Though the great sock rebellion happened years before Squiggy was born, Squiggy’s Head Family openly defied new Australian laws and retained control of Squiggy’s parents--and Squiggy--for years afterwards. Squiggy’s parents, Jumbo and Quinty, hadn’t wanted to bring any children into the world until their freedom was obtained, and Squiggy’s birth was accidental, and kept secret from the magical family that controlled them, though Quinty had to punish herself many times for keeping her pregnancy a secret from her masters.
When Quinty again became pregnant three years after Squiggy was born, the anxiety of hiding another pregnancy--and another child--was too much for her. It was already proving difficult to keep Squiggy under wraps. At three--late infancy by house elf standards--zey were just beginning to walk and desperate to explore. Quinty knew it wouldn’t be long before Squiggy’s presence was discovered by the masters, and a second child would not be so easy to hide.
As a result, Quinty defied a direct order from her masters and called magical law enforcement. It was an act that led to a great deal of self-punishment, and half of Quinty’s face had been badly burned by an iron before law-enforcement showed up. The wizarding family that had so long held the house-elves under their control was finally forced to relinquish that control, and Jumbo and Quinty took to the streets with Squiggy in their care.
It was a difficult childhood. Jumbo and Quinty had no resources to speak of and precious little in the way of skills, and, pregnant, Quinty couldn’t find a job that first year. Jumbo got a job as a housekeeper in an inn, and the family was given a room to stay in as part of Jumbo’s payment, which meant that the actual check he brought home each month was minimal. Jumbo and Quinty welcomed a second child, Innocence, just after Squiggy’s fourth birthday, and a third child, Freedom, when Squiggy was six. Though Quinty eventually took up a job as a seamstress, money was always tight with the family, and opportunities for betterment were slim.
Squiggy’s father was convinced that it would not be the case for his children. After working so hard just to keep them fed and housed, Jumbo was determined to ensure Squiggy, Innocence, and Freedom were given the opportunities he’d never had. He went to bat for his children, and just before Squiggy’s eleventh birthday had success in the name of Tallygarunga agreeing that Squiggy could attend their school at the age of eleven.
Squiggy is proud of zir heritage and proud of zir parents, but terrified to be among wizards, who have never treated zim or zir family well. It doesn’t help that Tallygarunga, as an institution, was not designed with house-elves in mind. Though wizards have traditionally not paid much attention to house-elf development, the truth is that elves develop more slowly than witches and wizards, and though ze has been on the planet for eleven years, Squiggy’s mental and emotional maturity is more akin to that of a seven-year-old human. It’s a fact that all House Elves have had to contend with since the Legislation for Sentient Rights was passed: They are treated by human rights and human standards, and are considered “adults” at seventeen, though a 17-year-old elf has the maturity of an 11-year-old human. It’s this fact, combined with the lack of education available for house elves, which has led to the perception of elves as not as smart as humans--a perception Squiggy feels strongly every day of school when zey don’t do as well as zir “peers.”