Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Read online

Page 16

  ALBUS: In an alternate reality where you were significantly -- really significantly more popular -- a different girl asked you out -- and that means --

  SCORPIUS: And yes, logic would dictate I should be pursuing Polly -- or allowing her to pursue me -- she's a notorious beauty, after all -- but a Rose is a Rose.

  ALBUS: You know logic would dictate that you're a freak? Rose hates you.

  SCORPIUS: Correction, she used to hate me, but did you see the look in her eyes when I asked? That wasn't hate, that was pity.

  ALBUS: And pity's good?

  SCORPIUS: Pity is a start, my friend, a foundation on which to build a palace -- a palace of love.

  ALBUS: I honestly thought I'd be the first of us to get a girlfriend.

  SCORPIUS: Oh, you will, undoubtedly, probably that new smoky-eyed Potions professor -- she's old enough for you, right?

  ALBUS: I don't have a thing about older women!

  SCORPIUS: And you've got time -- a lot of time -- to seduce her. Because Rose is going to take years to persuade.

  ALBUS: I admire your confidence.

  ROSE comes past them on the stairs. She looks at them both.

  ROSE: Hi.

  Neither boy knows quite how to reply -- she looks at SCORPIUS.

  This is only going to be weird if you let it be weird.

  SCORPIUS: Received and entirely understood.

  ROSE: Okay. "Scorpion King."

  She walks off with a smile on her face. SCORPIUS and ALBUS look at each other. ALBUS grins and punches SCORPIUS on the arm.

  ALBUS: Maybe you're right -- pity is a start.

  SCORPIUS: Are you heading to Quidditch? Slytherin are playing Hufflepuff -- it's a big one --

  ALBUS: I thought we hated Quidditch?

  SCORPIUS: People can change. Besides, I've been practicing. I think I might make the team eventually. Come on.

  ALBUS: I can't. My dad's arranged to come up --

  SCORPIUS: He's taking time away from the Ministry?

  ALBUS: He wants to go on a walk -- something to show me -- share with me -- something.

  SCORPIUS: A walk?

  ALBUS: I know, I think it's a bonding thing or something similarly vomit-inducing. Still, you know, I think I'll go.

  SCORPIUS reaches in and hugs ALBUS.

  What's this? I thought we decided we don't hug.

  SCORPIUS: I wasn't sure. Whether we should. In this new version of us -- I had in my head.

  ALBUS: Better ask Rose if it's the right thing to do.

  SCORPIUS: Ha! Yeah. Right.

  The two boys dislocate and grin at each other.

  ALBUS: I'll see you at dinner.



  HARRY and ALBUS walk up a hill on a beautiful summer's day. They say nothing, enjoying the sun on their faces as they climb.

  HARRY: So are you ready?

  ALBUS: For what?

  HARRY: Well, there's the fourth-year exams -- and then the fifth year -- big year -- in my fifth year I did --

  He looks at ALBUS. He smiles. He talks quickly.

  I did a lot of stuff. Some of it good. Some of it bad. A lot of it quite confusing.

  ALBUS: Good to know.

  HARRY smiles.

  I got to watch them -- you know -- for a bit -- your mum and dad. They were -- you had fun together. Your dad used to love to do this smoke ring thing with you where you . . . well, you couldn't stop giggling.

  HARRY: Yes?

  ALBUS: I think you'd have liked them. And I think me, Lily, and James would have liked them too.

  HARRY nods. There's a slightly uncomfortable silence. Both are trying to reach each other here, both are failing.

  HARRY: You know, I thought I'd lost him -- Voldemort -- I thought I'd lost him -- and then my scar started hurting again and I had dreams of him and I could even speak Parseltongue again and I started to feel like I'd not changed at all -- that he'd never let me go --

  ALBUS: And had he?

  HARRY: The part of me that was Voldemort died a long time ago, but it wasn't enough to be physically rid of him -- I had to be mentally rid of him. And that -- is a lot to learn for a forty-year-old man.

  He looks at ALBUS.

  That thing I said to you -- it was unforgivable, and I can't ask you to forget it but I can hope we move past it. I'm going to try to be a better dad for you, Albus. I am going to try and--be honest with you and . . .

  ALBUS: Dad, you don't need to --

  HARRY: You told me you don't think I'm scared of anything, and that -- I mean, I'm scared of everything. I mean, I'm afraid of the dark, did you know that?

  ALBUS: Harry Potter is afraid of the dark?

  HARRY: I don't like small spaces and -- I've never told anyone this, but I don't much like -- (he hesitates before saying it) pigeons.

  ALBUS: You don't like pigeons?

  HARRY (he scrunches up his face): Nasty, pecky, dirty things. They give me the creeps.

  ALBUS: But pigeons are harmless!

  HARRY: I know. But the thing that scares me most, Albus Severus Potter, is being a dad to you. Because I'm operating without wires here. Most people at least have a dad to base themselves on -- and either try to be or try not to be. I've got nothing -- or very little. So I'm learning, okay? And I'm going to try with everything I've got -- to be a good dad for you.

  ALBUS: And I'll try and be a better son. I know I'm not James, Dad, I'll never be like you two --

  HARRY: James is nothing like me.

  ALBUS: Isn't he?

  HARRY: Everything comes easy for James. My childhood was a constant struggle.

  ALBUS: So was mine. So you're saying -- am I -- like you?

  HARRY smiles at ALBUS.

  HARRY: Actually you're more like your mum -- bold, fierce, funny -- which I like -- which I think makes you a pretty great son.

  ALBUS: I almost destroyed the world.

  HARRY: Delphi wasn't going anywhere, Albus -- you brought her out into the light and you found a way for us to fight her. You may not see it now, but you saved us.

  ALBUS: But shouldn't I have done better?

  HARRY: You don't think I ask myself the same questions?

  ALBUS (stomach sinking further, he knows this is not what his dad would do): And then -- when we caught her -- I wanted to kill her.

  HARRY: You'd watched her murder Craig, you were angry, Albus, and that's okay. And you wouldn't have done it.

  ALBUS: How do you know that? Maybe that's my Slytherin side. Maybe that's what the Sorting Hat saw in me.

  HARRY: I don't understand your head, Albus -- actually, you know what, you're a teenager, I shouldn't be able to understand your head, but I do understand your heart. I didn't -- for a long time -- but thanks to this -- "escapade" -- I know what you got in there. Slytherin, Gryffindor, whatever label you've been given -- I know -- know -- that heart is a good one -- yeah, whether you like it or not, you're on your way to being some wizard.

  ALBUS: Oh I'm not going to be a wizard, I'm going into pigeon racing. I'm quite excited about it.

  HARRY grins.

  HARRY: Those names you have -- they shouldn't be a burden. Albus Dumbledore had his trials too, you know -- and Severus Snape, well, you know all about him --

  ALBUS: They were good men.

  HARRY: They were great men, with huge flaws, and you know what -- those flaws almost made them greater.

  ALBUS looks around himself.

  ALBUS: Dad? Why are we here?

  HARRY: This is where I often come.

  ALBUS: But this is a graveyard . . .

  HARRY: And here is Cedric's grave.

  ALBUS: Dad?

  HARRY: The boy who was killed -- Craig Bowker -- how well did you know him?

  ALBUS: Not well enough.

  HARRY: I didn't know Cedric well enough either. He could have played Quidditch for England. Or been a brilliant Auror. He could have been anything. And Amos is right -- he was stolen. So I come here. Just