Growing Up Harry Potter

The Boy Who Lived returns and he's got a 'Cursed Child'

Who's the Cursed Child? Is it you, Albus Potter?! | Photo credit: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I am a Gryffindor. My boyfriend a Slytherin. His sisters: Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. My sister: Ravenclaw. It shouldn’t matter and yet…

We know these houses. They’re more than fantasy created by author J.K. Rowling. I was 7, almost 8, when the first Harry Potter book debuted in the U.S. Harry was 10, almost 11. We grew up together.

Nearly every summer from 1998 to 2007 marked the arrival of a new book. While Harry faced the basilisk in Chamber of Secrets, I left the comfortable confines of elementary school. As he battled Prisoner of Azkaban dementors, I grappled with puberty. When he struggled with isolation, ennui and all-around moodiness in Order of the Phoenix, well, I was a teenager, too.

This month, Harry Potter comes back. Written by Rowling, author Jack Thorne and award-winning theater director John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part play (Part One in the afternoon, Part Two in the evening). 

Opening night is in London on July 30; the day after (aka Harry’s birthday) the “special rehearsal edition” of the script premieres worldwide. A finalized version will publish in early 2017 that includes the anticipated tweaks of the stage production. 

We don’t know much about the plot beyond that 19 years after the last book, Harry’s a stressed adult (the similarities continue!). He’s also dad to three kids. The youngest son, Albus, takes center stage and is, presumably, the Cursed Child. Or, as the widely circulated summary teases: “As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.” Sign me up!

The arrival of Cursed Child marks a new era in the universe and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. The thought of introducing my kids, when I have them, to Harry, Ron and Hermione already makes me smile like a sip of Felix Felicis. And as those future mini-mes burn through the books, I fully plan to remind them that back in my day we had to wait literal YEARS between installments.

Not to mention the stories I’ll have of movie lines waited in, papercuts received and midnight release parties celebrated (a tradition I’m happy to see back). What can I say? Harry and I, we go way back.

So whether you’re a parent who’s already a fan or one who thinks a “Muggle” is a cross between a pug and a Maltese, I encourage you to say hi to Harry. Read the books, watch the movies, join your house. Because whatever your age, we all need a little magic.

Should you read the new book? Should your kid?

The writer read Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildWhat she think?

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