The Dursley Family
"A Muggle...it's what we call nonmagic folk like them. An' it's your bad luck you grew up in a family o' the biggest Muggles I ever laid eyes on."
-- Rubeus Hagrid (PS4)
"Oh, these people's minds work in strange ways, Petunia, they're not like you and me," said Uncle Vernon, trying to knock in a nail with the piece of fruitcake Aunt Petunia had just brought him (PS3)
Vernon and Petunia Dursley are Harry Potter's aunt and uncle, his only living relatives. Petunia is Harry's mother's sister. Vernon and Petunia have one son, Dudley. Vernon has a sister named Marjorie.
Name meaning: The name ‘Dursley’ comes from a town in Gloucestershire, England. Rowling chose the name because it sounded “dull and forbidding.” (Star-Ledger)
The Dursleys represent the worst Muggle impulses. Several times in the books Rowling refers to something as "Dursleyish" (PS1) To be Dursleyish is to be...
- unimaginative (PS1)
- intolerant (PS1)
- fearful (PS3)
- repressed (PS1)
- a bully of people who don't fit in
- ambitious (PS1)
- unquestioning (PS2)
- prone to violence
- overly concerned with what others think of you
The irony is that the Dursleys don't realize that they are far from normal themselves. For years, Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had hoped that if they kept Harry as downtrodden as possible, they would be able to squash the magic out of him.
More Dursley pages: