Petunia Dursley

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Petunia Dursley was a muggle and the wife of Vernon Dursley, the mother of Dudley Dursley and the sister of witch, Lily Potter. After Lily and her husband James Potter were murdered by Lord Voldemort, Petunia and Vernon were responsible for their son, Harry Potter. Like her husband, Petunia wanted nothing to do with magic as her sister was always the special one. She is described as being extremely thin and bony, unlike her extremely large husband, Vernon.


[edit] Character development

Petunia Evans was the older sister of her sibling, Lily. They grew up in the muggle world and for most of her childhood, had a good relationship with her sister although was jealous on the count of strange things Lily could do and her many talents. Also in the neighbourhood lived a young Severus Snape, who Petunia didn't really like. Eventually, Snape told Petunia that Lily was a witch, which prompted a jealous Petunia, to write to headmaster Albus Dumbledore, wanting to study at Hogwarts also. She was kindly declined though became extremely jealous of Lily. As she was not a witch, she often referred to her sister as a 'freak'. As she grew up, Petunia hardly contacted her sister, though she did send her a vase as a gift. Petunia later married Vernon Dursley. In 1980, she gave birth to her one and only son, Dudley, who she and her husband greatly spoiled. Then, in 1981, her sister Lily and her husband James were murdered by Lord Voldemort and their son, Harry Potter was left to Vernon and Petunia, who were now living in Little Whinging.

[edit] Appearances

[edit] First book

Petunia Dursley nee Evans is described as thin and blonde with nearly twice the usual amount of neck. She continually snoops on her neighbors. She dislikes any mention of her sister, so when Vernon brings it up, she is shocked and angry.

[edit] Second book

During the summer holidays, Petunia is under the belief that Dudley is not being fed enough at his school, Smeltings. As a result she tries to feed him up whilst she can. She has also forgotten that it is Harry's birthday. Meanwhile the Dursleys are rehearsing how they will receive guests in the evening. Vernon hopes that they will order a large number of drills from him, so they are determined to make a good impression. Petunia plans to be the perfect hostess, with prepared compliments and a magnificent pudding. Harry is to pretend not to be there at all during the evening.

When Dudley provokes Harry into pretending that he is magically trying to set the hedge on fire in the garden, Petunia swings a frying pan at Harry (which he is able to duck). She sets him chores for the rest of the day, and for his efforts gives him a supper of bread and cheese. After he has eaten she immediately sends him to his room to hide.[1]

The dinner initially goes well. The Dursleys welcome Mr and Mrs Mason and things seem to be going to plan. Sadly Harry was also playing host, to an unexpected guest - Dobby the house-elf. Dobby was trying to stop Harry from going back to Hogwarts that year. He uses a Hovering Charm on Petunia's wonderful pudding, threatening Harry that if he doesn't promise to not go back to Hogwarts, the pudding gets it. Harry refuses, and the pudding smashes to the floor. Dobby Disapparates, and Petunia is forced to serve ice-cream.

The dinner was still salvageable and Petunia was passing round after-dinner mints, when the Masons were finally driven away by the arrival of an owl from the Ministry of Magic. Whilst the Dursleys were disappointed at the loss of the order for drills, they were delighted that the letter the owl brought was to warn Harry that if he uses any more magic he will be expelled.

Vernon locks Harry in his room and bars his window, installing a cat-flap in his door for food and letting him out twice a day for the bathroom. Petunia pushed food through his door which was even less than he normally got from her, such as cold soup.[2] One night Petunia was shocked when Vernon yelled to wake her and she found that Harry was flying away in a Ford Anglia.[3]

[edit] Third book

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[edit] Fourth book

In Goblet of Fire, Petunia does not have a very big role. Her main purpose in this book is to enforce the diet that Dudley's school nurse has put him on, She forces the rest of the family to abide by the diet as well, though Harry does not actually follow it. Later, when the Weasleys arive to pick up Harry, she is terrified after Mr. Weasley blasts open the fireplace. She hides behind Vernon until Dudley eats Fred and George's ton tongue toffee. At that point she screams and cries, trying to pull the enlarged tongue out.

[edit] Fifth book

Petunia appears in the 5th book in the beginning. She and Vernon see Harry Potter dragging in an unconcious Dudley (he was attacked by Dementors). Vernon thinks that Harry attacked Dudley, and when Harry tells them about the Dementors, Petunia accidently says that Dementors are the guarders of the wizarding prison, Azkaban. She was not supposed to know this, being a Muggle, and she tells her family that she heard "that awful boy" telling Lily Potter about Dementors. Incidentally, we find out that "that awful boy" is not James Potter as everyone assumed, but in fact, Severus Snape, proven in the chapter, "The Prince's Tale." Afterwards, Vernon wants to throw Harry out of the house because things are attacking him and his family, and Albus Dumbledore sends Petunia a Howler, that said "Remember my last," (referring to the letter Dumbledore left with Harry on the doorstep). Petunia then says that Harry must stay at home (due to the fact that he might be killed if Harry doesn't live with a blood relative of Lily's).

[edit] Sixth book

Petunia has had contact with Albus Dumbledore three times by the time of Half-Blood Prince, once when she writes to the headmaster at Hogwarts asking for admission (Dumbledore writes her a kind letter saying he can't), once when she finds Harry on her front porch with a note from Dumbledore explaining her sister and brother-in-law's death, and asking her to care for her nephew as her own child, and finally in the form of a Howler when Vernon tells Harry to leave (in Order of the Phoenix).

In Half-Blood Prince, she has her first face-to-face contact with Dumbledore, and isn't pleased. Dumbledore explains that Harry "comes of age" when he turns 17, which upsets Petunia -- she had apparently believed that he would come of age at 18, like her son Dudley. Dumbledore next explains the increasing danger Harry is in (due to Voldemort's return), and the importance to Harry of the charm Dumbledore worked when he left Harry at the Dursleys' doorstep. Dumbledore finally reminds Petunia of the lack of love she has shown Harry, and asks her only to give house-space to Harry one more time before his seventeenth birthday.

This last embarrasses Petunia: she is less angered by Dumbledore's statement that they have inflicted "appalling damage" on Dudley than is her husband Vernon, and less confused by that statement than is her son Dudley. It is Dumbledore's bluntness about her lack of the milk of human kindness for her own nephew that causes her to fall silent, flushed.

[edit] Final book

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[edit] Portrayals within films

In the film adaptions of The Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Order of the Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows Part 1, Petunia was portrayed by Fiona Shaw.

[edit] Characterisation

[edit] Outward appearance

She is described as being very bony and thin faced with "nearly twice the usual amount of neck" as a normal woman.[4]

[edit] Personality

Petunia is a very nosy person who often spies on her neighbours. Her role in the household was to cook and clean for Vernon and Dudley. She dislikes magic very much as her sister was found to be a witch, and she wasn't, and this was the reason she disliked Harry so much.

[edit] Accomplishments and skills

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[edit] Possessions

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[edit] Family

She is married to Vernon Dursley and has a son Dudley. Her sister is Lily Potter, and Harry is her nephew.

[edit] Reception

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[edit] In popular culture

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[edit] Additional Canon

It is prefered that you use an Additional Canon section (and related sub-sections) on LeakyPedia entries for information that comes from lesser canon sources such as video games, board games, action figures, amusement parks, and other Warner Brothers or J.K. Rowling sanctioned sources.

[edit] References

  1. J. K. Rowling, CoS 1
  2. J. K. Rowling, CoS 2
  3. J. K. Rowling, CoS 3
  4. J. K. Rowling, PS 1

[edit] External links

Usually this section is for general but official links here. You may not have an external links since this is a character.