The last Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, might have been released almost eight years ago, but it’s a fandom and a movement that has only grown with time, and our appetite for all things Potter related has never ceased.
Luckily, both the film actors and JK Rowling herself are always more than happy to talk about the wizarding world, and Rowling has been busy spilling some more of the Harry Potter backstory over on Pottermore.
We all know that the Dursley’s hated Harry, but why were they so unkind to a little orphan boy? Rowling explained that an ill-fated meeting between Vernon, Petunia, Lily and James became the root cause for Vernon’s dislike of the baby Harry.
When Petunia and Vernon were engaged, Petunia decided to arrange a meet up in a restaurant to see what her future husband would make of her sister, who was in her final year of Hogwarts, and in a relationship with James.
“James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it,” Rowling revealed. “Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom.”
She carried on: “Vernon supposed out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. James explained about Gringotts, and the fortune his parents had saved there, in solid gold. Vernon could not tell whether he was being made fun of or not, and grew angry. The evening ended with Vernon and Petunia storming out of the restaurant, while Lily burst into tears and James (a little ashamed of himself) promised to make things up with Vernon at the earliest opportunity.”
Of course, that reconciliation never came about. Petunia refused to have her sister as bridesmaid at her wedding, and Vernon and Petunia didn’t want to attend the Potter nuptials. They heard from Lily and James to announce the birth of Harry, and then both died shortly afterwards.
“Uncle Vernon’s dislike of Harry stems in part, like Severus Snape’s, from Harry’s close resemblance to the father they both so disliked,” Rowling explained.
She also revealed she had thought about showing a softer side to Petunia when she said goodbye to harry for the final time, but decided against it. That’s a shame to me, as I always felt that somewhere, down really, really deep, Petunia did care for Harry, but maybe I’m just too sentimental when it comes to family.
Rowling always gives fascinating insight into this world she created, and the depth of the Harry Potter backstory never ceases to amaze me. Here’s hoping for more insight soon.