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Unsupported flight

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"And then Harry saw him. Voldemort was flying like smoke on the wind, without broomstick or thestral to hold him, his snake-like face gleaming out of the blackness, his white fingers raising his wand again —"
—Harry Potter witnesses the first known instance of a wizard flying unsupported.[src]

Unsupported flight is a spell that allows a witch or wizard to fly without the use of a broomstick or other form of support. It is different from levitation, which only allows one to hover a few feet off the ground and does not allow for movement. Long thought to be a magical impossibility, this spell was invented by Lord Voldemort sometime around 1997.


Early attempts


Jarleth Hobart's first public use of the Levitation Charm on himself, on 16 July, 1644.

"No spell yet devised enables wizards to fly unaided in human form. […] Levitation is commonplace, but our ancestors were not content with hovering five feet from the ground. They wanted more. They wanted to fly like birds, but without the inconvenience of growing feathers."
Kennilworthy Whisp, Quidditch Through the Ages.[src]

Attempts to fly unaided have been made by wizards since ancient times. Levitation has been possible at least since the invention of the Levitation Spell in ancient England,[1] and an attempt to improve upon this and achieve true flight made by Jarleth Hobart in 1544 led to the invention of the Levitation Charm.[2] The flying broomstick, which allows wizards to fly with relative ease and convenience, was invented around 962 A.D., and seemed to satisfy most wizards' desire to fly. True, unaided flight of a human being, however, was long considered a magical impossibility.[3]



Severus Snape flies through a window and out of Hogwarts Castle.

Sometime prior to 1997, Tom Riddle succeeded where other wizards had failed and managed true flight. He first publicly showed off this ablity during the Battle of the Seven Potters, using the spell to great effect and almost managing to defeat Harry Potter if not for an odd reaction with their wands.[4] He also taught this spell to Severus Snape, who used it to safely escape from Hogwarts shortly before the Battle of Hogwarts.[5]

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

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