Essay: Needing More Time

by Josie Kearns, January 11, 2011.

Somewhere between Harry Potter’s second and third years at Hogwarts, while he was moping around Privet Drive, a meeting was being held about him completely off his radar. The meeting’s attendees would have been a very important group – Cornelius Fudge certainly would have been present, along with Albus Dumbledore, Rufus Scrimgeour (head of the Auror office at the time), and probably others along with them as well. The reason for their meeting, of course, was because Sirius Black had just escaped from Azkaban and was clearly desperate to kill Harry, and the Ministry needed to provide for his security.

This meeting, however, wouldn’t have been so simple as simply devising protections for the most important child in the Wizarding world. Because during this particular summer, the issue of Harry’s security would have had a very interesting subplot.

One of Harry’s best friends had just applied for a Time-Turner.

Hermione didn’t know she had applied, of course; indeed, she didn’t even know that such a thing was possible. She had simply signed up for every class Hogwarts offered to third-years, and like Percy Weasley and Barty Crouch Jr. before her, could only fulfill this desire by attending multiple classes at the same time.

But Time-Turners aren’t quite as simple as that. To the contrary: they are some of the most secret, powerful, and dangerous magical devices in the world. And putting such a dangerous object in the hands of a thirteen-year-old who spends so much time with Harry Potter must have been a scary prospect for the wizards trying to ensure the boy’s safety.

Which is why, I would be willing to bet, Dumbledore brought Minerva McGonagall along to the meeting as well.

Because quite apart from Hermione’s desire for a full course load, Dumbledore would have had quite another reason for wanting her to have a Time-Turner (the guy has an ulterior motive for everything, doesn’t he?). Dumbledore had been watching Harry and his friends closely during their two years at Hogwarts, and he knew enough about Hermione to know that, if the unthinkable were to happen and Sirius Black were to get at Harry, Hermione would have both the loyalty and the wherewithal to grab Harry and take him back in time, getting him safely out of harm’s way. Using magic that Sirius probably doesn’t know exists. What a last line of defense!

So McGonagall likely came to the meeting to vouch for Hermione’s trustworthiness and care, and argue that she should be entitled to the Time-Turner despite its inherent security risk to Harry.

Of course Dumbledore and McGonagall’s argument may even have included the idea that the Time-Turner could serve as a defense mechanism for Harry. Dumbledore and Fudge were clearly far more open with each other at this point than they would be in later years; just a month or two earlier we saw Fudge defend Dumbledore when Lucius Malfoy sought Dumbledore’s suspension from Hogwarts. Granted, Fudge did insist on stationing dementors around the school against Dumbledore’s will – but it’s not hard to imagine even this being a compromise: Dumbledore would agree to allow the dementors if Fudge allowed the Time-Turner. After all, at the end of the day, Harry’s safety is what’s most important to Dumbledore.

However, whether or not Dumbledore was open with Fudge about all his reasons for wanting Hermione granted a Time-Turner, the committee eventually reached its decision. The Time-Turner was allowed, and thanks to the laws of unforeseen consequences, the wheels were set in motion for an event some months later that would dramatically affect everyone involved in ways they could never have anticipated.

Fast-forward to the following June, and the last day of final exams. It’s a beautiful day, and while all the professors at Hogwarts would have been aware of Hermione’s Time-Turner, none of them would have had reason to suspect that today would be any different from the several hundred days previous to it, when Hermione clearly followed the laws of Time to the letter.

But today just happens to be the day that Buckbeak is scheduled to be executed. And on a hunch that his favorite students might be sneaking down to visit Hagrid, Remus Lupin is sitting in his office, watching the Marauder’s Map. He’ll describe it later to Harry, Ron, and Hermione:

”If you haven’t been helping [Sirius],” [Harry] said, with a furious glance at Black, “how did you know he was here?”
“The map,” said Lupin. “The Marauder’s Map. I was in my office… watching it carefully this evening, because I had an idea that you, Ron, and Hermione might try and sneak out of the castle to visit Hagrid before his hippogriff was executed. And I was right, wasn’t I?”

But by the time Lupin explains this to Harry, he’ll know far more about Buckbeak’s execution than he lets on. Because if Lupin is watching that part of the Marauder’s Map around the time of the execution, it is one hundred percent certain that he sees two Harry Potters and two Hermione Grangers on that map.

Like all the staff at Hogwarts, Lupin knows about Hermione’s Time-Turner. And he deduces immediately what’s going on.

Of course, a few minutes later, the first Harry and the first Hermione, along with apparently the map’s only Ron Weasley (wait, why isn’t there a second Ron with them, too?) emerge from Hagrid’s hut. With Peter Pettigrew. And then things begin to get really strange.

Because if Harry were in Remus’s shoes (or for that matter, if Sirius were, or James), he would immediately rush out onto the grounds to try to capture Pettigrew and find out what the heck is going on. Interestingly, though, Lupin does not. Instead he holds back and continues to watch as Sirius appears and the whole group is dragged off into the Whomping Willow. We know he stays to watch, because when he emerges from Hogwarts himself later on, the second Harry-Hermione pair will watch him run straight for the Whomping Willow. He knows where to go.

So what is he waiting for? Why waste precious time before chasing after Pettigrew?

For one thing, Lupin’s brain must be just about exploding trying to figure out what’s happened. But there’s another, more important reason for him to wait, too. And that reason is currently occupied in Hagrid’s hut. Its name is Albus Dumbledore.

And just “a few minutes” before Lupin finally runs out of the castle after Pettigrew, Harry and Hermione watch Dumbledore walk into the castle.

In other words, once he sees Pettigrew, Lupin also begins watching Dumbledore on the map, so that he can find a moment to pull the headmaster aside and let him know what’s going on.

That must have been an interesting conversation, no?

Of course, Dumbledore already has a sense that something funny is going on, even without Lupin’s information. Because Dumbledore was present for Buckbeak’s non-execution – and watched as Buckbeak mysteriously disappeared. And Dumbledore’s reaction to that disappearance strongly implies that he has a hunch who was behind it:

”Where is it?” said the reedy voice of the Committee member. “Where is the beast?”
“It was tied here!” said the executioner furiously. “I saw it! Just here!”
“How extraordinary,” said Dumbledore. There was a note of amusement in his voice….
“Someone untied him!” the executioner was snarling. “We should search the grounds, the forest –“
“Macnair, if Buckbeak has indeed been stolen, do you really think the thief will have led him away on foot?” said Dumbledore, still sounding amused. “Search the skies, if you will…. Hagrid, I could do with a cup of tea. Or a large brandy.”

