|"Are you a wizard or not?"
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The funeral of Dobby was held in the spring of 1998 in the garden of Shell Cottage on the outskirts of Tinworth, Cornwall, to pay respects to the late house-elf. Dobby was murdered by Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange in the course of rescuing several prisoners from Malfoy Manor. His burial was conducted by Harry Potter, and his eulogy was given by Luna Lovegood, though the others he rescued also gave a few words of gratitude and respect.
During the Easter holidays of 1998, at the height of the Second Wizarding War, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger were caught by a group of Snatchers led by Fenrir Greyback after Harry broke the Taboo curse upon the name of Lord Voldemort. Along with the Snatchers' other prisoners Dean Thomas and Griphook, they were brought to Malfoy Manor, the headquarters of the Death Eaters. Before they could contact Voldemort to alert him to their capture of Harry, Bellatrix Lestrange spotted the Sword of Gryffindor among the prisoners' possessions. She panicked, as she had believed that the sword was in her vault in Gringotts along with an item extremely important to Voldemort.
Bellatrix isolated Hermione for interrogation and ordered that the other prisoners be taken to the dungeons below, where Luna Lovegood and Garrick Ollivander were also being held. While Bellatrix tortured Hermione with repeated use of the Cruciatus Curse, Harry and Ron desperately tried to escape the dungeons. Harry frantically screamed for help while catching a glimpse of a two-way mirror. The other mirror was held by Aberforth Dumbledore, who sent Dobby the house-elf to Harry's assistance. Dobby Apparated Luna, Dean, and Ollivander away to Shell Cottage, the home of newlyweds Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour.
Harry and Ron then rushed upstairs; Hermione had lied under interrogation, claiming that the sword was only a copy, and Griphook had supported her story when questioned. Satisfied, Bellatrix pressed her Dark Mark, calling Voldemort. She held a knife to Hermione's throat to force Harry and Ron to back down, but Dobby returned and sent the chandelier crashing down from the ceiling. Bellatrix released Hermione to leap out of the way, and while Ron retrieved an unconscious Hermione, Harry grabbed several wands from Draco and Dobby disarmed Narcissa Malfoy. Ron disapparated with Hermione, and Harry grabbed Dobby and Griphook followed. As they vanished, Bellatrix threw her knife at them.
When Harry arrived at Shell Cottage, he was horrified to find that Bellatrix's knife was protruding from Dobby's chest. He screamed for help, but it was too late. Dobby collapsed, and Harry managed to lie him on the grass. With a little shudder and a whisper of Harry's name, Dobby died.
- Luna: "I think we ought to say something. I'll go first, shall I? Thank you so much Dobby for rescuing me from that cellar. It's so unfair that you had to die when you were so good and brave. I'll always remember what you did for us. I hope you're happy now."
- Ron: "Yeah...thanks Dobby."
- Harry: "Good bye, Dobby."
- — Final goodbyes[src]
As Harry stared horrified at Dobby's body, he was joined by Luna, Dean, and Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour. Ron had taken Hermione inside. Harry pulled the knife from Dobby's chest, wrapped his jacket around his body, and then began digging a grave by hand at the end of the garden. The others returned to the cottage.
A while later, Ron and Dean came back and helped Harry dig. Harry remembered Dumbledore's grand funeral, and thought that Dobby deserved one just like it. Harry took off his jacket and wrapped it around Dobby's corpse, Ron humbly took off his shoes and socks and put them on Dobby's feet, and Dean put a hat on Dobby, covering his face. Once the grave was complete, Hermione and the others from the cottage joined them for the burial. Luna closed Dobby's eyes, and began the eulogy for the house-elf who had rescued them. Ron, Dean, and Harry also gave their thanks, and then Harry requested a moment alone at the grave. He found a large white stone and crudely carved an epitaph into it: HERE LIES DOBBY, A FREE ELF.
- "On Harry dug, deeper and deeper into the hard, cold earth, subsuming his grief in sweat, denying the pain in his scar. In the darkness, with nothing but the sound of his own breath and the rushing sea to keep him company, the things that had happened at the Malfoys’ returned to him, the things he had heard came back to him, and understanding blossomed in the darkness… The steady rhythm of his arms beat time with his thoughts. Hallows…Horcruxes…Hallows…Horcruxes…yet no longer burned with that weird, obsessive longing. Loss and fear had snuffed it out. He felt as though he had been slapped awake again."
- —Harry Potter's thoughts while digging Dobby's grave[src]
While Harry Potter dug Dobby's grave, he was aware of Lord Voldemort's thoughts through their connection, but his grief for Dobby blocked out most of the rage Voldemort was feeling over his escape. The devastating loss also forced Harry to come to his senses; he was no longer obsessed with the Deathly Hallows and was reminded that Albus Dumbledore had instructed him to find the Horcruxes. However, he also became aware that Voldemort was searching for the Elder Wand. His mind clear, Harry realised what he, Ron, and Hermione had to do next: find the Horcrux in Bellatrix Lestrange's vault in Gringotts. The trio spent the next few weeks at Shell Cottage planning their break-in. While approaching Gringotts, Harry saw the city, and had second thoughts on Dobby's burial grounds, seeing it was better looking in the city.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (First appearance)