We All Have a Dream: Social Justice Scripts
Meeting the house-elf Winky transforms Hermione into a social justice activist. “It’s slavery, that’s what it is,” she fumes indignantly, commenting on how Winky’s master Barty Crouch had the elf save him a seat at the top of the stadium, even though Winky is terrified of heights (Rowling, Goblet 112). Later, when the pandemonium raised by Death Eaters culminates in the Dark Mark in the sky, unconscious Winky is found on the crime site, holding a wand in her hand. The Dark Mark, Voldemort’s sign, is strictly prohibited magic; house-elves, like other non-human creatures, are banned from carrying or using wands. In a classic case of scapegoating, Winky is accused of both crimes. Although an impromptu investigation reveals that Winky did not cast the spell and only picked up Harry’s lost wand to return it, she is punished with what for a house-elf is the equivalent of a death sentence: banishment from service. As disconsolate Winky throws herself at the feet of her master, he takes a step backward, “freeing himself from contact with the elf, whom he was surveying as though she was something filthy and rotten that was contaminating his overshined shoes” (124).