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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 46)

I think the fact that he "left" the cloak in his posession implys that james (and lily) was hiding out in hogwarts possibly while the fidius charm was perfomed. I'm not certain but i am certain that the cloak is not a horcrux of griffindor or james. Horcruxes are really rare and extremely dark magic plus they would still be alive. Which they aren't.:)

Posted by LenaAnna from phoenix, Az on February 10, 2007 1:45 PM

Harry is not a descendant of Godric Gryffindor, JK Rowling has said that in an interview:( Good theory though!

Posted by Anonymous on February 10, 2007 2:00 PM

I think Snape was using the Invisibility Cloak even before the attack on the Potters in Godric's Hollow.
James left it with Dumbledore before he d. Why? Dumbledore does not need it. I think Snape was spying on Voldemort even before we think he was.
While reading the end of PoA I had the impression that the scene in the Shrieking Shack was echoing many other events.
1.The surviving Marauders are once again in the Shack.
2.They each took their animal forms that night.
3.Sirius and Pettigrew were face to face again.
4.Snape followed Lupin down under the Willow as he had when Sirius played the trick on him, and James stopped him.
5.Harry and Hermione are spending those same hours again by using the Time Turner.

I don't think that this is the first time Snape used the Invisibility Cloak, I think it echoes another time he wore it. When he takes the cloak off to confront Black and Lupin he says "I found this at the base of the Whomping Willow, very useful,Potter, I thank you..."
I don't recall another time in the books where we see Snape having knowledge of the cloak. How did he know it was Harry's?
I think he was using it before the attack and that he was a spy for Dumbledore before the prophecy. Following the thought of events echoing previous happenings, since Snape followed Lupin to where he found the Trio apparently in danger, did this echo a time where he was following another dangerous individual (Voldemort) chasing down another trio (the Potters in Godric's Hollow)?

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on February 11, 2007 4:10 PM

I don't recall another time in the books where we see Snape having knowledge of the cloak. How did he know it was Harry's?

That sounds like you on to something important to me. This little "Cloak incident" slipped my mind. Strictly speaking: how did Snape know it was Harry's Cloak?

In PoA when Harry wants to sneak out to meet Ron and Hermione at Zonko's, he runs up to the third floor, taps the one-eyed witch statue to enter the secret passage-way, but before going is waylaid by Neville and soon afterwards arrives Snape. - While pretending to return to the common-room, Harry watches Snape examining the one-eyed witch! So Snape must have known that there was a hidden passage!

He "surprises" Harry sometime later that afternoon, after Draco saw his head looking out of the Invisibility Cloak.

Assuming that Snape had knowledge of James's Cloak, he would have guessed why Draco had seen a floating Harry in Hogsmeade! This the factor why he told Harry in the Shrieking Shack, how "useful the Cloak was"!

I wonder if Dumbledore lent the Cloak Snape, to go and spy on Voldemort and the Eather's BEFORE the fateful night in Godric's Hollow? We have Jo's word that Snape was not under the Invisibility Cloak in GH!

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on February 12, 2007 06:28 AM

There's something more about the invisibility cloak: at the beginning of HBP, Dumbledore asks Harry to always keep the cloak with him. I think the cloak has other magical powers: maybe, it provides protection against the Dark Arts, or it can be tracked from Hogwarts. Imagine that Snape could see Harry and Dumbledore returning from the cave: he could then synchronize his action with Dumbledore.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on February 12, 2007 07:20 AM

I dont think so Herve-- I think it was because Harry had to become invisible alot more often
But maybe you are right- We know that someone could easily go through Harry's trunk and take it (Ginny stole that diary back in CoS) and maybe Dumbledore.. I dont know.. im comin up with this off the top of my head.. wanted harry to protect it in case a Eater tried to like steal it (cough cough MALFOY!)

Posted by Ashley from Missouri on February 12, 2007 4:02 PM

I don't think Snape would have spied directly on Voldemort unless he is better at Occlumency than Voldemort is at Legilimency. He would have used the cloak to travel without being seen between Dumbledore and his spying missions.
Unless the cloak provides some kind of shielding from Legilimency to add to Snape's Occlumency.

Posted by Patty from Quincy Massachusetts on February 12, 2007 4:31 PM

Here's something to think about regarding your statement:
"I think Snape was using the Invisibility Cloak even before the attack on the Potters in Godric's Hollow."

This assumes that Snape was already on Dumbledore's team before that fatefull Holloween night.
In OotP, Umbridge questions the teachers as part of her inspections. She asks Prof. Trelawny how long she has been teaching. The response is "almost 16 years". She asks the same question to Snape. His response is 14 years. Harry is 15 at the time.
I think Dumbledore interviews Trelawney and Snape at the beginning of Harry's birth year. He hires Trelawney immediately [mostly to protect her from what Snape overheard] Yet Dumbledore doesn't hire Snape till almost a year after Harry's parents were ed.
Why didn't Dumbledore hire Snape for the fall semester just after Harry was born? Furthermore, what was Snape doing in that crucial year?

Posted by Mikey from New Jersey on February 12, 2007 6:05 PM

Mikey, I think that Snape working at Hogwarts for only 14 yrs and Trelawny 16 yrs fits with our timeline. he was working for voldemort before. he only turns against Voldemort after Lily and James are ed. this makes sense as harry was 15 months old that Halloween night. Trelawny was hired immediately, like you said--not because of her talents, but to protect her from Voldemort.

As for the cloak, Patty, you bring up a good point. It appears that Snape recognizes Harry's cloak immediately---how often had he used it himself?

Posted by Heather from NJ on February 12, 2007 7:24 PM

I don't think Snape had ever used Harry's cloak before. When they were in the shrieking shack, he knew that it was Harry's cloak because Lupin told him so. How, you my ask? Lupin is telling Harry, Hermione and Ron about being a werewolf and about his friends learning to turn into animals. He had previously heard a loud creak behind him, and the "bedroom door had opened of its own accord." This was Snape entering under the Invisibility Cloak. Then, with Snape in the room, still under the Cloak, Lupin says "They sneaked out of the castle every month under James's Invisibility Cloak." Snape is no dummy; he knows that Harry's head had appeared out of thin air in Hogsmeade, he (Snape) is presently in possession of an Invisibility Cloak, and Lupin has now stated that James had owned an Invisibility Cloak. 1+1+1=3.

Besides, we know for a fact that Snape wasn't under the Invisibility Cloak at Godric's Hollow the night Harry's parents were ed. Jo has stated that explicitly.

Posted by Amy Brinkley from Oceanside CA on February 12, 2007 9:26 PM

i dont think that the cloak is a horcrux but if it was then i think it would be Dumbledores because it says in the books Dumbledore defeated the dark wizard Grindlewald and there is no information on Grindlewald in azkaban but i dont think Dumbledore would make a horcrux because he wouldnt use dark magic like that.

Posted by aaron from australia on February 13, 2007 12:48 AM

Mikey, Snape could have been undercover for as long as it was profitable to Dumbledore. After Voldemort's attack on the Potters most of the Eaters scattered. You're right, there is a year of Snape's activities that need to be accounted for. I think he was probably searching for signs of Voldemort on Dumbledore's orders. The cloak would have been immensely useful for finding out info without having to explain his presence.

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on February 13, 2007 05:36 AM

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