Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:46 am

A fair warning: Regardless of what promotional texts try to make you believe, this is not the "Eight Story". It is exactly what it says on the cover – Jack Thorne’s "rehearsal" script of a play based on a story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. The "eight story" itself may only exist as a not publishable early draft, and unlike stories written by J.K. Rowling alone, it may already be tweaked to be easily adaptable to the stage.

Being a script, it got all the disadvantages of print – we don’t see the actors’ performance and the special effects – combined with all the disadvantages of live action we know from comparing movieverse to bookverse. Expect

  • Characters that (should) have been there in bookverse left out to cut the cast down to a reasonable number.
  • Lines that must still be said moved to characters who are actually there.
  • Plotholes caused by fitting a longer story into a reasonable time span audiences can sit through.
  • More lines that must be said moved to scenes and characters that are actually there.
  • Nonsensical events that may have been explained in scenes that were left out.
  • Even more lines moved around to make the abridged dialogue still sound like a plausible dialogue.
  • Scenes added because the playwright and the director got ideas and/or the special effects team needs to show off.
  • Everybody thrown out of character, being forced to say lines and do actions they wouldn’t say and do in bookverse.

And since there can’t be close-ups, there’s no subtlety; everything must be over-exaggerated, so that audiences in the back row, who can’t see much detail, still get what’s going on. (Thanks to PoorCynic of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum for reminding me what’s meant by "playing to the back row". Otherwise, I might not have spent money on this "atrocity", thus missing something I mostly liked in the end.)

Also, this is the "rehearsal edition", meaning that all the audiences who watched it and its successive variants have been like beta readers (beta spectators?) and that the final product – the premiere – may have been quite different. You may want to wait for the "collector’s edition", which will be the finalized script of the premiere, and will not be changed until other directors are allowed to play with it. ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.])

Knowing all this, the only way to get the gist of what "The Eight Story" actually might be is playing fill-the-plothole and tune-it-down (and currently guess-what-they-changed-because-it-didn’t-work, too).

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Don’t read beyond this introduction if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Even if we didn’t read the whole thing already, we know the rumours (if we didn’t carefully avoid them) and may have seen many comments elsewhere. Thus, we won’t pretend that this is a spoiler-free first read-along.

Replies that refer specific scene numbers in the title may still contain SPOILERS for later scenes.

LAST WARNING!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

You have been warned.

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My notes for Scenes I/1 and I/2

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:50 am

Characters present in "Nineteen Years Later" were left out and lines were moved around. Surprised? I told you.

And some lines were added.

"Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes certified nose-stealing breath" looks like something every parent or uncle could play with a child, nicely tying in with Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes actually having a department for Muggle tricks. It’s probably part of a game Ron and Lily played for years. They can play it while Muggles are around (so I wonder whether it might work even better if the play followed the book less strictly and had Ron and Lily meet in Scene 1) and Lily can test what she learned on other kids, pretending to do magic while not breaking the rules against underage magic.

Ron-haters will probably read this as "Ron is lame", and thus Ron-supporters will rage about Ron-bashing, but actually, all the "true" wizards and witches enjoying the trick’s "lameness" is wonderfully self-ironic for a play that only has stage magic. And it may be a reminder that the Inquisition can stay at home, because, regardless of what it looks like, no real witchcraft and wizardry are performed on this stage; it’s just the special effects time attempting to be not lame. (So that may be the reason why it must be in Scene 2, where we pretend to have entered a magical world.)

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My notes for Scenes I/3 and I/4

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:46 am

And we’re beyond the seventh book’s epilogue. From here on, we can only guess what the differences between stageverse and bookverse may be.

Did anybody expect that Albus and Scorpius would not be friends? Prolonging the enmity into the next generation would be so boring and repetitive that it was a badfic cliché even before the first Next Generation fic was written. But since everybody agrees upon this (do we?), bonding over sweets in the Hogwarts Express is just as boring and repetitive. At least Rose’s hostility subverts another cliché: the narrative laws of heteronormative comedy require that Rose and Scorpius fall in love just to piss off their grandfathers. Then again, being difficult and not falling in love immediately is just another cliché, so I’m still afraid. Doing "The Next Generation" right appears to be nigh impossible. (I didn’t miss that they actually bond over being the sons of (in)famous fathers; I’m just joking around.)

There’s one glimpse of hope on the horizon. Since Rose is predestined to be in Ravenclaw, and the Ironic Overpower requests Scorpius to be sorted into the house his father would have run away from (more clichés?), Rose being all don’t-talk-to-the-Death-Eater can’t be a Gryffindor versus Slytherin thing, it’s just Weasley versus Malfoy again.

I’d expect that the bookverse scene, not needing to put all the exposition into dialogue and grimaces, would be quite different. (Albus never heard of the rumour? Really?)  Actually, I would prefer if Scorpius didn’t appear yet. Rose and Albus could use the time to talk about their expectations, Rose supporting Harry in that being sorted into Slytherin would not be a bad thing.



Dumbledore has only been dead for twenty years, and he is already invoked like Merlin. (If Merlin was ever invoked like that. I can't actually remember. I only remember "Merlin’s pants!") If we aren't shown a good reason for this, I won't like it.

"Well, that makes sense."
No, it doesn’t. Narrative laws require Scorpius to be in Hufflepuff, so that he and Albus don’t need to rip off Harry and Ron, and can bond over being in houses where family tradition wouldn’t expect them – and over (in)famous fathers, too. Narrative laws also require Rose to be in Ravenclaw, so that we can get a non-Gryffindor trio expandable to an all-houses quartet when Albus recruits his friend and his cousin to get his reckless brother out of the trouble daring James got himself into. (Would this be doing The Next Generation better than Rowling, or just more clichés, because it already has been done a thousand times? Would it actually change the play?)

Alas, the other houses are neglected, and this will all be Gryffindor versus Slytherin again, just from the Slytherin point of view, and there will certainly be no Time-Turner shenanigans, daddy issues, and stupid prophecies. SPOILER: I’m wrong.

The Sorting Hat is confused by Albus Potter. Did Albus tell him that he doesn't want to be in Gryffindor, because then he wouldn't be able to hide in his common room whenever James were in the mood to tease him again?

Albus certainly didn’t forget what his father told him about the Sorting Hat, but Albus choosing to be with his new friend doesn’t work. How would this match with his initial fear of being sorted into Slytherin, and why would he be discombobulated if he got what he asked for? Thus, for the second time canon tells us that students can’t choose their house, they can only choose where they absolutely don’t want to be. The Sorting Hat’s second choice can’t be turned down too.

May I guess that Craig Bowker jr is a Slytherin and Yann Fredericks is an opportunist? Are students from all houses in one class? Are Karl Jenkins, Polly Chapman and Yann Fredericks meant to represent Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff?


