Quotes by and about Petunia, Vernon & Dudley Dursley


From Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Vernon: He cleared his throat nervously. ‘Er … Petunia, dear … you haven’t heard from your sister lately, have you?’ As he expected, Mrs Dursley looked shocked and angry. After all, they normally pretended she didn’t have a sister.
‘No,’ she said sharply. ‘Why?’
‘Funny stuff on the news,’ Mr Dursley mumbled. ‘Owls… shooting stars… and there were a lot of funny-looking people in town today…’
‘So?’ snapped Mrs Dursley.
‘Well, I just thought… maybe… it was something to do with… you now… her lot.’ Mrs Dursley sipped her tea through pursed lips… (PS1)

‘Their son … he’d be about Dudley’s age now, wouldn’t he?’
‘I suppose so,’ said Mrs Dursley stiffly.
‘What’s his name again? Howard, isn’t it?’
‘Harry. Nasty, common name, if you ask me.’ (PS1)

‘Up! Get up! Now!’
Harry woke with a start. His aunt rapped on the door again.
‘Up!’ she screeched. (PS2)

‘Are you up yet? she [Petunia] demanded.
‘Nearly,’ said Harry.
‘Well, get a move on, I want you to look after the bacon. And don’t you dare let it burn, I want everything perfect on Duddy’s birthday. Harry groaned.
‘What did you say?’ his aunt snapped through the door.
‘Nothing, nothing…’ (PS2)

When Harry asks how he got his scar: ‘In the car crash when your parents died,’ she [Petunia] said. ‘And don’t ask questions.’ (PS2)

‘Thirty-six,’ he said, looking up at his mother and father. ‘That’s two less than last year.’
‘Darling, you haven’t counted Auntie Marge’s present, see, it’s here under this big one from Mummy and Daddy.’ (PS2)

Aunt Petunia obviously scented danger too, because she said quickly, ‘And we’ll buy you another two presents while we’re out today. How’s that popkin?’ Two more presents. Is that all right?’
Dudley thought for a moment. It looked like hard work. Finally he said slowly, ‘So I’ll have thirty… thirty…’
‘Thirty-nine, sweetums,’ said Aunt Petunia.
‘Oh.’ Dudley sat down heavily and grabbed the nearest parcel. (PS2)

‘Now what?’ said Aunt Petunia…

‘We could phone Marge,’ Uncle Vernon suggested.
‘Don’t be silly, Vernon, she hates the boy.’

‘What about what’s-her-name, your friend … Yvonne?’
‘On holiday in Majorca,’ snapped Aunt Petunia.
‘You could just leave me here,’ Harry put in hopefully (he’d be able to watch what he wanted on television for a change and maybe even have a go on Dudley’s computer).
Aunt Petunia looked as though she’d just swallowed a lemon.
‘And come back and find the house in ruins?’ she snarled. (PS2)

‘I suppose we could take him to the zoo,’ said Aunt Petunia slowly, ‘… and leave him in the car…’
‘That car’s new, he’s not sitting in it alone…’
Dudley began to cry loudly. (PS2)

‘Dinky Duddydums, don’t cry, Mummy won’t let him spoil your special day!’ she cried, flinging her arms around him.
‘I… don’t… want… him… t-t-to come!’ Dudley yelled between huge pretend sobs. ‘He always sp-spoils everything!’ (PS2)

‘What’s this?’ he asked Aunt Petunia. Her lips tightened as they always did if he dared to ask a question.
‘Your new school uniform,’ she said.
Harry looked into the bowl again.
‘Oh,’ he said. ‘I didn’t realise it had to be so wet.’
‘Don’t be stupid,’ snapped Aunt Petunia. ‘I’m dying some of Dudley’s old things grey for you. It’ll look just like everyone else’s when I’ve finished.’ (PS3)

