In the Prisoner of Azkaban film, Harry tells Hermione something, and she replies that she doesn't understand.

Harry says this line in the Prisoner of Azkaban film, just moments before Buckbeak is going to descend on the cell where Sirius Black is being held captive:

You were right, Hermione. It wasn't my dad I saw earlier. It was... me. I saw myself conjuring the Patronus before. I knew I could do it this time, because... because I'd already done it. Does that make sense?

To which Hermione replies:

No. But I don't like flying.

However, Hermione had the Time-Turner the whole year, meaning she already saw the future several times (so in a way, she'd already seen/done what happened). Another example is when she heard the werewolf howl that got Lupin's (in his werewolf form) attention away from Snape, Sirius, Ron, Harry, and her Time-Turner self, when she was near the Whomping Willow. She then replicated this sound when she saw herself in the forest, to save the others (Harry, Ron, Snape, Sirius), and when throwing the rock at the vase at Hagrid's hut.

Why did she say that she didn't understand Harry or that it doesn't make sense if she had already seen the future many times because she went back in time many times with the Time-Turner, and thus "already doing or knowing her actions"?

  • 4
    In the book, Hermione stresses repeatedly that they can't be seen, and that they can't interfere. She hasn't ever "seen the future"; her current self goes back in time and obviously knows what she's already done, but her past self - the Hermione that has not yet gone back in time - has no knowledge of what her future self is actually going to do. Despite having a Time-Turner, Hermione's awareness of events is always linear; she doesn't ever see herself do something before she's aware of having done it. Harry, on the other hand, sees himself cast the Patronus charm before he's actually done so. Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 15:20
  • 2
    The dialogue is also slightly different, and occurs just after the Harry that has already travelled back in time has saved them from the Dementors: 'Did anyone see you?' 'Yes, haven't you been listening? I saw me but I thought I was my dad! It's OK!' 'Harry, I can't believe it - you conjured up a Patronus that drove away all those Dementors! That's very, very advanced magic ...' 'I knew I could do it this time,' said Harry, 'because I'd already done it ... Does that make sense?' 'I don't know - Harry, look at Snape!' Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 15:28
  • Thank you so much for a spoiler-free title. :)
    – Almo
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 14:43

3 Answers 3


HARRY: You were right, Hermione. It wasn't my dad I saw earlier. It was me! I saw myself conjuring the Patronus before. I knew I could do it this time because... well, I had already done it. Does that make sense?

HERMIONE: No. But I don't like flying...!

tl;dr: No, the events don't make sense but they don't have to.

She knew she had to throw a rock from the forest behind the pumpkin patch because her earlier self had been beside Harry when he got hit. She knew enough to howl like a wolf because her earlier self had heard the howl that Lupin had heeded instead of pressing his advantage at the Whomping Willow tree. Harry's future self could produce the stag Patronus charm with mad skills because his former self had seen it happen.

All of these events are 'chicken or the egg' questions. Causality dictated that she or Harry were going to perform these actions because they already had. You can drive yourself mad trying to make sense of them so accept them and move on.

Essentially she is agreeing that it doesn't make sense but she's also saying that it doesn't have to. Time traveling to one's own recent past has a nasty habit of flipping a logical, linear world on its ass. The topsy-turvy magical world they live in, with or without time travel, is full of contradictions as evidenced by her flying on Buckbeak when she doesn't like flying.

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    Doing something you don't like doing because you have to do it - flying on Buckbeak was the only way to save Sirius and then return to the hospital wing in time - isn't a contradiction. Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 15:09
  • I've never liked that saying, the egg came, birds evolved from dinosaurs - which laid eggs
    – Matt
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 13:29

"Does that make sense?"

"No. But I don't like flying."

Hermione is using flying as an excuse for why she can't make sense of what Harry said. Normally she would be able to figure it out, just not while flying, because she can't concentrate and think straight while high in the air.


She says that she doesn't understand it because she really doesn't.

The way time travel is done in this movie is really clever. As you're watching the movie from the beginning to the end, once they go to Hagrid's hut, you are not seeing the original timeline, you are seeing it after it was fixed. You have to assume what happens in the original timeline because it is not told.

When Harry and Sirius Black are saved by Harry's Patronus, that is after the original timeline. You would have to assume something like maybe the Dementors do kiss Sirius Black at the lake and before they can get Harry, Severus Snape shows up and drive the Dementors off. Once they wake up in the hospital, then they go back and fix what needs to be fixed. That's why what we see is what Harry does when he goes back. The way time works want something is change that event will continue to repeat and loop until somebody changes it again.

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