JK Rowling finally reveals why the Dursleys hated Harry Potter

There's got to be some strong reasoning behind trapping someone in a cupboard under the stairs for half their childhood, surely?

Clarisse Loughrey
Wednesday 13 July 2016 16:27 BST

Poor Harry Potter, in his cupboard under the stairs.

You've got to wonder what the kid could have possibly done to have incurred the wrath of the Dursleys; of his grotesque uncle and aunt, and their equally grotesque son, their tortures towards Harry making his triumphant arrival to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry all the more triumphant. Well, J.K. Rowling finally has some answers.

In a post on Pottermore, Rowling wrote at length about the history of Vernon and Petunia Dursley, who met in the dull environments of the office; Petunia forever embittered by the fact her witch sister - Lily - was the favoured child. Indeed, her romancing of the distinctly ordinary Vernon appears to have been a rebellion against her sister's own uniqueness.

In numbers: Harry Potter at 20

However, tension soon grew between Vernon and Lily's own boyfriend, James Potter, and the sisters grew even further apart; Lily was not invited to be a bridesmaid at Petunia's wedding, and Petunia failed even to show for Lily's.

The very last correspondence between the pair was a letter from Lily announcing Harry's birth, which was promptly thrown in the bin. Unsurprisingly, then, the Dursleys were shocked at the discovery of their orphaned nephew on their doorstep a little over a year later but, reading of Lily's shocking death, Petunia felt she had no choice but to take the child in.

"She did it grudgingly, and spent the rest of Harry's childhood punishing him for her own choice," Rowling reveals on the matter; Vernon's added resentment also stems from Harry's close resemblance to his father James, which motivated Severus Snape's own dislike in turn.

Rowling's writing on Pottermore had also recently revealed a wealth of details on the American Hogwarts, Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; including the revelation of the school's four houses.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which features Rowling's debut screenplay, hits UK cinemas 18 November 2016.

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