Swish and flick
Makes objects fly
- "The Levitation Charm is one of the first spells learnt by any young witch or wizard. With the charm a witch or wizard can make things fly with the flick of a wand. The charm is an excellent test of your magical skills, wand control and above all, patience."
- —An excerpt from the entry in Book of Spells on this charm.[src]
There are a number of lesser variations of the Levitation Charm, such as the Hover Charm, the Rocket Charm and Levicorpus the Floating Charm, just to name a few, but the Levitation Charm remains the original and best.
On 16 July, 1544, Hobart invited a large crowd of wizards, among which was the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, to witness his "maiden flight" — a public demonstration of his own revolutionary charm on himself. He climbed onto the roof of his local church and, after several speeches and a rousing performance of the national anthem he leapt and, having cast the spell, was left hovering in mid-air. At first, he seemed to have succeeded but, after having spent nearly three minutes watching him hanging in mid-air, the crowd grew impatient to see him move somewhere, and booed him.
In response to the catcalls, Hobart tried to move in midair, and started performing vigorous swimming movements, which produced no effect. Mistakingly believing that his clothes were making him heavier and impeding his movement, Hobart stripped thus making him fall ten feet onto the ground below, as it were the clothes that were holding him up in the air — they had been charmed by the Levitation Charm, not Hobart himself. He fell completely naked on the ground, breaking sixteen bones, and went on the receive a fine for "outrageous silliness" from the Chief Warlock.
Hobart returned home, humiliated, where he realised that his spell could make objects levitate for varying lenghts of time, depending on the skill of the spellcaster and on the weight of the object. He also concluded that small animals or even children could be levitated, but that they had no control whatsoever of their movement once airbourne.
He thus made a second announcement, and an even larger crowd gathered to see his second demonstration of the spell (hoping for another laugh at his expense). Hobart's demonstration was, at first, by far more successful than the first one: he showed the onlookers how he could easily levitate objects ranging from small rocks to fallen trees. Hobart decided that, for a finale, we would leviatate the Chief Warlock's hat — what he managed to levitate, however, was the Chief's wig, exposing his bald head to the gathered crowd. The Chief was not amused, and was determined to duel Hobart, but the warlock Levitated the Chief's robes over his head, and ran for it.
The Levitation Charm appears to be an improvement on both the Levioso and Locomotor spells and/or the Hover Charm, being able to lift objects high in to the air but also allowing one to magically move them through it as well. It also conveniently defies gravity by lifting objects heavier than a normal person would otherwise be able to carry, as seen when Ron used this on a troll's club, something a first year Hogwarts student would otherwise never be able to do without magic.
Despite its strengths, however, the Levitation Charm has one fatal flaw: it does not work on human beings. Though a human can be levitated using this charm, it is actually their clothing that is being affected. The charm is apparently not strong enough to allow a human to do anything more that float a few feet off the air using this method, and therefore does not allow the true flight afforded to most other objects.
This is the first spell students learn to cast during their Charms lessons in the first year. They revise it in the second  and their third year. The theoreical Charms OWL exam includes a question on the Levitation Charm.
Wingardium is a composite word, based on: English to wing meaning "to fly" (e.g. the plane winged skywards); arduus (meaning "high, tall, lofty, steep, proudly elevated") or arduum (meaning "steep place, the steep"); and the common Latin ending -ium. Leviosa probably derives from Latin levo, meaning to "raise, lift up", or levis, meaning light (of weight). Altogether, therefore, the incantation could best be read as "lift up high".
Known uses and practitioners
- The first use of the spell was that of Hobart using it in 1544 on himself as he leapt from the roof of a local church, remaining suspended in mid-air for a brief period of time before the crowd of wizards gathered to watch his new spell.
- Harry Potter used this spell in 1992 to levitate two cakes containing a Sleeping Draught. He later used it during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries to attempt to remove some brains from his friend Ron, who they had attacked. Harry used the spell a third time during the Battle of the Seven Potters to levitate the side-car he was sitting in after it was separated from the motorbike it was connected to.