‘Vernon,’ Aunt Petunia was saying in a quivering voice, ‘look at the address … how could they possibly know where he sleeps? You don’t think they’re watching the house?’
‘Watching … spying … might be following us,’ muttered UncleVernon wildly.
‘But what do we do, Vernon? Should we write back? Tell them we don’t want …’
Harry could see Uncle Vernon’s shiny black shoes pacing up and down the kitchen.
‘No,’ he said finally. ‘No, we’ll ignore it. If they don’t get an answer… yes, that’s best… we won’t do anything…’
‘But …’
‘I’m not having one in the house, Petunia! Didn’t we swear when we took him in we’d stamp out that dangerous nonsense?’ (PS3)

‘Wouldn’t it be better just to go home, dear?’ Aunt Petunia suggested timidly. (PS3)

Uncle Vernon, who had gone very pale, whispered something that sounded like “Mimblewimble.” Hagrid stared wildly at Harry. (PS3)

‘You knew,’ said Harry. ‘You knew I’m a … a wizard?’
‘Knew!’ shrieked Aunt Petunia suddenly. ‘Knew! Of course we knew! How could you not be, my dratted sister being what she was? Oh, she got a letter just like that and disappeared off to that … that school – and came home every holiday with her pockets full of frog-spawn, turning tea-cups into rats. I was the only one who saw her for what she was … a freak! But for my mother and father, oh no, it was Lily this and Lily that, they were proud of having a witch in the family!’
She stopped to draw a deep breath and then went ranting on. It seemed like she had been wanting to say all this for years.
‘Then she met that Potter at school and they left and got married and had you, and of course I knew you’d be just the same, just as strange, just as … as … abnormal … and then, if you please, she went and got herself blown up and we got landed with you!’ (PS4)

From Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Dudley: ‘I want more bacon.’
‘There’s more in the frying pan, sweetums,’ said Aunt Petunia, turning misty eyes on her massive son. ‘We must feed you up while we’ve got the chance… I don’t like the sound of that school food…’
‘Nonsense, Petunia, I never went hungry when I was at Smeltings,’ said Uncle Vernon heartily. ‘Dudley gets enough, don’t you son?’ (CS1)

‘I think we should run through the schedule one more time,’ said Uncle Vernon. ‘We should all be in position at eight o’clock. Petunia, you will be …?’
‘In the lounge,’ said Aunt Petunia promptly, ‘waiting to welcome them graciously to our home.’
‘Good, good. And Dudley?’
‘I’ll be waiting to open the door.’ Dudley put on a foul, simpering smile. ‘May I take your coats, Mr and Mrs Mason?’
‘They’ll love him!’ cried Aunt Petunia rapturously.
‘Excellent, Dudley,’ said Uncle Vernon. Then he rounded on Harry. ‘And you?’
‘I’ll be in my bedroom, making no noise and pretending I’m not there,’ said Harry tonelessly.
‘Exactly,’ said Uncle Vernon nastily. ‘I will lead them into the lounge, introduce you, Petunia, and pour them drinks. At eight fifteen …’
‘I’ll announce dinner,’ said Aunt Petunia.
‘And Dudley, you’ll say …?’
‘My I take you through to the dining room, Mrs Mason?’ said Dudley, offering his fat arm to an invisible woman.
‘My perfect little gentleman!’ sniffed Aunt Petunia.
‘And you?’ said Uncle Vernon viciously to Harry.
‘I’ll be in my bedroom, making no noise and pretending I’m not there,’ said Harry dully.
‘Precisely. Now, we should aim to get in a few good compliments at dinner. Petunia, any ideas?’
‘Vernon tells me you’re a wonderful golfer, Mr Mason… Do tell me where you brought your dress, Mrs Mason…’ (CS1)

From Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

‘When will they learn,’ said Uncle Vernon, pounding the table with his large purple fist, ‘that hanging’s the only way to deal with these people?’
‘Very true,’ said Aunt Petunia, who was still squinting into next door’s runner-beans. (PA2)