"I didn't choose, you know that? I didn't choose to be his son." That's a great line.

He also didn't choose to be Neville incarnate. But he may have chosen to be "Not Gryffindor!" and I'll continue to blame James for that.

Also, I like that "Potters don't belong in Slytherin" is all about family tradition. So far nobody (except maybe James and Albus himself probably quoting James) claimed that Slytherins are bad.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Lady Arabella on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:07 pm

I didn't mind Al and Scorpius meeting on the train, just like Harry/Ron and James/Sirius, even if it is repetitive.

What I found implausible is that 11-year olds are discussing another child being fathered by someone other than his official father. That seems knowledge that is too adult for 11-year olds. (Of course, I grew up in the dark ages and children are certainly different in the 21st century!).

But from whom would Scorpius have heard the rumors?  He is an only child, this is his first year at Hogwarts, and certainly Draco and Astoria would not have told him.  So how does he know?  How would Rose have known?   Does she overhear Ron and Hermione discussing it at home?  Do the students at Hogwarts really spend time talking about a student who hasn't even arrived?  

And even more implausible to me is the notion, given all the humiliation the Malfoys suffered at the hands of Voldemort, that they would consider sending Astoria back in time to conceive a child by Voldemort.  (And really????  Voldemort????  I would doubt his ability and/or interest.)

If the idea was to have Scorpius and Albus work out daddy issues  I think there could have been a better premise.

I know time on stage is short, and the play has to progress quickly, but I would have liked to see more interactions with the Slytherins/Albus, and more reaction from Hogwarts students to the names "Albus" and "Severus."  Given Albus' fears about being put in Slytherin, is it all suddenly OK because he made friends with Scorpius?  What do the other Slytherins think of him?  Does Scorpius really want to be a Slytherin given his family history?  It might have been more interesting if both were in Hufflepuff.  I agree with Heironymus that the Sorting Hat isn't really listening.

Act One, Scene Five
Harry leaves the Ministry of Magic by a telephone booth and dialing the code that was used for the entrance back in OotP.  Why?  Can't he Floo home?  And inside the MoM, the "portal", for lack of a better word, wasn't a telephone booth, was it? Why would there be a Muggle object inside the MoM?   Wasn't the phone booth only on the outside the building to look normal for Muggles passing by?  Nitpicky, I know.    I need to go back and check to books.  Did we ever see anyone LEAVE via the muggle elevator?

Act One, Scene Six
Amos Diggory is still so angry at Harry after 20-plus years?  That he would always grieve Cedric's death I can understand.  But to still be angry at Harry for surviving is hard to swallow, unless he has dementia and is mentally stuck in the time right after GoF.  But he seems to understand the passage of time, since he wants Harry to use the Time Turner.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Verity Weasley on Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:36 pm

Hieronymous, it is great to see your commentary, and nice that we have something new to comment on - however questionable the material might be!

I agree that this is not the eighth story (if anything it's more like bits of the first, third and fourth stories, rehashed). I know there were lots of reports of people not realising this was a play script and then being disappointed, but I have no sympathy for anyone who is paying so little attention.

Hieronymous, thank you for pointing out the shortcomings of the play format over a novel. I think it is important to bear those things in mind, because it has a dramatic effect on the experience as a reader. I'm sure if I had the opportunity to experience the play on the stage with everything the actors would bring to the story, I'd enjoy it a lot more than a flat reading of the dialogue.

Yes, there are plenty of cliches here. Once upon a time we wrote a Five Words story about Albus being sorted into Slytherin and becoming friends with Scorpius, so it's not a new idea! I'll have to see if I can find it. I can't remember what happened after that.

Lady A, that's an interesting point about the rumour. How Scorpius and Rose had heard it and Albus had not. When I got to that part and read the rumour, I had to stop for a minute and go and rant to my son about how that had better not be the storyline because the idea of Voldemort ever having a child was just so ridiculous!

There is so much to say about this play, but I really need to organise my thoughts a bit more. One thing I was thinking about was how early on when it was originally announced, JKR was saying that the play format was the only appropriate way to tell this story and when everyone saw it, that would be clear. I don't get that though. Plays work well as a format for stories that are largely character-driven, whereas this is more action-driven. The events take place over four years and we really don't get a chance to slow down and explore any characters in depth. My son had to listen to my exclamations as I was reading. "I'm on page 20 and we're already in year three!" That kind of thing.

If this was really going to be the eighth story and a focus on the new generation, then it really would have been an opportunity to mix things up with the Sorting. It would have been nice to see Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw get some attention, instead of continuing the same old Gryffindor vs Slytherin thing.

Can we talk about the trolley witch...

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Some answers

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:29 am

Growing up isolated is not good, but the Malfoys wouldn’t want Draco befriending Muggles; they must have met with other magical families occasionally. But since only nasty people – like former Death Eaters who got away with it – would want to talk to the "nasty" Malfoys, Draco of course got to hear the nasty rumour. You’re right that Rose – who had decent cousins and a brother to grow up with – knowing the rumour is even less plausible than Albus having learned it from James, who might have heard about it at Hogwarts, would have been.

The telephone box didn’t bother me. It’s like an elevator going down from street level to the Entrance Hall, and the descriptions in OP 7 and OP 33 read like the telephone box is actually the elevator cabin that's going down. (It may leave the illusion of a telephone box above ground, so that Muggles don't see it vanish.) The director probably knows that "He ascends away from the Ministry of Magic" should mean that the telephone box is lifted up and off stage.

Of course Harry could Apparate or use the Floo network. Maybe taking the elevator is just nostalgia, because this is how he entered and left the first time? Or Harry may just like to walk home, at least part of the way. It’s the only time of the day when he isn’t surrounded either by colleagues or by family.

Verity, maybe the play format is the appropriate way to tell the story, because it’s an excuse to leave so much unsaid, appealing to our emotions more than to our rationality. True, we don’t see much of the characters’ developments during the setup, hastening through three years in four scenes (actually in one scene). But further on, it's all about studying the characters in various environments, with Harry and Albus coming to terms being the main point.

Yes, we can talk about the trolley witch, but not now.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Lady Arabella on Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:18 pm

Verity Weasley wrote:   Plays work well as a format for stories that are largely character-driven, whereas this is more action-driven . . . .

