Yes Yes, I know, bad blogger. Feel free to slap me on the wrist.
But I am about to make up for it! Because you see, I have here this little gem of a DIY. Host your very own Harry Potter themed party! My little sister turned 11 two weeks ago. And as my fellow potter heads know, 11 is like, a big deal. A really big deal. So of course we had to throw her the most extravagant Harry Potter party there ever was, in honor of such an accomplishment. I mean really, making it to 11 years old without doing herself or other great harm? That's pretty impressive.
Basically the set up was; the kids came through the front door/platform 9 3/4 where they met Professor Trelawney (aka me) who helped them pick a "vault" at Gringotts, with some Galleons in it to spend at the party.
(to decorate Gringotts, we just took a computer hutch that we had, emptied it out, and found tooooons of shiny items around the house that were gold or silver. And a lot of stuff from Goodwill that we just spray painted gold, then placed in the hutch)
Next they were ushered to Mr. Ollivanders to purchase a wand. Lincoln dressed up as Ollivander and did that station. Basically Quincy had made tons of wands to choose from (using this tutorial), so Lincoln would act all crazy like that mysterious wand maker and tell them to try this wand by "giving it a wave", when they waved the wand he would pull a string surreptitiously tied to his leg that would pull down a picture from behind him. To which the kids would gasp and Lincoln would go, "Oh dear oh dear. Not your wand my good fellow. Not your wand at all." And then let them pick the wand they wanted. And of course, in return for his services they paid him one galleon.
Once all the kids had arrived, they sat in our living room for the sorting. When their name was called they'd go sit on the chair in the front, don the witches hat, and mom would call out what house they were in (it was all previously organized on a list). Then they got a sticker with their house seal on it for the Gringotts box, and went and sat with their house.
Next they split up into stations, depending on what house you were in.
The first station was, of course, a horcruxe hunt! My aunt had hidden horcruxes all around the backyard for them to find. The snake, the locket, the ring, the cup, the diary, a pair of harry potter glasses, and the diadem. Whoever found all of them first got a reward of galleons and candy!
Station two was Potions with Professor McGonagall, because Snape was on a much needed vacation. We had all sorts of bottles (all from Goodwill) filled with different liquids, powders, dried leaves etc. And they combined them in their cauldrons and poured them into little vials that they could wear around their necks. They had to buy certain ingredients with their galleons of course, because that stuff don't come cheap!
Third station was my station, I was Professor Trelawney of course - and as you can tell, I was super awkward and weird. True to character - and therefore I was set up in the gazebo with a diviniation station. Mom told me to basically bs my whole way through the 20 minute session and make up prophecies/read palms. Yeah that didn't work out so well. So I ended up giving a quiz instead, and they had to pay me a galleon just because. Then when they left they got a prize of their choice; bubbles, silly straws, or a slinky.
Last station was of course, Quidditch! Because no Harry Potter party is complete without Quidditch. Dad, as Kingsley Shacklebolt, was referee. Students had to rent their brooms with 2 galleons. And the point of the game was to get as many balls through the hoops as you could, while Dad was playing Keeper/Bludger. Yes, bludger. He was trying to knock them off their brooms.
During the Quidditch station, Lincoln would run out as a Dementor and attack the kids, who had to cast a patronus charm to fend him off. If they got tagged they had to freeze and wait for someone to help them. After the dementor gets scared away, out comes the chocolate! Everybody got one bar of chocolate to help them regain their full strength (I know. This is epic. I don't even - gah).
At the end of the rotation of stations (ha! That rhymes!), students convened in the Great Hall (aka our living room) for a counting of all the house points (during that whole time we could award students house points with stickers for doing good things/knowing stuff). The winning house (Hufflepuff!) got to go to Honeydukes first and purchase candy with their remaining galleons. Then everybody got the chance to go purchase candy, and stuff it in their face.
The meal at the Great Hall was, of course, cupcakes with pink lemonade frosting (they were delicious), and butterbeer. Which my mom and Quincy had made that morning. It's a combination of cream soda, rum flavoring, whip cream, milk, and other delicious stuff. Several kids were addicted to the stuff, and Quincy went so far as to say that "the rum is my favorite!"
Obviously we're doing a very good job keeping her on the straight and narrow.