At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
- "My poor Mr Crouch, what is he doing without Winky? He is needing me, he is needing my help! I is looking after the Crouches all my life, and my mother is doing it before me, and my grandmother is doing it before her... oh what is they saying if they knew Winky was freed? Oh the shame, the shame!"
- — Winky's trouble adjusting to being sacked by the Crouches and relocating to Hogwarts[src]
Winky (fl. 1981 - 1998) was a freed female house-elf who neither wanted freedom nor took to being a free elf. She was employed at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when released from the Crouch family where for years, Winky had been devoted to Barty Crouch Snr. The elder Barty Crouch sacked Winky when she was found holding a wand in suspicious circumstances, which not only publicly associated him with dark magic, but demonstrated that her guardianship of his son might be unreliable.
After being freed Winky fell into a depression from thinking she failed to service Barty Crouch, and began drinking heavily. At one point Dobby got Winky a job at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she for the second time met Harry Potter. On 2 May, 1998 Winky participated in the Battle of Hogwarts, led by Kreacher into battle against the Death Eaters.
Serving the Crouch family (?-1994)
Winky was dedicated to her master, Barty Crouch Snr and his family, a duty passed down from her mother before her, and grandmother before that. Barty Crouch Senior's son, Barty Crouch Jnr was a convicted Death Eater who had been smuggled out of Azkaban by his father, and replaced by his terminally ill mother, disguised by using the Polyjuice Potion, as her last, dying wish. It was Winky's duty to take care of Barty Crouch Jnr, who had been placed under the Imperius Curse by his father to prevent him from running away, which she did loyally and in secret, for years. During such time, Winky persuaded Barty Snr to reward his son for good behaviour, despite it being a byproduct of the Imperius Curse, and Barty Jnr thought this love was no more than pity.
One day, when Bertha Jorkins came to the household with papers for Barty Snr to sign, Winky had her wait for her master to return. Bertha caught Winky speaking with the hidden Barty Jnr, and heard enough to deduce who was underneath the Invisibility cloak. This caused the elder Crouch to rectify the problem with a brain-damaging Memory Charm.
As a reward for his son's good behaviour (with months of persuasion from Winky), Crouch Snr reserved a seat at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup between Ireland and Bulgaria for Winky and himself, and allowed his son to take his seat under the concealment of an Invisibility Cloak; it was made to appear that Winky was simply saving the seemingly empty seat for Crouch Snr, who was too busy with international business to take the seat. Winky's fear of heights had led her to cover her eyes the entire time, leading her to miss Crouch, who was starting to resist the Imperius Curse, stealing a wand in the open. Following a riot instigated by Death Eaters at the camp grounds of the Quidditch Cup, Crouch Jnr was able to fight the Imperius curse and gain some control over himself. Enraged by the Death Eaters disregard for finding Voldemort, Crouch Jnr attempted to attack them but Winky thwarted this by magically binding them together, taking him into the woods by force where the Death Eaters were not present with Crouch struggling all the way. Crouch resorted to firing the Dark Mark (the sign of Lord Voldemort) into the sky during the attack with the wand he had taken in order to strike fear into the disloyal Death Eaters. Winky and Crouch Jnr were then both stunned by Ministry officials. When searching the woods, they could only find Winky's stunned body with the wand Crouch Jnr had used to cast the spell, as he was still under the Invisibility Cloak and out of sight.
The Ministry of Magic Officials then revived Winky and blamed her for casting the Dark Mark with the wand, despite Winky claiming she didn't know how to. Though he indignantly claimed that blaming Winky was implying that she learned how to do such a thing at his own home, Crouch Snr freed Winky to avoid associating himself with the Dark Mark, and as it was apparent to him Winky's guardianship of his son was unreliable. Winky screamed and begged in what Harry described as a pitiful manner when she was facing her master's cold remarks, which apparently did not stir his sympathies at the very least. Crouch Snr's treatment of Winky led Hermione Granger to create the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W.).
Winky fell into a state of depression after being fired by her master, believing she had shamed her mother and grandmother before her, and started drinking Butterbeer regularly, which contained very little alcohol, but was apparently potent for a house-elf. She wore the new clothes (a dress for her size) that Barty gave her, though took little care for them as they suffered damage from her negligence. Dobby, a friend of Harry Potter and former servant of the Malfoy family, was able to get her a job at Hogwarts working in the kitchens, though unlike Dobby himself, she was still attached to her former masters and had no interest in doing any work. She did not do much work, but took to sitting on a stool by the fireplace getting drunk. The other House-Elves were embarrassed by her self-pity, though Dobby attempted to take care of and looked out for her. Occasionally, Dobby would put Winky in a bed he had found inside the Room of Requirement when she was extremely drunk.
When the Death Eater responsible for the Triwizard Tournament's events was caught, Albus Dumbledore instructed Severus Snape to bring Winky to Professor Moody's office, to which they find the captured Death Eater was none other than Barty Crouch Jnr, much to Winky's shock. During the interrogation, she was distressed to find out her former master Barty Crouch Snr had been murdered, and she was completely devastated to learn that Crouch Jnr had committed the murder himself. Upon the young Crouch receiving the Dementor's Kiss from a Dementor brought in by Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, Winky's distress deepened. Dumbledore then requested Madam Pomfrey to do all she could to comfort Winky before letting Dobby look after her.
