The Standard Book of Spells - Grade 1
The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1 was the first book in The Standard Book of Spells series, written by Miranda Goshawk. It was a required textbook for first year students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Charms differ from Transfiguring Spells in the following manner: a charm adds certain properties to an object or creature, whereas a transfiguring spell will change it into something utterly different. The lesser charms are not very difficult to break and many of those that you learn as a young wizard will wear off in a matter of days or even hours. Dark charms are known as jinxes, hexes and curses. This book does not deal with such spells. Lapses in concentration while charming can result in painful side effects – remember Wizard Baruffio, who said ‘s’ instead of ‘f’ and found himself lying on the floor with a buffalo on his chest. Some charms will be ineffective on large creatures such as trolls, whose hides repel all but the more powerful spells.
"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 the Book of Spells[src]
The Levitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa) is a charm used to make objects fly, or levitate, 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, just to name a few, but the Levitation Charm remains the original and best.
"The Levitation Charm was invented in 1544 by warlock Jarleth Hobart who mistakenly believed that he had at last succeeded in doing what wizardkind had so far failed to do, and learnt to fly."
—Miranda Goshawk, Book of Spells[src]
Hobart's first public use of the charm, on himself
The Levitation Charm was first developed in the sixteenth century, and warlock Jarleth Hobart is credited with its creation.
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 received 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 lengths 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 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.
"He eventually realised that he had invented a spell that would lift objects into the air and could cause them to hover for varying lengths of time, depending on their weight, and the skill of the spellcaster."
—An excerpt from the entry in Book of Spells[src]
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.
Almost anything can be lifted with this spell, although the object levitated depends on the skill of the caster and the weight of the object.
Say: (wing-GAR-dee-um levi-O-sa)