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Thread: Discussion #1: House elf rights

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  1. #1
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
    I See Dead People... In Mirrors

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    Aug 2006

    Discussion #1: House elf rights

    Before going on to read the discussion prompt below, please drop by the New Rules/Introduction thread if you haven't.

    So, here's the first of our new set of discussion topics:

    It'd be doin' 'em an unkindness, Hermione…It's in their nature ter look after humans, that's what they like, see? Yeh'd be makin' 'em unhappy ter take away their work, an' insultin' 'em if yeh tried ter pay 'em . . . I'm not sayin' there isn't the odd elf who'd take freedom, but yeh'll never persuade most of 'em ter do it - no, nothin' doing, Hermione.
    As Hagrid here summarizes in OotP, house-elves are magical creatures who seem to have devoted their kind to the use of Wizards and Witches. However, not every Wizard/Witch/Elf is happy with this. In the books, Hermione devotes herself to teach the elves the concepts of freedom and payment, while Ron and Hagrid seem more inclined to accept them as they are.

    What is your opinion of House-elf rights? Would you side with Hermione and promote SPEW? Are you more inclined to agree with Hagrid and leave them be? Or would you have an entirely different standpoint?

    Use this form when posting:
    Drabble you’re responding to (title, original author and post number):
    Please don't post questions here - this thread is for discussion drabbles only. Have fun and a good argument!
    The Run of the Mill

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  2. #2
    Well, I'll start it out. . . . I'm hoping this is decent enough.

    Name: HARRYHARRYHARRYs_twin/Selina
    House: Slytherin
    Title: What About Kreacher?
    Drabble you’re responding to (title, original author and post number): N/A
    Warnings: None
    Words: 236

    “Hermione, you can’t set Kreacher free!” Ron said loudly, trying to speak over the yelling of Mrs. Black. He rolled his eyes, and walked to stand by the hearth in the kitchen.

    “And whyever not? He has the right to be free! House-elf enslavery is an example of the unfair treatment of magical animals! He has served Harry’s family, and ours, for that matter, for years, and he should be able to have wages, at least!” Hermione glared at her husband, fingers clenched on the edge of the table.

    “But Hermione, I’m not saying that it isn’t true. It’s just that it should be Harry’s choice, since Kreacher is technically the only one who has that right.” The yelling halted, and his voice went back to a normal level.

    Hermione made a scathing noise, as Harry walked into the kitchen. “Just wondering, but why were you two fighting? That damned portrait wouldn’t shut up once she got started.”

    Ron walked to the table, and leaned on a chair. “Hermione wants to set Kreacher free.”

    “Not a bad idea, actually. I know he likes us, and all, but once we get some kids running around. . . . . He should get a choice if he wants to stay around.”

    Hermione smirked at Ron. “See, I knew he would agree.”

    Ron rolled his eyes. “Well, if he takes off, I’m going to miss his cooking.”

    “Is that all you think about?”
    kehribar: Yes, it's decent enough for the starter drabble Three points to Slytherin.


  3. #3

    Here we go..

    Name: Danielle_Malfoy
    House: Hufflepuff!
    Title: No.. No...Definatley Not.
    Drabble you’re responding to : HarryHarryHarrys Twin. Post#2 Title: What about Kreacher?
    Warnings: None I Think. Apart from a rubbish ending.
    Words: 244

    "No...No Kreacher won't"

    "But Kreacher don't you want to be free" Hermione was trying to stay calm as Ron stood smirking smugly in the corner.

    "No Kreacher doesn't" he stood there stubbornly.

    "Kreacher, you've worked here for a very long time" Hermione sunk down onto a chair.

    "Kreacher knows that Miss Granger, Kreacher likes working here".

    "It's Mrs Weasley now Kreacher" Hermione said gently.

    Kreacher nodded understanding her.

    "Sorry, Kreacher..Kreach- Kreacher forgot" tears began to well in his eyes.

    Hermione stood up and tried to comfort him, but he put his hands up in protest.

    "No if Kreacher isn't wanted.... Kreacher shall go" he sniffed.

    The door opened as he fell to his knees.

    “What’s going on? Kreacher are you okay?” Harry looked concerned.

    “Hermione tried to set him free” Ron stated.

    Harry looked at her in disbelief, she had the grace to look ashamed.

    “We talked about this Hermione, Kreacher can leave when he wants to”

    “So Kreacher doesn’t have to leave” Kreacher looked up from the floor.

    “No Kreacher doesn’t… I mean no you don’t” Harry corrected himself.