I just finished reading and also need to organize my thoughts, and try to restrain my impulse to comment on everything all at once   I also need to go back and re-read.  Agreeing with Verity about the play format, and although I thought the play became more character-oriented toward the end, there was still a lot of action and reliance on special effects.  (But what fun to be part of the technical crew for the play that came up with all the effects and made them work!!!  Very Happy  )  

One area that I'm having a hard time with is the dialogue, which should not only move the story along, but be a tool for characterization as well.  And a lot of the dialogue is jarring to me.  To hear a pureblood wizard (who in my mind is equivalent to a stuffy, English aristocrat) use the slang American (Muggle) expression, "No way, José," was like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard.  Of course the problem could be my perception of pureblood wizards and English aristocrats since I am acquainted with neither.  Maybe it is common for them to sound like Californians.     (Hmmm . . . .  maybe that smiley is better for Crockett & Tubbs . . .)   And the line where 14-year-old Albus calls Draco by his first name instead of "Mr. Malfoy" is another example.  For me the dialogue sounds the same regardless of which character is speaking, so to me, it is NOT doing a good job of characterization.  (Except for Ron, but his character-driven dialogue seems to be a series of cheap shots.)

OK - better stop before I comment on everything.  I can't wait until we get to the "Extraordinary Meeting" scene in Hermione's office . . . . .
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Verity Weasley on Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:43 pm

Yes, I am sure the crew had an amazing time coming up with all the special effects, and there were several times when I was reading that I was asking myself, "how on earth did they do that on the stage?" - the aforementioned trolley witch scene being one of those moments, as well as Hermione's weaponised library.

Speaking of special effects, I guess the telephone box entry for the Ministry was easier to manage than the toilets! However, according to the books, the telephone box is for visitors to the Ministry, not employees, so I don't really know why Harry would be using that method.

As far as the dialogue goes, it was Scorpius who uttered the immortal words 'No way, Jose', so I guess it's more in keeping for a 14 year old wizard to use that expression, even one from an aristocratic wizarding family, than anyone else. I actually rather liked Scorpius in this. He was definitely my favourite character, and since all we had to go on was really the dialogue, it obviously didn't bother me too much. Like HG, I was more put off by the use of expressions like 'Thank Dumbledore.' 20 years does seem like a fairly brief time to start bestowing god-like status on Dumbledore, especially since it wasn't even Dumbledore who defeated Voldemort in the end.

Lady A, I don't remember that specific part where Albus called Draco by his first name, but that does sound unlikely.

I understand why they did it, but I think it was a mistake of the publishers to call Cursed Child 'the eighth story.' It's really not. It's a spin-off play with the original seven novels as the source material. Call it the eighth story and us fans are just going to dissect it in minute detail, which we might not have been inclined to do so much if it wasn't being so heavily marketed at the eighth story. I've never been a huge fan of the movies, but I accept that changes were needed to be made to suit the medium. It's the same with the play, except that we don't have the 'real' version of this story to content ourselves with. Does any of that make sense outside my head?

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My notes for Scenes I/5 to I/9

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:58 am

Theodore Nott?
Didn’t [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], but [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] imply that Theo didn't want anything to do with Malfoy and company and that his father was the only Death Eater he could (barely) tolerate? But then, despite the allies of darkness rising, nothing implies that Theodore Nott was arrested for being a Death Eater, or for anything but being in possession of an unlicensed Time-Turner.

So, does this scene imply that Rufus Scrimgeour outlawed time travel, because the thought of going back to undo Voldemort’s return would have been too tempting, but actually doing it would have been too dangerous, and that building a new Time-Turner has been illegal ever since all Time-Turners were destroyed in the Battle of the DOM?

Of course Hermione cannot not want to learn how this new type of Time-Turner works, and the knowledge may actually be valuable in case there is more than one of these things.


Rumours travel fast. SPOILER: Or did Delphi set up Nott to be caught so that she could manipulate Amos into unsuccessfully trying to manipulate Harry into using the seized Time-Turner to get Cedric back, so that she could manipulate Albus into doing what Harry refused to do?  Sounds like an overly complicated plan, but stupid people who believe in prophecies don’t have a choice.


I guess in bookverse, where's less need to limit the number of characters, the gifts were sent by George. Although it looks more like Fred, but Fred is dead. It certainly wasn't Ron.

I see the actors work hard to show that there is a father-son-conflict, but I don’t really get what it is. Harry promised that being sorted into Slytherin wouldn't be it. Is it befriending a Malfoy? Just not fulfilling expectations nobody should have had in the first place? Since I constantly complain about readers who want everything spelled out and refuse to think on their own, saying "this would need much more build-up in bookverse" would be hypocritical. Maybe it should be sufficient that we all have been children and had our problems with parents and other authority figures and thus we can relate? And if we’re parents, we just see that even the wonderful Harry Potter isn’t a perfect father and runs into problems just like we do?

The poor orphan who went on to save us all – so may I say – on behalf of wizard kind.
Is Albus parodying the speeches that are held every Victory Day? I guess Ron is right when he claims that people look because he is famous, at least as far as the kids are concerned. Ron is famous for being one of the Weasley brothers who create all the fun stuff. Harry is infamous for being the old man all these boring speeches they are forced to listen to are held about.

Well, there are times I wish you weren’t my son.
Harry would never say that? Maybe. But would he never even think it? Would Albus be able to read it from his father’s expression, or at least believe he does, and it shows on his face? Now try to play that to the back row.

Will we ever see this blanket again? SPOILER: We will, and it being mouldy is an important plot point.


We get a flashback, in case the audience doesn’t remember where Harry came from, or didn’t even ever watch the movies (they certainly can’t be expected to have read the books). And it’s actually a foreshadowing dream.

May this be a continuity error? Amos Diggory visited late at night on August, 31th (the day before the students leave for Hogwarts). Albus couldn’t sleep, so he was expected to sleep, and everybody should have gone to sleep when Amos had left, and when everybody ran around and the presents were distributed, it should have been morning (September, 1st). But since we’ll see that it’s still September, 1st through the following scenes, Harry dreaming about the Hut on the Rock should have happened before the previous scene? Or did Harry and Ginny go to bed again when the kids had left? Ginny mentions that Harry tried to give the blanket to Albus, so this can’t be a flashback to what happened last night, before Scene 7.

I may need a break, and a careful reread of the previous books. (Didn’t I intend to do that anyway? I’m approximately two years late.) Maybe I’ll find that "Harry’s hurting scar foreshadowing Voldemort-related threats requires that Harrycrux is still intact, establishing a connection to Voldemort" was never spelled out and thus is just fanon.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Verity Weasley on Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:06 am

Wow HG. That is a lot of ground you've covered there.

We really know very little about Theodore Nott other than that his father was a Death Eater and he didn't get an invitation to the Slug Club. I don't think we have any evidence either way about his own pro- or anti- Voldemort leanings.

I guess the fact that Nott is in custody does suggest that owning the time turner is illegal, and the graze on Harry's face suggests he wasn't that keen on giving it up. But what else do we know? There are so many plot holes around this whole issue of the time turner that it's hard to know where to start. Was Nott involved in some kind of plot to go back in time and revive Voldemort? Had he been in communication with the trolls, giants and werewolves, whose moves had sparked interest at the Ministry. Where did Delphi fit into all this? But the idea that there was not one, but two completely unknown but supremely powerful time turners in existence really stretches the bounds of credibility. Talk about a deus ex machina!

