“My geekiness is a-quivering.” ~Scorpius Malfoy, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
It’s been a month since the manuscript of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released, and if you haven’t read this already, it is past time you did! Of course, I might be am a little totally biased as a Potterhead, but this is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. I wanted more after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. What will become of Harry’s children, I wondered, or Draco’s? Will they live up to their fathers’ legacies, or turn out to be something else? Thankfully, my questions were answered in The Cursed Child. Readers are given a peek at the life of Harry’s youngest son, Albus Potter, as he discovers himself and Harry realizes what it means to be a good father. It was truly a treat to be able to revisit these characters and the magical world I’ve fallen in love with.
Jack Thorne does justice to Rowling’s characters [warning: I’m transitioning into the discussion now, which does contain minor spoilers]. Ginny is still Harry’s other half, always there for him in every way. Ron is still the funny, amiable guy he’s always been and runs a joke shop to prove it. This actually makes me really, really happy because it demonstrates that Ron is secure with himself and doesn’t feel the need to change who he is to be more like his “successful” friends who hold positions in the ministry. Hermoine, of course, is the Minister of Magic. I think this role really suits her strong, independent nature, which is only further displayed in her daughter’s last name: Granger-Weasley. Some characters also make reappearances, notably Snape and Dumbledore. Snape is once again portrayed as a brave and considerate man in a scene that was so, so emotionally powerful. In another moving scene, Dumbledore and Harry officially reveal their love for each other. Both were more than I could have asked for.
I also love how Harry struggles with fatherhood in this book. For some reason, I’d pictured Harry being the perfect parent before reading The Cursed Child, and I’m glad Rowling and Thorne used this play to point out Harry’s flaws and emphasize that he, too, is human. I also thought it was nice for Harry to admit he isn’t fearless and list his fears to his soon, from the dark to pigeons (this one made me smile. We all have ridiculous phobias, don’t we?).
I was worried this book would be less enjoyable in play format, but the dialogue is excellent and drives the story forward. The plot was also entertaining, although some parts of it did feel far-fetched (Voldemort’s child, Cedric ending up as a Death Eater, Hermoine hiding the Time Turner with a simple riddle in her office). I simply could not see the brightest student Hogwarts ignorantly stashing away an illegal magical object where everyone and anyone who entered her office could access it. Even more, I was a little disappointed with the implication that Cedric would turn evil if he hadn’t won the Triwizard Tournament with Harry. Cedric always seemed like a kind-hearted, courageous young man to me, and I didn’t think his role as a Death Eater suited his legacy.
Now, about my favorite part of the novel: Scorpius Malfoy! His friendship and loyalty to Albus is so sweet, and the nerdy manner in which he talks, acts, and thinks makes him so relatable and personable! I can totally picture Hermoine and him chatting about their favorite historical documents over a cup of butterbeer. From his hilarious acorn metaphor at the end to his horribly impulsive plans, Scorpius Malfoy is the best part of The Cursed Child. I absolutely love him and his quotes:
- “Sweets, they always help you make friends.”
- “Oh hello Rose, what do you smell of? . . . No, I meant it as a nice thing, you smell like a mixture of fresh flowers and fresh – bread. . . . I mean, nice bread, good bread, bread… What’s wrong with bread?”
- “Are you okay, Albus? You look a little pale. And red. Pale and red at the same time.”
- “When Rose came up to me today in Potions and called me Bread Head I almost hugged her. No, there’s no almost about it, I actually tried to hug her, and then she kicked me in the shin.”
He is just so adorable, and I’m glad his friendship with Albus brought Harry and Draco closer together, too. I assumed this would happen eventually (as I have always been a fervent believer that Draco is inherently good), but it was reassuring to see this in writing.
It’s saddening to know this is supposed to be the last addition to the Wizarding World, but I’m content with the place where The Cursed Child left off at (although I would love to read more about James and Lily Potter, find out if Scorpius and Rose end up getting married, delve in future generations of wizards, etc.). Overall, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a magical, heartwarming read that I hope will eventually be made into a movie! If not, we all have Fantastic Beasts to look forward to. 🙂