Dobby was a house-elf who served the Malfoy family. His masters were Dark Wizards who treated him cruelly. In 1992, he tried to warn Harry Potter of the plot to have the Chamber of Secrets reopened. The same year, after Harry had vanquished the spirit of Tom Riddle and the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets, he tricked Lucius Malfoy into freeing Dobby.
After a period of unemployment, Dobby went on to work in the Hogwarts kitchens, where he met Winky. In 1997, Dobby helped Harry spy on Draco Malfoy, along with Kreacher. In 1998, he went on Aberforth Dumbledore's orders to save the lives of Harry and his companions Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Dean Thomas, Mr. Ollivander, and Griphook from Death Eaters at Malfoy Manor and was mortally wounded by Bellatrix Lestrange as he successfully carried Harry and Griphook to safety.
Serving the Malfoy family
Dobby was the resident house-elf of Malfoy Manor, serving Lucius Malfoy, his wife Narcissa, and their son Draco. They treated Dobby with unkindness and cruelty, often reminding him to perform extra punishments on himself when he does something disagreeable to them. Dobby also told Harry Potter that he was accustomed to death threats because he received them frequently by the Malfoys. Though he always did as he was told, he longed to be free of the Malfoys.
Re-Opening of the Chamber of Secrets
Dobby knew of the plan to reopen the Chamber of Secrets during Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts. Presumably, this was, because the Malfoys saw Dobby as an insignificant slave, and because they knew that house-elves were not able to break the commands of their masters. Dobby went to the Dursley House to warn Harry not to go back to school, revealing that he had been intercepting his mail. Harry adamantly refused to comply, so Dobby performed a Hover Charm on Aunt Petunia's pudding, which was detected by the Ministry of Magic through the Trace.
Mafalda Hopkirk of the Improper Use of Magic Office sent Harry a warning letter for the apparent transgression by an underage wizard, informing the Dursleys that Harry was not allowed to use magic outside of school. Harry was then locked in his room; however Ron, and Fred and George Weasley came in their father's enchanted flying car to free him. Unfazed, Dobby covertly watched Harry Potter and magically sealed the barrier to Platform Nine and Three Quarters, preventing Harry and Ron from reaching the Hogwarts Express. This too failed as the two used the flying car again. Lastly, Dobby tried his most risky and dangerous plan by making a Bludger attack Harry during a Quidditch match, hoping to send him back to Privet Drive injured, but alive. While Harry was in the hospital wing recovering, Dobby appeared and admitted his acts, enraging Harry to the point that he threatened to strangle him (although it was Gilderoy Lockhart who was responsible for deboning Harry's arm, it would never have happened if Dobby hadn't bewitched the Bludger). Dobby implores Harry to leave, accidentally admitting that the Chamber of Secrets had been opened before. Harry demanded to know who had opened it last time, but Dobby refused to reveal any more information and Disapparated when he heard someone coming.
A free elf
Near the end of the year, Lucius Malfoy came to the school with Dobby to see Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Here, realising that Dobby belonged to the Malfoys, Harry tricked Lucius into giving Dobby one of his soiled socks in Tom Riddle's Diary, freeing him. When Lucius tried to attack Harry in retaliation, Dobby blasted him backwards down a flight of stairs. Harry's only request in return was for Dobby never to try to save his life again.
Working in the kitchens
After becoming a free elf, Dobby struggled to find work, as he wanted to be paid. Eventually, he was hired by Albus Dumbledore to work in the kitchens of Hogwarts for a Galleon a week and one day a month off. Hermione Granger was initially indignant at the amount of pay, but Dobby explained that he requested that amount as Dumbledore had offered more (10 Galleons a week, and weekends off). It was around this time that Hermione formed the organisation called S.P.E.W.
When Winky, the house-elf of Barty Crouch Sr, was given clothes to be freed of her servitude, she didn't accept it as a reward, as Dobby had, but rather as a punishment and a shameful failure. She took up work at Hogwarts as well, but she became a heavy drinker of butterbeer, and Dobby took care of her. For a time, Dobby was the only one who would clean the Gryffindor Tower because Hermione had hidden woollen hats and socks in with the rubbish with the intent of freeing them. The Hogwarts house elves refused thereafter to clean the common room, as they viewed the hidden clothes to be insulting. This was a delight for Dobby, though, because it allowed him to see Harry Potter and his friends, including Ron Weasley, who he called Harry Potter's "Wheezy."Barty Crouch Jr, disguised as Alastor Moody, tricked Dobby into stealing a helping of gillyweed to give to Harry Potter for the second task of the Triwizard Tournament. This allowed Harry to breathe underwater and retrieve Ron Weasley and Gabrielle Delacour from the lake.
