Deep in the bowels of the Department of Mysteries lies a room dedicated to time travel and its devices. But what is time travel? How do we use it? What are the dangers of its utilization? This is your source for information on these issues. Although prophecies are related to time, that will be discussed in the next Level Nine section on prophecies, which will be coming soon!
Methods of Going Back
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.
Another 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 place?
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.
Also, 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 him.
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 brought in.
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.
This, 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.