Sapience level Sapient
Lifespan 200 years
Average height 2-3 ft.
Social unit Solitary slaves
Nature Obedient

More Harry Potter species

House-elves are small magical humanoids that are used as slaves in the wizarding world.

A house-elf is a magical creature which is devoted and loyal to the one designated as their master. They serve wizards and witches, and must do everything that their masters command unless they are freed.

Anatomy and appearance Edit

They are 2–3 feet tall humanoids, with spindly arms and legs and oversized (as compared to a human's) heads and eyes. They have pointed, bat-like ears and high, squeaky voices. They have light, brownish skin. They have the ability to use magic, and frequently do so in order to perform household tasks. House-elves can also teleport at will.

Society and culture Edit

Their names are usually pet-like diminutives, and they do not appear to have surnames. They habitually refer to themselves in the third person and use a strange manner of speaking. House-elves are generally obedient, pliant, and obsequious. Rather than conventional clothing, house-elves wear discarded items like pillowcases and tea-towels. House-elves' masters can free them by giving them an item of clothing.

A house-elf must obey any commands given to them by their masters. At times, they seem to desire to disobey these orders, but as their master's orders are "the house-elf's highest law", they cannot. However, a house-elf may find loopholes within their master's or mistress's orders.

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, or to punish themselves.

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. They are bound by magic to obey their masters' every command, but if the masters are cruel to the house-elves, then the elves would only obey their orders just enough to avoid breaking these magical binds. Despite the seemingly horrid lifestyle that house-elves endure, house-elves seem to actually enjoy being enslaved.