Mary Macdonald

Mary MacDonald was a British witch and a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She was sorted into the Gryffindor house and went to Hogwarts the same time as Lily Evans.

The Definitive Glossary for Harry Potter

Mary Macdonald was probably born in the 50s or 60s as she went to Hogwarts at the same time as Lily Evans, Severus Snape, and the Marauders. She was a member of Gryffindor house and although not explicitly mentioned, she must have been a Gryffindor student as she had access to the Gryffindor Tower in a flashback narration in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Mary Macdonald was probably friends with Lily Evans and other Gryffindor students like Marlene McKinnon and Dorcas Meadowes. It has long been speculated by fans that Mary Macdonald was possibly none other than Mary Cattermole, the wife of Reginald Cattermole. Mary Cattermole was a “mudblood” and was about to be imprisoned due to her blood status before Harry, Ron, and Hermione intervened and heroically saved her.


Mary Macdonald’s first name “Mary” was the English version of the name “Maria,” the Latin version of two Greek names Μαρια (Maria) and Μαριαμ (Mariam) which were taken from the New Testament. These names were derived from the Hebrew name מִרְיָם (Miryam). Some of the possible meanings of this word include “sea of bitterness,” “rebelliousness,” and “wished for child.” It is also possible that this was initially an Egyptian name, which may be derived in part from mry which means “beloved” or mr which means “love”.

The surname “Macdonald” was very common in both Scotland and Ireland and had Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic origins. It is supposed to mean “Son of Domhnall” and is a surname commonly found in Celtic and Gaelic regions. It is also a married name for women who were christened with their family name at birth. The name MacDonald also features in several poems and hymns more specifically in the popular children’s rhyme Old MacDonald Had a Farm.


Mary Macdonald was born in the British Isles mostly between the years 1957 to 1965 as that would put her in Hogwarts as Lily’s and the Marauders’ contemporary unless she studied for a repeat year at Hogwarts. It is possible that she was born in Scotland, as Macdonald is a common surname in Scotland. She joined Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when she was eleven years old and was sorted into Gryffindor House. She was in talking terms and probably even a friend of Lily Evans. 

Personality And Traits

Not a lot is known about Mary Macdonald except that she was once horribly assaulted by the known future Death Eater Mulciber, possibly in the early fall of the 1975 – 1976 school year. Mary Macdonald was probably a very quiet and harmless girl who kept to herself which is possibly why Mulciber chose her as an obvious target for his attack. He may have chosen to hurt her because she was a blood traitor, too, and since Mulciber was a blood purist, he may have just decided to choose a random target. Also, if Mary Macdonald was indeed Mary Cattermole, it is possible that Mulciber chose her because she was a Muggle-born witch and had Muggles who were her friends, and he wanted to humiliate her.

Although it is not known what Mulciber exactly did to Mary, it is strongly suspected that Mulciber tried the Imperius curse to torture and humiliate Mary. However, Mary must have shown some rebelliousness and was, therefore, still alive after this incident. This speculation comes from the fact that during the trials of Death Eaters after the disappearance of Lord Voldemort, Igor Karkaroff claimed that Mulciber’s specialty was the Imperius curse. However, it is not known if Karkaroff was speaking about Mulciber, the Death Eater who studied with Snape, James, and Sirius Black at Hogwarts, or Mulciber, who may have been Mulciber’s father.

Mary is also known to be a kind and caring person in the latter half of the 1975 – 1976 year: in the late summer, she once alerted Lily that Severus Snape, the latter’s friend, had planned to spend the whole day and the night at the entrance to the house’s Common Room with the hopes that Lily would forgive him for calling her a Mudblood.

Appearances in the Harry Potter Series

Mary Macdonald is first mentioned in the Harry Potter series in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in a flashback scene where Lily Evans is seen talking to Severus Snape. In this scene, which Harry accesses through Dumbledore’s Pensieve after Lord Voldemort kills Snape, young Lily is warning a young Snape to not join the Death Eaters and questions his friends’ circle, including why he is friends with Mulciber. She further claims that what Mulciber did to Mary Macdonald was creepy and scary, and that alone should keep Snape away from Mulciber.

The only time Mary Macdonald appears in the series is when she alerts and warns Lily Evans that Severus Snape is planning to spend the entire night at the door to the Gryffindor Common Room if Lily doesn’t forgive him for calling her a Mudblood.

Normalization of Creepy Behavior

The normalization of certain behaviors in society have made it very easy for criminally creepy and evil people to thrive despite how wrong their actions are. For a very long time, societies have overlooked certain behaviors, especially from powerful people, and the normalization of this phenomenon has led to many wrongdoers walking freely without punishment. For instance, based on what Lily Evans claimed alone, Mulciber had tormented Mary Macdonald and had caused her a lot of pain and anguish. Lily claimed that what Mulciber tried to do to Mary was unacceptable and that he was creepy. 

However, Snape disagreed with Lily and claimed that it was just for laughs. This was his way of normalizing a wrongdoing by his friend, and the fact that it must have gone unnoticed by the authorities at Hogwarts and that Mulciber went unpunished for his actions is deeply disturbing.


When was Mary Macdonald mentioned in Harry Potter?

Mary MacDonald is mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows during the flashback scene, which Harry accesses in the Pensieve of Albus Dumbledore. Lily Evans asks Severus Snape about Mulciber and claims that the latter is creepy and insinuates that what he tried to do to Mary MacDonald was really terrible. She also asks Snape to stop being friends with Mulciber, citing what he tried to do to Mary as reason enough to stay away from him.

When was Mary Macdonald born?

Mary Macdonald was born between the years 1957 and 1965, as those were the years of all the students who were at Hogwarts between the first and seventh years. Since Lily mentioned Mary MacDonald to Snape in the 1974-1975 school year, it is not certain what year Mary Macdonald was in. So, in order for her to have been at Hogwarts during this time, she had to be born between the years 1957 and 1965.

Is Mary Macdonald the same as Mary Cattermole?

It is not known for sure if Mary Macdonald and Mary Cattermole are the same person. However, since they both carry the same first name, and Mary Cattermole was married to Reginald Cattermole, it is possible that Mary Macdonald was, in fact, Mary Cattermole. This would also explain why Mulciber might have targeted Mary Macdonald for his assault as Mary Cattermole was proved to be a Muggle-born witch and if it weren’t for the trio’s timely help, she would have been arrested by the Pure-blood fanatics who ran the Ministry of Magic at that time.

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