Delphi's plan was quite complicated enough as it was, but your suggestion is no less ridiculous. The question is, did Delphi know Nott had the time turner before the Ministry confiscated it? If she did, why didn't she just go and get it from him? Or perhaps join forces with him if they were after the same thing? If not, and she just found out about the time turner when the audience does, isn't it awfully convenient that she had a simmering pot of polyjuice potion ready to go when the plan demanded it?

One of the things that really bothered me about Cursed Child was the casual way polyjuice potion was treated. JKR goes to great lengths to tell us in CS how difficult it is to make and how long it takes - at least a month. And yet in Cursed Child, people are knocking it back at a moment's notice. Also, Harry Ron and Hermione take at least a month to plot their assault on the Ministry in DH, but Albus, Scorpius and Delphi just stroll in with five minutes planning apparently. (I know, this reply is covering too much ground, I'll try to restrain myself).

On the subject of gifts, it seems unlikely and out of character for Ron to give Albus a love potion. He is well aware of the dangers of love potions, and even he is not that insensitive. Also, why would Harry give James his invisibility cloak? As Head of the Auror Office, wouldn't he still need it? I know there is a tradition of the cloak being handed down from father to son, but given the importance of the cloak and how many times it saved Harry's life, it seems a bit frivolous to just hand it to a 14 year old kid with no other purpose than messing around at school. And I have to admit, if I were Albus I'd feel a little put out if my brother was given the most powerful invisibility cloak in existence and I was given a mouldy baby blanket! Talk about favouritism!

On the father-son conflict, it seems to just stem from the differences in Harry's and Albus' personalities (and maybe the fact that Albus is just an annoying, whiny teenager). It's not clear why he feels so much expectation to live up to his father's image. If anything, I would have thought that would have been much more likely for James, the older son. In fact, I was pretty convinced almost all the way through that Albus was gay, and that might have accounted for some of the conflict, at least in terms of Albus feeling different. That's a topic for another post.

Do we know that it was August 31st when Amos Diggory comes calling? The scene with the blanket must take place on August 31st because Ginny says, "Lily Potter, don't think you're wearing those to school tomorrow!" So presumably it was August 30th when Amos visited, or even sometime before that.

Yes, I think we need some more discussion of the whole issue of Harry's scar hurting again, but I'll save that also for another post. This one is getting too long.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Lady Arabella on Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:11 pm

Verity Weasley wrote:
I understand why they did it, but I think it was a mistake of the publishers to call Cursed Child 'the eighth story.' It's really not. It's a spin-off play with the original seven novels as the source material.  

I agree.  If it had been advertised as fanfiction sanctioned by JKR it would be more realistic.  (Although undoubtedly less interest in and less rush to see the play!!)  Because as the "Eighth Book,"  my response is:  "Dear Mr. Thorne, I have read the script for The Cursed Child with great interest, and while intriguing, you would have been well-advised to have some Seriously Obsessed Harry Potter Fans review your script before going into production.  Because there are  things that are wrong, or which don't make sense.  Really - - - no sense at all.  The above-mentioned Seriously Obsessed Harry Potter Fans can be found at the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum and would be happy to lend a hand critiquing your script so that you Get It Right before the play opens elsewhere."

Also agreeing with Heironymus that it's hard to see the source of the father/son conflict.  In the original Epilogue, Harry seems quite compassionate with Albus' fears that he might be sorted into Slytherin.  So what happened when Albus arrives at Hogwarts?  Is he treated differently because he is Harry's son?  Thinking back to how Snape treated Harry on his first day in Potions, does Albus have a similar experience with a teacher?  I find it hard to believe that Harry, who always wanted a family, would tell any child he wishes the child were not his.  That's too "Dursley."  I wish the first scenes would have shown us snippets of Hogwarts to at least get an inkling of the problem.

Since Verity brought up the Polyjuice Potion, that was going to be one of my rants.  I thought it very strange that when McGonagall mentions that Bloomslang Skin and lacewing flies have gone missing from the Potions Store over the summer, (Act One, Scene 12, MoM, Grand Meeting Room), Hermione doesn't give some kind of reaction - a start of surprise perhaps.  She should react to those ingredients, but doesn't.  And the timing is bothering me.  Is it Albus and Scorpius who have stolen the ingredients?  During the summer?  Before hearing about the Time Turner?  Do they have the skill to brew Polyjuice?  Where and how did they brew it?  And when actually using the potion, where did they get the hairs or other "something" to use?  Was this planned "offstage" and we just didn't see it?   Not to mention the "Eeeewww" factor when Albus becomes Ron and makes amorous overtures to his aunt. silent  pale  

I could keep going. . ..    but am wondering about protocol.  Is it better to dive in with early impressions and then go back scene by scene; or wait for Heironymus to set up the scenes for us, comment on those, and then get into more detailed discussion?  Or does it matter?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Verity Weasley on Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:34 pm

I second your letter to Jack Thorne, Lady A!

So what happened when Albus arrives at Hogwarts? Is he treated differently because he is Harry's son?

It's possible, but again, he is the second of Harry's sons to go to Hogwarts. Surely all of the pressure would have been on James, as the first Potter since Harry to go to Hogwarts. I guess the difference is that James lived up to the expectations. He got sorted into Gryffindor, was athletic (presumably) and generally successful. He also seems to have a 'friendlier' personality. Whereas Albus is a whiny, self-absorbed loner. (Can you tell I didn't like Albus much? )

I agree that the conflict felt forced and didn't seem true to Harry's character. Especially that "I wish you weren't my son" moment. But then, all that blather about how Petunia would have really wanted him to have the blanket seemed completely soppy and delusional too!

I think the assumption is that Delphi brewed the polyjuice potion. Albus says, "Thanks to Delphi's brilliant preparation work..." so she clearly made it. Quite how she got hold of bits of Harry, Ron and Hermione is not explained, or even how or why she had the foresight to brew the potion in the first place. Just one example of the casual way in which Jack Thorne treats HP canon.

I have a few issues with that whole Ministry of Magic meeting (apart from Hermione being Minister, which we can save for another time ). Firstly, they're concerned about something 'big' going on and asking if anyone has noticed anything - apparently there are giants, trolls and werewolves on the move - but the only thing anyone mentions in the meeting is some missing potions ingredients from Hogwarts. Why would that even be considered as a sign of anything nefarious going on? But then, yes, having received that information, why wouldn't Hermione immediately think of polyjuice potion. I mean, obviously, that's what we all thought. It was an example of foreshadowing about as subtle as a sledgehammer!

