- "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 on Kreacher[src]
Kreacher was an aged house-elf who served the House of Black with fanatical loyalty for most of his life, until he was left to Harry Potter upon the death of Sirius Black in 1996. He was particularly fond of "his mistress" Walburga Black, who died in 1985, but whose portrait still shrieks 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, for whom he fought in the Battle of Hogwarts along with many other house-elves. He is described to have many folds of skin as well as white hairs in his ears, and he is supposed to have a deep "bullfrog" voice.
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 Horcrux 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 evapourates) and die at the hands of the Inferi. However, Voldemort did not remember (or did not realise or thought that the cave's magic was too strong for anyone or anything to disapparate out of) that house-elves have their own special type of magic and Kreacher was able to Disapparate from the cave as Regulus told him to come home when he finished his task.
Regulus later had Kreacher take him back to the Horcrux 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
- "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]
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 things of a sensitive nature. He was forbidden, however, to speak of the most important things, but sometime in December 1995, when he witnessed Harry and the Weasley children arrive by Portkey after Arthur was attacked, Sirius told him to "get out"(of the kitchen). Taking that to mean literally leaving the house, he went to the Malfoy family, close relatives of the Blacks, and told Narcissa Malfoy née Black and Bellatrix Lestrange née Black several details that were not considered to be of any importance, which ultimately led to Sirius' demise. Narcissa and Bellatrix treated Kreacher kindly to get him to cooperate with them. Thus, when Harry Potter used the Floo Network to check with 12 Grimmauld Place in June asking if Sirius was there, Kreacher lied. This convinced Harry that his vision of Sirius being tortured in the Department of Mysteries was true, 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 killed by Bellatrix.
Under Master Harry Potter
- 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: "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.
- Harry: "Have you ever seen this before? Kreacher?"
- Kreacher: "It's Master Regulus's locket."
- Harry: "But there were two, weren't there? Where's the other one?"
- Kreacher: "It was here, in this house."
- Harry: "Where is it now? Did someone take it?"
- Kreacher: "He came in the night. He took many things, including the locket."
- Harry: "Who did? Who was it, Kreacher?"
- Kreacher: "Mundungus...Mundungus Fletcher!"
- — Harry asking Kreacher about the whereabouts of Salazar Slytherin's Locket.[src]
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 Horcrux 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.
Kreacher led the house-elves of Hogwarts in the battle against the Death Eaters during the attack on Hogwarts, 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 Lord 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.
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 its unclear as to whether he had them magically grown back.
Personality and traits
- Harry: "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: "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 the entire Black family except Sirius Black, whom he hated. However, his hatred was justified since Sirius was horrible to him. 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 "Mudblood".
Like most members of the Black family, Kreacher believed that Muggle-borns or blood traitors were scum. Because of this belief 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 giving Hermione what was supposed to have been a respectful salute just 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, when people were horrible to him, he in turn was disloyal. 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 bothered cleaning the Black family home for a long time and even 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. Ron Weasley claimed that he was a nutter, saying that his greatest ambition was to have his head chopped off and mounted on a plaque like his mother. Sirius Black also claimed he'd gone round the twist. 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 and 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, once, expressed this wish for this to be done to Kreacher. Ron later regretted this statement.
Eventually, after being given back the locket Regulus had switched for the real Horcrux locket of Voldemort's, Kreacher grew less hostile and was happier than he had been in a great number of years, resuming most of the duties expected of him (including cleaning the formerly-filthy kitchen). He was also courageous, leading 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 Apparations (Apparations 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 fathers 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.
Unlike Regulus, Sirius was horrible to Kreacher, treating him as though he was not worth anything, but also ordering him about. Sirius' behaviour originated from his hatred of his family and the house of Black itself. However Albus Dumbledore said that he was usually kind to house elves. Kreacher hated Sirius, because of his cruel attitude towards him, and he betrayed Sirius to Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy which resulted in Sirius' death. Had Sirius treated Kreacher kindly his death might have been avoided.
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 and 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, during their hideout there in 1997. 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.
During the Order of the Phoenix's time at the 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.
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. 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 did work 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 kitchen has been omitted from the films.
- Kreacher's role in the Harry Potter saga has been compared to the role of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, in that he is 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 known to have a name that does not end with the letter "y".
- Unlike the book, Kreacher did not cry in the film adaptation of Deathly Hallows. He was not given the fake locket in the film adaptation as well, since his importance in the films is largely edited from the books. However, in the video game adaptation Harry gave him the locket.
- 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
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 12 (Magic is Might)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
- ↑ Simon McBurney cast as Kreacher in Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, Page 153