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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 38)

Sorry to burst your bubble on this one Mistral, but the phenomenon of hands "appearing" on the watch on JKR's desktop is simply a side-effect of how the Flash program builds the page. It has a background of the whole desktop including the blank watch, and then it applies on overlay of the hands so that the watch displays the proper time depending on your computer's time. There's no septology clue involved here.

Kewl idea, though!

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on January 26, 2007 11:42 AM

Just to point one thing people might be overlooking. All the Time Turners at the Ministry were destroyed. There could be some in private hands. Not every one would give up so useful an object. I'm not sure I would. Many times every day I'd like to just roll time back a few seconds to spare my dignity. Not for some great evil purpose. Like, leaving myself a note to remind myself of a birthday or know....just in self-defence..

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 26, 2007 12:20 PM

Gosh....and I so thought I had that "vanishing problem" solved;-)

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on January 26, 2007 12:31 PM

While waking up last night dreaming Voldemort was after me...( is this called Harry Potter addict..I wonder;-)

How did Dumbledore know what had happened in Godric�s hollow on October 31st 1981, if he hadn�t been there? The answer could be the �silvery instruments� in his office, acting like �on red alert� - or there was a witness on the crime of the , who informed him immediately! I have a vague idea who that might be.. (but haven�t enough proof for that theory at the moment)

On Dumbledore�s order, Hagrid was sent to the village of Godric�s Hollow, and had already taken little Harry out of the ruined house - before Sirius turned up! In PoA �The Maurauder�s Map�, Hagrid tells Madam Rosmerta:

�It was me what rescued Harry from Lily and James�s house after they was ed! Jus� got him outta the ruins�an Sirius Black turns up, on that flyin� motorbike he used ter ride.�

I have come to the conclusion that the Invisibility Cloak was given to Dumbledore by James Potter, in case of something unforeseen. Dumbledore had surely informed Harry�s parents that there was a traitor in their mists and James wanted to make sure that Dumbledore could send or come himself if help was needed! Like many on this Site, I assume that the Cloak has an enchantment, which works as a �magic key� to enter the place where Lily and James lived.

Reflecting about the Invisibility Cloak and Harry's visit in the near future to Godric's Hollow - I thought - stop- how he find his parent's destroyed house? Was not the house under the Fidelius Charm and Peter Pettigrew the Potter's Secret Keeper, after changing places with Sirius Black?

With Dumbledore gone, it be Hagrid who informs Harry of the crucial factor how to enter his parent�s house? There be no chance to �cross-question� Wormtail, loyal servant to Voldemort.

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on January 26, 2007 2:48 PM

Backing up what i said before about harry going back using a time tuner and himself giving dumbledore the cloak for some reason on the missing day, its only guessing but maybe the note dd gave to harry when he gave him the cloak for christmas meatnt literally "it is time it was RETURNED TO YOU"

Posted by glorfindel from aberdeen uk on January 26, 2007 5:51 PM

Glorfindel, I've been thinking about that note a lot since your first post. The part that says "Your father left this in my possesion before he d" stumps me though.
If it was Harry under the cloak, and he witnessed the whole ugly scene, how did James return the cloak before he d? I love this theory...just can't figure this part out!

Posted by tracy on January 27, 2007 12:26 PM

Well if harrys dad had given 'A' cloak to dumbledore and then harry travelled back then surerly there would be two of the same cloak existing at the same time. I dont know time travel is remarkably complex!

Posted by glorfindel from aberdeen uk on January 27, 2007 4:44 PM

I'm just confusing myself now, but to me it doesn't make it sound as though it answers the question "Why did Dumbledore have James' invisibilty cloak...?) I was trying to make it (the theory) fit that particular question. I think Jo said or alluded to the theory that someone was under the cloak (not sure) and obviously, that fits, but it still doesn't answer the question why Dumbledore had it. Somebody help me!

