HARRY: Draco, just let it blow over -- they'll soon move on.
DRACO: My son is suffering and -- Astoria hasn't been well recently -- so he needs all the support he can get.
HARRY: If you answer the gossip, you feed the gossip. There've been rumors Voldemort had a child for years, Scorpius is not the first to be accused. The Ministry, for your sake as well as ours, needs to steer well clear.
DRACO frowns, annoyed, as the stage clears and ROSE and ALBUS stand ready with their cases.
ALBUS: As soon as the train leaves you don't have to talk to me.
ROSE: I know. We just need to keep the pretense up in front of the grown-ups.
SCORPIUS runs on -- with big hopes and an even bigger case.
SCORPIUS (hopeful): Hi, Rose.
ROSE (definitive): Bye, Albus.
SCORPIUS (still hopeful): She's melting.
And suddenly we're in the Great Hall and PROFESSOR McGONAGALL is standing at the front with a big smile on her face.
PROFESSOR McGONAGALL: And I'm pleased to announce Gryffindor's newest member of the Quidditch team -- our -- (she realizes she can't be partial) your superb new Chaser -- Rose Granger-Weasley.
The hall erupts into cheers. SCORPIUS claps alongside them all.
ALBUS: Are you clapping her too? We hate Quidditch and she's playing for another House.
SCORPIUS: She's your cousin, Albus.
ALBUS: Do you think she'd clap for me?
SCORPIUS: I think she's brilliant.
The students circle ALBUS again as suddenly a Potions class begins.
POLLY CHAPMAN: Albus Potter. An irrelevance. Even portraits turn the other way when he comes up the stairs.
ALBUS hunches over a potion.
ALBUS: And now we add -- is it horn of bicorn?
KARL JENKINS: Leave him and Voldemort's child to it, I say.
ALBUS: With just a little salamander blood . . .
The potion explodes loudly.
SCORPIUS: Okay. What's the counter-ingredient? What do we need to change?
And with that, time moves ever onwards -- ALBUS's eyes become darker, his face grows more sallow. He's still an attractive boy, but he's trying not to admit it.
And suddenly he's back on platform nine and three-quarters with his dad -- who is still trying to persuade his son (and himself) that everything is okay. Both have aged another year.
HARRY: Third year. Big year. Here is your permission form for Hogsmeade.
ALBUS: I hate Hogsmeade.
HARRY: How can you hate a place you haven't actually visited yet?
ALBUS: Because I know it'll be full of Hogwarts students.
ALBUS screws up the paper.
HARRY: Just give it a go -- come on -- this is your chance to go nuts in Honeydukes without your mum knowing -- no, Albus, don't you dare.
ALBUS (pointing his wand): Incendio!
The ball of paper bursts into flame and ascends across the stage.
HARRY: Of all the stupid things!
ALBUS: The ironic thing is I didn't expect it to work. I'm terrible at that spell.
HARRY: Al--Albus, I've been exchanging owls with Professor McGonagall -- she says you're isolating yourself -- you're uncooperative in lessons -- you're surly -- you're --
ALBUS: So what would you like me to do? Magic myself popular? Conjure myself into a new House? Transfigure myself into a better student? Just cast a spell, Dad, and change me into what you want me to be, okay? It'll work better for both of us. Got to go. Train to catch. Friend to find.
ALBUS runs to SCORPIUS, who is sitting on his case -- numb to the world.
(Delighted.) Scorpius . . . (Concerned.) Scorpius . . . Are you okay?
SCORPIUS says nothing. ALBUS tries to read his friend's eyes.
Your mum? It's got worse?
SCORPIUS: It's got the worst it can possibly get.
ALBUS sits down beside SCORPIUS.
ALBUS: I thought you'd send an owl . . .
SCORPIUS: I couldn't work out what to say.
ALBUS: And now I don't know what to say . . .
SCORPIUS: Say nothing.
ALBUS: Is there anything . . . ?
SCORPIUS: Come to the funeral.
ALBUS: Of course.
SCORPIUS: And be my good friend.
And suddenly the SORTING HAT is center stage and we're back in the Great Hall.
Are you afraid of what you'll hear?
Afraid I'll speak the name you fear?
