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How Harry, Ron and Draco deal with fatherhood differently in Cursed Child

In Cursed Child, we get to see Harry and his fellow Hogwarts students all grown up. And it’s interesting seeing how each character deals with adulthood – and parenthood – in rather different ways.

Harry and Albus on platform nine and three quarters, in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London 2017-2018. Photography by Manuel Harlan.

Psst, if you haven’t seen Cursed Child or read the screenplay – beware that spoilers lie ahead here.

Harry, Ron and Draco all became fathers in their later years, with Harry fathering three children with Ginny, Ron and Hermione having two, and Draco with one. These three core characters all grew up with very different father relationships themselves, so how did they all develop their relationships with their own offspring? Let’s take a look.

Harry – finding his feet

Harry and Albus original cast - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Of course, Harry grew up with no father – having lost James Potter when he was only a baby. And Uncle Vernon didn't fill any such surrogate father role... That angry, mustachio’d red face hardly gave Harry any paternal advice. Throughout the years since he learnt he was a wizard, though, Harry created his own Hogwarts family with his friends and mentors – and eventually discovered a godfather in the shape of Sirius Black – even if he only had him for a tragically short time. Then there were his teachers; people like Albus Dumbledore and Remus Lupin, figures that became like fathers for Harry, guiding him with wisdom as he grew up. With both knowing Harry’s father too, these characters helped Harry fill in the gap that Voldemort had left when he killed his parents.

As a father himself, it’s understandable that Harry was on uneasy footing from time to time with his own children. Although he did seem kind and nurturing for the most part, Cursed Child explored his relationship with his middle son, Albus Severus, so named after the two professors who inspired Harry with their bravery. Despite Albus bearing a name of such weight and significance, Harry had trouble connecting with him – especially after he was sorted into Slytherin. While Albus struggled with his Hogwarts house and identity, he began acting out against his family and became a loner at school. Harry simply couldn’t relate – and in one poignant scene, Harry’s temper (that we remember all too well from his own teenage years) returned.

HARRY
You wish me dead?
ALBUS
No! I just wish you weren’t my dad.
HARRY (seeing red)
Well, there are times I wish you weren’t my son.
There’s a silence. ALBUS nods. Pause. HARRY realises what he’s said.
No, I didn’t mean that . . .
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Harry wrongly tried to compare Albus’s experience to his own childhood – and lost a sense of empathy when Albus tried to explain that he wasn’t popular at Hogwarts and didn’t live up to Harry’s legacy. In fact – it was weighing him down. So, it goes to show that being famous adds a whole new challenge to being a parent, but Harry finally began to understand his son’s struggles by the end of the play – admitting he’d been ‘operating without wires’, and Albus had been living at Hogwarts as ‘Harry Potter’s Slytherin son’ – marred with unfair expectations.

HARRY
I know. But the thing that scares me most, Albus Severus Potter, is being a dad to you. Because I’m operating without wires here. Most people at least have a dad to base themselves on – and either try to be or try not to be. I’ve got nothing – or very little. So I’m learning, okay? And I’m going to try with everything I’ve got – to be a good dad for you.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Draco – dealing with the differences

CC Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Cast 3 Draco and Scorpius
Draco Malfoy and Scorpius Malfoy, portrayed by Jonathan Case and James Howard. Image by Charlie Gray

The phrase ‘chip off the old block’ definitely doesn’t feel relevant for Draco and Scorpius – who seemed to have entirely different sensibilities from each other. While Draco spent his student days being cruel to Harry, scheming with Crabbe and Goyle, and relying on his own influential father Lucius whenever he needed a step up at school – Scorpius championed geekiness, books and kindness. While still being sorted into Slytherin like his dad, and rocking a very similar blond hairstyle, the similarities between the two seem to be external rather than internal. And when Scorpius makes friends with Harry Potter’s son, Draco is initially livid that his own son has sided with his former enemy.

When Scorpius loses his mother, and Draco loses his wife Astoria, the pair seem to drift even further apart.

DRACO
I can’t talk to him either. Scorpius. Especially since – Astoria has gone. I can’t even talk about how losing her has affected him. As hard as I try, I can’t reach him. You can’t talk to Albus. I can’t talk to Scorpius.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Much like Harry and Albus, it took a couple of near-death experiences and the disruption of the entire wizarding world timeline for Draco to be able to truly see his son for what he was. And through it all, Draco began to soften – even starting to get excited by farmers' markets – and if that isn’t a classic dad trait, what is?

DRACO
We can hug too if you like . . .
SCORPIUS looks at his dad, unsure for a moment. And then they sort of half-hug in a very awkward way. DRACO smiles.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Ron – mirroring Arthur

Ron and Hermione, from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London 2017-2018. Photography by Manuel Harlan.

And then there was Ron Weasley – who definitely wasn’t our dictionary definition of ‘mature’ during his Hogwarts days, but as a dad, grew up to apply his sense of boyish humour to amuse his family. Also, working in a joke shop certainly helped. As such, Ron slipped perfectly into the role of fun uncle, often entertaining his best friend’s kids as well as his own.

HARRY points out RON, HERMIONE and their daughter ROSE.
LILY runs hard up to them.
Uncle Ron. Uncle Ron!!!
RON turns towards them as LILY goes barrelling up to him. He picks her up into his arms.
RON
If it isn’t my favourite Potter.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Ron’s banter with the kids reminds us of the warmth of his own dad, Arthur, who had a similar, youthful connection with his brood. Never forget the time he got excited about Ron and the twins flying his Ford Anglia, and joyfully asked them how the experience went rather than telling them off, much to Molly’s disdain. In the future, Ron and Hermione’s parenting partnership is not too dissimilar from Molly and Arthur’s.

While Harry and Draco really struggled with learning to bond with their respective sons, Ron’s boundless energy as a dad seemed to come so naturally to him. Funny, seeing as a young Hogwarts student, Ron often grappled with jealousy and living in the shadow of others – now, with kids of his own who look up to him, he thrived.

To learn more about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, check out the official website.