse on him (DP).
Archrival family to the MacBoons, headed by Dugald McClivert. According to legend they turned all of the MacBoons into Quintapeds, and were promptly wiped out by the ferocious monsters (FB).
(b. circa 1983)
- 2001 (GF12).
Natalie's name comes from a Canadian girl who was very sick. She loved the Harry Potter books and contacted JKR. The author wrote her and told her some of the secrets of the books to come, but Natalie had died by the time the letter arrived. Natalie's mother responded and she and JKR have since become friends. Jo put Natalie in GF, sorted into Gryffindor, as a tribute (interview).
(b. Oct. 4, circa 1925)
Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom. McGonagall's last name comes from poet Sir William Topaz McGonagall.
Student at Hogwarts in the late 1960s/early 1970s. According to the first movie, he or she played Quidditch for Gryffindor, and in 1971 won a small plaque which is now part of a trophy in the trophy room (PS/f).
NOTE: This is certainly not Professor McGonagall, since she was a teacher at Hogwarts before James Potter was born c. 1960, and was in fact one of James' teachers (PA, OP). "M.G. McGonagall"'s name appears on a wooden shield in the Trophy Room in (PS/f) only. Since other information on that shield is problematic in that it contradicts JKR's statement that James Potter was a Chaser (Sch2), this McGonagall character cannot be considered part of the official canon.
A member of the Order of the Phoenix in the 1970s (see), Marlene and her whole family were killed by Voldemort's supporters (PS4,OP9), including Travers (GF30), shortly before Voldemort’s downfall (DH10).
Gryffindor 1990 - 1997; substitute Quidditch
team Keeper after Ron was
A "large, wiry-haired youth" and member of the Slug Club. Has a famous "Uncle Tiberius" who was a favorite student of Horace Slughorn's (HBP7). During his seventh year Cormac tried out for Keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, but was beaten out by Ron for the position when Hermione Confunded Cormac during the tryouts (HBP11). Cormac did not accept this defeat gracefully. In fact, he displays the downside of Gryffindor bravery: arrogance and foolhardiness. When he finally did get in a game, he was so busy telling everyone else what to do that he failed at his own job, and gave Harry a cracked skull to boot, losing the match for the team (HBP19).
The role of Cormac in the 6th movie is played by Freddie Stroma.
Brilliant Minister for Magic who communicated using smoke from his wand (Pm).
Manager of the Montrose Magpies who fired his Chaser, Alasdair Maddock, when it became clear that his interest in Muggle sports was interfering with his play (DP).
A successful Minister for Magic (Pm).
According to JKR's website, McTavish was "imprisoned for crimes against Muggle neighbour, who was discovered trapped inside McTavish's kettle." JKR's Wizard of the Month for July, 2006 (JKR).
Name origin: Lucius Tarquinius Superbus ('Tarquin the Proud') was the last of the legendary Roman kings. His reign was characterized by brutality and corruption; he died in exile. Tarquin is the villain in Shakespeare's poem, "The Rape of Lucrece."
(d. circa 1978/1980)
We are not told Dorcas' exact date of death, but since she appeared in Moody's "team photo" and given what Moody said about her, she died between the time Lily and James left school and 31 October 1981 . -- MLW
Dorcas is the name of a shepherdess in Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale."
Cousin to Sirius Black's mother; she tried to force through a Ministry Bill to make Muggle-hunting legal (OP6).
Mellifluous="flowing or sweetened with (or as if with) honey," (NSOED). Commonly used to describe a pleasant voice.
(medieval, dates unknown)
A Charms specialist sometimes known as "The Prince of Enchanters;" Merlin is unquestionably the most famous wizard of all time (PS6, fw). Merlin was part of the Court of King Arthur (King Arthur once ruled the land that is now part of England). He believed that wizards should help Muggles and therefore created the Order of Merlin to support laws protecting and benefiting Muggles (fw, Pm).
Defence Against the Dark Arts professor from c. 1895 to c.1945. Soon after graduating from Hogwarts, Tom Riddle asked Headmaster Armando Dippet if he could remain and teach because Professor Merrythought was retiring after teaching for "nearly fifty years" (HBP20).
(medieval, dates unknown)
Wizard known for creating many nasty jinxes and curses.
