"I will rebirth the Dark. I will bring my father back."
-- written on the wall of Delphi's room at St Oswald's (CC3.21)
Delphi is a very unusual and mysterious young woman. She claims to be the niece and caretaker of Amos Diggory, now a lonely widower at the St. Oswald’s Home for Old Witches and Wizards in Upper Flagley, and calls herself Delphi (short for Delphini Diggory). She lives at St Oswald’s, in a room near Amos’s room. In reality, she is far more sinister, a daughter of evil.
Delphi first appears at Harry and Ginny Potter’s house accompanying Amos Diggory, who has been trying to meet with Harry about the possibility of the Ministry of Magic having a Time-Turner, which he wants to use to save his son Cedric from dying during the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament. She has a conversation with Albus Potter, who is listening in on the stairs. She is enthusiastic and friendly, inviting him to visit her and Amos at the St Oswald’s Home. (CC1.6).
After Albus and his friend Scorpius Malfoy jump off the Hogwarts Express, they head for Upper Flagley and St Oswalds, intending to save Cedric Diggory since his father Harry has refused to help Amos (CC1.11). At first, Amos distrusts the two boys, but Delphi convinces him that Albus and Scorpius are sincere and will be able to use the Time-Turner to help them (CC1.14).
Thanks to Delphi’s advance preparation of Polyjuice Potion, she, Albus and Scorpius are able to transform themselves temporarily into Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter, in order to get into the Minister for Magic’s office (CC1.16). After almost being caught by Minister Hermione returning and after a battle with her Weaponised Library, they are able to retrieve the Experimental Time-Turner (CC1.18, CC1.19).
At the edge of the Forbidden Forest, Delphi practises spells with Albus and he is now able to successfully perform a Disarming Charm. Scorpius arrives and they discuss the plan to use the Experimental Time-Turner to go right into Hogwarts School during the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament. They intend to prevent Cedric from collecting the golden dragon’s egg and being a joint winner of the Task. Delphi gives them Durmstrang school robes to wear as a disguise, so they will blend in with other students but won’t stand out or be recognised by other Hogwarts pupils (CC2.4).
Having changed Time and now living with the consequences of their changes, Albus is separated from Scorpius by his father Harry’s order. However Albus is still in touch with Delphi and she comes into Hogwarts looking for Scorpius (where she says she has never been before, having not gone to school). Delphi advises Scorpius to find a way to be friends again with Albus, as they are both so unhappy. Also, they still haven’t saved Cedric, as “failing the first task only made him more determined to win the second” (CC2.14).
It is in the horrific world where Scorpius Malfoy finds himself after he and Albus Potter interfere in the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament, that the first mention of the Augurey comes. The Augurey is Delphi – and in this alternate Timeline she is a powerful ruling force in the magical world alongside Lord Voldemort. Hogwart’s Headteacher Dolores Umbridge says to Scorpius that “I’ve positively glowed about you in dispatches to the Augurey” (CC3.1). Later, when Scorpius visits his father at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Draco says “it’ll be me the Augurey asks to bribe the Muggle Prime Minister with gold…” about recent Muggle killings (CC3.3).
Delphi confirms her nickname of the Augurey when meeting with Albus and Scorpius, who are planning to destroy the Experimental Time-Turner. Upon hearing from Scorpius about an alternate Time where Lord Voldemort lives and Harry Potter dies, she is determined to bring that world back to life. Thanks to their previous adventures changing Time, she now knows that Cedric needs to become such a “very angry young man” that it leads to his becoming a Death Eater – the Death Eater who kills Neville Longbottom at the Battle of Hogwarts, ensuring that Neville didn’t kill Voldemort’s last remaining Horcrux, the snake Nagini. Delphi then captures and binds Albus and Scorpius, snapping their wands (CC3.16).
When Ron Weasley reports to the worried parents of Albus and Scorpius that he has seen Albus with “an older girlfriend” who has “gorgeous silver hair” (CC3.17), Harry Potter, Ginny Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger and Ron travel to the St Oswald’s Home to find Delphi. There Amos Diggory tells them that neither he nor his wife has a niece in their families (CC3.18). It appears that Delphi had used a Confundus Charm on Amos to make him believe so.
In the meantime, Delphi plans to take Albus and Scorpius back in Time to the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament. Her aim is to humiliate Cedric and fulfil a prophecy.
“When spares are spared, when time is turned, when unseen children murder their fathers: then will the Dark Lord return.” (CC3.19)
In order to force Albus to help, she tortures Scorpius using the Cruciatus Curse. She also uses the Killing Curse to murder Craig Bowker Jr when he comes to find the two boys. She tells Albus that his weakness is the same as his father Harry’s – friendship. Delphi then uses the Time-Turner with Albus and Scorpius in tow (CC3.19).
Arriving back in Time at the Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch, Delphi takes Albus and Scorpius into the Triwizard Tournament Maze. They try to escape but are caught by Delphi who, like her father Lord Voldemort, can fly without a broom. However, the two boys are saved by Cedric, who releases them and then continues through the Maze. Delphi then tries to leave them behind when the Experimental Time-Turner gets to its five-minute time limit, but they manage to hang onto her. When they arrive at a new unknown Time, Delphi destroys the Time-Turner, leaving them stranded, as she has decided that “maybe prophecies can be prevented, maybe prophecies can be broken” (CC3.20).
