When Harry needed help escaping Malfoy Manor, Aberforth Dumbledore sent Dobby to apparate them out of there:

... the mirror fragment fell sparkling to the floor, and he saw a gleam of brightest blue - Dumbledore’s eye was gazing at him out of the mirror. “Help us!” he yelled at it in mad desperation. “We’re in the cellar of Malfoy Manor, help us!” The eye blinked and was gone.
(Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23, "Malfoy Manor")

Dobby would never be able to tell them who had sent him to the cellar, but Harry knew what he had seen. A piercing blue eye had looked out of the mirror fragment, and then help had come. Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.
(Deathly Hallows, Chapter 24, "The Wandmaker")

He wore spectacles. Behind the dirty lenses, the eyes were a piercing, brilliant blue. “It’s your eye I’ve been seeing in the mirror.” There was a silence in the room. Harry and the barman looked at each other. “You sent Dobby.” The barman nodded and looked around for the elf. (Deathly Hallows, Chapter 28, "The Missing Mirror")

So, when Harry begged for help, how did he know to send a House-Elf?

  1. How did he know that Malfoy Manor had anti-apparation set up?

    OK, being an old-timey wizard he might have guessed that it'd be the case, but I'd like canon support for why he thought so.

  2. How did Aberforth know that a House-Elf would be a correct solution to that problem?

    The fact that house-elf magic is different and especially that they can apparate in anti-apparation jinx conditions doesn't seem to be a widely held knowledge in the series; and Aberforth isn't "learned" like Albus.

  • Wasn't Aberforth helping Dumbledore's Army like Neville and the like? Dobby worked at Hogwarts, so it is no surprise that at least someone would have known that Dobby had previously worked for the Malfoys. Or perhaps Dobby already told them everything about the Malfoy Manor since most of the DA kids had known (or at least highly suspected) that the Malfoys were in league with Voldemort.
    – Ozymandias
    Jan 5, 2015 at 15:38
  • @Ozymandias - I can't recall a single evidence that anyone outside the Trio and Albus knew about Harry's relationship with Dobby Jan 5, 2015 at 15:39
  • I updated the question to remove Dobby, and split Dobby specifics into an independent question: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/77425/… Jan 5, 2015 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


From Deathly Hallows, about Dobby"

Aberforth Dumbledore: "Thought he'd be with you. Where've you left him?"
Harry Potter: "He's dead. Bellatrix Lestrange killed him."
Aberforth Dumbledore: "I'm sorry to hear it. I liked that elf."

-How did he know that Malfoy Manor had anti-apparation set up? -How did Aberforth know that a House-Elf would be a correct solution to that problem?

He may not have known directly, but taking into account the fact that Aberforth knew Dobby somehow, Dobby might have have shared at least that he was once the Malfoy family's house-elf, which means he would have known the Manor and it's weaknesses very well indeed. Aberforth might have asked Dobby if he could help (and we all know Dobby would right away knowing Harry is in danger) and Dobby might have volunteered the information than he could Apparate in because House-Elf magic is different.

  • Sorry, I split Dobby specific stuff into a new question - do you mind deleting this and reposting there? scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/77425/… Jan 5, 2015 at 15:46
  • Sure I'll fix up my question. I'm trying to find some evidences for Dobby knowing Aberforth- been awhile since I read the books, but it sounds familiar.
    – Trish Ling
    Jan 5, 2015 at 15:48

To answer your first question :

"Professor, why couldn't we just Apparate directly into your old colleague’s house?” “Because it would be quite as rude as kicking down the front door,” said Dumbledore. “Courtesy dictates that we offer fellow wizards the opportunity of denying us entry. In any case, most Wizarding dwellings are magically protected from unwanted Apparators. At Hogwarts, for instance -.

It's safe to assume an ancient noble manor would have such spell on it.

For the second, Alberforth may know that there is House-Elf at Hogwarts, and that they -with their special magic- can apparate there.

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