‘Duddy’s got to make himself smart for his auntie,’ said Aunt Petunia, smoothing Dudley’s thick blond hair. ‘Mummy’s bought him a lovely new bow-tie.’ (PA2)

“It’s one of the basic rules of breeding,” she said. “You see it all the time with dogs. If there’s something wrong with the bitch, there’ll be something wrong with the pup –”
At that moment, the wineglass Aunt Marge was holding exploded in her hand. Shards of glass flew in every direction and Aunt Marge sputtered and blinked, her great ruddy face dripping. (PA2)

“Aah,” said Aunt Marge, smacking her lips and putting the empty brandy glass back down. “Excellent nosh, Petunia. It’s normally just a fry-up for me of an evening, with twelve dogs to look after….” She burped richly and patted her great tweed stomach. “Pardon me. But I do like to see a healthy-sized boy,” she went on, winking at Dudley. “You’ll be a proper-sized man, Dudders, like your father. Yes, I’ll have a spot more brandy, Vernon….” (PA2)

From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

On Dudley: ‘He’s a boisterous little boy, but he would hurt a fly!’ said Aunt Petunia tearfully. (GF3)

Petunia: ‘No consideration at all.’
‘We might have had an engagement.’
‘Maybe they think they’ll get invited to dinner if they’re late.’
‘Well, they most certainly won’t be,’ said Uncle Vernon, and Harry heard him stand up and start pacing the living room. ‘They’ll take the boy and go, there’ll be no hanging around. That’s if they’re coming at all. Probably mistake the day. I dare say their kind don’t set much store by punctuality. Either that or they drive some tinpot car that’s broken d- AAAAAAAARRRRRGH!’ (GF4)

From Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

On Harry: ‘Glad to see the boy’s stopped trying to butt in. Where is he, anyway?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Aunt Petunia, unconcerned. ‘Not in the house.’ Uncle Vernon grunted.
‘Watching the news…’ he said scathingly. ‘I’d like to know what he’s really up to. As if a normal boy cares what’s on the news … Dudley hasn’t got a clue what’s going on; doubt he knows who the Prime Minister is! Anyway, it’s not as if there’d be anything about his
lot on our news -‘ ‘Vernon, shh!’ said Aunt Petunia. ‘The window’s open!’
‘Oh … yes … sorry, dear.’ (OP1)

Vernon: ‘Dudders out for tea?’
‘At the Polkisses’,’ said Aunt Petunia fondly. ‘He’s got so many little friends, he’s so popular…’ (OP1)

‘I didn’t make that noise,’ said Harry firmly.
Aunt Petunia’s thin, horsy face now appeared beside Uncle Vernon’s wide, purple one. She looked livid.
‘Why were you lurking under our window?’
‘Yes … yes, good point, Petunia! What were you doing under our window, boy?’
‘Listening to the news,’ said Harry in a resigned voice.
His aunt and uncle exchange looks of outrage.
‘Listening to the news! Again?’
‘Well, it changes every day, you see,’ said Harry. (OP1)

‘We know you’re up to something funny,’ said Aunt Petunia.
‘We’re not stupid, you know,’ said Uncle Vernon. (OP1)

‘What did he do to you, Diddy?’ Aunt Petunia said in a quavering voice, now sponging sick from the front of Dudley’s leather jacket. ‘Was it … was it you-know-what, darling? Did he use … his thing?’ (OP2)

‘All went dark,’ Dudley said hoarsely, shuddering. ‘Everything dark. And then I h-heard… things. Inside m-my head.’

