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mneomosyne [userpic]
A theory on the Harry Potter books.
by mneomosyne (mneomosyne)
at January 14th, 2007 (10:04 am)

Many thanks to my beloved beta singersdd, the Sirius sketch is for her ♥ Thank you!

Why did Albus have James' Invisibility cloak? (Take 2)

In my previous attempt to solve the riddle I thought perhaps Snape might be hiding under the cloak. On J.K.'s website she tells us this isn't the case (I love that she helps feed the theories). I'll go over the facts again and try to find why else Albus had the cloak. If you haven't read part 1, you can find it here. It isn't necessary to understand the following, but it already explains some of the dead ends.

To get a clear account of what happened in the night of 31 October 1981, the night Lily and James died, you can follow this link to the Lexicon.

The main questions, as it appears to me, still are:

Why would James hide/lend the cloak?
Where was Albus Dumbledore that night?
Where was Snape that night?
Where was Lupin that night?
Why wasn't there more protection?

1 The Prophecy:

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches …

Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies … "

This much is told by Snape to Voldemort. Voldemort knows two families who defied him three times: the Longbottoms and the Potters. (And I wish I knew what they had done to get so close to Voldemort and survive. Does this have to do with the Deathly Hallows?) Albus, knowing the full prophecy, probably decided to give protection to both families, and maybe that solves partly the riddle as to where Albus was that night. Maybe he expected Voldemort to go after the pureblood child. And he could have been waiting for him there. Was there a Fidelius cast on the Longbottoms' house?

2 The Spies:
Death Eater Snape goes for a job interview at the Boar's Head. Voldemort probably sent him there in order to get access to Hogwarts and let him spy on Albus. There is a chance that Voldemort's initial goal was to let Snape search after Gryffinor's sword. And after Albus refused the job of the D.A.D.A. teacher to Voldemort it was upon Snape to work his charm. But Snape becomes the double spy. It's not clear from the books when Snape joined the order but he must have been very careful not to give himself away as spy in front of a possible other spy. Peter had been spying on the Order for a while though it isn't clear when he started. Albus knew there was a spy in their midst and it made the Marauders not trust each other, everybody was a possible risk. Now Peter and Snape must have been dancing around each other very carefully not to give themselves away. My guess is that Voldemort didn't trust Snape, he informed Peter to keep an eye on Snape and not to give his true loyalties away. Possibly Snape never joined the order meetings and just worked close with Albus to maintain his cover. Peter might never have known Snape doublecrossed, not until the hearing where Snape is cleared in front of the ministry and that information is still not enough to prove Snape left Voldemort. (However I don't think Snape is still on Voldemort's side.)

3 The Mystery:
I'm missing something about the cloak, but as usual, it's invisible until afterwards when I'll be wondering why I didn't notice it. What could point me in the right direction so I fan blindly feel my way to the answer? Why didn't Lily fight Voldemort? Why didn't she pull her wand and tried to hex him a thousand times? Why didn't she took Harry in her arms and apparated to the burrow? Why didn't she sent her Patronus? (Though that would have been hard since it requires focus on a happy thought.) She instead suggests to take her life but to leave Harry alone. Perhaps she's hoping to delay Voldemort? She must have known he'll try to kill Harry after killing her. Did she try to buy time? Was she hoping for someone to come to the rescue? Who was under the invisibility cloak? Or, who wasn't there? Or who watched but didn't dare to give himself or herself away? Who notified Albus who in turn sent Hagrid to be the first one to arrive at the ruins?

4 Gryffindor's Sword:
Perhaps this is a strange jump from all the riddles above, I'll be entering the swamp of strange theories and hopefully no hinkypunk will lead the way. If Albus wasn't at Godric's Hollow he may have been at the Longbottoms' house. Sirius was after Peter to check if he was still all right. But where was Snape? Was he still at Hogwarts? Was he still trying to get what Voldemort was after in the first place? Or was he protecting it from others trying to steal it? Since no one knew what Voldemort had instructed to his other spy there is the possibility something lay vulnerable at Hogwarts. And Albus, enjoying games of hide and seek, from school letters in milk bottles to complicated magical mirrors, might have used to cloak to hide the sword. The sword couldn't have been kept in the sorting hat all the time (since children could be knocked on the head with it at the sorting ceremony) and Harry never saw it before in Albus' office. I don't know if the cloak would hide an object, and the sword might have cut the fabric. So maybe someone wore the cloak and the sword to keep the sword from being found? And this makes me wonder how James got the cloak, was it a Potter's heirloom? Did he use it to defy Voldemort?

