Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In Deathly Hallows, Hermione had packed everything – clothes, money and books – but not food.

They were practically starving when they were on the run. Earlier she’d played an extension charm on her bag, so why didn’t she include some canned food? All they had to eat was what they could scavenge, like fish, mushrooms and a few things bought from a shop.

Hermione thinks of everything, so why didn’t she pack food? She had enough time: she could have bought it when getting money from the bank, or when she bought the food from the shop on the run, or even when they were in Grimmauld Place. So why did she forget this?

share|improve this question
up vote 48 down vote accepted

The answer comes from chapter 14 of Deathly Hallows, shortly after the Ministry raid in which Yaxley apparated with them to Grimmauld Place:

He felt hungry now, and a little light-headed. Hermione had not packed any food in her magical bag, as she had assumed that they would be returning to Grimmauld Place that night, so they had had nothing to eat except some wild mushrooms that Hermione had collected from amongst the nearest trees and stewed in a billycan.

It’s short-sighted to think that they’d never be driven out of Grimmauld Place, but maybe the fact that both Dumbledore and Moody contributed to its protection gave her a false sense of security.

When she packed her bag, she was at the Weasleys (being fed by Molly), and then she moved to Grimmauld Place (being fed by Kreacher). It’s easy to see how food might have slipped her mind.

I feel compelled to point out that while she didn’t pack food, she did pack tea:

“I’ll make some tea,” said Hermione breathlessly, pulling kettle and mugs from the depths of her bag and heading toward the kitchen.

Hashtag British stereotypes, etc.

share|improve this answer
Both quite realistic points in fact; the first in that obtaining food can often pose a lot more difficulty for people attempting underground resistance than things like weapons that are generally hard to come by, the other in that tea is recommended as a way to gain both heat and hydration in any wilderness survival situation. The stereotype that a British squaddie will respond to any moment's respite with "let's get a brew on" is partly from the general British love of tea, but largely because it's generally a wise practice. – Jon Hanna Jun 12 '14 at 11:58
Thanks for the answer but that answer(through no fault of your own) seems like a cheap excuse to make Ron and everyone hungry and use that as a plot point. I seriously read that part of the book before I asked the question and thought why did she pack clothes, they would be returning to Grimauld place and why would she pack books or tents they would be returning to Grimauld place. I really don't think the question has a logical answer. I am not hating on JKR though she wrote a rocking books series. – Pobrecita Jun 12 '14 at 16:27
Good tea is hard to come by, priorities, where are your priorities people. – Nit Jun 12 '14 at 19:24
I honestly just think that it is as written in the book. They were supposed to return to Grimaldi place, not be set on the run so soon. – Escoce Nov 20 '15 at 17:49

They had 317,000 £ so either Herminoie is secretly rich, she stole from her parent's accounts, or someone else prepared cash while Rowling thought the reader assumed it. They have to be in the wildernes most of the time on the run and all that. However they wern't adverse to goign to town and buying food they did it for a special occation (I don't remember what) but the stupid tihng is that they never thought to kep buying food.

OK so summary of what she was thinking is that they weren't going to be driven out of Grimmauld Place. So she decides to bring what was needed for thier infiltration. The book never mentions thier escape plan, I'm assuming whatever it was doesn't work once caught. They were NOT in the same position as a resistance, their situation is more liek real life fugitives. She also probably brough tea probably to relax themselves in a tense situation after done (or maybe inside the raid if the people who thought they were subordinates were on break) and in th wilderness it doubled as heat and hydration and YES British sterotypes. Note the North Irish and people who live in historical ulster not part of UK consume 30 times as much tea as other parts of the EU, nearly as much as the english despite the northern irish not considering themselves British.

As for the cheap excuse to make everyone hungry, yes but again consider they didn't think about being busted. Also people tend to forget about food when being fed by someone. So remembering to bring tea and not food is not out of the ordinary. One might wonder why they had so much cash if they were so short sighted. It's easy to assume someone DID go to the bank off page for some spending money that afternoon and just hit "zero" too many times. As I mentioned they DID buy food at one ponint. However it was a small shop possibly family owned. These tend not to have a lot of preservable foods like canned food, at least in my coutnry. I think going to buy food more than once a week, even at different stores, is going into settled areas way too often considering that would look like vagrants who just happen to look like wanted people. Without access to refidgeration, there isn't much from the smaller shops that won't perish too quickly. One could argue that after they bought food once they could consider buying food every week to relieve their foraging presssure. I... don't really have a rebuttal to that. Maybe they just didn't have enough time to think?

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.