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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 24)

Its unlikely that the cloak is James' Horcrux. Also, though there is speculation that Harry is Gryffindor's descendant (and I agree with that), the cloak may not be necessarily GG's just because James had it. We don't how how he got it.

I also don't think its got something to do with entering Godric's Hollow but its a fairly plausible idea. I'm more inclined to think it has a hidden power. It does something more than provide invisibility. Like maybe another protection for Harry of some sort.

Posted by Aditi from Nagpur, India on November 21, 2006 11:07 AM

There are too many variables pertaining to the cloak. I am inclinded to believed that JK stated her comment just to throw everyone for a loop, especially since Dave made this site and is hot on her trail :) (I don't know if JK said that before or after the site was created, haha)

It could be used to allow the wearer to enter a secret or guarded place (ie needing the Dark Mark to continue up the tower in HBP).

It could be a family heirloom that James wanted to pass down for whatever reason. Maybe so Harry could roam the halls of Hogwarts freely as James probably did. And I think it is possible that Gryffindor (sp) created a hidden area within Hogwarts - much as Slytherin did.

It could have a charm to protect the wearers, much like the Weasleys creating the shield charm line of clothing.

I think James and Lily knew the Pettigrew gave them up and wanted to pass "their estate" to Dumbledore. How else would Hagrid be able to assess Gringotts in the first book to retrieve Harry's money? To me, it almost seems like the Potters knew their was near and were getting their things in order.

The most important question to me is this, does Harry even still have the cloak, or broom, for that matter? There is no mention of him retrieving these things from the Tower.

Posted by Michael from Philadelphia, PA on November 23, 2006 6:01 PM

I think probably it has a secret wich reveals about james past and probably james wanted his son(harry)to know about his parents PAST.It could even be a sort of power or protection. And I think james gave it to dumbledore for safe keeping.

BUT I disaagree it being a horcrux i dont think james could have been sooo evil to do such a deed.
James couldnt even know much about horcruxes as it is a banned subject in hogwarts.

I know this is dumb but probably this was a possession of Godric Gryffindor but now is a horcrux of voldemort and neither James nor harry nor dumbledore know this.

Posted by Anushi jain from India on November 23, 2006 10:11 PM

The Invisibility Cloak is actually a FAMILY HEIRLOOM. James Potter inherited it from his family. Jo said so in an interview on American Online chat 19.10.2000.

As I said on page 22, I also suspect that the Invisibility Cloak could be a kind of keyword to enter Gothric�s Hollow. James, I am sure informed Dumbledore of its hidden magic power, when he left it in AD�s possession!

I don�t believe that the cloak is a Horcrux though, because after six years in Harry�s property, he would have noticed something. We have the example of the DIARY Ginny found. Not to forget that at any time, did the Invisibility Cloak behave ODD! Even Snape who once used it (PoA) has never mentioned or tried to confiscate the cloak.

But on the other hand, after re-reading a few pages of PoA (Chapter Ten, Maurauders�s Map) some new questions come up. Hagrid arrived at the Potter�s house BEFORE Sirius Black. (Some of you have already mentioned this..)
Sirius knew where they lived; he had also been Lily�s and James�s SECRET KEEPER, before changing places with Pettigrew. But how was it possible for Hagrid to find the place? Here the assumption would fit, the Cloak being some kind of a password! Sirius told Harry that when he arrived at Godric�s Hollow, he SAW the destroyed house and their bos. Another odd thing, why did he say to Hagrid: Take my MOTORBIKE; I don�t need it any more?

While finishing reading HBP, it also went trough my head that Harry had left his cloak and broom in the Astronomy Tower. But I am not worried; JO definitely find a logical answer how Harry gets his property back!

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on November 24, 2006 05:22 AM

Well, now that JO has said that the cloak is a family heirloom, I think its pretty safe to guess that it once belonged to Godric Gryffindor. And btw, can anyone guess why the house was in ruins? I'm totally baffled about that one.

Posted by Aditi from Nagpur, India on November 24, 2006 11:25 AM

no, I CLOAK can't be James horcrux because in GOF james appeared from voldemort's wand during PRIORO INCENTIUM. IF JAMES had a horcrux, then he wouldnot have d.
I think it belonged to some very close relative of james (BROTHER or....) who might have not d. V see him in book7

Posted by KARTIK from NEW DELHI on November 25, 2006 12:29 AM

i extremley doubt that either james,dumbledore or godric would have a horcrux. horcruxes are in short evil, non of those people are evil and dumbledore did not fear .

seeing as all of these people are on the good side i doubt they would make a horcrux seeing as so few people have made one.

