|Owner||The Black Family; Harry Potter|
|Allegiance||The Black Family, Harry Potter, Hogwartian|
|Appearance||very old, white hair growing out of his batlike ears, bloodshot grey eyes, snoutlike fleshy nose|
|First appearance in canon||Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place (OP) (mentioned) The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black (OP) (appears)|
Kreacher is an old house-elf who was serving the Black Family at number twelve, Grimmauld Place. After Sirius, the last of the Blacks, died, Harry Potter inherited Kreacher. He ordered the elf to work at Hogwarts. Kreacher survived the Second War, in which he helped Harry Potter fight Lord Voldemort.
Kreacher looks very old. He is hunchbacked and walks slowly. White hair grows out of his bat-like ears and his skin looks too big for him. His bloodshot eyes are a watery grey and he has a fleshy, snoutlike nose. His voice is hoarse and deep, like a bullfrog’s . Like other house-elves, he speaks of himself in he third person and uses all verbs in the third person singular (OP6).
When Harry first met him, he was clad in a filthy rag tied like a loincloth around his middle (OP6). His appearance changed dramatically after he made peace with Harry and got Regulus' locket. He now wore a scrupulously clean white towel, and his ear hair was "as clean and fluffy as cotton wool" (DH12).
Even for house-elf standards, Kreacher was more than a little weird when Sirius moved back to Grimmauld Place and the house became headquarters for the Order. His greatest ambition was to have his decapitated head stuck up on a plaque on the wall. He was constantly speaking to himself and muttered insults under his breath, pretending not to know or really not knowing that the targets could hear him. He also seemed unable to manage the household and took orders from Walburga Black's portrait (OP6). However, his betrayal of Sirius demonstrated that he is not stupid and can be very cunning and stubborn (OP37).
Like his appearance, Kreacher's behaviour changed abrubtly after Harry gave him Regulus' locket: He now seemed both happy and competent. The kitchen became spotlessly clean, the quality of his cooking improved greatly, and he turned to whistling instead of muttering at work (DH12).
Relation to others
Kreacher still feels very loyal to his now deceased owners. He accepted Walburga Black's portrait as his mistress after the death of Sirius' parents and took orders from it for years until Sirius returned. Kreacher shared the Black’s prejudices and family pride. He despised blood traitors such as the Weasleys, half-bloods like Harry and Muggle-borns like Hermione and adored descendants of the Black family such as Bellatrix Lestrange and Draco Malfoy. However, his hatred of Harry changed to adoration and even his abhorrence of Hermione seems to have lessened, so it is possible that he has dropped a few of his old prejudices (DH12).
Regulus and Kreacher had an unusually close bond; Regulus was very fond of the elf and Voldemort's attempted murder of Kreacher was the main reason he turned away from the Dark Lord (BLC). In turn, Kreacher felt obliged to do Regulus' last bidding for years after his death and still refers to him as his "master" (DH10, DH36).
Kreacher's and Sirius’ relationship was marked by mutual loathing. Kreacher hated Sirius because he had disappointed his mother and abandoned the family. Sirius was not a kind master to Kreacher. He underestimated the elf's feelings and need for appreciation and kindness. Sirius obviously hardly knew Kreacher. For example, he thought that Walburga was Kreacher's favourite family member (OP6), while Kreacher truly favoured Regulus (DH10).
The relationship between Kreacher and his new master Harry was also strained initially. Kreacher thought of Harry as a little blood-traitor brat who was not even a Black and wanted to belong to Bellatrix. Harry could not forgive Kreacher that he had betrayed Sirius. Although Harry was not kind to Kreacher, he did not abuse him the way Sirius frequently had. Their relationship only improved when Kreacher told Harry Regulus' story, and Harry gave him his old master's locket (see below; DH10). Kreacher now serves Harry willingly and treats him with respect and kindness (DH12).
Although he is supposed to take orders from any Black family member, Kreacher did not obey Tonks, whose mother was a Black, probably because Andromeda was disowned and blasted off the Black Family Tree (OP6). However, he respects and obeys Andromeda's sisters Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy, whom he fondly calls Miss Bella and Miss Cissy (DH10).
Dumbledore advised the Weasleys and Hermione to treat Kreacher with kindness, but only Hermione heeded his request (OP6). Kreacher did not thank her for it for a long time and was repulsed by her acts of kindness, but he treated her a lot more civilly later (DH10).
Kreacher calls Voldemort “The Dark Lord”, a term that is used by followers or sympathizers. However, once he learned that Regulus had abandoned the Death Eaters before he died, he became an opponent and fought Voldemort (DH36).
