Chapter 143: Dobby The Elf
Over the course of the next hour, Severus watched as men, women, and children arrived at this house and began to take over the place. Some presented letters from himself, others the invitation was verbally given, cast with a charm by Dumbledore, and other were a call out from the Chief Warlock herself.
"Quite the spectacle," Sirius said and he and Rita returned and pushed their way through the crowd.
"The Pairythwhethers have enchanted my dining room to fit all the people and our elves are content but overwhelmed. I am thankful for Rosetta and Kreacher, they are hardworking and happy," Severus whispered. "We wouldn't be able to do this without them."
"Speaking of elves," Sirius said and nodding at Rita. "Is there anywhere we can talk privately for a moment."
"The study, but we best be quick," Severus said and led Sirius and Rita away.
"All right, you can come out now," Rita said and hiked up her skirt to the trembling little elf with tearful eyes and sagging ears. "Severus, this is Dobby, the Malfoy's elf," she said and nudged the little creature forward.
"Where have you been Dobby?" Severus asked.
"Master told Dobby to stay, but Master is in prison so Master is not Master anymore. And my mistress is dead. The little Master is too little to command an elf like Dobby. So Dobby waited," the elf spoke through his tears.
"Edward and Andromeda have no need for the elf and his mistreatment has been so fierce that they have handed him to me but I have no idea how the magic works. He's bound to the Malfoys," Sirius said. "He was in the wreckage of the manor until this morning and then sat on the steps of the Tonks house until they returned."
"Because Mistress died. Oh the Mistress!" Dobby wailed.
"Dobby, do you know how the magic works?" Severus asked as he lowered himself into a kneeling position to look in the tearful eyes of the elf he was addressing. "I have elves of my own and Sirius Black also has elves. You have been turned over to Sirius and so you are safe but the bond is with the Malfoy family. Who is your master now?"
"Draco Malfoy is my master but only when he is of age to be a wizard and only if he wants Dobby. Until then, Dobby waits as he has been ordered to do," the elf answered. "Dobby has no orders until Draco is older. So Dobby doesn't know what to do. Dobby is useless," he sobbed.
"We could free the elf," Rita said. "Then he can decided for himself who he wishes to serve."
"No. No. No!" Dobby cried.
"Dobby you could chose where to go and who to serve if you are a free elf," Severus said.
"But other elves will shun Dobby and laugh at him," the wee little thing cried inconsolably.
"I am a relation of Narcissa and you were ordered to come with me by the Tonkses who have guardianship over Draco, therefore, I can claim you by relation," Sirius said, taking a stab in the dark.
"It is a bloodline," Severus said with a shrug and he did go to the little master.
"Dobby the house elf, I claim you and bind you to the house of the Blacks. I am your master now Dobby and you will obey me," Sirius said forcefully.
Suddenly a blast of light issued forth from Dobby and a moment later Rosetta and Kreacher pushed open the door and looked around with wide excited eyes.
"Dobby is home at last," Rosetta said gleefully and rushed toward the new elf.
"That worked?" Sirius asked in shock. "It was a stab in the dark!" He half heartedly chuckled.
"I suppose it did," Severus said and nodded. "Well done."
"What fascinating little creatures they are," Rita said and there was something akin to joy in her face. "And so misunderstood and enslaved. There is something so wrong in it, and yet, the need the servitude by them is so engrained in them. You will treat him kindly, won't you Sirius?" She pleaded for the sake of the little one.
"I will," Sirius vowed. "He has family of his own now."
"It is sad, I agree," Severus said as he stood. "But you will be kind, Sirius, and make these elves very happy in your household."
"I'll do my best Sev," Sirius said and then lowered himself to speak to the elves. "Dobby, these are my elves Rosetta and Kreacher. Kreacher has been with the Blacks for generation and likely came to be with us the same way you we enslaved and mistreated by the Malfoys. I am not the kind of Master that precedes me and I is my very great wish to change the reputation of my family for all living beings," he explained.
"Master is very good," Dobby whispered as Rosetta continued to hold him and stroke his bald head.
"Rosetta, like you, I acquired when I brought the land she was bound to, ordered into place as you were and abandon by her former family," Sirius continued. "Both of these precious little elves have know great mistreatment, as I believe you have felt as well. You now belong to their tribe and will be treated with kindness and respect, but as we are guests in the house of Severus Snape, I order you to do as the Master of this House says," he explained as he watched the weary Dobby fall into Rosetta's open arms once more and Kreacher reached around the two of them and embraced them, and Dobby wept bitterly for quite some time.
"Dobby misses his boy," Rosetta said softly. "He is with us now, but he will always have a heart bond with Draco Malfoy."
"You will see Draco again. He is my cousin, after all, and the Tonkses have agreed to bring him to Rosenshire once Burberry is finished, when we are settled there. I hope that they will come to stay and you will be able to watch him grow up, but you are mine now and have elves to keep you and love you, and I plan to have a family for you to rear as you see fit," Sirius commented and watched as the little elves all watched him with delight.
"Dobby will do as Master says," the little elf squeaked as he dried his tears.
"Very good," Sirius said and straightened himself up once again. "Rosetta, take him and clean him up. Kreacher go back to the kitchen to assist with dinner, they will join you as soon as they are ready. Prepare the other elves to greet him. When this is over, do take him to meet Harry. If he wants a boy to love right now, there is a very sweet one in residence."
"Harry Potter?" Dobby asked, his eyes wide with wonder and growing in brightness.
"Harry Potter will save us all," Dobby said and blinked excitedly.
"One day, perhaps, but for now he's no older than Draco. He's just a little boy who has lost much and who is kind and loving and will remain that way as long as I can manage it. Please do not treat him any differently Dobby, or bring attention to what he may become," Severus warned the tiny elf.
"You will obey Dobby," Sirius seconded.
"Go, get cleaned up and get to work," Sirius ordered and the little elves scurried away.
"You said you wanted more help," Rita giggled.
"Indeed, we have six of them in this house now," Severus said. "But what else happened with the Tonkses?"
"That is a story for later. For now, I will say, that they prefer a quiet night at home to think about my offer and you have too many guests to worry about tonight. Rita has interviews to conduct here and I will stand by your side through this all. In short, you will not see them here tonight but they will come to Rosenshire in time to talk about the future. They want things to settle for now," Sirius explained. "And I don't really blame them."
"That is understandable. For now we have so much to do," Severus said and led the way out of the study and back into the great crowd that had done nothing but grow in their absence.