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It's mentioned that tampering with past events is illegal in the Wizarding world. Hermione even states "We’re breaking one of the most important wizarding laws!" when they are using it.

The thing is, if tampering with the past is illegal, how does the ministry enforce it? For example, if a wizard were to travel back in time, effect a change, and then return to his origin place, with everything around him changing, wouldn't he be the only one who would have been aware of the change in the first place?

Obviously the Ministry seems oblivious to its use, as it was used illegally to make a change to the past and free an extremely "dangerous" criminal (Sirius), also a big no no, with no repercussions to its users.

Furthermore, if an official from the Ministry were to detect illegal use of a Time Turner somehow, could the wizard or witch who was caught not simply use the Time Turner once again, travel back in time, and do something in order to stop the official from noticing the use of a Time Turner? How would they even punish the user for breaking the law if they were to detect it, if the user could just time turn his/her way out of being apprehended.

  • In harry potter version of time travel you cant fix things once they already happen. from the example in the book, harry was saved by who he thought was his father, however harry was infact saved by himself. which kinda means he was destined, or that he would always make that choice. you dont get multipul timelines or alternate realities when paths diverge because the path is the same everytime. – Himarm Dec 31 '14 at 17:28
  • Closely related, possibly a dupe: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/73600/3567 – alexwlchan Dec 31 '14 at 17:30
  • however rowling counterdicts herself by saying the reason its banned is because of incidents where people from the future go and meat themselves in the past and their past selves kill the future selves. this however shouldn't happen because the future self would have been visited in his own past by another future self. according to her rules of time travel. – Himarm Dec 31 '14 at 17:31
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    Erm, by using magic? – Valorum Dec 31 '14 at 17:38
  • @Richard if that's the case what spell, where is the evidence for this in the books? – Jance Dec 31 '14 at 17:51

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