Some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and, as such, spoilers will be present.
- "I am the new past. I am the new future. I am the answer this world has been looking for."
- —Delphini snaps Albus Potter's and Scorpius Malfoy's wands[src]
Delphini (born c. 1998), known by the nickname Delphi, was a half-blood witch, the daughter of Tom Riddle and Bellatrix Lestrange. Being the only child of Lord Voldemort, Delphi became the only known living heir of Salazar Slytherin after the demise of her father. Delphini was imprisoned in Azkaban for the murder of Craig Bowker Jr.
Delphini was born in secret at Malfoy Manor in the mid-to-late 1990s as the result of a liaison between Bellatrix Lestrange and Lord Voldemort. On 2 May 1998, both of her parents were killed in the Battle of Hogwarts. Bellatrix's husband, Rodolphus Lestrange, survived the battle, but was sent to Azkaban for his crimes.
This left the infant Delphi an orphan as her father had been. Euphemia Rowle took Delphi in and raised her, allegedly only because she was offered a substantial amount of gold. According to Delphi, Rowle was not fond of her. She kept a pet Augurey and claimed that it cried because it knew Delphi was going to meet a "sticky end."
Delphi did not attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She apparently had little to no contact with other children, claiming that she didn't have a best friend at the age of 14, and that she even invented an imaginary one when she was younger.
An ambitious plan
On 31 August, 2020, Amos Diggory went to Harry Potter and urged him to use a Time-Turner to go back in time to the Triwizard Tournament and save his son, Cedric, who was murdered on the orders of Voldemort after winning the event.
Harry refused, but his son, Albus, overheard the conversation. Later, along with his friend, Scorpius Malfoy, he decided to help the Diggorys to alter history and save Cedric. On their way to Hogwarts for their fourth year, Albus and Scorpius leapt off the Hogwarts Express in order to enact their plan. The two found their way to St Oswald's Home for Old Witches and Wizards, the nursing home where Amos Diggory lived and where Delphi, posing as his niece, pretended to take care of him.
Albus, Scorpius, and Delphi sneaked into the Ministry of Magic and stole a Time-Turner. Using the Time-Turner, Albus and Scorpius seriously altered past events, creating two alternative realities, with the first seeing Hermione the bitter Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher while Ron was in a less-than-happy marriage to Padma Patil, and the second seeing a world where the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore's Army lost the Battle of Hogwarts. After many attempts, including Albus being erased by their changes, Scorpius managed to restore the correct timeline, and decided to destroy the Time-Turner on their own, not trusting the Ministry to destroy it.
Albus then sent an owl to Delphi. She arrived to Hogwarts just in time to see how he planned to try to destroy the Time-Turner. Albus wanted to apologise to her that they would not be able to go back in time to save Cedric. He and Scorpius explained that in the new reality they had created, Cedric’s Triwizard humiliation had turned him into an angry, bitter young man who became a Death Eater and eventually murdered Neville Longbottom before he could destroy Nagini, helping to usher in the era of the Dark Lord. Delphi said that Cedric would have understood, suggesting they should destroy the Time-Turner together, and that she would explain to her uncle why Cedric would not be saved.
After Albus handed her the Time-Turner, both boys noticed a black tattoo of a bird on her back. Delphi said it was an Augurey, which reminded her of her childhood as an orphan when she was raised by the Rowle family. The boys realised she was an enemy based on Scorpius recalling references to 'the Augurey' in the timeline where Voldemort won, but Delphi pulled out a wand and bound them together.
Delphi planned to travel back in time to ensure Cedric's survival in the third task of the Tournament (since she was unable to go back to the first two as the boys' actions made those events too temporally unstable). Albus refused, but she threatened to kill Scorpius. Craig Bowker Jr, another Hogwarts student, rushed up to say that the whole school was looking for them, but was killed by Delphi immediately, giving her a similar nature to those of her parents who didn't hesitate to kill.
Delphi took Albus and Scorpius back in time with her, but they refused to cooperate. As Delphi prepared to kill Scorpius, she was struck from behind by an unsuspecting Cedric Diggory, who thought the scene was simply a part of the Triwizard task. He freed the boys before returning to the challenge.
Then Delphi staggered to her feet and picked up the Time-Turner, but Albus and Scorpius managed to grab the device. They raced through time once again, but once they arrived, Delphi destroyed the Time-Turner and flew away.
