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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: (Page 10)

I've been re-reading HBP. As Dumbledore takes Harry away from Privet Drive, he tells him to always keep his invisibility cloak at hand. What is the significance of this?

Posted by Susan from Sydney, NSW, Australia on September 25, 2006 02:50 AM

Susan: Its probably a matter of hiding. As we've seen before, the OotP has used invisibility cloaks several times when they didn't want to be seen. Should something happen, Harry can always toss on the cloak and hide.

Though your question MIGHT have some more relevance with regards to the "did Dumbledore plan his " question.

Posted by Stephen from La Crosse, WI on September 25, 2006 10:36 AM

I've read the idea that Harry is a decendant of Gryffindor. What about going one step further? Hermione is brilliant and mentions once that the Sorting Hat almost put her in Ravenclaw (Order of the Phoenix) - what if she is a decendent of Rowena Ravenclaw? (admittedly an explaination is needed for her Muggle parents. Perhaps a squib in her family tree?) Ron is extremely loyal to Harry - what if he is a decendant of Helga Hufflepuff? Now the three heirs of the original founders would battle against the Heir of Slytheran which JK foreshadowed in her explaination of what happen when Salazar left Hogwarts (sorry, forgot which book this was in).

Posted by Saint Cad from Los Angeles on September 26, 2006 07:38 AM

I think that the invisibility cloak is need to get into the Potter House, but not in the way everyone thinks. Remember that Peter Pettigrew was the secret-keeper for the Potters, so how did DD, Hagrid, Sirius, et al. find the house once the Potters were ed? Remeber in Order of the Phoenix that even if someone knows the location, you still need to to know the location FROM THE SECRET KEEPER to find the place.

The obvious answer is that the good guys were able to find the house since once the Potters d that the secrecy charms ended, but I don't buy it. I think that somewhere on the cloak, Peter Pettigrew wrote the Potter's address. James then gave it to DD so that he could find the house (which explains why DD got it before he d). Harry need to reveal the address to enter his old house.

Posted by Saint Cad from Los Angeles on September 26, 2006 08:03 AM

Even if the address of Harry's old house was written on the Invisibility Cloak (and if that could be done, wouldn't the address be invisible?), the house was destroyed. So there's nothing there for Harry to enter. Going back to Godric's Hollow is different from returning to a non-existent house.

Godric's Hollow itself was not invisible to ordinary people (in the first book we are told that Hagrid got baby Harry out of the ruins of the house before the muggles descended on it) so, although the village had a name that connected it to the wizarding world, it was a normal village with ordinary citizens living there.

It's plausible that Harry may need the cloak to find the village or even to find the location of the original house, but I doubt that the ruins would have been left untouched for 15 years. Someone's probably built a new house on the lot by now and another family may be living in it.

Posted by Hannah from Los Angeles on September 26, 2006 12:44 PM

No one in their right mind, I guess, would touch Potters' house. Especially after Voldemort did something with it.

Posted by Michael from Manila, Philippines on September 27, 2006 04:11 AM

where is invisibilty cloak now.? Did harry get back his cloak after he left it on astronomy tower?
Harry kept on losing it..but somehow he always got it back..

Posted by ginnevra from india on September 27, 2006 04:38 AM

That's true, but if the cloack is so special, then why would Dumbledore (if it's him) give it back to Harry each time he lost it. When someone can't take care for such important stuff, then you won't give it back each time, would you?

Posted by Rhiannah Zalm from Amersfoort The Netherlands on September 27, 2006 09:08 AM

Hannah brings up a difficulty - How do wizards own houses in a muggle community without filing all the muggle paperwork? Consider the ingorance of Mr. Weasley.

I think its safe to say, Harry deciding to go the GH must be critical to the story, which leads me to guess prehaps there is no house rebuilt.

I think the invisibility cloak being returned to Harry repeatedly is probably like a parent catching a child as it learns to walk. Let's face it, Harry has been in over his head since page 1 book 1. I do find it interesting that we are always told when Harry gets it back.

