Always: On Being a Harry Potter Fan & ‘The Cursed Child’

If you follow me on any form of social media or know me in real life even a little bit you will know that my first fandom love is Harry Potter.

So when the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script was released like any good Potterhead I lined up at midnight for my copy of the eight-story-in-the-series-even-though-it-wasn’t-written-by-J-K-Rowling. Going to a midnight book release was a surreal experience mostly because I hadn’t been to one before. Harry Potter has defined my adult life and friendships, but growing up in middle school and high school I didn’t have those kinds of friends. I’m pretty sure I dragged my non-Potter reading family to a midnight release of one of the books at a small local bookstore, but nothing to this level. There were costume contests and face painting and pictionary and trivia challenges against small children, but at the end of it all was the most important part: holding a new Harry Potter book in my hands.

That’s what is important about all of this. Sure I have a LOT of thoughts about the story itself, but at the end of the day picking up The Cursed Child was a chance to re-enter Harry’s world. I was SIXTEEN the last time a Harry Potter book came out. I was torn between tearing through it to see how Harry’s journey would end and savoring every last page. I remember waiting by the mailbox for its delivery from Amazon, sleeping with it, carrying it with me around the house, and the heavy sadness of finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and realizing I would never have the same experience again.

IMG_2945But I’m twenty-five now and Harry is back. Harry is older, but once again so am I. Everything has changed and yet everything remains the same for both of us. There are young witches and wizards traveling by train to a magical school. There are Sorting Ceremonies and hijinx and bullying and crushes and friendship. It’s like graduating from college and realizing that while you may not attend that school any more, there are still students who are sleeping in the dorm where you used to sleep and taking part in the clubs you used to and that life goes on. It’s a very strange feeling, but also a comforting one.

That is what Harry Potter has always been for me. A comfort. A place that has brought me friends, fictional and real, adventures, and a sense of belonging. Opening The Cursed Child I couldn’t help but cry (okay, sob) because it all came rushing back to me again. I was home.

*If you don’t want to know anything about the plot of The Cursed Child stop reading.*

So did I actually like The Cursed Child? Yes. I can only imagine what this play must look like on stage (no really I have a lot of questions about how they staged parts of it like the time travel and the swimming scenes and magical bookshelves). The golden trio is back! So are Ginny and Draco (who in a touching moment reveal how jealous they both were of Harry, Ron, and Hermione growing up)! Neville is STILL the most important person in the wizarding world! Oh yeah and there are also lots of convenient time turners and wibbly wobbly stuff. I’m a huge fan of time travel so I like that they got to include it, but I wish there was more and that also it was explained better. There seemed to be some rules and at the same time no rules to how it all worked.

But the emotions are all there. The play thrives on your connection to the characters and a good amount of nostalgia. There are callbacks and direct quotes from the books that made me smile and cry at the same time. The play opens word for word where Deathly Hallows ended. There’s a touching scene with Harry and Dumbledore where the two finally get to say how much they care for each other. There’s the death of Harry’s parents, witnessed by him again, but this time with all of his family and friends by his side proving he’s not a lonely orphan any more that made me weep just as much as when I read it the first time. And there’s a happy ending, even if it’s not quite, “All was well.” 

Oh and also Voldemort has a daughter?? I mean I knew it was creepy when twenty-something Delphi starting flirting with fourteen year old Albus, but I didn’t know it would be THAT creepy. It sounds almost silly reading about the discovery, but I imagine in the theater it is quite shocking. I bet a lot of things are, like Voldemort’s voice coming from all around the theater during the dream sequences and dementors walking through the audience. It is something I hope I get to experience for myself one day soon.

Final Thoughts:

  • It was really hard for me to not to picture Dan Rad and co. for the first few acts
  • I took notes on the play in my notebook and literally just wrote, “Albus & Scorpius hug=awe”
  • Albus is a true Potter he has SO MUCH ANGST. But what about James and Lily? I still know nothing about them
  • Tough, fierce, keeping up with her six brothers Ginny would not give a crap if her kids ate sweets, I don’t know why they made it a point in the story that Ginny was watching her sugar intake and it annoyed me
  • Ron is basically dad joke Ron now, so not much has changed
  • WHERE. IS. TEDDY. LUPIN
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4 thoughts on “Always: On Being a Harry Potter Fan & ‘The Cursed Child’

  1. Brittani says:

    Harry Potter meant so much to me growing up. I went to midnight release parties for the last three books. When spoilers for this started leaking, I read them and felt severely let down. So I didn’t go and buy the book like I initially planned. Maybe I’ll read it one day, but even though it wasn’t written by JK, I just felt so much disappointment after reading the detailed synopsis. I’m still debating whether or not I want to give the book a try.

  2. Katy says:

    Nice review! Cursed Child was a lot of fun to read, and I can only imagine what it is like to experience on stage. Even though it’s a rehearsal edition, I still wish some of the story was polished especially the big reveal of who Delphi is. That part just seemed to be there to shock instead of contributing to the Potterverse in a longterm way. Still it was a lot of fun!

  3. Rene' Rivera says:

    Thank you for taking me down memory lane. I actually enjoyed the midnight book store days of your past! I guess I should have stopped at Spoiler alert. He had a daughter??

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