One week. ONE STINKIN' WEEK LEFT, FOLKS. Crank up your Harry Potter scores, get the confetti and glitter ready and throw on some of your best costumes (more on costumes later... you're stoked, right? RIGHT??) Come by the fireside my children, sit at my feet and I shall tell you how to go about throwing the best Potter pre-party that will have your neighbors knocking enviously at the door and will cause spasms of regret in the hearts of all your enemies.
How infinitely awesome your party is going to be is purely dependent on how willing you are to decorate. For the lazy, there are easy things like whipping out the old Halloween decorations, covering your living room in fake cobwebs and rearranging your furniture in odd positions (throw bolts of fabric on your couches in corresponding house colors if you want to mimic the look of a common room).
Put as many mirrors as you can, everywhere. This will give the illusion of the moving portraits in the wizarding world and make your party look endlessly huge! Hogwarts mind tricks for the win. But if you have guests who are... er... known to drink a little too much pumpkin juice, you may want to put this idea on hold.
Utilize mood lighting. I don't really mean turn all the lights down, throw rose petals on all your furniture and turn up the Spanish salsa music. You're not trying to seduce your party-goers. But bigger house lights tend to wash out rooms. Use smaller lamps, light candles where safe and even use Christmas lights if you have them. A super easy way to make magical lighting is by bunching up a batch of Christmas lights and putting them in opaque light fixtures (you can find them in thrift stores). You'll have magical glowing orbs throwing light everywhere.
Apparently this is how the best mother in the planet sent invitations to a Harry Potter themed party. Brilliant? I think so. You can also send invitations in the form of Howler letters or mimic them after a Hogwarts acceptance letter. GET CREATIVE. Make costume mandatory. (But make sure nobody dresses as a generic Hogwarts student. How boring. Imagine: A party full of Dobbys and Trelawneys and Grawps.)
You can also have these half-blown with helium and have owls floating around your party "delivering" letters. If you choose to do this... candles are seriously a no-go. Common sense... but just in case.
Do I really need to elaborate on this? Really? See: Day 10: Best Harry Potter Recipes.
There is, of course, the glaringly obvious choice to play the Harry Potter scores, movies or even audiobooks in the background at your party. In fact, I encourage you to do it. They set the mood and are sure to get everyone Potter-excited. Then, once you get thinking, comes the fun bit.
Muggle Quidditch! Ask all party-goers to bring their own broom (BYOB). You can set up goals using hula hoops on top of any kind of pole-like object. Or, you know, just get creative. I trust you guys. All players must be on their brooms at all times and unfortunately, there probably won't be any Beaters. If you wildly mourn the loss of a Seeker, however, have someone get a small gold trinket and hide it somewhere in the grass. Seekers can spend the entire game on their hands and knees to be the first one to find the golden snitch.
Set up a Harry Potter murder mystery game! If you don't want to buy a murder mystery game (here's an easy online one), figure out a good way to make your own. Give everyone a character with specific traits to play at the beginning of your party, or once they RSVP. Have them pick a card that tells them whether they are a murderer or a victim. Then let the events unfold! Make sure nobody steps out of character and at the end you can have voting to award the best actor, most dramatic death, etc.
REMEMBER: You can pick whatever theme you want! Go for a Triwizard Tournament party with competitive games or have your own Yule Ball. Go wild and do me proud, Potterlings. :')
What would your dream Potter party look like?