JK Rowling just revealed secrets about the Dursleys' history on Pottermore
Happy birthday, Dudley Dursley! OK, so maybe this isn’t our favorite Harry Potter birthday to celebrate but today, June 23, 2015, Dudley is 35 years old. We might as well send him a few well wishes, and in return, JK Rowling has actually sent something to us. Rowling just dropped some major truths about Dudley’s parents, Vernon and Petunia Dursley, on Pottermore. Are you ready for a Dursley backstory that comes to us straight from 4 Privet Drive?
Writing on Pottermore, Rowling explains that Petunia and Vernon met at work. She trained as a typist, and took an office job “where she met the extremely unmagical, opinionated and materialistic Vernon” who was “large and neckless” and a “model of manliness” to Petunia. Agree to disagree, Petunia, but OK.
Petunia was drawn to him because he was so normal, as she was desperately trying to leave the idea of her magical sister, Lily, behind. During their courtship, Lily was in her final years of Hogwarts. After Vernon proposed (very simply in his mother’s sitting room), Petunia was terrified that he’d leave her, if he learned what kind of strangeness ran in her family. Considering that Vernon hated “people who wore brown shoes with black suits” she could hardly imagine what he’d make of Lily who “wore long robes and [cast] spells.”
When Petunia finally broke the wizard news to Vernon, he was shocked, but reassured his new fiancée, that he’d “never hold it against her that she had a freak for a sister.” However, the first meeting between Vernon and Lily — and Lily’s new boyfriend, James — did not go well. For starters, “Vernon tried to patronize James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom.”
These differences were never really resolved, and Petunia decided against having Lily as a bridesmaid in her wedding (BRB, crying a little bit about this, just like Lily, who was, in fact, hurt by this decision). Then, Vernon and Petunia decided not to attend Lily and James’ wedding. The last time one sister reached out to the other, it was Lily, via a birth announcement, for her new son, Harry.
As for the names Vernon and Petunia, as Rowling explains, “Vernon” is a name she never cared for, and “Petunia” is a name she’s always assigned unpleasant female characters. And even though she thought about giving Petunia some sort of redeeming moment in the final book, it wouldn’t have gone against her long-standing stance against wizards. She hates them.
The whole read on Pottermore is definitely something worth checking out, you’ve just got to unlock the content first (no hints!). These little snippets from Rowling always make our day a little bit more magical.
(Images via here.)