Albus and Scorpius discovered that they had been transported to 30 October 1981 — the day before Harry Potter’s parents were murdered by Voldemort. The boys realised that Delphi intended to stop Voldemort from trying to kill Harry, and thus triggering his own destruction when his Killing Curse rebounded on him due to Lily Potter's loving sacrifice.
Meanwhile, the boys' parents were looking for them. Ron Weasley told Harry he had seen Albus with an older girl the night before. Harry thought he must mean Delphi Diggory, Amos’s niece. They went to see Amos, who told them that he never had a niece, which meant that the Confundus Charm Delphi had cast on him had waned.
The adults raced to Delphi’s room and found there writings revealing Delphi to be Tom Riddle's daughter and that she believed she could restore him to power following the words of a prophecy.
- "You can't remake your life. You'll always be an orphan. That never leaves you."
- —Harry Potter's words to Delphi about her father[src]
Harry volunteered to transfigure himself into Voldemort and lead Delphi into a trap. The others planned to wait in the church behind the large wooden doors until Harry was able to lure her inside.
Delphi finally appeared and Harry (disguised as Voldemort) pretended not to know who she was. She explained that she was the child of Tom Riddle and Bellatrix Lestrange. He told her that together they could become an unstoppable force, but, by that time, the transfiguration had begun to fade. She saw that she was actually speaking to Harry, claiming she had studied him and knew him better than her father did. She locked the doors to prevent the others jumping out to help. Without a wand, Harry was forced to hide beneath a church pew while she attacked him. When Delphi was about to kill him, Albus popped up through a hatch in the floor, throwing a wand to his father. Together, they were able to overpower Delphi.
Delphi begged them to kill her or wipe her mind clean. She claimed that she had only wanted to meet her father and be with him. Albus wanted to kill her to avenge Craig, but Harry stopped him. In a moment of empathy for her, Harry told her that she must learn to live with the fact that she will always be an orphan, as he has.
Delphini had silvery hair with blue tips.
Personality and traits
Delphini is extremely calculating, demonstrating a keen intellect and profound talents for manipulation and exploitation, much like her father was when he was younger. Exactly like Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange, Delphini was intensely sadistic, being easily able to cast the Cruciatus Curse with malicious intent and proving to be a dangerous opponent for even Harry Potter. Aside from being malicious, Delphini was independent and highly determined, orchestrating a complicated plan to restore Voldemort without any immediate assistance that she didn't gain through manipulating or exploiting other people. She was ruthless and easily capable of killing in pursuit of her goals, another trait shown by both her parents. Despite being this dangerous for her ruthlessness and intelligence, Delphi was fierce-tempered and could lose control of herself if something didn't go according to plan, which happened to be another trait she had inherited from her parents. Her temper led to her attacking Harry Potter when he was revealed to have been disguised as Voldemort, self-righteously angry that he had fooled her and that he had destabilised her plan so much. When Harry and his friends defeated her, she begged for death or to be Obliviated, indicating that her pride had been crippled by her being defeated by him.
Similar to her father, Delphini has an obsession with Harry Potter to the point that she even claimed that she had studied him and knew him even better than her father ever did during his lifetime.
Despite having a very similar background as her father, such as being raised without knowledge of her parents for a long period of time after a relationship of a one-sided love (her mother's obsessive love was very much similar to that of her paternal grandmother's), and living under the guardianship of a strictly business-minded party without being loved for their entire childhood, Delphini deviated from Voldemort's consequential inability to love at all. She has demonstrated a tremendous devotion to her father despite not even knowing him personally, and unlike him, she aimed not for conquest, revenge nor destruction, but to simply be with him.
Magical abilities and skills
- Duelling: Delphi is an extremely skilled duelist. She was able to temporarily hold her own against the combined might of four exceptionally powerful duelists, including Minister for Magic Hermione Granger and Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement Harry Potter.
- Parseltongue: Delphi is a Parselmouth, a trait she inherited from her father, Lord Voldemort. She uses Parseltongue code to conceal her room.
- Flying: Delphi is able to fly without support, much like her father.
- Wandless magic: Delphi is skilled at Wandless magic, as she is capable of locking doors with her hands while confronting Harry Potter.
