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The SparkNotes Blog

Homework help made hilarious.

From the Diaries of Minerva McGonagall: June 1, 1982

Dear Diary,

Elphinstone has asked me to marry him—and I have said yes.

Of course, you will know from my entries of late that this was not a surprise; we had been discussing, in between discussing everything else, what it might look like to build a life together.

A house in Hogsmeade, for example, which the newly-retired Elphinstone would manage during the day while I taught at Hogwarts. He wants to plant flowers, hang curtains, cook suppers. I told him I hadn’t needed to prepare a meal for myself since I began teaching, and then I told him I’d have to talk to Professor Dumbledore about giving all of us faculty the chance to practice our fry-ups, and he laughed.

I’ve been trained in giving instruction, in criticism; in defensive magic. I have not been trained in listening to a man I love laugh at something I’ve said. I do not know how to be married. I’ve told Elphinstone this. He says he will marry me anyway.

We’ll have a small wedding in just a few weeks; my family and his, and a few people from Hogwarts and the Ministry. There are too many people whom we would have invited—whom we wished we could invite—but who are no longer with us. So we’ll keep the day simple, and let my father lead the service after walking me down the aisle.

I will be an odd bride and Elphinstone will be an odd groom. We are too old and too independent. Too set in our mutual ways. And yet those ways seem to be coming together like two streams joining into a river—a metaphor which I thought would sound less like bad poetry before I wrote it down.

But to be a quiet river, one that curves calmly around a home and a school, and is filled with love… I wouldn’t mind that.

I will end this entry and write Elphinstone a dreadful poem about rivers, to honor our engagement day.

Yours faithfully,


Previously in The Diaries of Minerva McGonagall