1. First, and most importantly: Hermione Granger-Weasley is still the world’s most badass witch.
It doesn’t take long to realise that older Hermione is everything we ever hoped she would be: She is intelligent, strong, and kind. She commands a room as well as ever. She takes no one’s shit (especially not Ron’s). And she’s Minister for damn Magic.
Someone please hold me, because I am not OK.
2. And Ron and Hermione are still very much together.
OK, so we already knew this from the cast photos.
But sorry, Harry/Hermione fans (and anyone who listened to J.K. Rowling in that godforsaken interview), because I can confirm that Ron and Hermione are probably more in love than ever. They are CONSTANTLY kissing, hugging, talking about renewing their vows, and joking about having more kids. Please pray for my poor R/Hr heart.
3. As are Harry and Ginny.
Harry and Ginny have a lot more problems than Ron and Hermione – they’re both hot-headed Gryffindors with a penchant for saving the world, and that’s going to cause some tension – but, obviously, they get through it.
Without the whole Horcrux distraction, we get a lot more Harry/Ginny in the play than we do in the books (lol let’s not even discuss the movies), and it’s honestly a highlight. The play shows their complex but loving relationship in such detail, and we get to see a lot more of their dynamic. Which is mostly just Ginny yelling at Harry to stop being so stupid.
4. Harry is Head of Magical Law Enforcement.
Yep. Not only did Harry live his dream of becoming an Auror, but he also eventually became the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement (under the rule of Minister Hermione Granger-Weasley, obviously). He also really hates doing paperwork.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Jamie Parker plays the Harry Potter that dreams were made of.
5. And he’s not exactly the world’s best dad.
A major theme of the play is Harry’s turbulent relationship with Albus. Albus feels as though his dad’s expectations of him are too high, and Harry feels like Albus isn’t trying hard enough to meet those expectations.
They’re basically constantly fighting throughout the whole thing. At one point Harry tells Albus he “wishes he was never born”, which isn’t too great. But hey, they get past it! Growth! Love! Family! It’s beautiful!
6. Ron is still cracking as many jokes as possible.
Cursed Child gives us the Ron Weasley we all deserve. He cracks jokes aplenty and he’s always there to lighten the mood, but he’s not just the comic relief of the movies. He’s also fiercely protective of his wife and family, still holds that slight grudge against Draco Malfoy, and remains one of the loyalest friends anyone could have.
7. Rose Granger-Weasley is the most perfect combination of her parents.
Honestly, there wasn’t as much of Rose in the play as I was hoping, but what we do get to see of her is wonderful. She has Hermione’s authority and Ron’s loyalty. She’s top of all her classes and she’s also a badass Quidditch player. Basically, she’s probably on track to become the second Granger-Weasley Minister for Magic.
8. And there’s a little something for the Dramione shippers.
No, I don’t mean Draco and Hermione get together. Sorry for getting your hopes up.
Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Granger-Weasley don’t ~quite~ get together either, but there’s definitely a spark there. Scorpius develops a crush on Rose from their first encounter on the Hogwarts Express (*cough* sound familiar?), and by the end of the play’s second half, he’s semi-successfully asked her out.
9. Albus Severus Potter was sorted into SLYTHERIN.
Remember in the epilogue of Deathly Hallows, when Albus confesses to Harry that he’s afraid he’ll be sorted into Slytherin? Well, his little prediction came true, and Harry isn’t as accepting as he promises to be. Although he ~claims~ that he’s not angry with Albus because he’s a Slytherin. OK, Harry, sure.
10. And he’s not really ~into~ Hogwarts.
Albus has grown up listening to Harry tell him that Hogwarts is the best place in the world, but when Albus gets there, he’s not so convinced.
While Harry had friends and a purpose at Hogwarts – and was relatively talented when it came to his classes – Albus only has one friend (Scorpius Malfoy omg) and isn’t exactly a great student. He’s not a fan of Hogwarts, and Harry finds it pretty difficult to accept that, which leads to a lot of tension between them.
11. The wizarding world is rife with rumours that Scorpius Malfoy is actually Voldemort’s son.
Since Scorpius was born, he and his family have been plagued by rumours that he is actually the son of Voldemort.
Here’s how the rumour goes: In an attempt to bring Voldemort back to power, the Death Eaters used the last remaining Time-Turner (which was in the possession of Theodore Nott, as the rest had been destroyed at the Department of Mysteries) to send Malfoy’s wife, Astoria, back to the time Voldemort was alive, and have his child. The Malfoy family all deny that this is the case, but the rumour lives on anyway.
