Dudley Dursley

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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing, which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. It was copied/saved by Lady Arabella and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic

Hem Hem - Nov 25, 2003 12:50 am
Edited by S.E. Jones Nov 7, 2006 3:47 am

I changed the status of this thread to Permanent. - Kip

Some talk about Dudley has managed to creep into other threads, particularly the "Petunia" thread, if I'm not mistaken, but I have a few big questions about Dear Dudders, so here we are!

# Has Dudley ever fully recovered from his Dementor experience? We haven't heard him say much since the night he was attacked, but does getting nearly-kissed have serious emotional side effects?

# How much does Dudley remember of August 2nd?

# How will Dudley's experiences effect his interactions with Harry? Will he now treat Harry with anger, hatred, fear, or curiosity? Will he recognize that what befell him was beyond Harry's control, and that Harry saved his life? And if he does realize this, how will he respond to his changing views of magic and of Harry?

Or will he remain the same ol' Dudley he always was?

JKR has said that she feels more pity for Dudley than she does for many other characters, because his life he is so abused by the weaknesses of his own lifestyle. If she truly does pity him, now is a wonderful opportunity for him to be developed into a rather interesting character. And no, I'm not thinking a Squib....::groan::

Please feel free to share you opinions.

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Last edited by Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #1 to #50)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:48 pm

SJ Rand - Nov 25, 2003 9:53 am (#1 of 571)

Dudley wouldn't have known what that kiss could do, so any long term effects would be from the brief exposure to those despairing thoughts... and from facing a real monster.

I can't see him changing toward Harry. He's been angry at, and afraid of, Harry since the pig tail incident, so he hates him. He hates Harry because of being made to feel fear. Fear is what he's supposed to make other kids feel.

Knowing that being near Harry can expose him to monsters won't change those feelings. Harry saved him, but even if Dudley realizes that he'll remember it was Harry's fault he needed to be saved. Which is true, even though Harry didn't want to be attacked either. No Harry, no monsters.

I'll add a question: What would Dudley's Boggart be, were he to face one?

Seeing himself become Harry? Harry has been the opposite of Dudley most of their lives: underfed, skinny, weak, ignored, abused, denied even a bed, let alone any other possessions.

Choices - Nov 25, 2003 9:58 am (#2 of 571)

I also wonder how the people at the hospital felt when they had to do surgery to remove that pig's tail from Dudley's behind. Would love to have been a fly on the wall for that one. LOL

I'm not sure that Dudley really understands what happened with the Dementors or knows what they were preparing to do before Harry stopped them. He was sort of out of it and may not fully remember what happened. Not being of the wizard world, he probably doesn't know what Dementors are or understand the dire consequences of their "kiss". He is already wary of Harry and this will probably cause him to be even more so.

Choices - Nov 25, 2003 10:05 am (#3 of 571)

LOL I think Dudley's Boggart would be an empty refrigerator.

popkin - Nov 25, 2003 10:33 am (#4 of 571)
Edited by Nov 25, 2003 10:38 am

Harry is a much stronger person than Dudley (emotionally speaking), so it's not a fair comparison, but Harry was able to face not just one Dementor, but 100, and was nearly kissed, and came through the experience without much trouble. He is still afraid, but not overly so, and it might be because he does have the power to ward off Dementors now, but Hermione couldn't and she hasn't had much to say about her experience with Dementors. Anyway, I think Dudley will mostly have recovered from the experience - especially the near kiss, since he did have his hand clapped tightly over his mouth.

However, the memory that the Dementor was able to pull to the surface for Dudley - that will be important. I'm sure we will find out what it was, and it will develop the plot.

As for blaming Harry... Well, the only thing Dudley was able to do once he got back to the safety of his home besides get sick and sit down was to blame Harry for the experience. Dudley listened to Harry when he was told to keep his hand tightly over his mouth, and he did so. So, he might know that Harry was trying to help him. However, Dudley did not see the Dementors, and he probably really does think that Harry (who had just been exchanging angry words with Dud) was responsible for putting the horrible thoughts in his head. Aunt Petunia probably has a pretty good idea of what was going on, but I can't see her enlightening her poor little Duddikins. I also don't think she's going to want to know what horrible things Dudley remembered in the attack.

S.E. Jones - Nov 25, 2003 11:09 am (#5 of 571)

Well, Dudley was present when Harry was explaining the Dementors to Vernon, so I'd think, assuming any of the conversation penetrated his thick skull, he'd have figured out what they were, what they do, and what they could've done had one of them actually kissed him...

Peregrine - Nov 25, 2003 1:18 pm (#6 of 571)

I think we’ll find out about Dudley’s memories too. Just for the fact that Harry paused to wonder what pampered-all-his-life-Dudley was forced to remember.

I can see Dudley nagging Petunia to give him information now that he knows that she knows. Remember what a stink he made in PS when the initial letters from Hogwarts kept coming? Dudley may be afraid of magic, but he also doesn’t like being left out of the loop.

MoaningMyrtle101 - Nov 25, 2003 6:31 pm (#7 of 571)

The letters were before he knew magic existed. I think Dudley is too afraid of it at this point to want to know anything more about it. Nagging Aunt Petunia to see what she knows about the WW seems more like the sort of thing Vernon would do. I can see HIM being very annoyed at that "They guard the wizard prison, Azkaban," comment, but I don't think Dudley will want to know anything else at this point. I think it'll be interesting to see how his parents react when they find out what he's REALLY been doing when he says he's having tea...

MTW - Nov 25, 2003 7:21 pm (#8 of 571)


Your post caused me to reread the Dementors encounter. I hadn't notice that Dudley did listen to Harry ,after at first running away. Why did Dudley suddenly listen to Harry? In the text Harry hears a scream and Dudley stop running. On my first read through, I assumed fear had caused Dudley to collapsed into the fetal position. I had over look that Harry telling him to cover his mouth. Then Harry finding Dudley had his arms clamped over his head. Maybe Dudley did see the Dementor.

S.E. Jones - Nov 25, 2003 7:33 pm (#9 of 571)

Maybe he just felt the Dementor, as in he ran into it and felt it's scabby hands grabbing at his face, heard it breathing, heard it's robes rustling and realized that, whatever it was, it was real, and that's why he listened to Harry....

Hem Hem - Nov 25, 2003 7:36 pm (#10 of 571)

Harry was screaming instructions to Dudley all throughout the Dementor attack. Presuming that Dudley has more intellect than a teaspoon, he could have read by the emotion in Harry's voice that Harry was afraid. Perhaps he actually realized that whatever he was experiencing was coming from an external source, and that listening to Harry would benefit him.

If he managed to figure that much out, I wonder if his attitude towards Harry could change at all.

As for who in the family is more curious about magic...Vernon really likes to be oblivious to it in everything he does, whereas Petunia and Dudley seem afraid of it more than in denial of it. At this point, Dudley really can't deny all the magic he has witnessed. I just wonder if this has hit a breaking point for him, and now that he has seen Harry act on his side (and apparently, he recognized during the Dementor attack that Harry's directions were to his benefit), if maybe his attitude will shift from fear to curiosity.

Susurro Notities - Nov 25, 2003 7:45 pm (#11 of 571)

Maybe Dudley did see the Dementor.

MTW that is a very interesting thought. It would certainly fit with the speculation that the deal Dumbledore has with Petunia is to keep Dudley from getting a Hogwarts letter.

S.E. Jones - Nov 25, 2003 8:12 pm (#12 of 571)

I still think he felt them. Wasn't there something about a Dementor fighting with Dudley trying to pry his hand off his face so it could kiss him?

MTW - Nov 25, 2003 8:17 pm (#13 of 571)

S.E. Jones

I don't think Dudley felt the breath till the Dementor actually pry his arms apart, just as Harry arrived. A bit of a time gap between Harry instruction to cover his mouth and Harry finding the Dementor "loving" prying the arms apart. Maybe he could of bumped into the Dementor. But the scream came first then the running stopped. Which leads me to believe Dudley saw what was ahead of him. Realized that He better listen to Harry advise.

Hem Hem

I always assumed that Dudley was more lazy than stupid. So when confronted with something that looks like the Grim Reaper, Dudley would listen to Harry.


I think JKR has mentioned the possibility of people developing later in life. So Dudley could fall into this category. But I could also see Petunia spoiling Dudley to prevent him doing something unDursley like magic.

S.E. Jones - Nov 25, 2003 8:29 pm (#14 of 571)

There wasn't much of a gap between the yell and when he stopped running, I wonder if that's when the Dementors were close enough to actually cause him to "see" things, hence the yell....

MTW - Nov 25, 2003 8:39 pm (#15 of 571)

The gap I was referring was Harry's instruction and Harry finding Dudley. But to me the scream before Dudley stopped suggest seeing something first. If Dudley ran into them it would been reversed, his feet stopped running then the scream as he felt it approached.

Mrs. Sirius - Nov 25, 2003 10:43 pm (#16 of 571)

Jackie those are the burning questions on Dudley! I think that JKR saying that she feels sorry for Dudders and that he also has been abused is very telling.

I don't know if this will necessarily lead to a huge turn around in Dudley. But if JK wants to be nice to him, this does offer the possibility that Dudley may start to get an inkling that he may not have been getting it all right in life. This may offer our Dud the opportunity to reflect on his behavior and relationships. It's almost scary to think if he starts to think too much about the values his parents have taught him and shown him.

For dramatic purposes and moving the plot along I don't know if Dudley could have an epiphany moment in the next book and start being nice to Harry, but I can see a this as a set up for a possible civil relation between Harry and Dudley by the end of the series.

Anastasia Gilbreath - Nov 26, 2003 4:49 am (#17 of 571)

Wouldn't it be really freaky if we find out that Dudley got a Hogwarts letter and that Vernon and Petunia wouldn't let him go? Dudley is older than Harry isn't he? The Dursleys would have had the power to write to DD to tell him they didn't want him to go, wouldn't they, since he is their biological son and all?

I know this never happened, but it would be a real turn and a real surprise in the story line now wouldn't it?

Madame Librarian - Nov 26, 2003 4:58 am (#18 of 571)

Here's an early morning thought:

There's a parallel between Harry/Voldemort and Dudley/Vernon. In PS, doesn't V. offer Harry a share of his power if he will join forces rather than oppose him, giving Harry the opportunity to turn into Voldemort Jr.?

Well, maybe we can think of Dud having a change of heart (or, more likely, Petunia stepping in with the Truth, baring her soul, and telling Dud to shape up or else) so that he doesn't turn into another Vernon, who I think represents all that is bigoted, hateful and ignorant in the Muggle world.

This didn't come out as lucidly as I'd hoped. It's early and I'm running late so I'll just leave it now. If it seems as mixed up as succotash, I'm sorry, I'll let it marinate to see if I can explain what I mean better.

Ciao. Barb

Susurro Notities - Nov 26, 2003 8:21 am (#19 of 571)
Edited by Nov 26, 2003 8:22 am

It is difficult to know just how Petunia sees Vernon. Does she see him for what he is, "...bigoted, hateful and ignorant ..." or does she idealize him. If Petunia is to reveal the truth will this be based on her coming to terms with magic in her family and therefore seeing Vernon for what he really is or on her fear of the Wizarding World (Dementors, magical Dudley, magical self, another crisis on in Little Winging brought on by the DEs...)? I think any change of heart in Dudley will be reliant on Petunia's revelations and possibly the appearance of latent magical powers.

popkin - Nov 26, 2003 3:59 pm (#20 of 571)
Edited by Nov 26, 2003 4:05 pm

Let's not give Petunia too much credit here. She was, after all, the only one to see Lily for what she was - "A freak!" Petunia probably chose Vernon because he is so much like her. In an interview JKR said that it's probably too late for the two of them - but it might not be too late for Dudders.

If this story follows the Cinderella mold that it seems to echo, Dudley will end up jealous of Harry's success and standing in the Wizarding World, and he will remain in the background - turned to stone by the hardness of his heart. However, the JKR comment makes me wonder if somehow Dudley will make a turn around.

I keep going back to the memories brought up by the Dementor. I wonder what they were. And I wonder if they will help Dudley face the worst aspects of his selfish and self-destructive personality. Is he now jealous of Harry and his magical power? I know he's afraid of Harry, but does he secretly wish he could be like Harry? In spite of the fact that Dudley is now a very strong (physically) young man, and he delights in causing his cousin pain, Harry is not afraid of him. How does that make Dudley feel? Harry has control over things that Dudley cannot defend himself against. Will Dudley run to Harry for protection? Will Dudley become aware of protections his family receives from having Harry in the house, and will he be afraid (Petunia also) for Harry to leave when Harry comes of age?

And Harry and Dudley are so close in age...is this important somehow?

Dudley is a lot like Draco Malfoy. Both are leaders of small gangs, with devoted, burly, bullying sidekicks. Both have overly indulgent mothers. Both have overbearing fathers. Both are blond. Both present an acceptable face to society, but are secretly deviant. Both look like they could be headed for serious trouble with the law. Both are excessively mean to Harry. Both fear Harry (Dudley more so than Draco on this point, but you won't ever see Draco face Harry without Crabbe and Goyle at his side.) For both, the mean-spirited attitude toward Harry seems to be driven by jealously.

What could these similarities mean? Are they just similarities - showing that Harry has the same basic problems in both worlds - or will Draco and Dudley (Hey! Both their names begin with "D"!) interact with one another somehow. Maybe Draco will contact Dudley and the two of them will plot some kind of revenge on him...involving the Hand of Glory......

I'm waiting...almost patiently...sigh...for Book six.......

timrew - Nov 26, 2003 4:09 pm (#21 of 571)

Yes, popkin, in the Wizarding World, blonds definitely don't have more fun!

I like your idea of Draco contacting Dudley to get their revenge on Harry. This, of course, would mean Draco getting in league with a Muggle; but to get revenge on his deadliest enemy? It could happen.

I like the idea of a wizard/Muggle 'ubergang', consisting of Draco, Dudley, and all their cronies conspiring to better Harry. This could make a great story, whether it be in book 6 or in Fan-fiction.

Mrs. Sirius - Nov 26, 2003 11:43 pm (#22 of 571)

P(p)opkin, the parallels between the Muggle and wizarding world are becoming more and more as go we on in the series. You really nailed it with the comparisons of Dudley and Draco. Dudley and Draco both represent the worst of their kind, but JKR went even further in OotP. She made comparisons between Petunia and Molly Weasley, Hermione-Petunia-Mrs. Weasley, Dudley's gang and Draco's guards, Uncle Vernon and Snape, (comparing how their skin color changes when angry), Snape's black eyes and Hagrid has black eyes. There were many others, but it's late and I can't find my lists. I think that the Dudley-Draco comparisons may be the ones she makes most often and their comparisons are for the most part are likeness, showing each as an example of all that is wrong in his world. But some of the comparisons, I thought were comparisons of contrasts as the Petunia verses Molly comparisons. Another comparison is clean verses dirty or messy. Some of these comparisons are small, but she repeats the comparisons in case you missed it. JRK also likes to turn stereotypes on the head. In reading the PS/SS,I could see this really blond family and abusing poor little Harry with his unkempt dark hair. Blond piggy-pink Dudley and blond horsey mother, I was so disappointed when in the movie they mad e the family dark haired like Harry. Cinemagraphically (is this a word) I understand it. But, Dudley's being porky, is a big sign of his character flaw (this is not intended as a general comment on being overweight, no individual insults intended). JK uses physical traits that we are so familiar with used to show goodness, kindness etc, in one way and she turns them around. None of the trio, who represent the good is blond, Harry has green eyes, the Dursleys are all blond, the Malfoys are blond. In reading books like the LotR, or the Chronicles of Narnia, being blond, fair or dark haired and tanned is quick give away if you are good or bad. JK seems to relish going against type. I know that I have strayed from the Dudley point some, but from book one, Dudley being blond next to Harry being dark and then Harry finding someone he hates as much as Dudley, Draco who is also blond, was I comparison/contrast that is very important yet subtle and again very important in supporting the over all theme of discrimination, preconceptions. I'll stop now because it's so late and I don't believe I am making myself more clear.

Nathaniel Shafer - Nov 27, 2003 12:02 am (#23 of 571)

I don't believe that Malfoy and Dudley could ever work together. Malfoy hates Muggles. Dudley hates and is afraid of magic. The enemy of an enemy is not necessarily a friend.

popkin - Nov 27, 2003 12:38 am (#24 of 571)

Mrs. Sirius, it is notable that Uncle Vernon's hair is black in the books. I don't know exactly what to make of it, but it is notable. And while he may have some similarities to Snape, keeping his emotions in check is not one of them; he wears his heart on his sleeve. Vernon does not seem to keep any big secrets from us - from the world, yes, but from us, no.

Mrs. Black - Dec 1, 2003 7:32 pm (#25 of 571)

Here's my question about Dudley - did he go to St. Mungo's to get the tail removed? Part of me can't see the Dursleys bringing their son to a bunch of "quack" healers, but I really can't see them bringing their son to hospital and saying, "Really Doctor, we don't know where the tail came from. We just woke up one morning and there it was." Which is stronger, Vernon's fear of magic or his fear of other people discovering he has any connection to magic?

Hem Hem - Dec 1, 2003 7:47 pm (#26 of 571)

Scholastic Online Chat...October 16, 2000: How did the Dursleys explain away the tail when Dudley had to have it removed at the hospital?

They went to a private hospital where the staff was very discreet, and said that a wart had got out of control.

Perhaps this private hospital was St. Mungo's but I find that a bit unlikely.

S.E. Jones - Dec 1, 2003 8:15 pm (#27 of 571)

Maybe Petunia forgot to mention the name of the Hospital (*cough*St. Mungo's*cough*) to Vernon?

SJ Rand - Dec 2, 2003 9:58 am (#28 of 571)

Or they could have just gone someplace where it was snipped off. Dudley wouldn't be the first human to have some type of tail, although people would usually be born with them, not have them grown by odd umbrellas.

Mrs. Black - Dec 2, 2003 11:27 am (#29 of 571)

I think in my world Dudley will have gone to St. Mungo's, I like the mental images.

Orchal Fireb - Dec 2, 2003 11:37 am (#30 of 571)

My guess is that big bad Vernon snipped it off. That fits his character.

timrew - Dec 2, 2003 3:45 pm (#31 of 571)

Dudley......aye, thereby hangs a tail!

VeronikaG - Dec 3, 2003 2:44 am (#32 of 571)

I can't see uncle Vernon doing something as painful as snipping of a tail, without anesthetics,(I can't spell it, I'm Norwegian, and the spelling check didn't offer any suggestion) to his own son.

I have also wondered about whether it's significant that Dudley resembles Draco in many ways. But still, they are different as well. Both are spoiled, prejudiced (I can't spell that either) bullies, but Draco seems a bit smarter and more capable than Dudley. And he's thin.

I always reckoned one of them will go good, though. Don't know which one, but I don't think it'll be both. That would be a bit too sugary sweet for JKR. She is merciless with her characters, as we know. Still, they are both young people who have been seriously misled all their lives, and can't carry the whole blame on themselves. JKR says a lot about second chances, and I would love to see at least one of them turning to the good side.

Fawkes Forever - Dec 3, 2003 3:22 am (#33 of 571)

Veronika, don't worry about your spelling.... English is my first language & I have problems from time to time....

most of the time actually

P.S. I use dictionary.com when I'm not sure...

Neville Longbottom - Dec 3, 2003 4:31 am (#34 of 571)

I always reckoned one of them will go good, though.

I think it will be Dudley. On the one hand, because a few JKR interviews seem to indicate, that she feels sorry for Dudley, but thinks the readers are to fond of Draco (I don't think she can even imagine how much I hate the little bouncing ferret). So it seems that she likes Dudley better. But I also think it will be Dudley, because of the situation they are in, now. The Dursleys are a possible target for Voldemort and the Death Eaters, that means, as unpleasant as they are, it's likely that they will be on the same side with Harry in the fight against Voldemort. It would just seem logical if Harry and Dudley will get along a bit better. Not to mention, that Harry saved Dudley's life, but helped to bring Draco's father to justice. Therefore Dudley has more of a reason to be nicer to Harry, than Draco has (at least if Dudley realizes, what Harry has done).

MTW - Dec 3, 2003 5:07 am (#35 of 571)


I think Dudley knows Harry saved him. He did follow Harry's instructions about covering his mouth. He just fell back on old habits when back home. He knew his father would believe that they were attack by a couple of things that looked like grim reapers.

SJ Rand - Dec 3, 2003 8:06 am (#36 of 571)

Rowling thinks people are fond of Draco? I can't imagine why anyone would be.

Vernon did not cut off Dudley's tail. When Harry asks for a ride to London in CoS, Vernon agrees because they're taking Dudley to the hospital to get it removed on that day.

Neville Longbottom - Dec 3, 2003 9:13 am (#37 of 571)

Rowling thinks people are fond of Draco? I can't imagine why anyone would be.

Draco has many fangirls. I think it has a lot to do with Tom Felton or his out of character portrayal in fan fiction.

Yeah, I am sure it is somewhere mentioned that the Dursleys go to a hospital and say Dudley's tail is an overgrown wart, or something like this.

Hem Hem - Dec 3, 2003 11:09 am (#38 of 571)

Check post #26 for the reference about the overgrown wart, Neville.

I decided to dig out a few more JKR interview about how she feels about Dudley and the rest of the Dursleys:

July 2000: I really enjoyed writing Dudley as well. Dudley's great fun to write.

November 16, 2000: Harry has magically tortured his cousin Dudley. `I like torturing them,` said Rowling. `You should keep an eye on Dudley. It’s probably too late for Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. I feel sorry for Dudley. I might joke about him, but I feel truly sorry for him because I see him as just as abused as Harry. Though, in possibly a less obvious way. What they are doing to him is inept, really. I think children recognize that. Poor Dudley. He’s not being prepared for the world at all, in any reasonable or compassionate way, so I feel sorry for him. But there’s something funny about him, also. The pig’s tail was irresistible.`

More to come...

SJ Rand - Dec 3, 2003 11:35 am (#39 of 571)

Interesting, Hem Hem. Thank you for providing that.

I rather doubt: "because I see him as just as abused as Harry. Though, in possibly a less obvious way. What they are doing to him is inept, really. I think children recognize that.", though. I mean I doubt children recognize it, not that she said it.

I'm not a child, I admit, but I keep thinking of the last bit in the movie version of "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory":

But, Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.

What happened?

He lived happily ever after.

Kids may laugh at Dudley because he's so fat, other than the fat kids reading the story I'd think, but I've little doubt that they think his getting everything he wants is really cool. Or would be really cool if he wasn't Dudley.

timrew - Dec 3, 2003 3:57 pm (#40 of 571)

But Dudley is no longer fat in OOP. He's big, yes; but muscular now that he's taken up boxing.

Also, I think he's beginning to show Harry some (grudging, albeit) respect. The banter between them just before the Dementor attack is insulting, sure. But insulting in the way that two brothers might insult each other.

If anything, I thought Harry was being the more immature of the two in this exchange. There again, for most of OOP, Harry was being a pain in the neck. But to be fair, he was a pain in the neck to everyone equally.

I can see Dudley being 'on the road to redemption' (not quite in OOP, he's still a bullying git), even if it's too late for Vernon - I'm not ruling out Petunia, either!

S.E. Jones - Dec 3, 2003 4:09 pm (#41 of 571)

I have to agree there, Tim, I was far more disappointed in the way Harry behaved toward Dudley this time around (for a change), but I also think some of that was Harry venting.... They were starting to sound like siblings, though, weren't they. Hehe, wouldn't they love to hear that!

Yes, I definitely think there's still time for Dudley to come around. Maybe the knowledge that his mother knows more of the wizarding world that she originally professed will lead to a greater sense of curiosity in him and questions about Hogwarts and magic? Wouldn't that be an interesting conversation....

Hem Hem - Dec 3, 2003 5:16 pm (#42 of 571)

Here's a few more interviews featuring Dudley:

"I want to know what Dudley does with his life.

That is a question I would love to answer, but it will ruin some surprises. "

Yes, he wants to get back at Dudley. He's a human boy, and we the readers want him to get back at Dudley. And, in the long term, trust me, he will.

Peregrine - Dec 4, 2003 8:00 am (#43 of 571)

For some reason that sounded a little sinister to me. I wonder how much magic Harry will be able to inflict on Dudley once he’s of age (without getting accused of Muggle baiting or something).

S.E. Jones - Dec 4, 2003 11:11 am (#44 of 571)

Isn't the best revenge against an enemy either out living him or converting him to a friend? Maybe the latter was what JKR was referring to?

popkin - Dec 4, 2003 12:49 pm (#45 of 571)

S.E. Jones - Dec 4, 2003 11:11 am (#44 of 44) Isn't the best revenge against an enemy either out living him or converting him to a friend? Maybe the latter was what JKR was referring to?

I hope so, S.E. Jones. If Harry really matures upon coming of age, as his parents apparently did, then he will come to terms with his upbringing and forgive Dudley for his part in Harry's torments. After all, Dudley has been misled and his abusive behaviour has been completely supported by his own parents. (Remember the scene in PS/SS where Vernon, Petunia and Dudley leave Harry at King's Cross Station, completely alone in London, and drive away laughing at his predicament. I wish that bit of extreme cruelty could have been worked into the first movie.)

Right now, Dudley is the worst he's ever been (as some could argue Harry is as well). He's still the head of his little gang of thugs, but instead of being a fat blubber ball who can't catch his victims he's a powerful boxing champion who can inflict great harm on them. He also takes great pleasure in torturing those weaker than himself.

He's become such a delinquent that he will certainly get himself into some real trouble - at school at least, and likely with the law. In real life, when a ten year old gets beaten up by a fifteen year old it gets reported and something gets done about it. Either Dudley will become a hardened criminal, or he will have to face the fact that he's now worse than just a schoolyard bully and make the hard choices needed to change his future.

TomoÈ - Dec 4, 2003 1:43 pm (#46 of 571)

Do you think he will attend St. Brutus before the series ends, that would be fun to read ^_^ .

timrew - Dec 4, 2003 2:41 pm (#47 of 571)

It says in OOP that, "Dudley had recently become the Junior Heavyweight Inter-School Boxing Champion of the South East."

If Dudley is the holder of an official boxing title, isn't he being rather stupid going around beating up ten year olds? I mean, aren't boxers stripped of their titles if they indulge in that sort of behaviour?

I wonder if this will feature in one of the future books. Maybe Mark Evans's mother and father report him. It would be one way of introducing Mark Evans to the books.

SJ Rand - Dec 4, 2003 3:40 pm (#48 of 571)

popkin: He's become such a delinquent that he will certainly get himself into some real trouble - at school at least

Remember it's Vernon's old school, where they give out knobby walking sticks for the kids to hit each other with.

timrew: If Dudley is the holder of an official boxing title, isn't he being rather stupid going around beating up ten year olds?

Yes, but then bullies are bullies. Does the name Mike Tyson ring a bell?

timrew - Dec 4, 2003 3:58 pm (#49 of 571)

Does the name Mike Tyson ring a bell? Pun intended?

Yes, SJR, but Tyson was thick......and Dudley is, er ......oh, yeah!

Still, Tyson ended up doing time, and Dudley might end up in Azkaban yet, if Mark Evans turns out to be a wizard.

SJ Rand - Dec 5, 2003 10:24 am (#50 of 571)

Sorry about that pun.

Dudley would have to come out a wizard to rate Azkaban, but ending up in some kind of juvenile hall, or even on probation, could be a turning point for the character.

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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #51 to #100)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:48 pm

popkin - Dec 5, 2003 12:20 pm (#51 of 571)

I like Tomoe's idea of Dudley ending up at St. Brutus Secure Center for (forget the word) boys.

timrew - Dec 5, 2003 1:11 pm (#52 of 571)

Point taken, SJR. Azkaban is for wizards only. But please don't apologise for the pun. I love stuff like that!

Mrs. Sirius - Dec 7, 2003 9:25 pm (#53 of 571)

it is notable that Uncle Vernon's hair is black in the books

popkin, I have searched for where it says that Uncle Vernon's hair is black. The only thing I have found so far is in SS p. 21

Dudley looked a lot like Uncle Vernon. He had...and thick blond hair.

While it isn't a major point to the series that Uncle Vernon's hair black but it does blow my theory of JKR building than going against the type. I've only searched SS, so I may have missed it if the quotes in the other books.

SJ Rand - Dec 8, 2003 10:29 am (#54 of 571)

Strange. A few pages into CoS, it mentions that Vernon is "large and neckless, with an enormous black moustache". I haven't seen a direct reference to Vernon's hair.

The part about the blond hair might just have been an additional observation, while comparing the two for their size and lack of neck, that wasn't well separated or contrasted.

Peregrine - Dec 8, 2003 10:42 am (#55 of 571)

The quote SJ Rand found and this one are the only mentions of Vernon’s hair color we found during the great Meaning of Hair Color search:

‘[Harry] could almost see the cogs working under Uncle Vernon’s thick, dark, neatly parted hair.’ - Ch. 3, Pg. 34 US (35-36 UK)

Gina R Snape - Dec 23, 2003 6:44 pm (#56 of 571)

I just caught up with this thread and a few things struck me.

Someone mentioned a quote from Willy Wonka. Well, in many ways Dudley is like Veruca Salt. And she did not turn out well in the end.

Also, although Draco hates Muggle-borns, we can only assume he hates Muggles too. Yet, I somehow doubt he'd object if Dudders came along and offered to pound someone into the ground for him.

Finally, I cannot for the life of me imagine how someone as dim as Dudley Dursley can keep from slipping out that Harry is a wizard. He just really seems the type to blurt it out by accident.

Oh, and I don't think Harry offers any special protection to the Dursleys. I think the special protection is only for Harry's sake.

Madame Librarian - Dec 23, 2003 6:58 pm (#57 of 571)

Gina, it's not so much that Dudley is dim, it's that he's dim about things that are outside the realm of what's really important to him...which is himself, of course. He's just like Vernon, whose concerns are only for himself and those close to him. They are crafty, shrewd, self-interested guys. (I'm purposely not including Petunia here because something's up with her as we've discussed many times.)

That being the case, Dudley has probably had it drummed into him in both overt and subtle ways that it would most definitely be against his own self interests to let on that Harry is a wizard. Most likely Vernon and Pet have said things like "...you say one thing about your strange cousin having...choke, cough, cough...magical power, and they'll cart you off to the funny bin for sure, my dear boy."

Ciao. Barb

Gina R Snape - Dec 23, 2003 7:04 pm (#58 of 571)

Well, I've no doubt the Dursleys said things like that to him. I just have trouble imagining a 12-year-old boy not slipping at some point. I guess it's just one of those things one has to suspend disbelief over.

I Am Used Vlad - Dec 23, 2003 7:12 pm (#59 of 571)

Even if Dudley let it slip that Harry was a wizard, I don't think your average Muggle would believe him.

Peregrine - Dec 24, 2003 7:09 am (#60 of 571)

If Dudley did blurt something out, he may be quick enough (it could happen) to cover his slip by saying, ‘I mean he thinks he’s a wizard. That’s why he’s going to St. Brutus’ School for the Criminally Insane. The git thinks he can do magic! He even talks about meeting a giant who gave me tail. See? He’s crazy! Now, let’s go beat up that Evans kid again.’

Gina R Snape - Dec 24, 2003 7:26 am (#61 of 571)

Now that sounds plausible, Peregrine. I wonder, though, if Dudley flinches when anyone at school says "abracadabra" or "hocus pocus" Hee.

Peregrine - Dec 24, 2003 8:30 am (#62 of 571)

That might be his Achilles’ heel. All little Mark Evans would have to do is wave a stick, say ‘Alakazam’ and send poor Dudders running for mummy.

S.E. Jones - Dec 29, 2003 5:12 pm (#63 of 571)

You know, funny you mentioned that, I was just wondering what it was that Mark did to cheek Dudley. I was wondering if it wasn't actually some bit of emotional magic that Dudley misinterpreted as cheek, or maybe he knew it was magic and that's why he needed his whole gang around when he was pounding on the kid.

timrew - Dec 29, 2003 5:32 pm (#64 of 571)

You might be onto something there, Sarah. For one, I don't think JKR uses surnames like Evans lightly. And for two, this could be a way of drawing our 'Dudders' even further into the world of magic.

He has already had a pig's tail, courtesy of Hagrid: he has experienced 'Ton Tongue Toffee', and the Weasleys destroying his living room: he's lived through a Dementor attack: and now he's beaten up little Mark Evans.

Oh, Dudders. I wouldn't be in your shoes in book 6!