I'm not sure of the best way to tackle this either. Except to try and keep it in manageable chunks. But I think it's OK to go in whatever order we choose for now. We have a lot to get off our chests!

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Spoilery Timeline and other stuff

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:12 pm

Months or even years ago, when Delphi learned about the prophecy mentioning that "time is turned", she thought, There must or will be a Time Turner, otherwise the prophecy cannot be fulfilled. Thus, searching for a Time Turner was the first step in Delphi’s quest to make the prophecy come true.

Months or even years later, when Delphi found out that Theodore Nott had a Time Turner, she couldn’t just take and use it. In stupid Delphi’s weird interpretation of the prophecy, a specific person, who is an unseen child, must use the Time Turner to spare a spare and murder their father. (Actually, sparing spares, turning time and murdering fathers may be independent events, that all must happen, but only the latter must be performed by unseen children.) Since Delphi can’t murder her alleged father, in her interpretation she can’t be the person who turns time and spares spares. Also, teaming up with Theodore Nott would only make sense to her if she could convince herself that Theo somehow is an "unseen child".

After months or even years of research Delphi came to the conclusion that Albus is an "unseen child" (because nobody sees him like he really is, everybody just sees famous Harry Potter’s other son?), and that Cedric must be the spare to be spared, ignoring that the prophecy talks in the plural. Currently I’m not sure whether Delphi assumed that Scorpius is an "unseen child" too and that Albus and Scorpius must and will turn time, spare the spare and murder their fathers together; I’ll have to check for details on this reread.

But Delphi couldn’t just ask Albus to bring Cedric back. Albus would certainly ask, "Why me? And why Cedric Diggory? Why shouldn’t I want to bring Uncle Fred back?" (Why not Sirius? Remus? Tonks? Dobby? Dumbledore? Moody? The list could go on and on.) Delphi had to set up a situation where Albus wouldn’t dare to ask "Why Cedric?" (you can’t ask Amos that) and would think, Who, if not we?, because the most famous hero, who happens to be Albus father, had already refused to do it.

At the start of the summer holidays, Delphi’s plan had developed to a state where she knew that it was necessary to give the Time Turner to Harry first, and then take it back. So, she broke into Hogwarts to steal the ingredients she couldn’t get elsewhere, and began brewing Polyjuice Potion and gathering hairs of persons she, Albus and Scorpius would want to turn into to steal the Time Turner from the Ministry or wherever Harry might keep it. Then, when she was prepared, Delphi started to spread rumours about Theodore Nott’s Time Turner. That’s the only way I can make sense of all this.  
Go home to your family Harry, the Hogwarts Express is about to depart for another year – enjoy the time you’ve got left – and then come back here with a fresh head and get these files read.
If Hermione didn’t intend to give Harry a day or even more off, she actually meant "your children will leave tomorrow, go spent this evening with them", so Theodore Nott was arrested August, 31st.  
– and coming to my house in the middle of the night – when my kids are just getting ready for their new year at school – it’s not right.
If the kids don’t need more than a day to get ready, Amos visits at August, 31st. So we identified the irritating part now, it’s the stage direction "ALBUS can’t sleep" when he isn’t expected to sleep because the kid’s aren’t yet ready for their new year at school and there are still presents to be distributed in the middle of the night, before everybody goes to sleep and Harry can have his dream.

Harry isn’t an Auror anymore; he is now Head of Magical Law Enforcement (the Auror Office is only one part of this department). Although Harry obviously still prefers supervising a raid over doing his paperwork, he actually shouldn’t do field work where he would still need the Invisibility Cloak. To Harry, the blanket is just as important as the cloak, the only things he has from his parents. Apparently he thought giving the blanket to Albus while keeping the cloak from James would look like favouritism.

I hope scenes I/10 to I/14 will go up tomorrow.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Verity Weasley on Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:21 pm

To Harry, the blanket is just as important as the cloak, the only things he has from his parents.

Yes, but I just don't buy it. Firstly, this blanket is nothing more than a convenient plot device, shoehorned in in the most contrived way possible. So let's assume that to Harry the blanket is important. Even though it's only been in his possession since Petunia died, (let's assume sometime in the last ten years), whereas he has had the invisibility cloak since he was 11 and it was closely involved in all of his adventures at Hogwarts, including his defeat of Voldemort. And it's one of the Hallows, for goodness sakes! Does Harry really expect that to his 14 year old son, the two items would be of equal importance? It's just not credible and it's hard to buy Harry as being that clueless.

You are giving Delphi a lot of credit, HG. And maybe that's deserved, we really don't know a lot about what has gone on in Delphi's twisted mind, but you would think that if she was smart enough to figure all that out, she would also be smart enough to know that huge chunks of her plan were completely unpredictable.

I agree, the timeline around those events preceding the start of school is extremely confusing. Given that this is the rehearsal script, maybe that was fixed in the final version. Or maybe it doesn't cause quite so much confusion when you're watching the play and not reading the stage directions. Because you might not know that 'Albus couldn't sleep,' just that Albus is sitting at the top of the stairs eavesdropping on the exchange below.

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My notes for Scenes I/10 to I/14

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:30 am

How do you always know about these things and I don’t?
Lampshading it doesn’t make it less weird, but may this be Rowling saying, "If there were another way to put it on stage, we wouldn’t make Rose tell all the exposition"?

Wasn’t Lucius Malfoy the guy who had all sorts of artefacts that broke all sorts of laws in his cellar? And then sold it all to Borgin and Burkes?  Maybe Malfoy and Nott senior had competed about the biggest collection, and Theo didn’t know what to do with the heritage, so he kept it? (Theo is my second candidate for a good Slytherin in Harry’s year; nobody makes him evil undisputed )

You know, if Rose and Scorpius don’t fall in love, Albus and Scorpius works just as well. He’s half Weasley, too.

Albus didn’t need much prodding to get his "who, if not we? " moment, and it’s a "now or never" moment too. Getting out of Hogwarts wouldn’t be easy (so it might actually be "now or next Hogsmeade day") and then there would still be the problem of getting back to London not using magic (because underage magic could be traced).

Delphi may have chosen the date when she anonymously revealed the Time-Turner to the Ministry deliberately so that there would not be much time to think it through, and really, Albus doesn’t think it through. Did all the others need to be killed? Don’t they deserve to be brought back, too?


Getting off the Hogwarts Express isn’t easy, though. Is there fan fiction about the Trolley Witch’s life beyond the Hogwarts Express? Forget it. Over the last hundred and ninety years she became an integral part of the train, much like an enchanted vending machine, and the train DOESN’T LIKE PEOPLE GETTING OFF IT. Shocked confused scratch    

Now that the special effects team had their chance to show off, can we get back to more relevant plot?


