[A/N: This vignette, if it deserves the title, stems from the following part of a post to Jeconais’ Yahoo group by Ronnie McMains II:
Weird line just popped into my head: “You shall not harm Harry Potter! That is making Dobby angry! Yous would not be liking Dobby when Dobby is angry...” Someone write this, please!
He asked for it... The scene is from CoS. Harry has just freed Dobby and an angry Lucius Malfoy is about to attack him.
Disclaimer: the characters and setting of this story are the property of JK Rowling and assorted corporate entities including, but not necessarily limited to, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Warner Bros Studios. No challenge is intended to the copyright of Ms Rowling’s work, nor to any other IP right pertaining thereto and belonging to the author, the above companies or any other legal entity considered to have such rights. No payment of any sort will be accepted for this story, which is a work of amateur fanfiction.]
“You is not harming Harry Potter!” the little elf said forcefully as he interposed himself between his former master and his liberator. “You is making Dobby angry. You is not liking Dobby when Dobby is angry....”
Harry didn’t understand why, but Malfoy had stopped dead in his tracks when Dobby had first spoken, gone completely white (or whiter. Like his son, he was barely one step from being an albino at the best of times, and the moonlight only accentuated that) and was totally ignoring his intended victim in favour of staring at his erstwhile slave with a look of abject horror on his face.
Harry began to understand why when Dobby began to groan -- a disturbing combination of pain, anger and even, somehow, jubilation -- and then started to grow! He became taller and taller and his body thickened, becoming a huge mass of muscles, almost as large as Hagrid, but even more heavily-built -- and bright green! There was a tearing sound and Harry flinched as he realised that the pathetic rag that was all that Dobby was wearing had ripped in two -- not that it would have had any hope of covering Dobby even if it had been in perfect condition and twice its original size.
That didn’t matter, though; of far more importance was what Dobby was doing. Having apparently completed his transformation, he threw back his head and roared with fury. The sound, which had Harry covering his ears even though he was standing behind the green behemoth, seemed to finally snap Malfoy out of the terrified stupor that he had been locked in while Dobby changed from despised ex-servant into... into whatever he was now. Lucius was not thinking clearly, though, for he seemed to have forgotten that he had his wand in his hand, and simply turned and tried to flee.
He didn’t get very far, for Dobby reached out with one massive green arm and grabbed him by the neck, lifting him into the air. Malfoy gasped desperately for air and scrabbled ineffectually at the thick emerald fingers throttling him, but Dobby didn’t care; he just looked at the choking figure for a moment in silent, but almost visible, disgust and loathing. Then, he raised the arm holding the desperate man and threw him down the corridor, bellowing, “Dobby smash puny wizard!”
He wasn't kidding. Malfoy flew along the corridor at fantastic speed before crashing into the stone wall with a sickening wet thud. Harry winced, feeling sure that the man must be dead, and what little he could see of the pile of expensive robes at the end of the passage, from which came a slow trickle of red, supported that; Lucius certainly wasn’t moving, so he must be unconscious at the very least.
Soft words came from behind him, and both Harry and Dobby whirled to see Dumbledore standing a few feet away with his wand in his hand. “It’s all right, Harry, Dobby,” he said soothingly. “There is nothing to fear. No-one will harm you -- either of you. Stay calm.”
Later, Harry was to realise that the Headmaster must have been casting a Calming Charm, but after the excitement of the last minute or two, he was too hyped-up to notice. Nonetheless, he did calm down, and so did Dobby -- visibly. The huge green figure relaxed and began to shrink, and soon it was once again the little house-elf, who quickly conjured a replacement loincloth for himself, though this one was of much better quality than the rag he had been wearing earlier.
Harry ran to Dumbledore. “Professor! What... what was that?” he cried, waving a hand in the general direction of Dobby.
“That, Harry,” Dumbledore replied gravely, “is why it’s a very serious matter to free a house-elf -- especially one that’s been mistreated as Dobby has. They have great power, but they cannot always control it, or themselves. That is why they asked, long ago, to be bound to wizards and witches -- so that they would no longer endanger others or themselves. A bound elf cannot harm members of the family which he or she serves, and cannot use their full power on any wizard or creature; a free elf has no such restrictions and can act as he or she, or their power, sees fit. As you have just seen...”
Harry looked back up the corridor and winced again. “Is... is Dobby going to get into any trouble about this? Will the Malfoys try to have him arrested or something?”
“Well, Lucius won’t, that’s for certain,” the Headmaster said grimly. “His wife -- widow, I should say -- and Draco will certainly insist that Dobby be dealt with as harshly as possible after killing a wizard. The Ministry will not refuse a request from the Malfoys, and I don’t suppose that they’ll worry too much about proper departmental protocol, either. I can see Dobby being given over to the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures for immediate execution, despite the fact that he is legally considered to be a Being rather than a Creature.”
Harry was horrified. “Professor, what can we do? You can’t just let Dobby be taken off to be killed like that. Not for... for helping me....”
Dumbledore gave him a look that seemed to pierce his very soul... but then he smiled, just a little, before becoming serious again. “I may have little choice, Harry; you, on the other hand, may be able to solve this problem quite easily.”
Dumbledore explained that the laws relating to house-elf servitude were very old -- as old as the institution of servitude itself -- and dated from days in which family conflicts were far more open than they were today. There was a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo, but the gist of it was that Dobby could escape any legal retribution if Harry were to take him as a bonded servant, back-dating the time at which he entered Harry’s service to the moment at which Harry freed him from Lucius; the justification was that the elf had acted in defence of his new master in the face of an unprovoked attack.
“So, Harry, how do you feel about having a house-elf? They make excellent servants, as I know only too well; all the cooking and housekeeping at Hogwarts, and the cleaning -- except that done by pupils in detention, of course -- is done by elves.”
It sounded pretty darn good to Harry, and even better to Dobby if the enthusiastic way in which the little elf rushed across and hugged the boy’s leg was any indication. They quickly reached agreement on the matter after a short but heated “discussion” regarding Harry’s adamant refusal to be called “Master,” and Dumbledore performed a short ritual that magically bound Dobby to the service of the House of Potter, as of approximately half-an-hour before. With that settled, the three strolled back towards the Headmaster’s office and Harry’s waiting friends... and Harry had an idea.
“Tell me, Dobby, can you transform like that now that you’re bound to me -- if, say, I were to order you to?”
“Oh, yes, Harry Potter sir, Dobby is able to do that. Dobby is not being quite as big or as strong when he does now that Harry Potter sir is Dobby’s master, but Dobby is still doing it if Harry Potter sir is asking him to.”
“Good...” Harry said, a broad grin spreading across his face as he thought about the way that things were going to change at Privet Drive from now on. “Remember these nasty relatives of mine, Dobby? I was thinking....”