Hem Hem - Dec 29, 2003 9:51 pm (#65 of 571)
Edited Dec 30, 2003 6:35 pm

Good points, everybody. If I were a little ten-year-old, I would not have the courage (or idiocy?) to cheek the big strong scary fifteen-year-old Dudley Dursley. There must be a good reason that little Evans thought he could beat Big D.

Madame Librarian - Dec 30, 2003 7:30 am (#66 of 571)

Plus, we may learn something such as, "Dudley had taken an instant dislike to the 10-year old Mark Evans because there was just something about the kid that pricked vaguely at the brink of his unconscious. He couldn't quite put his fat finger on it, but the Evans kid reminded him of his freaky, troublesome cousin, Harry Potter."

Maybe poor Mark looks like Harry a little or shares some mannerisms. Something like that gets to Dudders. Obviously this would be a huge clue that Harry and Mark are related, so it would only come up if JKR was ready to reveal that. I mean, you'd have to be hit over the head with a small cauldron if you didn't pick up a clue like that.

Personally, this is one of the plot turns that I have on my better- than-50%-probability list, so I'll just have to wait and see (oh, it's hard, so hard, this waiting business).

Ciao. Barb

timrew - Dec 30, 2003 5:05 pm (#67 of 571)

Or maybe Dudley didn't take to Mark Evans's greasy black hair and greying underpants, which he could spy sticking out of the top of his shorts......

VeronikaG - Jan 5, 2004 1:15 am (#68 of 571)

Maybe Dudley is such a bully that he just have to beat up someone now and then to stay satisfied. He could have picked Mark as his victim just because he's small and rather helpless against a 150 kg/300 pound 15-year old.

Still, that wouldn't rule out the fact that Mark could very well have magical powers. But if he has, he may not know about them yet. The Evans are Muggles, remember. Maybe his parents are the kind of Muggles who are afraid of magic, especially if they were related to Lily, and know what happened to her. That could be a reason for them not to tell Mark about his abilities. Let's just wait and see if he's a new Hogwarts student in book six.

Mrs. Sirius - Jan 5, 2004 2:19 pm (#69 of 571)

Isn't it interesting that Mark Evans is said to be 10 years old? That would mean (if he were a wizard) that he hasn't received his letter yet, even his parents may not know.

S.E. Jones - Jan 5, 2004 6:00 pm (#70 of 571)

That was kind of my thought, Mrs. Sirius. Maybe we'll see Book 6 starting off with Mark getting his letter and running into Harry, who will, of course, recognize the envelope and Hogwarts seal.....

Leviosa - Jan 6, 2004 4:10 am (#71 of 571)

I don't know where to post this so please direct me to the right thread if it doesn't fit in here.

If Mark Evans is related to Petunia, why doesn't Harry know this? Mark's family would have visited the Dursleys quite often because they live so near if they were related. And Dudley wouldn't beat a relative up without any reason. He hates Harry so much because his parents hate Harry.

And isn't it strange that Petunia doesn't seem to have any relatives alive? Or does she just not talk to them like she didn't talk with Lily? There aren't even photos of her parents around. Petunia's and Lily's relatives are still a big mystery.

What do you think? Any idea how Mark could be related to Harry?

bye Susi

Devika - Jan 6, 2004 4:43 am (#72 of 571)

Maybe it is possible that they are also magic folk(Mark's family) and that's why the Dursleys don't keep in touch with them. But then, I think it is mentioned somewhere in OoP that there are no magical people in Harry's neighbourhood. Ohh I'm going in circles...

Leviosa - Jan 6, 2004 6:12 am (#73 of 571)

But IF Mark's family is magical, this would also mean that Petunia is from a magical family and a Squib (I personally don't think so because it's always so pronounced that she is a Muggle). When is it exactly stated that Harry is the only wizard in the area? Mark could have moved to Little Whinging after that statement.

bye Susi

A-is-for-Amy - Jan 6, 2004 6:25 am (#74 of 571)

If the Mark Evans in the story is a distant cousin, they might not be really close. I have several first cousins that live in my town that I haven't seen in years, so it isn't that much of a stretch. Plus, if they knew they were distant cousins and just didn't like each other that much, it might explain why Mark felt it was "safe" to cheek Dudley, or why Dudley felt he was being cheeked.

Madame Librarian - Jan 6, 2004 8:16 am (#75 of 571)

Evans is a common enough name that Dudley, assuming he even knew his mother's maiden name, might not think this Mark is a relative.

Petunia is keeping a bunch of secrets about her past, her family and so on. Not mentioning a cousin or two is the least of it, so it wouldn't be out of character that nobody has heard of Mark and his family.

I can even envision the "cheek" aspect of Mark's confrontation with Dudley as being a result of Mark saying something to the effect that his mum said that he's a relation to Dud. Dud, who dislikes anyone weak and small, calls him a liar ("I have no nerd-y cousins like you, you git!") and wallops him.

Ciao. Barb

Leviosa - Jan 6, 2004 8:20 am (#76 of 571)

But Dumbledore said that the Dursleys are Harry's only relatives. Otherwise Harry wouldn't have to live with the Dursleys but with Mark Evans and his family who has a blood connection with Lily. Sure, this connection might not be strong enough to protect Harry, but wouldn't Dumbledore say so?

bye Susi

P.S.: I think this is getting a bit off topic. Is there a better place to discuss Mark Evans? This guy really bugs me...

Marie E. - Jan 6, 2004 11:58 am (#77 of 571)

You could discuss Mark Evans on the Minor Characters thread, which is just down the page a bit.

Leviosa - Jan 6, 2004 12:36 pm (#78 of 571)

Thanks for directing me

VeronikaG - Jan 7, 2004 1:41 am (#79 of 571)

Mark Evans is getting so interesting, I think we should start a new thread on him. There is one for Doris Crockford, who is also just mentioned in passing, and seems less likely to show up in future books.

VeronikaG - Jan 13, 2004 4:30 am (#80 of 571)

Nobody has posted on this thread since we started the one for Mark Evans, because lately this has been a Mark Evans thread instead of a Dudley thread. I would like to further discuss Dudley.

About the beating of Mark, Dudley doesn't really need a reason for beating up people, does he? He does that for fun. It doesn't have to mean that Mark has done or said anything to him. I have always seen Dudley as the kind of person who's like a pit bull. They attack or hurt other people because they can, because (they feel) they have the right to do it, and because it's fun. He's a product of his up bringing, where he's been allowed to be a bully (kick his Mom all the way to the shop and cry for candy). Going to a school that promotes bullying can't be too redeeming for him, can it? I'm starting to wonder if we'll ever see a nicer Dudley.

Devika - Jan 13, 2004 7:08 am (#81 of 571)

Well... I'm not sure we'll see a nicer Dudley, but I'm quite sure that we will be seeing a progressively sadder Dudley. The age at which he is, his behaviour can no longer just be dismissed as a cute and little boisterous attitude. And I think that when he realises that his behaviour is not exactly acceptable anymore, he'll either get really subdued (very unlikely!) or retaliate horribly. In case it is the latter which I am more inclined to believe, I hope he falls flat on his face!!

fidelio - Jan 13, 2004 8:32 am (#82 of 571)

A better pit bull comparison might be to say that Dudley has been trained to be a bully--he gets what he wants by the use of force, and no one has ever consistently made an effort to change this. They may have done so in school, both at the local school he attended and at his boarding school [the boxing may be an attempt to redirect this, which isn't working, because the 'no bullying' isn't being reinforced at home]. However, any effort the schools may have made is a dead loss because his parents aren't working along with it--teachers everywhere will know what I mean. I see this heading for a real train wreck--sooner or later Dudley commits one of his acts of violence, and gets into major trouble with the law over it, and his parents are dragged along with it. Here in the US, there's historically been a tendency to view such things by people under the age of about 16 as less serious, especially in terms of legal consequences. After that age, although still 'juveniles' they are viewed as almost adults, and both social reaction and legal penalties become worse. I don't know if things would work in a similar way in the UK, but here, Dudley is at the age where overnight the consequences go from "boys will be boys" to assault charges, with possible referral for psychiatric evaluation [if the courts are feeling kind], and, as long as he's under 18, penalties for his parents as well--to possibly include the dreaded "family counseling"--can anyone imagine Uncle Vernon forced to endure court-ordered therapy?

popkin - Jan 13, 2004 8:43 am (#83 of 571)
Edited by Jan 13, 2004 8:48 am

In post #46, Tomoe suggests that Dudley might end up in St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys. I think that's a definite possibility; it certainly smacks of poetic justice.

JKR has said that it's not too late for Dudley (to change), and I'm hoping that he comes out of the series a much kinder cousin, and a decent person. The wrestling (or any new interest) could help to turn Dudley around, and not just make him a more effective bully. (EDIT: Fidelio is right, however, in saying that it hasn't helped at all up to this point, and it will never be enough to turn Dudley's life around. He needs parental guidance, and for that to happen Vernon and Petunia have got to wake up.)

Here's a thought. What if Dudley acquired a girlfriend over the school year? She could have an enormous influence on Dudley - hopefully for the better.

timrew - Jan 13, 2004 2:35 pm (#84 of 571)

At the start of OoP, when Dudley meets Harry walking from the park, I got the impression that the conversation between them was more like brother to brother than enemy to enemy.

Okay, they were insulting each other, but there didn't seem to be any obvious malice in it, as you would get between Harry and Draco, for instance.

In fact, things didn't seem to go back to the 'old days' until after the encounter with the Dementors. I think there could be hope for Dudley yet.

freshwater - Jan 13, 2004 4:28 pm (#85 of 571)

Dudley with a girlfriend?!? Now that's an ugly picture! The only girl I can picture with him is Pansy Parkinson...would Draco be jealous? (smile)

Hem Hem - Jan 13, 2004 5:56 pm (#86 of 571)

I agree with Tim. The conversation that they had pre-Dementor attack was rather refreshing. Yes, they were insulting each other, and Harry was threatening with the wand, but they did seem to be bonding at least a tiny bit at some level. I don't know if JKR intended to emphasize this, considering that Harry's and Dudley's paths in life are more divergent that ever, but it's very interesting anyway.

I, for one, would love to see Dudders in St. Brutus'. That would be funny beyond belief. But even more than that, I'd like to see the Dursleys open their eyes about their son, and start trying to raise him before he becomes a complete failure. Sure, the Dursleys aren't the greatest people, but at least we know after OotP that they aren't made out of cardboard. Let's hope they can use whatever character they have and do something constructive.

Or am I being too optimistic?

VeronikaG - Jan 14, 2004 2:21 am (#87 of 571)

Are there any girls at Smeltings? I always believed it was a boys only boarding school. So Dud'll have to meet his girl friend somewhere else.

The ideal girl friend for Dudley would have to be Millicent Bulstrode. She is big, strong, and good at wrestling, so they have a few things in common. Too bad she's magical. Not exactly aunt Petunia's favorite idea of a daughter in law.

A-is-for-Amy - Jan 14, 2004 7:15 am (#88 of 571)

I got the impression that it is an all-boys school. Could you imagine letting a bunch of girls loose with those Smeltings sticks? Yikes! I played field hockey in high school, and I can honestly say that girls with sticks are brutal.

Millicent does seem to be the female version of Dudley at this point, doesn't she?

Peregrine - Jan 14, 2004 8:27 am (#89 of 571)

I don’t think any girl who would dare to date Dudley would be a positive influence in his life. He’d either have to have some meek little thing he could boss around or a Millicent type to arm-wrestle with.

timrew - Jan 14, 2004 10:52 am (#90 of 571)

He’d either have to have some meek little thing he could boss around....

How about Dudley/Cho?

Peregrine - Jan 14, 2004 2:03 pm (#91 of 571)

Eeeeeeeeww[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Can you imagine the inferiority complex Harry would develop?

popkin - Jan 14, 2004 7:54 pm (#92 of 571)

lol You guys are so funny.

Now that Dudley's buffed up, I really think there are desirable girls out there that could go for him - especially if they don't really know him. He is a great big, blond, muscular guy now. There could be an instant attraction.

In an attempt to please a girl, Dudley could at least begin hiding his deviant nature more effectively. After a while, he could decide that he likes being less of a bully. And, some real affection from a girl might give him the confidence he lacks. If he were truly confident, he wouldn't feel the need to beat up 10 year olds.

A-is-for-Amy - Jan 15, 2004 7:32 am (#93 of 571)

Uncle Vernon apparently never outgrew it, but still found himself a wife. He seems like a fairly devoted family man - it's just others he has a problem with. Dudley on the other hand, seems to be an equal opportunity offender.

I do agree with Timrew, though, the conversation between Harry and Dudley before the Dementor attack was a refreshing change to their normal exchanges.

[Mann, Liz]Liz Mann - Feb 13, 2004 11:46 am (#94 of 571)

This has probably been mentioned, but I'm listening to the OotP CD, and I can't help wondering what Dudley heard when the Dementor got near him.

timrew - Feb 13, 2004 3:05 pm (#95 of 571)

Dementor 1: "I'm not kissing this guy. He's not got a happy thought in his head!"

Dementor 2: "Yeah, all I'm getting is a load of self-pity about him having a pig's tail, his tongue swelling up, taking a bath with a snake...."

Dementor 1: "I think he's more miserable than we are!"

Devika - Feb 13, 2004 11:59 pm (#96 of 571)

Ha! Tim.... that's exactly what they must have said!

Liz, you do make an interesting point. There is a chance that while his family has always regarded Harry as a freak, Dudley has actually lived in fear and in some ways, awe of Harry because of his magic. It has always seemed to me that his boisterous behaviour with Harry hides a different sentiment. Maybe his worst memories are about his jealousy of Harry... okay... I just realised how stupid this sounds!

Mmmm maybe they are memories of when he was taunted for his weight. I find it impossible to believe that in a school you wouldn't make fun of a boy who was 'roughly the size of a young killer whale'.

Then again I find the most realistic option his diet!

hopping hessian - Feb 14, 2004 6:08 am (#97 of 571)

Then again I find the most realistic option his diet!

Yes! Over and over in his mind, all he can see is.... GRAPEFRUIT!!!!!

Seriously, though. I think that you might be on to something about his weight. Though, weren't most kinds afraid of him because he could beat the snot out of him? Maybe he was rejected by a girl(s) he liked because of his weight. I wonder if he isn't in denial about his grades, weight, personality, etc. the way his parents are. Maybe he sees himself as a loser and that is one of the reasons he's a bully.

Madame Librarian - Feb 14, 2004 6:28 am (#98 of 571)

I'm intrigued by Dudley's new image in OoP. Here's the quote from chapter 1, pg. 11 (US):

Dudley was as vast as ever, but a year's hard dieting and the discovery of a new talent had wrought quite a change in his physique.

To me this description is of a kid who is huge, but no longer fat. Kind of like a bodybuilder. JKR seems to be want us to change our perception of this character from fat, obnoxious kid to powerful, dangerous bully. At his core, Dud is probably still a cowardly sort, but as far as his teen image and any possible boy-girl relationships, he's definitely more attractive (to his mates, I mean) than he was a year earlier.

I wonder what's in store for him? Why do you think JKR might have wanted to change him this way? For many plot outcomes, it wouldn't matter a bit if he stayed the same old Dudley as before. Thoughts?

Ciao. Barb

popkin - Feb 14, 2004 8:49 am (#99 of 571)
Edited by Feb 14, 2004 8:52 am

hopping hessien - Feb 14, 2004 6:08 am (#97 of 98) I wonder if he isn't in denial about his grades, weight, personality, etc. the way his parents are. Maybe he sees himself as a loser and that is one of the reasons he's a bully.

If that doesn't dredge up horrible memories, I don't know what would. Dudley's teachers and school administrators have been trying to tell Vernon and Petunia the truth about Dudley for years. Surely they've spoken to Dudley as well, and have tried to help him to make improvements. Maybe they've talked to him about what lies at the end of the path he's trodding. Dudley faces a future shot full of despair if he doesn't make enormous changes in his choices - he must at least catch glimpses of what's to come.

If the Dementor attack made Dudley face his worst fears of failure, it could be the best thing that ever happened to him.

hopping hessian - Feb 14, 2004 10:55 am (#100 of 571)

If the Dementor attack made Dudley face his worst fears of failure, it could be the best thing that ever happened to him.

This is true. I assume that his parents never gave him a sharp smack, so maybe that is precisely what he needed. His first reaction was to blame Harry for everything, but he might come out of it.

I also see Dudley as a major coward. I'm not sure how, but if he had ever heard of the things that Harry had done, I'm sure the jealousy and shame would have been strong. This together with the things I mentioned earlier must eat at him. I think that Madame is right. Our perception of Dudley as just a bully has to change. There really is the possibility for a great deal of depth in him. I hope JKR brings it out.

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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #101 to #150)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:51 pm

Fawkes Forever - Mar 4, 2004 6:41 am (#101 of 571)

Looks like we will get an answer in Book 6 or 7.

Taken from today’s live web chat with JK....

Amy: What did Dudley see when he faced the Dementors in book five?

JK Rowling replies -> Ah, good question. You'll find out!

Oooh, can't wait!

Hem Hem - Mar 7, 2004 1:00 pm (#102 of 571)

What he saw always intruiged me, but I never ever thought that it would actually be important enough to include in the next 2 books. Why would it be that Dudley's worst memory is significant to future plots? Is it something Harry has witnessed (or even participated in)...or has Dudley experienced some undiscovered trauma?

I think this is one of the most interesting things JKR said in the entire chat.

Hogs Head - Mar 7, 2004 1:33 pm (#103 of 571)

Of course, if Dudders saw the DMTs, that would make him a Squib, which would make his mother. . .?

Julia. - Mar 7, 2004 2:12 pm (#104 of 571)

Um, Hogs Head, Dudley didn't actually see the Dementors, he just felt them. Had he seen them, he would have been able to describe them to his parents. He just told them what they felt like, how it went all cold, and he felt like he'd never be cheerful again. H didn't give any type of physical description, because he couldn't see them.

Bash - Mar 7, 2004 3:26 pm (#105 of 571)

And to be classified a Squib he would have to have both parents be pureblood wizards.

Neville Longbottom - Mar 7, 2004 3:30 pm (#106 of 571)

I always thought the memory would be important. Mainly because Harry wondered about it, too, if only for a short moment. But if this memory were unimportant, JKR wouldn't have made Harry think about it. I don't think that Dudley's worst memory is something Harry witnessed and the reader knows about. If it were, JKR probably wouldn't have made such a secret out of this. Dudley for example could have said: "I saw this giant bloke making me pigtail", or, "I remembered how I ate this horrible toffee." But he doesn't. That shows IMO two things: 1. It's something the reader doesn't know. This is IMO confirmed, because JKR didn't say clearly what the memory was. 2. It's something, which Dudley doesn't want to tell his parents. If it were the pigtail or the ton-tongue toffee, he would have told Vernon and Petunia.

I never really believed this theory, but while writing this, I start to believe, that Dudley really might be the magical late bloomer.

I really can't wait to find out. How long until book 6?

S.E. Jones - Mar 7, 2004 7:01 pm (#107 of 571)

I don't know about Dudley being the "late bloomer" but I do find it very interesting that this memory or whatever that he witnessed would be something that Harry and the Dursleys are unaware of and he is unwilling to let them in on. Hm... Very interesting, indeed!

By the way, here is the "late bloomer" comment for those who are wondering:

Barnes and Noble Interview, March 1999

Q: Will there be, or have there been, any "late blooming" students in the school who come into their magic potential as adults, rather than as children?

A: No, is the answer. In my books, magic almost always shows itself in a person before age 11; however, there is a character who does manage in desperate circumstances to do magic quite late in life, but that is very rare in the world I am writing about.

Dan Wells - Mar 7, 2004 10:37 pm (#108 of 571)

Hmm. "Quite late in life" doesn't sound like Dudley at all. He's only going to be sixteen. That's only 5 years 'late'. Petunia or Vernon are more likely in terms of age. Or Filch!

Neville Longbottom - Mar 8, 2004 3:32 am (#109 of 571)

Or Figgy. Yes, you're probably right, but 16 can be seen as quite late in life, considering that Harry did some magic, when he was a little child.

haymoni - Mar 8, 2004 7:14 am (#110 of 571)

I have to re-read the Dementor attack again to review Dudley's reaction to the Dementors.

I recall Lupin saying that "even Muggles sense their presence" or something like that. When I read it, I thought that meant that Muggles would get severely depressed or something.

Dudley's reaction seems to be more severe than that, which makes me think that our Dudders is more than mere Muggle.

scully jones - Mar 8, 2004 7:25 am (#111 of 571)

Yeah but it's more severe because the Dementor is actually attacking Dudley. Most Muggles would just feel their presence, while the Dementor just walks by.

Chris. - Mar 8, 2004 7:34 am (#112 of 571)

I thought it because the Dursleys were the most non-magical family you could ever get or is this just an exaggeration from McGonagall in SS/PS?

haymoni - Mar 8, 2004 8:04 am (#113 of 571)

I wonder how many Muggles have actually been attacked by Dementors? Wouldn't there be a bunch of zombie-like people walking around? (Now that explains a lot!!)

Dudley felt like he would never be happy again - more like Harry's reaction. Didn't that happen before the actual attack? He was yelling at Harry to stop it. I just can't help but think that it was more than the usual Muggle reaction.

Will I ever be able to read a work of fiction again without analyzing every detail?

hopping hessian - Mar 8, 2004 8:16 am (#114 of 571)

I recall Lupin saying that "even Muggles sense their presence" or something like that. When I read it, I thought that meant that Muggles would get severely depressed or something.

Dudley's reaction seems to be more severe than that, which makes me think that our Dudders is more than mere Muggle. [haymoni, #110]

Yes, but we can really analyze what a Dementor would do to a Muggle because we've never seen two together before. I think Dudley's reaction had more to do with his memory than anything else. Other magical people had been around Dementors (the train scene in PoA jumps to mind), but didn't react nearly as strongly as Harry did. Remember, they only felt like they'd "never be cheerful again". Except for Ginny, who no doubt remembered her near-death experience in CoS.

Chris. - Mar 8, 2004 8:24 am (#115 of 571)

Maybe this is for the Ginny Weasley or the Dementors thread, but would Ginny remember the 'secrets' that Riddle told her (when she was getting corrupted) when she is near a Dementor?

Neville Longbottom - Mar 8, 2004 9:28 am (#116 of 571)

Other magical people had been around Dementors (the train scene in PoA jumps to mind), but didn't react nearly as strongly as Harry did.

I think this is really interesting. Both, Neville and Ginny, appeared in the first scene with the Dementors. Ginny was horribly shaken up, which has probably something to do with Riddle. And Neville also had a strong reaction, probably from at least visiting his parents in St. Mungo's (there are some theories, that he actually saw them tortured. But because Harry showed a much stronger reaction, than Neville, I would say it's more likely he remembered the visits). Yet Dudley had a far worse reaction than Neville and Ginny. Of course this could be, because Neville and Ginny are much stronger characters, while Dudley is weak and a coward, and maybe not able to deal with the memory. But still, considering that his reaction was the second strongest only to Harry, his memory might have been a really horrible one.

hopping hessian - Mar 8, 2004 10:12 am (#117 of 571)

That is interesting.

Perhaps Ginny did not react as strongly because she wasn't conscious while Lord Thingy possessed her, thus she had nothing to remember. Neville might not have been around when his parents were tortured.

As for Dudders, I think that whatever it was that happened to him/he saw happened either before Harry moved in with them or very shortly after otherwise Harry might have had a guess about what it could have been. Also, I tend to think that it was something that Dudley had no conscious memory of, rather like Harry's parents' deaths.

Gina R Snape - Mar 8, 2004 10:37 am (#118 of 571)

If I recall correctly, Harry wondered what Dudley had seen to make him so upset, which means JKR wants us to wonder. So he must have experienced something truly horrifying that will somehow play into the next two books.

We know from PS/SS that Petunia hadn't seen her sister in a long time, that she knew of Harry's birth but didn't really know his name (or conveniently forgot it) which means they were definitely not hanging out together. But, could it be that Dudders experienced something magical shortly after his birth that caused Petunia to back away from James and Lily? Harry heard his parents being murdered, though he has no conscious memory of it. So, it is entirely conceivable that Dudley experienced something he doesn't remember.

I do think the Dementors created an experience that, while not pleasant, may have been 'good' for him. But only time will tell how he reacts. Also, JKR showed a development in Dudley's physical form for a reason. He is scarier now because he is less like a whale and more like a pit bull. He can beat people up, and enjoys it. He's even learning the skills to beat people up. He might be faced with a physical fight in the future. He might get pulled into something, considering JKR's statement that the Muggle world will notice things happening. It could be that Privet Drive gets another little visit, and Dudley faces off with someone in a fight.

Someone mentioned it hard to believe Dudley could have a girlfriend. I completely disagree. A kid like Dudley would attract the kind of girls who like 'bad boys' and maybe even girls who grew up being abused. He's big and scary and strong and people know him. He'll be a magnet for misguided girls. I can't imagine it being a healthy relationship, but that's another story...

haymoni - Mar 8, 2004 10:52 am (#119 of 571)

Ginny's anguish may be that she knew something was going on, couldn't remember where she had been, she was afraid of being expelled, etc. Maybe those were the things that she felt.

Harry's reaction was caused by something he could not even remember on his own. You would think Ginny's would be worse.

Dudley is afraid. Whatever he saw has to do with his own insecurities - being fat, being stupid, even being able to box could shine light on the fact that he really can't do anything else.

Popular people always claim that they were insecure, certain that they would fall from grace at any moment for saying the wrong thing or wearing the wrong clothes.

I wouldn't go as far as saying that Dudley was popular - he was feared and, in some twisted way, respected.

Neville Longbottom - Mar 8, 2004 11:30 am (#120 of 571)

I still think it's odd, that Dudley's reaction to the Dementors is much stronger than Neville or Ginny's, who really had experienced horrible things (Ginny with Riddle, and Neville at St. Mungo's). This could be a strong hint, that Dudley faced something really horrible, too. After all, a Dementor does not show your worst fear or insecurity, but your worst memory.

haymoni - Mar 8, 2004 12:32 pm (#121 of 571)

It takes away happiness so that all you are left with are sad/bad memories - maybe not necessarily your worst, but just all bad.

Dudley's bad memories could be about the insulting things people said to him before he pummeled them senseless.

I'm sure if Petunia knew why Harry had to be protected, she realized that her own son was a nothing. Maybe that was another reason for Harry living in the cupboard and wearing Dudley's old clothes. She made Harry out to be the nothing.

Dudley could be remembering early conversations between Petunia & Vernon regarding Harry's greatness.

Neville Longbottom - Mar 8, 2004 1:25 pm (#122 of 571)

I doubt Petunia and Vernon spoke about Harry's greatness. Mainly because I am sure Vernon doesn't know very much about it, and both of them ignored the Magical World. I doubt it's something they would discuss, they would try to forget it.

Julia. - Mar 8, 2004 1:35 pm (#123 of 571)

Neville, as much as I agree with you about Vernon not knowing much about the magical world and both he and Petunia ignoring it, there had to be that initial discussion when Aunt Petunia found Harry on the doorstep. They did have to talk about it in order to decide to try to 'squash the magic out of him.' I find it hard to believe that Harry's greatness was not a factor in this discussion. Dumbledore had to have told Petunia why her nephew was being left on her doorstep in the note he left with him, so I just can't believe that Harry's greatness was not discussed.

Neville Longbottom - Mar 8, 2004 1:51 pm (#124 of 571)

Maybe. But I am still not convinced. Especially because Petunia obviously lied to Vernon about the real reason, why Harry had to stay, after the Dementor's attack on the two boys. If she doesn't even tell him, that Harry had to live in the Dursley house, to keep him alive, then I don't see her discussing Harry's greatness with him. I tend to think everything Vernon knows, is, that James and Lily were killed by an evil wizard, and that this wizard is now back and after Harry, for whatever reason (maybe Vernon thought that James and Lily were the real targets, because they fought Voldemort, and that Voldemort is now after Harry, because he wasn't able to kill him the first time). And to come back to Dudley, I also have a very hard time to imagine, that this should be Dudley's worst memory. I mean, Harry being great doesn't mean, that Dudley is a loser. He might indeed be a zero, but I can't see Vernon and Petunia discussing this. Surely Petunia could have found a reason to explain Vernon, why they had to keep Harry, without making Dudley seem inferior to Harry. Especially, because both boys were only one year that day.

mollis - Mar 8, 2004 1:52 pm (#125 of 571)

I completely agree with you Gina, JKR wants us to be thinking about this. So I'm glad we are being good little boys and girls and paying attention.

There is something that perhaps we are forgetting to consider. Dudley was nearly kissed. He was almost mouth-to-mouth with a Dementor with another one nearby. Ginny and Neville were close to a Dementor (only one), but surrounded by fellow classmates and a teacher. They may have been 3-6 feet from him. I've gotten the impression (through Harry's description's of his encounters) that proximity to a Dementor counts. The closer you are, the worse you feel. So that may explain part of the difference in their reactions.

Another reason may be that is affects you more to remember something that you didn't remember before. Ginny remembers what happened in CS for the most part. Neville may or may not (depending on you belief in the memory charm) have had conscious memory of what the Dementors forced him to see. I think Neville probably saw his parents in the hospital. Dudley, however, may have remembered something he hadn't consciously remembered before (as Gina said). It could have been something magical that happened when he was a baby (before Harry was around) or maybe he remembered something Harry did to him. While they were toddlers together Harry probably did emotional magic on Dudley at least once, don't you think?

S.E. Jones - Mar 8, 2004 2:29 pm (#126 of 571)

Neville Longbottom: Yet Dudley had a far worse reaction than Neville and Ginny. Of course this could be, because Neville and Ginny are much stronger characters, while Dudley is weak and a coward, and maybe not able to deal with the memory.

Mollis: I've gotten the impression (through Harry's description's of his encounters) that proximity to a Dementor counts. The closer you are, the worse you feel. So that may explain part of the difference in their reactions.

Who would have thought a discussion about Dudley Dursley could be so interest! Anyway, I have to agree with mollis about the proximity having a major affect but also keep in mind that the Dementor on the train wasn't being very hostile. Her post also got me thinking about what else was happening in the train car that night that might keep Ginny and Neville's reactions from seeming as severe as Dudley's. Perhaps they don't seem as severe because they are being compared to Harry's each time. The first time around, despite how bad a reaction Ginny or Neville had, Harry ended up having a far worse experience ("I thought you were having a fit or something. You went sort of rigid and fell out of your seat and started twitching ---" - Ron: PoA, US), however, the second time with Dudley, Harry is far more familiar with the Dementors and prepared for them and so his reaction isn't as bad and thus Dudley's seems worse....

hopping hessian - Mar 8, 2004 2:38 pm (#127 of 571)

Yes, Dudley didn't go catatonic the way that Harry did. Dudders was still able to hear Harry and follow directions, Harry, during his first attack was insensible to the world around him. What ever Dudley remembered was bad enough to really shake him, but, IMHO, not as bad as what Harry remembered.

I think Harry did quite well, because not only did he have to deal with his parents' deaths, but Cedric's as well.

Madame Librarian - Mar 8, 2004 3:20 pm (#128 of 571)

Sarah, yes, you're right about the different circumstances and Harry's different reaction. But the motive of the Dementor(s) was different, too. On the train we can assume that the Dementor was just "making his rounds" since he was part of the bunch hired ostensibly to protect Harry. In the alley, however, those two Dementors were attacking Harry. They probably felt they got lucky since there was this other fresh body to kiss, too. One for each, how nice.

Edit: It just occurred to me that I could be wrong here. Maybe the motive in each case was the same--to kiss or get rid of Harry. We don't really know exactly where the true loyalties of the train Dementor lay. They are such skittish dark creatures. Seems like they are very tricky to control and would much rather follow orders from someone who says, "Go ahead, guys. If you find that little wizard twerp with the scar on his forehead, kiss away. We'll think of an excuse then." It would appeal to them more, I think, than just guard duty assignments with very little potential for soul sucking.

Ciao. Barb

Peregrine - Mar 8, 2004 7:24 pm (#129 of 571)

They do seem to be drawn to Harry, don't they?

I'm wondering if Dudley's worst memory could be linked to Petunia's knowledge of the Dementors. Like Gina said, something could have happened around Dudley that made Petunia back away completely from the Potters...maybe a Dementor attacked someone close to Dudley and, being a baby, he was badly effected.

Hem Hem - Mar 8, 2004 9:29 pm (#130 of 571)

I was thinking the exact same thing, Peregrine! There's only thing that makes me a bit unsure: when Harry tells the Dursleys that a Dementor attacked Dudley (OotP, Ch2) and Petunia lets it slip that she knows what Dementors are, JKR describes Petunia's reaction by significantly emphasizing her disgust at accidentally admitting that she knows what Dementors are...and not horror over the fact that her son was nearly killed by one of them.

