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    Petunia Dursley
    "I was the only one who saw her for what she was — a freak! But for my mother and father, oh no, it was Lily this and Lily that, they were proud of having a witch in the family!"
    Gender: Female
    Type: Neglectful aunt
    Age: Unknown
    Species: Human
    Portrayed by: Fiona Shaw
    Status: Unknown
    Media of origin: Harry Potter

    Petunia Dursley is a character in the Harry Potter series of novels and its film adaptations. She is the neglectful aunt of Harry Potter.

    In the movies she was portrayed by Fiona Shaw.

    Why She's Not a Good Caregiver

    1. She is highly neglectful of Harry. At the start of the series, she and Vernon force Harry to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs, which is described as small and dusty, with lots of spiders. She and Vernon also lied to Harry about how his parents died, claiming they died in a car accident.
    2. She and Vernon ignore most of Harry's birthdays and, on the few occasions they don't, give him something minor like a toothpick. They also make him do all the chores.
    3. She rudely wakes Harry up by banging on the cupboard door while telling him to get up.
    4. She spoils her son Dudley rotten while ignoring Harry. While she and Vernon do legitimately love Dudley, Albus Dumbledoor calls them out for spoiling him so bad, citing that it not only caused him to become mean like them, but also become overweight due to his poor diet.
    5. She and Vernon try their best to prevent Harry from reading his acceptance letter from Hogwarts, determined to send him to a school for troubled youths.
    6. During the second book, she tries to hit Harry with a frying pan, but misses. This could have seriously injured or even killed him if she accidentally swung too hard.
    7. While she does get some character development later on in the series, she doesn't quite manage to completely redeem herself.

    Redeeming Qualities

    1. She has a Freudian excuse for her behavior. When she and her sister Lily were children, they started off close together. After Lily was accepted into Hogwarts, Petunia became jealous, feeling that Lily was being favored by their parents because of her magical abilities (it's unknown if their parents actually did neglect Petunia or if it was all in her mind). This caused them to have a falling out. They did still love each other, but were unable to fully repair their bond before Lily was murdered by Voldemort, a fact that Petunia deeply regrets. Petunia treats Harry poorly because he serves as a walking reminder of Lily and the fact they were unable to fully repair their bond. While this does not excuse Petunia's poor treatment of Harry, it does explain why she's like this. It could also explain why she spoils Dudley so much, as she wants him to have all the love and attention that (she thinks) she didn't get from her own parents.
    2. In the movies her hostility towards Harry was toned down when compared to the novels.
    3. It is shown that, deep down, she does love Harry in her own way, even though she very rarely shows it. When Vernon suggests throwing Harry out of the house and leaving him to the mercy of the Dementors, Petunia objects to this. The Cursed Child also shows that she kept Harry's baby blanket and wanted him to have it when she died, as it was the only other thing she had to remind herself of Lily. While she does not fully redeem herself by the end of the series, she has grown to respect Harry a bit more.
    4. For all her poor treatment of Harry, it's implied that even she thinks Marge takes things too far, especially when Marge insults Lily due to her being Harry's mother. In the film adaptation of Prisoner of Azkaban, she can be seen with a distraught look on her face as Marge calls Lily a "bitch".
    5. She does genuinely love Vernon and Dudley, despite spoiling the latter.


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