Get the Butterbeers in!

Partying was serious business in the Harry Potter series; after all, there’s no better way to get a party going than actual, literal magic. Here are a selection of the best bashes we all wish we could have gone to...

Every Gryffindor common room party

Every time Gryffindor won so much as a Quidditch match, let alone the actual House Cup, the common room descended into chaos. With Fred & George always having the mysterious means to provide endless party food, and Gryffindors in general being a rowdy bunch, you can just imagine the hijinks they must have got up to.

Thanks to a couple of Quidditch House Cup wins, we saw some glimpses into a few of these celebrations, which always cooked up some great Hogwarts gossip, such as Harry and Ginny's first kiss, or Ron and Lavender's first, er, heavily misjudged kiss.

Such parties were known to go on all night long – or at least until Professor McGonagall turned up in her tartan pyjamas. Come on, Minerva, let your hair down!

Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday party

Although this particular party sounded incredibly awkward for Harry, Ron and Hermione, it also sounded like one of the most interesting. Sure, the food wasn’t much to sniff at (no, really, don’t sniff it – that cheese was very mouldy) but the guests seemed pretty fascinating. After all, the vast majority of them were dead.

While we can understand why Harry and co. weren’t exactly into it, the idea of a ghost orchestra playing musical saws under a chandelier made of black candles sounds like a gothic extravaganza – and far better than our flimsy Hallowe’en party decorations. And Nearly Headless Nick seemed pleased. Plus, the Wailing Widow popped up to the bash all the way from Kent! Kent!

The death of Lord Voldemort. Well, the first one

A very different deathday was celebrated in Philosopher’s Stone, or at least everyone thought it was at the time. This was the demise of Voldemort, of course; the night when poor baby Harry lost his parents and was delivered to a miserable childhood at the Dursleys. Little did he know that at the same time a Dark, terrible wizard’s reign of chaos was now over – and what better excuse for a party than that?

While hushed toasts to Harry were secretly going on all over the country, certain wizards were hardly being discreet – Dedalus Diggle's celebratory shooting stars made the Muggle news. Even Dumbledore, who had the huge task of delivering baby Harry to safety, ‘passed a dozen feasts and parties’ on his way to Privet Drive. Professor McGonagall was not amused, but despite the bittersweet circumstances, there’s no denying this must have been a truly historical night in the wizarding world.

The Yule Ball

So Harry and Ron didn’t exactly have the best of times at the Yule Ball due to their disastrous dates, but if they’d just been able to put their hormones aside for five seconds, it still sounded like one of the best Christmas parties ever.

First of all there were the Hogwarts decorations. While real-life fairies adorned every rose bush, the Great Hall looked resplendent in mistletoe, ivy and sparkly frost. There were the outfits, from Hermione in her show-stopping periwinkle dress, to Fleur's enchanting silver satin robes, to Draco's bizarre velvet vicar get-up. Then there was the food: magical plates that conjured up any food you could possibly wish for – pork chops in Dumbledore's case.

The music was provided by popular wizarding world band The Weird Sisters. Then, like any good party, there was all the drama. Hermione and Ron’s full-blown row about Krum was pure soap opera stuff, as was Hagrid's not-so-shock revelation that he was a half-giant. Harry and Ron also stumbled upon a very dodgy sounding conversation with Snape and Karkaroff about something getting ‘clearer and clearer’. As it turned out, Karkaroff was talking about his Dark Mark and the looming return of Lord Voldemort. Now that’s a party.

Harry and Ron left out at the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire

The victory Hogwarts feast in Chamber of Secrets

After a very dark second year at Hogwarts, the students had an impromptu celebratory feast after Harry’s showdown with Tom Riddle and the Basilisk.

What followed was a wonderful all-night pyjama party in the Great Hall, attended by Hermione and other previously Petrified students who had been restored to health. Hagrid returned from Azkaban at around three in the morning, and the school announced that exams had been cancelled. The teachers got a mini-celebration too, after learning Professor Lockhart would not be able to return to Hogwarts next year.

Pumpkin juice all round!

Slug Club Christmas party

Horace Slughorn's Christmas party was the hottest event of the wizarding year; a gathering of the best and brightest of Hogwarts – students who had made it into the prestigious Slug Club. And while Harry and Hermione may not have had actually wanted to be there, we’re sure that there would be plenty of wizards who’d happily take their place. Just check out this amazing description:

The ceiling and walls had been draped with emerald, crimson and gold hangings, so that it looked as though they were all inside a vast tent. The room was crowded and stuffy and bathed in the red light cast by an ornate golden lamp dangling from the centre of the ceiling in which real fairies were fluttering, each a brilliant speck of light. Loud singing accompanied by what sounded like mandolins issued from a distant corner; a haze of pipe smoke hung over several elderly warlocks deep in conversation, and a number of house-elves were negotiating their way squeakily through the forest of knees, obscured by the heavy silver platters of food they were bearing, so that they looked like little roving tables.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Fairies! Warlocks! And let’s not forget that this party is the first time we’re introduced to a vampire – the tall, hungry stranger Sanguini. Sign us up.

Luna speaking to Sanguine at Slughorn's party
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