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Pottermore Christmas, day 7: The life and loves of Minerva McGonagall

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Pottermore Day 7

Today’s Pottermore riddle features the back story of one of Hogwarts’ most dedicated professors: Minerva McGonagall.

The riddle for Thursday is from the Half-Blood Prince, and involves Wilkie Twycross, the Apparition instructor from the Ministry of Magic who gave the Hogwarts version of Driver’s Ed, teaching 17-year-old how to apparate:

Wilkie Twycross orders students to persevere,

in their futile attempts to turn and disappear,

but regardless of whether the students can do it or not,

what is it called when a wizard appears on the spot?

The answer: “apparition.” Thursday’s content is the longest piece yet, highlighting the life of Professor Minerva McGonagall. The majority of the piece had already appeared under the McGonagall’s biography on Pottermore, following her life growing up with a Muggle father and a witch mother, who tried to hide her magical past from her spouse. It also highlighted McGonagall’s career at Hogwarts, friendship with Dumbledore, her early unrequited love affair with muggle Dougal McGregor, as well as her marriage later in life with wizard Elphinstone Urquart.

There is also a short post-script by J.K. Rowling, who noted that she named the character the Roman goddess of warriors and wisdom (but of course), but also used the surname of what he deemed as the “worst poet in British history,” William McGonagall.

“There was something irresistible to me about his name, and the idea that such a brilliant woman might be a distant relative of the buffoonish McGonagall,” Rowling wrote.

Head over to Pottermore to check out Rowling’s sampling of this terrible British poet’s work.