Friendship with Aberforth Dumbledore
Dobby continued to work in the kitchens at Hogwarts, but was an outsider among the other elves in the castle. Over the course of his employment at Hogwarts, Dobby became close friends with Aberforth Dumbledore, and spent much time at Aberforth's home in Hogsmeade.
- "Dobby knows the perfect place, sir! Dobby heard tell of it from the other house-elves when he came to Hogwarts, sir. It is known by us as the Come and Go Room, sir, or else as the Room of Requirement!"
- —Dobby telling Harry Potter of the Room of Requirement.[src]
In 1995, when Dolores Umbridge banned all clubs at Hogwarts, Harry Potter asked Dobby if he knew of a secret place in which they could have meetings for Dumbledore's Army, half-heartedly. Dobby, however, told him of the Room of Requirement and how to get into it because he had used it frequently to hide Winky after she became drunk several times. Harry Potter successfully made use of the room and thus was able to start Dumbledore's Army meetings.
When Marietta Edgecombe betrayed Dumbledore's Army to Professor Umbridge, Dobby immediately warned Harry that the Inquisitorial Squad was going to attack even though the house-elves had been forbidden to tell anyone.
Spying on Draco Malfoy
Dobby along with Kreacher, tailed Draco Malfoy and helped Harry learn that Draco was using the Room of Requirement. Kreacher insulted Harry and stated that Draco would be a better master. Dobby fought him and tearfully told him that Harry was a great wizard, and that the Malfoys were not good masters for a house-elf.
Skirmish at Malfoy Manor and death
- —Dobby's last words, said to Harry Potter.[src]
Captured by a group of Snatchers led by Fenrir Greyback, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dean Thomas, and the Goblin Griphook were taken to Malfoy Manor. There, Bellatrix Lestrange saw that they were carrying the Sword of Gryffindor, and she stopped Lucius Malfoy from summoning Voldemort, afraid they had been in her Gringotts vault. Keeping Hermione upstairs for questioning, Bellatrix had the others sent to a locked room in the cellar, where they encountered Luna Lovegood and Ollivander who were also being held prisoner there. Though the new arrivals were tied up, Luna found a nail with which she was able to cut their bonds.Desperate at hearing Hermione's cries of pain from above, Harry frantically fidgeted with the fragment of the two-way mirror Sirius had given him years before, and saw a sky-blue eye looking out of it at him. Harry pleaded for help from the owner of the eye, Aberforth Dumbledore and shortly Dobby, sent by Aberforth, Apparated into the cellar. As he was able to Disapparate to and from the Manor, Harry instructed him to first take Luna Lovegood, Dean Thomas, and Mr. Ollivander from the cellar, then return. He did so, bringing the three to Shell Cottage, the home of Bill Weasley and his wife Fleur Delacour. From upstairs, where she was now questioning Griphook about whether or not the sword was the real one, Bellatrix heard the noise of Dobby Disapparating, and sent Peter Pettigrew to investigate. Harry and Ron managed to overpower Pettigrew when he hesitated, reminded of his life debt to Harry, and his own magical silver hand strangled him to death.
Attempting to rescue Hermione and Griphook, Harry and Ron were forced to surrender when a disarmed Bellatrix threatened to cut Hermione's throat with a silver knife. Dobby announced his return by causing a chandelier to fall on Bellatrix. Harry seized the wands Draco Malfoy was holding, and stunned Greyback. Ron collected Hermione and Disapparated to Shell Cottage, while Harry similarly collected Griphook.
As Harry Disapparated, Bellatrix threw her knife at him. Harry, not knowing where he was heading, was relieved to find, in the midst of his Disapparation, that he could feel Dobby alongside. Arriving at Shell Cottage, Harry discovered that Dobby had been fatally wounded by Bellatrix's thrown knife. Dobby died moments later, his final words being "Harry Potter".
- "HERE LIES DOBBY, A FREE ELF."
