The Wizarding World Wand Tour has transformed Reading’s Oracle Riverside into spellcasting central.

Wand battle choreographer to the stars of Harry Potter, Paul Harris, put me through my paces in a training session in front of nine 150foot replica wands from the franchise.

The installation is in Reading until April 4 as part of a tour of four towns and cities in the UK to promote the newest spinoff Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

I have the balance of a Koala and the hand-eye coordination of Rob Green circa 2010, so I was apprehensive that even the ‘world’s only wand combat choreographer’ could teach me.

Paul was tasked by director David Yates with creating a ‘wand language’ which would go on to become the basis of famous movie moments like Voldermort and Dumbledore’s battle and Sirius Black’s death sequence.

“It’s all about intention really. Without intention it’s just waving a stick around,” said Paul, when I asked him what top tip he gave the likes of Daniel Radcliff on set.

“The other thing that was a big deal for me was swish and flick. It’s in the first film.”

Despite feeling extremely aware I was no dancer and couldn’t land a karate chop if my opponent was a barn door, I took to the stage

He continued: “Gary Oldman had both of those things instantaneously.”

“He was fantastic because he fully understood the necessity for there to be a language, that it wasn’t just 'point a stick.'”

When he was introduced to the team in the fifth film, Order of the Phoenix, Paul was faced with a challenge: Every spell mentioned in the books had already been seen on screen without wand conventions.

“I thought: If all choreography in Kung Fu, if all choreography in ballet can come from a set of fixed positions, I can do this.”

Despite feeling extremely aware I was no dancer and couldn’t land a karate chop if my opponent was a barn door, I went with Paul took to the stage outside Pizza Hut and we battled.

My first test was position one, where the spellcaster holds the wand over their head in an arch like the tail of a scorpion, whips their arm back, and fires forward.

On my first attempt, Paul suggested I looked like I was chucking a rock at a passer-by and I’m sure I caught the security guards smirking.

Thankfully the wand, a replica of Dumbledore’s, stayed in my hands and I pressed on into position two: Casting at torso height with my right hand underneath my left arm.

According to my mentor, this was my best move, but I couldn’t help feeling the bar was pretty low.

Paul’s enthusiasm for the art was captivating and by the third spell I felt the need to impress him.

It involved me twisting and making a surprise attack with my wand behind my back.

He seemed happy with my performance, but in my opinion the coat I was wearing did more acting than me.

Then it was time to battle

We faced off on the red carpet, eyes locking, a bead of sweat dripping down my brow.

I struck Paul with a surprise position two, but he blocked me with a shield-style spell.

We froze in combat, our powers biting in the air between us but the master was too strong, and the arm of the student was thrown backwards.

“Your line and form was like none of the principal characters but like a lot of the stunt team,” said Paul.

“You’re really grounded, have a really good centre and a good line. Your instinct was to bring your bodyweight into the movement which suggests you’d probably be good at boxing.”

Despite his compliments, the fact he hadn’t said I resembled any of the primary cast made it clear I was never going to be a Harry Potter. Still, I arrived feeling like a Dudley, but perhaps left nearer a Longbottom.

If you’d like to feel the magic like I did, Paul will be training local school children to cast spells at 7pm today and at 7.30pm - 7.45pm, the Mayor of Reading will switch on the lights in the nine giant wands.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will show in cinemas from April 8.