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Things You Probably Didn't Know About House-Elves

List RulesVote up the most magical bits of info about the wizarding world's under-appreciated elves.

The Wizarding World in the Harry Potter series seems like an appropriately magical place to be but a deeper look reveals just how backward its practices are. House-elves are magical creatures who are treated horribly by wizards and it takes the sacrifice of characters like Dobby to bring in the necessary change. There's a long history behind the role that house-elves play in the Wizarding World along with points of interest about established house-elves such as Dobby, Kreacher, and Winky.

Learning about the details behind house-elves will provide fans with a different lens to view these creatures with and place the Harry Potter series itself in a brand new context.

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  • 1

    Helga Hufflepuff Brought House-Elves To Hogwarts

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Hogwarts has the largest count of house-elves in one location in all of Britain. The house-elves are the descendants of the ones that were brought to the school by Helga Hufflepuff centuries ago. Wizarding kind treated the magical beings even worse than in the present day and Helga Hufflepuff took pity. 

    Hufflepuff collected a number of house-elves around the country to work in the Hogwarts kitchens. The house-elves appreciated Hufflepuff's gesture because they preferred to serve wizards and were treated with kindness at Hogwarts. Over a thousand years later, Hogwarts continues to be the best location for house-elves to exist.

    Magical detail?
  • 2

    House-Elves Are Considered To Be Magical Creatures And Don't Qualify For Wizarding Rights

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    House-elves quite clearly have their own thoughts and feelings, based on Kreacher and Dobby's emotional nature; however, wizarding laws didn't account for this fact. They are classified as magical creatures, which rules House-elves out from owning wands, to apply for jobs, or have any normal, wizarding experience.

    House-elves can't take legal action over a witch or wizard because the law doesn't recognize them as having rights of their own. Magical beings like Centaurs and Goblins are also given a lower status than wizards but live independently, whereas house-elves are reliant on wizarding kind.

    Magical detail?
  • 3

    The Fidelius Charm Doesn't Work On House-Elves

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    The rules of apparition don't apply to house-elves, who can appear and disappear at will even with protective enchantments. The Fidelius Charm is similarly inapplicable toward house-elf magic and can be ignored by them if they are ordered to.

    Dobby enters Malfoy Manor to rescue Harry and his friends when he's not privy to their location; he similarly arrives at Shell's Cottage when Bill Weasley is the Secret Keeper, whom Dobby never actually met. Hogwarts is protected by concealment charms full-time but Kreacher goes to work there on Harry's orders - Kreacher knows where the school is though nobody tells him its location.

    Magical detail?
  • 4

    Butterbeer Is Alcoholic To House-Elves

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Butterbeer contains very low levels of alcoholic content and wizards don't generally get inebriated. House-elves' tolerance for Butterbeer is weaker, however, and they can easily become drunk if they consume the drink.

    In fact, drinking Butterbeer in excess can be fatal to a house-elf - Dobby confirms this when he looks after Winky. Dobby is the only house-elf who cares for Winky because the others shun her for her addiction. House-elves require an antidote to survive excessive intake of Butterbeer and Dobby finds these in the Room of Requirement that he uses to save Winky's life.

    Magical detail?