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Discussions on Chamber of Secrets "In my fifth year, The Chamber of Secrets was opened ..."

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Old 18-02-2005, 20:36   #1
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Where Do House Elves Come From?

In Chapter Three of Chamber of Secrets, George says his mom wishes she had a house elf, but that they only “come with big old manors and castles and places like that.”

This got me wondering about where exactly a house elf comes from. Where does a family get an elf and what happens if that family moves?

Does the elf simply come with the house? If so, and a wizarding family moves, I would think that the elf would be "attached" to the family and would move with them, but if it is the other way around and the elf is "attached" to the house, do they have to perform a memory charm on the elf so the family secrets aren't spread?

It just seemed weird the way it was phrased. He goes on to say that they just have a lousy ghoul in the attic and gnomes in the garden and that you wouldn't catch a house elf in their house. That almost makes it sound like the elf just sort of chooses the house, moves in, and becomes part of the household.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 18-02-2005, 20:57   #2
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Re: Where Do House Elves Come From?

I took it to mean that only families who live in "big old manors and castles" ie families that have "old money" behind them would have house-elves. While I think that the elves (and their descendants) are inherited along with the manors etc, I don't think they are tied to any particular house, but rather to the family.
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Old 19-02-2005, 07:33   #3
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Re: Where Do House Elves Come From?

I took it mean they were part of the old, purblood family package, big old house, long family tree and a house elf.

I imagine they breed somehow, but do they have to ask their master's permission? That could be interesting...I am picturing Dobby trailing Lucius asking for permission...hey Hermione, I think we may have found one thing house elfs do for fun!! Ok, pulling my mind out of the gutter.

I wonder how families get their first elf? Are they bought and sold, is there a house elf slave trade? Or was all that made illigal and now they just reproduce to keep themselves out of distinction?
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Old 19-02-2005, 12:13   #4
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Re: Where Do House Elves Come From?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meredith
I took it mean they were part of the old, purblood family package, big old house, long family tree and a house elf.
I thought the Weasley's were purebloods, and also Molly was a Prewett which seemed to be a long line of purebloods, and aren't the Weasley's related somewhere along the line to the Blacks? I seem to remember something from the tapestry with the family tree on - so why then, have the Weasley's not got a house elf??

Perhaps it is because they are not very well off and although house elves are not paid, there is something about wealthy families having "hired help" rather than the poorer families?
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Old 19-02-2005, 15:17   #5
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Re: Where Do House Elves Come From?

I have to agree with the current tone - and that is the House Elf is passed down via the families as is the houses ...
I think the interesting point - and one I dare to bring up is the continuation of the Elf race.
To explain - what I mean is Elf nature has to take it's course for the continuation of the race - so does this mean that we have House Elf couples?
Also - you cant really have them all inter-bred - so does that mean the Wizarding world is using arranged relationships between families and houses to ensure that there is always a young stock of elf's - or is it a dying race?
I suppose this is all relevant when asking the question where do they come from
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Old 19-02-2005, 15:48   #6
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Re: Where Do House Elves Come From?

So have we determined they come with old manors or with old families or with old families with money who live in old manors?

I don't think the Weasleys have one because they are a lower class. There is a certain degree of wealth attatched to house elfs and the Weasleys just don't have it. I wonder if Fred and George would get one, as their business is doing well.

And I still want to know how they reproduce.
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Old 20-02-2005, 12:42   #7
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Re: Where Do House Elves Come From?

LOL - last comment is one I was trying to skirt - but will assume that it is the birds and bee's in smaller from ...
The question for me on that is when do they get the time - is there like a day off every so often where House Elf's get to go party away from the masters ...

I think that given both Arthur and Molly's heritage - it is a bit weird they don't have old money ...
I think they had the pedigree for it - one assumes that the wealth might have been diluted on the way through the generations to the point there was no legacy for them to inherit ...
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Old 20-02-2005, 13:35   #8
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Re: Where Do House Elves Come From?

I dunno, mention reproduction and some people have to go and get all giggly over it.

I think or am assuming that since Kreacher's mother worked for the Blacks, that House Elfs breed and have family relationships similar to humans. But they teach their children how to serve the families. I think it would be encouraged by the Wizards as they would give a house elf to their children when they moved into their own house.

In OoTP, on the wall is a row of House Elf heads that had the same rather snout like nose. I am guessing this to be a family of House Elfs that have bred and been with the Black family for generations.
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Old 20-02-2005, 20:23   #9
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Re: Where Do House Elves Come From?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagini
I dunno, mention reproduction and some people have to go and get all giggly over it.
Ok I'll quit acting like a hormonal teenager.

I do agree, they have a family tree similar to the one of the family that they serve. But I think of it like the slave trade, if a wizard was in debt, couldn't they trade their elf for forgiven debt? It makes sense this would be an option, seeing the way they are treated throughout the books.
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Old 21-02-2005, 02:13   #10
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Re: Where Do House Elves Come From?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagini
In OoTP, on the wall is a row of House Elf heads that had the same rather snout like nose. I am guessing this to be a family of House Elfs that have bred and been with the Black family for generations.
So I guess this means that the house elves don't die and are buried, but die and are hung on walls!!

As regards the procreating activities of the house elves, I guess, as has been mentioned, that it happens in the same way as with muggles, wizards, etc!! Agree with Blaise tho, that their romances must be of the whirlwind variety seeing as they don't get much time off from work!!

Also, do house elves live independently, those which haven't got jobs?
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