It’s hard to know quite what to make of that. Did Dumbledore know what was going on? Did he know the Time-Turner was involved?

And for that matter, he is Albus Dumbledore. Had he already planned it to happen that way?

It’s possible, of course. It’s not hard to envision Dumbledore planning ahead of time to tip Harry, Ron, and Hermione off that they should use the Time-Turner to save Buckbeak. Perhaps this is even why he volunteered to come down to Hagrid’s during the execution – not so much to comfort Hagrid as to keep an eye on Buckbeak’s daring escape. Maybe he even dropped a subtle hint to Lupin that he thought Buckbeak might not be executed after all; Dumbledore wouldn’t have known that Lupin had the Marauder’s Map, but Lupin would certainly been inspired to put on a cup of tea, sit back in his office, and stare at the map for the evening. It’s better than television!

Of course it’s also very possible that things weren’t planned in advance at all. Perhaps Dumbledore truly did simply go to Hagrid’s to comfort him; he is a father figure to Hagrid, after all. And maybe it was simply a pleasant surprise for him when Buckbeak turned up missing. He has to know instantly that Harry was somehow behind it. Who else, besides himself and Hagrid (who are both present), would be inspired to free the hippogriff? And it’s a perfect Dumbledorian plot – a slap in the face to an unjust Ministry and to Lucius Malfoy all in one, with no chance of the perpetrators ever being caught!

But it doesn’t really matter which of the two scenarios is true. Because either way, by the time Dumbledore reaches the castle, Lupin quickly pulls him aside to tell him that there are currently two Harrys and two Hermiones; that Peter Pettigrew is alive; that Sirius Black is almost certainly innocent; and that Sirius has taken Pettigrew to the Shrieking Shack with Harry and his friends in tow. The conversation has to have happened, because nothing else would explain the timing of Lupin’s emergence from the castle (or, for that matter, Dumbledore’s willingness to believe Sirius’s story later in the evening).

Now it’s interesting that Dumbledore doesn’t follow Lupin, and head after Sirius as well. After all, this is a dangerous situation no matter how you shake it, and Harry’s safety is at stake! But Dumbledore has a number of reasons for wanting to stay behind. For one, he’s clearly planned to spend the evening with Fudge, and canceling that would raise awkward questions – Fudge certainly can’t know that Sirius Black is hanging out with Harry Potter. Dumbledore also probably realizes that Harry is going to be learning a lot about his past tonight, and that it’s better that his headmaster not be present to stop Lupin and Sirius from sharing the full story.

But there’s one more thing, too – an even bigger reason for Dumbledore to feel comfortable staying out of things. Which is that he knows that Harry will be okay. He has to be. He has to survive to travel back in time with Hermione.

Ron is a concern, of course. Why didn’t he come back in time with his friends? But Dumbledore is confident that Lupin will be able to protect Ron. And if Harry is safely out of the way, Ron shouldn’t be in any particular danger anyway. In fact it’s quite possible that the entire reason Harry and Hermione came back in time was because they saw Sirius Black, and Hermione panicked and grabbed Harry. In other words, the exact scenario Dumbledore anticipated at the beginning of the year. And if that is truly what happened, then it’s likely Harry and Hermione are already gone from the Shack anyway.

Dumbledore doesn’t have much time to think things through, however; in fact he’s still with Fudge when Snape returns to the castle with the bodies of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Sirius Black. And the news that Lupin forgot his potion.

And at this point, it’s not hard for Dumbledore to piece things together, even without anyone conscious to tell him the truth (good thing Lupin had the foresight to alert Dumbledore to what was going on, no?). Black is clearly innocent; Pettigrew clearly escaped; Harry and Hermione have clearly not yet traveled back in time to save Buckbeak; the reason Ron won’t travel back in time with them is because of his broken ankle; and if Harry and Hermione are saving Buckbeak, they can save Sirius too. So Dumbledore calmly gets Sirius’s story to verify the particulars and make sure his assessment of the situation is accurate, and then looks for an opportunity to send Harry and Hermione after Buckbeak and Sirius.

And when Harry and Hermione return from their quest seconds later and announce their success, Dumbledore couldn’t be happier. After all, this is the kind of stuff Dumbledore loves – the innocent are saved right under the noses of those who don’t believe them, the bad guys lose (and are irate), and Harry proves himself yet again to boot! With a Patronus, no less!

And after all, everything went exactly according to Dumbledore’s plan. Even if Dumbledore himself didn’t yet know the plan as it was taking place.

But that’s the magic of the Time-Turner.


58 Responses to “Essay: Needing More Time”

  1. That was a very good reding. Well thought out. Thank you!

  2. Excellent take on the situation. I’d be very interested to hear the ideas that didn’t fit into the flow of the essay. Maybe you can think of another format in which to present those?

  3. Wonderful read, I enjoyed every word!

    And, yesterday I had a revelation! I was almost a sleep when I realized the reason Snape was so angry with Sirius on the same night you were talking about, was not because of that stupid prank, but because he believed Sirius is the reason Lily is dead. Imagine how hard it was for him to live with Pettigrew, KNOWING he is the reason she is dead.

    I’m sure I’m not the first to realize it, but for me it was like the sun coming out behind the clouds. And I didn’t even read the POA lately! I had to share.

  4. This is great. It is interesting what you said about Dumbledore. I never really thought about how he knew what was going on. Probably because Dumbledore just always seems to know everything even when there isn’t a better explanation then a portrait or something told him.

  5. As for your ideas that didn’t fit into this essay, i’d be especially curious if you have any on the apparent paradox of Harry being saved by his future self – when he otherwise probably wouldn’t have survived to BE that future self.

    Perhaps we are only seeing the time-line after it’s been altered by the time-turner-travellers? I can’t think of any evidence, but is it possible that Harry got out of that predicament (the hundred or so dementors) in some other fashion (or was never in that particular predicament) the first time around, and that his travelling back in time set up the encounter at which he would save himself? (At which point, the time-line would be altered and that is the past he would remember).

    I realize we’re dealing here with “magic”, but that paradox is one of the few things that ever really bothered me about the books – Harry was about to die from the dementors, but he must’ve somehow survived in order to come back in time and save himself. JR just leaves it as a paradox, but i wonder if there isn’t a more elegant explanaition.

