In "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" Harry and Hermione saved two lives (Sirius and Buckbeak). And in "The Order of Phoenix" Sirius died by Harry's fault. Why didn't Harry use The Time-Turner in that time to take him back again?


There are a couple of reasons:

He wasn't thinking

His fist action after Sirius's death was to try to kill Bellatrix; he wasn't logically thinking at that moment. He wouldn't have thought about using Time-Turners.

Sirius would resist.

If Harry appeared randomly and tried to save Sirius, he would be suspicious of some kind of Dark Magic. Or, if he didn't get suspicious, he would turn the tables and try to protect Harry, at which point nothing would be different.

He didn't have a Time-Turner

Hermione gave hers back at the end of 3. Yes, there were Time Turners in the Department of Mysteries, but:

...while the glass cabinet that Harry now suspected had contained Time-Turners continued to fall...

“Ar, I always knew yeh’d find it hard ter squeeze me inter yer timetables,” he said gruffly, pouring them more tea. “Even if yeh applied fer Time-Turners —”

“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.”

Even if he had thought of it, he couldn't have. Even if he could have, it's unlikely that it would have worked.

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    The best answer is "they destroyed all the time tuners moments before" which you included in yours so +1 – Himarm Apr 2 '17 at 16:38
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    Id personally stick that in bold at the front of your answer TLDR :p – Himarm Apr 2 '17 at 16:39
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    In addition; it already had happened - they (Harry) had watched it happen! The timetraveller can't change the past using a timeturner. They could save Buckbeak because they only thought they'd witnessed his execution - while they in fact had only seen the execution of Hagrid's pumpkins. Of course, if they hadn't traveled back, it would've been Buckbeaks neck and not the pumpknis - but for Harry, Hermione and Ron, it would've looked exactly the same. It was ambiguous. But Sirius did fall through the veil - everybody saw it. – Baard Kopperud Apr 2 '17 at 18:22
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    @sumelic It's generally a good thing if you disagree with the cursed child. – CHEESE Apr 2 '17 at 18:38
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    @sumelic Hush, I'm pretending that never happen! Now you've just ruined my chance to go back in time and prevent that play from ever happening... – Baard Kopperud Apr 2 '17 at 18:55

In PoA, it was possible to save him without altering established events.

Harry and Hermione hadn't seen Sirius die in HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They knew he was imprisoned, but he wasn't dead yet; the only reason they needed to go back in time in order to save him was so that they could set everything up to give themselves that possibility.

They hadn't seen Buckbeak die either. They thought they'd heard the executioner killing him, but as they discovered 'later', it was actually something else they'd heard. So even Buckbeak, whom they really did have to go back in time for, could be saved without changing anything they'd seen.

In OotP, saving Sirius would have caused a time paradox.

Sirius died right in front of Harry. The only way of saving him using a Time-Turner would have been to go back in time and interfere with established events. Harry would have had to jump out of somewhere to change what he already knew had happened, right under his slightly younger self's nose. There would have been no way of doing it without causing a time paradox. As Hermione says in PoA, time paradoxes are something to be avoided at all costs when using Time-Turners.

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    Isn't The Cursed Child filled with time paradoxes? – GoodDeeds Apr 2 '17 at 15:21
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    @GoodDeeds I don't count The Cursed Child as canon. JKR didn't even play much of a role in writing it, from what I hear, and it contradicts established canon (the books) in various ways, most notably this very issue of time travel. – Rand al'Thor Apr 2 '17 at 15:25
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    @GoodDeeds Yes, yes it is. – CHEESE Apr 2 '17 at 15:29
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    I don't see why this matters--if Harry had a chance to maybe save Sirius, he would've taken it, no matter what time paradox it created. Either way, he did not have that chance, because there were no time turners. – CHEESE Apr 2 '17 at 17:58
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    @CHEESE The fact that there were no more Time-Turners is a circumstantial thing. As far as I remember, Harry never even considered the idea of saving Sirius with a Time-Turner; it wasn't a matter of "I can use a Time-Turner to save him! ... oh, damn, there are none left". This is, IMO, the more fundamental reason why he couldn't have done it in OotP even though he did something similar in PoA. – Rand al'Thor Apr 2 '17 at 18:10

In the Harry Potter universe, time is a fixed entity - that is, you cannot create a paradox. There is only one timeline.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry and Hermione were able to go back and save Sirius and Buckbeak because there was no paradox preventing them from doing so. Buckbeak never died, and Sirius was always going to escape - They didn't change the timeline because they'd already done it!

Remember once before Harry and Ron knew about the Time Turner, and Hermione was using it to get to class. She missed Charms one day, and the two of them found her sleeping in the common room. She couldn't just use the Time Turner to go back to Charms, because she'd already missed it!

The same goes with Sirius in Order of the Phoenix. Harry saw him die, so couldn't have gone back and prevented it. That would be a paradox.

And on top of that, let's not forget that the Ministry of Magic's entire supply of Time Turners was destroyed during the battle with the Death Eaters!

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    Great minds think alike? :-) – Rand al'Thor Apr 2 '17 at 15:03
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    "They have already done it." That's an out-of-universe explanation. In-universe their future selves are changing past events. As long as they keep doing the same thing it wouldn't cause a paradox. Rand al'Thor's answer is different, he says that they cannot change events knowingly from their own perspective. – Chris Apr 2 '17 at 16:57
  • First sentence is contradicted by what Hermione says in PoA and by the plot of Cursed Child. I would prefer for it to be true--it would be more consistent that way--but canonically it is false. – wyvern Apr 2 '17 at 18:37
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    @sumelic But characters aren't always objective sources of truth, right? They're relaying their understanding as characters, and we wouldn't expect Hermione to have a cutting-edge magical-science understanding of time travel, right? Or even the magical world as a whole? The impression I got from that book was that the magical world didn't fully understand time travel: it was complicated, poorly understood, and paradoxes weren't conclusively proven impossible, so they exercised due caution, undoubtedly warning the 13-year-old student very sternly about all conceivable dangers. – mtraceur Apr 3 '17 at 2:05
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    @sumelic I guess then the question becomes: which has a more memorable effect on Harry's paradigm and cognition about time travel? I'd suspect, to some degree, Harry's own bias would be to think about time travel in the terms he experienced, which was the self-fulfilling-time-travel-loop variety, a "me going back in time fulfilled exactly what I initially experienced anyway" understanding is what I'd expect would be burned into Harry's mind after that, with the mention of paradoxical events suggesting time-malleability being something he may have forgotten as I did. – mtraceur Apr 3 '17 at 9:44

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