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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 59)
what seems interesting about the question to me is that parents (good loving parents anyway, clearly not voldy's) pull out all the stops to protect their children. it is possible that there's something super important about the cloak, but then why would dumbledore have given it back to an eleven year old kid who could use it in all sorts of mischevious ways. as noble as our heroes are, they're still kids, and you don't give kids really crucially valuable things to play with while they're young. i'm thinking that if there was any remote way that james and lily thought that they could protect harry using the cloak, they'd keep it at their disposal. what i'm thinking is that it's a clue to the mindset of harry's parents. maybe they didn't have it at their disposal because they realized that their was an inevitability in the prophecy. they could have actually anticipated that their s would give harry the "power voldemort knows not," since they were lovers and not haters and knew about that kind of magic. i'm thinking they left it with dumbledore because they knew they were going down and figured it would be more useful for order members or harry in the future.
so if harry goes to godric's hollow and learns this, it changes his parents in his mind from victims to self-sacrificing heroes. it intensifies their actions for him from quick protective sacrifice to a thought-out walk into their personal demise in the interests of their son and the wizarding world as a whole. "it was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the and walking into the arena with your head held high. some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but dumbledore knew - and so do i, thought harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents - that there was all the difference in the world." it's something that would further cement this in his mind, and since love is what he's got to go off of to defeat voldemort, all of the love that has come into his life or affected it in one way or another have some impact on the final battle.
Posted by lola from los angeles on May 5, 2007 7:17 PM
Firstly I was going to say that it my be a relic of Gryffindor's that was removed from the Potter's possession as there was the potential they would and there would be something to be used as a horcrux. Of course for this to have happened, Dumbledore must've had an inkling about what Voldemort was doing.
Someone else mentioned that JKR hinted harry was not related to Gryffindor. I also read that James inherited the cloak from his father, and that while Harry's grandparents aren't particularly important to the story, it's probably useful information to know. The questions we then need to ask are; where did Harry's grandpa get the cloak? Was it also inherited by his father? Did he find it somewhere? Next, why did Dumbledore have it? What exactly did he mean saying James left it to him? Was it just a casual loan, or was it a 'take it incase I loan'? One must also ask when exactly did Dumbledore get the cloak? If it was given shortly before their s, maybe James had some indication their was a good chance things would go wrong...
Posted by mmc from sa on May 8, 2007 12:14 AM
mmc from sa,
The cloak had been the only physical link to Harry's parents (before he knew of the Marauders Map's existence or it's makers) and has been one of the most useful things he has ever had.
Together the cloak and the map, which have a direct link to his father, have saved him and have allowed him to gain access to information and places that he otherwise would not have had, and this information has proved very valuable, and at times indispensable to solve the puzzles that each of the books has represented.
Posted by Emilio from Mecico City, Mexico on May 8, 2007 3:27 PM
I would like to add to your list the mirrors which Sirius and James used to communicate, as linking Harry and his father.
Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on May 9, 2007 06:33 AM
In regards to mirrors, does anyone think the talking ones, like at the Weasley's, are important?
Posted by mmc from sa on May 9, 2007 5:01 PM
Patty from Quincy,
You are right about the mirror, I hadn't thought about that, and it still has had no real use for Harry so far, so it let's hope that Harry did a "Reparo" after he broke it, because it might come in handy later on.
Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on May 10, 2007 10:38 AM
In HBP Dumbledore specifically tells Harry to keep the cloak with him at all times. This is for one (or both) of these two reasons... One... For immediate use at any time, or Two... it is already being "used". What I mean is that the cloak is kind of tracking device, so that Dumbledore knows where Harry is at all times. Thats how Tonks found him on the train after Malfoy got to him. Also how Dumbledore knew he was sitting in front of the Mirror of Erised. The cloak probably has a tracker in it. Maybe only a few people know that they can track Harry this way.
Posted by Tetleys from Michigan on May 10, 2007 12:39 PM
Tetleys: I agree with you on the ides of a tracker, perhaps even more: a kind of video transmitter, so that James could get information directly from Dumbledore. And maybe, it could work like a portkey, so that Dumbledore could get to the Potter's place in spite of the Fidelius Charm. We already discussed that earlier on this thread.
Posted by herve from strasbourg on May 11, 2007 12:13 AM
herve & Tetleys; The tracking ability of the cloak is a great idea. What if the cloak had been "magiced" to be able to be seen by other "original" Order of the Pheonix members? Or when worn by other OOTP members. Moody, Dumbledore, and probably others can see it. And other OOTP cloaks. Snape can't see him (at least not Harry's) since he came in near Voldemort's fall. I don't think we have any scenes where Harry sneaks by any other original OOTP members at Hogwarts. Also, at the Ministry, they were able to find Aurther Weasley after he had been bitten by Nagani, even though he was wearing a cloak. Other OOTP members could see when there was someone on duty, but ministry officials could not. That is why Aurther would have bled to if other OOTP members hadn't found him. Regular workers at the ministry wouldn't have found him.
Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico, USA on May 11, 2007 12:16 PM
Dave: It's also possible ANYONE who knows how, could see through an invisibility cloak. The problem is, you'd have to know specifically you're looking for someone wearing a cloak and use that specific magic. However, would it occur to you to do that if you walking down what appears to be an empty hallway in the Ministry? A run-of-the-mill ministry employee wouldn't, but on the other hand, members of the Order knew exactly where Arthur would be and that he would be wearing a cloak.
Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on May 11, 2007 12:59 PM
When Mr. Weasley was found, Dumbledore had told the paintings exactly where to go, because Harry had told him. I agree with Dave Haber: like someone is just going to randomly look around for people in invisibility cloaks.
Besides, Mr. Weasley had fallen asleep on the job and the cloak had slipped off his body. He was then visible to anyone, regardless of any enchantments.
Posted by Ashley from Missouri on May 11, 2007 2:15 PM
If anyone that was looking for invisibility cloaks could see one if they knew what to look for, wouldn't all wizards want this training? What good would an invisibility cloak be if it were only selectively invisible to the general wizard public? Snape isn't able to see Harry when he has the cloak on, and in several passages he knows "Potter is nearby". For example, in GOF when Harry drops the golden egg and Snape and Moody come to investigate, Snape knows for sure he is right there, and even looks directly at Harry. He would definitely know what to look for, and he can't see Harry at all right in front of him. I still think there were special enchantments placed on this cloak, and Dumbledore knows what they are.
Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico on May 11, 2007 7:16 PM
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