Serving the Blacks
Kreacher was born into service in the Black family household, his mother already worked for the Blacks (OP6). He got along well with all the family members apart from Sirius, and was especially fond of Regulus.
A year after Regulus joined the Death Eaters, Voldemort asked for the services of an elf. Regulus volunteered and offered Kreacher. He told the elf to go with the Dark Lord, obey his orders and return when the task was done. Voldemort took Kreacher with him to the cave that he had chosen as the hiding place for one of his Horcruxes - Salazar Slytherin's locket. Kreacher accompanied him into the cave and onto the boat that took them to the island in the middle of the lake. There, Voldemort let him drink the poison inside the basin and threw in the locket. Voldemort then got back into the boat, leaving the poisoned elf behind. He had clearly intended Kreacher to die, but had underestimated the house-elf's power and dedication. Driven by the unquenchable thirst the poison caused, Kreacher drank from the lake and was dragged into the water by Inferi. However, before they could harm him, Kreacher Disapparated and returned to his master, as he had been told to. Voldemort had overlooked that house-elves can Apparate at places where wizards cannot.
Kreacher told his master everything. Regulus became worried. He ordered Kreacher not to leave the house and hide, as he had not been supposed to escape. A short while later, Regulus asked Kreacher to take him to the cave. Kreacher knew how to enter the cave and get to the island. Regulus gave Kreacher a second locket and told him to switch the lockets once the basin was empty. He ordered the elf to return home alone, not to tell anybody what had happened and destroy the locket. Then he drank the poison and was dragged into the lake by the Inferi. Kreacher watched his master die and returned home.
This was probably when Kreacher's misery began: he had lost his beloved master; he was not allowed to tell his mistress what had become of her son; he was unable to destroy the Horcrux, and had to punish himself after each trial (DH10).
Alone at number twelve, Grimmauld Place
After the death of Sirius’ parents, Kreacher was left alone in the old house. This was probably the time when he became a little mad. He started to take orders from Walburga Black’s portrait. The house decayed and became filthy.
Arrival of the Order
Kreacher’s life changed abrubtly with the return of Sirius and the arrival of the Order of the Phoenix at Grimmauld Place. Although the Order was as unhappy to have Kreacher around as he was about their presence in Grimmauld Place, they could not send him away or set him free, because he knew too many of their secrets.
Kreacher did not approve of any of the Order’s members or actions. He prowled the rooms and halls of Grimmauld Place day and night, to the great dismay of its new inhabitants. Ron once found him in his bedroom and kept the door locked since. When Molly Weasley and Sirius Black started to clean the house, Kreacher tried to nick as many items as possible to save them from being thrown away. Most importantly, he managed to save Slytherin's locket, and hid it in his nest in the kitchen closet (OP6, DH10).
After the beginning of the school year, Sirius and Kreacher were the only permanent residents in Grimmauld Place.
When the Weasley children and Harry arrived at Grimmauld Place shortly before Christmas after Arthur Weasley had been attacked by Nagini, Kreacher insulted them and Sirius furiously yelled “OUT” at him (OP22). Kreacher took Sirius’ command as an allowance to leave the house. He went to Narcissa Malfoy, neé Black, and told her all he knew and was not explicitly forbidden to tell about the Order and Harry. Thus, Narcissa—and through her Voldemort—learned about the close relationship between Sirius and Harry which helped Voldemort to develop a plan to lure Harry into the Department of Mysteries (OP37).
Kreacher’s absence was first noted at Christmas. Hermione had bought Kreacher a patchwork quilt to “brighten up his bedroom”. To give it to him, the Triolooked for him in the kithen cupboard, where Kreacher had a sort of nest under the boiler. It consisted of rags and smelly old blankets and was littered with stale bread crusts and old bits of cheese. Here he had also hidden several small objects that he had saved from the purge, among them the treasured family photographs. The portrait of Bellatrix seemed to be his favourite. Kreacher, however, was not there and the Trio and Sirius remembered they had not seen him since the night of their arrival. Harry suggested that Kreacher might have interpreted Sirius’ shouting as an order to leave the house, but Sirius insisted that house-elves couldn’t leave the house they served. Harry contradicted him, saying that Dobby did leave Malfoy Manor to visit him. Sirius promised to look for Kreacher later (OP23). He found him in the attic covered in dust. While Sirius was content to believe that Kreacher had been there the whole time looking for more Black heirlooms, Harry was uneasy. He thought Kreacher was in a better mood than before and caught the elf staring at him avidly on several occasions (OP24).
Kreacher was missing again during the Easter holidays (OP29).