Battle of Hogwarts and aftermath (1998-?)
Winky slowly improved over the years but continued to drink heavily. She kept her job at Hogwarts, and participated in the Battle of Hogwarts along with the other House-elves, led by Kreacher, against the Death Eaters.
After the war, Winky would continue to work at Hogwarts and would eventually stop her Butterbeer addiction (although she never fully recovered from it). However, it is unknown if she ever got over the losses suffered by the Crouch family.
When Winky was still working for Barty Crouch Snr, she wore a tea-towel draped like a toga. After her dismissal, she wore a skirt and blouse with a matching blue hat. During her period of depression, however, her clothes were stained and burned.
Personality and traits
Like all house-elves, she used present-tense singular verbs and referred to herself in the third person. With permission from her masters, she used her elf magic, a form of powerful, wandless magic that differs from the powers of wizards and witches.
Despite being dismissed, Winky retained her loyalty towards her old masters, especially Barty Crouch Snr, and as a result was dismissive of Albus Dumbledore, her succeeding master. She had traditional views about house-elves and considered being set free or being paid disgraceful. She also was very caring to Barty Crouch Jnr, as his usual keeper, though Barty Jnr thought she cared for him mostly out of pity and her sense of duty. When Winky discovered that Barty Jnr killed Barty Snr, she was horrified and devastated. From her depression she developed alcoholism, drinking butterbeer severely, which she never truly recovered from.
Winky also suffered from acrophobia, a fear of heights. However, for her master, she was willing to overcome this fear, even though she did so with great difficulty and had to cover her eyes, resulting in her inadvertently neglecting her duty of watching over Barty Jnr and allowing him to acquire a wand.
Despite her ongoing alcohol-fuelled depression, traditional views about house-elves and loyalty to her former masters, Winky participated in the Battle of Hogwarts alongside the other house-elves. This indicates that some of her traditional views eventually changed, given that she and the other elves made their own decision to fight against Voldemort and the Death Eaters rather than obeying their Masters, and that she slowly became more accepting towards Dumbledore and her succeeding Masters. This change may have been motivated by the losses suffered by the Crouch family at the hands of Voldemort and a desire to avenge them.
Magical abilities and skills
- House-elf magic: As a house-elf, Winky had access to an incredibly powerful brand of magic unique to her race, which can be performed both non-verbally and without a wand.
- Apparition: Like all other house-elves, she could Apparate and Disapparate to anywhere she desired, and was not bound by spells that prevent normal Disapparition.
- Binding magic: Winky could use her magic to bind an individual to her proximity. This seemed to be quite powerful, as when she used it on Barty Crouch Jnr, he could not sever the bond even after acquiring a wand. However, she still required to exert physical force to drag the prisoner back, as Barty was able to resist her pull, and if she was rendered unconscious, the bond would break.
Bartemius Crouch Snr
- "You is not insulting my master, miss! You is not insulting Mr Crouch! Mr Crouch is a good wizard, miss! Mr Crouch is right to sack bad Winky!"
- — Winky still showing respect for her old household[src]
Like most house-elfs, Winky saw her master Barty Crouch Snr as a being to be treated with the utmost respect. She willingly followed his orders to watch after Barty Crouch Jnr, and held no ill will against him for firing her when she failed in those duties. Quite the contrary, she had trouble acknowledging that she was now a free elf under employ of Hogwarts, and still referred to Crouch Snr as her master; if anything, she considered herself as a disgrace for being unable to satisfy her master's needs. Her loyalty may have surpassed the mere magic-bound duty of an average house-elf, as she showed genuine affection for Crouch even long after her dismissal. The pain of not being able to serve him any longer led her to sink into a Butterbeer-fuelled depression she would never truly recover from. She was devastated when she heard that Crouch Snr was "ill", and even more so when she learned he had been murdered by his own son.
On the opposite end, Crouch initially entrusted Winky with the importance of guarding and caring for his son. This allowed him to grant her requests on rewarding his son for good behaviour, including letting him go to the Quiddich Word Cup after months of persuasion. However, he also expected her to follow orders without question despite her acrophobia, and considered her failure to watch over his son and prevent him from firing the Dark Mark as being unacceptable, disregarding any other circumstances. Upon preparing to dismiss her, she begged and cried at his feet in a pitiful manner, to which he simply backed away as though she was something "filthy and rotten contaminating his over-shined shoes", having lost whatever previous trust and respect he had for her.
Bartemius Crouch Jnr
- "Nooo! Master Barty, Master Barty, what is you saying?""