As they investigate Delphi’s room at the St Oswald’s Home, Harry and the others discover a hissing lamp, which Harry realises is speaking in Parseltongue to welcome the Augurey. After Harry speaks Parseltongue in return, the When Spares are Spared Prophecy is revealed on the walls of the room. In horror, they realise that Delphi is Lord Voldemort’s daughter (CC3.21).
The wizarding world is shocked by the revelation that Lord Voldemort had a daughter – a daughter that the Ministry of Magic has lost track of because she has hidden herself in Time (CC4.1). At the same time, stranded at Aviemore Train Station, Albus realises that they have been transported back to 1981:
“In twenty-four hours’ time Voldemort curses himself trying to kill the baby Harry Potter. Delphi is trying to prevent that curse. She’s going to kill Harry herself.” (CC4.2)
Albus and Scorpius manage to send a message back in Time to Albus’s father Harry (CC4.6) and the adults use the Malfoy family’s secret Golden Time-Turner (CC4.4) to travel back to Godric’s Hollow (CC4.7, CC4.8). As they discuss Delphi’s plans, Ginny realises that “the best way to break the prophecy is not to kill Harry Potter, it’s to stop Voldemort doing anything at all” (CC4.9). Delphi wants to meet her father for the first time, but also warn him what will happen if he tries to kill the whole Potter family.
Harry is transfigured into the form of Lord Voldemort in order to lure Delphi into St Jerome’s Church before the real Voldemort arrives (CC4.10). At first the disguise works and Delphi tells him about herself in order to convince him that she is really his daughter. However, as the transformation wears off, Delphi realises it is Harry Potter and not her father. She locks the doors and they duel. She is able to fire curses and spells at him without her wand. However, Albus is able to crawl through the grate, restore a wand to his father and use another to unlock the church doors. The adults together defeat Delphi and, although she begs to be killed, they will send her to the prison of Azkaban. The last we see of Delphi is when she is silenced by Draco and levitated away as the real Voldemort arrives in Godric’s Hollow. He kills Harry’s parents and Time is restored (CC4.11).
Delphi was raised by Euphemia Rowle, although she was no direct relation. As the daughter of Bellatrix Lestrange, Delphi was the niece of Andromeda and Narcissa Malfoy and cousin of Draco Malfoy. As daughter of Tom Marvolo Riddle, she is the granddaughter of Merope Gaunt and of Tom Riddle Sr. of Little Hangleton.
Rodolphus Lestrange, her mother’s husband, told Delphi about her parentage and the prophecy that she would bring back the Dark Lord (CC4.11).
Flying, ability to speak Parseltongue, using "Unforgivable" curses, expert at duelling and wandless magic.
Delphi is the name of a town in Greece, famous in ancient times for being the location of an oracle which would be consulted before major decisions (Wikipedia). Her alias Delphini is related to the name Delphina, which means "womb". It comes from the Latin boy's name Delphinus, which meant someone from Delphi. This in turn may be related to Greek δελφυς (delphys) "womb" (Behind the Name). It could also be a shortened form of the flower name delphinium, which are beautiful plants but are "toxic to humans and plants" (Wikipedia).
A Lexicon reader commented about the question of Delphi’s education. Was she home schooled by Rowles? The reader believes this to be highly unlikely, as it would have been cheaper to send her to school than to find the high quality private tutors that Delphi would have needed to be able to produce such high quality magic – fighting duels against experienced adults and mastering the Unforgivable Curses. As Delphi says that her guardian Euphemia Rowle “didn’t like me much” and “only took me in for the gold” (CC3.16), the reader feels that she would have been glad to get rid of Delphi at age 11. We know Delphi didn’t attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:
“I’ve never been to Hogwarts. Pretty lax security here isn’t there? And so many portraits. And corridors. And ghosts!” (CC2.14)
However the reader thinks that there are two clues to her being at a school:
- When they first meet, Delphi says to Albus “It’s what they used to say about me at school. Delphini Diggory – there isn’t a hole she couldn’t dig herself into.” (CC1.6) [although she wouldn't have been a Diggory at that time]; and
- Delphi easily produces two Durmstrang Institute robes for Albus and Scorpius to wear at the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament (possibly her own school robes) (CC2.4).
[website comments dated 18.12.2016]
The reader also speculates about Delphi’s age and the circumstances surrounding her birth in Malfoy Manor. It could either have been around February 1998 (after the Battle of the Seven Potters in July 1997 and before Easter school holidays in 1998, as her mother Bellatrix Lestrange is not seen as being pregnant at those two events) or earlier during the summer of 1997 (after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and before the Battle of the Seven Potters), as Bellatrix does not appear after she and Lord Voldemort disapparate from the Ministry or on the Astronomy Tower in June 1997. The reader raises the possibility that Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix could have had two children. The reader also concludes that:
“I believe for most grown-up readers it was pretty obvious from the 7th book that Bellatrix was Voldemort’s lover even if not his love. Hints were everywhere. For all we know they could have been lovers for 30 years. And Voldemort may have hinted at a child, saying at the cemetery that ‘the Lestranges will be honoured beyond their dreams’ (GF33).”
[website comments dated 12.12.2016]
Delphi is described in September 2020 as being “a twenty-something” in the playscript (CC1.6). This would fit in with either 1997 or 1998 as possible birth years.
From the Web
Pottermore: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
The theatre production opened in the West End of London at the Palace Theatre on 30 July 2016, with Esther Smith in the role of Delphi: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two