Hogwarts student, early 1990s.
Tried to curse off her acne and had to have her nose reattached by Madam Pomfrey (GF13). To this day, Harry, Ron, and Hermione speak of her as the standard against which really bad acne must be measured. Eloise may be in Hufflepuff, since the Hufflepuffs chatted about her in a very familiar way in Herbology class (GF13). Eloise was one of the first students to be removed from Hogwarts by their parents (HBP11).
Mimsy-Porpington, Sir Nicholas de
The full name of the Gryffindor house ghost; see Nearly Headless Nick.
Witch who, in 1899, traveled back in time to the year 1402 as part of a Ministry of Magic experiment. Unfortunately, Mintumble was trapped for several days in the past, resulting in catastrophic damage to both herself (she died several days after being rescued) and to time itself. As a result of this incident, time travel has been strictly controlled and severely limited to very short times and very trivial missions (Pm).
'min' from 'minute' + 'tumble', to fall
Moaning Myrtle, SEE Myrtle
Head of the Goblin Liaison Office (GF7).
(b. circa 1978)
c. 1989 - 1996, Quidditch Chaser/captain
Member of Umbridge's Inquisitorial Squad who made the mistake of trying to take House Points from the Weasley twins without witnesses, and consequently was stuffed by them into the first floor Vanishing Cabinet; reappeared some days later jammed into a toilet on the fourth floor, after which he was confused and disoriented for a long time (OP19, OP28, OP30).
Hogwarts students, 1990s.
Twin sisters whose 5-year-old brother was bitten by Fenrir Greyback in the spring of 1997 because their mother would not help the Death Eaters. Their brother died at St. Mungo's (HBP22).
(1823 - 1893)
Invented a number of love potions (fw, Pm).
(d. July 27, 1997)
Retired Auror, on staff for a year at Hogwarts, spent it at the bottom of a magical trunk (GF). Moody is a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Mad-Eye is noted for his paranoia, particularly in regard to food and drink, but also wand safety; this last may be related to his own missing leg (GF, OP3), but that is mere speculation. (More...)
"Alastor" = English from Greek, an avenger or nemesis; the
implication is that of terrifying but just retribution.
"moody" = describes someone whose outlook or personality changes quite often, usually in a negative way. Alastor Moody certainly fits that description. The word also has an alternate meaning of 'counterfeit' or 'false' [NSOED].
(b. circa 1980)
Moon's name is called (last name only) during the sorting ceremony in Book 1; it also appears in the draft of the classlist of Harry's year that Jo displayed during the "Harry Potter and Me" TV interview (HPM) and reproduced on Pottermore (Pm). Rowling wrote that this character gave her the idea for Luna Lovegood, who she describes as "a fey, dreamy girl."
A professor who claimed to have developed a potion that would decrease the hag’s natural desire for human flesh. He had several chunks of flesh missing himself, thanks to his test subjects (DP).
Moony, see Lupin, Remus
Ancient Greek soothsayer from mythology, defeated the Seer Calchas. Mopsus was the son of Apollo and Manto; he founded the Apollonian oracle in Colophon (fw5). He also lends his name to the Mopsus Potion (Trading Card Game). [More information: Mopsus in mythology]
Hogwarts Professor of Divination according to an early planning draft for Prisoner of Azkaban available on JKR's website (JKR scrapbook). However, this character cannot be considered canon because he was later cut from the books. JKR told us that this Mad-Eye Moody-like character was cut because his divination skills were a little too good (ITV).
Name derivation: Clearly a namesake of the Ancient Greek soothsayer (see above).
Witch who was an Irish Quidditch Team Chaser, one third of the famous "Troy, Mullet, and Moran" (1994) (GF8).
Wizard whose next door neighbor, Elladora Guffy, was overly fond of practical joke spells. She had a habit of charming Mordaunt's garden furniture to do things like spin unexpectedly. Ethelbard sent a letter complaining about Guffy to the Daily Prophet (DP).
(medieval, dates unknown)
Also known as Morgana, this bird Animagus was King Arthur's half sister. She was a dark sorceress, Merlin's enemy, and she affected many events during her time. She was queen of the island of Avalon, and she had great skill as a healer (fw/100). She appeared on one of the first Chocolate Frog trading cards Harry Potter ever saw (PS6).
