If you have a Pottermore membership, here is some good news for you. J.K. Rowling has recently posted a new bit of writing to the fan site, delving deeper into the back story of Harry Potter’s cantankerous aunt and uncle, Vernon and Petunia Dursley. In the piece — done in honor of perennial nincompoop Dudley Dursley’s birthday — Rowling reveals pieces of the family’s history that have, until now, only been speculated upon by her readers. This post comes on the heels of several recent additions to the site, that included more illustrated moments for the final book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, as well as a few other pieces of writing from Rowling herself.
In the Dursley piece — which you should totally read in full on the site by heading to the section for “The Cupboard Under the Stairs” and clicking the little framed photograph — Rowling explains both how the Dursleys met and what their life was like in the moments leading up to Harry’s story. Turns out, all Petunia wanted from life (given the fact that her sister was a witch) was someone “deliciously normal” to live her life out of the shadow of a sister to which she could never live up. She found this life in Vernon, who took her on several boring dates and did not hold it against her that she had a “freak” for a sister. Readers will also find a similar trait in Vernon Dursley and Severus Snape, who both have their distaste for Harry stem from his physical resemblance to his father.
Outside of that, Rowling also gives us some context regarding her choices surrounding Harry’s muggle family, commenting that she didn’t put too much thought in the Dursleys’ given names. Vernon came from a life-long aversion to the name, and Petunia was a name she commonly assigned to fictional “unpleasant women.” While she stressed herself silly on some of her characters’ names, Vernon and Petunia were dubbed so almost instantaneously.
So head on over the ‘more and check it out for yourself — after all, it is free to join if you aren’t a member already. And be sure to let us know what you think of this new Dursley history in the comments below.
Feature Image: Mashable