If Petunia really loves her son and just found out that he narrowly missed being kissed, she would be really overwhelmed by this news. Instead, she covers her mouth over admitting that she knows what a Dementor is. This certainly makes it appear as though Petunia has never really encountered a Dementor.

Then again, JKR may just be trying to cover up this fact by shifting the attention to "You know what a Dementor is?!?!?" -- certainly plausible enough.

Neville Longbottom - Mar 9, 2004 1:26 am (#131 of 571)

If Petunia really loves her son and just found out that he narrowly missed being kissed, she would be really overwhelmed by this news. Instead, she covers her mouth over admitting that she knows what a Dementor is. This certainly makes it appear as though Petunia has never really encountered a Dementor.

Petunia only learned later, what a Dementor does. She seems really shocked, when Harry told them about the kiss. That means she probably knew about the Dementor but not about the Dementor's kiss. This makes her first reaction understandable, IMO.

haymoni - Mar 9, 2004 6:43 am (#132 of 571)

I agree - Petunia knew Dementors guarded Azkaban, but she didn't know what they did. She says she knows about Dementors because she heard "that awful boy" tell Lily.

Dean Thomas says his parents are Muggles and that he doesn't tell them everything. Maybe Lily didn't tell her family everything either.

From JKR's chat, we will find out what Dudley saw/felt. I am sure that Harry will talk to Aunt Petunia about what is going on in the wizarding world. Dudley will be interested in knowing what they are talking about and I think Dudley will bring the attack up with Harry.

Wouldn't it be funny if Dudley is afraid of his own shadow now that he knows there is something out there that won't respond to "the old one two?"

hopping hessian - Mar 10, 2004 6:18 am (#133 of 571)

Like Gina said, something could have happened around Dudley that made Petunia back away completely from the Potters. [Peregrine #129]

I'm not too certain about that. The Potters and the Dursleys had not spoken for several years at the beginning of SS, and Dudley was only a year old at that time.

I do agree, however, that whatever happened to him happened when he was a baby- no conscious memory of it.

S.E. Jones - Mar 10, 2004 5:39 pm (#134 of 571)

Gina R. Snape: We know from PS/SS that Petunia hadn't seen her sister in a long time, that she knew of Harry's birth but didn't really know his name (or conveniently forgot it) which means they were definitely not hanging out together.

Looking back through some posts, I found this and wanted to comment. Actually, it's Vernon who doesn't really know or can't remember Harry's name, Petunia knew it off the top of her head (PS, pg7, US). That, to me, suggests that, at the very least, Lily had written to her and she had read the letters, though it was probably before they went into hiding.

Hogs Head - Mar 13, 2004 10:27 am (#135 of 571)

Hmmm. If your mother (Petunia) is a Squib, albeit one in denial, what would that make you (Dudders) if you also shared some Squib-like qualities? A Squiblette? (Maybe the reason Lilly's parents were delighted at her being a witch is that they were both Squibs? I don't know, but just thinking out loud.)

And we still don't know what if anything Dudders "saw," and that is something JKR remarks on in her 04 March 04 interview:

Amy: What did Dudley see when he faced the Dementors in book five? JK Rowling replies -> Ah, good question. You'll find out!

(How do you italicize text in this format? I keep messing up on that!)

Hogs Head - Mar 13, 2004 11:25 am (#136 of 571)

P.S., this Squib thing (i.e., one or both of the Evans being Squibs), Petunia being a Squib or half-Squib, etc. is covered pretty well in the Good Old Aunt Petunia thread.

Bash - Mar 14, 2004 11:19 pm (#137 of 571)

If Lily's parents were Squibs then she wouldn't be a Mudblood.

Madame Librarian - Mar 15, 2004 4:51 am (#138 of 571)

Bash, if I've got this right, Squibs are still of the Wizarding World, and lineage-wise are not Muggles. They just have absolutely no magical ability. However, they are part of the WW and understand how that society works, etc.

Ciao. Barb

Hogs Head - Mar 15, 2004 6:38 am (#139 of 571)

Well, the hints are that someone in the Petunia-Dudley combo is other than they seem on the surface. I'll just be interested to see it unfold in the books. Of course, this could be only one of the heralded "red herrings."

S.E. Jones - Mar 15, 2004 12:30 pm (#140 of 571)

I think the "hints" might be of our own thinking....

Hogs Head - Mar 15, 2004 3:56 pm (#141 of 571)

Maybe so. And, although I get the opposite impression some of time from some of the posters, we really have nothing invested in any of this -- it is just fun fiction reading and fun to speculate with like minded people what might be coming.

Still, some of those hints are pretty strong. JKR fed the Dudley "hints" at least little (maybe to divert, maybe to avoid answering a follow on question, maybe just for fun, or maybe to really feed a hint) in her 04 March 04 interview when she said:

Amy: What did Dudley see when he faced the Dementors in book five? JK Rowling replies -> Ah, good question. You'll find out!

Also, the Petunia Vernon interplay and reaction about the Dementors during the 4 Privet Drive scene at the start of Book 5 is a little too intriguing to simply leave alone. Whether Petunia or Dudley or both turn out to be wizard-worldly, partly so, or not, it wouldn't be surprising (and might instead be very amusing) if they had something further to admit to a red-faced, sputtering Vernon.

Hogs Head - Mar 23, 2004 7:53 pm (#142 of 571)

Poor Dudley hasn't had a post in a week, so here's a charity post. Just thought I'd try out a theory -- "Dudley Dursley is James Potter." (Just kidding; see the "Lupin is James Potter" thread.)

Here's my real thought. If (indulge me for a second) Book 6 begins with Dudley finally recognizing and admitting that Harry saved him from the Dementors at the beginning of Book 5 (OoP), isn't that almost as good, from a plot twist & character development standpoint, as Dudley being a Squib or half-Squib? Maybe better?

Denise P. - Mar 23, 2004 9:41 pm (#143 of 571)

Will Dudley actually concede that Harry saved him? Unless he undergoes a radical transformation, I think it is more likely that he is going to convince himself that Harry brought the Dementors to the alley to scare him. I think it may be that he will also be sure that he was never in danger. Now, it could be the opposite and whatever Dudley saw will be the radical boot in the rear he needed to stop being so...Dudley like.

Zoe's dad - Mar 23, 2004 11:24 pm (#144 of 571)

Is it possible that Lily and Petunia's parents were killed by Dementors, and it was after that the James told Lily about them and Petunia overheard?

I think the thought that shook up Dudley when the Dementors attack was himself, as he actually is, and how other people see him.


Peregrine - Mar 24, 2004 11:57 am (#145 of 571)

But Dudley has had a whole year to undergo a "radical transformation". We really have no idea what Dudley is like now--in a year he transformed into a hulking boxer, so it's possible he worked through a few things while at Smeltings.

By the way, is Smeltings a boarding school or is he living with his parents? (I haven't got my books.)

Padfoot - Mar 24, 2004 12:04 pm (#146 of 571)

I think Smeltings is a boarding school. There was some mention of how the food isn't enough for Dudley, according to his father. I would think he gets enough food at home. So to me, this would indicate that he is gone from home and living at the boarding school.

S.E. Jones - Mar 24, 2004 6:04 pm (#147 of 571)

Denise P: I think it is more likely that he is going to convince himself that Harry brought the Dementors to the alley to scare him. I think it may be that he will also be sure that he was never in danger.

Or maybe he'll recognize that he was, in fact, in danger and blame Harry for putting him in there since the Dementors were after him....

Or...I've been thinking about some of the things people think Dudley may have seen when under the Dementor's influence and, if, as someone suggested before, it was something as horrid as a death, could this somehow help bridge the gap between Harry and Dudley? He'll be seeing Harry grieving over the course of the summer (or at least as long as he stays at Privet Drive) and he's already heard Harry screaming about Cedric being killed in his dreams. Maybe they'll both be able to finally get some things off their chests they really need to and walk away a little lighter at the end of the summer.

Think I'm being too optimistic about Dudley? I don't know anymore. The more posts I read, the more I wonder. JKR said (November 16, 2000), "You should keep an eye on Dudley. It’s probably too late for Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. I feel sorry for Dudley. I might joke about him, but I feel truly sorry for him because I see him as just as abused as Harry. Though, in possibly a less obvious way." Who knows, maybe there's a transformation in his future after all....

mollis - Mar 24, 2004 7:38 pm (#148 of 571)

I really think we'll see a change in Dudley as well. Especially in light of the quote from JKR. This attack happened to Dudley for a reason. It would have been very easy for Harry to have been in the alley alone. JKR put Dudley there and had him go through the Dementor attack for some purpose. Hopefully we'll find out why at the start of Book 6. I'm hoping Harry and Dudley will have an actual conversation.

Madame Librarian - Mar 24, 2004 7:43 pm (#149 of 571)

A little bit of a stretch, but there is the possibility that Dud will realize that Harry saved him from something awful, even if he won't admit it to anybody. If this attack really spooked him, he may start being sort of clingy to Harry. Afraid to go out by himself, less brash and confident, yet as unpleasant and selfish as ever, demanding as sort of slavish protection from his "talented" cousin. Could be an interesting development. One of the many reasons Harry bails early from Little Whinging.

Ciao. Barb

mollis - Mar 24, 2004 8:02 pm (#150 of 571)

I like the idea of Dudley realizing what Harry did for him, but not saying anything directly. Maybe he'll just be nicer to Harry and maybe even tell Pet and Vernon not to be so mean to him.

Whoa... maybe I'd better go to bed now! Even I don't believe that one after I wrote it!

Hogs Head - Mar 24, 2004 8:12 pm (#151 of 571)

But he's still a bully and a coward.

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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #151 to #200)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:54 pm

Essidji - Mar 25, 2004 6:59 am (#152 of 571)

He is, obviously. This is scary, as if you are right (if he is a Squib or anything that belongs to the magic world), he will undoubtedly turn evil. Unless JKR has prepared another big surprise...

Hogs Head - Mar 25, 2004 7:08 am (#153 of 571)

Evil or not, magical or half-magical or only slightly tinged with magic, I don't think his name is "Dud" for nothing. Even if we learn that he had the ability to see the Dementors or even to make a feather rise off a table top, Dudley will never have the "amperage" of Harry or the other major wizarding (good or bad) characters.

In my view, any revelations (if any) about Petunia or Dudley or both won't be a fulcrum point of the plot -- rather this could go to the exoneration of Harry within his own family structure and a possible reconciliation with Petunia, his real relative. It would be a tidying up of a small mess. Then again, the story could just as easily end in Book 7 with Petunia and Dudley fading away into the sunset of inconsequentiality.

Essidji - Mar 25, 2004 8:05 am (#154 of 571)

: fading away into the sunset of inconsequentiality

Whoa, what an image, Hogs Head! That is a piece of literature!


Hogs Head - Mar 25, 2004 4:18 pm (#155 of 571)

Thank you (I think), Essidji. Had I written that at 7 p.m. CT rather than 7 a.m., I would have said that the phrase "sunset of inconsequentiality" was brought to you by the magic of martinis. Given the time, though, it must have been extra strong coffee.

Zoe's dad - Mar 29, 2004 10:32 pm (#156 of 571)

Either way, Hogs head. That was a nice line.


nmnjr - Apr 24, 2004 2:49 pm (#157 of 571)

Assuming Smeltings is a boarding school, do you think it is overall good or bad that Dudley attends?

At first, with the mention of beating sticks, I thought it would be bad because he would become more of a bully to Harry.

As the years went on, it seemed more like a positive thing for all concerned. They school made the family realize Dudley wasn't perfect with the diet. They are also trying (albeit unsuccessfully) to redirect Dudley's penchant for punching through boxing. But, most importantly perhaps, it takes him away from his father and all that indoctrination.

Perhaps he will have had a chance to ponder all that has happened regarding himself and his relation to the magical world without the negative influence of Vernon. I think mental independence from his father will bring about Dudley's "salvation" in the series.

Any thoughts?

Catherine - Apr 24, 2004 4:05 pm (#158 of 571)

Well, I always thought Rowling was being ironic with the Smeltings sticks--the "practice for later in life" thing.

But since OotP, I wonder if Dudley has had "issues" that Harry can't understand or appreciate just now. Harry wondered about what the Dementors made Dudley experience--I'd like to know myself!

He has indulgent, but foolish parents. Not a good combination, I'd say. But I still want to know about the Dementor attack.

Thoughts about that?? I know we have some really creative people on board here at the forum!



VeronikaG - Apr 25, 2004 7:50 am (#159 of 571)

Smeltings is a boarding school, unless my book is translated all wrong. It says that Dudley was going to start at uncle Vernon’s old boarding school, Smeltings.

It also seems that they have certain rules for how much the boys can beat each other with the sticks, since the Dursleys receive a letter about Dudley's bullyish behavior, and Aunt Petunia cries about the teachers not liking him. Maybe it's in Uncle Vernon’s imagination that those sticks' purpose is to beat each other, and it's really just a stupid part of an old-fashioned school uniform.

Peregrine - Apr 29, 2004 11:30 am (#160 of 571)

I doubt the school is trying to hard to help Dudley. They churned out Vernon and, unless they've changed a lot of policies and teachers since Vernon attended, Dudley would be groomed in the same image.

haymoni - Apr 29, 2004 2:09 pm (#161 of 571)

The only reason Dudley was put on the diet was because he couldn't fit into the beloved Smeltings uniform. I don't think the school cares too much about him - why would they have waited until he got that fat?

They may care about him now that he is the boxing champion but who knows?

Maybe Dudley's worst memory was getting clubbed with the Smelting stick by some older Smeltonians.

Maollelujah - Apr 29, 2004 3:49 pm (#162 of 571)

But since OotP, I wonder if Dudley has had "issues" that Harry can't understand or appreciate just now. Harry wondered about what the Dementors made Dudley experience--I'd like to know myself!

I am sure that Dudley's experience was having to give Harry his second bedroom. Smile

TomoÈ - Apr 29, 2004 10:08 pm (#163 of 571)

Or his pig tail. ^_^

haymoni - Apr 30, 2004 5:09 am (#164 of 571)

Or the removal of said tail.

popkin - Apr 30, 2004 7:04 am (#165 of 571)

When Harry first met the Dementors, they made him remember things from his infancy. I'm guessing that something happened when Dudley was a baby. It's probably related to the secrets Aunt Petunia has been keeping about her knowledge of the magical world.

TomoÈ - Apr 30, 2004 7:31 am (#166 of 571)
Edited Apr 30, 2004 8:32 am

Yes haymoni. ^_^

Or when Hagrid came to the Hut and told Harry he was a wizard. Harry, not him. They are things daddy's money can't buy and the higher powers in this world (JKR ^_^) give magic to Harry, but not to Big D.

I don't know popkin, I'm more incline to believe Big D worst memory came from his Smelting (sp?) years. But maybe, it could be a memory of Pet's secret while he was a baby.

Verbina - Apr 30, 2004 7:40 am (#167 of 571)

If you want to look at Dudley's infancy...that would be the arrival of Harry. It was said that the first few weeks of Harry being at the Dursleys, Harry was constantly pinched by Dudley. It is entirely possible that there were conversations held around the boys concerning the wizarding world and such that could be the source.

I was wondering if it might be pre-Smelting memories. Elementary school can be rough and Dudley is such a bully now but what if he wasn't always a bully in school? It can't be all from home though a great portion probably was. Just tossing out a few notions.

popkin - May 2, 2004 5:27 pm (#168 of 571)

Good observation, Verbina, the coming of a new sibling is difficult for even the best of children - especially the first borns. Having to share his mother with Harry had to be very difficult for a baby as spoiled as Dudley.

Hagsquid - May 2, 2004 7:11 pm (#169 of 571)

Perhaps it was when he found out that he only had thirty-five presents. I wish I had a b-day where I only had thirty-five presents....

VeronikaG - May 3, 2004 3:23 am (#170 of 571)

Does Dudley really suffer so much at Smeltings? I would imagine a kid as spoiled as him would be brought right back home to Mommy and Daddy if he wasn't happy at school. I mean, 35 birthday presents? That's spoiled! Pet and Vernie would never let him be miserable for the better part of the year. They do everything for him.

Padfoot - May 4, 2004 8:56 am (#171 of 571)

Malfoy gets presents sent to him throughout the school year. So I would guess that Big D does too. I doubt he goes without for very long.

haymoni - May 4, 2004 6:36 pm (#172 of 571)

Piers Polkiss was off to Smeltings, too, wasn't he?

I'm guessing he could tell everyone how great Dudders was so he may not have gotten beat up too much his first year.

Verbina - May 4, 2004 8:14 pm (#173 of 571)

Either that or he would have been a target for the older boys. Hmmmm. I wonder...you don't think he had an experience like Snape did as a student. Not the floating in air obviously but the humiliation?

hopping hessian - May 5, 2004 5:12 am (#174 of 571)

That's quite possible. Dudley would not longer be the big fish in the pond, and I'm sure that came as quite a shock. I can see a gang of older boys hitting him with the Smelting stick as soon as he got cheeky. He couldn't go to a teacher and complain, because that would just be more fuel for the fire.

Verbina - May 5, 2004 5:59 am (#175 of 571)

And if he told his parents, they would have come to get him, adding more to the flames. The whole "Dudderkins" thing, which really embarrasses him now.

S.E. Jones - May 5, 2004 11:54 am (#176 of 571)

I'm sure Vernon would have made him go back, even if he were being picked on. It's where Vernon went, after all, and see what a wonderful specimen he turned out to be.... ...

VeronikaG - May 6, 2004 12:41 am (#177 of 571)

I don't think Vernon would have been any better had he gone to another school. He's no less than a Muggle-born Muggle, and has probably never had any imagination or sense of humor to begin with. His parents probably had none, and did not encourage silly behavior. I'm not sure we can blame it all on Smeltings. It does not sound like a school anybody really would like to go to, though. The awful uniform is a giant tip-off in itself, that this is a strange place. I've never worn a school uniform myself, but I have a feeling that grey, black and blue are more ordinary colors for them than orange and maroon. Am I right?

haymoni - May 6, 2004 12:10 pm (#178 of 571)

The hat alone would keep me away.

Padfoot - May 6, 2004 12:23 pm (#179 of 571)

What I wonder, having never worn a uniform to school either, is why do they need a walking stick? That can't be a normal part of a uniform? Is it? Yes ok, it could be a tradition. But the temptation for boys to hit each other would lead teachers to get rid of that part of the uniform. The teachers must be tired of them by now.

haymoni - May 6, 2004 12:26 pm (#180 of 571)

Maybe the teachers have bigger sticks.

S.E. Jones - May 6, 2004 1:57 pm (#181 of 571)

VeronikaG, I wasn't blaming Smeltings for how Vernon turned out. I was saying that, even if Dudley was unhappy there, Vernon would make him go back to school and not bring him home because that school was good enough for him and probably good enough for his father, etc. (i.e. it would be Vernon's reasoning for going against his usual "give Dudders everything he wants" attitude). I think Dudley might know this and so he wouldn't have complained if he were being beaten up or otherwise picked on by older kids there because it would make things worse for him when he had to come back after 'running home to his parents' (can you imagine the torment he'd get for that).

S.E. Jones - Jun 11, 2004 12:37 am (#182 of 571)

Barnes & Noble.com, 20 October, 2000:

Jennifer asks: Did Harry ever use magic on Dudley in the real world?

JK Rowling: Not so far (hint)

I had suggested on the Predictions thread that Harry might use Legilimency on Dudley in Book 6 for some reason, thus revealing what he saw when the Dementors came near him. Any thoughts how this might come about?

popkin - Jun 11, 2004 1:31 am (#183 of 571)
Edited by Jun 11, 2004 2:32 am

Harry hasn't learned to use Legilimency, as far as we know, so I don't think he'll be using it at the beginning of book six. I see a couple ways that Harry might be provoked into using magic against Dudley this summer. (I don't think he'll be likely to be doing Dudley any favors.) Harry could be protecting a kid that Dud and his gang are beating up (Mark Evans), or he could be retaliating for a remark Dudley makes against Sirius. I hope that Harry will have grown up enough to restrain himself from the latter, as there are no words which warrant using illegal magic to bully his cousin. I suppose he might also use some kind of binding spell to shut Dudley up while Harry is battling a magic force (like the Dementors).

S.E. Jones - Jun 11, 2004 2:41 am (#184 of 571)

popkin: I hope that Harry will have grown up enough to restrain himself from the latter, as there are no words which warrant using illegal magic to bully his cousin.

Maybe, but grief can make you lose your head at times and Harry will definitely be grieving this summer.

As for the Legilimency, he's had some experience with the Occlumency (not using it effectively, true, but he knows what basic steps are supposed to go into it), and he's seen Snape use the Legilimency spell, so he might take a stab at it if he gets curious enough....

I wonder what other spells and circumstances there might be....

TomoÈ - Jun 11, 2004 10:45 am (#185 of 571)

Since JKR said Harry never used magic on Dudley so far, I guess it's significant somehow. May the spell will backfire because Dudley share Lily's blood ...

hopping hessian - Jun 12, 2004 7:30 am (#186 of 571)

Yes, but Lily didn't die to save Dudley, only Harry. I do agree, however, that the way JKR phrased her answer does make it seem significant. Maybe Dudders will push Harry over the edge, or maybe Harry will do some sort of magic on Dudley to protect him from something. IMHO, Harry will have a cooler head in Book 6 and won't be as easily provoked.

Neville Longbottom - Jun 12, 2004 8:40 am (#187 of 571)

She said this before OotP, though. This could have been a hint to the first chapter, where Harry a) wanted to jinx Dudley and b) used magic to save his life, although admittedly, he didn't use magic on Dudley.

Diagon Nilly - Jun 12, 2004 9:26 am (#188 of 571)

This is completely off the subject and I apologize for wasting a post, but hopping hessien, your avatar looks like the English teacher from "Teen Witch." Is that who it is?

And to at least post something relevant to this subject, I don't think we've seen the magic Harry will use on Dudley yet. But I like the idea that whatever it is will give us a clue as to what he saw during the Dementor attack.

hopping hessian - Jun 13, 2004 11:43 am (#189 of 571)

Diagon Nilly, I've never seen "Teen Witch", so I have no idea if he was in it, but my avatar is the kids show host, scientist, (and my hero Smile) Bill Nye the Science Guy.

I agree that Harry hasn't used magic on Dudley yet, but I hope when (if) he does, it's not malicious. Harry and Dudley have to come to some sort of understanding and forgiveness (even if they still don't like each other) before any healing for Harry can take place.

I too really want to know what Dudley saw/heard when the Dementors were around.

S.E. Jones - Jun 13, 2004 2:14 pm (#190 of 571)

Would something done to see what Dudley saw/heard around the Dementors be malicious? (This isn't rhetorical, I'm actually asking.) Ooh, what if he did some sort of memory charm on Dudley to make him forget the Dementor episode? That could be both helpful and scary (on Dudley's part)....

popkin - Jun 13, 2004 8:08 pm (#191 of 571)

Forgive me for straying off topic - hopping hessien, I am very fond of Bill Nye, too. We saw him at the engineering open house at the University of Illinois a few years ago, and he had a great show. I loved his patented binary abacus.

Back to Dudley: I still don't think the Dementor was acting on its own initiative when it tried to "kiss" Dudley. I want to know why Umbridge thought Fudge would want him dead (or more correctly, worse than dead).

S.E. Jones - Jun 13, 2004 9:42 pm (#192 of 571)

Well, Dudley would have been a possible witness to them attacking Harry (he could at least tell people what he heard Harry shouting, doing, etc. and what he felt around the Dementors) which would prove that Harry had indeed been attacked. I don't think they were so much supposed to Kiss Harry and Dudley as attempt to make Harry drive them off and perform magic so Fudge could throw the book at him. Fudge was waiting for Harry to slip up and Umbridge provided an opportunity....

Lady Nagini - Jun 14, 2004 12:17 am (#193 of 571)

Well, they're blind, so what if they couldn't tell which one was Dudley and which one was Harry?

No, I'm going to shoot down my own theory by saying that they can probably sense magic. Harry reeks of it, while Dudley is completely devoid.

Dan Wells - Jun 14, 2004 5:06 pm (#194 of 571)

Um, maybe this is a clue we all missed. Maybe Dudley reeks of magic, too? Just unrealized magic?

S.E. Jones - Jun 14, 2004 5:39 pm (#195 of 571)

I doubt it. I'm going to stick with my theory that they were just trying to get Harry to save Dudley to force him to do magic like Umbridge wanted him to....

sewfuninme - Jun 15, 2004 4:41 am (#196 of 571)

If the idea was to get Harry to do magic by saving Dudley, they would have probably had to wait a long time. It didn't seem as if Harry always joined Dudley for his walk back to Privet Drive. It just happened this time around. But that still doesn't give an answer to why did they attack Dudley first.

Now, if Dudley had been seriously injured or killed by the Dementors, then Vernon would have probably ignored Petunia and kicked Harry out. That would have ended the protection Harry had, making him more vulnerable to Voldemort. Umbridge sent the Dementors, but the Dementors could have been taking additional orders from Voldemort already. Hmmm, an idea in process....

Prefect Marcus - Jun 15, 2004 9:17 am (#197 of 571)

They have been given permission to kiss Harry. Likely they had also been told to eliminate any witnesses.

S.E. Jones - Jun 15, 2004 3:56 pm (#198 of 571)

Who said they attacked Dudley first? Dudley ran toward them while Harry searched for his wand. Dudley screamed and Harry shouted and him to keep his mouth shut (well, he had ran into the thing, the other one had to move toward Harry). Then, Harry turned around and saw one, chased away, and then ran the second one off. If Dudley had stayed put, the Dementors would've reached both of them at the same time.....

Lady Nagini - Jun 15, 2004 4:00 pm (#199 of 571)

Which brings us back to my question. Could the Dementors distinguish which boy was which?

hopping hessian - Jun 15, 2004 5:25 pm (#200 of 571)
Edited Jun 15, 2004 6:25 pm

Which brings us back to my question. Could the Dementors distinguish which boy was which?

Does it matter? I'm sure they have some sort of sense, otherwise it would be very dangerous to witness a kiss. But I'm also certain that they couldn't have cared less which boy they got to first. Maybe they just saw Dudley as an appetizer before the main course.

PS: popkin, I am so envious, and here I am a student at the U of I!

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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #201 to #250)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:58 pm

Surtseystwin - Jun 16, 2004 12:12 pm (#201 of 571)

At that time, Harry was still struggling with having witnessed Cedric's death, and Voldemort's return. He no doubt was filled with grief, survivor's guilt, fear, paranoia, and pent up frustration at being stuck in Privet Drive with no news.

With all that going on inside of Harry, it's likely that Dudley simply offered more for the Dementors to "feast" on.

sewfuninme - Jun 16, 2004 1:20 pm (#202 of 571)

Surtseystwin - interesting point about Dudley being more attractive to the Dementors because Harry was so miserable.

Lady Nagini - Jun 16, 2004 2:03 pm (#203 of 571)

Makes sense. But what if they had run into other teenage boys? There has to be some way of distinguishing between victims...

S.E. Jones - Jun 16, 2004 2:14 pm (#204 of 571)

Strange isn't it, that they just happened to attack Harry just shortly after he actually meets up with his cousin and they are alone in a dark alley? I think it was planned that way, frankly. That they were to wait until Harry was alone with his cousin (or some other Muggle who he'd feel a need to defend - everyone at the MoM probably knows about Harry's hero complex by now), without any other wizards around (they can see through invisibility cloaks), and when he's blocked in (the alleyway). I think they probably can sense magic as I always got the feeling from the books that they preferred wizards (don't know why though).

Lady Nagini - Jun 16, 2004 2:16 pm (#205 of 571)

Maybe we should move this to the Dementors thread...?

JKR4PM - Jun 16, 2004 10:59 pm (#206 of 571)

S.E., who told the Ministry that Harry can conjure a Patronus? It seemed to be a surprise to the wizards and witches at his hearing. And since it is the only spell that would ward off two Dementors, Umbridge would have to know that he is proficient before trying the course of action you suggest.

S.E. Jones - Jun 16, 2004 11:05 pm (#207 of 571)

The other witches and wizards don't know but that doesn't mean the Minister, who was at Hogwarts a good deal during PoA (because of the Sirius Black fiasco), when Harry learned to create the Patronus, didn't find out about it. And, if he knew, Umbridge most probably did....

popkin - Jun 17, 2004 12:19 am (#208 of 571)
Edited by Jun 17, 2004 1:21 am

I don't think Umbridge knew Harry could conjure a Patronus. Look at how hungrily she contemplated using the Cruciatus curse when the Inquisitorial Squad had the six students held in her office in OotP. She loves the dark arts and the witches and wizards who use them. Harry was causing her dear Minister problems with his insistence that Voldemort had returned. So, she sent the Dementors to eliminate the problem, but was only successful in getting Harry temporarily expelled from Hogwarts.

I think it is also possible that Dudley was a target, but I don't know why. Fudge knows a lot about Harry's history and the night that Voldemort gave him his scar. Was Fudge among the first on the scene, as he was the night Peter Pettigrew disappeared (the very next evening)? Does he know why Peter returned to the scene of the crime? Do the Dursleys have some major secret tied into those events, and would eliminating Dudley have some positive impact on Fudge's life? With Harry eliminated, would the Potter's fortune fall into Dudley's lap? Maybe it's because of Fudge's ties to Gringotts that he wants all of Harry's relatives dead - maybe he thinks he could get his hands on their gold, and maybe Umbridge thought she might be able to get her fingers in the pie, as well.

S.E. Jones - Jun 17, 2004 12:22 am (#209 of 571)

I wouldn't say she was hungry to use the Cruciatus. She is trying to reason herself into it, trying to explain her using it away, giving herself permission. She's making excuses for herself but that doesn't mean she's eager to use it.....

popkin - Jun 17, 2004 12:35 am (#210 of 571)

The Cruciatus Curse ought to loosen your tongue, said Umbridge quietly.

No! shrieked Hermione. "Professor Umbridge -- it's illegal" -- but Umbridge took no notice. There was a nasty, eager, excited look on her face that Harry had never seen before. She raised her wand.

The Minister wouldn't want you to break the law, Professor Umbridge! cried Hermione.

What Cornelius doesn't know won't hurt him, said Umbridge, who was now panting slightly as she pointed her wand at different parts of Harry's body in turn, apparently trying to decide what would hurt the most. OotP, US, CH32, P746-747, bold mine

While Umbridge does appear to talk herself into using the Cruciatus Curse, she also appears to relish it.

Casey - Jun 23, 2004 5:53 am (#211 of 571)

What would Dudley's Boggart be, were he to face one? A broken television set.

Kidding. Who knows? I never think much about Dudley to tell the truth. I'm sure he will become important in the end, however.

TomoÈ - Jun 26, 2004 7:29 pm (#212 of 571)

If I remember well, you can drive a car at 16 in the UK (if you pass the test, that is). Do you think Vernon will buy him his first car this summer? What kind of car then? Will he pass the test on the first attempt?

S.E. Jones - Jun 26, 2004 7:36 pm (#213 of 571)

Dudley behind the wheel of a car? Now that's scary!

Dr Filibuster - Jun 27, 2004 3:11 pm (#214 of 571)

Tomoe, We have to be 17 before we can drive on public roads in the UK.

Catherine - Jun 27, 2004 3:25 pm (#215 of 571)

Yes, my Boggart may become my children driving with their learner's permits at age 15 here in North Carolina.

My oldest used to ask me if she could "practice her driving" back when she was three years old...ACK! I feel like a horrible countdown has begun, with fewer years till driving than she is years old!

TomoÈ - Jun 30, 2004 9:01 pm (#216 of 571)

Sorry, my brain jammed once again. ^_^

15 year old, that's young! O.o

thetheatre62442 - Jul 14, 2004 6:45 pm (#217 of 571)
Edited Jul 14, 2004 7:51 pm

I'm too lazy to read all the posts on here, but has there ever been anything about Dudley possibly being the Half Blood Prince? I personally am in favor of this theory.