  6. Here are some of the thoughts I couldn’t fit in:

    The inherent paradox in time travel lies if Harry travels back in time and does something that alters events in such a way to prevent himself from later traveling back in time. This is why time-traveling doesn’t actually work (and I don’t mean scientifically so much as logically). If a time-traveler kills his past self, then the future self couldn’t travel back and thus events revert to never having happened at all; however, at this point the time-traveler is free once again to travel back in time and kill his past self. It’s a vicious cycle and can’t work. This applies to any number of things: you trip over a rock, but later come back from the future and move the rock, at which point your consciousness alters because you didn’t trip over the rock in the first place and so you no longer know you need to move it….

    So at the end of the day, I think the paradoxes are something we have no choice but to ignore. It’s just not a profitable line of inquiry. The wizarding world is one in which time-travel is possible, so the paradoxes are either magically prevented or somehow resolve themselves. But m.flanegan, in response to your question… I think it’s important to realize that at the end of the day, only one sequence of events actually *happened*. Saying we only see the sequence as altered by the time travelers is like saying we’re only seeing the world as altered by Harry’s existence. We’re just seeing the world as it is, and it happens to include those people in it (including, in this case, two time-travelers).

    Other thoughts:
    -Sirius Black was awake enough to see Harry’s Patronus and recognize it as a stag, which he then told Dumbledore. We know this because nobody else could have seen it, and Dumbledore mentioned “Prongs rode again” without any prompting from Harry.

    -The moment at the end of the book is interesting for Fudge, especially when Dumbledore says to Snape “unless you are suggesting that Harry could be in two places at once.” Fudge doesn’t register this at all (even though he knows about the Time-Turner), but Snape does, and it’s a clear signal from Dumbledore that Harry was involved in freeing Sirius, and that Snape had better shut up about it quick before Fudge catches on. It’s an interesting insight into Fudge’s character, that he’s just not that quick, and also portends a very interesting conversation between Dumbledore and Snape that must have happened sometime later.

    -Lupin would have had to tell Dumbledore about the Marauder’s Map for his story to make any sense at all, and presumably would have had to acknowledge later that he was returning it to Harry. So even though Dumbledore never mentions it, he has to know from this point forward that Harry possesses the map as well as the Invisibility Cloak. Both are good for Dumbldore, because both will keep Harry safe (especially once Umbridge is roaming). In fact now that I think about it, it may have been at Dumbledore’s suggestion that the map was returned to Harry.

    There are more things I contemplated including, but this is all that occurs to me at the moment. If I think of more later I’ll post them as well.

  7. Here’s a couple more thoughts:

    -It’s really weird that Harry and Hermione end up in the entrance hall after using the Time-Turner (the movie version, where they end up in the same place they started, makes much more sense). It’s possible that one could program the device to always take the person to the same place – say, an empty broom cupboard designated for that student, that all the teachers are aware of. But the entrance hall? I doubt there’s a single place in Hogwarts where it’s more dangerous for the Time-Turner to drop them off. The odds of it being empty on a regular basis are astronomically small. It’s one bit that I think Rowling must have just not thought through.

    -I love thinking about the ramifications of Hermione using this all year. For instance, McGonagall has to deliver messages to various teachers while they’re teaching, and encounters Hermione as she faithfully attends three different classes at once…. But this also means Hermione is routinely having 25-, 26-, or 27-hour days. No wonder her sleep is messed up. This explains why Percy is never around when the trio is up late, and the fact that the trio is routinely up late is probably what does Hermione in.

    -I can’t help but wonder if McGonagall encourages Hermione to hand the Time-Turner in at the end of the year, largely because now that Harry and Ron know about it, the staff doesn’t trust them not to use it for late-night wanderings and the like. Hermione knowing about something by herself is really different from the whole trio knowing about it, even if Hermione is the one in control. Can you imagine what the Marauders would have done with a Time-Turner?

    -Fudge talks about Dumbledore turning a blind eye to Harry’s wrongdoing (much to Snape’s consternation), but I think it’s pretty clear that Dumbledore is actively encouraging Harry’s wrongdoing, with the idea that experience moving stealthily about Hogwarts might serve him well in having to face Voldemort in the future.

  8. Absolutely fabulous discussion! I believe it has been discussed before, but Albus has multiple means of “observing”: 1) having the portraits observe and report, 2) disillusionment charm, 3) having the ghosts observe and report (by the way, could the ghosts cause themselves to go fully transparent?). And, to follow up on Albus learning of the Marauders’ map, he could make one himself. Pretty nifty ways for a headmaster to check on staff and students — a great set of ways to get rid of the Heisenberg observation effect as applied to observations by “the boss”.

    A previous discussion noted just how dangerous the situations the trio & Harry in particular find themselves — from book one & the forbidden forest — onwards. Yet, Albus gives them the opportunity to try, to be challenged, and to grow. I’d like to think that through some of the adventures, he was a silent, unobservable, and cautious observer. It is very hard for a parent to let their children be challenged and be exposed to the dangerous real world. It really does take lotsa love to let go. Obviously Albus and Hogwarts are the guardians for Harry.

  9. Estee — what a great observation. I’m going to re-read that book(for the umpteenth time), with that in mind. I’m willing to bet myself that your explanation fits, as well as the surface one presented in the text. What great writing by JKR, to have the story carry such details back and forth between the various books in the series.

  10. This is amazing! I kind of wish that J.K. Rowling had forced the reader to discover these off the pages scenes. For example, Dumbledore could have mentioned the map as well when he told Harry to keep the cloak with him at all times in HBP. That way, we would have been like “Wait, how does he know about the map?” and we’d have to figure it out. But Rowling didn’t want to refer to the off the pages scenes in later books.

  11. I’m not sure I agree with all of the points you make but it made really interesting reading. I hadn’t thought about the timing of Dumbledore’s entrance and Lupin’s exit as I’m always in a rush to keep reading. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas, I really appreciate it.

  12. I know what you say, Josie, about the paradoxes, but like m. flanagan, one in particularl always bothered me.

    Where Harry says he “knows” he could conjure the patronus because he saw his future self do it. Well, what about the first time it happened? If he didn’t have that confidence, how did he do it? And if he didn’t, he would have died and not been able to come back and save himself.

    Great essay, though.

    And Estee, I love that part about Sirius and Snape.

  13. Pretty cool.
    There was one thing bothering me though. In the Goblet of Fire, when interviewing a truth-telling Barty Crouch jr, Barty mentioned the “Map that might have ruined all” or something like that, Dumbledore said “Map? What map?”
    Of course, he might have not known that Lupin gave Harry the map back.
    Other than that, your essay looks pretty sound.