"le fey" or "le fay" = French for "the faery."
Captain of the Holyhead Harpies during their defeat of the Heidelberg Harriers in 1953; when her opposite number proposed marriage to her at the end of the match, she concussed him with her broom (QA7).
Morgana, see Morgan le Fey
Chairwizard of the International Association of Quidditch in 1994, when he served as referee for the World Cup. Mostafa is small, skinny, and bald, with a huge mustache (GF8).
Either there are two Death Eaters named Mulciber, or a single one who failed a whole lot of grades. The first went to school with Voldemort and escorted him to Hogsmeade the night he applied to teach at Hogwarts (HBP20); the second a friend of Snape and Avery when he was in school some twenty years later (DH33). One of them was an Imperius Curse specialist and had already been captured by the time Karkaroff came to trial -- much to Karkaroff's dismay, who was busy trying to trade Mulciber's name for his own freedom (GF30). One also fought in theBattle of the Department of Mysteries (OP35). Which is which? We don’t know, and it’s hard to see how Barty Crouch would have, seeing as how nobody ever distinguishes between them.
Mulciber is another name for the god Vulcan of Roman mythology.
(1429-1490 acc. to fw/28) *
Chief of the Wizards' Council, 1448-1450 . *While Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them states that this was in the 14th century (FB), his Chocolate Frog card gives dates in the 15th century (fw/28).
Muldoon declared that any creature who walked upon two legs qualified as a "being" and was therefore entitled to share in governing and have legal rights. Unfortunately, this rather crude definition failed to screen out a large number of undesirable, but bipedal, creatures, while eliminating races such as centaurs and merpeople from consideration; the goblins demonstrated the flaws of the definition by example, producing as many disruptive two-legged magical creatures as possible for the subsequent meeting. Muldoon was followed in office by Elfrida Clagg (FB).
Witch who was the Irish National Team Chaser, one third of the famous "Troy, Mullet, and Moran" (GF8).
"mullet" = in the language of heraldry, this term comes from the Latin word mola, "grindstone" -- certainly any opposing team faced with the famous trio would feel caught between grindstones. However, the name, like those of the other members of the team, was actually taken from the name of one of JKR's friends (JKR).-- MLW
(lived c. 1400)
In 1398, Zacharias Mumps wrote a description of Quidditch which closely matches the current form of the game (QA).
A "badly-shaven" watchwizard at the Ministry of Magic, who during the day sits at the security desk in the Atrium where visitors are required to present their wands for registration (OP7, OP14). Arrested Sturgis Podmore on charges of trespass and attempted robbery upon catching him outside the Department of Mysteries at one o'clock in the morning on 31 August 1995 (OP14).
Munch's shift is unclear, since he was on duty before 0800 on 12 August 1995 but at work at 0100 on 31 August 1995, and was nowhere in sight early in the evening the following June. -- MLW
An aunt of Molly Weasley's (DH4) who looks like a “bad-tempered flamingo,” Muriel is quite a character. She attends Bill and Fleur’s wedding, but talks loudly throughout it and doesn’t seem to have a filter, telling Hermione she has skinny ankles and George that his ears are lopsided (DH8). However, she offers her goblin-made tiara for Fleur to wear in the wedding (HBP29) and offers her house as a safe place for members of the Order of the Phoenix to hide from Death Eaters, even when that means the entire Weasley family moving in (DH5, DH24). Muriel is apparently is a memorable kisser (HBP14), and lives near the Burrow in Ottery St. Catchpole (DH5).
Surname Prewett? As Molly's aunt, Muriel could be either the sister or the sister-in-law of Molly's parents. Even if Muriel is a connection through Molly's father, a Prewett, that doesn't necessarily mean that Muriel's adult surname was Prewett. The only thing that is certain is that Muriel is not a Weasley. Many thanks to Yvonne B. who pointed this out.
Mylor, see Sylvanus, Mylor
The myrtle tree is a close relative of the willow tree. "Moaning Myrtle" is a similar phrase to "weeping willow." Her name is also possibly related to the "Moaning Minnie," the British name for a German WWII artillery shell that made a distinctive moaning whine before it hit.