Posted by tracy on January 27, 2007 6:19 PM

I was just wondering (on the thought of Godric's Hollow) why were Lily and James living in a muggle neighborhood? I know that Sirius' house was also in a muggle neighborhood, but not all wizards lived outside the wizarding community. Because remember, Wormtail took 13 muggle lives with him when he faked his own ...
Also, wouldn't Voldemort have planned on making a Horcrux on James, knowing to his point of view that James was an important mission in his path of fulfilling the prophecy? If so, would Harry find a Horcrux in the rubble of Godric's Hollow?
And couldn't the cloak have been given to Dumbledore when Harry was born (or even within the first year of his birth) so that Dumbledore could use it to cover Harry if Dumbledore had gotten to Godric's Hollow in time? Although this last theory is real slim seeing as Dumbledore didn't even give the cloak to Hagrid to use on Harry when Hagrid appeared to cart Harry off to his Aunt & Uncle.
And I'd like to say that Dumbledore would never have assumed the cloak was a Horcrux, because until Harry recovered Slughorn's (in-tact)memory, Dumbledore did not realize how many Horcruxes Voldemort had made. He did get the memories to prove there were at least 3 (ring, cup, locket) and he knew of the diary.. But was not made aware there were actally 7 until Slughorn's memory. And if he had thought it would be the cloak (which would be insane, cuz it was in DUMBLEDORE'S possession all these years, so how would Voldemort GET it to make it a Horcrux?) I am sure Dumbledore would have destroyed the Horcrux in it post haste..

Posted by Terri from Ohio on January 28, 2007 08:50 AM

Sorry, I forgot one last thing.. If James had put a Horcrux in the cloak, then he would not be , right? And yet, we SAW his soul come out of Voldemort's wand in the cemetary. And if he had a Horcrux, when Voldemort 'ed' him, he wouldn't have d so much as become 'mere shadow and vapor'. I may have voiced all this wrong.. But I don't believe there is a Horcrux for James. And I don't believe Dumbledore would make one either, as he is always telling TOM that there are worse things than - which to Dumbledore would just be the next leg of a great adventure.

Posted by Terri from Ohio on January 28, 2007 09:02 AM

One more time (and I hate to keep harping on the same thing but,) if you think about it, it is clear. Dumbledore had the cloak because he was acting as a go-between, between the Potters and Petunia. Yes, I know, she hates magic and she hated her sister etc. etc. But I think we all have to remember, that though JKR is certainly capable of complicated escapades (time-turners, secret passageway cloaks and so-on) those complicated explanations don't lend anything to the plot or themes of Harry's story. The cloak being used by Petunia to help the Potters in some way does both. For the plot, it would make Petunia a source of yet untapped information that Harry needs in his quest. For the theme, remember JKR is all about shades of good and bad and the difference between mean and evil or nice and good. Love being a complex and necessary life ingrent is also a strong theme, and the effect Petunia's past involvement in her sister's life certainly comlicate Harry's feelings about her. JKR has said that Petunia has never and never perform magic, but that there is more to her than meets the eye. I'm sure that just as Snape becomes more complex as the plot progresses, so to Petunia.

Posted by leah from nyc on January 28, 2007 8:51 PM

We know that the invisibility cloak is probably one of the magical items of Hogwarts. We know of the Hufflepuff Cup, the Slytherin Locket, The Gryffindor Sword, The Sorting Hat, and I am sure I missed something. In HBP (pg 505) Dumbledore says, "I cannot answer for whether he ever mananged to find anything of Ravenclaw's. I am confident, however that the only known relic of Gryffindor remains safe." He then points his blackened fingers to the wall behind, where a ruby-encrusted sword reposed within a glass case.
Have you noticed that no one has every tried to use the invisibility cloak without Harry? Is it possible that the cloak is a Ravenclaw item? If it were a Ravenclaw item, then why would James have it, but if it is one of the unknown items of Gryffindor that would fit nicely.

Posted by Intuit4fun from Tarpon Springs, FL on January 28, 2007 11:53 PM

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