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I think this question was pulled as a duplicate when it shouldn't have:

In HP and PoA, why didnt they take the Minister back in time with the time turner to validate Sirius' innocence?

While the question is about Time-Turners, which seems to be well-documented and discussed, this question has not been asked, nor answered, as far as I can tell. The question which it is being linked to as a duplicate:

Why Couldn't a Time Turner Have been Used to Stop Voldemort?

Specifically does not answer the question. It appears to me that @Richard pulled the plug way too quickly on this question. The answer given by @alexwlchan has a great explanation, which is not a duplicate of another answer as far as I can tell.

IMHO, this question should be taken off the duplicate list and revitalized.

  • It's a duplicate for the points laid out in the answers below. It's a question that, should it be reopened, I personally wouldn't have a problem re-closing as a duplicate. Unfortunately this question is not unique under the circumstances, but it is one that we would absolutely welcome in chat for further discussion. – Slytherincess Apr 24 '15 at 12:09
  • @Slytherincess - And you, above all others on this site, would have the power to do so ;-) I am starting to agree this is most probably a duplicate ... as I stated below, I think my issue is with the choice of questions used to say it was duplicated. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 24 '15 at 12:11
  • If you think it should be closed as a duplicate of a different question, feel free to suggest one, and we can change the duplicate. – alexwlchan Apr 24 '15 at 12:13
  • @alexwlchan - I think it is covered under the other questions, but nothing really comes close. How do you moderate this? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 24 '15 at 12:15
  • When I wrote my answer to the new question: 1) I deliberately avoided “time travel doesn’t work like that”, because that’s covered elsewhere. and 2) I imagined Fudge eavesdropping on the conversation, not being in the room. That might not be a dupe, because you can’t prove Fudge wasn’t there the first time. – alexwlchan Apr 24 '15 at 12:16
  • @Paulster2 - Believe me, I know the frustration of wanting an on-site answer to a specific bit of HP canon, and either having my (what I thought was uniquely written) question closed as a duplicate, or being unable to justify posting my specific question because technically it had already been answered, even if I disagreed with the application of an existing answer to my particular question. I hope that very long sentence made sense. Basically, understanding the duplicate process takes time to learn. And, even though it's not what you want to hear, we would not lead you astray! :) – Slytherincess Apr 24 '15 at 12:17
  • Haha - So, it comes down to exact-duplicates, eh? I get the gist of that and understand. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 24 '15 at 12:31
  • Ooh. I had no idea this would prove so contentious. @MichaelEdenfield 's answer is precisely my thought process. I'm happy to reopen if you think there's a better duplicate. – Valorum Apr 24 '15 at 15:21
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    actually, @Kevin makes a good point that this situation may not actually fall under the original answer, because there is no change of events being done, so maybe you should reopen it :) – KutuluMike Apr 25 '15 at 17:05
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In general, we judge duplicate questions based on having duplicate answers. The answer to the original question starts out by saying this:

Luckily, time travel in Harry Potter doesn’t exactly work that way. The time traveler cannot change the past because what is experienced in the past has already been changed.

That is the answer to your question, and in fact, to just about every time-turner question that's ever been asked. Just picking some other random situation from HP and asking "why didn't they use a Time Turner to fix _________" does not make a new and interesting question, because the answer is always the same: "they can't."

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    This, I'll admit, makes much more sense. I understand your point and reasoning. I think my real problem is the choice of question used as a duplicate, because it does not align with the question or the answer. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 24 '15 at 12:04
  • IMO, the question chose as the duplicate has the "canonical right answer" for any time-turner question, so it's the right choice. It might be worth while to expand on the answer to that question, to help demonstrate why it applies to all the other's linked as a duplicate. – KutuluMike Apr 24 '15 at 13:23
  • @MichaelEdenfield - Yes. This. This was my precise thought process. That answer is the answer to this and every other Time-turner question; JKR has stated that you can't (normally) affect the past and you can't make big changes. – Valorum Apr 24 '15 at 17:30
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    I have to disagree that the answers to the target answer this question at all. "Can't change the past" -> They wouldn't be changing anything, just observing. "Five-hour limit" -> They only need to go back an hour or two. "Chaos theory / unintended consequences" -> Again, not changing anything. "Smashed all the time turners" -> Obviously hadn't happened yet. I don't see anything in the dupe target that addresses the new question at all. – Kevin Apr 24 '15 at 17:41
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First off: the fact that @alexwlchan provided an alternate answer does not make it not a duplicate.

But more to the question of whether or not it's a dupe. Reading the new question and the existing question and answers, I'd agree that this is a dupe.

Fundamentally, the new question asks why a time turner wasn't used to go back and right a wrong. The existing answers provide various reasons why a time turner isn't or can't be used for such purposes. This includes things like intended uses of time turners, how far time can be turned back, and the issue of creating paradoxes. While Alex has laid out some new ideas on the new question, the old answers already addresses this pretty well as these are the same reasons why they couldn't/didn't use a time turner to exonerate Sirius.

  • Actually, in cannon, 5 hours is within the time limit being suggested in the question, so your answer to my question does not equate. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 24 '15 at 12:03
  • @Paulster2 I love that you pick out ONE reason mentioned in the sixteen answers and decide that the whole thing isn't a dupe because you don't agree with it. Dupes are not only based on accepted answers, they are based on the question or any existing answer on it. – phantom42 Apr 24 '15 at 12:06
  • I'm getting to the gist of the question, which is time-turners and going back a couple of hours. Seems legitimate to me. Maybe I'm getting tunnel vision or something. Wouldn't be the first time. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 24 '15 at 12:09
  • And the other answers already talk about bigger issues like paradoxes. How far back it goes is irrelevant when changing the past creates a paradox possibly destroying time and space itself. – phantom42 Apr 24 '15 at 12:19
  • Seems like this whole mess is a paradox ;-) – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 24 '15 at 12:30
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Speaking to @Kevin's comment that none of the answers in the dupe address the consequences of using the time-turners purely for "information gathering purposes" (e.g. acting under the assumption that this won't create a paradox since it only affects events in the future), I've added an additional answer that specifically refers to the fact that time-turners are considered pretty bloody dangerous at the best of times.

I also take exception to his idea that time-travel is consequence free but that's another matter entirely :-)

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