I. Have. Thoughts.
So many about this script book.
I pre-ordered and anticipated this book since February and since then I’ve spent a lot of time coming up with various scenarios and ways that this story would turn out.
First thing’s first. I knew this would be different. I don’t have very much experience reading plays other than reading Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet in high school; as well as a few plays in a college class I took. With that being said, I sometimes had a difficult time imaging the events taking place as well as the dialogue. These things, however, did not stop me from reading this. I didn’t want to give up, I wanted to challenge myself with this different form of writing and reading, and I’m glad I did.
I took my time reading this because I knew it was probably the last time I’ll ever get to visit these characters and go on a new adventure with them. That being said, the following is NOT spoiler free.
This story opens up with Harry and Ginny Potter’s two oldest children, James and Albus, going off to Hogwarts. Albus is a first year and he expresses his concern of not being sorted into Gryffindor House like his brother and his parents. He doesn’t want to let Harry down. This particular scene gave me a flashback to the epilogue in the final novel where Albus tells Harry the same concerns. (I’d make a joke about how much that scene in the movie and the final book made me cringe and roll my eyes, but I won’t)
I mean, I get it. If I were Albus, especially with a name like his, (full name Albus Severus Potter), I would feel the same burden as well. I did like revisiting this scene for old time’s sake. Which brings me to who Albus is. He is not that concerned with being placed in Gryffindor because like Harry mentioned, the Sorting Hat takes your opinion into account, and that it did. So much so that the hat placed Albus in Slytherin. However I kind of saw that coming, and I liked that he wasn’t put in Gryffindor, but I think it would have really thrown readers for a loop if he was placed in Hufflepuff. I’d love to see how Harry and Ginny would have felt about that. Not that Hufflepuff is not a great House, because it is and it’s just as wonderful as Ravenclaw and Gryffindor and yes, even Slytherin, but I would have loved to see them say “Oh, well that was a different outcome than what we had anticipated.”
Another character we get to meet is Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpious. Scorpious was my favorite character in this play. He befriends Albus on the train on their first journey to Hogwarts, much like how Harry befriended Ron 20 years earlier. We also have the pleasure in meeting Ron and Hermione’s daughter, Rose. Rose is very quick to take a disliking to Scorpious and warns Albus to be wary of who he becomes friendly with. There’s also a rumor going around that Scorpious is not Draco’s son, but Voldemort’s and that Malfoy and his late wife wanted to protect the Malfoy lineage and preserve an heir to the line, that they used a time-turner to send Scorpious’ mother back in time to meet Voldemort and well, you know… Yes I shivered too. Scorpious, however, knows that he’s just like Albus. He has pressure weighing on him to be the exact opposite of Draco, whereas Albus is facing the pressure to be just like Harry and the great men he’s named after. Albus however, wants no part of it. Albus wants to be his own person and write his own story. He doesn’t want to live in the shadows of his father or Dumbledore or Snape. He just wants to be Albus.
We flash forward to Albus’s second year at Hogwarts. Harry is encouraging him to make more friends, but Albus insists that he has all the friends he needs, Scorpious. Draco has similar feelings toward Scorpious and his friendship with Albus. Draco is so over the rumors that his son is the spawn of Voldemort that he asks Harry for a huge favor. Harry is the Head of the department of Magical Law Enforcement. Draco knows that Harry can use his position to dispel these rumors. He asks Harry to release a statement stating that all remaining Time-Turners have been destroyed. However, an arrest made a year later will reveal that not all of the time-turners have in fact, been destroyed.
Harry, it turns out, is facing some similar demons. He and Albus don’t see eye to eye. He wants so desperately to relate to his son, but he can’t. This stress is showing in Harry’s work ethic as well. Hermione is the Minister of Magic and reminds Harry time and time again, much like she did when they were in school, to stay on top of his paperwork.
Another character we get to see again is Amos Diggory, the father of Cedric Diggory, whose murder Harry still has nightmares over. Amos confronts Harry one night asking if the rumors that there is still a time-turner out there, are true. If so, he wants Harry to use it to bring back his son. Harry immediately shuts the idea down and denies the existence of a remaining time-tuner even existing. Little does he know that Albus is listening in to this exchange and gets an idea: he and Scorpious are going to bring back Cedric Diggory. Unfortunately, they don’t know that doing this, messing with time like this can change everything that happened even back to the night when Harry’s parent’s were murdered.
We also meet another character named Delphie. Delphie is Amos Diggory’s neice. She takes a quick liking to Albus and Scorpious and further convinces them that bringing Cedric back could bring so many great things. This turns out to be a very bad idea. In the remaining of the play, we go back in time. Characters are not who they say they are, and the truth about who these characters really are is revealed.
So here’s what I liked:
- Albus and Scorpious. I wanted them to be together so bad. I ship them so much. I think having queer characters in Harry Potter, especially two main characters like these two would have been monumental and it honestly would have given this story so much more heart and inclusiveness to the LBGTQ+ fans of the fandom. Scorbus forever.
- Mrs. McGonagal. YAAAAS QUEEN! I’m so glad she returned. She’s still as quick-witted and sassy as ever.
- Hermione as Minister of Magic. SLAY, GIRL.
Here’s what I hated:
- WHERE WAS TEDDY LUPIN?! He would have made this story SO GOOD. I honestly wish this story was about Albus struggling with living in Harry’s shadow, but also, meeting Teddy Lupin and befriending Scorpious and having so many adventures together.
- Cornelious Fudge announcing anything during the Time-Turner time travel parts. WHAT?! He NEVER spoke like that. Ever. Who is he, Peeves?
- Also, why wasn’t Peeves in this? I’m pissed.
- Delphie. Why? No. I feel like she was thrown into this story just to bring Voldemort back. There can be conflict in Harry Potter without Voldemort being involved. (see the entire plot to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
- The whole alternate universe idea of Ron not being with Hermione and instead being with Padma Patil. I just, don’t… understand. Also, why was Ron the way he was? I know Ron is a doofus, but he’s an annoying doofus you can’t help but love. He has his shining moments. I felt like he was being made into a joke at times. He even made dad-jokes. NOPE.
- Again, where was Teddy Lupin, though??
To wrap this up. I’m glad I got to see these characters again. I’m grateful that Jo gave us the opportunity to see what the Golden Trio is doing now. This felt a bit too much like fan-fiction for me. I don’t mean this as a dig to fan-fiction and fan-fiction writers, because those writers and stories are important, but as an official release from J.K. Rowling, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I could differentiate between the parts Jo wrote, which I loved, and the parts that she didn’t.
I would have LOVED it if this story was about Albus’ time at school, but also giving readers a peek into the Marauders era of Harry Potter. I can picture Albus and Rose going to Hogwarts and meeting Scorpious and befriending Teddy Lupin. Discovering what James and Sirius and Remus were like growing up as students at Hogwarts. I want to know more about Snape and Lily. I would have loved to see Albus discover Harry’s Marauder’s map and then inserting the Time-Turner into the story that way would have been SO SO GOOD. Sigh.
My rating: 3/5 Stars