- "Kreacher is what he has been made by wizards, Harry. Yes, he is to be pitied. His existence has been as miserable as your friend Dobby's. He was forced to do Sirius's bidding, because Sirius was the last of the family to which he was enslaved, but he felt no true loyalty to him. And whatever Kreacher's faults, it must be admitted that Sirius did nothing to make Kreacher's lot easier."
- —Albus Dumbledore regarding Kreacher[src]
He was particularly fond of "his mistress" Walburga Black, who died in 1985, but whose portrait still shrieked orders from the wall in the front hall of the Black house. After Mrs Black's death, Kreacher let the home fall into disarray, doing little, if any, cleaning.
He was also fiercely loyal to Regulus Black, and later to Harry Potter whom he fought for in the Battle of Hogwarts alongside many other house-elves. Kreacher survived the final battle of the Second Wizarding War; it is unknown what happened to him later in life, though he died at some point after Albus Potter went to Hogwarts.
Serving masters (Pre 1979-1998)
Under Master Regulus Black
In 1979, when Lord Voldemort told Regulus Black that he needed a house-elf, Regulus volunteered Kreacher, saying it would be an honour to serve the Dark Lord. Voldemort took Kreacher to the Crystal Cave and forced him to drink the potion in the basin so that Voldemort could place Salazar Slytherin's Locket in the basin. The potion, (the same one Dumbledore drank) caused Kreacher to have nightmarish delusions, intense stomach pains and made him dehydrated. Voldemort then left, leaving Kreacher to drink from the lake (as any water conjured evaporates) and die at the hands of the Inferi. However, Voldemort, in his arrogance, had never cared to learn that House Elves can apparate out of locations that Wizards and Witches cannot, so Kreacher, using his own special type of magic and not contained by the enchantments on the cave, was able to Disapparate from the cave and follow his master's orders, to "come home when he finished his task".
Regulus later had Kreacher take him back to the Crystal Cave. Regulus drank the potion himself and ordered Kreacher to switch Slytherin's Locket with a fake locket and then go home and destroy the "real" locket, leaving Regulus to die in the cave. For the last few seconds Kreacher was there, he saw the Inferi's hands pulling Regulus into the water. Regulus also ordered Kreacher to never tell his family what had happened to him. Kreacher left as ordered but was unable to destroy the locket, despite his many attempts. This inability to complete an order of his master may have driven him to insanity, explaining his muttering and devotion to his mistress' painting.
Under master Sirius Black/Order of the Phoenix
Kreacher was loyal only to pure-blood wizards in general, Walburga Black in particular. After her death, however, Sirius Black became Kreacher's master, despite having been considered a blood traitor and disowned from his family. Kreacher was hostile to Sirius and to the entire Order of the Phoenix when they used 12 Grimmauld Place as their Headquarters, but was forced to serve Sirius. He was known to steal Black family heirlooms during the Order's cleaning efforts and hide them in his den in the kitchen cupboard. In turn, Sirius took the items and threw them away, and berated Kreacher in harsh and cruel words.
Kreacher was considered somewhat of a liability by the Order of the Phoenix, who used the Blacks' house as headquarters; as a house-elf, Kreacher overheard sensitive information, but was forbidden to disclose it. However, in December 1995, when he witnessed Harry and the Weasley children arrive by Portkey after Arthur Weasley was attacked, Sirius told him to get out of the kitchen. Kreacher took this to mean that he was allowed to leave the house and went to the Malfoy family, who were close relatives of the Blacks, and told Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange about Harry and Sirius' close relationship. Later, when Harry Potter used the Floo Network to ask if Sirius was there, Kreacher lied. This convinced Harry that his vision of Sirius being tortured in the Department of Mysteries was real, and led him and his friends to attempt to rescue him. This resulted in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in which Sirius was murdered by Bellatrix.
Under master Harry Potter
- Albus Dumbledore: "Give him an order. If he has passed into your ownership, he will have to obey. If not, then we shall have to think of some other means of keeping him from his rightful mistress."
- Kreacher: "Won't, won't, won't, WON'T!"
- Harry Potter: "Kreacher, shut up!"
- — Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore, and Kreacher in the Dursley family's house[src]
Sirius left all his belongings, including Kreacher, to his godson. Harry, who had no desire to have anything to do with Kreacher, ordered him to work in the kitchens at Hogwarts with the other house-elves at Dumbledore's suggestion, where he and the other house-elves could keep a close watch on him. This eventually turned out to Harry's advantage, as Kreacher — along with Dobby, another house-elf working at Hogwarts — tailed Draco Malfoy for him when he suspected Malfoy to be up to no good. Kreacher disliked Harry at the time, and only followed his orders because he had to. For Christmas in 1996, Kreacher gave Harry a box of maggots.
