Petunia Dursley: Wilted Flower?
By: Devina (The Charmed One)
What do we know about Petunia Dursley nee Evans?
She's possibly the worst aunt anyone could ever ask for. She's married to Vernon Dursley, and has a son Dudley Dursley who resembles a pig in a wig. She's an extremely inquisitive person who loves butting into other peoples' business. She hates Harry with a vengeance and despises her late sister, Lily Potter. And the most curious bit: she knows about the wizard prison of Azkaban and understands the implications of the return of Voldemort. Now, why does that surprise us?
It surprises us because…*drum rolls*…she hates the wizarding world and strove for at least 11 years to squash any sign of magic out of Harry…so why does she remember something about Azkaban of all places? She said she overheard James telling Lily. When did they get within 10 feet of each other anyway? Lets try and figure it out.
We don't know for sure that Lily was a Muggle-born witch. Harry does think he's the son of a Muggle-born witch, because he lives with her Muggle relatives (He incorrectly views himself as a half-blood. For him to be a half-blood one of his parents has to be a Muggle; both his parents are magically inclined; for more details, read my previous article). For all we know, Lily could have been born among a family of Squibs. It's quite possible. If you remember, Ron mentions the Weasley family is related to an accountant and they don't talk about them so much. Well, it's just like the Dursley's isn't it? They don't mention they are related to a you-know-what (And in case you do not know what, I mean witch). The main reason they might not mention it because it's a touchy topic for Petunia, being a Squib, failing her parents' expectations.
If the Evans family were Squibs, then Lily being a magical baby would have been a great surprise for them and they would have hoped that Petunia showed some signs of magic as well. When she didn't they probably wouldn't have held it against her, but she might have felt like she had let them down and hated her sister for making her the unwanted one as she perceived herself to be.
This theory isn't all that far-fetched as you think. If Petunia were a Squib, she wouldn't be down in the register or whatever…I mean Arabella Figg wasn't registered in the Ministry, so if Petunia were a Squib or born in a family of Squibs, then she wouldn't be registered.
However, if the Evans family was magically inclined, then Lily being a witch was a normal occurrence. They probably didn't even think that Petunia would not be a witch. But when she didn't get her letter, they must have been disappointed. She must have also been bitter about her fate. And again we reach the same conclusion…she hated Lily for being magic and her not. I don't think her parents would have grudged her not being a witch, but she must have been sad. Who wouldn't? She might have heard Lily and her parents talking about the great world of magic and Hogwarts, and she must have felt deprived of what could have been her destiny.
Ok, some might say, why would Snape call Lily a Mudblood? I have a theory for that as well!!! Ok, if Lily was from a family of Squibs, then perhaps they might be embarrassed about their non-magical status. Some people are like that so perhaps the Evans' thought it would be better for their daughter to pass herself off as a Muggle-born rather than a Squib's child. Now, if they were magically inclined, then well, I really have no explanation for the "Mudblood" comment.
Now, lets suppose that they were Muggles. Well, then the "Mudblood" comment fits in. She probably resented the attention being showered on Lily…her being the star, the witch of family. It's the same psychological feeling one gets when a new baby arrives in the house. Everyone seems to be paying more attention to the child than you and your achievements pale in comparison. She obviously hated her. I don't entirely blame her for her bitterness (No, I'm not supporting her, just giving a reason for her attitude).
Now lets discuss about her knowing about Azkaban. She said she heard him telling her many years ago. She heard him. Do you get the significance of that? She met James Potter. Ok, at the wedding obviously. What was James doing talking about Dementors and Azkaban and Voldemort at his wedding? Come on, why would a groom who is madly in love with his new wife talk about something as frightening and creepy as Dementors and the wizard who wants to kill them??? Suppose he did talk about it at their wedding, Petunia overheard it. Fine. So why did she bother remembering it? She-Who-Hates-Magic-And-Everything-Associated-With-It remembers what Dementors are? Yeah right. Ok, if he didn't talk about it at their wedding, James and Petunia must have come in contact at some other point of time. But why? Harry's birth? Maybe. Perhaps. They might have been discussing what could happen if they died. At that time, Voldemort was well on the rise and the Potters' knew about the danger. Petunia could have heard it then.
Whatever and however she heard, the point is, Petunia is not just the ignorant peeping tom we think. She knows more than she lets on and perhaps might do something later on to surprise Vernon again and leave him blubbering. Lets hope so. Because for one short minute when I was reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I actually liked her. (Can't believe I'm confessing that!)
Got more exciting topics coming soon! See ya!
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