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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Next Chapter to the Story We Hope Will Never End
J.K. Rowling has been saying for years that Harry’s story was complete. But, when Warner Brothers announced in September of 2013 that muggles around the world would once again get to dive into the magical world of Harry Potter, fans rejoiced, thinking there may yet be hope for more adventures from the wizarding trio. However, that was not the case. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will take place years before Harry, Hermione, and Ron were born, and will not involve any of the famous wizarding characters as we know them.
Although Rowling has said, “never say never,” she has always been doubtful when asked if the muggle world will get more Harry Potter stories.
“I have always said never say…. well, not never say never,” she said in an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show in April 2015. “I’ve always said I’m not going to say I definitely won’t because, because I don’t see why I should say that. You know, it’s my world, and I might choose to step back into it. And in a way, I am stepping back into it… But I think Harry Potter 8, as in what happened next to Harry, Ron and Hermione—I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
At this point in the timeline, Harry is a grown man of 37. He has a wife and kids and a very busy government job. Voldemort is dead and the wizard world is at peace. His story is over. Or is it?
In December of 2013, it was revealed that a stage play concerning our famous three had been in the works for about a year. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes place nineteen years after the Dark Lord was defeated. Potermore, the official Harry Potter information website, released the synopsis for the play in October of 2015:
“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”
It would seem that Harry has had a busy life since high school. After the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry was recruited by the minister of magic, Kingsley Shacklebot to become an Auror (wizard police) at the Ministry. Later, Harry became the youngest head of office in history at age 26.
Harry married Ginny Weasley, who besides being a powerful, spunky individual (and probably quite a handful as a wife), is also a talented Quidditch player. Ginny played the game professionally before taking a job as a journalist at the Daily Prophet. She is now the head Quidditch correspondent.
Harry and Ginny have three children together: James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lilly Luna. As mentioned in the synopsis, Cursed Child, seems to be focused on Harry and his younger son Albus. Albus is two years younger than James and two years older than Lilly. In the Epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry and Albus discuss the prospects of Albus being sorted into one of the four Hogwarts Houses. Albus is afraid that he will be sorted into Slytherin and not Gryffindor like the rest of his family. Harry assures him that no matter which house the Sorting Hat picks, Ginny and he will be proud of their son. Harry also mentions that Albus’s own choice is considered by the hat as it was when he, Harry, was sorted.
While the Harry Potter books always took place a little in the past (they were published in the 2000s, but took place in the 1990s), Cursed Child takes place a little in the future: nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts, which would be 2017. This is also Albus’s first year at Hogwarts. This is incredibly exciting because that means that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not a prequel or a spin-off, but is officially the 8th installment of the Harry Potter series.
However, as Cursed Child is a play, it is a little unorthodox as the rest of the series are novels. Cursed Child opens in London at the Palace Theater on July 30,2016. The show is split into two parts: Part I and Part II. A full day event, Part I is seen as a matinee showing and Part II is played in the evening. Because of this, it was frustrating for fans outside of the U.K., as it would be extremely difficult to see the play. If you’re not from or near London and can’t afford to fly across the world, how are you supposed to know what happens next in Harry’s story?
Luckily for fans across the world, in February it was announced that the play’s script (written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany) would be published July 31, 2016. The date also happens to be Harry Potter’s 35th birthday and J.K. Rowling’s 51st birthday. The book will be in script form and not written as a novel. Even so, an 8th Harry Potter book is huge news for fans of all ages who have grown up with the wizarding world and who are always yearning for just a little more magic.