Ron Weasley: "Hang on a moment! We've forgotten someone! The house-elves, they'll all be down in the kitchen, won't they?"
Harry Potter: "You mean we ought to get them fighting?"
Ron Weasley: "No, I mean we should tell them to get out. We don’t want anymore Dobbies, do we? We can’t order them to die for us–"
— during the Battle of Hogwarts[src]

A veritable legion of house-elves are enlisted by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They work in the kitchens, preparing feasts for the entire school. They also move trunks and baggage to and from rooms, clean dormitories, and presumably other areas of the castle as well. They wear togas made of tea-towels bearing the Hogwarts crest. When asked nicely, they will accommodate vegetarian students.[1]


Helga Hufflepuff

Helga Hufflepuff brought the House-elves to work in the Hogwarts kitchens as a way of ensuring they could work and not be abused.[2]


"At least a hundred little elves were standing around the kitchen, bowing and curtseying as Dobby led Harry past them."
—The house-elves in 1994[src]
In 1994, Dobby, a house-elf, was hired by Albus Dumbledore to work in the kitchens for a Galleon a week. Another house-elf named Winky, took up work at Hogwarts as well, but during her time there she had turned into a heavy drinker. They soon became titled as Hogwarts house-elves although the other House Elves were disconcerted by them.

In the same year, Hermione Granger set up the organistation S.P.E.W., she started coming to the kitchens in order to presude them to be set free. This did not earn her any popularity, as most believe that house-elves enjoy their work; indeed, even the house-elves did not like her campaigning. She started knitting hats and socks, which she left lying around Gryffindor Tower, hoping to free some unsuspecting elf who picked them up while cleaning the common room, 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 Gryffindor Common Room, with the exception of Dobby.[3] They became angry with Hermione Granger as she made these attempts to free them.


Tea towel, commonly used as clothing


"Fight, fight for my master, the defender of the house-elves! Fight for brave Regulus! Fight!"
Kreacher leading the house-elves during the Battle of Hogwarts [src]
They participated in the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998 in an unusually bold move for their kind, although this may have been a manifestation of their extreme loyalty to their "masters". They fought with knives and cleavers, hacking at the shins of Death Eaters.[4]


Notes and references

  1. 2000 Interview with JK Rowling
  2. J.K. Rowling PotterCast Interview - "Yeah, it's a complicated issue. I would say that Hufflepuff gave — Hufflepuff did what was the most moral thing to do at that time, and we are talking about over a thousand years ago. So that would be to give them good conditions of work."
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Fandom will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+