Spoilers (and spells) abound.

By Samantha Zabell
Updated August 02, 2016
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Credit: amazon.com

If you’re a true Harry Potter fan, you were likely at a midnight release party on July 31, when the long-awaited Harry Potter and the Cursed Child hit bookstores around the country. The book, however, is not a book at all—it’s the script of the play that debuted last month at the Palace Theater in London. The story takes place 19 years later, as Harry’s youngest son Albus Severus heads to Hogwarts—exactly where we left the Potter family in 2007.

The two-part play is based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, in collaboration with playwright Jack Thorne. Because it reads like a script—with stage directions and descriptions of set pieces—it doesn’t quite deliver the immersive experience Harry Potter fans are accustomed to from the seven-part series. While Rowling’s books were rich with description and lengthy dialogue between characters, a play must move the plot forward (it’s already five hours!). So even though the physical book is more than 300 pages, it’s a very quick read.

Despite all of this, it is another story from Rowling, which fans can agree is always a treat. Any extra time spent with the Potters and Granger-Weasleys feels like reuniting with dear friends. And a lot has happened in 19 years—we picked out the most surprising moments from Cursed Child. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: spoilers are ahead.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Credit: amazon.com

1 Harry’s son is a Slytherin.

You read that right. Albus is sorted into Slytherin House, much to the confusion of the Sorting Hat and his classmates. His older brother James and his cousin Rose (daughter of Hermione and Ron) are both rightly sorted into Gryffindor. What’s more, Albus doesn’t even like Hogwarts, and he is pretty clumsy with a broomstick.

2 Albus is best friends with Scorpius... Malfoy.

Talk about an unlikely pair. Scorpius is not only a dear friend to Albus, he is also kind, book smart, a bit cautious, and fiercely loyal. Nothing at all like his slimy, formerly evil father.

3 Hermione is Minister of Magic.

You may have pictured Hermione as a professor, or even the headmaster of Hogwarts, but instead she is leading one of the most influential magical institutions. It’s great to know that after decades of questionable or corrupt leaders, the magical world is finally in the hands of a woman who is intelligent, practical, compassionate, and strong.

4 Voldemort has a daughter.

This is, without question, the biggest reveal of the story—it’s the main axis of the entire plot. He and Bellatrix Lestrange at some point became parents to Delphi, a silver-haired witch in her late teens or early 20s. Given her parentage, it’s obvious that she is all evil, and she is hell-bent on changing time and bringing her father back to life.

5 There is another prophecy.

And a confusing prophecy is what got us here in the first place, remember? Neither can live while the other survives. The prophecy in Cursed Child causes almost as much mayhem—Delphi believes that Albus is the key to changing Voldemort’s fate and hopes that by fulfilling a similar prophecy, Dark Magic will rule again.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts One & Two) is available on Amazon.