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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 55)

i think its impossible that the cloak would be a horcrux because then james would still be alive. when you place a horcrux (correct me if im wrong) the only way to be ed is by removing the horcrux first, so if james made a horcrux on the cloak how could voldemort have ed him. unless james is also floatting around the world like vodemort was before he met proffesor quirrell. also james would have to someone first.

Posted by Mac from new jersey on March 25, 2007 08:54 AM

After reading HBP when Slughorn transfigures himself into a chair, I wondered if Dumbledore (who used to teach transfiguration) could do the same. In PS/SS Harry finds the room containing the Mirror of Erised by relocating a tall suit of armor that stood outside the door the first night he found the mirror. Dumbledore? He had given Harry the cloak that very day, he knew the first thing that Harry would want to do would be to try it out. That suit of armor was there again the next night too, but we are told that the suits of armor move around. I don't know if this is true and it seems very silly, but at the same time, it would be a strong metaphor for Dumbledore just like the cuishy, comfortable, overstuffed armchair was for Horace Slughorn!

Posted by Lisa from North Carolina on March 26, 2007 10:44 PM

You know, suits of armor are mentioned quite a bit sprinkled throughout the books...I would say there is a fairly good chance that that is more significant then it seems. Hadn't thought about that before.

Posted by Amy from P. Kentucky on March 27, 2007 05:09 AM

Good thinking, Lisa. You sort of don't notice the suits of armour because they're exactly the sort of thing you expect to be cluttering up a castle's corridors. Maybe that is how Dumbledore kept a direct eye on Harry, although I still think the portraits might have been doing a lot of that for him. Or maybe Dumbledore could look through the portraits somehow. Endless possibilities here, but I do like the suits of armour!

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 28, 2007 05:44 AM

Ashley from Missouri on March 19, 2007 5:05 PM,

I like the way you have put this, it had never occurred to me that a person might be transfigured into another person, but it strengthens my suspicion that Regulus is alive.

Tonks, whom is related to the Black�s is a Metamorphmagus, thus able to change her aperance at , we see her changing noses at the table of 12 Grimaud place as well as changing her hair color, and she turns into an old lady to take Harry and the others to the train station so they cant take the Hogwarts express, so...

If Tonks is related to the Blacks via her mother (her father was a muggle) maybe Regulus is also a Metamorphmagus and we have already seen him, as Mundungus Fletcher.

I don�t think that even Dumbledore new that Mundungus was Regulus, or if he new, then Regulus had never confided in Dumbledore about the locket/horcrux.

Let us remember that Dumbledore�s Horcrux theory has never been revealed to anyone, except to Harry, whom in turn tells Ron and Hermione, but they have kept it a secret so far, not even Prof. McGonagal knows about it.

Maybe Regulus thought that the locket was the only Horcrux and was trying to find a way to destroy it without telling anybody, because it would blow his cover as mundungus.

On the subject of the cloak being a horcrux, I sincerely doubt it, but I do think it is a relic of Griffindor and I do agree that Harry must be his last descendant. Wouldn�t it fit the story, Slitherin�s last descendant battling Griffindor�s?

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on March 30, 2007 2:24 PM

A lot of people presented the idea that Dumbledore may have seen the s of Lily and James with or without Petunia. I do not think Dumbledore could have made the cold, calculated decision to let them to strengthen Harry or any of the other possibilities that people brought up. Not particularly because I think that "good people like Dumbledore don't do that" but because we saw him unable to an innocent to Voldemort. When Voldemort possessed Harry (or something, don't have the book on me) and told Dumbledore something along the lines of "If means nothing, this boy" and even Harry thought that was nothing compared to this because he'd see Sirius again, Dumbledore refused to him, despite the fact that it would have weakened Voldemort. If Dumbledore could not let Harry , I doubt he would let his parents .

Posted by Katie from NY on March 31, 2007 2:55 PM

The note from Dumbledore said, "Your Father left this in my possession before he d. It is time it was RETURNED it to you. Use it Well." This sort of implies that it was Harry's cloak to begin with. It doesn't say it was James' cloak. Perhaps James and Lily knew that they were going to be ed that night. Maybe James gave Dumbledore the cloak because he asked Dumbledore to give it to Harry because he would need it in the future. James and Lily knew the prophecy, otherwise there would be no secret keeper to their whereabouts. Maybe the cloak is Godric Gryffindor's and James gave it to Dumbledore to protect so Voldemort couldn't make a horcrux out of it.

Posted by Brandon from Lafayette, IN on March 31, 2007 9:56 PM

Brandon from Lafayette--
I don't think I have seen this before, so as far as I know you are the first one to catch it.
But perhaps we can go a different way with "James and Lily knew they were going to be ed." What if James had written his already, and left the cloak to his son, and with Dumbledore for safekeeping? This could be the reason that the note says RETURNED instead of "passed onto" or something along those lines.
Nice catch.
Katie from NY--
I think there is a difference between Harry and his parents there. For one, Harry was an underage wizard, and innocent child. His parents were members of the Order of the Phoenix and knew what they were getting into. His parents knew they had to to further the battle against the Dark Arts. Dumbledore knew Voldemort was just trying to get Harry out of the way, and knew that pain for a while was not the same as , which would mean that Voldemort would have no rivals to bring him down; he would be unstoppable again.
Besides, Dumbledore had heard the prophecy:
"Either must at the hands of the other"
Dumbledore wouldn't have ed Harry knowing that bit of information: Either Harry s Voldemort, or Voldemort s Harry, but it isn't Dumbledore's job to Harry, even if it means stopping Voldemort.

Posted by Ashley from Missouri on April 1, 2007 10:09 AM

well spotted brandon,the fact that the cloaks note said RETURNED TO YOU is significant,as you say it might have been harrys in the first place, or it may have been returned to james himself.

Posted by neil from west midlands uk on April 1, 2007 1:58 PM

I love the way you think! It had never occured to me that Dumbledore could be a suit of armour, but of course it fits!
"I don't need a cloak to become invisible."
That's what Dumbledore could be talking about! He could be transfiguring himself into suits of armour, therefore becoming invisible and watching Harry! Excellent!
Your comments are always very thought-provoking. I enjoy them.
But I don't think that Regulus could be Mundungus. This is why:
Mundungus raided No. 12 Grimmauld Place when Padfoot d. Most likely he took the locket and sold it to Aberforth. That seems to be pretty solid fact, even though it isn't spelled out word-for-word.
If Mundungus was Regulus, he would know that the locket is a Horcrux, so why would he sell it? Mundungus just wants to make money off stolen goods, but he wouldn't have sold a Horcrux if he was Regulus in disguise.

Posted by Ashley from Missouri on April 1, 2007 6:46 PM

Katie: I would like to agree with you, but in the ministery, it seems obvious to me that Dumbledore is already there, invisible, when Sirius is fighting, and he doesn't try to prevent it. Unfortunately, when you're responsible of an army during a war, you can't care about each solr, or you lose everyone.

And remember that Lily herself choose to .

Posted by herve from strasbourg on April 2, 2007 12:06 AM

I do believe you are implying that James or Dumbledore is a er. VERY unlikely. And anyway, they are both STONE DEAD. If it was a horcrux one of them would be alive. And with a on their soul.

Posted by Annemarie from Scotland on April 2, 2007 08:40 AM

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