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Students at Hogwarts learn to levitate small objects using Wingardium Leviosa, and we see a handful of other spells through the series that have similar (mostly minor) effects.

We also see some vehicles enchanted for flight: mainly brooms, but also Hagrid's Harley, Mr. Weasley's car, and the ship and carriage that brought the contestants in for the Triwizard Tournament.

Do we know if (sufficiently advanced) wizards can lift and move very heavy random objects? (Like rocks, trees, etc.)

For example (inspired by this question) if Ron's car had killed the Whomping Willow, could Professor Sprout have found one somewhere in the wild, dug it up, and flew it in?

Would she have done so via Leviosa-style spells? Or by enchanting it to fly on its own, like the car? Or by using magical flying beasts of burden?

Related question: Do we know how large structures, like Hogwarts, were built? Were the rocks magically lifted or teleported into place? Is "magical construction worker" a profession in the wizarding world?

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    re: how large structures are built, we know that it took a "Ministry task force of five hundred...all year" to construct/protect the stadium for the 1994 Quidditch World Cup (according to Arthur Weasley in book 4) – NKCampbell Oct 24 '17 at 22:37
  • I think Rowling's Book of Spells discussed using Accio for heavy objects. – ibid Oct 25 '17 at 0:42
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    Pretty sure Hagrid's bike was a Norton, but I get the point. – Zeiss Ikon Oct 25 '17 at 12:51
  • @ZeissIkon - not sure that we know what model the bike was. And it was Siriuis' anyway :) - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/58820/… – NKCampbell Oct 25 '17 at 14:49
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    On the topic of the Whomping Willow, in the books (PoA) Hermione actually uses Mobiliarbus to move a Christmas tree at one point (so the trio can hide behind it). Judging by its meaning, this spell seems specifically designed to move trees. I'd guess Sprout could use the same spell. – Llewellyn Oct 25 '17 at 18:22
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Locomotor can move somewhat heavy objects.

Tonks moves Harry's trunk, with all his school supplies in it, using Locomotor.

“Ah well … wand still in your jeans? Both buttocks still on? OK, let’s go. Locomotor trunk.’

Harry’s trunk rose a few inches into the air. Holding her wand like a conductor’s baton, Tonks made the trunk hover across the room and out of the door ahead of them, Hedwig’s cage in her left hand. Harry followed her down the stairs carrying his broomstick.”
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 3 (The Advance Guard)

Flitwick also uses it to move Trelawney's luggage back to her room.

“Professor Flitwick went scurrying after them, his wand held out before him; he squeaked ‘Locomotor trunks!’ and Professor Trelawney’s luggage rose into the air and proceeded up the staircase after her, Professor Flitwick bringing up the rear.”
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforseen)

Wingardium Leviosa can also move somewhat heavy objects.

Harry used it to lift a motorcycle sidecar with himself in it.

“There was a deafening bang and the sidecar broke away from the bike completely: Harry sped forwards, propelled by the impetus of the bike’s flight, then the sidecar began to lose height – In desperation Harry pointed his wand at the sidecar and shouted, ‘Wingardium Leviosa!”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)

Ron also used it to lift a troll’s club that was heavy enough to knock the troll out.

“Hermione had sunk to the floor in fright; Ron pulled out his own wand – not knowing what he was going to do he heard himself cry the first spell that came into his head: ‘Wingardium Leviosa!’

The club flew suddenly out of the troll’s hand, rose high, high up into the air, turned slowly over – and dropped, with a sickening crack, on to its owner’s head. The troll swayed on the spot and then fell flat on its face, with a thud that made the whole room tremble.”
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe’en)

The Hover Charm can as well.

Hermione used it to lift a heavy chest of drawers.

“Ron was buried deepest: Harry and Hermione climbed, as quietly as they could, over all the wreckage to where he lay, trying to prise a heavy chest of drawers off his legs. While Xenophilius’s banging and scraping drew nearer and nearer, Hermione managed to free Ron with the use of a Hover Charm.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)

Xenophilius Lovegood also tried using it to move a printing press.

“The printing press blocking the stairs was vibrating: Xenophilius was trying to shift it using a Hover Charm. Harry did not know what Hermione was waiting for.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)

A tree is moved using a spell called Mobiliarbus.