Do the trolls, giants and werewolves feel that something important will happen, like Harry feels his scar hurt? SPOILER: Or did Delphi recruit them to help Voldemort? Stupid girl believes that Voldemort will return now when time has been turned, and will need help to take over again?

Boomslang skin and lacewing flies have been stolen from the Hogwarts Potions stores! Everybody watch out for actors polyjuiced into looking like protagonists!

SPOILER: Is this meant to foreshadow that Delphi brewed Polyjuice potion? It only takes a month, so, if nobody checked the stores since the end of last term, there would have been more than sufficient time. But why did she break into Hogwarts? Because after twenty-two years of "having known only the slightest conflict", security at Hogwarts is lower than at any ordinary apothecary or wherever wizards usually purchase potions ingredients?

I wonder whether stealing from Hogwarts is something they changed before the premiere. Did the audience of the rehearsals get the hint, or did they still complain that brewing Polyjuice Potion within hours after realizing that they needed it was breaking canon? If they got the hint, did they complain that Hermione didn’t get it?

In bookverse, McGonagall and the readers knowing about the stolen Boomslang skin, but McGonagall not reporting it, because she didn’t see its significance, might make sense if the story were told from various points of view (but then nobody would report anything when Harry asks?). So we may have run into the limitations of the stage again. Delphi stealing from Hogwarts still isn’t plausible, even if she couldn’t just buy the stuff because she didn’t want the salesperson remembering her. But then, the hint needs to be recognizable. If Constable Bulstrode ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]) reported that some Boomslang skin had been stolen from an apothecary, would the audience still get the hint, but accept that Hermione couldn’t make the connection to what she had done at Hogwarts?

In bookverse, we might see Hermione polling intelligence because she has reason to suspect that something big is approaching, and multiple persons tell about the trolls, the giants and the werewolves (this exposition doesn’t need to be in Harry’s files and then retold by him) and maybe some other weird events, and we might learn to know these people and why having this information is required by their jobs. But stageverse doesn’t work like this. Even if some random cast members told about Voldemort’s allies rising, we would ask, "Who are these people?" (Who are Karl Jenkins, Polly Chapman and Yann Fredericks, again?)

That’s the Draco we love to hate. But why is he even there? Does he have any official function, or is he just visiting, like Lucius used to do? All this feels like several chapters of a book compressed into one scene.


I guess watching the retired witches and wizards would be fun.


Amos isn’t very helpful, but Albus is determined and Delphi is prepared. (I’ve not much to say for these two scenes.)

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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Lady Arabella on Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:12 pm

I had real problems with the idea of Petunia keeping the blanket.  She hated anything dirty or old, and didn't seem to want any reminders of James and Lily.  In the shock and dismay/disgust of having Harry foisted on her, I just don't see her being sentimental and keeping the blanket - I think she would have burned it straight off.  She may have even thought a "Wizarding Blanket" would be dangerous to keep - who knows what horrid surprises or jinxes might be attached to it?

But even if she had kept it, I don't really think Harry would be all that attached unless we knew that Lily had knitted the blanket herself.  Even then, to a "tweenager" there is no comparison between an old blanket and a really cool Invisibility Cloak that is one of the Hallows.  (And now that Harry knows it's a Hallow, I don't see him casually giving the cloak to James.)

I wonder whether stealing from Hogwarts is something they changed before the premiere. Did the audience of the rehearsals get the hint, or did they still complain that brewing Polyjuice Potion within hours after realizing that they needed it was breaking canon? If they got the hint, did they complain that Hermione didn’t get it?

I do wonder if Thorne was besieged by comments after the play opened.   But maybe, as Heironymus pointed out in an earlier post, we can't rely on the audience having read the books.  It will be interesting to see the script in it's final form.

Maybe Malfoy and Nott senior had competed about the biggest collection, and Theo didn’t know what to do with the heritage, so he kept it?

That makes as much sense to me as anything.

I really need to do a re-read . . . . . . .
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Verity Weasley on Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:25 am

No Albus certainly didn't need much prodding at all, did he? But it was Rose's comments on the train that spurred him to action, when she confirmed that the Ministry did indeed have a time-turner. (I guess Hermione and Ron both like to bring their work home with them - Hermione discussing the top secret inner workings of the Ministry and Ron bringing home stock from Weasleys Wizard Wheezes, including a stash of extendable ears ). What would have happened to Delphi's plan if Rose did not disclose that information to Albus at that exact moment?

Even teenage impetuous Harry, at the height of his 'saving people thing' would never have acted so rashly. And it seems as though Albus' motives are not so much about helping Amos and 'saving' Cedric as they are about getting back at his Dad. Hardly the most altruistic reason for jumping off a moving train and risking the life of your best (only) friend.

OK, the trolley witch. What?!!! affraid This was pure madness. I can accept the trolley witch being some sort of train guardian with a previously unknown responsibility for stopping students leaving the train, but exploding pumpkin pasties? Really? Generations of students have eaten those pasties. What's that doing to their insides? And then she transforms into goodness knows what. So what is she? Is she even human? Is she some sort of metamorphmagus? I guess this was purely an opportunity for the special effects team to show off, but I can't imagine what that must have looked like on the stage. Anyway, having completely prevented the boys from leaving the train, her mission is over. She doesn't raise the alarm in any way, or notify anyone about this unprecedented event. Presumably she morphs back into a mild-mannered trolley witch and goes back to selling her pumpkin pasties and chocolate frogs. So it's at least 8 hours before anyone notices Albus and Scorpius have disappeared. That seems to be a flaw in her 'programming.'

I'm trying not to be over-critical. I feel like I would have liked this a whole lot more if I'd seen it rather than just read it. As Hieronymus points out, it seems that a lot of the issues with Cursed Child are due to the limitations of the play format because we have so much less to go on than if it were a book.

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My notes for Scenes I/15 to I/19

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:29 am

(Depending on Rose to deliver confirmation of the Time-Turners existence looks like a flaw in Delphi’s plan. She may have underestimated Albus’s trust in his father and just expected that Albus didn’t need any further information to assume that his father had lied. We don’t want her to be a Mary Sue who can’t fail, right?)


The trolls go to a party, the giants go to a wedding, the werewolves play hide-and-seek, and Harry got a headache because he’s getting old. Ron is the voice of reason, and it may all be true, so we don’t need to worry about uncanonical abilities.

But we should still be worried about canonically bad ideas like travelling through time and changing history.

Hermione wants to be prepared.

There’s one point we know has been changed since the first rehearsal: no trained owls on stage.


