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Why did Dumbledore have James' cloak?

by David Haber

On a new post on her official web site, J.K. Rowling admitted she made a mistake in New York when she was asked, what question have you never been asked that you ought to have been asked? She now says the question should have been, Why did Dumbledore have James' invisibility cloak at the time of James' death, given that Dumbledore could make himself invisible without a cloak?

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Reader Comments:

it can't be a horcrux, because you have to commit a to make one. So if what you are saying is true, than Godrick or James seems to be a er, which seems very unlikely does it not?

Posted by Remco Mendes from The Netherlands on September 14, 2006 12:46 AM

Hm. I tend to agree with that. But there's another article on this site, Dumbledore's Horcrux, which puts forward the opinion that you only have to someone to make a horcrux, not them...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on September 14, 2006 09:28 AM

That's too simple. Even if you believe for some reason that taking a piece of someone's soul (even if was just laying there for the taking) to extend your own life ISN'T a dark thing; you'd need certain "things" to make a horcrux. Components, such as a vessel to contain it, and anything else that the spell might require. This is very advanced sorcery, who knows what would be needed. At the very least, I would guess that one doesn't just create a horcrux on the fly. "Oh look, he d! Hey, I should make a horcrux!".

If we can assume (I know, but everyone else is assuming things) that it takes "some" degree of advanced planning to create the horcrux, doesn't that demonstrate evill intent? Sure, we know very little of Dumbledore's 150 years, and maybe he was a dark wizard who reformed himself. But if he wasn't, then creating a horcrux doesn't fit. If Dumbledore had to someone in self defense, or even for another noble goal (again with the assumptions), why would he be prepared to create the horcrux? To deliberately benefit from the of someone, regardless of how it occurs, hardly feels like a noble or even okay thing.

So if Dumbledore WAS evil in the day, sure fine. But James? Would he have done something like that? What reason on earth would he have had, as an, by all accounts, good person, to create something so dark? How would he have even known? Dumbledore wouldn't have likely told him about it.

This feels like grasping at straws. The cloak being a possession of Godric makes sense, but I think you're all off the deep end with the horcrux thing.

Posted by Anne from Detroit, MI on September 14, 2006 12:26 PM

what if the only way for harry to get into the house at godric's hollow is to use the cloak?

Posted by John Rinaldi from Fairlee VT on September 14, 2006 12:28 PM

Okay the horcrux thing is not possible with James - remember you have to commit to make a horcrux. Godric we don't know much about, but it is unlikely that he would be a er. The possibility that it is a GG relic is more to the point and makes ever so much more sense for James to give it to Dumblewdore for safekeeping as a part of Harry's legacy as a descendant.

Posted by Edy Threequidd from Boston, MA on September 14, 2006 12:35 PM

I don't think the cloak was a horcrux for James, Lily, or Godric Gryffindor. Hocruxes are meant to be foul, cruel, etc., but that's just my opinion. Personally, to make a hocrux I think the person has to put thought into the , think of whom they want to and not just go up to them and them for no apparent reason. Also, horcrux seem to be fairly uncommon knowledge in the wizard
world or else everyone would've known/guessed that LV can't have d because of them.

Also if we go back to the interview JKR gave in 2005 to leaky and mugglenet she implied that Harry might NOT be related to Godric Gryffindor. Though I do think that it might be relevant that he lived in a village called Godric's hollow but I don't think Harry has any connection with the school founder himself.

Now as for why James left his cloak with DD well it could be the latter asked to borrow it but didn't explain for what it would be used. I just don't think and can't see the cloak being used as a horcrux, James just doesn't seem the type that would do something like that. Also, JKR already explained that the hero (harry) has to face LV face-to-face and I just can't see her bringing James back to life to fight alongside Harry.

Posted by Julia from NY on September 14, 2006 12:51 PM

I don't think the cloak is a horcrux because: firstly, the information about horcruxes is top secret and James is hardly to have known it; secondly if it were realy a horcrux Dumbledore wouldn't have entrusted the cloak to so young wizard. (Harry could have lost it)Perhaps the cloak Is very important, but in some other way

Posted by Dmitriy Fedotov from Ivanovo ,Russia on September 14, 2006 1:19 PM

What if the cloak is the last piece of ravenclaw and dumbledore played dumb with harry so he can find out later and guard it better knowing now that dumbledore is , cause harry in my opion wasnt ready to fight dumbledore or even learn all that he needs to survive.

Now that dumbledore is he has to... More determine to make it happend to learn, to fight....

What do u guys think...

Posted by Joe from Miami FL on September 14, 2006 1:50 PM

I understand the process of making a horcrux as being a truly evil act, and I can not imagine anyone in the story, other than Voldemort of course, who would create one.

Like Anne, I think everyone is getting a little out of hand with the horcrux theories. John's idea about using the cloak to enter Godric's Hollow was excellent.

What do you all think of this idea? I don't think Harry is the heir of Gryffindor, I think that Godric's bloodline d out, and I think it happend when Dumbledore was ed on top of the Astronomy tower.

If Dumbledore was an heir, that would explain why he had the sword of Gryffindor in his possession, and maybe why Voldemort has so far stayed away from Gryffindor relics. As far as Godric's Hollow goes, perhaps it belonged to Gryffindor, and was passed down each generation. Maybe it was Dumbledore who offered the cottage as a hiding place.

What does this have to do with the cloak? I'm not sure. Maybe nothing. But I think it could help get an important train of thought moving... we are being to literal in trying to solve this. Lets try to be more abstract.

Posted by Clinton from Kansas City, KS on September 14, 2006 2:07 PM

I think a lot of these suggestions have been great so far, but we have to take into account that Jo is really good at throwing curveballs and introducing aspects of HP canon that completely change the course of the books - our biggest example thus far has been the horcruxes introduced in book six. Speculation on the path and life of Harry Potter pre-Half-Blood Prince is now basically moot, because no one could have forseen these dark objects containing fragments of Voldemort's soul as coming into play in the plot (If you did, maybe you should look into the position of Divination teacher at Hogwarts!).

My point is that Jo can always introduce new material or backstory into the plot which is impossible for us to guess at before-hand. Maybe there's another spell or enchantment on the cloak that we don't know about? Also, where did James get the cloak in the first place? Maybe there's something there, but at this point, I think finding the answer involves too much guesswork to get us anywhere concrete.

Posted by Meredith from Oberlin, Ohio on September 14, 2006 2:12 PM

actually i think james and dumbledore knew it had once belonged to godric gryffindor, and they wanted to keep it away from voldemort to prevent him to make another horcrux. maybe, just maybe, (and i know it's hard to think it could happen) dumbledore forgot about this and didn't see that there may be only 6 horcruxes... one less to destroy i guess...

but i can't stop thinking about what John Rinaldi from Fairlee VT said... "what if the only way for harry to get into the house at godric's hollow is to use the cloak?" that's very interenting.. which leads us to..
exacly WHAT could harry find in godric's hollow..?

Posted by yop on September 14, 2006 2:48 PM

I like that last question--there's definitely something to be found in Godric's Hollow. The other thing to think about is what if the cloak itself wasn't important but the fact that Dumbledore needed to use it for someone else who couldn't make themself invisible. Isn't it also stated that someone else was there the night the Potters d? Maybe Dumbledore gave to cloak to someone else to use--maybe someone like Snape. I just have a feeling that Snape was much more invovled in this whole thing.

Posted by Chris from NJ on September 14, 2006 3:58 PM

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