The Invisibility Cloak, as the name implies makes you invisible to sight of those around you. Can the Cloak "hide" your presence in any more significant ways?

For example, are there examples of the Cloak hiding (or, just as well, not hiding) its wearer from other senses, such as physical contact, or ambient noise, or from someone who could sense someone's body heat?

According to the "The Tale of the Three Brothers", the cloak originally belonged to Death, and he gave it up to grant the third brother's wish to "evade Death". Does that mean the Cloak is even capable of "hiding" its user from deadly effects in the environment? Could it block a spell like Avada Kedavra, or prevent physical harm (like from a fire)?

  • Why the downvotes?
    – Time Lord
    Apr 3 '15 at 14:21
  • 2
    I am not one of the downvoters, but I suspect that it's people who feel that it's asking questions about the cloak's nature that have no real grounding in the aspect of invisibility. shrug Given all senses involve the interaction of matter, I've got a neutral vote myself.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 3 '15 at 14:29
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    Related, possible dupe (abstaining for now, as I think it's a fine line): Why could Madeye Moody/Barty Crouch see through the Invisibility Cloak using his Magical Eye?
    – phantom42
    Apr 3 '15 at 14:37
  • @Sean But, it can be answered using Canon.
    – Time Lord
    Apr 3 '15 at 14:54
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    those things might exist in-universe, but we shouldn't expect them to necessarily work the same way. They only work as well as the author understands them. That's the reason we don't do real-science questions, because the world of HP is not the real world, and JKR is not a physicist, so it's unrealistic to expect the Invisibility Cloak to strictly adhere to the rules of quantum electodynamics...
    – KutuluMike
    Apr 3 '15 at 17:26

Actually, it's not elaborated as to what spectrum of light the Invisibility Cloak masks you from. We can guess that at least most of the visible spectrum is covered, but speculations into infrared are just that, speculations. I could be wrong, but I think that sound was specifically noted as not being masked in the books.

There is no evidence that the Invisibility Cloak protects the wearer from other forces including spells and physical force, as seen by Draco successfully stunning and assaulting Harry while under the cloak. Presumably, fire would similarly affect you.

  • Given that Snape seems to "know" when Harry's sneaking around near him I assume something must be escaping, I always assumed it was sound (e.g. his breathing, footsteps, etc.)
    – KutuluMike
    Apr 3 '15 at 14:51
  • Maybe The Nose Knows?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 3 '15 at 14:52
  • There's some speculation at scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/7467/…, but nothing that I feel specifically speaks to this.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 3 '15 at 15:08
  • Wouldn't the fact that the cloak is a magical artifact make it nigh on impossible to use a system such as sonar to detect a user due to magic screwing around with technology? I'm sure they mentioned something about this when discussing Hogwarts being hidden from the view of non-magic folk. Apr 3 '15 at 16:03

I don't remember exactly where this was mentioned (it's probably in the first book) but there is a monologue of Harry telling himself that the cloak might make him invisible, but it doesn't stop him being solid, so he has to be careful not to bump into anyone while lurking around the corridors at night. Also it is hinted that Mrs. Norris seems to know when Harry is around under the cloak

Moreover, in the third book while playing tricks on Malfoy and his gang in Hogsmead, the cloak gets caught up in something and exposes his head; the cloak couldn't hide Harry's presence there when part of it was physically removed

In the 6th book Malfoy can attack him when under the cloak and can also feel his presence, although he cannot see him

Most importantly, in the 4th book Moody's eye can clearly see through the cloak, which means the cloak is not effective against all kinds of magic. It's possible that Moody's eye can detect a broader eletromagnetic spectrum, and as pointed out in the other answer, the cloak is only transparent to the visible part

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