"Harry Potter!" said the creature in a high-pitched voice Harry was sure would carry down the stairs.
"So long has Dobby wanted to meet you, sir… Such an honor it is…"
"Th-thank you," said Harry, edging along the wall and sinking into his desk chair, next to Hedwing, who was asleep in her large cage. He wanted to ask, "What are you?" but thought it would sound too rude, so instead he said, "Who are you?"
"Dobby, sir. Just Dobby. Dobby the house-elf," said the creature.
"Harry Potter must NOT go back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year!"
"Dobby is used to death threats, sir. Dobby gets them five times a day at home."
"Master has presented Dobby with clothes! Dobby is free!”
"Ah, sir," said Winky, shaking her head, "ah sir, meaning non disrespect, sir, but I is not sure you did Dobby a favor, sir, when you is setting him free."
"Why?" said Harry, taken aback. "What’s wrong with him?"
"Freedom is going to Dobby’s head, sir," said Winky sadly. "Ideas above his station, sir. Can’t get another position, sir."
"Why not?" said Harry.
Winky lowered her voice by a half-octave and whispered, “He is wanting paying for his work, sir.”
"Yes, Harry Potter!" said Dobby at once, his great eyes shining with excitement. "And if Dobby doest it wrong, Dobby will throw himself off the topmost tower, Harry Potter!"
"There won’t be any need for that," said Harry hastily.
"Dobby has no master. Dobby is a free elf!"
"HERE LIES DOBBY, A FREE ELF."