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Old 06-23-2012, 05:41 PM   #21
Exivus
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
Yes they can get through wards and stuff, but they don't exactly seem like they'd be good at killing when they reach the person.

Oh, come on! You are sleeping in your bed totally unaware and the elf pops in, slices your throat with said kitchen knife and pops back out. How hard can it be?
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:35 PM   #22
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Well, when I went on the Harry Potter Studio tour, I saw what was very definitely House Elf battle armour, so they must have been involved in war at some point.

Here's a link to a picture.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Doctor Whooves View Post
Well, when I went on the Harry Potter Studio tour, I saw what was very definitely House Elf battle armour, so they must have been involved in war at some point.

Here's a link to a picture.
They had to have fought against wizards at one time, got their asses kicked, and now server them for eternity.

There's a few fics with house elf battles that I can recall, mostly crackish type, and probably by elflorddobby or w/e his name is. mostly indy!harry type stuff.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:13 PM   #24
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Hey guys, this is my first post on DLP. I'd introduce myself in the Introduction Archives, but they're closed.

Anyway, what I've been thinking for a while now, since I started reading fanfiction is this: why hasn't anyone thought of using house elves as assassins?

I mean think about it. They supposedly have some different kind of magic that allows them to apparate through wards, even inside Hogwarts and they are obligated to perform as their master commands them.

So, say you are Voldy. You command a house elf to pop in Hogwarts and kill Potter, Dumbledore and anyone else you don't like. You hand it a good old kitchen knife, and it happily goes on a killing spree in the middle of the night, with no one the wiser! Easy as pie!

What do you think?
I think it's shit. More to the point, this is *exactly* the kind of post/question that should be posted in the Questions that don't deserve their own thread thread.

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Originally Posted by CheddarTrek View Post
Could argue that House Elves have some kind of magical deterrent like Vampires and can't pop into someone elses house, but that's obviously incorrect (as it happens in canon).
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Originally Posted by nath1607 View Post
It could be argued that only happened as he was previously the owners house-elf.
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I was thinking along the lines of Dobby popping into the Dursley's in CoS as well.
You know, I thought a lot about that - Dobby having apparently Zero trouble showing up at the very place Harry is supposed to be absolutely safe from any kind of magical threats, etc. - and came to the conclusion that since Dobby never actually meant any harm to Harry - and was in fact trying, in the most convoluted and asinine ways, to *protect* Harry - the Ancient Lurve Magic shrugged, said "Meh," and let old Dobby on thru. Or put more succinctly, "Magic."

Same thing when Dobby is able to pop right into Hogwarts later in the same book to talk to Harry, after having popped in to enchant a Bludger to almost kill him. Dobby's heart was in the right place, misguided and fumbling though his actions certainly were. Again, "Magic," as Hogwart's protections let him pass straight thru each time.

Lastly, I think it's the very same thing with Dobby popping into Malfoy Manor in DH. There was no ill intent on Dobby's part, he was on a rescue mission, and perhaps more importantly he had been the Malfoys' House Elf and was then a Free Elf. No clue if those last two have any relevance or not, but I do think the first two are important.

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That would be me Typo I guess.

You and your attention to detail... Couldn't you let it slide?
You are aware this is DLP, right? Letting things slide is not in most people's nature here.

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Originally Posted by KHAAAAAAAAAAN!! View Post
This is the only explanation I can actually get behind. It makes sense that creatures as innocent as House-elves wouldn't be capable of murder. Sure, they can hurt you (as was the case with Lucius Malfoy being roughed up by Dobby, or with the horde of swarming house-elves that attacked at the battle of Hogwarts) but kill you?
I've wondered how far Dobby would've taken that situation, had Lucius not backed down. I don't know that it would be worth a story, but I've also never before seen an AU divergence begin with Dobby killing Lucius Malfoy in defense of Harry at the end of CoS. I'm now wondering where that might lead...

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I think the closest we see to a House-elf trying to legitimately kill another living being was Dobby's dropping of the chandelier in Malfoy Manor. But if you think about it, a wizard can bounce after falling from several stories, so it's highly unlikely that a chandelier falling on them would be fatal.
Not that JKR's physical injuries stuff isn't beyond sketchy, but I can't decide if Dobby was trying to kill Bellatrix and the Malfoys or not. I suspect not, as JKR likes her black-and-white morality and Dobby was as much of a sweet Simmpleton as he was a Harry fanboy like Colin Creevey. In light of that I imagine Dobby, scared shitless at being back there anyway, was just trying to get them all the hell out.

That's another possible AU point though - Dobby ends up killing some combination of Bellatrix and the Malfoys. The repercussions could go so many different ways, from Draco giving himself over to his baser nature, to the fight lasting long enough for LV to arrive, to Ron or Hermione or Griphook to die, to having no way to get into the Lestrange vault, to who knows what.

