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"If that's what I think it is — they're really rare, and really valuable."
—Ron Weasley, commenting on Harry's Christmas present[src]

An invisibility cloak is a magical garment which renders whomever or whatever it covers invisible. Invisibility cloaks are exceptionally rare and valuable within the wizarding world.[1]

Manufacture

Invisibility cloaks may be woven from the hair of a Demiguise, a magical creature whose coat allows it to become invisible.[2] Invisibility cloaks can also be produced by enchanting an ordinary travelling cloak with an exceptionally strong Disillusionment Charm[3] or Bedazzling Hex.[4]

Limitations

"It's never occurred 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]
Most invisibility cloaks falter over time, with the cloak eventually becoming opaque. In addition, cloaks are vulnerable to becoming damaged by spells. A notable exception to this was the fabled Cloak of Invisibility, a Deathly Hallow that never seemed to waver in its ability, and resisted spells, despite its immense age.[4]

History

The Tale of the Three Brothers, a wizarding legend, speaks of a Cloak of Invisibility which Xenophilius Lovegood characterised as one which "endures eternally, giving constant and impenetrable concealment, no matter what spells are cast at it." Ignotus Peverell was given the cloak by Death in the 13th century as a reward for having beaten him. The cloak became a family heirloom and was inherited by Ignotus' descendents[4], including James Potter and eventually his son, Harry Potter who given it as a gift on Christmas day 1991.[1]

Ron Weasley was the first to speculate that Harry's cloak was one of the Deathly Hallows, since it was at least two generations old. The other invisibility cloaks wear out after that time, or at least lose some effectiveness and yet Harry's remained as good as new, which raised suspicion. The other invisibility cloaks should have become opaque with age, rip, have the charms placed upon them wear off, or have them countered with charms able to reveal such cloaks.[4]

It is unknown when general invisibility cloaks started being made, but it's known that at least two people have owned one. The first is Alastor Moody, who actually owned two and lent them to Mundungus Fletcher[5] and Sturgis Podmore.[6] The other was Barty Crouch Snr who hid Barty Crouch Jr under one when helping him escape Azkaban. He was the forced to wear it in the house when he was imprisoned by Barty Crouch Snr under the Imperius Curse.[7] It is also known that Arthur Weasley hid under one while on guard duty at the Ministry of Magic.[8]

Known owners

Wizard(s) Notes
Ignotus Peverell used the Cloak of Invisibility to hide from Death.[4]
Ignotus Peverell's son was given the Cloak of Invisibility by Ignotus Peverell.[4]
James Potter owned an invisibility cloak (actually one of the fabled Deathly Hallows) that he and his friends often used during their days at Hogwarts to assist them in their mischief. Albus Dumbledore had James's cloak at the time of the latter's death, having wished to inspect it further.[9] He kept the cloak in his possession until Harry began school at Hogwarts in 1991.[1]
Harry Potter used his father's cloak many times throughout his years at Hogwarts. He received it from Albus Dumbledore anonymously in 1991 as a Christmas present.[1]
Hermione Granger also used Harry Potter's invisibility cloak.
Ron Weasley
Severus Snape
Luna Lovegood
Barty Crouch, Jr, having escaped from Azkaban prison, was kept hidden by his father under an invisibility cloak at their home. He also watched the Quidditch World Cup in 1994 while under an invisibility cloak.[7]
Mundungus Fletcher was loaned an invisibility cloak by Mad-Eye Moody for Order of the Phoenix business. It is likely that Mundungus used the cloak for other, less reputable purposes.[5]
Alastor Moody lent Sturgis Podmore his best invisibility cloak in 1995 to assist in guarding the Prophecy in the Department of Mysteries. He mentioned that Podmore had not had the manners to return it in a timely fashion and forced Moody to use his second best cloak.[6] This was because Podmore had been placed under the Imperius Curse by Death Eaters.[10]
Arthur Weasley was wearing an invisibility cloak while on guard duty at the Ministry of Magic; he fell asleep at his post and it fell off before he was attacked by Nagini on Voldemort's orders.[8]

Appearances

Cloak Sign

The Cloak of Invisibility owned by Harry is one of the Deathly Hallows, denoted by the triangle

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
  2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Chapter 9
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 (Christmas on the Closed Ward)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 17 (Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 9 (The Woes of Mrs Weasley)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 21 (The Eye of the Snake)
  9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforeseen)
  11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 TV spot #5
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