  14. Does Hermione, at the end of her second 9 o’clock class, have to go back one hour, to the 9 o’clock of that timeline, or back two hours, to when it was also 9 o’clock (for her)? In other words, is the Time Turner anchored to time or anchored to the traveller?

    I’m reconciled to the paradox of Harry’s Patronus, but I have extreme difficulty figuring out the logistics of Hermione’s three 9 o’clock classes.

    Love your essays! Your deconstructions of Dumbledore’s cunning make me wonder whether he and the Sorting Hat also had a conversation about where he would be best placed :)

  15. @Laura: I think Dumbledore’s asking “What map is this?” in GoF still works. When I read it, I thought that this was the first time Dumbledore had heard of the map. But if he learned about the map’s existence in PoA but didn’t know that Crouch Jr. had taken it from Harry, he might have said the same thing.

    And, as you say, it’s also possible that he didn’t know Lupin had given the map back to Harry. In fact, he may not have known that Harry even knew about the map. Lupin could have told Dumbledore truthfully that it was a map he and his friends had created in school, and might have left Dumbledore with the impression that he (Lupin) had had the map ever since.

  16. Laura, a very good point about the map – I had forgotten about that line! And it kind of blows the whole theory, doesn’t it? I just can’t think of another reason Lupin took so… darn… long to get out of the castle, unless he was waiting to talk to Dumbledore. He just sat up there and watched and watched and watched…. The “real” answer (aka Rowling’s intention) is probably simply literary necessity. But I like mine better, and other than that line in GF, mine fits better too. :)

    Anna1, I think my point is that there *was* no “first time.” There was only “one time.” That’s how time-traveling works. Whatever other possibilities there are for how things happen (based on how time-travelers mess with the past), that version of things doesn’t *actually* happen. So in this case, there was never a point in time at which Harry had to cast the Patronus without already having seen himself do it. As I said, this brings up paradoxes, but if we don’t ignore them then the whole thing falls apart anyway.

    Amy J, using similar logic, I don’t think the time-traveler has a separate time. At ten o’clock, it’s simply ten o’clock. If Hermione wanted to attend twelve classes between 9am and 10am, she’d simply have to turn the time-turner once at the end of each one because she’s still going back an hour. Another way of thinking about it: say the first time she turns back the clock an hour, we call her Hermione #2. At 10:00, she only needs to turn the clock back one hour again, because one hour previous is still 9:00 for Hermione #2. I don’t know if both of those explanations will make sense, but hopefully one of them will… everybody tends to think about this stuff differently. :)

  17. Love the essy especially about Lupin’s quick thinking.
    Just a note on the paradox about Harry, Josie you say about a time traveller going to the past and killing himself, then wouldn’t the future time traveller just die? As he has already killed himself in the past, if that makes sense. Its quite hard to expain.
    And Estee I never really thought about it like that, we always knew Snape didn’t like Pettigrew but I always thought it was because he was one of the Maruders.

  18. Wow ! That’s really great :-)

    I was very interested in the part about DD knowing for the Map; assume he did, this would explain how Harry got it back between GF and OP. And I think we can explain the reaction of Dumbledore when Junior talk about the Map.
    I never quite understood why DD had been so ‘forgetful’ about this strange element.

    “Map?” said Dumbledore quickly. “What map is this?”
    “Potter’s map of Hogwarts. Potter saw me on it. Potter saw me stealing more ingredients for the Polyjuice Potion from Snape’s office one night. (…)”

    Then Junior goes on and DD don’t ask questions, that’s not ‘Dumbledorish’. The best explanation I have of it is that he already know about the Map but is unaware that Harry had given it to Fake-Moody.

    (I hope you understood me, my English is a bit rusty tonight ;-)

    Thx for your amazing essay!

  19. I *love* this essay and everyone’s thoughts.

    10 points to Estee for the Snape-Pettigrew theory! It’s certainly not something I came up with and I’ll read those chapters a lot differently now. :)

    And I really like Billie’s explanation for Laura’s thought: 1) Dumbledore might not have known that the map was in Harry’s possession at all. 2) Also, if four students could make up a map that tagged and followed everyone in the school boundaries, why not an Auror or a dark wizard? I can see the “map? What map is this?” line being said in mildly more panic, with Dumbledore wondering how many of these things are actually out there and how ‘safe’ his students really are because of their existence and Dumbledore only calming down a bit when Barty Jr. describes it as “Potter’s map.”

  20. Natalia, I agree with you, but we must also remember that the Marauders are described as some of “the most brilliant students” Hogwarts had seen in a long time. I don’t think any student (or even group of students) could have pulled it off without being on Hermione’s level of intelligence.

    Also, the Marauders were really the only ones who could make such a comprehensive map, since they had both the Invisibility Cloak AND Animagus abilities on their side in terms of sneaking around. No other students could have done as thorough a job.

    There is also some magic that still defies the Map – for example the Room of Requirement is Unplottable on the Map.

    Lastly, there can’t be that many maps out there because not many people would have NEED of such a map! Outside of the Marauders, Trio, and Weasley twins, do the other students really sneak around as much? I would guess not because many people seem particularly outraged by the Trio’s escapades, and no other students (in recent times) have had the aid of the Cloak or the Map. And it’s not like the Map would be particularly helpful for other things unless Hogwarts was a battleground. Let’s say Fudge had such a map in OotP. He would see a zillion students milling about, but would it be able to tell him if they was mobilizing an army? No.

    Lastly, just want to say great essay Josie! Very insightful, as always.

  21. I agree with Natalia. Dumbledore’s exclamation in GOF could easily have been surprise that Crouch Jr. encountered a magical map. He asked what map, and then learned that it was the one he already knew belonged to Harry. I think your theory still holds water.

    Great Article! I love all the content on this site!

  22. Kudos on a great essay – you definitely made me pull out my copy of PoA and take another look!
    Not to criticize, but the theory I always worked with was that the Marauder’s Map wasn’t perfect. For example, I imagine that the Room of Requirement is not on the Map because the Marauder’s never discovered it. So if they were limited by their own lack of knowledge about certain secrets while “programming” the Map, is it possible that they never took time travel into account? We don’t know how the magic works (obviously :) so maybe the 2nd Hermione and Harry never even showed up on the Map, simply because the Map wasn’t programmed to recognize or deal with time travel.
    I prefer my version because it seems a little cleaner than Lupin seeing the 2nd Harry and Hermione, having the presence of mind to somehow tell Dumbledore exactly the right information, etc, not to mention that to follow your theory, Snape ALSO saw the 2nd Harry and Hermione but didn’t say anything in the midst of his ranting and raving. But yours is really fun to consider too, i love the idea of Dumbledore as the master manipulator even when he doesn’t know quite what’s going on!