Or maybe the fight lasts longer, Bellatrix kills Dobby there, Harry & Co. Flip. Their. Shit, and the three of them - Harry, Ron, and Hermione - end up killing the lot of them, including Greyback and an assload of Snatchers, Apparating away from a bloodbath just as a stunned Voldemort appears. Griphook is still alive, but you can bet your ass he squelches any ideas of betraying the Trio after they flayed the skin from Bellatrix's bones. Without magic.

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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
House-Elves can be vicious little bastards when they want to be, and they can definitely kill people if they want. I imagine that they weren't used as assassins because:
A) No one would ever think of using the two foot tall servant as an asassin, and
B) They wouldn't be very good at it. Yes they can get through wards and stuff, but they don't exactly seem like they'd be good at killing when they reach the person.
All kidding aside, there's actually a very clear canon reason why no one used or uses House Elves as assassins (LOL at even typing that) or whatever. Wizards see House Elves as inferior, as less than Wizards and Witches. It's why Voldemort wanted Kreacher to test his potion defense in the cave. He'd designed his boat to only carry one magical person so taking a Death Eater or Imperiused Wizard was out. So he took a House Elf, and since that *did* work, it means that LV, who made the enchantments, did not see House Elves as worthy of consideration.

And despite Regulus having a change of heart it's clear from the attitudes of Voldemort, Bellatrix, Lucius, Narcissa, Crouch Sr., Ron, even Molly and Sirius that the vast majority of wizards and witches see House Elves as worthy of notice only when the elf fucks up or the wizard feels like kicking something. Reminds me of the way the Confederate Army treated their slave servants in the Civil War, and then just couldn't believe those slaves were passing info to the Union.

What I'm saying is that people like Lucius and Voldemort would see using a House Elf in that way as equivalent to using a Muggle to do it. These folks see House Elves on the same level as Muggles, Mudbloods, Squibs, Centaurs, Blood Traitors, Werewolves, and Hagrid.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:08 AM   #25
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Perhaps it is entirely against house elves' nature to kill someone, perhaps even like a magical version of Asimov's laws of robotics.
Emphasis mine.

Whoa, whoa, whoa... just hold on a minute. You seem to be implying that house elves aren't robots. Care to explain?


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I read one where Harry uses Kreacher to kill all the eligible pureblood woman, who are planing to marry him because of his money...
Heh, I remember that one.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:51 AM   #26
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"I think it's shit. More to the point, this is *exactly* the kind of post/question that should be posted in the Questions that don't deserve their own thread thread."

For someone who doesn't think that this question deserves an answer, you sure gave alot of answers. Thank you, kind sir.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:27 AM   #27
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It has been written before in fanfiction, several times.

Why no one thought about it in canon? Probably because Rowling. She didn't write a realistic story. She wrote a morality story. HP is so full of plot holes and general idiocy and incompetence that there are countless "why didn't x do y" sort of questions that can be asked. Answer? Because Rowling didn't write HP that way.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:13 PM   #28
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I remember Hermione mentioning that Voldemort tends to look down on House elfs, and believes them to be inferior. Her point is that Voldemort simply does not understand that they have powers he doesn't.

The Order, on the other hand, probably doesn't use elves like that due to morality reasons. Ordering an elf to do a assassination would not weigh itself well on Dumbledore's conscience, as the elf is forced to accomplish the deed, no matter what. It may die as a result.

Issues not directly addressed by canon are not plot holes: Merely oversights.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:47 PM   #29
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"I think it's shit. More to the point, this is *exactly* the kind of post/question that should be posted in the Questions that don't deserve their own thread thread."

For someone who doesn't think that this question deserves an answer, you sure gave alot of answers. Thank you, kind sir.
You're welcome. I try to accommodate thoughtful questions with thoughtful answers, and even more so when it's obvious you care about this alot.



I suppose it might seem antiquated or to be a waste of time in the age of not just forums and soundbites but now texting and Twitter, but some people still like to put a little effort into answering a question, even (or especially) when we disagree completely or think that perhaps the question itself could have benefited from having a little more forethought put into it.

For clarity and for reference, that portion of my previous can be found in the final section, recognizable as *not* being the parts where I was either (a) throwing out green and unvetted AU divergence possibilities, or (b) mildly calling you out for starting a dumb thread instead of lurking more. How much more?



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Originally Posted by serenadeofhatred View Post
I remember Hermione mentioning that Voldemort tends to look down on House elfs, and believes them to be inferior. Her point is that Voldemort simply does not understand that they have powers he doesn't.

The Order, on the other hand, probably doesn't use elves like that due to morality reasons. Ordering an elf to do a assassination would not weigh itself well on Dumbledore's conscience, as the elf is forced to accomplish the deed, no matter what. It may die as a result.