5 The 24 Hour Gap:
There must have been a back up plan where someone (Hagrid) took either Neville or Harry to a safe haven. Harry and Hagrid spend a day together, Harry's only one year old but he can talk and walk and pull at beards and eat and fill his diapers. Someone must have changed, washed and fed him. Someone should have looked at that ugly wound on his forehead? Did Hagrid take Harry to the Weasleys where Molley had a little boy of Harry's age so she could lend him some clothes and help him with the diapers? It's a nice thought to imagine Harry and Ron playing for just one day before Harry is left on the Durley's doorstep.

6 After The Fall:
Voldemort has fled and so has Peter while Sirius is hunting him. McGonagall sits frozen on the garden wall, watching the owls flying past and the fireworks at broad daylight. Dumbledore is working on the charm that should protect Harry at the Dursleys and Harry is taking a nap at the burrow. The Longbottoms are still intact, though Bellatrix will probably want to know what happened with Voldemort and since she can't ask the Potters she might have decided to ask those who most likely will know more about it. Snape finds himself serving only one master while he wonders how Black could have fooled him as the other spy. Remus, heartbroken, helps the other order members to round up the the Death Eaters and Barty Crouch Sr. will soon start a process of trials.

7 The Invisibility Cloak:
When Albus returns to his office he has a lot to do. Voldemort isn't dead and the prophecy isn't fulfilled. A long stretch of time begins, in ten years from now Harry will be at Hogwarts as a small scrawny boy with unruly hair and fixed glasses. But for now the cloak is still in his care since he can't give it back to James.

One more question: How come the muggles could see the ruins if the Fidelius secret is being kept by Peter? Could they see the bodies from Lily and James?


Posted by: a weirdo who used to be this and many more (myyellow_teapot)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 10:34 am (UTC)
Interesting - girl-ish

That's such a wonderful sketch %)

Posted by: mneomosyne (mneomosyne)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 10:51 am (UTC)

There's dog drool on the snitch now, Harry must have been shocked when catched it. :)

Posted by: squishy is the new shiny! (teithiwr)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 11:29 am (UTC)
green Dom

Lovely sketch, I love Remus trying to hang on, and Snape's devious expression!

It's always interesting to read your book theories, too. :)

Posted by: mneomosyne (mneomosyne)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 03:41 pm (UTC)

Thank you, there is compared with fanart not as much interest (feedback) in the theories so I was afraid for a moment people wouldn't like to read about them, but the poll proved otherwise :D

Posted by: Susan the Singer (singersdd)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 03:17 pm (UTC)
sirius forever

Sirius is mine! ALL MINE!!!! :D

You ask some really good questions - can't wait to find out the answers in book 7!

Posted by: mneomosyne (mneomosyne)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)

I'm glad you like him, he's a bit silly like that but who wouldn't be if you can run forever like that? :)

I also hope to get a lot of answers in the last book. But I don't want to read it yet, I still have a lot to think about.

Thank you again for your help, I'll never forget Longbottom's and Longbottoms' now ;-) ♥

Posted by: Susan the Singer (singersdd)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)

You're quite welcome!

My minister (otherwise an excellent writer) doesn't get plural possessives right... I wonder if it would be terribly rude to point it out to him... It's one of the things that makes grammar geeks like me want to scratch our eyes out. :D

Posted by: That Silly Fool (kcontheroad)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)

As you know, I think that Gryffindor's sword was in Godric's Hollow that night. It would have made sense that James would have used the cloak to wrap the sword to keep it hidden. James is quite wealthy and there's the distinct possibilty that he is a Gryff descendant. Remember that DD said to Harry, "Only a true Gryffindor could pull that sword out of that hat," or words to that effect.

