I'm unsure if the mechanics of the blood wards are ever explained, but the idea that Dobby was able to visit Harry disturbs me greatly. Is there anything in any official material that establishes that Harry would've been safe from attack via House Elf? I find it rather hilarious to think that all that Voldemort had to do to win the war was get a Malfoy elf to strap on a suicide vest.

  • The blood wards protect Harry only from Voldemort—I'm pretty sure this was explained in the books, but I can't remember where right now
    – Righter
    Feb 2, 2023 at 13:55
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    @Righter In book 7, the Death Eaters are waiting for the protection to expire, no? But the Order of the Phoenix was able to stop by. . . Maybe the Dark Mark flags the baddies?
    – Turbo
    Feb 2, 2023 at 15:05
  • Either this . . . or Voldemort never realized House Elves could be so dangerous. Feb 2, 2023 at 15:52
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    Harry's been beaten up by Vernon, Dudley and Petunia more times than he can count throughout his childhood. If they can harm him, then perhaps others can too? I would think that Lily's sacrifice only protects Harry from Voldemort/Evil wizards.
    – user136864
    Feb 2, 2023 at 18:57
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    Does this answer your question? Could someone explain to me the blood wards of 4 Privet Drive?. The answer addresses "...magical creatures (Dobby, various owls)"
    – fez
    Feb 3, 2023 at 6:55

1 Answer 1


Harry was apparently only protected from Voldemort, and possibly people acting under Voldemort's orders. It's not clear if the Death Eaters couldn't get at him because they worked for Voldemort and were covered by the blood ward, or because Voldemort himself forbade it, wanting to kill Harry himself. Also, the Order was closely guarding Harry after Voldemort's return, and presumably could have prevented an attack or kidnapping by any Death Eaters apart from Voldemort himself (unless Mudungus was on duty...).

So it's quite possible Harry would be shielded by the blood ward from a house elf attack like you suggest. But even if not:

  1. Voldemort wants to kill Harry personally, and would never risk a scenario where people could claim a house elf accomplished something he could not.

  2. Voldemort was clueless about the powers of House Elves, because he considered them vermin, inferior life forms, utterly beneath his notice. This was part of his downfall, as his use of Kreacher as a test subject for his all-important horcrux defense created a huge vulnerability in it and led to it being stolen. As Hermione tells Harry, Voldemort knew nothing of the ways of House Elves and would never consider that they might have power which he lacks (in this case, ability to defeat the anti-disapparation field he created in his cave).

Also, killing Harry is not the same as "winning the war." Although Harry's death would have undoubtedly demoralized the wizarding population, it was basically a personal obsession Voldemort had than a necessary goal. There's a car to be made that if he had dismissed Harry as irrelevant he would have been much more successful. The real war was lost when all the law abiding wizards and witches finally pulled their heads out of their rear ends and fought back against Voldemort and his followers in the Battle of Hogwarts. At the point of he and Harry's final duel, even if Voldemort had won or escaped, he had "lost the war" and was reduced to near impotence. He would have been hunted down or stayed in hiding forever. That's one of the main themes of the book, how the Wizarding society allowed Voldemort to succeed because they were cowardly and "looked the other way," not even daring to say his name while hoping he would just go away. The only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.

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