"Little tyke wants his money's worth, just like his father."
-- Vernon Dursley (PS2)
"All went dark. Everything dark. And then I h-heard... things. Inside m-my head."
-- Dudley Dursley (OP2)
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Dudley was born on June 23, 1980.
Dudley Dursley is Harry Potter’s Muggle cousin, and the only son of Vernon and Petunia Dursley of number four Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. Dudley, in extreme contrast to Harry, was grossly overindulged by both his mother and father. Petunia petted and coddled him and turned a blind eye to his bullying. Vernon, on the other hand, encouraged his son’s manipulations, greed and violent behavior.
Dudley attends a private school named Smeltings and spends his school holidays terrorizing Harry and the younger children of the neighborhood with his gang. As Harry grew in power and confidence, however, he became less of an easy mark.
Then the summer they were both fifteen, Harry saved Dudley from attacking Dementors, and Dudley got a first-hand taste of uncontrolled evil and of Harry’s bravery. When they part two years later (perhaps forever), Dudley astounded Harry by showing concern for his safety and thanking him for saving his life.
Dudley was the leader of a group of primary school bullies; his best friend is Piers Polkiss, a scrawny boy with a face like a rat. Piers holds other kids so Dudley can slug them. Harry was friendless because the other kids at primary school didn't like to disagree with Dudley's gang, whose favorite sport was "Harry hunting."
Dudley at Smeltings
In 1991, Dudley went to Smeltings, the private secondary school that his father had attended. "Smeltings' boys wore maroon tailcoats, orange knickerbockers, and flat straw hats called boaters. They also carried knobbly sticks, used for hitting each other while the teachers weren't looking. This was supposed to be good training for later life." (PS2).
His parents are of the opinion that his teachers don't understand him because the teachers note with concern his bullying behavior. After his third year at Smeltings, the school nurse informed the Dursleys that Dudley had to go on a diet, since he had become too large for the Smeltings uniforms.
During the 1994-95 school year, Dudley became the Junior Inter-School Boxing Champion of the South East. He became, if possible, an even worse bully. He and his gang spent the summer holidays terrorizing the neighborhood. They smoked, vandalized the play park, threw stones at cars and small children, and beat up younger boys, including a certain Mark Evans, whom Dudley said "cheeked" him (OP1).
Dudley and the Dementor
On the evening of August 2, 1995, Harry and Dudley were attacked by a Dementor in the alley between Wisteria Walk and Magnolia Crescent, about two streets away from his home. The immediate effect on Dudley was obvious: he was throwing up and chilled to the bone (OP1). The long term effect was that Dudley got a first-hand taste of uncontrolled evil and of Harry’s bravery. When they parted two years later (perhaps forever), Dudley astounded Harry by showing concern for his safety and thanking him for saving his life (DH).
Name meaning: The name ‘Dursley’ comes from a town in Gloucestershire, England. Rowling chose the name because it sounded “dull and forbidding.” (Star-Ledger)
- little tyke - his father (PS1)
- a baby angel - his mother (PS2)
- a pig in a wig - Harry (PS2)
- popkin - his mother (PS2, OP1, OP2)
- sweetums - his mother (PS2, CS1)
- Dinky Duddydums - his mother (PS2, OP1)
- Duddy - his mother (PS2, PA2)
- Ickle Dudleykins - his mother (PS3)
- my neffy-poo - Aunt Marge (PA2)
- Dudders - his father (PA2, OP1), Aunt Marge (PA2)
- Diddy - his mother (GF3, OP2)
- Big D - his gang (and Harry, to tease him) (OP1)
- Dud - his gang (OP1)
- Ickle Diddykins - his mother (OP1)
- "Harry hunting" (prior to Harry starting at Hogwarts) (PS3)
- watching television (including The Great Humberto, PS3)
- blowing up aliens on his computer (PS3)
- hitting things and people with his Smeltings stick (PS3)
- watching Harry being bullied by Uncle Vernon (PA2)
- playing Mega-Mutilation Three on his PlayStation (GF2)
- not reading
- breaking his toys
- hanging around with his gang, vandalizing the play park, smoking, and beating up younger kids (OP1)
- air rifle (PS3, Dudley swapped his pet parrot for this but then bent it out of shape by sitting on it, so it lies on a shelf in his second bedroom)
- books (unused) (PS3)
- computer (PS3, Dudley tried to take it with him when the family fled the letters from no-one)
- large numbers of computer games, including MegaMutilation Part Three
(PS2, received 16 new games as presents for eleventh birthday)
- PlayStation (see Timeline Facts) (GF2, Dudley chucked it out of the window when his parents threatened to cut his pocket money if he kept sneaking food to cheat on his diet)
- racing bike (PS2, present for eleventh birthday)
- remote control airplane (PS2, present for eleventh birthday, crashed within a month)
- computerized robot (PA2, a birthday present from Marjorie Dursley sometime after Dudley's fifth but before his tenth birthday)
- two televisions (PS3, Dudley put his foot through the first when his favorite television program was cancelled) (PA2, Dudley received another as a "welcome home for the summer" present when he complained about the long walk from the family television to the kitchen)
- gold wristwatch (PS2, present for eleventh birthday)
- video camera (PS2, present for eleventh birthday, broken within a month)
- VCR (PS2, present for eleventh birthday)
- working model tank (PS3, Dudley once drove this over the next door neighbor's dog)
- parrot in a cage (PS3, Dudley swapped the bird at school for an air rifle but kept the cage in his second bedroom)
- red bicycle (OP24, received when Harry was five; not the same as the racing bike, which Dudley received on his eleventh birthday)
- spare bedroom to keep all the stuff that won't fit in his main bedroom - the broken and unused stuff (until Harry received his first Hogwarts letter, PS3)
- sports bag (PS3, Dudley tried to pack his television, VCR, and computer in this)
- pet tortoise (PS3, Dudley chucked it through the greenhouse roof when throwing tantrums about Harry moving into his second bedroom)
Primary editor: Lisa Waite Bunker.
Previous editors Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley.
Original artwork of Dudley, Harry, and Aunt Petunia ©2001 Laura Freeman, used by permission.
Original artwork of Dudley by Mary GrandPré © Warner Bros., used by permission.
Original page date 3 August, 2000; Last page update 26 January, 2008.