- —Epitaph on Dobby's grave marker, written by Harry Potter.[src]
Harry, deeply grieving, decided to dig Dobby's grave by hand without using magic. Ron Weasley and Dean Thomas joined Harry and laboured with him in digging the grave. They placed Dobby's body in the grave and gave him socks, shoes, and a hat. Standing over Dobby, Luna Lovegood thanked Dobby for rescuing them and the others. Bill Weasley filled in the grave, while Harry carved "HERE LIES DOBBY, A FREE ELF" on a flat rock he placed on the burial mound.
Griphook was positively affected by Harry's display of humility and love for the house-elf, aiding him in his decision to help Harry Potter retrieve a horcrux from Gringotts Wizarding Bank. His death also helped close Harry's mind from Voldemort and help Harry when he needed to control when he saw into Voldemort's mind.
Dobby was a house-elf, much shorter in stature than humans, standing only about 3 and a half feet (1.06 m). He had large, tennis-ball-like green eyes and long, bat-like pointed ears. Before he was given freedom, he wore a body-covering pillowcase, and was very fond of socks, especially if they did not match each other. Later at Hogwarts, he wore a mismatched variety of sweaters, shorts, and socks. When Hermione Granger began hiding clothes she made around the Gryffindor Common Room in an attempt to free the Hogwarts house-elves, Dobby kept the clothes and began wearing them, as the other elves thereafter refused to clean Gryffindor Tower or any other towers.
Personality and traits
Dobby was a brave, loyal house-elf, willing to put himself in dangerous situations when he knew it to be the right thing to do. He was also very loyal to the few friends he had. He considered himself to be a good house-elf, though other house elves seemed to find his desires and proclamations of being a free house-elf to be shameful. Despite this, he was still a hard worker. When he went to work at Hogwarts he only asked for a Galleon a week and one day off a month as opposed to ten Galleons a week and weekends off, which was Albus Dumbledore's original offer.
Despite his loyalty to his friends, Dobby once attempted to seriously injure Harry Potter, hoping that if he was hurt badly enough he would be sent home. He did not make the rogue bludger chase Harry out of malicious intent, but because he was trying to save him from Lucius Malfoy's plot to open the Chamber of Secrets. When Harry found out he was furious but Dobby explained why he had tampered with the bludger and by the end of the year Harry had forgiven him.
One most noticeable trait was how he punished himself every time he believed he had done something wrong, usually using something to hit his head or going as far as to iron his own hands.
Dobby's favourite gift to receive was socks, likely because he was freed from his enslavement to the Malfoys with a sock. He would get confused when he would get two of the same style and would often give socks as gifts as well.
Dobby referred to himself in the third person ("Dobby must punish himself most grievously for coming, sir") and tended to get his verb conjugation mixed up ("I has seven now, sir"). Dobby referred to Ron as Harry's "Wheezy."
He was extremely devoted to Harry Potter after Harry freed him in 1993, helping him out on several occasions, ultimately at the cost of his own life. He also tried to help Winky after she was dismissed by Crouch, getting her a job at Hogwarts as well, and looking after her whenever she became drunk on butterbeer.
Magical abilities and skills
- Apparition: Because he was a house elf, Dobby was able to apparate even inside places that normally forbade apparation such as Hogwarts. Even after being stabbed by Bellatrix Lestrange's knife, Dobby still managed to take Harry to their intended destination just before he died.
- Levitation: Dobby displayed the ability to levitate a cake when trying to stop Harry from returning to Hogwarts.
- Tampering magic: Dobby also displayed a talent for tampering with objects. This was shown when he tampered with a bludger forcing it to chase Harry hoping that if it hurt him badly enough he'd be sent home. Naturally Dobby was not intending to kill Harry; in fact he was trying to save him from Lucius Malfoy's plan to open the Chamber of Secrets.
- Harry: "Dobby, no don't die, don't die -"
- Dobby: "Harry... Potter..."
- — Dobby's last words, said to Harry.[src]
Dobby and Harry Potter had a very strong relationship. When Harry first meets Dobby he is a bit confused. Near the end of the 1992–1993 school year, Harry freed Dobby from the slavery of the Malfoy family. Lucius became angry and intended to attack Harry but Dobby protected him by using a defensive spell. In 1995, Dobby told Harry about the Room of Requirement and how to get inside. It is a secret room inside Hogwarts castle and cannot be seen even on the Marauder's Map. Harry and his friends used the room in Dumbledore's Army's meetings and practices.
