His last, comforting thought before he fell asleep was that even if the Potters were involved, there was no reason for them to come near him and Mrs. Dursley. The Potters knew very well what he and Petunia thought about them and their kind. . . .

Vernon Dursley knew who James Potter was; he was the husband of his sister-in-law.

“So?” snapped Mrs. Dursley.

“Well, I just thought . . . maybe . . . it was something to do with . . . you know . . . her crowd.”

“Now, you listen here, boy,” he snarled, “I accept there’s something strange about you, probably nothing a good beating wouldn’t have cured — and as for all this about your parents, well, they were weirdos, no denying it, and the world’s better off without them in my opinion — asked for all they got, getting mixed up with these wizarding types — just what I expected, always knew they’d come to a sticky end —”

Had Vernon Dursley and James Potter ever met?

We know that Vernon dislikes wizards a lot, but this seems to imply that he had met James Potter before and didn't like him (insults highlighted in bold!).

1 Answer 1


It would seem they'd met, but gotten off to a rocky start. Things went downhill from there, and meetings stopped very quickly.

The first meeting between Lily, her boyfriend James Potter, and the engaged couple, went badly, and the relationship nose-dived from there. James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it. Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom. Vernon supposed out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. James explained about Gringotts, and the fortune his parents had saved there, in solid gold. Vernon could not tell whether he was being made fun of or not, and grew angry. The evening ended with Vernon and Petunia storming out of the restaurant, while Lily burst into tears and James (a little ashamed of himself) promised to make things up with Vernon at the earliest opportunity.
Pottermore: Vernon & Petunia Dursley

Their next meeting didn't give James the opportunity to improve things with his "sister-in-law" (James and Lily weren't married) and her husband.

This never happened. Petunia did not want Lily as a bridesmaid, because she was tired of being overshadowed; Lily was hurt. Vernon refused to speak to James at the reception, but described him, within James' earshot, as 'some kind of amateur magician'. Once married, Petunia grew ever more like Vernon. She loved their neat square house at number four, Privet Drive. She was secure, now, from objects that behaved strangely, from teapots that suddenly piped tunes as she passed, or long conversations about things she did not understand, with names like 'Quidditch' and 'Transfiguration'. She and Vernon chose not to attend Lily and James' wedding. The very last piece of correspondence she received from Lily and James was the announcement of Harry's birth, and after one contemptuous look, Petunia threw it in the bin.

  • 5
    As typical of JKR, raises more questions than it answers. But it answers this one neatly. +1!
    – Weckar E.
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 6:34
  • @WeckarE. - Ahh, but that's part of the fun of it! It gets almost as messy as RealLife (registered trademark, avoid where possible).
    – Deacon
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 12:54
  • 1
    @DougR. Pro Tip: ™ can easily be entered (on a Windows machine, at least), by holding the Alt while entering 0153 on the numeric keypad. YMMV if you only have a laptop keyboard or are using a Mac or *nix. Google "Alt key codes" for more nifty options.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 19:16
  • @Freeman - I know. I did it exactly as intended. :-)
    – Deacon
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 19:17
  • 1
    I love that this interaction between James and Vernon basically confirms where Harry got his sense of humor and sass. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 15:47

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