We learn in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that apparently:

the Malfoys had a time-turner all along.

So why did Draco spend 30 chapters in Book 6 fixing a cabinet when Lucius could have given it to Voldemort in one chapter in Book 4?

Voldemort had no qualms making Horcruxes; he could not have been squeamish about using this to undo Book 1.

The Malfoys were out of their wits trying to save Draco from the task assigned to him by Voldemort. Lucius was desperate to get back into the good graces of Voldemort. The Malfoys had every reason to hand the device over to Voldemort. It is rather lame of Cursed Child to say that Lucius regarded the item as a toy rather than a weapon.

  • 8
    Lame, yes, but that's the answer. Go yell at JKR
    – Valorum
    Aug 9, 2016 at 9:03
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    Actually, saying "it was not really great" is too polite. It felt like really a half-hearted effort and was almost bad.
    – Aegon
    Aug 9, 2016 at 12:33
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    From the single use of time turners we see in the books, it seems that you cannot actually change the past, you can only put yourself in it and do the things that have already been done by you. So if Voldemort had already failed to kill Harry, he couldn't use a time turner to go back and fix it.
    – Javier
    Aug 9, 2016 at 14:30
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    Writing, JKR style: 1) JKR writes herself into a corner. 2) JKR thinks of a magical device to get out of it. 3) JKR goes to the start of the book and gives the character the device.
    – Rob Grant
    Aug 9, 2016 at 16:42
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    I'm pretty sure the only part Rowling wrote was the intro that was cribbed word for word from the Distant Finale of Deathly Hallows. Aug 10, 2016 at 1:35

2 Answers 2


This is explained by Draco in the text of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The short answer is that Lucius Malfoy liked to collect objects of dark magic far more than he actually liked to be involved in doing dark magic.

Like other fictional collectors, the thrill was in the owning of something that was absolutely forbidden, not its use.

DRACO: No. My father. He liked owning things that no one else had. The Ministry’s Time-Turners -- thanks to Croaker -- were always a little vanilla for him. He wanted the ability to go back further than an hour, he wanted the ability to travel back years. He’d never have used it. Secretly I think he preferred a world without Voldemort. But yes, the Time-Turner was built for him.

There is also a reasonable chance that Draco simply didn't know about it until after his father's passing.

  • 9
    The same way people have guns or swords on display but have never used them. Aug 9, 2016 at 14:04
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    @CaptainMan - More like having a suicide belt. Sure, you might get what you want, but there's a more than reasonable chance you'll end up dead in the process.
    – Valorum
    Aug 9, 2016 at 14:06
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    @CaptainMan Now I'm imagining Lucius hanging some Muggle guns on his walls, and frequently gazing upon them with contempt and disgust.
    – recognizer
    Aug 9, 2016 at 16:44
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    Also, this line doesn't explicitly say that Lucius had the advanced time turner during the events of the books. One possible reading is that he had it made after the seventh book, but realized he liked not having Voldemort around.
    – Milo P
    Aug 9, 2016 at 19:16
  • @ATB - I was wondering who'd downvoted this perfectly pleasant answer :-)
    – Valorum
    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:12

Its use suggests that the user doesn't have enough resources to accomplish their desires, or that they have made a mistake they wish to repair.

The Malfoys, Lucius in particular, are too proud to admit wrongdoing, or to use items which suggest they need something they can't easily get using their influence or means.

So to the Malfoys the advantage comes in the owning of the thing, not the use. Using it would lessen their status.

Voldemort surely knew about time turners, but would have considered them trinkets and toys, not even worthy of collection, since his status and influence wasn't due to wealth and the ability to flaunt laws, but due to fear and raw power. He used the Malfoys for their wealth and influence, but he mocked them for it at the same time. It was a weakness, and if they used or offered the time turner they likely would have been mocked as weak all the more.

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    I'll be honest, that doesn't actually make any sense. Why would they be mocked for using something like that? Why would Voldemort especially mock them for that? I guess the problem comes from Time Turners being pretty useless, as everything has already been set, so you can't go back and prevent stuff. Aug 9, 2016 at 18:07
  • @JamEngulfer - I can see what he means. Basically, Voldemort set Draco a horrific task as a punishment and may have said, "And none of your Malfoy tricks dammit!"
    – ThruGog
    Aug 10, 2016 at 21:05

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