Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Ernie Macmillan

Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character
Ernie Macmillan
Gender Male
Hair color Unknown
Eye color Unknown
Related Family "Old wizarding family"
Loyalty Dumbledore's Army

Overview edit

Ernie Macmillan is a Hufflepuff student in Harry Potter's year. He is described as "a stout boy" and has "pudgy hands".

Role in the Books edit

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Chamber of Secrets edit

Ernie Macmillan is apparently one of the students who is helped after the grand chaos of the Duelling Club by Professor Lockhart: "Up you get, Macmillan..."

Identified only as Ernie, he is apparently the leader of the group of Hufflepuffs discussing Justin Finch-Fletchley's decision to remain in hiding when Harry Potter is thought to be the Heir of Slytherin, in The Duelling Club. He more or less acts as spokesman of the group when Harry confronts them – as a scion of an old wizarding family, he feels that the Heir of Slytherin would not attack him – and later dramatically accuses Harry of Petrifying Justin when Justin is found in the hallway. (Professor McGonagall addresses him here as "Macmillan", giving us his last name.) Ernie is then given the task of wafting the Petrified Nearly Headless Nick up to the Hospital Wing with a large fan.

Later, when Hermione Granger is Petrified, Ernie makes a point of apologising to Harry for having thought him the Heir of Slytherin. Ernie feels that, Muggle-born or not, Hermione would not be a victim if Harry had anything to do with it.

Prisoner of Azkaban edit

While not shown in person, Ernie is mentioned to have taken Muggle Studies, and has told Ron Hermione hasn't missed one, even though half are the same time as Divination.

Goblet of Fire edit

Harry sees Ernie in the campground at the Quidditch World Cup.

Ernie is the student who runs off to tell the Hufflepuff common room, most notably Cedric Diggory, that the delegations from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons will be arriving on the 30th of October.

He also harassed Harry by wearing a Support Cedric Diggory / Potter Stinks badge when Harry's name came out of the Goblet of Fire, and temporarily stopped speaking to him because he thought that Harry put his name in for further glory. However, during the last task, Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldemort and Ernie became much nicer to Harry. He also was one of the few students that believed that Voldemort was back.

Order of the Phoenix edit

On the Hogwarts Express, Ron reports that Ernie Macmillan is one of the two Hufflepuff prefects; Hannah Abbott is the other.

When Harry, Ron and Hermione are on the way to Herbology, Ernie runs up to them and tells Harry, in a loud, carrying voice, that he fully believes Harry and Dumbledore's claims about how Voldemort has returned. It cheers Harry to know that some students who are not weird believe him – previously, only Luna, apart from Harry's friends, had expressed belief in his and Dumbledore's statements.

Ernie is one of the original members of the Defence Association, or as it becomes known, Dumbledore's Army. He shows up at the initial meeting in the Hog's Head, but is initially reluctant to sign his name to the paper that Hermione is passing around. "After all, I am a prefect," he says, meaning, presumably, that he has to set a good example. Hermione points out that she's not going to leave this bit of parchment lying around, after which he signs, though still with some show of reluctance.

As a member of Dumbledore's Army, his work seems to be decent. He is, apparently, able to conjure a Patronus before the group is betrayed and broken up.

The day after Umbridge is appointed Headmistress of Hogwarts, he tells Hermione, Ron and Harry that Dumbledore will be back soon and Hermione starts to insult Umbridge, but Draco Malfoy comes around and says that he's "afraid" he'll have to dock Gryffindor and Hufflepuff House a few points. Ernie then says that only professors are permitted to dock House Points from Houses that are not their own. Malfoy explains that, since he is a member of the newly founded Inquisatorial Squad, he is permitted to dock points from anyone he wants. He docks Hufflepuff House 10 house points for "contradicting" Malfoy's ability to dock house points, which angers Ernie.

As the OWL exams approach, Ernie takes up the disquieting habit of asking everyone how much studying they are doing, and proudly says that he is averaging eight hours a day.

Ernie is also one of the six members of Dumbledore's Army who see Draco Malfoy attempting to jinx Harry on the Hogwarts Express, and promptly return fire, leaving Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle looking like gigantic slugs squeezed into Hogwarts robes, which Ernie takes pride in doing for revenge against the 10 points Malfoy docked unfairly from Hufflepuff.

Half-Blood Prince edit

Ernie first appears in Professor Slughorn's NEWT-level Potions class, where it is revealed that he is the only Hufflepuff in their year who has managed to get in to it. When the Trio come in, he greets them warmly and joins their table for the remainder of the year. It is mentioned that, despite his pompous nature, Harry is very fond of Ernie.

Later in the year, Albus Dumbledore is murdered by Severus Snape. Ernie asks Harry about what is going on, but he receives no reply. However, he later learns that Dumbledore has been killed and he likely attended Dumbledore's funeral.

Deathly Hallows edit

Ernie is one of the group of Dumbledore's Army alumni who have retreated into the Room of Requirement, thus being able to stay on at the school and keep a form of guerrilla warfare going on against the Dark curriculum. With the others, he greets Harry's arrival with loud cheers and demands to know when they will be taking Hogwarts back.

When all the students are in the Great Hall before the Battle of Hogwarts, Ernie expresses eagerness to fight against the Death Eaters, making several older students cheer and roar in agreement.

Ernie takes part in the battle for Hogwarts. When Harry has to get to the Shrieking Shack, he finds his way to the Whomping Willow blocked by Dementors. He is unable to produce much of a Patronus himself, but Ernie, Luna Lovegood, and Seamus Finnigan arrive with their Patronuses and clear his way. The passage of a twenty-foot-tall giant separates them, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione proceed to the Shrieking Shack through the tunnel.

Strengths edit

Ernie is generally friendly, loyal (to his fellow Hufflepuffs and Hogwarts as a whole) and takes his prefect responsibilities seriously.

He is talented and intelligent, shown by his dedication to revision and his presence in the NEWT Potions class. He presumably did very well in his OWLs.

As a member of the DA, Ernie will have learned a fair amount of defensive magic from Harry and the other members. He demonstrates these abilities by fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts.

Weaknesses edit

Ernie tends to be pompous around his fellow students and sycophantic around teachers. He likes to brag about how seriously he takes his studies.

He doesn't take criticism well and is very affronted when Draco Malfoy docks ten points from his House.

Relationships with Other Characters edit

Ernie and Hannah Abbott both become prefects in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry's fifth year. It is never made clear whether there is any romantic entanglement between them, though they do seem to be seen together a lot. The author later stated that Hannah marries Neville, so it is more likely Ernie and Hannah are just close friends.

From the Black family tree created by the author, we can see that his family is distantly related to the Black and Prewett families.

Analysis edit

Ernie is shown to be a typical Hufflepuff, with a great amount of honour, loyalty, fairness and a dedication to work. He is an incredibly likeable and positive character, an important part of the final battle and a good friend to Harry.

It is mentioned in passing that Ernie's Patronus is a boar - which is a strong, resilient animal, reflecting Ernie's own dedication and strength.

Questions edit

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

  1. What makes Ernie think that Harry is the Heir of Slytherin?
  2. Why is Ernie so convinced, in their fifth year, that Harry is telling the truth?
  3. How well might Ernie have done in his OWL exams? Do you think he might wish to repeat a year to take NEWTs?

Greater Picture edit

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Ernie is a good example of an initially peripheral character gaining greater prominence in later instalments of the story. By the final book he may be considered a major recurring character. He is certainly the Hufflepuff we have the most contact with (discounting Cedric Diggory), and a good example of what a Hufflepuff should act like.