Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Parts One and Two.
Authors: JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne.
Year of Publication: 2016 (UK).
Publishers: Little, Brown (UK).
Format: Available in hardback, and as ebook. (I imagine that the book will be able in paperback at some point.)
Cost for Hardback (RRP): £20 (UK).
Age Range: 10 years and over; if you are younger than this then I suggest asking your parents before reading.
This is the eighth book in the Harry Potter series.
I was a little worried about this book at first, because I have always liked how the 7th book ended: After such a terrible childhood with the Dursleys, and an adolescence being hunted by the most dangerous dark wizard of all time, Harry finally got the one thing he always wanted. A family. I was worried that a new story would go to places I wouldn’t like, and ruin the one story that I have spent the last 19 years returning to whenever I have needed Harry to help me through life (yes, that’s right; the first book was released 19 years ago when I was still a teenager in high school).
And 19 years later (2016), is where this book starts, with the Epilogue from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I should say script, as that is what it is, from the play that is currently on stage in London’s West End. Harry and Ginny are seeing their two eldest children onto the Hogwarts Express bound for Hogwarts, and it will be Albus Severus’s first year at Hogwarts.
Albus is not like his brother James Sirius, who seems to be channelling the spirits of the two mischief makers he’s named after, and Albus seems to find it hard to step out from the long shadow cast by his father. Albus finds himself in a compartment with Scorpius Malfoy, and the two become unlikely best friends given their fathers history. In fact, they are each other’s only friends, as Scorpius too struggles to live up to his family’s name, and horrible rumours about him make him an outcast.
His time at Hogwarts is nothing like the experience of his father, and Hogwarts never feels like home to Albus, and he becomes even more distant from his father who just doesn’t seem to understand him.
But he’s not the only one with problems. Old Death Eaters are still causing problems for Harry and the Ministry; and an illegal Time Turner has turned up. Harry and his friends know that something bad is about to happen, but they don’t know what, or how to stop it.
Albus and Scorpius steal the Time Turner, in an attempt to put some things right, but as we all know “Awful things happen to wizards who’ve meddled with time”. What they do in the past has devastating consequences in the present, and the weight of the free wizarding (and muggle) world will rest on their shoulders. Albus and Scorpius must learn to be themselves, and why the past belongs in the past; no matter how painful the memories.
Albus isn’t the only one struggling with the events of the past. Harry is still haunted by what happened, and riddled with guilt about what was lost and sacrificed in his name. He never wanted any of it to happen, and knows that only a handful of people will ever be able to fully understand all that he did and how it feels to live with all that happened. For Harry to stand any chance of being the father Albus needs, he must learn to finally lay the part of himself that is tied to Voldemort to rest.
By the time I finished the book the only thing I was sad about was that it was over, because being back at Hogwarts with my old friends Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and new friends Albus and Scorpius, is where I belong. If any of you share in what I was worried about, don’t be. This addition to the story that so many of us hold close to our hearts is worth our time, because what happened all those years ago in the Wizarding War still have repercussions today, just like wars in the Muggle world do, and the book shows us what happens when wounds run so deep they take years to heal. JK Rowling has never let us down before, and she won’t do in the future. I believe in Harry Potter, and JK Rowling, and I was wrong to doubt in this story.
The play is being staged at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End, and you can find out more about it, and book tickets, at www.harrypottertheplay.com I am hoping to go see it the next time I am in London. My only wish would be that I could go to watch it with my Pottermore friends.
“Ethel. Cancel the goblins.” Hermione Weasley-Grainger. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.