In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when the Dementors attack Harry and Dudley, why did Harry not tell Vernon and Petunia to give Dudley chocolate to help ease the effects of the Dementors?

He's got enough experience with Dementors and knows exactly how it feels to be affected by one, so why wouldn't he pass on the knowledge? Harry has often been shown to help or spare others, so even though he hates Dudley, it seems out of character for him to let someone suffer.

  • 10
    The Dursleys are not known for listening to Harry, and they're in quite a state about Dudley's condition. I think Harry just kept quiet to not make it worse for himself.
    – Celebrian
    Dec 29, 2016 at 11:04
  • Related - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/9835/…
    – Valorum
    Dec 29, 2016 at 11:07
  • 1
    Given the circumstances, Harry was being scolded and it's one of the worst since Dudley became wild. I don't think Harry will still have the urge to help someone that blames him for all of what happened.
    – Invoker
    Dec 29, 2016 at 11:08
  • 2
    @ThruGog: the text covers the entire time between the attack and reaching the Dursley's house, and there's nothing to suggest that Harry gave Dudley chocolate. I don't imagine he had any on him, it would have been a bit of a coincidence. As for why he didn't suggest it when they reached the house, well, when it comes down to he's just not all that bright. :-) Dec 30, 2016 at 0:50
  • 2
    @gabe3886: see the second part of my first comment. Harry might have kept quiet to not make things worse for himself. Besides, I doubt Harry would be interesting in making Dudley feel better, as he probably figured that saving his life was enough. Side note: remember Dudley's diet?
    – Celebrian
    Jan 2, 2017 at 12:28

2 Answers 2


Lots of reasons.

See #4 for what I think is the most likely - this was just the order that I thought of them.

1.) No opportunity. As soon as he reached the house, the Dursleys started to make a big fuss over Dudley, not giving him an opportunity.

"DIDDY! Diddy, what's the matter with you? Vernon? VERNON!"
Harry's uncle...
...In all the kerfuffle, nobody seemed to have noticed Harry...
-The Order of the Pheonix, Chapter Two - A Peck of Owls

2.) No inclination. Everyone was yelling at him, and Dudley had just blamed him for what happened. Why should he help him?

Harry's foot was on the bottommost stair wen Dudley found his voice.
-The Order of the Pheonix, Chapter Two - A Peck of Owls

Add to this that Harry has suffered 14 years of abuse at Dudley's hands. This would probably create some negative feelings.

3.) No proof. How do we know that Muggle chocolate would even help? See this question, which makes a good case that it wouldn't help.

Dementors are of the magical world; it would seem that to counter their effects would require some kind of magic (whether that's the regular chocolate, a magical ingredient, or both).
-@Slytherincess's answer

3.5.) No proof (#2). How do we know that chocolate even works on Muggles to help with Dementor attacks? Perhaps it's effective only on wizards.

4.) He simply didn't think of it. Harry's just had some major shocks. Dementors showed up almost on his doorstep, his neighbor turns out to be a Squib, he found out that the Order has been watching him... He can be excused for not thinking of it.

It was impossible... They couldn't be here... Not in Little Whinging...
-The Order of the Pheonix, Chapter One - Dudley Demented


He could not believe what had just happened. Dementors here, in Little WHinging...
-The Order of the Pheonix, Chapter One - Dudley Demented


The revelation that his batty cat-obsessed neighbor knew what dementors were was almost as big a shock as meeting two of them down the alley.
-The Order of the Pheonix, Chapter Two - A Peck of Owls

Not so serious answers below.

5.) No need. Dudley is probably going to end up eating chocolate anyway soon, because that's what he does :-)

6.) Dudley is fat enough, he doesn't need more chocolate :-P

The school nurse had seen what Aunt Petunia's eyes - so sharp when it came to spotting fingerprints on her gleaming walls, and in observing the comings and goings of the neighbors - simply refused to see: that far from needing extra nourishment, Dudley had reached roughly the size and weight of a young killer whale.
-The Goblet of Fire, Chapter Three - The Invitation

  • Regarding point 6 - Perhaps all those Mars bars that were sacrificed for Dudley gave him a layer of chocolate-protection in his veins? But instead of a cool scar, he just got fat?
    – Longshanks
    Jan 2, 2017 at 19:19

Initially, Harry clearly believes the Dursley's won't listen to him about what happens, and is trying to avoid getting into trouble:

"'What have you done to my son?' [Uncle Vernon] said in a menacing growl. 'Nothing,' said Harry, knowing perfectly well that Uncle Vernon wouldn’t believe him. " (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix p 26)

Then the letter announcing the ministry's intention to destroy his wand arrives, and Harry doesn't seem to have time to properly deal with Dudley.

Still not the kindest treatment of his cousin, but a little more understandable given how chaotic everything is in the aftermath of the attack.

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