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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 48)

I agree with Michael, The Cloak obviously has some importance, because they gave it to Dumbledore to keep safe. And they gave it to Dumbledore when they thought or knew they were going to be attacked, because they definetly did not want Voldermort to have it.

Has she ever mentioned in the books what the relic of Gryffindor is? Maybe the cloak has something to do with it...

Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Nebraska on February 16, 2007 12:43 PM

TIHS IS A GREAT IDEA! I wouldn't be surprised at all if I found out that Dumbledore was realted to Godric Gryffindor. But I honestly doubt it's a horcrux. Maybe we should think about what J.K. said more carefully... I don't think the cloak is actually extra-special, just the fact that James gave it to Dumbledore...
Maybe it does help you enter Godric's hollow... I'm not sure but I still wonder who was the other person there when James and Lily d. I couldn't have been Snape because on her website, J.K. says he wasn't there. Maybe it was Dumbledore? If so, why didn't he show his memory of it to Harry in the penseive? Maybe he finds it might be too painful for him...
One other question not many people ask is: Why is Godric's Hollow called Godric's hollow? Clearly it must have something to do Godric Gryffindor, but why? Perhaps this was where Godric lived or was born... We know it was probably Dumbledore who recommended Godric's hollow to the Potters which means he must have had access to it. This was probably because he is related to Godric!

Posted by Margie from Canberra, A.ustralian Capital Territory, Australia on February 16, 2007 4:38 PM

Okay, first of all, for the people who are wondering how Hagrid got into the Potters� house to get Harry, despite the fact that the Fidelius Charm was put on the house:

Keep in mind that when a person s, the magic he/she has performed no longer has any effect. For example, when Dumbledore �d� on the astronomy tower, Harry became free from the freezing charm that Dumbledore had put on him. Another example is when Voldemort �d�, the dark marks burnt on the Eaters� skin disappeared.

When Sirius s, Dumbledore is worried that Bellatrix Lestrange might find Grimmauld Place. How could this be possible when Dumbledore is still the secret keeper for Grimmauld Place. The only possibility is that Sirius was the one who performed the Fidelius Charm on Dumbledore to make him the secret keeper of Grimmauld Place, but when Sirius d, the charm was no longer effective.

Something similar would have applied for the Potters� house. Either James or Lily Potter would have performed the Fidelius Charm on Wormtail to make him the secret keeper. Then Wormtail told Voldemort the location of the Potters and so when Voldemort ed James and Lily, the Fidelius Charm was no longer effective, and anyone could go inside the house.

Now about the �Crucial answer� to why Dumbledore had James� Cloak question. Think about what�s crucial to the plot (specially at the ending of HBP), which links to the Potters� :

1.Which side is Snape on?
2.Petunia Dursley reacts to the mention of �Voldemort� like a non-muggle would react
3.What was Aberforth up to for the Order?

If Snape was on Voldemort�s side, he definitely would not have needed the invisibility cloak, but if he was on Dumbledore�s side, then he might have used it to spy on the Eaters and Voldemort himself.

Albus Dumbledore might have borrowed the invisibility cloak to protect his brother Aberforth because Aberforth was the one who caught Snape while he was spying on Dumbledore. This would have caused the Eaters to go after Aberforth. He probably went into hiding under the invisibility cloak for a very long period of time (like Barty Crouch Jr.), which is probably why nobody recognizes him now (remember Moody never mentions that Aberforth was the barkeeper at the Hog�s Head).

Some people have also suggested that Petunia Dursley might have used the invisibility cloak to secretly meet her sister, which could also be possible. I think we�re going to find out something we didn�t know about Petunia Dursley, in �ly Hallows.� Harry might discover the letter Dumbledore left with the Dursleys, and find out something he never knew about his Aunt.