- Dark Arts: Delphi demonstrated considerable talent for dark magic, using both the Cruciatus Curse and the Killing Curse. The use of both of these Unforgivable Curses require power and ability.
- Draco Malfoy: "Voldemort had a daughter?"
- Harry Potter: "No, no, no. Not that. Anything but that."
- — Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy upon discovery that Voldemort had a secret child[src]
It is unknown how Voldemort and Bellatrix felt about their daughter since they died while she was still a baby. Considering the love and admiration her mother had always had for the Dark Lord, the birth of their mutual daughter would likely have been a great joy and pride for Bellatrix. It is not known why Voldemort wanted a child, as he did not feel a need for love and disliked the idea of becoming emotionally attached to anyone. However, he likely realised that his daughter could become a talented and useful servant, as Bellatrix was, and he was forced to accept his attempt to achieve immortality through Horcruxes was ultimately a failure. It is also likely that as Salazar Slytherin was the only person Tom Riddle had apparent respect for, he wished to preserve the Slytherin Bloodline into the 21st Century, a feat which would have been impossible to achieve without sexuality.
In the alternative timeline created via a mistake by Scorpius and Albus, Voldemort had apparently put Delphi (known as the Augurey) in charge of the Ministry: Dolores Umbridge (Headmistress of Hogwarts in this timeline) constantly informs the Augurey with dispatches about everything that is going on in Hogwarts; the Augurey gives instructions to Draco Malfoy (Head of Magical Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Magic in this timeline), e.g. how to deal with incidents involving wizards killing Muggles and bribing the Muggle Prime Minister with gold in such cases. Some students in Hogwarts openly quote the Augurey's motto that "the future is ours to make", indicating that the Augurey was probably a famous and respected force as well as an inspiring example in the wizarding world of this timeline.
It is therefore likely that had Voldemort lived, he would have considered his daughter an exceptionally faithful servant, something like his right-hand minion or deputy, and given her more power than he usually allowed his Death Eaters. It's notable that in this alternative timeline Delphi has her own official symbol - the bird emblazoned in a fascistic manner - that is widely used in this world, just like the Dark Mark, the official symbol of Voldemort. In the Ministry there are Augurey flags flying down with this symbol, while there are flags with the Dark Mark in Hogwarts. None of the Death Eaters ever had their own individual symbols and none of them ever had individual titles or alias, having just a collective name for their group, while Delphi was operating under her personal and unique alias "the Augurey" in this timeline, rather than being known just as another top Death Eater.
Voldemort and Bellatrix kept her birth a secret, most likely because it may have placed her in danger, since Voldemort was considered the most powerful and dangerous Dark wizard of the time, while her mother, Bellatrix Lestrange, was the Dark Lord's most loyal lieutenant and Death Eater.
Delphi was curious about her parents, and wanted the chance to know them. She went to great lengths to meet and save her father, even meddling with time to create a future where he lived, which shows she had some love for him. After she was defeated by her cousin Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, she begged for death instead of having to face the fact that she failed her father.
Despite never knowing either of her parents up close, Delphini inherited many traits from both of them: cruel, sadistic, violent, independent, lack of conscience, ruthless, obsessive, manipulative, cunning, intelligent, talented, secretive, dominating, and an explosive temper when things do not go her way.
It is not known how many of her relatives felt about her, or if they even knew she existed.
Her guardian, Euphemia Rowle, was not very fond of her. She only raised Delphi for a reward, and always told her she would meet a sticky end. It appears that Euphemia did not see or treat her as a member of her family and simply kept her in her household for the sake of the money she received.
It is not known whether her maternal aunt Narcissa knew about her, but it is likely since Delphi was born at her home. If Narcissa did know then it is possible that she continued to keep the secret to protect not only her niece but also her own family from the public reaction to the idea that the Dark Lord had a child.
Delphi’s cousin, Draco, had no knowledge of her existence. By the time he did discover who she was, Draco had given up believing in the same Pure blood values his parents had, and when he met Delphi, he had no affection or sympathy for her and her attempt to revive Voldemort. Instead he helped apprehend her, and took her back to the future to be sent to Azkaban. As Draco had bad experiences around Delphi's father and didn't seem to have the best of relationships with her mother who was his maternal aunt, any family loyalty to her would have been limited at best.
