When Dobby was injured by Bellatrix Lestrange's knife. Why didn't Dobby or Harry use Healing Magic to treat Dobby.

“The door banged open behind Harry and he looked up, terrified: Snape had burst into the room, his face livid. Pushing Harry roughly aside, he knelt over Malfoy, drew his wand, and traced it over the deep wounds Harry’s curse had made, muttering an incantation that sounded almost like song. The flow of blood seemed to ease; Snape wiped the residue from Malfoy’s face and repeated his spell. Now the wounds seemed to be knitting.” Excerpt From: Rowling, J.K. “Harry Potter 6 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Chapter 24 Sectumsempra

  • Snape invented sectumsempra and its cure, and I don't think it's well known, so Harry and friends would have been unlikely to use that example, though I'm not suggesting they couldn't have tried something else.
    – ThruGog
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 13:40
  • harry never took healing, and why did you assume dobby could heal himself?
    – ava
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


Regarding Sectumsempra, specifically - what magic can do, magic can undo.

(Disclaimer: obviously that isn't true of everything in the Harry Potter universe. In fact, the point is often made in The Deathly Hallows that some wounds inflicted by Dark Magic can't be cured. George's ear, for example, cannot be replaced. I simply bring up that nice old quote to mark the difference between Malfoy's wounds and Dobby's. Besides, when Harry used Sectumsempra against Malfoy, he was slashing at him with a spell he'd never practised before and Malfoy's wounds don't seem to have been overly deep. Snape - an extremely skilled wizard - then arrived immediately and was able to counter wounds inflicted by magic, with magic. Dobby took a knife through the chest.)

Regarding Dobby's death specifically, he had a pretty serious stab wound through vitals and had then travelled by Apparition. He's still biological, don't forget that. Assuming the damage was reversible, they had seconds - if that. Don't confuse magic (esp. the magic of Harry Potter) with invincibility.

Now Harry was not much good at healing spells as we know:

It was stupid, pointless, irritating beyond belief, that he still had four days left of being unable to perform magic ... but he had to admit to himself that this jagged cut in his finger would have defeated him. He had never learned how to repair wounds and now he came to think of it - particularly in light of his immediate plans - this seemed a serious flaw in his magical education.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.19 - Bloomsbury - chapter 2, In Memoriam

And on top of this, he was panicking.

Maybe somebody at Shell Cottage could have saved him, but by the time help arrived it was already too late. It takes Harry a while to notice that the elf is injured:

'Dobby, is this Shell Cottage?' he whispered, clutching the two wands he had brought from the Malfoys', ready to fight if he needed too. 'Have we come to the right place? Dobby?'

He looked around. The little elf stood feet from him.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.385 - Bloomsbury - chapter 23, Malfoy Manor

And then he does call out for help:

'Dobby - no - HELP!' Harry bellowed towards the cottage, towards the people moving there. 'HELP!'

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.385 - Bloomsbury - chapter 23, Malfoy Manor

But it really doesn't sound like anybody else got there in time. And that's - again - assuming they were capable of doing anything. Healing spells are clearly not on the syllabus at Hogwarts (at least, not in any classes Harry took and he took all the classes in which they would seem to fit). While Madam Pomfrey and the Healers of St. Mungo's seem extremely powerful and while Tonks is able to fix Harry's broken nose - we also see that Hermione doesn't feel confident attempting to heal Ron's wounds when he gets splinched, for instance.

  • Yeah, but Harry had listened to the Spell which treated Draco, why didn't he try it. It traces the clotting back and brings back life.
    – axelonet
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 3:03
  • 3
    No. It doesn't. Right. First of all, "Pushing Harry roughly aside, he knelt over Malfoy, drew his wand and traced it over the deep wounds Harry's curse had made, muttering an incantation that sounded almost like a song." Harry does not hear the incantation properly. Secondly, it mends flesh wounds (perhaps only those made by magic) - or, at least, it does in the hands of a skilled wizard. There's nothing to suggest it could repair the damage done by a knife through the heart of a house elf, let alone "bring back life."
    – Au101
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 3:18
  • 1
    Finally, there's not much coming back from a knife through the heart. You'd have to pull it out and after that it all tends to get a bit instant deathy.
    – Au101
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 3:18
  • 2
    @Au101 Quite possibly, the incantation Snape was using only heals injuries done by the Sectumsempra curse itself. We never see or hear it described or referred to anywhere else in the entire series. Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 8:17
  • @Janus Bahs Jacquet I am pretty certain that you are right here, that Snape created both spells and that this one is the direct counter-spell like levicorpus and liberacorpus.
    – ThruGog
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 19:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.