In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione turns the time Turner 3 times to take herself and Harry 3 hours back in the past. When they do so its 11:55 so that means they go back to 8:55. This takes them to the time when Buckbeak is about to be executed. But the execution is supposed to happen at sunset (which I assume can't be later than 7). So how are they there at 7 when they only went back 3 hours from 11:55?

From the chapter 16, "Professor Trelawney's Prediction":

"It's from Hagrid', said Harry, ripping the note open. "Buckbeak's appea - it's set for the sixth."

"That;s the day we finish our exams," said Hermoine, still looking everywhere for her Arithmancy book.

Also from the same chapter just after Trelawney makes her prediction:

"Buckbeak lost", said Ron weakly. "Hagrid's just sent this."

Hagrid's note was dry this tim, no tears had splattered it, yet his hand seemed to have shaken so much as he wrote that it was hardly legible

Lost appeal. They're going to execute at sunset. Nothing you can do. Don't come down. I don't want you to see it.


  • Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/192646/100430
    – Alex
    Oct 27, 2019 at 16:58
  • 1
    @R_D It is a well known fact that the length of the day, and thus the times of sunrise and sunset, varies over the course of a year in a single location. And places in higher latitudes have greater variation in the times of sunrise and sunset than places in lower latitudes. You may assume that sunset must be before 7 PM, but there are places where in some seasons sunset is always after 7 PM. Oct 28, 2019 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


Sunset can be much later than 7:00 pm.

I don't remember when this scene takes place, but I think it was at the end of the book, so I picked the data May 15 1994. We don't know where Hogwarts is. A line from a movie said that it's not far from Dufftown.

I looked up the sunset time for this time and place and found that it happened at 9:26 pm. The real sunset time varies a lot depending on time and location. What I like about this is that it gives us another clue for the location of Hogwarts, and I'd love to see a fan take this into account.

  • 6
    Life threatening adventures are always at the end of the school year.
    – RalfFriedl
    Oct 27, 2019 at 19:35
  • Thanks! I didn't know sunset could be that late! And yes this adventure happens after their last exam
    – R_D
    Oct 28, 2019 at 1:19
  • 5
    The date this occurs is on the 6th of June. The book says this is a Thursday, but actually the Thursday was 9th June. They go back exactly 3 hours from shortly after 11:55pm; i.e. to around 8:56pm. They spend 5 or so minutes in a cupboard, then sprint to the forest near Hagrid's, via the greenhouses. They lurk around for 5-10 minutes as their past selves visit Hagrid, then maybe 5 minutes as they read and sign the execution notice. Sunset should thus be no later than 9:30pm. This puts Hogwarts too far south (below Birmingham); or else they had to sprint for over 40 minutes to get to Hagrid's.
    – Showsni
    Oct 29, 2019 at 15:46
  • 1
    @Showsni, I'd recommend that your write that up as an answer -- that it's implausible in the opposite direction. I bet there are ways to make it work. Maybe our heroes were delayed a little longer, maybe there are mountains to the west, and maybe wizard time zones are a little different, maybe they don't use Summer Time.
    – Jetpack
    Oct 31, 2019 at 1:22
  • 2
    @RalfFriedl Voldemort is very considerate; Harry should get a proper education. Oct 31, 2019 at 14:32

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