This Weekend, Read This
The Unofficial Harry Potter Bracket Part 8
By Curt David and Emily Gibson
May 26, 2020


This will be short and sweet. Severus Snape vs. Molly Weasley. Minerva McGonagall vs. Kingsley Shacklebolt. The Final Four of the Unofficial Harry Potter Bracket. Only two will advance...

To see the 32 seeded wizards and witches, and more info about the tournament, click here.

To learn how the previous duels went down, click here.

Note: All of these Harry Potter columns might contain spoilers from the series.

If you would like to follow me for future shenanigans: Twitter @himmelberger_c and Instagram @curt_himmelberger.

Also, the amazing and wonderful Emily Gibson (FB: emily.gibson.12) has created the dueling stories you’ll see below.

Without further ado, here are the results:

MATCH 1: Who would win in a duel between Minerva McGonagall (1) and Kingsley Shacklebolt (4)?

Minerva McGonagall received 83% of the votes vs. 17% for Kingsley Shacklebolt, so McGonagall moves on to the Final!

How did the duel go down? Emily explains:

Official: “Up next, Minerva McGonagall and Kingsley Shacklebolt.”

Kingsley apparates onto the stage. McGonagall apparates on the other side of the stage. They both exchange pleasantries.

Official: “The combatants face each other, bow, and then attempt to disarm, injure, or kill each other in order to force submission, and thus a winner is decided. On the count of three… Both nod, bow, and take their stance.”

You can hear a pin drop.

Official: “One. Two. Three!”

Both wands light up, and colors light up the room! They are both working hard trying to outwit the other, but they look equally matched. No one can take their eyes off the mesmerizing lights. This could go on for hours, or even days. The building starts to shake. That distracts Shacklebolt for a moment, and McGonagall disarms him. Outside the arena, the late as always giants are just starting to sit, making grooves in the ground by the force.

Official: “McGonagall wins!”

Match Analysis:

Out of the voters who commented, there were two main reasons to vote for McGonagall. The first were the comments about her skill based on the Harry Potter canon (she’s a powerful wizard; proof: knows transfiguration, can make three patronuses without a word, etc.). The second were the comments of people just describing her with amazing adjectives (“badass” being one of the most popular). The main reason for voting for Shacklebolt was his skill and experience using magic to stay alive as an auror. And I of course loved the comments mentioning the bracket (McGonagall would be well rested after an easy bracket so far vs. if Shacklebolt can take down Bellatrix and Moody, he can take down her).

Minerva McGonagall beats Kingsley Shacklebolt and moves to the final where she will duel either Severus Snape or Molly Weasley (keep reading this article to find out that winner).

My conclusion: Interestingly, multiple voters mentioned not having enough information about Shacklebolt to vote for him compared to the vast knowledge we know about McGonagall. The fact that Shacklebolt made it so far into this tournament as a “minor character,” the lowest seeded-character to make it to the Final Four, and defeating the #1 seed Bellatrix Lestrange, goes to show that he is a very powerful wizard and perhaps if he was a major character would have made it to the Final 2 (oh who am I kidding, he’d have to be on the other side of the bracket to make it to the Final 2, because this is McGonagall we are talking about!)

MATCH 2: Who would win in a duel between Molly Weasley (1) and Severus Snape (2)?

Severus Snape received 64% of the votes vs. 36% for Molly Weasley, so Snape moves on to the Final!

How did the duel go down? Emily explains:

Official: “Up next in our Final Four: Molly Weasley and Severus Snape.”

Molly smoothes out her dress as she makes her way down to the stage. Snape walks directly there without looking at anyone, but with an air of confidence.

Officials: “The combatants face each other, bow, and then attempt to disarm, injure, or kill each other in order to force submission, and thus a winner is decided. On the count of three. One. Two. Three!”

Both wands light up but Snape is a few seconds ahead of Molly. Molly ducks the first curse and is thrown off her game. She tosses a curse at Snape that he waves off without a second thought. Then he really starts his attack. She is barely keeping up when she trips, falls, and her wand flies away.

Official, “Snape wins!”

Match analysis:

Out of the voters who commented, they were all about listing accomplishments and facts from the Harry Potter books. Molly had great accomplishments and Snape had three times as many listed (similar to the percentage of votes each wizard received). How many could you list for each wizard? People of course mentioned Molly defeating Bellatrix and being an amazing mother. But people did not run out of things to say about Snape, from him being the Half-Blood Prince, designing his own spells and potions, occlumency, fooling a certain wizard, being the right-hand man of Dumbledore and Voldemort, etc.

On a more nuanced level, many people talked about motivation in this duel. Some said the Molly’s motherly protective instinct would help her, while others said she would not have that adrenaline in this duel; perhaps Molly would have pent-up anger at Snape for harassing her children, perhaps Snape would hesitate less at hurting her than she would at him; and the differing opinions about the heart of these characters went on and on.

Severus Snape moves on to the Final Four where he will duel Minerva McGonagall. I have never been so excited during this pandemic (and this whole bracket was designed to bring others joy during these uncertain times).

My conclusion: Severus Snape just beat his second #1 seed! Molly Weasley tied Hermione Granger with the most number of votes for a second-place finish (the other #1 seed he took out). If Snape beats McGonagall, he will have defeated three of the four #1 seeds of the tournament; truly becoming the Cinderella story of the bracket (and I declare this is the first time Cinderella has been used as a metaphor for Snape). But McGonagall is Frick.In.Mc.Gon.A.Gall! I have no predictions. Either could win. Who would you vote for?

Next column: Not only the results of McGonagall vs. Snape, but whoever wins will then enter a final-Final 4 with Dumbledore, Voldemort, and Harry Potter (those results as well!)