The Levitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa) is a charm used to make objects fly, or levitate. It is taught to first years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There are a number of lesser variations of the Levitation Charm, such as: the Hover Charm, the Rocket Charm, and the Floating Charm, but the Levitation Charm remains the original and best.
On 16 July, 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. Mistakenly 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 received a fine for "outrageous silliness" from the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot in 1544.
Hobart returned home, humiliated, where he realised that his spell could make objects levitate for varying lengths of time, depending on the skill of the spell-caster 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 airborne.
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, he would levitate 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.
This is also 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 theoretical Charms O.W.L. exam includes a question on the Levitation Charm. Hermione Granger was the first student in her class to levitate a feather much to Ronald Weasley's annoyance.
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.
- Ron Weasley: "Wingardium Leviosa!"
- Hermione Granger: "You're saying it wrong. It's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the 'gar' nice and long."
- Ron Weasley: "You do it, then, if you're so clever"
- — Hermione being condescending toward Ron[src]
|Jarleth Hobart||1544||The first use of the spell was that of Hobart using it 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.|
|Delphini||31 October, 1981||Delphini used this spell to attack Harry Potter with a church pew, but failed to do so as Harry rolled over to avoid being crushed under it.|
|Draco Malfoy||31 October, 1981||Draco used this spell to elevate Delphini in the air and out of sight.|
|18 June, 1996||He later used it during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in the Brain Room in an attempt to remove some brains from himself, which managed to attack him.|
|27 July, 1997||Harry used the spell 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 too.|
Hermione 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.
|30 December, 1997||Six years later she cast the spell again to move Ron from wreckage in Xenophilius Lovegood's house after an Erumpent horn exploded.|
|Lee Jordan||1996||Lee used this spell twice to levitate nifflers into his professor's office to annoy her; however, eventually another of his teachers got blamed for it.|
|Ron Weasley||31 October, 1991|
|2 May, 1998||He also used the spell 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.|
|Bill Weasley||August, 1994||Used this spell to levitate the table to fight table levitated by his brother Charlie.|
|Charlie Weasley||Used this spell to levitate the table to fight table levitated by his brother Bill.|
|Rita Skeeter||13 November, 1994||Used it non-verbally to levitate the candles in the Broom cupboard.|
|Xenophilius Lovegood||30 December, 1997||Xenophilius 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.|
|Minerva McGonagall||1 May, 1998||McGonagall used this spell during the Ousting of Severus Snape, causing a torch to fly off of its bracket and spin around, creating a wild movement of flames similar to that of a lasso in an attempt to thwart the Death Eater.|
|Severus Snape||October 1996||Snape may have used this spell so that he could examine a cursed necklace without touching it, though that might have been a Hover 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".
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 Rabbity may have used this spell to levitate a horse, in the tale of Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump, found in The Tales of Beedle the Bard .
- 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.
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film), Harry Potter uses this charm to levitate two cupcakes for Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe to eat, containing Sleeping Draught, where as in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, they simply leave the cakes on the banisters of the Grand Staircase.
- 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.
- 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, the Mending Charm 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.
- This spell's incantation is Warwick Davis's favourite line, and his favourite spell in the series.
- In The LEGO Batman Movie, Lord Voldemort uses the incantation of this spell for effects normally completely unrelated to it, emitting a green light similar to the Killing Curse and transfiguring people into fish.
- 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 and PS1 versions 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
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game) (Nintendo DS version only)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- LEGO Dimensions
- Harry Potter for Kinect
- Harry Potter: Spells
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Wonderbook: Book of Spells
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: The Wand Collection (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
- ↑ Wonderbook: Book of Spells - see this video
- ↑ See this image from J. K. Rowling's Pottermore.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Wonderbook: Book of Spells
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Four, Scene Eleven
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 34 (The Department of Mysteries)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 4 (The Seven Potters)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 20 (Xenophilius Lovegood)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 32 (The Elder Wand)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 5 (Weasley's Wizard Wheezes)
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 18 (The Weighing of the Wands)
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- ↑ LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- ↑ Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
- ↑ Wing, definition of
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 26.2 Latin word list
- ↑ Arduus, meaning of
- ↑ Arduum, meaning of
- ↑ Levis, meaning of
- ↑ The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3FP-nmkFL0&feature=relmfu
- ↑ https://www.pottermore.com/news/what-are-the-harry-potter-cast-members-favourite-hogwarts-classes
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|Charms included in the series: Banishing Charm · Dancing Feet Spell · Disarming Charm · Engorgement Charm · Fire-Making Spell · Freezing Charm · General Counter-Spell · Levitation Charm · Locking Spell · Memory Charm · Mending Charm · Severing Charm · Softening Charm · Substantive Charm · Summoning Charm · Tickling Charm · Unlocking Charm|