MuggleNet Celebrates Harry Potter Book Night

Last week, Potterheads around the globe celebrated the second Harry Potter Book Night, the Bloomsbury/Scholastic initiative to ensure Harry Potter lives on for Always!

If you follow our MuggleNetLive Twitter account, you may have spotted some updates from our attendees at the official Bloosmbury event in Piccadilly, London. However, that wasn’t the only celebration taking place, and with staffers on both sides of “the pond,” MuggleNet had the opportunity to go all out on its Book Night celebrations. Here is a snapshot of what we got up to!

United Kingdom

Waterstones Piccadilly, London 

Moving on from the presentation-style celebrations of last year, Bloomsbury went down the pub quiz route with its own London event. In seven rounds of seven questions, teams of up to four went head-to-head in this fiendish Potter quiz on a GNOMES level! Not only were the teams competing to win the quiz, but they were also up against Bloomsbury’s team of experts: Potter illustrator Jonny Duddle, Bloomsbury art director Val Braithwaite, Potter editor Isabel Ford, and MuggleNet’s own Claire Furner.

In between rounds, host Damian Kelleher caught up with Duddle, Braithwaite, and Furner to discover what Potter meant to them.

In the end, the “experts” came joint second…

It should be noted that Team MuggleNet – News Team’s Sophie Reid and London Team’s Martin Wickens – came third with just the two of them, the smallest team of the night.

Once the quiz was all wrapped up, attendees popped downstairs for more games (and sweets!) at the after party, where HufflePuff and Gryffindor won Pictionary, and an honorary Ravenclaw won the challenging Spelling Bee.

Waterstones Oxford Street Plaza, London

Just down the road from Piccadilly, London Team member Laura Jones was in attendance at the Oxford Street event. Starting out with a Sorting, the Houses then competed against one another in a run of games: a quiz, Potter Pictionary, and a dueling competition. The night was rounded off with a fancy dress competition, with Rita Skeeter taking home the award.

Waterstones, Taunton

Elsewhere in the UK, London Team member Charlotte Molton recounts her Book Night celebrations.

We were Sorted into our Hogwarts Houses (I was correctly Sorted into Hufflepuff, with no questions asked), drank Butterbeer, and took part in a quiz, a treasure hunt to collect the ingredients to make Polyjuice Potion, a Potter edition of Would You Rather?, and Butterbeer Quidditch-Pong – which got increasingly competitive! It’s really rather magical that Harry Potter can bring together people of all ages, who then spend an evening together like old friends.

United States

McKay’s Used Books, Nashville, TN

At Harry Potter Book Night at McKay’s in Nashville, Tennessee, attendees were given activity packets and Sorted into Hogwarts Houses upon arrival. A photo opportunity with Sirius Black’s Wanted poster also hung by the elevator. For the younger witches and wizards, the draws of the night included a craft table and an optional scavenger hunt, which had participants racing around the store to find clue cards. Halfway through Book Night, the costume contest began, with two age divisions: 13 and under and 14 and up. The night brought out the creative sides of even the youngest attendees, and it was fun to see so many great costumes. Finally, the grand prize drawing for a number of Harry Potter prizes occurred at the end of the night, with entry granted to those who had completed their activity packets.” – Mary Wojcicki

Indiana University Southeast Bookstore, New Albany, IN

In Indiana, Laura Hernan and the students at IU got the full magical world experience!

Upon arrival, attendees received their Hogwarts acceptance letters, delivered by owl balloons! To enter the event itself, everyone had to ‘walk through’ the brick wall. Once inside, we were Sorted, wearing the Sorting Hat and reaching into a bowl to pick out a card with a House name on it. Then it was off to Ollivanders to let the wand pick the wizard. Ollivander was there to tell you about the wand and what it was made of. We stopped by the Divination Station to see our future with the ‘Water of the Black Lake.’ Attendees had the opportunity to take pictures in the photo booth with frames saying ‘Have You Seen This Wizard?’ and ‘Undesirable No. 1.’ There was also a Honeydukes stand and table full of Cauldron Cakes, Rock Cakes, and Polyjuice Potion. Everyone was able to reach into the Pensieve and pull out a J.K. Rowling quote. The event concluded with the Horcrux Scavenger Hunt, two different levels of trivia, and dueling.

Mary L. Stephens Library, Davis, CA

The librarians at the Mary L. Stephen’s Library in Davis, CA were truly inspired for their second annual Harry Potter Book Night. The team went all out with a variety of activities that were fun for Harry Potter fans of all ages. Guests were greeted at the door with a one-way ticket to Hogwarts and an OWL card, to be stamped at each of six stations inside and returned when complete in order to enter a raffle for a number of prizes, including different copies of the Harry Potter books and some Harry Potter games. The room was decorated with a giant owl, floating candles, and House banners, and the stations included Sorting Ceremony, Potions, Azkaban Mugshot, Map Mischief, Quidditch Crafts, and Spell Casting.

At the Sorting Ceremony station, I was (correctly) Sorted into Hufflepuff by means of an online quiz. At the Potions station, I got to learn how to make an Exploding Elixir using powdered mandrake root, dragon’s venom, and my choice of basilisk venom, pixie blood, phoenix tears, and/or goblin snot, which made for a very pretty mix of colors! At the Azkaban Mugshot station, I got to get my photograph taken with a ‘Have You Seen This Wizard?’ caption. At the Map Mischief station, I got to write a secret message on my beautifully folded Marauder’s Map, a keepsake I will definitely be adding to my Harry Potter collection. At the Quidditch Crafts station, the Davis Origami Group was present with an impressive display, teaching us how to make origami Golden Snitches, toads, and ravens. The Spell Casting station had different spell incantations based on what occupation you wanted to be when you grow up, including a singer, a doctor, a paleontologist, and more. I chose paleontologist because the spell required the least amount of spinning (dizzy!) but had a really hard time thinking of a dinosaur whose name starts with a ‘T’ other than Tyrannosaurus rex (Triceratops, of course!).

After I finished my OWL card, I returned it and entered the raffle in hopes of winning the French-language copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. My name was drawn, and I am now the proud of owner of not only Harry Potter à l’école des sorciers but also Harry Potter et la Chambre des Secrets because – and I can’t imagine why but no other attendees wanted the French-language copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets! Felicia Grady

What a night! How did you celebrate Book Night?

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In the past week, Bloomsbury has revealed a wealth of new Potter releases, including a new edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, designed by Jonny Duddle and available just in time for Harry Potter Book Night 2017. Always, indeed!