What I am wondering is how can Harry or LV the other when their wands do the prior incanto thingie? This is what's making me think somebody else be involved with the ing. I wrote what I called the 'perfect ending' (my version) and in it I had Harry propel LV inbetween himseld and the Avada K curse Bellatrix was sending his way. Howver, even then, I had Harry wandless.

I feel Harry, or any great wizard, should not be limited by a wand. Harry vanished the glass plate without words or wand in book 1. That is serious magic if you think about it. This makes me think that 'power' behind magic is passion. People who love, tend to be more passionate, focused and directed than people who hate because they make a choice to love. Hateful creatures like LV just seem to hate everyone except themselves.

Whatever JKR does, it be interesting. Gotta go.

Posted by JOHN from RIVERSIDE, CA on September 27, 2006 2:50 PM

I'm not sure Hannah that the house would certainly have been rebuilt. There is cloaking magic that might hide it from prying eyes, similar to that which hides Hogwarts isn't there? Muggles would, I think, only see flattened ruins, or something like a bog or swamp, whatever. Harry, of course, would find it easily enough being a wizard.

I'm also interested in this idea of magic not being limited by a wand and how it affect Harry in Book 7. Yes, Harry has always been able to use his powers, often without realising what it was (pre-Hogwarts) and the way he was able to repel Voldemort during the fight with Dumbledore in the Ministry of Magic (OotP) by his deep feelings must have taught him something.

What concerns me, particularly after his mega teenage angst in OotP is his apparently inability to control very strong feelings and his judgement falters e.g. he dismisses Hermione's reasonable arguments before their dash to the Ministry and rushes on headlong without thought.

Will the of Dumbledore bring about a final maturity to Harry, and allow him to track down horcruxes and solve several puzzles (although I think he still need Ron and Hermione)? I think GH may have a part to play, and James' cloak, if only Harry is not too reckless; he has relied on sheer luck, protection of others and a fair degree of his own s but he need, I think, to be more of a grown up when he tackles Voldemort

Posted by Marjorie from Wellington, NZ on September 27, 2006 8:25 PM

Marjorie, the Potter House was unplottable unlike St. Mungo's hospital which is just made to look abandoned. When something is unplottable, only the secret keeper and those the secret keeper tells can find it. I am troubled by the muggles being aware of the chaos at the Potter house..... Pettigrew (the secret keeper) was still alive and therefore (it seems to me) the place should still be unplottable regardless of its condition.

Curiouser and curiouser this is. I agree with you about Harry's reckless nature, but then most guys are that way at his age.

Posted by John from Riverside, CA on September 28, 2006 08:53 AM

I been thinking about the Cloak alot the past few weeks and in reading some very interesting things here..Ive came up with a idea..

I wonder if, the Potters, knowing LV was after them and that they would be ed if, they and DD come up with some old magic where DD could somehow bestoe there love and maybe sprits into the cloak to help protect harry? The idea hit me when James and Lily came out of LVs wand in the graveyard fight and maybe DD knows this in HBP and needs snape to him so he too may enter the cape? possibly Sirus knew this too when he d? It has been provin that LV is week agenst harrys love and Im just thinking that, somehow DD figured this out and there all sorta traping there selfs in the cloak and that in the end they do that thing (like in the graveyard where they came out of the wand) and they all combine there love with harrys love and it distory LV...

I know the movies arent the gospel so to speak but, if you look at DDs expression on his face in GoF when he discovers what had happen in the graveyard, with harrys parents helping him escape..I dunno, its like he had just found a tidbit he was looking for..
I know, this is far fetched but, its something to think about..

I also, wounder if, Harrys aunt somehow helps harry find his way back to the Potters old house? Maybe, thats the final key to Harry beating LV? Meaning that Harry could get a enormus boost of feelings of love from that place or something.. My 2 cents anyway...

Posted by Sean from Corbin, Ky on September 29, 2006 05:12 AM

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