Free Press Journal

20 years of Harry Potter! How to host a Riddikulus Party!


So, you can’t brew a potion, or cast a spell. That doesn’t mean you can’t throw an epic party to celebrate 20 years of Harry Potter! Marilyn Gore shows you how, even without any house elves to help

Any good hostess knows your party begins way before your guests begin to arrive.

Invitations can set the tone for the entire party. And while nothing would be cooler than getting actual owls to deliver your invite, India’s animal-welfare laws are slightly stricter than those at Hogwarts. So, why not style your invitations to look like sealed letters of admission to the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, or a ticket on the Hogwarts Express? Or, even a ‘brick wall’ tagged ‘Platform 9¾’?

If you are bent on owl mail, you could always tie your invites to ‘owl’ balloons. All you’d need are markers, balloons, and string. But yes, these will probably have to be hand-delivered.

The Food
No one throws a better feast than our favourite school of wizardry. Since us Muggles don’t have magic, it’s time for some creative thinking, and plenty of labelling. Stick a pair of wings onto a Ferrero Rocheror a gold cake pop, and you have an edible snitch. If that sounds like too much work, leave off the wings, and call them mini dragon eggs.

Salad veggies? They’re obviously from Professor Sprout’s Herbology garden.

A bunch of green gummy worms in a glass jar? That Gillyweed saved Harry’s life!

A pink cake that should really go onto a page of ‘Cake Fails’ on the Web? Oh please! That’s just Hagrid’s contribution to the festivities.

Hufflepuff already has ‘puff’ in the name, so why not have apple puffs or cheese puffs?Ignore the basilisk eggs if you aren’t a Slytherin fan, but, whatever you do, don’t forget Professor Dumbledore’s lemon drops!

The Drinks
If Madam Rosmerta comes by, ask her to whip you up large quantities of butterbeer. If not, make it yourself. All it takes is butterscotch, cinnamon powder and as much chocolate milkshake as you can consume.

Adults could choose between Fire ‘whiskey’ and Felix Felicis—a delicious combination of dark sugarcane juice, ground spices and orange zest, ideally spiked with rum—that would make anyone feel lucky.

Not your style? Then, how about a bowl of Pensieve Punch: A stunning mix of Blue Curaçao, pineapple juice, water, any white soda drink, and—this is important—edible lustre dust, alcohol optional. Throw in a few pieces of dry ice, and your thirst-quencher becomes a dramatic conversation starter; more points to your house if your display includes a light underneath.

Polyjuice potion? Boomslang skin and bicorn horn are difficult to find, and ingesting human tissue is just gross. So, no. Amorentia almost made this list, but Voldemort was the result of a love potion. So, again, no.

Besides, Muggles already have potions that can cause several forms of morning-after remorse.

Make it atmospheric
Floating candles are the simplest form of magical lighting. If you haven’t mastered ‘Wingardium LeviOsa’ yet, try hanging them from the ceiling instead.

House colours and crests are a guaranteed way to create groups at any party. You can use these as buntings, table covers, or hang them on the wall as posters.

An ‘Ollivander’s’ corner stocked with wands, and even a Sorting Hat are good ideas; but a 9¾ sign on a wall will likely leave you with at least one injured guest.

A warning scrawled on the bathroom mirror, or a picture of Moaning Myrtle stuck behind the restroom door would creep anyone out. And, of course, you could also mark the entrance to the Ministry of Magic!

Depending on which way you leant in the Wizarding Wars, you could even use the Dark Mark to create a mood. Just keep the Dementors away.

Oh, and if you have a cat, just change her name to McGonagall for the day, and try to look bewildered if anyone calls her anything else.

Keep it going, and Scourgify!
While a killing curse is not to be taken lightly, a game of Pin the Scar on Harry is a great way to keep younger guests occupied. For older and/more patient guests, there’s nothing better than a treasure hunt, even if your Marauders’ Map lacks disappearing footprints. However, this will only work if you can get everyone to swear they’re up to no good.

Finally, it can’t be a Harry Potter party if it didn’t involve a game of Quidditch, right? And what better way to get clean up started than with a game that organically involves brooms? Strategically place empty garbage pails beneath each hoop, and see your guests basically clean up after themselves. Now, that’s real magic.