The Malfoys instructed Kreacher to keep Sirius away from the fireplace after Voldemort sent Harry the vision in which he had captured Sirius. Kreacher injured Buckbeak so that Sirius had to tend him. When Harry tried to contact Sirius through Umbridge’s fireplace, Kreacher answered (OP32). His hands were heavily bandaged—he had probably had to punish himself for injuring his master’s property. He lied to Harry that he was all alone and that Sirius had gone to the Department of Mysteries, just as Narcissa had told him to. Harry believed him and went into Voldemort’s trap. Sirius went to the Department of Mysteries himself when he heard that Harry was in danger and instructed Kreacher to inform Dumbledore. When Dumbledore arrived a Grimmauld Place, Kreacher told him where Sirius had gone, laughing the whole time (OP37).
Losing the Locket
At some point after Sirius' death but before Harry sent Kreacher to Hogwarts, Mundungus Fletcher pilfered his nest. He stole all of Kreacher's treasures: the pictures he had treasured, the heirlooms he had been able to save, and, most importantly, the locket. Kreacher saw him come out of his nest, but was unable to stop him (DH10).
Harry inherited Kreacher after Sirius’ death. Dumbledore told him so when he visited Harry at the Dursleys’ and summoned the elf. Obviously, Kreacher was less than pleased about his new owner—he kept proclaiming that he belonged to Bellatrix—but when Harry told him to shut up, the magical contract that bound him to Harry did not allow him to disobey a direct order. Following Dumbledore’s suggestion, Harry sent Kreacher to Hogwarts to work in the kitchens with the other house-elves (HBP3).
Kreacher gave Harry a damp smelly package filled with maggots for Christmas (HBP16).
Harry summoned Kreacher' when he was unable to figure out where Draco Malfoy went when he disappeared from the Marauder's Map. Kreacher appeared not alone—Dobby was with him and both elves were fighting. Harry stopped the fight and ordered Kreacher to spy on Draco Malfoy, and explicitly forbid him to warn Draco in any possible way. Dobby agreed to help (HBP19). Kreacher and Dobby followed Draco day and night. After a week, Kreacher appeared to make a first report. Dobby followed him. Kreacher’s information was far from useful: he praised Draco’s personality and appearance and only reported his most commonplace actions, like the fact that he slept in his common room and went to several classes. Harry stopped him and asked Dobby to report, who had more useful information (HBP21).
Back at Grimmauld Place
Harry summoned Kreacher to Grimmauld Place after the Trio had figured out that the mysterious R.A.B. must have been Regulus Arcturus Black. He asked the ef about the locket. Under many tears and with several attempts to punish himself, Kreacher told the whole story: How Voldemort had first taken him the cave, how Regulus had died, how he had been unable to destroy the locket and how Mundungus had stolen it.
Harry asked Kreacher to find Mundungus and bring him to Grimmauld Place. He told him that the Trio wanted to make sure Regulus did not die in vain. Then, with a "sudden inspiration", he gave Kreacher the locket Regulus had left in the cave. Kreacher had a nervous breakdown at the sight of the locket, but after half an hour, he was able to totter to his cupboard, and hide the locket between his dirty blankets. The Trio assured him that they would make the locket's protection their top priority. Kreacher bowed low to Harry and Ron and even gave Hermione little nosd before he Disapparated (DH10).
It took Kreacher three days to catch Mundungus Fletcher. He Apparated straight into the kitchen with him. Kreacher apoligised for this delay, saying that Mundungus had "many hidey-holes and accomplices" (DH11). During the interrogation, he hit Mundungus over the head with a saucepan when the thief showed no remorse, saying that Sirius had "never cared about any of the junk" (DH11). He attempted a second blow, but Harry stopped him, saying they needed Mundungus to be concious. Nevertheless, he promised the elf he would be allowed to hit Mundungus if he needed persuading. Kreacher bowed low and thanked Harry (DH11).
Kreacher's appearance and behaviour changed abruptly over the following days. The kitchen became scrupulously clean and the cooking was excellent. Kreacher was exceedingly attentive to Harry. At the morning the Trio went to the Ministry of Magic, he promised to have a steak and kidney pie ready at their return. However, Yaxley held on to Hermione when the Trio Disapparated from the Ministry, and so he was taken into the area that was protected by the Fidelius Charm. Hermione dropped Yaxley at the doorstep of number twelve and Disapparated with Ron and Harry. Hary felt sorry for leaving Kreacher behind without a warning, but they could not summon the elf, because they feared that someone might come along with him (DH13, DH14).
The Final Battle
Apparently, Kreacher escaped the Death Eaters with little harm, for he was present in the final battle of Hogwarts, in which he led the Hogwarts house-elves, armed with cleavers and kitchen knives, to fight against Voldemort's army:
- "Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!" (DH36)