So, finally after nine long years, I held a new Harry Potter book in my hand. Although not a part of the original series and written in the form of a play, holding it brought some nostalgic tears to my eyes.
The book opens where the Deathly Hallows left off, nineteen years later when Harry and Ginny are at Platform Nine and Three Quarters, with Albus-Severus about to start his first year at Hogwarts. The relation between Harry and Albus forms the crux of the story. Albus feels resentful of being Harry’s child, having to constantly live up to the expectations, subject to scrutiny and more so because he was sorted into Slytherin, unlike other members of the Potter family.
In the present time, Hermoine is the Minister of Magic and Harry leads the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Harry, with the support of the ministry, is heading efforts to destroy all the time turners. Amos Diggory, Cedric’s father, comes to know of a time turner that the ministry has not destroyed and asks Harry for it so that he can rescue his son. Amos feels particularly resentful as his son was killed because he was a “spare”. Albus, overhearing this conversation, decides to steal the time turner and go back in time to rescue Cedric. This is where everything begins to go horribly wrong for Albus and also for the story as a whole.
Aided by Delphi Diggory, Amos’s caretaker, the duo of Albus and Scorpius go back in the past to the year the first task of the Triwizard Tournament was conducted. They try to prevent Cedric from performing. However, on returning to the present, they find that Cedric was eventually killed as he reached the final of the tournament, Hermoine and Ron are no longer together, with Ron having married Padma Patil. Desperate to right their mistakes, they go back into the past to the time the second task was conducted. They try to engorge Cedric’s head, but when Scorpios comes back to the present, he finds that Albus has never been conceived and disheartened at his failure, Cedric has become a Death Eater and killed Neville Longbottom. This meant that Nagini was never killed and that Voldemort was still alive. In the meantime, realization dawns on everyone that Voldemort had a daughter who is none other than Delphi. To prevent Voldemort from committing a fatal mistake, Delphi steals the time turner and goes back to the night Harry’s parents were killed to stop Voldemort. As is the case with all stories, Harry and his gang (along with Draco Malfoy and the kids) succeed in killing Delphi and Voldemort.
There are many loose ends in the story. There is a time when Death Eaters rule the world and still everyone calls Voldemort by his name. Anyone who has read the previous novels will understand that taking his name is taboo. The writers of this book seem to have forgotten that. Also, the storyline lacks a punch. It feels as if characters are convinced too easily of the things they have to do and the narration is below par. And the idea of Voldemort having a child, that too with Lestrange is impossible to comprehend. Voldemort was not known for his friendships or love. The simple notion that he would have slept with one of his followers and fathered a child, that too at the Malfoy Manor when one of the most important battles was to be fought is incomprehensible. This is definitely not a worthy end to the Harry Potter saga and not a story that Harry Potter should be made to go out with.