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Thread: Time Travel and its affects

  1. #1
    Laurskii
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    Time Travel and its effects

    EDIT: It's supposed to be 'effects' in the title, but I'm tired, and apparently cannot type to save my life.

    So I'm writing a story in which a character is returning to the past to help save himself and, basically, the world. Similar to Harry in PoA, my character has to save himself, but he knows he can do it, because when he'd been younger, he'd been saved by himself.

    Stop me if that doesn't make sense.

    Basically I've got two problems I'd like some opinions on. First, my character is traveling almost thirty years into his past, to the time when he was seventeen, and will be unrecognizable (Different hair, eye color, a beard, and a new outlook on the world type thing, not to mention thirty years older). Does it seem plausible that the younger character wouldn't recognize himself, or would, but only subconsciously, until the older character reveals himself?

    Secondly, this older character is going to be around for almost an entire year, and I wonder what sort of things you all think might happen to him as a side affect of this? Clearly it would take him 30 years to catch back up to his own time, and so he'd have to use the time turner to take him back forward at the end, else he catch up with his own time thirty years older than when he left it. But I wonder if messing with time for a year might have some long-term effects like early aging, the habits of falling ill frequently, things like that, and I wonder if you all agree, or think something different might happen?

    ...That's about as clear as mud, haha. Does that make any sense?

    (: Laur

  2. #2
    Flobberworm93
    Guest
    Does it seem plausible that the younger character wouldn't recognize himself, or would, but only subconsciously, until the older character reveals himself?
    If the character's changed a whole lot, then it could work. Although I think the younger one would definitely recognize him subcounciously, a "don't I know you?" kind of thing.

    Secondly, this older character is going to be around for almost an entire year, and I wonder what sort of things you all think might happen to him as a side affect of this? Clearly it would take him 30 years to catch back up to his own time, and so he'd have to use the time turner to take him back forward at the end, else he catch up with his own time thirty years older than when he left it. But I wonder if messing with time for a year might have some long-term effects like early aging, the habits of falling ill frequently, things like that, and I wonder if you all agree, or think something different might happen?
    Woo . . . complicated
    The books don't really say that much about time travel, and any scientific opinions people have on the subject are highly debated, so I think you pretty much have free reign with this. I think no matter what you write, some physics major is going to disagree with you. I'm guessing there aren't a whole lot of physics majors on this site, though, so do what would be best for the plot.

  3. #3
    FullofLife
    Guest
    Love time-travel. Though it gives me a headache. >_<

    Does it seem plausible that the younger character wouldn't recognize himself, or would, but only subconsciously, until the older character reveals himself?
    That means your Older!Character is about forty-seven? Hm. Well, first your Older!Character needs to look at a few picture of his younger self. Some people change drastically as they age, and this applies more for men, IMO. I've looked at pictures of my dad when he was a teen and and had no idea it was him until he told me. The main reason that my dad looked so different was because of the fashion difference - he was very into the latest fashions, and his hair was a complete mess with long sideburns and weird clothes. And now at forty-five, he's a bit er - bald. And he has a beard, which he most definitely didn't have when he was a teen. Anyway, moving past my father had his fashion senses...

    My mother looked pretty much the same when she was seventeen, as she does now. Of course, this will vary from person to person.

    To make it easier on yourself, you could say that there your Older!Character's features have changed a tiny bit, and I can see a few wrinkles at forty-seven, which might not have been present at seventeen. And of course, the different fashion sense. And you can throw in a moustache for good measure, if it suits your (and his) taste.

    Point is, as long as you play your cards right, it is very possible.

    Secondly, this older character is going to be around for almost an entire year, and I wonder what sort of things you all think might happen to him as a side affect of this? Clearly it would take him 30 years to catch back up to his own time, and so he'd have to use the time turner to take him back forward at the end, else he catch up with his own time thirty years older than when he left it. But I wonder if messing with time for a year might have some long-term effects like early aging, the habits of falling ill frequently, things like that, and I wonder if you all agree, or think something different might happen?
    Ha. Had to read this five times.

    As long as he's not seen by anyone who will recognize him (which, again, would be rather difficult to do as all the people who know him as an older man will be kids in his younger self's time - make sense?) and makes sure he's not doing anything that he knows has not already happened - i.e. he's not messing with time - because as you say, he knows he was saved by his older self, so that's not messing with time at all.

