Quintessential Magic: An Introduction To Charms (2nd Ed.)

A useful text for First Year Charms students, Quintessential Magic delves into the basic methods of casting a spell. From incantation to willpower, Wand-Lighting Charm to Severing Charm, this text covers all the basics.

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Magical Flight And "Flight" Charms

Chapter 12

Magical and non-magical folk alike have dreamed of the desire to fly since antiquity. Muggles have managed it recently, finding a way to make giant metal birds airborne, but Witches and Wizards have been flying for over a millenium thanks to such enchanted objects as the broom and flying carpet (the latter of which is currently illegal in Britain). While such devices are effective, as diverse in make and model as cars and relatively fast, even the most dedicated of Experimental Charmers has yet to find a spell that can allow the caster to fly unaided.

One notable exception involves eyewitness recounting directly from the Boy Who Lived of You-Know-Who being able to fly without the aid of any magical device, though it is not clear whether or not he had managed to develop some sort of spell to do so. Some believe that he may have found a way to do so through his power alone (without the aid of spell), though such idle speculation is not worth dwelling upon. The late Professor Severus Snape was also able to use this magic, no doubt taught by his master, though the secret has died with them.

Several spells have been developed that allow for limited forms of off-ground movement. This chapter focuses on three fairly basic Charms that offer some modicum of flight and the most-used one that allows for the directed movement of non-living objects. They are presented in order of discovery below.

The Hover Charm
Incantation: Levioso (pronounced ‘Lev-ee-O-so’)
Wand Movement: Inward Spiral then Up
Focus: None
Willpower: Moderate; determines how heavy an object can be lifted
Concentration: None

One of the earliest known spells that allowed Witches and Wizards to magically move something off the ground is known as the Hover Charm. Once cast upon an object that the caster is physically touching in some way, it allows the caster to move that object up and down. Due to its impractical nature and the advent of more efficient charms that use concentration rather than touch to control the flow of magical energy, the Hover Charm does not see much use. Due to its impractical nature and the advent of more efficient charms, the Hover Charm does not see much use.

The Rocket Charm
Incantation: Alarte Ascendare (‘A-lar-tay a-SEN-day-ray’)
Wand Movement: Quick Swish at the End
Focus: The target object
Willpower: High; determines how high the object will ascend before falling
Concentration: None

This charm does not require that the caster be touching the target, which is a significant improvement. However, it is only capable of propelling an object straight up into the air and back down again. The height obtained is somewhat controllable depending upon the effort that is put into it, but the height is not very significant and it again becomes a fairly impractical charm with limited use, and heavier objects tend to move less.

The Floating Charm (u)
Incantation: Fluito (‘flew-EE-toe’)
Wand Movement: Jab and Upward Flick
Focus: The target object
Willpower: High to very high, depending on the weight and distance of the object.
Concentration: Moderate. Concentration should be maintained on the target object.

Unlike the Hover Charm, this spell can target a distant object rather than requiring physical contact. Unlike the Rocket Charm, this spell involves vertical movement controlled by wand motions, and requires continued concentration on the object being levitated. However, the charm is not without its limitations. Objects can only be levitated a handful of feet into the air, and they cannot be directed to move any other way besides up and down. This charm still found some practical use however since shopkeepers and the occasional witch or wizard doing some spring cleaning could move an object long enough to then clean what was underneath it.

The Levitation Charm
Incantation: Wingardium Leviosa (‘wing-GAR-dee-um lehvee-O-sa’)
Wand Movement: Swish and flick, then moving with the object as if pulling it by a string
Focus: The target object
Willpower: Moderate to very high, depending on the weight and distance of the object.
Concentration: Moderate. Concentration should be maintained on the target object.

The Levitation Charm is the closest the Wizarding World has come to true flight. The charm is well-known and reliable, an essential spell to a Witch or Wizard of any age. It allows the caster to control not only the vertical movement of an object with wand motion, but its movement back and forth or side to side. Height is also less of a restriction, though levitating or maintaining levitation on something very far away can be difficult and requires extra concentration. The charm even allows the caster to lift objects normally too heavy for them to lift themselves, though this also requires some effort of will.

The only known limitation of the Levitation Charm is that it fails to work on humans. A Witch or Wizard can charm the clothing that a person is wearing, but (since the cloth is so close to the person) the charm allows them only to hover slightly with no controlled movement.

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