Petunia Dursley
Biographical information
Marital status


Also known as

Mrs Dursley[1]

Physical information




Hair colour


Skin colour


Family information
Family members

Petunia Dursley (nee Evans)[2] (b. before 1960[3]) is a minor antagonist in the Harry Potter franchise. She was a Muggle and the sister of witch Lily Evans, who she was deeply jealous of due to her magical abilities, to the point that Petunia would later remark that Lily deserved to "get blown up"[1].


Petunia was born to Mr and Mrs Evans, the elder sister of Lily[4], where all four individuals lived in Cokeworth, England[5]. Her parents continuously praised her sister for her magical abilities, leaving Petunia to wallow in jealousy and self-hatred[5]. Eventually she decided to leave them forever[5].

She took up a typing course in London, and then an office job where she met young Vernon Dursley, who seemed to her to be a model of the proper husband[5]. She spent a fair amount of time daydreaming of the day he would put a ring on her finger, and enjoyed a series of extremely boring dates in which he relayed his own ideas of the world[5].

Finally, in 1977, Vernon engaged to her in his mother's sitting room and she, without the slightest hesitation, accepted[5]. Her only concern was how Vernon would react upon learning her sister was a witch; however, he confirmed that he would never hold it against her, and she hugged him with such fierce gratitude that he dropped the battered sausage he had been holding, and wept in joy[5].

Vernon and Petunia did, however, give James and Lily Potter a chance; they met in a quiet restaurant[5]. Unfortunately, however, James quickly became amused by Vernon and, somewhat foolishly, decided to show it; Vernon, in turn, was disgusted by James and made numerous attempts to patronise him, all of which were unsuccessful[5]. The fiasco ended with Vernon and Petunia storming huffily out of the restaurant, with Lily crying and James promising, more than a bit ashamed of himself, to make things up[5].

This never happened, however; although James and Lily were allowed attending Vernon and Petunia's wedding, Petunia refused to have her sister as a bridesmaid due to a paranoid fear of being overshadowed[5]. Things worsened as Vernon refused to make things up with James, instead choosing to insult him within his earshot[5].

She received an invitation, in 1980, to James and Lily's wedding but chose not to attend; the last thing she ever received from her sister was an announcement of their son Harry's birth, which she promptly threw out[5].

Thereafter, they lived completely ordinary lives for more than a year; Vernon was promoted to the position of director of Grunnings, and the family owned a very nice car[1]. They had their son Dudley, and in their opinion, there wasn't a finer boy anywhere[1].

Then came the fateful day on 1 November, 1981, when the Potters died and their son, Harry, was sent to live with the Dursleys, brought there by Albus Dumbledore[1]. He left a letter explaining the circumstances of their nephew's coming to live with them, and despite other wizards thinking the letter to be insufficient, it turned out to do its job quite well[6].

Physical appearanceEdit

Petunia had large brown eyes[7] and long blonde hair[1]. She had pale, slightly wrinkled skin[7] and a very long neck that came in useful for spying on others[1].

Personality and traitsEdit

Petunia was a very emotional, dramatic woman; she openly wept in joy and thrust herself at her new husband with such force that he dropped his meal, upon learning that she wanted to marry him[5], and began shrieking uncontrollably at the giant Hagrid and her weak, eleven-year old nephew Harry Potter when reminded of her sister, his mother[8].

Although she wore a mask of stiff disapproval and sometimes lost her temper[8], she did care very deeply about others, even those she disliked, resigning to keep her nephew in the house when she put her husband and son's lives at stake[6].


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Chapter One - The Boy Who Lived)
  2. Wizards Challenge at Scholastic Site
  3. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows we discover that she is older than her sister which is born in 1960
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Chapter Thirty-Two - The Prince's Tale)
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 Pottermore - New from JKR: Vernon and Petunia Dursley
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Two - A Peck of Owls)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Chapter Four - The Keeper of the Keys)
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