In 1997, Harry made Kreacher tell him about Regulus Arcturus Black, who he had correctly deduced was the R.A.B. who took Salazar Slytherin's Locket from the Crystal Cave. Kreacher told Harry, Ron, and Hermione the story of the two lockets and his inability to destroy the real one. He told Harry that Mundungus Fletcher stole the real locket and Harry rewarded him with Regulus's fake locket for tracking down Mundungus. Kreacher's joy at being given a Black family "heirloom" as his own caused him to drastically change his view of Harry. He even started to treat Hermione, whom he had previously disdained as a "Mudblood", a bit better. Hermione turned out to be right about Kreacher; he was nice to those who treat him well.
The morning of Harry, Ron, and Hermione's attempt to break into the Ministry of Magic to find the real locket of Salazar Slytherin, Kreacher served them a breakfast of rolls and coffee and promised a meal of steak-and-kidney pie to be waiting for them when they returned, but after successfully obtaining the real locket of and escaping the Ministry, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were no longer able to go back to Grimmauld Place because they let Yaxley inside the Fidelius Charm. Harry and Hermione concluded that it would be too risky to summon Kreacher since Grimmauld Place was most likely taken over by Death Eaters.
Kreacher's whereabouts during the following period is unknown, but it's known that sometime before the Battle of Hogwarts he somehow came to the Hogwarts kitchens.
- "Fight! Fight for my master, the defender of the house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!"
- —Kreacher leading the house-elves during the Battle of Hogwarts[src]
Kreacher led the house-elves of Hogwarts in the final battle against Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters for Harry Potter, defender of the house-elves, and for the sake of the memory of his long-dead master Regulus, bringing to mind that, although he was a Death Eater, he had died fighting Voldemort.
It is not specified whether he survived the Battle of Hogwarts, but Harry, who wanted to go to bed after the battle, wondered if Kreacher could bring him a sandwich, implying that he did in fact survive. It is unknown if he continued to work in the Hogwarts kitchens or entered the service of the Potter family, or possibly both. Some consider that Harry may have actually freed Kreacher.
Like all house elves, Kreacher was considerably smaller than a human. He was described as having a bulbous, snout-like nose, bloodshot eyes, many folds of skin, and white hair growing out of his bat-like ears. Dobby also knocked out half of his teeth with a punch in 1997, and it is unclear as to whether he had them magically grown back.
Personality and traits
- Harry Potter: "I don't understand you, Kreacher. Voldemort tried to kill you, Regulus died to bring Voldemort down, but you were still happy to betray Sirius to Voldemort? You were happy to go to Narcissa and Bellatrix, and pass information to Voldemort through them…"
- Hermione Granger: "Harry, Kreacher doesn't think like that. He's a slave; house-elves are used to bad, even brutal treatment; what Voldemort did to Kreacher wasn't that far out of the common way. What do wizard wars mean to an elf like Kreacher? He's loyal to people who are kind to him… I've said all along that wizards would pay for how they treat house-elves. Well, Voldemort did… and so did Sirius."
- — Harry and Hermione discussing Kreacher[src]
Kreacher was very loyal to all the members of the Black family except Sirius Black, whom he hated because he treated Kreacher poorly. He had a strong bond with Sirius' brother, Regulus Black and was devastated by his death. Kreacher was usually hostile, bitter and miserable and had a habit of insulting people, including his masters. He frequently called Hermione Granger a Mudblood. He hated taking orders from those he hated, often giving them a dirty look or a biting remark.
Like most members of the Black family, Kreacher believed that Muggle-borns and blood traitors were scum. Because of this, he frequently insulted Hermione even though she tried to be nice to him. However, he gradually grew more respectful towards both Muggle-borns and blood traitors, as is seen by his giving Hermione a respectful salute prior to the infiltration of the Ministry of Magic. Kreacher was also very loyal to people who treated him with kindness and respect, particularly Regulus Black. He later grew loyal to Harry Potter and started to be friendly towards Harry, Ron and Hermione. However, he was disloyal to those who treated him poorly. This ultimately led to him being partially responsible for the death of Sirius Black. Had Sirius treated Kreacher the same way his brother had, his death could have been avoided.
