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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 40)

I still support your idea that Dumbledore stayed in Hogwarts after Fudge wanted him arrested.Either in his "office" or in the "Room of Requirement"! Isn't that room there, when one is in need of it? In my opinion the word "dislodged takes on a whole new meaning!

Hint hint...Harry and the DA were not able to return to it because of sweet Marietta! So Professor Dumbledore would of had the Room all for himself and with Dobby's help, his meal served and at the same time informed what Dolores Umbridge was up to!

The statements of the Portraits don't worry me too much - I even find that sentence from Phineas Nigellus almost proof that Dumbledore was still in the office, when he said to Fudge: "You know, Minister, I disagree with Dumbledore on many counts....but you cannot deny he's got style..."!

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on January 31, 2007 09:49 AM

Can I ask a question that is bugging me?

James Potter comes from a wizarding family I believe, so it stands to reason that his parents were at one time or another students at Hogwarts - so why is there no readily available information for Harry on his paternal grandparents?

Posted by Orlando from England on January 31, 2007 12:26 PM

Orlando - I suspect that we have not seen that information because it is not important to the story. Jo has stated that she has in depth notes on all of the characters and their histories. She has also stated that she may, after finishing the last book, create an 8th Harry Potter book. However, this book not continue the story. It instead be a sort of encyclopedia of the Harry Potter universe based on all of the notes she has.

If she does write that book, I suspect we get plenty of information on Harry's family.

Posted by Michael Brinkley from Oceanside, Ca on January 31, 2007 4:48 PM

Mistral, Herve,
I'll endorse the invisible Dumbledore theory as well. Let's say Dumbledore did need to become invisible at that second for Fudge and Co. were waking up. He probably wouldn't want anybody to know, even Harry or Shacklebolt. So instead of announcing it, he would try to hide it with smoke and mirrors. "You cannot deny, he's got style"

There's one thing that does bother me though. When Hagrid gets sacked and McGonagall gets attacked [almost ed]where was Dumbledore. If he was at Hogwarts then, I would think he would have come to their aid.

Am I right in saying that we don't see or hear anything from Dumbledore after his dismissal until he appears at the Ministry of Magic?

Posted by mikey from New Jersey on January 31, 2007 6:29 PM

Here is a follow-up question to Orlando's and Michael B.'s postings. We seem to know much more about James then we do Lily. We know about his freinds, his character, which house he belonged to. By comparison, Lily is much more sketchy to me.

For instance she could have been sorted into Slytherin house. After all she has green eyes. Stood up for Slytherin Snape and stood against James from Grifindor.

And this information could be important because I think Lily come to be a really important character in the last book.

Posted by Mikey from New Jersey on January 31, 2007 6:50 PM

I still think Dumbledore became invisible and stayed in his office when everybody stepped out. But for what happened afterwards, we can only make assumptions. He could have cleaned his office, repaired his instruments, then got away walking. Then, the Room of Requirement could be a great idea.

What was doing Dumbledore when Harry got sacked? I'm not far from thinking he was just behind Umbridge, Hermione, and Harry, ready to help Harry if his life was really threatened. Since Harry could handle it with the help of Grawp, there was no need for Dumbledore to appear, but obviously he did it to save Umbridge.

I noticed that, when Dumbledore told Harry about the prophecy, at the end of OotP, he said that he observed him more than Harry realized. That probably means he was at times observing Harry, making himself invisible. At least, I would pick up: in PS/SS, when Harry "meets" Quirrel; in PoA, when Harry makes the Patronus; in OotP, when Harry gets inside the ministery of magic.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on February 1, 2007 03:21 AM

Or, on a very flimsy notion the reason we do not know anything of James Potter's family is because he is the son of Riddle...

I mean we know nothing of Tom Riddle/Voldemort for a large part of his life.
We know that the Potters had James 'late in life'
We know Harry looks like James, and like the young Tom Riddle.
We know James was not above being a bit nasty at times - not evil, but a bit of a bully.

Very flimsy I acknowledge, but possible all the same. Although I am not expecting this to be in the book at all:oD

Posted by Orlando from England on February 1, 2007 06:18 AM

Orlando, where did you get the idea that Harry looked like the Riddlett? I've never heard any one make that comparason.. And Sirius talks about James' family "taking him in" when he finally leaves home. I think he might have mentioned something if James' old man was a snake faced Horcrux making muggle hating ing scumbag....but of cource I could be wrong...
As to where Dumbledore went, I doubt that he stayed in his office the whole time, but as it locked itself against Umbrige, he could very easily have been there some of the time. I think he may have already begun his search (at least the pre-lims) for the Horcruxes.

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on February 1, 2007 10:00 AM

Orlando - We know that James was not the son of Riddle simply because that would make Harry the last living decendant of Slytherin and we know from the books that Riddle is the last living decendant.

As far as James and Harry's family goes, we are lucky in that people have pieced together the Black family tree from information that Jo has given as well as information from the books.

Phineas Nigellus Black had a son named Cygnus Black. Cygnus Black had a daughter named Dorea Black. Dorea Black married Charlus Potter. Charlus and Dorea Black had a male son.

It is likely that male son was James Potter. That would make Phineas Nigellus Black Harry's great great grandfather.

It is intersting to note that All of the following familes are in a direct line from Phineas Nigellus Black. That means that all of these families are related!


This means that the entire world of Harry Potter is a giant family feud.

Posted by Michael Brinkley from Oceanside, Ca on February 1, 2007 10:32 AM

Mikey - We actually know as much about Lily as we do about Hermione. Lily was in Griffindor house and was extremely popular. Jo has likened her to Ginny. We do not know much about her past because she was muggle-born. The books are stories about the wizarding families and the fueds that have been going on between them for ages. Quite simply, muggles aren't that important to the story.

Posted by Michael Brinkley from Oceanside, Ca on February 1, 2007 10:40 AM

I think the most important point is what happens to the invisibility cloak at the end of book 6. It is mentioned that Harry leaves it in the astronomy tower, but then JK never mentions him going to get it. So what happens to it that makes it important to the story?

Posted by Danielle V from Brooklyn, NY on February 1, 2007 10:48 AM

Ah good point Michael, forgot about that.

Kevin, in CoS Riddle himself says to Harry that they look similar. Riddle is described as having jet black hair but being taller than Harry (which he would be as he would be older at the time).
Riddle says to Harry about all the similarities on pge 233 of CoS (uk version) and says 'We even LOOK something alike...' (the word 'look' is actually in italics)

Posted by Orlando from England on February 1, 2007 11:30 AM

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