When it says that they thrice defied Voldemort, perhaps they three times refused to sell him or somehow release to him Gryffindor's sword.

He wanted the sword to make into a horcrux, to complete his collection of the four founders' relics. As the Hat has a brain and can think for itself, and as it was impossible for him to get it out of Hogwarts, the sword would have been his objective. I don't think that DD knew exactly at that time why Voldemort wanted the sword, but Voldemort's efforts to obtain it from the Potters -- thrice defied -- made them secure it in a house covered by the fidelius charm and wrapped in the invisibilty cloak.

Posted by: mneomosyne (mneomosyne)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC)

I love you for your theories :) but I disagree. (though you're not making it easy for me)

I think Voldemort really only tried to find the house in Godric's Hollow to kill Harry. I don't think the sword was hidden at the Potters' place since it would be very unsafe given that Voldemort is looking for them.

"Only a true Gryffindor could pull that sword out of that hat," I think this is about the choices we make in our life, Harry chose to be a Gryffindor and that is what makes him a real Gryffindor. Of course he could be a descendant from Godric Gryffindor but I don't think that would be the only reason to get the sword.

James and Lily are quite a mysterious couple, I can't guess what they did to defy Voldemort three times, but they must have done more than refused something to Voldemort or they probably wouldn't have survived it.

I agree Albus didn't exactly know what Voldemort wanted with the sword but I still think Hogwarts would be the safest place to keep it. Even the Philosopher's Stone was kept in Hogwarts as the safest place.

I also have wondered if an invisibility cloak can only hide people who wear it or also objects wrapped in it. Since the cloak was visible when Harry got it I assumed it would not work to hide something in it.

Posted by: That Silly Fool (kcontheroad)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)

Well, the description of the cloak is that it's a silvery, almost liquid, almost living thing and that it was not easy to see even when it wasn't hiding something. (That's from memory. I could be wrong.) I think that it can hide things as well as people. It certainly hides Harry's clothing when he wears it, but that could be because there's a person in the clothing and that makes the cloak act on it. We just don't know enough about how it works to know if it will hide things, too. Perhaps it's only visible when there's absolutely nothing other than air inside it and objects make it work, too.

I agree that the lesson was that Harry's choice to be Gryffindor outweighed all other factors, including the effects of the scar that tied him to Slytherin. It's also true that nature counts for something as Hagrid (When he first comes for Harry when he's 11) states he thinks Harry's probably a very good wizard because his parents were so good. So, something of our parentage does contribute to who we are.

Posted by: Maeglin Yedi (maeglinyedi)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)

How come the muggles could see the ruins if the Fidelius secret is being kept by Peter? Could they see the bodies from Lily and James?

Because the house wasn't under the Fidelius, the people inside of it were. So before Peter spilled their location, Voldemort might have stood outside the house, looking in through a window, and he wouldn't have seen the Potters even if they were there. This is mentioned somewhere in canon, but I can't remember where exactly.

As for the invisibility cloak, I've been wondering how Dumbledore got his hands on it as well for years. Even made a post about it last year, but didn't come to a satisfying conclusion.

I do doubt it was used to hide Gryffindor's sword in any way. Remember, Dumbledore didn't know at that time Voldemort was after the Founders' relics. He didn't know Voldemort was turning them into Horcruxes. Dumbledore doesn't discover this until Harry's second year, when Harry hands him the diary and Dumbledore learns of what that diary did with Ginny. So I doubt anyone of the Order would have thought Voldemort was after such a relic during the first war.

Posted by: mneomosyne (mneomosyne)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)

But if there was a Fidelius on James, Lily and Harry, wouldn't they be missed? They would be as good as invisible to the world. Does a Fidelius hide a person or a house? Grimmauld Place seemed appear out of nothing to Harry, the location was invisible but not the people in it. Couldn't JK have meant the house wouldn't show the Potters to Voldemort instead of the Potters themselves being invisible? For instance, if Sirius would have been present in Godric's Hollow would he have been visible and James not? Wouldn't that give away their location?