    “So Mr Potter and the Weasleys want Kreacher” a hint of a smile lingered on his face.

    “Of course” Ron and Harry said in unison.

    They looked pointedly at Hermione.

    “I do too, I was only trying to help”.

    “Thank you Mrs Weasley…But…” Kreacher began.

    “But what?”

    “But…don’t try and help Kreacher again”

    “Please” Kreacher added as an afterthought.

    Hermione laughed.

    All was well.
    kehribar: That's a good response, seeing as you present the issue from Kreacher's point of view. On the other hand, we don't see anything new. We know that House elves -usually- don't want to be freed, so maybe focusing on Harry, Ron or Hermione's points of view would make a better argument in this case Three points to the 'Puffs.

  4. #4
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
    I See Dead People... In Mirrors
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    Name: Phia Phoenix
    House: Ravenclaw
    Title: You Learn Something New Every Day
    Drabble you're responding to: both HARRYHARRYHARRYs_twin's number two post, What About Kreacher, and Danielle_Malfoy's number three post, No... No... Definitely Not.
    Warnings: This is my first attempt at Next-Gen, and I know how they can go horribly wrong.
    Words: 500... as per usual with my drabbling... I had to cut down.

    Is it OK that this isn't really my own opinion, so much as exploring other possible opinions? I was thinking about racism and sexism, and how if you grow up in a culture that encourages mistreatment of a faction then you may find it hard to see them from a different standpoint. Not necessarily because you're a bad person or believe in cruelty so much as because you've never known any different.

    Scorpius shifted uncomfortably in his seat, trying not to look as left out as he felt. Beside him Rose chatted animatedly to some second cousin across the table, and Scorpius was left to stare in some confusion at the flocks of people – mostly Weasleys – that milled around the Potters’ kitchen-cross-dining room. Grimmauld Place was properly decked out for Christmas and made for a much cheerier setting than the ones Scorpius had always endured in Malfoy Manor, but he knew full well that he was tolerated here tonight only because he was the boyfriend of Harry and Ginny’s favourite niece.

    Gradually all the various relatives found seats and the chatter died down as steaming plates of mouth-watering food floated one by one to the table. Or... were they floating? Trying inconspicuously for a better view, Scorpius caught a glimpse of an aged house-elf as it scurried away for the next load of Feast.

    ‘What’s that old thing doing here?’ Scorpius whispered to Rose in surprise. ‘It’s ancient! Surely they could find a more capable servant – this is the Potters’ house, for Salazar's sake!’

    Rose shook her head minutely and frantically, but it was too late. In the chewing-filled gap of conversation the first course of food had brought with it Scorpius’s words had traveled half the length of the table, to where Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione sat at the head of it.

    ‘Actually,’ Ron replied loudly with ill-disguised contempt for his daughter’s choice in boys, ‘Kreacher is a faithful friend of the family, who helped us in our fight against You-Know-Who, which is more than I can say for the parents of some people here. Because of that, he will always be welcome!’

    Scorpius scowled, figuring that now that he had attracted the entire room’s unfavourable attention he may as well keep it.

    ‘But something that prehistoric would surely be more of a hindrance than a help. We fire our house-elves when they get to be slower-moving than the rats!’

    ‘What are they, some kind of cat?’ Hermione sounded affronted, trying though she was to maintain politeness. ‘In any case, Scorpius, your family’s treatment of your servants obviously differs to ours, but I’m afraid that’s not really a topic under discussion here.’ Hermione muttered something under her breath as she turned back to her husband, and Scorpius glowered into his turkey as he caught the general gist of it.

    ‘I don’t get it,’ he muttered to Rose. ‘They’re just tools, a means to an end – why do your parents act like the house-elf’s a part of the family?’

    ‘I think,’ Rose chose her words thoughtfully, ‘that they feel that house-elves deserve as much respect as human beings. Both have feelings and can think for themselves, don’t they? Why should elves be treated like slaves?’

    Scorpius sat back, stunned. ‘Because... that’s how it’s always been!’

    Rose shrugged. ‘Whatever. Pass the salt, will you?’

    Scorpius did, watching the bobbing of a head with white-tufted ears as it sped happily around the table.
    kehribar: Ooh, good one. An interesting choice of character for exploring the PoV, and great drabble. Ten points to the 'Claws!

    xD You notice I managed to avoid giving Harry any dialogue? I'm good at that... Or rather, bad at NOT doing that...