Delphi faked a friendship with her first-cousin-once-removed, Scorpius Malfoy for a while. She helped him time travel to save Cedric Diggory, while pretending to be Cedric’s cousin. Scorpius even trusted Delphi to help destroy the time turner. However, Delphi later turned on Scorpius and broke his wand, going as far as to make him time travel with her before leaving him stuck in the past. Scorpius had no love for her, even when finding out about their family connections, and along with his father, sided against her and helped Harry Potter duel her.
Harry Potter, being a distant cousin of Delphini through her father Voldemort, was unaware of Delphini's heritage until he investigated it. At first, Harry was shocked and horrified that Voldemort left behind a child to carry out his legacy, but after defeating and capturing her, he felt sympathetic towards her as she only wished to see her father. Nevertheless, Harry refused to let her alter the past to fulfil that one wish, insisting that no one can change their own life by tampering with time.
Delphini was also a fourth cousin to Albus Potter through his mother Ginny, as they both descended directly from Cygnus Black 1889 - 1943. Albus trusted Delphini but once he discovered her true intentions he alongside his friend Scorpius did all they could to help their parents stop her.
Delphini originally had an affectionate relationship with Amos, even calling him "uncle". She went with him find Harry Potter’s house in the hope of saving Cedric Diggory. However, Delphini only used him so she could revive her father who killed Cedric. She used him as a cover for who she really was, and did not really care for Cedric’s life other than for her own dark motives. When Amos found out Delphi was claiming to be his niece, he had no problem with correcting the information, pointing out he couldn’t possibly have any nieces. It is possible Delphini was using the dark arts to control Amos on some level to help protect her cover of pretending to be his niece.
Delphi claimed that it was her stepfather Rodolphus who came to her and told her of her heritage. It is unknown how Rodolphus felt about her, since she was the illegitimate child of his wife and his master. It is possible that he, like Bellatrix, had only gotten married in order to follow the traditions of their pureblood supremacist families. He may have been proud of the fact that his wife was chosen to be the mother of the child of the Dark Lord as he was a loyal follower of Lord Voldemort, while it is also possible that he may not have any romantic feelings for Bellatrix and that the idea of her having sexual relations with another man did not offend him.
Rodolphus and Bellatrix were both loyal Death Eaters. He may have sought out Delphini and told her the truth as a way of remaining faithful to his master. He may have also been the one to give her some training in magical arts. Delphini could fly unsupported, something that her father had done and who might have also trained Rodolphus to do.
The name Delphini may be related to Delphinus, a constellation in the northern sky. This constellation is said to depict a dolphin, and its name derives from delphinus, the Latin word for the marine mammal. Alpha Delphini is a blue-white hued main sequence star of the constellation. The House of Black, Delphi's mother's family, had a tradition of naming children after stars and constellations.
In Greek mythology, Delphyne was the name of a female dragon who was appointed by her mother, the earth goddess Gaia, to guard the Pythia, commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi. Some myths describe Delphyne as being a half-maiden, half-snake creature similar to Echidna. This could be a reference to Voldemort's inhuman appearance, and his relationship with Bellatrix Lestrange, a human.
In the alternate timeline, where Voldemort won, Delphi operated under alias "the Augurey". In the wizarding world, Augureys, also known as Irish Phoenix, are sinister-looking black birds that they believed foretold death when they cried. It is very similar to her father's chosen name, Voldemort, which means "flight of death" in French. Augurey is derived from the Latin word "augury" meaning "omen or portent of the future."
Observing the name 'Delphini' analogically, as presumably many have done already with the name of Voldemort's familiar: 'Nagini', the suffix '-ini' denotes femininity in Sanskrit and similar languages. Naga alone, means snake or male snake; which is why on a side note, harrypotterfanon.wikia.com has (perhaps uninventively) listed 'Naga' as a middle name for this character. One may assume knowing that Rowling was trained in Classics, the name Delphi could be related to the 'Oracle of Delphi'. In this context 'Delphini' could mean 'prophetess' or (female) 'soothsayer'.
Behind the scenes
- Delphi is portrayed by Esther Smith in the original West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
- It is possible that she was born or due around late June 1997. This would explain why J.K Rowling chose to not have Bellatrix appear in the chapters where Dumbledore died in the Half Blood Prince. Before the The Cursed Child was released, fans often debated if Bellatrix may have been pregnant in the sixth Harry Potter book. (This is debatable, since she does appear in the corresponding scene in the film.)
