By NewsGram Staff Writer
Why did Harry Potter’s uptight Privet Drive-dwelling aunt and uncle dislike him enough to leave him languishing in the cupboard under the stairs?
And why Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia Dursley have such a problem with the loveable orphaned wizard is hinted at (they hate magic, she resented her sister’s witchcraft etc) in the books, but has never been explicitly addressed until now.
Writing on her Harry Potter fan website Pottermore, JK Rowling has finally revealed the backstory behind the family’s rift.
While at their final year at Hogwarts Petunia, Harry’s mother sister, invited Lily and her boyfriend, James Potter, to meet her fiancé Vernon Dursley.
“James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it. Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom”, said Rowling.
“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,” she continued.
“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”, Rowling disclosed.
Vernon’s dislike of Harry’s father, and the boy’s close resemblance to him, fuels his animosity toward his nephew.
The dislike mirrors Severus Snape’s initial dislike for Harry, who reminds him of his “arrogant” father and their Harry/Malfoy-style schoolboy feud.
Rowling, however, decided to keep the unkind character as she was at the end of book seven, rather than creating a more sympathetic Petunia, and explaining more about how jealousy of her sister Lily prompted her dislike of anything out of the ordinary.
The script for the first of a Warner Brothers Harry Potter spin-off film based on the Hogwarts text book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was completed by Rowling late last year.
Set 70 years before Harry was born, the first of a trilogy of films stars Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston, and will be released on 18 November 2016.
“The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films,” the author revealed last September.
Having grossed a massive $7.7 billion in worldwide box office earnings, the Harry Potter franchise remains the most successful in history.