  23. @Danielle

    No. That’s the nature of a paradox: it cannot be. It is simply impossible for me to go back in time and kill myself because once past!me dies, she can’t be there later on to go back in time. Going back in time to kill myself makes it impossibile for me to go back in time and kill myself: if I die at 9 pm I won’t be there at 10 pm to roll the Time Turner, but if I died at 9 pm how did I manage to go back in time and kill myself?!

    It is rather confunsing to put into words, but as Josie keeps saying: unless you want to start considering parallel universes, there’s only ever ONE timeline in which everything happens symultanously, with or without time travel. If at 9 pm I’m studying in the kitchen, then at 10 pm I travel back one hour and go watch television in my room, that means that at 9 pm, while I was studying, there was another me in my bedroom watching TV and there will be 2 of me in the house until 10 pm, when study!me travels back (and disappears), leaving only TV!me in the house. Basically, everything you do while travelling back in time has already happened, only you don’t know it yet: like Harry’s Patronus saving him in the past but him not knowing about casting it until he’s his future self, who’s travelled back, about to cast it.

  24. Brilliant essay! It was a great read. It seems kind of weird, though, that Barty Crouch Jr. applied for a time-turner. Percy, I could pretty much tell that he had.

  25. I think Danielle is right about killing oneself in the past – and i think this goes right along with the way Josie and Irene are looking at time-travel in the Potter world, that ther is just ONE time-line.

    If i’m understanding it correctly, it’s not like there is a first time-line that happens and then gets changed once time-travellers come back and do something; instead, it’s just that when time-travellers do something, whatever it is they have done had ALWAYS been what happened and so was always a part of the one unchanging time-line. So…

    If a time-traveller went to the past and killed himself, then the future time traveller WOULD just die – “as he has already killed himself in the past”.

    And, in fact, Hermione seeems to be describing time-travel in the Potter-verse exactly that way – because she mentions how loads of wizards had ended up killing themselves in the past (with the implication that they definitely remained dead).

    So the event just happend, and happend once – and there’s actually no paradox, just an event on the one unchaging time-line.

    Applying this to Josie’s illustration of the rock paradox: With a CHANGEABLE time-line – you trip on a rock, then go back in time and move it so that you do not trip on it, which means you’d then have no reason to go back in time to move the rock, so you’d still end up tripping on the tock – which is an unworkable paradox.

    But the way it works in the Potter-werse – where there is just ONE UNchageable time-line – is that you avoid tripping on the rock, only to later discover that the reason you did so was because you’d just gone back in time and moved it out of your own way. So there never was an original time-line where you tripped on it and then changed events, instead, the time-line just ALWAYS included the time-traveller who moved the rock. And, technically, no paradox at all.

    Magic! (Or did i just confuse the issue even more?)

  26. This is a silly thought that just occurred to me as I read the comment left by Natalia: “Also, if four students could make up a map that tagged and followed everyone in the school boundaries”…and suddenly facebook popped into my head! The Map sounds like a magical version of how you can log into places on facebook so everyone knows where you are. And even better is that JKR had it in her books long before facebook came up with it!!

    Sorry that was so random, but I just thought I’d share. :)

  27. Excellent essay, and thanks a lot Estee for your theory, I never thought of it that way, but it makes complete sense!

    Just another thought on time-travelling. What if you ended up killing your future self? Would you go on living for a couple of years, knowing that when you traveled back in time, you would have to die because that was the way it happened?
    Wouldn’t it be possible to decide never to time-travel at all?
    Or perhaps this can be explained as the subject never knew it was their future self they killed.

  28. Well, Alex,

    I’d have to say, in trying to find an elegant solution for the Potter world ‘reality’ of time-travel (a solution that isn’t so full of logical paradoxes that it makes it impossible for the overly-logical to enjoy), that regardless of who killed whom – both would be dead.

    I’m not sure if JR was actually trying to avoid paradoxes in the way she envisioned time-travel magic (i.e. had consciously thought of anything like the ONE UNCHANGEABLE Time-line theory mentioned above) – or if she was just trying to avoid acknowledging them (since they are a pain in the behind to write about).

    Regardless, the book itself acknowledges no paradox, so without a canonical imperative to assume otherwise, it seems reasonable to just assume that in the magical world in which time-travel is possible, no paradoxes exist. (OR, this is me, happy with the solution i explained before, putting my head in the sand to avoid having to think any longer about something that is, anyway, completely impossible in the non-Potter world). ( ^_^ )

  29. m.flanegan, your explanation is exactly what I was thinking of. In a way we just have to sort of pretend the paradoxes don’t exist, and explain them away as somehow being the magic of the Time-Turner.

    Alex, your idea about killing your future self and then waiting to go back in time is interesting. But I think the better explanation for that scenario is that the person *still* chooses to go back in time, hoping to *change* the fact that they killed their future self. And ends up dying anyway. So the timeline is unchanged. Again, it’s one of those things that we just have to accept, what happened, happened.

    Dobbysocks, remember that Barty Crouch Jr. was TOTALLY different as a student than how we see him here. I think he was very much like Percy (or perhaps a better analogy would be Tom Riddle), a model student who passed every class. He just had a dark side that nobody guessed at, and that’s the only side we ever actually see from him. He has to be pretty brilliant to fool Dumbledore for a whole year, acting as Moody.

    hpboy13, I think we’ve talked elsewhere about how places the Marauders didn’t visit don’t seem to be on the map. Like the Room of Requirement, but also, it’s pretty clear that the inside of Hagrid’s hut doesn’t show up on the map, since Pettigrew has the wherewithal to hide there, and Lupin doesn’t see him on the map until he’s left the hut.

  30. I think the points about the “One timeline” many have suggested, can be roughly summed up by several words said by Luna, “a circle has no beginning.”
    I think that when one uses a time-turner one creates a never-starting and never-ending loop in time. There’s just no point in considering how the “first Harry” ever got to know how he could cast a patronus because there is no such Harry, only the Harry we know who saw his future self cast it.

    Anyways great essay! I always seem to find my mind opening everytime I come here! It’s always great being able to see the books in a new aspect^^

  31. (Sorry for the double post, my other one was getting long.)

    In reference to the conversation about Snape hating Pettigrew. I got thinking.