- "Such as beautiful place... to be with your friend... Harry Potter..."
- —Dobby to Harry just before his death.[src]
In 1996, Dobby had a fight with, another house-elf, Kreacher after Kreacher insulted Harry. In 1998, when Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Dean Thomas, Mr. Ollivander and the goblin Griphook were captured and taken hostage at the Malfoy Manor, Dobby Apparated there to rescue them. As they attempted to Disapparate to Shell Cottage, Bellatrix Lestrange threw her silver dagger, mortally wounding Dobby in the chest. Arriving at Shell Cottage, the house of the newly-wed Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour, Harry discovered Dobby's wound and cried out for help as Dobby died in Harry's arms. Harry was devastated by the death of Dobby. He dug a grave without using magic and held a small funeral for him in the garden of Shell Cottage. Dobby's epitaph reads "Here lies Dobby, A Free Elf".
- "You've lost me my servant!"
- —Lucius Malfoy to Harry Potter, after he freed Dobby.[src]
Dobby was the house-elf of the Malfoy family. Lucius, Narcissa and Draco Malfoy treated Dobby with cruelty and were very sadistic with him. Dobby feared them, but did everything they ordered him to. In 1993, Harry Potter freed Dobby by tricking Lucius into unknowingly giving Dobby a sock. Lucius became angry and attempted to attack Harry, but Dobby blasted him down a flight of stairs. The last time Lucius saw Dobby was in 1998, when Dobby came to Malfoy Manor to rescue Harry Potter and his friends. Dobby was eventually killed by Bellatrix Lestrange. It is unknown how the Malfoys reacted when they learned it.
Dobby first met Ron Weasley in 1994 at Hogwarts Kitchens, where Dobby worked. Ron was a close friend of Harry Potter. When Dobby talked with Harry and Ron about his life as a free elf, Ron started to like Dobby, and offered him a brown sweater his mother had made, making the house-elf excited. They were met again three years later, in 1997, when both Harry and Ron were at the hospital wing; Harry wanted Dobby to spy Draco Malfoy because he believed he was a Death Eater. However, Ron didn't agree with this. In 1998, Harry, Ron, Hermione Granger and others were imprisoned at Malfoy Manor and Dobby came for their rescue. However, he was killed during the battle by Bellatrix Lestrange. Ron then respected Dobby very much and thanked him for saving his life.
Hermione Granger also met Dobby for the first time in 1994 at the Hogwarts kitchens, where the latter worked. Hermione appeared to like Dobby, because he loved his freedom and because he wanted to make the other house-elves want freedom, too. During her fourth year at Hogwarts, Hermione spent most of her time making clothes and hiding them in many places of the Gryffindor Common Tower. However, the house-elves didn't clean those places, as they didn't want to take the clothes, and thus, Dobby took them all. Dobby and Hermione didn't meet again until 1997, when Harry had sent Dobby to spy Draco Malfoy. When Dobby came to the Malfoy Manor to rescue them, Hermione was being tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange. Dobby then brought them to Shell Cottage but was killed by Bellatrix. Hermione was very sad after his death.
Dobby first met Winky, a female house-elf in 1994. Winky was given clothes by her master, Barty Crouch. Unlike Dobby, who loved his freedom, Winky was depressed and thought she was useless. When Dobby expressed his opinion, that his life as a free elf was better than as a servant, he made her believe that he was a “bad house-elf”. So, Dobby tried in vain to convince her that she could live without serving the Crouch family. However, it is possible that they became friends later, and it is known that Winky managed to get over the fact that she was fired, although Dobby had died since then.
Dobby and Kreacher, another house-elf, didn't have a good relationship. Firstly, Kreacher strongly disliked Harry Potter, because he was a half-blood and was a friend of many Muggle-borns and “blood-traitors". Dobby loved and respected Harry very much, because he freed him; this was also the reason why the two house-elves often fought with each other. In 1996, they fought in the Hospital wing. Harry attempted to make them stop, but then Peeves appeared and encouraged them to hit each other. Furthermore, Harry told both Dobby and Kreacher to go and spy on Draco Malfoy; even then, they argued. However, Kreacher later started to respect Harry and not be prejudiced against Muggle-borns and Half-bloods. It is possible that, since Kreacher had contact with the Hogwarts kitchen house-elves, he had contact with Dobby, too, but it is unknown if Dobby learned about Kreacher's change before he was killed in 1998.