Delphi is crazily prepared, considering that she allegedly didn’t know about the Time-Turner until yesterday. Why did she brew Polyjuice Potion that needs to brew for about a month? What did she initially intend to do with it? A part of the person you want to turn into is only added at the end, but where did she get these? Does she just have a collection of persons she might want to turn herself or somebody else into? Of course stupid fourteen years old boys don’t realize that this must have been planned in advance.

New canon detected: The Ministry of Magic is in Whitehall, London’s governmental district, where most of the Muggle ministries are (that has only been speculation until now).

The "Minister for Magic" and the "Head of Magical Law Enforcement" entering the Ministry through the visitor’s entrance is not suspicious? Actually, since we have seen Harry leaving this way, it may not be. Also, "Harry" and "Hermione" bring a visitor with them, just like Arthur Weasley once did with Harry, so there’s actually a plausible reason for using the visitor’s entrance.

But then the visitor’s wand had to be registered at the security desk. Would the security wizard realize that this can’t be Ron’s wand? Would he recognize "Ron" and assume that, since this is not Ron’s first visit, his wand is already registered and doesn’t ned to be registered again, so he just lets him pass? Is the Ministry’s security more lax these days?

Hermione is so not prepared. Apparently the goblins still refuse to share the secret of how to install a Thief’s Downfall at the golden gates to the elevators, and if magic existed that could detect unregistered wands, Harry, Ron and Hermione would have had a big problem in DH.

I guess this and the following scenes happens on September, 2nd, or even later, depending on how much time has been spend on searching beside the tracks.


The Trolley Witch is still out of her mind and not even able to tell what made her so mad.

Have there been any instances of underage magic reported by the Trace? Did nobody bother to ask the Improper Use of Magic Office? I understand that the interior of the Hogwarts Express is considered an extension of the school and thus exempt from being traced – nobody ever got into trouble for casting spells there. But should two Cushioning Charms casted on the roof, or maybe already off the train, have been registered?

Ah, Harry mentions "an argument, the day before last." It’s definitely September, 2nd.


Well. That’s convenient. A Ministry official who just incidentally knew where the Time Turner is kept just incidentally visited St Oswald’s Home for Old Witches and Wizards during the last two days and the Diggorys slipped Veritaserum into his drink for no apparent reason. How did they know that he had anything interesting to tell? Do they give Veritaserum to every visitor and then ask random questions? Did Delphi just admit that she knew that the Time Turner existed and had been taken by the Ministry – just not that it had been kept – before this Ministry official visited? How did she know that? Is Delphi lying about her source of information?

Watching Hermione and "Ron" is probably more fun than reading about it. It all depends on how the actors perform.


I don’t get the last part of the third riddle. How can something that sounds like "tor" or "tors" be a mountain to climb, a route to take, a turn in the city and a glide through a lake?

What the – Hermione’s battle books actually undo Polyjuice Potion? I knew that there had to be ways to do this, and that Polyjuice Potion, like Invisibility, works best when it’s unexpected. But now it’s even weirder that the Ministry isn’t protected against Polyjuice infiltration.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Verity Weasley on Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:00 am

Let's think for a minute about why Harry's scar is hurting. What caused his scar to hurt originally? It was usually a reaction to Voldemort's emotion, caused by the connection they had since Harry's scar was a horcrux and therefore contained a little bit of Voldemort's soul. Once Voldy was destroyed, the scar was no longer a horcrux, so what is left to cause the pain? Maybe it was just a headache. Also, at this point, nothing has happened. No time has been turned, no history has been altered. What is the scar reacting to?

I don't think the telephone box should have been that easily fooled. On our book-visits to the telephone box, people have had to state their name and business and then been issued with a visitor's badge. We've never seen the telephone box just recognise people before. Even if it did, would the recognition be based on their visual appearance or something more substantial?

So not only did the Trolley Witch not bother to raise the alarm after allowing two students to escape the train, she then couldn't even give any useful information when she was questioned. She certainly did let Ottaline Gambol down. She failed in every respect.

I wondered about that underage magic business too.

Yes I'm sure that whole scene with Albus/Ron and Hermione would be much more entertaining on stage. On paper, it's more than a little bit creepy.

Security at the Ministry is decidedly lax these days. Quite apart from the ease with which the polyjuiced trio got into the Ministry, why on earth would Hermione keep the time-turner in her office? Surely there are more secure places to keep it. Like the Department of Mysteries for instance. If ever anything was a mystery it's a time-turner that can go back decades when all the previously known time-turners in existence could only manage a couple of hours.

For the riddle, 'tor' is a word meaning the rocky pinnacle of a mountain or hill, and the homophone 'tour' fits the clues for 'a route to take' or 'a turn in the city' but I'm not sure about the 'glide through a lake.' I think we could have a whole new thread on these riddles, and dissect them properly.

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Ministry Security

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:15 pm

I guess the telephone box recognizing "Harry", "Ron" and "Hermione" is just a stage thing again. Can’t waste time with too much dialog and giving Ron a visitor’s badge that would be difficult to see anyway.

In Hermione’s experience, the Department of Mysteries had not been a secure place. She probably believed that her office would be the safest place because there she could put up her very own and private security measures she didn’t need to tell anybody about, because everybody who dared to enter her office in her absence and tampered with her books would obviously be a hostile intruder and rightfully be attacked.

Dementor and dementour would be homophones if dementour were a word? I mispronounced either dementor or tour for years.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Verity Weasley on Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:56 am

The words 'tor' and 'tour' are homophones. They sound the same, even though they're spelt differently. Another would be 'tore.' So the pronunciation of 'dementor' wouldn't be affected no matter which spelling was used. I have heard some people pronounce it 'dement-er' but I don't believe this would be correct, and actually this riddle would now bear that out.

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My notes for Scenes II/1 to II/5

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:33 am

(Thanks for the explanation, Verity.)

We get another foreshadowing backflash dream, so we’ll be on September, 3rd in the following scenes.


What? Harry slept on the staircase? Was he too exhausted to get into his bed?


I dare say it’s McGonagall’s fault for having her chimney permanently connected to the Floo Network’s long range transport function. Security is really lax these days. In Harry’s years, the chimneys at Hogwarts were only connected to the Floo Network’s communication function, and enabled for internal transport. An exception was expressedly made only once in HBP 17, when the students were allowed to return from winter holidays by Floo Network. No wait, this had been arranged by the Ministry. New canon detected: The Ministry doesn’t need to ask for the Headteacher’s permission before they connect Hogwarts to the Floo Network’s long range transport function.


I guess there’s no chance for Albus and Scorpius falling in love.

Ah, Scorpius detected the flaw. This Time-Turner doesn’t have a forward button. Will they have to relive twenty-five years, like Hermione always relived the hours she travelled back in time?