    Sirius tells us that the Death Eaters in Azkaban hate Pettigrew because they think he double-crossed them. This means they know that he, and not Sirius Black, was in fact the spy that betrayed Lily and James. Now, it’s certainly possible that Snape simply wasn’t in the know – he wasn’t a senior Death Eater his first time around, and Voldemort seems to have been much more secretive with names during the first war than he proves to be later (Karkaroff says so, anyway). So it’s possible Snape simply didn’t know. But I think we a least have to consider the notion that he *does* know Sirius is innocent. Which would make his actions – withholding this information from Dumbledore; handing Sirius over for the Dementor’s Kiss – alarming indeed.

    I’m not sure whether or not I buy it, however. Snape certainly hates Sirius more than anybody except perhaps James, and he would certainly still blame Sirius for Lily’s death in the way that Sirius blames himself for convincing them to switch secret-keepers. I don’t know… I’d be curious for others’ thoughts. It doesn’t seem wildly out of character for him either way, unfortunately.

  32. Josie, great theory, but I’m thinking Snape did not know. I don’t see how he would have gotten the information and it would be out of character not to tell Dumbeledore, I think. By POA he is very loyal to Dumbledore.

    I also think it’s possible Dumbledore knew about the map, even with his comment in GOF, for the many reasons suggested above.

    I think Dumbledore must not have been compltely open with Fudge about the reasons for wanting Hermione to have a time-turner, otherwise it would have been ridiculously stupid of him not to realize they had gone back in time when Dumbledore was warning Snape.

    Snape said that he only took a quick look at the map, so it seems entirely possible he would spot two Hermiones and Harrys.

    But one thing that might not fit is: why did Hermione not use her time-turner when they were trapped with Sirius and he was saying things like “There’s only going to be one murder tonight.”? I guess Dumbledore/McGonagall might not have explicitly told her to use it in serious danger, but Hermione’s pretty smart….

    Thanks for the great essay!

  33. Sorry, I meant:
    “Snape said that he only took a quick look at the map, so it seems entirely possible he would NOT spot two Hermiones and Harrys.”

    And just to elaborate on the last point – aren’t those exactly the situations Dumbledore would’ve wanted Hermione to use the time-turner for?

  34. Tremendous essay, Josie, just like all the others! I think that it’s possible that Fudge didn’t know about the Time Turner. I don’t remember exactly, but I think the book says that the Ministry had to approve its use, but I don’t think that necessarily means the Minister himself. Perhaps that approval is given by the head of the Department of Mysteries, for instance. The meeting about Harry’s security certainly addressed a variety of safety measures, and Dumbledore may have preferred to keep awareness of the Time Turner internal to Hogwarts.

  35. Jason Argonauts said:
    “I think the points about the “One timeline” many have suggested, can be roughly summed up by several words said by Luna, “a circle has no beginning.”
    I think that when one uses a time-turner one creates a never-starting and never-ending loop in time. There’s just no point in considering how the “first Harry” ever got to know how he could cast a patronus because there is no such Harry, only the Harry we know who saw his future self cast it.”

    YES. THIS. This is the way I see it, too. In my mind, the idea of a “first Harry” is impossible because time only happens once. When you go “back an hour,” you don’t re-create that hour a second time, you go back to the very same hour that already happened. YOU are experiencing it twice, but in the timeline of the world, it only happens once.

    The only thing that doesn’t work for this way of seeing things is when Hermione mentions that wizards have killed their past selves. Killing a future self is no problem, but killing a past self should be impossible because that can’t have happened.

  36. Is there any actual evidence that Percy or Barty Crouch Jr. applied for a time turner and had one? I think maybe Hermione wanted to take twelve courses and Percy and Barty Crouch took ten…I don’t remember exactly how many they took, but it certainly seems like she is very much an exception to the rule. The teachers don’t seem to know, either, and maybe they’re so absorbed in their own courses that they wouldn’t notice that she was in a few classes at the same time.

  37. Very interesting essay! Re: Lupin’s delay, I don’t think it took very long after the trio left the hut for them to be pulled down the hole. And we don’t know where in Hogwarts Lupin’s office is?

    Re: daddybug,
    I, too, got the impression Fudge didn’t know about the time turner. Just because its use had to be approved by the ministry doesn’t mean the Minister himself was involved. I imagine there’s a procedure in which school officials (McGonagal) vouch for the students in question to some Keeper of the Hall of Time in the Department of Mysteries. Harry’s schoolfriends are not widely known (remember Hermione is NEWS to Rita Skeeter in GoF, and in DH Hermione is only wanted once she’s SEEN with Harry). And the ministry is often depicted as not very good at managing Harry’s situation. I don’t know how they would know who he hangs out with at school, unless Dumbledore tells them, and I can’t imagine Dumbledore trusting them with that information (Dumbledore might see it as too valuable, while the ministry might not think it important enough to ask. They’re adults, and while Harry’s important I doubt they’d think the other kids he hangs out with are. To their loss, of course). So I don’t think the name Hermione Granger would ring any bells at the Ministry, and I personally doubt Dumbledore would specifically tell Fudge that one of the girls recieving a time turner this year is Harry Potter’s close friend. Certainly he may have his own reasons for wanting Hermione to have a time turner, but I think he’d keep them to himself.

    The only difference this makes to Josie’s theory is Fudge’s stupidity at the end –I don’t think he’s THAT slow. I agree Snape caught on right away.

  38. BestSeriesEver, The fact that Percy and Barty Crouch Jr. got 12 O.W.L.s each is canon.

    Fred says “twelve O.W.L.s and [Percy] hardly gloated ar all” (CS p.46,US edition) and Barty Crouch Sr.(imperiused) is seen saying “Yes, my son has recently gained twelve O.W.L.s” (GF p.556,US edition)
    Incidently Bill is also stated to have achieved 12 O.W.L.s (CS p.46,US edition) but not many people seem to mention him….Sad life being a minor character I guess…

    Albeit, I do admit that there is no mention whatsoever of them using time-turners but I believe that they had to have used time-turners or otherwise it would be techinically impossible for them to cope with their schedules.

  39. Re: Percy and Crouch – as Jason Argonauts said, it is canon that each got twelve O.W.L.s (Hermione got ten), but not canon that they had time-turners. I’ve seen the argument elsewhere that they might not have had Time-Turners but I don’t think it holds water. If the schedule could accommodate their taking twelve classes back then, why not Hermione now? It really comes out of a logical fallacy; people assume that because Hermione is the first person *we* know with a Time-Turner, she is therefore more likely to be the first person *ever* to have one. But in the thousand-year history of Hogwarts, it’s pretty outrageously unlikely that this would be the case.

