WARNING- SPOILERS AHEAD!
(If you haven’t read it or seen the play!)
I thought that this would be disappointing. I was wrong. When I heard it would be presented in Play format, rather than as a proper novel like the other HP books, I thought it would be a bit of a let-down. Thankfully, I was rather pleasantly surprised by how quickly I read through it.
It’s still a chunky hardback, one of those brick-like books that could come in handy for self-defence maybe, but it launches straight away with a slight re-tweeking of the final chapter from Deathly Hallows.
It is 19 years after the Battle for Hogwarts and the Fall of Voldemort. Hermione is Minister for Magic, Harry the Head of Magical Law Enforcement and Ron has just passed a Driving Test. They’ve all got children of their own now and the focus character is young Albus Severus Potter. He is nothing like his famous Father, resenting that fact, leading to estrangement between Father and Son- AHOY SPOILER ALERT!! (I did warn you!)
Albus befriends loner Scorpius Malfoy and then joins Slytherin House, something Harry has trouble understanding. At the start of their Fourth year (tying-in to Goblet of Fire) Al overhears Harry arguing with Amos Diggory, Cedric’s Father, he decides to steal a Time Turner and save Cedric.
Accompanied by Scorpius and Amos niece Delphi, they go back to the Triwizard Tournament (from HP and the GoF) to save Cedric, but then everything goes horribly wrong.
MAJOR SPOILER ALERT BABY!!!
Both are affected when Reality changes to an Alternate nightmare world where Voldemort and his Augurey reign supreme. Putting everything right again is a harrowing ordeal and all the characters grow as a result.
ALSO- JKR has said she has no plans to continue the story after this, so there won’t be tales of Albus and Scorpius and their adventures, nor of Harry’s Grandchildren- but now she’s said that, I wonder how many people, like me, now have Hogwarts the Next Generation in their heads? The New Adventures of Albus and Scorpius maybe? There is still their fifth/sixth and seventh years at Hogwarts, that’s OWLS and NEWTS. Then there is still the matter of the Elder Wand- Harry has to die undefeated for its power to be truly broken- if he gets Disarmed even once, then the Wand’s allegiance will change, Even though it’s broken in two, it could always get mended.
And it’s not just the main characters; the Wizarding World beyond Hogwarts is such a rich tapestry- Look how she has expanded Fantastic Beasts from a small guide to five films. The Tales of Beadle the Bard was just five stories- that’s a TV spinoff right there. Then there’s A History of Magic- possibly an Anthology series- the Goblin Rebellions/Giant Wars and so on. The Founders of Hogwarts- what did Slytherin do after he made the Chamber of Secrets?
What fascinates me from HP and Order of the Phoenix is the history of the Department of Mysteries and the Unspeakables. That’s the early career of Broderick Bode- killed off in OOP, but mentioned very briefly in GOF- ‘Bagman and Crouch’ page 79-
ARTHUR WEASLEY-‘and that’s Bode and Croaker. They’re Unspeakables, from the Department of Mysteries, top secret, no idea what they get up to.’
Then the Department itself is in OOP- Harry’s Trial and the Final battle and is such a great place- The Veil, brains in jars, Hall of Prophecies, all intriguing and worth exploring.
So there you go JK, so many more stories worth exploring and expanding upon. Not just a thousand years of Hogwarts, but Beyond, Before and Bezoar!
Okay, I added that last one to make three B’s, but there is such a diverse world in the Potterverse, you know it’s not over. I would like, one day, to see a HP Series that keeps in all the stuff the movies missed out- like Dobby in Goblet of Fire- such a travesty leaving him out. For now though, my head is spinning faster than a Portkey, whizzing my imagination off in multiple tangents- I might even be tempted to do a HP/Who crossover for Infinite Whoniverses series 6 next year- better get my Thinking Hat on then hadn’t I?
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD- In hardback (and paperback now!)
(note- a Spoiler-free version originally appeared in Bookylicious last year- here’s the link-
Thanks to Gwyneth and Paul for including it!