There’s been more preparation in advance, getting the Durmstrang robes. But is this really a good idea? How many Durmstrang students had been there? About a dozen? (That’s the number of Beauxbatons students given in GF 15.)They all found place at the Slytherin table and it wasn’t overly cramped. Wouldn’t remembering the faces of all Durmstrang students be easier than remembering the faces of all Hogwarts students? Especially if this is not movieverse and they don’t wear house-coloured ties, everybody would just assume that they don’t know Albus and Scorpius because they don’t share classes and/or a common room with them, and they really can’t know everybody. And don’t Albus and Scorpius look too young to be Durmstrang students? They all were in their seventh year.

And after the battle, the forest was deemed centaur land.
How long after the battle? May this have been Hermione’s doing while she worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures? (Since I don’t pay attention to interviews, I can’t cite a quote here, but apparently JKR said that Hermione worked there first and improved the wizards’ relations to magical beings before she turned to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and promoted Muggle protection laws – doing some good in the world although she didn’t expect (in DH 7) pursuing a political career would help doing that.

I’ve seen commenters complaining that Bane divining something about Albus rather than just about the great outlines of future history breaks canon. But in OP 27 Firenze said to Harry
It was foretold that we would meet again.
He also said
We watch the skies for the great tides of evil or change that are sometimes marked there.
But the fate of a time traveller setting out to change history is certainly not in the category of
Trivial hurts, tiny human accidents. These are of no more significance than the scurryings of ants to the wide universe, and are unaffected by planetary movements.

Also, in DH the centaurs acted as if they knew that Harry had to die before Voldemort could successfully be attacked. Who had told them? Dumbledore? (That’s actually plausible, because there should have been a plan B in case Snape died before he could tell Harry what Harry needed to know; so I’m not helping my case here. Or my claim that the centaurs canonically can divine something important – and Firenze meeting Harry again wasn’t even that important – about important persons doesn’t help my case that Dumbledore wasn’t stupid and must have had more than one plan. Can we please have it both ways?)

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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Verity Weasley on Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:02 am

As always, you raise a number of very valid points here, Hieronymus.

It's not specific to these scenes, but it bothers me that Hermione is Minister. I feel like it is far too early in her career for her to hold that position. The story starts 19 years later. In that time Hermione has taken one year to go back to Hogwarts and finish her education, have two children, work for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures to improve the rights of house elves and other disenfranchised creatures, then for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, where she helped to put an end to pro-pureblood laws. All of that, and she's Minister within 19 years? What happened to Kingsley Shacklebolt? Even if this is a 'play thing' and they wanted to limit the number of characters, they didn't really need the Minister for this story. I think it would still have worked if Hermione was working in Magical Law Enforcement alongside Harry.

Having got that off my chest...

Yes, why is Harry sleeping on the stairs? That's just weird. I didn't notice that the first time, but it clearly says - Act Two, Scene Two, Harry and Ginny Potter’s House, Staircase - and then they have the conversation about the dream.

Everyone arriving in McGonagall's office, or other locations in Hogwarts via the Floo Network certainly contradicts everything we know in canon about getting in and out of Hogwarts. It seems that security has got very lax indeed since the defeat of Voldemort.

In Act Two, Scene Four we get the following stage direction - SCORPIUS appears at the back of the stage. He looks at his friend talking to a girl – and part of him likes it and part of him doesn’t. This is just one of many, many indications that hinted at a burgeoning Albus/Scorpius relationship. It was described by someone in a different discussion group as 'queer-baiting' - a word I had never heard before discussing this play. Again, a future thread perhaps.

Anyway, those are good points you make about the Durmstrang robes. You're right that there were only about a dozen Durmstrang students and they were all a few years older, so it was really quite a foolish disguise. Scorpius also raises a very good point about testing the time turner before using it to go back such a drastically long way, but Albus and Delphi shut him down with particularly weak arguments. The whole plan was so incredibly foolhardy, it's hard to believe how two reasonably intelligent boys could have gone along with it. I guess Delphi used flattery and her feminine wiles on Albus, while Scorpius may have been acting out of his feelings (loyalty) for Albus.

It does seem plausible that turning the Forbidden Forest over to the centaurs may have been something Hermione was involved in. It fits with what we know about her work with the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. However, given its proximity to the school, it seems a little foolish that negotiation wouldn't have included some access rights to Hogwarts personnel. Perhaps it did, and Bane has conveniently forgotten to mention it.

Now this is going to make my head hurt... Divination is about seeing the future. But since Albus' foolishly dangerous actions all technically take place in the past, how could the centaurs foresee any of that? How could it be written in the stars, as a possible future, when it's really in the past? Anyway, assuming this 'future past' (sounds like X-Men) can be seen in the movement of the stars, I agree that it does seem awfully specific for the centaurs to focus on one person. But then again, neither can it be classed as a trivial hurt, so I guess it's inconclusive.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (replies will contain SPOILERS)

Post  Lady Arabella on Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:21 pm

Verity Weasley wrote:The words 'tor' and 'tour' are homophones. They sound the same, even though they're spelt differently.  . . . .  

But not for most Americans   The riddle threw me off completely I've always heard "tour" pronounced as "too-er," two syllables.  I think only once have I heard it pronounced "tore" -  and it took me forever to figure out what the person is talking about. So like Hieronymus, I didn't get the last part of the riddle.

This thread is moving fast - I'm having a hard time keeping up!!   (But how nice that is - just like the old days.)
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Oh yeah – that, that and that.

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:26 am

Nobody claims that Hermione was Minister for Magic before Act I, Scene Five – the start of Albus's fourth year. In "Nineteen years later", she may have been Head of Magical Law Enforcement while Harry was still Head of the Auror Office, but I'm not sure whether this was stated by Rowling somewhere or is just fanon or just my imagination. Kingsley Shacklebolt may have retired at the twenty-second anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. How old was he anyway? To determine whether Hermione's career was unusually fast, we should try to compare her to other Ministers. Do we have data? I'm having problems navigating the modernized Lexicon.

I still hope that Hogwarts wasn't connected to the Floo network until Harry asked – or Minister for Magic Hermione Granger ordered – the Floo Network Authority to connect it because a search party needed to go there immediately.
He looks at his friend talking to a girl – and part of him likes it and part of him doesn't.
This may be read as "He wants his friend to be happy (which includes finding love with a woman), but at the same time he is jealous and afraid to lose his friend, because love may trump friendship". But I've seen lot's of complaints about queer-baiting, and I can understand them, although the only thing straighter than me is my jacket.
while Scorpius may have been acting out of his feelings (loyalty) for Albus.
So you agree that Scorpius belongs to ? I don't remember a single scene that requires him to be in Slytherin.

Perhaps that negotiation included some access rights to Hogwarts personnel, but McGonagall should have sent an owl to ask for permission before they entered.

Well, I guess that were five "thats"

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