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.
DELPHI: 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 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 she'd love wings -- but you. You're fourteen years old now, Albus, and I wanted to give you something which -- meant something. This . . . is the last thing I had from my mum. The only thing. I was given to the Dursleys wrapped in it. I thought it had gone forever and then, when your great-aunt Petunia died, hidden amongst her possessions, surprisingly, Dudley found this and he kindly sent it on to me, and ever since then -- well, anytime I've wanted luck I've found it and just tried to hold it and I wondered if you . . .
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?
ALBUS: And you think that was unlucky? I don't.
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 realizes what he's said.
No, I didn't mean that . . .
ALBUS: Yes. You did.
HARRY: Albus, you just know how to get under my skin . . .
ALBUS: You meant it, Dad. And, honestly, I don't blame you.
There's a horrible pause.
You should probably leave me alone now.
HARRY: Albus, please . . .
ALBUS picks up the blanket and throws it. It collides with RON's love potion, which spills all over the blanket and the bed, producing a small puff of smoke.
ALBUS: No luck or love for me, then.
ALBUS runs out of the room. HARRY goes after him.
HARRY: Albus. Albus . . . Please . . .
About the book:
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Excerpt from The Shining
- Stephen King
Excerpt from Possession
- A. S. Byatt