Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Read online

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  HARRY: Draco, just let it blow over -- they'll soon move on.

  DRACO: My son is suffering and -- Astoria hasn't been well recently -- so he needs all the support he can get.

  HARRY: If you answer the gossip, you feed the gossip. There've been rumors Voldemort had a child for years, Scorpius is not the first to be accused. The Ministry, for your sake as well as ours, needs to steer well clear.

  DRACO frowns, annoyed, as the stage clears and ROSE and ALBUS stand ready with their cases.

  ALBUS: As soon as the train leaves you don't have to talk to me.

  ROSE: I know. We just need to keep the pretense up in front of the grown-ups.

  SCORPIUS runs on -- with big hopes and an even bigger case.

  SCORPIUS (hopeful): Hi, Rose.

  ROSE (definitive): Bye, Albus.

  SCORPIUS (still hopeful): She's melting.

  And suddenly we're in the Great Hall and PROFESSOR McGONAGALL is standing at the front with a big smile on her face.

  PROFESSOR McGONAGALL: And I'm pleased to announce Gryffindor's newest member of the Quidditch team -- our -- (she realizes she can't be partial) your superb new Chaser -- Rose Granger-Weasley.

  The hall erupts into cheers. SCORPIUS claps alongside them all.

  ALBUS: Are you clapping her too? We hate Quidditch and she's playing for another House.

  SCORPIUS: She's your cousin, Albus.

  ALBUS: Do you think she'd clap for me?

  SCORPIUS: I think she's brilliant.

  The students circle ALBUS again as suddenly a Potions class begins.

  POLLY CHAPMAN: Albus Potter. An irrelevance. Even portraits turn the other way when he comes up the stairs.

  ALBUS hunches over a potion.

  ALBUS: And now we add -- is it horn of bicorn?

  KARL JENKINS: Leave him and Voldemort's child to it, I say.

  ALBUS: With just a little salamander blood . . .

  The potion explodes loudly.

  SCORPIUS: Okay. What's the counter-ingredient? What do we need to change?

  ALBUS: Everything.

  And with that, time moves ever onwards -- ALBUS's eyes become darker, his face grows more sallow. He's still an attractive boy, but he's trying not to admit it.

  And suddenly he's back on platform nine and three-quarters with his dad -- who is still trying to persuade his son (and himself) that everything is okay. Both have aged another year.

  HARRY: Third year. Big year. Here is your permission form for Hogsmeade.

  ALBUS: I hate Hogsmeade.

  HARRY: How can you hate a place you haven't actually visited yet?

  ALBUS: Because I know it'll be full of Hogwarts students.

  ALBUS screws up the paper.

  HARRY: Just give it a go -- come on -- this is your chance to go nuts in Honeydukes without your mum knowing -- no, Albus, don't you dare.

  ALBUS (pointing his wand): Incendio!

  The ball of paper bursts into flame and ascends across the stage.

  HARRY: Of all the stupid things!

  ALBUS: The ironic thing is I didn't expect it to work. I'm terrible at that spell.

  HARRY: Al--Albus, I've been exchanging owls with Professor McGonagall -- she says you're isolating yourself -- you're uncooperative in lessons -- you're surly -- you're --

  ALBUS: So what would you like me to do? Magic myself popular? Conjure myself into a new House? Transfigure myself into a better student? Just cast a spell, Dad, and change me into what you want me to be, okay? It'll work better for both of us. Got to go. Train to catch. Friend to find.

  ALBUS runs to SCORPIUS, who is sitting on his case -- numb to the world.

  (Delighted.) Scorpius . . . (Concerned.) Scorpius . . . Are you okay?

  SCORPIUS says nothing. ALBUS tries to read his friend's eyes.

  Your mum? It's got worse?

  SCORPIUS: It's got the worst it can possibly get.

  ALBUS sits down beside SCORPIUS.

  ALBUS: I thought you'd send an owl . . .

  SCORPIUS: I couldn't work out what to say.

  ALBUS: And now I don't know what to say . . .

  SCORPIUS: Say nothing.

  ALBUS: Is there anything . . . ?

  SCORPIUS: Come to the funeral.

  ALBUS: Of course.

  SCORPIUS: And be my good friend.

  And suddenly the SORTING HAT is center stage and we're back in the Great Hall.

  SORTING HAT:

  Are you afraid of what you'll hear?

  Afraid I'll speak the name you fear?

  Not Slytherin! Not Gryffindor!

  Not Hufflepuff! Not Ravenclaw!

  Don't worry, child, I know my job,

  You'll learn to laugh, if first you sob.

  Lily Potter. GRYFFINDOR.

  LILY: Yes!

  ALBUS: Great.

  SCORPIUS: Did you really think she'd come to us? Potters don't belong in Slytherin.

  ALBUS: This one does.

  As he tries to melt into the background, the other students laugh. He looks up at them all.

  I didn't choose, you know that? I didn't choose to be his son.

  ACT ONE, SCENE FIVE

  MINISTRY OF MAGIC, HARRY'S OFFICE

  HERMIONE sits with piles of paper in front of her in HARRY's messy office. She is slowly sorting through it all. HARRY enters in a rush. He is bleeding from a graze on his cheek.

  HERMIONE: How did it go?

  HARRY: It was true.

  HERMIONE: Theodore Nott?

  HARRY: In custody.

  HERMIONE: And the Time-Turner itself?

  HARRY reveals the Time-Turner. It shines out alluringly.

  Is it genuine? Does it work? It's not just an hour-reversal turner -- it goes back further?

  HARRY: We don't know anything yet. I wanted to try it out there and then but wiser heads prevailed.

  HERMIONE: Well, now we have it.

  HARRY: And you're sure you want to keep it?

  HERMIONE: I don't think we've a choice. Look at it. It's entirely different to the Time-Turner I had.

  HARRY (dry): Apparently wizardry has moved on since we were kids.

  HERMIONE: You're bleeding.

  HARRY checks his face in the mirror. He dabs at the wound with his robes.

  Don't worry, it'll go with the scar.

  HARRY (with a grin): What you doing in my office, Hermione?

  HERMIONE: I was anxious to hear about Theodore Nott and -- thought I'd check whether you'd kept your promise and were on top of your paperwork.

  HARRY: Ah. Turns out I'm not.

  HERMIONE: No. You're not. Harry, how can you get any work done in this chaos?

  HARRY waves his wand and the papers and books transform into neat piles. HARRY smiles.

  HARRY: No longer chaotic.

  HERMIONE: But still ignored. You know, there's some interesting stuff in here . . . There are mountain trolls riding Graphorns through Hungary, there are giants with winged tattoos on their backs walking through the Greek Seas, and the werewolves have gone entirely underground --

  HARRY: Great, let's get out there. I'll get the team together.

  HERMIONE: Harry, I get it. Paperwork's boring . . .

  HARRY: Not for you.

  HERMIONE: I'm busy enough with my own. These are people and beasts that fought alongside Voldemort in the great wizarding wars. These are allies of darkness. This -- combined with what we have just unearthed at Theodore Nott's -- could mean something. But if the Head of Magical Law Enforcement isn't reading his files --

  HARRY: But I don't need to read it -- I'm out there, hearing about it. Theodore Nott -- it was me who heard the rumors about the Time-Turner and me who acted upon it. You really don't need to tell me off.

  HERMIONE looks at HARRY -- this is tricky.

  HERMIONE: Do you fancy a toffee? Don't tell Ron.

  HARRY: You're changing the subject.

  HERMIONE: I truly am. Toffee?

  HARRY: Can't. We're off sugar at the moment. (Beat.) You