- — Winky during Barty Crouch Jnr confession[src]
Winky took care of her master after his escape from Azkaban, the wizard prison in secret. She was very faithful and felt great affection to him. Winky escorted him to the Top Box at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, pretending to be saving a seat for Barty Crouch Snr, while Barty Crouch Jnr, watched the match from under an Invisibility cloak. Unfortunately, Barty Crouch Jnr only cared about his master, and took advantage of her fear of heights to steal a wand in a moment of clarity from his father's Imperius Curse. Later, when the riot in the campsite had given him clarity again, Barty Crouch Jnr intended to attack the Death Eaters for their disloyalty to his master, and tried in vain to resist Winky's attempts to pull him away. After he had cast the Dark Mark in anger and they had both been Stunned in response by the Ministry, Winky was fired by his father for her inability to prevent his actions, separating the two of them. The two would not meet again until after Barty Crouch Jnr had inflitrated Hogwarts and had been Stunned and then given Veritaserum to force a confession when awoke, on Dumbledore's orders. She showed concern for him and even anger at Dumbledore when she entered the room and saw him unconcious, assuming he had been killed.
During Barty Crouch Jnr's confession to impersonating Mad-Eye Moody to put Harry Potter's name into the Goblet of Fire, Winky became quite distressed. She did not want to believe that her beloved master had committed such acts of evil, and took the news horribly, going from shock to sobbing tearfully by the end. Crouch expressed his belief that Winky's care was no more than duty and pity, and did not reciprocate in the least.
- Winky: "Did sir just call me Dobby?"
- Harry Potter: "Sorry. I just thought you were someone I know."
- Winky: "But I knows Dobby too, sir!"
- — Harry Potter and Winky discuss their mutual acquaintance.[src]
Dobby and Winky had met sometime prior to the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, and were apparently on good enough terms for Winky to be informed on his current whereabouts. Dobby evidently considered Winky a friend, as he offered to assist her in finding a new job at Hogwarts after she was sacked by the Crouch family and was the only Hogwarts house-elf that cared that she was suffering from a Butterbeer addiction, taking the responsibility of tending to her condition single-handedly without complaint, pitying her current state rather than being revolted by it unlike the other House-elves.
Winky, on the other hand, did not seem to like Dobby much. She was appalled at the fact that he was receiving wages for his work at Hogwarts, and that he was so willing to speak ill of his former masters. If she was grateful for the care and kindness Dobby showed her, she didn't seem to outwardly show it.
As Winky favoured being Barty Crouch's house-elf, she apparently did not think much of her new master Albus Dumbledore when she was taken in by the Headmaster of Hogwarts, despite Dumbledore's reputation as being one of the most powerful wizards known to wizardkind. She didn't seem to show much gratitude that Dumbledore was kindly willing to give her a job when she was disgraced and tossed aside coldly by the master she so much adored. Before she learned the truth about Barty Crouch Jnr's cruelty, she was initially horrified when seeing him unconscious and angrily accused Dumbledore of killing him before he confirmed Crouch Jnr was only stunned. Despite this, Dumbledore evidently cared for Winky and although he was willing to bring her into the place where he had Crouch Jnr captured to confirm his story, he clearly regretted the necessity of the act, as he ensured that Winky would be treated with the best of Madam Pomfrey and Dobby's efforts after her breakdown. Dumbledore also expressed utter disgust at how Crouch Jnr had so cruelly dismissed Winky's affection for him. However, considering she later participated in the Battle of Hogwarts against Voldemort and his Death Eaters alongside the other house-elves, it is possible her opinion on Dumbledore and her succeeding Masters eventually changed.
During her time in Hogwarts's employment, Winky was heavily intoxicated with Butterbeer, due to her self-pity for being dismissed. Her colleague elves did not condone her for such actions, nor did they attempt to comfort her, as they saw her as a disgrace for not being committed to her current masters, and for drinking while on the job. However, she did participate alongside Kreacher and the other elves in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Behind the scenes
- In response to reader questions, J. K. Rowling stated in 2004 that Winky will "never be entirely cured of her Butterbeer addiction". In 2007, she stated that Winky has "dried out a bit" since she was last mentioned and was one of the house elves to attack Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts.
- Though this may seem to be a discrepancy, it is consistent with the behaviour of recovering alcoholics. With time and aid, they can often manage or resist the urge to drink, but the addiction never fully goes away.
- Winky does not appear and is not mentioned in the films. However, concept art for her was made and released to the public following the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- In addition, in this film, one can briefly see two house-elves riding llamas at Roberts's campsite. One of them could possibly be Winky, while the other resembles Dobby.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (Concept artwork and possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Indirect mention)
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened (Mentioned in History of Magic classes)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 8 (The Quidditch World Cup) - "The tiny creature looked up and stretched its fingers, revealing enormous brown eyes and a nose the exact size and shape of a large tomato."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 8 (The Quidditch World Cup) - "Her dark brown eyes widened to the size of side plates as they rested upon Harry’s scar."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark) - "Her great brown eyes opened and she blinked several times in a bemused sort of way."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front) - "Then she burst into tears, which spilled out of her great brown eyes and splashed down her front, just as they had done at the Quidditch World Cup."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front) - "Winky did stop crying, but when she sat up she was glaring at Hermione through her massive brown eyes, her whole face sopping wet and suddenly furious."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum) - "Winky’s petrified brown eyes were visible through her fingers."
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