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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 11)

Congratulations to everyone who was guessing that Snape was under the invisibility cloak the night the Potters d at Godric's Hollow (Rebecca in Albuquerque first hinted at it, Noel G. in Malta first to suggest it completely).

It was a good enough guess that J.K. felt it important enough to post on her web site today that it's not true!

What does this mean? Someone else important was under the cloak at Godric's Hollow? Or that Snape was somewhere else crucial that night?

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on September 29, 2006 08:18 AM

Thank you Dave. So we know for sure NOBODY was hiding under that cloak at GH. We also know the crucial question is WHY DID DD have it which takes importance off the cloak itself.

So far, I don't recall any eaters ever wearing or having an invisibility cloak. Madeye had 2. Perhaps LV desprately wanted an invisibility cloak for his eaters.

What if the cloak allowed J&L; to spy of LV or his eaters and LV didn't know fur sure how James was accomplishing it. That might explain why it was with DD.

Posted by John from Riverside, CA on September 29, 2006 11:18 AM

John, I think you misread that. We don't know for sure that NOBODY was under the cloak at GH. We just know for sure it wasn't Snape.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on September 29, 2006 6:19 PM

Do you think there's more to Sturgis Podmore's use of the cloak when he was guarding the Department of Mysteries? Could he be a double agent?

Posted by Susan from Sydney, NSW, Australia on September 29, 2006 6:32 PM

Dave, here is what the article you kindly quoted says: Why did Dumbledore have James' invisibility cloak at the time of James' , given that Dumbledore could make himself invisible without a cloak? There IS a significant - even crucial - answer. ( 9/13/06)

I read it to mean that DD had the cloak when James d, therefore I conclude nobody must have had that cloak at the Potter house at that time. UNLESS DD was there, which I simply can not believe.

Posted by John from Riverside, CA on September 29, 2006 11:37 PM

Sorry, John. Obviously I was confused. I did not properly put what J.K. said yesterday in context with the previous quote.

So, this makes what J.K. said yesterday very interesting doesn't it? Why go out of your way to point out one specific person was not under the cloak at GH when you'd previously said no one could have been?

Anyone else smell something fishy? Like a red-herring?

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on September 30, 2006 06:40 AM

So, if I am interpreting what John and Dave clarified above correctly, since DD had the cloak when James d, the cloak was not at GH at all but in DD's possession. Therefore, no one was hiding under it that fateful night.
JKR is so good at sending us all scampering in different directions and leaving her to weave her special magic.
Since, as she said previously, DD had the cloak at the time of the Potters' s, it isn't a question of who was hiding under it but of why DD had it at all. Why did James leave it in DD's possession so that it was returned to Harry in his first year? There is a significant, even crucial answer? Crucial to what? To vanquishing LV? It has to be crucial at this point in the story so it can't just be a question of offering Harry protection as it has in the past. Yes. DD told Harry that he wanted him to carry the cloak with him at all times from now on (I'm loosely quoting from Book 6). And, we all saw how it offered Harry protection at the end of Book 6. But, we already know about that property of the cloak. So, Harry's being invisible may become crucial to the outcome of the story or the cloak itself may have other properties we are not aware of yet (although, I'd be ing to bet that an obscure and insignificant comment made in one of the early books could be a powerful clue to this mystery). Could it contain powers that Harry need in the final battle? Could it give Harry strength, insight, or a recollection that enable him to proceed on his final journey? Or it protect Harry from fatal danger? I'm always amazed at how answering one question as JKR did yesterday always seems to create hundreds more? Does anyone have any guesses or theories?
This seems to be a good time for a reread of the earlier books-just in case there's a needle in the proverbial haystack.

Posted by Hannah from Los Angeles on September 30, 2006 12:41 PM

I think the cloak was a possesion of Salazar Slytherin. Wouldn't that make it a reason to keep it from Voldermort?
Plus it would make things terrible for Harry. That's the way Jo works.

Posted by Wallabee on September 30, 2006 3:17 PM

Hannah, thank you for the brillant observation - 'crucial to what?' I now realize its crucial to TWO things - WHY DD had it specifically when James d and how it relates to DD being able to make himself invisiable without it.

I suspect we're grasping for the obvious... but at the same time becasue JKR makes words to do her bidding, we have to try to isolate everything we know about that small portion of time - which isn't a heck of a lot.

One thing that bothers me... somebody pointed out in an earlier post that DD wrote 'its time it was returned to you.' when Harry got the cloak at Christmas.

Okay, someone help us out of the forest please...

Posted by John from Riverside, CA on October 1, 2006 01:16 AM

Dumbledore had James� invisibility cloak �at the time� of James� . Does �at the time� mean he got it exactly at that precise moment? This would mean that Dumbledore was at the Potter�s house when they were ed. There is a significant and even crucial answer. �Significant and crucial� to something that is going to happen? Most of the comments I�ve read seem to convey that the answer to the question is going to be �significant and crucial� to something that is going to happen in the last book, but I don�t think so. I think it�s more relevant to something that has already happened in one of the previous books.

In �half-blood prince� Harry is under the cloak �at the time� of Dumbledore�s and he could not do anything because Dumbledore had petrified him. Maybe James or Lily had done the same thing to Dumbledore before they were ed by Voldemort, and this is how the cloak came into Dumbledore�s possession. They might have done this because they knew that they were going to and their son would be safe with the person Voldemort feared the most. How is it that it is only Dumbledore who knows the full details of the Potter�s ? He was the one who told Harry that Voldemort first ed James and then Lily.

So this means that Dumbledore was only free to move after the Potters d and Voldemort was ed when his curse backfired. Then Dumbledore probably destroyed Voldemort�s body so that the -eaters could not take it back from the house(or maybe he transformed it into something). Peter Pettigrew must have come looking for his master, and when he didn�t find him, he destroyed the Potter�s house. This is when Sirius arrives in his bike and goes after Pettigrew, while Hagrid borrows Sirius� bike and takes Harry to Privet Drive.

Posted by Javed from New Delhi, India on October 1, 2006 10:27 AM

I don't think the Invisibility Cloak is a Horcrux - not Voledemort's, Dumbledore's, or James' - and I think thats just what Jo wanted us to suspect.

It is interesting that Dumbledore wanted Harry to carry the cloak with him at all times in HBP. Was this merely so Harry could escape from bad situations, or was there something more? Yet right before their mission to retrieve the (fake) locket, when Harry asks to retutrn to his dormitory to get the Cloak, Dumbledore isn't even upset. Why is this?

Posted by Kylie Morani from San Diego, California on October 1, 2006 11:20 AM

well, this is a theory my wild head popped that somehow the cloak's posession with DD has something to do with the night the potter's d. but i mean their actual . and the fact that lily d to save her son. we all know that but did she allow LV to her or did she herself to invoke the ancient magic that made the AV rebound on LV? was the ancient magic related to protection of harry's ancestors (gryffindors?) over him and the cloak being the ancestral property? obviously they knew of the prophecy which is why DD performed the Fidelius charm and all. they knew LV would try and harry so they placed some sort of an insurance with DD. i don't have the remotest idea of HOW and WHY all this connects but i just have the feeling there's some connection between the two. what's your thought?

Posted by Aditi from Nagpur, India on October 1, 2006 1:48 PM

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