The Cursed Child

When the magic continues…

What would you say if all your dreams about all your favorite characters come true? What if all your favorite characters gathered together in one interesting story? Probably, you would be happy as an army of Harry Potter fans, having received the long-awaited continuation of their favorite franchise. It’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Let’s inspect this official sequel in the form of the play…

Dream №1 Friendship of Potter and Malfoy

So we need to choose now who to be friends with for life?

Nineteen years later… Harry and Ginny’s second-born child Albus Severus Potter and the only son of Draco and Astoria Malfoy (née Greengrass) Scorpius Malfoy meet on the Hogwarts Express to begin their first year at Hogwarts. They become best friends. Draco Malfoy was Harry’s nemesis many years ago in Hogwarts; they never became friends. Their children break the tradition. But that’s not all. Instead of sending him to join his siblings in Gryffindor, the Sorting Hat sorts Albus into Slytherin alongside Scorpius. Wow! Just imagine if it had sorted Harry Potter into Slytherin (it would be actually a logical move, considering Harry’s tight connection to Slytherin). Perhaps the history of Hogwarts would have turned out differently.

Albus and Harry soon drift apart, owing to Albus’s unwillingness to be “like his famed father” and Harry’s uncertainty on how to protect his son from evil. Unjustified gossip circulates that Scorpius is Lord Voldemort’s son. The friends decide to fix the situation. Encouraged on by an old Amos Diggory and his niece, Delphi, Albus and Scorpius use the Time-Turner to travel into the past to prevent the Cedric Diggory’s death.

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Dream №2 Time-Turner

It’s time that time-turning became a thing of the past.

Any fan of the Saga at least for a second wondered what would have happened if the Time-Turner had been used to its fullest. Imagine all the ways you could use it, besides attending lessons as Hermione did (more lessons, are you kidding me?). Okay, Harry used the Time-Turner to save Sirius Black and Buckbeak, but why didn’t someone use the Time-Turner to save, for instance, Lily and James Potter? And Harry from his unenviable fate? (Where were you, wise and forward-thinking  Dumbledore?) Whatever the reason, the young heroes of The Cursed Child use Time-Turner for other purposes and more than once.

The Ministry claims it has confiscated and destroyed most of the Time Turners. Albus and Scorpius steal an illegal one and travel back to save Cedric. They soon learn the perils of time travel. After accidentally creating (and undoing) an alternate reality where Voldemort survived and took over the world, Scorpius becomes a popular Head Boy and Quidditch star, but is no longer friends with Albus! Popularity and respect can’t give him back his best friend. Once they fix the mess, Albus and Scorpius decide to destroy the Time-Turner so no one else can use it, but fall into peril in another timeline. Harry and Draco use another Time-Turner to rescue them. (Wait. How many Time Turners did the Ministry destroy, again? Are they just laying around?)

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Dream №3 Revived heroes

Tell Albus—tell Albus Severus—I’m proud he carries my name. Now go. Go.

What if our favorite heroes could return to us? The duo’s main mission is to rescue Cedric Diggory, Hufflepuff student and Prefect. He was an early casualty of Voldemort. He was a good, modest, handsome boy. Cedric’s death was one of the most unjust things in the Saga. Why not fix it? But not everything goes according to plan. After Cedric’s humiliating, tweaked by the boys during the Triwizard Tournament, an embittered Cedric later joins the Death Eaters and kills Neville Longbottom, thus allowing Voldemort to win the Battle of Hogwarts. And, honestly, this is not what we hoped. But Cedric also frees Albus and Scorpius from Delphi in the Triwizard maze.

The biggest surprise comes in the penultimate act with another long-awaited character, Professor Snape. Yes, the cold, smart, sarcastic Severus Snape, Hogwarts’ Potions Master whose eventual sacrifice led to the overthrow of the Dark Lord. When Scorpius falls into an alternate reality where Voldemort rules the world, he meets Severus Snape, who still teaches at Hogwarts. He, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger maintain the last remnants of Dumbledore’s Army, hoping to overthrow Voldemort. (Apparently, the life of a double agent is Snape’s fate in any world). Snape helps Scorpius recreate the timeline and sacrifices himself (again!) to cover Scorpius’ escape.

Harry Potter was right when he said about Snape that “he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”

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Epilogue Who is “the cursed child”?

I am the new past. I am the new future. I am the answer this world has been looking for.

You might think The Cursed Child sounds like fanfic. You might also wonder who the title refers to. It could be anyone in the play. Harry Potter, forever linked to his destiny as the Chosen one. (Whether he is happy with his burden of responsibility is another question.) Draco Malfoy passed through the disappointment and rejection of his former ideals. He is now the head of his own ancient, rich pure-blood family. He lost his beloved wife and brings up his only son.

Albus Severus Potter, Harry’s son, wants to live his own life and befriend whoever he wants, even if it’s a boy from Malfoy’s family. He doesn’t want to be in the shadow of his father’s glory, which leads to the eternal conflict of fathers and children. Scorpius Malfoy, Draco’s son, lives with the dark mark from birth. He feels cursed by being one of Malfoys. And people speculate he’s Lord Voldemort’s child (not the best prospect in a new, prosperous world that bans dark lords and their magic).

Even the good and honest Cedric Diggory causes many troubles for our heroes associated with time travel and attempts to save him. Against this background, the true “cursed child” from this story just wants to be closer to the father she never knew. She tries to help him come to this world again. It’s the only child from the play who adores her father and accepts him for who he is. She is not not ashamed of her roots, but instead is proud of them. That’s not a bad message, even if your father is the Dark Lord Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Nobody’s perfect.

And maybe the true magic lies in a not so perfect relationship with the world, your parents and yourself. As Albus Dumbledore said: “Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic.” So let the magic continue.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marianna Kaplun was born in Moscow. She is candidate of philological sciences specializing in the first Russian drama and theatre of XVIIth century. She’s also a film and TV critic by calling. You can find her essays on her Lumiere page and on her blog.

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