You may not even be aware of it, but you could be “going Hogwarts” at tea time and not even realize it. The popularity of the Harry Potter series, both in books and film, is nothing short of phenomenal, so this effect is far from surprising. From that first revelation (“You’re a wizard, Harry!”) to the final battle between good and evil, the saga of Hogwarts and its professors, headmaster, and students lives on in your tea and treats.

Floating candles! (Well, not really, but they do add a nice touch to tea time. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Floating candles! (Well, not really, but they do add a nice touch to tea time. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Here are some signs to look for:

1 Vocabulary Morphage

You begin saying things like “I just conjured up some tea for us” or “I see by my crystal ball that the scones are done – time to take them out of the oven.” (This last statement may be accompanied by a flourishing of your wooden mixing spoon in a very wand-yielding manner.) You might even say something like, “Abracadabra…let this be tea!” as you pour from the teapot.

2 Tea Preference Changes

You go with some “Hogwarts black” tea or some “Slitheren green” tea in place of your normal muggle teas (things like Earl Grey, PG Tips, or Gunpowder). [Note: These “wizard teas” are not really any different from those muggle teas except for the name changes. But that’s our little secret.]

3 Suspended Candles

You start hanging candles from the ceiling (being a muggle you can’t work a spell to get them to really float like they would in the great hall of Hogwarts) at tea time. A well-lit tea time saves such disasters as dunking your “biscuit” (as the British call their cookies) in the cream pitcher instead of your teacup or plopping the jam on first instead of the clotted cream (yeah, I know you folks in Cornwall think that’s the right way to do it), or even put salt in your tea instead of sugar (actually, that might be interesting to try sometime). Just watch out that the candles aren’t too near things that are highly flammable.

4 Trained Owls

You have several owls trained to fly in, drop off that package of McVitie’s Digestives or a box of Jaffa Cakes, and fly out again. Don’t forget, though, that these owls might … uh, to put it delicately, drop off a little something extra. I’m not sure how they handle this at Hogwarts. Owl diapers maybe? Or some magic spell?

Still of Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (Screen capture from site)

Still of Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (Screen capture from site)

5 Wardrobe Changes

What you wear at tea time is rather important sometimes and not at others. When attending that annual tea party at Buckingham Palace, you will want to dress appropriately (women in a delicate and not too revealing dress and men in suits). When you are at a Cream Tea, more casual attire is just fine. Well, a “Hogwarts” tea time would call for its own fashion statement, such as those black robes the students wore. Some of you might prefer the outfit that Dolores Umbridge (portrayed by Imelda Staunton) sported in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”

Did you recognize yourself here? I know that pink outfit is really not me, but it might be you. Either way, here’s wishing you a magical tea time!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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