'Look there he goes! Isn't he dreamy? Monsieur Gaston! Oh he's so cute! Be still, my heart! I'm hardly breathing! He's such a tall, dark, strong, and handsome brute!' -- Beauty and the Beast

hopping hessian - Jul 17, 2004 7:10 am (#218 of 571)

Why? Dudley is a Muggle, not a half blood. He has never shown any hint of magic as Harry, Colin Creevey, Neville, and other magical children did. With as many tantrums as Dudley has thrown, I find it hard to believe, as a magical child, that he wouldn't have made the TV blow up instead of putting his foot through it. However, if you have arguments that negate mine, I would be happy to hear them as my pet theory of Godric G. being the HBP has not real support behind it.

thetheatre62442 - Jul 17, 2004 11:40 am (#219 of 571)

Oh good Lord, no I have no arguments, sadly. I just thought it would be kind of funny, maybe, to have Duddy-diddums be the HBP. I would also like Petunia to be a Squib or something. But these are only for my enjoyment. If you have any ideas as to why he or Petunia might have some magical blood in them, do share!

Oh and i absolutely adore your picture of Bill Nye the Science Guy! I miss that guy! Smile

Julia. - Jul 17, 2004 9:10 pm (#220 of 571)

I would also like Petunia to be a Squib or something. I hate to do this to you thetheatre62442, but this is one of my pet peeves. Petunia is not a Squib. It is clearly stated that her sister Lily (and therefore her) has Muggle parents.

Now, it's possible Dudley could be the HPB. Just because Petunia isn't a Squib doesn't mean she isn't a witch. If she turns out to be the one who does magic quite later in life, Dudley could be the HBP, however unlikely that is.

S.E. Jones - Jul 17, 2004 9:27 pm (#221 of 571)

I don't know if her showing magical powers later would qualify her for 'witch' status. JKR said it would only be done in an extreme situation, alluding to the magic showing up once in a stressful situation and then going away again, not staying....

Julia. - Jul 17, 2004 9:53 pm (#222 of 571)

Good point that. I was pretty much kidding when I suggest Dudley for HBP. Although anything is possible in the Potterverse, I don't actually think Dudders will be the HBP.

Leila 2X4B - Jul 20, 2004 7:05 pm (#223 of 571)
Edited Jul 20, 2004 8:05 pm

I so badly want Dudley to reform and become closer to Harry. I think it would be a shame for the split between Harry and all of the Dursleys to become permanent. I think Dudley might be forced to see Harry as not all bad. Maybe not. I think that Harry did something magnificent when he saved Dudley, maybe it had time to sink in by the time Harry went home. I just want there to be some love between them.

Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 20, 2004 7:13 pm (#224 of 571)

I really don't think so; the Dursleys have always been shown to be evil; Petunia the only possible exception.

S.E. Jones - Jul 20, 2004 11:25 pm (#225 of 571)
Edited Jul 21, 2004 12:25 am

One of our members, Hem Hem, compiled some Dudley related quotes (ages ago) that showed how JKR feels toward our little Duddikins:

Barnes and Noble, March 1999:

Q: I want to know what Dudley does with his life.

JK: That is a question I would love to answer, but it will ruin some surprises. I will only say that Dudley's privileged existence starts to change for the worse in Book 4.

Book Links, July 1999:

JOM: Harry is very subversive in how he gets back at his terrible relatives. He's a fully developed character, not a victim or saint.

Rowling: Yes, he wants to get back at Dudley. He's a human boy, and we the readers want him to get back at Dudley. And, in the long term, trust me, he will.

Canadian Broadcasting Co, July 2000:

JK: I really enjoyed writing Dudley as well. Dudley's great fun to write.

Dateline, November 2000:

A question also surfaced surrounding Harry Potter’s non-magical relatives, the Muggles who have always tortured or mistreated Harry, because of their fear of magic. For revenge, Harry has magically tortured his cousin Dudley. `I like torturing them,` said Rowling. `You should keep an eye on Dudley. It’s probably too late for Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. I feel sorry for Dudley. I might joke about him, but I feel truly sorry for him because I see him as just as abused as Harry. Though, in possibly a less obvious way. What they are doing to him is inept, really. I think children recognize that. Poor Dudley. He’s not being prepared for the world at all, in any reasonable or compassionate way, so I feel sorry for him. But there’s something funny about him, also. The pig’s tail was irresistible.`

There may just be something there after all, Sleeping Beauty....

Leila 2X4B - Jul 21, 2004 9:54 am (#226 of 571)

Let us all hope. Dudley is surprisingly aware of Harry's comings and goings as well Harry's problems. Dudders remembered Harry's birthday in CoS(or was it SS/PS) and commented on his lack of contact with friends. He new of Harry's nightmares of Cedric. I think that he only brought it up after Harry was teasing him. Unlike Vernon and Petunia, who don't even acknowledge his existence most of the time, Dudley pays attention to Harry. There might be some underlining concern for Harry, but since Harry is so angry towards Dudley, that Dudley responds in kind.

Neville Longbottom - Jul 21, 2004 10:23 am (#227 of 571)

I agree with you, Sleeping Beauty. Of course Harry is not to blame that he's angry with Dudley. On the other hand, I think Dudley is not the really responsible one for his cruelty towards Harry. He grew up with the opinion that it is okay to beat Harry. His father even encouraged him. Hardly surprising he turned out like that. And seeing what happens to him every time he meets someone from the Wizarding World, it's also not a surprise that he didn't change his opinion about Harry. I feel sorry for him and I think it would be nice if Harry and Dudley will reconcile the family. They acted much like brothers in book 5.

Leila 2X4B - Jul 21, 2004 10:29 am (#228 of 571)

I believe that Harry's feelings toward Dudley have more to do with being jealous than anything else. There is this antagonistic relationship between them. In the later books, Harry seems to egg Dudley on intentionally. How do we know if it has always been this way. Harry takes his anger out on Dudley because he can't confront his Aunt and Uncle.

I am in no way saying that Harry deserved what he got, or that Dudley isn't a big bully, but maybe there is more to it than at first appears.

S.E. Jones - Jul 21, 2004 1:31 pm (#229 of 571)

I think the egging came later as Harry ceased to be afraid of him (he even remarks in OotP that he has his wand if any of Dudley's gang starts something which shows how he's thinking now: if Dudley tries something, I've got magic on my side). It seems that before Harry just tried to stay out of Dudley's way and off his radar, though Dudley seemed to seek him out (there is a comment in the first or second book about Dudley's friends coming over and Harry staying out of their way because their favorite game was Harry hunting). Someone suggested before that Dudley might feel the same resentment toward Harry that Petunia felt toward Lily. Harry gets more attention than Dudley, but the attention is all bad. Still, from a child's point of view, attention is attention. It seems that Lily may have been the parental favorite with the Evans’s, thus Petunia is overcompensating by smothering Dudley and attempting to neglect Harry (who represents Lily to her) so she can prove to Dudley that he is the favorite, but that isn't necessarily the way the child will perceive it.

Robert Dierken - Jul 21, 2004 5:36 pm (#230 of 571)

I wonder what Dudley thinks about Hermione after seeing her on the platform at the end of OoP?

virgoddess1313 - Jul 21, 2004 8:39 pm (#231 of 571)

Barnes and Noble, March 1999: Q: I want to know what Dudley does with his life. JK: That is a question I would love to answer, but it will ruin some surprises. I will only say that Dudley's privileged existence starts to change for the worse in Book 4.

I wonder if this change in Dudley's life might draw him closer to Harry? It doesn't seem very likely, but I really would like to see Dudley become more mature. I wouldn't expect them to become friends or anything, but maybe just to become civil. I don't know... just throwing out ideas.

TomoÈ - Jul 21, 2004 8:55 pm (#232 of 571)

Thanks for the quote virgoddess, I didn't remember that one. Dudley's privileged existence starts to change for the worse in Book 4. Hum ... could this be the event he relive when he encounter the Dementors?

S.E. Jones - Jul 21, 2004 9:28 pm (#233 of 571)
Edited Jul 21, 2004 10:29 pm

Tomoe, read up a little ways. That was one of the ones I gave earlier. I think from all the quotes I've seen, that Dudley will very likely be drawn closer to Harry by the Dementor attack. There is particularly the comment about Harry getting back at Dudley in the end that really makes me think. They say the best way to fight an enemy is to make him your friend. They also say the best revenge is a good life (live better and happier than the other person). So, I'm thinking that either Harry will forgive and be the bigger man, or he'll bridge the gap between them.

Leila 2X4B - Jul 21, 2004 9:47 pm (#234 of 571)

The hardship in GoF was that horrible diet he is put on.

Eponine - Jul 22, 2004 7:26 pm (#235 of 571)

Wasn't GoF when he ate the ton-tongue toffee? That was the only thing I could think of when I read that quote.

Julia. - Jul 22, 2004 7:56 pm (#236 of 571)

There are a few things that happened to Dudley in GoF that could be considered a turn for the worse. First was his first run-in with Wizards. As Eponine pointed out, that was when he ate the Ton-Tongue Toffee. I'm sure he was less than thrilled about that, and he was not happy to see what wizards could do to him if they wanted. I think this was the beginning of Dudley being afraid of Harry. Despite the fact that he teased him mercilessly in the opening chapter of OoP, he got very scared when Harry pulled out his wand. I think that was just the tip of the iceberg for Dudley when it comes to interactions with wizards, but that's for another thread.

The other thing that happened to Dudley in GoF was the diet. He was forced to give up something that he loves, food. He is only now starting to learn the lesson that you can't always get what you want when you want it. This does not make him happy, but I think that the real issue with the diet was that for the first time in his life Mommy and Daddy could not get him out of something. When he had brought home school reports saying he was bullying the other kids, Aunt Petunia said he wouldn't hurt a fly. When he got bad grades, Aunt Petunia said his teachers didn't understand him and Uncle Vernon said that he didn't want some Nancy-boy for a son anyway. But no matter how hard they tried, there was no way to get out of the fact that Dudley was, as JKR put it, roughly the size and weight of a small killer whale. There was nothing Petunia and Vernon could do to convince the nurse otherwise, and for the first time Dudley was forced to accept that Mommy and Daddy can't get him out of everything.

S.E. Jones - Jul 22, 2004 10:08 pm (#237 of 571)
Edited Jul 22, 2004 11:10 pm

Julia: First was his first run-in with Wizards. As Eponine pointed out, that was when he ate the Ton-Tongue Toffee. I'm sure he was less than thrilled about that, and he was not happy to see what wizards could do to him if they wanted. I think this was the beginning of Dudley being afraid of Harry.

I think you're forgetting the pig's tail from Hagrid in PS. He already knew what wizard's could do to him if they wanted in GoF, that's why he kept covering his backside and Arthur spoke to him like he was a little... er... "off" or something. That's also the reason he was afraid of Harry in PS (and avoided him most of the summer between Hagrid's visit and them dropping Harry off at King's Cross) and in CoS when Harry said "Hocus Pocus" and in PoA when Harry mentioned the "magic word" (of course, Harry meant "please", but the Dursleys took it as a threat). GoF was far from the beginning of Dudley being afraid of what Harry could do....

Julia. - Jul 22, 2004 10:21 pm (#238 of 571)
Edited Jul 22, 2004 11:21 pm

Yes, as usual you're right Sarah, I forgot about the pig's tail. I will go iron my hands now.

hopping hessian - Jul 24, 2004 9:48 am (#239 of 571)

Yes. In CoS, before Dobby smashed the pudding, Dudley was very afraid of Harry doing magic on him. Though I found it interesting that when Dudley swore that Harry did magic on him and some bushes, Petunia, for once, didn't believe him.

Penny Lane. - Jul 24, 2004 9:53 am (#240 of 571)

Does anyone else wonder if perhaps the Ton-Tongue Toffee HELPED Dudley lose weight? I would think that someone who - at one point -was so piggish to resort to eating a piece of candy that fell on the floor would think twice about stuffing his face with candy after what happened. Most people would approach candy - and possibly any type of food with apprehension after being subjected to almost dying. Even if Dudley's memory was Obliviated, it could be possible that he still felt some sort of fear of candy, much like repressed memories.

haymoni - Jul 24, 2004 10:18 am (#241 of 571)
Edited by S.E. Jones Jul 24, 2004 2:06 pm

Nope - I think Dudley found his calling in boxing and just lost the weight. When you have punching bags like the Somebody Mark Evans to work on over the summer, you can stay in shape.

We'll have to see if the Dementor attack has made Dudley afraid to box. (There's something out there that won't submit to the "old one two".)

penguin patronus - Aug 5, 2004 5:27 pm (#242 of 571)

I don't know if anyone has said this before, but J.K.R. said that we'll find out what Dudley saw when he faced the Dementors in book five. (his worst memory)

Leila 2X4B - Aug 5, 2004 7:44 pm (#243 of 571)

Poor Diddikins. He is such a sad boy. I hope that we find that he has changed for the better

VeronikaG - Aug 10, 2004 1:11 pm (#244 of 571)

I think he will. Just because Jo would like him to do so. I'm sure that when Harry finds out what Dudley saw during the Dementor attack, he'll be surprised. He'll never look at Dudley the same way again, and neither will we.

Luke E.A. Lockhart - Aug 10, 2004 6:06 pm (#245 of 571)

I have found that Dudley is much less despicable in book 5. Maybe not for the right reasons, but we do tend to respect someone who actually can beat someone up rather than just threaten...

Madame Librarian - Aug 10, 2004 7:38 pm (#246 of 571)

And, to Dudley's credit (although it really bothers me to admit this) there must have been some hard work, training and discipline for him to be proficient in a sport like boxing. Granted he's still a nasty piece of work in that he's using his fists to bully and intimidate non-boxers, and he seems to only do this when he has his goons around, but compared to the sit-around butterball he was till book 5, I guess you could say he's evolving.

And, do we maybe allow it a slightly healthy shift in his no longer being so clingy toward Petunia? Well, we're not sure how he is when he's around her, but he seems to be eager to spend most of his time away from the house and away from her constant fussing, fretting and cleaning. Not all that abnormal for a 15 year old, what?

Ciao. Barb

Luke E.A. Lockhart - Aug 10, 2004 8:06 pm (#247 of 571)

In my opinion, Dudley's parents have spoiled him so much that even he hates it. His nastiness is really (in my opinion) directed at his parents, but he can't express it, so he takes it out on little kids.

Leila 2X4B - Aug 10, 2004 8:09 pm (#248 of 571)

Luke, we actually agree here. I think that Dudley is desperate for some disciple thus he got involved with a sport that demanded it.


zelmia - Aug 10, 2004 9:08 pm (#249 of 571)
Edited Aug 10, 2004 10:10 pm

I would also say that Dudley has been given just the faintest glimpse of the kinds of terrors that Harry lives with every day. Terrors that Harry, with his Magic (the forbidden M word) was able to overcome. Perhaps this will give Dudley pause and even the slightest respect for the strength of Harry's character after all these years.

I guess what I mean is that the two cousins have always been adversaries. In OP, for the first time Harry actually stands up for Dudley; protects him. In fact, Harry saves Dudley's life. This is not something to be taken lightly, even by a spoiled brat.

Solitaire - Aug 10, 2004 11:07 pm (#250 of 571)

Okay, I will say here that I have not read any posts on this thread, so please forgive me if I repeat something someone else has said. But while posting on another thread, I came up with an idea about Dudley and Neville that I thought belonged here. The following is what I posted:

Dudley and Neville ... switched at birth! I wonder ... could Dudley be a "changeling"?

If I recall properly, a changeling is a child born to elves or fairies who is either ugly, stupid, bad-tempered, or a combination of those things. The fairies or elves don't want a kid like this, so they switch him with a mortal child who is beautiful, smart, etc.

Now ... let us apply this to the WW. The Longbottoms give birth to a child who is kind of a dummy, not too bright, bad-tempered, not great looking. He isn't recorded as magical (in other words, he is a Squib, a "dud").

Uncle Algie and Gran Longbottom find this intolerable. They do a bit of research and learn that a Muggle couple (Aunt Pet & Uncle Vernon) have given birth to a Wizard on exactly the same day. What's even better, he LOOKS a little like their boy.

While Frank and Alice are off fighting the DEs, Gran and Algie take their baby and exchange him with the Wizard, leaving their "dud" in his place. Since the new baby LOOKS a little like their Neville, they tell no one. Before Frank and Alice ever learn about the switch, they are incapacitated. No one will ever know.

Dudley is really the "dud" or Squib Longbottom child. Neville is really the Muggle-born Wizard son of Petunia and Uncle Vernon. This could account for the Longbottoms' fear that Neville's powers were so slow to show up.

I know ... what a terrible thing to do to poor, sweet Neville. Okay, you can forget it. I'm sure it's nothing ... but ... could THIS be the memory Dudley sees or remembers in his encounter with the Dementor?


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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #251 to #300)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:02 pm

Elanor - Aug 10, 2004 11:59 pm (#251 of 571)

Wow! Solitaire, that is an idea! To be honest, I think it is a rather scary one! Poor Neville! But yes, this could be the Dudley's memory when he encounters the Dementor.

But, I don't know... Remember when Harry saw the picture of the first Order of the Phoenix, he recognized Alice without knowing her name, just because Neville really looks like her. And, I believe Neville's Gran is a very inflexible, upright person: I don’t see her exchanging babies. And she (and uncle Algie) seems to really love and care for Neville : would she, did she know he isn't his true grandson? Eventually, he is the last thing that really connects her with her son. He isn't maybe as gifted as she wanted him to be, but she said "He's a good boy". So, I don't know. You may be right though... I will think about it a little more!

Solitaire - Aug 11, 2004 1:00 am (#252 of 571)

Thanks, Elanor. The funny thing is that I've never thought of this before. It was that other post I answered that triggered this whole idea. I will admit is farfetched and silly ... and I REALLY love Neville and do not want him to be a Dursley, poor sweetie.

I'll agree that Gran is probably far too upright and honest, and she does see Alice in Neville and loves him very much.

But I must confess ... it does sound a lot like something Uncle Algie might do. I get the idea that he is a sort of "Mundungus" kind of guy ... a little shady. Maybe that's why he dropped him on his head. If he died, Uncle Algie would just think ... well, he wasn't really a Longbottom, anyway!


Hollywand - Aug 11, 2004 3:23 am (#253 of 571)

Interesting theory Solitaire, on Dudley. Give me a while to think and review the text. Rowling may have given some clues on Dudley that are sitting in plain view and I have overlooked.

constant vigilance - Aug 11, 2004 7:07 am (#254 of 571)
Edited Aug 11, 2004 8:10 am

I don't believe that Dudley and Neville have been switched. According to Harry, Neville resembles his mother almost perfectly. Also if they were switched, well, then that would have completely ruled out Neville as the ONE the prophecy referred to since he--being Dudley--has shown no magical abilities. Therefore Dumbledore would not have said there had been two boys the prophecy could have referred to, Neville and Harry, and not until the attack on Harry was Dumbledore certain who the ONE would be.

I think Dudley is what Petunia and Vernon have made him. If his parent's hadn't taught him to loathe and fear magic, he may have had a completely different relationship with Harry. I view Dudley as the Muggle version of Draco. They are exact opposites of the same type of upbringing and fear. Both fear what they don't understand or what they see as a threat to themselves, and they have been raised to believe in hating those people that represent this--Muggle-borns/wizards-- as acceptable.

I do think Dudley has potential to change his view of Harry. I think the incident with the Dementors will have some effect on their relationship, and I'm holding on to the idea that some character we have seen as being hateful/mean can be given a second chance to redeem his/herself.

Solitaire - Aug 11, 2004 11:37 am (#255 of 571)

I view Dudley as the Muggle version of Draco. Constance, I've said this same thing several times, but in reverse. I view Draco as a magical Dudley. Same idea.

I hope you are correct in your idea that Dudley may change how he perceives/treats Harry ... especially after he has had a year to think about the Dementor incident. Then again, Uncle Vernon will have had that same year to work on him, so his memory of what happened may have altered somewhat. I suppose a lot will depend on how much Petunia decides to disclose within the walls of #4 Privet.

I'm not really sure that Neville's looks can be a fair argument against the switch, as it is possible that a changeling could have had his looks magically "modified," isn't it? However ... as I said, the whole Dudley-Neville idea occurred to me VERY late when I was tired ... and something else triggered it. I just posted it as a what-if, since others had mentioned Harry-is-Neville and James-is-Harry theories. This one seemed about as valid as those. (not very)


zelmia - Aug 11, 2004 12:06 pm (#256 of 571)
Edited Aug 11, 2004 1:08 pm

This is the second time I've seen the suggestion put forth that "Neville is really (insert alternative character name here) and was switched at birth because..." Why can't people leave poor Neville alone?

To be honest, I wish people would just accept that the characters are who they are. Lupin is Lupin, Neville is Neville, Dudley is Dudley, Crookshanks is Crookshanks and so on. Why completely devalue a character's place in the story and the overall plot like that by saying "Well, that character isn't really that character. He or she is really...."??

T Brightwater - Aug 11, 2004 12:21 pm (#257 of 571)

I'm with you, Zelmia. JKR on her website mentions being somewhat dismayed that because Sirius Black, Mrs. Figg and Mundungus Fletcher were all mentioned in passing before they were introduced as full characters, that now fans assume _everyone_ mentioned in passing (e.g. Mark Evans) is going to become somehow important. JKR has used disguised identity as a plot device, (Peter Pettigrew & Crouch Jr.) but I don't think we should assume that she's going to use it all the time - she's a much better writer than that!

Solitaire - Aug 11, 2004 1:05 pm (#258 of 571)

Zelmia, I will admit such a thought had never occurred to me before I joined this forum. I've always just thought characters are who they are. However, since I've been here, I've seen Dumbledore is Ron, James is Lupin, Lupin is James, Harry is James, Neville is Harry ... I suppose it's like a virus. I had a short 10-minute bout and now it's over. Please forgive me.

Solitaire (who didn't mean to offend and certainly didn't mean to cause trouble)

T Brightwater - Aug 11, 2004 3:12 pm (#259 of 571)

Solitaire, I do sympathize even if it didn't seem like it. Occasionally I start wondering things like "Is Hedwig Dumbledore's Animagus form?" but I take some dried frog pills and it goes away. :-)

Anyway, back to Dudley. I don't think there's a trace of magic in him. He can't see the Dementors, or he'd have known which way to run in the alley.

Solitaire - Aug 11, 2004 5:22 pm (#260 of 571)

I didn't think anyone SAW things with Dementors anyway, did you? I always thought it was what Harry HEARD that was so debilitating ... the high-pitched cackle of Voldemort's voice, the scream, etc. Remember that Dudley kept saying, "I can't see, I've gone blind." Well, he was stammering, but those were the words. I'd still like to know what Dudley hears, though.

BTW, despite the giant squid theory, a wise owl would be just the form I would expect Dumbledore's Animagus to take.

Hm, dinnertime. Maybe I'll order a stoat pizza and a 6-pack of pumpkin juice. I guess I could chew on a few of Hagrid's rock cakes. Yum!


Miss Moony - Aug 11, 2004 5:34 pm (#261 of 571)

Anyway, back to Dudley. I don't think there's a trace of magic in him. He can't see the Dementors, or he'd have known which way to run in the alley. - T Brightwater

That also rules out Dudley being a Squib because Mrs Figg could see the Dementors.

(and with that goes my own Dudley theory, down a spiraling vortex of doom. *sniff* it was such a good theory, too...)

Leila 2X4B - Aug 11, 2004 5:39 pm (#262 of 571)
Edited Aug 11, 2004 6:40 pm

Miss. Moony, Harry notes during his trial that he thought that Mrs. Figg couldn't actually see the Dementors, but had only seen them in a book.


constant vigilance - Aug 11, 2004 5:45 pm (#263 of 571)

Solitaire: No need to apologise for trying out new theories. Part of what's fun about this forum is throwing ideas around and seeing what takes flight. Even if theories end up flopping, it is most enjoyable to see what thoughts other readers come up with. Exercising one's imagination is never a bad thing. =)

Ann - Aug 11, 2004 6:07 pm (#264 of 571)

Sleeping Beauty, Harry does express doubts that Mrs. Figg has seen the Dementors, from the way she describes them initially; but if you go back and look at the scene, when she rushes up and tells him to keep his wand out, she is the first to mention Dementors, so she obviously has seen them. Or I suppose she could have just recognized their effect. Still, that seems unlikely: how many Dementors has your average suburban Squib encountered?

Solitaire - Aug 11, 2004 6:08 pm (#265 of 571)
Edited Aug 11, 2004 7:10 pm

He says that then, Beauty, but see what OotP says at the end of Chapter 1:

Mrs. Figg, their batty old neighbor, came panting into sight. Her grizzled gray hair was escaping from its hairnet, a clanking string shopping bag was swinging from her wrist, and her feet were halfway out of her tartan carpet slippers. Harry made to stow his wand hurriedly out of sight, but-- "Don't put it away, idiot boy!" she shrieked. "What if there are more of them around? Oh, I'm going to kill Mundungus Fletcher!"

Harry had been crouched beside Dudley when she came running up. He didn't know who it was and had just pulled his wand and stood up when he realized it was Mrs. Figg. If she had not seen the Dementors with her own eyes, why would she have said "What if there are more of them around?" More of what? She saw them, all right! She may not have realized they didn't have feet (it was dark), but I'm guessing she saw plenty.


Edited to add this afterthought: Does this mean that while Muggles may not be able to see them, Squibs can????

Ann - Aug 11, 2004 6:10 pm (#266 of 571)

Solitaire--Great minds think alike!

Solitaire - Aug 11, 2004 6:10 pm (#267 of 571)

Oops! Ann, I was going to add THAT, too, and forgot! hee

Madame Librarian - Aug 11, 2004 7:08 pm (#268 of 571)
Edited Aug 11, 2004 8:12 pm

Gaaaa! I had almost the whole post ready to go and I hit some button accidentally and! poof! it's gone. Accio post!...rats, didn't work. I'll start over then.

Mrs. Figg is one of those characters that is not what she seems. First we meet her as a crabby neighbor, just another annoying Muggle in Harry's life. Then we (and Harry) find out that she's a Squib, and has been watching over Harry all along. But we don't quite know for sure what her limitations are. Can she see Dementors or just sense them? Curious. We still don't know for sure. At some point we are told that Squibs can't perform any magic, but are perfectly aware of it and understand the principles. I forget who tells us that. Is it Figg?

Getting back on track with good old Dud (BTW, who was it who pointed out that his very name, at least the short form, hints that he might be a dud at magic? Good catch!)--I had proposed a while back that Petunia might very well be a full fledged Witch. Long before things got ugly in the WW, she had some horrible experience or committed some terrible thing that either made her despise all things magical, or got her shunned and hated by other Wizards. Then the whole awful business with VWI starts up, and Pet decides to live as a Muggle. She meets Vernon, they're settled and Pet is able to live reasonably happily without magic in her life. Maybe she just uses it a teensy bit to keep that kitchen clean. She is terrified that her new baby, Dudley, will be a Wizard.

DD is, of course, aware of all of this. He has heard it from Lily. When he realizes that Petunia will most likely never take in Harry without some pressure or some deal, he offers this to her: DD guarantees that he will prevent the magic from arising in Dudley. Powerful and obscure charms will do the trick, but only DD is able to perform such difficult and dangerous magic, and he would never agree to this if the whole Wizarding society were not in extreme danger. They agree--Harry will stay with Pet as long as DD keeps the magic from appearing in Dudley.

So who's the one who gets magical later in life? According to this admittedly off-the-wall theory, it's not Pet because she's already magical and knows it, but has masqueraded as a Muggle all these years. So maybe it's Dudley. The charms expire, the bargain is not kept, a horrible crisis breaks the spell, any number of things could elicit Dudley's "change."

Sorry, a lot of words.

Ciao. Barb

zelmia - Aug 11, 2004 8:39 pm (#269 of 571)

Solitaire: It is I who should apologize to you because I really didn't mean for my most recent post to be a personal attack as much as a general admonishment to those kinds of theories in general, like those you mentioned that I, too, have seen here on the Forum.

As far as Dudley is concerned, again it is well established in the saga that the Evans' parents were Muggles (see esp. ch 1 of PA: "The Dursleys were what wizards called Muggles: not an ounce of magical blood in their veins. And they had a very medieval attitude toward magic.") And while he may develop magic later on, that would make Dudley just another Muggle-born wizard like Hermione.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 11, 2004 9:03 pm (#270 of 571)

Dudley just another Muggle-born wizard like Hermione.

Ahh but, Hermione has the power, being "just another Muggle-born", is a little condescending?

Dudley is Dudley, Ron is Ron, Lupin is Lupin, socks are laundry, and Dumbledore is the giant squid! :-)

Solitaire - Aug 11, 2004 10:50 pm (#271 of 571)

Thank you, Zelmia ... no harm done. I frankly HATE the idea of Dudley becoming magical for a couple of reasons.

First, I think Harry should get to be magical all on his own. In that family, it is the only "special" thing that has ever happened to him (you know what I mean). He truly is treated as the "ugly stepchild."

Second, I think Dudley is a big thug! He is already as bad as Draco without a wand. Imagine the horrible possibilities if he were suddenly to become magical! They thought Aunt Marge inflating was bad. Can you imagine what some of the Dud's temper tantrums might do? Not a pretty thought, is it?

I must say that when JKR tells us she has buried a big juicy bone--that a character who has not been considered magical will use magic late in life--it is only natural for her fans to dig around and try to find that bone and how it may have been hidden.

My bets are on one of three: Petunia, Filch, or Figgy. They have at least seen magic performed and might have a clue what to do with a wand. If we're looking for trouble at #4 Privet, that narrows it to Figgy and Petunia. That's it for now! Smile


TomProffitt - Aug 12, 2004 5:22 am (#272 of 571)

The thing is there are very few characters we know that cannot do magic. Throw out the Muggles who are eye wash (Piers Polkiss and Aunt Marge, etc) and we only have five characters who are not magical: Filch, Figg, Dursley, Dursley, and Dursley. Big D's chances are as good as his mum's.

Although Hermione's folks coming late to magic would be interesting.

constant vigilance - Aug 12, 2004 6:31 am (#273 of 571)

I shudder at the thought of Filch becoming magical.

I'm leaving my mind open to the possibility that Dudley with redeem himself, but that's only a possibility.

My hope is the Figg's gets to perform some high-stress induced magic simply because her character is non-threatening to me. Plus, the Wizengamot sort of insulted her when she testified on Harry's behalf.

T Brightwater - Aug 12, 2004 6:55 am (#274 of 571)

I think Mrs. Figg could sense the Dementors well enough to know that they were there, approximately where they were, and perhaps that there was more than one, but couldn't actually see them, despite what she says about Squibs having that ability. At the trial, she's a bit shaky when describing the appearance of the Dementors (and we know Harry can see them, he got a good look at the one on the Hogwarts Express) but very accurate in describing their effect. When Fudge said "That's what you saw?" she replied, "That's what _happened._" (emphasis mine.)

As a Squib rather than a Muggle, she would be able to identify the source of the sensations she was feeling. Dudley thought it was something Harry was doing.

All of Dudley's encounters with the magical world have been rather scary and unpleasant - tha boa constrictor at the zoo, Hagrid giving him a pig's tail, the Ton-Tongue Toffee. Maybe that's what he was remembering when the Dementors attacked.

I know Hagrid isn't the most reliable source, but he does call the Dursleys Muggles, and says that some of the best wizards he knows were _the only ones with magic in them in a long line of Muggles_ - and gives Lily as an example.

(I think the "late-bloomer" will be either Filch or Figgy.)

Ann - Aug 12, 2004 8:48 am (#275 of 571)
Edited Aug 12, 2004 9:49 am

T Brightwater said "When Fudge said "That's what you saw?" she replied, "That's what _happened._" (emphasis mine.)"

Although on reflection I can't see why JKR would have had her say "ran," and have Harry think maybe she couldn't see them if there wasn't something significant about that, I think her point there was not to hedge about what she saw but to emphasize that it was not just (or, as you say, not at all) what she thinks she saw, but the truth.

Solitaire - Aug 12, 2004 2:22 pm (#276 of 571)

Ann, I agree with you about Figgy. It will be interesting to learn more about Squibs and where they fit into the scheme of things. The fact that Dumbledore referred to Figgy as part of "the old crowd"--along with Remus and Dung--when he told Sirius to alert them (end of GoF) tells us a lot. He certainly must have had faith in her--even without magical skills--to consider her part of the Order. I think her "batty old woman" image may be a protection ruse. Like Constant vigilance, I HOPE she is the late magical bloomer.

Brightwater, you're right about Dudley's encounters with the magical world. Oddly, all of the things that happen to him, while magical, are brought on by Dudley himself--scarfing up Harry's cake (which I think is why Hagrid gives him the oinker's tail), stealing the TTToffee (when he knows he is on a diet), and irritating the snake. But I do worry about him becoming magical. He's dangerous enough as a Muggle.


zelmia - Aug 12, 2004 2:36 pm (#277 of 571)

Just another Muggle-born Wizard is not meant to be insulting. It's meant to illustrate that there are plenty of them in the Wizarding World and therefore, should Dudley prove to be a latent Wizard, he wouldn't really stand out as one.