Not Slytherin! Not Gryffindor!
Not Hufflepuff! Not Ravenclaw!
Don't worry, child, I know my job,
You'll learn to laugh, if first you sob.
Lily Potter. GRYFFINDOR.
SCORPIUS: Did you really think she'd come to us? Potters don't belong in Slytherin.
ALBUS: This one does.
As he tries to melt into the background, the other students laugh. He looks up at them all.
I didn't choose, you know that? I didn't choose to be his son.
ACT ONE, SCENE FIVE
MINISTRY OF MAGIC, HARRY'S OFFICE
HERMIONE sits with piles of paper in front of her in HARRY's messy office. She is slowly sorting through it all. HARRY enters in a rush. He is bleeding from a graze on his cheek.
HERMIONE: How did it go?
HARRY: It was true.
HERMIONE: Theodore Nott?
HARRY: In custody.
HERMIONE: And the Time-Turner itself?
HARRY reveals the Time-Turner. It shines out alluringly.
Is it genuine? Does it work? It's not just an hour-reversal turner -- it goes back further?
HARRY: We don't know anything yet. I wanted to try it out there and then but wiser heads prevailed.
HERMIONE: Well, now we have it.
HARRY: And you're sure you want to keep it?
HERMIONE: I don't think we've a choice. Look at it. It's entirely different to the Time-Turner I had.
HARRY (dry): Apparently wizardry has moved on since we were kids.
HERMIONE: You're bleeding.
HARRY checks his face in the mirror. He dabs at the wound with his robes.
Don't worry, it'll go with the scar.
HARRY (with a grin): What you doing in my office, Hermione?
HERMIONE: I was anxious to hear about Theodore Nott and -- thought I'd check whether you'd kept your promise and were on top of your paperwork.
HARRY: Ah. Turns out I'm not.
HERMIONE: No. You're not. Harry, how can you get any work done in this chaos?
HARRY waves his wand and the papers and books transform into neat piles. HARRY smiles.
HARRY: No longer chaotic.
HERMIONE: But still ignored. You know, there's some interesting stuff in here . . . There are mountain trolls riding Graphorns through Hungary, there are giants with winged tattoos on their backs walking through the Greek Seas, and the werewolves have gone entirely underground --
HARRY: Great, let's get out there. I'll get the team together.
HERMIONE: Harry, I get it. Paperwork's boring . . .
HARRY: Not for you.
HERMIONE: I'm busy enough with my own. These are people and beasts that fought alongside Voldemort in the great wizarding wars. These are allies of darkness. This -- combined with what we have just unearthed at Theodore Nott's -- could mean something. But if the Head of Magical Law Enforcement isn't reading his files --
HARRY: But I don't need to read it -- I'm out there, hearing about it. Theodore Nott -- it was me who heard the rumors about the Time-Turner and me who acted upon it. You really don't need to tell me off.
HERMIONE looks at HARRY -- this is tricky.
HERMIONE: Do you fancy a toffee? Don't tell Ron.
HARRY: You're changing the subject.
HERMIONE: I truly am. Toffee?
HARRY: Can't. We're off sugar at the moment. (Beat.) You
HERMIONE: What can I say? My parents were dentists, I was bound to rebel at some point. Forty is leaving it a little late, but . . . You've just done a brilliant thing. You're certainly not being told off -- I just need you to look at your paperwork every now and again, that's all. Consider this a gentle -- nudge -- from the Minister for Magic.
HARRY hears the implication in her emphasis, he nods.
How's Ginny? How's Albus?
HARRY: It seems I'm as good at fatherhood as I am at paperwork. How's Rose? How's Hugo?
HERMIONE (with a grin): You know, Ron says he thinks I see more of my secretary, Ethel, (she indicates off) than him. Do you think there's a point where we made a choice -- parent of the year or Ministry official of the year? Go on. Go home to your family, Harry, the Hogwarts Express is about to depart for another year -- enjoy the time you've got left -- and then come back here with a fresh head and get these files read.
HARRY: You really think this could all mean something?
HERMIONE (with a smile): It could do. But if it does, we'll find a way to fight it, Harry. We always have.
