I read Harry Potter and The Cursed Child a couple of weeks ago.
I liked it a lot and I have nothing but a big old eye roll for internet moaners who were expecting Deathly Hallows part III.
Ultimately, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is a nice read, and after what J.K. Rowling put us through (Fred Weasley! Hedwig! Snape!), it was exactly the comfort read that I needed.
So, without further ado, here is a spoiler-ridden list of what I loved best about Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.
Before I launch into my love for Scorpius, can I just acknowledge that I was totally shipping him and Albus? If J.K. comes out in like three years’ time and says they were actually in love I am going to be pissed. If the extensive fanfic hasn’t made it clear yet, J.K., know this: we are ready (begging, actually), to see wizards make out.
The thing that is true about both Harry and Albus, is that they kind of suck as people. It’s not their fault, necessarily. They wound up thrust into the middle of a thing with all this expectation on their shoulders, and they both got so caught in seeing The Big Picture that they were liable to miss the obvious shit happening right in front of their faces. Things like their friends’ lives – complicated parental dynamics, being secretly in love with each other for three entire books, etc – pass them by to an extent, because they are so focussed on the Thing.
It is a largely undiscussed truth that heroes are mostly sort of assholes, which is why they have sidekicks. Sidekicks are actual people, and they bring the hero down to a level on which we muggles can relate.
Scorpius might be my favourite sidekick ever. I think J.K., Jack Thorne and John Tiffany realised this too, because about half way through he pretty much replaces Albus as our MC.
Scorpius walks around with a black cloud of parental doubt hovering over him. Much of the wizarding world believes that he is actually the son of Voldemort. Now, some people would let this parental legacy overwhelm them (ahem, Albus), and give into people’s worst ideas about them, become them out of spite (ahem… you get it). But not Scorpius. That kid knows who he is in a way that Draco, Albus, at times even Harry, never did. And yeah, he makes mistakes, but he is the only character in the story who remains a good person throughout. Which is no mean feat when everyone – even Harry freaking Potter – assumes that you are not-so-secretly-evil.
I heart Scorpius.
The Redemption of Draco Malfoy
So this review turned into a Malfoy love in, huh?
Yes, yes it did.
I love a redemption story.
MCs and their antagonists stumbling into mutual ground is one of my favourite fictional devices.
It takes Harry and Draco most of the story to figure out that they’ve found it: their sons. Who knew that all it would take was some intense fatherly love to get these guys on the same team? There are a great many parallels between the father-son dynamics of Harry and Albus and Draco and Scorpius. They all want to reach each other, they are all missing by millimetres.
I liked watching these two men accidentally find a connection they never expected to.
When Dumbledore said this:
“Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”
Every Single Second of Hermione Granger
You know when you were reading the books the first time and you couldn’t help but think about what an epic, ass kicking, terrifying, awesome adult lady Hermione Granger was going to be?
It totally happened.
This cameo made my heart hurt. I was not expecting it. But the truth is that in the world of Harry Potter, both Snape and Alan Rickman will always be in the room.
Snape is absolutely and wonderfully himself, making his sacrifice all over again for the good of a world he’ll never get to see.
The short scenes are a lovely tribute to the both of them.
For a pretty long time now, there has been an entirely unique feeling inside of me that I can only call Harry Potter. I felt it for the first time in years when the trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them came out.
I felt it again the entire time I was reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
It is a mix of pure escapism, comfort and nostalgia.
It’s magical, and no amount of internet trolls are going to take it away from me.