Solitaire - Aug 12, 2004 3:00 pm (#278 of 571)

Oops! Now that I think about it, Dudley was scarfing the cake in the movie, not the book. Sorry for the error. **off to slam head in freezer; at least it will be cool**

Neville Longbottom - Aug 12, 2004 3:04 pm (#279 of 571)
Edited Aug 12, 2004 4:04 pm

Oddly, all of the things that happen to him, while magical, are brought on by Dudley himself--scarfing up Harry's cake (which I think is why Hagrid gives him the oinker's tail),

No, this was how it was in the movie. In the book, however, Dudley did nothing in this scene. He was afraid of Hagrid's size and was cowering in the corner and listening to Hagrid insults about Dudley's size (as if Hagrid of all people has the right to insult somebody because of their weight). Than Vernon insulted Dumbledore and Hagrid punished Dudley for Vernon's sin in giving him a pigtail.

I always thought that was pretty mean of Hagrid, no matter how nasty Dudley is. That whole scene is one reason why I never really liked Hagrid, no matter how much I am supposed to do so. I think the filmmakers actually share my opinion a bit, because not only had Hagrid a reason to hex Dudley in the movie, he also didn't seem to care about his weight.

Edit: A bit to late. *g*

Solitaire - Aug 12, 2004 3:20 pm (#280 of 571)

I wish Hagrid had given the tail to Uncle Vernon. He was the piggy one, IMO.

You know, I just checked that scene, too. I noticed something I hadn't noticed before. When Hagrid is telling Harry about his parents, Uncle Vernon chimes in and starts insulting them, saying, "always knew they'd come to a sticky end--"

At the end of CoS, just before he realizes he has unwittingly given Dobby Harry's filthy old sock, Lucius Malfoy says to Harry, "You'll meet the same sticky end as your parents one of these days, Harry Potter. They were meddlesome fools, too."

He turns the line around in the movie (to more effect, IMO) ... "Your parents were meddlesome fools, too ... and one of these days you're going to meet the same - sticky - end." I just find the use of that phrase from both Uncle Vernon and Lucius rather interesting.


constant vigilance - Aug 12, 2004 6:05 pm (#281 of 571)

Good observation, Solitaire! Why did Vernon "always know they'd come to a sticky end?" And why did Vernon and Lucius use the same exact phrase?

Vernon has always been shown to hate magic, but seems ignorant of the wizarding world (though that is at least partially by conscious choice). He must have known at least a bit about Harry's family from Petunia, but from the beginning of the series he has been afraid to speak about magic around his wife.

He didn't dare mention the Potters: on the day Harry's parents were killed and the WW was celebrating, Vernon heard somebody in the streets say something about "the Potter boy" and wondered if it was his nephew, but when he got home he didn't mention it to Petunia. Now I'm wondering what made him think the Potters would die, especially in a 'sticky' fashion.

This is not to suggest that Vernon is affiliated with Voldemort or DE's, per se, I am just curious about the usage of that particular phrase.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 12, 2004 7:33 pm (#282 of 571)

That phrase has always stood out to me too. I'm an American, to me says bloody end, as blood is sticky. Is there a British meaning of sticky that's different?

Solitaire - Aug 12, 2004 9:11 pm (#283 of 571)

Oh, no!! Please don't tell me Uncle Vernon is going to be the magic one! No, no, noooooooooo!!

TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 12, 2004 9:15 pm (#284 of 571)
Edited Aug 12, 2004 10:17 pm

As much as I hate the thought too, it has occurred to me.

Now I know is past my bedtime...when I reread what I just said, eat slugs just popped into my mind.

If Vernon is the one, he'd make the magic backfire?

Ann - Aug 12, 2004 9:31 pm (#285 of 571)

Sticky end just means a tricky situation that turns out very badly, I think. (After all, the AK curse is actually quite tidy and bloodless.) I think it is just a cliché, and the common tie between Vernon and Lucius is that JK dislikes them both. At least in the case of Vernon, I don't think it means he predicted their end at all--it's just something that he is claiming as a way to belittle them after the fact.

And if Vernon is magic, we'll never know, since he's too much of a coward to try it--and if he was going to do wandless magic when he is angry, it would have happened long ago. (It might be less painful than the throbbing vein!)

Solitaire - Aug 12, 2004 9:32 pm (#286 of 571)

Oh, let's just throw some bubotuber pus at him and be done with it!

Leila 2X4B - Aug 12, 2004 9:35 pm (#287 of 571)

What about Dudley? Isn't this his thread? Poor ickle Diddikins ignored on his own thread. I was just reading the SS/PS and discovered that there must be some sort of weird jealousy that Dudley has toward Harry. Most people ignore those they out-right dislike. Vernon dislikes Harry and avoids looking at Harry if he can, but Dudley beats him up, knows about what Harry does and what is going on with him. He notices Harry. That is very odd for someone that despises him.

Phelim Mcintyre - Aug 13, 2004 4:24 am (#288 of 571)

Great picture Sleeping Beauty.

I think the "sticky end" phrase was just a coincidence. But the fact that it comes from two of the most bigoted and prejudice characters is interesting.

I do think though that Dudley could be the late developer magically, and that is one of the reasons Hagrid's spell didn't work. But which house would he have been in? Hufflepuff?

Madame Librarian - Aug 13, 2004 4:52 am (#289 of 571)
Edited Aug 13, 2004 5:54 am

Dud is a bully, and bullies will pick on whomever is handy and seemingly weaker. Whether Dud is jealous of Harry or not, he'd pick on Harry just because that's what bullies do. It's not necessarily motivated by a deep-seated issue like envy or jealousy, for a true bully it's almost on the same par as a hobby--it offers them diversion and entertainment.

I'd like to bring up something that popped up a day or so ago, so I do apologize for a shift in direction here. Someone had made a throwaway comment saying that Draco and Dud were alike, both bullies, both spoiled and indulged by their parents. I don't agree completely.

Sure, both boys are bullies, no dispute there. But as far as how they're treated by their parents, I see a huge difference in how Vernon and Pet indulge and actually are afraid of Dud (afraid of making him unhappy--remember the 35 b-day gifts in PS). They tiptoe around him to avoid confronting him with anything unpleasant. They barely discipline him at all. In fact, they simply let him do what he wishes, watch TV at the table, eat whatever he wants, beat up Harry, speak rudely to them and other adults, etc.

Draco, on the other hand, has a dad who is quite demanding, demeaning and on a number of occasions has ridiculed his son in public, comparing him unfavorably to other students. We can only guess how Lucius treats Draco in the privacy of the Malfoy home. Narcissa is an unknown--she may be the sympathetic mother ("Lucius, my dear, give the poor child a break. Draco, come to your mummy and I'll conjure up your favourite treat."), or she may keep quiet and let Lucius rule the roost. I imagine that Draco has all the material things he would want, but no real understanding or true guidance. As he gets older, Lucius might begin to treat him as a second-in-command or an apprentice head of the family, but there will never be any warmth nor a lessening of unrealistic expectations on Lucius' part.

Therefore, the two parenting styles are practically polar opposites. Neither is a good approach. Both serve to produce bullies or worse. I see Draco as turning out to be the more dangerous product of bad parenting--there's potential for true cruelty aimed as his own kids (if he makes it that far), and with a hunger for power of the worst sort. Dud will probably just grow up to be another Vernon--obnoxious, crude, loud, demanding, but mostly leaving the world at large alone, save for a few unfortunate underlings who cross his path.

Ciao. Barb

popkin - Aug 13, 2004 7:09 am (#290 of 571)
Edited by Aug 13, 2004 8:10 am

I'm so far behind on posts (sigh), this goes back about fifty or so. I liked the changeling idea. (Was that Solitaire's?) I don't know that Neville is the best choice for the dud wizard who would have been switched, since he has always been considered a "bit of a Squib" - if he had been replaced, everyone would think that he was an accomplished wizard. However, if there were a changeling in this story, Dudley would have to fill the bill. He is a singularly unpleasant character, and has been since he was a small baby. His parents are equally unpleasant, making them good targets for a mischievous elfin/wizard couple with an ugly/ill-tempered/Squib baby to switch.

I don't think that's what has happened, since Dudley does look a lot like Uncle Vernon, but I liked the idea anyway.

Solitaire - Aug 13, 2004 11:31 am (#291 of 571)

Popkin, it was my idea, I confess. And part of it was indeed the fact that Dudley is so darned unpleasant! But I honestly don't think it is anything ... it was just a fleeting idea late one night when I couldn't sleep and was dreaming about Harry Potter. LOL

Phelim, about Hagrid's spell not working completely ... could that be because his wand was snapped in half? I think he has the two pieces concealed in that umbrella. But remember what happened in CoS when Ron tried to use his broken wand to turn Scabbers into a teacup? He didn't transform completely (I know this was in the movie and can't remember if it was in the book). Possibly, broken wands just can't do spells properly. AS for which house, Dud is mean enough to be in Slytherin. And Goyle and Crabbe are proof that intelligence is not an absolute requirement, if one is a big enough bully.

Barb, I like your idea that the Dursleys are afraid of the Dud. Do you feel it is because they fear (or know for a fact) he is magical? I would think that if he IS magical, by now he would have at least done some of the "uncontrollable" magic like Harry did and didn't understand. Just wondering ...


Madame Librarian - Aug 14, 2004 5:00 am (#292 of 571)
Edited Aug 14, 2004 6:02 am

Solitaire, I'm not sure. I just sense that Vernon and Pet are always trying to prevent Dud from having a tantrum, they don't want a scene. Your suggestion that the reason they don't want the kid to lose it is definitely a possibility. I'm not sure about Vernon being nervous for that reason, but perhaps Petunia is (i.e., she knows something--ahem---that Vern doesn't).

Wow. Wouldn't it be a trip if we find out that some of the times poor Harry was accused to doing "emotional" magic as a young child, it was really the not-quite-successfully squelched magic leaking out of Dudley? That'd really blow my mind.

As far as who's the late-bloomer, well, of all the possibilities so far (Petunia, Filch, Figg, Dudley, Vernon, or a new character), I've lots of theories but really don't have a best bet pick. Well, maybe Petunia....

Ciao. Barb

Crystal Moony - Aug 14, 2004 6:27 am (#293 of 571)

think that there is something in the first book about MG saying that DD was bouncing all the way up the street, or is that about a pink beach ball? don't have the book right now./ Anyway, I have to wake a dragon to get that book. what if the thing that DD heard during the Dementor attack and Harry's 'shortest stay yet' are connected? This is my third post here, by the way. Hey, what if DD turns out to be the Giant Squid? Dudley-dud; squid-Squib. and there is a comment in the book that someone (PERHAPS MERPEOPLE?) knew magic no more than the Giant Squid did? hmm...

Crystal Moony - Aug 14, 2004 9:30 am (#294 of 571)

Oops! The DD I meant was Dudley Dursley not the bumblebee. Sorry!

Solitaire - Aug 14, 2004 12:39 pm (#295 of 571)

I thought it was Neville who bounced, but I'll double-check!

Crystal Moony - Aug 14, 2004 8:48 pm (#296 of 571)

it was Neville!(cheek glows red)

But why should Big D show interest in Harry? Esp. when his parents forbid magic so much? Do you think that if his parents were less forbidding Big D would be somewhat friendly(?) to Harry?

what! did i write that???

Solitaire - Aug 14, 2004 9:22 pm (#297 of 571)

Actually, Crystal, I do believe that if Petunia and Uncle Vernon had treated Harry with even a modicum of respect as a human being--forget tenderness and concern--the Dud might have behaved a bit differently toward him. I'd say that Uncle Vernon is mainly responsible for Dud's lack of respect for people in general, and his bullying demeanor. Uncle Vernon is a bully; why wouldn't Dudley follow suit?


Crystal Moony - Aug 14, 2004 11:16 pm (#298 of 571)

That is psychology, Solitaire. And absolutely right too. What I was trying to say was 'Big D has got hurt in all his encounters with wizards, so he would avoid them, esp. Harry. But he does show some interest and curiosity in magic, doesn't he? Does he? (I am confused.) Please help!

You see I was wondering about 'the latent talent'. We know how JKR plays with the words...

And I remember now, it was not bouncing, but kicking.' Kicking his mom up the street', if I remember correctly. w\Wonder if it has any importance.

But the main thing is whether Bid’s horror and Harry's shortest stay was connected in anyway. Speculations?

zelmia - Aug 15, 2004 12:10 am (#299 of 571)

Is there something wrong with your space bar?

Crystal Moony - Aug 15, 2004 8:07 pm (#300 of 571)

Why do you ask so? Is anything wrong?

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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #301 to #350)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:07 pm

Leila 2X4B - Aug 15, 2004 8:08 pm (#301 of 571)

There are no spaces between sentences and it makes it difficult to read your posts.

Dudley won't be around much in the coming books

Chris. - Aug 15, 2004 8:14 pm (#302 of 571)

Hmmm.. I heard that.

Does this mean an even shorter stay at Privet Drive, than we actually expect (about four weeks)?

Leila 2X4B - Aug 15, 2004 8:19 pm (#303 of 571)

I am going to miss Big D.

DJ Evans - Aug 15, 2004 9:34 pm (#304 of 571)

I guess we can take it that Dudders is close to being a border line Mark Evans? hee hee

Seriously, I'm a bit sad to hear from Jo that we won't see much of the Dursleys in book 6. I know they are mean/hateful to Harry, but I've become used to their bit in the story line in each of the books.

Later, Deb

Ann - Aug 16, 2004 12:22 pm (#305 of 571)

On the other hand, they (or some of them) apparently are going to live into Book 7, since she says we'll see a bit more of them then. Actually, it's odd that she says specifically that you only get a few lines of Dudley in Book 6, and after saying "the Dursleys" and "them." But I suppose the question was about Dudley, and she's going back to that.

potter fan - Sep 11, 2004 6:31 pm (#306 of 571)

going back to what Dudley saw or heard when the Dementors where on him, somewhere I think I read that JKR says what he actually saw during that time is a big key. anyone have ideas on that subject?

zelmia - Sep 13, 2004 2:08 pm (#307 of 571)

It's hard to say since everything we know about Dudley comes from Harry's point of view. We have only ever seen Dudley being a bully or a total coward, afraid of what Harry could do to him. We have no clue at all into Dudley's inner life.

It was suggested somewhere (perhaps on this thread) that Dudley may have had a pretty bad time of things at school, being the dim-witted chunk that he is, and that his Dementor experience might have included some of those incidents.

Personally, I think this one is a bit too tough to try to guess before the publication of book 6. We just don't know enough about this character.

TomoÈ - Sep 13, 2004 5:44 pm (#308 of 571)
Edited Sep 13, 2004 6:50 pm

Let's take a look at the possible hints for interviews :

Edinburgh Book Festival, 15 August 2004

Is there more to Dudley than meets the eye?

No. [Laughter]. What you see is what you get. I am happy to say that he is definitely a character without much back story. He is just Dudley. The next book, Half Blood Prince, is the least that you see of the Dursleys. You see them quite briefly. You see them a bit more in the final book, but you don’t get a lot of Dudley in book six; very few lines. I am sorry if there are Dudley fans out there, but I think you need to look at your priorities if it is Dudley that you are looking forward to. [Laughter].

Barnes and Noble Chat, October 20th 2000

Did Harry ever use magic on Dudley in the real world?

Not so far (hint).

World Book Day, March 4th 2004:

Amy: What did Dudley see when he faced the Dementors in book five?

JK Rowling replies -> Ah, good question. You'll find out!

Barnes and Noble, March 1999:

Q: I want to know what Dudley does with his life.

JK: That is a question I would love to answer, but it will ruin some surprises. I will only say that Dudley's privileged existence starts to change for the worse in Book 4.

Book Links, July 1999:

JOM: Harry is very subversive in how he gets back at his terrible relatives. He's a fully developed character, not a victim or saint.

Rowling: Yes, he wants to get back at Dudley. He's a human boy, and we the readers want him to get back at Dudley And, in the long term, trust me, he will.

Dateline, November 2000:

A question also surfaced surrounding Harry Potter’s non-magical relatives, the Muggles who have always tortured or mistreated Harry, because of their fear of magic. For revenge, Harry has magically tortured his cousin Dudley. `I like torturing them,` said Rowling. `You should keep an eye on Dudley. It’s probably too late for Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. I feel sorry for Dudley. I might joke about him, but I feel truly sorry for him because I see him as just as abused as Harry. Though, in possibly a less obvious way. What they are doing to him is inept, really. I think children recognize that. Poor Dudley. He’s not being prepared for the world at all, in any reasonable or compassionate way, so I feel sorry for him. But there’s something funny about him, also. The pig’s tail was irresistible.`

# So mainly, there's nothing more to Dudley than meet the eyes, but something happened to Dudley in his forth year at Smelting (sp?), that change his existence to the worst and is connected with what he does with his life. Harry never performed magic on him. In the long term, Harry will get back at Dudley. There is still hope for Dudley.

Now let's look at the encounter Dudley vs. Dementors :

Dudley was as vast as ever, but a year's hard dieting and the discovery of a new talent had wrought quite a change in his physique. As Uncle Vernon delightedly told anyone who would listen, Dudley had recently become the Junior Heavyweight Inter-School Boxing Champion of the Southeast.

'So who've you been beating up tonight?' Harry asked, his grin fading. 'Another ten-year-old? I know you did Mark Evans two nights ago -'

'He was asking for it,' snarled Dudley. 'Oh yeah?' 'He cheeked me.'


There was an horrible squealing yell and Dudley's footsteps stopped. [...]



He had run barely a dozen steps when he reached them: Dudley was curled up on the ground, his arm clamped over his face. A second Dementor was crouching low over him, gripping his wrists in its slimy hands, prising them slowly, almost lovingly apart, lowering its hooded head towards Dudley's face as though about to kiss him.

'Pointed his wand at me,' Dudley mumbled.

[...] 'All went dark,' Dudley said hoarsely, shuddering. 'Everything dark. And then I h-heard ... things. Inside my head.'

'What sort of things did you hear, Popkin?' breathed Aunt Petunia, very white-faced and with tears in her eyes.

But Dudley seemed incapable of saying. He shuddered again and shook his large blond head [...] Dementors caused a person to relive the worst moments of their life. [...]

'How come you fell over, son?' [...] 'T-tripped' said Dudley shakily. 'And then -'

He gestured ay his massive chest.[...]

'Horrible,' croaked Dudley. 'Cold. Really cold.' [...]

'Felt ... felt ... felt ... as if ... as if ...'

'As if you'd never be happy again,' [...]

'Yes,' Dudley whispered, still trembling.

# Since Dudley's privileged existence starts to change for the worse in Book 4, he became boxer and even Junior Heavyweight Inter-School Boxing Champion of the Southeast, it sounds like he invest himself a lot in boxing. When he encounter the Dementors and relived the worst moment of his life, he heard voices. It's sounds like his worst moment is not all physical at least. When asked what he heard, he don't answer, that should rule out stuff like when he get a pig tail or a feet long tongue, which he could have shared with his parents without fear of judgment.

I believe Dudley's worst moment is what happened to him in his fourth year and change his life for the worst. I also believe that whatever happened, it puts Dudley on the bottom ten of the Dursley least favorite things in the world, so he cannot ask them help and he vent out his frustrations on little kids around (beside Harry, he didn't beat kids up in the four last books). Maybe Mark Evans got it right when he cheeked Dudley. I hope will learn in HbP.

haymoni - Sep 14, 2004 4:51 am (#309 of 571)

Wasn't GOF the start of the horrible diet over the summer?

TomoÈ - Sep 14, 2004 5:06 am (#310 of 571)

Yep, the horrible diet started over the GoF's summer. Dudley's parents didn't grant his wishes for the first time. That could be it.

hopping hessian - Sep 14, 2004 5:12 am (#311 of 571)
Edited Sep 14, 2004 6:13 am

Yes, he went on his diet and his grades were really, really bad (though that doesn't seem to be anything new). I agree with Tomoe that his worst memories that the Dementors bring up are things that the readers have never seen. How could Dudley hear his tongue grow large or a pig's tail appear on his bottom? As frightening as these things were I don't think that they're the sort of terror that a Dementor makes one re-live. As for Dudley venting his frustrations on other children in his neighborhood, he's always done that. He's a bully. Children need boundaries and restraint to be happy whether they realize it or not. If a parent tells you, "No, you can't do that, it's bad for you.", though the child might fuss, deep down they're happy because they know that their parents love them. Dudley has been starved of love just as Harry had, only in a different way, and I think he knows it. He is frustrated, IMHO, about his parents and I think that's why he's always beaten up other children. He just branched out because he's afraid to do anything to Harry.

EDIT Tomoe- You and I must have posted at the same time. Smile

TomoÈ - Sep 14, 2004 5:31 am (#312 of 571)

hopping hessian -> As for Dudley venting his frustrations on other children in his neighborhood, he's always done that. He's a bully.

Yes, Dudley always has been a bully, but in the four first books he was sitting effortlessly before the TV, striking to anyone that came into his reach (That is to say, Harry). In OoP, Dudley goes out over days to purposely find someone to beat up, that's another step.

popkin - Sep 14, 2004 7:40 am (#313 of 571)

Thanks for the excellent post, Tomoe. I think you're right in saying that it couldn't be the ton-tongue-toffee or growing a pig's tail or anything magical. His parents would have jumped all over Harry for anything like that, and Dudley would be eager to share it. It's something secret - that Dudley doesn't want his parents (or, possibly, even Harry) to know about. It most likely happened at school. Maybe it centers around a bigger bully than Dudley, and the infamous Smeltings sticks.

haymoni - Sep 14, 2004 7:50 am (#314 of 571)

One can only hope!

hopping hessian - Sep 14, 2004 8:58 am (#315 of 571)

Maybe it centers around a bigger bully than Dudley, and the infamous smelting sticks [Popkin]

I wouldn't be surprised. In fact, I think you can almost bet that life for Dudley would not have been pleasant those first couple of years at Smeltings. Here he is, fat, ill-educated, spoiled, and used to being the big fish in the pond when he goes to a place where his is on the bottom rung. He no doubt found boys who were bigger and stronger then he was that could/would beat him up, boys who were much smarter then he was and would make fun of him and show him up in class, and athletic boys who were in much better shape (until fourth year) who would also make fun of a boy roughly the size of a killer whale. He also would have faced teachers who would not coddle him as his mother had.

haymoni - Sep 14, 2004 9:08 am (#316 of 571)
Edited Sep 14, 2004 10:09 am

Maybe his worst memory is that wedge of grapefruit.

hopping hessian - Sep 15, 2004 9:18 am (#317 of 571)

Or cottage cheese with grated celery, that would be mine.

Solitaire - Sep 16, 2004 12:12 am (#318 of 571)

Could Dudley have been "hazed" at Smeltings? Isn't hazing still a sort of "rite" in certain private schools, clubs, fraternities, etc.? Since we have seen Uncle Vernon tell Dudley to hit Harry with his Smeltings stick, it would seem that using that thing to hurt others is (or was) probably common.

Perhaps this is what causes Dudley to join the boxing team. For the first time in his life, he may have been the victim rather than the persecutor, and he is ill-equipped to cope. Just a guess ...

Frankly, I'd love to believe his worst moment is something we'd think is silly ... that shows exactly how privileged his existence has been.


LooneyLuna - Sep 16, 2004 1:31 pm (#319 of 571)

I would be interesting to see if Dudley's worst memory mirrored Snape's worst memory - only in a non-magic fashion. He must have been really humiliated in some grand way with an audience.

TomoÈ - Sep 16, 2004 7:53 pm (#320 of 571)

I like it Luna, maybe he was humiliated because he couldn't think quick enough, people saying nasty stuff and Dudley incapable to answer something back before another one say something else. Betrayed by his slow brain. Poor thing.

S.E. Jones - Sep 16, 2004 8:23 pm (#321 of 571)

I think Dudley revealing memories of being humiliated at school would fit perfectly into the story now. Harry was shocked enough to see some of Snape's memories and see that he, Harry, had something in common with him (they had both been the skinny little guy on the playground being picked on by the big bullies). It would be very interesting to see Harry's reaction to seeing a similar memory from Dudley and realizing that they now have something in common as well.

popkin - Sep 17, 2004 12:22 am (#322 of 571)

Actually, Harry and Dudley have lots in common simply because they grew up together. Their experiences of the same events are quite different, but they are still the same events.

VeronikaG - Sep 17, 2004 4:26 am (#323 of 571)

Yes, they are in different ways both the victims of the Dursley values. Harry doesn't fit into their perfect image of a family, so he's constantly punished. Dudley fits in, so he's being brainwashed and robbed of the ability to feel love and compassion. Both bad things to do to a kid.

S.E. Jones - Sep 17, 2004 2:30 pm (#324 of 571)

Yes, but it isn't anything Harry would recognize as being similar. For instance, he, Harry, is treated badly, Dudley is given everything he wants. To a teenage boy, it is though Dudley is loved and he isn't. He won't see the similarity of both being victims of the Dursleys ideals.

Harry needs to see Dudley in a situation that he, Harry, can really identify with, such as seeing Dudley at the mercy of bullies, before he can truly identify with him the way he did with Snape for the short time he was in the pensieve.

Ann - Sep 18, 2004 7:21 am (#325 of 571)

Great discussion! Thanks for starting it TomoÈ! I particularly liked your observation that Dudley heard his worst experience. I think that verbal bullying at Smeltings is a possibility, but I wonder if his hesitation about mentioning it to his parents doesn't mean instead that it involves them. Maybe even their encouraging him to do something that he really, really wants them to stop him doing, or something on that order. Or, of course, it could be a very early childhood memory--their discussion about whether or not to take in Harry.

Tessa's Dad - Sep 18, 2004 9:07 am (#326 of 571)

Dudley’s worst memory could be of an infatuation with a girl. I’m thinking of a girl that attended the same school as Harry and Dudders. She sees Dud and the gang bullying Harry and calls our favorite butterball a lot of nasty names. A scene very similar to the one Harry viewed in Snape’s Pensieve. Could it be that Diddykins has, or had a crush on this girl and she found Dud to be as repulsive as the picture on Voldy’s driver’s license.

Mommy and Daddy have always told Dinky Diddydums what a wonderful little boy he is and his gang are constantly building up his fragile little ego. Along comes this pretty girl and she let’s Dudders know, in no uncertain terms, what a slime ball he really is. I have a vision in my mind of a room full of girls laughing at Dud’s size. He wouldn’t be the first ‘fat kid’ to be ridiculed in school. How would the Dursleys explain a report of our ‘Pig in a Wig’ beating up a little girl?

I would love to see that scene played out. It would be worth the price of admission just to watch Dudley’s two brain cells working overtime trying to find a way to handle the laughing school girls.

To add to Dud’s humiliation, the girl could have had a crush on that Potter boy.

I know ‘It That Shall Not Be Named’ wouldn’t have a license, but that was the most repulsive thing I could think of.


Ann - Sep 18, 2004 12:35 pm (#327 of 571)

Kenny, what a lovely idea! But I would think that if there was a girl involved in his humiliation, she would have been at least hinted at before now.

But it had never occurred to me before I read your post that no girls seem to be mentioned in connection with Harry's Privet Drive existence: no neighbor girls, no girls from school, no girls that Dudley and his gang make sexist comments about. In fact, sexism is just about the one sin that Dudders hasn't committed, so far. Maybe it is indeed a hint that JKR is going to grant him redemption.

haymoni - Sep 18, 2004 3:19 pm (#328 of 571)

I assumed the little girls went along with the little boys - nobody wanted to go against Dudley's gang in support of Harry.

If Smeltings is an all-boys school, it is possible that girls just aren't a factor. Especially if Dudley was the size of a baby whale.

I went to an all-girls high school and there were dances called "mixers" where other schools were invited. It's possible Dudders could have been humiliated at one of those types of events.

Ann - Sep 18, 2004 4:46 pm (#329 of 571)
Edited by S.E. Jones Sep 22, 2004 1:48 pm

Well, given the reputation of boys’ schools (at least in past generations), perhaps Dudley's worst memory was rejection by a boy! That would certainly explain why he wouldn't tell his mother what he heard when the Dementor was with him! But, I suppose, it is a children's book. **(Darn!)**

->Ann, you are treading in very touch territory. This Forum will NOT be discussing same-sex relationships or characters' sexuality.<- SE Jones

LooneyLuna - Sep 18, 2004 5:05 pm (#330 of 571)
Edited Sep 18, 2004 6:06 pm

My vision is of Dudley being humiliated by a ferret-faced boy. The Muggle version of Malfoy. Malfoy always makes fun of Harry when the school is gathered in the Great Hall. Maybe Dudley's nemesis taunts him with piggy noises and worse while they are dining.

EDIT - Just had another thought. Perhaps ickle Duddykins took up boxing to defend himself from this boy. Just like Harry has gotten extremely good at dueling and has beaten Malfoy at dueling.

haymoni - Sep 18, 2004 5:07 pm (#331 of 571)


It could be just the rejection of a more popular boy or an older boy.

Look at the baby whale!!

I still wonder though if Dudley's ability to box is hampered now that he knows there is something out there that can "beat" him.

LooneyLuna - Sep 18, 2004 5:19 pm (#332 of 571)

Oh my God, haymoni, that comment about the baby whale brought back a most unpleasant memory for me. When I was a freshman in High School, some boys threw their pencils at me and shouted, "THAR SHE BLOWS!" Complete and total humiliation. Kids can be so cruel.

haymoni - Sep 18, 2004 6:06 pm (#333 of 571)

Oh! I am so sorry! You are right - kids can be terribly cruel!

I'm sure those boys all developed some sort of disfiguring disease. At least I hope they did. The nerve!

I have no sympathy for Dudley, however. I know JKR says that Dudley is just as abused as Harry, but I just can't bring myself to feel sorry for that jerk!

Phoenix song - Sep 18, 2004 9:41 pm (#334 of 571)

I'm not sure if this has been brought up yet with regards to what has happened to change Dudley, so please forgive me if it's already been stated.

We know that there was a change in Dudley that occurred between GoF and OoP. By the beginning of OoP Dudley had begun boxing, eating healthier, etc. We know that he experienced something horrible, because the Dementors affected him in such a strong manner. So it's safe to assume that something happened to Dudley in Harry's 4th year. We also know that during that 4th year Voldemort was trying to make a come back with Peter's help.

Since Dudley isn't "protected" while at Smeltings, does anybody else think that it may be possible that he was visited by Voldemort or Pettigrew? Possibly to gain some information or to try to gain some leverage on Harry? Maybe the reason that Dudley is trying to become stronger is because he hopes to defend himself if he meets up with one of them again.

It's just a thought that I had, so please feel free to rip it apart at will. I was just thinking that since something has obviously happened to Dudley that is important to the magical world (JKR has said that we'll find out what it was), and that we can guess that it happened during the year that Voldemort was awaiting his "rebirthing party", that it is possible that the two are related.

Any thoughts?


LooneyLuna - Sep 19, 2004 5:24 am (#335 of 571)

That's an interesting thought, Phoenix Song. If that did happen, wouldn't Voldemort or Peter put a memory charm on Dudley? Can Dementors make people with memory charms hear the memory they're supposed to forget? I can't imagine that LV or Peter would have visited Dudley at school or abducted him without anyone knowing about it. I would imagine that if something like that happened to Dudders, he would have at least told his mom about it unless his memory was Obliviated.

Ann - Sep 19, 2004 7:13 am (#336 of 571)

Barbie, that's a very interesting observation. I'd always thought that what made life for Dudley less pleasant during Book 4 was the diet, but the idea that he was interrogated (by Crouch Jr.? by Crouch Jr. as Moody? by Wormtail?) or maybe even abducted and brought face-to-face with Voldemort would certainly be scary.

I suspect they would want him on their side--and might be able to cajole/intimidate him into agreeing to work against Harry. That is something that he wouldn't tell his mom. And besides, he lies to his parents all the time about having tea with his little friends. I don't think they'd need to do a memory charm, LooneyLuna. His own wimpiness would be enough to keep him quiet. It is interesting that all through Harry's discussion with the Dursleys about the Dementors and Voldemort's return (which I just checked), Dudley seems almost to disappear; he's there at the beginning and the end (after the Howler, it's said that he sat looking at his mother with a dropped jaw), but during the discussion, he does not say or do anything (that JKR tells us about, anyway). That could cut both ways, I suppose: one would expect a reaction if he had turned DE spy; but maybe she's hiding something, too (again). **sigh**

Phoenix song - Sep 19, 2004 9:41 am (#337 of 571)
Edited Sep 19, 2004 10:44 am

I believe that it would have been easy for Voldemort to "slither" into Smeltings as Nagini. I also don't think that Dudley would have been too keen on talking to his parents about the meeting/interrogation. After all, he knows how they feel about magic and I don't think that he would want to be associated with the WW on such a personal level.

