Today in our “Sensitive Gay Potterheads With Too Much Time On Their Hands” section we bring to you the story of some Harry Potter fans who are accusing J.K. Rowling of “queerbaiting” the characters of sons of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy: Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter in the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
In the case of Harry Potter and the Possible Example of Queerbaiting, the accusation stems from the play’s portrayal of the boys rather close friendship. Albus and Scorpius become very close friends from the beginning of their first year at Hogwarts. Both shy and shunned and neither much like their famous fathers, their friendship becomes critical. Albus and Scorpius make a fuss out of hugging each other (“We said we wouldn’t do that!”)
One scene reads: “Scorpius: You can’t what?
“Albus: Just — we’ll be better off without each other, okay?
“Scorpius is left looking up after him. Heartbroken.”
Another reads: “Albus: And it’s something I should have said a long time ago. In fact, you’re probably the best person I know. And you don’t — you couldn’t — hold me back. You make me stronger — and when Dad forced us apart — without you —.
Scorpius: I didn’t much like my life without you in it either.”
Some fans have affectionately (or defiantly?) dubbed the couple “Scorbus”, while a piece on Tor.com was rather more cautious: “I’m all for depictions of strong friendships that define people, but Albus and Scorpius don’t read like Harry and Ron,” wrote Emily Asher-Perrin. Daily Dot writer Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, rather more bluntly, tweeted an alternative title:
“The writers of the Cursed Child intentionally included this fan theory to draw us in, but decided to change it just enough so that they wouldn’t have to admit that they made two 11-year-olds gay,” Jameson Ortiz, an LGBTQ campaigner and Harry Potter fan, told me. “It’s queerbaiting because they knew exactly who they were reeling in and why, but still decided to leave out the main attraction for all the fans they hooked, choosing instead, like so many others, to set up the gay romance, hint at it constantly, make it believable and deep and perfect, and then force it out of the story.”
He did mention that the characters are only 11 years old.
Believe it. Or not.
*Waves wand* SpecialSnowflake Idiotitius!