A/N: Round 10 of the QFFLC.
Team: Tuthill Tornadoes
Position: Beater 2
Prompts: infectious; apologise
DOBBY THE FREE ELF
Harry stood facing the grave of a lost warrior, although one would argue a house elf was hardly a creature that could fight a war. But Dobby did. House elves were bred to obey their master. They lived to serve others, and were happy to do so. If you tried to stop the general nature of their disposition, their own harmony in life would become imbalanced and they would cease to have a purpose in life.
Not that it was a bad purpose in life, to serve others. It was altruistic of them to do so, despite the poor opinion witches and wizards had of them. They were nothing but slaves to the majority of them, and so they treated them as such.
But one eventually had to break the mold. And that one house elf was Dobby.
He defied his master. Many of Dobby's ancestors most likely rolled in their graves when their spirits learned of his wrong doing and his obvious betrayal of the Malfoy family, which they have been serving for generations. If they had lived to see such behavior, they would have cornered the unfortunate creatures, and forced him to apologize before the family could dismiss him permanently. It would have been a stain on their credibility, and they would have been shunned for all eternity, ceasing to work. It would make their existence obsolete.
But that did not happen to Dobby. Despite being "dismissed" (unwillingly so by Lucius Malfoy), he survived without a permanent job or master. He was a free elf, and was proud to say so. He didn't slink back in the shadows. He didn't wallow in self pity, or wander lost in the vast world. He held his head high and walked forward with confidence, eventually finding work at Hogwarts. He probably tried to spread his infectious energy to the other elves, explaining them that freedom was not a punishment. Freedom was the essence of a happy and prosperous life. Of course, the other elves didn't take too well to the blatant dismissal of tradition and nature, but it didn't matter. Dobby spoke aloud, and he was the first to do so. He was the prime example of what it meant to be to stand up for what was right and good for others.
In a way, he showed that everyone could unite to defeat what was unnatural to the world; what was evil to society. He showed that despite not being human, all could unite to bring peace back to a world ransacked by the Dark Arts. He was more of a warrior than some witches and wizards. He had powers Harry didn't have himself.
Without Dobby, Harry would have been stuck in the Malfoy dungeon for Merlin knows how long. His magic, more powerful than others, could break through the wards without detection. It was because of Dobby he, Luna, and Olivander escaped.
And he did it again, sacrificing his own life to save the lives of others. Dobby did not have to break up the fight. He didn't have to speak out against his Masters for the second time. After he disapparated with Luna and Olivander, he could have remained at Shell Cottage. But with bravery no man had ever saw before, he returned, and took a dagger to the chest after pronouncing his own freedom. He chose to return out of his own volition, without the coercion or threat of another.
What an example of courage that was to Harry! How many times did he wish he could just slink away in the Forest of Dean, just to grow up and grow old away from the chaos. Let the other wizards deal with Voldemort; he never asked for it in the first place. But neither did Dobby, and he truly believed that freedom was worth the risk of his life to defend it.
Imagine if everyone had known his story during the war. Could it have been possible that the war would have ended sooner? If everyone would have shown a quarter of the amount of bravery that little house elf had, Harry believed Voldemort would not have stood a chance. Many lives could have been spared. That would have been in a perfect world, and despite the sacrifice Dobby made, it was possible that prejudice would have still clouded the minds of others.
Despite all of that, Dobby would live on in the next world. His memory would not be forgotten, and house elves for generation would hopefully learn that he was not crazy. He was a free elf, and that it is worth living by his example, in order to live a more prosperous life.