I’ve had this sat on my shelf for a little while. With series that I have loved I have mixed feelings about an update story, as this is. I’ve both loved and hated these additions in the past. Loved, because it is a return to a world and characters I fell in love with, yearned to know more about and what became of them. And hated, because some additions I have read/watched took some of the shine off the original series for me, made me look at the characters differently and find, upsettingly, that I didn’t find them appealing anymore. Or that the addition just wasn’t quite as good and I wished that the story had been left alone, finished and perfect as it was. Some additions try and tweak with the original story too, through flashbacks, or in this case, literally going back in time.
I really enjoyed reading this though. I think J K Rowling could write a single sentence story and it would be rich, imaginative and perfect. She has a way of writing that makes the lines warm and fun – it’s the language she uses, the way she writes. I liked coming back to Harry, Ron and Hermione. It was refreshing actually to see the children from the famous series as adults. They were still recognisable and familiar, but they are changed—obviously—by the new responsibilities and new roles in life. I love love that Hermione is Minster for Magic. I love that they are still in each other’s lives, and I love that some truths were spoken – Ginny and others feeling jealous of their friendship as children. I’m glad too that there’s some sort of resolution between Harry and Draco.
Who is the cursed child? I think Albus Potter thinks he is and I as the reader thought he was, he doesn’t enjoy being the Harry Potter’s son. Something felt strange about him being in slytherin too. It cast a shadow over him and made him bitter. There is a second child though, who could be the cursed child of the title, Scorpius Malfoy. But no, it is Voldemort’s ‘daughter.’ I have doubts over whether this is really Voldemort’s daughter. Bellatrix had a strange brand of idolisation for Voldemort, but the other way around? Voldemort is a character who seems incapable of that sort of thing. Bellatrix and her loyal husband could be unhinged enough and so worshipful of Voldemort that that is how Delphi comes to believe she is Voldemort’s daughter. I don’t know – it’s interesting to me, the way that part of the story sat so uncomfortably with me. Is it because we like our bad guys to be bad through and through, no gradations of grey? It’s easier that way perhaps, for our bad guys to be so purely bad. Or is it more the feeling that if this is true it is a bolt out of the blue. Also, reading this, Darthvader kept popping into my head, telling Luke ‘I am your father.’ Only here, it is ‘I am your daughter.’ Long-lost family dynasties.
The ending was bittersweet. Wouldn’t we all like to go back in time and see people we’ve lost again? Talk to them? Stop their deaths? However, the idea of sacrifice is a big one in Harry Potter. And love and sacrifice win over darkness once again.