On one occasion, Hermione moves a Christmas tree using Mobiliarbus. It worked - so this was effective at moving a tree. In addition, the incantation (from Latin words meaning move and tree) and its subsequent effect imply that it's specifically meant for moving trees. It's only ever used once, so it's not clear if it would work on a tree as big as the Whomping Willow, but it's a possible candidate for tree moving.

“Somewhere above him, Hermione whispered, ‘Mobiliarbus!’ The Christmas tree beside their table rose a few inches off the ground, drifted sideways and landed with a soft thump right in front of their table, hiding them from view.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder’s Map)

Large structures may be built similar to how they're repaired in Fantastic Beasts.

In the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, Aurors repair the broken buildings of New York with magic.

“Aurors move through the streets, performing Repairing Charms to rebuild the city: buildings and cars are reconstructed and streets are returned to normal.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

It's possible that wizards could do something similar to build new buildings, although they wouldn't already know what the final building is supposed to look like as exactly as when fixing already-existing buildings.

  • Good examples. Looks like they were using a grown-up version of a mending charm (reparo), so perhaps there are others in the same family used to create/assemble these structures from raw materials. – BradC Oct 25 '17 at 15:59
  • @BradC Thanks a lot! :) That's what I think as well - there are probably similar spells for building new structures. – Bellatrix Oct 25 '17 at 17:02
  • I think Wingardium Leviosa was also used to lift the troll's club in The Philospoher's Stone. – GoodDeeds Oct 25 '17 at 17:42
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    @GoodDeeds I'm honestly surprised that wasn't the first example everyone gave – DCOPTimDowd Oct 25 '17 at 18:28
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    Regarding Accio, you may want to include the following passage from J.K. Rowling's Book of Spells (chapter 4): "All we know is that, on the eighteenth of September, 1743, Flatworthy attempted to Summon himself an entire farm complete with livestock, cosy cottage and wellstocked larder. Naturally, the buildings would not shift, but the furious farmer followed his flying cows to the cave on the hill, and discovered Flatworthy, still lying on his cushions, but crushed to death beneath a pile of hay bales and cattle." – ibid Oct 26 '17 at 4:17
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Three examples I can think of offhand:

  • As you already mentioned, the Weasley's car. The curb weight of a Ford Anglia was 1,624 pounds. There are numerous heavy objects that have been bewitched to be able to fly throughout the books, such as the flying Carriage in the 4th book.
  • In the final movie, Voldemort was able to move the body of a giant out of his way during the Battle of Hogwarts wandlessly and nonverbally.
  • Wingardium Leviofa apparently summoned a buffalo instead of levitating objects, so you could apparently at least summon large objects. Harry also considers summoning a breathing apparatus for the 2nd task but was concerned that he'd get in trouble for compromising secrecy if Muggles noticed. Note that the reasons he gave for not doing that had nothing to do with the object being too large.
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    Don't forget Sirius Black's motorcycle. Not sure what a half-giant + Harry weighs. – JohnP Oct 24 '17 at 22:54
  • @NKCampbell - The bird cage is (presumably) negligible in the overall scheme, and the trunk is ambiguous, since it holds much more than it shows. Which begs the question, in the movies didn't Barty/Madeye float his trunk around? That monster had to weigh a ton. – JohnP Oct 24 '17 at 22:56
  • +1 for quoting the kerb weight of the Ford Anglia, though I have to ask, what year? (I notice Wikipedia is a bit scattered with its statistics... ;) – FreeMan Oct 25 '17 at 20:26
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There can be one more angle to this question. In book 3, when Harry left Privet Drive after the Marge's incident and was out in the street with his trunk and everything, he himself thought of magicking himself out of the mess before any Police officer sees him.

It is mentioned in the book that Harry thought of making his trunk lighter using magic and then tying it to the broomstick and then fly to Leaky Cauldron. If a second year student can think of magicking the trunk and making it lighter, I am sure fully qualified wizard and likes of Dumbledore can make a lot bigger objects light by magic and then can easily move/shift them wherever needed.

Where Wingardium Leviosa & Locomotor are not a perfect fit, the above approach can also be tried with significant and pretty much same results.

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