Harry Potter - House-elf

Harry Potter - House-elf 1
Harry Potter - House-elf
Harry Potter - House-elf 2

A house-elf is a magical creature which is devoted and loyal to the one designated as their master. They serve wizards, and must do everything that they command, which they do joyfully and to the fullest extent.


House-elves have powerful magic that is stronger than wizarding magic. For example, the magical bond that holds them to their masters will override an Anti-Disapparation Jinx, allowing them to Apparate into places where wizards cannot. More than just a mere housekeeper, a house-elf is a ruthless protector of the master, and will attack threats with great fury and strength.


The house-elf is so intensely loyal to their master that they will not allow themselves to be set free unless the master presents them with clothes. To symbolize this, they usually wear makeshift clothes made with found objects such as pillowcases and rags. These clothes can become quite filthy, and yet the house-elf will not clean their clothes to further express they have no needs which are not specifically commanded to them by the master. House-elves will torture and maim themselves if they think it will please the master.

House-elves not only serve one specific master, but the whole family of the master and whoever the house-elf is ordered by the master to serve. When Sirius Black was killed in 1995, Harry Potter inherited the House of Black's servant Kreacher. At first they didn't even get along, because Kreacher considered his masters to be the House of Black. Harry was only a cousin to the Blacks. However, in due time Kreacher formed a fierce loyalty to Harry.

The house-elves of the House of Black were, in old age, beheaded and their heads were sickeningly stuffed and mounted on the house walls. This was, no doubt, considered by the house-elves as the very highest honour.

While some house-elves are treated abysmally by their masters, some are genuinely loved and cared for. Some wizards treat their house-elves like adored pets or dolls, lavishing praise on them for doing their duties.


Because house-elves have no rights of their own and are looked on by society as mere servants, they are often made patsies for the crimes of wizards. For instance, the house-elf Hokey was framed for the murder of Hepzibah Smith. She had not the self-worth or pride to defend herself from the charge and simply acknowledged the possibility of mistakenly giving her master poison.

The house-elf Dobby was so mistreated and under appreciated by the Malfoy family that he independently sought out the aid and protection of Harry Potter in 1992. Dobby insisted his higher duty was to protect Harry Potter, even though Lucius Malfoy was the individual who perpetuated the danger at that time. When Dobby was freed, he ever after considered the service of Harry as his mission in life. In 1998, Dobby was slain by Bellatrix Lestrange in the act of protecting Harry's life.


In 1994, Hermione Granger, in outrage for the inhumane treatment of house-elves, created the student organization S.P.E.W. - Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare - in an attempt to win rights for house-elves. She even tried to trick house-elves into picking up little hats and socks she had knitted and left around the Gryffindor dormitory, so as to grant them freedom. The house-elves did not appreciate this gesture; on the contrary, they took it for insult and refused to clean the common room, with the exeption of Dobby.

Later in life, Hermione would advance the rights of house-elves in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures before transferring to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

Harry Potter - House-elf 3
Harry Potter - House-elf 4
Harry Potter - House-elf

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