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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 70)
The Harry Potter 5 movie reminded me that Sirius left home at the age of 16 and moved in with the Potters. I'm not sure if this is significant or not to the Invisibilty Cloak, but it might be something.
It also made me think, Dumbledore has been alive for 150 years, in that time is it not possible that he fell in love and had children?
Maybe one of them was James' mother (thus her name would have changed on marraige) or even his grandparents.
Making James and Harry Dumbledores descendants, which would show why he shows particular interest in James during schooling (as he has a good enough reason for his interest in Harry).
The lack of information about James' family may be where James' got the cloak from, but even so, that doesn't explain why he gave it to Dumbledore.
But, it might just be simple and everyone is over complicating it. JK might have just been stating this question because because she's surprised people haven't asked her that, even though it is actually insignificant. Maybe James just gave the cloak to Dumbledore to help the Order of the Pheonix.
Or maybe, its something much more complicated.
Posted by MyKo on July 12, 2007 4:57 PM
Why is the cloak so significant?
Dumbledore says in PS that he has other ways of becoming invisible and in OoTP Moody puts the disillusionment charm on Harry. There are many ways to become invisible so why is the cloak so significant?
I believe that it has another use but I don't think that it's a horcrux.
I think that it has some sort of protective charm around it so that it protects the user, (this explains why dumbledore gave it to Harry.)
I certainly believe that there is something about the cloak that JK hasn't told us...yet
Posted by Tarz from Sydney, australia on July 12, 2007 7:16 PM
sorry to be blunt, but no, it's not a horcrux. it's probably very important and whatnot, but it's not a horcrux. maybe it was supposed to be one, but isn't, but it's just not dumbledore wouldn't have given it to harry if he suspected, or at least asked for it back when he started looking for then. he wouldn't have overlooked it.. and back then they weren't concerned about horcruxes, no one but voldemort and perhaps slughorn so no, it's just not.
Posted by rachel on July 12, 2007 9:24 PM
Sorry if this is like the millionth time I've said this but...
Think about what JKR is saying...and even more importantly (to avoid wild, way-out, unsupported theories) what she is NOT saying.
JKR asks, "Why would Dumbledore have James' cloak?" She asks this question as she simultaneously tells us that the question's answer is VERY significant.
So...follow the logic...Dumbledore doesn't need a cloak to be invisible so he has James' cloak for some other reason than to make himself invisible. The next logical step would be (thinking of how the order used Moody's cloak) to assume it was being used for Order business. But, why would that be such a significant detail? We have seen that before.
If the order business was Snape using it to spy, maybe that would be significant...but JKR has said, "No, he wasn't." So logically, the answer to the question is NOT going to be, "because Dumbledore was using the cloak for Order business" because...so what? there is no revelation there.
The next thing logic might bring us to, is that the cloak is special for some reason other than its invisibility capabilities. Hence the horcrux, shield, gryffindor heirloom, etc lines of inquiry. Except that there is nothing to indicate that Dumbledore has any further interest in the cloak. He has not made any cryptic or off-hand comments about it, except that he has knowledge of it. This line of logic drops off here. Nothing to go on with, without wildly speculating.
The last logical inference (which I think is the correct one) considers that Dumbledore may have had the cloak NOT FOR HIMSELF OR THE ORDER, BUT FOR SOMEONE ELSE! It was James' cloak and if Dumbledore had the cloak because he was giving it to someone else to use, logic requires that we consider that JAMES (the owner of the cloak) is the one lending it out. Then why doesn't he lend it out himself? Why does he need Dumbledore to do it for him? Because he (James) is in hiding. And, if he is in hiding AND wants Dumbledore to lend out the cloak to someone for him, to whom might he (James) be lending the cloak?
Are you with me? The answer is clear and it satisfies JKRs implication that it hints at a big piece of the puzzle we don't yet know, that it , indeed be a revelation.
Petunia was using the cloak!(or perhaps, being asked to use the cloak) to visit the Potters. She turn out to hold key information for Harry.
As opposed to the other thoughts, JKR does give us hints at this in the text and in her comments.
- Dumbledore's communications with her, her odd "flush"
- JKRs saying that there is "more to Petunia than meets the eye" but that she is definately a "muggle" and then giggling.
