Why “Cursed Child” Saved Hinny
Ships – or relationships – were flying left, right, and center like Golden Snitches in the latter half of the Harry Potter series. Harry and Cho, Ron and Lavender, potentially even Hermione and Viktor Krum. While none of these three mentioned ever came into true fruition, by the end of the original series and with the final few chapters of Deathly Hallows, we were left with some solid ships that were definitely setting sail. However, although these ships were now officially canon, and continue to inspire countless pieces of fan fiction and fan art, some of them felt too easy. For me, that was Harry and Ginny. Hinny.
Love them or hate them, relationships like that of Ron and Hermione’s worked and continue to work so well. The dynamic between them of opposites attracting and best friends falling in love after years of being too awkward to realize their feelings, or having Ron’s emotional range of a teaspoon, was hugely effective. Sure, not all relationships transpire in the way of Romione, where they evolve over several years, but personally, Ron and Hermione made sense. For once, it wasn’t the hero getting the girl. And while it isn’t the hero getting the girl in the traditional sense with Harry and Ginny, the relationship, especially with how it developed, felt far too convenient. Where Ron and Hermione felt so compatible, Harry and Ginny felt like they were thrust together for the sake of being poetic and Harry officially becoming part of the Weasley family. Thus, Harry and Ginny’s relationship has always felt intangible.
Despite this, however, I feel that among the chaos and shards of fragmented trouble that came in tow with Cursed Child, the development of Harry and Ginny’s relationship is one of the few things the play got right. When Harry and Ginny get together in Half-Blood Prince, it is after countless chapters of Harry’s seething jealousy toward Ginny and Dean. Though there are snippets of the relationship in Deathly Hallows, there always appeared to be a harsh leap – despite the duration of the series that Harry and Ginny were together – of them actually becoming a couple to suddenly being married with three children. Contrasting this, in Cursed Child, we as readers and audiences see a relationship that has developed over the course of 22 years. It isn’t just lust and jealousy or a teenage crush on the boy who lived, but genuine love and concern.
GINNY: People think they know all there is to know about you, but the best bits of you are – have always been – heroic in really quiet ways” (4.9).
Between the struggling relationship between Harry and Albus and the increasingly dark threats against wizarding society, not to mention the Time-Turner, Harry and Ginny’s relationship is shown to be dynamic and dense. Their subplot of finding it hard to keep their son close to them, as well as the conflict between two parents who care about said troubled son, shows that their relationship isn’t flawless. This may have been a convenience, but it isn’t just a game of happy families and rather a real relationship that has cracks and issues. Ginny has no patience for Harry’s difficult interactions with Albus, but she has the patience to set him on the right track and try to at least fix a broken bond. And Harry vice versa.
Admittedly, while these points are all there in the script, the real evidence for me was seeing the play in performance. As the audience, you can see the anger, hurt, and care, so much so that any Half-Blood Prince wobbles seem to Disapparate. For once, that made me feel something for them. For me, at least, the fact that we get to finally see a fully formed relationship between these two is the reason that, in terms of fandom shipping, Cursed Child has saved Hinny.