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The problems in tossing them out of slavery are immense if there is no infrastructure there to catch them, so perhaps the question Hermione needs to address is "What is the consensus of 'house elves' as to their destiny??" It matters little what 'we' want, if it doesn't make them happy or fullfilled.

Good point. I think Hermione *is* being naive on this point. I think she assumes that those who have house elves will start to treat them as Dumbledore treats Dobby -- happy to employ them to do the same work, but with better conditions, dignity, and the option to leave and do something else. If my sense is right that most of the families who have house elves are like the Malfoys and Blacks, then this isn't going to be the case and we'll have a lot of house elves on the street with no sustenance. I can forgive Hermione for not thinking this far ahead -- she is only 15 after all and perhaps this is one of her blind spots, as Book 5 was all about exploring the human failings of good characters.

It will be interesting to see where this goes in Books 6 and 7. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of it.

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