Posted by Javed from Vancouver, Canada on February 16, 2007 5:43 PM

It is not completely correct that a wizard's magic always ends when he s. We know for sure that many times it does not, for example, all of the spells that the founders put on Hogwarts that still are working today, and the security spells that Sirius' father put on 12 Grimauld Place.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on February 16, 2007 7:52 PM

Correction: Most reversible spells/charms are not effective when the wizard/witch who performed them s. Obviously the AV curse is not reversible. Let�s just suppose that the spells that the founders put on Hogwarts and the security spells that Sirius' father put on 12 Grimmauld Place were irreversible/permanent. But we know that the Fidelius Charm is reversible because the Potters changed their secret keeper from Sirius to Wormtail (Pettigrew). So it definitely has to be reversible right? Because they were able remove the Fidelius Charm put on Sirius and perform it on Wormtail. Unless there is another way of changing secret keepers!?

Posted by Javed from Vancouver, Canada on February 17, 2007 11:51 AM

The Potters did not change their secret keeper from Sirius to Pettigrew. They changed their mind as to who they were going to make their secret keeper. Sirius was never the secret keeper.

Posted by Michael Brinkley from Oceanside, Ca on February 17, 2007 9:49 PM

Once a again a wonderful observation about the cloak always finding Harry. I believe Harry once again lost his cloak at the end of H.B.P. What if at the beginning of D.H. we find that as Harry goes to bed, he sees the invisibility cloak waiting for him on his pillow with the note "Just in case". Now that would be an auspicious sign.

Dumbledore hiding under the cloak? It's already been mentioned that he wouldn't need the cloak. But also I can't accept the notion that Dumbledore would be there to witness the of Harry's parents and not do something. [Unless Dumbledore's presence was a result of time travel].

Posted by mikey from New Jersey on February 17, 2007 10:01 PM


I have been thinking that some kind of time travel or something had to have been used on the night that the Potters were ed, because the Bond of Blood, according to Lexicon, that protected Harry from the AK Curse requires 3 things, 1) for a blood relative to sacrifice their life for you, 2) for someone to cast a charm to activate the protection and 3) for another blood relative to take you as their own, and it is very speficic that the taking as their own has to happen before the protection begins,it seals the bond of blood. But it does not say these things have to be in order........

So I am thinking it is not possible that Lily's sacrifice alone would have rebounded Voldermorts AK Curse. Without the charm having been cast, and Petunia having already taken Harry in, the AK would have ed Harry.

I really like that Petunia could have taken Harry in as her own beforehand, by using the invisibility cloak to get out of Privet Drive for instance, and meeting Dumbledore somewhere. Because there were prior letters before the one that was left for "The Dursleys", in the basket with Harry. We know this from JKR comments, she was asked why the Howler from Dumledore said "Petunia remember my last" instead of ""Petunia, remember my letter, and said that obiviously there were letters before........
Also she claimed not to have spoken to Lily for years, or to have heard from her, but she did know that Lily had a son named Harry. And there is the timeline problem, Hagrid removed Harry from the house rather quickly, on Halloween, we are led to believe, but he did not deliver him to the Dursley home until Midnight on Nov 1st. So I think definately some time travel, or something was going on.

Posted by Karen from Texas on February 17, 2007 11:14 PM

I think you're right. In the confusion on the tower and afterwards, what happened to Harry's cloak?
I hope it didn't fall into Draco's hands.
Now that Dumbledore is gone, Harry have to be more responsible in lots of ways, including keeping track of his belongings.

Posted by Patty from Quincy, Massachusetts on February 18, 2007 05:24 AM

Personally I do not beleive the Invisiblity Cloak to be a Horcrux at all. But upon reading the section about James being a Horcrux, I thought:

Surly James would not have ed somebody, and then use a dark magic spell to encase his soul. Then again, he did sneakily learn how to become animagus.

Even if this were true, and James made a Horcrux and placed in the Invisibility Cloak, we do not know how to revive it. But Peter Pettigrew might. He did assist Voldemort to full life and he also owes Harry a life .

But even if this were all true, how is Harry supposed to figure that out anyway?

Posted by Simon from Edinburgh on February 18, 2007 08:05 AM

Has anyone given any thought to Dumbledore and Harry being related?

Posted by Jeanne from Miramar, FL on February 18, 2007 12:35 PM

JKR knocked down the theory of Harry and Dumbledore being related I believe. She said that Harry had no other living relatives besides the Dursleys.

Posted by karen from Texas on February 18, 2007 3:24 PM

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