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Back to the Burrow

- Chapter 4
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"They'll be driving, of course?"

 

- Vernon Dursley

GF 4 — Back to the Burrow
Author
Publication
Abbreviation GF4
Canonicity Primary Canon
GF4

Harry awaits the arrival of the Weasleys, who arrive by Floo powder and must blast their way out of the blocked-off fireplace. The twins drop some toffees, then Floo back to the Burrow with Harry’s trunk. Just as Harry is about to leave, Dudley eats one of the toffees and grows a huge purple tongue. Harry leaves Mr. Weasley to sort it out as Uncle Vernon begins throwing ornaments.

 

Calendar and Dates

The action of this chapter takes place the day before the Quidditch World Cup - the Sunday that the Weasleys collect Harry from Privet Drive.

 

Interesting facts and notes

This chapter features Harry's second trip to the Burrow (the previous visit having occurred the summer before his second year), hence the title.

We (and the Dursleys) learn a little more about travelling by Floo powder.

"I hope you told them to dress properly, these people," he snarled at once.

The fact that this is Vernon's immediate reaction is telling: he's very concerned about appearances.

Harry wasn't bothered about what the neighbours would think

So Harry, who should know, interpreted Vernon's reaction as an indication that he was worried about what the appearance of associating with the Weasleys would do to his own family's image.

Normally Uncle Vernon would have asked what car Mr. Weasley drove; he tended to judge other men on how big and expensive their cars were.

Again, this, in turn, lets us judge the character of Vernon Dursley by showing us what he thinks is important - appearances (again) and financial status. Notice that he concentrates on a car's size and cost, not (for instance) on the car's performance. A big gas guzzler sounds like his kind of car.

Exceptional character moments

Arthur, who notices how little the Dursleys care about Harry's departure. Compare the lack of so much as a "goodbye" from either Vernon or Petunia to Molly's hugs and fussing about socks and bag lunches, for instance.

Vernon, whose first question is about what the Weasleys will be wearing, and who tends to judge other men by what their cars are like.

Memorable lines

The idea of being taught consideration by a man who had just blasted away half his living room wall seemed to be causing him intense suffering.

Other Canon Notes

These are other occasions in which Dudley comes off badly following a magical encounter.

Commentary

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The Harry Potter Canon