Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Time Turner

At the end of The Prisoner of Azkaban, we finally learn how Hermione has been able to take so many extra classes during their third year of school:

"Where did you get that hourglass thing?"
"It's called a Time-Turner," Hermione whispered, "and I got it from Professor McGonagall on our first day back.  I've been using it all year to get to all my lessons. Professor McGonagall made me swear I wouldn't tell anyone.  She had to write all sorts of letters to the Ministry of Magic so I could have one.  She had to tell them that I was a model student, and that I'd never, ever use it for anything except my studies...I've been turning it back so I could do hours over again, that's how I've been doing several lessons at once, see?" (395-396)
It seems strange to me that the Ministry would accept that application at all.  After all, is it really worth "breaking one of the most important wizarding laws" just to get in a few more classes (398)?  Certainly it's not actually illegal, since she is approved to use it for that purpose, but still when she says, "Nobody's supposed to change time, nobody!" it proves how very odd it is that she would be allowed to dabble in time traveling just for academics (398).

Further, to give a thirteen year old such a dangerous device isn't responsible, no matter how mature that thirteen year old might appear.  Hermione says, "Professor McGonagall told me what awful things have happened when wizards have meddled with time...Loads of them ended up killing their past or future selves by mistake!" (399).  To me, it just doesn't seem worth it at all to risk your life to attend a few more classes.  I think an "Independent Study" route would have made much more sense.

In The Order of the Phoenix, a misaimed spell ends up destroying all of the remaining Time Turners at the Ministry.  Since they had a whole section dedicated to them, it made me wonder what else qualifies a wizard to receive one, if it is possible for a thirteen year old to get one to attend more classes.

What do you think would be a plausible reason for someone to warrant a Time Turner?

I think that aurors, dark wizard hunters, probably would have been allowed to have them due to their dangerous professions.  Other than that, I can't see what else would actually warrant messing with time.  I especially don't think using one to attend more classes is practical.

The A to Z Challenge continues tomorrow with U is for Unbreakable Vow!


  1. I agree with you. Academics would not be important enough to mess with time, particularly after so many of the dangers were pointed out. It doesn't really make sense that Hermione was allowed to use the time turner for something of that nature.

    1. "You might accidentally kill yourself, but you know, you could attend divination AND muggle studies..."

  2. Michelle, I love how you're turning Harry Potter into a "lecture series." You're teaching us the art of storytelling by revealing the importance of these artifacts, you know. :)

    1. What a compliment! Thank you so much Randi! :)