Sometimes it can be tough to be a fan of Harry Potter that’s been sorted into Slytherin. After all, J.K. Rowling‘s books and the film adaptations have not been totally kind to those sorted into the de-facto “evil” house. And while it’s totally not true (some of our more esteemed, non-evil alumni include Merlin, Regulus Black, and Andromeda Tonks—and most of the Nerdist editorial staff), it’s a tough stereotype to shake. So when Uproxx posted an article claiming that Rowling had initially planned to include a young, female Slytherin student who was a spy for Harry and his friends and a cousin to Ron Weasley, we got super curious and super excited.
Apparently a very old interview with Rowling resurfaced on Reddit that featured our Lady of Hogwarts explaining her plans for a character named Mafalda who was slated to be introduced in book four, The Goblet of Fire. Interestingly enough, Mafalda was initially planned to serve a role similar to the one Rita Skeeter ends up playing for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. In Rowling’s initial plans, however, Mafalda was Ron’s nosy, unpleasant, mega-smart but approval-hungry Slytherin cousin. Her parents would essentially drop her off at Mrs. Weasley’s door at the start of Goblet of Fire because they didn’t like her, and her nosiness paired with her need to impress others (likely a symptom of being utterly unwanted) would make her a wonderful informant on Harry and all of the goings-on within the wizarding world and Dumbledore’s Army.Of course, even the trickiest and nosiest of children can’t hear everything going on in the Wizarding World—especially while cloistered away at Hogwarts, meaning Rowling soon realized that Mafalda couldn’t realistically serve in the role for which she’d originally been created. So instead, Rowling adjusted the role of Rita Skeeter (a character Rowling always intended to include in the series), making her a more realistic source of news outside Hogwarts. So even though Mafalda still exists (after all her parents, the stock-broker second cousins, are mentioned in The Sorcerer’s Stone), she never got to live up to the awesome potential Rowling originally had planned.
I’ll be honest, though Rowling’s reasons for scrapping Mafalda make sense, I’m a bit bummed we never got to interact with Ron’s Slytherin cousin. Rowling said she’d seriously butt heads with Hermione, and it would have been fun to see the two very different, very opinionated (and super smart!) witches interact. However, it is nice to know that in the midst of all of Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s ass-kicking over in Gryffindor, there was a Mafalda Weasley was causing trouble all her own over in Slytherin. I think we need a Pottermore story about Mafalda, don’t you?
Did you know about Ron’s cousin? Are you happy they never introduced us to Mafalda, or would you liked to have met her? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
Feature Image: Warner Bros.