When Albus and Severus discussed destroying Time-Turner, Albus suggested "stupefy", because "they were originally destroyed using Stupefy" (Part 2, Act 3, Scene 16)

But that seems to contradict JKR canon, since in HP&OotP, the Stupefy spell didn't destroy the Time-Turners. It didn't even hit them - it hit and destroyed the case where they were stored; and that cause the whole stock be stuck in an endless time loop:

Harry flung himself sideways as Neville took aim again and shouted, “STUPEFY !”
The jet of red light flew right over the Death Eater’s shoulder and hit a glass-fronted cabinet on the wall full of variously shaped hourglasses.
The cabinet fell to the floor and burst apart, glass flying everywhere, then sprang back up onto the wall, fully mended, then fell down again, and shattered


Harry stuck his head out of the door and looked around cautiously. The baby-headed Death Eater was screaming and banging into things, toppling grandfather clocks and overturning desks, bawling and confused, while the glass cabinet that Harry now suspected had contained Time-Turners continued to fall, shatter, and repair itself on the wall behind them.


Of course, that kind of already got contradicted a bit in Half-Blood Prince, but the main point (they were shattered, not destroyed by "Stupefy") stands:

“We couldn’t have done,” said Hermione. “We smashed the entire stock of Ministry Time-Turners when we were there last summer. It was in the Daily Prophet.” (H-BP, CHAPTER ELEVEN - "HERMIONE’S HELPING HAND")

So why would they suggest using "Stupefy"? They were closely familiar with the events of the original story and the details were openly known.

  • 1
    Because Albus' dad told him that he used stupefy to destroy the time turners?
    – Valorum
    Sep 1, 2016 at 23:15
  • @Valorum - they weren't exactly on speaking terms, were they? Sep 1, 2016 at 23:19
  • I'm reasonably sure he's heard all of his dad's stories when he was younger. Probably to the point that he's sick of hearing them.
    – Valorum
    Sep 1, 2016 at 23:25
  • 5
    Of all the things that make no sense, this makes the least sense.
    – Adamant
    Sep 1, 2016 at 23:25
  • 2
    Because Jack Thorne is nonsense.
    – ibid
    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:23

2 Answers 2


"Stupefy" is a stunning spell- when a person is struck by it, they are immediately immoblized until such time as the effects of the spell wear off. However, as evidenced in your example from the Order of the Phoenix, if someone casts Stupefy and it misses its intended target and strikes some sort of inanimate object instead,it causes that object to break or even shatter. This suggests that what the Stupefy spell actually is is a blast of concussive force, perhaps similar to a shockwave, that can knock out people and break objects such as cabinets or, apparently, Time Turners.


Albus believed that Stupefy would work possibly based on a loose story of the Department of Mystries event he listened from his dad, mum, uncle, aunt or someone else. Its practical application would have required more details. So, Albus might be incorrect in assuming that Stupefy would work.

It's similar to this: A kid listened about 9/11 that two airplanes demolished skyscrapers. Let's say, he wants to apply this without exploring more details and where can he fail: This time radar guys might not ignore it or airplanes won't do much damage because it didn't have enough fuel this time or so.

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