Playing ‘Never Have I Ever’ at Hogwarts

I receive email from a variety of Potter fan groups, one of which is the Harry Potter Society at Oxford University. Their facebook posting for ‘Casual Game Night’ this week featured the picture above from a Slytherin student gathering during Tom Riddle, Jr.’s years at Hogwarts. The captions show the thoughts of five young men playing ‘Never Have I Ever’ with the Dark Lord in Training.

If, like me, you live under a rock and have never played ‘Never Have I Ever’ with fingers or drinks, you can read the rules here. [You’ll learn there that, no, you cannot say in the game, “Never Have I Ever played ‘Never Have I Ever.” It’s a revealing self-contradiction.] It seems from the little I’ve read about the game that it’s often used as an icebreaker at social events but one with obvious dangers of becoming a Purity Test if ‘Dirty Questions‘ are allowed.

The question asked at this Hogsmeade soiree of boy Slytherins is, “Never have I ever killed someone for the purpose of prolonging my life using dark magic.” I think it is the young Riddle who thinks, “Some of these are feeling very pointed.” Rule #1 of the game supposedly is that players have to be honest but one of the players thinks to himself, “Just drink or else they’ll all know how little you’ve done,” so part of the game, forgive me, especially with this lot, is social posturing and positioning.

Forgive me for wondering, “What does Tom say? Why?” 

And, how about this for a test of canon knowledge? If Dumbledore’s Army played this game at their first meeting in the Room of Requirement, it would be pretty easy to isolate and eliminate Harry Potter in violation of Rule #3, “It is not allowed to pick out the players by making statements knowingly to be true about them.” What non-dirty questions could Harry ask, though, at that point in his education and experience, that would make the Army in training all take a drink?

Examples: “Never have I ever completed a year at Hogwarts without a fight to the death with a dark wizard” works, but “Never have I ever had a Potions class taught by a benevolent professor” (none of them have and in Phoenix Slughorn is two years away).

Your turn — and feel free to share your thoughts about whether young Tom owns up in front of his Slytherin drinking buddies to murdering folk!

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