In Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the character Delphini is introduced as being the love child of Voldermort and Bellatrix Lastrange.

The wiki cites and there are also other well-researched speculations that suggest that she was conceived in 1998 and before the Battle of Hogwarts, making the conception possibly legitimate of this time line.

However, given the NATURE of 'The Cursed Child' play, whose title could be applied to several of characters and Rowling's penchant for family examinations and plot twist, but more so because it deals with a prophecy, whose origins are not disclosed, and whose characters use a time turner that showcases alternate realities where some characters cease to exist or die at different time/ways (but yet this can also be "fixed"),

I was wondering if it was possible for a character to come exist, from a different timeline, because of time travel?

To Better Explain:

First I am unsure which way time travel works in the HP universe: Does the Harry Potter universe allow for paradoxes (time is a flat circle), where say a character could be created by using a time turner (because a time turner was always going to be used) or are there actually multiple universes where in theory characters that maybe do not exist in all possible timelines could "cross over" into a time line where they never existed? It seems to me from 'The Prisoner of Azkaban' that time is flat circle seems more apt, given that Harry sees himself (but doesn't at first know it). Although Hermione also says this,“Horrible things happen to those who meddle with time, Harry.”, suggesting change is possible and there are consequences...

Here's an example:

So let's say for an example (using the time is a flat circle idea) that someone time travels back in time by using the time turner, even if just casually to experience a past event and in doing so something happens where the character ends up having sex with someone else they never had sex with before and then they return back to THEIR future and discover a bit later they are pregnant...

Could something like this happen within the Harry Potter universe??

  • Even though Cursed Child is "canon", it breaks many rules set in the main series. This makes is very difficult to compare the two.
    – Skooba
    Oct 26, 2018 at 16:33
  • tried to better explain by giving an example. Oct 26, 2018 at 17:36
  • Does it really break rules or does it just expand on things we have yet to understand? IMO I feel like there are hidden things within it that have yet to be disclosed how they come to exist, implying that maybe there will be sequel down the line, but it's that whole idea of supposition and trying to answer some questions with what I thought I knew, that lead me to ask this question. Oct 26, 2018 at 17:39
  • what else can I do to clarify this? Oct 26, 2018 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


Time travel in Harry Potter is somewhat inherently paradoxical. As we see in the storyline at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, the present happens the first time around in accordance with all future changes. That is, Buckbeak never died, and Harry was saved by a future Patronus even in the original iteration of the present.

That being the case, the past can never actually be changed via time travel. If Buckbeack had been killed the first time around then going back in time would not enable anyone to save him. For if they would go back in time and save him then he would never have died in the first place.

With this understanding, most time travel is actually pointless. Anything you wanted to go back in time to do would already have been done, and anything that hasn't already been done can't be done by going back in time either.

This unfortunately makes it rather difficult to understand what the ultimate cause of something happening is. For instance, if you saw Buckbeak die you wouldn't go back in time to save him because it's impossible to do so. But if you saw him live you also wouldn't go back in time to save him because there's nothing to save. The only reason you would go back in time in such a case is either that you saw Buckbeak live but there is no natural explanation for it so you guess that it came about through time travel (as I tried to argue in this answer was Dumbledore's thought process), or if you in the present actually saw yourself from the future you would know that you now have to go back in time (so much for "you must not be seen"). However, neither one of these options actually explains why the present happened the way it did. We are stuck in a causal loop where the present happened because of the future but the future happened because of the present. Hence the paradox.

The way around this is when someone goes back in time without being motivated by actual events. If someone just wants to go back in time to have an adventure, and whatever happens happens, it would make more sense how it happened to begin with. In such a case the future didn't happen because of the present; it happened on its own, and therefore it can be a non-circular cause of the present.1

In this kind of situation, then, someone can go back in time and impregnate someone as part of his adventure. The woman had been impregnated all along, but it had just been from a future being (which she may or may not have known). But if the man did not know that he had impregnated the woman then there would be nothing forcing his future self to go back in time and do it, thus making it actually a logical possibility that he would go back in time and do it, unlike if he did know that he had impregnated her where we would be stuck trying to figure out how it was caused in the first place.

Accordingly, it should be perfectly possible for someone to be conceived through time travel, though depending on the case they wouldn't necessarily know it.

1. Another example of this would be Hermione's time traveling to take extra classes. That was not motivated by any events that occurred; it came from a motivation external to time in that she simply wanted to be able to be in multiple places at once. Hence it was not caused by a circular loop.

  • 1
    Thanks for the thorough answer. that helps clear up if time is flat circle or not in the HP universe, which I too thought it was, but TCC made me rethink it since so many alternate realities are presented and Delphini is a character a lot of fans feel the need to contest her existence, because there isn't "solid" evidence of it being so. So it just made me curious about the nature of time travel (in HPU) and the idea if someone could come to come to exist through the use of the time turner, even if at the end of the day the time turner was always going to be apart of someone's existence. Oct 26, 2018 at 17:23
  • 4
    @DarthLocke Well to be honest, I don't know much about The Cursed Child. My answer was based entirely on how it works (or doesn't work) in the main series.
    – Alex
    Oct 26, 2018 at 17:29
  • I appreciate it all the same! :) Oct 26, 2018 at 17:36

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