Fantastic Nights and Where to Have Them! Harry Potter Book Night 2018

So it’s that time of year again! It was time to don my Ravenclaw robes and school attire and head off to my local Waterstones (Livingston branch) after work to take part in the Harry Potter Book Night!

As usual I ended up arriving super early, but I learnt my lesson from last year’s event and I brought my ‘currently reading’ with me – even if I’m not particularly enjoying it. But as it turns out, I didn’t need it this time!

I ended up chatting with Tina Goldstein (a bookseller) whilst she set up the children’s area downstairs and then, as the shop started filling up with robed children, I made my way upstairs to get ready for the ‘Impossibly Hard Harry Potter Quiz’.

Harry Potter Book Night 2018 Grindlewald&DeatheaterI’m happy to say that there was much more of a mix of people this year – plenty of children and adults. Although there was still the ever-so-predictable and eye-rolling amount of Gryffindor’s in attendance. But there was at least one Slytherin that I saw, 2 Hufflepuff’s and an amazing Niffler! There was also some impressive cosplay going on – especially with the people that ended up becoming a team with me!

I started chatting to 3 guys when I was in line to get a drink at the café, who were dressed as Death Eaters and Grindlewald – and they nailed it – and thus, team ‘The Real House Elves of Diagon Alley’ was born!

So I had my team, and I had my refreshments – the amazing looking (but dry) cupcakes from last year didn’t make an appearance, but they were replaced by something better: bowls of sweets and popcorn at every table and Butterbeer frappes and Sorting Hat White Chocolate Frappes were available to buy – and then the quiz began.

Harry Potter Book Night 2018 SortingHatI remember last year’s quiz being overly difficult for the audience that was there – but this year it was noticeably easier – don’t get me wrong, still difficult, but definitely easier. This year’s quiz didn’t quite live up to the name of ‘Impossibly Hard’ but it was still good! 3 rounds – The Movie, The Book and General Knowledge seems like it was quite short, but I think the length was just right.

Unfortunately I do feel like I have to mention something that happened that I feel might have spoiled it for some people taking the quiz though. This event was sold out (woo!), so there were a lot of people upstairs to take the quiz, and many teams were made of 4 people or less, a lot of times 2 or 3 children with one adult.

But there was one team in the middle of the room that was made up of at least 8 people, but they split up into technically 4 teams – however they were all sharing answers and taking the quiz as one massive team (I know this because my team was the one marking all 4 of their answer sheets and they all had the same answers and crossings out and you could see them all chatting).

Harry Potter Book Night 2018 3rdUltimately this massive team ended up placing joint First AND Second. My team placed Third (woo!). Now at this point I want to make it clear that I am not bothered about wining prizes – I’m there purely for the fun and trivia knowledge, and my team actually gave our 3rd place prize to a Slytherin girl sat near us in a team with just herself and her mum. But I feel that a lot of teams, especially those with children, legit lost out on a prize that very well could have been theirs because of the massive team that worked together and cleaned up all but one of the prizes.

To me it seemed a bit unfair – it’s supposed to be a fun night and it just seemed a bit unsportsmanlike of the big team (made up mostly of adults) – especially when it was the adults who were the most vocal about winning when there were other children there.

I dunno, I guess it just rubbed me the wrong way seeing other teams where the kids seemed so disappointed when they realised that they never really had a chance to begin with. Personally I wouldn’t allow teams that big, and definitely no conferring between teams. But that’s just me.

But other than that it was an amazing night! The children downstairs seemed to have a lot of fun running around trying to find 10 Fantastic Beasts and there were lots of laughs upstairs too! Someone from the local newspaper was also there – so your girl is going to be in the paper! (I’ll share that on Instagram when I see it!).

HPBN18 drinkI had a lot of fun and I’d definitely go back again!

Ps. If you’re wondering why I didn’t go to the Edinburgh event: I didn’t know they were hosting a Harry Potter Book Night! They didn’t advertise it on their website and when I tweeted them it didn’t seem like they were having one!

As with last year, I would like to extend my personal thanks to Waterstones for hosting these events (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 – I’m up for it!) All opinions are honest and my own.

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