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It is evident in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban that Harry and Hermione used a time turner to save innocent lives.

They were stealthy going through the grounds when they travelled back, as to avoid being seen.

But when Harry uses the patronus charm on the dementors, the other Harry saw him but actually saw a blue translucent deer. After the charm had finished, there was nothing there to see other than a blue light disappearing.

Hermione too was invisible.

Why did they have to avoid being seen when they were invisible in the forest anyway?

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    Because time travel is illegal – Ankit Sharma Jan 8 '18 at 7:31
  • Why do you think that they were invisible? – Gnemlock Jan 9 '18 at 5:29
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I could answer why they didn't want to be seen in the first place, but your question is specifically why they didn't want to be seen "when they were invisible anyway", to which the answer is simply: They were not invisible.

At no point during the Time-Turner trip are they invisible. They don't have the Invisibility Cloak, and they don't cast any invisibility charms. They're always just hiding. Specifically, in the forest during the Dementor attack, they're hiding behind trees up until the point Future Harry emerges and summons his Patronus. Past Harry does see Future Harry, but by that point he's so disoriented and close to collapse that he mistakes him for his father James.

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I believe the book mentions serious consequences. On Pottermore:

Firstly, I had Dumbledore and Hermione emphasise how dangerous it would be to be seen in the past, to remind the reader that there might be unforeseen and dangerous consequences as well as solutions in time travel.

If you follow time travel logic, you know from the first run that Harry and Hermione didn't see their future selves. So when they go back in time, they know they were never seen because they hid.

As for Harry seeing himself, it's stated in the books by multiple people that he is a dead ringer for his dad. Harry thinks he's seen his dad casting the Patronus. He's also in the process of being kissed by the Dementors so his perspective is not reliable.

  • Specifically the serious consequences mentioned in the book are the possibility (which has happened before) that your past self will think they've gone crazy or someone is impersonating them, attacking their future self and one or both of them getting killed by the other. – Crow T Robot Jan 14 '18 at 2:59

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