Hogwarts Kitchens House-elves
Dobby started his work at the Hogwarts Kitchens in 1994, a year after he was freed by Harry Potter. Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, offered him ten galleons a week and a day off every weekend. However, Dobby disagreed and preferred to have one galleon a week and a day off one time a month.
However, he loved his life as a free elf, something that the other house-elves who worked at the kitchens did not. They believed Dobby was mad and there was a great difference between their ideology and Dobby's, about a house-elf's life. Thus, he didn't have such a good relationship with his co-workers, as they believed that a house-elf should not have any personal life when they had to work and serve their masters. However, their opinion about Dobby might have changed during their later years at Hogwarts. During the Battle of Hogwarts all the house-elves, with Kreacher as a leader, fought against the Death Eaters, without anyone ordering them to do so. This indicates that they learned a house-elf can have a personal opinion, and that they should have as many rights as the humans. Unfortunately, Dobby had died since then.
Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was considered by many people (including Dobby) as the greatest wizard of all time. Dobby always admired Dumbledore, because he was kind to everyone, even to the house-elves, and because he opposed Lord Voldemort. Dumbledore met Dobby in 1993, when he was still the servant of the Malfoy family. In 1994, Dobby asked Dumbledore for a job at the Hogwarts Kitchens and the headmaster gave him the job, offering ten galleons a week and a day off every weekend; however, Dobby preferred one galleon a week and a day off once a month. He also permitted Dobby to call him as he wanted (even insult him), but the house-elf didn't want to, as he liked Dumbledore very much. Dumbledore died in 1997; it is unknown how Dobby reacted, or whether he attended his funeral.
Over the course of his employment at Hogwarts, Dobby became close friends with Aberforth Dumbledore, and spent much time at Aberforth's home in Hogsmeade, getting to and from the school through a secret tunnel. As Aberforth was an old and grumpy person, he didn't have a good relationship with many people. However, Aberforth himself stated that he liked Dobby. In 1998, Harry Potter and his friends were captured by Snatchers and imprisoned at the Malfoy Manor cellar. Harry asked for help while looking at a two-way mirror; Aberforth had the other mirror. He sent Dobby to rescue them; the house-elf did so, but was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange. After that, Aberforth told Harry, Ron and Hermione that he was really sorry, as he liked Dobby.
Respect and admiration
After Dobby's death, those whom he saved showed their respect and admiration for his bravery, and lamented his death sorrowfully. Griphook was also astonished that Harry buried Dobby's body with such feeling.
According to the OED, a "dobby" is an old English word for a benevolent elf that would perform household tasks secretly in the night, like the elves in tales of the elves and the shoemaker. However, just as those elves disappeared when the shoemaker made them shoes, so the dobbies were said to disappear when offered clothing. Also called a Brownie. A dobby is also a small mechanical part in a loom that enables the weaver to create small geometric patterns.
Behind the scenes
- Dobby appears in the movie adaptations of Chamber of Secrets and Deathly Hallows: Part 1, being voiced by Toby Jones in both films.
- Perhaps not coincidentally, in the films adaptations of Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, Neville Longbottom does everything important that Dobby did in the books (giving Harry the gillyweed and informing him of the Room of Requirement).
- Dobby shares his birthday with Mark Russell.
- Dobby's favourite article of clothing appears to be socks. This may be because Dobby was freed when Harry tricked Lucius Malfoy into giving Dobby a sock.
- The magic Dobby used to fend off Lucius Malfoy to protect Harry resembles the Knockback Jinx.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, it appears that instead of a rock to mark Dobby's grave, there is a more conventionally-shaped tombstone.
- In Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Dobby throws Harry's school books in the bin, because he thinks Harry will not return to school.
- It is possible that the knife that Bellatrix Lestrange had thrown was meant for Harry to stop him from Apparating from the Malfoy Manor and Dobby took the knife for Harry to save him.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (death)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Notes and references
- ↑ MuggleNet - Birthday archive: Dobby
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Chapter 19
- ↑ Dobby comes back for the Deathly Hallows