‘What sort of things did you hear, Popkin?’ breathed Aunt Petunia, very white-faced and with tears in her eyes. (OP2)

Petunia: ‘What happened them, Dudders?’
‘Felt… felt… felt… as if… as if…’
‘As if you’d never be happy again,’ Harry supplied tonelessly.
‘Yes,’ Dudley whispered, still trembling.
‘So!’ said Uncle Vernon, voice restored to full and considerable volume as he straightened up. ‘You put some crackpot spell on my son, so he’d hear voices and believe he was … was doomed to misery or something, did you?’
‘How many times do I have to tell you?’ said Harry, temper and voice both rising. ‘It wasn’t me! It was a couple of Dementors!’
‘A couple of … what’s this codswallop?’
‘De … men … tors,’ said Harry slowly and clearly. ‘Two of them.’
‘And what the ruddy hell are Dementors?’
‘They guard the wizard prison, Azkaban,’ said Aunt Petunia. (OP2)

Petunia: ‘I heard … that awful boy … telling her about them 0 years ago,’ she said jerkily.
‘If you mean my mum and dad, why don’t your use their names?’ said Harry loudly, but Aunt Petunia ignored him. (OP2)

‘Kiss you?’ said Uncle Vernon, his eyes popping slightly. ‘Kiss you?’
‘It’s what they call it when they suck the soul out of your mouth.’
Aunt Petunia uttered a soft scream.
‘His soul? They didn’t take … he’s still got his …’ (OP2)

On Voldemort’s return: ‘Back?’ whispered Aunt Petunia. She was looking at Harry as she had never looked at him before. And all of a sudden, for the very first time in his life, Harry fully appreciated that Aunt Petunia was his mother’s sister (OP2).

‘You heard me – OUT!’ Uncle Vernon bellowed, and even Aunt Petunia and Dudley jumped. ‘OUT! OUT! I should’ve done this years ago! Owls treating the place like a rest home, puddings exploding, half the lounge destroyed, Dudley’s tail, Marge bobbing around on the ceiling and that flying Ford Anglia – OUT! OUT! You’ve had it! You’re history! You’re not staying here if some loony’s after you, you’re not endangering my wife and son, you’re not bringing trouble down on us. If you’re going the same way as your useless parents, I’ve had it! OUT!’
Why we ever kept you in the first place, I don’t know, Marge was right, it should have been the orphanage. We were too damn soft for our own good, thought we could squash it out of you, thought we could turn you normal, but you’ve been rotten from the beginning and I’ve had enough – owls!’ (OP2).

On the Howler: ‘It’s addressed to me,’ said Aunt Petunia in a shaking voice. ‘It’s addressed to me, Vernon, look! Mrs Petunia Dursley, The Kitchen, Number Four, Privet Drive …’ (OP2)

An awful voice filled the kitchen, echoing in the confined space, issuing from the burning letter on the table.

Aunt Petunia looked as though she might faint. She sank into the chair beside Dudley, her face in her hands.

‘Petunia, dear?’ said Uncle Vernon timidly. ‘P-Petunia?’
She raised her head. She was still trembling. She swallowed.
‘The boy … the boy will have to stay, Vernon,’ she said weakly.
‘He stays,’ she said. She was not looking at Harry. She got to her feet again (OP2).

Dumbledore to Harry: “But I knew too where Voldemort was weak. And so I made my decision. You would be protected by an ancient magic of which he knows, which he despises, and which he has always, therefore, underestimated … to his cost. I am speaking, of course, of the fact that your mother died to save you. She gave you a lingering protection he never expected, a protection that flows in your veins to this day. I put my trust, therefore, in your mother’s blood. I delivered you to her sister, her only remaining relative.”
“She doesn’t love me,” said Harry at once. “She doesn’t give a damn –”
“But she took you,” Dumbledore cut across him. “She may have taken you grudgingly, furiously, unwillingly, bitterly, yet still she took you, and in doing so, she sealed the charm I placed upon you. Your mother’s sacrifice made the bond of blood the strongest shield I could give you.”
“I still don’t –”
“While you can still call home the place where your mother’s blood dwells, there you cannot be touched or harmed by Voldemort. He shed her blood, but it lives on in you and her sister. Her blood became your refuge. You need return there only once a year, but as long as you can still call it home, there he cannot hurt you. Your aunt knows this. I explained what I had done in the letter I left, with you, on her doorstep. She knows that allowing you houseroom may well have kept you alive for the past fifteen years.” (OP37)

