The Cloak of Invisibility was the third and final of the three Deathly Hallows, first owned by Death, but given by Death to the youngest of the Peverell brothers, Ignotus Peverell. According to legend, whoever unites it with the Resurrection Stone and the Elder Wand will be the Master of Death. The Cloak of Invisibility was the only known Invisibility Cloak that did not fade with age and provided everlasting protection to the wearer, something no normal Invisibility Cloak could provide. According to The Tale of the Three Brothers in The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Ignotus and his brothers, Antioch Peverell and Cadmus Peverell, came across Death one day while they were out traveling the world. Death, outraged that they had outwitted him when they crossed a treacherous river by magical means, pretended to congratulate them and offered each of them a prize for their skill. While Antioch and Cadmus asked for powerful objects for themselves, Ignotus was the only one of the three Peverell brothers that did not trust Death, and rather than ask Death for something to further his own desires, he asked for the power to leave that fateful meeting without Death being able to follow him. Not wishing to betray his true motives in giving the brothers their "prizes," Death begrudgingly took off his Cloak of Invisibility that he used to sneak up on people with and handed it over to Ignotus. While his two brothers met gruesome fates at the indirect hands of their own gifts (the Elder Wand and the Resurrection Stone), Ignotus used the Cloak of Invisibility to successfully hide from Death for many years. Finally, when he was an old man and had lived a happy long life, Ignotus took off the Cloak of Invisibility, gave it to his own son, and went with Death as an old friend, but on his own terms and not those of Death.
The Cloak of Invisibility was passed down Ignotus' family line and eventually ended up in the hands of his final known descendants, the Potters. It eventually ended up in the hands of James Potter, the father of Harry Potter. James used the Cloak of Invisibility in many of his misdeeds at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and kept it afterward. Around the time that Lord Voldemort was hunting the Potters for their son, the Cloak of Invisibility came to the attention of Albus Dumbledore when James showed him the Cloak of Invisibility, and Dumbledore (who had searched his entire life for the Deathly Hallows and already possessed the Elder Wand, another of the Deathly Hallows) asked to borrow the Cloak from James to study its properties. After James was killed, the Cloak was left in Dumbledore's possession.
Ten years later, Dumbledore gave Harry Potter the Cloak of Invisibility as a Christmas present anonymously and told him to "use it well." This would be one piece of advice that Harry would heed quite well over his school life and beyond, as the Cloak of Invisibility aided Harry on countless trips and missions, including his search for Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes. It was not until 1998, that Harry learned the true nature of his own Invisibility Cloak and its true identity as the Cloak of Invisibility spoken of in the legend of the Deathly Hallows. As Ignotus' last remaining descendant, the Cloak was rightfully Harry's and was kept by him after Lord Voldemort's defeat. Harry resolved to pass it on to his own son one day, just as his ancestor Ignotus had done with his own son.
The story of the Deathly Hallows became as legend to certain witches and wizards that believed it to be actual fact, while to most of the public it became as a fairy tale, as did all of Beedle the Bard's stories. However Albus Dumbledore felt that it was more likely the Cloak was created by Ignotus himself, with the object's power (in combination with the other two) later creating the story of it formerly being the property of Death. This would make the Cloak a remarkable, and never equaled, creation.
- "It's never occured to me before, but I've heard stuff about charms wearing off cloaks when they get old, or them being ripped apart by spells so they've got holes in. Harry's was owned by his dad, so it's not exactly new, is it, but it's just... perfect!"
- —Ron Weasley on the Cloak of Invisibility[src]
The Cloak of Invisibility is especially powerful. It is resistant to jinxes, hexes, and other spells which would normally damage or otherwise render a normal Invisibility Cloak ineffective. For example, just before the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998, while Harry, Ron, and Hermione were huddled under it, a Death Eaters's Summoning Charm had no effect on removing the Cloak of Invisibility. It has also remained completely effective throughout its long existence, many times that of other cloaks, which lose their power over time.
Although powerful, the Cloak of Invisibility is not infallable. While the Cloak itself resists spell damage, it does not shield the wearer from spells used against them personally. For example, Harry was petrified while under the Cloak twice during the 1996-1997 school year. Also, someone wearing the cloak can still be seen by devices such as Alastor Moody's magical eye, or have their presence revealed through the Homenum Revelio spell.
- Sneak into the kitchen (used by Harry's dad, mentioned in book 1)
- Harry used to sneak through Hogsmeade, Third year
- Following Albus Dumbledore, late night lesson to get Horcrux
- Hide Watching Dumbledore Die
- Sneaking into Restricted Section of the library to find out about Nicolas Flamel
- Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter attempted to use the cloak on the Hogwarts Express, but were unsuccessful as there were too many people to navigate the corridors undetected.
- Hide under when Lord Voldemort thinks he is dead.
- Eavesdropping on Draco Malfoy on the Hogwarts Express during the movie, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"
- Get to the Prefects Bathroom and back to the common room to work on the egg clue in Goblet of Fire
- Used for security while Apparating to various places on the countryside in The Deathly Hallows
- Visiting Godric's Hollow while disguised as muggles by using polyjuice potion
- User to view the Mirror of Erised during the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Behind the scenes
- Although superior to any other cloak in terms of durability and longevity, the Cloak was unable to hide Harry from certain methods of magical detection, such as Alastor Moody's Magic Eye and the Homenum Revelio spell. It was also unable to hide Harry from creatures able to sense location by methods other than primarily sight, such as Dementors and Nagini.
- While it shields the wearer from sight and cannot be harmed by any class of spell aimed at it, the Cloak does not act as a shield against spells, curses, or hexes, as Harry is affected by the Full Body-Bind Curse curse twice while under the Cloak in Half-Blood Prince.
- In the film adaption of the Philosopher's Stone, it is never revealed who owned the cloak before it was given to Harry. It can still be said it was Dumbledore for the movie storyline either way.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows