Mafalda Hopkirk Is More Like Hermione Granger Than You Think
Hermione Granger is one of the most popular characters and one of the biggest protagonists in the entire Harry Potter series. On the other hand, Mafalda Hopkirk is only mentioned a few times. Mafalda’s only major significance in the story is when Hermione uses Polyjuice Potion to transform into her. We do know that the two characters have some similar traits — this may be one of the reasons why Hermione chose to transform into Mafalda.
Mafalda is an assistant in the Improper Use of Magic Office at the Ministry of Magic. In her role, she seems to be quite a powerful woman and also extremely confident in her career. It is a professional and noteworthy job that others would aspire to have. Hermione also makes it known through the series that she is very much career driven — so much so that she ends up becoming the Minister of Magic. As they’re both career-driven, headstrong, independent women, it’s no surprise that Hermione was able to pull off being Mafalda so well.
Hermione and Mafalda both understand how important rules are and know that they have been set for a reason. Die-hard Potter fans know that Mafalda wrote to Harry Potter on two separate occasions, both having to do with rule-breaking. The first time was a letter sent to 4 Privet Drive during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, informing Harry that the Ministry had detected an illegal use of magic, even though it was Dobby who cast the spell. The next letter was in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, notifying Harry that he was expelled from Hogwarts after he performed a Patronus Charm to save Dudley.
As we all know, Hermione does end up breaking some rules during her time at Hogwarts, but the majority of the time, she does it only when it is necessary. As she grows up, she seems to break more and more rules; however, she certainly still understands the importance of the rules and follows them when she must. This point could also come back down to both she and Mafalda prioritizing their careers, as Mafalda has a reputation to keep at her job, and Hermione wants a squeaky clean record to ensure she achieves a brilliant job.
One more similarity between Mafalda and Hermione is that they are both good people. We don’t learn much about Mafalda — nowhere near as much as we do about Hermione — but the way her Polyjuice Potion was described in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows gives us a hint. Previous batches of the potion used for less savory characters (e.g., Crabbe and Goyle) are described with unflattering colors. But as Hermione brewed the Polyjuice Potion to change into Mafalda, it was described as a “pleasant heliotrope color” (DH 238), suggesting that Mafalda is a good-natured person. This is exactly like Hermione. Hermione may be conscious of breaking rules and constantly fretting about her future, but deep down, she is a warm and loyal person. This is proven as she immediately insists on going to hunt Horcruxes with Harry (and, in the film, she even offers to go with Harry to walk straight up to Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts) — it shows where her loyalties lie and where they have always been.
Overall, Mafalda and Hermione are very similar, and this is potentially why Hermione pulled off being her so well in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. They may have a lot of differences too, but it seems as if their similarities worked in Hermione’s favor since nobody even recognized that Mafalda was being impersonated.