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I understood the Dursleys.

I recently read the Harry Potter books. I have never read them, with the exception of “The Philosopher’s Stone” and “The Chamber of Secrets” where they first came out when I was a kid.

My whole knowledge came from the movies and even though I loved them while watching them through the years, I couldn’t help myself to thinking that the story was vastly incomplete. This idea had been fed with the rise of youtube and people explaining the story step by step and having me to wonder that maybe my knowledge of the story was nonexistent at best so, a few weeks ago I decide to read the books and while I was going through the pages I fully understood that the movies were, ad still are terrible.

One of the storylines that most had been cut away from the movies is the relationship between Harry and the Dursleys and let me say, and I am sure that many of you will agree with me, it is fantastic.

But the pinnacle of this relationship has been developed in almost its totality in a single incredible chapter, the one that became probably my favorite chapter in the whole series, far beyond chapters full of magic, or quidditch, or duels, or magical creatures. The story in this chapter is beyond fantastic, in my opinion.

I am speaking about The Order of the Phoenix – Chapter 2: A peck of Owls. This chapter is fantastic and it changed the relationship between Harry and his family in a way that couldn’t have been otherwise.

There is the realization from Harry that maybe Dudley can be more than he appears after the Dementor’s attack, there is an incredible level of catharsis between Harry and Petunia and of course there is the not having a clue of what is happening from Vernon.

In the chapter there is Harry that for the first time is breaking the veil that separate the Dursleys from the wizarding world while he explain what happened to Dudley and most importantly what the dementor are and then a voice speaks: “They guard the wizard prison, Azkaban,” and to say this it wasn’t Harry or Mrs. Figg or some wizard, it was Petunia and my reaction was the same as Harry: “What?”

Then Harry speaks about Voldemort and Vernon remembers the name from the first chapter of the Philosopher’s stone and the fact he is gone but Harry is relentless and he says that he is back.

But the second greater reaction was Petunia who whispered: “Back?” by looking at Harry in a way that never happened. It was a cathartic way, it was a clash of souls that were heading toward the same direction with Vernon that had no clue on what was happening and it seemed frustrated by the fact that there is an understandable understanding of fear.

The furious pretense that Aunt Petunia had maintained all Harry’s life — that there was no magic and no world other than the world she inhabited with Uncle Vernon — seemed to have fallen away.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, chapter 2: A peck of owls

Here I understood the relationship between the four people in that room and let me say it is seriously great.

Vernon is some kind of victim in all of this. He doesn’t hate the magical world because he has something against them. If it wasn’t for Petunia he wouldn’t even know that the Wizarding World even existed. The only reason why he hates them is that Petunia had the worst possible experience with the Wizarding world when she was a kid and so, she moved this hatred toward her husband.

This is even highlighted in the aforementioned magical first chapter of the Philosopher’s Stone in which he leave his house and he start going around the city hearing stuff about magic and the Potters and dark wizards but the most important part is that, and here is very much explained, he is not disturbed by them because of him, he doesn’t want to affect Petunia by coming back home and starting to speak about her sister and niece.

She is the corrupting force in Vernon’s life and, if we come back to this fantastic chapter in the Order of the Phoenix, Vernon’s rage is very much justified because he had passed his entire married life having been taught to hate wizards and everything involving them and now his own wife, the one he acted to protected for all those years is betraying him. What is she doing? She is coming back to that corrupted and weird world she hates so much? He followed her steps, he hated them, he mistreated Harry for his own life just because she wanted to and now she is playing games with that little freak. What is going on?

And this reached a tipping point when an Owler came into the kitchen and it was addressed to her personally. Why would a wizard write to her?

REMEMBER MY LAST, PETUNIA

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, chapter 2: A peck of owls

She is in contact with the Wizarding world and he, Vernon, cannot believe it, the betrayal is now complete.

So. Vernon is the one that had been conned into hating a group of people just for the sake of love, Petunia is simply the one that wasn’t lucky enough to be fully drawn beyond the curtain, Dudley is simply the spoiled kid who had simply been raised according to the values of the family and Harry, well he is Harry Potter, the main protagonist and only one in the family that is way beyond the veil, he lives beyond the veil of the Wizarding World.

Now. As I said, this is my favorite chapter and I will never forgive Warner Bros for having taken this experience from me. I know that this is a stupid reaction since I simply had to read the book before, but this was an important step that they blatantly missed.

They tried to compact this whole story in a single deleted scene that had never made the final cut but damn.

-ldmarchesi

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