21

Is there a canon source of information about how House Elves get to start serving a certain family?

I.e. the Weasley's did not have a House Elf. Fred and George became rich and would like to get one to do their chores (they anyway complained something about doing their laundry on their own). How can they do this?

  • 2
    It depends on your country's Elf Legislation, but ultimately I think it boils down to purchasing some form of magical contract that binds a particular House Elf to you so that you become its master. This is just partially speculation, though, as no official source has actually stated exactly how one goes about "obtaining" a house elf. – DisturbedNeo Dec 5 '16 at 13:32
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    I'm not sure if you can. The house elves were always associated with old money because their enslavement went back centuries, but Helga Hufflepuff kinda stopped that when she gave them work/refuge at Hogwarts. – Skooba Dec 5 '16 at 13:36
  • In my mind the house elves are not liek butlers where once you have enough money, you contact a service and hire one. They are like if somehow slavery was legal, then ilegal but you the current owners still got to keep their slaves (and all the successive generations of those slaves). – Skooba Dec 5 '16 at 13:40
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    Depending on your magical credit score and down payment, you either get a House Elf or have to pay PMI. – PhasedOut Dec 5 '16 at 18:50
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    Don't forget that you'll also need to get elf insurance. Ba-doom tish. – Valorum Dec 5 '16 at 20:01
18

The companion book "Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them" notes that Newt Scamander spent several years working for the Office for House-Elf Relocation. Presumably this is a department that allocates and reassigns House Elves who need a new owner, perhaps when their current owner dies without having an heir.

After two years at the Office for House-Elf Relocation, years he describes as “tedious in the extreme,”...


The (alas non-canon) Wizarding World of Harry Potter exhibition also features a House-Elf Placement Agency, a company devoted to matching House-elves to families in need of domestic help. History doesn't record if they only place 'free' elves or whether they also match 'owned' elves with new masters.

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    I'm not sure whether to be happy that establishment exists or be entirely creeped out.... – Skooba Dec 5 '16 at 21:50
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    @Skooba - Slaves for sale. Going Cheap. – Valorum Dec 5 '16 at 22:06
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    "Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them" is canon so I guess this is the correct answer. Still I don't understand why sending creatures into slavery would be considered "tedious". – vap78 Dec 6 '16 at 21:02
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    @vap78 - I guess after a while you become inured to their screams. It's just so much noise. – Valorum Dec 6 '16 at 21:26

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