In Harry Potter fanfic, it is relatively established fanon that timekeeping is done using the Tempus charm, which displays the current time in the air.

As answered in How do people at Hogwarts usually tell the time?, this charm is never mentioned in the books -- instead, normal clocks and watches are used. That doesn't mean it's impossible for magic to tell time, however, just that it's not in general use.

In the somewhat-expanded canon that includes the books, the movies, Pottermore, and "authoritative" tweets by Rowling, is there any reference to any spell used for timekeeping?

  • 4
    I wonder if a magical time spell would adjust for time zone, daylight savings, leap years. leap seconds etc...?
    – TGnat
    Mar 6, 2017 at 19:06
  • In the films Moody told Harry that at Harry's age Cedric could enchant a clock to tell time. Make of it what you want. Mar 6, 2017 at 19:09
  • You mean, a spell other than accio clock?
    – Ellesedil
    Mar 6, 2017 at 19:12
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    It probably depends on whether anyone finds value in knowing the precise time. If there is a clock tower, and some kind of chime, that's probably good enough to get to classes at school. The more precisely you know what the time is, and how often you can know it, binds you more firmly to those who would consume your time. Not having a clock, or a watch, is liberating after having others divide up your time, by the minute, for years. So the real question is: do wizards/witches need to know, or care, what time it is?
    – Seeds
    Mar 6, 2017 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


Spell that tells the time?


Magical timepieces

Why, certainly.

The clock on the wall opposite him had only one hand and no numbers at all. Written around the edge were things like ‘Time to make tea’, ‘Time to feed the chickens’ and ‘You’re late’.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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    Not to mention the watches young witches and wizards receive when they come of age Mar 6, 2017 at 20:34
  • @albusseveruspotter - Are they magical though?
    – Valorum
    Mar 6, 2017 at 20:36
  • Dumbledore also had a clock on his wall, if I recall correctly. Mar 6, 2017 at 22:40
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    This answer would be stronger with some mention of what references you checked and how -- I'm not expecting an exhaustive analysis, but something more than one word, maybe?
    – Lucas Y.
    Mar 7, 2017 at 15:13
  • 3
    @LucasY. - I checked every reference.
    – Valorum
    Mar 7, 2017 at 15:23

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