ACT FOUR, SCENE FOUR

MINISTRY OF MAGIC, HARRY’S OFFICE

HARRY is hurriedly going through paperwork.

DUMBLEDORE: Good evening, Harry.

A beat. HARRY looks up at the portrait of DUMBLEDORE, his face passive.

HARRY: Professor Dumbledore, in my office, I’m honored. I must be where the action is tonight?

DUMBLEDORE: What are you doing?

HARRY: Going through papers, seeing if I’ve missed anything I shouldn’t have. Marshaling forces to fight in the limited way we can fight. Knowing that the battle is being raged far away from us. What else can I do?

Pause. DUMBLEDORE says nothing.

Where have you been, Dumbledore?

DUMBLEDORE: I’m here now.

HARRY: Here just as the battle is lost. Or are you denying that Voldemort is going to return.

DUMBLEDORE: It is — possible.

HARRY: Go. Leave. I don’t want you here, I don’t need you. You were absent every time it really counted. I fought him three times without you. I’ll face him again, if needs be — alone.

DUMBLEDORE: Harry, don’t you think I wanted to fight him on your behalf? I would have spared you if I could —

HARRY: “Love blinds us”? Do you even know what that means? Do you even know how bad that advice was? My son is — my son is fighting battles for us just as I had to for you. And I have proved as bad a father to him as you were to me. Leaving him in places he felt unloved — growing in him resentments he’ll take years to understand —

DUMBLEDORE: If you’re referring to Privet Drive, then —

HARRY: Years — years I spent there alone, without knowing what I was, or why I was there, without knowing that anybody cared!

DUMBLEDORE: I — did not wish to become attached to you —

HARRY: Protecting yourself, even then!

DUMBLEDORE: No. I was protecting you. I did not want to hurt you . . .

DUMBLEDORE attempts to reach out of the portrait — but he can’t. He begins to cry but tries to hide it.

But I had to meet you in the end . . . eleven years old, and you were so brave. So good. You walked uncomplainingly along the path that had been laid at your feet. Of course I loved you . . . and I knew that it would happen all over again . . . that where I loved, I would cause irreparable damage. I am no fit person to love . . . I have never loved without causing harm.

A beat.

HARRY: You would have hurt me less if you had told me this then.

DUMBLEDORE (openly weeping now): I was blind. That is what love does. I couldn’t see that you needed to hear that this closed-up, tricky, dangerous old man . . . loved you.

A pause. The two men are overcome with emotion.

HARRY: It isn’t true that I never complained.

DUMBLEDORE: Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.



HARRY: You said that to me once before.

DUMBLEDORE: It is all I have to offer you tonight.

He begins to walk away.

HARRY: Don’t go!

DUMBLEDORE: Those that we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch. Paint . . . and memory . . . and love.

HARRY: I loved you too, Dumbledore.

DUMBLEDORE: I know.

He is gone. And HARRY is alone. DRACO enters.

DRACO: Did you know that in this other reality — the reality Scorpius saw into — I was Head of Magical Law Enforcement? Maybe this room will be mine soon enough. Are you okay?

HARRY is consumed in his grief.

HARRY: Come in — I’ll give you the tour.

DRACO walks hesitantly inside the room. He looks around distastefully.

DRACO: The thing is, though — never really fancied being a Ministry man. Even as a child. My dad, it’s all he ever wanted — me, no.

HARRY: What did you want to do?

DRACO: Quidditch. But I wasn’t good enough. Mainly I wanted to be happy.

HARRY nods. DRACO looks at him a second more.

Sorry, I’m not very good at small talk, do you mind if we skip on to the serious business?

HARRY: Of course. What — serious — business?

Beat.

DRACO: Do you think Theodore Nott had the only Time-Turner?

HARRY: What?

DRACO: The Time-Turner the Ministry seized was a prototype. Made of inexpensive metal. It does the job — sure. But only being able to go back in time for five minutes — that’s a serious flaw — it isn’t something you’d sell to true collectors of Dark Magic.

HARRY realizes what DRACO is saying.

HARRY: He was working for you?

DRACO: No. My father. He liked owning things that no one else had. The Ministry’s Time-Turners — thanks to Croaker — were always a little vanilla for him. He wanted the ability to go back further than an hour, he wanted the ability to travel back years. He’d never have used it. Secretly I think he preferred a world without Voldemort. But yes, the Time-Turner was built for him.



HARRY: And did you keep it?

DRACO reveals the Time-Turner.

DRACO: No five-minute problem, and it gleams like gold, just the way the Malfoys like it. You’re smiling.

HARRY: Hermione Granger. It was the reason she kept the first, the fear that there might be a second. Hanging on to this, you could have been sent to Azkaban.

DRACO: Consider the alternative — consider if people had known that I had the ability to travel in time. Consider the rumor that would have been given increased — credence.

HARRY looks at DRACO, understanding him perfectly.

HARRY: Scorpius.

DRACO: We were capable of having children but Astoria was frail. A blood malediction, a serious one. An ancestor was cursed . . . it showed up in her. You know how these things can resurface after generations . . .

HARRY: I’m sorry, Draco.

DRACO: I didn’t want to risk her health, I said it didn’t matter whether the Malfoy line died with me — whatever my father said. But Astoria — she didn’t want a baby for the Malfoy name, for pureblood or glory, but for us. Our child, Scorpius, was born . . . it was the best day of both our lives, although it weakened Astoria considerably. We hid ourselves away, the three of us. I wanted to conserve her strength . . . and so the rumors started.

HARRY: I can’t imagine what that was like.

DRACO: Astoria always knew that she was not destined for old age. She wanted me to have somebody when she left, because . . . it is exceptionally lonely, being Draco Malfoy. I will always be suspected. There is no escaping the past. I never realized, though, that by hiding him away from this gossiping, judgmental world, I ensured that my son would emerge shrouded in worse suspicion than I ever endured.

HARRY: Love blinds. We have both tried to give our sons, not what they needed, but what we needed. We’ve been so busy trying to rewrite our own pasts, we’ve blighted their present.

DRACO: Which is why you need this. I have been holding on to it, barely resisting using it, even though I would sell my soul for another minute with Astoria.

HARRY: Oh, Draco . . . we can’t. We can’t use it.

DRACO looks up at HARRY, and for the first time — at the bottom of this dreadful pit — they look at each other as friends.

DRACO: We have to find them — if it takes centuries, we must find our sons —

HARRY: We have no idea where they are or when they are. Searching in time when you’ve no idea where in time to search, that’s a fool’s errand. No, love won’t do it and nor will a Time-Turner, I’m afraid. It’s up to our sons now — they’re the only ones who can save us.


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