Mafalda was born in around 1983 to an accountant father and a Muggle mother. Although her father, who was most likely a Squib, was an estranged second cousin of Molly Weasley (née Prewett), he did not expect to become the parent of a witch.
All in all, Mafalda was a rather unpleasant individual, even to her own parents. She liked to impress, and hence showed off as much as possible (this may have also been the root of her academic drive). She was also very nosy, eavesdropping often (even if this included breaking the rules) and was very loud-mouthed too, prone to gossip. There are noted parallels between the nature of Mafalda and those of Hermione Granger (in their academic prowess) and Rita Skeeter (in their morbid curiosities).
Magical skills and abilities
Whilst explicit details about Mafalda's magical talent are not known, it is known that she was generally a very gifted witch, rivaling even the overachieving Hermione Granger.
Mafalda is an Italian form of Matilda, a Germanic name meaning, "strength in battle." Her name coincides with that of Mafalda Hopkirk, a Ministry of Magic employee, first introduced in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Mafalda also is a very popular comic strip character by Argentinian writer Quino. Besides her being greatly concerned about humanity, Mafalda's main characteristics are her constant asking about mature or complex topics, to the extent that she constantly has grown-ups baffled. According to her, no matter how pessimistic she may be, it is never reason enough to stop discussing a topic.
Behind the scenes
- Mafalda was a planned character for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but was not included in the final version of the book. J. K. Rowling stated on her website that she was very fond of Mafalda's character, who she called a "match for Hermione", and that she did not want to have cut her from the story. However, Rowling found that Mafalda "wasn't doing the job she was supposed to do", as there were severe limitations to how much information an eleven-year-old girl stuck at Hogwarts could gather, and consequently developed Rita Skeeter further to fill her role. The character was also incorrectly known as "Icicle" in fandom.
- Given that Mafalda was to be a nosy, loose-tongued girl, her canon role was to have listened in on the conversations held between the children of Death Eaters in her House. She then would have repeated this information to Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, hoping to wow them. Hermione would have discovered that, much to her own horror, Mafalda was her equal in many ways, and would have been caught between hating Mafalda's disregard for rules and longing to try to outdo her.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Cut from final edit)