Issues not directly addressed by canon are not plot holes: Merely oversights.
Hold on, hold on. Are you saying that Dumbledore didn't use House Elves as assassins because he worried that the House Elf might get killed?

I simply do not know what to say to that.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:13 PM   #30
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It seems obvious to me that house elves were bound for a reason. They posed a credible threat to wizards at some point, and were pwnd for their efforts.

I doubt that slamming their ears in oven doors is a natural behavior for them. I think it's a manifestation of behavior that is enforced through the bond.

That said, I also never believed that House Elves could just pop through any wards. If so, every house elf whose master was locked in Azkaban would rescue them immediately. Maybe not everyone wards against them, but it stands to reason that they can be warded against.

Also, I wouldn't mind reading a house elf assassin fic. Yucks would ensue.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:49 PM   #31
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It seems obvious to me that house elves were bound for a reason. They posed a credible threat to wizards at some point, and were pwnd for their efforts.

I doubt that slamming their ears in oven doors is a natural behavior for them. I think it's a manifestation of behavior that is enforced through the bond.

That said, I also never believed that House Elves could just pop through any wards. If so, every house elf whose master was locked in Azkaban would rescue them immediately. Maybe not everyone wards against them, but it stands to reason that they can be warded against.
I agree with this, nearly 100%, excluding the natural behavior part.

A society needs a leader, and it stands to reason that House Elves had one. Perhaps they bound themselves to their leader first, and they've always punished themselves. Granted, this is wild mass guessing at best, and epileptic trees at worst, but there you have it.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:11 AM   #32
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Now I'm imagining Hogwarts' House Elves fighting with Death Eaters' ones, espionage style, in between cooking and cleaning.
This is the only worthwhile post in this thread. Excuse me while I disappear for hours to write a crackfic.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:25 PM   #33
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Of course, we have no evidence, but that is my speculation, even though it is almost certainly wrong.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:54 AM   #34
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The only rational explanation that I can have for this are that there is some unmentioned method to ward against/protect an area from house elves that Voldemort was too arrogant or stupid to study. The idea that they are "bound" from harming wizards and witches doesn't seem to work considering that Kreacher rallies up a bunch of them to actively fight Death Eaters.

But the idea that such a method is not mentioned once sounds completely stupid and unrealistic should it have existed, so I, personally, would simply conclude that Rowling absolutely sucks at not creating plot holes and pay no further mind to this issue.

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Old 06-27-2012, 09:31 PM   #35
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Perhaps house elf magic is not very versatile- as in, it revolves around cleaning. While there's the old fanon cliche phrase 'you can kill someone with Wingardium Leviosa,' it's much harder to do than with a curse that causes one's eyes to bubble up with acid. Therefore, Dobby could knock Malfoy Sr. back with his spell, but he couldn't really do much more than that.

^that's my canon explanation. My real explanation follows: No one wants to see a fucking house elf do anything cool outside of crack fics. It's a house elf. They clean, they're cute like kicked puppies, and they get drunk off of a butterbeer. They don't make Dark Brotherhoods and they don't perform assassinations for either side. Just no.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:47 PM   #36
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He did manage to interfere with the enchantment on Platform 9 3/4 too. I imagine that's fairly complex.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:00 PM   #37
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You could imagine, yes, but you could also imagine that house elves are the ones that actually work platform 9 3/4 (it can be assumed that they take care of the train). Thus, it might be rather easy for them to close the gate. You wouldn't need it open all year, would you?

While I don't think my 'perhaps' statement was right, I don't think that 9 3/4 incident refutes it.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:12 AM   #38
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:19 PM   #39
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Platform 9 3/4 aside, I think the lack of house elf assassins has much more to do with wards against house elves than anything else. Old families are probably much more aware of the capabilities of house elves and probably have wards to prevent strange ones from popping in uninvited. It could even be assumed that Hogwarts has similar wards so that only house elves loyal to the current headmaster are welcome within the castle.

As far as a house elf's magic being limited, during the World Cup Crouch's house elf was accused of using a wand and casting the Dark Mark over the sky. Now it is not clear whether simply having a wand was an offense in and of itself, but it is clear that wizards somewhat expect that house elves are capable of stronger magic since Crouch Sr. leaves his son in Winky's care, expecting her to keep tabs on the wayward Death Eater. But clearly the events suggest that 'assassin house elves' would be decently powerful if given free reign. But as it has been mentioned on this thread already, it probably stands to reason that the 'house elves' were forcefully subjugated by wizards due to a conflict, and that not being able to freely use their magic is a part of the punishment.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:45 PM   #40
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Actually, I'd say it's the opposite. Old, established families will likely have had house elves for generations. When they look at a house elf all they see is a servant, or a place to aim their boot, so they wouldn't even think of them as a threat. It'd be like... setting up a net so far up every room in your house in case the lights suddenly decided to fall off. Sure, it's possible, but it's not something anyone takes into account when thinking of home security.
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