She smiles once more, pops a toffee in her mouth, and leaves the office. HARRY is left alone. He packs his bag. He walks out of the office and down a corridor. The weight of the world upon his shoulders.
He walks, tired, into a telephone box. He dials 62442.
TELEPHONE BOX: Farewell, Harry Potter.
He ascends away from the Ministry of Magic.
ACT ONE, SCENE SIX
HARRY AND GINNY POTTER'S HOUSE
ALBUS can't sleep. He is sitting at the top of the stairs. He hears voices below him. We hear HARRY's voice before he's revealed. An elderly man in a wheelchair is with him, AMOS DIGGORY.
HARRY: Amos, I understand, I really do -- but I'm only just home and --
AMOS: I've tried to make appointments at the Ministry. They say, "Ah, Mr. Diggory, we have an appointment for you, let's see, in two months." I wait. Very patiently.
HARRY: --and coming to my house in the middle of the night -- when my kids are just getting ready for their new year at school -- it's not right.
AMOS: Two months pass, I receive an owl, "Mr. Diggory, I'm awfully sorry, but Mr. Potter has been called away on urgent business, we're going to have to shift things around a little, are you available for an appointment in, let's see, in two months' time." And then it repeats again, and again . . . You're shutting me out.
HARRY: Of course I'm not. It's just, I'm afraid, as Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement I'm afraid I'm responsible --
AMOS: There's plenty you're responsible for.
AMOS: My son, Cedric, you do remember Cedric, don't you?
HARRY (remembering Cedric hurts him): Yes, I remember your son. His loss --
AMOS: Voldemort wanted you! Not my son! You told me yourself, the words he said were, "Kill the spare." The spare. My son, my beautiful son, was a spare.
HARRY: Mr. Diggory, as you know, I sympathize with your efforts to memorialize Cedric, but --
AMOS: A memorial? I am not interested in a memorial -- not anymore. I am an old man -- an old dying man -- and I am here to ask you -- beg you -- to help me get him back.
HARRY looks up, astonished.
HARRY: Get him back? Amos, that's not possible.
AMOS: The Ministry has a Time-Turner, does it not?
HARRY: The Time-Turners were all destroyed.
AMOS: The reason I'm here with such urgency is I've just heard rumor -- strong rumor -- that the Ministry seized an illegal Time-Turner from Theodore Nott and has kept it. For investigation. Let me use that Time-Turner. Let me have my son back.
There's a long, deadly pause. HARRY is finding this extremely difficult. We watch as ALBUS moves closer, listening.
HARRY: Amos, playing with time? You know we can't do that.
AMOS: How many people have died for the Boy Who Lived? I'm asking you to save one of them.
This hurts HARRY. He thinks, his face hardens.
HARRY: Whatever you've heard, the Theodore Nott story is a fiction, Amos, I'm sorry.
ALBUS jumps a mile as DELPHI -- a twenty-something, determined-looking woman -- is revealed, looking through the stairs at him.
Oh. Sorry. Didn't mean to startle. I used to be a big stair-listener myself. Sitting there. Waiting for someone to say something the tiniest bit interesting.
ALBUS: Who are you? Because this is sort of my house and . . .
DELPHI: I'm a thief, of course. I'm about to steal everything you own. Give me your gold, your wand, and your Chocolate Frogs! (She looks fierce and then smiles.) Either that or I'm Delphini Diggory. (She ascends the stairs and sticks out a hand.) Delphi. I look after him -- Amos -- well, I try. (She indicates AMOS.) And you are?
ALBUS (rueful grin): Albus.
DELPHI: Of course! Albus Potter! So Harry is your dad? That's a bit wow, isn't it?
ALBUS: Not really.
DELPHI: Ah. Have I just put my foot in it? It's what they used to say about me at school. Delphini Diggory -- there isn't a hole she couldn't dig herself into.
ALBUS: They do all sorts with my name too.
Pause. She looks at him carefully.
She makes to depart and then hesitates. She smiles at ALBUS.
DELPHI: We don't choose who we're related to. Amos . . . isn't just my patient, he's my uncle, it's part of the reason I took the job at Upper Flagley. But that's made it difficult. It's tough to live with people stuck in the past, isn't it?
ALBUS: Upper Flagley?
