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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 was a magical garment which rendered whomever or whatever it covered invisible. Invisibility cloaks were exceptionally rare and valuable within the wizarding world.[1]

Manufacture

Invisibility cloaks might be woven from the hair of a Demiguise, a magical creature whose coat allowed it to become invisible at will.[12] Invisibility cloaks could also be produced by enchanting an ordinary travelling cloak with an exceptionally strong Disillusionment Charm[13] or Bedazzling Hex.[2]

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 discussing the unique nature of the Cloak of Invisibility[src]

Most invisibility cloaks wore out over time, eventually becoming visible. In addition, cloaks were vulnerable to damage from spells.[2]

A notable exception to these unwritten rules was the fabled Cloak of Invisibility, a Deathly Hallow that never seemed to waver in its ability and resisted spells, despite its immense age.[2] According to Albus Dumbledore: “True Invisibility Cloaks, though rare, exist in this world of ours; however, the story makes it clear that Death’s Cloak is of a uniquely durable nature….”.[14]

History

"We lost Moody's spare Invisibility Cloak when Sturgis was arrested..."
Mad-Eye Moody was in possession of an invisibility cloak[src]

Jacob's sibling spying on Professor Binns and Madam Pince under an Invisibility Cloak in the History of Magic Classroom

Invisibility cloaks had existed since the 13th century, with typical invisibility cloaks having been available since at least the 20th century.

Jacob's sibling also gained ownership of an invisibility cloak in the 1989–1990 school year.[8] The cloak was originally Alistair Fidgen's,[7] but he gained possession of it by trading a love potion for it.[8] Jacob's sibling used their cloak to spy on various staff members and professors, such as Professor Binns, Madam Pince, Professor Kettleburn, Rubeus Hagrid, Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick.[8] They and Mundungus Fletcher later used their invisibility cloaks at the end of the school year to spy on Merula Snyde speaking to a Dark Witch in Knockturn Alley, where they watched her being initiated into 'R' by the Dark Witch and then Disapparate.[9]

Alastor Moody owned two invisibility cloaks, lending ones to Mundungus Fletcher[15] and Sturgis Podmore.[5] Barty Crouch Snr owned a cloak as well, hiding Barty Crouch Jnr under one when helping him escape Azkaban. He was then forced to wear the cloak in the house when he was controlled by Barty Crouch Snr under the Imperius Curse. Barty Jnr would make use of this cloak when he returned to Lord Voldemort's services, keeping himself hidden to intercept and assassinate his father.[4]

It is also known that Arthur Weasley hid under one while on guard duty at the Ministry of Magic. The members of the Order of the Phoenix also used invisibility cloaks to hide themselves as they stood guard over Harry in Privet Drive.[16]

The Cloak of Invisibility

"Your father left this in my possession before he died. It is time it was returned to you. Use it well."
— Harry Potter receiving the Cloak of Invisibility as a Christmas present[src]

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."[2]

Harry Potter receives the Cloak of Invisibility during his first year at Hogwarts

According to the legend, Ignotus Peverell was given the cloak by Death in the 13th century as a reward for having bested him. However, in his introduction to The Tales of Beetle the Bard, Albus Dumbledore speculated that its more likely that Ignotus and his brothers were highly talented wizards who created the Hallows themselves. Whatever the truth, the cloak became a family heirloom and was inherited by Ignotus' descendants,[2] including James Potter and eventually his son, Harry Potter who was given it as a gift on Christmas day 1991.[1]

In 1997, Ron Weasley was the first to speculate that Harry's cloak was the cloak of legend, since it was still in perfect condition despite being at least two generations old. Other invisibility cloaks of similar age would have worn out or, at least, become less effective yet Harry's remained as good as new. Ordinary cloaks would have, over time, become visible, ripped, had their enchantments worn off, or had been countered with other spells.[2][17]

Harry's son James Sirius Potter inherited the Cloak of Invisibility.[10] His younger brother Albus Severus stole it from James when he needed to hide from bullies, or from Professor McGonagall.[11]

Known owners

Wizard(s) Notes
Ignotus Peverell Used the Cloak of Invisibility to hide from Death.[2]
Ignotus Peverell's son Was given the Cloak of Invisibility by Ignotus Peverell.[2]
James Potter Eventually inherited Ignotus's 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.[3] 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 in 1991 as an anonymous Christmas present.[1]
James Potter II Received his family's cloak from his father before his sixth-year.[10]
Albus Potter Stole his family's cloak from his brother James.[11]
Also used Harry Potter's invisibility cloak Hermione Granger
Ron Weasley
Severus Snape
Luna Lovegood
Barty Crouch Jnr Having escaped from Azkaban prison, Barty 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.[4]
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.[15]
Alistair Fidgen Owned an invisibility cloak.[7]
Jacob's sibling Got possession of Alistair's cloak by trading a love potion for it.[8]
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.[5] This was because Podmore had been placed under the Imperius Curse by Death Eaters.[6]
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.[17]

Appearances

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Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 9 (The Woes of Mrs Weasley)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforeseen)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 10 (Cloaks and Conflicts)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 12 (Now You See Me)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 45 (The Messenger)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act One, Scene Seven
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Two, Scene Sixteen
  12. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Chapter 9
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 (Christmas on the Closed Ward)
  14. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "The Tale of the Three Brothers" - Albus Dumbledore's notes
  15. 15.0 15.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 17 (Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four)
  16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 2 (A Peck of Owls)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 21 (The Eye of the Snake)
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