True, Albus didn't know about the horcuxes yet, but I came to this because it seems as if Voldemort sends Snape to the job interview with the task to spy on Albus. Maybe there's more than that. Why wanted Voldemort the D.A.D.A. job himself? He was already making horcruxes and he needed something from Hogwarts (probably the sword but it could be something to do with the chambers of secrets too) which he couldn't get himself after Albus refused him. At this moment Albus must have realised Voldemort was after more than just the job and he must have thought of keeping some things as safe as possible.

Posted by: Maeglin Yedi (maeglinyedi)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)

But if there was a Fidelius on James, Lily and Harry, wouldn't they be missed?

Yep. But that is the whole point of being in hiding. The secret keeper would only have told those who needed to know where to find the Potters (Sirius, Dumbledore, others from the Order).

And it is specifically stated in canon that the Order Headquarters are under the Fidelius Charm, which is Grimmauld Place. But in case of the Potters it was the people under the charm, not their house. This way, they can still move about and aren't restricted to staying in their house for months. And Sirius being there wouldn't give anything away, because no one would see the Potters, and thus no one would be able to hurt them.

And here is the post I did on James' invisibility cloak. There are some interesting suggestions in the comments as to why Dumbledore had it.

Posted by: mneomosyne (mneomosyne)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)

As for the invisibility cloak, I've been wondering how Dumbledore got his hands on it as well for years. Even made a post about it last year, but didn't come to a satisfying conclusion.

Is that post tagged?

Posted by: wonder dork powers activate! (atrypical)
Posted at: January 14th, 2007 10:15 pm (UTC)

If I may offer my two cents...

Very good theory! The only snag is, I think, Gryffindor's sword. I don't think it was out of the hat before Harry pulled it out. I could be wrong, though...

Posted by: Ariangi (ariangi)
Posted at: January 17th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
AmyAbbott sanctuary

And now I'm getting a fic in my head, of ickle Ron and ickle Harry playing together....

All good questions and theories. I'd make a better comment on them if I were more awake. Yay 7am.

Posted by: Nicole (lukyduky14)
Posted at: January 27th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)

I'm here through Hogwarts_Today.

"It's a nice thought to imagine Harry and Ron playing for just one day before Harry is left on the Durley's doorstep."
It is a nice thought, but I think there's a little more to it than that. JK Rowling usually answers questions that aren't part of a larger theory, or don't have components that will spoil parts of future books. If it were just a matter of a trip to the burrow, I think she would have admitted to it by now. She's usually pretty aware of what her fans are debating.

"Why didn't Lily fight Voldemort? Why didn't she pull her wand and tried to hex him a thousand times?"
I think she didn't fight mostly because she was shocked at having her husband killed in front of her eyes only seconds before. I also think she was more worried about protecting Harry than about hexing Voldemort. She knew about the prophecy, and therefore knew she couldn't seriously harm Voldemort; that only Harry & Neville could. I also think she knew about the "old magic" that ended up protecting Harry, and that hexing Voldemort wouldn't do nearly as much damage as dying for Harry would.

"Why didn't she took Harry in her arms and apparated to the burrow?"
Most magical houses are protected by anti-apparition charms. Dumbledore went over that in HBP. That's why Voldemort had to break down the door instead of apparating in.
Also, apparating to the Burrow would be slightly illogical, as nothing I can think of suggests the Potters and the Weasleys were friends, and canon states that the Weasleys were not in the Order or even a significant part of the first war (and who can blame them, with two infants to take care of and Fred and George as toddlers).

"One more question: How come the muggles could see the ruins if the Fidelius secret is being kept by Peter? Could they see the bodies from Lily and James?"
It's a good question.
For what I understand of Fidelius Charms, they protect the people in danger, not the location. Maybe they could always see Lily and James' house, they just didn't know that people were living in it. If that were the case, I would assume they wouldn't have seen the bodies.
Another answer to your question could be that Lily was the caster of the spell, and once she died, the spell was broken (think Harry's body-bind curse by Dumbledore that wore off when he died).

Sorry about the ramblings. ;)

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