Photographs of people leaving their socks at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour of Harry Potter in Leavesden, London have recently surfaced on the internet.
The reason for this phenomenon? Only the dearest, most loyal house elf in the land.
Fans have been paying tribute to Dobby's tragic yet heroic story by leaving their socks beside his encased figure.
— Sarah Louhichi (@SariiSafaRii) September 27, 2015
The same was done by another Harry Potter fan at an exhibit in Paris.
@HogwartsLogic @jk_rowling pic.twitter.com/BoE2c6bahd — Katie Louise (@katiethekoolies) September 30, 2015
The act was so heartbreakingly sweet that even author J.K. Rowling retweeted one of the photos.
For those who are still perplexed by this story, here's a little Potter History 101, so as not to leave you completely in the dark.
Dobby first appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to discourage Harry Potter from returning to Hogwarts. A house elf owned by the Malfoy family, Dobby is set free when Harry tricks Lucius Malfoy into presenting Dobby a piece of clothing, a sock, which signifies that a slave has been set free. Harry then earns Dobby's undying devotion.
Dobby also appears in Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix and in Deathly Hallows where he is killed by Bellatrix Lestrange, in an attempt to rescue Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Voiced by actor Tom Jones, Dobby's death is described as "one of the most touching moments in the series."
Dobby may have died a fateful death, but Potterheads can find comfort in knowing that in his life, he found friends who truly loved him, and in this assurance, he died a free elf.