    (Avvie and banner by me, quote from Fancy, by John Keats)

  5. #5
    Name: Azhure
    House: Ravenclaw
    Title: It's Not What You Know, It's What You Learn.
    Drabble you're responding to: Phia Phoenix. You Learn Something New Every Day. Post #4.
    Warnings: None, except babbling...
    Words: 323

    I hope I did this correctly...

    A House-elf bounded up the stairs, ignoring the glare of one Sirius Black.

    “Mistress Bellatrix!”

    “Kreacher?” A young woman was standing in first doorway off the landing. “What is it?”

    “Master Orion needs to speak with you,” panted the elf.

    “Fine, now off with your business.” Bellatrix waved her arm in dismissal.

    “Yes Mistress.” The House-elf bowed and then was gone with a pop.

    “I don’t know how you can stand him.” Bellatrix turned around to face her sister, Narcissa.

    “How do you mean?”

    “I mean, how can you bear to talk to that thing? He’s vile!” Narcissa indeed did look disgusted.

    “He’s not that horrible.” At her sister’s look, Bellatrix continued, “He’s devoted to us, you should know that. The Blacks come off as ‘hard’ people, but I know that if I show a little bit of kindness, it can go a long way. Our father disagrees, however, he always taught us to treat everyone below our level like dirt, as you know. Cousin Sirius, on the other hand despises Kreacher, yet he tries to differ himself from us.” Bellatrix moved over to the bed on which Narcissa was sitting and then sat down herself. “Who do you think is kinder? Me, who gives Kreacher kindness, or Sirius, who treats him like dirt? It’s as if Father taught Sirius to hate Kreacher for the both of us.”

    “I still don’t understand. Father taught us to treat anything below us like dirt. Why go against his wishes? You know what he’s like.”

    “You give a little, you get a little. It’s not always what we’re taught, it’s what we learn,” stated Bellatrix. Narcissa shook her head.

    “You could be right, but I’m not disobeying Father,” she said. “Do you know where Regulus is?” Bellatrix smirked at the change of subject.

    “I believe he is down in the parlour. Want to join him?” At Narcissa’s nod, the two women stood up and left the room.
    Okay, I'm not really sure why Kreacher ran up the stairs and then disapparated... he just did. Also, Bellatrix and Narcissa are in their teens (you would notice Sirius hasn't run away as yet).

    Sorry that there's a lot of dialogue there!

    kehribar: Hmm, interesting one. Bella is such a Slytherin xD Five more points to the 'Claws!


  6. #6
    Name: la_vie_boheme
    House: Ravenclaw
    Title: The Oven
    Drabble you’re responding to (title, original author and post number): Azhure’s It's Not What You Know, It's What You Learn [Post #5]

    Warnings: I guess that the punishment counts as self-mutilation.
    Words: 298

    I think that this is more of a response to the two individual posts above than the original prompt. I hope that I’m doing this right.
    Bam! Dobby winced and cried out in pain as he felt the top of the oven door hit his ears. Slowly, he pulled the door back once again. He had to close it once again, but Dobby didn’t want to. It hurt. He had no other choice though. As he was bracing himself for the pain once more, Dobby heard footsteps. Dobby turned to face the door and saw the older Malfoy master staring at him.
    “Dobby, your mistress told you to have dinner ready five minutes ago. What the hell is taking so long?” Lucius Malfoy yelled at his trembling servant.
    “Dobby is sorry, Master Malfoy, sir. Dobby burned the potatoes. Dobby is punishing himself while new ones cook. Dobby is very sorry, sir.” The elf looked up at the wizard towering over him, feeling fear and regret. He took the oven door in his hand and once again slammed it as quickly as he could to his already burned, bleeding and bruised ears. “Dobby will have food ready in two minutes, sir,” he whispered, tears coming slowly down his face, partly out of shame and partly from the pain. He took the edge of his tattered pillow case, wiping away the tears. Dobby knew that his master didn’t like tears.
    “See that you do.” Lucius Malfoy spun around, leaving the elf to finish his work. “Dobby, make sure to punish yourself a couple more times before you serve,” the master yelled, before slamming the kitchen door behind him.
    Dobby stood up straight, stirring the potatoes on the stove. Shuddering for every moment, he wasn’t following his master’s orders. After making sure that this batch didn’t stick to the pan, Dobby bent over, grasping the cast iron handle in his hands, preparing himself for punishment once more.
    kehribar: A good drabble and it makes us feel sorry for Dobby, but it doesn't add anything to the discussion/show the issue from a different PoV. We already know about Dobby-Malfoy relationship at large. Three points for this once.

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