- If she was born around June 1997, she would have been nearly a year old when her parents were killed in the Battle of Hogwarts, on May 2nd, 1998. Incidentally, Harry Potter was one year old when Delphini's father murdered both of his parents.
- Like her first-cousin-once-removed, Edward "Teddy" Lupin, she lost both her parents during the battle of Hogwarts. Her mother killed Teddy's mother.
- There is a fan theory that Delphini is not actually the daughter of Voldemort, but merely led to believe so because of her being a Parselmouth. According to this theory, Delphini is instead an orphaned descendant of Salazar Slytherin through the branch of Rionach Sayre.
- She is one of only three known female Parselmouths. The others two are: her paternal grandmother Merope Gaunt and her distant relative Gormlaith Gaunt.
- Like her paternal grandmother, Merope Riddle, Delphini grew up in an unhappy household and never attended Hogwarts. However her upbringing was likely less grim as Delphi grew up with foster family, which was not related to her and simply didn't like her, while Merope was suffering real prolonged abuse from her own father and brother.
- Like her first cousin, Nymphadora Tonks, Delphini liked to have colourful hair, with blue tips, while her cousin preferred bubble gum pink hair. Although Nymphadora's hair colour was caused by Tonks's metamorphmagus abilities, while Delphini, it seems, just dyed her hair (possibly with a spell).
- Due to the nature of Delphini's background (unmarried parents with separate last names, raised by an unrelated person) it is unknown what Delphini's surname is or if she even has one. She may have her father's surname of Riddle, her mother's of Lestrange, her guardian's of Rowle or have no surname whatsoever.
- Interestingly, Delphini has familial connections to all four of the Marauders. Her father was descended from Cadmus Peverell, whose brother Ignotus became the ancestor of the Potter family, which counted James Potter I (Prongs) and Harry Potter among its members. Her mother was first cousins with Sirius Black (Padfoot), and the aunt-in-law of Remus Lupin (Moony). In addition, Peter Pettigrew (Wormtail) sacrificed his own hand as part of the potion that returned Delphini's father to corporeal form, without which Voldemort would likely have not been able to father Delphini.
- As the Quill of Acceptance writes down the names and dates of birth of all magical children in the Book of Admittance, Delphini likely received a Hogwarts acceptance letter but just didn't attend.
- These objects are described as having never been wrong and have likely been around for a long time (potentially hundreds of years).
- If Delphini had not read her letter and her guardian had gotten rid of it, a situation similar to Harry's would have probably occurred with her receiving letters until she had read one or her guardian explained that she wasn't going.
- As Hogwarts attendance is not mandatory (exception of the 1997-1998 school year for half-bloods and pure-bloods), her non-attendance likely was explained as Delphini being homeschooled.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Four, Scene Eleven - Delphi claims she was born at Malfoy Manor before the Battle of Hogwarts. However, when the trio are at Malfoy Manor in The Deathly Hallows Bellatrix is not said to be pregnant, meaning that, as there are only two months until the final battle, Bellatrix has already had the child.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 FAQ at J. K. Rowling's Official Site - "The expressions 'pure-blood', 'half-blood' and 'Muggle-born' have been coined by people to whom these distinctions matter, and express their originators' prejudices. As far as somebody like Lucius Malfoy is concerned, for instance, a Muggle-born is as 'bad' as a Muggle. Therefore Harry would be considered only 'half' wizard, because of his mother's grandparents." Delphini's paternal grandfather, Tom Riddle Senior, was a muggle, so she is a half-blood.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act One, Scene Six
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Three, Scene Eighteen
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Three, Scene One
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Three, Scene Two
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Three, Scene Seventeen - "HARRY: Her hair — was it silver and blue? RON: That’s it — silver, blue — yup."
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Four, Scene Eleven
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Three, Scene Sixteen
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Two, Scene Fourteen
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act One, Scene Six
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act One, Scene Ten
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act One, Scene Eleven
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act One, Scene Thirteen
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Four, Scene Eleven
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 "Delphinus" on Wikipedia
- ↑ Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Naming Seers" at Pottermore
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 "Delphyne" on Wikipedia