EDIT: Ann: I like your idea about Dudley "spying" on Harry for Voldemort. We know that it's Voldemort's style to place spies (Peter) into strategic positions. Maybe he's just too scared to do anything except report to Voldemort. If Hagrid can give him a pig's tail, what could Voldemort do to him?


TomoÈ - Sep 22, 2004 5:24 am (#338 of 571)
Edited Sep 22, 2004 6:28 am

Voldemort (or one of his servants) could have met Dudley in OoP, but not in GoF, they were too busy keeping Crouch Sr captive and sending orders to Percy. The less they had contact with people the better, really. There were lots of things that could have get wrong, the odds to fail were high, no need to add Dudley in the mess. Plus, Voldemort tend to underestimate Muggles, I don't see him working with Big D unless he have more free time.

Ann, the suggestion you made in the post #329 is one of the possibilities I had in mind, but since we can't talk of this subject here... I'll add there's two mentions of that subject in Harry Potter books, GoF ch.3 3rd paragraph and UK OoP ch.1 p.19, in both case, Dudley's name is nearby.

But other students verbally bullying Dudley is still high in my possibility list, since I'm sure he's not use to fight on that level. It could be girls making fun of him, even if Smelting is an all-boy school, there could be an all-girl school nearby, close enough for them to met over week-end in the street around, to know about that fat guy who look like a pig in wig and make fun of it.

Anyway, it looks like it was a humiliating moment Dud was remembering that night.

zelmia - Sep 23, 2004 8:25 pm (#339 of 571)

I just don't see what Voldemort would need from Dudley. If he was going to come after any of the Dursleys, my money would be on Petunia. She, at least has first-hand knowledge of the "deal" with Dumbledore.

What could Dudley tell Voldemort, or any of his minions, that they don't already know? Or that they couldn't learn from one of Harry's more intimate contacts?

Dudley barely knows Harry, their blood relationship notwithstanding. He and Harry go to different schools. They spend only a handful of weeks under the same roof over the entire year, and even then, they deliberately avoid interacting with one another. Dudley knows nothing of Harry's inner life. He is not aware of the Protection Dumbledore provides and could offer no insights into how to bypass it.

Solitaire - Sep 23, 2004 9:11 pm (#340 of 571)
Edited Sep 23, 2004 10:13 pm

TomoÈ: Voldemort (or one of his servants) could have met Dudley in OoP, but not in GoF

Knowing how Dudley reacts every time there are Wizards around (and with good reason), I wonder if he would--or COULD--have concealed such a meeting from his parents (Petunia, at least). It doesn't seem very likely. The time frame must be considered, as well. Isn't there only a month between the end of GoF and the Dementor attack in Chapter two of OotP? That isn't a lot of time, and he is home for the summer.

I tend to think like Zelmia here. I do not really think Dudley has enough information about Harry and his world to be worth the trouble.

Then again, perhaps a good memory charm would take care of it ... But would he then have been able to hear whatever it was during the Dementor attack?

I suppose any of the unfortunate Wizarding encounters since Harry turned eleven might qualify for a horrible memory. Also, what about some overheard conversation between his parents regarding himself and Harry?


TomoÈ - Sep 23, 2004 9:20 pm (#341 of 571)

I agree with both of you guys, there is no reason whatsoever for Voldemort to try to met Dudley.

LooneyLuna - Sep 24, 2004 4:54 am (#342 of 571)

Oh, I don't know. Voldemort and Dudders could chuckle over Harry's humiliating childhood while having tea and cakes. Smile

I still think Dudley's worst memory is a humiliation that happened at Smeltings.

Phoenix song - Sep 24, 2004 7:33 am (#343 of 571)
Edited Sep 24, 2004 8:33 am

Oh, I don't know. Voldemort and Dudders could chuckle over Harry's humiliating childhood while having tea and cakes. Smile-- Looney Luna

LOL! That's quite a funny image, actually. "Do you take a bit of lemon juice or snake venom in your tea?"


popkin - Sep 24, 2004 8:54 am (#344 of 571)

I don't think Voldemort has contacted Dudley, but I do think Dudley could help Voldemort defeat Harry if Voldemort wanted him to. Both boys are plenty big enough to wander out of the area of protection. Dudley could lure Harry away from Privet Drive and into a trap set by LV.

dragon keeper - Sep 24, 2004 12:38 pm (#345 of 571)

Harry would never see that coming. He'd probably think that Dudley wouldn't be any use to Voldie, so he would be vulnerable to a surprise attack...

Solitaire - Sep 24, 2004 7:25 pm (#346 of 571)

Well, if it happens, Popkin, we will know JKR stole the idea from YOU!

Muggle Doctor - Oct 7, 2004 10:13 pm (#347 of 571)

Edited by S.E. Jones Sep 22, 2004 1:48 pm Well, given the reputation of boys schools (at least in past generations), perhaps Dudley's worst memory was rejection by a boy! That would certainly explain why he wouldn't tell his mother what he heard when the Dementor was with him! But, I suppose, it is a children's book. **(Darn!)**

->Ann, you are treading in very touch territory. This Forum will NOT be discussing same-sex relationships or characters' sexuality.<- SE Jones

In Ann's defence, S.E., the territory is not so touchy as you may believe. Recall that Dudley taunts Harry with what he says in his sleep: '"Don't kill Cedric..." Who's Cedric, your boyfriend?' (This is JKR CANON, and therefore worthy of discussion). And homophobia is sometimes a surface reaction to an underlying... well, you know what I mean.

That having been said, I don't think JKR will take that topic any further - Dudley's reaction is no more than a typical taunt from one modern-day schoolboy to another (regardless of the other's sexuality), while Rowling's universe has a limited lifespan (two more books) and the storyline is so well-planned-out and her characters already well developed enough that she doesn't need to go down the track of introducing the 'token politically correct gay character/scene'. She's too good an author for a 'cheap shot' like that. For no better reason, I think discussion of any characters' sexuality is irrelevant, much less forbidden - it simply has no place in the plot!

LooneyLuna - Oct 8, 2004 5:18 am (#348 of 571)

I think Dudley's worst memory has something to do with the Smeltings Popular Crowd finding out about his pig's tail and its subsequent removal then taunting him about it.

angel z - Oct 8, 2004 6:18 am (#349 of 571)

Didn't he have that removed before he started Smeltings. I thought that was the only reason Vernon agreed to take Harry to the station on Sept 1st. angel z

popkin - Oct 8, 2004 8:03 am (#350 of 571)
Edited by Oct 8, 2004 9:04 am

Solitaire - Sep 24, 2004 8:25 pm (#346 of 349) Well, if it happens, Popkin, we will know JKR stole the idea from YOU!

I would be thrilled if JKR thought any of my ideas were worth "stealing". And I would never sue for a share, or stoop to suggest that she actually took an idea from me. I don't expect Dudley to lay a trap for Harry (with or without LV's help), but if it happens, I'll just be glad to say "great minds think alike" and be smug for a day.

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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #351 to #400)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:12 pm

LooneyLuna - Oct 8, 2004 3:35 pm (#351 of 571)

You are correct, angel z, but Dudley could have a scar and told one of his friends about it.

zelmia - Oct 8, 2004 5:35 pm (#352 of 571)

Hm. Seems a strange thing to want to share. "Wanna see the scar on my bum? It used to be a TAIL!"

timrew - Oct 8, 2004 6:24 pm (#353 of 571)

Or...."See this scar on my bum? Thereby hangs a tail!"

TomoÈ - Oct 8, 2004 6:55 pm (#354 of 571)

I knew you were devilish Dursley! Did you had horns as well? Or maybe you are just a big pig!

Yeah, that could work. Maybe it all began in a P.E. lessons, he did a particular move that showed the top part of his posterior.

Phoenix song - Oct 8, 2004 8:22 pm (#355 of 571)

How about: "You think that you've got a tale to tell, just wait until you hear the tale of my tail."


TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 9, 2004 4:02 am (#356 of 571)

LOL, methinks this thread has become a tall-tale (tail).

...toddles off chuckling to another thread...

Grimber - Nov 14, 2004 9:37 am (#357 of 571)

I think Dudley served his purpose. Being Harry’s main antagonist growing up, made him more capable of dealing with his next bully, Draco. With Dudley it was mostly physical threat, one Harry learned could be dealt with psychologically.

Also have the fact Dudley was spoiled with everything he always wanted, taught Harry the lesson to appreciate every little thing he does have and not squander money on things he really doesn't need when he finally does get money.

Now as Hogwarts student, Dudley is more of a comic relief

Solitaire - Nov 14, 2004 11:55 am (#358 of 571)

I'm curious about something. I keep reading that we will find out what the Dud "saw" during the Dementor attack. Am I forgetting something (and, yes, I could be)? I don't remember Harry mentioning having seen anything during any of his attacks. I thought it was what he always heard (his parents' last words, his mother's scream, Voldemort's cackle ...) that was so horrific to him.

If I've missed something, someone please give me the reference so I can go back and reread it properly. Thanks.


legolas - Nov 14, 2004 12:02 pm (#359 of 571)

I think for the first part he realises what is going on. On P22 Hardback UK "Bow to death Harry....it might be painless...I would not know....I have never died..."

As to what Dudley sees - The disappearing glass, Hagrid, Growing a tail, tongue tone toffee spring to mind. These seem too obvious though. There may be other things.

timrew - Nov 14, 2004 5:59 pm (#360 of 571)

I think our Dudders sees himself (under the Dementors) as a bullying git with no friends. He sees his whole life as a pointless exercise, and he sees no point in his whole existence........

Solitaire - Nov 14, 2004 6:22 pm (#361 of 571)

Oh, Tim, you silly goose! That is far too insightful a realization for The Dud.

Grimber - Nov 14, 2004 9:26 pm (#362 of 571)

Dudley sees himself having a life that Harry has to had endured. Unloved and unwanted.

Grimber - Nov 15, 2004 4:48 am (#363 of 571)

I was thinking last night, Dudley may have seen himself in a Hansel/Gretel like life as his biggest fear.

Dudley locked in a cage in a WW house to be fattened up for dinner, but since he’s already so big the witch wants to cook him now Smile

Neville Longbottom - Nov 15, 2004 5:39 am (#364 of 571)

But Dementors doesn't show you your worst fear, they show you your worst memory. Therefore I suppose whatever Dudley has seen, had really happened.

MickeyCee3948 - Nov 15, 2004 7:45 am (#365 of 571)

He probably had to go a whole 24 hours without food. That would be enough to scare him to death.


Paulus Maximus - Nov 15, 2004 8:02 am (#366 of 571)

That "road trip" that Vernon took his family on when the letters kept coming... and coming... and coming... Didn't it say that Dudley had never had such a bad day?

Madame Librarian - Nov 15, 2004 9:05 am (#367 of 571)

OK, super-wild theory on Dud's worst memory (dungbombs ready?)--

Dud's just a bit older than Harry, right? So they're both about 18 mos. old on Halloween, 1981. Do you think there's a remote chance that Petunia and Lily might have been secretly (secretly from Vernon, that is) staying in touch and even seeing each other about then? Maybe their rift is beginning to heal now that they both have babies that they love. Maybe Petunia feels the pull of family ties more strongly now.

Did Petunia and Dudley pay a visit to the Potters at Godric's Hollow? Now, I know some of you will point out that the house is under the Fidelius charm, but in that Pet is not of the wizarding world, maybe Lily was able to tell Pet how to get there. DD might have allowed it if Lily was particularly anxious or depressed about the state of things. She might have needed to connect with family in order to have old grudges mended during the uncertain times she was facing.

So, the sisters are together. Voldemort attacks. Somehow Petunia and Dudley are there but way below Voldemort's radar. Maybe he even thinks for a bit that it's Dud who should get the AK. Whatever. He quickly realizes that Pet and her baby are mere Muggles, beneath contempt.

They are terrified first by the threat, or it would be enough for them to witness the horrible attack on James and Lily, then poor Harry. They are obviously not in the house when it blows up, but they see it all. So baby Dud has this horrid memory burned into his psyche somewhere just as Harry does. Is that what he saw when the Dementors attacked?

Lots of holes in this one, folks. The largest being the timing of the thing. We know that by Nov. 1 (or Nov. 2 per the Lex), Hagrid is bringing Harry to a waiting DD and McG. in front of Privet Drive. Presumably, Pet is home. We read in the first chapter of PS that she's there when Vern leaves for work on Tues. (he gives her a peck on the cheek when he heads for work). So there's that problem. I wonder about the missing 24 hours though.

So I guess I'll sum up by just asking if there is any chance that Dud's worst memory is from his somehow being present at Godric's Hollow?

Ciao. Barb

Grimber - Nov 15, 2004 10:31 am (#368 of 571)

I stand corrected on the memory thing (unless of course, Dudley's worst memory was a dream/nightmare).

Madame Librarian I like the thought of your post. We really don't know what Pet did when Vernon was at work. She could have easily taken day trips to visit Lily behind Vernon’s' back, then played it up in front of him as if she still disliked her sister.

Wouldn't have had to been Godric’s Hollow she seen Lily at, but another 'safe house' of the order close by. Like Sirius supposed home he owned after leaving school ( seems like Sirius lived someplace nearby the house Lily and James was hiding in if he could reach it so quick after Vold’s attack) Maybe the unknown Spinners End for JKR’s page?

The house could have been somewhat infested like Grimmauld place and Dud got stung, bite, choked (like Ron almost was strangled by a nightshirt?) or what ever by something in that house. Or Dud was having a crying fit and some visiting W or W of the order caste a silence charm on him while Pet was visiting Lily Smile

legolas - Nov 15, 2004 12:00 pm (#369 of 571)

It says on P1 of PS/SS that "Mrs Potter was Mrs Dursleys sister, but they had not met for several years."

I agree that Dudley’s worst memory is probably related to the Magical world. I would imagine that after Voldemort was vanished the DE would try and attack Privet Drive. Something scary could have happened to Dud then.

Catherine - Nov 15, 2004 12:18 pm (#370 of 571)

Thanks for the quote, Legolas.

I don't think that the Petunia we have seen in the five books so far fits with your theory, Barb.

The narration from the first book seems to show a woman who is not thinking about her sister. She makes a rude comment about Harry's name, and seems completely absorbed in her own life and in her son. Her outburst in SS about Lily does not seem to be from a loving sister who was involved in her sister's life.

I don't think it likely, then, that Dudley's worst memory has anything to do with Lily or Godric's Hollow. Possibly it may have to do with Harry, although I wonder if it has to do with Smeltings, Dudley's school.

Paulus Maximus - Nov 15, 2004 2:11 pm (#371 of 571)

Is there any probability that it has to do with the road trip, since the narrator remarks that Dudley had never had such a bad day?

Catherine - Nov 15, 2004 3:23 pm (#372 of 571)

Well, Paulus, does that mean the worst day ever? As though the narrator knows that no worse day will every come for Dudley?

I always read that as though it was Dudley's worse day to date. So that way, good old Dudders can still have an even worse day later!

Poor Dudley.

Madame Librarian - Nov 15, 2004 3:23 pm (#373 of 571)

Aah, Legolas, you found the quote that proves the flaw in my pretty little scenario. Oh, well. I don't suppose the narrator who is JKR at that point is out and out lying. However, upon careful re-reading now, there is something going on--we are actually seeing the day progress through Vernon's eyes. We follow him around, read about his shocked and uncomfortable reactions to the odd things happening and, finally, follow his thinking on why he has to ask Petunia if she'd seen her sister lately. What if that statement that they "hadn't met for several years" (PS, ch. 1, pg. 2, US paperback) was what Vernon believed was the case?

Could it be that there's not just a lot of stuff Petunia knows about the wizarding world that she keeps from Vernon, but a lot of stuff she did or still does?

Off-topic, I fear. All done, though, in support of a possible worst memory for Dud that certainly would be quite horrific, more than getting teased at school, or missing out on a birthday gift.

Ciao. Barb

legolas - Nov 15, 2004 3:50 pm (#374 of 571)

Hey I think it’s great when people come up with theories

I think we see the day through Vernon’s eyes because Mrs Dursley’s day would be full of looking after Dudley and cleaning up the cereal that he plastered up the wall. Vernon’s day shows how much he hates anything that is different to the norm.

McGonagall said- "I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets."

This suggests that Dudley was already a problem child prior to Harry coming. Later the narrator says that Dudley prodded and pinched Dudley for weeks after his arrival. Could this have provoked emotional magic from Harry at such a young age and caused Dudley trauma? Ron’s brother turned his broom into a spider when he was 2 years old-you saw his reaction in COS. So magic at such a young age could have been possible.

Paulus Maximus - Nov 15, 2004 8:29 pm (#375 of 571)

Dudley prodded and pinched himself?

Sorry, I can't picture that...

I still think it must have happened on or after 30 July 1991. Either something worse happened afterwards, or Dudley has never had such a bad day.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 16, 2004 11:27 am (#376 of 571)

Dudley prodded and pinched himself? Methinks legolas meant to say Dudley prodded and pinched Harry. :-)

Kelly Kapaoski - Nov 16, 2004 11:52 am (#377 of 571)

Ron’s broom didn't turn into a spider; it was Fred who turned Ron's teddy bear into a spider because Ron broke Fred toy broom

legolas - Nov 16, 2004 12:19 pm (#378 of 571)

Oops so I was a little confused last night. I’m only little .

TomoÈ - Nov 19, 2004 10:08 am (#379 of 571)

Did Harry ever use magic on Dudley in the real world?

Not so far (hint). (Barnes and Noble Chat, 20 October 2000)

So it seems Harry never used magic on Dudley, most of his emotional magic seem defensive spell anyway.

hopping hessian - Nov 19, 2004 1:33 pm (#380 of 571)

Since whatever happened to Dudley is significant to the story (otherwise, why put it in and be secretive about it?), but it's not some magic done to him by Harry, I would guess it has to do with Voldemort or his followers. Pet was very disturbed to hear that Voldemort was back. Perhaps that had less to do with the fact that he killed Lily and more to do with the fact that he did something, or attempted to do something to Dudley.

PS I think that the story started from Vernon's view because he's the most Muggle-like Muggle in the story and it was an ironic and disconcerting way to start the series. The reader is as confused as he is.

Solitaire - Nov 19, 2004 6:30 pm (#381 of 571)

hopping hessian: I think that the story started from Vernon's view because he's the most Muggle-like Muggle in the story and it was an ironic and disconcerting way to start the series. The reader is as confused as he is.

This is an excellent observation. I'd never thought of it that way before.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 19, 2004 8:38 pm (#382 of 571)

The reader is as confused as he is.

Excuse me? Us? Confused? Surely you jest?

Vernon is typical Muggle, he knows more than he wants to know and refuses to believe it, even when things add up, or he tries to run from the truth. Is typical avoidance behavior.

Dudley is completely typical of the hmm, teen, he wants to please Daddy, yet he is fostering his own independence, just as Harry is.

Methinks Dudley’s worst nightmare is having to make it on his own. Maybe his worst memory was the day Harry arrived on their doorstep, when he didn't "control" his parents world. In other words when his psych lost control of his parents, however momentary it may have been. The Dud is a bully, both to his parents and the world at large. Maybe the Dementors showed him he's not as hot as he thinks he is?

Solitaire - Nov 20, 2004 12:15 am (#383 of 571)

Twinkles, I remember the first time I picked up PS/SS, before I'd ever heard of Harry Potter (back in the 90s). It was so UNfamous that there wasn't even any controversy about it yet. One of my students handed me his new book earlier in the day and asked if I would read it aloud to the class that afternoon. I remember reading the beginning--about cats reading maps and owls flying all over the place and people wearing cloaks. What was a Put-Outer ... and what the heck was a Muggle? Yes, I was confused at first.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 20, 2004 3:16 am (#384 of 571)

Soli, I was in total agreement about being confused. Come to think of it, I am still confused. Sorry, didn't mean to confuse anyone.

Methinks I'll just withdraw back into my little cubby hole at St Mungo's and wait for book 6.

haymoni - Nov 20, 2004 9:17 am (#385 of 571)

It took all I had to get through that first chapter. Anyone who tells me that they are beginning to read the series is warned that the first chapter of SS is horrendous, but that it gets better.

I'm guessing that a lot of Dudley's Dementor torture has to do with being hungry.

Solitaire - Nov 20, 2004 5:44 pm (#386 of 571)

I'm sorry, Twinkles. I guess I misunderstood you. I thought you meant you hadn't been confused at all!

It's funny you say what you do, Haymoni, about the first chapter. After that first afternoon, I didn't pick up the book again, for some reason. When my kids kept telling me how wonderful HP was, I pretended I knew what they were talking about and thought he was wonderful, too. (I was glad any book--even that one--was snagging their attention!) It wasn't until I'd seen the first movie on HBO (after the second had been made) that I decided there must be more to the HP phenomenon than I'd originally thought.

I finally bought the first four books at our end-of-year (2003) book fair and figured they would be my summer reading--IF I could manage to slog through them all. What a surprise when I sprinted through all of them--and managed to become an addict/convert--in a little over a week!

I went back and reread the first book this summer, and I found many things I'd either forgotten or didn't catch the first time through the book. I think the beginning is quite interesting now ... but I didn't like it initially.


MickeyCee3948 - Nov 20, 2004 6:43 pm (#387 of 571)

Movie contamination played a large part in my not understanding the first part of PS/SS the book. I thought the movie was OK and would be very similar to the book so I didn't even read the book until about 12 months ago. I was very disappointed in the differences between the movie and the book. But after reading the book for the first time, second, third, etc., etc., etc, I was just like you Solitaire and am now totally addicted to Harry.

Back on topic I hope Dudley and his mommy survive, cause I doubt if another person on the planet would dolt on him the way she does.


haymoni - Nov 20, 2004 7:09 pm (#388 of 571)

I agree - who would have Dudley besides Pet???

hopping hessian - Nov 22, 2004 4:53 pm (#389 of 571)

There's always his gang. Machiavelli wrote that it is better to be feared than loved, and I suppose that is Dudley's take on things. I wonder how much of Pet's petting of her son has to do with her fear of his temper tantrums (this is certainly true of his 11th birthday party), rather than complete devotion to him.

Grimber - Nov 23, 2004 6:22 am (#390 of 571)

It could very well be, Dudley’s worst fear is no longer being the center of attention in his own little world ( parents, gang, school, his boxing) that he would find himself to be/live like Harry.

LooneyLuna - Nov 23, 2004 10:52 am (#391 of 571)

Aunt Marge would love to have Dudders come to stay. And ickle Duddykins wouldn't mind as long as Aunt Marge paid him well.


MickeyCee3948 - Nov 23, 2004 5:33 pm (#392 of 571)

Dudley's worst fear could be the death of his mum and dad.


haymoni - Nov 27, 2004 4:36 pm (#393 of 571)

Is it worst fear or worst memory??

Or is it that all of your good memories are taken away so you are left with only bad memories???

I thought you re-lived your worst moments, but what would be "worst" for Dudley may be laughable to us.

Ann - Nov 28, 2004 8:28 am (#394 of 571)

Haymoni: "what would be "worst" for Dudley may be laughable to us."

I'm not sure we know that. If Vernon's mad flight from Harry's acceptance letters and missing a lot of television was the worst thing that had happened to Dudley at that point, it seems likely that his worst memory (which seems to be what Harry hears when he's demented) is of something that has happened since then. If it were of something that we know about (Hagrid's curse) or something that we would simply find amusing and satisfying (some horrible humiliation at school, for example), JKR would undoubtedly have simply told us at the time, since that would be the most economical and effective way to introduce it.

So it's got to be related to the plot, and that suggests it concerns the wizarding world. A very bad memory would presumably mean a run in with a really scary wizard, and who would fit the bill better than Voldemort--or perhaps some of the scarier DEs under his orders. But in that case, it would have had to be during his last few weeks at Smeltings, after Voldemort's rebodification. Otherwise, Harry would have known about it, and besides, I think Dudley is also protected at 4 Privet Drive.

I admit, that still doesn't limit the possibilities terribly.

MickeyCee3948 - Nov 28, 2004 5:20 pm (#395 of 571)

Haymoni- I think it would be the worst fear not memory. Neville is afraid of Snape and Ron is afraid of spiders. They may have memories associated with their fears but I believe it is fear not memories. But as I say that, I remember that Harry was remembered his parents attack by Voldemort. Don't know now may be totally off base.


Solitaire - Nov 28, 2004 5:37 pm (#396 of 571)

Mikie, the fears were associated with the Boggart, not the Dementor.

Tessa's Dad - Nov 28, 2004 5:55 pm (#397 of 571)

Could Dudders worst fear be arriving home from school to find Vernon, Pet and Aunt Marge sitting around the table? The scary part would be that Vernon and Marge had lost weight and were the size of Pet! Did I mention that the cupboards and fridge were bare?

I know of the day Vernon tried to run from the Hogwarts' letters, Dudder’s pig tail, and ‘The Day the Fridge Was Emptied!’ Besides these three occurrences, is there another time that Dudley suffered some type of trouble?

I hope JKR will give us a little insight into the fear that lives in Dudders. What would Dudley perceive as the worst thing that could happen to him? What is Dudley’s Horror?

zelmia - Nov 28, 2004 8:33 pm (#398 of 571)

First of all, my understanding of the effect of the Dementors is that they suck all the happiness out of you by feeding off of your worst feelings. Here is Lupin's explanation from PA Ch 10:

...they drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them... Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you... You'll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.

So, it's experience and memory rather than fear that the Dementors force one to re-live.

Dudley tells his parents - and Harry - that he "...h-heard... things. Inside my head." Sounds to me like Dudley's experience was pretty much the same as Harry's, although obviously he didn't hear the same kind of things as Harry.

I agree with those who think that Dudley's worst memory is likely to do with something that happened to him at school. I think it's important to notice that Dudley has become quite a bit more athletic in year between GF and OP. Yes, he's "still as vast as ever"; but having taken boxing lessons myself, I can tell you that it's quite a punishing work-out even before you set foot into the ring. Therefore, something must have happened to inspire him to do something about his physique for such a noticeable difference to have come from it.

Paulus Maximus - Nov 29, 2004 10:55 am (#399 of 571)

Wait a minute... Might that dieting have resulted in Dudley's worst memory? Harry sort of joked about it in his letter to Sirius, but Dudley had thrown quite a tantrum for a fourteen-year-old...

Ann - Nov 29, 2004 11:04 am (#400 of 571)

Interesting idea, Paulus; but how do you hear dieting? I think it is more likely to be a really frightening encounter.

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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #401 to #450)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:16 pm

MickeyCee3948 - Nov 29, 2004 11:39 am (#401 of 571)

Solitaire & Zelmia-thanks for setting me straight. Solitaire it seems you are always helping me out. Thanks again and have a butterbeer on me both of you.


Ydnam96 - Nov 29, 2004 6:25 pm (#402 of 571)

I think it's possible that Dudley has some things in his life that we know nothing about. I mean, Harry hasn't spent every hour of every day with Dudley and it is possible that something may have happened to Dudley and Harry never heard about it. It may even be possible that he endured some bullying himself in school. I've observed some kids who are bullies get bullied (the reason they bully themselves is because they need to feel in control of something). Maybe he has always wanted a normal family. Maybe at some point he wanted to like Harry and be Harry's friend but his parents wouldn't let him. Maybe he just sees how is parents treat Harry and that scares him, seeing how fake they are...

Or then again...maybe he's just a one-dimensional character and his worst memory really is when he had to eat grapefruit for breakfast.

Paulus Maximus - Nov 29, 2004 6:37 pm (#403 of 571)

Or then again...maybe he's just a one-dimensional character and his worst memory really is when he had to eat grapefruit for breakfast.

# *chuckles*

What Dudley endured right before Harry's 11th birthday has GOT to be more horrible than eating a grapefruit for breakfast...

Ann - Nov 29, 2004 7:45 pm (#404 of 571)

Well, JKR did once say that Dudley was salvageable (as opposed to his parents). So he may not be completely one-dimensional.

The reason I don't think his worst memory (i.e., what he heard when the Dementors were near him) was some bullying event at school is that JKR didn't tell us right at the time, when it would have made dramatic sense. Because she's postponed our finding out, I assume that his worst memory contains information that is important to the plot. That is the sort of stuff she usually waits to reveal.

The only thing I can think of is an encounter with Voldemort or his Death Eaters.

zelmia - Nov 29, 2004 9:40 pm (#405 of 571)

A very sound argument, Ann. There are a couple of flaws in it that I can think of, though.

One: Dudley doesn't react when Voldemort's name is mentioned. Of the 3 Dursleys, only Petunia gives any indication that the name has any significance.

And two: (I think I've said this before back in the early days of this Thread) What would Dudley be able to offer Voldemort or the Death Eaters? He knows hardly anything about Harry, as he spends only a relatively small amount of time around Harry in the course of a year.

There is a very minute chance that Dudley might remember the name Weasley ("SHIRE!! BAGGINS!!" Oops! wrong story) since the Arthur, Ron and the Twins did come to collect Harry at the beginning of GF. But apart from that, I don't see what Dudley could tell Voldemort or the DE's that they don't already know.

hopping hessian - Nov 30, 2004 5:51 am (#406 of 571)

Yes, but he could have had an encounter with Voldemort and co. before Voldemort's first fall. Before Peter betrayed the Potters, DEs might have shown up on Pet's doorstep looking for them. Dudley might have been affected then. I do agree that it must have some importance to the plot or why else would JKR not simply tells us. I believe that in the 3/4/04 interview, someone asked her what Dudley had heard and she wouldn't answer. That raises red flags for me.

Paulus Maximus - Nov 30, 2004 10:07 am (#407 of 571)

Dudley was a baby then.

And why would anyone even know about the connection between Lily and Petunia? Petunia did her best to pretend to everyone that she didn't have a sister, and it is likely that Lily did the same. Who else would bother to seek Lily out at #4 Privet Drive?

mollis - Nov 30, 2004 11:07 am (#408 of 571)
Edited by Nov 30, 2004 11:08 am

Paulus: " Dudley was a baby then. "

Actually, Harry was a month younger. Harry's worst memory was the night his parents were murdered. I think it is definitely possible and quite likely that Dudley's worst memory is wizard-related and happened before Voldy was defeated. Perhaps it is something he had never actually remembered before, but maybe he has had vague nightmares about it. It is possible that Dud needed a few weeks or so to process what he experienced at the hands of the Dementor before he could make sense of it. By the time we re-join Harry in Book 6, hopefully Dudley will have worked through his experience and will talk to Harry about it. Or, more likely, try to beat him up because he blames him for it. Or maybe, Dudley will finally want to ask Harry questions about the WW.

MickeyCee3948 - Nov 30, 2004 11:59 am (#409 of 571)

Dudley could have witnessed his mother performing some type of magic around the house and has been afraid all these years to even mention it. He knows his father hates any mention of magic and could be afraid of what could happen if Vernon found out.


Elanor - Nov 30, 2004 12:06 pm (#410 of 571)

I agree with you Mollis! It reminds me of something my mother told me once. She was born during WW2 and when she was a little girl, she was always terrified when she heard planes without understanding why. She learnt years later that one day, during the war, when she was about 1 year old, a huge plane went over the yard she was in. It was so low that everyone was scared he would crash and someone just grabbed her and put her down. She was so scared that they couldn't stop her crying for hours. Years after, even if she didn't know why, that fear was still there.

Voldemort and the DE are not fighter planes but the fear they might have caused to baby Dudley could well be alive somewhere deep inside him. It is also very possible that he will need someone else's explanations for understanding what he saw happen. And who would he ask if not Harry?

Edit: Mickey, I was writing when you posted! It is likely that this memory includes Petunia and I agree that he will be scared to ask her about and would certainly not ask Dad.

Paulus Maximus - Nov 30, 2004 12:19 pm (#411 of 571)


But why would Voldemort and the Death Eaters bother with the Dursleys at all?

Or, if they had bothered with the Dursleys, why would they leave them alive?

constant vigilance - Nov 30, 2004 3:38 pm (#412 of 571)

Why wouldn't they bother with the Dursleys? I mean, this is just a hunch, but I have always kind of suspected that part of the reason Petunia is so anti-magic and afraid of the wizarding world is that her and Lily's parents were killed during Voldemort's first rise to power. If this is true, then that same fear could have been ingrained in Vernon and Dudley as well. While the Muggle world is generally oblivious to all things magical, sometimes Muggles are affected by the wizarding world and this may be one of those things.