    Re: Fudge – I’ll admit it occurred to me that he might not know about Hermione’s Time-Turner, and I must confess I ultimately decided to keep it this way partly because it made for a more interesting essay. :) But there are some valid arguments for it. Fudge says in OP8 that the Ministry has “always closely monitored” activities around Harry. Even if they don’t pay attention to the fact that Hermione is Harry’s friend, she’s still in his year. They also would have had reasons to watch Time-Turners around Harry previously, as Percy had one and Harry’s association with the Weasleys is definitely known (he spent a month at their house). I think the concern about his safety would be enough this year that somebody would put two and two together and tell Fudge about the Time-Turner. But, that said, it’s definitely possible this *didn’t* happen, and as hazelwillow said, Fudge’s reaction in the final scene is better explained if it didn’t.

    Regardless, the more I think about it, I do think you all are right that it’s pretty clear Dumbledore didn’t bring up Time-Turner-as-safety-device-for-Harry to Fudge. If he had done so, it’s hard to fathom he’d make the “two places at once” comment in Fudge’s presence. Too risky.

  40. I think that I agree with m.flanegan’s idea that the time-line ALWAYS included the the time-traveller. And therefore there will be never a “first time” where Harry learnt how to case a patronus and therefore there will be not paradox as there is just one time-line.
    Irene I do understand what you mean by everything happening simultaneously. But if I went time-travelled at 10pm to 9pm to kill myself then there would be 2 dead me’s, but that hour difference wouldn’t have mattered because the 9pm time would just carry on as before but without me. I’m not sure what weather that is a good way of explaining it but as I stated before I do agree with you how everything happens simultaneously.

  41. To further add to the argument that Fudge doesn’t know who Hermione is. In “the will of albus dumbledore” Scrimgeour is obviously baffled by why Dumbledore wants to leave stuff to Ron and Hermione. He understands that Harry and Dumbledore were close, btu then starts asking about Ron’s relationship with Dumbledore, not noting that it’s Ron’s relationship to Harry and not Dumbledore that’s important.
    If Dumbledore indeed asked Fudge to give Hermione a Time-Turner as a bargaining chip, I’m sure there would be a record of that in whatever information is passed from Minister to Minister (or Fudge would simply tell Scrimgeour himself), and Scrimgeour would understand that Dumbledore was bequeathing stuff to Harry’s friends to help Harry.

    Now, as to the idea of Snape knowing about Pettigrew – I just don’t buy it. My main argument is that if he knew, he would tell Dumbledore. He’s loyal to Dumbledore at this point, and would hate Pettigrew as a Marauder and as the one responsible for Lily’s death. Since Dumbledore knew nothing of it, I’m going to say Snape didn’t either. While I believe him capable of tossing an innocent Sirius to the dementors, I don’t think he did it knowingly this time.

  42. re: hazelwillow: Isn’t it documented at some point in the books that the DADA office is on the second or third floor of the castle (can’t remember which)?

  43. I just remembered something interesting and I’m not sure what to make of it. In OP when Dumbledore is about to tell Fudge that the first DA meeting in the Hog’s Head was not illegal, Fudge says “Yes, do let’s hear the latest cock-and-bull story designed to pull Potter out of trouble! Go on, then, Dumbledore, go on – Willy Widdershins was lying, was he? Or was it Potter’s identical twin in the Hog’s Head that day? Or is it the usual simple explanation involving a reversal of time, a dead man coming back to life and a couple of invisible Dementors?”

    Under what circumstances would Fudge have heard an explanation about “a reversal in time?” The only reversal in time would have come after Harry and Hermione were anxiously trying to explain to him that Sirius was innocent. It seems he must have heard it from Dumbledore. Any thoughts?

  44. Will, it’s interesting you point that out, I’d never paid much attention to that line before but it is rather enlightening. Harry and Hermione never mention anything about the Time-Turner to Fudge – the only one who does is Dumbledore, with his “two places at once” remark. But if Fudge were thinking about that remark later, it would explain his comment in its entirety.
    “reversal of time” = Snape’s accusation that Harry was in two places at once
    “dead man coming back to life” = Barty Crouch Jr
    “couple of invisible Dementors” = dementors in Little Whinging
    The common theme of all three of these events is that they are events Dumbledore is somehow involved with that Fudge never bothered to get to the bottom of. You can almost picture him sitting in his office, convincing himself that Dumbledore is out to get him, and fuming about each of these three events. “How did he let Sirius Black escape? How dare he act the way he did about Barty Crouch? And that story he made up at Harry’s hearing was total baloney!”

  45. “dead man coming back to life” = Peter Pettigrew, I think. Fudge saw Crouch and knows he was alive, but never believed Pettigrew was alive.

    But also, Josie, once Dumbledore mentioned being in two places at once, Snape stopped talking. So Fudge would have had to work out what it meant on his own, which means he would know they had rescued Sirius. Wouldn’t he make a much bigger deal about it and have acted very differently if he knew Dumbledore helped Harry and Hermione rescue Sirius?

  46. I assumed Dumbledore tried to tell the true story of Sirius’ escape once Voldemort had returned, or perhaps even earlier. To me, it sounds like “a reversal of time, a dead man coming back to life and a couple of invisible Dementors?” are all referring to that same night.

  47. Alex, I think the “invisible dementors” are definitely a reference to the ones in Little Whinging. Firstly, he says “a couple,” but in the end of POA, there were about a hundred. Secondly, Fudge was referring to the fact that Dudley could not see them because they are invisible to Muggles. There was nothing invisible about the ones swarming the lake.

    I don’t think Dumbledore tried to tell the true story of Sirius’s escape in his Voldemort-has-returned speech. There were no references to it at any point. If Fudge knew Dumbledore thought Sirius was innocent, we would have heard about it. He probably would have tried to arrest him or something for withholding information. It doesn’t seem to make sense for Dumbledore to have attempted to convince the public of two such unbelievable stories on the same night – it would have sapped the credibility.

  48. I didn’t think of “dead man coming back to life” being a reference to Pettigrew. But I think I agree with Will, I doubt that Dumbledore has told anybody about Sirius being innocent. The Ministry isn’t ready for that information, and won’t be until Fudge is finally forced to leave office.

  49. Awesome stuff! I agree with a lot of the points made above (single timeline, Snape not knowing about Wormtail’s role in Lily’s death, Dumbledore making a veiled remark about the time turner and Snape catching the implication at once, etc).

