WARNING: Extreme spoilers ahead. If you haven’t read or seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet, this is your opportunity to exit stage left.
I am a MASSIVE Harry Potter fan. That won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows the slightest thing about me. When it was announced that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was a thing, I ran around the house and screamed for about 10 minutes, and pretty much expanded from excitement.
(I wasn’t joking.)
SOMEHOW, when tickets were released, I managed to score awesome seats for August 2016 (cue more excitement and ugly crying). Which meant I actually had to organise my first ever trip to England.
The way things panned out, I would be seeing the play just three weeks after the Cursed Child script book was released. Since I always try to experience the source material in the way it was originally intended to be consumed, I decided to wait to see the play before reading the script. This was a painful decision and may have involved a lot of flailing around but I stuck to my guns.
The production was incredible. Beyond anything I’ve ever seen. You KNOW it’s a play so you’re actively looking for the wires and tricks and trapdoors and whatever the heck else but I saw very, very little of it. It was like magic happening on stage and I was basically a sobbing mess. I tend to repeatedly smack people on the shoulder when I’m excited so after the first play my dad had to switch seats to avoid excessive bruising.
But when the lights went up for the final time, I realised there was a problem. The story was… meh. I forgave a lot because of the excellent production value but if I’d read it in a book, I wouldn’t have been happy at all. So I’m not surprised a lot of people felt let down by Cursed Child—a questionable story delivered in a format that’s unusual for a lot of people would be extremely jarring.
Now that I’ve seen the play AND read the script, I’m going to tell you how I’ve come to terms with the story.
I honestly didn’t have an issue with the whole let’s-go-back-and-save-Cedric thing. It may have felt a bit fanfiction-esque but I can understand the reasoning behind it, especially from someone as wounded as Albus, and the actors delivered a lot of emotion with that part of the plot.
My main issue was the whole Bellatrix/Voldemort relationship. I don’t believe it for a second. Here’s why:
Bellatrix is undoubtedly devoted to Voldemort but I don’t feel that Voldemort would ever willingly place himself in such a vulnerable position, no matter how servile the person is.
If Bellatrix HAD been carrying Voldemort’s child, there’s no way in heck he would have allowed her to duel or do anything that could adversely affect the child’s health. Voldemort is obsessed with lineage and purity of blood; his own child would have been the most important thing in his entire creepy existence.
And Voldemort certainly did not seem to be overly concerned with Bellatrix’s health or wellbeing in Deathly Hallows, especially considering it was heavily implied that Bellatrix and the Malfoy family were subjected to the Cruciatus Curse after Harry and his mates escaped from Malfoy Manor.
Treatment of Bellatrix aside, why would Voldemort even assume that he needed to create a successor? At the time when Delphi was supposed to have been conceived, Voldemort had no idea that his Horcruxes were being destroyed.
Arrogance has always been Voldemort’s downfall and there would be no need for him to form a back-up plan when the Wizarding World was basically in the palm of his hand, and he truly believed that he was immortal—invincible.
So rather than accepting this plot as law, I decided to just believe something different. If you’ve never come across the term before, a headcanon is something that an individual chooses to believe about a particular fictional universe or fandom. It doesn’t have to be something confirmed or denied by the true author; it just has to make sense to the person or fan who has come up with it.
My headcanon: Delphi was actually just some kid who lived with the Rowles, possibly as a maid. That would explain the disdainful way they treated her. Because surely if Delphi really had been produced by a hideously dark couple the Rowles wouldn’t just keep telling her that she was total garbage.
We’re talking about a kid that could grow up to be the next powerful dark force in a world. Who the HECK would go, ‘Yeah, cool, I’ll just antagonise them and torture them while they’re young. GREAT IDEA.’
At some point, the Rowles tortured Delphi. (I can’t remember if this was explicitly stated in the script but that’s the general impression I got so I’m running with it.) And my assumption is that it broke her mind. Not to the same extent as the Longbottoms, but at least enough to have her believing that she was the child of Bellatrix Lestrange and Voldemort.
Maybe someone called Voldemort the Father of Darkness once. Maybe Delphi said to herself, ‘Yo, I am Darkness’ and just went with it. Who knows? With her reality fractured in such a way, any passing comment could have given her the license to create this fantasy.
By the way, has anyone checked in on the Rowles? I’m going to go right ahead and assume that Delphi killed them for being such jerks. Not important.
As for the prophecy? Well, in my headcanon it never existed. It was actually just something Delphi made up and became obsessed with.
Throughout the original books, Dumbledore reiterates how much people can influence prophecies. If Delphi believed the prophecy to be real and accurate, she could carry it out as she imagined.
And that, my friend, is how I deal with this story. By
rewriting everything in my head working with the grey areas to find something that I can actually believe.
TL;DR: Delphi is not the child of Bellatrix and Voldemort; she’s actually just been driven insane by the Cruciatus Curse and she made the whole prophecy up.