Polyjuicing in the Cursed Child

Polyjuice_potionAnd I’m not just talking Delphi, Draco and Albus trying to break into Hermione’s office.

Rowling has said Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was for the fans, and when it comes to treasured glimpses of our favorite characters, it delivers in spades. But some of the most fun moments for me came from seeing old characters in new bodies.

Rose-Granger-WeasleyTake Rose. She’s clearly her mother all over again, even to the extent of being mistaken for young Hermione (and played by the same actress) at the first Triwizard task. The only addition is  that she is also a champion Quidditch player, like her aunt Ginny and most of the other non-Percy Weasleys. But, there is, ironically, a pretty big streak of Hermione’s nemesis Draco Malfoy running through her. On her first Hogwarts express trip, she’s the one who seems a bit puffed up with family pride with her  tumblr_lofpzpsG3u1qahisxo1_500“I’m a Granger-Weasley and you’re a Potter–everyone will want to be friends with us” as she makes elaborate plans to “rate them all and make a decision.” And after Scorpius introduces himself, she suggests to Albus they go sit somewhere else, and Albus elects to stay with Scorpius and share his candy, Rose reminds him she “won’t wait” for him to make her fabulous new friends. She may not use the same words, but the meaning is the same:

“You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there.”
“I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks.”

Young ASP is a bit more like his dad than he realizes.

Albus_Potter_(HPCC)Young ASP is may be an even closer match for his dad’s doppleganger, Neville Longbottom, as evidenced by his difficulty with uncooperative broomsticks, exploding potions, name-calling classmates and living up to his father’s name. Like tumblr_m614id0Fzo1rrlv1lNeville, he is also a late-bloomer, becoming a much more formidable wizard under Delphini’s tutelage. And of course, he mirrors Neville in the final St. Jerome’s showdown, making  a small-but-essential contribution to the villain’s defeat by slipping through the grate and Alohomora-ing the doors open.

landscape-1469458050-23-harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-photo-credit-manuel-harlan-1As for Albus’s bestie Scorpius, although he may be the spitting image of his daddy Draco, he is as much, or more, of a Hermione as his crush Rose, with his bibliophile, homework-loving, trivia master and know-it-all tendencies.  Like Ron and Harry, Albus knows he needs his friend’s brains if he is going to survive his escapades. Scorpius  also has had a life full of dark suspicions, much like Harry’s second year at Hogwarts–  you’d think the “Heir of Slytherin” would have a little more empathy for the “Son of Voldemort.”

NEACPzcPUxb6EB_1_bPerhaps the funniest “Polyjuice” scene for me was Act Two, Scene 11, the alternative future where Hermione is DADA professor, and spends most of the lesson channeling Snape.f5386e205acbc123ccd31c562f9182b9 We tend to think about the maturing effect Hermione had on Ron–  but this scene makes you wonder, how much of a mellowing effect did he have on her? Would the  obnoxious little “It’s Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the ‘gar’ nice and long”- kid from  have evolved into a sadistic professor without Ron’s influence? Cursed Child makes clear that the alchemical “quarreling couple” (see most of Headmaster Granger’s collected works for more details) seemed destined to come together, no matter how disrupted the timeline becomes; it makes Rowling’s interview remarks about Harry and Hermione perhaps being the more logical pairing seem even sillier.

What other “Polyjuice” moments did readers pick up on from the script?


  1. Emily Strand says

    Great post, Louise. I too noticed alt-verse Hermione’s similarity to Snape. And I wondered if her constant ire was, like Snape’s, due in part to a life lived without love. Sigh. Again, I say, poor Snape.

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