DISCLAIMER: Dobby and his House Elf friends, as well as the world of Hogwarts belong to J.K. Rowling. The narrator is my contribution to the fan fiction universe.

Enjoy!

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"The World According to Dobby"

It was a cold night in January when I tickled the pear in the painting for the first time. I was hoping to find a few extra bottles of butterbeer lying around to warm up during my late night study session. Fred and George Weasley used to talk about sneaking into the kitchens all the time. They had left Hogwarts the year before, and I figured I might continue that tradition, although, I was a little scared that Filch might catch me. I decided to be quick and stealthy, but that was before I met Dobby…

The pear wiggled slightly and I could hear a faint giggling as the painting swung open to reveal the enormous Hogwarts kitchen. I had expected it to be dark, but it was the exact opposite. The kitchens were lit up brightly and there large fireplaces along the walls with warm fires going. I looked around to see who had started them and kept them going but didn't see anyone. Then I felt a tugging on my robes.

I looked down to see a house elf beside me. Its high squeak of a voice startled me when it spoke.

"Hello sir!" it said, in an all too cheery way for this late at night.

"Can I get you anything, sir?" another voice said.

More house elves appeared. There were three… seven… twelve… eighteen… twenty… I lost count. They were everywhere, and each one of them was eager to serve me. It was flattering, but a little unsettling at the same time. The house elf who had tugged on my robes was the first to introduce his self.

"Hello sir! I'm Dobby, what can I do for you?" he asked enthusiastically. "What can Dobby do for you, sir?"

"Oh, some butterbeer would be nice, thanks," I said.

"Butterbeer for the young sir!" a house elf behind me cried out.

There was a quick scramble and some of the house elves dashed out of sight. I assumed they had gone off to fetch the butterbeer. The others guided me over to a long table on the other side of the huge room. When I sat down, I saw that there were four other tables just like it. They looked to be exact replicas of the four house tables in the Great Hall, just without the festive decorations and plentiful food. I turned around in my seat and faced away from the table top, so I could see the house elves that waited behind my back for more instructions.

Dobby sat beside me, facing the same way I was. He was wearing a very peculiar assortment of clothing. Like the other elves, he was dressed in a ragged looking garment. His was slightly better off than the others, who appeared to be wearing dish towels and tea cosies. Dobby stood out in his many multicolored, mismatched socks. He must have been wearing seven pairs on each foot, all of different lengths. It was strange.

I stopped staring at his feet when the group of house elves who had fetched the butterbeer for me returned. I took the bottle, said a quick thank you, and started towards the door. They weren't having that though. A series of "Can we get you anything else, sirs," rung out around me.

"Must you leave, sir?" Dobby asked.

"Yeah," I said, "I probably should." Then a thought hit me. "Are you going to tell Filch I was here?"

"Oh no, sir!" Dobby exclaimed.

"Dumbledore?" I asked.

"Oh no, sir," Dobby said, getting up to stand beside me. "Dobby will tell you a secret, sir. We like the students. We are happy to have them come for visits, sir. We will not tell anyone you came to see us, sir, if you will not tell anyone we let you stay."

"All right then," I said. "It's a deal."

Dobby then escorted me to the door, chattering happily as we walked. At the door, I turned and said goodbye to the house elves who had been so helpful. Finally, I turned to Dobby.

"Bye Dobby, thanks a lot," I said.

As soon as I had gone out through the painting, I regretted my decision to leave the kitchen. In the kitchen I was safe and hidden away from the eyes of Mrs. Norris and Filch. Out in the hall I was exposed and detention-bound. I stood still in the shadows to decide what path was the best to get up to Gryffindor tower unseen. When I had come up with a plan, I made my way up to my dormitory as quietly as I could, putting all my previously unused stealth into action.

Luck was with me that night. I had stayed out late, gotten a free butterbeer, and made it back up to my dormitory all without getting caught. I was definitely lucky, all right. Either way, that butterbeer sure did hit the spot.

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