“Five years ago, then,” continued Dumbledore, as though he had not paused in his story, “you arrived at Hogwarts, neither as happy nor as well-nourished as I would have liked, perhaps, yet alive and healthy. You were not a pampered little prince, but as normal a boy as I could have hoped under the circumstances.” (OP37)

From Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“It is a long time since my last visit,” said Dumbledore, peering down his crooked nose at Uncle Vernon. “I must say, your agapanthus are flourishing.” (HBP3)

Vernon Dursley said nothing at all. Harry did not doubt that speech would return to him, and soon — the vein pulsing in his uncles temple was reaching danger point — but something about Dumbledore seemed to have robbed him temporarily of breath. It might have been the blatant wizardishness of his appearance, but it might, too, have been that even Uncle Vernon could sense that here was a man whom it would be very difficult to bully. (HBP3)

“I don’t mean to be rude -” he [Vernon] began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.
“- yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often,” Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely. “Best to say nothing at all, my dear man.” (HBP3)

“Albus Dumbledore,” said Dumbledore, when Uncle Vernon failed to effect an introduction. “We have corresponded, of course.”

He drew his wand so rapidly that Harry barely saw it; with a casual flick, the sofa zoomed forward and knocked the knees out from under all three of the Dursleys so that they collapsed upon it in a heap. Another flick of the wand and the sofa zoomed back to its original position.
“We may as well be comfortable,” said Dumbledore pleasantly. (HBP3)

“I would assume that you were going to offer me refreshment,” Dumbledore said to Uncle Vernon, “but the evidence so far suggests that that would be optimistic to the point of foolishness.”
A third twitch of the wand, and a dusty bottle and five glasses appeared in midair. The bottle tipped and poured a generous measure of honey-colored liquid into each of the glasses, which then floated to each person in the room.
“Madam Rosmertas finest oak-matured mead,” said Dumbledore, raising his glass to Harry, who caught hold of his own and sipped.
The Dursleys, after quick, scared looks at one another, tried to ignore their glasses completely, a difficult feat, as they were nudging them gently on the sides of their heads. Harry could not suppress a suspicion that Dumbledore was rather enjoying himself. (HBP3)

Uncle Vernon shouted, “Will you get these ruddy things off us?”
Harry looked around; all three of the Dursleys were cowering with their arms over their heads as their glasses bounced up and down on their skulls, their contents flying everywhere.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” said Dumbledore politely, and he raised his wand again. All three glasses vanished. “But it would have been better manners to drink it, you know.” (HBP3)

“Now, as you already know, the wizard called Lord Voldemort has returned to this country. The Wizarding community is currently in a state of open warfare. Harry, whom Lord Voldemort has already attempted to kill on a number of occasions, is in even greater danger now than the day when I left him upon your doorstep fifteen years ago, with a letter explaining about his parents’ murder and expressing the hope that you would care for him as though he were your own.”
“You did not do as I asked. You have never treated Harry as a son. He has known nothing but neglect and often cruelty at your hands. The best that can be said is that he has at least escaped the appalling damage you have inflicted upon the unfortunate boy sitting between you.”
“The magic I evoked fifteen years ago means that Harry has powerful protection while he can still call this house ‘home.’ However miserable he has been here, however unwelcome, however badly treated, you have at least, grudgingly, allowed him houseroom. This magic will cease to operate the moment that Harry turns seventeen; in other words, at the moment he becomes a man. I ask only this: that you allow Harry to return, once more, to this house, before his seventeenth birthday, which will ensure that the protection continues until that time.” (HBP3)

Primary editor: Lisa Waite Bunker. Compiled by Lori Damerell.
Original page date 23 January, 2005; Last page update 27 January, 2008.

Table of Contents


Pensieve (Comments)