Goblet of Fire Chapter 26

“There’s a way of doing it!” Hermione said crossly. “There just has to be!”

She seemed to be taking the library’s lack of useful information on the subject as a personal insult; it had never failed her before.

Half Blood Prince Chapter 18

Meanwhile, the Hogwarts library had failed Hermione for the first time in living memory. She was so shocked, she even forgot that she was annoyed at Harry for his trick with the bezoar.

If Half Blood Prince was the first time that the library failed Hermione, was the search for a method of breathing underwater in Goblet of Fire considered successful? In what sense? And if it was successful why does it say that the library had never failed her before, implying that it failed her now?

Or was Goblet of Fire not "in living memory" by the time of Half Blood Prince?

(Of course there's also the time in Philosopher's Stone that the library failed her when looking for Nicholas Flamel, although perhaps that doesn't count as a failure because she did eventually find him, albeit accidentally).

  • 11
    This is just a Rowling mistake, nothing more
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 16:30
  • 7
    I suppose, technically speaking, she never finished the Gillyweed library search - she was interrupted and kidnapped(ish) for the second task. Also, it's unclear if the Gillyweed book Moody planted (via Neville) was from the library or not...if it was then technically the library did contain the info, it was just already checked out...
    – DavidS
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 16:50
  • 4
    almost every time it was that they simply were looking in the wrong books
    – Himarm
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 17:04
  • 3
    If we say that this comes down to 1+1=1, we can blame JKR not knowing Math. Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 17:29
  • 2
    @Alex It contained the books at the time Riddle was at the school, but I interpreted Dumbledore's removal of the Horcurux-related books as permanent, and he would have done that many years before Hermione arrived at Hogwarts. I'd say books that have been permanently removed from the library...aren't in the library :P
    – DavidS
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 9:02

1 Answer 1


Hermione emerged from between the bookshelves. She looked irritable and at last seemed ready to talk to them.

“All the copies of Hogwarts, A History have been taken out,” she said, sitting down next to Harry and Ron. “And there’s a two-week waiting list. I wish I hadn’t left my copy at home, but I couldn’t fit it in my trunk with all the Lockhart books.”

I am not sure if this qualifies, because the library did have the book, but every copy was taken. However, if you are counting every time she simply failed to get her hands on a library book, then this will work.

  • 1
    I'd say this counts. Good catch! For completeness' sake, could you cite which book and which chapter this excerpt is from? (I'm guessing from the mention of Lockhart that it's Chamber of Secrets, but it can't hurt to be sure.)
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 7:58
  • @F1Krazy it is, that takes place when all the students are suddenly interested in learning more about the myth of the Chamber.
    – Jenayah
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 8:07
  • Why didn't she just Accio Book?
    – JAB
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 18:17
  • @JAB - Because every book in the library would have immediately hit her in the head
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 20:56
  • @Valorum never seemed to be a problem for Harry when he Accio Broomed.
    – JAB
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 21:00

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