12. The play gives us glimpses of a lot of alternate realities, and they’re basically all terrible.
The plot of this play is ridiculously difficult to explain in just a few sentences, but I’ll try: Albus Potter overhears Amos Diggory asking Harry to use the last remaining Time-Turner to go back to the Triwizard Tournament to save Cedric. Harry tells him that time should not be messed with, and refuses. Albus takes it upon himself to teach his father a lesson and grant Amos Diggory’s wish with the help of his niece, Delphi Diggory. He, Scorpius, and Delphi go back in time, mess with the Triwizard Tournament, and chaos ensues.
And as we all know: Awful things happen to wizards who meddle with time, Harry.
13. In the first alternate reality, Albus is sorted into Gryffindor, Hermione teaches Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts, and Ron is married to Padma Patil.
At first, not much seems to have changed in this alternate reality. Until Albus walks into a Defence Against the Dark Arts class, and his Aunt Hermione is teaching. He then makes reference to the fact that she should be married to Ron, and she gets really angry and flips tables. Because Ron is married to, and has children with, Padma Patil. Ugh.
This is incredibly difficult to deal with for anyone who ships Ron/Hermione as fervently as I do – that is, until Ron and Hermione meet each other by chance on the staircase, and have a ~moment~. ROMIONE NEVER DIES, I TELL YOU.
14. Albus and Scorpius try to correct their original mistake, and everything descends into even further chaos.
The first half of the play ends with Albus and Scorpius going back in time again. Because when they return to the present, Albus is nowhere to be found – and Dolores Umbridge is headmistress at Hogwarts.
It transpires that, in this reality, Harry Potter was killed at the Battle of Hogwarts. Voldemort still reigns, Muggle-borns live in constant terror, and every conversation is ended with the words, “for Voldemort and valour”. It’s honestly pretty damn stressful.
15. In this reality, Ron and Hermione are two of the most wanted wizards in the world – and Severus Snape is still alive.
The three remaining members of the Order of the Phoenix – Ron, Hermione, and Severus Snape – are still going strong, trying to overthrow Voldemort. When they meet Scorpius, who tells them there’s a possibility they can go back in time and save Harry, they do everything they can to help him.
Ron and Hermione aren’t together in this reality either. They clearly both want to be, they’re just too busy trying to save the world from evil (again). But they do ~eventually~ confess their love for each other. Before they’re both killed by Dementors.
Hold me, again, for I am not OK, again.
16. Then everything is back to normal, and all is fine again. LOLJK! Voldemort actually does have a kid.
That’s right. It seems like everything is going to be fine for about two minutes, but because this is Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling enjoys messing with us, everything goes to shit again almost immediately.
Remember Delphi Diggory, Amos Diggory’s niece, who I mentioned earlier? Well, Albus and Scorpius go to Amos to ask where his niece is – only to be told that he has no niece.
Delphi Diggory is, in fact, the daughter of Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange. She was apparently born just before the Battle of Hogwarts, around the time that Voldemort was staying at Malfoy Manor. After both of her parents died in the Battle, she was raised as an orphan by the Rowle family. Now, obviously, she’s trying to avenge her father – by going back in time and bringing him back from the dead.
17. There’s another prophecy involved.
The prophecy references an “unseeing parent” and basically states that Voldemort can rise again, and that Delphi can sit at his right hand side. It’s really, really complicated, because it’s Harry Potter and of course it is.
All this time, Delphi has known about the prophecy, and has been trying to use Albus to help her fulfil it. She has seen that there’s a reality where Voldemort wins – and she goes back to that fateful night at Godric’s Hollow to try to save him. She’s heard that prophecies don’t have to be fulfilled, and wants to tell Voldemort so. Obviously, if he doesn’t try to kill baby Harry, he won’t be defeated in the first place, and he’ll still reign supreme.
18. Harry has a chance to save his parents – but he doesn’t take it.
The entire gang (Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Draco, Albus, and Scorpius) go back to 31 October 1981 to stop Delphi from saving Voldemort. Long story short, they succeed – but they then see Voldemort walking towards James and Lily Potter’s cottage.
Let’s be honest, Harry is a super great wizard at this point, and he probably could’ve defeated Voldemort right then and there. Again (lol, sorry Voldy). But he doesn’t. Because you’re not supposed to mess with time, goddammit.
This is a really, really emotional part of the play. Harry, alongside the people who have made up his family for the last twenty-something years, watches as his parents are killed and it’s all started. I saw this on a stage surrounded by Harry Potter superfans, and trust me: There was not a dry eye in the house.