I reread the series every summer, and still, there are many events that continue to upset me as if it's the first time I've read them. Like when Sirius had to flee because they had nothing to prove his innocence.

I considered the use of Veritaserum, but after reading something JK Rowling said about the potion not being sufficient evidence (because highly skilled wizards would be able to fight it or something like that, i ruled it out. and the pensieve, the pensieve is out of the picture too, as well as legilimency and occlumency because it's possible to create false memories and ideas.. as stated by Slughorn in HBP. But they could've taken the Minister with them back in time, so he could witness the conversation that took place in the shrieking shack. no meddling with time. or if that would be too risky, maybe they could've hidden somewhere by the trees to see, at least, that Pettigrew is still alive. maybe someone can show me that I'm missing something so I can put my mind to rest?

  • Don't have time to post a proper answer, but major points I can think of. 1. Messing around with time travel generally isn't a great idea, the more times they go back in time the more chances for things to go wrong. 2. It's probably not a good idea to implicitly confess to helping a currently convicted murderer escape. 3. Fudge has no reason to want to believe that Sirius is innocent, and a lot of reasons to continue believing that he's guilty. He probably wouldn't even agree to go back in time. Apr 24, 2015 at 10:22
  • A time turner only works for short duration of time, meaning, it can only take the individuals back approximately 1 hour, or some such. I don't know the exact amount of time, but this is the problem. Apr 24, 2015 at 10:30
  • @Paulster2 If there is a limit (and I'm not sure there is), they didn't need to go back that far. A couple of hours at the most should have been sufficient, and the Time Turner was shown to be capable of that. Apr 24, 2015 at 10:46
  • Good point. The Time-Turners are limited to one hour per turn (as I've read through the HP Q&A's, this is evident), but they can be turned multiple times for multiple hours ... as we saw in PoA when Hermione states, "I think three turns should do it ...". Apr 24, 2015 at 11:01
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    @Paulster2 They're limited to one hour per turn, but also (according to Pottermore), "As our investigations currently stand, the longest period that may be relived without the possibility of serious harm to the traveller or to time itself is around five hours." So they can be turned multiple times for multiple hours, but only up to about five :)
    – Luna
    Apr 24, 2015 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


A few suggestions spring to mind:

  1. Fudge has no reason to go along with this plan.

    He firmly believes that Sirius is guilty, and we know that he doesn’t like to admit that he was wrong (see also: his reaction to the return of Voldemort). It would be difficult to convince him to take part in a risky time travel exercise to prove something that he doesn’t want to believe.

    There’s plenty of evidence that points to Sirius being guilty, and none to his innocence. (Heck, has Sirius ever even claimed to be innocent?) Two teenagers are proposing his innocence. How likely is he to believe them?

    Besides, Fudge already has Snape’s account of events in the Shrieking Shack (and believes him, given the suggestion of an Order of Merlin). And per Snape, their suggestions of Sirius’s innocence can be safely ignored:

    “Black had bewitched them, I saw it immediately. A Confundus Charm, to judge by their behavior. They seemed to think there was a possibility he was innocent. They weren’t responsible for their actions.”

    Prisoner of Azkaban, chapter 21 (Hermione’s Secret)

  2. This evidence would be very difficult to use in a court.

    First, we’re assuming that Fudge would believe anything he saw while using the Time Turner. It would probably be possible to confund Fudge, convince him you’d used a Time Turner and he’d seen proof of Sirius’s innocence, without actually doing so. Which begs the question: how does he know that isn’t what actually happened?

    Remember that in the Shrieking Shack, he’d see Peter Pettigrew, a man who’s been believed murdered for twelve years. There’s never been any hint that he was alive before now, and suddenly here he is. I think Fudge would be more likely to believe he’d been confunded or similar, than to believe this was true.

    Second, when this evidence comes to court, you’d be relying on Fudge’s account of time travel. He’d already be dubious, as would the court, and this verdict would go against the eye-witness evidence from the original event. I think it would be difficult to persuade the court to overturn their original verdict.

    (And if it’s the Wizengamot, some of the jurors were probably there for the original decision. Do you think they’d readily admit they made a mistake?)

  3. Doing so would implicitly condemn Harry, Hermione and Sirius (at least).

    Both Harry and Hermione stunned Snape, who’d arrived to arrest Black. (And Lupin didn’t put up much of a fight, either.) They then help Black return to the castle without restraining him – this could be seen as helping a convicted murderer.

    Fudge would also see that Sirius (along with James and Peter) was an unregistered Animagus, which is illegal. He’d get off the charge of murder, and be imprisoned for that instead. Not a great result.

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    All great points - also, it's an illegal use of a Time-Turner that was obtained from the Ministry by promising it would only be used for educational purposes. This would add another layer of difficulty to getting Fudge to go along with the plan and would likely just result in the Time-Turner being confiscated immediately.
    – Luna
    Apr 24, 2015 at 11:17

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