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Pottermore’s guide to throwing a Harry Potter party

Ever wanted to host the ultimate Harry Potter party? The time has come to do just that.

PS: can we come?

Luna speaking to Sanguine at Slughorn's party
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

In celebration of Harry Potter Book Night, we’re not letting the kids have all the fun.

If you are to throw a Harry Potter party, Pottermore decrees that you take the time to Potter-ise your party in the following ways. Otherwise no one will show up and everyone will stop being your friend. Okay, we’re joking. (Or are we?)

Invitations

Before the party has even begun, make sure you get your guests on-side as soon as possible for the greatest Potter extravaganza there ever was. This could only mean one thing. No, not going round to their house and humming Hedwig’s Theme on your knees for five hours. Writing out your invitations in the style of Hogwarts letters, of course!

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Harry Potter's Hogwarts acceptance letter, as designed by graphic design team MinaLima.

For this, we recommend a green pen/felt-tip and some teabags. Not to make a weird cup of tea, but to create the desired effect to emulate the iconic Hogwarts invitations. Simply stain a normal piece of paper with a used teabag and leave it to dry. Voila: you have some makeshift parchment. The Hogwarts letters are famously written in green ink, so unless you want to lose points for authenticity, invest in some more exciting stationery. Extra house points if you name a specific room they’re likely to be in.

If you wanted to go a little off-kilter, you could try the Weasley method of mail, and smother your invites in hundreds of stamps, if you don’t mind buying hundreds of stamps for a hilarious joke.

Failing all of this: Facebook.

Decor

First of all, you must make sure your home is suitably magical and up to scratch for all to see. After all, you’ve got Hogwarts to live up to, and Hogwarts is a giant castle with endless possibilities, moving staircases and an enchanted ceiling that looks like the actual sky. No pressure, but you don’t have any of this.

decorations in the Great Hall for the Yule Ball
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

So you can’t have talking portraits or floating candles or even a suit of armour (unless you recently struck gold at your local car boot sale), but don’t let your Muggle feng shui hinder you. Be creative. Buy toy owls and place them at strategic points of your home. Go for a green, blue, yellow and red colour scheme to honour the Hogwarts houses.

And for heaven’s sake, if you really want to try your hand at floating candles, get some artificial tea lights like a responsible adult hosting a Harry Potter party.

Snacks

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Food is a very important part of the wizarding world, and only 80 per cent of it is eaten by Ron Weasley. If you are to throw the ultimate Harry Potter party, you will need to have the ultimate Harry Potter party snacks – but what the heck are Harry Potter snacks and can you get them from the shop down the road?

Never fear. Now, we’re not asking you to bake a batch of Pumpkin Pasties from scratch (feel free to send some over in the post if you do), but there are hundreds of ways you can feed your guests and have them feel like they’re over at one of Slughorn’s legendary Christmas parties rather than just your house. Lay out some sherbet lemons, Professor Dumbledore’s favourite. Get some corned beef sandwiches, Ron Weasley style. Make your own ‘Happy Birthday ’Arry’ cake! Eat half the snacks and say that Crabbe and Goyle popped by beforehand!

If you want to go for more detail, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London has a number of themed Harry Potter confectioneries, such as actual Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs, but if you don’t fancy unexpected sausage-flavoured sweets, you could buy normal jelly beans and tell everyone Bertie’s been cutting corners.

Music

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Hedwig’s Theme on loop over and over, until your guests descend into insanity, of course! Or you could arrange everyone into a rousing singalong to ‘Hoggy Warty Hogwarts’. Remember, any tune is allowed, so if you ever fancied singing the lyrics along to your favourite Rihanna track – that time has finally come. We would’ve been so cool at Hogwarts.

Drinks

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Now, we know Gigglewater isn’t real, but any drink can be Gigglewater if you really put your mind to it.

The art of Harry Potter punning and cocktails is a time-honoured tradition for Harry Potter party planners, so do invent a bunch of drinks and label them wisely.

We’re loath to take away this chance for you to be creative, but if you don’t have any Voldemortinis, Tom Collins Creeveys, Aunt Marge-ritas, White Wine Hagrid-zers, Daiquiri-us Smiths, Tequila Mad-Eye-ze, or Ginny Weasley ‘n’ tonics, then you’ve only got yourself to blame.

Outfits

Ron and Harry looking at their dress robes from the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Yes, you could all purchase some robes or draw a scar on your forehead in eyeliner. But you could also make yourself some actual radish earrings, à la Luna Lovegood, or even get the old PVA glue out and try your hand at creating her famous Gryffindor lion hat. Think outside the box! Draw spiders on your face like you’re about to be devoured by some Acromantula! Cover yourself in pretend Splinch wounds! Just have a bit of fun, is all we’re saying.

Games

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

In the wizarding world, the characters love to wind down with some Exploding Snap, Gobstones or a bit of wizard chess. Now, we hasten to remind you that you have none of these.

But never fear, there are tonnes of Muggle ways to also have fun – and that’s our story and we’re sticking to it. Try some drinking games, like sitting in a circle and trying to name as many Harry Potter characters beginning with M as you can. The loser must be punished with a Voldemortini. Will his reign of terror ever end?

Voldemort casts a spell in front of his Death Eaters at Malfoy Manor in a film still from The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

We hope these tips help provide you with the ultimate Harry Potter party, with the Pottermore stamp of approval. We will be patiently waiting for our invite.