Posted by leah from nyc on July 13, 2007 02:43 AM
i think that dumbledore was given the cloak to keep, but not to hide. james no longer needed it. he was in godrics hollow which was protected by a secret keeper. i think that he gave it to dumbledore to keep safe.
to top comment on page-by the way, petunia and vernon are last remaining relatives.
Posted by maccy from england on July 13, 2007 08:57 AM
Leah: I agree with most of your post, which is a very good summary for hundreds of other posts. It drives to a lot of questions.
How did Petunia get there? Would the cloak help in any way? Did Pettigrew tell her about the secret (in this case, she knew about Pettigrew but didn't tell anything to Harry)?
Like you, I do have the feeling that Petunia was there on the fateful night. But who asked for her? Dumbledore? Voldemort? Voldemort needed Lily for some reason, but Lily declined (reason for which she d). Did Voldemort ask Petunia to do what Lily refused?
We know that Voldemort marked Harry as his equal, and he did it without knowing that Harry had a special power. Marking Harry should have something to do with the scar. Was a relative of Harry required to produce the scar? Or was she useful afterwards and asked by Voldemort to make an UV?
Dumbledore admitted he sent the Howler to Petunia and explained Harry why he did it. But it doesn't mean that the message was his voice, or his voice alone. Petunia seemed to know whose voice it was, although Harry couldn't recognize it (then it wasn't Dumbledore's voice). Was it Voldemort's voice or a mix of Voldemort and Dumbledore's voices together? Was "remember my last" something Voldemort told Petunia (when doing an UV) and Dumbledore heard? Would Petunia be in life-danger if she tell Harry about it or if she doesn't take care of Harry? Why then was it so important for Voldemort that someone would take care of Harry? Because of the scar? Did Harry's body mean something to him?
Lots of questions, Petunia has the answer for all. But maybe she can't reveal anything because then she would .
Posted by herve from strasbourg on July 13, 2007 10:24 AM
Leah, i too think that Petunia was the one under the cloak the night James and Lily d. I think that Dumbledore was with her too. I believe that Dumbledore went back in time, as Harry and Hermione did in PoA, and had to watch Lily and James (or at least part of it). Remember in POA Hermione had to keep Harry form interfering with themselves. It must have been difficult for Dumbledore but he knew he couldn't change their s, but i think he did influence the events. How else did he know exactly what happened that night?
Now the only catch is that the note clearly says that now the cloak was to be RETURNED to Harry. Does this mean that Harry was the one who lent James' cloak to Dumbledore? I think it might, but I'm not sure how to make that part fit. Does anyone else find this part troubling?
Posted by Heather from NJ on July 13, 2007 4:20 PM
Your theory about the order of the phoenix gave me an idea. It isn't called the order of the Phoenix because all the members of it are reborn...its called the order of the phoenix because its OWNED by a Phoenix. Dumbledore was the secret keeper of the order's hiding place...kind of his owner...so this supports the dumbledores-horcrux-is-fawkes theory!
Posted by areluna from california on July 13, 2007 4:52 PM
herve - Good point about us not knowing who's voice was in the Howler. Harry is the one who guesses that the "terrible voice" was Albus speaking, and Albus doesn't bother to confirm or deny this guess. Jo has often allowed Harry, and in turn her aunce, assume things that may not be true. I agree that the voice probably wasn't Albus', for the same reason, surely Harry would have recognized it by then.
Posted by Monkeeshrines from orlando fl on July 13, 2007 5:37 PM
If the cloak was James Horcrux then who did James ? Likewise for Godric.
Posted by Hannah from Moraga, California on July 13, 2007 5:41 PM
Although this was an interesting stretch to read and goes out of the box, I don't believe that Dumbledore, nor James would create a Horcrux. It's such horrible dark magic many people don't even know about it. It's been stricken from so many books and is outlawed. What in either of these men's character shows they'd ever even imagine doing this?
Posted by Matthew from Peoria, Arizona on July 13, 2007 7:13 PM
what if james didn't staight away, dumbledore said your father gave me the cloak before he d. what if james did exactly that. gave dumbledore his cloak right before he d, james told him to give it to harry his first year at hogwarts.
Posted by Pamela sue from ark. on July 13, 2007 9:32 PM
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