    What I don't understand is why you think it'll cause long-term effects. He'll be in the past a year, but he'll report back to his time - when? A year after he left, or at the exact moment he left? If he does so at the exact moment he left - well, that's what he'll have to do, of course, otherwise people will be wondering where's he's been, and if he appears back a year later it would be a mess... so, all that would happen to him, IMO, is that he would be back at the same exact moment that he left - but he'd be a year older. He would always be a year older. That's pretty much it, I think.

    In my time-travel fic, The Salem Witch Trials, Harry and Co. travelled back, what - 300 years? And they didn't have any long-term effects... okay, well, they did, but not due to time-travel. (Okay, fine, they didn't have long-term effects due to time-travel because it never occured to me.) They were only in the past for a month though...

  4. #4
    SiriuslyMental
    Guest
    I watch a lot of Dr Who haha. I'd say he wouldn't be ill per se, or even aged early, but it might affect his mentality. Travelling that far would have to make him think differently, see the world differently. What if there was an illness ransacking the wizarding world thirty years before and he caught it? He could bring it back with him to the future and the results would be catastrophic. That's the sort of stuff I think might affect him. I doubt they'd have let Hermione travel if it would have made her ill, but she wasn't going far. He's going very far back for what we've seen of time travel and so has the potential to do some harm not just to himself but to others if he is not careful.

  5. #5
    Snape's Talon
    Guest
    What if there was an illness ransacking the wizarding world thirty years before and he caught it? He could bring it back with him to the future and the results would be catastrophic.
    That an excellent point! It would also work in reverse, as in an illness in Older!Character's time frame that was not present in Younger!Character's time.

    Secondly, this older character is going to be around for almost an entire year, and I wonder what sort of things you all think might happen to him as a side affect of this?
    Now, I've read one series where this was the case. The Dragonriders of Pern I believe it was. In any case, if a character went back in time at a place near where they had been in the past, there was a faint echo. If they went back a second time (meaning, there are three versions of him/her in the same place at the same time), the echoing was worse and physically they may feel faint.

    So your idea of a physical manifestation is a good one. It could either be as simple as his hair going totally gray during that year to something more serious, like patches of his skin going gray and aging faster.


  6. #6
    Laurskii
    Guest
    What if there was an illness ransacking the wizarding world thirty years before and he caught it? He could bring it back with him to the future and the results would be catastrophic.
    This is a point I hadn't even considered. The only problem with this happening is that he's not the main character of the story-- he's vital, clearly, in saving himself, and by default, the entire Wizarding Community, but I haven't even clearly defined in my mind that he will live past the Final Battle/Final Conflict of the story.

    If they went back a second time (meaning, there are three versions of him/her in the same place at the same time), the echoing was worse and physically they may feel faint.
    This is an interesting idea to explore. I've been toying with him trying to dodge out of using the Time-Turner a second time-- basically, he's an Order member, and if for some reason they needed to return to another place and time to check up on something, the physical effects might be tumultuous, especially considering he may already be having problems.

    What do you all think, if I do make the long-weighted time travel an issue, would be these side effects? Fainting spells, skin aging, quickly growing hair (I'm joking about this last bit) etc.? Also, I've got another question. We know that Wizards live ages longer than the average Muggle, but I wonder does that age them differently, physically? Would a 47 year old wizard look the same as he would were he a 47 year old Muggle? And if not how old might he look?

    (: Laur

  7. #7
    red haired mom
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Laurskii
    We know that Wizards live ages longer than the average Muggle, but I wonder does that age them differently, physically? Would a 47 year old wizard look the same as he would were he a 47 year old Muggle? And if not how old might he look?

    (: Laur
    The others seem to be giving you great advice on the time-travel part, so I'll answer this part, if that's all right.

    The aging completely depends on what they have endured in their lives. Remus looks a lot older than he is, because of his 'Furry little problem' and Sirius doesn't look as young as he should due to his stint in Azkaban.

    The other people around their ages look much younger. Take Dumbledore for example; he looks like a man of seventy or eighty, while in fact he is (was) in his one sixties. McGonagall was getting on up there in years too, but still looked to be about fifty.

    The aging process is just slower in wizards than in Muggles, after reaching adulthood. They would age normally until they reach their full height, and 'normal' size. From then on it would probably be only about a year for every five to ten.

    I hope that made sense, and that it helped you.

    ~Wendy

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