The book series’ title character was famously mistreated by his uncle and aunt, who raised him in Privet Drive, where he was forced to live in the cupboard under the stairs.
Writing on ‘Harry Potter’ fansite, Pottermore, JK Rowling has now let fans in on the family’s back story, detailing an experience when Aunt Petunia first introduced her fiancé, Vernon, to her sister, Lily Potter.
Vernon and Petunia were played by Richard Griffiths and Fiona Shaw in the 'Harry Potter' film series
She wrote: “[Lily’s future husband] 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.”
Of course, as fans of the series will know, this reconciliation never came to be, and the Dursleys later snubbed Lily and James’s wedding, due to their falling out.
The author added: “Uncle Vernon's dislike of Harry stems in part, like Severus Snape's, from Harry's close resemblance to the father they both so disliked.”
‘Harry Potter’ fans can now look forward to the forthcoming spin-off ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’, based on a faux Hogwarts textbook, also written by JK Rowling.