The clues you missed that prove Aunt Petunia was always looking out for Harry Potter
If there’s one fandom that pays close attention to detail, it’s Potterheads. Then again, who can blame them? Harry Potter is both complex and magical, making us want to know everything and anything about the Wizarding World created by J.K. Rowling. What we just discovered is no exception – especially since it focuses on a character we could always learn more about: Harry’s Aunt Petunia.
Petunia Dursley definitely doesn’t make the best impression on readers. In fact, she’s pretty awful, especially when it comes to how she treats Harry. Yet, Redditor Supbanana is making us do a double take as we remember some of Petunia’s better moments.
The perfect example can be found in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Ron, Mr. Weasley, and the twins arrive at 4 Privet Drive to pick up Harry. After Ron, Fred, and George leave, Dudley ends up eating some ton-tongue toffee (which the twins left behind) and his tongue begins to grow. Once this happens, Arthur offers to help and raises his wand, causing Petunia to selflessly shield Dudley with her body. This beautifully mirrors the scene in which Lily shields Harry from Voldemort.
“Does Petunia deserve a little more sympathy and understanding?” asks the Redditor. “Nothing excuses the way she treated Harry, but from her perspective, she’s seen the bad side of magic more frequently than the good — which explains why she so adamantly wants to stamp it out of her nephew.”
Plus, that wasn’t the only time Petunia showed her good side. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, after Petunia receives a Howler from Dumbledore, she tries to save Harry’s life by allowing him to stay at their Privet Drive residence. She goes as far as defying Vernon, who wasn’t for this decision. This also relates to the fact that Harry was allowed to return to the Dursley’s home during the summer, so he could be protected. In other words – despite how poorly she treated him – Petunia did not want Harry to die like her sister.
Then, when it’s time for her to say goodbye to her nephew, this happens:
Petunia definitely isn’t the kindest character in the series, but that doesn’t mean she’s heartless. If we remember that she lost her sister Lily because of something she can’t fully understand, then it makes sense to see Petunia as a misunderstood character. Ultimately, she helped to keep Harry alive, and for that us Potterheads are forever grateful.