"Oh no, sir, no," said Dobby, looking suddenly serious. "'Tis part of the house- elf's enslavement, sir. We keeps their secrets and our silence, sir. We upholds the family honor, and we never speaks ill of them—though Professor Dumbledore told Dobby he does not insist upon this. Professor Dumbledore said we is free to—to—" Dobby looked suddenly nervous and beckoned Harry closer. Harry bent forward. Dobby whispered, "He said we is free to call him a—barmy old codger if we likes, sir!" Dobby gave a frightened sort of giggle. "But Dobby is not wanting to, Harry Potter," he said, talking normally again, and shaking his head so that his ears flapped. "Dobby likes Professor Dumbledore very much, sir, and is proud to keep his secrets and our silence for him."