J.K. Rowling's New "Harry Potter" Backstory Is All About the Dursleys | NBC Bay Area

J.K. Rowling's New "Harry Potter" Backstory Is All About the Dursleys

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Warner Bros.

    Did you ever wonder why Petunia and Vernon Dursley hated the Potters so much?

    In honor of what would be Dudley Dursley's 35th birthday Tuesday, author J.K. Rowling gave fans the ultimate treat on Pottermore–a backstory that explained why there was such an innate hatred for Harry Potter's parents, and it's not just the magic that bothered them.

    It all began when sisters Petunia and Lily were in their final year at Hogwarts, and Petunia invited her sister and her then-boyfriend, James Potter, to dinner to meet her fiance, Vernon Dursley. "James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it," Rowling writes on her fan site. "Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom."

    Unfortunately, it didn't sit well with Vernon, who tried to fight back with his own condescending comments.

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    "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 goes on to explain that Vernon and Severus Snape have one thing in common: Their strong dislike for Harry stems from the close resemblance he has to his father. In a shocking confession, however, Rowling reveals that she toyed with the idea of introducing a more sympathetic version of Petunia at the end of the Deathly Hallows, but the character's jealousy of Lily prompted her to keep her as bitter and mean as she was.

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    Fortunately for "Harry Potter" fans, there will be more to come from the author and the franchise, as "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is set to hit the big screen on Nov. 18, 2016, starring Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston

    "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. "But Newt [Scamander's] story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry's gets underway."

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