Paulus Maximus - Nov 30, 2004 4:19 pm (#413 of 571)

So why weren't Petunia and Dudley killed as well?

Solitaire - Nov 30, 2004 5:10 pm (#414 of 571)

Mikie, (post 401) you're more than welcome. They are easy to confuse, especially when Remus uses one to impersonate the other!

As for Dudley not recognizing Voldemort's name ... even most wizards are afraid to say the name Voldemort, so it is unlikely he would know it, even if he had seen him. Who would have ever said it around him?

I think it is as likely as not that Petunia and Dudley could have come into contact with Voldemort or DEs. Remember that James and Lily defied him three times. We have not yet been told the circumstances of those three encounters, have we? Perhaps one of them involves the rescue of someone--Petunia and Dudley, perhaps? I could see it happening. Just a thought ...


Ann - Nov 30, 2004 9:51 pm (#415 of 571)

Everyone seems to think Dudley's worst memory has to come from before Voldemort's vaporization. But I think it has to be more recent. JKR actually says, I believe someone quoted, that the day where his father takes off in the car to avoid Harry's letters and they don't get much food and he misses all that television was Dudley's worst day ever. JKR also said in an interview something like "Things begin to get bad for Dudley in book four." I think Dudley had a pretty peaceful, happy, childhood; he didn't suffer much. So I think the worst memory is much more recent.

zelmia - Nov 30, 2004 10:03 pm (#416 of 571)

I am in complete agreement on that, Ann. I don't think it makes sense for Dudley to have "remembered" anything that happened to him when he was barely a year old, Eleanor’s wonderfully illustrative anecdote notwithstanding. The line in PS/SS is "...but they [Petunia and Lily] hadn't seen each other for many years."

To me that suggests that they had already split from one another, with the exception of occasional correspondence or perhaps phone calls. Clearly there had to be some form of communication between them since Petunia knew about Harry, knew his name even.

Kelly Kapaoski - Dec 1, 2004 5:06 am (#417 of 571)

I think Lily at least wrote a letter to petunia telling her that she has a nephew named Harry and accompanied the letter with a moving Photo of baby Harry; Otherwise Petunia and Vernon wouldn't have known Harry's name. But I think all of the horrible stuff that Dudley saw in his head when the Dementors attacked was actually his boxing coach yelling at him and getting angry at him which would come as quite a shock to someone who has been spoiled all of his life.

Ann - Dec 1, 2004 7:53 am (#418 of 571)

Kelly, I'd agree with your boxing coach theory--but JKR is clearly going to tell us about this later (I think she said we'd learn about what Dudley heard in Book 6). It would have been much more efficient (less total explanation and re-capping), if it's just something funny like a boxing coach, to have had the story come out in the kitchen right after the Dementor encounter. Why make us wait? The only reason I can see is that it has something to do with the plot, and would have given us too much information at that point.

So I think Dudley's worst experience is (a) recent--probably within the past year--and (b) to do with Voldemort.

As for Paulus'** repeated objection that Dudley has nothing to offer Voldemort: well, Voldemort doesn't know that; and I'm not sure it's true. I think Harry (now, perhaps, if not earlier) realizes that, awful as they are, he owes his aunt & uncle something (which Voldemort has clearly known all along), and if Dudley were kidnapped or something, he'd probably attempt a rescue. So Dudley could be bait. And he would know some minor stuff that might be useful, like Harry's schedule and how free he is at Privet Drive and so forth.

Voldemort is pretty focused on Harry at this point, to judge by the number and level of DEs involved in the prophecy mission. At Hogwarts, he has Snape (he thinks); seems to me he'd want someone at Privet Drive as well.

**Pauli? Paulou?

Paulus Maximus - Dec 1, 2004 8:19 am (#419 of 571)

He hasn't been kidnapped yet, though.

Harry and the Dursleys would surely know if he were.

So that can't be what he experienced when he was Demented.

mollis - Dec 1, 2004 9:02 am (#420 of 571)

Zelmia said: The line in PS/SS is "...but they [Petunia and Lily] hadn't seen each other for many years."

I agree that it is unlikely that any encounter between Voldy and Dudley happened at Lily and James' house. But Lily and James had been in hiding for a little while before the betrayal. Voldy had to have had DE's looking everywhere for baby Harry. It would be logical to look for when at their relation's homes. I know if I was in trouble I would head to my mom's home, or if she wasn't around a sibling would be my next choice. I think that it would be very logical for Voldy or one (or several) or his DE's to have gone to Pet's home and searched for Harry. Since Dudley is about the same age, they would have checked him over very closely testing to see if he was magical or not. My idea is that it was an experience like this that Dudley remembered at the hands of the Dementors. Surely his parents were incapacitated, no telling what they subjected Dud to while trying to determine if he was magical (an easy way to determine if he was actually Harry in hiding). Sounds scary enough to me to be suppressed most of his life and brought to the surface only by the evilness of the Dementors.

TomoÈ - Dec 1, 2004 5:38 pm (#421 of 571)

I did a full raid on quick quotes on Dudley (I let some irrelevant ones aside, of course) and a few other interviews. Here's what I found (underlines are mine) :

[Draco] is the bully of the most refined type in that unlike Dudley, Harry’s cousin who is a physical bully, but really not bright enough to access all of your weak points. (The Connection, 12 October 1999 [before GoF])

Did Harry ever use magic on Dudley in the real world?

Not so far (hint). (Barnes and Noble Chat, 20 October 2000 [before OoP])

I want to know what Dudley does with his life.

That is a question I would love to answer, but it will ruin some surprises. I will only say that Dudley's privileged existence starts to change for the worse in Book 4. (Barnes and Noble Interview, March 1999 [before PoA])

[Harry] wants to get back at Dudley. He's a human boy, and we the readers want him to get back at Dudley. And, in the long term, trust me, he will. (Book Links, July 1999 [before OoP])

`You should keep an eye on Dudley. It’s probably too late for Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. I feel sorry for Dudley. I might joke about him, but I feel truly sorry for him because I see him as just as abused as Harry. Though, in possibly a less obvious way. What they are doing to him is inept, really. I think children recognize that. Poor Dudley. He’s not being prepared for the world at all, in any reasonable or compassionate way, so I feel sorry for him. But there’s something funny about him, also. The pig’s tail was irresistible.` (Dateline, 16 November 2000 [before OoP])

Is there more to Dudley than meets the eye?

No. [Laughter]. What you see is what you get. I am happy to say that he is definitely a character without much back story. He is just Dudley. The next book, Half Blood Prince, is the least that you see of the Dursleys. You see them quite briefly. You see them a bit more in the final book, but you don’t get a lot of Dudley in book sixóvery few lines. I am sorry if there are Dudley fans out there, but I think you need to look at your priorities if it is Dudley that you are looking forward to. [Laughter]. (Edinburgh Book Festival, 15 August 2004 [before HbP])

Mark Evans is... nobody. He's nobody in the sense that Mr. Prentice, Madam Marsh and Gordon-Dudley's-gang-member are nobodies, just background people who need names, but who have no role other than the walk-on parts assigned to them. (< ahref=http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/faq_view.cfm?id=49>[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] June 6th 2004 [before HbP])

Amy: What did Dudley see when he faced the Dementors in book five?

JK Rowling replies -> Ah, good question. You'll find out! (World Book Day Chat, Mars 4th, 2004 [before HbP])

TomoÈ - Dec 1, 2004 6:08 pm (#422 of 571)

Did Dudley see a meeting with Voldemort when near a Dementor ...

We all agree it whatever happened it had to happen before Halloween 81 (or at least I think, anyone disagree?)

In the first chapters of PS, Vernon see people wearing "strange cloth" and he think it's a new trend, he doesn't associate wizarding clothing with wizards, I'd say it's likely that Vernon wasn't there if Voldemort meet Pet and Duddley.

Well, that's the further I can think tonight.

Edit: I made a new post to separate both subject.

Paulus Maximus - Dec 1, 2004 6:48 pm (#423 of 571)

So it seems likely that we won't find out Dudley's worst memory until book seven. If only a few lines are devoted to Dudley in book six, they probably wouldn't be about his worst memory...


zelmia - Dec 1, 2004 7:38 pm (#424 of 571)

We all agree it whatever happened it had to happen before Halloween 81 (or at least I think, anyone disagree?) - TomoÈ

Yes, I do. (See post 416).

TomoÈ - Dec 1, 2004 8:31 pm (#425 of 571)

(Oh! look that sentence, what the "it" between agree and whatever does there?)

That's my feeling too, Paulus, no revelation about Dudley before book 7.

Ann - Dec 1, 2004 8:36 pm (#426 of 571)

TomoÈ, you meant, I assume "We all agree that whatever happened had to happen before Halloween '81... " right?

I disagree. I think JKR tells us in PS/SS that Vernon's flight from the letters, and particularly the deprivations (no television, no video games, not enough food) that Dudley suffered during it made it the worst experience of Dudley's life so far.

This means that if his worst memory was of Voldemort and the DEs, it would have to be quite recent.

TomoÈ - Dec 1, 2004 9:58 pm (#427 of 571)

Right Ann, that's what I meant.

That's definitely the narrator who said he'd never had such a bad day in his life, so it had to be true. Then, for Voldemort to meet him it have to be in the summer of OoP. There's a hint from Jo that whatever happened, it happened in GoF. Sure, Dudley seemed very strange in OoP, doing box and bike, he preferred video game in last four books. Maybe he found a responsive adult who accepted to give him some manners. Maybe he encounter his own Snape.

Solitaire - Dec 2, 2004 1:05 am (#428 of 571)

Until Harry encountered Dementors, had he ever remembered hearing his mother scream? Had he ever heard his dad? It took him a while to figure out what he was hearing, didn't it? He had not remembered these things before then. Apparently they were buried too deeply. Is it not possible that this was the case with Dudley? I'm not saying it was ... I'm just asking ... isn't it possible?


mollis - Dec 2, 2004 6:49 am (#429 of 571)
Edited by Dec 2, 2004 6:50 am

That is my opinion on things, Solitaire. As I read it, the line " he'd never had such a bad day in his life " refers to memories that Dudley could recall. Dudley hadn't remembered this event until the Dementor's attack, so he wouldn't have counted it among his worst days. I think this makes it at least possible that Dudley's Dementor experience caused him to remember an event from before Voldy's defeat in 81.

So in answer to your question Tomoe, I agree with you, but I certainly do not think that everyone agrees with us.

TomoÈ - Dec 2, 2004 9:59 am (#430 of 571)

But the narrator said he never had such a bad day in his life not he couldn't remember any worst day. The narrator don't say stuff like that anymore, but in PS, she was still able to free herself from Harry's point of view and I think she was doing so when she said he never had such a bad day in his life.

Edit: Plus, Jo like to put hints that will be overlooked, that would have been the perfect place to write "he couldn't remember" instead of "he never had".

mollis - Dec 2, 2004 11:11 am (#431 of 571)

I would like to respectfully disagree with you Tomoe. I have often said to myself and others "This has been the worst day of my life!" when in fact, I am well aware that there have been substantially worse days. I think that the narrators comment was from Dudley's mind-set in the midst of a particularly bad day. Whether he consciously remembered them or not, I am sure Dudley had had worse days.

This is the beauty of this forum. We can all read the same line a hundred times over and still disagree about the meaning of it!

Steve Newton - Dec 2, 2004 11:43 am (#432 of 571)

Mollis, if the narrator was speaking about him/herself then this could be true. But is was narration so I think that it must be accepted as what it says, it was the worst day he had ever had.

TomoÈ - Dec 2, 2004 1:05 pm (#433 of 571)

This is the beauty of this forum indeed, so I respectfully agree to disagree. I just wanted to expose the reasons behind my position in my last post.

I agree with Steve, if Dudley had said the line, I would find it suspect. Since it was the narrator, I believe it's true, but ultimately, only Jo knows.

hopping hessian - Dec 4, 2004 5:57 am (#434 of 571)

If I may also respectfully disagree: If there's one thing I've learned in literature classes about narrators, it's that they can't always be trusted. It might have been the narrator speaking, but it was still from Dudley's point of view. It's like the line in the first chapter of SS when the narrator said that cats can't read maps or signs. We know that's not true. The narrator might have said it, but it was from Vernon's point of view.

I personally believe that whatever happened to Dudley happened in his infancy, but as Tomoe said, only JKR knows, and I just might end up with egg on my face.

mollis - Dec 6, 2004 7:04 am (#435 of 571)

Thank you hopping hessian for finding some canon evidence to support this theory! I knew there were examples of the narrator saying something that was later proved wrong. I was also think there was stuff said in the first chapter of GOF, but alas, no books with me at the office. If I remember tonight, I'll check when I get home.

zelmia - Dec 7, 2004 9:14 pm (#436 of 571)

Well, for a start because it wasn't accidental. There would have been no reason to modify the doctors' memories because they hadn't witnessed anything to connect the Tail to the Wizarding World. According to Uncle Vernon, they gave the story that the Tail was simply a wart that got out of control. While the doctors might not have fully believed that story, there would be no reason for them to think that the tail was the result of Magic.

EDIT: Hm. This was actually meant to be a response to another post. But I see that's been deleted now.

The post asked why the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad had not been dispatched to dispose of Dudley's Pig Tail, or why their memories had not been modified.

Kelly Kapaoski - Dec 9, 2004 12:44 pm (#437 of 571)

The Dursleys wouldn't have had their memories modified because they already knew about the Wizarding World through Harry and Lily. Marge had her memory modified because she thought that Harry was a Muggle.

Madame Librarian - Dec 25, 2004 9:05 pm (#438 of 571)

Dudley's worst memory could play out in two ways as I see it. JKR could go for the simply ludicrous/comic effect and have that memory be something that only someone like Dudley (an obvious glutton) would find awful. Something like being informed of his mandatory weight-loss regimen that his school imposed.

But, if Jo aims for a memory that is deeper and more plot-related, something that may involve an important back-story element, she'd probably forego the comic for the truly terrible--something any person would agree is a worst memory. That might have something to do with DEs, Voldemort, his own mother's role in the magical world or something equally weighty, if you'll excuse the pun there.

I feel the two options of type of memory--comic v. serious--could be given excellent treatment by Madame Author depending on which direction she takes. She might even be able to pull of a quite serious memory scenario with a touch of humor, but it'd more likely horrify us than amuse us.

Ciao. Barb

Ann - Dec 25, 2004 9:27 pm (#439 of 571)

Madame Librarian, I agree with your analysis, but I think that if the memory were merely ludicrous/humorous, there would be no reason not to tell us at the time, or in a book chat (where she said we'd find out rather than telling us). So I think it's got to be plot related.

Madame Librarian - Dec 26, 2004 10:34 am (#440 of 571)

There's always the good reason (according to JKR) of keeping her fans guessing and stimulating discussion (think Mark Evans).

We'll just have to...um...keep the discussion going till whenever.

Ciao. Barb

Dan Wells - Jan 3, 2005 11:27 pm (#441 of 571)

The number of references to memory altering spells in the canon is very large.

Perhaps Dudley WAS kidnapped (the Dursleys do not worry about him being out of their sight for hours, after all), tortured for information, memory wiped, and released. The Dementor's power partially broke the memory charm and Dudley remembered part of his mistreatment.

As has been said, Dudley has no useful information, but the DEs would not know that until they were finished.

By the way, DEs are an assumption. Umbridge is a sick little puppy, and since she would sic Dementors onto a teenager she would probably not be too concerned about trying to force information out of a Muggle kid.

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 4, 2005 3:13 pm (#442 of 571)

I doubt if the DEs would have wasted the time on a memory charm they would have just AK'd him and let it go at that.


Dan Wells - Jan 4, 2005 6:05 pm (#443 of 571)

Not all, MickeyCee. The DEs are evil, but they did not want to be exposed before Voldie was ready. If Dudley vanished (or was found dead without a mark on him) they would know that Harry would at once be pulled out of Privet Drive and they would lose the only non-Hogwarts lead to him they have. Since the fake Moody could have gotten the Dursleys address during his tenure at Hogwarts, the house itself would not be too hard to find.

I can see them torturing Dudley, then memory wiping him to allay suspicion, but they would not kill him unless it furthered their mission.


MickeyCee3948 - Jan 4, 2005 8:11 pm (#444 of 571)

I presumed possibly in error that you were talking about it happenings some time ago. During the first WW or soon after Voldemorts vanishing. If you are talking about the last couple of years I agree but don't know what kind of information a Muggle could have provided the DEs about Harry that they wouldn't have access to by other means.


Dan Wells - Jan 4, 2005 9:20 pm (#445 of 571)

Ahh. My fault for not being more specific. Yes, I expect that if it was an interrogation it likely happened in book four while Dudley was out of school but Harry was busy with things in the Wizarding World, or possibly only a few weeks or days before the Dementor attack.

As for what they might get from him, they may not have known themselves. "Fishing expeditions" are common when an organization is trying to understand the opposition. Maybe they have learned that Harry has protections at Privet Drive and hoped that Dudley could tell them something about them. Even something simple like learning that Petunia sometimes left the back-garden door unlocked at night might have been helpful.

As readers, we know much more about Harry and his situation than anyone in the books, including even Harry. None of the Dursleys have any clue about the protections, the eavesdropping and surveillance (sic) on their home (as far as we know). The DEs would not know that. They might even think the Dursleys were Squibs pressed into service by Dumbledore 14 or 15 years ago. Since the DEs knew nothing about the protections at the house, it is almost plausible they might try and get a little hint out of the youngest and (presumably) weakest Dursley in the house.

Sources of information on Harry's home life would be few and far between. Few Gryffindors would answer questions about Harry put to them by kids from Slytherin. Wizards do not seem very comfortable skulking around Muggle neighborhoods. They'll do it, but they seem to know that they do not blend in well. Someone with known Voldemort sympathies in the first VW might raise eyebrows asking too much about the "Potter boy" and where he lived outside of Hogwarts.

We learn in book four (I think) that Voldemort learned of the Quidditch World Cup almost by accident by "fishing" in the mind of a wandering Ministry employee. I don't see grabbing and 'interrogating' Dudley as being a lot different, except they had to go easier on Dudders since they had to return him.

I could be (probably am!) completely wrong. I doubt, though, it's something trivial or something that has no connection to Harry's story that caused Dudley to respond to the Dementors almost as badly as Harry did. We know what Harry went through (kind of -- two books to go!), but what the heck happened to Dudley? This idea just seems the most likely to me.

Let me know what you think!


Kelly Kapaoski - Jan 5, 2005 2:39 am (#446 of 571)

I highly doubt that any Death Eaters were even aware of Harry’s location prior to July 31st 1991. If they did they probably had a good idea about who was watching over Harry while he was in the Dursleys care. I also think that they wouldn't try to do anything to Dudley after the return of Voldemort while he was in the area of his home due to the fact that the area seems to be extremely well Monitored by the Ministry.

Ydnam96 - Feb 20, 2005 9:16 am (#447 of 571)

I just thought of something.

Do you think that Dudley has become what DD was afraid Harry would have become if he had been brought up in a wizarding family? All pompous and full of himself, selfish, feeling deserving of adoration?

haymoni - Feb 20, 2005 11:09 am (#448 of 571)


But I think it goes deeper than that and I think I'm repeating myself from elsewhere in this thread.

Pet has a boy. She gets saddled with her sister's son, who, according to some wizard-guy, needs her protection because he is meant for something great.

She takes a look at her own son and knows that he is destined for nothing special, except maybe the drill company. Yes, Dudley is an only child, but the spoiling goes beyond indulging Dudley - it is also used to degrade Harry.

I think that is the difference between the Pampered Prince that Dumbledore feared and the self-absorbed, former baby whale that is Dudley.

Solitaire - Feb 20, 2005 5:19 pm (#449 of 571)

But does Pet know that Harry is "meant for something great"? Or does she just want to make sure that Harry is properly punished for the extra attention and affection Lily received as a child--attention and affection Petunia obviously felt were denied her? I agree that her behavior as a mother is less about spoiling Dudley and more about degrading Harry and making him feel like a nobody. How sad.


haymoni - Feb 21, 2005 4:38 am (#450 of 571)

I think she knows SOMETHING - I think Dumbledore's Howler confirms that.

I don't think she knows the extent of the Prophesy or any of those kinds of details.

It would be nice if the opening chapter of the HBP includes the Godric's Hollow incident AND the contents of Dumbledore's letter.

Back to Dudley - he is very curious - I'm sure he is going to ask Harry about the Dementor attack, magic and the Wizarding World. He may have been a bit out of it, but I wonder if he remembers the things that Mrs. Figg said?

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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #451 to #500)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:18 pm

Madame Librarian - Feb 21, 2005 10:11 am (#451 of 571)

Haymoni, I wonder if it'll be Harry who asks Dudley. Either way could make for an interesting bit of a scene. I can see one or the other starting it as a taunting sort of exchange, but having some really close to the bone kind of truth being exposed.

Ciao. Barb

Solitaire - Feb 21, 2005 7:05 pm (#452 of 571)

Do you really consider Dudley to be curious? Hm ... That's not a word I'd have applied to him. For example, I think he ate the Ton-Tongue Toffee because he thought he was pulling a fast one ... not because he was curious about what would happen.

I do believe he mainly likes to take pieces of information he has heard--such as Harry's nightmares about Cedric's murder--and taunt Harry with them. I don't think he has any real curiosity about them, however. If he had, he might have initiated a real conversation with Harry about them at any time during the summer. I think Harry hates--or comes close to it--Dudley at the moment. But I do believe that could be surmounted if Dudley chose to behave like a reasonable human being.

It is possible that Harry might attempt to initiate a conversation with the Dud about what he heard when the Dementor was upon him ... because I think that they intrigue Harry almost as much as they terrify and disgust him. I believe he may wonder where they get their power and whether or not there is any way to destroy them. Besides, I am sure he is curious to know what Dudley could possibly have experienced that would be as terrible as his own memories called up by the Dementors. The question is ... will Dudley act like a person and participate in a conversation?


pottermom34 - Feb 21, 2005 8:24 pm (#453 of 571)

I agree Dudley won't be curious. I don't think he'll want to talk to Harry about it at all, in fact, I think he might just be a little afraid to talk to Harry, thinking Harry might sic another Dementor on him. Or maybe he'll finally show a little respect to Harry and realize that Harry saved his life and he'll stop taunting Harry.(nah that might be grasping at straws even for Dudley).

Madame Librarian - Feb 21, 2005 9:13 pm (#454 of 571)

That's why I think he might try to talk to Harry about it. Dud is probably terrified of what happened without totally understanding it. If he carefully approaches Harry he may be able to ease some of that anxiety. I do think he's a bit more curious than Pet or Vernon would like to believe, if only to get their goat. Now that he's 16, all that spoiling they did of him is going to come back to haunt them. And, I don't think Dud has a whole lot of regard for his parents right now (or ever maybe). After all, even relatively OK teens take a stand opposite to the one their parents take just to prove their independence.

Ciao. Barb

timrew - Feb 22, 2005 4:38 pm (#455 of 571)

I think Dudley ate the Ton-Tongue Toffee because he's a greedy so-and-so. He saw a sweetie, and he ate it. Simple as that.

I still think that Harry and him were having what was bordering on a 'brotherly' relationship at the start of OoP.

There's hope for 'Dudders' yet! (IMHO)

Solitaire - Feb 22, 2005 6:52 pm (#456 of 571)

Sadly, nine months will have passed before there is any chance for Harry and the Dud to canvass the incident. Will the Dursleys have taken that time to "explain away" what happened and properly repress all of Dud's questions? Will Dud be in the throes of a serious case of DENIAL and try to blow it off as some sort of hallucination that happened as a result of high blood sugar (from eating too many "sweeties," as Tim calls them)?

One thing I wonder about rather seriously is whether or not Pet had any conversations with Dumbledore in the intervening school year. As Dumbledore said, she and Vernon have been awakened to the dangers of having Harry living under their roof. I suspect "my last" will be brought out of mothballs and carefully reviewed to see if there are any "loopholes" that will let the Dursleys off the hook.

I honestly believe that if Pet thought there was even a prayer of giving Dumbledore "the slip," the Dursleys would pack up and move away in the dead of night--once the fall term at Hogwarts begins--and leave Harry to his fate. Just my 2 knuts ...


haymoni - Feb 23, 2005 7:11 am (#457 of 571)

Dudley was just as curious as Harry to know what was in the Hogwarts letter - they were fighting over the keyhole as I recall.

I don't mean "curious" in a good way. Maybe "nosy" is a better word.

Dudley now realizes that there is something out there that doesn't respond to the "old one two" and that has to be unsettling for him, as he doesn't seem to have any other kind of skill.

I wonder if Pet thinks that she is keeping her family safe by keeping Harry?

TomoÈ - Feb 23, 2005 11:48 pm (#458 of 571)

The interesting thing about the Cedric dreams is Dudley didn't talk about them for four solid week, before he had enough of Harry's taunting. Did he keep it for a in-your-face effect if a scene like that was to happen? Did he fear Harry too much, but felt so humiliated that he lost all caution? Did he respect Harry's privacy? Or was it just a plot device?

Solitaire - Feb 24, 2005 12:00 am (#459 of 571)

I don't think respect enters into that relationship just yet. Uncle Vernon has seen to that. I'd say the Dud probably pulled the name Cedric out as ammunition. It's possible, though, that the dreams (nightmares?) might have been horrifying and noisy enough to scare him ...


Choices - Feb 27, 2005 12:08 pm (#460 of 571)

Tomoe' - "The interesting thing about the Cedric dreams is Dudley didn't talk about them for four solid week"

When Harry and Dudley are walking towards home in chapter one, Dudley tells Harry he heard him having the nightmare about Cedric "last night". It was my impression that it was the first time Dudley had heard Harry talking in his sleep about Cedric's death and he wasted no time in taunting Harry about it. Did I miss something or did I misunderstand your comment?

haymoni - Feb 27, 2005 6:26 pm (#461 of 571)

Yes - I found it funny that Dudley waited until that evening to taunt Harry with that.

You'd think that would have come over breakfast, before everyone had a chance to eat their grapefruit section.

I'm guessing Dudley is still on some sort of diet - all protein, I would guess.

TomoÈ - Mar 1, 2005 11:56 am (#462 of 571)

Thanks Choice, I didn't remember the "last night" part. The context become less fishy.

Muggle Doctor - Mar 6, 2005 5:32 pm (#463 of 571)

I think it far more likely that even Dudley couldn't get away with saying some of what he said to Harry in front of his parents. I think the line "Who's Cedric, your boyfriend?" would probably cause Vernon to have a stroke - apoplexy - and Petunia to faint, and that the exchange of words only happened the way it did because, for the first time in the books, I believe, both Dudley AND Harry were out of adult Dursley earshot. Actually, come to think of it, that's when Dudley has been at his most pleasant (even if that isn't saying much!).

I suspect that Dudley gets at least a whiff of what is going on in Harry's world. His parents won't talk about it, but there's no denying that some pretty incredible things have happened - all three Dursleys KNOW, even if they don't say, that Harry doesn't really go to St Brutus's, and Duddykins would HAVE to be curious about what happens to Harry for nine months of the year.

Now of course there is no denying ANYTHING. There is the Dementor attack to start, and then there is the reminder, at the end, that there really are wizards, that it wasn't just a nightmare etc. etc. He might have taunted Harry with it, but he must surely wonder

a) Who Cedric was.

b) Why he was killed.

c) What the circumstances were - if Harry is involved in things that get people killed, what on earth is he DOING?

The question "and when will it start coming for him?" has also been answered, albeit not exactly to his "satisfaction"!

I sometimes suspect that Dudley would very much like to be Harry's friend, but that his parents get in the way. I wonder what Dudley's "Mirror of Erised" vision would be like.

Choices - Mar 6, 2005 6:37 pm (#464 of 571)

Dudley would definitely see himself surrounded by food and candy and wearing the wrestling championship belt.

Moaning Turtle - Apr 19, 2005 1:06 pm (#465 of 571)

I agree, knowing Petunia, though, she will most likely say that it’s a way of coping with his anger.

He should get a punching bag for Christmas! LOL

This may be just me, but is there anyone else thinking that Dudders is going to become a huge part of this, like, make friends with Harry, and kinda stick up for him?

MickeyCee3948 - Apr 19, 2005 1:48 pm (#466 of 571)

Moaning Turtle don't bet any money on it. I doubt if Dudders will play much of a part in either of the last two books. Very little if any in HBP and just a little in book 7 when in my opinion either Harry or Petunia will be required to save his big behind from more than just a pig tail.


Joan Sellarole - Jun 1, 2005 8:28 am (#467 of 571)


Dudley Dursley is not really as terrible a person as he pretends to be. I think he basically has a very low self-esteem as observed by him acting tough around Harry and younger children and his obsession with television and food. These two items are classic escapes from reality.

Dudley’s reality must be very confusing to him.

Especially his cousin, Harry Potter, who is a wizard and hero worshipped in the wizarding world, yet despised in the ‘normal’ world. I think Dudley would be friends with Harry if he could. But because of his upbringing, this is not feasible.

Plus his parents seem content to let their son become morbidly obese and lose himself in television, as evidenced how he had no idea what was happening to Aunt Marge.

His gang is an example of his natural born leadership, but used unwisely.

I know Dudley has not gotten the treatment Harry has, but, abuse can also be mental and verbal.

In Dudley’s case, he is more neglected, not with material things or outward love, but with overindulgences on his parents’ part. He knows he will always get what he wants, no matter how outrageous.

But I think he is also secretly jealous of Harry. After all, don’t all young boys wish they had magical powers of some sort?

I’m sure he secretly wished he had a flying car or could get mail instantly via owl post.

But he also knows his parents would put him under a psychiatrist’s care immediately if he even mentioned the word wizard.

Also by his parents giving him anything he wants, he will never learn to be independent and stand up for himself diplomatically. He will be a bully like his father and not have any true friends.

At Privet Drive you see plenty of pictures of Dudley, but no handmade things or awards for him. We don’t know if he ever made any or received any awards, but even if he did, I don’t think Petunia or Vernon would display them unless they were first place or perfect.

Now to answer why I like Dudley. I like Dudley because in his character, J.K. Rowling has shown us that the Dursleys didn’t know how to be parents. He also, to me, represents all the children in the world who are taught to associate food with love and good health. Also fear, anger, jealousy and trust are associated with food and material things for him.

What do you see when you see an obese kid? Most think he eats too much, but is healthy and well nourished. But this is a true misconception; one can weigh a ton and still be malnourished. Or one can be obese due to a thyroid problem they have no control over.

TomoÈ - Jun 1, 2005 2:46 pm (#468 of 571)

Here's a quote for you, Joan:

You should keep an eye on Dudley. It’s probably too late for Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. I feel sorry for Dudley. I might joke about him, but I feel truly sorry for him because I see him as just as abused as Harry. Though, in possibly a less obvious way. What they are doing to him is inept, really. I think children recognize that. Poor Dudley. He’s not being prepared for the world at all, in any reasonable or compassionate way, so I feel sorry for him. (Harry Pottermania in Vancouver, 16 November 2000)

Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 2, 2005 10:33 am (#469 of 571)

I think Dudley may be in for a rude awakening if Ron and Hermione accompany him to 4PD because, I do not think Ron would tolerate Dudley harassing Harry. I can imagine Ron going into a rage because of Dudley's treatment of Harry and finishing what Hagrid tried to do in PS, transfiguring Dudley into a pig.

Star Crossed - Aug 2, 2005 10:42 am (#470 of 571)

That would certainly bring things in a circle. First book, given a pig tail. Seventh book, changed totally into a pig.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't we supposed to learn what the Dementors made him relive?

Paulus Maximus - Aug 2, 2005 12:22 pm (#471 of 571)

I seem to remember it being important as well...

pottermom34 - Aug 3, 2005 8:30 pm (#472 of 571)

I have a feeling after DD's visit and little talk with the Dursleys that Dudley won't be picking on Harry as much.

Susurro Notities - Aug 4, 2005 5:20 pm (#473 of 571)

Maybe Harry will consider what Dumbledore said about the "appalling damage" (HBP, p. 55 US hardcover)done to Dudley. Maybe he will see Dudley in a different light.

Maybe it is Dudley who is magical - did Petunia trade keeping Harry for Dudley not receiving a Hogwarts welcome letter?

J Hood - Aug 5, 2005 5:54 pm (#474 of 571)

I don't think that he is magical because when he was attacked by the Dementors he didn't see them. If he was a wizard, even an untrained one, he still would have been able to see that some big, black, floating things were coming at him even if he didn't know what they were.

