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?


3 Answers 3


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.

  • 4
    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
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 11:58
  • 4
    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
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 16:27
  • 5
    Good tea is hard to come by, priorities, where are your priorities people.
    – Etheryte
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 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
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 17:49

I almost changed my mind after remembering they were supposed to come back to Grimmuald Place. But then I thought better of it, and while I love HP immensly and it's the series of my life (I grew up with it), I think it's really just an excuse to make this whole thing look more desperate and pressing. I honestly think Hermione could totally think of a way to gather them some food, she solved almost every important mystery during the series, she always was one step ahead compared to almost everyone. She was good with planning, she had this bag for a very long time - she knew they would might need to run from the Burrow, she had dyptam and books, all kinds of stuff, but a non-perishable food didn't cross her mind even once? Not ever? I find it hard to believe, as even someone with an average level of IQ would think about some food. And she was exeptionally smart and it's obvious she thought for a very long time about how they might be on the run later. And no food? She thought about tea and not about food - it's just. No. All logical mind paths would lead her to food, as her preparing the bag was a carefully planned act, not a spontaneous outburst. And really, she, of all the people, didn't assume an outcome when they wouldn't be able to go back to Grimmuald Place. That's... something Harry would do, not Hermione. I'm not trying to paint her perfect, as all people make mistakes, but she had too much time to think about it to NOT think about it.


They had £317,000 so either Hermionie 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 wilderness most of the time on the run and all that. However they weren't averse to going to town and buying food, they did it for a special occasion (I don't remember what) but the stupid thing is that they never thought to keep buying food.

A 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 their infiltration. The book never mentions their 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 like fugitives. She also probably brought tea to relax themselves in a tense situation and in the wilderness it doubled as heat and hydration and YES British stereotypes.

As for the cheap excuse to make everyone hungry: yes, but 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 point. 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 country. 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 refrigeration, 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 pressure. I don't really have a rebuttal to that. Maybe they just didn't have enough time to think?

  • 6
    She had 317,000 £ ? Where is this shown?
    – Adamant
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 2:59

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