Because of years of solitude, Kreacher hadn't cleaned the Black family home for a long time and when the Order of the Phoenix used it as a headquarters, he was rarely seen cleaning. He also had a habit of stealing items that reminded him of his loyalty to the Black family. Kreacher was also considered to be slightly mad, probably from being stuck in the Blacks' house alone for so long. His misery and insanity was most probably a combination of drinking the Drink of Despair, Regulus Black's death, not being able to complete his master's order of destroying the locket, living alone with the locket as well as Walburga's portrait, and Sirius Black's cruelty to him.
A tradition for the Black family house elves was for their heads to be cut off and stuck on a plaque. Kreacher and Ron both expressed the wish for this to be done to Kreacher. Ron later regretted this statement.
Eventually, after being given back the locket that Regulus had switched for Voldemort's real Horcrux, Kreacher grew less hostile and was happier than he had been in many years, resuming most of his expected duties. He also led the house elves into the fray during the battle of Hogwarts.
Magical abilities and skills
Apparition: Like all house elves, Kreacher was able to apparate even in areas that forbade apparition such as the cave which contained one of Voldemort's Horcruxes, and on the grounds of Hogwarts itself. He is also able to perform Side-Along Apparition (Apparition with another person in tow).
Kreacher was extremely devoted to all members of the Black family except Sirius Black, whom he hated. Sirius claimed that he was slightly less devoted to Sirius' father than he was to his mother but also said he caught him snogging a pair of his father's old trousers. Kreacher was often seen taking orders from a portrait of Sirius' mother. Considering Kreacher was disloyal to people who treated him in a horrible manner, the Black family must have treated him with kindness.
Out of all members of the Black family, Kreacher's bond with Regulus appeared to be the strongest. In fact, it was partially because of Kreacher that Regulus turned against Voldemort; after discovering the cruel way his master treated Kreacher, and realising that his immortality came from creating Horcruxes, Regulus and Kreacher went to the cave to steal Voldemort's locket. Regulus sacrificed himself to retrieve the locket, even though he could have ordered Kreacher to drink the Drink of Despair for him, showing that he truly did care about Kreacher. The elderly house elf was still devastated by Regulus' death, eighteen years after it happened. He felt he had failed Regulus by being unable to destroy Voldemort's locket, and later led his fellow House Elves into battle in Regulus' name during the Battle of Hogwarts.
- "I warned Sirius when we adopted twelve Grimmauld Place as our headquarters that Kreacher must be treated with kindness and respect. I also told him that Kreacher could be dangerous to us. I do not think that Sirius took me very seriously, or that he ever saw Kreacher as a being with feelings as acute as a human's."
- —Albus Dumbledore after Sirius's death[src]
Unlike Regulus, Sirius treated Kreacher as if he was not worth anything and ordered him around ruthlessly. Sirius treated him like this because he hated his family and their house. Kreacher resented Sirius because of this treatment, and he later betrayed Sirius by telling Bellatrix about how she could exploit his close relationship with Harry, eventually resulting in Sirius' death.
Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange
Kreacher called them 'Miss Cissy' and 'Miss Bella' and in 1997, when Harry, Ron and Hermione were staying in Grimmauld Place , Hermione immediately realised that Kreacher was very fond of them. She told Harry and Ron that since 'Miss Cissy' and 'Miss Bella' must have been lovely to him, Kreacher must have been willing to do a job for them, especially against Sirius, the man who treated him horribly. Harry, who at first hated Kreacher, for good reason since it was Kreacher's lie to Harry that made him go to the Department of Mysteries, resulting in Sirius's death, took a while to come to terms with the fact that Narcissa and Bellatrix's tactics must have been a better idea than Sirius's pure hatred.
At first, Harry and Kreacher had an antagonistic relationship. When Harry attempted to discover if Lord Voldemort had captured Sirius, Kreacher lied to him and claimed he was alone in Sirius' house. After Sirius' death, Harry placed part of the blame on Kreacher and part on Severus Snape, but put most of the blame on himself. Under Harry's ownership, Kreacher was ordered to work in the Hogwarts kitchens. Harry then ordered him and Dobby to spy on Draco Malfoy and made sure there were no loopholes in the instructions he'd given Kreacher. When Kreacher and Dobby returned from spying on Malfoy, Harry congratulated Dobby but ignored Kreacher.
