This 'Cursed Child' Character Is A Mystery

I can only assume that by now, everyone has already purchased, finished, and meticulously checked and rechecked Reddit for all the fan theories about the newest foray into the world of witchcraft and wizardry, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But if you haven't, beware: there are spoilers ahead! These spoilers specifically pertain to a character we meet by hearsay in the two-part series, a boy named Panju. But who is Panju of Cursed Child? The guy is intriguing, but for the most part, a total mystery.

First, some background: Cursed Child starts out with a similar beginning to the flash-forward end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts, where we meet Harry's son Albus and his new best friend Scorpius Malfoy. Both boys have a tough time in school and with their fathers but develop a strong friendship, but also a knack for trouble. The friends agree to work with a woman named Delphi to travel back in time using one of the last Time-Travelers in existence to rescue Cedric Diggory from death. They head to the first round of the Triwizard Tournament 20 years ago, where they plan to jinx Cedric to make sure he loses the dragon round of the event and won't make it the Portkey to get murdered by Voldemort.

Yet somehow, in only five minutes, they manage to create a completely topsy-turvy alternate timeline. In this new world, Hermione never went to the Yule Ball with Viktor Krum — so Ron never became jealous and realized his feelings towards his best friend, and instead fell in love at the ball with Padma Patil. Luckily, we all know that Ron and Hermione are pretty much destined to be together, but in the alternative timeline unwittingly created by Albus and Scorpius, things didn't turn out just so. This is sad for Hermione, because in this reality she turns into a very bitter Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher, but not so bad for Ron, because he gets to have a cool kid with Padma named Panju.

We meet Panju by description only when Albus runs into Ron at Hogwarts (because for some reason parents at Hogwarts now feel zero qualms hopping over to their children's school whenever they like). In the alternative universe the boys created through misuse of the Time-Turner, what we hear of Panju has the Patil/Weasley child sounding like a jokester who has an entertaining relationship with Albus. This is very different from Rose, Ron and Hermione's daughter in the actual universe, who could do without her parent's best friend's son. We learn from Ron that the reason for Albus being in Gryffindor in this reality is because the boys had a bet going on that he couldn't get into the house but the young Potter "persuaded the Sorting Hat" because "we'd all like to wipe the smile off his [Panju]'s face."

Panju sounds just like his uncles, lovable pranksters, Fred (RIP) and George Weasley. In fact, the whole reason Ron is even at the school and runs into Albus is because he's there to have a talk with his son. He admits to Albus, "Panju. He's in trouble again. I wanted to just send a Howler, but Padma insisted I come in person. I don't know why. He just laughs at me." If that's not Fred and George behavior, I don't know what is.

But what sort of mess would Panju get into? Well, turns out, the boy also likes to show off, which is a tendency he may have inherited from the Weasley twins or even the OGs of flaunting and trickery — James Potter, Remus Lupin, and Sirus Black. According to Ron, the reason Panju's in trouble in the first place is for outlandish showmanship:

"Panju got in a little trouble in Potions class. Was showing off, of course, and put the wrong with the wrong thing and now he has no eyebrows and a rather large mustache, apparently. Which doesn't suit him. I didn't want to come but Padma says that when it comes to facial growths, sons need their fathers."

Sadly (but not too sadly because we get the Granger-Weasley family back) when everyone goes back in time and makes the world its normal self, we lose Panju before we even really got to know his sneaky self. Here's hoping we get a sequel to Cursed Child, and in it, Panju does some dimensional traveling and joins the gang in some sort of hijinks. Could be cool, no?

Images: Giphy (3)