I was wondering, should a wizard use a Time-turner to go far into the past, if he manages to change what needed to have been changed, can he avoid having to live through the rest of the time given to get to the point of intersection? Can he skip that period somehow?

Say you went 24 hours back and did everything within the first 2 hours, can you skip the other 22 hours and get back into the present (or future, whatever)? Or must you remain with no other choice but to live through the remaining time?

  • Is this just a convoluted way of asking if you can travel forwards in time with such a device?
    – Raditz_35
    Apr 24, 2018 at 16:23
  • Rather, is there a way to fast skip the remaining time from the Time-turner? Apr 24, 2018 at 16:27
  • @Raditz_35 At first glace I thought so too, but there is a subtle difference. Going into the past doesn't make the "past" into the "present", so to speak. Otherwise, you could go back 5 hours, stop, and then go back another 5 hours without consequences. But clearly the point you originally departed from is reference point. So while whether time turners can go into the future has been asked, this question is more about whether or not they can be used to get back to the "present" than to travel into the future.
    – Mwr247
    Apr 24, 2018 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


Firstly, traveling too far into the past can be catastrophic and has been banned since 1899.

Per Pottermore:

All attempts to travel back further than a few hours have resulted in catastrophic harm to the witch or wizard involved. It was not realized for many years why time travelers over great distances never survived their journeys. All such experiments have been abandoned since 1899, when Eloise Mintumble became trapped, for a period of five days, in the year 1402. Now we understand that her body had aged five centuries in its return to the present and, irreparably damaged, she died in St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries shortly after we managed to retrieve her. What is more, her five days in the distant past caused great disturbance to the life paths of all those she met, changing the course of their lives so dramatically that no fewer than twenty-five of their descendants vanished in the present, having been “un-born”.

Even if we ignore the possibility of such disasters, there is no evidence in the Harry Potter universe about traveling to the future using Time Turners.

So (taking your initial example), lets just say you travel 24 hours back in time to do something and finish the aforementioned work in 2 hours. You have no means to get back to the current time other than taking the longer way back i.e., wait until your future self uses the time turner to travel back.

  • 3
    The example given indicates that a way to return without experiencing all intervening time does exist, Eloise was trapped for 5 days before being retrieved, rather than being trapped for 500 years. This only indicates that you would age the full 24 hours using that method, not that you would have to sit through it. Apr 24, 2018 at 15:22
  • @Kamil, that doesn't necessarily mean that a standard-issue Time Turner contains the necessary enchantment to do so, though. I don't think we have any evidence on that point either way. Shreedhar, perhaps your last sentence should be edited accordingly? Apr 24, 2018 at 22:23

It depends on what you call a "skip"...

In Harry Potter and the Cursed Child we see

a special time-turner that can go back more than six hours. However, the user is only able to stay in the past for five minutes before returning to their present time.

So the "skip" is not by choice, but by force.

  • Wow! I haven't read The Cursed Child yet :( this is undoubtedly more acceptable than my answer
    – Shreedhar
    Apr 26, 2018 at 7:43

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