However, whilst living in the house of Black, Harry learned a bit about Kreacher's past. Though he was initially angry with the elf for helping the Death Eaters even after Regulus died fighting them, he quickly began to feel more sympathetic towards him. He tried to be kind to Kreacher and gradually their relationship improved. Harry then gave Kreacher the fake Slytherin's Locket with the note from Regulus, saying Regulus would have wanted him to have it, as Kreacher adored having a Black family heirloom for himself. Kreacher eventually grew quite friendly towards Harry and company, especially after Harry gifted him the locket, and started cooking for them, cleaning the house, and reminding him to wash his hands before dinner. Harry also congratulated him when he succeeded in capturing Mundungus Fletcher. During the Battle of Hogwarts, Kreacher led the house elves against Lord Voldemort and his followers, telling them to fight for Harry and the deceased Regulus.
- Harry Potter: "Who's Kreacher?"
- Ron Weasley: "The house-elf who lives here,... Nutter. Never met one like him"
- Hermione Granger: "He is not a nutter,"
- — Ron and Hermione argue over Kreacher[src]
During the Order of the Phoenix's time at 12 Grimmauld Place, Hermione Granger was the only person who made an effort to be kind to Kreacher. Despite this Kreacher was disdainful towards her because she was a "Mudblood". Hermione insisted that Kreacher wasn't in his right mind, and despite his insults she continued to treat him kindly, giving him a present at Christmas which no one else had bothered to do.
When Hermione discovered that Kreacher's master had been killed during his and Kreacher's mission to retrieve one of Voldemort's Horcruxes, she tried to comfort him with a hug but Kreacher appeared revolted. However, Hermione's kindness towards Kreacher eventually started to change his attitude towards her, and before going on his search for Mundungus Fletcher he gave her a little spasm, which was supposed to be a respectful salute. Because of Hermione, Kreacher grew more respectful towards Muggle-borns.
- "Bless him, and to think I use to dream of chopping off his head."
- —Ron in regards to Kreacher[src]
Ron Weasley thought that Kreacher was a nutter and thus they didn't have a close relationship. Ron felt disturbed at the thought of Kreacher wandering around his room in the middle of the night and said that his life's ambition was to have his head chopped off and put on a plaque, like his mother before him. Kreacher thought of Ron and the rest of the Weasley family as "blood traitors". However, as with Harry and Hermione, Kreacher grew more friendly towards Ron during the trio's time in Grimmauld Place. Ron even displayed some affection for Kreacher and said that he no longer dreamed of chopping off his head.
Kreacher had a bad relationship with Dobby mainly because they had, at first, opposite opinions of Harry Potter. The two house elves even got into a brawl at one point after Kreacher insulted Harry. However, they worked together to spy on Draco Malfoy.
Kreacher's name is most likely derived from the word "creature." Reminiscent of the German "Kriecher" derived from "kriechen," meaning "to creep, crawl, cringe, grovel, tuckle, or fawn upon."
Behind the scenes
- Timothy Bateson voiced Kreacher in the film and video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- Simon McBurney replaced Timothy Bateson as Kreacher in the film and video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, after Bateson's death in 2009.
- The character of Kreacher was written in the first few drafts of the film of Order of the Phoenix, but later cut from the film in order to decrease the page count. He was added back after Harry Potter series author J. K. Rowling read that draft and insisted the character be featured, due to his later importance.
- Harry Potter's role in inheriting Kreacher through Sirius's will and having him work in Hogwarts' kitchens was omitted from the films.
- Kreacher's role in the Harry Potter series has been compared to the role of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, in that he is the unwilling servant of the story's protagonist. His desire to protect all the heirlooms of the House of Black can be linked to Gollum's desire for the One Ring.
- Kreacher is so far the only named house-elf whose name that does not end with the letter "y". Some assume that Kreacher was never a proper name, but rather a disdainful nickname by his Black masters ("Creature") which Kreacher was so servile as to accept as his name from then on.
- Unlike in the book and video game adaption, Kreacher was not given the fake locket by Harry in the first part of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Although likely joking about being accused of inserting the mark of the beast, 666, into Harry Potter via Nicolas Flamel's possible age at death, J.K. Rowling said in a tweet that Kreacher died after the books, age 666. As such he could have been born anywhere from 1351 (2017-666) to 1979, the earliest date we know for certain he was alive, when he aided Regulus in The Cave.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 12 (Magic is Might)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
- ↑ JK Rowling reveals the fate of Kreacher the house elf
- ↑ Simon McBurney cast as Kreacher in Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, Page 153