Hermione Granger used it twice; first in 1991, she was the first student in her charms class to master the spell in the first lesson; whilst doing so she attempted to teach Ron Weasley how to correctly cast the spell, much to his annoyance. Then she cast it again six years later to move Ron from wreckage in a house they were visiting after a dangerous artifact exploded. Lee Jordan used this spell twice in 1996 to levitate nifflers into his professor's office to annoy her; however, eventually another of his teachers got blamed for it. Severus Snape may have used this spell in October 1996 so that he could examine a cursed necklace without touching it, though that might have been a Hover Charm. Ronald Weasley used this spell twice; once in 1991 to defeat a troll which Professor Quirrell had let into the school and again seven years later to levitate a twig in order to press the knot on the tree that was trying to beat him up which would freeze the aforementioned tree. . Lastly, Xenophilius Lovegood used this spell in 1998 to attempt to clear wreckage on his staircase in order to apprehend Harry Potter during the confrontation at his house. The fifth year Charms O.W.L, both written and practical, concerned this spell.
- Orabella Nuttley
- Bellatrix Lestrange 
- Colin Creevey 
- Dean Thomas 
- Draco Malfoy 
- Filius Flitwick
- Fred Weasley 
- George Weasley 
- Katie Bell 
- Luna Lovegood 
- Quirinus Quirrell
- Sirius Black 
Behind the scenes
- Whilst it was originally assumed that this spell and the Hover Charm were the same, they are not; the Hover Charm makes the target hover, whereas this one is always described as making it fly.
- The fictional character Babbitty may have used this spell to levitate a horse.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the trio does not use this spell to stop the Whomping Willow from moving, although they do know it. It is only in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that they use the spell to stop the tree.
- As a homage to the scene in the movie, the PC version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) had feathers flying out of the wand when the spell was used.
- In the GBC video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, this spell is used to lift small enemies (havling no effect on large ones), and will deal damage depending on the target (e.g. if it is very light, flying, or, has a shell, it deals very little damage).
- A potential variation of this spell is Alarte Ascendare, used by Gilderoy Lockhart to unintentionally send a snake flying into the air.
- This may have been the spell that Bill and Charlie Weasley used to levitate the tables and have a fight with them.
- The first question of the 1996 Theory of Charms exam required students to give the incantation and wand movement for a Levitation Charm.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Reparo is not present, Wingardium Leviosa is used instead as repairing charm. It levitates broken LEGO pieces to form a new or previous object.
- Although this spell canonically produces no visible effects (apart from its actual spell effect of levitation) - a possible sign of its simplicity - it sometimes does in other HP media. For example, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire the spell connects objects and wand via a yellow stream of light continually released from the wand tip whereas in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (GBA version) a blue orb of magical energy is shot at the target. In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 a pink glow appears around the object and levitates it.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 the Levitation Charm is also a double up of the Cruciatus Curse for Death Eaters. It works the same way as the Levitation Charm by lifting it's victim off the ground, but instead it causes them to writhe and scream.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (GBA version only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (GBA version only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter: Spells
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Wonderbook: Book of Spells
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
- ↑ See this image from J. K. Rowling's Pottermore.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Wonderbook: Book of Spells - see this video
- ↑ Chamber of Secrets video game
- ↑ Prisoner of Azkaban video game
- ↑ Wing, definition of
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 http://www.the-orb.net/latwords.html Latin word list]
- ↑ Arduus, meaning of
- ↑ Arduum, meaning of
- ↑ [http://www.online-dictionary.biz/latin/english/meaning/levis Levis, meaning of
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Chapter 32 (The Elder Wand)
- ↑ [[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- ↑ The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3FP-nmkFL0&feature=relmfu
|Professors: Filius Flitwick|
|Textbooks: The Standard Book of Spells · Achievements in Charming · Quintessence: A Quest|
|Charmbook writers and charm developers: Miranda Goshawk · Scarpin · Felix Summerbee · Randolph Keitch · Basil Horton · Mnemone Radford · Elliot Smethwyck · Jarleth Hobart · Delfina Crimp · Orabella Nuttley · Levina Monkstanley · Fred Weasley · George Weasley|
|Charms studied at Hogwarts: Levitation Charm · Fire-Making Charm · Softening Charm · Skurge · Aresto Momentum · Cheering Charm · Freezing Spell · Seize and Pull Charm · Summoning Charm · Banishing Charm · Silencing Charm · Mending Charm · Reductor Curse · Colour Change Charm · Growth Charm · Water-Making Spell · Locomotion Charm · Vinegar into Wine · Bird-Conjuring Charm|