I am HUGE “Harry Potter” fan. Always have been. I probably reread the entire series once a year and it never gets old. My ultimate dream vacation is Harry Potter World and I am not ashamed of that fact. So one might be surprised to learn that I had never had any intention or desire to read “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” There have been too many times when a book or television series has tried to do a where-are-they-now reboot and every single time I have been disappointed. It’s totally normal to be sad upon reaching the end of a beloved series and to wonder and fantasize about what happened to each of the characters. But my fantasies are always better than reality. That was true for Sarah Addison Allen’s “The First Frost,” when she picked up with sisters Claire and Sydney Waverly after ten years, it was true after watching the “Gilmore Girls” revival, and it remained true when a woman at church deduced I was a “Harry Potter” fan after seeing my themed phone case and offered to lend me her copy of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and I felt it’d be impolite to refuse.
The book is a very quick read so I finished it in a few hours. I found it… entertaining, true enough, and I did enjoy revisiting Hogwarts, but I thought the plot was rather weak compared to the original Harry Potter series. Thankfully, I had already been prepared by a smattering of negative reviews for the disappointing aspects of the book.
Albus Severus struck me as a whiny little poop-head who just likes to feel sorry for himself. Oh, I’m sorry, Albus. You aren’t a stellar student or the star of the quidditch team? Yeah, you know what real hardship is like. Not like your dad who was raised in an abusive household following the murder of both of his parents. And his life only got better from there! Not only did Harry face a number of life-or-death situations, but he had to watch as countless witches and wizards, many of whom were his friends, laid down their lives to defeat Voldemort and provide you with the cushy existence you enjoy today. But no, you got made fun of for being in the Slytherin house, so you have a right to hate your life and your father.
I did, however, like his friend Scorpius Malfoy. Although I rather resented the newfound respect between his father, Draco, and the Potters and Weasleys. I was much happier imagining that he lived the rest of his life silently resenting Harry Potter for saving his life and encouraging his own son not to get too friendly with the Potter’s or Weasley’s offspring. No, Scorpius was a fun character to read about and I appreciated his Ronnish role in Albus’s life, although there were a few emotional moments shared between the two friends that were a little too tender for comfort.
And finally: the ultimate villain, Delphi. She was a rather poor and feeble substitute for Voldemort. Even when she killed that innocent little student,Craig, she barely struck me as threatening. And she was way too easy to take down at the end of the book. Sure, she held her ground against several full-grown, fully-trained witches and wizards for about thirty seconds, but considering Voldemort took on the Ministry of Magic, the entire staff of Hogwarts and its student body before being taken down by Harry Potter, I was less than impressed.
And, can I just point out that Delphi’s very existence makes absolutely no sense! For one: Voldemort intended to be immortal so why on earth would he even consider reproducing? Secondly, the entire Harry Potter series provides more than ample evidence that Voldemort has no interest in sharing power, so, again, why an offspring who could potentially rival him? He certainly didn’t feel he needed the help, and any witch or wizard who came close to matching him in skill or power would have been viewed as a threat. He’s also incapable of love, so you know he had no sentimental reasons for siring an heir. Plus, the whole idea of Voldemort and Bellatrix getting…friendly, even for business purposes, is too bizarre to contemplate with any degree of comfort. It’s like imagining Voldemort using the bathroom, eating, or sleeping. It makes him much less threatening and more comical.
That’s a helpful tip, by the way, for anyone who finds themselves fearing the villain in a movie or book. Imagine them doing routine things like taking a shower or brushing their teeth and it totally helps.
Do it with Darth Vader.
See what I mean?
Anyway, I’m not obsessed or anything, I’m just a very, very devoted fan who wants to protect the nature of certain “Harry Potter” characters and themes from those who would seek to take creative liberties with them. And I fancy that I, as an avid fan, have a slightly better idea of what those natures and themes are than, say the creator of the series, J.K. Rowling, who I’m told had a hand in producing “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
Read it, if you will, and see if you share my opinion! But remember: you’ve been warned.