    Personally, I think that the fact that the Room of Requirement does not appear on the Marauder’s Map is because it is unplottable, rather than the Marauders being unaware of it. I can easily see them stealing food from the kitchen like the Weasley twins, and after a while James or Sirius may have asked the house elves if they knew of any secrets of Hogwarts that the teachers were not aware of. It makes me curious as to why the Weasley twins never did the same, or if they knew of it but decided to keep it a secret, or forgot to tell Harry (after all, they didn’t tell him about their bet with Bagman until the last)

  50. Regarding Killing your past self: I think maybe the dangers of using a time-turner were exaggerated when it was given to Hermione, to prevent shenannigans. Clearly time-turner information isn’t widely available, and it’s unlikely that she’d be able to research the information for herself. So she’s going off second hand knowledge, which is designed to prevent disaster and not necessarily inform. And Hermione, without having access to further information, is must accept this at it’s word.

    Few of us will deliberately set out in the future to go back and kill ourselves, few people are suicidal AND want to go through that kind of effort. The only case in which this would likely happen would be if you went back in time and ran into your past self, and they attacked you, and you tried to defend yourself. But in that case, wouldn’t you just move back in time again? To prevent potentially killing your past-self?

    Killing one’s FUTURE self is likely, even possible- especially without knowing that the future self is the one that got killed, and maybe one goes back in time to figure out who exactly it was that got killed. It’s also possible that once the person wearing the time turner gets killed, the time turner returns them to their proper time, so you have to deal with a person who has killed someone and then had the body in question vanish. (Which is why, when they get a time-turner, they go back in time to figure out what happened.)

    It also deals with people who come across a time-turner unexpectedly. Harry’s only in danger because his past-self doesn’t know about the time-turner. Hermione will survive any past-self occurrence, because she knows she has a time turner. So she can pass herself in a hallway and, while it would be weird, it gets to be somewhat routine.

    (Continued for length)

  51. But the point is that the timeline only appears circular from the point of view of the time traveler. You didn’t manage to kill yourself in the past because you’re alive. Harry lived because his future self was there. It’s confusing, but it’s all happening at once. Modern time-turners probably have anti-paradox charms in the first place, and what they really don’t want is people like Hermione doing mischief. It seems like there’s a student every couple of classes who ends up with a time-turner, I doubt the danger is quite so acute.

    The Room of Requirement normally serves as a source of hidden things, and so of course it will be unplottable as that’s what’s required of it most of the time. Perhaps when Dumbledore stumbled upon it and it turned into a bathroom it might have been plottable, but there are still all those hidden things beyond the obvious things that are necessary that it makes sense that it’s ‘cloaked’ as it were.

    Also also: Hermione was almost certainly told that she could use the time-turner in danger, but she wasn’t going to take Harry and leave Ron behind. She was on one side of Harry and Ron was on the other- to sets of hands grabbed him when he lunged for Black, one on either side. And even if she could: what if Ron fell right as she was turning, and got left behind? Or Ron fell, and Harry dove after him? Then she’d be stuck in the future, alone, having no idea what happened!

    In addition, I believe the Time-Turner probably moves them to the nearest unobserved place at the time they’re going to. Earlier the school was probably busy with people looking for things, cleaning, there was probably a couple of kids in the infirmary (eaten too much sweets and made themselves sick over excitement of going home, injured during an impromptu Quidditch game- there’s lots of kids there, and Harry’s not the only one who gets injured at Hogwarts). And while someone came through directly after Hermione and Harry appear, it was unoccupied at the time. It explains how Hermione could use it with such certainty, without even scouting out a clear place to use it. It always puts her some place where nobody else is.

    ….that’s all I can think of. It’s certainly enough!

  52. I’ve said this before when it came up in the book chapter, but I would have to venture a guess that Hagrid’s cabin (and the surrounding areas like the forbidden forest) aren’t on the map. Because otherwise Lupin would have seen Peter Pettigrew inside Hagrid’s cabin, as opposed to just saying that when they returned from it, they had an extra person with them. This would also mean that the extra Harry and Hermione that were out that night weren’t visible to Lupin at that point.

  53. Potions, Charms, Transfiguration, Defence, Herbology, History, Astronomy, Arithmancy, Muggle Studies, Magical Creatures, Divination.

    What were Percy and Crouch Junior’s 12th OWL

  54. Lewis: Ancient Runes.

  55. Actually the fact that Fudge includes “reversal in time” as one of Dumbledore’s cock and bull stories makes me think he DIDN’T know about Hermione’s time turner. Wouldn’t he be more prone to believe it if he did? Therefore I think the only explanation for him knowing about it now (or in the fifth book) is that Dumbledore DID try to explain what happened to Sirius that night. Maybe he thought there was a slim chance Fudge would believe him and Sirius could come out of hiding?

  56. Another consideration could be Lupin’s avoidance of a full moon…Perhaps this thought fled his mind when he realized he had to do something…

  57. Wow, great discussion, took me some time to get trough all the amazing thinking you’ve been doing.

    I liked the essay a lot, Josie, but there’s one big thing that makes me sceptical (besides the other things that people have already pointed out): Pettigrew.
    Why would Dumbledore risk an evening with Fudge while Sirius and a presumed dead man were with Harry? I could understand it if it was just Sirius there, on whom Dumbledore had counted, but he actually didn’t know the whole story, and must’ve gotten really curious if Lupin had told him. Risking Harry with a time-turner is one thing. Risking Harry with a Time-Turner when you don’t know exactly what is going on, is something different and much more dangerous in my opinion.
    Besides, if Lupin had spoken to him, as you suggest, he would’ve had to explain a LOT in those few minutes to Dumbledore: From a Map, to becoming Animagi, etc etc.

    What do you think about this: Lupin sees on the Map that Sirius is coming out of the tunnel, then sees Harry, Hermione, Ron AND Pettigrew, and then starts walking towards the grounds. Hogwarts is a big place, so by the time he gets there, he deducts from his sightings on the Map that Sirius took them to the Whomping Willow.

    Though maybe it’s just me and I have a soft spot for Dumbledore.. I still can’t believe that he puts Harry trough so much on purpose…

    By the way: does anybody else cringes everytime they think about how many times and by how many people Pettigrew could have been caught that night? It’s definitely a turning point in the series, and just as with some other turningpoints (like Harry fighting over Draco’s wand in DH) a lot of it is pure coincidence…

  58. Agree with all the stuff on here!
    Estee, I’d thought of that!

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