The Harry Potter books were a part of my childhood and of countless others. Of course, none of it is real. Of course it happened in our head. But to quote Dumbledore: 

"Of course it's happening inside your head, Harry. But why should that mean, that it's not real?"

So to best understand the magnitude of this, let's switch to fiction mode, pretend it is all real and pay tribute to a small magical creature and Harry Potter's most loyal friend - Dobby, the house elf. 

Source: pottermore

He appeared first in the second installment of the series - The Chamber of Secrets. At first, I obviously thought he was an annoying little creature. Nobody wanted Harry to be stuck in that godforsaken house in Privet Drive. To add to that, he almost got Harry expelled from school and almost killed him too with that rogue bludger during Quidditch. 

But through it all, there was only one thing in his mind. Harry's safety. He knew Harry's life was in danger. He knew defying his masters would result into a brutal beating that his petite body wouldn't be able to take. 

He risked it all for a 12-year-old wizard he had never met. He had no idea that he would be free if Harry lived or succeeded. All he knew was that it was the right thing to do. In fact, the future of their entire world depended on it. While others did their part, Dobby did his bit from the shadows. 

Source: fanpop

He was never in the limelight, never fully appreciated by those superior to him, apart from Harry of course. To them, he was always just another elf. But Dobby was truly the unsung hero. He helped capture Mundungus Fletcher, that led to the finding of a Horcrux. He even freed everyone held captive in the Malfoy Manor right before Voldemort arrived. It would've been game over right there, if he hadn't come to save them. 

Dobby's size was perhaps testament to his role in the movies. Little but immensely significant. He never owned a wand. But he was no less than a wizard. In fact, he was better in so many ways. Such was his loyalty to Harry that Harry's friends became his friends in an instant. All it took was a sock. 

Remember, Harry asked him to never try to save his life again? Dobby only smiled, but never said yes. Deep down, they both knew that Dobby would always be there. 

Source: girlinchaiselounge

In essence, he was a free elf. But he never stopped serving Harry. Not as a servant, but as a friend. When he saved Harry and the others one last time, he paid for it with his life. In that moment, you can recall the first time he showed up in Harry's bedroom and said "Harry Potter! Such an honour it is."

But in the end, the honour was probably Harry's. He had found the most loyal friend in him. Before he bid goodbye to the world, he whispered his friend's name one last time - "Harry Potter!"

It was a tribute to his loyalty till the very end. It was one of the most heartbreaking moments in the series. If only friends like Dobby existed in real life. 

I guess one can find solace in the fact that though he came into the magical world as a house elf bound into servitude, he left as Dobby, the free elf! 

Source: hogwartsicons

I guess one can find solace in the fact that though he came into the magical world as a house elf bound into servitude, he left as Dobby, the free elf!