The Spy for A Cause: Kreacher (and other house elves)


The Spy for Cause—Patriotic: Kreacher

A spy who could be deemed patriotic without connection to a particular nation is Kreacher. As a member of and servant to the House of Black, he has absorbed all of their biases and prejudices. Kreacher’s patriotism lies with his understanding of the history and values of the Black family. Importantly, in the last book, Kreacher is able to unlearn these biases and prejudices (as we all are able to do) and actually assists Harry, Hermione, and Ron when they are hiding out at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, and in the final battle.

Kreacher Analysis

Recruitment by: Presumably Voldemort himself

Incentive Used: At first, Voldemort and co. used Kreacher’s obligation to the House of Black and then specifically to R.A.B. (Regulus Black), but later Kreacher behaved according to his perception of what R.A.B. believed or desired. His attitude changed once he discovered that Regulus betrayed Voldemort (with Kreacher’s help), thus Harry was able to recruit Kreacher through friendship and convince him to accept the ideals of Harry and his friends as parallel to Kreacher’s beloved master, Regulus Black.

Handler: Initially Regulus Black; later Harry, after Kreacher was turned

Method of Communication: Face-to-face

Memorable Quotes:

Hermione: “What do wizard wars mean to an elf like Kreacher? He’s loyal to people who are kind to him, and Mrs. Black must have been, and Regulus certainly was, so he served them willingly and parroted their beliefs” (DH 198).

Kreacher: “Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!” (DH 734).


The patriotic spy normally owes allegiance to his or her own country. In most countries, when people assume a public office, they take an oath. In the United States the oath includes the obligation to support and defend the Constitution from any enemies, foreign or domestic. In other words, it is possible that we might need to defend our country and Constitution not only from those outside its borders, but also from those within it. Although there are some who argue convincingly that the nation-state is disintegrating or becoming less important, and that we are entering instead a clash of civilizations (discussed at pagesn572-73 in the Appendix), spies are presently and primarily organized by nations and thus are sent out to do a nation’s bidding.

Other House Elves:

Think about Dobby and Winky. Who were there masters? How did they become intelligence assets for Harry, Ron, and Hermione? The answer, as usual, lies with Hermione. She said that Kreacher was “loyal to people who are kind to him.” By being kind to Dobby and Winky, the Trio won the hearts of creatures who were more often ignored. However, they were valuable precisely because they were ignored. Dobby was a wealth of information about the Malfoy family because they never thought to censor themselves around a servant. When he escaped their employ, Dobby was more than willing to share his former master’s secrets!

Quiz: Christmas at Headquarters


It may seem like just another Christmas with the Weasleys, but Christmas at 12 Grimmauld Place in Order of the Phoenix reveals a lot of important details about what’s in store for Harry and his friends. Can you remember all of those seemingly insignificant details? Click here for the answers!

1. Kreacher keeps a framed photo of his favorite person in his hovel. Whose picture?

2. What is St. Mungo’s full name?

3. Who transports the Weasleys and Harry to St. Mungo’s on Christmas day, probably in a stolen Muggle car?

4. When the Weasleys begin arguing about using human stitches, the children decide to go to the tea room. Who demonstrates his powers of observation by knowing what floor it is on?

5. Name two adults and one fellow student that the children run into at St. Mungo’s.

6. While in the locked ward, the children observe the nurse delivering a plant to a patient. Who is the patient?

7. What eventually happens to Broderick?

8. What is the name of the ability to tell what people are thinking?

9. What is the name of the countermeasure to prevent someone “reading minds”?

10. Harry is given a cover story for why he is having lessons with Professor Snape. What is that cover story?

Spy Term

Cover story (n): A false story that provides an alternative for the truth, intended to conceal an agent’s true reason for being in a particular place.

Example: The Dursleys tell their neighbors that Harry is gone during the school year because he is attending St. Brutus’s Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys. 

Psychological Assessment (n): The use of information about a person’s traits, characteristics, background, and psychological makeup to predict that person’s reactions or future actions.

Example: Kreacher’s devotion to the person in the photo reveals where his loyalties may lie.


For Your Eyes Only: Answers to Order of the Phoenix Quiz!


Check out the answers to Monday’s quiz!

1. When one attacks a person instead of his or ideas, it is called what fallacy?

Argument ad hominem. An example would be the Daily Prophet’s attempts to discredit Harry when he claims Voldemort is alive.

2. When Harry and his friends first enter the kitchen at headquarters a classified document has not yet been put away.  What was it?

A parchment with plans to the Ministry of Magic

3. Sirius, when discussing why a certain member of the Order is tolerated, states that crooks “hear things we don’t.”  Who is Sirius referring to?

Mundungus Fletcher

4. Members of the Order of the Phoenix proved a psychological assessment of someone as having petty jealousies, a fear of Dumbledore, and a desire to retain power.  Who are they talking about?

Cornelius Fudge.

5. Spies use manipulation and flattery to get what they want.  Who said in the Chamber of Secrets, “I’ve always been able to charm the people I needed.”

Tom Riddle

6. Name the double agent that works at the Ministry of Magic, is assigned to locate Sirius Black, and is actually a member of the Order of the Phoenix?

Kingsley Shacklebolt

7. Kreacher is a known risk but must follow Sirius’s orders to the letter.  What does Sirius say to Kreacher that allows him to partake on a secret mission?

“Go away.” Always be sure your directives to an agent are clear. 

8. Code-Breaking Time:  What number does Mr. Weasley have Harry enter into the phone box at the visitor’s entrance?  And what English word does it spell out?

6-2-4-4-2, which spells MAGIC on a phone’s keypad

9. Harry shows a spy’s discretion when he is in Mr. Weasley’s office and pretends not to know what member of the Order?

Kingsley Shacklebolt

10. Cornelius Fudge used what simple disinformation to try to ensure that Dumbledore didn’t attend Harry’s trial?

He told him the wrong time

Be sure to check out our next quiz: The Hearing at the Ministry of Magic! Also, we released a special quiz in honor of Emma Watson’s birthday. How well do you know the young star?