In terms of methods of time
travel, we must first think about who has access to time travel. Is making a
time travel object just like setting up a Portkey or do you need special
privileges, perhaps even special powers to set it up?
So far, the only method of time travel we know about is the use of
Time Turners. Hermione says in POA that Professor McGonagall had to write
lots of letters to the Ministry for her to use the Time Turner. This
raises two issues:
Is the use of a Time Turner kept down in records, like it is when an
underage wizard uses magic outside of Hogwarts?
Are the Time Turners completely Ministry controlled or is there a
way to acquire them from elsewhere?
If the Ministry does have
complete control over time travel, then would they be able to alter
all time? If this is the case, then if Fudge is, as many people believe,
under the control of Voldemort, there may be serious time travel
implications in future books.
If the people who make Time Turners
can create them on demand, they have a lot of power. Assuming they can
also refuse to sell them to others, they have the ability to alter
time without anyone being able to do anything about it.
possibility is that there are a certain number of Time Turners that exist.
If one Time Turner is broken, the number goes down one, and there is
no way to replace it. This would make sense, as it seems very difficult to
be able to artificially create a device that allows the person to go back
in time. However, how would they have been created in the first
There may be a way of creating a Time Turner just like you
can create a potion by using certain ingredients. This would mean Time
Turners are freely available to anyone (if the 'ingredients' are indeed
freely available). In POA, Hermione says that McGonagall had to write
several letters to the Ministry to allow her to use a Time Turner. This
makes it very unlikely that Time Turners can be freely made.
in POA, Hermione throws the chain round Harry's neck and it transports
them both back in time. If a Time Turner can transport an infinite number
of people back to one spot, Voldemort's Death Eaters may be able to travel
back and cause a lot of havoc. I realise this is branching somewhat onto
theory now, but how did Voldemort get his wand back from Godric's Hollow?
Perhaps someone went back in time at a later date and got it for
According to Lupin in OOTP, Portkeys can be "set up." They
are designed to transport the person touching it to another place at the
same time and date. There may be able to set them up so that they
transport people to another place and another time. If setting up a
Portkey depends on giving it a specific location, another factor may be
Say that the location the Portkey has to transport to
is shown using two numbers, each one corresponding to a certain distance
away from the starting point. Thus each Portkey could contain the
information (23,98). This may be how many miles north and how many miles
east the new location is from the original location. There may be a way of
bringing a third factor in (a time factor) that allows the user to be
transported to not only another place, but at another time.
however, seems quite unlikely. In all instances of a Portkey being used,
the people have been transported at an almost instantaneous speed.
According to Einstein, when people reach the speed of light, they
transport forward in time. This may be a way of allowing time travel
when using a Portkey.
I'm a little unsure as to what exactly these bell jars are.
Unlike the Time Turners, which appear to transport the user back in time,
the bell jar transports time to the user. In the Department of Mysteries, a Death Eater got stuck in a bell jar, and in doing so, got turned back into a baby . After
this happens, Hermione says:
"It's time," said Hermione in an
awestruck voice. "Time "
This may be a way of telling us that
in future books there will be a lot more time travel occurring but suffice
to say, this is an example showing us that there are many more ways to
interfere with time than just a Time Turner.
Throughout the books, there have been several references to
'dark magic.' We have seen the Unforgivable Curses, but not much else in
the way of dark magic. I believe time travel could be a method of Dark
Arts, perhaps used by Voldemort to help him in his quests. Messing with
the time is a very serious thing
Since so far we have only seen two distinct ways of altering time (Time
Turners and the bell jars), we can assume that there may be more ways
of playing with time and that time travel will play a very important part in
future books. Now that we have a way to travel, go to the How it
Works section to see how time travel is performed.
I tell you, that dragon's the most horrible animal I've ever met, but the way Hagrid goes on about it, you'd think it was a fluffly little bunny rabbit. When it bit me, he told me off for frightening it. And when I left, he was singing it a lullaby.
Ron Weasley Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 14, Page 237
J.K. Rowling wrote a song about Nearly Headless Nick's decapitation for Chamber of Secrets, however her editor didn't like it so they cut it out.