June 26th 2017 marked a very special day for a lot of people – it was the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! Fans up and down the country celebrated in various ways and the Waterstones on Princes Street in Edinburgh hosted another amazing quiz night!
As usual, ever-eager me arrived super early to the night so I started to read the book I brought with me (lesson learned from the last quiz night!) until it was time to get changed into my robes.
About 45 minutes later a girl sat next to me, but on her own. I glanced over and saw her wearing a Slytherin hoodie, so naturally I asked if she was there for the quiz – of course she was so I introduced myself and found out she was on her own, so I invited her to be in a team with me. So just like that Slytherin and Ravenclaw united and Kat (or Cat, I’m not sure how her name is spelt!) and I became a team.
We still had a lot of time to kill, as the quiz night hadn’t begun being set up yet (we were both very early!) so we naturally discussed anything and everything Harry Potter related. Kat had some really interesting and (to most people) probably controversial opinions such as really disliking Dumbledore and Snape as characters and feeling that the Cursed Child read more like a fanfiction than anything else.
As we were chatting the quiz arena was being set up. There was the ever popular food table, full of tortilla chips and lots of sweet goodies such as gummy Nagini’s, magic wands (liquorice filled with sherbert) and the amazing House cupcakes – this time with Hufflepuff colours! Yay! There was no Butterbeer this time, but there were plenty of soft drinks to go around!
The decorations were also great! Plenty of lanterns with candles were scattered around, there were cardboard cut-outs and amazing 20th anniversary bunting (which yours truly managed to acquire at the end of the night thanks to the amazingly kind staff). The amazing icing on this cake was that special edition 20th anniversary bookmarks were also handed out!
Now, on to the event itself! The evening was sold out and this time was a mostly adult crowd, although there were still some children there. So the teams were made and, just like last time, there were some amazing quiz names! The name Kat and I went with was ‘Alas, Earwax’ but there was also ‘Espresso Patronum’, ‘Slythendor Ravenpuffs’,’Witch, Please!’ and my personal favourite this time ‘Drop Dead Fred’ – that one got a very dark laugh from the room!
The quiz itself was definitely easier than the previous one, but it was still enjoyable. There were 5 rounds and some had specific themes, such as ones related solely to the first book, another was about surnames of characters and the rest were general trivia.
At one time the quiz master asked if we wanted multiple choice answers, which was met with a resounding negative noise from the crowd – but it was all in good fun! When the quizzes were being marked people were asking for ½ point answers for a lot of questions – and rightly so as (just like last year) the point differential between 1st and 2nd place was ½ a point!
During the marking Kat and I were so anxious to see if our answer to “What wood was Lilly’s wand made of?” (willow) was correct, and when we found out it was we were filled with pure unadulterated joy! We instantly high-fived and we didn’t care if we placed last in the quiz because we got that question right! It had caused us so much grief before we got the answer correct!
The quiz master was, once again, amazing and charismatic and the supporting staff were also great.
I wasn’t a prize winner this time, but I definitely felt like a winner! – The bunting and bookmarks definitely helped with that! But the best thing about this night was that it didn’t seem to matter to anyone at the quiz where they placed that night – everyone was just happy to be there and to have fun!
The Harry Potter nights that I have attended at the Waterstones Edinburgh branch have been incredible, especially as they have been free! They are absolutely, thoroughly enjoyable and I will continue to go to them, I also highly recommend them to anyone who can make it
Just like last time, I would like to extend my personal thanks to Waterstones for hosting this event (and the many others they host) and for helping fandoms come together, new friendships to form and a lot of fun to be had.
[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this event review (although Waterstones, if you’re reading this –hello! 😉 ) – All the opinions are honest and my own.