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Flying Magic

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The Harry Potter Canon
Flying Magic

While “[n]o spell yet devised enables wizards to fly unaided in human form” (QA1), various spells create flying effects.

References from the canon

  • Wingardium Leviosa levitates objects (PS10).
  • Dobby used a Hover Charm to float a pudding above Aunt Petunia's kitchen (CS2).
  • Spells cast on broomsticks and carpets allow them to fly
  • Voldemort learned to fly without a broom, much to the surprise of the Order of the Phoenix, who discovered this ability during the Battle of the Seven Potters (DH4, DH5). The only other person known to fly without a broom is Snape, who learned the magic from Voldemort (DH30).



The films show Quirrell (PS/f) and Death Eaters (OP/f, HBP/f, etc.) flying through the air. This effect, while effective visually, is definitely not canon.

Inconstistency: The book Quidditch Through the Ages was written long before Snape and Voldemort learned to fly without brooms, which is why the inconsistency about "no spell known" to let wizards fly without broomsticks.

Pensieve (Comments)

  • Meñique

    I like that you point out the inconsistency that it is stated in the “Quidditch Through the Ages” that there is no spell known to let wizards fly and the fact that Voldemort and Snape are later shown to fly (and also Voldemort’s daughter, Delphi). I can accept these inconsistencies, the quidditch book could not know in advance what these people would learn. There is however another troubleing moment in the Philosopher’s Stone (Chapter 5) when Harry asks Hagrid how he came to find him on the sea and he sais that he was flying (“How did you get here?” Harry asked, looking around for another boat.
    “Flew,” said Hagrid.). Now, did he lie to Harry? Or did he mean apparenting but did not want to go through the trouble to explain how that worked? These two would be my only solutions… Although both are quite unlikely, Hagrid is honest with Harry about everything else and he is shown as someone talking about wizard ‘stuff’ naturally (knuts, etc) and not taking into account that Harry is new to this world. We know that Hagrid doesn’t fly a broom (he is too heavy for that, that’s why he rides Sirius’s motorcycle) and also we see no flying object there at that scene and it is unlikely that he would leave it there anyway (they leave the scene on a muggle boat). I’m curious what you think 🙂

Tags: flying inconsistencies special effects