DELPHI: St. Oswald's Home for Old Witches and Wizards. Come see us sometime. If you like.
She smiles and then trips as she travels down the stairs. She enters the room with AMOS and HARRY in it. ALBUS watches her.
DELPHI: Yes, Uncle?
AMOS: Meet the once-great Harry Potter, now a stone-cold Ministry man. I will leave you in peace, sir. If peace is the right word for it. Delphi, my chair . . .
DELPHI: Yes, Uncle.
AMOS is pushed out of the room. HARRY is left, looking forlorn. ALBUS watches on, thinking carefully.
ACT ONE, SCENE SEVEN
HARRY AND GINNY POTTER'S HOUSE, ALBUS'S ROOM
ALBUS is sitting on the bed as the world goes on outside his door. Still against the constant motion outside. We hear a roar from JAMES (off).
GINNY: James, please, ignore your hair, and tidy that damn room . . .
JAMES: How can I ignore it? It's pink! I'm going to have to use my Invisibility Cloak!
JAMES appears at the door, he has pink hair.
GINNY: That's not why your dad gave you that Cloak!
LILY: Who's seen my Potions book?
GINNY: Lily Potter, don't think you're wearing those to school tomorrow . . .
LILY appears at ALBUS's door. She's wearing fairy wings that flutter.
LILY: I love them. They're fluttery.
She exits as HARRY appears in ALBUS's doorway. He looks through.
There's an awkward pause between them. GINNY appears in the doorway. She sees what's happening, she stays a moment.
Just delivering a pre-Hogwarts gift -- gifts -- Ron's sent this . . .
ALBUS: Okay. A love potion. Okay.
HARRY: I think it's a joke about -- I don't know what. Lily got farting gnomes, James got a comb that's made his hair turn a shade of pink. Ron -- well, Ron's Ron, you know?
HARRY puts down ALBUS's love potion on his bed.
I also -- this is from me . . .
He reveals a small blanket. GINNY looks at it, she sees HARRY is trying, and then she softly walks away.
ALBUS: An old blanket?
HARRY: I thought a lot about what to give you this year. James -- well, James has been going on about the Invisibility Cloak since time itself, and Lily -- I knew
ALBUS: Wanted to hold it too? Okay. Done. Let's hope it brings me luck. I certainly need some.
He touches the blanket.
But you should keep it.
HARRY: I think -- believe -- Petunia wanted me to have it, that's why she kept it, and now I want you to have it from me. I didn't really know my mother -- but I think she'd have wanted you to have it too. And maybe -- I could come find you -- and it -- on Hallows' Eve. I'd like to be with it on the night they died -- and that could be good for the two of us . . .
ALBUS: Listen, I've got quite a lot of packing to do, and you undoubtedly have Ministry work coming out of your ears, so . . .
HARRY: Albus, I want you to have the blanket.
ALBUS: And do what with it? Fairy wings make sense, Dad, invisibility cloaks, they also make sense -- but this -- really?
HARRY is slightly heartbroken. He looks at his son, desperate to reach out.
HARRY: Do you want a hand? Packing. I always loved packing. It meant I was leaving Privet Drive and going back to Hogwarts. Which was . . . well, I know you don't love it but . . .
ALBUS: For you, it's the greatest place on earth. I know. The poor orphan, bullied by his uncle and aunt Dursley . . .
HARRY: Albus, please -- can we just --
ALBUS: . . . traumatized by his cousin, Dudley, saved by Hogwarts. I know it all, Dad. Blah, blah, blah.
HARRY: I'm not going to rise to your bait, Albus Potter.
ALBUS: The poor orphan who went on to save us all. So may I say -- on behalf of wizarding kind -- how grateful we are for your heroism. Should we bow now or will a curtsy do?
HARRY: Albus, please -- you know, I've never wanted gratitude.
ALBUS: But right now I'm overflowing with it -- it must be the kind gift of this moldy blanket that did it . . .
HARRY: Moldy blanket?
ALBUS: What did you think would happen? We'd hug. I'd tell you I always loved you. What? What?
HARRY (finally losing his temper): You know what? I'm done with being made responsible for your unhappiness. At least you've got a dad. Because I didn't, okay?