Posted by Sara on November 26, 2006 4:15 PM

I just got to reading this discussion and "only" got to the 14th page before jumping here to mention something that occurred to me which I hadn't seem mentioned before. Well, at least before the 14th page...:)

Why couldn't James have made the invisibility cloak himself, or with the help of his friends, while at Hogwarts? They made the Marauder's Map, didn't they, and that seems a pretty advanced piece of wizarding to me. It would also explain how Snape recognized it - he probably had encountered it in the old school days. Which is probably where he'd first encountered the map too.

As to how it had fallen into Dumbledore's custody, perhaps he had confiscated it a long time ago during school days, like Filch had confiscated the map, only to be stolen a generation later by the Weasley twins?

But then I fast-forwarded to the end here to write this comment and I see that Michael has written just up here on p. 24, "The Invisibility Cloak is actually a FAMILY HEIRLOOM. James Potter inherited it from his family. Jo said so in an interview on American Online chat 19.10.2000."

Which blows my little theory as to the origins of the cloak. It made sense to me, at least. Now back to reading the latest ten pages of comments. Good thing we're not busy here at work today.:)

P.S. I only recently discovered for myself the wonders of the Harry Potter universe. I read all six books in a week and a half! Couldn't put them down! Can't wait for the seventh!

Posted by Brad from Godfrey IL on November 26, 2006 4:25 PM

Someone may have mentioned this before me, but I got frustrated with some comments and skipped to the end to post. It is EXTREMELY unlikely that the cloak is GG's. Dumbledore says in HBP that he believes their is only one artifact of GG's left: the sword. If James is descended from GG, Dumbledore most certainly would have known, and he would then have known the cloak was most likely a family heirloom as Ron tells Harry they're quite rare back in Sorcerer's Stone. And as for Harry needs it to enter the house in Godric's Hollow, Hagrid talks about retrieving Harry from the rubble or ruins or something like that (I don't have a book readily available for reference). I don't think there is even a house left. I can't be sure of that though. But Harry doesn't mention visiting the HOUSE, only Godric's Hollow and his parent's graves.

Posted by Brian from Sturgis, MI on November 27, 2006 6:36 PM

Mistral -
I don't have the book in front of me but does Scrimogeur (sp) say that the Ministry say the two brooms in the tower when he is walking after Harry in the end of HBP? I think the Ministry has Harry's broom but no concern as Harry can simply buy another one.

I found that odd about Sirius and Hagrid also. I think Hagrid knows more than is being let on. How would people know that the Potters d, no Dark Mark was present (this is an assumption since Vold d).

Posted by Michael from Philadelphia, PA on November 28, 2006 09:14 AM

The brooms on the tower belonged to Madam Rosemada, you'll recall Harry and DD apperated in the middle of Hogsmead, found out about the dark mark and borrowed two brooms from her.
I'd be more worried about harry's cloak...
The book never mentions Harry going to get it..unless he took it with him that night out of force of habbit...

I also wonder if Harry find any of his family in Godrick's Hollow....

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on November 28, 2006 09:43 AM

As Kevin correctly said, those brooms belonged to Madam Rosmerta. Thanks Kevin. In this case Harry only left the Invisibility Cloak up there in the Tower and his FIREBOLT is still in his possession.

Even so, I still believe that someone else was up there on the Astronomy Tower, together with Dumbledore, Harry, Draco, Eaters and Snape! I am sorry to say that I have no prove and not even a clue for that, only a sentiment that tells me that DOBBY could be involved in this. It could have been him who unfroze Harry and who had the sense to take the Cloak with him. He worships Harry and would do anything for his Harry Potter Sir!

I totally agree with you that Hagrid knows more of the night Lily and James d. Weird though, that Hagrid never drops a hint. Throughout the whole series so far, it is him who almost always tells Harry things he is not supposed to tell him! Is not one of his standard phrases: I shouldn�t have told you that? Don�t get me wrong, I love Hagrid, but it is more than suspicious���

Exiting question you bring up here with the DARK MARK! IF apart from Voldemort, someone else was present at Godric�s Hollow, there could have been all the same the DARK MARK over the Potter�s house. If I understand the Fidelius Charm correctly, the spell would have been lifted when Harry�s parents d and so the DM been seen.

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on November 28, 2006 12:46 PM

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