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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 12)

To Javed:

Dumbledore did not know details of the Potter's . Harry came to know about them himself in the third year when the boggart dementor caused him to relive the last moments of his parent's s. He heard his father saying he would hold LV off to give time to Lily to run with Harry.

Posted by Aditi from Nagpur, India on October 1, 2006 1:52 PM

If the cloak was a GG relic, then that might tie in to the scene in CoS, when harry pulls Godric's sword from the sorting hat. Dumbledore later says that "only a true Griffindor could have pulled that from the hat." Did Albus mean someone who was meant to be in Griffindor house, or did he mean a descendant of GG?

Posted by Vipra Riddle from Hastings, VA on October 1, 2006 4:57 PM

If DD had been at the Potter's house, frozen under the invisibility cloak at the time of their , He surely would've destroyed Lord Thingy's wand after the spell was lifted- don't you think? Also He would have taken Harry straight away, remember, Hagrid pulled him from the wreakage and delivered him to Dumbledore. I don't think DD was there at all.

Posted by tracy on October 1, 2006 7:22 PM

How does this sound.... DD loaned the cloak to Snape while he was at Hogwarts so nobody could see him DURING the time he had become a double agent for DD and OOtP. After LV's fall, Snape became a teacher at Hogwarts.

We know DD trusts Snape beyond all doubt. It would make sense not to tell Harry what the cloak was being used for, or James for that matter because LV is an accomplished legimis.

We also know Snape started when Harry was 1 because of his interview with Umbridge (OOtP) and that he overheard the prophecy almost 2 years prior to that (HBP Trelaney).

So far the only people who see through the cloak are DD and MadEye, and MadEye would have been too busy to be at Hogwarts at that time.

This is crucial because it tells us Snape is DD's man and that Harry has 2 allies in LV's camp (Snape and Pettigrew)

What do you think?

Posted by John from Riverside on October 1, 2006 7:49 PM

well, John, your theory is good but that doesn't explain why the 'cloak' is so important. if the cloak was with DD it definitely wasn't so he could loan it to someone else. it looks like it was given to him for safekeeping.

Posted by Aditi Dani from Nagpur, India on October 2, 2006 01:10 AM

What if DD and Harry are somehow related by being distant descendants of GG? All pure-blood families are inter-related...and James and DD are both pure-blood! Maybe that's why DD has a special bond with him and if the cloak is really a GG relic, it makes sense as to why James would give it to DD!

Just like the sword and the hat helped Harry in the CoS, maybe the cloak do something similar, Harry being a 'true Gryffindor'. Like Vipra said.

Posted by Aditi Dani from Nagpur, India on October 2, 2006 01:24 AM

I�ve been reading all of your comments in this subject.

Alot of good points takes out the other.

I think the cloak is nothing more than a cloak.
Ron said it was rare. That has to mean it�s really hard to get one.

The cloking must be the answer why it�s so important.
And if you just think. If your enemy can�t see you, woulden�t that be why DD told Harry to keep it with him on all the time.

Posted by Fredrik Ahlstr�m from Mj�lby, Sweden on October 2, 2006 01:53 AM

An idea popped into my mind. It's just that what we're talking about here is the Invisibility Cloak. I don't see anything special on that cloak. Plainly, on the cloak itself, is plain. I mean, its some kind of stuff that can be bought somewhere in the Wizarding World. And a plain Invisibility Cloak that makes you invisible - do you think that you can use that against Voldemort? There must be a pretty Dark Magic to snuff you out of invisibility, so its useless to have it as an important weapon to LV's defeat. But I have a feeling that the Invisibility Cloak has something to do between LV and Harry, but not as a weapon. Something unusual (yeah, unsual).

Just a thought. Correct me if I'm talking too much.

And Vipra, about your question, its about Albus saying someone, a true Gryffindor (the house), can get the sword out of the hat. DD said this because Harry was in doubt of his belonging in Gryffindor, of the reason that in CoS he found out that he can speak Parseltongue.

Posted by Michael from Manila, Philippines on October 2, 2006 03:49 AM

Consider that James gave the cloak to DD before he d. Why? As David Haber says in his article, "for safekeeping". The question we should be asking is why did it need to be kept safe. For Harry, of course. What if the property of the cloak that necessitates safekeeping is that it is a connection to his father and therefore a connection to his magical heritage perhaps all the way back to Griffyndor? I know others have said this but I am beginning to think (this is not a fully formulated idea, yet) that the cloak's lineage is important to Harry because in it there is a secret, magical "message" that Harry need to have. Not a written message but in the same way the Dementors caused Harry to hear his mother's last moments and his father's voice, the cloak may be able to trigger a memory, a thought, or an idea that Harry need to vanquish LV. A voice from the past, if you .

Posted by Hannah from Los Angeles on October 2, 2006 04:30 AM

Magical message? I think that's unlikely. The cloak is more likely to be a password or a weapon or a shield. And for those who pointed out that the cloak in itself is plain, think again. The Sorting Hat was a talking hat and that was pretty much all we thought it could do until Harry pulled out GG's sword from it. It had another hidden power. Maybe the cloak does too...

Posted by Aditi from India on October 2, 2006 07:08 AM


The material for an invisibility cloak comes from the Demiguise. A peaceful, herbivorous creature which resembles an ape, has large black eyes and long, silky hair and is described in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

I do not think the cloak is more than a cloak. Wizards seem to us spells to lock things and the only key type device I remember through out the books is MadEye's super chest.

Posted by John from Riverside, CA on October 2, 2006 08:40 AM

If it is James' horcrux, maybe the was a accident. Maybe when he was holding someone in the air by the ankle, he accidently let them fall, and they d. You never know.

Posted by Mandy from Maui Hawaii on October 2, 2006 2:51 PM

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