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The Dursley family are Harry Potter's last living relatives. To ensure Harry's safety, Albus Dumbledore placed him in the Dursleys' care when he was a baby. They are all Mugglesand despise all things related to magic — and anything out of the ordinary in general — and the Wizarding Worldespecially the Potters.
Vernon is described as a big, beefy man, the literal human embodiment of a walrus, with hardly any neck, and a large moustache. He is very much the head of his family, laying down most of the rules for Harry and doing most of the threatening, as well as spoiling Dudley.
He is also the director of a drill-making firm, Grunnings, and seems to be quite successful in his career. He regularly reads the Daily Mail. Uncle Vernon and his wife have grudgingly raised Harry from an early age.
He and Petunia were often hostile to Harry and never informed him about the magical world, including how his parents died; they explained it away as a car crash.
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secretshe uses one of his drills to put bars on Harry's window to keep him at 4 Privet Drive, but this plan is defeated by the Weasleys, who use a rope to grapple the bars off.
Unlike Petunia, who proves to have a slight feeling of familial loyalty to Harry, Vernon seems to hate his nephew so much that in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixhe is willing to throw him out of the house, knowing that doing so would put him in grave danger.
In fact, while discussing the Dementor attack with Harry, Vernon actually hopes aloud that Harry will receive the death penalty. Vernon also has an aversion to imagination, to any references to magic, and anything even slightly out of the ordinary; in the first book, when Harry mentions dreaming about a flying motorbike, Vernon responds by angrily bellowing that motorbikes do not fly, despite Harry's protests that it was only a dream.
When the Dursleys decide to leave Privet Drive to go into hiding, Vernon nearly shakes Harry's hand good-bye, though he ultimately cannot bring himself to do it.
In the film version, he leaves without even a word to Harry although a deleted scene showing Dudley and Harry's reconciliation shows him saying "This is farewell". Vernon is portrayed by Richard Griffiths in the film series. She is described as a bony woman with blonde hair that she passed down to her son, a "rather horsey" face and a very long neck, and spends most of her time spying on her neighbours.
Her eyes are large and pale, quite unlike Lily's. Her entire family, except Lily, is made up of Muggles. According to Petunia, her parents were proud of having a witch in the family, but Petunia saw her sister as a freak. In fact, Petunia was envious and resentful of Lily's magical abilities  and went so far as to write to Dumbledore, pleading to be allowed to enter Hogwarts.
Dumbledore gently denied her enrollment. Afterwards, Petunia grew bitter towards the school and, by extension, towards the wizarding world in general. She had no contact with Lily after her marriage to James Potter and the birth of her nephew, Harry, though she did send the family a "horrible vase" that baby Harry broke while riding on a toy broom.
The gift echoes Harry's Dursley-sent Christmas presents, which are never pretty or welcome. Petunia has more knowledge of the wizarding world than she is initially willing to admit. After the Dementors attack Harry and Dudley, Petunia states that she knows Dementors guard the wizard prison, Azkaban.
When Harry and the rest of her family look at her strangely, she explains that she heard "that awful boy" telling Lily about them years ago. Harry assumes that the "awful boy" was his father, James, but in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowshe learns via flashback memories that it was actually Severus Snapewho knew both Lily and Petunia when they were children.
On one occasion, Petunia, but mostly her husband, almost throws Harry out of their house, but when she receives a Howler from Albus Dumbledore, she decides not to send the boy away due to the agreement she had made with Dumbledore although she covers by claiming that her decision is based on what the neighbors might think if the Dursleys threw Harry out.
Before the Dursleys leave Privet Drive to go into hiding, Petunia almost wishes Harry good luck, suggesting that she does feel a tiny sense of familial attachment to her nephew; however her self-imposed dislike of magic prevents her from doing so, and she leaves without a word.
Described as a very large, blond boy though dark-haired in the filmsDudley is generally given his way in almost everything, and shows the symptoms of a spoiled brat. Dudley is a cold-hearted bully and the leader of a gang of thugs with whom he regularly beats up Harry and younger children on the flimsiest of excuses.
For this purpose, he is described early in the first novel as the reason for Harry being friendless before enrolling at Hogwarts, as even though Harry was good at sports and got good grades, he was the favorite victim of Dudley's bullying, rendering classmates too scared to admit to liking him.
He is only one month older than Harry, meaning that his birthday must be sometime in late June. The same year Harry starts at Hogwarts, Dudley is enrolled at his father's old private boarding school, Smeltings. In Goblet of Fire, the Smeltings school nurse advises the Dursleys to put him on a strict diet.
During the summer when this diet is enforced, the Weasleys arrive at Number 4, Privet Drive to pick Harry up for the Quidditch World Cup, and Fred Weasley "accidentally" drops a Ton-Tongue Toffeewhich enlarges Dudley's tongue to four feet long before his hysterical mother reluctantly allows Arthur Weasley to shrink it.
In the fifth book, two Dementors attack Dudley and Harry in an alley.
Dudley collapses, and Harry uses the Patronus Charm to drive a group of Dementors away from himself and his cousin. Figg then comes running in and reveals she is a Squib by talking about Dementors.
Figg carry the shaken Dudley home, though Dudley is convinced that Harry made the dementors appear in the first place. After the confrontation, Harry wonders what sort of bad memories Dudley could have relived, as Dementors force people to relive their worst experiences.
Rowling later revealed, in an on-line chat, that Dudley's worst fear was seeing himself for who he really was: In his appreciation of his cousin's belated gratitude, Harry says good-bye to him using Dudley's former nickname, "Big D".A daily newsletter charting the future: From technology to the scientific breakthroughs changing our lives.
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