S.E. Jones - Aug 6, 2005 11:54 am (#475 of 571)
Edited Aug 6, 2005 12:55 pm

--I don't think that he is magical because when he was attacked by the Dementors he didn't see them. If he was a wizard, even an untrained one, he still would have been able to see that some big, black, floating things were coming at him even if he didn't know what they were.-- J Hood

J Hood, I agree that Dudley isn't magic, but you do have to keep in mind that the alley was darkened by the Dementors when they attacked. Harry couldn't see them until he got his wand to light, so Dudley wouldn't have been able to see them even if he was a wizard. (This is also why I think Figg's testimony was so shaky. She might have been able to see them because she was a Squib, but she didn't exactly see them attack Harry because the alley was dark.)

Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 9, 2005 4:38 pm (#476 of 571)

I had another thought about way in which Harry could give Dudley certain amount of a comeuppance. I would have Fred and George revise their instructions to Peeves about Umbridge and reissue the instructions with reference to Dudley.

Solitaire - Aug 14, 2005 8:42 pm (#477 of 571)

Maybe it is Dudley who is magical - did Petunia trade keeping Harry for Dudley not receiving a Hogwarts welcome letter

With the exception of Harry--since Dumbledore was truly responsible for him and would have been fulfilling the Potters' wishes--it seems that attendance at Hogwarts is optional. Didn't Jo say this in one of her interviews? If so, then even if Dudley had received a letter, Pet would not have had to give it to him ... or she could have replied that he would not be accepting. This would kind of negate Pet having to make any kind of "deal" with Dumbledore, don't you think?


popkin - Aug 15, 2005 9:18 pm (#478 of 571)

JKR has said in several interviews that Dudley is what you see is what you get. He is a Big Dud magically speaking. I'm putting my money on Petunia for the one who manages to do magic late in life.

Solitaire - Aug 21, 2005 7:15 pm (#479 of 571)

I totally agree, Popkin ... Dudley is "The Dud" ... a big dud.

Circe - Oct 19, 2005 2:09 am (#480 of 571)

I mentioned a bit of this on the Petunia thread....

Does anyone see the similarities between Draco and Dudley? Even Harry, on meeting Draco, was reminded of Dudley. (they both even start with "D").

What I am getting at here is a similarity in upbringing, lifestyle (Dudley is quite privileged), and enjoyment in being the big bully with sidekicks to do their bidding. Wouldn't they similarly fall prey to Lord Voldemort? Both eager to explore more refined forms of cruelty? I think Harry is going to find a traitor in his own house on Privet Drive.

Honour - Oct 21, 2005 3:40 am (#481 of 571)

I agree with you Circe, if Dudders had been wizard born I would say that the sorting hat would have definitely put him in Slytherin ...

I Am Used Vlad - Oct 21, 2005 12:27 pm (#482 of 571)

I think the Hat would have said, "I'm no longer the Sorting Hat. I'm now the Dunce Cap."

Honour - Oct 21, 2005 6:41 pm (#483 of 571)

Heee heee heee ...

Mrs. Sirius - Oct 26, 2005 7:05 am (#484 of 571)
Edited Oct 26, 2005 8:06 am

Circe, JKR is big on that. She often draws parallels between wizards and Muggle behavior. Malfoy and Dudley are the most often compared but she also compares Uncle Vernon and his purple pulsation vein, Aunt Petunia and her sour look, Mrs Weasley with a similar look. She doesn't always compare the same two people though.

Circe - Nov 5, 2005 2:30 am (#485 of 571)

Has anyone theorized on what were the bad memories Dudley was forced to relive during the Dementor attack?

Possibly the pig tail? anything else?

kingdolohov - Nov 5, 2005 8:15 am (#486 of 571)

I think that it's when he found out Harry was a wizard, because now Dudley lost his power over Harry, and Harry had something Dudley didn't.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 5, 2005 1:36 pm (#487 of 571)

Very good observation king, 10 points to your house!

Ydnam96 - Nov 6, 2005 10:33 pm (#488 of 571)

I happen to think the memories have more to do with the way his parents raised him and the effects that had on his life. Face it, the kid was fat when he started school. As a large person I know how cruel people can be to those they think are fat. I would imagine that Dudley endured quite a bit of teasing and bullying. Most kids that end up bullies (is that the plural form?) have been bullied themselves.

I would say also that he probably endured some disappointment (deep down) that his parents never really gave him any structure. Kids need that. It is a form of love and affection, real love. He may have noticed what DD noticed in book 6 on his own...

kingdolohov - Nov 7, 2005 10:47 am (#489 of 571)


I think either it will be something like your idea, where Dudley finally appears as a normal person with emotions, or he keeps his spoiled attitude like in my idea.

I don't which I'd prefer: Dudley showing he's normal, or showing he's as pathetic as everyone thinks.

frogface - Nov 7, 2005 10:58 am (#490 of 571)

I think I'd prefer to discover Dudley experienced a memory that Harry (and we) didn't know about. I just think it would be more interesting.

RoseMorninStar - Nov 7, 2005 7:13 pm (#491 of 571)

Here are a few interesting quotes about Dudley from interviews with JKR.

Harry will, in the long term, get back at Dudley. [Read the exact quote from the Book Links interview, 1999]

Did Harry ever use magic on Dudley in the real world? JKR: "Not so far (hint)" [Read the exact quote from the Yahooligans! chat, 2001]

There’s stuff coming with the Dursleys that people might not expect. [Read the exact quote from The Oregonian, 2000]

JKR: "You should keep an eye on Dudley. It’s probably too late for Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. I feel sorry for Dudley. I might joke about him, but I feel truly sorry for him because I see him as just as abused as Harry. Though, in possibly a less obvious way." [Read the exact quote from the Fandom.com interview, 2000]

Dudley is nothing more than he seems; he gets very few lines in book 6. [Read the exact quote from Edinburgh Book Festival, 2004] We will find out what Dudley experienced when he saw the Dementor. [Read the exact quote from World Book Day, 2004]

Mrs. Sirius - Nov 8, 2005 10:17 pm (#492 of 571)

Way back when I started a thread about cleanliness and orderliness in Muggle world verses the wizarding world. No one in the wizarding world or who is happy. seems to obsess about it. Yet in the Muggle world, (Petunia other inhabitants of Privet Dr) take it very seriously.

In thinking of Dudley’s worst memories I can't help but to think that Petunia's immaculate house not being a big part of that. Children are not conducive to a spotlessly clean and neat house. Not only did Petunia have a 1 year old Dudley, who was a difficult child already (SS), but then Harry was dropped on her after a year. Harry and Dudley are close enough to make like having twins (I have triplets plus one, I know about sacrifices) without the preparation time of the pregnancy and then the initial on the job train you get from birth.

Some things have to be sacrificed when it comes to child rearing. Most people that I know forgo a clean house to care for the children. Aunt Petunia does not seem the type to sacrifice the cleaning, certainly she doesn't when we first meet her and thereafter.

Harry grew up knowing he wasn't loved, that was made perfectly clear. But Dudley, he was indulged, spoiled, showered with gift without benefit or knowing the value of things, and yet was he still only number 2 to the obsessive cleaning?

Good Evans - Dec 5, 2005 1:16 pm (#493 of 571)

I was listening to OOTP and the Dementor attack on Dudders, I wondered what Dudders now thinks of Harry. He was mean and vindictive enough to blame Harry even when it wasn’t Harry that was trying to attack him and Harry shouted words of protection to him and of course ultimately saved him by using the patronus. I know that Muggles mean nothing to LV but it is well known at school that Harry hates his relatives a fact that Malfoy must know. I suspect that LV will want to pump Malfoy for info about Harry. I wonder if he may decide not to attack the Dursleys at first but may attempt to use Dudders to get to Harry in some way - LV cant get to Harry while he is at the Dursleys until after he is 17, we know this from HBP. But what if the Dursleys invite him in??? (A bit like a vampire!!)Does Dudley's hatred of Harry go this far? Could this be the catalyst that will result in Petunia (or whomever) doing magic? JKR has hinted that someone may do magic later in life. Pet has always been my favourite for this.

Any thoughts????

Soul Search - Dec 5, 2005 1:54 pm (#494 of 571)

Good thought, Good Evans. Dudley and Draco are very much alike, except for magic.

Harry even compared them early in SS. In the robe shop Draco causes Harry to think of Dudley. Harry later thinks something like he never thought he would meet anyone he disliked more than Dudley, 'till he met Draco.

So, cannon establishes a similarity, and association. And, they both have a long term hate for Harry.

Draco didn't completely fulfill his task for Voldemort. Voldemort might decide on infiltrating #4 Privet Drive to be Draco's next task. Dudley would be Draco's best route. Dudley would be quite willing. He would be too stupid to figure that he or his family could be hurt, too.

Good Evans - Dec 5, 2005 2:00 pm (#495 of 571)

yes, that develops the thought a bit more soul search. I don’t know whether Dudley is so stupid not to think of harm, but he is greedy and selfish and he could well think that LV would reward him or rid him of Harry for good.

Interestingly, as much as Harry dislikes Dudders he was quick to help Dudley against a magic attack.

Dudders is terrified of magic, but it is weather his hatred of Harry is greater, that he could unwittingly put his whole family in great danger.

Aqualu Nifey - Dec 8, 2005 10:12 am (#496 of 571)

There's also the possibility that Dudley might return the favor Harry gave him. I'm sure he must have eventually noticed that Harry saved him. He will try to ignore it and forget it, but maybe he would help Harry if Draco and/or Voldemort came a-knockin'.

Soul Search - Dec 8, 2005 10:41 am (#497 of 571)

Aqualu Nifey. I have to disagree. Anyone that goes around in a gang beating up eleven year olds (OotP) isn't going to help someone he has hit on and tried to suppress for fifteen years. No doubt, Dudley blames Harry for the Dementors and doesn't even admit that Harry saved him.

The more I think about it, Dudley will do something to try and harm Harry. Probably the way Harry's relationship with Dudley has to end.

Honour - Dec 8, 2005 7:07 pm (#498 of 571)

That could be quite a likely scenario Soul Search, after all after Harry's 17th birthday it could be all on at Privet Drive. Maybe this could be the time when aunty Pet shows her true magical colours and aids Harry in defending Duddles and uncle Vern?

frogface - Dec 9, 2005 1:24 am (#499 of 571)

I really don't think Dudley would sell Harry out, purely out of resentment. There's a massive stretch from bullying to actually helping to have your cousin killed. I can certainly see Dudley sinking to that level if he continues on the path he is on now, but I would personally find it too far fetched if he did something like that now. I doubt that Harry and Dudley will ever be best friends or anything, but I actually think that at least one of the Dursleys (probably not Vernon) will redeem themselves in someway before the end.

Nathan Zimmermann - Apr 9, 2006 4:34 pm (#500 of 571)
Edited Apr 9, 2006 5:37 pm

On the thread about the portrayal of grief the discussion briefly turned to Dudley's reaction to the Dementors. in these posts. Nathan Zimmermann, "+ Grieving realistically portrayed?" #58, 9 Apr 2006 4:01 pm

Solitaire, "+ Grieving realistically portrayed?" #59, 9 Apr 2006 4:52 pm

Solitaire, brought up an excellent point is it possible that the Dursleys and in particular still blame Harry for the attack and its effect on Dudley?

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Dudley Dursley Empty Dudley Dursley (posts #501 to #550)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:21 pm

Finn BV - Apr 9, 2006 4:46 pm (#501 of 571)

I certainly don't think Petunia does. She knows, and understands. However, Dudley probably hasn't been explained anything. Vernon's sort of in between Petunia's probably tried to tell him that it's not Harry's fault, but he still wants to side with Dudders, so who knows?

TheSaint - Apr 10, 2006 4:19 am (#502 of 571)

I am hoping when Harry returns to Privet, Dudley is at St. Brutus'!

Solitaire - Apr 11, 2006 12:41 pm (#503 of 571)

I thought Dudley attended Smeltings. Remember when Uncle Vernon told him to poke Harry with his Smelting Stick? I believe St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys is where Uncle Vernon told Aunt Marge they were going to send Harry.

Nathan, as little as anything to do with magic is allowed to be discussed at 4PD, I seriously doubt much has been said about the Dementor attack. Even if Aunt Pet wanted to talk about it, I can't imagine Uncle Vernon standing still to hear it. I think he and the Dud may still blamer Harry. I could be wrong ...


haymoni - Apr 11, 2006 12:44 pm (#504 of 571)

TheSaint - I think that is an excellent suggestion - Dudley's bullying catches up with him and he has to go to St. Brutus's!!!

If the Smeltings nurse caught on to the Baby Whale thing, maybe someone will wake up and realize that the Boxer is a Bully!

TheSaint - Apr 11, 2006 1:55 pm (#505 of 571)

(quote)I thought Dudley attended Smeltings. Remember when Uncle Vernon told him to poke Harry with his Smelting Stick? I believe St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys is where Uncle Vernon told Aunt Marge they were going to send Harry. (/quote)

Yes... and Dudley and his buddies are beating children, vandalizing parks and being all around bad. I want him caught and sent away... let all the Dursleys suffer. Their precious son, locked away as a hoodlum!

haymoni - Apr 11, 2006 3:43 pm (#506 of 571)

What will the neighbor in #5 say?????

frogface - Apr 12, 2006 1:08 am (#507 of 571)

At last! probably

Solitaire - Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm (#508 of 571)

I agree that Dudley is a bully. I'd like to know if he has done any bullying since he was "demented." That incident might have altered his behavior ...


MickeyCee3948 - Apr 16, 2006 7:53 am (#509 of 571)

Solitaire, we can hope that Dudley has had an awakening, but my experience with bullies (which unfortunately was quite severe) is that they seldom change their stripes before reaching adulthood (if then).

But if he has changed his stripes I expect the session with the Dementor would have been the key.


Solitaire - Apr 16, 2006 9:48 pm (#510 of 571)

Hey, Mickey! Great to see you!

Choices - Apr 17, 2006 10:18 am (#511 of 571)

Yeah, long time no Cee Mickey. Welcome back!!!

MickeyCee3948 - Apr 20, 2006 5:27 pm (#512 of 571)

Thanks for the welcome back, will try to be more frequent now. Got settled in and everything.


PS. How much do any of you think we will hear from Dudley in book 7? After all if JK is having problems getting everything in this early in the book, we may just catch a fleeting glance at the poor little lad.

rettoP yrraH - May 20, 2006 9:28 pm (#513 of 571)

Maybe Hogsnorts'll get a baby killer whale to keep the giant squid company...

Rea - May 25, 2006 11:59 am (#514 of 571)

Maybe it was already mentioned, but I was reading Jane Eyre last night and I noticed some similarities between that awful boy named John Reed and our dear Dudley: they are both elitists, abusive and over-pampered by their mother, I also figured them similar, both of them are a little bit overweight...

S.E. Jones - Nov 7, 2006 2:32 am (#515 of 571)

From the "Good Old Aunt Petunia" thread:

Laura W - Nov 7, 2006 2:16 am (#2152)

Both of the Dursleys take every opportunity to denigrate both Lily and James and all those who were born with a certain "difference" (i.e. - the ability to do magic in this case; but it could have been anything unusual). Saying Lily and that awful Potter boy had an "abnormality" - a disgraceful word - in front of their orphaned child! Really!

I may be proven wrong, but I don't necessarily think James did any magic on Vernon. Just being different from the so-called norm in society would have made the Dursleys shun the Potters. Remember in PS how shocked Vernon was at people - and he didn't even know they were wizards - who dressed differently than *his* idea of acceptable. (And I'm sure that goes double for Petunia.)

From the first time I read the first Harry Potter book - one year ago -, I saw the Dursleys as representing a certain kind of real-life person for whom "difference" in any form is synonymous with "abnormal," "wrong," "sinful," and even "wicked."

Some very good thoughts, Laura. Your post does raise the question, for me anyway, of whether Dudley will be any different for having been raised with someone who was "different", even if he has suffered a couple times through magic..?

There's this quote from JKR to consider:

Cinescape, 16 November 2000:

You should keep an eye on Dudley. It’s probably too late for Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon.

haymoni - Nov 7, 2006 5:39 am (#516 of 571)

Once the fog from the Dementors cleared, I'm guessing Dudley figured out that Harry did actually save him.

He could have left him in that alley, after all.

Perhaps Dudley met his match in the boxing ring and was taken down a peg or two.

Laura W - Nov 7, 2006 7:40 pm (#517 of 571)

Think you're giving him too much credit, haymoni.

Dudley has been brought up all his life in a family where "magic" and "people like Harry" are considered evil, wrong and abnormal. It is no coincidence, Dudley's parents tell friends, neighbours and relatives that Potter is going to St. Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys - as opposed to somewhere else, like Stonewall High. I think Jo chose that establishment deliberately to further reinforce that Petunia and Vernon see magic as being a criminal activity.

The possibility that magic could and is used for good is something no one has ever acknowledged to Dudley - although Petunia is undoubtedly very aware of it, having grown up with Lily; the Evans parents were pleased about their younger daughter's talents (as it says in canon). It is not really Dudder's fault that he sees magic and those who can perform it in such a one-dimensional light.

Nonetheless, because of this, I really cannot believe he could conceive of the fact that Harry saved him using magic.

Perhaps, in Book Seven, something will happen to the 17-year-old Dudley which *will* result in him seeing the light (Lumos!), and might also result in him giving up his bullying ways in the bargain. Who knows, it might be something so dramatic that Dudley Dursley becomes the next great British humanitarian and wins that Muggle prize for peace. (big grin)

I wouldn't put any Galleons on it at this point but ... Hope springs eternal, eh haymoni?


haymoni - Nov 8, 2006 6:30 am (#518 of 571)

JKR says not to count him out.

Dudley may just be curious enough to try to find out why Dumbledore had to come to their house and what it all means.

S.E. Jones - Nov 8, 2006 9:32 am (#519 of 571)

I was having a Potter-related chat last night with my brother and the topic of Dudley came up as did a question regarding whether or not we'll see any changes in Dudley by the end of Book 7. It seems too much to hope for, but then again, we know that James was able to change from a bullying git to someone even Dumbledore respected, so who knows. I definitely think the situation with James had a lot to do with a change in behavior more than a change in thought process, though.

I still think the fact that Dudley grew up with Harry might help in keeping his fear of wizards and those who are different from being as severe as Vernon and Pet's. I mean, he knows Harry's not evil, despite being the victim of magic three times in his life, so maybe that will have an effect eventually....

haymoni - Jan 24, 2007 10:25 am (#520 of 571)

T Vrana just gave me an idea.

Maybe Dudley was having Ton-Tongue Toffee flashbacks when he was attacked by the Dementor!

Choices - Jan 24, 2007 10:30 am (#521 of 571)

LOL I have no doubt that's one of his worst memories....that along with the pig tail incident. LOL

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 24, 2007 11:05 am (#522 of 571)

Or having to do without food while on the way to the shack in the sea.


Mediwitch - Jan 24, 2007 1:56 pm (#523 of 571)

Or losing his second bedroom to Harry.

Laura W - Jan 24, 2007 5:03 pm (#524 of 571)

Or waking up on the morning of his eleventh birthday to discover that he had *only* 37 presents waiting for him on the kitchen table - - poor neglected child! - and that his visit to the zoo would be spoiled because his cousin would be coming along. Which it was, because a big old snake "almost bit his leg off." (insert fake sob here)

painting sheila - Jan 24, 2007 7:21 pm (#525 of 571)

Or maybe when he found out Harry was a wizard and he wasn't. That was one time he couldn't have what Harry had! (Yeah Harry!)

Mediwitch - Jan 24, 2007 7:24 pm (#526 of 571)

Ya know, sheila, you might be on to something with that one!

painting sheila - Jan 24, 2007 7:31 pm (#527 of 571)

You know - I wonder some times if Dudley is the "great one at school " his father makes him out to be. Yes his dad has said what a great boxer he is - champion and all - but what if all of that is just blustering? What if Dudley is a dud at school? He could be a "Harry" at school - outcast.

Just a thought.


(Thanks Mediwitch)

juliebug - Jan 25, 2007 5:35 am (#528 of 571)

One of the first things mentioned about Dudley in the second chapter of PS is that he is big and stupid and hangs out with other big and stupid people. Dudley is their leader because he is the biggest and the dumbest, does that make him the Gurg? When they both attended the same school, Dudley had enough clout to keep Harry from acquiring any friends. I don't think too much has changed since Dudley went to Smeltings. He still has at least one old friend there with him, Piers Polkiss. In the first chapter of OotP, Uncle Vernon says that Dudley probably doesn't even know who the Prime Minister is. It sounds like he is still the same old Dudley, just better trained at hitting people.

Solitaire - Jan 27, 2007 11:34 am (#529 of 571)

I've always referred to Dudley as "the Dud," and with reason. I have always envisioned him as a big, spoiled, lazy slug who was also rather slow-witted. Harry indicates at the beginning of PS/SS that he got pretty good grades. I expect he pretty well outshone Dudley in the Muggle classroom, which must have irritated Uncle Vernon to no end. It kind of shot a hole in his superiority complex, and I suspect it contributed to his further mistreatment of Harry.

Dudley was on a pretty strict diet at the beginning of GoF, I think ... which is why he made a beeline for the stray piece of Ton-Tongue-Toffee. But he apparently buffed up considerably during Harry's fourth year away at Hogwarts--and took up boxing--to become the bully who whipped the "dangerous" Mark Evans (what was he, a scrawny ten-year-old?) at the beginning of OotP. Even so, it seemed to me that he needed his "gang" around him to give him courage. At home, his parents were his "gang." I doubt Harry ever bothered attempting to defend himself (before Hogwarts), because his uncle would have stepped in and punished him even more for that.


mel gaulding - Jan 30, 2007 6:17 am (#530 of 571)

I think Dudley is the one to whom Jo is referring when she tells us that someone is coming to magic quite late in life and does something big---perhaps he even helps in the fight against Voldemort...

painting sheila - Jan 31, 2007 5:59 am (#531 of 571)

I think Petunia would cut his hand off if she thought he could do magic with it.

Soul Search - Jan 31, 2007 7:36 am (#532 of 571)

It would be fun to read about Petunia's and Vernon's reactions to Dudley performing magic. Petunia would rant about weirdos and Vernon would turn purple. They would probably disown hum and chuck him out into the street. Dudley would try and run from himself.

But, I don't see it happening. Absolutely no canon hints for it. And, "late in life" doesn't seem to quite fit Dudley. My bets are still on Mrs. Figg or Filch, in that order.

Die Zimtzicke - Jan 31, 2007 9:34 am (#533 of 571)

Dudley is not going to show signs of magic. I'm sure of it. Jo was asked and answered.

The question was: Is there more to Dudley than meets the eye?

The answer was: No. [Laughter]. What you see is what you get. I am happy to say that he is definitely a character without much back story. He is just Dudley.

It's here on Quick Quotes. So I'd bet on Filch or Figg, too. Jo misleads, but she never has outright lied.

M A Grimmett - Feb 1, 2007 1:50 pm (#534 of 571)

I'm hoping for Figg.

timrew - Feb 1, 2007 4:06 pm (#535 of 571)

Solitaire:- I have always envisioned him as a big, spoiled, lazy slug who was also rather slow-witted......

Nobody's perfect, Solitaire!

T Vrana - Feb 1, 2007 7:26 pm (#536 of 571)

Hoping for Figg, as well. Does that mean something big is going to happen at #4 which will prompt Figg to discover she has some magical ability, something involving Dudley? (Just had to get Dudley back in there..... )

Solitaire - Feb 2, 2007 5:26 pm (#537 of 571)

Timrew: Nobody's perfect, Solitaire!

Hmphf! I know a few people who will be quite upset to hear that! They have convinced many people that they are perfect!

timrew - Feb 3, 2007 7:17 pm (#538 of 571)

LOL, Solitaire!........

xray - Feb 7, 2007 2:25 pm (#539 of 571)

Harry's gonna get even with Dudley when he turns 17 Very Happy

Enjoy this JKR clip (before GoF came out) at YouTube: Dudley's really going to be in trouble.

I'm just wondering what Harry will do to him. Hee.

sstabeler - Feb 7, 2007 3:53 pm (#540 of 571)

I think the more important question is what Harry will do to uncle Vernon. After all, Uncle Vernon was arguably the worst.

Rosie Lu - Feb 20, 2007 6:12 am (#541 of 571)

I'm really curious about the Dursleys in DH, as we know something is coming, especially with Petunia. That older video clip where Jo mentions Harry and Dudley is quite interesting, and makes me even more curious. Wink I can't wait to see what he does. You go, Harry!

rambkowalczyk - Feb 22, 2007 7:05 am (#542 of 571)

It makes me wonder if Dudley could be a little more thoughtful. Would he ever question his parent's logic regarding wizards. Would it ever occur to him that bullying isn't the only way to get what you want? Is there a reason for him to change?

TwinklingBlueEyes - Feb 22, 2007 7:27 am (#543 of 571)

Hmm, two good reasons, they're called Dementors.

Thom Matheson - Feb 22, 2007 8:08 am (#544 of 571)

one more reason, pig tail

sstabeler - Feb 22, 2007 12:24 pm (#545 of 571)

Either that or he decides to be smart and try his luck trying to beat up Ron and gets a taste of what Harry will be able to do when Harry reaches 17. Either he's blasted with Relashio by Hermione followed by disarming spells from Ron & Hermione (possibly Harry, but I doubt he would want to break the law) or he's blasted with Relashio by Hermione and Uncle Vernon gives Dudley a good talking to. Well, that or he beats up the kid of the local cop, who goes to have a quiet chat with Dudley, and either arrests Dudley or Dudley takes the hint it isn't acceptable and reforms.

xray - Feb 22, 2007 1:00 pm (#546 of 571)

Harry could use some Polyjuice potion to look like Dudley, then get him in all kinds of trouble After all, drinking a potion is not doing magic.

Soul Search - Feb 22, 2007 1:20 pm (#547 of 571)

Yes, I have thought Polyjuice potion one of the most dangerous magical things we have run into in the wizarding world. I am surprised it is not banned.

me and my shadow 813 - Feb 24, 2007 12:25 pm (#548 of 571)

Yes, I have thought Polyjuice potion one of the most dangerous magical things we have run into in the wizarding world. I am surprised it is not banned. - Soul Search

I agree. Interesting, though, is that Tonks was born with unlimited Polyjuice. She can look like anyone, if you recall OoP she had some radical disguises. It would be funny if she played a joke on Dudley. Would she get into trouble, some harmless fun?

Solitaire - Feb 24, 2007 1:07 pm (#549 of 571)

I think Tonks has more on her mind than worrying about giving Dudley his comeuppance. I wouldn't mind seeing Harry impersonate him, though, and get him into some tight spots. I suppose Polyjuice would work with Muggles. After all, Hermione turned into a cat!


Joanna Lupin - Sep 7, 2007 3:06 am (#550 of 571)

I don't think you're a waste of space.

Man, that one got me *sniff* who would have thought that Dudders does have some feelings after all? I think most people expected aunt Petunia to show some decency, and here we got the BANG! I wonder how Dudley changed after he had spent a year with Dedalus Diggle the Harry Potter fan?

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haymoni - Sep 7, 2007 3:50 pm (#551 of 571)

I wonder where they actually stayed?

I would guess any of the Order would be honored to help hide Harry Potter's family - at first!

I could see Hestia Jones wanting to zap some sense into all of them.

legolas returns - Sep 8, 2007 11:22 am (#552 of 571)

I could see throbbing veins in Uncle Vernon’s head being in Dedaulus Diggle company for a couple of minutes.

Dudley had already begun to change as supported by the comments and the cups of tea. By telling Harry that he was not a waste of space was actually something pretty big for him to say. He had already began to go against his upbringing.

Mrs. Sirius - Sep 8, 2007 10:02 pm (#553 of 571)

Yes, that was amazing insight for him. Petunia recognized that too, she burst into tears.

My question for is, "Was he invited to and did he go to Harry's wedding?'

Madame Pomfrey - Sep 10, 2007 10:19 am (#554 of 571)

Even Vernon didn't seem to be his "usual nasty" toward Harry. When Harry asked Vernon if he was as stupid as he looked he didn't get mad and retort and he waved Petunia away when she started to. He also stuck his hand out to shake Harry's hand and had Harry been quicker to respond I felt he would have. How un-Vernon like was that? I was more disappointed at Petunia's treatment of Harry. I was proud of Dudley.

legolas returns - Sep 11, 2007 11:07 am (#555 of 571)

I think Vernon was a bit better than normal because he knew that he was not going to see his nephew again and he would not be living with him.

Dudley I think had grown up quite a bit but I do think that Petunia could have at least been a bit more civil.

Mrs. Sirius - Sep 11, 2007 12:55 pm (#556 of 571)
Edited Sep 11, 2007 1:55 pm

No, she couldn't, unfortunately.

She has held this grudge for how many years? Since she was 10-11? Ordinary, she, couldn't get into that special school for "special" people, add insult to injury, ordinary, she, then has to raise the son of her special sister.

haymoni - Sep 13, 2007 3:52 pm (#557 of 571)

The son that saved her precious Dudley.

I still hold that she knew Harry was going to be special, just like Lily was special.

Her tub of a son would never hold a candle to Harry so she built him up to be something he wasn't.

I'm still ticked that we don't know what Dudley experienced with the Dementors.

Die Zimtzicke - Sep 16, 2007 8:25 pm (#558 of 571)

Oh, I'm ticked about that too. Something else that I really expected and wanted and didn't get. That should have been in the book. It would have take, what? Two sentences when Harry and Dudley mentioned the Dementors in the beginning of DH?

Solitaire - Sep 16, 2007 9:46 pm (#559 of 571)

I would have liked a sentence or two about The Dud in the epilogue, wouldn't you? I think it would also have been interesting to see Pet's and Vern's reactions to the news that Harry had vanquished Voldemort.


rambkowalczyk - Sep 17, 2007 7:22 am (#560 of 571)

I suppose it would have been too clichéd to have Dudley's son on that train as well.

Joanna Lupin - Sep 17, 2007 7:32 am (#561 of 571)

Poor grandad Dursley, it would kill him!

Die Zimtzicke - Sep 17, 2007 8:01 am (#562 of 571)

It would have been cliché to have Dudley there, but that whole piece of junk epilogue was one big cliché as far as I'm concerned, so it wouldn't have surprised me. But we should have found out what happened to the Dursleys in my opinion.

I was waiting for the train to pull out and Hermione to slap her head and say, "Oh, no! My parents are still in Australia!" and Harry could have then said, "Oh, no! The Dursleys are still in hiding!" at the same time.

Joanna Lupin - Sep 17, 2007 8:19 am (#563 of 571)

I would love to read about Harry's wedding, and Dudley being there. Wouldn't that be fabulous?

kingdolohov - Sep 17, 2007 8:52 am (#564 of 571)

I was waiting for the train to pull out and Hermione to slap her head and say, Oh, no! My parents are still in Australia!" and Harry could have then said, "Oh, no! The Dursleys are still in hiding!" at the same time."

Poor Hestia and Dedalus with them all that time.

Mrs. Sirius - Sep 17, 2007 8:54 am (#565 of 571)

he he he, I have been imaging that. Of course you know Dud would not have been accompanied by his parents. (If he has found a mate, would he dare tell her about his "cousin")

He would want to be there to show Harry that he understands what Harry went through in those 10 years but he would have to brave seeing George and Hagrid and all those other types.

Joanna Lupin - Sep 17, 2007 9:03 am (#566 of 571)

Come on! He spent a year living with wizards! He must have gotten used to magic!

Elanor - Sep 17, 2007 9:07 am (#567 of 571)

Even maybe meet a nice witch... Love is the key, Jo said so!

I hope that JKR sometime tells us in an interview or on her website about what happened to Dudley.

Die Zimtzicke - Sep 17, 2007 12:33 pm (#568 of 571)

I don't care what Jo says in interviews. If she wanted me to know something, I figure she should have put it in the book. I barely have time to check the sites I like every couple of days, never mind track down every time she gives an interview, whether Dudley is in it or not.

Steve Newton - Sep 17, 2007 12:47 pm (#569 of 571)

I, too, have a problem accepting things that are not in the books as canon.

Mrs. Sirius - Sep 17, 2007 12:57 pm (#570 of 571)

How many years did Petunia have? Of course, she was so overcome with jealousy she could barely think straight.

Choices - Sep 17, 2007 2:40 pm (#571 of 571)

I have to agree with Steve and Die about JKR and her interviews. I refuse to dog her tracks to hear every word she says about her books. I also think if something is important, it will be (or should be) in the books. For me, the books = canon.

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