Published on Jun 30th 2020
We struggled to keep this list to ten, if we’re honest...

That time they dropped Harry off at King’s Cross only so they could laugh at him…

‘He was quite right, of course. There was a big plastic number nine over one platform and a big plastic number ten over the one next to it, and in the middle, nothing at all. ‘Have a good term,’ said Uncle Vernon with an even nastier smile. He left without another word. Harry turned and saw the Dursleys drive away. All three of them were laughing.'

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

That time they made Harry pretend he didn’t exist…

“And you, boy?’ Harry fought to keep his face straight as he emerged. ‘I’ll be in my room, making no noise and pretending I’m not there,’ he said.”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

That time they gave Harry the worst Christmas present of all time …

‘Harry’s other presents were much more satisfactory than Dobby’s odd socks – with the obvious exception of the Dursleys’, which consisted of a single tissue, an all-time low…’

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

That time Aunt Petunia revealed she knew a lot more about magic than she’d let on …

‘‘They guard the wizard prison, Azkaban,’ said Aunt Petunia. Two seconds of ringing silence followed these words before Aunt Petunia clapped her hand over her mouth as though she had let slip a disgusting swear word. Uncle Vernon was goggling at her. Harry’s brain reeled. Mrs Figg was one thing – but Aunt Petunia?’

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

That time they allowed Aunt Marge to mercilessly insult Harry and his parents…

“Now, I’m saying nothing against your family, Petunia’ – she patted Aunt Petunia’s bony hand with her shovel-like one, ‘but your sister was a bad egg. They turn up in the best families. Then she ran off with a wastrel and here’s the result right in front of us.”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

That time they locked Harry up and passed him food through a cat-flap in his bedroom door …

‘He was bearing down on Harry like a great bulldog, all his teeth bared. ‘Well, I’ve got news for you, boy ... I’m locking you up ... you’re never going back to that school ... never ... and if you try and magic yourself out – they’ll expel you!”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

That time Dudley teased Harry about his bad dreams…

“Don’t kill Cedric! Don’t kill Cedric!” Who’s Cedric – your boyfriend?’ ‘I – you’re lying,’ said Harry automatically. But his mouth had gone dry. He knew Dudley wasn’t lying – how else would he know about Cedric? ‘“Dad! Help me, Dad! He’s going to kill me, Dad! Boo hoo!”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

That time Uncle Vernon couldn’t get the word Dementor right …

“But what ARE Dementoids?’ asked Uncle Vernon furiously. ‘What do they DO?”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

That time Aunt Petunia couldn’t bring herself to say anything meaningful to her nephew …

‘She stopped and looked back. For a moment Harry had the strangest feeling that she wanted to say something to him: she gave him an odd, tremulous look and seemed to teeter on the edge of speech, but then, with a little jerk of her head, she bustled out of the room after her husband and son.’

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

And every time they lied about how his parents had died …

‘The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead which was shaped like a bolt of lightning. He had had it as long as he could remember and the first question he could ever remember asking his Aunt Petunia was how he had got it. ‘In the car crash when your parents died,’ she had said. ‘And don’t ask questions.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


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